Yeshua, the apostles, and the entire New Testament books taught nothing new.
They might have taught in new ways, but they did not teach us new laws.
Everything they taught was from the beginning, and is found in the Old Testament books. That’s why Yeshua and the apostles commonly preceded their teachings with “it is written,” or “the scriptures saith,” and then proceeded to quote YHWH’s written law from the Old Testament.
Yeshua might have explained what the Old Testament laws meant in different words, such as by using parables and such, but nonetheless, the truths he taught are all found in the Old Testament.
Remember, Yeshua was under the Old Testament law:
“But when the fullness of the time was come, YHWH sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law,”
Now, who was “under the law”?
…and did Messiah refer to Himself as Jew?
Yes, he did (John 4:9,22):
9The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
22You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews.
We will start our study by examining Matthew 5, which is commonly called “The Sermon on the Mount.” The Sermon on the Mount deals with righteous personal conduct.
Many people believe Yeshua was teaching new truths here, and that Yeshua was laying down new laws, and abolishing Old Testament laws.
However, this is not true. Each and every statement He says in this chapter is taken directly from the Old Testament. He was not changing YHWH’s Law!
As a matter of fact, in the middle of His Sermon on the Mount, He paused to stress the truth that the Old Testament laws have not passed away!
“Think not that I came to abolish the law, or the prophets: I came not to abolish, but to fulfill. For verily I say to you, Until heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle in no wise shall pass away from the law, until all be fulfilled.”
Yeshua stressed that, in no way, will any part of the Old Testament law pass away, not one jot (dotting of the “i”) or one tittle (crossing if the “t”), no part of YHWH’s written law in the Old Testament will pass away until two things happen. One, until heaven and earth pass; and two, until all prophesy is fulfilled (Luke 24:44):
44He said to them, “This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the Torah of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms, concerning me must be fulfilled.”
Yeshua did not come to abolish the Old Testament law…period!
Now, why would Yeshua begin his sermon by teaching from YHWH’s (Old Testament) Law, and then pause in the middle of his sermon to say that none of the Old Testament law would pass away, and then a few minutes later, tell everybody how the Old Testament laws have passed away, and are replaced with new laws? The answer is, He wouldn’t, and He didn’t.
Therefore, Yeshua was telling His audience, No matter what you hear from My mouth, do not interpret what I am saying as meaning the written law of YHWH is passing away. Because I am not replacing YHWH’s Law!
Remember this. Yeshua knew that there would be people who would be mis-interpreting His teachings as saying He was abolishing YHWH’s Law, or that some parts of it were no longer binding, or were being changed, but Yeshua warned His listeners that this would be a false interpretation.
Remember the context.
In Matthew 5, verses 17-18:
17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the Torah, until all things are accomplished.
Yeshua said He was not changing the Old Testament law, and in verse 19 He stresses to keep YHWH’s Commandments, and in verse 20 He accuses the scribes and Pharisees of being self righteous. Now, verses 21 through 48 will be addressed, because many people believe Yeshua was changing the Old Testament written laws in these passages! Let us look at them briefly.
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not murder…But I say unto you…”
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you…”
“It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you…”
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto YHWH thine oaths: But I say unto you…”
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you…”
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you…”
First of all, let’s get one thing clear. Yeshua was not quoting from the written law of the Old Testament in these verses!
Let me repeat that.
Yeshua was not quoting from the Old Testament laws in these passages! Even the choice of words used by Messiah indicates that He was addressing a confusion, or a distortion, that was commonplace. Messiah used this same “Ye have heard that it hath been said,” or “it hath been said.” figure of speech to straighten out misunderstandings or falsehoods being taught by the religious leaders of the time. In other words, Yeshua was dealing with hearsay statements.
Contrast this to Messiah’s use of the phrase “It is written” or “The Scripture saith” when He was appealing to the Scriptures for authority (for example, see Matthew 4 where on three occasions during His temptation by the devil, Messiah answered each one of the devil’s lies or misquotes from Scripture with the words: “it is written“).
You may ask, “But the laws such as ‘an eye for an eye’ are found in the Old Testament. If Yeshua was not quoting from the Old Testament, then what was He quoting from?”
Yes, most of the above laws in verses 21 through 48 are found in YHWH’s Law. But even though Yeshua may have been referring to YHWH’s Law, Yeshua was not quoting from YHWH’s Law. Yeshua was quoting from man’s law! Man’s laws always have scriptural truths in them; but when someone quotes these truths in man’s laws, even though they have reference to YHWH’s Law in scripture, they are still being quoted from man’s law itself.
