Thursday, January 22, 2015

"And with Him Who is Not Here": The Surprising Theory Underlying the Sinaitic Obligation of Every Unborn Israelite

Came across something interesting earlier today in a fascinating book by Martin Sicker entitled "The Political Culture of Judaism."  He looks at Deuteronomy 29:13-15 which seems to indicate that all future generations are obligated to obey the Torah and he asks a wonderful series of questions:
"But how could Moses unilaterally enter into a covenant with, and impose obligations on, persons who were not explicit parties to it?  How could the covenant encompass and obligate all future generations of the children of Israel?  What theory of politics, presumably accepted and advocated by Moses, permitted him to conclude such a covenant and accorded legitimacy to open-ended obligation of the unborn?
      It would appear that Moses employed a concept of patriarchalism predicated on a presumed natural reciprocity between parents and children, leading to the principle that one is generally obligated to fulfill the commitments made by one's parents..." (pg. 6)
Yeshua's parents had made a commitment to keep Torah ("naaseh v'nishmah") because their parents had made a commitment and so on back to Sinai.  So, as a Jew, He inherited this duty/right to keep Torah.

So what does it mean that He is the Father of all Believers whether Jew or Gentile?  Does that mean that the duty and right to keep Torah passes down to all of Yeshua's children?

Do you agree or disagree with Martin Sicker's assertion that children are obligated to fulfill the commitments made by the father?  

In a way, it doesn't seem fair--this idea that someone who wasn't even present at Sinai nevertheless receives an obligation to keep the Torah of the covenant:

"13 that he may establish you today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you, and as he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 14 It is not with you alone that I am making this sworn covenant, 15 but with whoever is standing here with us today before the Lordour God, and with whoever is not here with us today."

Very interesting this idea of law traveling through the blood.  "Natural Law" (i.e. our innate sense of right and wrong which is given to us by G-d) says that the child must obey the father.  So if the father must obey a covenant that obligates him to teach Torah to his children and the children must obey the father because of Natural Law then you have an open-ended obligation to all of the unborn.

This is very profound.

Can't wait to read the rest of this book.

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