It is the time of year for the Biblical celebration of Passover. Since memes seem to be the way we communicate and teach now, I thought I might clear up some confusion for many of you. Many are sharing erroneous information about this season. I have no interest in telling you how to think or what to believe. But facts can be helpful.
In the Tanach (Old Testament) the word translated Passover is the Hebrew פֶּסחַ (pesach.) In the New Testament the word translated as Passover is the Greek πάσχα (pascha.) In the King James Version "pascha" is translated once as Easter but most Bible versions use only the term Passover to translate pascha.
Pesach refers to not only the ritual celebrated on the evening of the 14th day of Nisan (Aviv) but often to the entire 7 day Feast also known as Unleavened Bread. In the New Testament there is a clear link between Yeshua's (Jesus's) crucifixion, burial and resurrection and the Passover and Unleavened Bread observances.
Yeshua arguably was crucified on the evening of the 14 or 15th day of Nisan, was buried and then rose from the dead on the first day of the week which corresponded to the waving of the barley sheaf performed during the week of Unleavened Bread. Since Yeshua said he would give the sign of Jonah by being buried 3 days and 3 nights but many more places say he would be raised on the third day there is not general consensus on what day of the week he was buried. Some believe he was resurrected on the night after the Sabbath but by Jewish reckoning that would still be Sunday the first day of the week. In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul clearly states that Yeshua is our Passover. (Some versions say "our Passover Lamb" which is not wrong but does add a word.)
The earliest Christians (Messianics) kept Passover like their Jewish neighbors with the major difference being their emphasis on the celebration of Yeshua's resurrection. As Jewish influence waned in the early church the crucifixion and resurrection themes dominated and the exodus and unleavened bread themes retreated. Less than 200 years after Yeshua's death and resurrection a controversy arose in the church now known as the quartodeciman controversy. Basically the quartodecimans believed that the resurrection should be celebrated on the 14th day of Nisan and their opponents believed the resurrection should be celebrated on the Sunday during the week of Passover. The martyr Polycarp subscribed to the quartodeciman theory and claimed he had been taught this by the apostle John. The opponents of the quartodecimans also claimed apostolic authority.
By the time of the Nicean Council 325AD where the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity was established, an effort was made to establish a uniform date for celebrating the resurrection but this effort failed. Constantine and the Council made clear however that they felt it was an error to be dependent upon the Jewish/Biblical lunar calendar and that they wished for the church to set the date for this important celebration and not the Jews. The calculation favored by the Nicean bishops eventually became the Christian practice which was to set the celebration on the first Sunday following the first full moon occurring on or after the Spring Equinox. Thus the dating for Passover as observed by Jews and the dating for the Resurrection became independent of each other.
Around 600 AD the word Easter became the word to describe the Christian celebration of the resurrection for people who spoke English, German and Dutch. Its origin is thought to be from a German goddess, Ostara or Eostre, or some believe it came from a word describing the direction of the rising sun, the East. Regardless of its origin it became the word to describe the resurrection in these languages. The word became so entrenched that even English Jews used Oester to describe their Passover celebrations in England in the 14th and 15th century. When Tyndale translated the Bible into old English he felt that the word "Easter" was too sacred and special to use to translate the Hebrew pesach of the Old Testament. He is the one to invent the English word Passover so it is actually a much younger word than Easter. It was an excellent term that fit the Biblical pesach very well as it had the connotation of passing or leaping over.
The ancient historical churches have always used the Biblical term pascha to describe their observances--Latin, Greek, Aramaic and Syriac. The word Easter is not a part of Catholic, Orthodox, and Maronite worship in their original languages. It is a purely Germanic term and thus has only impacted those cultures using the English, German and Dutch languages.
Ancillary activities that many Christians observe on Easter/Pascha had nothing to do with the name of the festivity. They were cultural practices that gradually became a part of Pascha celebrations in many groups--Easter bunnies, colored eggs, etc. Particularly the bunnies are a rather modern innovation only emphasized in the last 200 years.
Finally in the Old Testament the Biblical term translated Passover is pesach. In the New Testament the Biblical term translated Passover is pascha. The term Passover is never used in either testament. It is a great term coined by Tyndale to translate the Hebrew and Greek terms, pesach and pascha.
The Pagan Origins of Easter
Humans possess an extraordinary capacity to make up stories and then invent evidence to believe them. For years it was widely believed that the Norwegian lemming committed mass suicide by every few years mindlessly joining their fellows in huge migrating throngs and pitching themselves off cliffs to die in the sea. This idea seemed to be supported by the wide fluctuations in Norwegian lemming populations commonly observed. Also, large numbers would sometimes be seen migrating from one area to another.
This story became so entrenched that when Disney made the acclaimed documentary “White Wilderness” in 1958 it contains a scene of dozens of lemmings hurtling over a cliff into the ocean. The problem was that the lemmings in the scene were not Norwegian lemmings but brown lemmings indigenous to Canada and the makers of the film had paid the local Natives $1 a piece for the lemmings and then forced them off a truck into the water. As a child, the picture of the little bodies flailing helplessly through the air never left me and I was convinced that lemmings committed mass suicide because I had witnessed it. The problem was the whole idea is a complete myth. It became embedded in many people’s consciousness because they had seen it.
This morning I got up early to check on a heifer that was close to calving. The clear sky sparkled with stars. I looked up and found the Big Dipper and, of course, right next to it the Little Dipper. The tail star on the handle of the Little Dipper is called Polaris or the North Star and has been used for centuries to denote “north” to travelers and sailors. Because of their association this morning I could see that the Big Dipper was slightly west of the Little Dipper. While I observed this with my own eyes I am still dependent on what I have learned from others. The whole identity of the two constellations is something I learned from my big brother when I was quite small. It appears to be confirmed by others but the fact remains that there is no knowledge that is not dependent upon previous observation and identification by other people. Nothing we know is completely independent.
A frightening thing about us humans is our ability to believe falsehood or half-truths and constantly see the world through this distorted prism. A classic example of this is the “blood libel” against Jews. This idea has existed for over 2000 years and has been written down countless times. A classic version comes from Apion who tells of a traveling Greek who was captured by foreigners (Jews) who kept him prisoner and plied him with all kinds of tempting food. He had discovered that the Jews’ intention was to prepare him for an annual ritual feast. “They would kidnap a Greek foreigner, fatten him up for a year, and then convey him to a wood, where they slew him, sacrificed his body with their customary ritual, partook of his flesh, and, while immolating the Greek, swore an oath of hostility to the Greeks. The remains of their victim were then thrown into a pit.” [Josephus, Against Apion]
This lie exists in many forms and iterations and has directly caused the death of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Jews. Anyone who actually knows Judaism would know their complete antipathy for human sacrifice of any kind and especially the consumption of human blood. But even today millions of humans repeat this calumny in some form and use it to fan their hatred of Jews.
I am happy to confess that I am Messianic, Hebrew Roots—whatever the acceptable contemporary term being used for those who believe in the Hebraic roots of our Messianic/Christian belief and that God’s call to Israel and his instructions (Torah) are eternal. But we are developing some dangerous myths that are corrupting our message and blunting our witness.
One of the most salient of these is the idea that Easter comes from pagan sources and that the Church’s celebration of Easter does not come from the historical celebration of the death and resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus) but carries over from pagan and idolatrous practices. These ideas are so entrenched that one can even find them in supposedly credible sources such as encyclopedias.
One of the pillars of this belief lies in the term “Easter.” It is thought to be an adaptation of the goddess Ishtar or possibly Eostre. The concept is that the term reveals the actual origins of our Easter practice.
I am going to suggest a little research for you. First google the original documents from the Nicaean Council and see the actual term used to describe Easter (the time of Constantine.) Then check out the Latin, Greek, Aramaic, Italian synonyms for Easter. You will note that all of the historic Church languages do not have the word Easter nor any cognate for it. The word is Pasch or Pascha a derivative of the Hebrew Pesach. Easter is an English, Germanic word some believe derived from the goddess Eostre or even just the direction “East.” By the time Tyndale translated the Bible in the early 1500s the word Easter was so associated with the Resurrection he refused to use the word Easter to describe the celebration of Pesach in the book of Exodus and he coined the term Passover which for a lot of reasons is a great approximation of the Hebrew Pesach. English Jews of Tyndale’s day even called their Passover fast “Oesterfesten.” You can check all these facts out.
So Easter is an older word than Passover. Those telling you that Easter is pagan and the Bible prescribes Passover are victims of linguistic manipulation. Because the English, German and Dutch churches use the term “Easter” the next research you can do is to find out if these churches do different things at Easter than the traditional churches based in Rome, Athens, and Istanbul. Check out the liturgical history of Easter observance. You will discover Lent, the stations of the cross, emphasis on Yeshua (Jesus) as the Paschal Lamb and voluminous scripture readings including Exodus 12 where God gave the instructions for Pesach. What you won’t discover is any substantive difference between the churches using the term Easter versus those using Pasch or Pascha. Nor will you find any evidence of Ishtar, Asherah, Semiramis, etc. Scholars such as Tyler Dawn Rosenquist have done extensive research on these so-called associations and debunked all of them.
The association of eggs with both the Jewish Passover Seder and the celebration of Easter is ancient but its exact derivation is unclear. It appears to be associated with the idea of new life. It is not necessarily pagan. The bunnies are a very late addition, not present in all Christian tradition, and obviously a distraction. My suggestion is avoid the distractions.
One of the things that we Messianics ignore is that as believers in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ) our emphasis has shifted. All four gospels expend considerable effort showing Yeshua as the Passover Lamb slain for the sin of the world. Paul corroborates this concept in 1 Corinthians 5:7 where he states “Christ our Passover” before admonishing us to celebrate the Feast. Excoriating Christians for gathering to celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lamb of God is counterproductive and plain wrong.
We keep the Passover Seder every year on the traditional Jewish dates and have gained much from doing so. The Last Supper of Yeshua looks very much like a Seder admitting that the formal Seder traditions we have now were not present at that time. My point is trashing one tradition to exalt another is counterproductive. It is lashon hara (evil speech) designed to divide the brethren. Those of us who celebrate the Seder realize that we are, at best, merely rehearsing. The Bible dictates that the true celebration of Pesach take place in Jerusalem and requires a functioning Temple.
Finally worship is intentional. We don’t accidentally worship God or idols. One of the sacred names of God is Yah. It is the term we use when we say Hallelujah—praise the Lord. German speakers invoke “ja” numerous times every day saying this exact word. Are they calling upon the Lord? Of course not. There is no worship without intent.
We can do wrong unintentionally or out of ignorance but there are no accidental pagans. Calling something Christians do out of reverence for their Passover Lamb and from the joy they experience celebrating his Resurrection is not only wrong it is hateful and counterproductive. We can disagree with something and not believe the worst about those who practice things we don’t like.
Sadly, the emphasis on the so-called paganism of the early church has robbed us of the church’s real sin—anti-semitism. So much of what went wrong and that has stained our past comes from this great sin. Study of the early church fathers and on down through the generations reveals that this is not an empty accusation. The changing of dates, methods of celebration and a general movement away from Biblical practice is much more connected to our “hatred” for our fathers (the Jews) than paganism. It is probably good to remember that slander is wrong—whether speaking of our enemies or of our friends. In the beatitudes Yeshua tells us that if we want to look like our Father, to truly be his children, we will be peacemakers. My prayer is that we could all become peacemakers in God’s family.
Israel's Eternal Priesthood
By: Merle Rawlings
The Father is definitely regathering Israel in our day--all Twelve Tribes, the "commonwealth of Israel."(1) Prophets have looked forward to this day for some 2,500 years. Certainly the Apostles of Yeshua (Jesus) looked forward to Israel's regathering and restoration as well (Acts 1:6). Those faithful brethren knew well the amazing blessings inherent in Israel's final regathering and full restoration.
The primary focus of this treatise is to examine the appointment, ministry, and future calling for the descendants of Levi, Aaron, and Zadok in restored Israel. In the context of the "last days,"(2) the Father tells the prophet Malachi that He "will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver."(3) One might wonder what He has in mind for these sons of Levi?
With each of Israel's previous returns to the Land, the priestly tribe of Levi has ministered to the Lord, taught Israel the difference between the holy and unholy, and judged in matters of controversy. There is every indication that after the Father's purifying process is accomplished, the Levites will "offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness."(4) They will be servants in Israel, ministering to the Father and serving His people, Israel, as long as day follows night and night follows day.(5)
The Torah's covenants and promises stand forever. And the Father's covenants, promises, and appointments to Levi and Aaron will be honored as Israel's future unfolds. For all who long for the full and complete restoration of the kingdom to Israel, the best is surely yet to come!
NOTE: In this treatise, "regathering" and "restoration" include all the monumental results and provisions of Jeremiah (the Levite) 3:15-18, 16:14-15; Zechariah (the Levite) 8:7-8, 11-13, 22-23, 10:6-10; and Acts 3:21.
TREATISE OVERVIEW: Forever in the "house of the Lord"(6) and the "house of Aaron;"(7) the Torah's eternal calling and appointment of Levi, Aaron, and Zadok.
The twenty-third Psalm has always been a favorite. Especially touching and reassuring is the closing phrase, "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."(8) Think of that--"forever"--not for a million years, not for epochs, or ages, but as Webster notes: "For eternity; for always; endlessly."
For Israel's tribe of Levi, "forever" has great significance as well. Most of us have experienced years of teaching that the eternal covenant and appointments of the priestly tribe of Levi have come to an end. The teaching is that in New Testament times, all believers in Yeshua have become "priests." Consequently, Levite priests in today's regathering and restoration of Israel are no longer needed or necessary. Levi's eternal covenants and appointments apparently have an ending for some. "Forever" in the case of Levi and Aaron is not forever after all.
Our Father, however, is straightforward in His selection of the Levites: "...the Levites shall be Mine."(9). And twice in Numbers Chapter 3, the Lord says, "Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel..." The tribe of Levi supports the ministry of Aaron in Israel and "...the needs of the whole congregation..."(10). And Moses reminds the children of Israel: "Take heed not to forsake or neglect the Levite [God's minister] as long as you live in your land."(11) Why is it important today for Messianic Israel not to forsake the Levites? "For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever."(12)
Centuries after Moses, the Levite, informed us about a "...kingdom of priests...,"(13) Jeremiah wrote about "...the Levites, the priests, My ministers."(14) Jeremiah was told by the Father that His covenant with David AND Levi would endure as long as day follows night and night follows day.(15) Messianic teachers frequently apply these verses to the descendants of David; however, most of us have yet to hear them be applied a single time to the descendants of Levi.
When King David says, "...He has made with me an everlasting covenant..."(16), we readily accept it as "everlasting" or without end. Additionally, the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel write of "everlasting" or "perpetual" covenants concerning Israel(17) and again these covenants are accepted as everlasting, perpetual, or never ending. BUT when the Torah and Israel's prophets apply the same words directly and unequivocally to the Father's eternal covenant with Levi and Aaron, these covenants are denied and rejected. (Strange way to rebuild a nation!)
Despite clear teachings in the Torah that the Father gave the priesthood ministry to Aaron and his sons forever(18), this everlasting appointment is disregarded or dismissed by today's believers. How is it hermeneutically consistent to accept an everlasting covenant with Judah and Israel as being eternal, yet in the same breath deny an everlasting covenant with Aaron and Levi as being eternal?
Writing in the Messianic Israel Herald(19), Rabbi Mordechai Silver notes, "...God never, and I repeat never, breaks or annuls His covenants." (emphasis Rabbi Silver's). Referring to the Hebrew meaning, he explains, "The Hebrew is explicit in that eternal or forever means just that, forever!"(20) Rabbi Silver also assures us in the same article, "When God makes a covenant He keeps it to the end."(21) How true--not only regarding covenants made with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Israel, but with Levi, Aaron, and Zadok as well!
As Israel's restoration process continues and expands in scope and detail, we will see Levi and Aaron restored to their eternal office. Leviticus 10:8-11 details one example of Aaron's responsibilities in Israel: "Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying: Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses."
Based on this statute from the Torah, Ezekiel, the Levite, prophesies Aaron's similar future responsibilities in the new Temple yet to be built: "But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me...And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean."(22) Does the Father endorse the prevailing dismissal of Levi and Aaron in a restored Israel? Apparently not since Aaron and Zadok have a key, vital, role ministering in Israel's future Temple!
Much of Levi's portion of the restoration is "waiting in the wings," so to speak. For example, all too often we hear of theologians or congregational leaders in serious "controversy" concerning doctrine, direction, or policy. So strongly are these positions held, that some teachers and congregations will not fellowship or attend meetings with those holding divergent views or opinions.
The Holy One of Israel has already set up His "Binding Arbitration Board" for Israel and its membership and operational procedures are specifically noted for all who believe in Torah and desire to follow its teachings (thus becoming "Torah observant.") The Father, knowing that controversies are inevitable in Israel, provided for a fair hearing and justice.(23) All "...matters of controversy..."(24) are to be judged by "...the priests, the Levites..."(25) and "...you shall be careful to do according to all that they order you...according to the judgment which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left from the sentence which they pronounce upon you."(26) This is the Lord's instruction for arbitrating or deciding "matters of controversy" in Israel, period. Please note: Neither those claiming the "priesthood of the believer" nor those claiming the Melchizedek priesthood were ever given Aaron's and Levi's duties in Israel. Truth and justice will flow in restored Messianic Israel when Levi once again fulfills his eternal calling and destiny.
Note a future duty of "...the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok..."(27) described by Ezekiel: "In controversy they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments..."(28) Isaiah, speaking of Israel's future repentance and restoration writes, "I will restore your judges as at the first..."(29) Deuteronomy chapter 17 records who Israel's first judges were.
Both Ezekiel and Isaiah teach that in restored Israel the Levite priests will again act as impartial judges in controversies to ensure fairness and justice among the people. That provision and outcome alone will make restored Israel the envy of any judicial system on earth; it will also be a highly visible testimony of faithful Torah observance among Messiah's followers.
Another responsibility for the Levites in restored Israel is the collection of the tithes(30). Alluding to the commandment of Numbers 18:21-26, Malachi writes, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house..."(31) In a complete restoration of Israel in the Land, expect the Torah-ordained collection of the tithes to be observed once again.
In Malachi Chapter 2, the Lord severely rebukes, reprimands, and chastises His rebellious Levite priests of that day. In Malachi Chapter 3, the Lord says, "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness."(32)
The Lord's sovereign plan to "purify" and "refine" the "sons of Levi" has several important future implications for "...restoring the kingdom to Israel."(33) The Lord Himself tells us of a previous time when Levi walked carefully and obediently before Him thus blessing all Israel. "Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant may continue with Levi, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me and stood in awe of My name. True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts."(34)
In the last chapter of Isaiah, the Lord informs us of His final, ultimate regathering of Israel. "Then they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a grain offering to the Lord, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites, says the Lord. For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me, declares the Lord, so your offspring and your name will endure."(35)
Part of the misunderstanding of the covenant of Levi and Aaron concerns the "priesthood of the believer" or the "royal priesthood" mentioned by the Apostle Peter. Much earlier, Moses had written about an extraordinary reward for Israel's obedience and keeping the Father's covenant: "And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." (Exodus 19:6) It is in this context that Peter admonishes his Israelite readers-- "pilgrims of the Dispersion"(36) --- to "...be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy'."(37)
Peter continues by identifying faithful Israelite believers in 1 Peter 2:5 as "...a spiritual house...a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices..." Please notice carefully the sole function or duty of "a spiritual house...a holy priesthood," according to Peter: "...to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."(38)
Examining 1 Peter 2:9, we find a similar function or duty specified for "...a royal priesthood, a holy nation..." : The function or duty is "...that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."(39)
There we have it-- the responsibility, obligation, task, commission, and charge of Peter's priests is to "offer up spiritual sacrifices" and "proclaim the excellencies of Him." That is the core meaning of Exodus 19:6 and the Amplified Version underscores it: "And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation [consecrated, set apart to the worship of God]. These are the words you shall speak to the Israelites." The "kingdom of priests" will "offer up" and "proclaim," having been "set apart to the worship of God." May every believer daily offer up spiritual sacrifices to our Messiah and proclaim the excellencies of Him to all who will hear.
It is worth noting that Aaron's and Zadok's priesthood ministry appointments occurred after Exodus 19:6. Moses' "kingdom of priests" and Aaron's eternal priesthood ministry in Israel function simultaneously and harmoniously in restored Israel with each fulfilling their duties and callings set forth by Messiah Yeshua.
It is within this context that those identified as "priests" in similar Scriptural references(40) will function now and in the future. Just as Levi and Aaron have their eternal calling and duty in future Israel, so also "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" will never cease to "offer up spiritual sacrifices" and "proclaim" (declare, cry out, announce, extol, lift up, laud, raise up, praise highly) the "excellencies" of our Messiah!
Peter never intended his epistles to the diaspora of Israel to be used to teach the cessation of God's eternal covenants and appointments with Levi and Aaron. Dr. David Friedman identifies Peter as the Torah-observant talmid hakham or "leading student" of Rabbi Yeshua. "Any rabbi's talmid hakham would have viewed his rabbi as a role model and would have closely followed his teachings. This is the way the world of rabbis and their students functioned in first-century Israel."(41)
Jesus taught, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished."(42) It is inconceivable that Peter, the Savior's leading student, taught Israelites in his epistles that the eternal covenants given in the Torah to Levi and Aaron were abrogated or cancelled.
