Is “Messianic Judaism” or “Nazarene Judaism” the Scriptural Term?

Is “Messianic Judaism” or “Nazarene Judaism”
the Scriptural Term?
By
James Trimm

In restoring the ancient sect of Nazarene Judaism, one might ask why not use the term “Messianic Judaism” which many Jewish believers in Messiah commonly use?

There are a few problems with this term. To begin with, so-called “Messianic Judaism” began as an outgrowth of Christianity (I will write a blog on the origins of so-called “Messianic Judaism” in the future) as a missionary effort to bring Jews into a culturally Jewish form of Christianity. By contrast the restoration of Nazarene Judaism is an effort to restore the original sect of Judaism which were the original Jewish followers of Yeshua. There are several issues that arise from the motives and origins of so-called “Messianic Judaism” which are problematic for a true restoration of Nazarene Judaism. (We will discuss some of those in a future blog).

In this blog, I simply want to address the term “Messianic Judaism.” You may be surprised to find out that the original Jewish followers of Yeshua were NOT “Messianic Jews”. As Messianic Jewish leader Daniel Juster writes:

No form of Judaism or Christianity… has used the term “Messianic Judaism” as its appropriate designation.
(Jewish Roots; 1986 edition, p. viii)

The original followers of Yeshua were a sect of Judaism known as “Nazarenes” (as we read in Acts 24:5).

The term “Messianic Judaism” was invented in the late 60’s and it is a human invention. Messianic Jewish leader David Stern wrote in his Messianic Jewish Manifesto:

According to Scripture the word “Christian” does not denote Jewish believers in Yeshua at all. The New Testament calls them followers of “this way” (Acts 9:2, 22:4) and “Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5)… the New Testament does not call Jewish believers “Christians”. According to New Testament usage the term “Christian” is reserved for Gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah Yeshua.

Acts 11:19-26 tells how in Antioch some Jewish believers… did not limit their proclamation of Yeshua as the Messiah to Jews, as had been the norm previously, but broke new ground… Many of these Gentiles came to believe… the other Gentiles in Antioch… coined the word christianoi (Christians),… Thus the term “Christian” was invented by Gentiles to describe Gentiles in a Gentile environment. The New Testament tells us explicitly that “the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” [Acts 11:26]
(Messianic Jewish Manifesto; David Stern; p. 32)

Now it is important here to note that David Stern himself in his Jewish New Testament and Complete Jewish Bible, translates Acts 11:26 with:

…it was at Antioch that the talmidim for the first time were called “Messianic”. (Acts 11:26 JNT)

In his commentary to this passage in his Jewish New Testament Commentary Stern wrote:

“Messianic,” or “Messianics,” Greek Christianoi, which could be rendered… as in other translations, “Christians.” …the name “Christianoi” was applied to Gentile believers by Gentile nonbelievers. The name nonbelieving Jews gave to Jewish believers was “Natzaratim”… (“Nazarenes”),

Again in his book Messianic Jewish Manifesto Stern wrote:

“Messianic” comes from the Hebrew mashiach, which means “anointed.” “Christian” comes from Greek christos, which is the [Greek] New Testament’s translation of mashiach and means the same thing. …in the New Testament the term “Christian,” which appears only three times, apparently denotes being a Gentile believer in Yeshua, so that scripturally “Jewish Christian” is a contradiction in terms.
(Emphasis and brackets added)
(Messianic Jewish Manifesto; David Stern; p. 20)

Now we can see from David Stern’s own words above:

  1. The terms “Christian” and “Messianic” are alternate translations of the Greek word “Christianoi” “and mean the same thing”.
  2. The term “Christianoi” or “Christian” is used in the scriptures only to denote a GENTILE believer in Yeshua, so that scripturally the term “Jewish Christian” is “a contradiction in terms”.

Therefore we may conclude that:

  • The term “Messianic” is used in the scriptures only to denote a GENTILE believer in Yeshua, so that scripturally the term “Messianic Jew” is a contradiction in terms.
  • The logic is inescapable… the term “Messianic Judaism” is scripturally invalid, it is a human invention and a contradiction in terms.

So what were the original Jewish followers of Yeshua called if they were not Messianic Jews? Stern admited:

The New Testament calls them followers of “this way” (Acts 9:2, 22:4) and “Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5)
(Messianic Jewish Manifesto; David Stern; p. 32)

In fact if we quote Stern, but substitute the word “Messianic” for “Christians” (since Stern admits “they are the same”) we read:

According to Scripture the word “MESSIANIC” does not denote Jewish believers in Yeshua at all. The New Testament calls them followers of “this way” (Acts 9:2, 22:4) and “NAZARENES” (Acts 24:5)… the New Testament does not call Jewish believers “MESSIANIC”. According to New Testament usage the term “MESSIANIC” is reserved for Gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah Yeshua.

So the Biblical term for Jewish believers in Messiah is not “Messianic” but “Nazarene”. We should be seeking a restoration of “Nazarene Judaism” not creating “Messianic Judaism” which, being “Christian Judaism” (i.e. “Christianized Judaism”) is a contradiction in terms.

So in this restoration of the ancient sect of Nazarene Judaism, we should definitely prefer the Scriptural term “Nazarene” Judaism to the Unscriptural term “Messianic Judaism”.

The “church father” Jerome (4th Cent.) described these Nazarenes as those “…who accept Messiah in such a way that they do not cease to observe the old Law.” (Jerome; On. Is. 8:14).

Elsewhere he writes:

Today there still exists among the Jews in all the synagogues of the East a heresy which is called that of the Minæans (1), and which is still condemned by the Pharisees; [its followers] are ordinarily called ‘Nazarenes’; they believe that Messiah, the son of God, was born of the Virgin Miriam, and they hold him to be the one who suffered under Pontius Pilate and ascended to heaven, and in whom we also believe.”
(Jerome; Letter 75 Jerome to Augustine)

The fourth century “church father” Epiphanius gives a more detailed description:

But these sectarians… did not call themselves Christians–but “Nazarenes,” … However they are simply complete Jews. They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do… They have no different ideas, but confess everything exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion– except for their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that G-d is one, and that his son is Yeshua the Messiah. They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew. For among them the entire Law, the Prophets, and the… Writings… are read in Hebrew, as they surely are by the Jews. They are different from the Jews, and different from Christians, only in the following. They disagree with Jews because they have come to faith in Messiah; but since they are still fettered by the Law–circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest– they are not in accord with Christians…. they are nothing but Jews…. They have the Goodnews according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew. For it is clear that they still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written. (Epiphanius; Panarion 29)

(1) “Minæans” apparently Latinized from Hebrew MINIM (singular is MIN) a word which in modern Hebrew means “apostates” but was originally an acronym for a Hebrew phrase meaning “Believers in Yeshua the Nazarene”.

