Who are the Yahudiym (Jews) and is Torah just for them?
One of the first things we have to realize when it comes to the Torah, is who was it given to and who was it for?
Ask most people and they will tell you that the Law or Torah was given to the Yahudiym (Jewish) people. Keeping the Sabbath, observing the seven Feast of YAHUAH, eating only those animals that were declared good for food, and keeping any of the Torah, is only for the Yahudiy (Jews), most people will tell you.
Let’s take a look and see how the Scripture defines Yahudiym (Jews) and see exactly who the Torah was given to.
First we have to take a step back and define Hebrew. Hebrew means to transverse or crossover. Who was the first Hebrew or person to cross over?
“One who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew” Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 14:13.
The first person mentioned in the Scriptures as a “Hebrew” is Abram, who was renamed Abraham. This makes sense considering that Abraham “crossed over” and left the comfort of his country, his home, and his family to follow YAHUAH into the wilderness.
“Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 12: 1-3.
Abraham was Hebrew and most likely he was the first Hebrew.
This would make all the descendants of Abraham Hebrews as well. Isaac, Jacob, King David, and even YAHUSHA would have been Hebrew’s because they were all descendants of Abraham.
Now we need to define Yashar’el (Israel) Scripturally.
Today, Israel is a country in the Middle East, with physical borders and a group of people that live inside of those boarders who call themselves Yashar’e’liym (Israelites) and/or Yahudiym (Jews).
When we read about Yashar’el (Israel) in the Scriptures, is this the Yashar’el (Israel) that is being referred to?
9 Then YAHUAH appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 YAHUAH said to him, “Your name is Jacob; you shall no longer be called Jacob, But Yashar’el (Israel) shall be your name.” Thus He called him Yashar’el (Israel). Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 35:9-10.
When we see Yashar’el (Israel) in the Scriptures, assuming it is referring to the country of Yashar’el (Israel) can cause some confusion.
When the Scriptures refers to “the sons of Yashar’el (Israel),” it is talking about Jacobs’s twelve sons and their descendants. Jacob or Yashar’el’s (Israel’s) twelve sons and their descendants were the first Yashar’e’liym (Israelites). Now we can safely say that all of Abraham’s descendants were Hebrew, and all of Jacob’s descendants were Yashar’e’liym (Israelites), but Abraham wasn’t an Yashar’e’liym (Israelite).
Now we can start to break down the 12 Tribes and see where each group originated. Jacob’s sons; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin made up the twelve tribes of Yashar’el (Israel) and each tribe would have been named according to the name of each son. So all the descendants of Yahudah (Judah) were known as Yahudiym (Jews), Dan’s descendants would have been called Danites, and descendants of Levi were known as Levites. With this understanding, it becomes clear that only 1/12 of Yashar’el (Israel) was Yahudiym (Jewish).
So far we know that Yahudiyms (Jews) are descendants of Yahudah (Judah), and all Yahudiym (Jews) are Yarshar’e’liym (Israelites) and Hebrew, but not all Yashar’e’liym (Israelites) are Yahudiym (Jews). All this can be very confusing, so let’s recap what we know so far.
Abraham was Hebrew, but not an Yashar’e’limy (Israelite) or a Yahudiy (Jew) because neither existed yet. Isaac, Abraham’s son, was Hebrew, but not an Yashar’e’liym (Israelite) or a Yahudiy (Jew) because neither existed yet.
Jacob, who YAHUAH renamed Yashar’el (Israel), was Isaac’s son. Jacob was Hebrew, but not a Yahudiy (Jew) because Yahudiyms (Jews) originated with his son Yahudah (Judah).
Yahudah (Judah), one of Jacob’s twelve sons was Hebrew and an Yashar’e’liym (Israelite), but before his children, there was no such thing as a Yahudiy (Jew). The descendants of the other eleven sons were not Yahudiym (Jews), but were named accordingly e.g. from Levi came the Levites, from Benjamin came the Benjamites and so on.
It’s critical to realize that while all Yahudiym (Jews) are Yashr’e’liym (Israelites), not all Yashar’e’iym (Israelites) are Yahudiym (Jews).
Only the descendants of Yahudah (Judah) are Yahudiym (Jews).
There is a deception at work that has a majority of people believing that most if not all of the Old Testament was written for the Yahudiym (Jews).
Most people believe that YAHUAH led the Yahudiym (Jews) out of Egypt, and while that is true, there is much more to the story. He also led the other eleven tribes out of Egypt as well as foreigners who chose to “crossover” and worship YAHUAH.
According to the Scripture, YAHUAH’s chosen people are the descendants of Yashr’el (Israel) who we now know are not just Yahudiym (Jews), but all of the twelve tribes.
“Hear, O Yashr’el (Israel)! YAHUAH is your ELOHIYM, YAHUAH is one! 5 You shall love YAHUAH your ELOHIYM with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5.
For you are a Set-Apart/Qodesh (holy) people to YAHUAH your ELOHIYM; YAHUAH your ELOHIYM has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6.
So who is this verse talking about as a “chosen people”? These verses tell us that Yashzr’el (Israel), as in all 12 tribes are YAHUAH’s chosen people.
Even if we are not natural born Yashar’e’liym (Israelites), we can still become one. According to the Scriptures anyone who chooses to believe in and follow the commands of YAHUAH can be “grafted in”. This has been happening since the Exodus when foreigners came out of Egypt along with Yashar’el (Israel).
There shall be one Torah (law) for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you. Shemoth (Exodus) 12:49
The natives would have been descendants of Jacob’s twelve sons, and the strangers would have been everyone who wasn’t one of Jacob’s twelve sons, but they were ALL a part of Yashar’el (Israel).
Even though they were not born Yashar’e’liym (Israelites) they were grafted in and therefore under the same law.
Romaiym (Romans) 11 talks in depth about being grafted in, but to sum it up we could say that if you believe in YAHUSHA and follow the commands of YAHUAH, you are Grafted In and have become a part of His “chosen people.”
We hope this study has cleared up some common misconceptions. The Yahudiym (Jews) alone are not YAHUAH’s chosen people and it was not only the Yahudiym (Jews) who were brought out of Egypt.
Also, the thought that the Torah was given ONLY to the Yahudiym (Jews) is not accurate. Yahshar’el (Israel) (not the country) is YAHUAH’s chosen people; Yashar’el (Israel) (both natural born and Gentiles who were “grafted in”) were lead out of Egypt; and YAHUAH’s commandments, statutes and judgments were given to all of Yashar’el (Israel).
“Now, O Yashar’el (Israel), listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which YAHUAH, the ELOHIYM of your fathers, is giving you. 2 You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor takeaway from it that you may keep the commandments of YAHUAH your ELOHIYM which I command you. Devariym (Deuteronomy) 4: 1-2
At the end of King Solomon’s reign, 10 of the 12 tribes split off and became the Northern Kingdom of Yashar’el (Israel). The tribes of Yahudah (Judah) and Benjamin made up the Southern Kingdom.
YAHUAH divorced the ten northern tribes for not following the Torah and whoring after other gods. They were scattered among the nations. Because the tribe of Yahudah (Judah) was the dominant tribe they all became known as Yahudiym (Jews).
Today, because of bad translations of the Scriptures and the lack of or desire to study the word and test everything, most people falsely assume that the Torah does not apply to them, because it was ONLY for the Yahudiym (Jews)!
As we have hopefully shown, this is a grievous error and the Torah, Feast Days, and Sabbath are not just for the Yahudiym (Jews), but for anyone who wishes to be in covenant with YAHUAH.
Edited by GWT