As Dr. Friedman concludes, "If Yeshua taught that the Law and the Prophets were still valid, his students (especially the talmid hakham) would have learned and taught the same."(43) Once again, Peter never intended his epistles to the diaspora of Israel to be used to teach the cessation of God's eternal covenants and appointments with Levi and Aaron.
At this point, let's consider aspects of the priesthood of "Melchizedek king of Salem [later called Jerusalem]."(44) Some believers believe they hold the "rank"(45) of the Melchizedek priesthood and minister in its authority. Perhaps, but we must also be aware of the Messiah's continuing, eternal choice of Aaron: "Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law."(46) Dr. David Stern translates Hebrews 8:4 as follows: "Now if he were on earth, he wouldn't be a cohen at all, since there already are cohanim offering the gifts required by the Torah."(47)
Since Jesus Himself was "...not made priest without an oath"(48), one must assume that today's believers claiming the Melchizedek priesthood have experienced the same oath delivered to them by the Father.(49) It would be enlightening to hear the first line of the Melchizedek priesthood's oath from one of these individuals. In any case, may their service to the Father and Israel be to the glory of Israel's Messiah, "...a Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."(50)
Aaron and his descendants offered "the gifts required by the Torah" in Israel. It is highly instructive to learn that if Yeshua were on earth, He would not be a priest/cohen "at all." The Messiah of Israel still recognizes the eternal office and calling of Levi, Aaron, and Zadok. One day, His regathered people will also.
(NOTE: The New King James Version is used except where noted otherwise)
1.) Ephesians 2:12
2.) Micah 4:1 NASB
3.) Malachi 3:3 NASB
4.) Malachi 3:3
5.) Jeremiah 33:19-22 NASB and NKJV
6.) Psalm 23:6
7.) Psalm 115:10, 12; Psalm 118:3; Psalm 135:19
8.) Psalm 23:6
9.) Numbers Chapters 3 and 8
10.) Numbers 3:6-7
11.) Deuteronomy 12:19, Amplified
12.) Deuteronomy 18:5. See also 1 Chronicles 23:13
13.) Exodus 19:6
14.) Jeremiah 33:21
15.) Jeremiah 33:20-22
16.) Second Samuel 23:5
17.) Isaiah 61:8; Jeremiah 32:40 and 50:5; Ezekiel 37:26
18.) Exodus 29:9 and 40:15; Numbers 25:13
19.) Rabbi Mordechai Silver, "Who Is God's Covenant With?" Messianic Israel Herald, 2:3, Page 9
20.) Ibid. Page 11
21.) Ibid. Page 13
22.) Ezekiel 44:15, 23
23.) Deuteronomy 17:9-13
24.) Deuteronomy 17:8
25.) Deuteronomy 17:9
26.) Deuteronomy 17:10-11and 21:5
27.) Ezekiel 44:15
28.) Ezekiel 44:24
29.) Isaiah 1:26
30.) Numbers 18:21-28; Hebrews 7:5
31.) Malachi 3:10 NASB
32.) Malachi 3:3 NASB
33.) Acts 1:6 NASB
34.) Malachi 2:4-7 NASB
35.) Isaiah 66:20-22 NASB
36.) 1 Peter 1:1
37.) 1 Peter 1:15-16
38.) 1 Peter 2:5 NASB
39.) 1 Peter 2:9 NASB
40.) Isaiah 61:6; Revelation 1:6, 5:10, 20:6
41.) Dr. David Friedman, They Loved the Torah, Baltimore: Lederer Books, 2001, Page 60
42.) Matthew 5:17-18 NASB
43.) Dr. David Friedman, op. cit., Page 60
44.) Genesis 14:18 Amplified
45.) Hebrews 5:6 and 10, 6:20, 7:17 Amplified
46.) Hebrews 8:4 NASB
47.) Dr. David Stern, Complete Jewish Bible, Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1998
48.) Hebrews 7:20. The Amplified reading of Hebrews 7: 20 is more insistent about a necessary "oath."
49.) Hebrews 7:20-21 Amplified
50.) Hebrews 7:21 Amplified
Friedman, Dr. David. They Loved the Torah, Baltimore: Lederer Books, 2001
Silver, Rabbi Mordechai. "Who Is God's Covenant With?", Messianic Israel Herald, Volume 2, Issue 3
Stern, Dr. David. Complete Jewish Bible, Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1998
House of Aaron Articles/ Teachings
Please remember that these resources represent the understanding of the author and the conditions at the time of their presentation. Any reference to particular groups or persons is for the purpose of illustration and explanation.