Parshas Balak
Numbers 22:2 - 25:9

G-d is not a man, nor the son of man... ©
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Paul Sakash, may he rest in peace.

G-d is not a man that He should be deceitful, not a son of man that He should relent. Would He say and not do, or speak and not confirm?

This statement by Balaam in Numbers 23:19, in a very straightforward approach, says there is a difference between G-d and man. It also says G-d cannot be a man because there are certain things man does that the Nature of G-d cannot do. As a result Balaam draws a distinction between G-d and man that is elaborated on by Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin in his sefer, Insights in the Torah. He comments, "There are three situations in which mortal man might not keep his word.

The first possibility is when he never intended to uphold his word, for his original statement was a deliberate lie. Corresponding to this, Balaam said, 'G-d is not a man that He should be deceitful.'

Another possibility is when a person occasionally does not keep his commitment because he has a change of heart or no longer wants to do what he had originally and sincerely intended. In relation to this possibility, Balaam said, 'nor a son of man that He should relent.'

The third reason a person may not adhere to his declared intention is that he finds it impossible to do so. In reference to this he said, 'Would He say and not do, or speak and not confirm?'"

Rabbi Sorotzkin explained this well! Yet, even though he did not rule out the possibility of men being perfect in these three areas, it must be noted that it doesn't matter because the revelation given about G-d is: HE IS NOT A MAN...NOR THE SON OF MAN! This is not just a distinction between G-d and man. It is a fact!

The New Testament conflicts with this revelation about G-d. Many times Jesus is referred to by others as the capital S son of G-d or capital S son of man. There are several places that the New Testament report that angels said Jesus was the capital S son of G-d. Jesus also refers to himself as the capitol S son of G-d. The followers of Jesus established this as a key element of their Messianic / Christian doctrine. Their beliefs / doctrine are in direct conflict to what is stated in the perfect Torah!

There is no way of getting around the fact that G-d is not a man, nor a son of man. Yet there are attempts. One attempt is to terminate the perfect Torah. If the Torah has a cap, or an expiration date or a conclusion then in a new book we can deviate from what the Torah says. That is why the Torah is included in what they have termed as "The Old Testament". In other words, it's old, it's done away with. Its time has come and gone. The concept is, "It's time for a new model". Some of them try a little different approach called dispensational. In other words they attempt to show that G-d operates one way in dispensation "A' but can operate exactly the opposite in dispensation "B". Still others believe that modification of the Torah is acceptable. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible states, "It was implicit in Christian theology that Jesus not only fulfilled the OT, but went beyond it in {capital h} his teachings. {capital h} his modifications of the Mosaic law in the Sermon on the Mount shows the authoritative nature of {capital h} his teachings."

All of this is like saying, "The fox can rule the hen house". All of them ignore Malachi 3:6 "For I am Hashem, I change not..."

A few paragraphs later Zondervan states that they have no idea how the teachings of Jesus were transmitted... He suggests maybe they were transmitted like the Jewish oral law from father to son which I must point out many take a swat at every chance they get.

Christian apologist Dr. Josh McDowell in his book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, uses the Tenach in an attempt to establish that the New Testament is inspired from a historical point. IT CANNOT BE DONE. It is an illogical argument. Historical facts that happened in the Jewish Tenach cannot and do not support in any way the claim that the New Testament is divinely inspired! The two are not connected regardless of all the attempts to do so. The New Testament must stand on its own record not ours! But why should I be surprised? That is the same twisted approach that is so often used. Say maybe the New Testament was handed down from father to son, but knock and ridicule those that did. Support the New Testament with the Tenach, but label it "OLD" and dismiss it as fulfilled and outdated. This goes beyond absurd!

Parker Brothers issued a game during the great depression called Monolopy. The game has been very sucessful. Millions of people have played it. When they issued this game it came with instructions for playing the game. Many players follow the exact instructions. If they come across a situation not explained in the instructions they contact Parker Brothers who give them a ruling. On the other hand some players modify the instructions and play according to their own rules. That is fine in Monolopy but not in real life. In addition, what sense would it make for players of Monolopy to write to Milton Bradley, publisher of Scrabble, about interpeting the rules for Monolopy? Yet that is what the Christian / Messianic world is attempting to do with the Jewish Tenach. It was the Jewish nation at Har Sinai, through Moshe Rabbinu, that received the Torah and its interpetation directly from Hashem. It was Jewish Prophets, Jewish Judges and Jewish elders who record and interpet the sacred pages of Tenach. Other religions have attempted to alter the Jewish interpretation given to us by Hashem. The Christians / Messianics are, so to speak, trying to publish a Monolopy Two in replacement of the PERFECT ORIGINAL! (One example is Jewish New Testament by David H. Stern.)

Today there are copyright laws, patent laws, registered trademark laws, etc. protecting the rights of the ownership. If we can understand those rights and laws, why can't we understand in the same sense that only Judaish has the rights to interpet our Tenach? Our Torah is perfect and eternal. The Torah that Hashem gave us is not subject to updating, modifying and editing. It is a timeless treasure to our people.

Therefore, it is our interpetation that G-d is not a man, nor a son of man.


Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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