In Yeshua’s case, the Pharisees and Sadducees took YHWH’s Law, from the Old Testament, and applied it to situations that YHWH never intended. They had changed YHWH’s Laws. They placed their own commandments and traditions above the Word of YHWH (Mark 7:7-9):
7 But they worship me in vain,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ Isaiah 29:13
8 “For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things.” 9He said to them, “Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Yeshua was correcting the laws that the people have “heard” from their religious leaders, and explained these laws as YHWH intended them to be.
For example, Yeshua said in Matthew 5:43-44:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite-fully use you, and persecute you.”
Was Yeshua teaching something new?
YHWH’s law says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor” (Leviticus 19:18), but YHWH’s law does not say, hate thine enemy. The Pharisees were taking YHWH’s Law out of context, and added to it, and changed it to mean that we are to hate our enemies, as if the one were a legitimate inference from the other. This is what the people heard from man, but it is not what they read in scripture. However, when Yeshua taught we are to love our enemy, Yeshua was quoting from the Old Testament (Exodus 23:4-5, Deuteronomy 23:7, Proverbs 24:17-18, Proverbs 25:21-22).
He taught nothing new!
Another example is when Yeshua said in Matthew 5:21-22:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not murder…But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:”
Was Yeshua teaching something new?
YHWH’s law says, “thou shalt not murder” (Exodus 20:13), but it certainly does not teach to hate your brother. The Pharisees were teaching it was okay to hate your brothers. But what does the Old Testament say? Leviticus 19:17:
“Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.”
Again, Yeshua taught nothing new! He was quoting from scripture! He was correcting them with Old Testament scripture. Yeshua was explaining the spiritual meaning of Old Testament laws, using the Old Testament itself! The spiritual meaning in this case would be that before one can commit murder, one must first be angry and hate the one he wants to murder.
Yeshua was referring to that anger which leads a man to commit outrages against another, thereby subjecting himself to that punishment which was to be inflicted on those who break the peace.
As far as being in danger of judgment, that is, to have the matter brought before the Priest magistrate, whose business it was to judge in such cases.
Another example is when Yeshua said:
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is YHWH’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.”
Did Yeshua teach something new?
It was not the intention of Yeshua to repeal or abolish this law. YHWH’s Law allowed, and in some instances required, the administration of an oath made unto YHWH (Exodus 22:11, Numbers 5:19). But the Jews, looking upon this law, construed it as giving them exemption from the binding effect of all other oaths. According to their construction, no oath was binding in which the name of YHWH did not directly occur. They therefore coined many other oaths to suit their purposes, which would add weight to their statements or promises, which, however, would not leave them guilty of being forsworn if they spoke untruthfully.
But Yeshua showed that all oaths were ultimately referable to YHWH, and that those who made them would be forsworn if they did not keep them. To prevent this evil practice of loose swearing Yeshua lays down the prohibition, “Swear not at all.”
Messiah does not forbid judicial oaths in this prohibition. This conclusion is also reached when we interpret the prohibition in the light of authoritative examples; for we find that YHWH swore by himself (Genesis 22:16-17; Hebrews 6:13; 7:21); Yeshua answered under oath before the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:63); Paul also made an oath to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 1:23) and made solemn appeals to YHWH (Romans 1:9, Galatians 1:20, Philippians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:31, 1 Thessalonians 5:27, Revelation 10:5-6).
Therefore, judicial oaths, and oaths taken in the name of YHWH on occasions of solemn religious importance, are not included in the prohibition. But as these are the only exceptions found in Scriptures, we can conclude that all other oaths are forbidden. Looking at the details of the paragraph, we find that oaths “by heaven…by the earth…by Jerusalem…and by thy head” are utterly meaningless save as they have reference to YHWH.
Yeshua says elsewhere that all who swear at all, do in fact swear by YHWH, or the oath is good for nothing (Matthew 23:22). To swear by an altar, a gift, or a temple, is of no force, unless it be meant to appeal to YHWH Himself. The essential thing in an oath is calling YHWH to witness our sincerity. If a real oath is taken, therefore, YHWH is appealed to. If not, it is foolish and wicked to swear by anything else.
Another example is when Yeshua said in Matthew 5:31-32:
“It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, cause her to commit adultery:”
Did Yeshua teach something new?
The Pharisees are the ones who said that it was “...lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause” (Matthew 19:3), And Yeshua was correcting them by saying, in Matthew 19:8:
“…but from the beginning it was not so.”
Some may claim that Yeshua was changing the law given to Moses which permitted divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). However, when one reads the law of divorce carefully, it tells us that when the woman divorces and remarries another, she will be defiled. The only thing removed was the curse of the law, but the law that said she would be defiled if she married another man did not change. It was still a sin, but YHWH permitted that evil, temporarily, to prevent an even greater evil. It was still YHWH’s will, in Moses’ time, that divorce not happen, and it was still a sin.
“the former husband who sent her away shall not be able to return and take her to himself for a wife, after she has been defiled.”
Yeshua was simply teaching the same law that was from the beginning!
Yeshua taught nothing new!
Another example is when Yeshua said in Matthew 5:38-39:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you…”
Did Yeshua teach something new?
Yeshua was not saying that the Old Testament law on an eye for an eye has now passed away! Because a few minutes earlier he had just stated that none of the Old Testament law would pass away (Matthew 5:17-18), and Yeshua would not contradict Himself.
So, what was Yeshua teaching in this passage?
The reference to “an eye for an eye” is found in Exodus 21:24-25, which deals with how the judges (Priestly magistrates) must deal with a crime (Deuteronomy 19:18-21 explains how the judges were to carry out this eye for an eye judgment). Namely, the punishment must fit the crime. The religious leaders of Messiah’s day had twisted a passage that applied to the magistrates and misused it as a principle of personal revenge. Messiah is clearing up a confusion that had led people to think that conduct proper for the magistrates—that is, taking vengeance—was also proper for an individual. This law of retribution was designed to take vengeance out of the hands of personal revenge and commit it to the magistrate.
The Pharisees and their followers misused this law as a principle of personal revenge, so that they could give “tit for tat” to those who harmed them, which is contrary to the injunctions of the Old Testament itself (Proverbs 20:22; 24:29). A law that was meant to be a guide to judges rendering judicial decisions and handing down sentences was never meant to be a rule of our personal relationships. The function of magistrates is to administer the vengeance of God upon evil doers (Romans 13:4), but not so with individuals. Our duty is to love our neighbor as the Lord Yeshua has instructed us.
Yeshua was teaching from the Old Testament, which specifically stated that if evil is done to us, we are not to do to him as he did to us!
“Do not say, I will do to him as he has done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.”
The reason is because this would be personal revenge. Instead, the duty of rendering to man his evil work is the duty of the magistrates.
Yeshua taught nothing new.
Another example is when Yeshua said in Matthew 5:27-28:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
Was Yeshua teaching something new?
Just as in all the other examples given in Matthew 5 above, Yeshua was teaching directly from the Old Testament. The spiritual meanings of the Old Testament laws are also found in the Old Testament itself.
Please read YHWH’s seventh and tenth commandments:
7th Commandment: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14).
10th Commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” (Exodus 20:17).
In other words, this 10th Commandment says that whosoever covets (desires, or lusts) after a married woman, has committed adultery with her already in ones heart!!! Why? Because one has broken the 7th Commandment already in one’s heart!
This is the spiritual meaning of adultery, and this is exactly what Yeshua meant when he spoke in Matthew 5:27-28.
Let me ask you a question.
When Yeshua was teaching about “adultery” in Matthew 5:27:
“…Thou shalt not commit adultery”
…was not Yeshua also referring to the 7th Commandment and the sanctity of marriage?
And when Yeshua was teaching about “lusting” after a woman in Matthew 5:28, was not Yeshua also referring to the 10th Commandment?
Yes, He was.
Remember, even though such precepts were never before expressed with such breadth, precision, and sharpness, Yeshua is only the Interpreter of the Law that has been in force from the beginning. His one object here was to contrast the perversions of the law with the true sense of it.
The Old Testament Scripture is still Binding
Messiah used the Old Testament law, which were the “scriptures” of their day, to prove the validity of His own teachings and mission (Luke 24:27). Yeshua said if people do not read “Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded” to repent (Luke 16:30-31). Yeshua said to “search the Scriptures” and it testifies of Him (John 5:39). In Matthew 22:29-33, Yeshua charged the Sadducee’s with the responsibility to understand the concept of the resurrection of the dead from the Old Testament scripture.
Were the Old Testament Scripture abolished at the Cross?
Paul expected believers to test his words using the Old Testament (Acts 17:11). Paul taught that the Old Testament scripture is “able to make thee wise unto salvation”, and is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” so “That the man of YHWH may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim.3:15-17). He said the Old Testament scripture was written for our learning so we might have hope (Romans 15:4). Paul quotes from the Old Testament scripture, saying it’s for our sakes (1 Corinthians 9:9-10).
The apostle Paul kept stressing that the law given to Moses was written for their well being. 1 Corinthians 9:9-10, “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn…For our sakes, no doubt, this is written.” Obviously, Paul did not look at the Mosaic Law as abolished after Yeshua died.
