(Mat 19:1 NASB) And it came about that when Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee, and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan;
(Mat 19:2 NASB) and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.
(Mat 19:3 NASB) And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?”
Mat 19:3: Once again, the Pharisees were trying to put Yeshua on the spot publicly. The dilemma (at least the Pharisees perceived it as a dilemma) is that Elohim says He hates divorce (Mal. 2:14-16). But Torah allows for divorce in the case of indecency in the woman (and probably in the man also – remez) (Deut. 24:1-4).
The Pharisees thought they could publicly test Yeshua because there were two rabbinic schools of thought on divorce in those days. Some taught that it was allowed only in the case of some sexual indecency while others taught that it was allowed for trivial reasons. They probably brought this up in order to at least divide the crowd that was following Him.
(Mat 19:4 NASB) And He answered and said, “Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,
(Mat 19:5 NASB) and said, ‘FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?
Mat 19:5: Yeshua is quoting Torah once again (Gen. 2:21-25).
(Mat 19:6 NASB) “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
(Mat 19:7 NASB) They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?”
Torah allowed for divorce in the case of sexual indecency. Yeshua is going to explain the reason for allowing this.
(Mat 19:8 NASB) He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.
(Mat 19:9 NASB) “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Mat 19:9: Divorce is required for adultery. If a man commits adultery, he is to be put to death and the wife is free from him.
These laws on divorce and adultery are serious and should be taken literally now that we know the Truth. There are many among us who have been divorced or who have committed acts in the past that they regret. That is done and in the past. Now that we know His Will and His Torah, we must live by it. We must realize the penalties for adultery and divorce and act as if those acts are not permitted or, as in the case of adultery, worthy of death. The time to follow Torah is now and to look forward. The way to now be obedient is not to look at our past pig-eating, Sabbath-breaking Christian lives. Look positively forward in your obedient walk and not backward in grief and despair. Our ignorant past is not where we should dwell.
(Mat 19:10 NASB) The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.”
Mat 19:10: If a man divorces his wife for any other reason than adultery, he is better to not marry. When we marry, we need to realize that it is not a reversible decision. Divorce is not an option. If we divorce, we should not remarry.
(Mat 19:11 NASB) But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.
(Mat 19:12 NASB) “For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”
Mat 19:12: The term “eunuch” here does not necessarily mean one who is castrated, but that type of man is listed. He is also referring to those who divorce and do not remarry and those who choose to never marry because of some spiritual reasons.
(Mat 19:13 NASB) Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.
(Mat 19:14 NASB) But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Mat 19:14: Yeshua reminds His followers that they must trust and follow Yeshua with the humility of a little child in order to be a part of the inheritance of the kingdom. (Notice that it says the Kingdom “belongs” to such as these.)
(Mat 19:15 NASB) And after laying His hands on them, He departed from there.
(Mat 19:16 NASB) And behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?”
(Mat 19:17 NASB) And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Mat 19:17: This was a rich man who is asking this question. Yeshua reminds the man that only the Father (of whom Yeshua is a manifestation of) is good.
But the intriguing part of the answer is the fact that Yeshua said, “If you wish to enter into life, you must keep Torah.” Yeshua makes it clear in the next few verses that this refers to ALL of Torah. But the requirement of keeping Torah is a common theme in all of Scripture (Lev. 18:5, Ezek. 20:11-12, Luke 10:25-28, Rev. 22:14) Revelation 22:14 NASB & NKJV are translated differently, but mean the same thing. Refer to Rev. 19:7-8.
(Mat 19:18 NASB) He said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS;
(Mat 19:19 NASB) HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
Mat 19:19: Yeshua gives a sampling of the commandments which are to be followed. Yeshua is baiting this man.
(Mat 19:20 NASB) The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?”
(Mat 19:21 NASB) Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Mat 19:21: Yeshua was speaking to the multitudes and the children. Most of the multitudes were very poor. This rich man was given an opportunity to become a disciple of Yeshua. But in order to do that, he had to follow Torah which says we are to provide for our brothers who are in need (Deut. 15:1-11).
