Walking Before HaShem

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)


In this study I would like to see how HaShem[1] expects us to walk before Him.


What I found in this study is that Torah was HaShem’s plan for creation given to Israel through Moshe at Mount Sinai in the presence of all the people of Israel. This plan was written out in the Torah. One worships HaShem by studying this plan and putting it into practice, i.e. one must walk (halak) in the Torah. Righteousness is, by definition, the state created by living according to the Torah, HaShem’s plan. Jewish life was defined by Torah regardless of where one lived. I hope you will also see this conclusion as we walk through this study.


Lets start by examining the Hebrew word which is translated “walk”. The first place that “walk” is used, with people, is in:


Bereshit (Genesis) 13:14-18 And HaShem said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, [then] shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. Then Abram removed [his] tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which [is] in Hebron, and built there an altar unto HaShem.


Strong’s defines “walk” as:


1980 halak, haw-lak’; akin to 3212; a prim. root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, lit. and fig.):-(all) along, apace, behave (self), come, (on) continually, be conversant, depart, + be eased, enter, exercise (self), + follow, forth, forward, get, go (about, abroad, along, away, forward, on, out, up and down), + greater, grow, be wont to haunt, lead, march, X more and more, move (self), needs, on, pass (away), be at the point, quite, run (along), + send, speedily, spread, still, surely, + tale-bearer, + travel (-ler), walk (abroad, on, to and fro, up, and down, to places), wander, wax, [way-] faring man, X be weak, whirl.


In this first use of the word “walk”, with people, we find that it has the basic idea of performing the will of HaShem. HaShem is having Abram check out his inheritance, his land. Many of HaShem’s commands, such as the Sabbatical year and the Jubilee year, can ONLY be performed in the land. This walk establishes Abram’s continued obedience to the commands of HaShem.


One of the things we will notice in this study, is that most of the time that we see this word ‘walk’, it will be juxtaposed with the commands of HaShem.


Now, lets see how this same word is used in other scriptures:


Bereshit (Genesis) 17:1-14 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, HaShem appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I [am] the Almighty HaShem; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and HaShem talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a HaShem unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And HaShem said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This [is] my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which [is] not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.


In this use, we see that walking is intimately connected with obedience to HaShem. The implied usage seems to indicate a lifestyle of obedience.


Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:1-5 And HaShem spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am HaShem your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I [am] HaShem your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I [am] HaShem.


In this powerful passage, HaShem again indicates that the way to live, is in obedience to His Torah. Our walk determines whether we are choosing death or life.


Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:2-12 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I [am] HaShem. If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make [you] afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.


In this passage, HaShem indicates that if we are to be His people, and He is to be our God, then we MUST walk in His statutes. There is no other way.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:31 - 6:2 But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do [them] in the land which I give them to possess it. Ye shall observe to do therefore as HaShem your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which HaShem your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and [that it may be] well with you, and [that] ye may prolong [your] days in the land which ye shall possess. Now these [are] the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which HaShem your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do [them] in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear HaShem thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.


In this passage, walking in His ways, means living a Torah observant life. The result of this walk is prolonged life on Earth.


Deutronomy 30:10-20 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. “It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ “Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your HaShem, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. “But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other Gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them. “


In this passage, the use of “walk” is used to graphically describe a life of absolute Torah obedience. This lifestyle is called “our life”!


Yahoshua (Joshua) 22:1-6 Then Yahoshua (Joshua) called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, And said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of HaShem commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you: Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of HaShem your God. And now HaShem your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, [and] unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of HaShem gave you on the other side Jordan. But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of HaShem charged you, to love HaShem your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. So Yahoshua (Joshua) blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their tents.


Here again, we have HaShem associating our walk with our obedience to His Torah. Yahoshua (Joshua) seems to be emphasizing how important it is to walk in His ways.


