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– Week 21–
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As we study the twenty first week’s reading from the Bible-in-a-year, we are starting again in the book of Exodus (AKA Shemot).
Ki Tisa (כי תשא), literally means “when you lift up.” It comes from the first words of the second verse of the first section, which could be literally rendered, “When you lift up the head of the sons of Israel to reckon them” (Exodus 30:12). The phrase “lift up the head” is an idiom for taking a head count. The study begins with instructions for taking a census, finishes up the instructions for making the Tabernacle, reiterates the commandment of Sabbath/ Shabbat and then proceeds to tell the story of the golden calf. The majority of this OT section is concerned with the sin of the golden calf, the breach in the covenant between God and Israel, and how Moses undertakes to restore that covenant relationship. . . . Continue the study below.
You will also find study guides by chapter and advanced study of the original languages [including from ancient Jewish writings] following the Bible study outline. While it is our belief that many of the letters of the New Testament were originally written in Aramaic and/ or Hebrew, the Greek texts are used for study even when there are known Hebrew manuscripts (eg. Mathew and Hebrews).
This Week’s Bible Audio, Outlines & Study Guides
- Exodus 30:11 | The Half Shekel for the Sanctuary
- Exodus 30:17 | The Bronze Basin
- Exodus 30:22 | The Anointing Oil and Incense
- Exodus 31:1 | Bezalel and Oholiab
- Exodus 31:12 | The Sabbath Law
- Exodus 31:18 | The Two Tablets of the Covenant
- Exodus 32:1 | The Golden Calf
- Exodus 33:1 | The Command to Leave Sinai
- Exodus 33:7 | The Tent outside the Camp
- Exodus 33:12 | Moses’ Intercession
- Exodus 34:1 | Moses Makes New Tablets
- Exodus 34:10 | The Covenant Renewed
- Exodus 34:29 | The Shining Face of Moses
Prophets & Writings
Elijah Confronts Ahab
- 1Ki 18:1 | Elijah’s Message to Ahab
- 1Ki 18:20 | Elijah’s Triumph over the Priests of Baal
Yeshua (Jesus) Teaches the Ways of His Father
(Mt 9-11, Mr 9)
Passover/ Wedding Seder/ Supper of the Lamb
This Week’s Bible Study Commentary
The English name Exodus comes from the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The Greek title for the book is Exodus Aigyptou, which translates as “Departure from Egypt.” The name Exodus is an abbreviated form of that title. Exodus means “departure.” (Shemot in Hebrew[שְׁמוֹת ]) means NAMES, The book of Exodus tells the story of the children of Israel enslaved in Egypt and their miraculous redemption through the hand of Moses, the story of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, the construction of the golden calf and the construction of the Tabernacle. By the time we finish “the book of names” we will have covered more prophecy just in the first 2 books of the Bible than most “preachers” have taught in LIFETIMES of careers.
There are some big Bible nuggets revealed in this study that are easy to miss if we aren’t careful in study. Comparing it to John 1:18, Psalms 74:11 and Proverbs 8;
Are the 2 revealings of Moses’ hand representative of the 2 revealings of the Messiah (God’s right hand in the bosom of the Father)? Any correlation to the giving of the Torah at the mountain and the giving of the Spirit at “Pentecost” or Shavuot (weeks) 2 thousand years later? Do we look at the meaning of the names in the Bible that aren’t translated? Are there examples of hidden Aleph-Tav/ Alpha-Omega text in the Hebrew of this Bible study? Yes! We will later look at some.
After forty days of fasting in his tent of meeting, Moses began to negotiate with God. Ever since the sin of the golden calf, the LORD (YHVH) had not referred to Israel as His people. Rather, they were Moses’ people:
“Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:7).
Moses, on the other hand, remained in God’s favor. As he negotiated for forgiveness and atonement, he banked heavily on God’s favor for him. He complained that, although he remained in God’s favor, he felt disfavored because he was told to lead the people without God’s presence.
The Hebrew word translated as “favor (chen, חן)” can also be translated as “grace.” Thus Moses argued for mercy and forgiveness on the basis of God’s grace toward him. The concept that there was never any grace in the old testament is false.
