Has Israel Repented?

TorahScrollIn my previous post, I ignored the most obvious objection to the idea that the time of Israel’s punishment, known as the Curse of the Law, is coming or has come to an end:

“But that can’t be! The Jews still haven’t accepted Jesus as their Messiah and Savior!”

Okay, let’s deal with that.

As I noted back in The Curse of the Law: Part 2 – Why Yeshua Was Rejected, the theology that says that the Jews were cursed for killing Jesus is fundamentally flawed. The Curse went into effect before the Babylonian captivity, having predicted two distinct exiles for Israel. According to 2 Kings 21:10-16, Hashem specifically declared the covenant to be broken and the Curse to have started in the days of King Manasseh, some seven hundred years before Yeshua’s ministry.

So the cause of the Curse has nothing to do with rejecting the Messiah. What then of the end of the Curse?

Deuteronomy 27:16-26 lists the specific actions which would bring about the Curse of the Law:

“‘Cursed is the man who makes an engraved or molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ All the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who sets light by his father or his mother.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who removes his neighbor’s landmark.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who makes the blind to wander out of the way.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who the foreigner, fatherless, and widow of justice.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s skirt.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who lies with any kind of animal.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who strikes his neighbor in secret.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who takes a bribe to kill an innocent person.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
‘Cursed is he who doesn’t confirm the words of this law to do them.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen.’”

So to boil this down, the Curse over the nation would go into effect when the nation as a whole violated the covenant by:

  1. Worshiping idols (v. 15)
  2. Dishonoring their parents (v. 16)
  3. Committing robbery and injustice (vv. 17-19, 24-25)
  4. Committing sexual immorality (vv. 20-23)
  5. Ceasing to confirm all the words of the Torah by doing them (v. 26)

So have the Jewish people as a whole repented of these specific sins? Let’s take a look:

  1. Yes, definitely. In fact, the perception that belief in Yeshua is idolatry is the primary reason Jews have rejected him all these centuries.
  2. You have heard of a Jewish mother, right? Clearly, Jewish mothering (and fathering) could not exist if Jews did not honor their parents so highly.
  3. There’s a reason why Jews are the first to speak out against any social injustice, from slavery to the denial of civil rights to black Americans. This is also the reason why Israel doesn’t simply do what any other nation on the planet would do in its circumstances and simply expel the Palestinians. Israel does not want to rob anyone, even their enemies.
  4. While many secular Jews have embraced homosexual rights as an extension of #3 above, Jews and Judaism as a whole have carefully guarded the sanctity of sex and the marriage life, even to the point of putting up numerous fences (traditional laws) around avoiding becoming unclean during a woman’s period.
  5. The Jewish people as a whole have built their whole culture around keeping every “yod and tittle” of the Torah, to the point that Christians attack them as “legalistic” as a matter-of-course. Indeed, much like #1, repentance on this issue is a major reason why Jews have rejected the picture of Jesus they have been given by the Church, as I explain in The Accidental Blasphemy.

The end of the Curse specifies that the curse would end while Israel was still in exile, would “return to the LORD your God, and shall obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul” (Deu. 30:2). In other words, this return would have to be a multi-generational repentance, not a brief revival such as Israel saw under King Josiah. And that is exactly what we see in Israel’s history during the galut.

cropped-cropped-jerusalem-sunset.jpgDoes this mean that Israel doesn’t need Yeshua? Not at all. It simply means that the Curse, with it’s attendant blindness, had to run its course before Israel could be brought back into a covenant relationship with her King.

Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says the LORD.

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD; for they shall all know me, from their least to their greatest, says the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.

Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea, so that its waves roar; the LORD of Hosts is his name:  If these ordinances depart from before me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. (Jer. 31:31-36)

“In that he says, ‘A new [covenant],’ he has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and grows aged is near to vanishing away” (Heb. 8:13)–near to vanishing away, not that it vanished away at the coming of Yeshua.

While the Curse has remained in effect, Israel has remained in covenant with the Etenral One.

While the promised restoration and circumcision of all Israel’s hearts remains future, Israel remains in covenant with the Eternal One.

Until Jeremiah’s prophecy is fulfilled, and “the house of Israel” and “the house of Judah” both have the Torah “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh” (2Co. 3:3), and every living Jew walks in the New Covenant fellowship with their God, Israel remains in covenant with the Eternal One.

Milky WayAnd Israel will never cease to be a nation before the Eternal One until the very laws of nature are rescinded.


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