Zecariah 8:20-23 “Thus says HaShem of hosts, ‘{It will} yet {be} that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. ‘And the inhabitants of one will go to another saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of HaShem, and to seek HaShem of hosts; I will also go.” ‘So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek HaShem of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of HaShem.’ “Thus says HaShem of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying,” Let us go with you, for we have heard that HaShem is with you.


In this passage, “go” literally means to “walk”. When we walk with the Jews, it means to live a lifestyle that they live. It means that we have embraced a Torah observant lifestyle, as they have. When we are Torah observant, we will find that HaShem is with us too!


In the Nazarean Codicil, we find this same theme regarding our walk:


II Luqas (Acts) 21:18-24 And now the following day Paul went in with us to Yaaqov (James), and all the elders were present. And after he had greeted them, he {began} to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it they {began} glorifying God; and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law; and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. “What, then, is {to be done}? They will certainly hear that you have come. “Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses in order that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.


Here, Paul demonstrates that he walks orderly by keeping the Torah. The Greek word for “walk”, in the above passage, is:


4748 stoicheo, stoy-kheh’-o; from a der. of steicho (to range in regular line); to march in (military) rank (keep step), i.e. (fig.) to conform to virtue and piety:-walk (orderly).


Romans 6:4-6 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Mashiach was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.


We have already seen the close association between walking and life. The above passage reinforces this idea. Mashiach’s death was for the purpose of eliminating sin. Sin is the word that describes a lifestyle devoid of Torah:


1 Yochanan (John) 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.


Romans 8:1-4 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Mashiach Yeshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Mashiach Yeshua hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, HaShem sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


In this difficult passage, Paul is putting our walk together with life, and this is in opposition to the flesh and sin. Since Paul lived a Torah observant lifestyle, and was well versed in the Torah, it is clear that he is reiterating that we must walk in obedience to the Torah, which is the Spirit of life.


2 Yochanan (John) 1:4-6 I was very glad to find {some} of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment {to do} from the Father. And now I ask you, lady, not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.


Here, at the end of the Nazarean Codicil, we still see that we are commanded to walk according to the Torah, which are His commandments.


II. How is “walk” used in the Midrash?


Now lets see what the Midrash has to say about our walk:


Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) XXX:10 10. NOAH WALKED WITH GOD. R. Judah said: This may be compared to a king who had two sons, one grown up and the other a child. To the child he said, ‘Walk with me,’ but to the adult, ‘Walk before me.’ Similarly, to Abraham, whose [moral] strength was great, [He said,] ‘ Walk thou before Me’ (Gen. XVII, 1); of Noah, whose strength was feeble [it says], NOAH WALKED WITH HASHEM. R. Ezra said: He might be compared to a king’s friend who was plunging about in dark alleys, and when the king looked out and saw him sinking [in the mud], he said to him, ‘Instead of plunging about in dark alleys, come and walk with me.’ But Abraham’s case is rather to be compared to that of a king who was sinking in dark alleys, and when his friend saw him he shone a light for him through the window. Said he to him, ‘Instead of lighting me through the window, come and show a light before me.’ Even so did the Holy One, blessed be He, say to Abraham: ‘Instead of showing a light for Me from Mesopotamia and its environs, come and show one before Me in Eretz Israel.’ Similarly, it is written, And he blessed Joseph, and said: The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, etc. (Gen. XLVIII, 15). R. Berekiah in R. Johanan’s name and Resh Lakish gave two illustrations of this. R. Johanan said: It was as if a shepherd stood and watched his flocks.[2] Resh Lakish said: It was as if a prince walked along while the elders preceded him.[3] On R. Johanan’s view: We need His proximity.[4] On the view of Resh Lakish: He needs us to glorify Him.[5]


Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) XLVI:4 4. WALK BEFORE ME, AND BE THOU WHOLE. R. Levi said: This may be illustrated by a noble lady whom the king commanded, ‘Walk before me.’ She walked before him and her face went pale, for, thought she, who knows but that some defect may have been found in me? Said the king to her, ‘Thou hast no defect, but that the nail of thy little finger is slightly too long; pare it and the defect will be gone.’ Similarly, God said to Abraham, ‘Thou hast no other defect but this foreskin: remove it and the defect will be gone. Hence, WALK BEFORE ME, AND BE THOU WHOLE. AND I WILL MAKE MY COVENANT, etc. (XVII, 2). R. Huna said in Bar Kappara’s name: Abraham pondered[6] and drew an inference: ‘orlah (foreskin) is said here (v. 11), and ‘orlah occurs in reference to a tree (Lev. XIX, 23)[7]: just as ‘orlah in the case of trees refers to the place where it yields fruit, so ‘orlah employed in reference to man means the member which produces offspring [fruit]. Said R. Hanina to him: Had then reasoning by analogy already been given to Abraham? Surely not! But [he learned it from God’s promise]: AND I WILL MAKE MY COVENANT BETWEEN ME AND THEE, AND WILL MULTIPLY THEE EXCEEDINGLY: hence, with [that member through which] I WILL MULTIPLY THEE EXCEEDINGLY, I WILL MAKE MY COVENANT BETWEEN ME AND THEE.


Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) LIX:5 David was Israel’s shepherd, as it says, Thou shalt shepherd My people Israel (I Chron. XI, 2); and who was David’s shepherd? HaShem: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (Ps. XXIII, 1). Jerusalem is the light of the world, as it says, And nations shall walk at thy light (Isa. LX, 3); and who is the light of Jerusalem? HaShem, as it is written, But the Lord shall be to thee an everlasting light (ib. 19).


Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) XCVI:5 What did he mean by ‘there is a reason for this’? He alluded to the verse, I shall walk before the Lord in the lands of the living (Ps. CXVI, 9).[8] (Our teachers said two things in R. Helbo’s name: Why did the Patriarchs long for burial in Eretz Israel? Because the dead of Eretz Israel will be the first to be resurrected in the days of the Messiah and to enjoy the years of the Messiah. R. Hanina said: He who dies without the Land and is buried there experiences a twofold death, for so it is written, And thou, Pashhur, and all that dwell in thy house shall go into captivity; and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and there shalt thou be buried (Jer. XX, 6); thus he experiences two deaths.[9] Therefore Jacob said to Joseph: BURY MEN NOT I PRAY THEE, IN EGYPT. If so, said R. Simon, the righteous who are buried without the Land have lost thereby?[10] But what does HaShem do? He makes cavities like channels for them in the earth,[11] and they roll along in them until they reach Eretz Israel, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will infuse into them a spirit of life and they will arise. How do we know this? Because it is written, Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Egypt (Ezek. XXXVII, 12); and after that, I will put My spirit in you, and ye shall live (ib. 14). Resh Lakish


Midrash Rabbah - Shemot (Exodus) XXX:3 Now THESE ARE (WE-ELEH) THE ORDINANCES adds to those that preceded, viz to what is written above: There He made for them a statute and an ordinance (Ex. XV, 25).4 Another explanation of NOW THESE ARE THE ORDINANCES. What precedes this paragraph? And let them judge the people at all seasons (ib. XVIII, 22), and here it says, NOW THESE ARE THE ORDINANCES. with the Decalogue in between. Like a distinguished lady walking in the centre of an armed bodyguard, so has the Torah laws preceding it and laws following it, while it is in the centre.[12] Hence it says, I walk in the way of righteousness (Prov. VIII, 20). The Torah exclaims: ‘ In which path shall I walk?-I will walk in the path of those who act righteously in the midst of the paths of justice’ (ib.)-with the Torah in the centre and laws preceding it and following it; preceding it, as it says, ‘ There He made for them a statute and an ordinance,’ and following it, as it says, NOW THESE ARE THE ORDINANCES.


