Shabbat Bible Study for June 25, 2016

Shabbat Bible Study for June 25, 2016

©2016 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries

Year 1 Sabbath 12

B’reishit 15, TzephaniYahu 3.1-19, Tehellim 11, Romiyah 4.1-13


B’reishit 15.1 – We should actually read from 14.20 to get the flow of the narrative. In 14.20, Avram gives a tithe of all the loot to MelechTzadik. Then in v.21, the King of Sedom offers ALL the booty to Avram (I think in a sarcastic manner, as if saying that he didn’t appreciate Avram’s generosity with HIS property, notwithstanding that he’d lost it all and now it legitimately was Avram’s, as he had captured it in battle) as long as he can get back the souls. In this matter, the unnamed king of Sedom (NOT Bera, cf.14.10, perhaps the escapee) represents haSatan, who is more interested in the souls of men than in their material wealth. Avram refused the offer, saying that he would not be enriched by the king of Sedom, and thus be seen as owing anything to him, especially allegiance. Avram went out to free his nephew Lot, not to get the spoils (though that WAS his right). 

Then in 15.1 we see Y’hovah telling Avram that HE was Avram’s “shield, and exceeding great reward”. The way that Avram addressed Y’hovah in this passage is NEW to Torah, the first time that he is addressed in this manner. Cf. Chumash notes to v.2 on p.73. In the prefatory note to vv.1-6, Chumash also intimates that Avram may have been fearful that his earned merit may have been used up by the bountiful mercy and grace Y’hovah had showered on him by the miraculous deliverance of his 318 talmidim and all the spoils of the war against the 4 KoE. Chumash’ sages also think he may have been fearful of the 4 kings getting up another army to come take reprisal. These MAY have been true, but neither fits the plain sense of the narrative. The only thing that I think the pashat supports is a fear of the King of Sedom and his sarcastic, veiled threat in 14.21. If that was true and Avram was the least worried about the KoS/Bera, Y’hovah assured him that the victory had nothing whatever to do with Avram’s supposed earned merit, but his own Mercy in Judgment.

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (Psalms 85:10) 

In that Psalm are 2 references to Y’hovah’s manifestations of goodness, mercy and peace; and 2 references to his manifestation of severity, truth and righteousness. Where mercy/peace kissed truth/righteousness was in Moshiach Yeshua. I think that Avram is speaking directly to the risen Moshiach in this passage as Adonaiy Yehoviyh

The immediate context to this address to the goodness and severity of Y’hovah is Avram’s response to the KoS/Bera’s sarcastic gift of all his stuff to Avram, as long as KoS could have the souls. Y’hovah rewarded Avram’s renunciation of the wealth that the world system of haSatan offered him with a much greater reward – the protection and abundance that only Y’hovah can give. Avram then asked for a son in his old age. It has been about 11-12 years since he received the initial promise of becoming a great nation, and Avram was understandably getting a little anxious. When will Y’hovah deliver? Was his most trusted servant to be his heir? 

Y’hovah promises him that his own son will be his heir, not Eliezer. Then, to illustrate, Y’hovah takes Avram outside and tells Avram to count (“to ‘tell’” = to count, as in a ‘teller’ at a bank) the stars, if he can. If Avram CAN, THAT were how many descendants he’d have. And Avram believed Y’hovah, and Y’hovah counted that belief as Abram’s righteousness. When Y’hovah told him that he was Y’hovah who brought him out of Ur to this land, Avram said, “How will I know that what you say is true?” In the space of about 3 seconds Avram went from faith to sight, from trust to doubt. Just like (snap fingers) THAT. Just like me. And just like you, if you’re honest. 

But Y’hovah doesn’t rebuke him for his doubt, probably because the question was really a request that the promise take the form of a covenant. So, Y’hovah tells him to prepare an offering by butchering 3 beasts of the field and setting their 1/2’s opposite each other, and a couple of birds. The beasts of the field can be seen as metaphors of nations that would subjugate Yisrael through history and the dissecting of them their eventual end by Yehovah’s power; the bullocks represent Babylon, the rams represent Media/Persia, the goats represent Greece and the Edomite powers from the 3rd c. BCE into the future, and the doves represent Israel. Then as it began to darken toward sunset, Y’hovah caused a sleep to come upon Avram. KJV has, “…a deep sleep” signifying spiritual slumber, and “an horror of great darkness”, signifying the sin that Avram’s seed would enter into and the exile that would result. Y’hovah says as much in the next verse. Cf. Chumash’ notes to vv.12-13 on p.76. 

