Testing the 613, Part 4


We’re back with, “Testing the 613”, and we’re just going to hop right into it.


57. Rambam has, “Do not show favor to idolaters.”

“When יהוה your Elohim brings you into the land which you go to possess, He shall also clear away many nations before you: the Ḥittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Kena‛anites and the Perizzites and the Ḥiwwites and the Yeḇusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you. “And when יהוה your Elohim gives them over to you, you shall strike them and put them under the ban, completely. Make no covenant with them, and show them no favor.” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2)

There are two ways to interpret this, one, we are not to show favor to the nations mentioned above, or we shouldn’t be showing favor to any nation or people who practice idolatry. I am more inclined to believe the former, because given the context of this commandment it seems to be speaking about these seven specific nations. With that said there are plenty of commandments that tell us how we should interact with idolaters, we have even gone over some of them in the earlier parts. This falls under love Elohim, can be theoretically (which ever interpretation you choose) fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Do not show favor to idolaters (7 nations present when Israel took the land).”


58. Rambam, “Do not let idolaters dwell in the Land of Israel.”

“And when יהוה your Elohim gives them over to you, you shall strike them and put them under the ban, completely. Make no covenant with them, and show them no favor.” (Deuteronomy 7:2)

The literal commandment is to destroy the seven nations mentioned in verse 1, could it apply to other nations that inhabit Israel? Possibly, but even if that was the case the nation of Israel will not rid themselves of idolaters and we do not have the jurisdiction to even do so. With that being said Master Yeshua will utterly annihilate all the idolaters and lawless when he returns. This falls under love Elohim, cannot be fulfilled today (it was fulfilled in the past and will be again in the future), and I titled it in my notes as, “Destroy the 7 seven nations that were present when Israel took the land.”


59. Rambam has, “Do not imitate idolaters in customs and clothing.”

“And do not walk in the laws of the nation which I am driving out before you, for they do all these, and therefore I loathed them.” (Leviticus 20:23)

The literal command is not to imitate, or follow the customs, of the nations that were driven out of the land that Israel came to possess. That does not mean this commandment cannot be fulfilled today, all of Leviticus 20 details lawless deeds these nations did, these same actions are still sinful, and thus should not be done. This falls under Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Do not follow the customs of the nations which Elohim drove out of the Land before the Israelites (Could apply to all nations).”


60. Rambam has, “Do not be superstitious.”

“Do not eat meat with the blood. Do not practice divination or magic.” (Leviticus 19:26)

The literal commandment is not to practice divination or magic. Being superstitious is a form of belief or reverence for the supernatural, and confirms a belief in the practice of magic or ritualistic living. For example, they say a rabbit’s foot is lucky, such an item is just a piece of a dead unclean animal, and luck is nonexistent. To believe in such things would imply a belief in magic, because actions or words were spoken that lead to a certain consequence that was enabled by the supernatural. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Do not practice divination or magic”.


61. Rambam has, “Do not go into a trance to foresee events, etc.”

Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices divination, or a user of magic, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)

The literal commandment is not to use divination, which is a form of magic to see into the future. This commandment is the same as 60. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes, “Same as number 60.”


62. Rambam has, “Do not engage in astrology”

“Do not eat meat with the blood. Do not practice divination or magic.” (Leviticus 19:26)

This is the same as number 60, astrology is a form of magic that studies celestial objects (stars) and is interpreted as having influence on both humans and nature alike. Horoscopes operate within this spectrum. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Same as number 60.”


63. Rambam has, “Do not mutter incantations.”

Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices divination, or a user of magic, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)

I don’t see how this is different then number 60, you cannot conjure or cast a spell without practicing magic. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Do not cast a spell.”


64. Rambam, “Do not attempt to contact the dead.”

Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices divination, or a user of magic, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)

This is a form of magic called necromancy, it centers on manipulating the dead in order to achieve some sort of means, a desired outcome. These past few commandments, to me at least, all seem to be summed up, if you will, with number 60. Perhaps this is a way the Bible and Rambam detail what actually counts as magic? This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes, “Do not call up the dead.”


65. Rambam has, “Do not consult ghosts or spirits”

“Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices divination, or a user of magic, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)

This most commonly happens today in seances and the use of Ouija boards. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Do not call upon spirits.”


66. Rambam has, “Do not consult magicians or wizards.”

“Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices divination, or a user of magic, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)

The literal command here is that we should not become mediums, that is a person who acts as an in-between for the living and the dead. If you picture a seance, this is the person who does all the talking, and contacts the other side. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Do not become a medium.”


67. Rambam has, “Do not perform acts of magic.”

Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices divination, or a user of magic, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)

I’m not entirely sure how this is different than number 60 or 63, but the point has been made, do not practice magic! This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I titled it, “Same as number 60.”


68. Rambam has, “Men must not shave the hair off the sides of their head.”

Do not round the corner of your head, nor destroy the corner of your beard.” (Leviticus 19:27)

I’ve seen two interpretations of this verse, one, that the sides of the head should not be shaved and that a beard must not be cut on the edges. The other interpretation is that the rounding of the head and the destroying of beards were pagan practices among the Canaanites, and that this verse is specifically saying not to cut your hair out of cultish/ idolatrous practices. That might sound far fetched to some, but remember a person partaking in the Nazarite vow had to cut off all their hair when finished, if cutting your hair was against Torah, then the Father wouldn’t command those taking the vow to do so. As for now I think the latter interpretation to be correct. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Do not round off the corner of your head.”


69. Rambam has, “Men must not shave their beards with a razor.”

“Do not round the corner of your head, nor destroy the corner of your beard.” (Leviticus 19:27)

Again, I believe this to mean in the context of idolatrous worship and not simply going to the barber, because if cutting your beard was a sin then those who undergo the Nazarite vow will sin when they shave off all their hair. As Rambam has it, this would be a contradiction, for YHWH would be commanding us not to cut our hair and then later commanding us to cut our hair. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I titled it, “Do not destroy the corner of your beards.”


70. Rambam has, “Men must not wear women's clothing.”

“A woman does not wear that which pertains to a man, nor does a man put on a woman’s garment, for whoever does this is an abomination to יהוה your Elohim.” (Deuteronomy 22:5)

Clear cut commandment, do not cross dress, there are clothes made for women and clothes made for men. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it the same in my notes.


71. Rambam has, “Women must not wear men's clothing.”

A woman does not wear that which pertains to a man, nor does a man put on a woman’s garment, for whoever does this is an abomination to יהוה your Elohim.” (Deuteronomy 22:5)

Some take this to mean that women shouldn’t wear pants, but there are pants specifically made for both genders, so this argument is rather mute. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it the same in my notes.


72. Rambam has, “Do not tattoo the skin.”

“And do not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor put tattoo marks on you. I am יהוה.” (Leviticus 19:28)

I’ve heard some argue that it’s ok to get tattoos as long as its not for the dead, and I can see how it can be taken both ways. I myself maintain that this verse prohibits any and all tattoos, it will come as no shocker to learn that many gentile/ pagan nations would tattoo themselves for ritualistic/ religious purposes. Further, based on the sentence structure, it seems that tattoos are not contingent on the subject before the comma. For example, “do not stay out late on a school night, nor drink.” The parent is telling their kid not to stay out too long because school is tomorrow, the prohibition on drinking is not dependent on the fact that it’s a school night. Hope that helps clarify my position. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it the same in my notes.


73. Rambam has, “Do not tear or cut the skin in mourning.”

“And do not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor put tattoo marks on you. I am יהוה.” (Leviticus 19:28)

The literal command here is not to cut ourselves for the dead, whether in mourning or not. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Do not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead.”


74. Rambam has, “Do not make a bald spot in mourning.”

“You are the children of יהוה your Elohim. Do not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead.” (Deuteronomy 14:1)

The commandment here is that we should not shave the front of our heads for the dead, whether in mourning or not. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Do not shave the front of your head for the dead.”


75. Rambam has, “Repent and confess wrongdoings.”

“Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit in trespass against יהוה, and that being is guilty, then they shall confess their sin which they have done. And he shall restore his guilt in its principal, plus one-fifth of it, and give it to whom he has been guilty.” (Numbers 5:6-7)

Some translations say restitution instead of restore his guilt in principle, but none the less, we read that we should confess our sins and make restitution for those sins. In the verses provided we see that a man has committed some sin that effected another person, the person in the wrong has to fully restore/ repay the person they hurt plus 1/5th. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Confess sins and make restitution.”


76. Rambam has, “Recite the Shema twice daily.”

“Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one! “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart, and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)

Shema means “hear”, the Shema or at least part of it is Deuteronomy 6:4-7. I’ve always taken this to mean we should be studying and discussing Torah daily, because of when He says, “these Words which I am commanding you today…”, not to say I’m against the Shema, in fact I say it every time I go to my ‘local’ assembly. I just argue that its more than just saying these 4 verses, its about all the Torah. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and I titled it in my notes as, “Daily Torah studying.”


This post has reached the 10-minute mark, so we will have to pick this back up at another time. I knew this would be a long series but one that it well worth it, for how can we know what sin is without knowing the commandments? I encourage each and everyone of you to continue to test all things, including this teaching, and may the Ruach Hakodesh lead you into all Truth.

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