Repent and confess wrongdoings

The Literal Commandment

"Speak to the sons of Israel, 'When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind, acting unfaithfully against the LORD, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess his sins which he has committed, and he shall make restitution in full for his wrong and add to it one-fifth of it, and give it to him whom he has wronged. (Numbers 5:6-7)

 

The literal commandment is that we should confess our sins and make restitution.

 

Messiah Says

He explicitly affirmed this commandment including the call to repentance:

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17)

 

... and the call to confession:

Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32)

 

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"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 or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, 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. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment pictures the work that Messiah came to do: enabling us to receive the Holy Spirit who instills in us a desire to repent and confess.

Messiah says:

I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7)

 

Only people who sin need to repent. The word "repent" means "to turn back". What are sinners doing that requires them "to turn back"?

Sinners are violating G-d's Law [the Torah] in some way.

Towards whom or towards what are they "to turn back"?

Sinners are to turn back towards G-d, obey Him, and follow His instruction.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

 

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah was unable to fulfill this commandment. He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15) and thus never had a need to repent or confess wrongdoings.

 

Traditional Observance

This commandment is observed in a very literal fashion: confessing our wrongdoings against each other and our sins against G-d. This includes repenting by turning around and conforming our lives to G-d's Law.

 

In the Apostolic Writings

We find this commandment mentioned and affirmed throughout the writings of the apostles.  The first instance is found in Matthew chapter 3:

Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.  Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan;  and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. (Matthew 3:4-6)

 

Other examples are found in Mark 1:5, Acts 19:18, and James 5:

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:16)

 

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and we should repent and confess our sins.

 

John, a disciple of the Master, declared

If we confess our sins, He [Messiah] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9)

 

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 75
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 5- Repentance
  • Reference Numbers 5:7
  • Scripture Book Numbers
  • Chapter 5
  • Verse 7
  • English then he shall confess his sins which he has committed, and he shall make restitution in full for his wrong and add to it one-fifth of it, and give it to him whom he has wronged.
  • Hebrew ז וְהִתְוַדּוּ, אֶת-חַטָּאתָם אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ, וְהֵשִׁיב אֶת-אֲשָׁמוֹ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ, וַחֲמִישִׁתוֹ יֹסֵף עָלָיו; וְנָתַן, לַאֲשֶׁר אָשַׁם לוֹ.
  • Greek 7 ἐξαγορεύσει τὴν ἁμαρτίαν, ἣν ἐποίησεν, καὶ ἀποδώσει τὴν πλημμέλειαν τὸ κεφάλαιον καὶ τὸ ἐπίπεμπτον αὐτοῦ προσθήσει ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ ἀποδώσει, τίνι ἐπλημμέλησεν αὐτῷ.
  • Parashah 35- Naso
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 364
  • Sef. Hach. Command The precept of confession over sins
  • Category Prayer and Confession
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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