You have said, “I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.” If I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people. (Exodus 33:12-13)
On the basis of Moses’ complaint, the LORD relented ever so slightly. Whereas previously He had declared that He would not go with Israel as they went up from Sinai, now He conceded that He would go with Moses. He said to Moses, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14). Note that the pronoun “you” appears is in the singular form. The LORD only promised to go with Moses and give Moses rest. He did not say so regarding Israel, nor did He acknowledge them as His people.
Moses rejected the offer. Speaking in the first-person plural form, he said, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). It was not adequate for God to accompany Moses, He needed to accompany the whole people. Moses deliberately identified himself with the people. It was as if Moses said, “If you want to show me favor and go with me, you need to show us all favor and go with all of us, because I am with the people.” Moses would accept nothing less than grace for the whole nation. He knew that he enjoyed the favor of the LORD; he sought to include the nation in the merit of God’s favor for him:
For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth? (Exodus 33:16)
Moses deliberately identified himself with the people, saying “us,” “we,” and, “I and Your people.” He no longer appealed to the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He no longer appealed to the “what-will-the-Egyptians-think” argument. He appealed merely to God’s expressed favor for him. On his own merit in God’s eyes, Moses hoped to atone for the entire nation. It was the only thing he had left with which to negotiate.
The LORD (YHVH) conceded again and responded, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name” (Exodus 33:17). God agreed to forgive the nation, go with them, and acknowledge them as His people on the basis of His favor for Moses.
This story illustrates the concept of righteousness where the merit and favor of a single righteous person can be extended to others. On the basis of God’s gracious favor for one man, the entire nation received the forgiveness of sin and a restoration of relationship with the Almighty. On the merit of one righteous man’s standing with God, all Israel is granted standing with God. These are the mechanics of the gospel. The ultimate redeemer is like the first redeemer, making atonement for the entire nation and those who are grafted in on the basis of His merit alone.
The story also illustrates the meaning of the word grace. Christian teachers sometimes define “grace” as God’s unmerited favor. On the contrary, grace (chen, חן) implies merited favor. Someone did merit it. Our righteous Messiah merited God’s favor, and He identified Himself with us so that we might share in that favor. Just as Moses merited favor on behalf of all Israel and so we must acknowledge that as part of what ultimately brings our own favor.
The narrative of this section can be roughly divided into three parts: 1) The conclusion of God’s instructions to Moses regarding the making of the Mishkan (Tabernacle); 2) The sin of the Golden Calf; 3) The granting of the second tablets.
Two full sections have already been filled with God’s detailed instructions on how the people of Israel should construct the Sanctuary in which He promises to “dwell amidst them.” Still, several items remain to be described: the manner in which the silver for the making of the “foundation sockets” should be collected, and the making of the basin (kiyor), anointing oil (shemen hamishchah) and incense (ketoret). These items, followed by a roundup of all the Mishkan’s components, occupy the first 38 verses of week twenty one.
Ancient commentators have said concerning the half shekel, “Why not a complete coin? To teach us that no man is a complete entity unto himself. Only by joining with another can a person become a “whole thing.”” An entire book could be written on that thought alone. Just as all Israel joined to Moses in this instance, so too have all of us who are grafted in the the Messiah joined to Him! And so we are to join to each other:
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1Co 1:10
On the mountain, God reveals to Moses His “thirteen attributes of mercy”:
YHVH, El, mighty, merciful and gracious; forbearing, and abundant in love and truth; keeping kindness for thousands [of generations], forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin; who clears guilt] . . .
God renews His covenant with Israel. Moses was there with YHVH forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote upon the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten Words.
When Moses descends from the mountain, his face shines with a divine light. So overpowering is its luminance that Moses wears a veil to shield the people from it, which he removes only when he conveys to them the laws and teachings he receives from God.
This section of the Bible is often read during Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות or סֻכּוֹת, Feast of Tabernacles). Sukkot is a day celebrated on the 15th day of Tishrei (late September to late October). It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals, shalosh regalim (שלוש רגלים), on which God’s people were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.
According to the prophet Zechariah 14, in the messianic era or 1000-year reign, Sukkot will become a universal festival and all nations will make pilgrimages annually to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast there.
This Week’s Hidden Aleph-Tav’s
In the Hebrew Scriptures there are hidden aleph-tav’s [את] that aren’t usually translated into English. But they are very enlightening when we read them in the Hebrew, especially because Jesus/ Yeshua said He WAS the aleph-tav. These are the ones we find in this week’s study:
Exodus Chapter 31 is a short chapter but notice how many times the word Sabbath is use with an את in front of the word signifying that יהוה Father established the Covenant of Sabbath after creation on the 7th Day and placed את Yeshua (Jesus) as Adonai (Lord) over that Day confirming Matt 12:8 and Luke 6:5 where Jesus/ Yeshua declares before His death and resurrection that He, the Son of Man is Adonai of the Sabbath.
Ex 31:13-17 claims that את Sabbath Day is a sign (mark) between each covenant child and יהוה את (Yah-head). In Ex 31:16 יהוה Father commands את Children of Israel to keep את Sabbath, to observe את Sabbath throughout all their generations as an everlasting covenant.
In Ex 32:11 Moses seeks את face ofיהוה his Elohim…confirming what Yeshua said to Philip in John 14:9 he that has seen Me has seen the Father.
In Ex 32:13 it is יהוה Father through את that will multiply Abraham’s seed as the stars of heavens. In Ex 33:4 Moses delivers to the people את words…confirming again that Moses is dealing with את Yeshua face to face.
In Ex 33:10 when the CLOUD descends at the Tabernacle door to speak with Moses את presence in the Pillar of the Cloud conversing with Moses whom the people begin to worship.
In Ex 33:18 Moses begs Him to show him His את glory. In Ex 33:20-23 יהוה Father explains to Moses he cannot see His את face (full glory) but he will put Moses in the cleft of a rock while יהוה passes and when He takes away His את hand then Moses will be able to see His את back but not His face.
Ex 34:6 states…And יהוה passed by before him and proclaimed יהוה, יהוה is El. So, you have to wonder, who this is that Moses has just witnessed? This is the only time the words ‘יהוה, יהוה is El’ are written this way in the entire Tanakh and they are used to describe the attributes of the Yah-head. This could only be describing both the Father and the Son because they share the same memorial name (יהוה) and are ONE EL or ONE GOD in ONE SPIRIT (Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by One Spirit unto the Father). Remember, there is not an idle word in the Bible and in the past when someone’s name was spoken TWICE it was confirmation the complete Yah-head (Elohim) was speaking, both Father and Son.
So in conclusion, I submit את Yeshua was in the cloud and shielding Moses eyes and protecting him as the proclamation came forth from the Yah-head as יהוה Father passed by in the power and brilliance of His Holy Spirit. The declaration would also confirm the Yah-head is TWO who work together as ONE EL. It could have only been Father because no man can look upon His face and live as Yeshua confirms in John 6:46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from Elohim; only He has seen the Father. The experience proves to be overwhelming to Moses who falls on his face to worship and later comes down from Mount Sinai and the Israelites actually see את face (presence) in Moses face (Ex 34:35).
Bible Study for Kids
It’s sometimes hard to make the Old Testament fun for kids. Try these Children’s stories:
For Deeper Language & Learning
In Exodus 30:11–34:35, a census is conducted through the holy half shekel. Regardless if one was rich or poor, all were required to give, highlighting the idea that regardless of status, each person is valued equally in the eyes of YHVH. According to Rashi, the silver from these half-shekels were used to create the silver sockets in the Tabernacle. Today, the modern state of Israel uses the word “shekel” as the word for its currency, but originally the word actually described a weight. Coins themselves were not introduced as a currency until around 700 BC. Interestingly, the Sages teach that Moses was unsure of what YHVH meant by a ‘half-shekel’. The Midrash adds a fascinating detail,
“R. Meir expounded: The Holy One, blessed be He, took what resembled a coin of fire from beneath the Throne of Glory and showed Moses, ‘This they shall give,’ namely, they shall give a coin that resembles this one.” Numbers Rabbah 12:3, Soncino Press Edition
According to the Midrash, Moses was “taken aback” by the idea that one could ransom his soul via this offering of the coin, so as a visual aid, YHVH showed him a coin of fire. What was the secret connection between the soul and the coin of fire?