We can also see a sod level prophecy of Yeshua’s crucifixion in v.12, as this day was likely the day that would become known as Pesach in a few hundred years. As “a deep sleep fell on Avram”, so the ‘sleep’ of death would fall on Yeshua, “when the sun was going down” (Yeshua died at the time of the evening offering) and “a great darkness fell on him”, i.e.; he died. 

When Y’hovah says that Avram’s seed would be a stranger in a strange land, he is speaking of both b’nai Yisrael AND Yeshua. B’nai Yisrael would be in Egypt as slaves for @400 years, while Yeshua would walk the earth for 30 or so years as the strangest stranger ever in any land. He was like an earthling on Mizar 5 – completely out of place. As Yisrael had come out of Egypt with great wealth (and as Avram had in ch.13), so Yeshua had when he carried captivity captive as the Bikkurim wave-offering to Avinu bashamayim. “Stranger in a strange land” represents exile. “Serve them” represents disobedience to Y’hovah’s Torah. “Afflict them 400 years” – we need to see Ex.12.41, where it says “in the selfsame day.” I think this means that the day b’nai Yisrael came out of Egypt was the very calendar day in which Y’hovah had made this promise to Avi 430 years earlier; that is, on the 1st day of Chag haMatzah, the 15th day of the month of spring. The reason Avi’s seed couldn’t physically inherit the land of Canaan yet is that the Amorites had yet to completely fill the vials of Y’hovah’s wrath. It wouldn’t take long. This same thing is happening today, as the world system is filling up the vials of Y’hovah’s wrath, which are soon to be poured out (Rev.16). I think the rabbis are correct in saying the 400 years began with Yitzhak’s birth. The prophecy is for Avram’s seed to possess the land, not Avram. The 4 generations that would be in servitude in Egypt were Levi, Kohath, Amram and Moshe’s. Moshe’s sons were never in Egyptian servitude, living with Tzipporah in Yithro’s house until after the Exodus. The births of Yitzhak AND of Zion [still to be seen, next year?], and the destruction of Sedom  v’gAmorrah, as well as the exodus are all, I think, Pesach events. 

Y’hovah appears for the first time as a pillar of fire on the earth, passing between the pieces parts and accepting the offering at Avram’s hand. Please notice that Avram is in a deep sleep, darkness and terror; he is not an actor in this covenant; that will be his seed’s part to play, and Yeshua would be the perfect human participant ‘in time’. The ‘smoking furnace’ speaks of Elohim’s judgment/affliction and the ‘burning lamps’ to Yhwh’s deliverance/redemption. Passing between the parts signifies that when these parts are put back together and the animals live again, THAT is when Y’hovah will break this promise; i.e., NEVER. Y’hovah would give Avi’s seed all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates, anywhere he placed his feet would be his. 

18 For ye are not come [physically – Mark] unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come [spiritually – Mark] unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living Elohim, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to Elohim the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Yeshua the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve Elohim acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our Elohim is a consuming fire. (Heb.12.18-29)

This paragraph of Hebrews makes me more certain than ever that Paul was writing to Temple priests who believed that Yeshua was Moshiach, but were considering going back to Yom Kippur service in the Temple.

So Avi remained a nomad, walking all over the land grant and, perhaps, then some. Yisrael NEVER possessed or controlled ALL of this land grant, not even under Shlomo, so the fulfillment is yet future and will be fulfilled in the ‘malchut haba’, the kingdom to come. The Hittites settled in central Asia Minor, so the land grant goes at least that far north [I think to the headwaters of the Euphrates]. Y’hovah mentions 10 nations which Yisrael would disperse from and drive out of the promised land, but when they came into the land after the Wilderness Adventure, they only displaced 7 of them. The lands of the Kennites, the Kennizites and the Kadmonites were already in the possession of Edom, Moav and Ammon by that time and will not be in Yisraelite hands until the Kingdom of Moshiach.

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Yishai, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Nations seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Adonai shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. 14 But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. (Is.11.10-14)

That has been seen as a Messianic prophecy for thousands of years. That will be a glorious day!