Emergency Alert!  We need your help.  Today I woke up to a huge problem.  Our bank account was over $2,500 in the negative!  I rushed to the bank to find out what was going on.  When my wife was hospitalized for 53 days back in 2018 we defaulted on most of our of our bills.  We reached out to all of our creditors at the time to try to make arrangements, and all but two were willing to work with us.  One of those was a credit card.  This creditor recently got a court order to put a hold on our bank account for $2,543 for the outstanding amount plus interest.  Our bank account is now $2,543 in the negative, and we have until the end of the day March 3rd (Sunday) to satisfy this hold, or items will start being returned, and various fees will start mounting up (and things like our rent will not clear, creating huge problems).  Any amount you can help with towards pulling our account out of the negative will be greatly appreciated.  Any donation will help, and any donation is better than no donation.

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Now is time to step up to the plate!

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org or by Zelle or GoFundMe.

Click HERE to donate

The Son of Yah in the Zohar

The Son of Yah in the Zohar
By
James Scott Trimm

We read in the Zohar, concerning the “light” of Genesis 1:3-4:

Concerning this, too, it is written: “Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen. I, 3). Why, it may be asked, was it necessary to repeat the word “light” in this verse? The answer is that the first “light” refers to the primordial light which is of the Right Hand, and is destined for the “end of days”; while the second “light” refers to the Left Hand, which issues from the Right. The next words, “And God saw the light that it was good” (Gen. 1, 4), refer to the pillar which, standing midway between them, unites both sides, and therefore when the unity of the three, right, left, and middle, was complete, “it was good”, since there could be no completion until the third had appeared to remove the strife between Right and Left, as it is written, “And Elohim separated between the light and between the darkness” (Ibid.).
(Zohar 2:167a)

And:

This is the Middle Pillar: Ki Tob (that it was good) threw light above and below and on all other sides, in virtue of YHWH, the name which embraces all sides.
(Zohar 1:16b)

This is very similar to what the Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria wrote in the First Century:

…the Divine Word (Logos)…fills all things and becomes a mediator and arbitrator for the two sides….from the Divine Word (Logos), as from a spring, there divide and break forth two powers. One is the creative through which the Artificer placed and ordered all things. This is named “God”. And the royal, since through it the Creator rules over created things. This is called “Lord” And from these two powers have grown the others. For by the side of the creative power there grows the propitious of which is named “beneficial” while (besides) the royal the legislative, of which is aptly named “punitive”. And below these and beside them is the ark.
(Philo on Q&A on Exodus, II.68)

The Zohar informs us that this “Middle Pillar” is “the Son of Yah”:

“YHWH is near to all those who call upon Him” (Ps. 145:18). Better is “a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off” (Prov. 27:10), This is the Son of Yah, which is the Middle Pillar, that ascended above, that is Binah (understanding). This world is the world of Jubilee, which is the fifty letters of the unity. Because in this world a son of man has redemption through the Tzadik, 6 (vav) years which encompasses the three first and the three final blessings. The small vav is “six years he shall work”. However, in the world to come, which is the world of Jubilee where exist the 50 (nun) letters of Kriat Sh’ma (the recitation of the Sh’ma), the cantor cannot exempt another from his duty, because there is no redemption through others. And recite the Sh’ma in whatever language you hear. And in this is a hint (remez), “If I am not for myself, who is for me” (m.Avot 1:14). “Who?” And this is the world of Jubilee,
(Zohar 2:115b)

This reference to the recitation of the Sh’ma recalls another passage of Zohar, which explains the meaning of the Sh’ma as the unification of the Three Pillars:

The [profession of] unity that every day is [a profession of] unity
is to be understood and to be perceived. We have said in many places
that this prayer is a profession of Unity that is proclaimed:

”Hear O Yisrael, YHWH“ first, [then] “Eloheynu” [and] “YHWH” they are all One and thus He is called “One”.

Behold, these are three names, how can they be one? Is it because we call them one? (literally: And also concerning the proclamation that we call them one?). How these are one can only through the vision of the Holy Sprit be known. And these are through the vision of the closed eye (or the hidden eye) To make known that these three are one. And this is the mystery of the voice that is heard. The voice is one. And is three GAUNIN: fire and air and water. And all these are one in the mystery of the voice.

And also here “YHWH, Eloheynu, YHWH” these are One. Three GAUNIN that are One. And this is the voice of the act of a son of man in [proclaiming] the Unity. And to which he sees by the Unity of the “All” from Eyn Sof (the Infinite One) to the end of the “All”. Because of the voice in which it is done, in these are three that are one.

And this is the [profession] of the daily profession of Unity that is revealed in the mystery of the Holy Spirit.

And there are many GAUNIN that are a Unity, and all of them are true, what the one does, that the other does, and what that one does, the other does.

But this unification that we awaken from below, by the mystery of the voice which is one, clarifies the Word. It is in general after the particular, as has been stated.
(Zohar 2:43b)

(The Aramaic word GA’UN (sing.)/GAUNIN (plural) comes from the word for “color” and refers to an “aspect, element, substance, essence”. )

Thus the Zohar understands the Sh’ma to mean that YHWH, Elohim and YHWH are three GA’UNIN. This section of the Zohar also recalls a reading from the Sefer Yetzirah:

Three “mothers”: Alef; Mem and Shin
Their foundation is a pan of merit
a pan of liability
and the tongue of decree deciding between them.
(Sefer Yetzirah 3:1)

The Hebrew word for “tongue” (לשון) has the same gematria (386) as “Yeshua” (ישוע)

Three “mothers”, Alef, Mem, Shin
in the universe are air, water, fire…
(Sefer Yetzirah 3:4a)

(Note: The letter SHIN has a gematria (numerical value) of 300 which is the same as the gematria of the phrase ”Ruach Elohim” (the Spirit of Elohim).)

The “tongue of decree deciding between them” is the Middle Pillar of the Godhead which reconciles the two outer pillars of the Godhead.

