In this week’s Torah portion, we read the following, יב וְהָיָה | עֵקֶב תִּשְׁמְעוּן אֵת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים הָאֵלֶּה וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם וַעֲשִֹיתֶם אֹתָם וְשָׁמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְךָ אֶת-הַבְּרִית וְאֶת-הַחֶסֶד אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ: יג וַאֲהֵבְךָ וּבֵרַכְךָ וְהִרְבֶּךָ וּבֵרַךְ פְּרִי-בִטְנְךָ וּפְרִי-אַדְמָתֶךָ דְּגָנְךָ וְתִירשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ שְׁגַר-אֲלָפֶיךָ וְעַשְׁתְּרֹת צֹאנֶךָ עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר-נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לָתֶת לָךְ: 7:12 ‘Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you “His covenant and His grace” (lovingkindness, אֶת-הַבְּרִית וְאֶת-הַחֶסֶד) which He swore to your forefathers. 7:13 ‘He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you. (NASB) Notice the definite direct object אֶת being used here, Moshe emphasizes the importance of the judgements (הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים, Mishpatim) being listened to, kept, and performed (lived) in relation to the covenant and the grace of God. Moshe says “Then it shall come about, because…” He is opening this sentence with a clause expressing an explanation or reason for something. What is interesting his how he describes keeping these judgements as a consequence of being in the covenant and under God’s Grace (חסד, mercy, lovingkindness). Note the connection to obedience and the Lord being with us, along with His covenant of mercy (grace) that was sworn to our fathers. This is an important observation but we must be careful not to confuse the order of things based upon these Scriptures. In the English New Testament the word “grace” is always the translation for the Greek word χαρις (charis), a word that occurs in the Greek manuscripts 170+ times…


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