Parasha for this week:
Parashah: Lekh L’kha (Get yourself out)
B’resheet (Genesis) 12:1-17:27
Haftorah Lekh L’kha:
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 40:27-41:16
B’rit Hadashah Lekh L’kha:
Galatians 3:15–18; 5:1–6
Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:1–19; 11:8–12
This Week’s Torah Reading
Lekh L’kha (Get yourself out) B’resheit 12:1-17:27
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Now Adonai said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
4 So Avram went, as Adonai had said to him, and Lot went with him. Avram was 75 years old when he left Haran. 5 Avram took his wife Sarai, his brother’s son Lot, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, as well as the people they had acquired in Haran; then they set out for the land of Kena‘an and entered the land of Kena‘an.
6 Avram passed through the land to the place called Sh’khem, to the oak of Moreh. The Kena‘ani were then in the land. 7 Adonai appeared to Avram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to Adonai, who had appeared to him.
8 He left that place, went to the hill east of Beit-El and pitched his tent. With Beit-El to the west and ‘Ai to the east, he built an altar there and called on the name of Adonai. 9 Then Avram traveled on, continuing toward the Negev. 10 But there was a famine in the land, so Avram went down into Egypt to stay there, because the famine in the land was severe.
11 When he came close to Egypt and was about to enter, he said to Sarai his wife, “Here now, I know that you are a good-looking woman; 12 so that when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife,’ and kill me but keep you alive. 13 Please say that you are my sister, so that it will go well with me for your sake, and so that I will stay alive because of you.”
(ii) 14 When Avram entered Egypt, the Egyptians did notice that the woman was very beautiful. 15 Pharaoh’s princes saw her and commended her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 He treated Avram well for her sake, giving him sheep, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female slaves, and camels.
17 But Adonai inflicted great plagues on Pharaoh and his household because of Sarai Avram’s wife. 18 Pharaoh called Avram and said, “What is this that you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my own wife? Now therefore, here is your wife! Take her, and go away!” 20 So Pharaoh gave orders concerning him to his men, and they sent him on his way with his wife and everything he had.
Avram went up from Egypt — he, his wife and everything he had, and Lot with him — into the Negev. 2 Avram became wealthy, with much cattle, silver and gold. 3 As he went on his travels from the Negev, he came to Beit-El, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beit-El and ‘Ai, 4 where he had first built the altar; and there Avram called on the name of Adonai.
(iii) 5 Lot, who was traveling with Avram, also had flocks, herds and tents. 6 But the land could not support their living together, because their possessions were too great for them to remain together. 7 Moreover, quarreling arose between Avram’s and Lot’s herdsmen. The Kena‘ani and the P’rizi were then living in the land. 8 Avram said to Lot, “Please, let’s not have quarreling between me and you, or between my herdsmen and yours, since we’re kinsmen. 9 Isn’t the whole land there in front of you? Please separate yourself from me — if you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.” 10 Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Yarden was well watered everywhere, before Adonai destroyed S’dom and ‘Amora, like the garden of Adonai, like the land of Egypt in the direction of Tzo‘ar. 11 So Lot chose all the plain of the Yarden for himself, and Lot traveled eastward; thus they separated themselves from each other. 12 Avram lived in the land of Kena‘an; and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, setting up his tent near S’dom. 13 Now the men of S’dom were evil, committing great sins against Adonai.
14 Adonai said to Avram, after Lot had moved away from him, “Look all around you from where you are, to the north, the south, the east and the west. 15 All the land you see I will give to you and your descendants forever, 16 and I will make your descendants as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth — so that if a person can count the specks of dust on the earth, then your descendants can be counted. 17 Get up and walk through the length and breadth of the land, because I will give it to you.” 18 Avram moved his tent and came to live by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hevron. There he built an altar to Adonai.
(iv) When Amrafel was king of Shin‘ar, Aryokh king of Elasar, K’dorla‘omer king of ‘Elam and Tid‘al king of Goyim; 2 they made war together against Bera king of S’dom and against Birsha king of ‘Amora, Shin’av king of Admah, Shem’ever king of Tzvoyim, and the king of Bela (which is the same as Tzo‘ar). 3 All the latter kings joined forces in the Siddim Valley, where the Dead Sea is. 4 They had served K’dorla‘omer twelve years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5 In the fourteenth year K’dorla‘omer and the kings with him came and defeated the Refa’im in ‘Asht’rot-Karnayim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Eimim in Shaveh-Kiryatayim 6 and the Hori at Se‘ir, their mountain, all the way to Eil-Pa’ran by the desert. 7 Next they turned back, came to ‘Ein-Mishpat (which is the same as Kadesh), and defeated all the country of the ‘Amaleki, and also the Emori, who lived in Hatzatzon-Tamar. 8 Then the kings of S’dom, ‘Amora, Admah, Tzvoyim and Bela (that is, Tzo‘ar) came out and arrayed themselves for battle in the Siddim Valley 9 against K’dorla‘omer king of ‘Elam, Tid‘al king of Goyim, Amrafel king of Admah and Aryokh king of Elasar, four kings against the five.
10 Now the Siddim Valley was full of clay pits; and when the kings of S’dom and ‘Amora fled, some fell into them; while the rest fled to the hills. 11 The victors took all the possessions of S’dom and ‘Amora and all their food supply; then they left. 12 But as they left, they took Lot, Avram’s brother’s son, and his possessions; since he was living in S’dom. 13 Someone who had escaped came and told Avram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Emori, brother of Eshkol and brother of ‘Aner; all of them allies of Avram. 14 When Avram heard that his nephew had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, who had been born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night he and his servants divided his forces against them, then attacked and pursued them all the way to Hovah, north of Dammesek. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his nephew Lot with his goods, together with the women and the other people. 17 After his return from slaughtering K’dorla‘omer and the kings with him, the king of S’dom went out to meet him in the Shaveh Valley, also known as the King’s Valley.
18 Malki-Tzedek king of Shalem brought out bread and wine. He was cohen of El ‘Elyon [God Most High], 19 so he blessed him with these words:
“Blessed be Avram by El ‘Elyon,
maker of heaven of earth.
20 and blessed be El ‘Elyon,
who handed your enemies over to you.”
Avram gave him a tenth of everything.
(v) 21 The king of S’dom said to Avram, “Give me the people, and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Avram answered the king of S’dom, “I have raised my hand in an oath to Adonai, El ‘Elyon, maker of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a thread or a sandal thong of anything that is yours; so that you won’t be able to say, ‘I made Avram rich.’ 24 I will take only what my troops have eaten and the share of the spoil belonging to the men who came with me — ‘Aner, Eshkol and Mamre; let them have their share.”
Some time later the word of Adonai came to Avram in a vision: “Don’t be afraid, Avram. I am your protector; your reward will be very great.” 2 Avram replied, “Adonai, God, what good will your gifts be to me if I continue childless; and Eli‘ezer from Dammesek inherits my possessions? 3 You haven’t given me a child,” Avram continued, “so someone born in my house will be my heir.” 4 But the word of Adonai came to him: “This man will not be your heir. No, your heir will be a child from your own body.” 5 Then he brought him outside and said, “Look up at the sky, and count the stars — if you can count them! Your descendants will be that many!” 6 He believed in Adonai, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
(vi) 7 Then he said to him, “I am Adonai, who brought you out from Ur-Kasdim to give you this land as your possession.” 8 He replied, “Adonai, God, how am I to know that I will possess it?” 9 He answered him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove and a young pigeon.” 10 He brought him all these, cut the animals in two and placed the pieces opposite each other; but he didn’t cut the birds in half. 11 Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Avram drove them away.
12 As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell on Avram; horror and great darkness came over him. 13 Adonai said to Avram, “Know this for certain: your descendants will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs. They will be slaves and held in oppression there four hundred years. 14 But I will also judge that nation, the one that makes them slaves. Afterwards, they will leave with many possessions. 15 As for you, you will join your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 Only in the fourth generation will your descendants come back here, because only then will the Emori be ripe for punishment.”
17 After the sun had set and there was thick darkness, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch appeared, which passed between these animal parts. 18 That day Adonai made a covenant with Avram: “I have given this land to your descendants — from the Vadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River — 19 the territory of the Keni, the K’nizi, the Kadmoni, 20 the Hitti, the P’rizi, the Refa’im, 21 the Emori, the Kena‘ani, the Girgashi and the Y’vusi.”
Now Sarai Avram’s wife had not borne him a child. But she had an Egyptian slave-girl named Hagar; 2 so Sarai said to Avram, “Here now, Adonai has kept me from having children; so go in and sleep with my slave-girl. Maybe I’ll be able to have children through her.” Avram listened to what Sarai said.
3 It was after Avram had lived ten years in the land of Kena‘an that Sarai Avram’s wife took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to Avram her husband to be his wife. 4 Avram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she conceived. But when she became aware that she was pregnant, she looked on her mistress with contempt. 5 Sarai said to Avram, “This outrage being done to me is your fault! True, I gave my slave-girl to you to sleep with; but when she saw that she was pregnant, she began holding me in contempt. May Adonai decide who is right — I or you!” 6 However, Avram answered Sarai, “Look, she’s your slave-girl. Deal with her as you think fit.” Then Sarai treated her so harshly that she ran away from her.
7 The angel of Adonai found her by a spring in the desert, the spring on the road to Shur, 8 and said, “Hagar! Sarai’s slave-girl! Where have you come from, and where are you going?” She answered, “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai.” 9 The angel of Adonai said to her, “Go back to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 The angel of Adonai said to her, “I will greatly increase your descendants; there will be so many that it will be impossible to count them.” 11 The angel of Adonai said to her, “Look, you are pregnant, and you will give birth to a son. You are to call him Yishma‘el [God pays attention] because Adonai has paid attention to your misery. 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man, with his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, living his life at odds with all his kinsmen.”
13 So she named Adonai who had spoken with her El Ro’i [God of seeing], because she said, “Have I really seen the One who sees me [and stayed alive]?” 14 This is why the well has been called Be’er-Lachai-Ro’i [well of the one who lives and sees]; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
15 Hagar bore Avram a son, and Avram called the son whom Hagar had borne Yishma‘el. 16 Avram was 86 years old when Hagar bore Yishma‘el to Avram.
When Avram was 99 years old Adonai appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. 2 I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly.” 3 Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him: 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6 I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.
(vii) 7 “I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena‘an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.”
9 God said to Avraham, “As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. 10 Here is my covenant, which you are to keep, between me and you, along with your descendants after you: every male among you is to be circumcised. 11 You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 Generation after generation, every male among you who is eight days old is to be circumcised, including slaves born within your household and those bought from a foreigner not descended from you. 13 The slave born in your house and the person bought with your money must be circumcised; thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who will not let himself be circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin — that person will be cut off from his people, because he has broken my covenant.”
15 God said to Avraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are not to call her Sarai [mockery]; her name is to be Sarah [princess]. 16 I will bless her; moreover, I will give you a son by her. Truly I will bless her: she will be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17 At this Avraham fell on his face and laughed — he thought to himself, “Will a child be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah give birth at ninety?” 18 Avraham said to God, “If only Yishma‘el could live in your presence!” 19 God answered, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you are to call him Yitz’chak [laughter]. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 But as for Yishma‘el, I have heard you. I have blessed him. I will make him fruitful and give him many descendants. He will father twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Yitz’chak, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.” 22 With that, God finished speaking with Avraham and went up from him.
23 Avraham took Yishma‘el his son, all the slaves born in his house and all who had been bought with his money, every male among the people in Avraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin that very day, just as God had said to him.
(Maftir) 24 Avraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, 25 and Yishma‘el his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 Avraham and Yishma‘el his son were circumcised on the same day; 27 and all the men in his household, both slaves born in his house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
This Week’s Haftorah Reading
27 Why do you complain, Ya‘akov;
why do you say, Isra’el,
“My way is hidden from Adonai,
my rights are ignored by my God”?
28 Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard
that the everlasting God, Adonai,
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
does not grow tired or weary?
His understanding cannot be fathomed.
29 He invigorates the exhausted,
he gives strength to the powerless.
30 Young men may grow tired and weary,
even the fittest may stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength,
they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings;
when they are running they won’t grow weary,
when they are walking they won’t get tired.
“Keep silence before me, coastlands!
Let the peoples replenish their strength!
Let them approach; then let them speak.
Let us assemble for judgment.”
2 Who has raised from the east one who is just
and called him to be in his service?
He hands nations over to him
and subjects kings to him;
his sword reduces them to dust,
his bow to driven straw.
3 He pursues them, passing on unscathed,
hardly touching the path with his feet.
4 Whose work is this? Who has brought it about?
He who called the generations from the beginning,
“I, Adonai, am the first;
and I am the same with those who are last.”
5 The coastlands have seen and became afraid.
The ends of the earth have trembled.
They have approached, and now they have come.
6 Every one helps his fellow workman,
everyone says to his brother, “Be strong!”
7 The woodworker encourages the goldsmith,
the polisher encourages the hammerer;
he says of the soldering, “Yes, that’s good,”
then puts nails in [the idol] to keep it from moving.
8 “But you, Isra’el, my servant;
Ya‘akov, whom I have chosen,
descendants of Avraham my friend,
9 I have taken you from the ends of the earth,
summoned you from its most distant parts
and said to you, ‘You are my servant’ —
I have chosen you, not rejected you.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you;
don’t be distressed, for I am your God.
I give you strength, I give you help,
I support you with my victorious right hand.
11 All those who were angry with you
will be disgraced, put to shame;
those who fought against you
will be destroyed, brought to nothing.
12 You will seek them but not find them,
those who contended with you;
yes, those who made war with you
will be brought to nothing, nothing at all.
13 For I, Adonai, your God,
say to you, as I hold your right hand,
‘Have no fear; I will help you.
14 Have no fear, Ya‘akov, you worm,
you men of Isra’el!’
I will help you,” says Adonai;
“Your redeemer is the Holy One of Isra’el.
15 “I will make you into a threshing-sledge,
new, with sharp, pointed teeth,
to thresh the mountains and crush them to dust,
to reduce the hills to chaff.
16 As you fan them, the wind will carry them off,
and the whirlwind will scatter them.
Then you will rejoice in Adonai,
you will glory in the Holy One of Isra’el.
This Week’s B’rit Hadashah Reading
The cohen hagadol asked, “Are these accusations true?” 2 and Stephen said:
“Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to Avraham avinu in Mesopotamia before he lived in Haran 3 and said to him, ‘Leave your land and your family, and go into the land that I will show you.’[Genesis 12:1] 4 So he left the land of the Kasdim and lived in Haran. After his father died, God made him move to this land where you are living now. 5 He gave him no inheritance in it, not even space for one foot;[Deuteronomy 2:5] yet he promised to give it to him as a possession and to his descendants after him,[Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:4, 7, 18–21; 17:8; 24:7; 48:4] even though at the time he was childless. 6 What God said to him was, ‘Your descendants will be aliens in a foreign land, where they will be in slavery and oppressed for four hundred years. 7 But I will judge the nation that enslaves them,’ God said, ‘and afterwards they will leave and worship me in this place.’[Genesis 15:13–14, 16] 8 And he gave him b’rit-milah. So he became the father of Yitz’chak and did his b’rit-milah on the eighth day, and Yitz’chak became the father of Ya‘akov, and Ya‘akov became the father of the Twelve Patriarchs.
19 Moreover, we know that whatever the Torah says, it says to those living within the framework of the Torah, in order that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world be shown to deserve God’s adverse judgment. 20 For in his sight no one alive will be considered righteous[Psalm 143:2] on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, because what Torah really does is show people how sinful they are.
21 But now, quite apart from Torah, God’s way of making people righteous in his sight has been made clear — although the Torah and the Prophets give their witness to it as well — 22 and it is a righteousness that comes from God, through the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah, to all who continue trusting. For it makes no difference whether one is a Jew or a Gentile, 23 since all have sinned and come short of earning God’s praise. 24 By God’s grace, without earning it, all are granted the status of being considered righteous before him, through the act redeeming us from our enslavement to sin that was accomplished by the Messiah Yeshua. 25 God put Yeshua forward as the kapparah for sin through his faithfulness in respect to his bloody sacrificial death. This vindicated God’s righteousness; because, in his forbearance, he had passed over [with neither punishment nor remission] the sins people had committed in the past; 26 and it vindicates his righteousness in the present age by showing that he is righteous himself and is also the one who makes people righteous on the ground of Yeshua’s faithfulness.
27 So what room is left for boasting? None at all! What kind of Torah excludes it? One that has to do with legalistic observance of rules? No, rather, a Torah that has to do with trusting. 28 Therefore, we hold the view that a person comes to be considered righteous by God on the ground of trusting, which has nothing to do with legalistic observance of Torah commands.
29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is indeed the God of the Gentiles; 30 because, as you will admit, God is one.[Deuteronomy 6:4] Therefore, he will consider righteous the circumcised on the ground of trusting and the uncircumcised through that same trusting. 31 Does it follow that we abolish Torah by this trusting? Heaven forbid! On the contrary, we confirm Torah.
Then what should we say Avraham, our forefather, obtained by his own efforts? 2 For if Avraham came to be considered righteous by God because of legalistic observances, then he has something to boast about. But this is not how it is before God! 3 For what does the Tanakh say? “Avraham put his trust in God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness.”[Genesis 15:6] 4 Now the account of someone who is working is credited not on the ground of grace but on the ground of what is owed him. 5 However, in the case of one who is not working but rather is trusting in him who makes ungodly people righteous, his trust is credited to him as righteousness.
6 In the same way, the blessing which David pronounces is on those whom God credits with righteousness apart from legalistic observances:
7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered over;
8 Blessed is the man whose sin Adonai
will not reckon against his account.”[Psalm 32:1–2]
9 Now is this blessing for the circumcised only? Or is it also for the uncircumcised? For we say that Avraham’s trust was credited to his account as righteousness; 10 but what state was he in when it was so credited — circumcision or uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision! 11 In fact, he received circumcision as a sign, as a seal of the righteousness he had been credited with on the ground of the trust he had while he was still uncircumcised. This happened so that he could be the father of every uncircumcised person who trusts and thus has righteousness credited to him, 12 and at the same time be the father of every circumcised person who not only has had a b’rit-milah, but also follows in the footsteps of the trust which Avraham avinu had when he was still uncircumcised.
13 For the promise to Avraham and his seed[Genesis 15:3, 5] that he would inherit the world did not come through legalism but through the righteousness that trust produces. 14 For if the heirs are produced by legalism, then trust is pointless and the promise worthless. 15 For what law brings is punishment. But where there is no law, there is also no violation.
16 The reason the promise is based on trusting is so that it may come as God’s free gift, a promise that can be relied on by all the seed, not only those who live within the framework of the Torah, but also those with the kind of trust Avraham had — Avraham avinu for all of us. 17 This accords with the Tanakh, where it says, “I have appointed you to be a father to many nations.”[Genesis 17:5] Avraham is our father in God’s sight because he trusted God as the one who gives life to the dead and calls nonexistent things into existence. 18 For he was past hope, yet in hope he trusted that he would indeed become a father to many nations, in keeping with what he had been told, “So many will your seed be.”[Genesis 15:5] 19 His trust did not waver when he considered his own body — which was as good as dead, since he was about a hundred years old — or when he considered that Sarah’s womb was dead too. 20 He did not by lack of trust decide against God’s promises. On the contrary, by trust he was given power as he gave glory to God, 21 for he was fully convinced that what God had promised he could also accomplish. 22 This is why it was credited to his account as righteousness.[Genesis 15:6]
23 But the words, “it was credited to his account . . . ,” were not written for him only. 24 They were written also for us, who will certainly have our account credited too, because we have trusted in him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead — 25 Yeshua, who was delivered over to death because of our offences and raised to life in order to make us righteous.
So, since we have come to be considered righteous by God because of our trust, let us continue to have shalom with God through our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah. 2 Also through him and on the ground of our trust, we have gained access to this grace in which we stand; so let us boast about the hope of experiencing God’s glory. 3 But not only that, let us also boast in our troubles; because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance produces character, and character produces hope; 5 and this hope does not let us down, because God’s love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Ruach HaKodesh who has been given to us.
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people.
Galatians 3:15–18; 5:1–6
15 Brothers, let me make an analogy from everyday life: when someone swears an oath, no one else can set it aside or add to it. 16 Now the promises were made to Avraham and to his seed. It doesn’t say, “and to seeds,” as if to many; on the contrary, it speaks of one — “and to your seed”[Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 17:7; 24:7] — and this “one” is the Messiah. 17 Here is what I am saying: the legal part of the Torah, which came into being 430 years later, does not nullify an oath sworn by God, so as to abolish the promise. 18 For if the inheritance comes from the legal part of the Torah, it no longer comes from a promise. But God gave it to Avraham through a promise.
What the Messiah has freed us for is freedom! Therefore, stand firm, and don’t let yourselves be tied up again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Mark my words — I, Sha’ul, tell you that if you undergo b’rit-milah the Messiah will be of no advantage to you at all! 3 Again, I warn you: any man who undergoes b’rit-milah is obligated to observe the entire Torah! 4 You who are trying to be declared righteous by God through legalism have severed yourselves from the Messiah! You have fallen away from God’s grace! 5 For it is by the power of the Spirit, who works in us because we trust and are faithful, that we confidently expect our hope of attaining righteousness to be fulfilled. 6 When we are united with the Messiah Yeshua, neither being circumcised nor being uncircumcised matters; what matters is trusting faithfulness expressing itself through love.
11 Also it was in union with him that you were circumcised with a circumcision not done by human hands, but accomplished by stripping away the old nature’s control over the body. In this circumcision done by the Messiah, 12 you were buried along with him by being immersed; and in union with him, you were also raised up along with him by God’s faithfulness that worked when he raised Yeshua from the dead. 13 You were dead because of your sins, that is, because of your “foreskin,” your old nature. But God made you alive along with the Messiah by forgiving you all your sins. 14 He wiped away the bill of charges against us. Because of the regulations, it stood as a testimony against us; but he removed it by nailing it to the execution-stake. 15 Stripping the rulers and authorities of their power, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by means of the stake.
Ivrim 7:1–19; 11:8–12
This Malki-Tzedek, king of Shalem, a cohen of God Ha‘Elyon, met Avraham on his way back from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; 2 also Avraham gave him a tenth of everything.[Genesis 14:17–20]
Now first of all, by translation of his name, he is “king of righteousness”; and then he is also king of Shalem, which means “king of peace.”
3 There is no record of his father, mother, ancestry, birth or death; rather, like the Son of God, he continues as a cohen for all time.
4 Just think how great he was! Even the Patriarch Avraham gave him a tenth of the choicest spoils. 5 Now the descendants of Levi who became cohanim have a commandment in the Torah to take a tenth of the income of the people, that is, from their own brothers, despite the fact that they too are descended from Avraham. 6 But Malki-Tzedek, even though he was not descended from Levi, took a tenth from Avraham.
Also, he blessed Avraham, the man who received God’s promises; 7 and it is beyond all dispute that the one who blesses has higher status than the one who receives the blessing.
8 Moreover, in the case of the cohanim, the tenth is received by men who die; while in the case of Malki-Tzedek, it is received by someone who is testified to be still alive.
9 One might go even further and say that Levi, who himself receives tenths, paid a tenth through Avraham; 10 inasmuch as he was still in his ancestor Avraham’s body when Malki-Tzedek met him.
11 Therefore, if it had been possible to reach the goal through the system of cohanim derived from Levi (since in connection with it, the people were given the Torah), what need would there have been for another, different kind of cohen, the one spoken of as to be compared with Malki-Tzedek and not to be compared with Aharon? 12 For if the system of cohanim is transformed, there must of necessity occur a transformation of Torah. 13 The one about whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar; 14 for everyone knows that our Lord arose out of Y’hudah, and that Moshe said nothing about this tribe when he spoke about cohanim.
15 It becomes even clearer if a “different kind of cohen,” one like Malki-Tzedek, arises, 16 one who became a cohen not by virtue of a rule in the Torah concerning physical descent, but by virtue of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is stated,
“You are a cohen FOREVER,
to be compared with Malki-Tzedek.”[Psalm 110:4]
18 Thus, on the one hand, the earlier rule is set aside because of its weakness and inefficacy 19 (for the Torah did not bring anything to the goal); and, on the other hand, a hope of something better is introduced, through which we are drawing near to God.
8 By trusting, Avraham obeyed, after being called to go out[Genesis 12:1] to a place which God would give him as a possession; indeed, he went out without knowing where he was going. 9 By trusting, he lived as a temporary resident in the Land of the promise, as if it were not his, staying in tents with Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, who were to receive what was promised along with him. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is God.
11 By trusting, he received potency to father a child, even when he was past the age for it, as was Sarah herself; because he regarded the One who had made the promise as trustworthy. 12 Therefore this one man, who was virtually dead, fathered descendants
as numerous as the stars in the sky,
and as countless as the grains of the sand on the seashore.[Genesis 15:5–6; 22:17; 32:13(12); Exodus 32:13; Deuteronomy 1:10; 10:22]