Torah and the Spirit

CHRISTIANS WHO WANT to develop the Hebraic mind of the Messiah will find it helpful to rethink the Torah (Law) in the light of the Spirit. We tend to overlook the baseline biblical truth that “the Torah (Law) is spiritual” (Romans 7:14); that our true selves delight in it (7:22); and that when we walk by the Spirit we will fulfill its righteous requirements (8:4), as did our Lord.

Historically, Christian polemics against Judaism have stressed negative aspects of the Law as that which identifies and condemns sin and brings curse instead of blessing upon the rebellious and disobedient. Here are some Hebraic principles that will help you develop a more positive attitude toward the Torah (Law).

The Torah is a loving Father’s teaching. The Hebrew word torah fundamentally connotes guidance and instruction – that which aims you so that you hit the mark. And the mark for the Torah always is life. The English word Law (from the Greek nomos) seldom has such a positive connotation; so you may find it helpful instead to use the Hebrew term that Jesus used, Torah.

The Torah is a treasure.  Only in light of the above can we appreciate the Psalmist’s attitude: “O how I love your Torah!” (Ps 119:97). Psalm 119 consists of 8 verses for each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and every one of the 176 verses extols the wisdom and will of God found in the multifaceted Torah.

The Torah is a gift of the Spirit. The Torah was written by “the finger of God” (Ex 31:18; Deut 9:10). This Hebrew idiom is found also in Luke 11:20 and explained in the parallel of Matthew 12:28. It means “the Spirit of God”. Truly the Torah – the foundational “Scripture” to which the Apostle Paul alludes in 2 Timothy 3:16 – is “inspired”, i.e., in-Spirited. It is God breathed.

The Torah is guidance for a redeemed people. The Law was given to Israel after they had been saved out of Egypt, not as the basis or means of their salvation. It was meant to guide the covenant people in paths of righteousness that would bring them to the appointed place of promise and productivity. As followers of Jesus of Nazareth, it is good to be reminded that these things “were written for our instruction” (1 Cor 10:11) as well.

God’s Word is truth (Ps 119:160; Jn 17:17), and Yeshua reminds us that the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Truth (Jn 15:26). We would do well to study the spiritual connection between Sinai and Zion.

Excerpts from "Torah and the Spirit"   © 2009 Dwight A. Pryor and The Center for Judaic-Christian Studies.

B'midbar (Numbers)

Parasha To Read

B'midbar (In the desert)
Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 1:1-4:20
Haftarah: Hoshea (Hosea) 2:1-22
B’rit Hadashah: Luke 2:1-7; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

Naso (Take)
Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 4:21-7:89
Haftarah: Shof’tim (Judges) 13:2-25
B’rit Hadashah: Yochanan (John) 7:53-8:11; Acts 21:17-32

B’ha’alotkha (When you set up)
Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 8:1-12:16
Haftarah: Z’kharyah (Zechariah) 2:14-4:7
B’rit Hadashah: Yochanan (John) 19:31-37; Hebrews 3:1-6

Shlach L’kha (Send on your behalf)
Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 13:1-15:41
Haftarah: Y’hoshua (Joshua) 2:1-24
B’rit Hadashah: Hebrews 3:7-19

Korach (Korah)
Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 16:1-18:32
Haftarah: Sh’mu’el Alef (1 Samuel) 11:14-12:22
B’rit Hadashah: 2 Timothy 2:8-21; Y’hudah (Jude) 1-25

Hukkat (Regulation)
Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 19:1-22:1
Haftarah: Shof’tim (Judges) 11:1-33
B’rit Hadashah: Yochanan (John) 3:9-21; 4:3-30; 12:27-50

Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 22:2-25:9
Haftarah: Mikhah (Micah) 5:6-6:8
B’rit Hadashah: 2 Kefa (2 Peter) 2:1-22; Y’hudah (Jude) 11; Revelation 2:14-15

Pinchas (Phinehas)
Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 25:10-30:1(29:40)
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 18:46-19:21
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:1-30; Mark 14:1-26; Luke 22:1-20; Yochanan (John) 2:13-22; 7:1-13, 37-39; 11:55-12:1; 13:1; 18:28, 39; 19:14; Acts 2:1-21; 12:3-4; 20:5-6; 16; 27:9-11; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; 16:8; Hebrews 11:28

Mattot (Tribes)
Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 30:2(1)-32:42
Haftarah: Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 1:1-2:3
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:33-37

Masa'ei (Stages)
Torah: B’midbar (Numbers) 33:1-36:13
Haftarah: Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 2:4-28; 3:4 (A); 2:4-28; 4:1-2 (S)
B’rit Hadashah: Ya’akov (James) 4:1-12

Shavuot — Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
Day 1- (Yom Revi'i)
Torah: Sh'mot (Exodus) 19-20; B’midbar (Numbers) 28:26-31
Haftarah: Yechezk'el (Ezekiel) 1, 3:12
Day 2- (Yom Chamishi)

