T. Bavli Sanhedrin 90b: Where Is The Resurrection Of The Dead Derived From The Torah?

Near the top of page San. 90b is an awesome halakhic discussion of where in the Torah is the doctrine of the Resurrection of the dead derived? This is an important doctrine for followers of Yeshua to be able to explain, too. Our Master also taught that the resurrection is derived from the Torah (see Mark 12:26-27). Let’s take a look at Yeshua’s and the rabbis’ reasoning for the doctrine of the Resurrection of the body from the Torah.

Rabbi Yochanan says the resurrection is derived from Num 18:28, which states, “and you shall give a teruma of HaShem to Aaron the priest.” Let’s piece together how this is a proof. When rabbis quote a verse, it is more like a hyperlink to the passage than simply the text quoted. So, we have to take into account what else is said in the passage surrounding the quoted text.

Please turn to Numbers 18:28. Let’s take in the context. The chapter is concerned with the gifts the Levites receive from Benei Y’israel. In V.19, this is a perpetual, eternal covenant. So Teruma is to be given perpetually. V.20 says that Levites have no portion in their land (i.e. Y’israel’s land). V.28 says, “the Levites shall give a tenth to Aaron the priest”. Let’s ponder the implications.

V.28 tells us the Levites will perpetually give it to Aaron; but we know Aaron died. Moreover, in V.20 Y’israel has not yet entered the land, nevertheless, the commandment hints like Y’israel has, since that is the only place where Levites can bring the teruma offering to Aaron (Deut. 18:1-5). So if Aaron dies and he did not enter the land, the commandment is unfulfilled.

Ponder on this, the rabbis see that HaShem made a commandment that could not be fulfilled in the time setting of the Torah narrative. The rabbis affirm that no Word from HaShem comes back void (see Isa. 55:11), so how could this be fulfilled? Only if Aaron the priest will be resurrected in the future when Israel is in the Land, then can they bring their offerings to him.

Likewise, our Master Yeshua taught in Mark 12:26, quoting Exodus 3:6, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. While someone can simply take the null copula phrase, “I [am] the God of Abraham, etc.” as an ongoing living relationship with people who have died, I believe there is a lot more that Yeshua is alluding to by quoting this passage. Once again, context matters as well as the quoted verse. In V.7 HaShem says, “I have surely seen the oppression of my people in Egypt, etc.” In V.8 “God says, I will bring them to the good and spacious land of Canaan, etc.”

Well, aside from Caleb and Joshua, none of them made it to the land of Canaan. Again, read Isa. 55:11. Either HaShem was lying to Moses, or He will resurrect all the Jews who were suffering in Egypt in the future so they will live in the Land. From Yeshua’s words, I think I know where He stands on what Our Father will do! Praise HaShem!!!

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