Middah K’neged Middah – Measure for Measure:
A Biblical Answer to All Israel’s Problems
Scripture remains as clear as the noonday sunlight; that what we sow, we shall reap. For example, in the days of Yeshayahu (Isaiah), the Prophet Hosea said this as recorded in Hosea 10:12 –
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek Yehovah, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
In the days of Iyov (Job), 4:8, these words were written down and given to us:
Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.
During the Second-Temple Period, in the days of Sha’ul, while writing a letter to the Galatians, he so aptly composed these clear words as recorded in Galatians 6:7:
Do not be deceived, Elohim is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
In Sefer Mishlei (Proverbs) 22:8, the measure for measure principle is again presented with these words:
He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, and the rod of his anger will fail.
This Hebraic concept that we learn here from Scripture is called Middah K’neged Middah or simply, MEASURE FOR MEASURE. Yeshua was no stranger to this idea. He taught about it when he spoke the following as recorded in Matthew 7:1
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Indeed, what we sow, we shall reap. It is part of the teaching of the HOLY, ETERNAL TORAH. Consider the words of Ya’acov (James), Brother of Yeshua who said this in 5:7 –
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of Yehovah. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the land, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
This principle is not only at work in the Spiritual world; it also is at work in the Physical world. In marriage, when a man and a woman come together to produce a child, the male gives to the female a microscopic seed. She in turn takes that seed and in partnership with Yehovah, the seed is grown to its full potential while in the womb, hopefully producing from a microscopic seed, a full-term baby, some forty weeks later!
Based on the established rules of Divine Law (Torah) it is once again, Measure for Measure or Middah K’neged Middah.
So, what does all this have to do with what is going on today, in Eretz Israel? After all, at the writing of this article, we in the physical Land of Israel are getting bombarded with hundreds of deadly rockets from those whose public mission is to maim, kill, and destroy the Jews, to push them into the sea at whatever cost, and to “establish” a so-called “Palestinian State.” Yes, many hundreds of rockets have been steadily raining down on the South and west central parts of Israel (at this point), being launched from the Gaza Strip. Our nation is once again in the grips of a war with our enemies; a war that seems to have no end in sight. Multitudes of thousands of young men and women in the IDF (the Israel Defense Forces) are poised at the command of the military leaders of our national Israeli government to once again fight the “terrorist” enemy and protect our tiny country in what is being called “Operation Protective Edge.” Our Land once again is fighting for survival. Amazingly, I have noticed however, that the people of Israel are generally in solidarity! Communal prayers are being prayed in Synagogues and Houses of Torah Study. We have indeed come together as a people with a common goal and yet, we are a nation in distress, calling out to the All Eternal One of Israel for Divine favor and protection for ourselves, our sons, our daughters, our families. We are individually and collectively asking the God of Israel to hear our words and He is asking us, “Will you hear My Words”?
As a Jew and an Israeli, I do not like this horrible situation anymore than the next Jew down the street. It is distressing for all of us.
For those of you that can remember, I lost my son – Yonatan Benyamin “Yoni” at the young tender age of 24 years old. He was an IDF soldier and commander in an IDF elite unit of the Paratroopers – 101 (Tzanchanim). My son fought in two wars for this country of Israel. In 2005, he was ordered to fight against 10,000 of his fellow Jews in Gaza, when then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered all the Jewish families in the area to evacuate their homes in Gaza so that Israel could be “kind enough” to give the Land over to our sworn enemies, who are now raining down rockets on us in a deadly game of terror. Yonatan followed military government orders and did his job to forcibly remove thousands of Jews from their homes. Then, in July of 2006, Yonathan was called up again with his unit to fight against our sworn enemies hunkered down in Lebanon. He faithfully went out to war, to just beyond the Lebanese border with many of our other our sons and daughters in the IDF. He had to do and see and experience the ravages of bombs and blood that no young man should ever have to see and do at his tender age. In serving a country that was his as a Jew, Yonatan, my only son, gave up his life and became another casualty of Israel’s many fallen soldiers. But, to what end, I ask? To what end?
Let’s come back to the principle of Middah K’neged Middah – Measure for Measure. Again, as Sha’ul said in Galatians 6:7 –
Do not be deceived, Elohim is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Psalm Seven (7) gives us an answer that we need to pay attention to. It says in verses 3 through 5 –
O Yehovah my Elohim, if I have done this: If there is injustice (dishonesty – Hebrew – Aval) in my hands, if I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me, or have plundered my enemy without cause, let the enemy pursue me and overtake me; Yes, let him trample my life to the earth, and lay my honor in the dust.
Has our Israeli government – the Jews; that is our government leaders and even the common people of this Land – have we individually and collectively launched our own barrage of rockets of injustice and dishonesty against non-Jews, perhaps like you, who want to obey the Torah of all Israel and join in spiritual and physical solidarity with Brother Judah? Have we launched our own rockets of baseless hatred even against fellow Jews that reside within this Land, treating each other as trash, as rubbish? Have we been raining down rejection and disdain and dishonesty on those amongst Ephraim and all Israel scattered among the nations? Individuals and families that would strongly desire come here to visit Eretz Israel, have also tried to live here and help settle this Land along with Brother Judah. Have we Jews in our religious and political institutions been guilty of treating Ephraim and yes, even each other here in this Land of Israel with contempt, glorifying a “We are Jews” culture and maintaining a “Me First” mentality within our everyday lives? Have we been guilty of dishing out to Jews and non-Jews alike, dishonest weights and measures? This list could go on and on for pages but I will spare you. Those of you that have been here to visit this Land, and even have desired to live here, you know what I am saying is true. You are generally treated with disrespect and there is nothing that is done for you. And even for me, a Jew, I experience this every day – a culture that seems to glorify Jewish arrogance – religious or political. It matters not.
As a Jew, I apologize to you for the way that my fellow Jews treat you. They say, “Bring your money” but DO NOT overstay your welcome! And especially to those of you that would strongly desire to live here, to walk in the pure and wonderful Torah of all Israel, but are forced by government regulations and unjust laws to jump though all kinds of hoops to get “permission” to stay for more than three months. I am sorry for the way Brother Judah treats you. I am ashamed! Please, forgive us.
For us it shall be Middah K’neged Middah – Measure for Measure.
Let the Eternal Truth of the Torah of ALL ISRAEL be established. Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. And thus, the words of Psalm Seven are coming in loud and clear:
Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me; Yes, let him trample my life to the earth, and lay my honor in the dust. (Psalm 7:5, English)
Psalm Seven draws a conclusion in these words, once again showing us the principle of Middah K’neged Middah – Measure for Measure:
Behold, he brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch he made.
Indeed, the one who has repaid evil; the one who has dished out injustice and dishonesty; the one who has plundered his enemy; this is the one that the words of Psalm Seven shall be fulfilled:
His trouble shall return upon his own head and his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.
Make no mistake about it. The rockets of Hamas, the terrorists of Hezbollah, the fierce amongst the Palestinian Arabs are all instruments in the Hands of Yehovah to discipline our nation, our people, our country, our leaders, even our common hard-working Israelis – all of us that are named as B’ne Israel (the people of Israel); that we should take heed to what is in our hearts and remember that what we sow into the lives of others, we shall in due time, reap what we have sown. However, Yehovah’s mercy endures forever and even despite all of this, Yehovah remains faithful to us and shows us great mercy over and over again as it is written in the righteous prayer of Nehemiah 9:13-38, but particularly what is written in Nehemiah 9:30-31.
Let the political and religious leaders of Israel recognise that WE are the ones bringing all this distress upon our own heads. This is our doing or perhaps our undoing! For Scripture remains true many, many times in the biblical texts, when it teaches us the principle of Exodus 23:9 –
Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Thus again, I state for the record, Middah K’neged Middah!
If we want the rockets to stop; if we want shalom in Israel; if we want our sworn enemies to go away and stop regularly pounding on us; if we want Mashiach to come and be our King, we absolutely must walk in and according to Yehovah’s Eternal, Established Kingdom Law and not contrary to it. To walk contrary the Torah, we shall continue to reap what we sow.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does Yehovah require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
Avi ben Mordechai
Poriya (Tiberius) Israel