Tag Archives: tawmeem

Considering blamelessness

 

you-may-be-blameless2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

1Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To understand the fullness of what it means to be blameless, we have to go back to the beginning. Noah was described as “blameless,” and God instructed Abraham to “be blameless,” and Moses commanded the children of Israel to “be blameless.”

Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless [tameem] in his generation. Noah walked with God.

Gen 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless [tameem], Gen 17:2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Gen 17:3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, Gen 17:4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.

Deut. 18:13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.

The Hebrew word is tameem [pronounced taw-MEEM], which Strong’s Concordance defines as without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely, sound, without spot, undefiled, upright. Brown, Driver, Briggs Lexicon adds: whole, entire, healthful, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity, and what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact.

Blameless Noah “walked with God” and “did all that God commanded him” (Gen. 6:9,22, 7:5)  Regarding Abraham, God told Isaac that he would bless him because Abraham walked in obedience to His instructions for righteousness:

Gen 26:2  And the LORD appeared to [Isaac] and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you.  Gen 26:3  Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you…Gen 26:5  because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Gen 26:12  And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him,  Gen 26:13  and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy.

We should note that neither Noah nor Abraham were sinless. Being tameem does not mean that one never sins. Rather, it means that one knows what to do with his sin, as we can see from King David’s example, the man after God’s own heart, in Psalm 51.

Most often translated as “spotless,” or “without blemish”, tameem is also the term used to describe the standard for the lambs that were to be chosen at the first Passover in Egypt, a prophetic picture of Jesus/Yeshua our Passover Lamb.

Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish [tameem], a male a year old… Exo 12:6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. Exo 12:7 “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.

This term, tameem, is also the standard for every animal sacrifice that was to be brought to the tabernacle in the wilderness and later to the Temple in Jerusalem. Understanding this enables us to discern the fullness of Paul’s exhortation for believers to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom. 12:1)

The books of Psalms and Proverbs are filled with the Hebrew word tameem. Here are a few examples:

Psa. 101:6 I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless [tameem] shall minister to me.

Psa. 119:80 May my heart be blameless [tameem] in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!

Prov. 11:20 Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD, but those of blameless [tawmeem] ways are his delight.

Pro 28:10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless [tameem] will have a goodly inheritance.
Paul urged the new congregations to be blameless and to search for leaders and deacons who are blameless.

1Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 

Php_2:15 so that you may be blameless and innocent, God’s children without any faults among a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.


1Ti 3:2 (Tit. 1:7) A bishop then must be blameless
 

1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

Has the definition of being blameless changed?  If being blameless [tameem] in the Old Testament meant walking in the instructions of God, His statutes, ordinances, laws, and commandments, can we rightly assume, as many have, that Jesus/Yeshua and His disciples taught a different way to walk with Him?  And if that is true, would that make Him a “respecter of persons”?

Exo 12:49  There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”

Num 15:16  One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”

Num 15:29  You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them.

Act_10:34  So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, [Peter quotes Deut. 1:17] Act 10:35  but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

Isaiah’s gospel makes essentially the same statement:

Isa 56:2  Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”  Isa 56:3  Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from his people…Isa 56:6  “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—Isa 56:7  these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”  Isa 56:8  The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”

“By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall a matter be established” declare Moses, Yeshua, and Paul (Deut. 19:15, Mat 18:16, 2 Corin. 13:1).

You have heard it said that it is impossible to keep the instructions of God and that Yeshua/Jesus did it for us, making it unnecessary for us to worry about it. But, is that what Scripture says?

Mat 4:4  But [Jesus] answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Deut. 30:9b “For the LORD will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, Deu 30:10  when you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deu 30:11  “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.

Mat 11:29  “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.Mat 11:30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

1Jn 2:4  Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 1Jn 2:5  but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 1Jn 2:6  whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

 Abba, Yahweh, we cry out to YOU to help us to understand and realign our thoughts, word, and deeds so that we, too, can be blameless, in Yeshua’s name. Amen.