By the way, the word translated ‘his rest’ in Is.11.10 is m’nuchato, his (Moshiach’s) resting place, and not shabbat, which MAY shed light on Heb.4.9 and the whole ‘rest’ of that passage on our rest ‘in Moshiach’. Moshiach is our resting place, which is what Is.11.10 is saying – it has NOTHING to do with Shabbat rest, per se, even though Paul makes that reference midrashically and rather forcefully in Heb.4 [the whole book is a midrash, not to be seen merely in the pashat]. The point is that YeshaYahu has a dual meaning. Paul had no need to tell a bunch of Aharonic priests who believed Yeshua to be Moshiach, steeped in Torah, about keeping the Sabbath on the 7th day. He was making the point, I think, that Moshiach is our PLACE of rest, not that he is ‘shabbating’ FOR US and that we can just ignore the clear instruction to rest on the Shabbat day from our regular, mundane ‘work’ to provide our living and substance. Q&C 

TzephaniYahu 3 – Zeph.1.1 shows us that TzephaniYahu is prophesying to Yehudah during the reign of one of her most righteous kings. YoshiYahu had been responsible for one of the greatest revivals in Yehudah’s history. The fact that THIS prophecy is directed to a nation in revival shows that the revival was on the surface for people to see, but that Y’hovah, who knows our hearts, saw right through the duplicity of the average Yisraelite. YoshiYahu was in personal revival, and that translated into blessings on the entire people, but their underlying rebellion would show itself as soon as YoshiYahu died. Y’hovah, knowing the end from the beginning, knew this and prophesied through TzephaniYahu for the purpose of calling his people to teshuvah, to come back to HIS ways, vice their own.

The last city named is Nineveh, but ch.3 is dealing immediately with Yerushalayim, as can be seen in v.2, where it says that she trusted not in Y’hovah, nor drew near to Elohim. Y’hovah is NOT Nineveh’s elohim. However, I can think of 4-5 possibilities to whom this may have been or may be applied. The ones that come to mind are; 1) the assembly of the 21st century CE, 2) the RC denomination and her harlot children, 3) the US gov’t and her anti-Torah injustice system, 4) all of the above. 

“Evening wolves” = z’evei erev = wolves of evening. I think it means that the judges are going around in the shadows looking for suckers to fleece, and by the time anyone can shine the light of day on the injustice perpetrated upon the poor suckers, the evidence is all hidden. Like when the WTC and OKC debris was removed and either buried or sunk in 1500 feet of water before it could be poured over by real investigators. Injustice is indeed swift to cover – not always GOOD at it, but swift, just the same.

V.4 describes the assembly of 21st century America almost to a ‘T’. V.5 shows that Y’hovah is still giving them insight into what is happening, he’s shining his light on iniquity, but his servants are not giving warning. V.6 can be taken as prophetic of 9/11 & WTC and it’s aftermath in NYC. And v.7 was NYC’s and the NWO’s response to Y’hovah’s not so gentle warning to repent. Shades of Yehonatan Cohen’s book and teaching series, “The Harbinger”.

V.8 is the only verse of Tanakh that uses every letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet. It speaks of Gog uMagog, as they are seen in Ezekiel 38-39, and in Rev.20.8-10. The last part of the verse is unmistakably restated in Rev.20.9b. The pashat of v.8 juxtaposed to Rev.20.9 surely speaks of Kefa’s revelation in 

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Elohim, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2Kefa3.10-12)

It is only AFTER Y’hovah’s fire devours in its jealousy that he turns the pure language to us. We do not turn to it, but Y’hovah turns it to us. We receive it so that we can serve him in one accord – echad, as the people of Babel rebelled against him in one accord. Only those who come up for the Feast of Tabernacles (Rev.20.8-10) at the end of the Millennium will have the pure language turned to them, probably as their evil inclination/OSN is expunged. I think we need to rehearse this NOW. 

Does ‘beyond the rivers of Ethiopia’ (v.10) refer to the landmasses across the sea?

1 Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: 2 That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying , Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled! (Yeshayahu 18.1-2) 

This COULD describe the US and her allies. In v.11 the people are not ashamed of their iniquity, but continue in, feeling secure in the thought that Y’hovah would NEVER harm Yerushalayim, the city of Zion. Or America. Boy, are they in for a surprise, eh?

