December 2010 Yavoh

The 4 Levels of Torah

One of the primary transitions that most Christians face when they become Messianic is their relationship with the Torah. The first five books of the Bible are the Law of Moses. Not only has the Old Testament been relegated to ancient history by the Church, but the Law of Moses is singled out for distinction as to what not to believe in the Christian faith. Churchmen have taught for years that Christians no longer follow the Torah and its commandments. Instead, Christ has come and they now only follow Church teachings.

Once they overcome the surprise that the Law of Moses does matter, Messianics are suddenly faced with “how can I learn the Torah?” Like anything worth learning, there are steps in the process and you need a teacher to help you get started. This article is for that purpose.

Traditionally, the Torah has been taught every Sabbath day in an annual cycle. There is an alternative tri-annual teaching cycle, but I will address the more common annual cycle. Beginning in the fall, immediately after the Feast of Tabernacles, the first portion of the Torah called “Beresheet” (In the beginning... Genesis 1:1), is taught, which covers the first 5+ chapters of Genesis. Each week that follows through the year then has a small portion following through the books of the Torah, i.e., Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, called Beresheet, Shemot, Vayikra, Bemidbar, and Devarim in Hebrew. Each name corresponds to the first words in the first verse of each book. Just as Beresheet means “In the beginning,” so Shemot means “Names,” Vayikra means “And He called,” Bemidbar means “In the wilderness,” and Devarim means “Words.”

Paul was referring to this systematic public teaching of the Torah when he exhorted Timothy to keep teaching the Torah to all believers.

Until I [Paul] come, [you Timothy] give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 1TI 4:13

We believe that the entire community in Israel was versed in this form of spiritual instruction during the days of Yeshua’s ministry; therefore, the Messiah didn’t come teaching the basics of the Torah. Instead, He came teaching a higher form of the Torah, thus “fulfilling” (filling it full of meaning) the Torah. This is the meaning of Yeshua’s statements when He addressed the validity of the Torah and the other Scriptures.

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter [a jot] or stroke [a tittle] shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. MAT 5:17-19

Yeshua clearly stated that He was teaching the Torah to bring it to fullness; but, as you know, many churchmen have considered His teaching to in essence abolish the Torah. They have drawn this erroneous conclusion because they themselves don’t know what the Torah is nor how it is structured.

You will note that I inserted the terms “jots” and “tittles” into the text from the King James Version. This is one place where the King James Bible does the right thing. The translators don’t quite know what the jots and tittles are so they offered their best guess. “It must be the smallest of letters and the strokes of the letters.” In the end, the intent of Yeshua’s statement is still made. Yeshua came to teach the Torah to the deepest level possible.

Teaching to the deepest level is more than a lofty goal. It turns out that the Torah really does have levels to it. While Christians look as Scripture as literal or figurative, Torah teachers know and teach the Torah at four levels.

The first level is the P’shat, which is the “plain sense of the text.” The second level is the Drash, which is the “principled level that leads to the homiletic, sermonizing, and what Hebrews refer to as the midrash.” When you consciously study the Scripture you are at the Drash level. The third level is the Remez, which is the “esoteric, hidden, or hint” level. This deals with hidden patterns, messages, and themes. The most dominant of these themes and messages is about the Messiah. The fourth level is the Sod (pronounced sode), which is the mysterious level. The “jots and tittles” Yeshua referred to are part of that level.

In effect, Yeshua said that He came to fill the Torah up with meaning teaching all of the levels of the Torah “until all is accomplished.”

In this article, I would like to review these four levels and point out some specific places in the New Testament where these four levels of Torah were taught. It is my intent to show you that most Christians have learned much of the Torah but didn’t know it was from the Torah to begin with.

P’SHAT Level

The P’shat level is the plain, literal sense of the text. It deals with the words themselves, their sequence, and what they present in a straightforward manner and with the literal aspect of the text.

Before we go any further, I need to address an important fact about the Bible, in particular the Old Testament. The Torah and the rest of the Old Testament were first written in Hebrew. All English Bibles are translations of the Hebrew text. The translators did their best, but there were some places that they simply couldn’t translate so they didn’t – they just left it out. Additionally, the Hebrew letters and text convey other meanings by their use and placement. For example, each Hebrew letter has an inherent numerical value and specific definition. None of that was carried over to the English translation either. Let me share a stunning example of this from Genesis 1:1.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” are the words of the first verse. However, in the Hebrew seven words are written but only six of them are translated. In the Hebrew text the fourth word et (the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet [aleph-bet], Aleph and Tav) is not translated. Grammatically, this little word is indicating that the action of the verb is on the object, not on the subject. So, God was not created in the beginning; instead, God created the heavens and the earth. Effectively, the English translators did convey the accurate meaning and intent of the verse but they did not show you the “plain sense of the text,” because there is much more to the plain sense of the text in the Hebrew version of Genesis 1:1.

Look at what the Apostle John tries to teach you in the New Testament about Genesis 1:1. This is an example of teaching the first level of Torah – the plain sense of the text.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. JOH 1:1

Every Christian knows that the Messiah is the “Word” referred to in this verse, but they have missed something important. John is saying that the word et is the Messiah in the verse “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1). Again the fourth word of the text is not translated but there in the Hebrew text the word et is sitting beside the word for God—Elohim. Look at what else John says.

He [the word et] was in the beginning [the verse Genesis 1:1] with God [Elohim]. All things came into being by Him [the Word], and apart from Him [the Word] nothing came into being that has come into being. JOH 1:2-3

 John is saying that the Creator was God and was the word et. This is an example of how the text plainly says something that is utterly profound. If et is the Messiah, then the Messiah created everything “in the beginning.”

This little simple expression is not the only place in the Bible where this happens. The prophet Zechariah uses this exact expression in his prophecy.

And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born. ZEC 12:10

In the Hebrew, the phrase they will look on Me whom they have pierced is literally “they will look upon et whom they pierced.” The translators have interpreted that et is a person. Christians interpret the person to be the Messiah. This is consistent with what the Messiah said of Himself when He quoted this same verse in Revelations.

Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” REV 1:7-8

Even those who pierced Him is a key portion of Zechariah 12:10. Here is the Messiah assigning Himself to the prophecy. He even assigns Himself to the very letters making up the word et. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet; however, I believe that a Hebrew Messiah talking to a Hebrew prophet probably spoke in Hebrew rather than in Greek. Therefore He would have said,

“I am the Aleph and the Tav,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Again, these are examples of how the plain sense of the text offers profound meaning to the Torah.

DRASH Level

The Drash level of the Torah deals with the principles and truths presented in the text. From these principles and truths teachers offer instruction, preachers sermonize, and brethren relate one to another how to apply the truths in a midrash. The Drash level is somewhat like the process of forging metal. The ore is heated and then shaped into something useful. Then it is heated again and again working the shape each time until a tool comes to life. This level of study does the same with the words of the Law to form tools of life.
 
The Drash level of study involves lots of questions. Just as the metal gets heated again and again, so repeated questions from all angles brings out the Drash level of study. This involves the definitions of words, including not only the derivation (primal meaning) but the connotation (the emotional expression in usage). Let me illustrate. The word et used previously is about the Messiah. The actual derivation of the word broken down to the individual letters means “the strength of the cross.” That is a very powerful definition for the Messiah. The connotation is about the “first and last” letters of the aleph-bet – the emotional overtones of Him beginning the “author and finisher” of our faith.

Let me share another example of the Drash level. The Hebrew word for “command” in the commandments of God is tsav. The meaning of tsav is literally “attaching parts.” It means “hooks and nails” in our modern context; therefore, the commandments of God are the “attaching parts” that connect us to God. If we disobey the Lord, we are separated from Him and joined to the world. If we obey him, we are joined with Him and separated from the world.

One of the most powerful examples uses the Drash level of study to understand the commandments of God. Again, the Drash level is brought out by asking repeated questions.

Question No. 1: What is the first commandment you must keep before you can keep any of the other commandments? Answer: You must hear the voice of God to hear His commandments. Therefore, we teach from the Drash level...

Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is One. DEUT 6:4

Question No. 2: What is the greatest commandment? Answer: Hear O Israel. The Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your might.

Yeshua participated in a midrash with some Jews about this in which He gave this very answer to the same question.

Question No. 3: When have you fulfilled the first commandment and kept the greatest commandment? Answer: And you shall teach your children...

One of the most powerful ways to learn a subject is to teach the subject. If we teach our children to Hear and Love the Lord, then we will have learned it as well.

You can see how the repeated question technique leads to more understanding and the bringing forth of the principles and truths in the Scripture.

Let me take you to the basic commandments given to us by God at Mount Sinai.

What is the first commandment of the Ten Commandments? Most believers are tripped up by this question. They tend to go to the text and look for the imperative mood in the text to define the commandments. The imperative mood in the text is where there are words such as “you shall” or “you shall not.” However, the first commandment of the Ten Commandments is not written in the imperative mood and most skip right over it. Let’s look at the first word of the Ten Commandments.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. EXO 20:2-3

The first “you shall” appears in verse 3. Many Christian renditions of the Ten Commandments begin with this. However, a Drash level study shows you that verse 2 is the first commandment. What is the commandment in God’s declaration that He is our God who brought us out of the land of Egypt and the house of slavery? Answer: Believe in Me! Believe that I am the God who brought you out of Egypt and slavery.

The second commandment of the Ten is about other gods and idolatry.

Yeshua was really talking about the first commandment of the Ten when He spoke with Nicodemus and said,

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. JOH 3:16

Believing Yeshua as the Son of God is keeping the first commandment of the Ten Commandments.

Let me share another example of the Drash level of the Ten Commandments. What is the commandment that you always break first when you sin against God? Answer: You break the first one and do not believe God. From there you commit idolatry and other things against Him. When you take His name in vain, you don’t believe He can do anything about it. When you break Sabbath, you don’t believe that He created the heavens and the earth. When you dishonor your father and mother, you don’t believe that He is your heavenly Father or that He created man and woman.

It turns out that you obey God first with your heart, believing in Him. When you disobey, you first do it with your heart, disbelieving Him before the other things follow.

What commandment do you break first before sinning against another person? Answer: You break the 10th commandment not to covet. To covet is to want what does not belong to you and you cannot have it by proper means. You will covet something before you commit murder, adultery, theft, or bearing false witness (lying). In a crime, this is what they call the motive.

Do you recall Yeshua teaching this Drash level of the Torah? It is with the heart first that a man obeys or is defiled.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. MAT 15:19

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. LUK 6:45

These have been examples of what we call the Drash level of the Torah.

REMEZ Level

The Remez level of Torah is the esoteric (to be understood by the initiated alone), hidden, or secret level. Virtually each of these examples is about the Messiah. This is why Moses is regarded as the greatest prophet of the Messiah. All of the classic Messianic themes are laid out in the Torah first. The Remez level also addresses the Spirit of Prophecy.

One of the most powerful prophecies in the Torah is summarized as follows: What happens to the fathers will happen to the descendants. The stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are powerful pictures of those whose lives God used for a pattern for us to learn from and be warned about what will come. Let me share a classic example of the Remez level of the Torah as it fulfills the Spirit of Prophecy.

Our father Abraham was commanded to take his son Isaac to Mount Moriah and offer him up as a sacrifice (give him back to God). Abraham obeyed God and proceeded to take Isaac up the mountain. Here is Abraham and Isaac carrying the wood for the pyre, the fire, and the knife, but Isaac notes the absence of a sacrifice.

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. GEN 22:6-8

Upon closer examination of this passage, you will notice the expression So the two of them walked on together is given twice. This is a virtual clue that you are on to something very significant in this passage. Torah teachers will tell you that there is no idle or redundant expression in the Torah. Everything is significant.

In this passage, Abraham went to the mountain because God commanded him to take Isaac there. As Abraham obeyed we have the first expression So the two of them walked on together. But when Abraham answered Isaac’s question by saying that the Lord is the One who would provide the sacrifice, Isaac realized that his life was at stake. Isaac then placed his faith (life) in God’s hand and now they were together in purpose. So the two of them walked on together.

The second expression is far more meaningful than the first, being a hidden expression of agreement. It is also hinting to the work of the Messiah in that our Heavenly Father had sent His Son to be a sacrifice for us, but His Son also submitted willingly, just as Isaac did.

As the passage continues, Abraham bound Isaac and laid him on the altar; however, God stopped Abraham once He saw his obedience. Instead, a ram whose head was caught in a thicket of thorns was sacrificed. When the Messiah came offering Himself, in agreement with our Heavenly Father, His head was also caught in thorns—it was a crown of thorns.

This Remez theme is not limited to events with Abraham and Yeshua. We see this carried forward with the entire story of the Passover when the children of Israel were set free from Egypt. In that example, Moses was commanded by God to instruct the children of Israel to collect a yearling lamb on 10th day of Aviv (Nisan) and slay it on the 14th day. The blood of the lamb was put upon the doorpost and lintels of the door. The Angel of the Lord came that night to slay the firstborn of Egypt. Only those houses with this sign of the blood were “passed over” from death to life.

While this event did happen historically, the Remez level of the Torah shows a greater understanding of the work of the Messiah when He came to do the work of redemption. To redeem is to “purchase out of slavery.” Yeshua came to Jerusalem the last time entering the city on the 10th of Aviv (the church calls it in Palm Sunday). He ate the Passover with His disciples and was slain on Passover day. He was the Lamb of God. He became our redemption from the slavery to sin.

While this is a powerful Messianic theme (Remez) of the Torah there is still more. The act of painting the doorposts and lintels with the blood of the lamb suggests something more. The pattern of the blood on the door is like the very strokes of a particular Hebrew letter – the letter Het. The letter Het is the first letter in the word chai which means “life.” Remember, the Angel passed over the houses with “life.” When Yeshua said that He was the “way, the truth, and the life” it was more than a nice saying. Yeshua was presenting Himself as the fulfillment of several Remez level (esoteric, hidden, secret) understandings from the Scriptures.

Before we leave this topic area, let us examine one last example that ties together something we learned in the P’shat, the Drash, and the Remez level.

From the Drash level, where does the story of redemption begin? It begins when Jacob (the father) sends his son (Joseph) to see to the welfare of the flock and his brothers in Genesis 37:12. Remember the pattern of Abraham and Isaac being together—what happens to the fathers happens to the descendants? When we observe the traditional Passover seder dinner, we begin the story of redemption at this verse and keep the commandment to teach our children how God redeemed the children of Israel. Why? Joseph was the first slave in Egypt. He became successful in Egypt and eventually, the entire family of Jacob moved to Egypt. Then, generations later a Pharaoh arose who had forgotten Joseph. This was the Pharaoh of the exodus. God sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel just as He had foretold to Abraham in Genesis 15.

So let us examine Genesis 37:12 to see what it plainly says.

Then his brothers went to pasture their father's flock in Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them." And he said to him, "I will go." GEN 37:12-13
In the Hebrew, the text does not directly say “their father’s” flock. That is the work of the translators trying to make sense of the story. Instead, the text itself says the brothers went to pasture the et (Aleph Tav) flock. Et is the Messiah, the Creator. The flock belongs to Him. Jacob’s instruction to Joseph to see to the welfare of the flock and his brethren is the beginning of the theme of the Messiah’s redemption. The Messiah is sent from the Father for the same purpose.

Joseph is a type of Messiah. His life is a Remez level teaching of the Messiah. Joseph was sent to his brothers and was rejected by them (they wanted to kill him). He was cast in a pit, sold, and eventually raised from the pit. In the end, through the office of Viceroy of Egypt, Joseph was in charge of the world when his brothers came to buy food.

Yeshua, the Messiah, was also rejected by His brethren and countrymen. They wanted Him dead also and put a price on His head. He was put in a pit (grave) and was raised out of the pit. The next time we see Him He will be in charge of the whole world. This is the classic Messianic theme of the Remez level. Truly, the Spirit of Prophecy is the testimony of the Messiah just as Revelation 19:10 says.

But there is something more. In Genesis 37:12 at the word et there are “jots” above each letter of the Aleph Tav. That same verse also introduces the Sod level of the Torah to us.

SOD Level

The Sod Level is the mysterious level. This level is so fascinating that some students of Torah have lost their sense of balance (so to speak) and gone headlong into making the entire Torah a study of only mystical things. They are called Kabbalists and kabbalah is “mysticism.” Anything can be taken too far and kabbalism is an excellent example of taking the Sod level too far. By the way, you can take any level too far and stunt your understanding of Torah in a variety of ways. Fundamentalists have taken the P’shat level too far. Judaism has taken the Drash level too far. Christians have taken the Remez level to far.

There are elements of the Sod level that are not well understood by the average Christian, so some elementary instruction is needed to show some examples.

As I said before, each letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet has a teaching and a numerical value with it. There are no numerals in the Hebrew language. The same is true of Greek and English. The English language uses “Arabic numerals.” The Romans had their own “numerals.” So, how did the Hebrews put numbers in Scripture? If you examine the Hebrew text you will only find Hebrew letters (not numbers). Because individual letters have numerical values and the combinations of letters total up to certain values, numbers and their values are expressed as letters. If you read a Hebrew Bible, you will find the verse numbers at the margin as individual Hebrew letters.

The numerical values of Hebrew letters are called gematria. The first letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet is Aleph and its numerical value (gematria) equals one. Bet equals two and so forth. However, at the value of 10 the decimal is moved. Instead the eleventh letter, being 11, jumps to 20. The 12th letter is 30 and so forth until it reaches 100. The next letter is 200. The letter Tav, the last letter of the aleph-bet, equals 400.

With Hebrew gematria every passage of Scripture, word, or phrase has a numerical value. Certain key words have certain numerical values. Even names have numerical values. One of the most powerful prophecies that uses Hebrew gematria is the 666 value in the name of the antimessiah.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. REV 13:18

If you understand gematria, then this prophecy is a clear example of the Sod level of study. But it is not just about prophecy that gematria plays a profound role. Here is an example of how gematria played a role in confirming the Messiah to the disciples.

It is given to us at the conclusion of John’s gospel. The disciples have returned to Galilee after the resurrection and were fishing. They hadn’t caught anything and early in the morning this event happens.

But when the day was now breaking, Yeshua stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Yeshua. Yeshua therefore said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will find a catch.” They cast therefore, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. That disciple therefore whom Yeshua loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” And so when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. JOH 21:4-8

This sounds like another garden variety miracle of the Messiah; however, it is the number of the fish caught that becomes an example of how the Sod level works.

Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. JOH 21:11

Why were there 153 fish? Why not 152 or 154? Why is the number recorded by John? Only gematria seems to have an answer here. It turns out that the Hebrew expression enie Elohim is 153 in value. Enie Elohim means “I am God.” This miracle turns out to be a very powerful exhortation to the disciples who are about to go “fishing for the sons of the Living God” in fulfillment of the Great Commission.

I mentioned earlier that another part of the Sod level is called the jots and tittles. Jots and tittles are real things in the Hebrew Scriptures yet none are translated into an English Bible. There are more than 100 of them throughout Scripture, about two dozen of them in Torah itself. There are four classes of jots and tittles.

Jots are actual “dots” put above letters of certain words. There are four places where these “dots” occur. Genesis 37:12 is one of the four. Tittles are found in three classes. They include enlarged letters, small letters, and finally stigmatized letters.

Enlarged letters appear bolded and seem to emphasize the meaning of the letter. The first example of this is in the first letter of the Bible. The word is Beresheet and the first letter is a Bet. Bet means “house” and the first Sod level teaching is about how God wants to build His house. A house is built when a man takes a bride. It is the bride who builds the house and gives the increase to the house. The Bible is the story of God taking a bride and building His house.

Small letters have the opposite effect, of de-emphasizing the meaning of the letter. The first example in Scripture is found in Genesis 2:4 where the letter hey is made small in the word for “created.” The letter hey means “behold” the moment that a door is opened showing glory. Some Torah teachers say that it was the second day of creation that Satan and his followers fell and diminished the glory in heaven.

Stigmatized letters are very specific variations of how the actual letter is written. One of the most powerful examples is the inverted nuns in Number 10:35 and 36. The letter nun is written backwards just before verse 35 and immediately following verse 36. The letter nun means the “quickening of life.” But by drawing it backwards (inverted) some teachers say it refers to the resurrection from the dead. Verses 35 and 36 seem to speak to that theme with these words.

Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said, “Rise up, O Lord! And let Thine enemies be scattered, and let those who hate Thee flee before Thee.” And when it came to rest, he said, “Return Thou, O Lord, to the myriad thousands of Israel.” NUM 10:35-36

The inverted nuns seem to first speak of the Messiah’s resurrection that is victory of His enemies and death. The second seems to speak of our resurrection when the Messiah will return the myriad thousands of Israel (all of the saints).

There is a third area of the Sod level called the “acrostics.” Acrostics are where the first letter of each word in a phrase or expression carrying a mysterious message within it. The best example of this is at the crucifixion of Yeshua.

Yeshua was tried by the Romans for being “the King of the Jews” in defiance of Caesar. When Yeshua was executed on the cross, they affixed a sign over him with His name and what He was being executed for. The sign above Yeshua read “Yeshua of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” This sign was written in three languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. The Hebrew title was four words. The first letter of those four words was Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey. This is the holy name of God given to Moses to at the burning bush.

Yeshua had come and shown the signs of Moses. He had changed water into wine (Moses changed water into blood). Yeshua performed instant healings (Moses did the same with his hand in and out of his cloak with leprosy.) Finally, Yeshua had said that when He is lifted up (on the cross) then He would be lifted up like Moses’ staff in the wilderness. The “acrostic” sign above the cross seemed to conclusively show that fulfillment. This may well have been the reason why the religious leaders upon seeing the sign above Yeshua insisted on Pilate changing the sign. Pilate refused.

There are many more examples that I could share from the P’shat, Drash, Remez, and Sod levels. This is what you have to look forward to in studying the Torah as a Messianic believer. These examples are only the beginning to finding out why every word of the Torah is a delight to our souls and sweeter than the honeycomb.

I would also remind you that a purely academic study of Torah is not our ultimate goal. Knowing the Messiah is our true goal. However, studying the Torah and learning the four levels are the joys and mile markers along that path. After some study on your own, you too will discover why we call it the “living Torah” and see the Messiah manifesting Himself to you.

It is just as the Messiah Himself said when He quoted the Psalms about the Torah.

Then I said, “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me; I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart.” PSA 40:7-8