Cleave to those who know G-d

The Literal Commandment

You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. (Deuteronomy 10:20)

 

The literal commandment is to serve G-d and cling to Him.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah explicitly affirmed this commandment when He was tempted in the wilderness:

Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;  and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me."  Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'"(Matthew 4:8-10)

  

In this verse, Messiah was quoting from both Deuteronomy 6:13 ("You shall worship...") and Deuteronomy 10:20 ("serve Him only") and the latter passage contains this commandment.

 

Pictures of Messiah

The traditional commandment to "cleave to those who know G-d" takes on an interesting meaning when we consider the words of the Master:

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (Matthew 11:27)

 

Since nobody knows the Father except the Son then this commandment tells us that we should cling to Messiah!

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah is the only One who could truly fulfill the literal meaning of this commandment (cling to G-d) since He is the only One who knows G-d.

Everyone else should cleave to the only One who knows G-d: Messiah Yeshua.

 

Traditional Observance

The traditional understanding of this commandment takes into consideration both this commandment, "cling to G-d", as well as the Scripture which declares "G-d is a consuming fire" (Deuteronomy 4:24).  Why would the Almighty command us to cling to Him if He is a consuming fire? If we cling to a consuming fire then we would die... but G-d desires that should live!

Surely we are meant only to draw closer to Him. To do so means that we should follow in the footsteps of those who have already drawn closer to Him. Those who know the most about Him are those who best know His words from Scripture: the scholars of Scripture.

A highly regarded source of Jewish understanding regarding the commandments, Sefer HaChinuch, offers this insight:

We were commanded to join and cling to wise scholars of the Torah [the Law of G-d] so that we may learn with them its noble precepts and they may teach us the truth concepts in it, which they received in the Oral Tradition.1

 

 

In the Apostolic Writings

We find this in Matthew (and its parallel in Luke 4):

Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;  and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me."  Then Jesus *said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'"(Matthew 4:8-10)

  

In this passage Messiah was quoting from Deuteronomy 6:13 ("You shall worship...") and Deuteronomy 10:20 ("serve Him only") which contains this commandment.

 

Paul in Romans exhorts his readers:

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)

 

Since we know that there is no one good but G-d (Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19), Paul is telling us to cling to G-d.

The same Greek word used in this passage as "cling" (κολλάω kollaō) is also found in Matthew 19:

And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'?" (Matthew 19:4-5)

 

Here Messiah is quoting Genesis 2:24 which some translate as "and cleave to his wife" which speaks of a deep and intimate connection.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and we should cling to the only One who truly knows G-d: the Messiah of Israel.

As He declared: "no one knows who the Father is except the Son" (Luke 10:22) and "you have not come to know Him, but I know Him." (John 8:55)

 

The letter to the Hebrews declares:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1-4)

 

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Footnotes

1. Charles Wengrove, trans., Sefer HaChinuch (Jerusalem:Feldheim Publishers, 1984), vol 4 p351 [back]

Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 12
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 2- Personal Development
  • Reference Deuteronomy 10:20
  • Scripture Book Deuteronomy
  • Chapter 10
  • Verse 20
  • English You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.
  • Hebrew כ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ תִּירָא, אֹתוֹ תַעֲבֹד; וּבוֹ תִדְבָּק, וּבִשְׁמוֹ תִּשָּׁבֵעַ.
  • Greek 20 κύριον τὸν θεόν σου φοβηθήσῃ καὶ αὐτῷ λατρεύσεις καὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν κολληθήσῃ καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ ὀμῇ·
  • Parashah 46- Ekev
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 434
  • Sef. Hach. Command The mitzvah of associating with Torah scholars and adhering to them
  • Category G-d
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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