1An Introduction to God
Written in Stone
Mitswah – His Terms and Conditions
In our quest to get to “yada’ – know” Yahowah and to better “byn – understand” what He is offering and expecting in return, this is an ideal time to consider the Three Statements and Seven Instructions Yahowah chiseled in stone. On the First of Two Tablets, God summarized His message to humankind, providing an essential perspective from which to observe His Towrah.
Within these statements, He also affirmed the terms and conditions of His Covenant – the Family-Oriented Relationship Agreement which is central to God’s purpose in creating us in the first place. On the Second Tablet, Yahowah explained how to live a fulfilling and rewarding life, providing instructions whose implications are often spiritual.
There were no “commandments” listed on either Tablet. Only one of the Seven Instructions and none of the Three Statements were written in the imperative mood, which can denote a command but typically conveys volition. This lone exception is the most familial in nature, further underscoring the absurdity of labeling any of these statements “commandments.”
In this light, just as there is a difference between guidance and commandments, there is a difference 2between morality and legality. Morality regulates good and bad behavior. It resides in our neshamah | conscience and provides internal guidance on the inception and continuance of behavior, which can be good or bad, altruistic or selfish, beneficial or counterproductive. Moral choices play out under the auspices of freewill, prompting us to either expand upon or constrain our actions based upon how we process the resulting satisfaction or guilt in context with our prior conditioning. Our decisions are predicated upon the guidance we have been given, whether from God or man, and the responses we are experiencing. Morality, therefore, can be guided but not commanded. Such is the case with the Instructions Yahowah inscribed on these Tablets.
Legality is externally imposed. It is regulated by a detailed code of conduct replete with established consequences for those who are caught violating the judicial standard of those wielding political, religious, or military power. Laws are obligatory, and they are levied without the consent of those they govern, as are the punishments for violating them regardless of one’s motivations or choices, ignorance or knowledge – thus negating the value and purpose of freewill. Under such systems, behaviors are initiated and perpetuated based upon an assessment of the potential gain, the likelihood of getting caught, and the severity of the penalty that will be imposed by those in positions of authority.
In order to view Yahowah’s Instructions from the proper perspective, it is important that we appreciate the difference between moral guidance and legal constructs. Legality is externally governed while morality is motivated from within. Legality is imposed and morality is requested. Legality demands obedience while morality is subject to freewill. Legality is restricted to limiting bad behavior while morality is equally at home with encouraging that which is beneficial. Legality is common among nations 3while morality varies among religions. Legality is the product of laws while morality is the result of guidance. Morality is determined by our conscience and contemplation, while legality is directed by the edicts of the empowered and reflects their thinking.
Beyond the moral implications or legal ramifications, loving relationships like the one depicted on the Two Tablets, are consensual and can neither be imposed nor legislated. They are always a product of volition. Mutually beneficial relationships thrive when informed, rational, and moral individuals are free to express themselves and contribute, and they become disingenuous if either party is ordered to obey. As such, ultimatums destroy moral relationships and yet underlie all judicial systems.
From an even broader perspective, the moment Yahowah gave us the gift of freewill, He could no longer command us to do anything. The moment He offered us a neshamah | conscience, guidance became necessary. Therefore, these Ten Statements were offered such that we might reason ourselves into reflecting Yahowah’s purpose while benefiting from His intent.
It is also interesting that, with very few exceptions, these Instructions were written using the imperfect conjugation. This has a profound influence on God’s guidance because the imperfect is only deployed to address consistent, continual, and habitual actions, which are ongoing and play out over time. As a result, we are being asked not to make a habit of killing or deceiving – rather than being told that we can never do either under any circumstance. Continually coveting and then routinely stealing that which does not belong to us (as is the case with national entitlements) and consistently bearing false witness (which is the result of political correctness), is a recipe for an unfulfilling and counterproductive life.
Lastly, before we press on, there is yet another insight 4I’d like to share which may help us appreciate the nature of these Three Statements and Seven Instructions. While loving relationships are initiated and perpetuated under the auspices of freewill, they thrive and grow with structure. They become synergistic, with their overall value becoming greater than the sum of individuals, when each can be relied upon to contribute and share in a manner which is dependable and mutually beneficial. It is both our shared values and different interests which make relationships interesting.
Therefore, establishing the structure in which we can eternally experience abundantly fulfilling and intellectually satisfying lives, capitalizing on our unique proclivities and insights while experiencing the attitudes and aptitudes of others, all while free to express ourselves, requires the kind of structure and guidance found throughout Yahowah’s Towrah, highlights of which have been incorporated in these Statements and Instructions. The message on the Two Tablets is, that while we are not the same, we can become perfect together so long as we embrace these principles and guidelines; making our differences a cause of celebration rather than conflict.
It is my hope, and I expect Yah’s as well, that once we have concluded our review of His Three Statements and Seven Instructions, we will better appreciate what God is offering and expecting in return. We will be properly equipped to engage in the relationship He envisioned within the structure He conceived such that we will be able to celebrate the resulting synergism.
As we press forward, these translations will continue to be amplified, providing us with a richer rendering of Yahowah’s advice. In addition, they will include the Hebrew words upon which they are based because it is vitally important that we take the time to verify their meanings. In all things, we should trust God, not men.
5Turning to Yahowah’s testimony, we find...
“Then (wa) God (‘elohym – the Almighty; plural of ‘elowah) conveyed (dabar – communicated, spoke, and wrote, provided instruction and direction with (piel imperfect consecutive – the subject, God, causes the object, these words, to be effective, enabling and empowering them with ongoing and unfolding implications over time as a function of His will)) all of (kol – every one of) these statements using words (ha dabarym – these statements and accounts, this message and declaration), in our presence (‘eth – in association with us and in proximity to us), providing perspective (ha ‘eleh – from a relatively close vantage point, conveying God’s view), by saying (‘amar – explaining, claiming, answering, counseling, warning, and promising):...” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 20:1)
Let’s begin by considering the nature of a word that has become unnecessarily controversial, ‘elohym – which is the plural of the prolonged emphatic, ‘elowah. It is a noun, serving as a title, but it is not a name. Keeping in mind that Hebrew does not have lower- and upper-case variations of its alphabet, its English equivalents are “god,” “gods” or “God” depending on who it is addressing.
Religious Jews who have been beguiled into writing “G-d” so as not to sin by speaking the name of a false “‘elohym – god” are being foolish. Yahowah not only wants us to refer to Him by name, He has set an undeniable and irrefutable example of referring to the names of false gods, such as “Ba’al – the Lord” to expose and condemn them. Moreover, while there has never been a god named God, one was named “Gad.” Further, Gad serves as the name of one of the twelve tribes of Yisra’el. And since it cannot be spoken or written without conveying the name of the false Gad, the religious argument is moot. Additionally, the Canaanites named their supreme deity, “‘El,” turning this title into an improper designation – 6thereby making ‘el a dirty word if we were to follow the rabbinical reasoning.
Driving to the heart of its intended meaning, a similar word such as ‘aluw, which shares its first three letters in common with ‘elowah (recognizing that the concluding ah simply makes the title feminine), means “to behold, to look up and to pay attention” – the best perspective when it comes to knowing Yah. It is also interesting that ‘el is a preposition, meaning “to and toward, regarding and concerning, on account of and according to” and thereby properly directs our attention toward Yah. As a noun, ‘el speaks of “power, strength, and might,” and thus of “capability and influence.” It is from ‘el that translators extrapolate “Mighty One” or “Almighty.” And yet, this may not be the most accurate rendering because ‘el is derived from ‘ayl (often transliterated ‘ayil) which differs only in the addition of the hand of God “” in the Ancient Hebrew script.
‘Ayl is particularly descriptive, conveying a great deal about our Creator. It denotes a “ram,” and thus “male lamb,” thereby depicting God as both one with His flock and as the Sacrificial Lamb of Passover. As the ‘ayl, He is the literal fulfillment of the promise He made to ‘Abraham and Yitschaq on Mowryah. ‘Ayl is also an “upright pillar,” which was set in the center of the Tent of the Witness and used to enlarge and secure the Tabernacle.
Along these same lines, ‘ayl / ‘ayil is used to describe the “post upon which a door is secured and hinged,” once again taking us to the Doorway of the Tabernacle and Life, itself. Entry through these doors is made possible by the sacrifice of the Pesach ‘Ayl. Lastly, an ‘ayil is a “strong man who leads his people as if a king.” This points us to Dowd, Yah’s beloved son, His anointed messiah and king, and most notably in this case, God’s chosen shepherd. As such, an ‘ayl is someone with the “strength, might, power, and will to provide assistance, to help others in a 7meaningful and productive manner.”
The letters that comprise ‘elowah are equally revealing: . The Aleph – was drawn in the shape of a ram’s head, verifying the connections we have made by examining the root, – ‘ayl. God is striving to be one with His sheep and serve as the Passover Lamb to make this possible.
The Lamed – is a shepherd’s staff, and reveals that Yahowah wants to guide, nurture, and protect His sheep, to walk and explore along with His flock, camping out together.
The third letter in ‘elowah, the Wah – , is a tent peg. It represents the implement used to increase the size and security of Tabernacle, which is symbolic of Yah’s home. In addition, the Wah is used to make connections between thoughts such that the benefits increase synergistically.
The concluding letter in Yahowah’s preferred title, Hey – , shows an observant and engaged individual standing up, reaching up, and looking up to God. This also makes “‘elowah – God” a feminine title, not unlike His Towrah, His Ruwach, and His name, Yahowah.
Considering all of these things, from being a lamb among His flock, a caring and protective shepherd, the source of empowering connections for those who engage and are observant, it seems a bit trite to simply write “God.’ And yet, aren’t these the attributes we should want our God to project?
Religious institutions are wont to call what follows “The Ten Commandments.” But according to their Author, He “dabar – conveyed and communicated” “dabar – statements using words.” These “declarations” are not numbered, and He never refers to them as “commandments” for the reasons we have and will continue to discuss.
8Few things are as relevant to developing a relationship with God as knowing what these statements and instructions actually convey and then coming to appreciate how they apply to the conditions of the Covenant. The proper approach to living a productive and satisfying life, one that leads to heaven, is presented on these Tablets.
Digging deeper, “dabar – conveyed” was scribed using the piel stem which tells us that God’s “dabarym – words” are actionable. They instruct and direct, guide and teach, influencing the observant. In the imperfect, we discover that God is continuing to speak to us through His Word. And in the consecutive, these Statements and Instructions convey Yahowah’s will.
With this brief introduction duly noted, and realizing that Hebrew is written right to left, on the top right of the First of these Two Stone Tablets, the Creator of the universe and Author of life, introduced Himself and then inscribed...
“I am (‘anky) Yahowah (Yahowah – from the Hebrew vowels Y aH oW aH, or in the earliest Ancient Hebrew script), your God (‘elohym ‘atah – your shepherd, a ram among the sheep, and the doorway to an expansive and abundant life for those who are engaged, standing up, reaching up, and looking up (suffixed in the second person singular)), who relationally and beneficially (‘asher – who to show the correct and narrow path to get the most out of life) brought you out and delivered you (yatsa’ ‘atah – descended to serve you, extending Myself to guide you, doing everything which is required to lead those who respond to Me including disseminating the information needed broadly, openly, and publicly such that they can be led (hifil perfect – at a moment in time God engaged with us in such a way that we were empowered to come out)) away from the realm (min ‘erets – out of the land, region, territory, nation, and country) of the crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – the smelting furnace where metals are refined 9(serving as a metaphor for the crucible of political, religious, economic, and military oppression)), out of the house (min beyth – from the home, household, family, and place) of slavery (‘ebed – of worship and servitude, of bondage and working for one’s salvation, of government authority and religious officials). (20:2)
You shall not continue to exist with (lo’ hayah la ‘atah – you shall not always be, neither function nor move toward, arise, live, nor appear with (qal imperfect – continually and literally)) other (‘aher – someone else’s, different, extra, another, or additional) gods (‘elohym) over and above (‘al – elevated beyond, in proximity to or near, before, or in addition to) My presence (paneh ‘any – My appearance or face).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 20:2-3)
God began by spelling out His name so that we might know it, etching “” (pronounced Y aH oW aH) in stone. It would, therefore, be irrational to believe that He does not care what we call Him or that He wanted His name removed from His Tablets and replaced with “the LORD.” It would be irrational to believe that every word which follows “Yahowah” on these Tablets could be read before the people but that Moseh could not pronounce the name of God as scholars insist.
It would be rational to conclude that, since Yahowah wrote His name before providing any instruction, His identity is paramount to knowing Him and benefiting from what He is offering. And that is a devastating realization for Christians because their religion has opposed and discounted Yahowah’s name for as long as it has existed.
Let’s take the opportunity to reinforce something we have already noted. The first words Yahowah etched in stone conclusively demonstrate that “Yahowah” is God’s name and that “God” is His title. While He has a number of titles and a marvelous array of attributes, God has only 10one name: the one He chiseled in stone. He will not respond to any other designation, including “Jesus” or “Christ,” “HaShem” or “‘Adony,” the “Lord” or “Allah.”
For all of the Christians and Jews who have paid homage to the “Ten Commandments,” believing that they were honoring God by erecting monuments to them, by citing grossly incomplete and inaccurate variations of what Yahowah said, by removing His name and replacing it with “I am the Lord,” I can assure you that He is not amused. His name was the second thing He wrote, placing it between “I am” and “your God,” so it was hard to miss. Just think of the hubris and audacity of men and women believing that it is appropriate to not only edit what Yahowah wrote, changing it to their liking, but to replace His name with one He commonly uses to identify the Adversary.
Following His introduction, Yahowah, our God, deployed ‘asher to make an astonishingly important point regarding “the beneficial relationship” He intended and the “correct way to get the most out of life.” While it is dismissed by religious translators with a simplistic “who,” ‘asher is among the most edifying words in the whole of the Hebrew lexicon. Appearing as the fourth term Yahowah wrote on our behalf, ‘asher can be a relative particle, a conjunction, a pronoun, a preposition, a noun, and a name, in addition to a verb. It can be rendered “which, what, who, when, or where,” such that it serves to “establish a relationship between things,” including between our God and ourselves. As a masculine noun, it depicts “a blessing and good fortune, a joyous and happy attitude.” As a feminine noun, ‘asher speaks of “walking along the correct and restrictive path to give meaning to life.” It describes “the proper place to stand to be stable and secure.” As a name, ‘Asher was Ya’aqob’s son and thus one of the twelve tribes.
The actionable, or verbal, form of ‘asher is the most 11revealing. To ‘asher is “to live an upright life, to walk in a straightforward manner, to be led and to guide.” To ‘asher is “to speak well of someone, commending them, to pronounce them blessed, happy, and prosperous.” To ‘asher is “to encourage correct thinking and good behavior through accurate teaching.”
In the language of relationships, ‘asher makes many of the most important connections – just as it is doing on this occasion. Here it was written to convey that Yahowah has done all that is required to free us from the crucibles of human oppression. All we need to do is recognize who He is and what He expects and then walk away from them with Him. It is the proper path to get the most out of life.
Those who wish to live commendable, prosperous, and happy lives should follow His lead out of Mitsraym – the crucible of religious and political, military and economic oppression. In as straightforward a manner as is possible, Yahowah is, therefore, presenting Himself as our liberator and savior – the one who is offering to free us from all forms of servitude. The fact is: men subjugate others and oppress them by making rules people must obey. God offers to make us free.
Since it is something that is often missed, let’s be clear: Yahowah led the Children of Yisra’el out of Mitsraym. He did not do anything of the sort for anyone else, not for Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Communists, or Socialist Secular Humanists. Therefore, God is speaking to His people. You cannot be one of them by opposing them.
The first verb, “yatsa’ – I brought you out,” was scribed using the hifil stem while bearing the perfect conjugation. By considering what they collectively convey, we come to better understand how we are expected to respond to the benefits Yahowah is presenting. With the hifil, the object of the verb, in this case those God is 12leading, participate in the action, which is being saved by Him. Therefore, to benefit from God’s willingness to deliver us from judgment, Yah expects that we will recognize the merit of His offer and then respond appropriately. Such is the nature of the Covenant Relationship where we must engage to participate. It is also the basis of our salvation where we are expected to answer Yah’s invitation and walk along the path He has provided.
By using the perfect conjugation, Yahowah is revealing that He has done everything that was required leaving nothing to be done except for us to engage. The perfect denotes a completed action irrespective of time. It reveals that God would, and now has, and even will “descend to serve us, extending Himself to guide us, so that those who respond will be led away from the crucible of human oppression and delivered from judgment.” Therefore, when we reflect the full implications of the way yatsa’ was written, God said: “I have done everything to lead those who respond away” from the ill effects of government and religious subjugation.
Pulling this all together, His words provide critical information we need to exist in His presence. First, we need to know that there is a God, second that He has a name, and third, that He communicated with us. Fourth, we need to know that He “yatsa’ – descended to serve us, extending Himself to guide us, doing what was needed to lead us away” from human oppression, including “broadly, openly, and publicly disseminating the information needed for us to be free.” This means that He positioned Himself serving us, working as our savior and guide, personally leading us away from works-based salvation schemes. It is a perspective that is monumentally important because it is the opposite of what religions would have us believe. This means that those who are bowing down to God, who are lifting Him up in praise, and who believe they are serving Him, have got it all wrong. Yahowah is both willing and 13able to help us and wants His children to capitalize on what He has done.
Should you not see the symbolism of “mitsraym – crucibles” representing political, religious, economic, and military oppression, God spells it out for us with “beyth ‘ebed – the house of slavery and bondage.” The means to institutionalized human subjugation is the suppression of freewill and the consequence is enslavement and servitude, the loss of liberty and life. It is the difference between God’s way and man’s way.
The second verb, “hayah – to exist,” was modified with lo’, serving as a form of negation, thereby, nullifying a person’s existence who is unwilling to let go of any of the platitudes which bind the masses to human institutions. It was suffixed with la, a preposition meaning “to, toward, or concerning,” telling us that there is a consequence if we move in one direction or another. In addition, hayah was suffixed in the third person singular: you, revealing that these words affect us.
More than this, hayah was written using the qal stem and imperfect conjugation. This stem speaks of that which is genuine and actual and should be interpreted literally as an expression of reality. Meanings are matter of fact rather than nuanced. This distinguishes the qal from something which is hypothetical or merely symbolic. It reads: “you literally will not exist.” As the voice of relationships, the qal reveals that the subjects of the verb, which would be you and me, are subject to the verb’s action which is the termination of our continued existence. That is to say that our soul’s survival is predicated upon our response to this statement.
Further, rather than using the perfect conjugation as God did with yatsa’, hayah was scribed in the imperfect. It conveys the idea that there is an ongoing and unfolding consequence of this statement which will endure 14throughout time. So, we ought to be careful in our observations and considerations. But here is the good news: since hayah was written in the imperfect, the moment we walk away from our devotion to religion and politics, or our affinity toward societal customs or the military, we are no longer at odds with this statement. Said another way, say goodbye to “Jesus” and hello to Yahowah and our faith will be forgotten.
Hayah is as important as any word in the whole of God’s Word. It serves as the basis of Yahowah’s name – explaining what means. In Ancient Hebrew, hayah was written . It reveals how we should respond to Yah’s outstretched and open “yad – hand,” thereby determining if we transcend our mortality. Therefore, those who observe what Yahowah has revealed to us in this life, who understand and act upon what He has said and done, will get to live with Him in the next.
Furthermore, hayah speaks of time, which is especially relevant in Hebrew where every verb is expressed in the fullness of time – where time exists in the past, present, and future simultaneously. In this light, please note that this verb reads the same way right to left as it does left to right, thereby expressing endless possibilities. Liberated from the ordinary flow of time, hayah, just like Yahowah, promises a different form of liberation, one in which we live forever and travel wherever and whenever we desire. Those who choose to accept the God who scribed these words will no longer be as we currently are, slowly moving away from the past into the future while stuck on this rock we call Earth. Liberated, indeed.
Since the verb, hayah, means “to exist,” and speaks of “being” irrespective of time, by negating it as lo’ does in this case, the statement reveals that those who embrace other gods will “cease to exist.” And that is because false gods will never be tolerated in Yah’s presence. That is what 15She’owl is for, not Shamaym.
It is also telling that lo’ hayah-la ‘aher ‘elohym ‘al-paneh ‘any is a simple statement of fact. It is not a command much less a commandment. Rather than commanding: “You must not go to Venus,” it is similar to saying: “You cannot breathe the air on Venus.” God is stating that since false notions cease to exist in His presence, the same fate applies to those who believe in them.
At this point, Yahowah has not asked much of us who wish to live in His presence, only that we refer to Him by name, follow His lead away from institutionalized oppression, and recognize that He, alone, is God.
However, considering the extent men have gone to over the ages to corrupt His message, what chance does anyone have of coming to know Yahowah as He revealed Himself? When those who have claimed to have been trustworthy have been so disingenuous, the truth is hard to find. And sadly, erroneous data leads to invalid conclusions.
The First Statement on the First Tablet reads: “Then Almighty God conveyed, communicating by enabling and empowering all of these statements comprised of words in our presence, in association with us and in proximity to us, providing perspective, saying and explaining: (20:1)
‘I am Yahowah, your God (a ram among the sheep and your shepherd, your doorway to an expansive abundant life), who relationally and beneficially to show the correct and narrow path to get the most out of life brought you out and delivered you, descending to serve you by doing everything which was required to lead those who respond away from the land of Egypt and realm of the crucibles of political, religious, economic, and military oppression, out of the house of 16slavery, the place of worship and servitude, of bondage and working for one’s salvation, and of government authority and religious officials. (20:2)
You shall not continue to exist with other, different or additional, gods over and above My presence.” (Shemowth 20:3)
While it pains me to do so, men who falsely claimed that they were authorized by God, and who said that the result of their labors was inerrant, published: “And God spake all these words, saying, (20:1) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (20:2) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3 KJV)
Is there a source more inappropriate to edit or truncate? Is there a decision more vital than the eternal fate of our soul? So how do you suppose Yahowah is going to respond when it comes to holding the religious editors and publishers, scholars and theologians, pastors and priests, accountable for what they have done to make it difficult, if not nearly impossible, to correctly respond to the Creator?
In a world which has distanced itself from overt expressions of paganism, while still wallowing in its myths and symbols, this statement may not resonate sufficiently to save the religious. But here is the rub: The Christian “Lord Jesus Christ” was modeled after Bacchus, Dionysus, Osiris, and Tammuz, and not Yahowah. While Yahowsha’ (the actual name, meaning Yahowah Delivers, Liberates, and Saves, of the misnomer, ‘Jesus’) was resolutely Towrah observant, Paul repositioned Him into the kind of god the Romans and Greeks would more readily accept – changing the Passover Lamb into religious caricature. Therefore, the Christian “Jesus” now represents a different and additional god – albeit a false one. And worse, Allah’s persona is a perfect match for Satan. You can foolishly 17believe in Jesus and die along with your Dead God on a Stick. Or you can live with Yahowah.
After mislabeling these statements as “Commandments,” religious institutions have universally skipped over Yahowah’s name, the relationship He established with us, and the role He personally plays in our salvation only to misrepresent hayah to say “you shall not have” as opposed to “you shall not exist.” Those are a lot of mistakes considering that we’ve only considered the first twenty Hebrew words Yahowah inscribed on these tablets.
The Second of the Three Statements Yahowah etched in stone on the First of the Two Tablets conveys a wide range of things relatively few people have considered. As you contemplate the implications of God’s comprehensive presentation in this regard, compare them to man’s abridged “You shall not make a graven image” to appreciate just how egregiously the unwary have been cheated.
“You should not continue to associate yourself with (lo’ ‘asah la ‘atah – you should not make a practice of attending to or of doing anything with, you should not act upon nor engage with, you should not fashion nor profit from, you should not conceive, acquire, celebrate, nor work around (qal imperfect – conveying a literal interpretation and ongoing implications)) a religious image or object of worship (pesel – a shaped, sculpted, carved, cast, chiseled, or designed icon or idol associated with the divine, a representation of any god), or any (wa kol – nor any kind or variation of a) visual representation of something (tamunah – likeness, appearance, picture, drawing, painting, or form which depicts or resembles anything or 18attempts to establish a relationship by way of a substitution; from myn – a living species (such as the Christian depiction of God as a man or their faith by the symbol of a fish) or ancestor (such as the Christian veneration of saints)), which is (‘asher – which to show that the correct path is narrow and restrictive) in (ba) the heavens above (ha shamaym min ma’al – the spiritual realm on high including the sun, moon, planets, and stars above (thereby condemning all sun imagery, lunar deities, and astrology)), or (wa) which is (‘asher) on (ba) the earth (ha ‘erets – land and ground, even the material realm (thus destroying the deification of men, earth, water, air, and fire)) below (min tahath), or (wa) which is (‘asher) in (ba) the waters (ha maym) beneath the land (min tahath la ha ‘erets – from below the ground (making the Christian ICHTHUS and papal Dagon hat a direct violation)). (20:4)
You should not speak about them on your own initiative nor make a practice of bowing down and worshiping them (lo’ chawah la hem – you should not continue to promote their message on your own accord nor display their words because such uncoerced and ongoing verbal declarations and announcements will influence you, you should not religiously prostrate yourself in obeisance and homage to them, show any allegiance to them on an ongoing basis, nor habitually worship them, especially if not compelled or forced (hitpael imperfect jussive – acting without any compulsion, habitually or continually responding to the will of the religious influences)), and (wa) you shall not habitually serve them nor compel anyone to be passionate about them (lo’ ‘abad hem – you should not continually work or labor in their cause nor make a career of working as their ministers, you should not submit to them in servitude nor encourage anyone else to do so, neither should you act upon them nor consistently engage with them (hofal imperfect – you should not make a habit of forcing, encouraging, nor compelling anyone to act or serve on their behalf)).
