Weightier Matters of Torah

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In Matthew 23:23, Yeshua criticizes the scribes and Pharisees because of their focus on the minutia of the law while neglecting the weightier matters of Torah: justice, mercy, and faith.  What exactly did Yeshua mean by this?  In this 4 hour teaching, we will take an in depth look at both the Greek words behind Matthew as well as the Hebrew words from which these derive: mishpat, chesed, and emunah/emet.

In the Scriptures, these three words appear together along with a fourth word; righteousness.  The terms justice and righteousness (Hebrew: mishpat u'tsedakah) form a hendiadys that was well known throughout the ancient Near East.  Whenever a new king took over a throne, he would establish justice and righteousness throughout the land (often as propaganda)  which meant a release of debts, release of slaves, establishment of laws to safeguard the widows, the poor, and the orphans, as well as other similar decrees.  In Genesis 18:19, YHVH declares that He has chosen Abraham and his household to keep the way of YHVH by doing righteousness and justice!  This motif is carried on throughout the Torah and is the subject of the Prophet's outcry against Israel.  This teaching will show how righteousness and justice are the focus of Yeshua's ministry as well as his gospel commission to all of us.

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Ryan White

If you would like to view my Bio information, please CLICK HERE. If you would like to contact me, please email me at RootedinTorah@gmail.com. Also, if you are interested in me speaking at your local congregation, please contact me via the same email address.

11 thoughts on “Weightier Matters of Torah”

  1. Shalom Ryan,
    Wonderful teaching! So, in Jn. 16:11 “in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned” this judgement occurred when Yeshua cried out before he died? Is that why “he did not open his mouth” because if he did before the right time his Father will at once put at his disposal more than twelve legions of angels to save him, possibly the destruction of Jerusalem occurring then? If Satan is judged, then why is there a delay in execution? Was he then kicked out of heaven to be on death row on earth?

  2. Shalom Ryan, Your intro to your teaching, where can I get it and what is it called?

    There are some deep points within your teaching.

    Keep up the good work and may our Creator continue to bless you and your family.


  3. Hi Ryan,

    Just finished part 2 and am a bit confused regarding Y’shua ‘establishing’ righteousness and justice, etc. Did He establish them, or just set the ground work for when He comes to reign? I guess I’m thinking about the difference between Messiah ben Yoseph vs Messiah ben David.

    Nonetheless, I’m really enjoying getting all the legal perspectives of the Bible! Thank you!

    1. Hi!

      I believe that I cover this more in depth later on in the series, but there is a 2-fold establishing that Yeshua did/will do. The greater establishment will be at his return, but if you follow the history of the early believers, it was the fact that they lived the weightier matters of Torah which led to the huge growth of the movement in such a small amount of time. They rescued “exposed” infants (infants abandoned to die), payed for the release of slaves, took in widows and orphans, etc, and as a result, scholars say that they essentially outbred the dominant culture quickly to the point that they became a threat.

      We often times speak out against the idolatry in the Christian church, but the reality is that they have made the world a much more moral place than the Greco-Roman world. Even in all her sins, the Catholic church has more hospitals, orphanages, and homeless around the world than any other organization. When people’s base needs are tended to through justice and righteousness, they are much more open to receiving whatever message it is that you’re preaching.

  4. I’m glad everyone is enjoying this teaching! Thank you for the great idea Behira, I’ll see what I can do with that.

    Linda, here is the minimal you can get to get this functionality:
    L4 Minimal Crossgrade
    L5 Minimal Crossgrade
    The Old Testament in Greek According to the Septuagint
    And finally the Reverse-Interlinear Bible of your choice. I prefer the NRSV and NKJV, but there are several others. These Bibles will only be $10.

    If you call Logos, they can combine the L4 and L5 crossgrades into a package that will save you some money. Altogether it will still be about $300, but it is well worth it if you are serious about studying the original text and don’t know Hebrew or Greek.

    1. Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for the info. (I’ll start a little savings fund!)
      The main reason I want this resource is because Blue Letter Bible (free online) has removed any mention of torah, when you click on the Greek word “nomos” or “anomia”. It used to be a good resource to show friends/family that this word ‘law” in the Brit H. is ‘nomos’ and ‘nomos’ was translated from ‘torah’. But now that BBL has removed ‘torah’ and ‘Law of Moses’ from their Greek page, well, I’ve been looking for a new resource. What I saw on your powerpoint, using their software looks very ……..complete. Hopefully, they will maintain it’s/their integrity.

      I’d be interested to know if in Logos, if you go to Matt 5:18 and click on the word ‘law’ and go to the Septuagint page, if they reference ‘torah’.

  5. Hey Ryan,

    You are doing a great job! I have really enjoyed these first two lessons. Well thought out, researched, and organized.
    Can you please tell me more about the Logos software? I know it can be expensive, depending on the packages. The part that I desperately want is where you were clicking on a Greek word and it was giving you the Hebrew from the Septuagint. I also wouldn’t mind a book that does the same thing, just haven’t found one yet.


  6. This is an amazing teaching and very helpful in knowing how to apply Torah to our lives. Makes so much more sense than what I have been believing. Thanks so much!

  7. Rome is occupying tiny Judea – some of the religious leaders were under Rome’s thumb/boot, they were Roman appointments; not YeHovah’s; Rome would not have wanted the Covenant expansion; so is most likely Rome who wanted people shut out the Kingdom and they operated through the “reliigious leaders”. Rome didn’t like the Covenant laws, one reason it’s opposition to salvery, and class systems.

    This is so excellent. If you’ve not done so with the online classes, one thing can do is set up courts, with made up cases and see how you’d rule. When Israel was taken over by Alexander the The Great he was one of the 1st to introduce “human rights” wonder how that effeceted Israel’s laws; it here the Greeks foreced them to translate Hebrew Torah to Greek.

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