One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Hardness of Heart Commandments
Commandments YHWH gave because of mankind’s hardness of heart

Matithyah (Matthew) 19:8
He says unto them, “Moshe for your hardness of heart allowed you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it has not been so.”

There are at least three commandments YHWH gave through Moshe (Moses) which were given because of the hardness of men’s hearts. However, it would be so much better for everyone involved if these commandments were never done. YHWH allows them, but He would rather that His people choose not to do these particular mitzvoth (commandments).

The first one to be examined in this study is divorce.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:1
“When a man takes a wife, and marries her, then it shall be, if she find no favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly thing in her, that he shall write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.”

The focus of our study today is not divorce. This will have to be delved into more deeply in another study. For our purposes today, we are simply pointing out that divorce is a mitzvah (commandment). However, as Yeshua Mashiach points out, this commandment was given for one reason - hardness of heart.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:27
“For I know your rebellion, and your stiff neck; behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against YHWH; and how much more after my death?”

Moshe had dealt with these people, first the generation which came out of Egypt and now their children for forty years. The first generation passed on to the second generation this same characteristic - rebellion, a stiff neck, in short, hardness of heart. This characteristic has been passed down to each and every subsequent generation all the way down to today.

Please note this phrase from above in which Yeshua makes it clear why it was not supposed to be this way -   “. . . but from the beginning it has not been so.” From the beginning, that is from Gan Eden (Garden of Eden) when Adam and Chavah (Eve) were created and placed in the garden, YHWH’s intent was for this one man and this one woman to become one flesh and stay married to each other for their entire lives. This brings us to the second commandment given because of hardness of heart.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:15-17
15 “If a man has two wives, the one beloved, and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first-born son be hers that was hated;
16 then it shall be, in the day that he causes his sons to inherit that which he has, that he may not make the son of the beloved the first-born before the son of the hated, who is the first-born;
17 but he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he has; for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the first-born is his.”

Please take careful note of what is happening here in this passage, for Moshe tells us why a man takes a second wife, he hated the first. Why does a man’s love grow cold for his wife? We could make a very long list, but underneath all those things will be hardness of heart, and in this case that hardness of heart is towards his wife.

Again, the commandment above is given because of the hardness of men’s hearts. A man can choose to have more than one wife, but from the beginning it has not been so. From the beginning it was one man and one woman united in a covenant relationship which was to last until death released one.

Now please note this third case where YHWH gave a commandment because of the hardness of men’s hearts.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:14-15
14 “When you have come unto the land which YHWH your Elohim gives you, and shall possess it, and shall dwell therein, and shall say, 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me;’
15 you shall surely set him king over you, whom YHWH your Elohim shall choose; one from among your brethren shall you set king over you; you may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.”

Just because Torah provides for something like a king, does not mean that Israel should actually have such a thing like a king. It is important to note that it is Israel who decides to set a king over herself, not YHWH. YHWH does not need to decide to be the king over Israel since He is already her king. Let us prayerfully consider YHWH’s view on the matter of Israel setting a king over herself.

Sh’muel Aleph (1st Samuel) 8:7
And YHWH said to Sh’muel, “Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be king over them.”

For Israel to decide to have a human king is to reject the kingship of YHWH. Now, honestly, is that the direction that Israel should want to go? I would think not. YHWH has shown us that He does not want Israel to go in the direction of having a human king. Then why did YHWH give such a commandment? The answer is a simple one, for the same reason for which He gave the commandment of divorce or multiple wives, hardness of heart. In this case, the hardness of heart is directed at YHWH.

Here is what we need to understand, YHWH wants each and every person to hear and obey His Voice, in short, to shema. If a person honestly does this, then the three above commandments will not be entered into. In order to be able to hear and obey His Voice takes a tender heart towards Him, and this involves making oneself vulnerable and may even involve pain in one’s heart and emotions. However, it is worth it!

Let us determine through personal choice that we will no longer be stiff-necked and rebellious towards our Creator as well as towards one another. May YHWH open our eyes to His ways and then may we choose to walk in them.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah