Frequently Asked Questions
Ephesians 2 - The Middle Wall of Partition - Part 5
I pray that up to this point I have established certain scriptural truths that must be understood in order to move on to this middle wall of partition. YHVH has revealed to us the end from the beginning in the Old Testament. In the New Testament He is revealing mysteries that were not known to the sons of men in the Tenakh. The prophecies of the regathering of the house of Israel and the house of Judah are all over the Tenakh. Both houses are blind to the reality of the identity of these two houses. The mystery of the house of Israel is that YHVH will gather them from among the Gentiles as He foretold He would do in the prophets, particularly Hoshea (Ephesians 3:6). The middle wall of partition stands between two entities, the far off and the near.
"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]."
Sha’ul is now going to use a familiar term in the Hebrew to describe what the Messiah has done in giving Himself for us in His death, burial, and resurrection. Yahshua's life is to restore what disobedience, rebellion and desires of the flesh (doing things our own way) have corrupted. (Remember that this is how this chapter begins.) In the culture in which the scriptures were written, there are two kinds of walls that are being referred to as the 'middle wall of partition'. I believe that both are pictured here. The first one is called the m'chitzah. This is the wall in the temple area that separated the Yehudim from the Gentiles. It is understood by some commentators that this wall was 'spiritually' removed, thereby allowing Gentiles to enter into the inner court. This same word, which means something that 'divides', is used in Yechezk'el 37:22 in describing the union of the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
"And I will make them ONE nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and ONE king shall be king to them ALL; and they shall be no more TWO nations, neither shall they be DIVIDED (chatzah) into TWO kingdoms any more at all."
However factual this wall was, I believe that the two Greek words used in this verse, to describe this wall, is much older and more well known by the rich and the poor - the city slicker and the country folk. The Greek word used for the 'middle wall' is the word mesotoichon. This word is used in the Septuagint to translate the word tavek, which simply means, 'something in the midst of', or 'in the middle'. The Greek word used for the partition itself is phragmos. This word translates the Hebrew word gadar. This is where it begins to get interesting and alot of dots get connected. The gadar is a wall, fence, fold, or sheepfold, but is not just any ole wall, fence, or hedge. It is used to describe the placement of a barrier to separate one thing from another and is the primary word used to describe the wall placed between sheepfolds. Here are a few examples of how this word is used by the culture that Sha’ul was raised in.
"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and CLOSE UP the breaches of it; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old."
"And they came near unto him, and said, We will build SHEEPFOLDS here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones ... "
"Build you cities for your little ones, and FOLDS for your SHEEP; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth."
"And the seacoast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and FOLDS for flocks."
"Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a WALL that she shall not find her paths. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them. Then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now."
The prophetic verses in Hoshea just happens to follow the prophecy of the scattering of the two houses of Israel, and the foreknowledge of their history and destiny. Sheepfolds and shepherds are ancient, familiar subjects in most cultures. This is why I believe Sha’ul is using this as a reference so that all at that time would understand the prophecies he was referring to. The use of sheep, sheepfolds, and true and false shepherds are used quite liberally throughout both testaments to describe the true people of YHVH. When shepherds would enter the cities with their sheep, they would put them in special areas designed just for the various flocks. Each shepherd's sheep would be placed in a 'fold' and separated from the next shepherd's sheep by a wall. There was one door as an entrance to the sheepfolds. The shepherd would call for his sheep, and because his sheep recognized his voice, only his sheep would leave their fold and come out the door. The other sheep would not come because they would not recognize the voice of a 'stranger'. Listen to the words of Mikhah.
"I will surely assemble, O Ya‘aqov, ALL of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of ISRAEL; I will put them together like the sheep of Bozrah, like the flock in the midst of their FOLD; they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. The breaker is come up before them; they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it; and their king shall pass before them, and YHVH at the head of them."
Now listen to the words of our Shepherd.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, HE that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth in some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers ... I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And OTHER SHEEP I have, that are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE FOLD, and ONE SHEPHERD."
The sheep have been separated by a wall. The 'other' sheep have been following strangers, i.e. other shepherds, but now, because of their desire to 'come out of Babylon' they 'know' His voice and follow the true shepherd. Most 'Christian' commentators agree that the 'other' sheep are the Gentiles. But it is much more awesome than that. These 'sheep' were foretold of their destiny in the writings and the prophets.
"The word of YHVH came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick ('etz - tree, Romans 11), and write upon it, For Yehudah, and for the children of Israel, his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it, For Yoseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the HOUSE OF ISRAEL, his companions; And JOIN them one to another into one stick, and they shall become one in thine hand ... And say unto them, Thus saith YHVH ’Elohiym: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the Gentiles, to which they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land ... Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions, but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; so shall they be MY PEOPLE, and I will be THEIR GOD. And David, my servant, shall be king over them, and they all shall have ONE SHEPHERD; they shall also walk in mine ordinances, and observe my statutes, and do them."
"For thus saith YHVH ’Elohiym: Behold, I, even I, will both search my SHEEP, and seek them out. As a SHEPHERD seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are SCATTERED, so will I SEEK out MY sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good PASTURE, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their FOLD be; there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a rich pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will seek that which was LOST, and bring again that which was driven away, and will BIND up that which is broken, and will strengthen that which was sick, but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with justice."
Listen now to more of what the Messiah said concerning his first coming.
"But go, rather, to the LOST SHEEP of the house of Israel."
"For the Son of man is come to SEEK and to SAVE that which WAS LOST."
"I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be SAVED, and shall go in and out, and find PASTURE."
The relationship between the removal of the walls that separated the sheep and the remarks of Yahshua the good shepherd are striking to say the least. The prophecies concerning the destiny of the two houses and the revelation of the Brit Chadashah are more than just coincidence. Specifically the house of Israel is to come forth from the Gentiles or the nations in which they have been scattered and mixed with.
"Symeon hath declared how God first did visit the Gentiles, to take OUT of them a PEOPLE for HIS NAME."
"... and it shall come to pass that, in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the SONS OF THE LIVING GOD. Then shall the children of Yehudah and the children of Israel be gathered TOGETHER, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up OUT of the land; for great shall be the day of Jezreel. Say unto your brothers Ammi (you are my people); and to your sisters, Ruhamah (I will have mercy)."
1 Kefa 2:9-10
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a people of his own, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you OUT of darkness into his marvelous light; Who in time past were not a people but are now the people of God; who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."
"But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the CHILDREN OF GOD, even to them that believe on his name;"
The wall that has separated these two houses has been removed, just as the prophecies said it would. The removal of this wall, according to the prophets, would renew and restore the divided 'firstborn' son of God. This wall is contained in the law and ordinances, and has been removed by faith in the blood of the Messiah. We will continue our discussion of this wall in our next study.