The word “torah” is number H8451 in the Strong’s numbering system and this is its definition in the same:
tôrâh tôrâh From H3384; a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue or Pentateuch: – law.
While the Strong’s is a great tool that has aided many, including myself, in our walk with the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, unfortunately this definition isn’t quite complete. Here is the usage of the word from the New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance:
torah (435d); from H3384; direction, instruction, law: – custom (1), instruction (10), instructions (1), Law (1), law (188), laws (10), ruling (1), teaching (7), teachings (1).
While Torah is considered almost exclusively to be “law” and “the Torah” to be the first five books of the Bible, it is much more than that. And yes, it sounds quite odd to say Torah is much more than the Law because the Law is so incredibly important, but bear with me for a spell.
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. Joshua 24:25-26
Joshua had the authority to write more things into the book of the law. That is a whole lot of authority. Did Joshua write the entire book of Joshua into the Torah or did he just write that the entire assembly swore their allegiance to Yahweh? My opinion is that the book of Joshua was written into the law because it is a record of when they actually lived according to the Torah. The book of Joshua is a record of when the nation of Israel actually came close to doing what they were supposed to do. Just a couple chapters prior to 24, the ten tribes on the west side of the Jordan were prepared to go to outright civil war with the three that got their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan because of perceived disobedience. These folks were completely sold out to Yahweh. Completely. And their deeds were recorded in the Torah as a record of the application of Torah.
So here is where we can see how Torah is more than just the black and white of the first five books of the Bible. Torah is a way of life, in fact, it is THE way of life that God expects of His family. It is the instructions! And part of reading the instructions is to comprehend how those instructions are applied. In business we call this “best practices”. “Best practices” are protocols that are developed with knowledge and experience. Most often, “best practices” are developed after someone accidentally discovered the worst practices.
The rest of the Bible contains the application of the Torah and also the rejection of it. In fact, it was so rejected that Israel was split into Israel and Judah then cast into Babylon. It was so rejected that they treated the prophets badly. And it was so misapplied that the Son of God Himself had to come down here to show us how to apply Torah correctly. In this regard, He showed us Torah as a way of life by showing us the He is the way, the life, and the truth.