Repent and Be Baptized, The Original Hebrew Meaning.

Turn and Be Immersed

As non-Jewish, or gentile, I rarely saw the connections between my English New Testament translations and the original Hebrew of the Torah and Prophets.

It wasn’t until I began to study the Hebrew word meanings that I began recognizing phrases like, “Repent and be Baptized,” were Hebrew concepts.

For well over 3,500 years, Torah observant Israelite’s have practiced immersion.  According to Torah, this ritual immersion is required when something or someone transitioning from a state of impurity to purity:  Leviticus 14:8, Leviticus 14:9; Leviticus 15:5; Leviticus 16:26Numbers 31:23; Deuteronomy 23:111 Samuel 20:26…

After reading the link below I also learned converts to Judaism are required to immerse in the Mikveh, displaying a spiritual change within the soul and symbolizing death and rebirth.

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/why-immerse-in-the-mikveh/

Sound familiar?  “having been buried with Him (Messiah) in baptism, (ritual immersion) you were raised with Him through your belief in the power of God Who raised Him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12 ESV

Archaeologists have discovered Mikva’ot (plural) dating back to the 2nd Temple period, near the Temple Mount and where ever there are Synagogues.

With this in mind, who was “John the Baptist” calling to repent in the wilderness of Judea but the Jewish people?

They knew The Torah and Prophets and they understood the Hebrew word, Shub #7725 meant to turn back to Torah.  They also would have been familiar with Immersion, Miqvah #4723 and the meanings of,  “wash their garments,” “the Gate,” and “the Tree of Life.”

Then YHVH said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their garments,” Exodus 19:10

“This is the gate of YHVH; the righteous shall enter through it.” Psalm 118:20

“Blessed are those who wash their garments, so they may have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and may enter the city by its gates.” Revelation 22:14 

John the Baptist was fulfilling prophecy by preparing the Way for the Jewish Messiah,  Matthew 3:1Mark 1:2,

“The voice of one calling, Prepare the Way of YHVH in the wilderness, make a straight course for our God in the desert.” Isaiah 40:3

*The promised Seed/Messiah was prophesied to come through the lineage of Judah, hence He was Jewish:  Micah 5:2Matthew 2:6; Hebrews 7:14; Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:20.

Most Jewish people had the Torah memorized but they all would have heard the Torah and Prophets read aloud in the Synagogues every Sabbath.

“for Moses has been proclaimed in every city from ancient times and is read in the synagogues every Sabbath,” Acts 15:21

This is the reason the Good News, the power of God that brings Salvation to All who believe, was given First to the Jew and then to the non-Jewish/gentile, Romans 1:16.

“Come Follow Me” Means Return to Torah

Even gentiles can connect the figurative language used by Messiah to the Torah and Prophets.

When Messiah said, “come follow Me,” He was saying, return to Me, the Torah, the Gate of Righteousness, which Is, Was and Will Be The Way of Truth and Life.

He referred to Himself as the The Living Water, the same Living Water, Mayam Chayim, of Torah.  The ritual immersion of purification, but from the inner fountain springs Eternal Life!: Matthew 4:19Matthew 19:21; 1 John 1:1; Proverbs 12:28; John 4:10-14; Isaiah 55:1.

Returning to Torah Means Turning From Man-made Legalism

“You must not add to or subtract from what I command you, so that you may keep the commandments of YHVH your God that I am giving you,” Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32;Proverbs 30:6

The Jewish religious leaders had done just that, adding their own heavy burdens and taking away the Justice, Mercy and Faithfulness of Torah.

Take a minute to read Jesus’ words to them: https://biblehub.com/niv/matthew/23.htm.

Torah Shines Like a Light on the Lies of Man

By Torah’s standard a false prophet could easily be detected, simply by his words.  If anyone added to, or took away from Torah, if they spoke even one lie they failed the test of a true prophet.

Did Jesus/Yeshua add or take away from Torah?

“Do not think that I came to abolish Torah or the Prophets…”  “these are the Words that testify about Me…”  “He explained to them all that was written in Scripture about Himself,” Matthew 5:17; John 5:39; Luke 24:27

Would the Hebrew Messiah call the Jewish people to turn from the additions and subtractions of their Jewish religious teachers and “Come Follow Him” to found a new religion that would completely throw out the Torah?

The Catholic Church believes Jesus gave them the authority to do just that, based on this verse, Matthew 16:18.  So they added their own holidays and took away God’s.  The 7th day Sabbath was replaced by the 1st day, Sunday.  Sukkot became Christmas.  The Sacred Spring Festivals of Passover, Unleavened Bread and First-fruits became Communion and Easter…

In the 7th Century A.D. another new religion was founded when Muhammad claimed to receive the true and final revelation from the angel Gabriel.  Like the Catholics, millions of people believe a man with no witness, because they don’t know Torah.

In 1517 The Protestant movement began protesting the obviously wrong teachings of the Catholic church.  Martin Luther wrote 97 Theses, beginning the countless divisions of today’s, still Lawless/Torahless Christianity, 1 John 3:4Matthew 5:192 Thessalonians 2:8.

In 1830, Joseph Smith founded Mormonism, The church of Jesus Christ, of latter day saints, (LDS).  Like Mohammad he alone was given the true and final revelation from the angel Gabriel.  Both accuse God’s Torah of being corrupt and their words to be truth.

All these religions claim to revere Jesus Christ, yet He called people to return to Him, The Righteousness of Torah, which Is The Way, Truth and Life, Psalm 119:1;Psalm 119:142Proverbs 13:14.

First Century Christians followers of Yeshua, including gentile converts, would have known the Torah, Prophets and the Writings that matched up, (including any 1st Century New Testament letters they had).

They would have turned back to Torah and Immersed in living water.  They would have known God’s commandments and kept them, John 14:15; 1 John 2:3

“Even if an angel from heaven should preach (good) news contrary to the one we preached, (matching Torah) to you, let him be under a divine curse.” Galatians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 11:14

 

 

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