Shavuot — Feast of Weeks
Torah: D'varim (Deuteronomy) 15:19-16:17 B’midbar (Numbers) 28:26-31
Haftarah: Havakuk (Habakkuk) 3:1-19
Anytime during the festival:
Book of Rut (Ruth)
B’rit Hadashah: Acts 1-2 (especially 2:1-13)


D'varim (Deuteronomy)

Parasha To Read

D'varim (Words)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 1:1-3:22
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 1:1-27
B’rit Hadashah: Yochanan (John) 15:1-11; Hebrews 3:7-4:11

Tish'ah B'Av — 9th of Av (a fast day- postponed until 10th of Av due to Shabbat)
Sunday Morning
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 4:25-40
Haftarah: Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 8:13-9:23
B’rit Hadashah: Mark 13, Luke 5:33-39
Sunday) Afternoon
Torah: Sh'mot (Exodus) 32:11-14, 34:1-10
Haftarah: Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 55:6-56:8; Hoshea (Hosea) 14:2-10; Mikhah (Micah) 7:18-20; Z'kharyah (Zechariah) 12

Va’etchanan (I pleaded)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 3:23-7:11
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 40:1-26
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 4:1-11; 22:33-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 4:1-13; 10:25-37; Acts 13:13-43; Romans 3:27-31;1 Timothy 2:4-6; Ya’akov (James) 2:14-26
And all the readings for Parashah 17

Ekev (Because / As a Consequence of)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 7:12-11:25
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 49:14-51:3
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; Ya’akov (James) 5:7-11

Re'eh (See)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 11:26-16:17
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 44:11-45:5; Isa. 54:11-55:5, 66:1,24
B’rit Hadashah: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 1 Yochanan (1 John) 4:1-6

Shoftim (Judges)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-21:9
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 51:12-52:12 [Messianic adaptation: conclude the reading at 53:12]
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:38-42; 18:15-20; Acts 3:13-26; 7:35-53; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 1 Timothy 5:17-22; Hebrews 10:28-31

Ki Tetze (When you go out)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 21:10-25:19
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 54:1-10 [Messianic adaptation: commence the reading at 52:13]
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:31-32; 19:3-12; 22:23-32; Mark 10:2-12; 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-38; 1 Corinthians 9:4-18; Galatians 3:9-14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18

Ki Tavo (When you come)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 26:1-29:8
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 60:1-22
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 13:1-23; Luke 21:1-4; Acts 28:17-31; Romans 11:1-15

Nitzavim (Standing)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 29:9(10)-30:20
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 61:10-63:9
B’rit Hadashah: Romans 9:30-10:13, Hebrews 12:14-15
Vayelekh (He went)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 31:1-30
Haftarah: Hoshea (Hosea) 14:2-10; Mikhah (Micah) 7:18-20; Yo'el (Joel) 2:15-27
B’rit Hadashah: Hebrews 13:5-8

Rosh HaShanah — New Year: the Biblical "Feast of Shofars" (Feast of Trumpets)
Day 1-Shabbat [Monday)]
Torah: B’resheet (Genesis) 21; Numbers 29:1-6
Haftarah: Sh’mu’el Alef (1 Samuel) 1:1-2:10
2nd day-Tuesday
Torah: B’resheet (Genesis) 22; Numbers 29:1-6
Haftarah: Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 31:2-19
B’rit Hadashah: Hebrews 10:17-19
B'rit Hadashah readings anytime during the festival
B’rit Hadashah: Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 1 Thessonians 4:13-18; Revelation 8-9

Ha’azinu (Hear)
Torah: D’varim (Deuteronomy) 32:1-52
Haftarah: Sh’mu’el Bet (2 Samuel) 22:1-51
B’rit Hadashah: Romans 10:14-21; 12:14-21; Hebrews 12:28-39

Yom Kippur — Day of Atonement (a fast day)
Shabbat Morning
Torah: Vayikra (Leviticus) 16; B'midbar (Numbers) 29:7-11
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 52:13-53:12; 57:14-58:14
B’rit Hadashah: Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 7-8
Shabbat Afternoon
Torah: Vayikra (Leviticus) 17-18
Haftarah: Jonah 1-4;Mikhah (Micah) 7:18-20
B’rit Hadashah: Hebrews 9-10

Sukkot — Feast of Booths (Feast of Tabernacles)
Day 1-Monday)
Torah: Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:26-23:44; B'midbar (Numbers) 29:12-16
Haftarah: Z’kharyah (Zechariah) 14:1-21
Day 2-Tuesday)
Torah: Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:26-23:44; B'midbar (Numbers) 29:12-16
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 8:2-21
Anytime during the festival
B’rit Hadashah: Yochanan (John) 7