Another passage of the Zohar which mentions the Son of Yah says that the Rod of Moshe represents the Son of Yah and, as such, the vav (ו) in YHWH (יהוה) represents the Son of Yah, the Middle Pillar. It is of special interest that the Hebrew letter vav was originally a pictograph of a nail:

And now that you have turned in repentance and have become attached into the Tree of Life. Now you have departed from being a servant and returned to being a son of the Holy One, blessed be he, and the rod (mateh) which is given into your hand is the Tree of Life. 6 (vav) which is the Son of Yah, and will penetrate into the MAT (49) aspects you have in the Torah, and become a rod (mot) and shall be fulfilled in “He shall not allow the righteous to be moved (mot)” (Ps. 55:23) The 49 aspects are the 49 letters of the Sh’ma Yisrael, and blessed is the Name. Six denoting the unity above, 6 (vav) above, tif’ret. six aspects of the repetition of “Blessed is the Name” 6 (vav) repeated is the Tzadik a rod (mat) in the middle is alef. “And they carried it on a pole by twos.” (Num. 13:24)
(Zohar 2:114b)

The Zohar also tells us this Son of Yah that “ascends on high, on the third day“:

The Faithful Shepherd said ‘Malchut, in six sefirot it ascends continually to the vav (6) that is unified in them. It is the Son of Yah, hidden in Binah (understanding). And in a certain sefira of the six, it ascends on high, on the third day, which is called tiferet. That on the Sabbath day a second soul is added upon him, which is Binah. The Supernal Hei of YHWH, the sign of Shabbat, supernal chochmah, the king adorned with a crown. For this reason in the Musaf (additional) prayer, is ‘A crown they shall give you.’
(Zohar 3:229b)

In another passage, the Zohar declares that the Holy One has a Son (the Son of Yah):

The Holy One, blessed be He, has a Son, whose glory shines from one end of the world to another. He is a great and mighty tree, whose head reaches heaven, and whose roots are set in the holy ground, and his name is “Mispar” and his place is in the uppermost heaven… as it is written, “The heavens declare (me-SaPRim) the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1). Were it not for this “Mispar” there would be neither hosts nor offspring in any of the worlds.
(Zohar 2:105a)

Here the Zohar is drawing from the Bahir to teach us that the Son of Yah is the sum of the Sefirot:

Why are they called Sephirot? Because it is written (Ps. 19:2), “The heavens declare (me-SaPRim) the glory of God.”
(Bahir 125)

This is because the Middle Pillar harmonizes the outer two pillars and is thus the fullness of the everlasting Godhead.

Finally the Zohar interprets the “kiss the son” in Psalm 2:12 as a reference to this Son of Yah:

We may also translate “he who withholds blessings from the Son” (Prov. 11:26), whom the Father and Mother have CROWNED and blessed with many blessings, and concerning whom they commanded, “Kiss the SON lest he be angry” (Ps. 2:12), since he is invested with judgment (GEVURAH) and with mercy (CHESED)”
(Zohar 3:191b)

As many of you know, we are losing our home of over seven years. We have found a new home.  We have had to make some sacrifices.  There is no wood burning fireplace, that was not in the cards.  And our rent will be higher, we were blessed with a really good deal here, but staying is not an option (the owner is selling).   We signed the new lease and paid the security deposit (equal to one month’s rent) and the pet fees for our dogs.  However,  we now face major expenses in order to actually make the move.  Our new lease starts on February 1st (that is the furthest out we could make it, and we did not want to lose the new house).  We must still pay the first month’s rent on the new home by January 30th.  And our lease here actually ends on March 1st, so we will still have to pay rent here on February 1st as well.  This means we will be paying double rent, but it also gives us plenty of time to move.  To put this another way, including the security deposit we already paid (equal to one month’s rent) and paying rent on both houses on the 30th/1st, we are paying out *triple* rent this month.  Plus, my wife and I are not in sufficient health to move the furniture and major appliances, so we will need to have professional movers move at least those.  So now more than ever we need your help.  just to get the keys to the new home, we must pay that first month of rent early (on January 30th) otherwise we will have no place to go (and we absolutely have to be out of here very quickly).   Thank you all for all of your help so far.  We are now coming to the final lap, and need a final push to get into the new home.  Any donation is better than no donation, and every donation helps.  Thanks to all who have donated so far.  Any more help you can give in this final stretch is appreciated.

You can visit our Go Fund Me Page at: https://gofund.me/f551fb4f

As many of you know, my wife is chronically ill, disabled since and dealing with chronic pain daily, since her fifty three day hospitalization in late 2018, and I am her caretaker.

We need more of you to step up to the plate to donate, even in small amounts. I know you are out there.

This work takes hours of my time, and I spend most of my time at home as her caretaker. I work at a desk less than six feet from her bed. So I am in a position to dedicate many hours to this important work that I have been directed to do.

But I also realize that it is not the activity of James Trimm alone who is responsible to do this work, it is all of us together who are charged with the responsibility of accomplishing this work. I very much look on the efforts of this restoration work as a cooperative one with each one of you. We are all joint heirs with Messiah and should always be about our Father’s business. I am honored to be able to be partnered with truth seekers as this restoration of Scripture moves forward in fulfillment of prophecy.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

Donations can be sent by Zelle, Go Fund Me or Paypal

Click HERE to donate

The Original Hebrew of Luke and the Garza-Trimm Manuscript

The Original Hebrew of Luke and the Garza-Trimm Manuscript
By
James Scott Trimm

In a recent blog, I discussed a newly realized Hebrew Manuscript (which I have called the “Garza-Trimm” text) of the Synoptic Gospels containing a copy of Hebrew Matthew which is of the same family as the DuTillet and Munster texts, and thus is a descendant of the original Hebrew Matthew scribal tradition.

This manuscript of the synoptic gospels has a colophon indicating that the material had been hidden away underground by “Jews who has hidden their testimonies” i.e. secret Jewish believers in Yeshua as Messiah.

In that first blog, I focused on the Hebrew Matthew found in that manuscript. In this blog, I will focus on the Garza-Trimm text of Hebrew Luke. (I realize this is out of order, and at some point in the future, I will write a blog on this version of Mark).

The text of Luke in this manuscript, unfortunately, only contains the first seventeen chapters. A header for Chapter 18 appears, but there is no text under it, and the scribe never completed the manuscript.

The following are just a few interesting readings, far from exhaustive.

Luke 1:62

Here the Greek text of Luke opens with “And they made signs to his father…” and this is also the reading of the Latin Vulgate, the Peshitta, and every other ancient version of Luke I have found. However, the Old Syriac Aramaic Luke, has a unique reading here: “And they said to his father…” The Garza-Trimm Hebrew text of Luke also has “And they said to his father…”. This reading may seem minor, but it is especially significant, because the Old Syriac Aramaic was lost in ancient times, and not recovered until two manuscripts were discovered in the 19th century. The Old Syriac reading could not have been available to a Hebrew translator in Europe in the Middle Ages.

Luke 2:1

Here the KJV reads:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
(Luke 2:1)

In this verse, there is a variant reading between the major ancient versions in this verse. The Greek and Latin have words meaning “world” while the Old Syriac Aramaic has the Aramaic word ארעא (era) which is the Aramaic cognate of the Hebrew word ארץ (eretz). This word can mean “earth” (as in Dan. 2:35) “land” (as in Dan. 9:15) or “world” (as in Prov. 19:4) and which, when paired with the definite article (“the”) can be used as a euphemism for the Land of Israel (“HaEretz, “The Land”) (as in Dan. 9:6). Finally, the Peshitta Aramaic has here “people of his dominion” (עמא דאוחדנה).

Here the Garza-Trimm text of Luke reads כל (תבל) הארץ “all (world) the Land”. It is also extraordinary that the Garza-Trimm text has the word “Eretz” in this passage because Eretz is the Hebrew cognate of “Era” (the Aramaic word found here in the Old Syriac Aramaic) because the Old Syriac was completely unavailable in Europe from ancient times until the mid to late 19th Century.

(See also my recent blog An Original Hebrew Reading in a Hebrew Ms. of Luke in a Swedish Library? which deals with a different Hebrew manuscript which has Eretz here as well.)

Luke 2:11

Here the expected a translator from Greek or Latin would be to have the angel say that the child being born was “Messiah HaAdon” (i.e. “Messiah the Lord”) however in the Garza-Trimm text, the angel declares that the child being born is משיח יהוה “Messiah YHWH”. This extraordinary reading agrees with the Aramaic Old Syriac and Aramaic Peshitta which have here מריא which the Aramaic uses to translate YHWH as opposed to Adon/Adonai (As in Psalm 110:1).

Luke 3:4-6

Here the text is quoting Isaiah 40:3. but Greek and Latin Vugate Luke quote it as it appears in the Greek Septuagint with “make his paths straight” while the Masoretic Text of Isaiah 40:3 says “Make straight in the desert, a highway for our Elohim.” Here the Garza-Trimm text of Luke follows the Masoretic Text of Isaiah 40:3, also in a agreement with the Aramaic of the Old Syriac and Peshitta, and against the Greek and Latin Vulgate.

Luke 10:27

Here Yeshua quotes the Shema (Deut 6:5). In the Greek, Latin Vulgate, and even the Aramaic Old Syriac and Peshitta Luke he quotes the Shema incorrectly, saying:

…You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…

This fourth element “all your mind” does not appear in Deut. 6:5. To understand how it got into the Shema,we must first look at Matthew 22:37.

In Matt. 22:37 Yeshua quotes the Shema (Deut. 6:4-5).  But the Greek text of Matthew this appears (as it appears in the KJV):

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
(Matt. 22:37 KJV)

However the actual text of Deut. 6:4-5 reads:

4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
(Deut. 6:4-5 KJV)

So did Yeshua misquote the Torah?  Did he not know the correct wording of the Shema?  The answer lies in the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts of Matthew.

The original Hebrew of Matthew reads:

And Yeshua answered him, and said: You shall love YHWH your Elohim: with allyour heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
(Matthew 22:37 DuTillet, Munster and Shem Tob)

The Old Syriac Aramaic version of Matthew agrees with Hebrew Matthew saying:

And Yeshua answered him, and said: You shall love YHWH your Elohim: with allyour heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
(Matthew 22:37 Old Syriac)

The Greek translator must have misread the Aramaic חילך (might, strength) as הונך (mind).

The Peshitta which is a revision of the Old Syriac Aramaic towards greater agreement with the Greek clearly conflates (combines) the readings of the Old Syriac and the Greek having:

And Yeshua answered him, and said: You shall love YHWH your Elohim: with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might, and with all your mind.
(Matthew 22:37 Peshitta)

This conflation also appears in the Greek, Latin Vulgate, Old Syriac Aramaic and Peshitta Aramaic versions of Luke (10:27) and Mark (12:30).

However the Garza-Trimm Hebrew text of Luke 10:27 agrees with the Masoretic Text of Deut. 6:5 against all of the ancient Greek, Latin and Syriac (Aramaic) versions of Luke.

Of course this is only a preliminary look at just a few passages of the Garza-Trimm Hebrew text of Luke, far more research must be done. However these few examples make it clear that this Hebrew version of Luke is not a mere Hebrew translation of a Greek or Latin version, but is a descendant of the original Hebrew of Luke, with some unique connections with the Ancient Old Syriac Aramaic version of Luke.

In another blog soon, I will look at some interesting readings in this manuscripts Hebrew version of Mark.

Our rent was due on the first and we still do not have it!

As many of you know, my wife is chronically ill, disabled since and dealing with chronic pain daily, since her fifty three day hospitalization in late 2018, and I am her caretaker.

We need more of you to step up to the plate to donate, even in small amounts. I know you are out there.

This work takes hours of my time, and I spend most of my time at home as her caretaker. I work at a desk less than six feet from her bed. So I am in a position to dedicate many hours to this important work that I have been directed to do.

But I also realize that it is not the activity of James Trimm alone who is responsible to do this work, it is all of us together who are charged with the responsibility of accomplishing this work. I very much look on the efforts of this restoration work as a cooperative one with each one of you. We are all joint heirs with Messiah and should always be about our Father’s business. I am honored to be able to be partnered with truth seekers as this restoration of Scripture moves forward in fulfillment of prophecy.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

Donations can be sent by Zelle, Go Fund Me or Paypal

Click HERE to donate

A New Witness to the Original Hebrew Synoptic Gospels

A New Witness to the Original Hebrew Synoptic Gospels
By
James Scott Trimm

As many of you know, I have been working for over a year, on a project with Dr. Albert Garza, analyzing some 4,000 pages of Hebrew manuscripts of “New Testament” books. The vast majority of these manuscripts have appeared to be Hebrew translations on the Greek, the Latin Vulgate or even the Peshitta Aramaic. However, a couple of weeks ago, Dr. Garza sent me a new text for analysis (Ms. Or 150 from Zentralbibliothek Zurich (Zurich Central Library)). As I studied this text very carefully, I realized it is very different.

This text, which I have named the “Garza-Trimm” text, is a manuscript of the three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke Chapters 1-17). The book of Matthew in this manuscript is titled תורת המשיח “The Torah of the Messiah,” just as it is in the version published by Sebastian Munster in 1537, which he said he “obtained from among the Jews.” This is not surprising, because the Hebrew Matthew in this manuscript is a manuscript of the same family and that of Munster and DuTillet, but it does not agree with either of them precisely. Sometimes it agrees with DuTillet, sometimes with Munster, and sometimes it departs from both, often agreeing with the underlying Hebrew text behind the Greek, and even with the Shem Tob text.

A colophon on the final page of the text reads:

The Torah of the Messiah and the Brit Chadashah, the First Portion. The sacred and perfect. And this is the Torah of Yeshua, our Adon and our Messiah. Written by the hand of Matti the Evangelist in the Greek tongue and at a later time, translated into the sacred tongue. Finding light, of the underground hiding place of the Jews they that were hidden in their testimonies; here in Arana. In the year Messiah came in peace to command by the hand of a faithful man and righteous proselyte in Yeshua the Messiah. Rotherwolf Bernhardt a medical doctor from Prague,( a healer of ailments of their mouths, swallowed?) In the place of Bern, the the country of Switzerland.

Some of this Hebrew of this colophon is difficult, but I have done my best to render it into English. It expresses the scribes opinion that Matthew was originally written in Greek, and later translated into this Hebrew text. This opinion is of limited value to us. What is important, is the source of the text itself. We are told that was מוצאת לאור כמוסה היהודים הנחבאו במעדותם “Finding light, of the underground hiding place of the Jews they that were hidden in their testimonies.” The word כמוסה is of special interest. I have translated it “underground hiding place” and in fact, this word can mean “cave”.