19For, indeed (ky – because and emphasizing this point), I (‘anky), Yahowah (), your God (‘elohy ‘atah), am a fiercely protective, steadfastly loyal, and jealous God (qana’ ‘el – a God who is desirous of exclusivity in a deeply devoted relationship, a God who is emotionally passionate and extremely defensive of those He zealously loves, going above and beyond to acquire His creation so as to bring forth new life), actually counting and reckoning (paqad – literally taking stock of and genuinely recording, assigning, and depositing (qal participle – a descriptive verb with literal implications)) the perversity and sin of twisting and distorting (‘awon – the depravity of perverting and manipulating, deviating from the way, the guilt and punishment derived from delusion and depravity, the liability for unfaithfulness and wrongdoing) of the fathers (‘ab) upon (‘al) the children (ben – sons) concerning (‘al) the third and the fourth generations (silesym wa ‘al ribea’) of those who actually dislike Me (sane’ ‘any – of those who are openly hostile and adverse toward Me, who abhor, hate, detest, and loathe Me, literally striving maliciously against Me, shunning Me by refusing to engage in a relationship with Me (qal participle – serving as a literal and vivid depiction as a verbal adjective)). (20:5)
However (wa), I will genuinely act and actually engage to literally prepare, perform, and produce (‘asah – I will actively effect and appoint, offer and celebrate, and I will demonstrate by doing what is required to deliver on behalf of those who respond (qal participle)) loyal and devoted love, unfailing mercy, unearned favor, and genuine kindness (chesed – actual forgiveness, steadfast and ardent appreciation, a friendly and affectionate relationship, faithfulness and goodness) on behalf of (la’ – to enable the approach of) thousands (‘elephym) who move toward Me and love Me (la ‘ahab ‘any – who form a close and affectionate, loving and friendly, familial relationship with Me, coming to know 20and like Me, who come to prefer Me and find an association with Me desirable) and also (wa – in addition) who approach Me by closely observing and carefully considering (la shamar – who enter My presence by becoming observant and actually focusing upon, thoroughly examining, and thoughtfully evaluating (qal participle)) My instructions and directions, terms and conditions (mitswah ‘any – the verbal and written stipulations, statements, and structure which uphold My Covenant, My authoritative guidelines and codicils which serve as prescriptions for My relationship agreement and mutually binding contract; a compound of ma – to ponder the who, what, why, when, where, and how questions regarding God’s tsawah – authorized and authoritative communications, appointed and ordained mission and leadership).” (Shemowth / These are the Names / Exodus 20:4-6)
Yahowah has asked us not to be religious. God is opposed to religious imagery, opposed to religious behavior, and antagonistic toward religious services. He is intolerant of the promotion of any message associated with any god by any other name (and that would include Allah, Jehovah, the Lord, and Jesus Christ). The reason is straightforward and simple: Yahowah is committed to developing a loving and monogamous relationship with us. It is the very essence of His nature – something He is passionate about which is why He is personally engaged in our salvation.
As a result, Yahowah warns us about the consequence of distorting, twisting, and perverting His message – something every religion has done. By corrupting His testimony, we condemn our own children – as they are exposed to religious deceptions by someone they are naturally prone to look up to and trust.
By contrast, God has affirmed in writing that those who “shamar – closely observe, carefully examine, and 21revere His instructions” will “chesed – receive mercy – an unearned and undeserved gift” Yahowah has personally prepared and delivered. And yet, His unearned favor and unmerited kindness will be enjoyed by one in a million people. That is precisely what “thousands” among billions conveys. As such, all popular religions have been summarily excluded as a means to Divine favor.
While etching this anti-religious message and its consequence in stone ought to have been more than enough to garner our attention, it was repeated in Shemowth 34:7, Dabarym 5:10, and Yirma’yah 32:18. God wants us to know that religion is hereditary, pervasive, hateful, and deadly, and the truth, while loving and merciful, is exceedingly uncommon.
Should you want to be among the few who will benefit from Yahowah’s “chesed – mercy,” please note: when God etched this advice in stone, there was but one place where His “mitswah – the instructions and directions, terms and conditions pertaining to His covenant contract” were written: the Towrah (which means Teaching and Guidance, not ‘Law’). As a result, the Towrah is His source of “chesed – unmerited, undeserved, unearned, and unfailing favor which leads to a loving relationship” with Him.
Before we press on and consider what else Yahowah etched in stone, let’s take this opportunity to review each of the four sections which comprise this overtly anti-religious statement. As we just read, God wrote: “You should not continue to associate yourself with nor make a practice of attending to, you should not act upon nor engage on behalf of a religious image, object of worship, or any representation of any god, nor any visual representation of something, even a picture or painting, which is in the heavens above, including the sun, moon, planets, and stars, or which is on the earth below, or which is in the waters beneath the land.” (20:4)
22Since these words were written by God to teach us so that we might respond appropriately to Him, the verbs, which are designed to guide our actions, are especially relevant. Here ‘asah, which was negated by lo’, was written using the qal imperfect which is to say that “we should actually refrain from continuing to engage with or habitually act upon” God’s laundry list of religious objects. The qal stem dictates a literal interpretation, telling us that God is serious about us disassociating from the kind of images which permeate Christian churches, while the imperfect conjugation refers to any behavior that is ongoing over time. Lo’ ‘asah says: “do not religiously serve or profit from an association” with symbols that were crafted to inspire reverence.
While ‘asah can be translated “make, conceive, or fashion” using its secondary and tertiary connotations, there are many Hebrew words which are far better suited to describe the act of conceiving, creating, building, carving, or engraving an idol. For example, “carve” in Hebrew can be written: qala’, chaqah, chatubah, miqla’ath, or charosheth. To “engrave” is: pituwach or pathach. To “create or fashion” is bara’. And to “build or establish” is banah. Therefore, with so many words which more adeptly describe the construction of a religious icon, we ought not look to the secondary or tertiary connotations of ‘asah to fill this role. This admonition is about our actions rather than our artistry.
When negated and then suffixed with la and then shaded by the imperfect, lo’ ‘asah la teaches us “not to habitually do anything which associates ourselves with” a “pesel – object of worship.” We are “to avoid continuously attending to them, acting upon or around them, all while refraining from consistently engaging with them.” Therefore, just because you never personally carved a crucifix, you are not exonerated if you are still worshiping in a church where the Dead God on a Stick is present. And 23you would be guilty of violating this instruction if you are preaching on behalf of the cross, pledging your allegiance to a flag, or feeling patriotic while standing before a political statue in a national monument. It is the ongoing observance of these symbols which God is telling us to avoid.
A “pesel – object of worship and religious icon” can come in many forms, from the wine and bread of Communion and the Eucharist, to the crosses or crucifixes which are on prominent display in most churches and cathedrals. And a “tamunah – visual representation and likeness” is all-encompassing. It would include the pictures and busts on sanctuary walls and the images depicted in stained-glass windows. But if you look closely, especially in an orthodox church, you’ll notice how many references there are to the sun, moon, and stars, with circles around the crosses, halos above the heads of their saints, and starbursts embellishing objects used in church rituals. Not only are men and animals on display, both carved and painted, the Christian god is depicted as a man. But that is not the end of it. The pope wears a Dagon hat, symbolic of the fish god of old, and evangelicals often adorn their cars with an ICHTHUS which is also drawn in the form of a fish from the waters beneath the land.
I would like you to consider something else, something I think is directly related to an “object of worship,” and that is the Christian caricature known as “the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Christian god is not only modeled after pagan deities, he is depicted in the image of man. His likeness is ubiquitous in places of worship and prostration. And he is most often adorned with a halo, symbolic of the sun.