Midrash Rabbah - Vayikra (Leviticus) XXV:3 3. R. Judah b. Simon began his discourse with the text, After the Lord your God shall ye walk (Deut. XIII, 5). But can a man of flesh and blood walk after the Holy One, blessed be He, the One of whom it is written, Thy way was in the sea and Thy path in the great waters and Thy footsteps were not known (Ps. LXXVII, 20)? Yet you say, ‘After the Lord your God shall ye walk’! And unto Him shall ye leave (Deut. Ioc. cit.). But can flesh and blood go up into heaven to cleave to the Shechinah the One of whom it is written, For the Lord thy God is a devouring fire (ib. IV, 24), and of whom it is written, His throne was fiery flames (Dan. VII, 9), and of whom it is further written, A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him (ib. 10)? Yet you say, And unto Him shall ye cleave ‘! But in truth the Holy One, blessed be He, from the very beginning of the creation of the world, was before all else occupied with plantation, as is proved by the text, And the Lord God planted a garden in the first instance in Eden (Gen. II, 8), and so do you also, when you enter into the land, occupy yourselves first with nought else but plantation; hence it is written, AND WHEN YE SHALL COME INTO THE LAND, THEN YE SHALL PLANT.


Midrash Rabbah - Vayikra (Leviticus) XXXV:1 1. IF YE WALK IN MY STATUTES (XXVI, 3). This bears on the text, I considered my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies (Ps. CXIX, 59). David said: ‘Sovereign of the Universe! Every day I used to plan and decide that I would go to a particular place or to a particular dwelling-house, but my feet always brought me to Synagogues and Houses of Study.’ Hence it is written, ‘And turned my feet unto Thy testimonies.’ R. Huna in the name of R. Aha expounded the verse to mean, ‘I considered’ the reward given for good deeds and the loss entailed through misdeeds, ‘And turned my feet unto Thy testimonies.’ R. Menahem the son-in-law of R. Eleazar b. Abina explained the text as meaning, ‘I considered’ what Thou hast written for us in the Torah, viz. IF YOU WALK IN MY STATUTES, then, what is written in that connection? I will give peace in the land (Lev. XXVI, 6). But if ye will not hearken unto Me (ib. 14), then, what is written in this connection? Then I will chastise you seven times more (ib. 18). R. Abba of R. Hiyya in the name of R. Jonathan explained the verse to mean, ‘I considered’ the blessings and ‘I considered’ the curses. The blessings are from alef to taw[13] while the curses are from waw to he’![14] Nay, more; the latter are reversed,[15] signifying, explained R. Abin, that if you are worthy I shall reverse your curses into blessings. When? If you keep My Torah. Hence it is written, IF YE WALK IN MY STATUTES.


III. How is “walk” used in the Talmud?


The Talmud has the following insights into our walk:


Sukkah 49b The School of R. Anan taught: It is written,[16] The roundings of thy thighs.[17] Why are the words of the Torah compared to the thigh? To teach you that just as the thigh is hidden, so should the words of the Torah be hidden,[18] and this is the import of what R. Eleazar said, What is the implication of the text, It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord doth require of thee: Only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?[19] ‘To do justly’ means [to act in accordance with] justice; ‘to love mercy’ refers to acts of loving kindness’[20] ‘and to walk[21] humbly with thy God’ refers to attending to funerals and dowering a bride for her wedding.[22] Now can we not make a deduction a fortiori: If in matters which are normally performed publicly[23] the Torah enjoins ‘to walk humbly’, how much more so in matters that are normally done privately?[24]


Sotah 14a R. Hama son of R. Hanina further said: What means the text: Ye shall walk after the Lord your God?[25] Is it, then, possible for a human being to walk after the Shechinah; for has it not been said: For the Lord thy God is a devouring fire?[26] But [the meaning is] to walk after the attributes of the Holy One, blessed be He. As He clothes the naked, for it is written: And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them,[27] so do thou also clothe the naked. The Holy One, blessed be He, visited the sick, for it is written: And the Lord appeared unto him by the oaks of Mamre,[28] so do thou also visit the sick. The Holy One, blessed be He, comforted mourners, for it is written: And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son,[29] so do thou also comfort mourners. The Holy one, blessed be He, buried the dead, for it is written: And He buried him in the valley,[30] so do thou also bury the dead.


Ephesians 5:15-21 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Mashiach.


IV. Where is “halak”, walk, used?


Bereshit (Genesis) 13:17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.


Bereshit (Genesis) 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, HaShem appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I [am] the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.


Bereshit (Genesis) 24:40 And he said unto me, HaShem, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house:


Bereshit (Genesis) 24:65 For she [had] said unto the servant, What man [is] this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant [had] said, It [is] my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.


Bereshit (Genesis) 48:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, HaShem, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,


Shemot (Exodus) 21:19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote [him] be quit: only he shall pay [for] the loss of his time, and shall cause [him] to be thoroughly healed.


Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.


Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;


Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.


Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:27-28 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 8:19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget HaShem thy God, and walk after other Gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:14 For HaShem thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 28:8-14 HaShem will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. HaShem your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. HaShem will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of HaShem your God and walk in his ways. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of HaShem, and they will fear you. HaShem will grant you abundant prosperity--in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you. HaShem will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. HaShem will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of HaShem your HaShem that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other Gods and serving them.


Yahoshua (Joshua) 18:8 And the men arose, and went away: and Yahoshua (Joshua) charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before HaShem in Shiloh.


Shoftim (Judges) 5:10 Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.


1 Shmuel (Samuel) 2:30 Wherefore HaShem God of Israel saith, I said indeed [that] thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now HaShem saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.


1 Shmuel (Samuel) 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, [that] shall do according to [that] which [is] in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.


1 Shmuel (Samuel) 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.


1 Shmuel (Samuel) 12:2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons [are] with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.


1 Melakim (Kings) 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.


1 Melakim (Kings) 8:23 And he said, HaShem God of Israel, [there is] no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:


1 Melakim (Kings) 11:38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do [that is] right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.


2 Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 6:14 And said, HaShem God of Israel, [there is] no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and [shewest] mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts:


Iyov (Job) 18:8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare.


Iyov (Job) 22:14 Thick clouds [are] a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.


Tehillim (Psalms) 1:1-2 Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of HaShem, and on his law he meditates day and night.


Tehillim (Psalms) 12:8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.


Tehillim (Psalms) 15:1-5 {A psalm of David.} HaShem, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart And has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, Who despises a vile man but honors those who fear HaShem, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, Who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.


Tehillim (Psalms) 39:6 Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up [riches], and knoweth not who shall gather them.


Tehillim (Psalms) 56:13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: [wilt] not [thou deliver] my feet from falling, that I may walk before HaShem in the light of the living?


Tehillim (Psalms) 73:9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.


Tehillim (Psalms) 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.


Tehillim (Psalms) 84:11 For HaShem HaShem [is] a sun and shield: HaShem will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.


Tehillim (Psalms) 86:11 Teach me thy way, HaShem; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.


Tehillim (Psalms) 89:15 Blessed [is] the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, HaShem, in the light of thy countenance.


Tehillim (Psalms) 91:6 [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday.


Tehillim (Psalms) 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. o when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.


Tehillim (Psalms) 101:6 Mine eyes [shall be] upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.


Tehillim (Psalms) 115:7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.


Tehillim (Psalms) 104:3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:


Tehillim (Psalms) 116:9 I will walk before HaShem in the land of the living.


Tehillim (Psalms) 119:1 {ALEPH.} Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of HaShem.


Tehillim (Psalms) 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.


Tehillim (Psalms) 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.


