Frequently Asked Questions
Ephesians 2 - The Middle Wall of Partition - Part 4
"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]."
Before mentioning the middle wall, Sha’ul calls the Messiah 'our peace', and follows that with the essential teaching of this entire chapter: 'who hath made the both one'. Sha’ul, the trained Yehudah that he is, employs one of the literary methods of Mishlei (Proverbs), categorized by Hillel as a kelal upherat, to open verse 14. (This is a rule that places a specific statement after a general statement.) He begins by saying that the Messiah is our shalom and follows that with the very definition of shalom. Shalom means 'harmony', 'completeness', 'wholeness', perfected, and 'finished'. There are many words in Hebrew whose meaning is very similar to shalom. The sending of the Messiah is the means by which the prophesied division of YHVH's people are being brought back together again, to once again be one people.
It is important to grasp why Sha’ul used the word shalom in the midst of this teaching. With the kingdom of YHVH divided, there is no peace. (Yechezk'el 13:10, Yirmeyahu 6 and 8) The future regathering and reconciliation of the whole (shalom) house of Israel is uniquely associated with this word 'peace'.
"As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, YHVH shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity (sound familiar?); but PEACE shall be upon Israel."
"And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel, for a meal offering, and for PEACE offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith YHVH.
"The word which ['Elohiym] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching PEACE by Messiah Yahshua (He is Adonai of all)."
"And as many as walk according to this rule, PEACE be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of ’Elohiym."
"Pray for the PEACE (shalom, completeness, wholeness) of Jerusalem; they shall prosper who love thee. PEACE be within thy walls and prosperity within thy palaces. For my BRETHREN and companion's sakes, I will now say, PEACE be within thee. Because of the HOUSE of YHVH ’Elohiym, I will seek thy good."
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our PEACE was upon him, and with his stripes WE are healed. All WE like SHEEP have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and YHVH hath laid upon him the iniquity of us ALL."
Remember the words 'sheep' and 'gone astray', for they are the exact descriptions given in the Tenakh concerning the destiny of the two houses spoken of in the new covenant.
"For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my PEACE be removed, saith YHVH who hath mercy on thee."
Here are a few examples of how shalom is used in it's verbal root.
"YHVH recompense thy work, and a FULL reward be given thee by YHVH ’Elohiym of Israel, under whose wings you have come to trust."
"A false balance is an abomination unto YHVH, but a JUST (PERFECT) weight is his delight."
Divre-HaYamim Bet 8:16
"Now all the work of Solomon was prepared unto the day of the foundation of the house of YHVH, and until it was finished. So the house of YHVH was PERFECTED."
Sha’ul specifically uses this term to describe this very important function of the Messiah in bringing that which was divided back together, so that once again the children of YHVH can be called His 'firstborn', i.e. in the singular. In the Tenakh, before the separation of the two houses, the people of YHVH are collectively called 'Israel, my first born' (Sh'mot 4:22). YHVH foreknew that His 'son' would be divided, and He also foreknew that one day, the same 'son' would be one again. This knowledge inspired Sha’ul to once again write of the fulfillment of this foreknowledge.
"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of ’Elohiym, unto a PERFECT (shalom) man, unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS of Messiah ... But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, who is the head, even Messiah; from whom the WHOLE body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Once again the body is growing into one PERFECT man, restoring the two sons of Luke's parable. The purpose of using the word shalom, is to make the both one. The orthodox Christian position that salvation is now open to Gentiles as a group of people is somewhat puzzling at best. This implies that salvation was not available to the 'Gentiles' before Yahshua's resurrection. Salvation was always available to Gentiles. According to the constant and consistent testimony of the scriptures, once a Gentile decided to follow the God of Israel, he or she was then numbered with Israel, for there is only ONE body, ONE Spirit, ONE hope, ONE YHVH, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE ’Elohiym, and ONE Father (Ephesians 4:4-6). These familiar verses follow, not by coincidence, Sha'uls teaching on the middle wall. It is the WORD (seed) in you that brings you into the commonwealth of Israel, for there is only ONE Israel. The Tenakh pictures the division of this ONE Israel, as two estranged brothers, to eventually be brought back together again as one perfect (shalom) man. All of this is to be accomplished by the restorer of the breach, the Messiah Yahshua! This is also why the Messiah is called the BRANCH in Yesha'yahu 11:1 and many other places. The word 'branch' is the Hebrew word netzer which literally means 'restored'. Restore what! Why is it that the one who is to prepare the way for the Messiah is the one who came to 'restore all things'? (Mattityahu 17:11). The restorer, the God of peace, provides the everlasting covenant to His true sheep, the restored house of Israel and Judah.
"In those days, and in that time, saith YHVH, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah TOGETHER, going and weeping; they shall go, and seek YHVH, their ’Elohiym. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces toward it, saying, Come, and let us JOIN ourselves to YHVH in an EVERLASTING COVENANT that shall not be forgotten. My people have been lost sheep ... "
"Now the God of PEACE, that brought again from the dead our Adonai Yahshua, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the EVERLASTING COVENANT, make you PERFECT in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Yahshua haMashiach, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen"
Sha’ul lays the foundation for understanding the middle wall of partition by using terms and phrases that are already well known by his listeners. Being a good Berean is important to his teaching, otherwise the scriptures can be wrested to our own destruction. Sha’ul will now continue his teaching of the two being made one, with the middle wall of partition. Next time we will see how this wall is intimately tied with the Great Shepherd, sheep who have gone astray, strangers, sheepfolds, walls, and the 'new man'.