The colophon seems to say that a medical doctor named Rotherwolf Bernhardt, who became a “proselyte in Yeshua the Messiah” published this Hebrew text, which was held among secret Jewish believers in Yeshua, and had been hidden away in caves.

The analysis of this text has just begun, but the following observations are enough to demonstrate that it is a new witness to the same family of Hebrew manuscripts as DuTillet and Munster, and that, as such, it is part of the scribal tradition of the original Hebrew of Matthew:

Matthew 1:20

Here the Greek reads:

… for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

However the DuTillet Hebrew reads:

כי מה שילד ממנה מרוח הקדש הוא כי מרוח הקודש היא הרה

…for that which will be born of her is from the Ruach HaKodesh; for from the Ruach HaKodesh she has conceived.

And the Old Syriac Curetonian Ms reads:

הו גיר דמתילד מנה מן רוחא הו דקודשא בטין

…for that which is born of her, from the Ruach HaKodesh is conceived.

This is very significant, because the Old Syriac Aramaic was lost from ancient times, until its 19th Century rediscovery. It was simply not available to Jews in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Even Munster does not have this reading, instead reading:

כי מה שילד בתוכה מאת רוח הקודש הוא

For that which is born of her, is from the Ruach HaKodesh.

In fact no other version of Matthew except the Old Syriac Aramaic and the DuTillet Hebrew Manuscript of Matthew, contain this reading… until now.

The Garza-Trimm text agrees almost word for word with DuTillet, and with the Old Syriac, reading:

כי מה שיולד ממנה כי מרוח הקודש היא הרה

For that which is born from her, that from the Ruach HaKodesh is conceived.

Matthew 3:16

DuTillet Hebrew version of Matthew says not “like a dove” but כדמות יונה “in the likeness of a dove” in agreement with בדמותא דיונא of the Old Syriac S manuscript. This also corresponds with the reading in the Gospel according to the Hebrews.

The Garza-Trimm Hebrew Matthew, agrees with DuTillet in this wording, and the Hebrew of Luke 3:22 in this manuscript has this same reading as well.

Matthew 4:4

Here Yeshua quotes from Deut. 8:3 where the Greek Septuagint and Greek Matthew read “God” but DuTillet and Munster have “YHWH” (in DuTillet this appears as an abbreviation) in agreement with the Masoretic Text, as well as the Old Syriac (which has מריא the Aramaic word that the Old Syriac and Peshitta use for YHWH). Here our new manuscript, agrees with the Masoretic Text against the Greek, as well.

The same is true in Luke 4:4 of this Hebrew version of Luke, where the Greek has “God” but the Garza-Trimm Hebrew has “YHWH”

Matthew 9:25

Here DuTillet (but not Munster) repeats the word “Arise” (as it is in Mark 5:41), as does the Garza-Trimm Hebrew Matthew.

Matthew 11:29

In the ancient Nazarene Commentary to Isaiah 9:1-4 preserved only in Latin, in a fourth century quotation by Jerome, re read that when Yeshua came to the Land of Zebulon and the Land of Naphtali that he “scribarum et pharisaeorum est erroribus liberata, et gravissimum traditionum Iudaicarum iugum excussit de cervicibus suis.” or in English that he “He shook off of their shoulders the yoke of the heavy decrees of the Scribes and Pharisees” (I have rendered “traditionum” as “decrees” based on Jerome’s use of that Latin word in the Latin Vulgate in Matthew 15 where the DuTillet Hebrew has גזרתכם “your decrees, judgements, sentences”.)

When we look at Isaiah 9:1-4 the Hebrew words for “yoke” and “shoulder” but the verb there is החתת “broken” not “shaken off”. And, in fact, in Biblical Hebrew the idiom is always that a yoke is “broken”. But here the Latin verb is excussit “to shake off”. This points strongly to the Hebrew verb נער

In DuTillet’s Hebrew Matthew 11:29 Yeshua uses the verb נער!

28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will satisfy you.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I shake (נער) [that burden] off and am downcast of spirit, and you will find rest for your souls (Jer. 6:16; Ps. 23:3).
30 For my yoke is gentle, and my burden easy.
(Matthew 11:28-30 DuTillet)

The Graza-Trimm Hebrew Matthew uses this very unusual verb here as well. I know of no other versions of Matthew that use this unusual verb here, except for DuTillet and now the Garza-Trimm Hebrew text. (Not even Munster).

The Greek translator must have misread נער as נעם “to be pleasant”.

No doubt the Nazarene Commentator on Isaiah saw Isaiah 9:1-4 and it brought to mind Matthew 3:14-16 & Matthew 11:28-30. And seeing the verb נער in his Hebrew text of Matthew 11:29 commented that Yeshua “shook off of their shoulders the yoke of the heavy decrees of the Scribes and Pharisees”.

This cannot be a coincidence. The Ancient Nazarene Commentator on Isaiah clearly had a Hebrew Matthew before him that agreed with this unique reading found only in the DuTillet Hebrew Matthew (and our new manuscript). We can now make a definite connection between DuTillet Hebrew Matthew, and the original Hebrew Matthew which was in the hands of the Ancient Nazarene Jews!

Matthew 17:12

Here DuTillet has:

יקבל וישא יסורים מה

“…receive and bear scourgings from them.”|

Whereas the Greek simply has “suffer from them”

The Greek translator must have had a Hebrew manuscript with read יסבל “suffer” instead of יקבל “receive” (an obvious Scribal error within the Hebrew)

The Garza-Trimm manuscript reads:

יקבל וסבל מנה יסורים

“…receive and bear from them, scourgings.”

Which is clearly a conflation of the DuTillet reading and the underlying reading behind the Greek.

The Munster text has ישא יסורים מהם”bear scourgings from them.”

In an interesting twist the Old Syriac (C) has Aramaic נסיבר = Hebrew יסבר (endure) which is also related by scribal error to יסבל (suffer)

Matthew 22:37

Here Yeshua quotes Deut 6:5. Greek Matthew has “mind” (the LXX does not agree) while DuTillet, Munster and the Garza-Trimm texts agree with the Masoretic text (as well as the Old Syriac) have “strength”.

Matthew 27:46

In this passage, Yeshua cries out shortly before his death, “Eli, Eli, Lama Shabachtani” (as the Greek transliterates the Aramaic). This is quoting the Aramaic Peshitta Text of Psalm 22:1. The original Hebrew of Psalm 22:1 is “Eli. Eli, Lama Azbatani”.

