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Parashat Mishpatim

Updated on February 10, 2018

Getting the Mitzvot (Commandments)

After YeHoVaH gave His Ten Commandments during His marriage to the children of Yisra’el, He also legislates a variety of laws; laws for acquiring and freeing servants, laws that afford restitution for personal injury, laws that provide protection of property, laws that govern social responsibility, laws that make provision for justice and mercy, laws that govern what one should or should not do on the weekly Shabbat/Sabbath, and the time and requirements of the three annual festivals- the Festival of Matzot/Unleavened Bread (Shemot (Exodus) 23:15), the Festival of the Harvest/Shavu’ot (Shemot (Exodus) 23:16), and the Festival of the Ingathering/Booths/Sukkot (Shemot (Exodus) 23:16).

There are fifty-three mitzvot, or commandments, in this text reading of Shemot (Exodus): twenty-three that are imperative commandments (things that are musts) and thirty that are prohibitions (things that are not allowed).

It is not so much that YeHoVaH wishes to bog the people down with laws and commands, but YeHoVaH wishes that the people would learn to trust and obey Him, to live set-apart (holy) as He is set-apart (holy) (Vayyqra (Leviticus) 11:44). The promise YeHoVaH gave to His people was that they would enter into a land of promise; but, as they were to be given this land, they were instructed about not including themselves in the pagan ways of the land’s current inhabitants.

The children of Yisra’el all proclaim, “All that YeHoVaH has spoken we shall do, and obey.” (Shemot (Exodus) 24:7) “Kol aser dibber YeHoVaH na’aseh v’nishma.” (in Hebrew)

What does this mean for the Believer and Follower of Yeshua ha-Meshiach?

The Yisra’el-ites had to learn to trust what YeHoVaH said and to trust that what YeHoVaH said was for their benefit. As they learned to trust more and more so did they learn to obey more and more, even though they, and YeHoVaH, knew that His perfect law could not be kept perfectly. There is more to obeying YeHoVaH, though, than merely saluting Him and saying, “Yes, Sir!” We must live in harmony with YeHoVaH in a way that is even bigger than the law.

To live in harmony, living by the practical rules set up by YeHoVaH, means to commit oneself to reverence and respect of YeHoVaH laws; we are to live in harmony with the purpose of YeHoVaH. This means to trust AND obey.

Here is an interesting article to read … “Reasons Why Christians Don’t Have To Obey Torah”. Be forewarned, the title is a bit misleading because the argument really is not about not obeying/observing Torah, rather it is about obeying/observing Torah, and that those who call themselves “Christians” are not exempt. If you are a Christian, you should be following Yeshua in His walk and His walk included obeying/observing YeHoVaH’s Torah. Period.


Obedience is our faith test. Will we believe what YeHoVaH tells us- whether it be a command, a law, a precept, or a specific purpose He gives to us. Will we believe? Will we have faith? Will we trust? Will we obey?

NA’ASEH V’NISHMA! (We will listen and we will obey!)


Be sure to read the haftarah text ... Melakim Bet (2 Kings) 11:17-12:17.


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