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Rabbi Tovia Singer and his denial of the Divorce of the Northern Kingdom

In Blog, John's Blog | on June, 17, 2015 | by

The Divorce of the Northern Kingdom

And analysis of Rabbi Singer’s Denial

Rabbi Tovia Singer has a blog where people can pose Biblical questions. In the link below, we find Rabbi Singer saying the divorce spoken of in Jeremiah 3 really didn’t happen. In the enclosed document and response, you can see his logic and its problems. Before going into the topic, it seems logical to ask the question, “Why does it matter?” In 2Ti_2:15, Paul admonishes us, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. “

Recently, a friend called to say he was contemplating converting to Judaism. When discussing his decision, he indicated he had been visiting “Anti-Missionary” websites to learn the things our Jewish brethren are saying about the Christian message they hear. He was finding much in the Christian logic which the Anti-Missionaries said went against scripture. When questioned about the divorce mentioned by Jeremiah, he said it never happened…and Rabbi Singer had written a very convincing blog about this scripture. It is interesting to study the basis of RS’s logic.

Although the piece on the divorce has erroneous conclusions, it becomes clear that one who has not studied the scriptures might not recognize the errors. Clearly, we, as believers, need to be students, not just readers of the scriptures. We need to be as the Bereans testing every wind of doctrine against the scriptures. To reiterate this point: we should be, not just reading or parroting doctrinal or scriptural statements, but studying to understand the Father and the Son and how they operate. They do not operate in a vacuum. They have given us the ground rules for living a righteous life and defined the entire thing in His instruction book, The Bible! 

Many are content to continue with a mantra learned at their initial salvation experience without ever knowing the deeper meanings. This amounts to being satisfied with the milk and not the meat as both Paul and the author of Hebrews refer to it. 1Co_3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. Heb_5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

With that pointed out again, why should we be concerned with this whole topic of the divorce? Simply put, the divorce is the whole reason Yeshua/Jesus went to the cross. It is the “meat” behind the whole gospel message. If we cannot understand this, we cannot use Torah to convince our Jewish brethren of the Yeshua’s messiahship. It also makes us vulnerable to the flawed logic of those such as Tovia Singer.

As Rabbi Sha’ul says in Eph_4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” He wants you and I to stop being children, leave the milk and move on to the meat.

Understanding the Importance of the Divorce

When understanding any scriptural passage, we need to do the newspaper thing and look for the “W’s”…who, what, when, where, why, and how. Jeremiah’s 3rd chapter tells us the divorce was given to the Northern Kingdom (House of Israel), but not to the Southern Kingdom (House of Judah). This is the who. The when is, in this passage, past tense. Looking at history, we find the final removal of the Northern Kingdom by the Assyrians happening in 722 BC. Now we have the when. Leaving the rest of the “W’s” to the student, we need to move into the importance of the divorce.

First, we need to understand the Messiah’s jobs when He comes (or returns as believers know it). He will come to judge the world and usher in the Millennium where the everlasting peace covenant will be instituted. 

In addition to this, He will reunite Jacob (the 12 tribes or, in other words, the two houses). The apostles understood the latter and asked him, after his resurrection, if the “restoration of the kingdom” was coming at that time. (Acts 1:6)

Here we have, in this author’s opinion, the identification of “the mystery of the gospel”. How could the Messiah, our bridegroom, take back the divorced wife…the House of Israel? Believers should know this was (and is) one of Yeshua’s jobs, but it is forbidden in Torah. Torah, Deuteronomy 24 specifically, says the divorced woman cannot come back…the husband may not take her back. It is an abomination to bring her back to the land. Rabbi Sha’ul, in Romans 7, addresses the legal aspect of this very thing. Notice he begins with the statement that only those who know Torah (Law in KJV) would be able to understand it. He points out this particular law ends with the death of the husband (Yeshua) and enables the divorced wife to re-enter the marriage covenant with the (risen) bridegroom-Yeshua.

To reiterate, the divorce necessitates the death of either the Northern Kingdom in total, or the death of the bridegroom. Without one of these two deaths, there cannot be a new (marriage) covenant since the covenant is to last for the lifetime of either party before ending. Remember, “Til death do us part?” That’s what it is all about. The Messiah is supposed to reunite both kingdoms (House of Israel and House of Judah) in the overall marriage covenant.

Here lies the dilemma, to be the Messiah, He must reunite all the tribes of Jacob when He comes to rule and reign. His position will be as the bridegroom and they (the two houses) will be the bride. However, if one is divorced, He would be breaking Torah to He bring the divorced bride back into the land…His home. Therefore, in order to comply with Torah, there must be a new marriage covenant. Thus, Yeshua’s death was necessary to end the old covenant. But this is true only if Yeshua was and is the Messiah since the Messiah is the covenant partner. Because the Messiahship, His (marriage) covenant, and His death ending the first covenant are all intertwined with the divorce, if the divorce really did happen, there is another aspect of the mix concerning His identity.

And this presents a major dilemma to those who deny His Messiahship. Denying His identity as being one of the two partners in the Covenant, eliminates the possibility of the return of the Northern Kingdom (House of Israel). Without the ending of the first covenant, the divorce makes their return illegal by Torah law. The intertwining of these aspects makes denial of the divorce primary to the argument against Yeshua being our Messiah.

By clicking on the link below, you will see the article written by Rabbi Singer, who by his own admission, denies the Messiahship of Yeshua. The reader will find this author’s response in red. Notice also, how the House of Israel is treated as both collectively as “the Jews” as well as the lost northern kingdom which will come back some time in the future. In effect, he creates two different identities for the House of Israel. And finally, notice the portions highlighted in yellow. In one place, The Bible becomes the “Jewish” sacred texts and the “Jewish” scriptures. Isn’t the Father’s word there for the entire world? Notice too that the 12 tribes (Jacob in scripture) become “Jews”. Specifics don’t seem to matter, or is it arrogance?


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