Munster reads: אלי אלי למה שבקתני

Iohannes Quinquarboreus, in his 1551 reprinting of the Munster Text has a marginal note to שבקתני, offering the alternate reading עזבתני as we read in Ps. 22:1

DuTillet has a very unique reading here: אלי אלי למה שכחתני

This would have the meaning “why have you forgotten me” rather than “why have you forsaken me” (Perhaps drawn from Ps. 42:9)

So it is indeed interesting that the Garza-Trimm manuscript has a complicated reading:

אלי אלי למה עזבתני (שבקתני) (שכחתני) שבחתני (שחטתני)

This is complicated text. The initial text agrees with the Hebrew of Ps. 22:1 (and Quinquarboreus’ marginal note) then in the first set of parenthesis is the reading of Munster (which is the same as the Aramaic given in Greek Matthew, the Peshitta Matthew and the Peshitta of Psalm 22:1). The next set of parenthesis give a word similar to the DuTillet reading, but with a ב in place of a כ so that the meaning is “glorified me”. This is followed by the reading “forgotten me” as found in DuTillet. Finally this is followed by a word meaning “killed me” in parenthesis.

In a future installment, I will explore analysis of the Hebrew versions of Mark and Luke found as found in the Garza-Trimm manuscript.

Our rent was due yesterday and we do not have it!

As many of you know, my wife is chronically ill, disabled since and dealing with chronic pain daily, since her fifty three day hospitalization in late 2018, and I am her caretaker.

We need more of you to step up to the plate to donate, even in small amounts. I know you are out there.

This work takes hours of my time, and I spend most of my time at home as her caretaker. I work at a desk less than six feet from her bed. So I am in a position to dedicate many hours to this important work that I have been directed to do.

But I also realize that it is not the activity of James Trimm alone who is responsible to do this work, it is all of us together who are charged with the responsibility of accomplishing this work. I very much look on the efforts of this restoration work as a cooperative one with each one of you. We are all joint heirs with Messiah and should always be about our Father’s business. I am honored to be able to be partnered with truth seekers as this restoration of Scripture moves forward in fulfillment of prophecy.

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Virtue Flows Naturally from Logic

Recently, I posted on Facebook: “Virtue flows naturally from logic.”

Someone replied:

Virtue flows from logic *that is grounded in a faith in God and His revelation*

Let us explore this issue.  This raises some questions:

What is logic?

Our English word “Logic” actually comes from the Greek word “LOGOS” which is the Greek word for “Word” and “Reason” used by Philo of Alexandria and the Greek version of the Gospel of Yochanan (John).

The Greek word Logos has it’s parallels in the Hebrew word Davar.

By the word of YHWH were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psalm 33:6)

The Hebrew word for “WORD” is DAVAR which means “word, thing, matter” and comes from the same root as DIVRA (reason, cause)

like Logos, Davar. implies logic.  There are several examples in the Tanak:

But as for me, I would seek unto El, and unto Elohim would I commit my cause (“reason” DIVRA):
(Job 5:8)


I said in my heart, It is because (“for this reason” AL-DIVRAT) of the sons of men that Elohim may sift them: and that they may see, that they themselves are but as beasts.
(Ecc. 3:18)

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: Elohim has made even the one, as well as the other, to the end that ( “to the logical conclusion that” AL-DIVRAT) man should find nothing after him.

(Eccl. 7:14)

I counsel you, Keep the king’s command: and that, in regard ( “for this reason” AL-DIVRAT) of the oath of Elohim.
(Ecc. 8:2)

The Targums, ancient Aramaic paraphrases of the books of the Tanak, had a parallel Aramaic word, the Memra.

It is important to understand the LOGOS/MEMRA is the very expression of the Mind of YHWH.  Philo of Alexandria makes this case as follows:

IV. We must mention as much as we can of the matters contained in his account, since to enumerate them all is impossible; for he embraces that beautiful world which is perceptible only by the intellect, as the account of the first day will show: (16) for God, as apprehending beforehand, as a God must do, that there could not exist a good imitation without a good model, and that of the things perceptible to the external senses nothing could be faultless which wax not fashioned with reference to some archetypal idea conceived by the intellect, when he had determined to create this visible world, previously formed that one which is perceptible only by the intellect, in order that so using an incorporeal model formed as far as possible on the image of God, he might then make this corporeal world, a younger likeness of the elder creation, which should embrace as many different genera perceptible to the external senses, as the other world contains of those which are visible only to the intellect. (17) But that world which consists of ideas, it were impious in any degree to attempt to describe or even to imagine: but how it was created, we shall know if we take for our guide a certain image of the things which exist among us. When any city is founded through the exceeding ambition of some king or leader who lays claim to absolute authority, and is at the same time a man of brilliant imagination, eager to display his good fortune, then it happens at times that some man coming up who, from his education, is skilful in architecture, and he, seeing the advantageous character and beauty of the situation, first of all sketches out in his own mind nearly all the parts of the city which is about to be completed–the temples, the gymnasia, the prytanea, and markets, the harbour, the docks, the streets, the arrangement of the walls, the situations of the dwelling houses, and of the public and other buildings. (18) Then, having received in his own mind, as on a waxen tablet, the form of each building, he carries in his heart the image of a city, perceptible as yet only by the intellect, the images of which he stirs up in memory which is innate in him, and, still further, engraving them in his mind like a good workman, keeping his eyes fixed on his model, he begins to raise the city of stones and wood, making the corporeal substances to resemble each of the incorporeal ideas. (19) Now we must form a somewhat similar opinion of God, who, having determined to found a mighty state, first of all conceived its form in his mind, according to which form he made a world perceptible only by the intellect, and then completed one visible to the external senses, using the first one as a model.

V. (20) As therefore the city, when previously shadowed out in the mind of the man of architectural skill had no external place, but was stamped solely in the mind of the workman, so in the same manner neither can the world which existed in ideas have had any other local position except the divine reason (Logos) which made them; for what other place could there be for his powers which should be able to receive and contain, I do not say all, but even any single one of them whatever, in its simple form? (21) And the power and faculty which could be capable of creating the world, has for its origin that good which is founded on truth; for if any one were desirous to investigate the cause on account of which this universe was created, I think that he would come to no erroneous conclusion if he were to say as one of the ancients did say: “That the Father and Creator was good; on which account he did not grudge the substance a share of his own excellent nature, since it had nothing good of itself, but was able to become everything.” (22) For the substance was of itself destitute of arrangement, of quality, of animation, of distinctive character, and full of all disorder and confusion; and it received a change and transformation to what is opposite to this condition, and most excellent, being invested with order, quality, animation, resemblance, identity, arrangement, harmony, and everything which belongs to the more excellent idea.
(Philo; On Creation IV, 15b-V, 22)

This “Word of YHWH” was, according to Targum Jonathan, the Creator:

And the Word [Memra] of YHWH created man in his likeness,
in the likeness of YHWH, YHWH created,
male and female created He them.
(Targ. Jonathan Gen. 1:27)