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed…”
The brethren in Berea validated the apostles Paul and Silas every day. They verified their words with scripture.
Dear reader, what scripture were they testing their words with?
With the Old Testament scripture!
What happened after they read the Old Testament scripture?
“Many of them believed”!
How? This is how:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
The Word of YHWH, at that time, was the Old Testament scripture. It was not abolished at the cross!
The first disciple of Messiah to be killed for his faith was Steven. He preached to his accusers just before he was stoned to death by them, and he preached directly from the Old Testament scripture (Acts 7).
Why should Messiah tell the disciples to “Go and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20) if most of what He had spoken was irrelevant because the old covenant was only to be in force while He was in the flesh?
Turning to Paul, the clear implication of his citation of Genesis 15:6 and Habakkuk 2:4 (such as in Galatians 3:6, 11) is that men are saved the same way under both the “Old Covenant and the New”. He noted that “David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom YHWH reckons righteousness apart from works” (Romans 4:6) before citing from Psalms 32, which implies that salvation of the Old Testament was like that of the New Testament.
The role of the law and obedience to it (relative to salvation or justification) was the same for the Children of YHWH before the crucifixion as it is for bond servants of Messiah today in YHWH’s sight, even if the Jewish tradition and the oral law saw it otherwise.
Consider when Paul wrote to Timothy that parts of the New Testament did not yet exist, or at least had not been likely all gathered together II Timothy 3:16:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…”
Having made in the preceding verses a reference to Timothy being raised a believer in Messiah through the “sacred writings” (II Timothy 3:14-15), Paul obviously primarily had the Old Testament in mind when he wrote this. If the Old Testament is so largely irrelevant to believers in Messiah, why would Paul say this, after citing the Exodus and Israel wandering in the wilderness: “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (I Corinthians 10:11—compare I Corinthians 10:6 and Romans 4:23-24).
Salvation is of the Jews
An interesting verse which bears consideration is this, spoken by Yeshua Messiah Himself:
“…we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.”
Yeshua was intimating to the Samaritan woman that Salvation was not a thing left to be reached by any one who might vaguely desire it of a God of mercy, but something that had been revealed, prepared, deposited with a particular people, and must be sought in connection with, and as issuing from them; and that people, “the Jews.”
This they knew because YHWH had commanded it; because they worshiped in a place appointed by YHWH, and because they did it in accordance with the direction and teaching of the prophets.
They have the true religion and the true form of worship; and the Messiah, who will bring salvation, is to proceed from them (Luke 2:30; 3:6).
Yeshua thus affirms that the Jews had the true form of the worship of YHWH. At the same time he was sensible how much they had corrupted it, and on various occasions reproved them for it.
This does not mean that all the Jews were saved, nor that it was not possible but that many of the Gentiles and Samaritans might be saved, for in every nation he that fears YHWH and works righteousness is accepted of him; but The author of eternal salvation comes of the Jews, appears among them (Romans 9:5), and is sent first to bless them. The means of eternal salvation are afforded to them. The word of salvation (Acts 13:26) was of the Jews. It was delivered to them, and other nations derived it through them. This was a sure guide to them in their devotions, and they followed it, and therefore knew what they worshiped. To them were committed the revelations of YHWH (Romans 3:2), and the service of YHWH (Romans 9:4).
Yeshua was referring to “we Jews” when he spoke to the Samaritan woman, and placed Himself in the category of “Jews.”
The Messiah, YHWH’s Son, was a Jew.
The Messiah was to spring from the Jews – from them, the preaching of the Gospel, and the knowledge of the truth, were to go to all the nations of the world. It was to the Jews that the promises were made.
More Old Testament laws that Remain
The New Testament command to be circumcised of heart (Romans 2:29; Colossians 2:11) is an Old Testament doctrine “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.” “The Lord your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your offspring, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” (Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Jeremiah, 4:4, Leviticus 26:41).
James 2:10, “sin in one, guilty of all” (see also Galatians 3:10 and Matthew 26:66) is from Deuteronomy 27:26.
1 John 3:4, “sin is the transgression of the law” (see also Romans 4:15 and James 2:9) can be seen in 1 Samuel 15:24 and Daniel 9:11.
The command for believers to not marry unbelievers (1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 6:14) is found in Deuteronomy 7:3.
When Yeshua said, at Matthew 7:14:
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”
…this was a different way to re-phrase Deuteronomy 5:32:
32You shall observe to do therefore as YHWH your Elohim has commanded you. You shall not turn away to the right hand or to the left.
