Hebrew priest blowing the Shofar hornMessianic Learning Feature Articles


    I am Alpha (Aleph) and Omega (Tav), the beginning and the end. I will give to him who is athirst, of the fountain of the water of life freely." (Revelation 21:6)

This Shofar article continues the series on Yahushuah's commandments (Loving Instructions) as written in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible from the Gospel (Good News) of MattithYahu (Matthew). The purpose of this series is to share our Savior's Words so that Bet Yeshurun Assembly (BYA) may learn of His commands and obey them. Elohim's standards of human conduct as taught through Yahushuah are available at no cost to those who thirst for Yah's counsel on Life (symbolized as water). "If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes on Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow (gush) rivers of living water. (John 7:37-38)

The last Shofar article (Volume 606) on "Reconciliation" discussed how Yahushuah spoke of our need to reconcile with others as a step toward reconciling with our Heavenly Father. When Yah delivered us from bondage in this world, He accomplished it so that we can meet with Him and worship Him as He desires. When we spend time with Yah in prayer, praise and daily scripture study, Elohim speaks to us through His Holy Spirit (Ruach ha'Qodesh). "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give shall never thirst. The water that I shall give shall be in them a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)

Keep in mind that we have a purpose in this life. Yah created us so that we might: (1) know Yah (learn about Elohim's Way of Life); (2) love Yah (understand and obey Elohim's Will); and (3) serve Yah (with all our mind, body and soul). When Paul and Silas were sent from Thessalonica for causing havoc by sharing Yahushuah's teachings (Acts 17:1-10), they went to Berea. They and Yah's instructions were well received by the residents of that city. My prayer is that BYA models itself after the Bereans and follows their example. They were a people who "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11)

This article is for adults. In discussing the eternal principles and ancient truths about faithfulness, it also speaks of adultery. Parents should decide whether this subject matter is appropriate reading for their youngsters at this time. Our study begins with Yahushuah's command to married couples about staying faithful to their spouses physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. "You have heard that it was said to them of old time, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

A previous Shofar (Volume 605) discussed this saying of Yahushuah, "You have heard that it was said to them of old time". He was acknowledging that His audience fully understood their need to obey the Ten Commandments that YAHUAH spoke through Mosheh to the Israelites ("them of old time"). He specifically refers to this one, "You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14)

Strong's Concordance says the primitive Hebrew root word for "adultery" is "na'aph" (H5003). The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), refers to it 31 times. The Greek equivalent, "moicheuo" (G3431), in the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) appears 14 times. Many scripture references indicate that it's an important concept to understand. In fact, adultery is a grave sin punishable by death in Yah's judgment. "The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." (Leviticus 20:10)

Webster's Dictionary describes adultery" as "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and a woman not his wife, or between a married woman and a man not her husband." While confirming the ancient command on adultery, Yahushuah expands its definition to include thoughts. Hereby, He raises Yah's righteous standards, "whoever looks on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) In Greek, "lust" is "epithymeo" (G1937). In Strong's, it means "to set the heart upon, i.e. long for, covet, desire." Using this scriptural definition, Yah's command reads, "You shall not commit sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse and whoever sets his heart upon a woman, coveting, longing for her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matt. 5:27-28)

If a person's attitude is unfaithful (turned toward committing adultery), the person's lust to do so is considered the same as the actual deed, even if it hasn't actually been committed. Many physical acts of adultery are traceable to the mental thoughts, which can sprout from club visits, watching suggestive shows/movies, wearing immodest outfits, reading pornographic materials, etc. Yahushuah is teaching that our heart's desire often leads to certain actions. "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man." (Matthew 15:19-20)

How about a scriptural example of adultery? Many remember well the story of David and Bathsheba. David's lust for Bathsheba led to a sin with horrific consequences (murder and a young child's death). It came to pass in an evening tide that David arose from off his bed and walked upon the roof of the king's house. From the roof he saw a woman washing herself. The woman was very beautiful to look upon. David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, "Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" David sent messengers and took her. She came in unto him and he lay with her." (2 Samuel 11:2-4)

Human sexuality is so pervasive in modern American society, that it's only natural for minds to drift toward impious (adulterous) thoughts. This command isn't about fleeting thoughts of impropriety. It's about prolonged thoughts and actions driven by a heart's desire. All should judge their own hearts in this matter. Yah's desire is that we have a heart for Him and obey His commands. "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" (Deuteronomy 5:29)

Adultery is often traceable to casual attitudes about sex which can lead to unfaithfulness between spouses. Yah's command is designed to preserve and safeguard marriages, as well as to protect the children of those married couples. "Neither shall you commit adultery." (Deuteronomy 5:18)

Many think that what occurs between consenting adults causes no harm. Yet Yah knows the bigger picture. Torah's ancient truths give wisdom, and embracing these truths leads to a rewarding life. Don't let the masses of public opinion mislead you. Recall Paul's message that the physical commands of Torah are also spiritual. "For, we know that the law is spiritual. But, I am carnal, sold under sin." (Romans 7:14)

Yah is instructing us about a proper family relationship between husband and wife. His prohibition of adultery protects minds, bodies and souls, which form the basis of human family relationship. Being faithful toward our spouse also trains us on how to be faithful in our spiritual relationship with Elohim. "But whoso commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding. He who does it destroys his own soul." (Proverbs 6:32)

Indeed, Yah considered Israel's becoming intimate with pagan practices and the world's false gods to be an adulterous act. YAHUAH said moreover to me, "Son of man, will you judge Aholah and Aholibah? Yea! Declare their abominations to them. They have committed adultery. Blood is in their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery and have also caused their sons, who they bpre unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. Moreover this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day and have profaned my Sabbaths. For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it. Lo, thus they have done in the midst of My House. (Ezek. 23:36-39)

Ancient Israel made a covenant with Yah. In accepting His marriage contract, they became His special chosen people (i.e. Bride). When Israel later became intimate with other gods (mighty ones, idols), they committed adultery on Yah. How shall I pardon you for this? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by them that are no gods. When I fed them to the full, they then committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. They were as fed horses in the morning. Every one neighed after his neighbor's wife." (Jeremiah 5:7-8)

YAH's response to His spiritual unfaithful people is to leave them to their own devices. "Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men that I might leave my people and go from them! For, they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men and bend their tongues like their bow for lies. But they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth. For, they proceed from evil to evil and know not me," says YAHUAH. (Jeremiah 9:2-3)

Spiritual adultery has unpleasant consequences. "I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria. They prophesied in Baal and caused my people Israel to err. I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing. They commit adultery and walk in lies. They strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none do return from his wickedness. They are all of them to me as Sodom and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah." (Jeremiah 23:13-14)

Yah's eternal principle in prohibiting adultery is to teach BYA to become one (echad) with Elohim, to remain faithful, and not to adulterate, that is, add to Elohim. As we seek to remain spiritually faithful within Elohim's Family, may we walk as Yahushuah walked in not following after the lusts of our hearts. And, let us pray that married folk keep their desires directed toward spouses; and that the members of BYA focus their eyes and hearts upon the one and only living Elohim. Shalom, Elder Curt