Tehillim (Psalms) 128:1 {A Song of degrees.} Blessed [is] every one that feareth HaShem; that walketh in his ways.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 2:7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: [he is] a buckler to them that walk uprightly.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 6:12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 10:9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 13:20 He that walketh with wise [men] shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 14:2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth HaShem: but [he that is] perverse in his ways despiseth him.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 15:21 Folly [is] joy to [him that is] destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 19:1 Better [is] the poor that walketh in his integrity, than [he that is] perverse in his lips, and is a fool.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 20:7 The just [man] walketh in his integrity: his children [are] blessed after him.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:6 Better [is] the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than [he that is] perverse [in his] ways, though he [be] rich.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but [he that is] perverse [in his] ways shall fall at once.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.


Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 2:14 The wise man’s eyes [are] in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.


Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 4:15 I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.


Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 6:8 For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?


Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 10:3 Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth [him], and he saith to every one [that] he [is] a fool.


Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these [things] HaShem will bring thee into judgment.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 30:2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 35:9 No lion shall be there, nor [any] ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk [there]:


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 42:5 Thus saith HaShem God, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 42:24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not HaShem, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 50:10 Who [is] among you that feareth HaShem, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh [in] darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of HaShem, and stay upon his God.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 59:9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, [but] we walk in darkness.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 65:2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that was] not good, after their own houghts;


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 7:9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other Gods whom ye know not;


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 9:4 Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 10:23 HaShem, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps.


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 23:17 They say still unto them that despise me, HaShem hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other Gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 18:12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 18:15 Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways [from] the ancient paths, to walk in paths, [in] a way not cast up;


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 26:4 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith HaShem; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 31:9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim [is] my firstborn.


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 42:3 That HaShem thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.


Eichah (Lamentations) 5:18 Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.


Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 11:21 But [as for them] whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God.


Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 33:15 [If] the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.


Tzefaniah (Zephaniah) 1:17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against HaShem: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.


Zechariah 1:10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These [are they] whom HaShem hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.


Zechariah 6:7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.


Zechariah 10:12 And I will strengthen them in HaShem; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith HaShem.


Micah 2:7 O [thou that art] named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of God straitened? [are] these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?


V. Halakha – The Way of Walking


Jews refer to a Torah observant lifestyle as obedience to the halakha. Halakha is a transliteration of the Hebrew word that means “the way of walking”. Halakha refers to the lifestyle which lines up with what the Torah commands.


Halakha is used five times in the Tanakh[31].


Iyov (Job) 6:19, Tehillim (Psalms) 68:24, Mishlei (Proverbs) 31:27, Nahum 2:5, and Habakuk 3:6.


The passage in Mishlei (Proverbs) 31:27 is most instructive since we use this to praise our wives on erev Shabbat:


Mishlei (Proverbs) 31:27 She looketh well to the ways (halakha) of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.


This verse seems to infer that the woman of the house will be the one that takes care that the family observes the Torah. This task she does instead of being idle. It is almost as though idleness is defined as not making sure that your family is Torah observant.


* * *


My Teacher, Hakham Dr. Yoseph ben Haggi, has taught me that we can follow the Hebrew into the Nazarean Codicil to reveal some amazing things.


3598 hodos, hod-os’; appar. a prim. word; a road; by impl. a progress (the route, act or distance); fig. a mode or means:-journey, (high-) way.


As we follow the Hebrew word HALAK, we need to follow it into the Nazarean Codicil. The Greek word used to translate the Hebrew word HALAK is HODOS. HUDOS means HALAKHA, the way of walking. We have some very interesting passages that uses this word:


Matitiyahu 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.


Matitiyahu 5:25 {Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.}


Matitiyahu 7:13 {Enter ye in at 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:}


Matitiyahu 20:30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Yeshua passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, [thou] son of David.


Marqos (Mark) 1:1-4 The beginning of the gospel about Yeshua Mashiach, the Son of HaShem. It is written in Yeshayah (Isaiah) the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”-- “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” And so Yochanan (John) came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.


Yochanan (John) 14:5-6 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Yeshua saith unto him, {I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.}


The followers of His Majesty King Yeshua were called “Followers of Halakha” in:


II Luqas (Acts) 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.