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Yeshua said unto him, Thou shalt love YHWH thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
…is taken, word for word, from Deuteronomy 6:5:
“And thou shalt love YHWH thy Elohim with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
…and Leviticus 19:18:
“…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…”
Yeshua did not replace the Law, nor give any new commandment, which is why He said:
1 John 2:7:
“Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.”
Your Questions Answered
1) You claim that Yeshua taught nothing new, and that Yeshua did not change the penalty of adultery. But Yeshua did change the penalty of adultery! He did not condemn a woman caught in the very act of adultery!
Well, let’s consider John 8:3-11:
“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Yeshua stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Yeshua was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Yeshua had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Yeshua said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Answer: This passage clearly shows us that Yeshua was following YHWH’s Law, not changing it. It would have been strange if Yeshua, when He was not a judge (verse 15), and had not the witnesses before Him to examine them (verse 10), nor a confession from the accused, and when she had not been tried and condemned by the law and legal judges, should have taken upon Him to condemn her. This being the case, it appears why Yeshua avoided giving an answer to the question of the scribes and Pharisees.
What took place in John 8 follows the Old Testament law on punishing adultery. A woman accused of adultery could not be stoned to death if:
- She did not confess her crime
- There were no witnesses
- There was no judge to pronounce sentence
(Numbers 35:30, Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15, Deuteronomy 19:17-21)
When Yeshua said, “Neither do I condemn thee,” this is to be taken in the sense of judicial condemnation, or of passing sentence as a magistrate, for this was what they had arraigned her for in front of Him. It was not to obtain His opinion about adultery, but to obtain the condemnation of the woman. As He claimed no authority to magistrate, He said that He did not exercise it, and should not condemn her to die.
This is proven by Yeshua’s statement a few verses later, when He said, “I judge no man” (John 8:15). Elsewhere, Yeshua said, “who made me a judge or a divider over you?” (Luke 12:14). Yeshua also said, “for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47). Yeshua was not a judge, so He could not pass judgment upon the woman. And even if He was a judge, YHWH’s Law prohibited Him from passing judgment without any accusers or witnesses.
When Yeshua said, “He that is without sin among you [He that is not guilty: his own conscience being the judge], let him [as a witness] first cast a stone at her” (verse 7), He was actually confirming YHWH’s Law, not changing it. Under the law, the witnesses were to cast the first stone (Deuteronomy 17:7-8). Yeshua maintained and vindicated the law, but imposed a condition which they had overlooked. The one who executed the law must be free from the same crime, lest by stoning the woman he condemn himself as worthy of a like death.
This was in order that the witness might feel his responsibility in giving evidence, as he was also to be the executioner. Yeshua therefore put them to the test. Without pronouncing on her case, He directed them, if any of them were innocent, to perform the office of executioner. This was said, evidently, well knowing their guilt, and well knowing that no one would dare to do it.
Yeshua considered her act of adultery to be a sin, He did not change that. He told her, “Go, and sin no more.” In other words, Yeshua basically told her, You have sinned. You have been detected and accused. The sin is great. But I do not claim power to condemn you to die, and, as your accusers have left you, my direction to you is that you sin no more.
Therefore, this passage teaches us:
1st. That Yeshua claimed no authority to magistrate.
2nd. That He regarded the action of which they accused her as sin.
3rd. That He knew the hearts and lives of men.
4th. That men are often very zealous in accusing others of that of which they themselves are guilty. And,
5th. That Yeshua was endowed with wonderful wisdom in meeting the devices of His enemies, and eluding their deep-laid plans to involve Him in ruin.
The scribes and Pharisees were the prosecutors and they brought her before Yeshua to be the judge. They argued that Moses commanded that such a woman should be stoned. But they wanted to know how this new “King” Yeshua would respond.
Verse six reveals their evil intent. They were tempting Him, that they might accuse Him. Yeshua stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground as if He had not heard them. Finally Yeshua said, “He that is without sin among you, cast the first stone.” Yeshua was putting them on trial first. If they wanted to judge her, then they needed to be on trial first. The scribes and Pharisees must have been outraged. Hey, she didn’t pay the full penalty of the law. But, they left her alone because their lives were also in sin.
Yeshua also knew full well that none of them could even pretend to be sinless with any degree of believe-ability. In bringing the woman accused of adultery, they had all conspired to sin!
LASTLY…A woman cannot be found in the act of adultery without also a man being found with her, yet no man was brought with the accused. Also, as far as the guilty are concerned, Moses’ law says that “they” shall surely be put to death, not that “she” alone shall be put to death.