Torah Portion VAYETZE – Beresheet (Genesis) 28:10-32:2
In Preparation for Hanukkah, The Feast of Dedication
Justice, justice you must pursue, so that you may live and possess the land that Adonai your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 16:20 TLV
Shabbat Shalom, dearly beloveds!
This is a continuation from Justice or Judgment #1 where I expounded about the injustice of IDOLATRY. Today we will continue the injustice of LYING WITNESSES.
What incurs the judgment of YHVH in both individuals and nations?
In one word it’s INJUSTICE.
INJUSTICE defined from the Merriam Webster Dictionary:
INJUSTICE, INJURY, WRONG, and GRIEVANCE mean “an act that inflicts undeserved hurt.”
- INJUSTICE applies to any act that involves unfairness to another or violation of one’s rights.
- The injustices suffered by the lower classes INJURY applies, in law, specifically to an injustice for which one may sue to obtain compensation.
- Libel constitutes a legal injury WRONG, and also applies in law to any act punishable according to the criminal code; it may apply more generally to any flagrant injustice.
- Determined to right society’s wrongs, GRIEVANCE applies to a circumstance or condition that constitutes an injustice to the sufferer and gives just ground for complaint.
We will review together in this series of Shabbat Letters the most grievous sins of injustice in the eyes of YHVH:
- VAIN HATRED
- SEXUAL IMMORALITY
- INNOCENT BLOOD
Six things Adonai hates, yes, seven are abominations to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run to evil, Proverbs 6:16-18 TLV
From the Proverbs above we can see that YHVH hates a lying tongue – but what is a lying tongue and what does it do? We will start with the Ten Commandments, which I term The Heavenly Constitution:
‘Do not murder.
‘Do not commit adultery.
‘Do not steal.
‘Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Deuteronomy 5:17 TLV
In Hebrew “false witness” is EDUT SHEKER which means “A Lying Testimony”. The context of this Scripture includes three more commandments such as: 1. Do not murder 2. Do not commit adultery 3. Do not steal and then 4. Do not bear false witness or a lying testimony about someone. In this context it is connected with a court of law where people go up on the bench to testify about someone’s crime. When two such witnesses agree in their testifying that someone is guilty, the supposedly guilty party that either committed murder, adultery or stole something will be condemned to indemnification, to make restitution and even to death (as in the case of murder and adultery). A lying witness could cause considerable damage to an innocent party, both in property damage and all the way up to death. Therefore, YHVH hates a lying tongue that gives a false testimony about someone, accuses someone falsely and slanders them. A lying witness is a very dangerous person, full of venom and hatred and can cause total misery to others that he/she lies about.
Whoever digs a pit will fall in it, and whoever rolls a stone—it will come back upon him. A lying tongue hates those crushed by it, and a flattering mouth causes ruin. Proverbs 26:27,28
In the Scripture above we can see that a lying tongue is a hateful tongue and it crushes people. As you can see this is connected with giving false testimony, lying about someone, slandering someone. But it also mentions a “flattering mouth that causes ruin”. This is also about lying – not about someone, but lying to someone by pretending to like them or love them through flattery (usually in order to manipulate them, extort them or trap them). Therefore, in verse 27 it says, “whoever digs a pit will fall into it”. Pits are dug by “flattering tongues” which is a lying tongue with wicked intentions. We can see that a lying and deceptive tongue is always connected to a wicked, manipulative and hateful heart. There is a direct connection between the heart motivation and the lying tongue.
You brood of vipers! How can you who are evil say anything good? For from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34 TLV
According to the definition of INJUSTICE, bearing a false witness, lying about someone and lying to someone in order to cause hurt, to commit extortion or to trap is an injustice in the eyes of The Creator and in the eyes of any decent court of law.
INJUSTICE, INJURY, WRONG, GRIEVANCE mean an act that inflicts undeserved hurt. INJUSTICE applies to any act that involves unfairness to another or violation of one’s rights. (Merriam Webster’s Dictionary)
Lies that are not lies
This is one of the most important and controversial subjects. Is it possible to speak something that is untrue and yet it is not an injustice and certainly not a crime in the eyes of Yah? First of all, let me mention something that any policeman will tell someone that is arrested: “You have the right to remain silent”. To remain silent when questioned is a human right that even Yeshua used when questioned by the religious authorities.
Now the ruling kohanim and all the Sanhedrin kept trying to get false testimony against Yeshua so they could put Him to death. But they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I’m able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days!’” The kohen gadol (high priest) stood up and said to Yeshua, “Have You no answer? What’s this they’re testifying against You?” But Yeshua kept silent. Matthew 26:59-63 TLV
Granting the Wicked Information? NO!
Another right that we have is of not being truthful with wicked people that are intent on harming someone, raping or killing someone or violating our human rights. For example, during the Nazi Shoa, some Catholic nuns hid Jews and especially children in their convents. The Nazi murderers who were in authority would come to their convents and ask, “Have you any Jews here?” The nuns would lie to them and say, “NO, NONE!” Thus a few Jews were rescued from extermination because of those courageous nuns.
This reminds me of the story of the Hebrew midwives in Egypt.
Moreover the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, and said, “When you help the Hebrew women during childbirth, look at the sex. If it’s a son, then kill him, but if it’s a daughter, she may live.” Exodus 1:15-16 TLV
They lied to Pharaoh and because of that Moses and other Hebrew boys were rescued from extermination. Pharaoh had decreed that all baby boys should be killed upon birth by the midwives – because they feared Elohim more than man, they disobeyed the wicked authorities and even lied to them in order to protect the babies from this mass murder.
Yet the midwives feared God, so they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the boys live. So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this—let the boys live?” The midwives told Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women. They are like animals, and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” Exodus 1:17-19 TLV
Had it not been for them Moses would have been killed upon birth and Israel would have not been delivered. YHVH rewarded the Yah (God) fearing midwives amply!
So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, growing very numerous. Because the midwives feared God, He gave them families of their own. Exodus 1:20-21 TLV
Notice that rescuing the Hebrew baby boys, by lying to the wicked, murderous authorities (that were putting themselves above The God of the Universe, YHVH Tsevaot), did not make these brave, wise midwives “liars” but rather HEROINES!
Satan and those who do his bidding do not deserve our cooperation and that is why Yeshua said the following,
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16 TLV
We have to be very careful in these End Times of global population control through the medical system, plagues and vaccines, chip implants and of the rising of the Anti-Messiah regime. We need to obey these instructions of Yeshua and exercise wisdom in whom and how we grant information to be as “sheep among wolves”. Being religious about “not lying” will get many in trouble, as they do not understand the commandments.
Lying is an injustice when it is about “bearing false testimony”, falsely accusing someone, slandering someone and speaking false, deceptive and even flattering words in order to trap, crush and ruin someone. Lying and deceptive tongues come from wicked hearts; being wise as serpents and harmless as a dove comes from a pure heart, connected to the wisdom from Above.
Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct let him show his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie against the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in shalom by those who make shalom. Yaakov 3:13-18 TLV
Be wise, do not be religious! Be truthful but not naïve!
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