God was not done condemning religion. Still focused on all forms of religious imagery and deception, He wrote: “You should not speak about them on your own initiative nor make a practice of bowing down and 24worshiping them, you should not continue to promote their message on your own accord nor display their words because such uncoerced and ongoing verbal declarations will influence you, nor should you habitually worship them, especially if not compelled or forced, and you should not serve them nor compel anyone to be passionate about them. Do not continually work or labor in their cause nor make a career of serving as their ministers, nor encourage anyone else to do so.” (20:5)
While the opening statement was designed to distinguish the kind of images Yahowah considers inappropriate, this time it is our response to these political and religious symbols which is being discouraged. Actions in this regard are destructive to the relationship God is seeking to achieve. To engage in the Covenant, we have to walk away from political, religious, and societal allegiances. And yet, look how often people sing national anthems to their flag, pledging to serve what it represents. By standing at attention, removing our hats, and placing our hands over our hearts while others salute, we transform this political symbol into an object of worship, and then we speak for it by bellowing out its anthem in the presence of roaring cheers. In America, the Lincoln Memorial is a shrine, a temple to man. And the Statue of Liberty, the national image of freedom to which countless patriots opine, is the Greek-goddess Athena complete with her light and sunburst crown.
Since it is our ongoing response to these deified and politicized symbols which is at issue, we should not be surprised that there are two verbs in this brief statement – both indicative of behavior God wants curtailed. The first, chawah, is high on the list of most inaccurately rendered Hebrew terms. It is primarily used to depict “offering a verbal declaration, making a public pronouncement, promoting a message, speaking for or writing about 25someone or something so as to let the individual or institution know what you think about them.” Secondarily, there are certain contexts, especially when negated, when chawah can address religious behavior such as “bowing down in worship, thereby prostrating oneself in obeisance.” In this context, and negated by lo’, both definitions apply. Fortunately, however, chawah was inscribed in the imperfect conjugation because Yahowah realized that most of us would at some point in our lives make a habit of regurgitating religious prayers and platitudes, continually offering declarations of our faith, all while bowing down to and worshiping the images mankind has crafted.
Equally insightful, chawah was engraved using the hitpael stem, something so rare it is only found 170 times in the Hebrew text. Known as the causative reflexive form, it reveals that the subject, which would be you and me, is influenced by the way we act with respect to the verb. Those who bow down in the presence of religious imagery will find themselves prostrate before God in judgment. Those who worship will be associated with the object of their faith. Those who speak for and promote the gods and institutions man has created will be seen as being allied with them.
The truth is: religion and politics change people, just as the military does, in a way that displeases Yah, thereby, disassociating those who fall prey to their beguiling nature. But more than this, the hitpael stem addresses behaviors which are not influenced or acted upon by outside forces. Therefore, by negating it, Yahowah is telling us that He does not want us to be manipulated or coerced into religious or political allegiances or declarations, thereby helping us avoid becoming the pawns of others. He wants us to think and act independently. The hitpael stem is wholly incompatible with religious and political influence, patriotism and political correctness, as well as slavery and 26servitude.
The most obvious, and indeed egregious, violation of this divine edict today is the example of Catholic and Orthodox Christians reciting the Rosary or Lord’s Prayer while bowing down before and praying to one of the millions of statues of Mary whom they believe is “the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven” although those titles are both Babylonian as is the religious festival named in her honor: Easter.
By using the imperfect with “lo’ chawah la” to say “you should not habitually make religious declarations nor make a practice of bowing down in worship, continually demonstrating your allegiance” toward what could only be construed as “political and religious symbols,” Yahowah has made it easy for us to let go and walk away. The moment we stop doing and saying the things God utterly disdains we are no longer in conflict with the instruction.
There is one final aspect of the way “lo’ chawah – do not continue to make declarations” which we should consider, and that is the jussive mood. Typically, the jussive denotes third-person volition, but since Yahowah wrote these in first person to us in second person, the religious objects and environment is all that could be considered third person. And should that be the case, the jussive would suggest that we not seek to do the will of religious gods.
The next verb is “lo’ ‘abad – you should not continue to serve them.” Once again, Yahowah used the imperfect conjugation which speaks of habitual, ongoing behavior with unfolding consequences. But this time, He deployed the hophal stem. It is the passive counterpart to the hifil which is to say that religious imagery and political symbols influence an individual based upon how each person acts toward them. So while religious and patriotic people actively participate in their culture’s mythology, they were 27typically beguiled into doing so.
Religion feeds religion. The religious congregate together. They reinforce one another. They feed each other’s faith. They believe the same things, say the same things, and do the same things, all while avoiding contact with those who would question them.
‘Abad, as the Hebrew word for “work,” depicts “the expenditure of considerable energy or intensity” toward a goal which, in this case, is being religious or political. ‘Abad also speaks of service, which today we typically associate with: a religious service, public and thus political service, and military service. And while I would argue that none of these equate to providing a service because the participants are paid and the work is counterproductive, I’d like to draw your attention to the military where “service” is considered to be a sacrifice, both honorable and heroic, for which a debt of gratitude is expected. And yet militaries are trained and equipped to kill. That is their mission. And most are good at it.
Therefore, while that is irrefutably true, there is something equally problematic with fighting, as well as the conditioning that makes it possible. Indoctrinated by their trainers and superiors, a recruit’s judgment is deliberately altered while their conscience is seared such that they wrongly view those they are ordered to kill as subhuman. Even worse, the public is brainwashed into believing that their freedom and protection are provided by these trained killers, their deadly institutions, and vicious weapons.
Further, it is in man’s economic systems where most “‘abad – work” is done. Next time you have a chance, look at your nation’s currency. If you are an American, you will see the eye of Osiris, a temple to Ra, and inscriptions promising a New World Order written in the language of Rome, the nation which destroyed Yahowah’s Temple and tortured Yahowsha’.
28One more thought before we move on. If you’ll think about the five conditions of the Covenant for a moment, and then consider what Yahowah has told us thus far, there is considerable harmony. To participate in the Covenant, we were asked to walk away from the human schemes born in Babylon and then trust and rely exclusively on Yah, walking to Him while observing His instructions regarding the relationship. And He told us to circumcise our sons so that fathers would remember to raise them within the Covenant and not mislead or corrupt them. With this in mind, hasn’t God simply reinforced and elaborated upon each of those requests with these statements?
The Creator of the universe and the Author of life does not need to justify His position and explain His overt opposition to us engaging on behalf of religious, political, militaristic, and economic schemes, but He does nonetheless. Nor is He required to reveal the consequence of such behavior, and yet He does this as well. Listen...
“For, indeed, emphasizing this point, I, Yahowah, your God, am a fiercely protective, steadfastly loyal, and jealous God, a God who is desirous of exclusivity in a deeply devoted relationship.
I actually count and consider the perversity of twisting and distorting and the depravity of perverting and manipulating, deviating from the way, of the fathers upon the children up to the third and the fourth generations of those who actually dislike Me, who are openly hostile and adverse toward Me, who abhor and loathe Me, striving maliciously against Me while shunning Me by refusing to engage in a relationship with Me.” (20:5)
Since Yahowah’s presentation has focused on the importance of us engaging in an exclusive relationship with Him, such that we are completely devoid of religious affiliations, it is obvious that qana’ conveys the ideas of 29“being passionate and zealous” about the Covenant family and, thereby, “jealously protecting those He loves.” But there is another meaning. Qana’ depicts “paying the price to acquire something valuable.” And I’m sure that I don’t need to remind you that Yahowah personally paid a hellish price to ransom us so that He could reconcile His relationship with us. And in this light, qana’ speaks of “redemption.” It is therefore not unreasonable for God to want to enjoy the company of those He paid to redeem.
I would be remiss as a guide if I did not expose the fact that when Paul wrote of “love” in his first letter to the Corinthians, he lied when he said that “love is not jealous” and that “love does not seek its own.” True love is always jealous, and it always seeks to be loved in return. Moreover, no one’s love is truer than Yah’s, and He is jealous, thereby, proving that Paul cannot be trusted.
As was the case previously, there are two verbs in this statement. The first is paqad which means “to count or reckon.” Written in the qal stem, God isn’t kidding. So while He has chosen to turn a blind eye to the victims of religion and to turn a deaf ear to their prayers, He not only pays attention to those who “‘awon – twist and distort” His testimony, He keeps a record of their corruptions.
Scribed as a participle, paqad becomes a verbal adjective, thereby, modifying ‘awon which addresses the “depravity of perverting” God’s message and, thereby, “manipulating people so that they miss the way.” From this perspective, paqad’s other meanings come into play. Those liable for perpetrating babel will be “summoned, judged, and punished” for having committed the most heinous of all crimes. You may rest assured, all religious and most political leaders will be judged and condemned. Their souls will spend an eternity in She’owl, more universally known as “Hell.” God does not take kindly to deception and, in such matters, He is unforgiving.
30There are few if any Hebrew words worse than ‘awon. Derived from ‘aw’ah, it speaks of “distorting, perverting, and warping” and, thus, represents a particular type of sin: babel. Affirming this, ‘aw’ah is from ‘awah which is “to bend, twist and distort.” As such, ‘awon depicts “corruption, perversion, distortion, and manipulation” of God’s testimony, the very things religious institutions have done to Yah’s Towrah teaching, “twisting” His Word so that people “miss the way.”
No one was better at this or more influential than Paul, the founder of the Christian religion. His letters routinely remove God’s statements from their context, misquote what He said, and then twist the resulting corruption to warp the minds of those who were fooled into believing him. And the consequence has been grievous because, from God’s perspective, those who are ‘awon are “perverse, depraved, and reprehensible.” It is “wrong.” They are “wrong.” It is “delusional” as are they. Therefore, “the guilty will be punished for having caused others to deviate” from the truth.
And speaking of truth, there is a sobering aspect of this statement that not one in a million people appreciates. Overtly religious and political parents kill their own children, infecting them with a disease which destroys the souls of their sons and daughters. Raised religious, people stay religious. The child of a Muslim remains a Muslim, just as the child of a Christian stays Christian. ‘Awon fosters a never-ending cycle of death and destruction. It is why ‘Abraham was asked to leave Babel. It is why God is pleading with us to leave its corruption today.
‘Awon is the single most hostile thing a person can do to God. He and His Word are one. When you twist His Word, you are attacking Him. And since Yahowah’s primary goal is to form a relationship with His creation, by perverting and corrupting His Towrah’s Covenant instructions, people position themselves in direct 31opposition to Yah’s will. Nothing is more hateful because it forestalls His ability to love them.
And that is why the concluding verb, sane’, was scribed using the qal stem. The hatred being shown to God is genuine and the opposition toward Him is real. Tell a Christian or Muslim that God’s one and only name is Yahowah and see how they react. But it may be mutual because scribed as a participle, those who hate Yahowah are despised by Him. Those who are in opposition to God are opposed by God. That certainly seems fair.
We began our review of this, Yahowah’s Second of Three introductory Statements, nine pages ago, and yet the most important section remains unexplored. I share this with you because everything we have learned thus far is routinely dismissed by the Christian Church with a trite: “Second Commandment: You shall not make an idol.”
Now that we know the fate of those who twist Yahowah’s testimony, and now that we understand the consequence of doing so with one’s children, let’s consider the alternative…
“But I will genuinely act and actually engage to literally prepare, perform, and produce loyal and devoted love, unfailing mercy, unearned favor, and genuine kindness, even actual forgiveness, steadfast and ardent appreciation, developing a friendly and affectionate relationship on behalf of thousands who move toward Me and love Me, forming a close and familial relationship with Me, caring enough to know and like Me, and also who approach Me by closely observing and carefully considering My instructions and directions, My terms and conditions, the verbal and written stipulations and structure which uphold My Covenant.” (20:6)
Etched in stone as a qal participle, ‘asah tells us more than just Yahowah “will genuinely act, actually engaging, 32to literally prepare, perform, and produce” mercy. It reveals that this undeserved favor and unearned kindness is a participatory endeavor. In that ‘asah serves to modify chesed, this also means that we have to act and engage to participate in our salvation. That is not to say that we earn it, but only that “chesed – mercy” as a relational term requires mutual involvement. This is to say that, to receive God’s “chesed – favor,” we have to act relative to the terms and instructions of His Covenant.
Just as ‘awon is bad, chesed is good. Just as Yah is opposed to “‘awon – corruption,” He is the source of “chesed – mercy.” We are distanced from Him by ‘awon, and we come to Him through chesed. One is of man; the other is of God.
Make no mistake: Yah’s “chesed – unearned favor and undeserved kindness” is born out of His zeal for us and His passion for the Covenant relationship. God, Himself, makes this point when He says that He favors those who “‘ahab – love” Him. In so doing, Yahowah has defined the nature and purpose of His Covenant and, indeed, He gave us the reason behind creation.
This known, Yahowah’s mercy isn’t for everyone. Very few are saved. In fact, it is so few that Yah speaks of thousands among billions. And that is just one in a million.
‘Eleph is “a cardinal number, an actual mathematical representation, designating one thousand.” Emphasizing this point, 500 of the 505 occasions ‘eleph appears in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, it is translated “thousand.” Moreover, there is no wiggle room here. Shemowth 34:7 and Dabarym 5:10 directly affirm this same statement expressly limiting those saved to “‘elephym – thousands.” As further affirmation of the amount, in Shemowth 18:20, ‘elephym is used to convey “thousands” in conjunction with “hundreds” and “tens” in descending order.
Fortunately, God wrote ‘elephym, thereby denoting 33“thousands,” plural and not singular. And while billions and millions are comprised of thousands, Hebrew is fully capable of expressing the concepts of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions and billions, but God did not communicate those numbers here. So, perhaps no fewer than two thousand nor more than twenty thousand souls will be reconciled and thus saved. Of the tens of billions of people who have been born on this planet that is less than one in a million. Most of the rest have been “‘awon – corrupted” by their parent’s babel.
As we consider what we must do to get on our Heavenly Father’s short list, let’s examine the verbs which explain how this is done. First, we have ‘ahab which describes the Covenant as “a close, personal, affectionate and loving relationship which is both friendly and familial.” God chose to write ‘ahab as a qal participle – communicating something which must not only be genuine and interpreted literally but, as a verbal adjective, must influence the accompanying nouns which are God and the thousands who reciprocate His love.
Most translators ignore the fact that “‘amar – love” was prefixed with the preposition, la. In its simplest form, la means “to.” It denotes “movement toward a goal” which, in this case, is “to approach” Yahowah in love. La speaks of “being concerned about someone” and of “being in accord with them.”
To my mind, the inclusion of the preposition “la – toward” in reference to God, especially in the context of receiving His “chesed – unmerited favor,” explains God’s third requirement for participating in the Covenant. As we know, Yah asks us to “walk to Him and become perfect” which is to be considered right and thus innocent. Therefore, three of the five things God asked us to accept if we want to develop a relationship with Him have been scribed by His own hand.
34We should not be surprised that the fourth requirement is emblazoned in: “la shamar mitswah – approach Me by closely observing, carefully examining, and thoughtfully considering the terms of My relationship agreement.” Since the mitswah serve as the “terms and conditions of the Covenant and the instructions directions to the Covenant,” to shamar mitswah is to shamar beryth.
Yahowah has used la as a prepositional prefix which, when deployed in conjunction with shamar mitswah, tells us that His mercy is for those who “approach Him by observing and considering the terms of His Covenant.” Further, written in the qal stem, these instructions relative to our salvation are to be interpreted literally. Therefore, if you want to go to heaven, you need to observe the Towrah – the only place where the mitswah can be examined and considered. Further, by communicating this as a verbal adjective in the construct form, we learn that God’s terms not only influence the observant but, also, that these conditions are absolute and our consideration of them should never cease.
Yahowah has reiterated and explained four of the Covenant’s five requirements. And while they have been presented in no uncertain terms, it is possible to derive the fifth condition from this inscription. Yahowah has asked us to circumcise our sons such that we remember to direct their steps toward God and not away from Him. This act, as the sign of the Covenant, demonstrates not only our acceptance of its terms but, also, our willingness to share its benefits with our children so that they grow up to be God’s children. I can think of nothing which is more effective in keeping fathers from corrupting their children than this.
Even though God etched this idea in stone, revealing the consequence of misleading our children, we find fathers corrupting His message to the point no child could possibly understand. Consider this…
35“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (20:4) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (20:5) And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:6 KJV)
Now that we have seen the Covenant’s conditions reaffirmed, let’s turn to the Third Statement Yahowah engraved upon the First of these Two Tablets. For all of those who find no issue with ignoring God’s name, for those insisting that His name is either unpronounceable or irrelevant, for those who believe that it does not matter what we call God, and for those who protest that God has many names, God begs to differ.
As we approach His next statement, we are confronted with a bit of a challenge – one somewhat compounded by the fact that the Towrah’s Shemowth / Exodus presentation of what Yahowah wrote on the Tablets is not extant among the Dead Sea Scrolls – although Moseh’s recap of them in Dabarym / Deuteronomy 5 is available to us for comparison. As such, we are not dependent upon the Masoretic Text for our translation, recognizing that it was scribed in the 11th century CE by placing diacritical markings on Babylonian Hebrew characters. Otherwise, we would have had no way of effectively arguing that Yahowah may have intended to convey nasha’ rather than nasa’, even though these words would have been written identically in Ancient Hebrew , Paleo Hebrew afn, and also in Babylonian Hebrew נשא.
36Today, 3,500 years after these words were originally scribed, and 900 after the Masoretes’ intervention, our choice is נָשָׁא versus נָשָׂא (nasha’ compared to nasa’ noting the dot over the left and then right side of the middle letter changing a sin into a shin). For reasons only known to these rabbis, the Masoretes invented a second means to denote the “s” sound originally conveyed via a Samech, dividing the Shin into two letters. So while there was originally no distinction between nasa’ and nasha’, one exists now in the lexicons as a result of a dot added in the 11th century of the common era to either the left שׂ or right שׁ side of the Shin.
This is of concern because, by dotting the Shin one way or the other, two words with different meanings have been arbitrarily created out of one by religious clerics. Aware of this, all we can do is set aside their gerrymandering and let the context determine whether Yahowah intended to convey the message of nasa’, of nasha’, or both. This determination, along with correcting the vocalization of shav’ to showa’, require our attention, because they represent two of the three actionable words in Yah’s Third Statement.
Having examined 4QDeut, the oldest surviving parchment attesting to what Yahowah wrote, I can affirm that we are equally justified translating “lo’ nasa’ – you should never lift up or bear” or “lo’ nasha’ – you should never deceive or delude.” Therefore, we will proceed using the context of Yah’s testimony to guide us, recognizing that the consequences are enormous. Our response to this next statement is life or death and, for many, it may actually be salvation versus damnation. That is because God said that He “will not forgive” anyone who commits the offense presented in what has been mislabeled “The Third Commandment.”
With death serving as the consequence and damnation as the potential penalty for failing to observe this Instruction, it is reasonable to conclude that the crime must 37be extraordinarily serious. And in that light, it is hard to miss the fact that “lo’ nasa’ – you should not lift up or bear” is a far less indicting than “lo’ nasha’ – you should not beguile.”
Furthermore, as we strive to understand what Yahowah conveyed, it is also important to appreciate that the primary and secondary definitions of nasa’, which are “to lift up” and “to bear,” are awkward in both sentences which comprise the Third Statement. It is only by extrapolating “lift up” to mean “advance or promote” and “bear” to mean “tolerate or support” that nasa’ can be construed to fit in either declaration. And since nasa’s tertiary definition is “to forgive,” its fourth is “to respect,” and its fifth is “to desire,” the further we go down the line, the potential for nasa’ conveying what Yah intended continues to fade.
But that is not the case with nasha’, whose primary connotation is “to beguile, to delude, to deceive, and to lead astray.” Even the secondary meaning of nasha’ works effectively in this Statement: “to unfairly enrich oneself by indebting others.” These are things God detests because they separate Him from those who would otherwise become His children. Nasha’ isn’t something Yah would be prone to forgive while nasa’ is something Yah is committed to accomplishing.
Also telling, nashah, which would be pronounced identically to nasha’, means “to forget or cause to be forgotten,” either “failing to properly recall or to make someone forget.” In a statement which speaks of eternal damnation for those who act fraudulently with regard to Yahowah’s name such that it is forgotten as a result of being edited out of His testimony, this should be alarming. Almost every religious person, alive or deceased, has contributed to this crime by either perpetrating it or by embracing the consequence.
38Religious scholars, ignoring everything we have just learned, oblivious as to whether Yah intended to convey the meaning of nasa’ or nasha’, and perhaps to disguise their culpability, reduce this wealth of information down to a single and unjustified word: “take.” According to most every bible publication: “You shall not take the name of the Lord, God, in vain.” This, of course, is utterly senseless. You can’t “take” the name of God. Yahowah’s name is not “Lord.” And “vain” speaks of either “failure” or “ego,” neither of which apply.
The second verb in the Third Statement is showa’ , although you won’t find it in any lexicon. It is usually transliterated shav’ even though that is wrong on three accounts. First, there was no letter or sound “v” in the Hebrew alphabet at this time. The Wah is a vowel, and it conveys either the “o” or the “u” sound. And the concluding Aleph is pronounced “a” or “e.” Therefore, the word is most likely showa’ but with decreasing reliability could be pronounced: showe’, shuwa’, or shuwe’. But under no circumstances can Shin Wah Aleph be shav.
Now that we know the range of permissible pronunciations, our job has only begun. And that is because showa’ also conveys a range of meanings. Showa’ speaks of “emptiness and nothingness, worthlessness and failure, lying and falsehood” as well as “deception, idolatry, and futility.” The effect of showa’ is to be “ravaged, devastated, ruined, and laid waste, to be hastily rushed over and hostilely trodden down, leaving only lifelessness and desolation.” Showa’ is the epitome of “horribly mistreating someone.”
Especially germane in the context of deceiving in association with His name, Yahowah, and replacing it with “the Lord,” the unforgivable sin associated with showa’ is “negating the value of” God’s name by deceptively “removing it,” such that it “no longer exists” in the text of His testimony.
39Discounting all of this, or perhaps oblivious to it, most every English bible distills showa’ down to “in vain.” And while “vain” does convey “failure,” the Hebrew preposition ba, denoting “in,” is not “ba – in” either sentence.
All of these things known, and after considerable research and contemplation, I have decided to base the following translation upon nasha’ while still reflecting the insights nasa’ provides. Further, since it is safer to provide too much information rather than too little, you will find that the cause and effect of showa’ has been blended into both sentences, emphasizing different aspects in each of its two appearances. I suspect that God repeated both words to provide us with the unique opportunity to consider every aspect of each term expressly because He does not want us to be among those who are “lo’ naqah – not forgiven.”
Therefore, without further ado, here then is the Third and final Statement Yahowah engraved on the First of Two Tablets:
“You should not continue to deceive, nor should you tolerate or support delusions (lo’ nasha’ – you should not habitually deploy or advance clever tricks to enrich oneself by indebting others, and should avoid actually beguiling people on an ongoing basis by consistently lifting up, promoting, or forgiving that which causes them to miss the way by forgetting (qal imperfect)) associated with (‘eth – through or by way of the) the name and reputation (shem – the renown and proper designation) of Yahowah (), your God (‘elohym), thereby advancing worthless and lifeless deceptions (la ha showa’ (errantly transliterated shav’) – deploying that which advances devastating dishonesty, nullifying one’s existence, leading to emptiness and nothingness, so as to advance deceitful and lifeless lies which are ineffectual, futile, and ruinous).
40For, indeed (ky – because), Yahowah () will not forgive or leave unpunished (lo’ naqah – as an ongoing admonition unconstrained by time, He will not purify nor pardon, He will not acquit nor free from guilt, He will not exempt from judgment nor sentencing, nor will He consider innocent nor release (piel imperfect)) those who (‘eth ‘asher – in association with others) consistently deceive, actually beguile, and habitually delude, promoting or accepting trickery so as to forget (nasha’ – religiously using deception to continually mislead, lifting up and advancing a clever, albeit dishonest, ruse (qal imperfect)) in association with (‘eth – through) His name (shem – renown, reputation, and proper designation) to advance and promote (la – to bring into effect accordingly) vain and ineffectual lies which lead to lifelessness, nullifying one’s existence (showa’ – devastating deceptions which destroy, leading to emptiness, worthlessness, and nothingness, futilely deceiving in a ruinous manner).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 20:7)
Regardless of how you pronounce or translate the words Yahowah inscribed, God will not forgive those who deceive others – especially when they do so in association with His name or reputation. And that means the world’s most infamous religious leaders, Rabbi Akiba, the wannabe-Apostle Paul, Emperor Hadrian, and the joke-of-a-Prophet Muhammad, will all be spending time together with the spirit they served – although I don’t suspect they will enjoy it very much.
There is only one thing Yahowah hates more than deadly and beguiling deceptions, and that is when they are promoted by those who claim to be speaking for Him. Therefore, when it comes to judgment, you don’t want to be in the same line as the popes, imams, monks, sheiks, or philosophers.
But here is the silver lining: Since every verb was 41presented in the imperfect, which speaks of that which is continuous and ongoing, in the shadow the negation lo’ provides, rather than simply saying, “You should not,” or worse, “You should never,” it is more accurate to say, “Do not make a practice of deception...” This perspective is further developed by the qal stem which, in addition to requiring a literal interpretation, conveys a sense of authenticity, sincerity, and genuineness.
