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Friday, August 24 2012


The English word "precept" originated from a Latin word, preceptum, which literally meant to accept before, as in receiving knowledge that thereafter guides behavior.

A number of Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures are translated as "precept" or "precepts":

  • the Hebrew word, pronounced tsawv, that means a formal command or admonition

  • the Hebrew word, pronounced mits-vaw, that means a commandment; a word perhaps best known to English speakers from the Jewish bar-mitzvah - "an initiation ceremony marking the 13th birthday of a Jewish boy and signifying the beginning of religious responsibility" (The WordWeb Dictionary by Princeton University)

  • the Hebrew word, pronounced pick-cood, that means to appoint, or to mandate

  • the Greek word, pronounced en-tol-ay, that means an authoritative order, or commandment

"For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line"

King David (see Israel In History and Prophecy: King David) was judged righteous in the sight of the LORD because David, despite his human shortcomings (e.g. see David's Altar and David And Bathsheba), never became unfaithful to the precepts of the LORD.

Ten Commandments / Decalogue parchment

"119:1 Aleph.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Law Of The LORD]. 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly." (Psalm 119:1-8 KJV)

David recognized that the precepts of the LORD are the sure and sole basis of true wisdom.

"119:9 Beth.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?]. 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 119:12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. 119:13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. 119:14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. 119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. 119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." (Psalm 119:9-16 KJV)

Righteous liberty isn't freedom from God's Law (i.e. Satan's asinine idea of "free-dumb"), but freedom by God's Law. The Ten Commandments are the ultimate human rights document.

"119:41 Vau.

Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word [see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners]. 119:42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. 119:43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. 119:44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. 119:46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. 119:47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. 119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes." (Psalm 119:41-48 KJV)

The understanding of God's precepts grows with understanding of God's Word (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?).

"28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isaiah 28:10 KJV)

"We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments"

When Israel, and then Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah), rejected the LORD's righteous precepts for themselves, they were both destroyed as nations, because "We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments." Israel never returned (yet; see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes and Israel In History and Prophecy: The New Covenant), while Judah did return (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah), for the sake of the promised Messiah to come (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Alpha and Omega).

Back To Babylon

"9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Babylon and Persia]; 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem [see Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon]. 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Prophets], which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

9:7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah and Israel In History and Prophecy: Jews], and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee." (Daniel 9:1-7 KJV)

The return of the kingdom of Judah after their Babylonian exile (see also Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah) in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah) was a time of national rebirth. They recognized and confessed their failure, and vowed to obey the LORD from then on. That was very good, but unfortunately, that time also marked the beginning of the religious parties (i.e. the Sadduccees, Pharisees and others) who, in their intent to obey God's precepts, created many of their own self-righteous precepts that supposedly defined how to obey the LORD - precepts of their own making that eventually replaced God's precepts with their own. The result was that, when He came, they accused the Messiah of breaking God's Law.

"9:13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: 9:14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Moses]: 9:15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.

9:16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, 9:17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Sinai Journey]: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. 9:18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations." (Nehemiah 9:13-18 KJV)

"Why do ye also transgress the Commandment of God by your tradition?"

The prophet Isaiah witnessed and prophesied about Israel and Judah's unfaithfulness, however his prophecies applied again later when the Messiah came.

Pharisees and Herodians

"29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 29:14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." (Isaiah 29:13-14 KJV)

The Messiah specifically quoted that prophecy by Isaiah, in referring to the religionists of the later time. When they accused Him of breaking the Law (i.e. their man-made precepts, that themselves were violating the LORD's precepts), He rebuked them with the words of Isaiah - the same words that Isaiah used to rebuke their ancestors.

"15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees [see How Did The Messiah's Levite Priesthood Change? and Who Was Their Messiah?], which were of Jerusalem, saying, 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God [see Who Is The LORD?] by your tradition? 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

15:10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

15:12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?

15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matthew 15:1-14 KJV)

The principle of man-made precepts replacing the Truth applies even more to the Christian-professing world today. Notice the dire warning to those who use Christ's Name in vain, to do as they please in His Name.

The Holy Scriptures

"7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate [see The Strait Gate]: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves [see The Messiah's Warning About Christian Charlatans]. 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity [see Is Your Religion Your Religion?].

7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matthew 7:13-29 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is it that will make the Kingdom of God the ultimate Paradise?
See The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God

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This Day In History, August 24

49 BC: Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio was defeated at the Second Battle of the Bagradas River by the Numidians under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba of Numidia. Curio committed suicide to avoid capture (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

79: The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae were destroyed and thousands of people killed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy.

410: Alaric, leading his Visigoth army, entered and sacked Rome. The city had not been captured by a foreign enemy for nearly 800 years.

455: The Vandals, led by King Genseric, began to plunder Rome.

1185: The Sack of Thessalonica by the Normans.

1200: King John of England, signee of the first Magna Carta, married Isabella of Angouleme in Bordeaux Cathedral.

1215: Pope Innocent III declared the Magna Carta invalid.

1294: German King Adolf of Nassau formed an alliance with King Edward I of England against France.

1298: Albert (Albrecht) was crowned German king at Aachen.

1349: Six thousand Jews were murdered in Mainz, Germany after being blamed for the bubonic plague.

1456: The printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed.

1516: Sultan Selim I defeated the Mameluke army near Aleppo, thus securing Syria for the Ottoman (Turkish) empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1561: Willem of Orange married duchess Anna of Saxony.

1662: The Act of Uniformity introduced a book of Common Prayer in Britain.

1680: Colonel Thomas Blood, the Irish adventurer who stole the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London in 1671, died. Captured after the theft, he insisted on seeing the king, Charles II, who pardoned him.

1814: During the War of 1812 (1812-1815), British marines burned the original White House in Washington D.C. in retaliation for the U.S. looting and burning of the Parliament Building in York (now known as Toronto) earlier in the year.

1909: Work began for the Panama Canal.

1912: Alaska became a U.S. territory after being purchased from Russia.

1922: Arab states meeting at Nablus rejected the British mandate for Palestine given by the League of Nations.

1949: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established.

1950: Operation Magic Carpet - 45,000 Yemenite Jews transported to Israel.

1968: France became the fifth nuclear power when it exploded a hydrogen bomb near Fugataufa Atoll, midway between Australia and South America.

1989: Poland became the first country in the Soviet Bloc to appoint a non-Communist Prime Minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, since the late 1940s.

1991: Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as the head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

2006: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefined the term "planet." The changed resulted in Pluto now classified as a "dwarf planet."


Copyright © Wayne Blank