Many times we are told the law, or instructions of the Father were just for Israel and not for us today. You will hear this from the Jewish as well as the Christian perspective. The Jewish thought is that someone who is not of Jewish decent should only obey the seven Noahide laws in found in Genesis while the Christian thought generally holds to the idea that obedience to the ten commandments is all that is required today. We agree that the law was given to the children of Israel at the base of Mt Sinai, but it was also given to a mixed multitude of people professing YHWH as their Elohim (God). I’m going to try to use as many scriptural references as I can to further explain the need for obedience to YHWH’s instructions for anyone who wants to be in covenant with YHWH.
Let’s start by looking at the word Ger. Many people may not be familiar with this term because it isn’t a word used in our English Bibles. A Ger often times is defined in English as a stranger, sojourner, alien, temporary resident, a newcomer, or foreigner in the community of the Israelites. This word is used a multitude of times throughout the scriptures so for the sake of time I am not going to list them all. I will try to stick to verses showing instructions about the Ger and keep them in a list format rather than quoting each verse.
Exodus 12:19 the Ger must keep the feast of unleavened bread
Exodus 12:48-49 and Numbers 9:14 to partake in Passover the Ger must be circumcised and then he becomes as a native born
Exodus 23:12 and Deuteronomy 5:14 the Sabbath is also for the Ger to not work and rest
Leviticus 16:29 the Ger is to keep Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)
Leviticus 17:8-9 and Numbers 15:14 the Ger can and must bring sacrifices
Leviticus 17:12-13 Ger must not consume the blood
Leviticus 18:26 Ger is to stay away from detestable acts and abominations listed throughout chapter 18
Leviticus 19:34 the Israelites were to love the Ger as themselves
Leviticus 22:18 Ger was not to sacrifice or offer to other Gods
Leviticus 24:16 no blaspheming aloud from the Ger just as it wasn’t allowed from the Israelites
Numbers 19:10 ordinances pertain to red heifer pertain to Ger and native-born
Numbers 35:15 instructions for the cities of refuge apply to the Ger also
Deuteronomy 14:21 and Leviticus 17:15 the Ger may be given meat that dies of itself but must go through the purifications of cleanness afterward just as a native-born
Deuteronomy 16:10-14 the Ger is to celebrate Shavuot and Sukkot
Deuteronomy 24:19-21 the remainder of the harvest is left for the Ger
Deuteronomy 27:19 justice is also given to the Ger and cursed is anyone who denies it from them, the fatherless child, or the widow
Deuteronomy 31:10-12 the Ger must hear and obey the Torah readings every seven years
Ezekiel 14:7-8 must not separate himself from YHWH or set up idol’s least he be cut off
Ezekiel 47:23 (future prophecy) Ger will be given land where he resides within the land of Israel
Looking at these scriptures, we find many things specifically addressed to the Ger that were also for Israel. Here are a few more that I saved for last because they are the ones I refer to most often.
Exodus 12:49 ISR98
“There is one Torah for the native-born and for the stranger(ger) who sojourns among you.”
Leviticus 24:22 ISR98
‘You are to have one right-ruling(law), for the stranger(ger) and for the native, for I am YHWH your Elohim.’
Numbers 15:15 ISR98
‘One law is for you of the assembly and for the stranger(ger) who sojourns with you – a law forever throughout your generations. As you are, so is the stranger(ger) before YHWH.’
Numbers 15:16 ISR98
‘One Torah and one right-ruling(law) is for you and for the stranger(ger) who sojourns with you.’
Numbers 15:29-31 ISR98
‘For him who does whatever by mistake there is one Torah, both for him who is native among the children of Yisra’ĕl and for the stranger(ger) who sojourns in their midst. ‘But the being who does whatever defiantly, whether he is native or a stranger, he reviles YHWH, and that being shall be cut off from among his people. ‘Because he has despised the word of YHWH, and has broken His command, that being shall certainly be cut off, his crookedness is upon him.’
No matter where we come from YHWH emphasizes one law or one Torah for all those serving Him. Although the Ger was pointed out numerous times, we see that they were no longer a Ger but became as a native-born when they took on the sign of the covenant and partook in the Passover of YHWH.
Paul also had something to say about the Ger or gentile coming into covenant with the Father.
Ephesians 2:11-22 ISR98 (Emphasis Mine)
Therefore remember that you, ONCE GENTILE in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, that at that time you were WITHOUT Messiah, EXCLUDED FROM THE CITIZENSHIP of Yisra’ĕl and STRANGERS from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. BUT NOW in Messiah Y’shua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He is our peace, who has made both one, and having broken down the partition of the barrier, having abolished in His flesh the enmity – the Torah of the commands in dogma – so as to create in Himself one renewed man from the two, thus making peace, and to completely restore to favour both of them unto Elohim in one body through the stake, having destroyed the enmity by it. And having come, He brought as Good News peace to you who were far off, and peace to those near. Because through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. So then you are NO LONGER STRANGERS AND FOREIGNERS, BUT FELLOW CITIZENS with the set-apart ones and MEMBERS of the household of Elohim, having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, Y’shua Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone, in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in YHWH, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of Elohim in the Spirit…
Here we see Paul clearly explaining that former Gentiles were not a part of the covenant but after being grafted in they become part of the House of Israel, becoming as a native born. This is exactly the same thing we saw in the verses from the Tanakh.
In closing, I would like to address something that really amazed me from the Jewish writings. In the Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 59a, we see that a gentile (often referred to as a heathen or one not of Israel’s bloodline) that studies Torah and makes it a way of life is held equivalent to the standards of a high priest. Not by birth but by choice to serve the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has a gentile by birth chosen to obey.
Hopefully, the scripture references that were used helped clarify that it isn’t solely a bloodline that is to obey the Father’s Instructions. Looking back there were many Egyptians who left Egypt and joined Israel; we have the story of Ruth being redeemed by Boaz, and in the book of Judges we are shown that entire tribes married Canaanites. It all comes down to this verse…
Ecclesiastes 12:13 ISR98
Let us hear the conclusion of the entire matter: Fear Elohim and guard His commands, for this applies to all mankind!
For a much more in-depth teaching we would really encourage looking into Ryan White’s seven-part series, ‘Citizens of the Kingdom’ found on His page, Rooted in Torah. The inspiration for looking into the Ger and how he fits into the kingdom came from this teaching. I pray it blesses you and brings a desire to dig deeper.
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