Interpretation of the Holy Bible - St. Matthew : Chapter 5 - lesson 17
- Christ and the Law.
verse Matthew 5:17 : � Do not suppose that I have come to subvert the law
or the prophets: [I have come] not to subvert, but to complete�.
( Also Refer Psalms 40:18; )
(The correct usage is �to complete�. The Aramaic syriac word used is
�Dhe-male�. The usage fulfill, which is the common usage ( in most
translations ) also mean �to do�. The Jews crucified Him as if He violated
the Law. Many times they criticized him as not observing the Sabbath. In
this context how do we understand the Lord�s words? About the eternity of
Law is in verse 18. which is �For verily I say to you, that until heaven and
earth shall pass away, one iota or one letter shall not pass from the law,
until all shall be fulfilled� ( 5:18)
The Jews used the word � Law� in 4 ways . It meant for 1) 10 Commandments
2) First 5 books of the Bible � (Pentateuch) 3) �The Laws and Prophets�
meant the Old Testament books that we use now. 4) The traditions � which
are laws made by scribes. Of all these, the Jews were ruled by the 4th one
during our Lord�s time.
What are these laws made by the Scribes?
They interpreted some general commandments of the God ( given to Moses ) and
made hundreds of laws. Our Lord described them as �heavy burdens�.
(Matthew 23:4). As example, the God commanded to �Not to do any work on
Sabbath�. But Scribes interpreted �work� as even lifting a small load.
Then the weight of load was defined as �food as much as a small fruit, one
mouthful of milk, or even the honey needed to apply on a wound etc. Even
lifting up ones own child was regarded as breaking the law. The law
prohibited treating on the Sabbath. If a person is about to die, some thing
had to be done to stop the death, but still treating the disease was
breaking the law. The Scribes made these laws but the Pharisees worked with
them to execute it. Initially these laws were oral statements, but around 2
century AD, this was made as book called �Misna. (Mishna)� The
interpretation to this law is called Talmud. But we should not forget some
scribes like Ezra who tried to turn people to God.
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