This begs the question, “If we are to provide for our brother in need, who is our brother?” This question was asked of Yeshua and He answered with the parable of the Good Samaritan. In that parable, we see that the one who followed Torah was truly the brother, or neighbor, of the men. Yeshua tells us that our brother is one who follows Torah in other instances also (Matt. 12:47-50, 7:20-23, Luke 8:21, 11:27-28).
Torah says we are to provide for our brothers and sisters in need. The poor multitudes were there in front of him and he has the chance to be obedient and help them. But he chooses otherwise.
(Mat 19:22 NASB) But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property.
Mat 19:22: This is truly a sad account. The young man chose his property over salvation. His heart was not on following Torah.
(Mat 19:23 NASB) And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Mat 19:24 NASB) “And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Mat 19:24: It is interesting that Yeshua told the man to obey Torah and follow Him and he would then enter the kingdom of heaven. That part of the answer is often forgotten in modern Christian interpretations.
This is a commonly quoted passage, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” The essence being that no prideful, rich man can enter the kingdom of heaven because a camel cannot pass through the eye of a needle. That is but one of the false assessments of this verse.
The first false interpretation of this verse is the one gate in Jerusalem was designed to keep camels out. That gate was very low and shaped in a way that a camel had to get down on his knees and enter it. That gate was called “The Eye of the Needle.” There was no such stupid gate with such a stupid name. That is more Christian myth made up and given to Christian audiences who thought it very clever. But there is absolutely no evidence to back it up.
This is strong evidence (among others) that proves that Matthew (at least) was originally written in Aramaic. The Aramaic word for “camel” is “gamla.” This is the same Aramaic word used for “thick rope.” The word has a double meaning. The “thick rope” spoken of by “gamla” was a sturdy rope made of camel hair. The rope was just referenced using the same term as “camel.”
Paul Younan states, “I’ve found a quote given by a 10th-century Aramaic lexicographer whose name was Bar-Bahlul. He produced an Aramaic dictionary and in it is the following comment for “Gamla”:
“Gamla is a thick rope which is used to bind ships”
Considering that Jesus was speaking to fishermen, this meaning of Gamla seems more appropriate, and I think is a fantastic proof that the Greek was translated from an Aramaic [original.]”
The ones who translated the Aramaic original manuscripts into Greek were not aware of this fact. There are other evidences that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic (a derivative of the Hebrew language).
This quote comes from the fourth century. “But these sectarians… did not call themselves Christians–but “Nazarenes,” … However they are simply complete Jews. They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do… They have no different ideas, but confess everything exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion– except for their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that G-d is one, and that his son is Y’shua the Messiah. They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew. For among them the entire Law, the Prophets, and the… Writings… are read in Hebrew, as they surely are by the Jews. They are different from the Jews, and different from Christians, only in the following. They disagree with Jews because they have come to faith in Messiah; but since they are still fettered by the Law–circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest– they are not in accord with Christians…. they are nothing but Jews…. They have the Good news according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew. For it is clear that they still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written”
(Epiphanius; Panarion 29) (written in the fourth century)
(Mat 19:25 NASB) And when the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?”
(Mat 19:26 NASB) And looking upon them Jesus said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Mat 19:26: Only Elohim can save us. Men are impotent to save themselves. If we are His, then He puts His Spirit within us we and gives us the desire to follow Yeshua and obey the will of our Father in heaven.
This disturbed the disciples and prompted them to ask the following question…
(Mat 19:27 NASB) Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?”
(Mat 19:28 NASB) And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Mat 19:28: Those disciples who follow Him will sit upon thrones in the regeneration (resurrection) and will judge Israel.
(Mat 19:29 NASB) “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life.
(Mat 19:30 NASB) “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.
Mat 19:30: Following Yeshua is not an easy path. When one follows in His steps, it involves family splits and loss of friends, relatives, and business. We are told to follow Torah just as He did by Yeshua, Paul, Peter, and John (1 John 2:6-7, 1 Cor. 11:1, 1 Peter 2:21-22).
“Many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first.” This is explained further in the next chapter.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas