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Listener Feedback - Is Kingdom Shekel Idolatry?
Listener Question: RE: Kingdom Shekel Die - How do you interpret: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:" Isn't a lions head a likeness of something on the Earth? Wouldn't that be a violation of the Torah? Just a question.
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Tsiyon Answer: Thanks for your question. You are quoting Exodus 20:4:
Our problem if we stop with this one verse (part of a verse really) is that Israel is disallowed from making a likeness of anything for any reason. This clearly is not the intent of the verse since the Mishkin/Tabernacle was commanded to have likenesses of various things all through it (ex. Exodus 25:28).
Exodus 20:4 expresses only part of a thought. The full thought requires that we include verse 5 also.
This is not a general prohibition against creating a likeness of anything. It is a prohibition against making a likeness of anything as a god to worship. JFB Commentary sums it up like this:
The likenesses on the Kingdom Shekel are not intended for worship, as I'm sure any of our listeners know. The likenesses on the Kingdom Shekel illustrate symbols taken from Scripture that have fulfillment in our day. For example, when people view the lion on the front of the shekel nobody will think that is intended to be an actual likeness of Messiah. It is a likeness of a symbol from Revelation 5:5 and is labeled as such on the shekel. Does this have meaning about Messiah? Most definitely, just as the Biblical symbol it is taken from does. However, it is in no way meant to be an object of worship, anymore than an illustrated Bible is an object of worship. It is telling a story that YHWH wants to be told in what we believe is a dynamic and effective way.
The coins of this world sport likenesses of the great men and women of this world uplifting the perceived greatness of the governments of this world. By contrast, the Kingdom Shekel features symbols from Scripture that uplift the Kingdom of Messiah. I think that's better and more appropriate for Messiah's Kingdom people, don't you?
Thoughts from Eliyahu ben David:
In our last Tsiyon News I explained why Tsiyon has disregarded accusations against Jonathan David Brown, and continues to use his music on our program in spite of such accusations. I was gratified by the rapid positive response from listeners supporting that position! In fact, although I got many supportive comments, I did not get even one negative comment against Jonathan or our use of Jonathan's music. Below are some of the responses.
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Jonathan David Brown Listener Response
"Jonathan's music is a
blessing in my household. I hear my children singing "O House of
israel" song, and myself at times, it's a beautiful anointed
Reading these comments and others like them made me feel blessed to be part of such a loving and discerning group of believers. I'm proud of you!
Blessings and Shalom in the Name of Y'shua Messiah,
Eliyahu ben David
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