This idea is also put forward in the Jerusalem Targum:

And the Word [Memra] of YHWH said to Moses:
“I am He who said unto the world ‘Be!’ and it was:
and who in the future shall say to it ‘Be!’
and it shall be.” And He said: “Thus you shall say
to the children of Israel: ‘I Am’ has sent me to you.”
(Jerusalem Targum Ex. 3:14)

The Fragmentary Targum of the Torah also expresses that the Word of YHWH was the Creator:

The first night, when the “Word of YHWH”
was revealed to the world in order to create it,
the world was desolate and void,
and darkness spread over the face of the abyss
and the “Word of the Lord” was bright and illuminating
and He called it the first night.
(Fragmentary Targum Ex. 12:42)

That the Word of YHWH was the Creator can also be seen in the Tanak itself:

By the Word (DAVAR) of YHWH were the heavens made,
and all the hosts of them by the Spirit of His mouth.
(Ps. 33:6)

Philo’s concept of the “Word” (Logos) is the “image of Elohim” which served as the pattern for the creation of man in Gen. 1:26-27. Philo writes:

(30) And air and light he considered worthy of the pre-eminence. For the one he called the breath of God, because it is air, which is the most life-giving of things, and of life the causer is God; and the other he called light, because it is surpassingly beautiful: for that which is perceptible only by intellect is as far more brilliant and splendid than that which is seen, as I conceive, the sun is than darkness, or day than night, or the intellect than any other of the outward senses by which men judge (inasmuch as it is the guide of the entire soul), or the eyes than any other part of the body. (31) And the invisible divine reason, perceptible only by intellect, he calls the image of God. And the image of this image is that light, perceptible only by the intellect, which is the image of the divine reason, which has explained its generation. And it is a star above the heavens, the source of those stars which are perceptible by the external senses, and if any one were to call it universal light he would not be very wrong; since it is from that the sun and the moon, and all the other planets and fixed stars derive their due light, in proportion as each has power given to it; that unmingled and pure light being obscured when it begins to change, according to the change from that which is perceptible only by the intellect, to that which is perceptible by the external senses; for none of those things which are perceptible to the external senses is pure. (On Creation 30-31)

…For God does not seem to have availed himself
of any other animal existing in creation as his model
in the formation of man; but to have been guided,
as I have said before, by his own Word (Logos) alone…
(Philo; On Creation XLVIII (139))

But the divine Word (Logos) which is above these
does not come into any visible appearance,
inasmuch as it is not like to any of the things
that come under the external senses,
but is itself an image of God,
the most ancient of all the objects of intellect
in the whole world, and that which is placed
in the closest proximity to the only truly existing God,
without any partition or distance being interposed
between them:
(On Flight and Finding XVIII (101))

Now, Bezaleel, being interpreted, means God in his shadow.
But the shadow of God is his Word (Logos), which he used
like an instrument when he was making the world.
And this shadow, and, as it were, model, is the archetype of other things. For, as God is himself the model of that image which he has now called a shadow, so also that image is the model of other things,
as he showed when he commenced giving the law to the Israelites,
and said, “And God made man according to the image of God.”[Gen. 1:26] as the image was modeled according to God, and as man was modeled according to the image, which thus received the power and character of the model.
(Allegorical Interpretations III 96)

For if it was necessary to examine the mortal body
of the priest that it ought not be imperfect through
any misfortune, much more was it necessary to look
into his immortal soul, which they say is fashioned
in the form of the living God. Now the image of God
is the Word (Logos), by which all the world was made.
(The Special Laws I, 81)

What is the man who was created? And how is that man
distinguished who was made after the image of God? (Gen. 2:7).
This man was created as perceptible to the senses,
and in the similitude of a Being appreciable only by the intellect;
but he who in respect of his form is intellectual and incorporeal,
is the similitude of the archetypal model as to appearance,
and he is the form of the principal character;
but this is the Word (Logos) of God, the first beginning of all things,
the original species or the archetypal idea,
the first measure of the universe.
(Q & A on Gen. I, 4)

Why is it that he speaks as if of some other god,
saying that he made man after the image of God,
and not that he made him after his own image? (Gen. 9:6).
Very appropriately and without any falsehood
was this oracular sentence uttered by God,
for no mortal thing could have been formed
on the similitude of the supreme Father of the universe,
but only after the pattern of the second deity,
who is the Word (Logos) of the supreme Being;
since it is fitting that the rational soul of man should bear it
the type of the divine Word (Logos); since in his first Word (Logos)
God is superior to the most rational possible nature.
But he who is superior to the Word (Logos) holds his rank
in a better and most singular pre-eminence, and how could
the creature possibly exhibit a likeness of him in himself?
Nevertheless he also wished to intimate this fact,
that God does rightly and correctly require vengeance,
in order to the defense of virtuous and consistent men,
because such bear in themselves a familiar acquaintance
with his Word (Logos), of which the human mind is
the similitude and form.
(Q & A on Gen. II 62)

This parallels what we read in the Targum:

And the Word (Memra) of YHWH
created man in his likeness,
in the likeness of YHWH, YHWH created,
male and female created He them.
(Targ. Jonathan Gen. 1:27)

The Word was also the covenant maker. For example the Noachdic covenant was between the Word and all mankind:

And YHWH said to Noah,
“This is the token of the covenant
which I have established between My Word [Memra]
and between all flesh that is upon the earth.
(Targum Onkelos Gen. 9:17)


The Word also made the Abrahamic covenant as Targum Onkelos also paraphrases:

And I will establish my covenant
between My Word [Memra] and between you…
(Targum Onkelos Gen. 17:7)


The Word of YHWH was also the giver of the Mosaic Covenant and the Torah as the Jerusalem Targum (as quoted above) makes the Torah giver “the Word of YHWH” in Ex. 20:1. It was to th e Word that Jacob turned to for salvation:

Our father Jacob said: “My soul does not wait for salvation
such as that wrought by Gideon, the son of Joash,
for that was but temporal; neither for a salvation
like that of Samson, which was only transitory;
but for that salvation which You have promised to come,
through Your Word unto Your people, the children of Israel;
for your salvation my soul hopes.”
(Targum Jonathan Gen. 49:18)


The Targums also identify this Memra as the Messiah:

Behold, my servant, the Messiah, whom I bring,
my chosen in whom one delights:
as for my Word [MEMRA], I will put my Holy Spirit upon Him;
He shall reveal my judgment unto the nations.
2 He shall not cry aloud, nor raise a clamor,
 and He shall not lift up His voice in the street.
3 The meek who are like a bruised reed He shall not break,
and the poor who are as a glimmering wick with Him, He will not quench:
He shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4 He shall not faint nor be weary,
till He have established judgment in the earth;
and the isles shall wait for His Torah.
(Targum Jonathan to Isaiah 42:1-4)

Likewise Philo of Alexandria identified the Logos as the Messiah:

“The head of all things is the eternal Word (Logos) of the eternal God, under which, as if it were his feet or other limbs, is placed the whole world, over which He passes and firmly stands. Now it is not because Messiah is Lord that He passes and sits over the whole world, for His seat with His Father and God but because for its perfect fullness the world is in need of the care and superintendence of the best ordered dispensation, and for its own complete piety, of the Divine Word (Logos), just as living creatures (need) a head, without which it is impossible to live.”
(Q&A on Exodus, II, 117)

Understanding the concept of the Logos (Davar, Memra) is important because the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of controlling destructive emotions and holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the universal reason (logos).