Vv12-13 show that a remnant of ‘poor and afflicted’ people will be the true Zion, who do no iniquity, tell no lies, and who are not afraid of men, for Y’hovah will be their “shield, and exceeding great reward”. Since the dissolution of the old and the creation of the New Heavens and Earth have already been accomplished, the rest of the prophecy should deal with that ‘time’ when there will be no time. And it does. Vv.15 and 19 speak to the aforementioned expunging of the evil inclination/OSN. He will take away judgment, cast out our enemy, undo all that afflicts us, and we will see no more evil, which things are ALL manifestations of the evil inclination/OSN. Rav Sha’ul’s cry in Rom.7.24 will be answered with Y’hovah saying, “I shall deliver you from the body of that death.” Q&C

Tehellim 11 – “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The foundation of our faith is the Torah of Y’hovah, both living and written. If there is even one word that isn’t true, it can’t be the Word of Y’hovah, for it is impossible for him to lie – he CANNOT lie. Remember Zeph.3.13 – no lies or iniquity? We need to guard the Torah/Word of Y’hovah in our hearts, keep it safe by studying it and holding to it, no matter the consequences. 

In v.5 Y’hovah tries the righteous, but he hates the wicked. If we are being tried it is proof of his love for us. If we are NOT being tried and tested, we need to ask ourselves if we are among the righteous. The fire, brimstone, and etc. reserved for the wicked will be delivered on them during his wrathful judgment, as seen in Rev.16. Q&C

Romiyah 4.1-13 – Start reading in 3.27 – Works = the letter of Torah, the heart of stone. Faith = the Spirit of Torah, the heart of flesh. In v.31 we prove the worth of Torah by faith. W1828 has this for establish

“1. To set or fix firmly, or unalterably; to settle permanently.  I will establish my covenant with him (Yitzhak) for an everlasting covenant. Gen.17.” 

So we firmly set or fix Torah by faith. Does that sound like doing away with it? That is the context of ch.4.

Avi was not justified by works, but by faith, as we saw in the Torah for today and as Sha’ul quotes here, “And Avram believed Y’hovah, and he counted it to him for righteousness.” The works of Torah, done for justification, are just the hard heart of stone. Faith is the soft heart of flesh, on which Y’hovah’s Torah is written and therefore is made the guide to our walk of faith. When Avi believed Y’hovah, it showed in righteous action according to Y’hovah’s will. 

Avi received justification BEFORE he was circumcised. Therefore, CC in the flesh is not a requirement for justification. It can be, however, an act of obedience, if Y’hovah is leading you that way, after such time as your heart has been CC’d by the Ruach of promise. CC of the flesh, in and of itself, avails us NOTHING and grants no special rights or privileges toward justification. CC was a seal or sign of the justification that had already occurred due to Avi’s faith. CC of the heart = justification; + the faith walk = sanctification. We’ll discuss Avi’s CC and what it means to us in a couple of weeks.

What follows is from my study in Romans – An Hebraic Perspective ©2006-2013 by Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries.

To recap the book briefly, Sha’ul has made these basic points so far; 1) There is no ‘cheap grace’ or ‘easy believe-ism’, where one can just claim to ‘believe’ apart from works of faith, 2) There is no ‘earning’ salvation based on works of law done without faith, and 3) There is no automatic salvation based on being born a Jew, a son of Avraham any more than damnation is guaranteed to those born gentiles.

Vv.1-8 – Paul next goes to the first patriarch of the Hebrew family by way of illustration and to make his case. He will reiterate the basic themes of obedience as well as the Shema, or unity of Jew and gentile in Moshiach. Faith in Moshiach is likened to the faith of Avraham, who obeyed Y’hovah without hesitation and thereby demonstrated his faith.

To the Jew, there is no higher human authority to reference than Avraham. He was the Tzadik of tzedakim: the most righteous man in their history (even though he was a scoundrel, like the rest of us). If Avraham was not justified by works of the oral law, as the Pharisees (rabbis) taught, noone could be. 

So, what did Avraham find was efficacious in his justification? The context is about the faith that justifies us at the end of Ch.3. He has made reference to CC in the matter of justification before. As we saw way back in ch.2, it is the CC of the heart that justifies a man before Y’hovah, not the trimming of the flesh. In other words, one need not be a Jew to be justified before Elohim. Sha’ul refers again to that spiritual truth in this chapter. Neither does a man need to be a Jew to be the descendant of Avraham according to the flesh. Please remember that Sha’ul is writing to the kahal at Rome: Jews and gentiles alike. At the moment he is referring to the whole body and he says that Avraham is ‘our father, as pertaining to the flesh.’ Both the Jews in the leadership of the Roman kahal AND the gentiles there were Avraham’s physical children. 