II Luqas (Acts) 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought [him] to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Yeshua.


II Luqas (Acts) 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?


II Luqas (Acts) 14:16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.


II Luqas (Acts) 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high HaShem, which shew unto us the way of salvation.


II Luqas (Acts) 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of Yochanan (John).


II Luqas (Acts) 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto [them], and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.


1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.


Bereans (Hebrews) 3:10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways.


Yaaqov (James) 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.


2 Tzefet (Peter) 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.


Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of HaShem, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord HaShem Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints.


The Shema:


The directives of the Shema, Devarim 6:4ff, intimate two ways for Israel to express its love for HaShem: to do and to hear. Later Hakhamim will refer to these “ways”as “duties of the limbs” and “duties of the heart”, the “duties of the limbs” implying what the Hakhamim came to call halakhah. Derived from the causative verb halak (to walk, i.e., to make someone else walk, to lead, to guide), halakah is that component of Torah which provides guidance through definitive rulings or commandments (mitzvot). It answers the questions ‘what,’ ‘when,’ and ‘how’ in Israel’s call to holiness.




The Torah was HaShem’s plan for creation given to Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai in the presence of all the people of Israel. This plan was written out in the Five Books of Moses known collectively as the Torah. One worships HaShem by studying this plan and putting it into practice, i.e. one must walk (halak) in the Torah. Righteousness is, by definition, the state created by living according to the Torah, which is HaShem’s plan. Jewish life is / was defined by Torah regardless of where one lived.


* * *


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:


Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

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Olympia, WA 98501


Internet address: gkilli@aol.com

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[1] HaShem is the translitteration of the Hebrew word wich means “The Name”. This is how reverent Jews refer to the yud-kay-vav-kay (YHVW) name of HaShem.

[2] Similarly, Abraham and Isaac walked before HaShem and in His protection.

[3] As an escort, to make known his coming. Similarly, Abraham and Isaac walked before HaShem, spreading His knowledge.

[4] Lit. ‘place ‘. We must be near to HaShem, as it were, so as to enjoy His protection.

[5] By propagating the knowledge of His greatness.

[6] Lit. ‘ sat-’.

[7] Though translated differently, the Hebrew is the same in both cases.

[8] Eretz Israel is The land of the living, as the passage appended in the text from cur. edd. explains.

[9] I.e. as though the burial counts as an additional death when it is without the Land.

[10] Surely not.

[11] The channels are in the earth, and therefore like long caves stretching to Eretz Israel.

[12] The point of the comparison is that the various laws that surrounded the Ten Commandments themselves are a kind of protection to them. With the Decalogue all other laws were given.

[13] I.e. there is a complete alphabet of blessings.

[14] As it were, only two!

[15] The curses in Deut. XXVIII, 15-68, begin with vhvu (a waw) and end with vbe (a he’), thus the natural order is reversed, since the he’ precedes the waw in the alphabet. V. B.B., 88b, 89a, and notes ad loc. in Sonc. ed.

[16] Lit., ‘what (means) that which is written’.

[17] This is a continuation of Cant. VII, 2.

[18] It should be taught in privacy, not in the market place (cf. M.K. 16a).

[19] Mic. VI, 8.

[20] Gemiluth Hasadim (v. infra). It is wider than charity including as it does all acts of kindness.

[21] Emphasis on ‘walk’.

[22] One’s help in such cases should be given humbly and in privacy.

[23] Weddings and funerals.

[24] The giving of alms.

[25] Deut. XIII, 5.

[26] Ibid. IV, 24.

[27] Gen. III, 21.

[28] Ibid. XVIII, 1. Since the preceding verses deal with Abraham’s circumcision, it is deduced that the occasion was when he was recovering.

[29] Gen. XXV, 11.

[30] Deut. XXXIV, 6.

[31] TaNaKh is an acronym which stands for Torah (law), Neviim (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings). Tanakh is the name given to the books known by Christians as “the Old Testament”.