Noach 5777

Torah Portion:  Genesis 6:911:32

Haftarah Portion:  Isaiah 54:155:5

New Testament Portion:  Luke 17:26-27, Hebrews 11:5-7, 1Peter 3:20, 2Peter 2:5, 3:9-14

This week as I pondered the assigned Scripture and Ray Gardner’s rich and detailed  study notes , a few thoughts came to mind.

“Noah walked with God.” This phrase is used only for one other person in Scripture–Noah’s great-grandfather Enoch, the one who lived 365 years “and he was not, for God took him.” (Gen. 5:24)  Scripture emphasizes Enoch’s righteousness by TWICE stating “Enoch walked with God.” [Gen. 5:22,24). The name Enoch means “dedicated, initiated, trained.”  In Hebrew, to “walk” [halak הלך Strong’s H1980]  means much more than to put one foot in front of the other and shuffle along. Rather, it is a euphemism for a manner of thought and, therefore, a manner of life. It is a life view or paradigm and, also, hints at one’s ability to influence. Continue reading Noach 5777

Chai Sarah [Life of Sarah] 2015

Torah Portion: Genesis 23:1 through Gen 25:18
Haftarah: 1Kings 1:1-31, 46
New Testament: Mat. 13: 24-50, John 4:35, Heb 11:6-19, Heb 13:6

Abraham SarahThough our portion this week is entitled “Life of Sarah,” it curiously records both her’s and Abraham’s death, though, in actuality, he lives another 38 years. Scripture inserts the death of the saints in the narrative when their mission is complete. Like Noah and Shem before him, Abraham remains alive in the background to influence and intercede for his descendants. Continue reading Chai Sarah [Life of Sarah] 2015

Vayera [ and He Appeared] 2015

Torah Portion: Genesis 18:1 through Gen 22:24
Haftarah: 2 Kings 4:1-37
New Testament: Acts 7:2-3, John 8:28-59, Jude 1:1-8, James 1:2-6

vayeraReturning to our quest to understand what caused God to passionately pursue Abraham Continue reading Vayera [ and He Appeared] 2015

Noach [Noah] 2015

Torah Portion:  Genesis 6:911:32 Haftarah Portion:  Isaiah 54:155:5 New Testament Portion:  Luke 17:26-27, Hebrews 11:7, 1Peter 3:20, 2Peter 2:5, 3:9-14

The concluding words of last week’s Torah portion read “but Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh.” (Gen 6:8)  We arrive this week at the building of the ark and the salvation of one family from a worldwide calamity.  Encompassed in the “secret place of the Most High. . . in the shadow of the Almighty,” Noah’s family rode out the mother of all storms.  Continue reading Noach [Noah] 2015

Chai Sarah – Life of Sarah

Torah Portion: Genesis 23:1 through Gen 25:18
Haftarah: 1Kings 1:1-31, 46
New Testament: Mat. 13: 24-50, John 4:35, Heb 11:6-19, Heb 13:6

Abraham SarahThough our portion this week is curiously titled “Life of Sarah,” it gives few details other than her age at death in regard to the circumstances.  In Hebrew, the text reads that Sarah lived 100 years, 20 years, and 7 years.  The sages have deduced that at age 100 she was as beautiful as a 20-year-old and as innocent as a 7-year-old. In addition, over the centuries they invested much thought to the obvious question, how did Sarah die?  Because Sarah’s demise follows on the heels of the akeida [binding of Isaac], most believe that Sarah’s death was somehow attributed to it. Continue reading Chai Sarah – Life of Sarah

Vayera – He Appeared

Torah Portion: Genesis 18:1 through Gen 22:24
Haftarah: 2 Kings 4:1-37
New Testament: Acts 7:2-3, John 8:28-59, Jude 1:1-8, James 1:2-6

My spiritual children have wrestled this week with health issues, been harassed by neighbors, faced economic distress, and been interrupted and forced to intervene on behalf of family who have acted in ignorance.  If you have likewise been tested and tried this week, welcome to parsha Vayera!  But, the good news is, that in every instance, Vayera!   God was faithful, and “He appeared”! Continue reading Vayera – He Appeared