Also interesting, God hasn’t written anything on the First of these Two Tablets using the imperative mood, which is the only form of Hebrew grammar where the opportunity exists to render a statement as a command. (Although, as we have noted, the imperative is most often used to convey an exhortation which is subject to second-person volition.) As such, there have not been any “Commandments” communicated thus far. Instead, these Instructions are as Yahowah wrote: “dabar – Statements” comprised of “dabar – Words.” God is providing direction. He is guiding us, attempting to teach us so that we come to know and to understand how to properly respond to Him.
Contrary to more popular translations, God was not so trivial or vain that He asked us not to swear, or say “God Damn,” as Christians would have you believe. Knowing and using Yahowah’s name is essential to our relationship and salvation, and yet there is not a single significant religious institution on earth proclaiming it. Indeed, most hide it or deny it, removing it from their bibles, sermons, and churches. Instead, Yahowah is being merciful and compassionate by revealing that He is intolerant of lies and deceptions, and of empty religious promises, especially when they negate the importance of His name. Nothing is more destructive, deadly, or damning.
There is something else here we ought not miss. Yahowah just said that those who “nasha’ – deceive” in association with His “shem – name” will “lo’ naqah – not be forgiven nor left unpunished.” And while not being 42pardoned by God equates to death and to the destruction of a person’s soul, being sentenced and punished by God is nothing short of eternal damnation. (As you continue to read these books you will discover that there are three, not two, destinations for human souls. Most souls simply cease to exist at the end of their mortal life and are neither punished nor rewarded as a result.) If you or someone you know is an outspoken advocate, apologist, evangelist, propagandist, or jihadist for any religion, regardless if it is Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or Socialist Secular Humanism, it is best that they cease and desist. Death is infinitely better than damnation, and now we and they have been warned.
Also, lo’ naqah was scribed in the piel imperfect. The piel stem reveals that those who deceive will bring judgment upon themselves. Someone who is a religious apostle, evangelist, or apologist, even a political activist, strategist, or propagandist, are writing their own summons to appear before an unforgiving Judge. Further, in the imperfect, Yahowah is on record as saying that this was, is, and always will be His policy relative to those who promote delusions in association with His name or reputation.
The First of the Two Tablets is now complete. God has provided us with the vantage point required to facilitate our understanding of His revelation. He has introduced Himself by name. He has told us that His written Word provides the perspective we need to appreciate the role He personally played in rescuing us from the crucible of judgment and oppressive political and religious schemes. And He revealed that we will cease to exist if we continue to worship gods of our own making.
Yah said that He is opposed to religious rituals, to religious rhetoric, to religious art, to religious statuary, icons, and imagery. He wants us to disassociate ourselves and walk away from these things. He has stated that He is 43passionate about our relationship with Him. He wants it to be exclusive – without a rival. He does not want us to corrupt our children by twisting His testimony. And His mercy is for those who approach Him, walking to Him in love, by observing His instructions.
By telling us that He would hold those hostile to Him accountable for the perverse act of twisting and manipulating His message, fraudulently removing His name and unconscionably replacing “Yahowah” with “the Lord,” God not only affirmed that many would indeed distort and pervert His testimony, editing His words to their liking, but also that our children would be victimized by society’s willingness to deviate from His Way in this way.
Having reiterated, affirmed, and explained all five of the Covenant’s conditions, Yahowah’s written testimony leaves us without excuse. He has tried to direct our steps and to guide us from this world to His home.
Yahowah has also undermined every popular religious scheme. God declared that He would personally prepare, perform, and produce unearned favor and unfailing mercy on behalf of thousands, not millions or billions, and only for those who approach Him in love and who closely observe and carefully consider these Instructions. This means that the Savior is Yahowah, Himself, and that just one in a million people will avail themselves of His generosity.
Further, Yahowah’s provision is for those who rely upon Him, who have come to love Him and His “shem – personal and proper name.” But more than this, they have all approached God by closely observing and carefully considering His Directions – all of which are enshrined in this very same Towrah. He has delineated the way home, providing the path to eternal life in heaven. And yet His Way, the path where our devotion is directed toward the God of the Towrah, the plan where we are asked to observe 44all that He spoke through His prophets, is in direct conflict with the notions prescribed by Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Mormons – as well as the way of multiculturalism and political correctness.
For many, the arrogance behind the crime of deliberately and unconscionably removing Yahowah’s name from the text He inspired, and then replacing YHWH with the title “the Lord,” was reason enough to leave the church and synagogue. If the religious scholars, clerics, priests, and pastors, along with the institutions they represent, were willing perpetrate this act of thievery and then support the deception, why would anyone trust them or their religion?
Few statements have been as inadequately and errantly translated as those that Yahowah wrote on this Tablet. Worse, by ignoring the fact that both the emphasis on freewill, along with the failure to consider the influence of the imperative mood, precludes these Statements from being considered “Commandments,” most every Christian institution labels them as such.
Ironically, the convoluted and twisted biblical renditions of these Statements serve to prove the validity of Yahowah’s prediction that men would corrupt His Word. But knowing that many would do this very thing in the names of their religions, Yahowah warned those who mislead, promoting ineffectual lifeless and destructive lies, that He would not forgive them and would punish them. And that, my friends, will make “Hell” a very religious place.
Following this introduction, the First Tablet Yahowah etched in stone reads:
Then Almighty God conveyed, communicating by enabling and empowering all of these statements comprised of words in our presence, in association with us and in proximity to us, providing perspective, saying 45and explaining: (20:1)
I am Yahowah, your God (a ram among the sheep and your shepherd, your doorway to an expansive and abundant life), who relationally and beneficially to show the correct and narrow path to get the most out of life brought you out and delivered you, descending to serve you by doing everything which was required to lead those who respond away from the land of Egypt and realm of the crucibles of political, religious, economic, and military oppression, out of the house of slavery, the place of worship and servitude, of bondage and working for one’s salvation, and of government authority and religious officials. (20:2) You shall not continue to exist with other, different or additional, gods over and above My presence. (20:3)
You should not continue to associate yourself with nor make a practice of attending to, you should not act upon nor engage on behalf of a religious image, object of worship, or any representation of any god, nor any visual representation of something, even a picture or painting, which is in the heavens above, including the sun, moon, planets, and stars, or which is on the earth below, or which is in the waters beneath the land. (20:4)
You should not speak about them on your own initiative nor make a practice of bowing down and worshiping them, you should not continue to promote their message on your own accord nor display their words because such uncoerced and ongoing verbal declarations will influence you, nor should you habitually worship them, especially if not compelled or forced, and you should not serve them nor compel anyone to be passionate about them. Do not continually work or labor in their cause nor make a career of serving as their ministers, nor encourage anyone else to do so. (20:5)
46For, indeed, emphasizing this point, I, Yahowah, your God, am a fiercely protective, steadfastly loyal, and jealous God, a God who is desirous of exclusivity in a deeply devoted relationship, actually counting and reckoning the perversity of twisting and distorting and the depravity of perverting and manipulating, deviating from the way, of the fathers upon the children up to the third and the fourth generations of those who actually dislike Me, who are openly hostile and adverse toward Me, who abhor and loathe Me, striving maliciously against Me while shunning Me by refusing to engage in a relationship with Me. (20:5)
However, I will genuinely act and actually engage to literally prepare, perform, and produce loyal and devoted love, unfailing mercy, unearned favor, and genuine kindness, even actual forgiveness, steadfast and ardent appreciation, developing a friendly and affectionate relationship on behalf of thousands who move toward Me and love Me, forming a close and familial relationship with Me, caring enough to know and like Me, and also who approach Me by closely observing and carefully considering My instructions and directions, My terms and conditions, the verbal and written stipulations and structure which uphold My Covenant. (20:6)
You should not continue to deceive, nor should you tolerate or support delusions, you should not habitually deploy or advance clever tricks to enrich oneself by indebting others, and should avoid actually beguiling people so that they forget by consistently lifting up, promoting, or forgiving that which causes them to miss the way associated with the name and reputation of Yahowah, your God, thereby advancing worthless and lifeless deceptions, deploying that which condones devastating dishonesty, nullifying one’s existence.
For, indeed, Yahowah will not forgive nor leave 47unpunished, He will not purify nor pardon, He will not acquit nor free from guilt, He will not exempt from judgment nor sentencing, nor will He consider an individual innocent nor release those who consistently deceive, who actually beguile and habitually delude, promoting or accepting trickery, using religious duplicity to continually mislead, lifting up or advancing a clever, albeit dishonest, ruse to forget in association with His name and proper designation to bring into effect accordingly, vain and ineffectual lies which lead to lifelessness, nullifying one’s existence.” (Shemowth 20:7)