Avraham had found that his own works were useless in his justification before a righteous Elohim. He may have been holy, which means set apart to Y’hovah and really has nothing to do with righteousness or standing before him, but he was nowhere near righteous enough to be justified before him. So Y’hovah looked at his heart and saw that he had a positive volition to take Y’hovah at his word and obey him, and Y’hovah accounted that faith as righteousness (Gen.15.6). The only ‘work’ that we have in our justification is our decision, or ‘positive volition’ to trust Y’hovah despite circumstances. In Avi’s case, circumstances = he is 75, his wife is barren and 65 (in Gen.17, he is 99 and Sarai is 89), but he believes Y’hovah can perform that which he has promised – a son from his old and barren wife and descendants as numerous as the stars of the heavens. Even the Talmud agrees on this: 

“Everything is in the hand of heaven, except the fear of heaven”

In other words, Y’hovah doesn’t make us fear him. THAT is our positive volition. We must choose to believe that he is and care about what he requires, as did Avraham. THEN he graciously gives us the faith to the end of our justification.

When a man works for his justification, the standing he is after is one that is earned. He feels that he’s earned his justification before Y’hovah and that Y’hovah therefore OWES him his reward. But Y’hovah’s standard is JU-U-U-ST a BIT higher than ours, so the person trying to earn his reward is going to be sorely disappointed. The one who TRUSTS Y’hovah to do what he’s promised will have his righteousness gifted to him, as Avraham’s was to him. Please think about this question before answering it: Does the fact that our works do not justify us before Y’hovah negate our need to obey him? Did Avraham NOT obey Y’hovah immediately after he received his righteousness by faith? Read Gen.15 (and 17) and then answer the questions above. 

Conversely, the fact of Avraham’s obedient work doesn’t negate the faith that motivated the work. It’s the same with us. David says (Ps.32.1-2) righteousness is by imputation, not work. Q&C

Vv.9-12 – Starting in v.9 Paul goes back to the discussion of the CC, or those who have been CCd vice those who have not. He is going to show that the CC has nothing to do with blessedness, the blessedness spoken of by David. Blessedness is the result of the righteousness of Yeshua, which is offered to the CCd and unCC’d alike. This blessedness is the same as that in Ps.1, and particularly in Ps.32, which Sha’ul has just quoted. Blessed is ‘happy’ from the Hebrew ‘esher’ meaning ‘How happy!’ Esher is from the root ‘ashar’ – to make straight, level and right. This blessedness that is a result of our being made straight, level and right is attributed, which means ascribed to, pronounced to be or considered as belonging to. It is not an attribute that is intrinsic, but one that is given to us. When something is ‘considered’ to belong to someone, it means that it is not intrinsically his, but that he has the benefit of it just the same. Our ‘makarismos’ or ‘esher’ is not our own, but is given to us by our Saviour. We have the full benefit of this blessedness as a gift from Yeshua haMoshiach. 

Avraham received his blessedness before he was CCd, while he was yet a gentile, because he believed Y’hovah – he took Y’hovah at his Word. Is that not how we received our blessedness as well? What has always been the condition under which one was saved? Sha’ul is discussing it right here. Salvation is by the grace of Y’hovah to them who believe and trust him to keep his Word. I can think of noone who has ever been saved in any other way, can you? Thought not. 

So, what is CC for? Look at v.11. It is a SIGN (and a personal one, at that – I will not be showing mine off to anyone anytime soon) of the righteousness that Y’hovah ascribes to us due to the faith we’ve demonstrated. Remember that faith is not just mental assent, but also the actions that arise from that mental assent (Jas.1.22). CC is the sign that Avraham is the father of all who trust Y’hovah to perform that which he’s promised, both the CCd and the unCC’d. Avraham was a point of conjunction for those who had been CCd and those who had not, for he was justified as unCC’d, and later became CCd.

If we understand this fact, Eph.3.3-9 becomes abundantly clear.

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery [sod interpretation]; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Moshiach) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Moshiach by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of Elohim given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Moshiach; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in Elohim, who created all things by Yeshua haMoshiach:  Q&C

V.13 – Just as Torah is not nullified through faith (3.31), so faith is not nullified through Torah. Y’hovah promised Avraham that he and his seed would inherit the earth before he gave him the ‘sign’ of CC – 10 years before, to be exact. It was that promise that Avi trusted. Y’hovah had not revealed the mechanism by which he’d deliver the blessing, but the mechanism didn’t mean anything to Avi. Y’hovah said it and that was enough for him, regardless what Bill and Gloria Gaither believe. The promise didn’t come from oral law; it came by faith in the Word of Y’hovah (which I suppose could be called ‘oral law’, but not in the same vein as the meanderings of the rabbis) long before it was written down.