THE NEW MOON: COVERED, OR REVEALED?

On March 11 there is a New Moon.  Will you see it?  What is it that you will see?

This New Moon also marks the beginning of the first month in God’s redemptive calendar year given to Israel, leading up to the Passover on the Full Moon two weeks later. (Ex 12:2)

So, is the new moon covered over, that is, darkened?; or, is it a slim crescent, that is, partially revealed or exposed?  The Scriptures are not silent about this, since God commanded Israel to celebrate every New Moon, and to blow the trumpets on that occasion! (Num 10:10)  If Jesus does fulfill the meaning of the New Moon, and if the moon does symbolize Israel, then the answer to whether the new moon is covered or partially revealed will be consistent with its symbolism. 

There are three Bible references to the New Moon that can help us: 

1Sam 20:5   “And David said the Jonathan, ‘Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the King to eat.  But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening.'”

From this verse, we can see that David knew when there would be a new moon, without there being any official ‘spotters’ to watch for it and inform all the others after they had seen it.  David also says that he will be hiding in the field.  How hiding?  Because there would be no light of the moon to help make him visible in any movements, as he sought to protect himself from the king who sought his life.  How long did he plan to hide out in the field during the new moon?  Until the third evening, which is about the length of time for the dark moon to wax as it goes from its final light phase to its next crescent moon. 

Amos 8:5   “. . . When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? . . . .”

The heartless people who were only concerned with their own commercial interests at the expense of the poor and needy were anxious to know when the beginning-of-the-month New Moon (and the end-of-the-week Sabbath) would be over – and not, “when is it?” — so that they could get back to business and oppress the poor and needy.  If the New Moon were a sliver of light (like the Islamic sign by sight!), there would be no need of the question!  But if the new moon is darkened by the Earth being directly between it and the Sun, it could take up to three days until the life that was hidden appeared again to sight.  The oppressors wanted to know when they could again be ‘freed’ from the constraints of the Law of God in whatever way it restricted their evil thoughts and plans.

Ps 81:3-4Eng   “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon; at the covering, on our celebration day.  For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.” 

Verse 3 has been used by many to go through hoops not to accept it for what it plainly and simply says in Hebrew.  The two verses are each in parallel.  Verse 4 (5 in Hebrew) says in parallel the same thing:  God gave His instruction to Israel – to Jacob – to celebrate the New Moon.  Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) is describing when to blow the trumpet:  at the New Moon, which is described as being covered.  The parallel part of the verse is not describing the time, nor is it speaking of two different moon phases, just as the other verse is not speaking of two different peoples.  And, God did not command Israel to blow the trumpets on the full moons.  The Hebrew word is ba-kaseh (כסה), which simply means “at the [whole] covering“.  If something is partially covered, it is not ‘covered’; it is partly exposed.  We do not speak of covering something in some measure of light, but we speak of covering something over.  Light reveals; darkness covers.  Yeshua spoke of letting our light shine, not being hidden under cover of a basket. (Mt 5:14-16) The heavens declare the glory of God!

(You can read the full article here:  http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/the-new-moon-covered-or-revealed/ )

BIBLE VERSES FOR BEER SHEVA

Viewing Beer Sheva from God’s perspective 

Gen. 21:31-33  — named Beer Sheva by Abraham, who planted a tamarisk tree and called there on the name of YHVH, the everlasting God

Gen. 21:12-20  —  Hagar and Ishmael encouraged and comforted and blessed in the wilderness of B-S, after being cast out of Abraham’s and Sarah’s house

Gen. 22:19  —  after offering up Isaac, Abraham and his seed were blessed by God, and Abraham with his son returned to and lived in B-S

Gen. 26:23-33  —  YHVH confirmed His covenant to Isaac in B-S,  who built an altar and dug a well.  Isaac’s servants found a well with water (“revival”) after the Philistines had filled in (“contention and quenching”) all the wells which Abraham had dug, and  the place was confirmed as Beer Sheva.

Gen. 28:10  —  Jacob also had lived in B-S

Gen. 46:1,5  —  on the way to Egypt with his sons and their families, Jacob (Israel) sacrificed to God in B.S. and received revelation, guidance, comfort, and hope

Josh 15:21,28; 19:1-2; Neh 11:25-30 — Beer Sheva originally given to Judah, but Simeon received it, but later was absorbed back into Judah

1Sam. 3:20  —  all Israel reckoned from Dan to Beer Sheva, the land’s major southern city in the northern Negev

1Sam. 8  —  Samuel’s sons were unjust judges in B-S, resulting in Israel asking for a king like the gentiles (other nations) had to rule over them

1Kings 19:3-8  —  Elijah ran for his life from Jezebel, and in his despair found rest, direction, comfort in B-S from the LORD, and rested under a white broom tree

Is. 35:1-6; 51:3  —  the desert will bloom and blossom as a rose and become as the Garden of the LORD, even as Eden

Beer Sheva was destroyed as a city in 701 B.C. by Sennacharib in the days of King Hezekiah. (2Kg 18:13)
After the return from Babylon, Beer Sheva was also re-settled. (Neh 11:27-30)
In l948 the city again became a Jewish Israeli city.

Beer Sheva 

–a place of divine revelation, comfort, direction, worship
–a place of praise (wells of living water), thanksgiving, gladness, life, sources
–seat of government representing all of the south ofIsrael:  intended to be a seat of righteousness and judgment (justice)
–judicial, administrative, commercial, and religious center

A Closer Examination of Amos 5:5; 8:14 : “The Way (Manner) of Beer Sheva”

–Amos preached and prophesied during time of divided kingdom –Judah and Israel– between c. 760-750 B.C.

–concerned with unrighteousness and injustice in the society, even while people practiced their religion without regard for the LORD’s love of lovingkindness (grace), righteousness, and justice

–a separation of “church and state” in the lives of the people, thereby severing the connection between faith, religion, worship, and daily life

1Kings 12:28-29  —  false worship instituted at Beth-El and Dan to draw people away from Jerusalem, as well as to exalt an alternative way and place to worship God

2Kings 23:8  —  Beer Sheva, with its wells from the Patriarchs, became a center for many to venerate some shrine (holy site) and to make pilgrimage there.  [see 2Chron 19:4; 34:6,7,37 for kingly initiative to restore true worship; also 2Chron. 24:1 (the mother of King Joash was from B-S)]

     –thus from Dan to B-S, the land and the people strayed from the one place and manner to worship and to offer sacrifices to the one true living God, and in doing so became less united as a people, and positive influences of the fear of the LORD within the society broke down.

     –“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem….” (Ps. 122:6)  From Jerusalem YHVH God has determined to place His Name, to blessIsrael (including B-S and theNegev) and the world.

     —Superstition:  vain (unsalted) faith (demon worship; pagan god worship; fear of demons)
–may be reverent, but without knowledge (ignorance)
–generally a practice of religion through slavish fear and of strong cultural or family traditions, not readily accepting the truth which sets one free and sanctifies.  (The Father is seeking worshippers in spirit and in truth).

     –Hardness of Judah (the southern kingdom and royal tribe) to the Word of God  (2Kings 22:13; Amos 2:4 —   B-S was located in Judah after Simeon’s tribal inheritance was absorbed by it.  [Neh 11:25-30]);  also true in Yeshua’s day (John 7:1; 11:7-8)

QUESTIONS – 4 Sep 2011

Is the Bible — the Old and the New Testaments — true, or is the Koran?

Is the God of Israel the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth — of the Universe?

Is YHVH (YEHOVAH or YAHWEH) the name of the one true God, or is some other god with another name?

Is the true God a Father with a Son and a people (other children)?  Or is the true God not a father and childless?

Was Abraham a Muslim prophet who served the god of Islam?  Or was Abraham a Hebrew, who worshiped YHVH, the Everlasting God Almighty?

Did Abraham take Isaac, his covenant son, to offer him a sacrifice to YHVH, who intervened to prevent it?  Or did Abraham take Ishmael to offer as a sacrifice?

Is Yeshua/Jesus the Son of God, or merely a prophet?

Did Jesus/Yeshua die for our sins on the cross, or did He not?

Did Jesus rise from among the dead, or did He not?

Did the God of the Bible, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, covenant with an oath to give the descendants of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel a specific land for an inheritance, within the whole of the nations with boundaries which He has determined?

Is the Lord Jesus Christ coming again physically to establish the Kingdom of God on this Earth for 1000 years?

Who is your God?  Are you saved?

Still Living in The Days of The Bible – Part 2 – 5 Jan 2009

I write this unexpected Part Two of our living today in Bible times.  I do so at some risk of what reactions you have, spoken or otherwise, but I hope that for the most part it is for building up of our faith in our God and Redeemer, and to prepare us for even worse to come before the far better ‘end of the Lord, who is very compassionate and merciful.’ (James 5:9-11)

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war in the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your (our) obedience is fulfilled.” (2Cor 10:4-6)

Yeshua reigns!  What a relief in days of trouble, and in the day of evil, to hold fast to what we have:  the name of the LORD, Yeshua, and the blood of the Lamb!  These words that we read from the apostle Paul, and are reminded of from the written words of the apostle John, were written in Bible days a little less than 2000 years ago for us today.  Surely we are living in both exciting and troublous Bible times!

Throughout Bible days – and Jesus promises to be with us all the days through the end of the age – there have been those within Israel and within the Church who would make the truth of the written word irrelevant.  It is to the Jews and to Christians – whether Jew or Gentile – that the Word of God has come and to whom He has entrusted it/them.  Therefore, we who know the truth of Messiah are more accountable before the Lord than other people:  we are in covenant relationship with Him through the shed blood of the Son of God for us.

How can we make irrelevant the Bible?  Jesus says that when we make our traditions or the explanations of our interpreters and commentators of greater value than the written Scriptures, we make void God’s word.  By our politics, we can make God’s word void; by so-called knowledge, we can make God’s word irrelevant; by thinking that the future can be changed from what has been planned from before the creation, we dismiss what God says.  By being party to accepting additions or deletions, we say that the Scriptures are irrelevant — dead.  The philosophy of Nietzsche that ‘God is dead’ is that which simply makes God irrelevant.  If God and His Word are rendered irrelevant – by our own understanding versus the revelation of Jesus Christ – then we will be more open to deception by the spirit of antichrist, who plays with the truth just enough to make his lie and evil intent seem plausibly worth accepting, hoping if possible to deceive even the elect.  Yet his perverse pleasure is to have those who are called by the name of the Lord dishonor Him and ourselves through believing the false prophets rather than the plain truth of the Spirit of YHVH:  “and so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which [we] do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as moved by the Holy Spirit”. (2Pt 1:19-21)

I am sobered by the times we live in when the words of Jesus pierce through them with end-from-the-beginning clarity of what has never yet been fulfilled:  “For then, there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be like it.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Mt 24:21-22)  These words Yeshua received from His Father – and, praise God, now our Father, too — to speak to us.  God loves us, and so tells us what He knows is good and needful for us to know about His thoughts and ways.  We should be under no illusion, nor deluded, to think that this war will bring peace to Israelis or to Palestinians.  It will not –wars are determined till the end — but we are to act in the present as best we can to carry out our proper duties.  This is true as we pray for and give any counsel to unbelievers.  How much more so for us.

The Spirit of God tells His people to come out from Babylon – the ‘good country’, the material comfort, the alternative and counterfeit ‘promised land’ which the world offers.  Babylon represents a place of freedom and potential and worldly glory, whereas Egypt represents slavery and bondage.  In the Old Testament, YHVH spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to the physically exiled Israelis in Babylon to physically “flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone save his life!  Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of YHVH’s vengeance. . .YHVH has taken out our righteousness.  Come and let us declare in Zion the work of YHVH our God.” (Jer 51:6-10)  In the New Testament, John heard a voice from heaven saying, “Come out of [Babylon], My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.  For her sins have reached to Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. . . . Therefore her plagues will come in one day. . .for strong is YHVH God who judges her!” (Rev 18:4-8)

If the sons of Issachar knew what Israel should do because they understood the times; if Daniel, through reading the Bible, understood the times and knew what to do; should not we — in the fuller light of history and with the whole Bible in our possession, and with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us and leading us into all truth — be discerning the times and knowing what to do?  Are we making the Scriptures irrelevant so long as we prefer to stay with our hearts and maybe our bodies, too, in Babylon!?  Messiah the Lord teaches us like this to pray:  Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. . .lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one/the evil day); for Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

To return to the issue of putting things in proportion which I wrote about in Part 1:  when one considers how many thousands of Palestinians were killed by the Jordanian government military in 1970 (just to take one example, which a Bedouin today mentioned to me as he praised Israel), and the world let it be, the fact that till now, however terrible it is, that the heavy Israeli attacks on Hamas have resulted in ‘only’ about 500 deaths and many wounded, testifies to the general policy of Israel to minimize the deaths of both enemy forces and civilians caught up in the battle zone.  This is in direct contrast to Islamic jihadist (holy war) policy and efforts.  Yet the world, including many Jewish and Christian people, jump on Israel as barbaric and disproportionate in its response to determined threats to her existence.  War is not hell; Hell is hell.  But war is terrible.  Wars and fights come from lust and covetousness: wanting what someone else has, even if you have to murder to get it from them. (Ja 4:1-2)  This has been the spirit of Islam before there was a religion called Islam! (Ps 83; Obadiah)

WE have been GIVEN the KINGDOM OF GOD.  We need covet nothing of anyone:  in Messiah we have been given an eternal inheritance of all that God has!  Let us fight the good fight of faith, while being, insofar as is possible on our part, at peace with all men, doing good to all, especially to those of the household of faith.  If you want war to cease, let us first examine our own hearts, confess our sin and repent, and then let us look for, long for, love, hasten Yeshua’s appearing, fulfilling our obedience to Him and His Word with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Still Living in The Days of The Bible – Part 1 – 4 Jan 2009

My words may pass away, but the Word of the LORD will never pass away!  Many of us have a tendency to add to or take away from the Word of God, rather than considering the whole counsel of God in the tension and reality of life it speaks to us.  We don’t necessarily intend to do that, and only those without godly fear would willfully do so with eyes opened.

When you hear people say – or perhaps when you say yourself – “in the days of the Bible”, what is meant by that?  If we really believe that the Scriptures have been written for us living at the end of the age, and that the Word of God abides forever, and that God will fulfill all that is written in the whole of the Old and New Testaments, then isn’t it true that we are living in the days of the Bible?!

You have received a number of e-mails from me recently and over the years.  For those who look at only one and come to any conclusions – whether positively or negatively – I would say, as I began this ‘letter’, that my words may pass away.  On the other hand, if you consider my letters together over time, a clearer and fuller picture would be discernible that otherwise can not be covered in any one or two letters, and, I sincerely hope, there would be a general consistency in the spirit of truth, even if not in every detail.  So, too, and much more so, with the Bible, which is truth both in spirit and in details!

Why am I concerning myself with this?  Most of the news media you see and hear focus on the perceived disproportion of Gazans being killed or injured versus the number of Israelis being killed or injured. (By the way, as I was now speaking with a friend on the phone, we are only about 1/2 hour drive away from the awful war going on!)  Just as in the last war in Lebanon against another terrorist organization, Hezbollah, the attention is also focused on the disproportionate weaponry being used by the two sides.  Believe me when I say, it’s scary enough to have a tree fall on your house during a storm, not to mention larger rockets, or even tons of bombs falling from airplanes in the sky.  As Yeshua advised, before going to war, consider first your enemy and his weaponry, and whether you think you can defeat them or not.  Is not the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ the same God as YHVH, God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob?

The size of armor and weaponry is not to be our only concern:  look at Joshua and the people marching around Jericho and the priests blowing trumpets; look at Goliath, versus David with his slingshot.  What are we going to do in ‘our Bible days’ when the Lord Jesus Himself directs the seventh angel to pour out his bowl of God’s wrath upon His enemies with great hail from heaven, each weighing about  one talent (62 lbs or 30 kg)!?  And at what force?!  The reaction of the people (revealed to us in advance by the Holy Spirit in the love of our Father) targeted by God is to blaspheme Him! (Rev 16:17-21)

In earlier days of the Bible, the Assyrian king Sennacherib taunted the Jews in Israel that no God of the nations had yet succeeded to defeat him.  With this taunt and blasphemy, the righteous King Hezekiah cried out to the one true sovereign God, YHVH, God of Israel, who sent the prophet Isaiah to encourage and comfort the King and the people, assuring them that Sennacherib and his forces would not succeed.  I am not writing this here simply to say that this situation in Gaza is similar, although I think it is the attitude of these Islamic jihadists to taunt and blaspheme the God and the people of Israel and of the Christians, but rather to go on to the outcome of the encounter in those days (2Kg 19:35):  the Angel of YHVH went out on a certain night into the camp of the Assyrians, and killed 185,000!  Was this proportionate?!  Because this figure staggers our imagination and even offends our sensitivities, some Bible translators and commentators try to ‘defend’ the inspiration of Scripture and the character of our God by saying that this number is obviously an error which mistakenly got in and stayed in our Bibles.

In even earlier days of the Bible, the same Angel of YHVH killed all the first-born in Egypt, from Pharaoh’s household to the slaves’, plus animals.  Was God disproportionate in expressing what was in His heart, given the objectives He had in mind?  Pharaoh and his army were then thrown into the sea and all drowned.

Sometime later in Bible times, when the Jews who had not returned from exile at the command of Cyrus to return and rebuild Jerusalem were in danger of being exterminated through the irrational hatred of Haman in Persia (Iran), we read about the second decree by King Ahasueras that allowed the Jews to defend themselves.  On the set day, the Jews killed 500 men in the capital.  Queen Esther then requested that the Jews be allowed to do again the next day more of what they had done on the first.  They hung all of Haman’s sons (all of whom were, by the way, descendants of Amalek, himself a descendant of Esau/Edom), and killed 300 more men.  All this was in the capital city.  Around the rest of the kingdom, a total of 75,000 of their enemies were killed, those who had determined in their own hearts and minds that the Jews should be wiped out. (Esther 9:1-16)  Was this disproportionate to the threat that they had faced?  Would the threat have been removed had they not ‘finished the job’ on the second?  Is not the Lord going to finish His strange work of  judgment in order to remove all things which offend from entering into His Kingdom?  Our own flesh struggles with the magnitude of evil and the necessary righteous judgments of God to put it away.  Maybe that is why Joshua and the Israelis in their ‘Bible days’ stopped all the killing which God had commanded them to do:  they just couldn’t understand it or take it any more.

How many babies were killed in Bethlehem by Herod’s hateful self-serving command surrounding the birth of Yeshua?  What was the reaction – beyond the grief of ‘Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more”?  How did they respond towards God, who allowed such a thing connected with the promised Messiah and Savior?!  Certainly we know that the love of God is not self-serving!

Were the six million Jews who were scientifically and calculatedly slaughtered during the Holocaust an overkill to effect a shameful and guilty conscious on the Christianized West especially, opening the way for the world’s representatives through the United Nations to vote in the establishment of the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people?

Is God being too heavy-handed when he prophetically warns us that two-thirds of the people of all the land (earth?) will die in order that the remaining third will be refined and tested and purified to each call on the name of YHVH as their God?! (Zech 13:8-9; Mt 24:21-22; Rev)

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God!  God is a consuming fire!

Yet for all the suffering and tragedy connected with each of the above events, we celebrate our God and Savior, and what He has done to bring righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit through these events and judgments!

It is a God-given, thus moral, responsibility and authority for a government to protect the general welfare of her citizenry, even by force when required.  It is our responsibility as believers to pray that our leaders not only act wisely and prudently, but even more that they be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  Then, the lives of the people may be more quiet and peaceable, appreciative of godliness and reverence, both towards the one true God, and towards our fellow-man.  (Rom 12:17-21 – 13:1-7: 1Tim 2:1-6).

Please, do not misunderstand this one ‘article’ to think that I am hard-hearted toward what is going on in Gaza, both against a real enemy, and against those innocently trapped in a deplorable situation, not to mention against our own soldiers and sons risking their lives to defeat their enemies and defend their country – and from a higher perspective, though they may not recognize it, to free people to receive true and real life from the living God of the living.  Without Jesus, no one will enjoy life!

How the world and those who are of it evaluate and judge this war is one thing; let us be careful how we do, and be extremely careful that we do not find ourselves judging God.  His Word judges us. (Heb 4:11-13). 

CIRCUMCISION OF T Shimon – 13 Oct 1992

Some of you were with us for E’s circumcision, and it is good to have another occasion to celebrate together the LORD our God, both during this week of Succot (the Feast of Booths, or of Ingathering), and also in remembering His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by the circumcising of our second son, T Shimon.  (T’s means ‘dew’, and his middle name, Shimon, is a testimony of our faith that the promised inheritance to Simeon, Jacob’s son and the Tribe of Israel, will be fulfilled:  he will inherit Beer Sheva in the apportionment of the Land of Israel after Yeshua returns to set up His kingdom.  Our prayer is that T will have a better inheritance in Christ by being born-again before the Lord returns.)

The circumcision of the flesh of every male Jew is a symbol both of God’s covenant and also of His ways of fulfilling His promises and purposes for His treasured people Israel.  Succot is a testimony of a people at peace with their God – a people whose heart has been circumcised – whose soul has been afflicted, and then refreshed and revived through God’s gracious atonement for sin – and among whom YHVH is pleased to dwell in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Randi and I are circumcising T as his parents in willing obedience to the LORD and to His honor and glory.  But it will amount to nothing if either we or T should place any confidence in the flesh and unless T should circumcise himself to the only wise God and Savior through personal faith and in a spirit of meekness.

Jacob will know the blessings of the covenant when, as Israel, he becomes a true son of Abraham, being justified through personal faith in God Almighty, Who can raise the dead to life in order to fulfill His Word.  As it is written, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Gen 21:12; Rom 9:7)  “He (Jesus Christ) shall see His seed and the travail of His soul, and be satisfied.” (Is 53:10-11“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou will not despise.” (Ps 51:19 Heb.)

E HAIM’S CIRCUMCISION – 28 Dec 1988

Gen 17:1,7,10-14 – Establishment of the covenant by YHVH with Abram (Abraham); identification with and relationship to the people, the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
            John 7:22 – The circumcision is not of Moses, but of the fathers.

Deut 10:15-19 – Circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.

Deut 30:1-6 — The LORD will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love YHVH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Jer 4:1-4 – Circumcise yourselves to YHVH.

Jer 9:22-25 – Glory in the LORD; there is no difference –in themselves—between the circumcised and uncircumcised.

Rom 2:28 – 3:2 – For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly [only]; neither is it circumcision which is outward in the flesh.  But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart – in the spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.  What advantage then has the Jew?  Or what profit is there in circumcision?  Much every way:  chiefly, because unto them (us) were committed the oracles of God.

1Cor 7:19 – Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but rather the keeping of the commandments of God.  (E Haim means “stone of life”; our prayer is that he will become a “living stone” — e chaya — through spiritual new birth by repentance and faith in the gospel at an early age.)

Gal 5:6 – For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Philp 3:3 – For we are the circumcision which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.