THE PLAGUE OF THE PHARISEES
Fast forward from the time of Moses to the Second Temple era. The Synoptic Gospels record that some disciples of Pharisees, together with members of Herod’s political party, attempted to entrap Yeshua of Nazareth in his words. It is important to note that the Pharisees enlisted the help of Herod’s political faction. What was the purpose of their presence in this question to Jesus/ Yeshua? The Herodians were political, not religious figures.
“Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entrap him in his talk. They sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Rabbi, we know that you are honest, and teach the way of God in truth, no matter whom you teach, for you aren’t partial to anyone. Tell us therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Yeshua perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites? Show me the tax money.” They brought to him a denarius. He asked them, “Whose is this image and inscription?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard it, they marveled, and left him, and went away.” Matthew 22:15-22
Notice the introductory words of the Pharisees,
“Teacher, we know that you . . . teach the way of YHVH in truth, nor do you care about anyone, for you do not regard the social status of men.”
They begin to “praise” Yeshua for his fearlessness in preaching the truth, despite whom it might offend, and intentionally highlight the fact that he is not afraid to speak it in front of anyone, regardless of their financial, religious or political status. This was said because members of Herod’s political party were present, deliberately included in this dispute so they could “witness” His answer to their trick question. Including the Herodians, who would have been quick to inform Herod of the slightest word spoken against Caesar, superficially guarded these Pharisees from being classed as moserim, ‘informers’, who were categorized along with heathens, irreligious Jews, and minim (heretics). The Jewish Encyclopedia notes,
“Nothing was more severely punished by the Jews than talebearing; and no one was held in greater contempt than the informer. On account of the fact that his deeds frequently caused mischief and even entailed death and destruction, the sages of the Talmud compared the “moser” to a serpent.” Jewish Encyclopedia on Moser
Unfortunately, misinterpretations of passages like this have caused the word “Pharisee” to have a negative connotation today, especially in Christianity. Many dictionaries today, after defining the historical meaning, give the meaning: “A self-righteous or hypocritical person.”
Oftentimes, the boundaries between Pharisee and Sadducee are blurred into one group. It is important to note that the corrupt Sadducees controlled the Priesthood and the Temple, taught against the resurrection of the dead, and were diametrically opposed to the Pharisees. The Pharisees represented the people, taught the correct theology regarding the Torah, and are the ancestors of those who wrote the Mishnah and Talmud. However, it is important to note that even the Pharisees spoke of a “plague” within their group, by defining seven types of their number:
“AND THE PLAGUE OF PHARISEES etc. Our Rabbis have taught: There are seven types of Pharisees: 1) the shikmi Pharisee, 2) the nikpi Pharisee, 3) the kizai Pharisee, 4) the pestle Pharisee, 5) the Pharisee [who constantly exclaims] “What is my duty that I may perform it?”, 6) the Pharisee from love [of God] and 7) the Pharisee from fear.”
1) The shikmi Pharisee he is one who performs the action of Shechem. (i.e. gets circumcised for the wrong reasons, or wears his deeds on his shoulder)
2) The nikpi Pharisee he is one who knocks his feet together. (he walks with exaggerated humility)
3) The kizai Pharisee R. Nahman b. Isaac said: He is one who makes his blood to flow against walls.
4) The pestle Pharisee Rabbah b. Shila said: [His head] is bowed like [a pestle in] a mortar.
5) The Pharisee [who constantly exclaims] What is my duty that I may perform it? but that is a virtue! Nay, what he says is, “What further duty is for me that I may perform it?” (he feels that he has already accomplished the mitzvah, and nothing else is left)
6) The Pharisee from love
7) and the Pharisee from fear.
Abaye and Raba said to the tanna [who was reciting this passage], “Do not mention the Pharisee from love and the Pharisee from fear”; for Rab Judah has said in the name of Rab: “A man should always engage himself in Torah and the commandments even though it be not for their own sake, because from [engaging in them] not for their own sake, he will come [to engage in them] for their own sake.” R. Nahman b. Isaac said: “What is hidden is hidden, and what is revealed is revealed; the Great Tribunal will exact punishment from those who rub themselves against the walls.” Sotah 22b, Soncino Press Edition
Only the Pharisee from Love and the Pharisee from Fear are listed as meritorious. The Pharisee from love, however, surpasses the one who observes Torah out of fear. R’ Samuel Dresner describes the condition of Israel in the European Diaspora preceding the Chassidic movement as equivalent to the Second Temple Era. He writes,
“Further evidence of internal decay was the disastrous decline of Torah study which had previously characterized Polish Jewry hand been its glory, especially in those areas where the destruction of life and property had been worst during the seventeenth century wars and pogroms. The nature of the religious literature had now changed; it abounded in fruitless controversies. Cases of petty hairsplitting occupied the time and pens of the rabbis, to the exclusion of the legitimate needs and problems of the people…R’ Yaakov Yosef – who died in 1782 – was well aware of the physical suffering of his people…But he suffered infinitely more for the spiritual privation: felt ever so much more keenly the prevalent lack of inwardness in observance of the mitzvot, the use of Torah study for the sake of show, the bickering among the people, the lack of unity between people and leader and among the leaders themselves, the corruption on part of the appointed officials who “purchased” their appointments, the aloofness of the rabbis and the contempt in which they held the people. He understood the problem as his time as essentially an inner one, a spiritual one…What distressed him most was a crisis of the spirit – the spiritual condition of the people…According to the Talmud, “neglect of Torah study” was responsible for the destruction of the first Temple while “needless hatred” caused the destruction of the second temple. In the eyes of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, it was as if that destruction had taken place again in his own time. . . The duties of “Torah study and prayer” have to be fulfilled, “but above all else is the yearning, the spark of flame which sets fire to hitlahavut – the craving, longing for His love.” Forgotten was the obvious and self-evident, that all the commandments in the Torah – study and prayer, Sabbath and Festival – were only for the sake of drawing closer to the Lord. A relearning of “the first principle” was necessary. A return to the Master to learn that first principle again was the spiritual need of the time.”” R’ Samuel Dresner, The Zaddik, Shocken Books, pg 28-29, 35
A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
Before the Baal Shem Tov, R’ Israel ben Eliezer, there was Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus). Yeshua’s movement was the first real Chassidic Movement. Like the Chassidim after him, Yeshua experienced intense opposition from the “Plague” of the Pharisees. This particular dispute had an immense impact upon the crowd. All were amazed at the words and indeed reading the text by itself, his answer is quite brilliant. However, in knowing the Jewish background of his words, his answer is beyond brilliant, leaving one dumbfounded, speechless, like those who tried to trap him.
If Yeshua spoke anything against the tribute paid to Caesar, it would be considered insurrection against Rome. By paying taxes, one acknowledges the governmental authority to whom is given tribute. Denying the power of the ruling government to collect taxes undermines the foundation of their lawful authority. Roman interference in Israel began under Pompey in 63 BCE.
Around the time of the birth of Yeshua, a census was conducted by Rome, which was contrary to how the Torah instructs Israel to conduct a census (which is through the Holy Half-Shekel). In 6 CE, after Rome’s disposal of Herod’s son, Archelaus, direct occupation of the land began,
“…the emperor decided to impose direct Roman rule on Judaea, which was now declared a province of the empire. Quirinius, the govenor of Syria, was sent south in AD 6 to carry out a census for tax purposes (previously taxation had gone directly to Herod) and the first praefectus was appointed. It was messy business. One Judah of Gamala led resistance to the Roman intrusion and his followers were crucified along the roads of the new province.” A New History of Early Christianity, Charles Freeman, Yale University Press, pg. 4
The situation ultimately culminated in the uprising against Rome, which lead to the destruction of the Temple and the exile of Israel. However, the stakes were high if Yeshua’s answer affirmed the authority of Rome to conduct censuses, and collect taxes. He would have violated the Torah, denied that the land of Israel belongs to the people of God, and ultimately rejected the restoration of the Kingdom of David.
All of Yeshua’s followers, who all passionately desired to see the Throne of David restored to Israel, would have been crushed if he had sided with Rome and denied a fundamental precept of the Torah. Conversely, if he had denied the right of Caesar to collect taxes, as the Pharisees had expected, the members of Herod’s political party would have immediately ran and told Herod, who would have, in turn, informed Caesar of Yeshua’s promotion of insurrection. This would inevitably lead to his arrest and possible execution for sedition. This is the ultimate “rock and a hard place.” The young Rabbi asked for the coin as a visual aid for his upcoming answer,
“Show me the tax money.” So they brought him a denarius. And he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.”
A COIN OF SILVER
What coin was this? What did it look like? It is possible the coin that they brought to was the Pontif Maxim:
“Tiberius was Emperor for 23 years and is represented by two denarii. After 15 AD all Tiberius denarii were the same type: PONTIF MAXIM surrounding a seated female figure. Huge numbers of these coins were produced; many thousands of them still exist today.” Doug Smith, Tiberius: The Tribute Penny
However, there were many denarii circulating at this time, therefore,
” . . . there is no real evidence that Jesus saw this coin. Denarii in circulation that day (over fifteen years into the reign of Tiberius) would have included quite a mix of Republican types and vast numbers of the common types of Caesar Augustus . . . The purpose of the coin in this case could have satisfied by any Republican denarius with a head and Latin inscription. That coin collectors have settled on this one coin as THE Tribute Penny is more of a convention than a historical fact. It is, however, quite likely that this type was among the most common denarii in circulation in the early 30’s AD and it does show the Emperor who reigned at the time of the ministry of Jesus Christ.” Doug Smith, Tiberius: The Tribute Penny
A COIN OF FIRE
Confident that they had painted the Great Teacher into an inescapable corner, Jesus/ Yeshua answers their treacherous plot with words that have echoed throughout millennia, “Show Me the tax money.” So they brought him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” When they had heard these words, they were amazed, and left him and went their way.” The theological backdrop of his reply deepens the Rabbi’s response, and reveals unknown depths and meaning to His amazing words. The Mishnah says,
“For a person mints many coins with a single seal, and they are all alike one another. But the King of king of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, minted all human beings with that seal of his with which he made the first person, yet not one of them is like anyone else. Therefore everyone is obligated to maintain, “On my account the world was created.” Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5
Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish scholar at the time of Yeshua, known for his Platonic and allegorical interpretations of the Bible, makes a similar comment,
“. . . the great Moses has not named the species of the rational soul by a title resembling that of any created being, but has pronounced it an image of the divine and invisible being, making it a coin as it were of sterling metal, stamped and impressed with the seal of God, the impression of which is the eternal word.” Philo, Concerning Noah’s Work As a Planter, Section V, translated by C.D. Yonge
Professor Brad H. Young comments,
“Perhaps these theological concepts serve as a background for the saying of Jesus, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” After all, not only is Caesar’s image stamped upon each coin that he has minted; the divine image of the King of kings is stamped upon each person. Jesus was calling upon the people to give everything to God, the Creator of every human being.” Brad H. Young, The Parables, Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation, Hendrickson Publishers, pg. 10
This understanding amplifies Jesus/ Yeshua’s amazing words. Give unto the earthly king his image, and give unto the Heavenly King His Image, that is, yourselves, your entire being, and all that is within you. In Pirkei Avot, it says,
רבי אלעזר איש ברתותא אומר: תן לו משלו, שאתה ושלך שלו. וכן בדוד הוא אומר (דברי הימים א כט) כי ממך הכל ומידך נתנו לך
“Rabbi Elazar of Bartosa would say: Give Him what is His, for you, and whatever is yours, are His. As David says: “For everything comes from You, and from Your own hand we give to You” (I Chronicles 29:14).” Pirkei Avot 3:7, cited at Chabad.org
This also reveals to us the value of each person, and how all are equal before God. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus/ Yeshua gives the Parable of the Lost Coin,
“…what woman, if she had ten drachma coins, if she lost one drachma coin, would not light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost. Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting.’ Luke 15:8-10
When a rich young ruler came to Jesus/ Yeshua, and asked him, “What is the greatest mitzvah (commandment)?” Jesus’/Yeshua’s answer to him was, in essence, the same as it was to the Herodians and Pharisees: Give unto God your entire being, which is the real coin, and is the very fulfillment of the Sh’ma:
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יי אֱלֹקינוּ יי אֶחָֽד׃
וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יי אֱלֹקיךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽךָ
“Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is One. And you shall love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5