What is virtue?

We can derive four cardinal virtues from the Wisdom of Solomon:

5 If riches are a desirable possession in life,
what is richer than wisdom who effects all things?

6 And if understanding is effective,
who more than she is fashioner of what exists?
7 And if any one loves righteousness,
her labors are virtues;
for she teaches self-control and prudence,
justice and courage;

nothing in life is more profitable for men than these.
(Wisdom of Solomon 8:5-7 RSV)

The First Century Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria writes of these four labors of Wisdom:

For there are four generic virtues: prudence, courage, self-control, and justice. And of these, every single one is a princess and a ruler; and he who has acquired them is, from the moment of the acquisition, a ruler and a king, even if he has no abundance of any kind of treasure;
(Philo; On the Posterity of Cain and His Exile; 128)

Now the kinds of wisdom are rational judgment, justice, courage, and self-control.
(4Macc. 1:18)

By what process does virtue flow from logic?

We read in 4th Maccabees (also called On the Supremacy of Reason) we read:

Now the kinds of wisdom are rational judgment, justice, courage, and self-control.
(4Macc. 1:18)

4Maccabees goes on to say:

Rational judgment is supreme over all of these, since by means of it reason (Logos) rules over the emotions.
(4Macc. 1:19)

In 4Maccabees (also known as On the Supremacy of Reason) we read:

21 Now when Elohim fashioned man, he planted in him emotions and inclinations,
22 but at the same time he enthroned the mind among the senses as a sacred governor over them all.
23 To the mind he gave the Torah; and one who lives subject to this will rule a kingdom that is temperate, just, good, and courageous.
(4Macc. 2:21-23)

And as Philo of Alexandria concluded:

“For these passions are the causes of all good and of all evil; of good when they submit to the authority of dominant reason, and of evil when they break out of bounds and scorn all government and restraint.”
(Life of Moses 1; VI, 26)

The neshoma that was breathed into man, is the rational mind. It is a spark of the Logos, the rational mind that permeates the Universe.

The first century Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria composed a beautiful midrash on Genesis 2:8-14 about these four virtues. These verses of Genesis read:

8 And YHWH Elohim, planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
9 And out of the earth, made YHWH Elohim to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food: the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it was parted and became four heads.
11 The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12 And the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasses the whole land of Kush.
14 And the name of the third river is Tigris: that is it which goes toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
(Gen. 2:8-14 HRV)

Philo saw the presence of “an allegorical spirit” in the Torah, and specifically in these verses about the Garden of Eden or Paradise, an allegory in which he saw “…the paradise, made by God, all the plants were endowed in the souls and reason, producing for their fruit the different virtues,…”.  He writes:

(153) …But in the paradise, made by God, all the plants were endowed in the souls and reason, producing for their fruit the different virtues, and, moreover, imperishable wisdom and prudence, by which honourable and dishonourable things are distinguished from one another, and also a life free from disease, and exempt from corruption, and all other qualities corresponding to these already mentioned. (154) And these statements appear to me to be dictated by a philosophy which is symbolical rather than strictly accurate. For no trees of life or of knowledge have ever at any previous time appeared upon the earth, nor is it likely that any will appear hereafter. But I rather conceive that Moses was speaking in an allegorical spirit, intending by his paradise to intimate the dominant character of the soul, which is full of innumerable opinions as this figurative paradise was of trees…. (On Creation 153-154)

Elsewhere Philo writes about the river that went out of Eden to water the garden:

(125) As, therefore, the seeds and plants which are put into the ground grow and blossom through being irrigated, and are thus made fertile for the production of fruits, but if they are deprived of moisture they wither away, so likewise the soul, as it appears when it is watered with the wholesome stream of wisdom, shoots forth, and brings fruit to perfection….

(127) On which account it is said in Genesis, “And a fountain went up from the earth, and watered all the face of the Earth.” (Gen. 2:6).  …In this way in truth, it is that the word (Logos) of God irrigates the virtues; for that is the beginning and the fountain of all good actions. (128) And the lawgiver shows this, when he says, “And a river went out of Eden to water the Paradise; and from thence it is divided into four Heads.” (Gen. 2:10) For there are four generic virtues: prudence, courage, self-control, and justice. And of these, every single one is a princess and a ruler; and he who has acquired them is, from the moment of the acquisition, a ruler and a king, even if he has no abundance of any kind of treasure; (129) for the meaning of the expression, “it is divided into four heads,” is … nor distance; but virtue exhibits the pre-eminence and the power. And these spring from the word  [Logos] of God as from one root, which he compares to a river, on account of the unceasing and everlasting flow of salutary words and doctrines, by which it increases and nourishes the souls that love God. (Philo; On the Posterity of Cain and His Exile; 125, 127-129)

Notice that Philo says:

And of these, every single one is a princess and a ruler; and he who has acquired them is, from the moment of the acquisition, a ruler and a king, even if he has no abundance of any kind of treasure;

Philo gives a more detailed explanation in Book I of his Allegorical Interpretations (I have quoted the relevant verse from the HRV version for reference):

And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it was parted and became four heads. (Gen. 2:10 HRV)

XIX. (63) “And a river goes forth out of Eden to water the Paradise. From thence it is separated into four heads: the name of the one is Pheison. That is the one which encircles the whole land of Evilat. There is the country where there is gold, and the gold of that land is good. There also are the carbuncle and the sapphire stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; this is that which encircles the whole land of Ethiopia. And the third river is the Tigris. This is the river which flows in front of the Assyrians. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.” (Gen. 2:10-13) In these words Moses intends to sketch out the particular virtues. And they also are four in number, prudence, temperance, courage, and justice. Now the greatest river from which the four branches flow off, is generic virtue, which we have already called goodness; and the four branches are the same number of virtues. (64) Generic virtue, therefore, derives its beginning from Eden, which is the wisdom of God; which rejoices and exults, and triumphs, being delighted at and honoured on account of nothing else, except its Father, God, and the four particular virtues, are branches from the generic virtue, which like a river waters all the good actions of each, with an abundant stream of benefits. (65) Let us examine the expressions of the writer: “A river,” says he, “goes forth out of Eden, to water the Paradise.” This river is generic goodness; and this issues forth out of the Eden of the wisdom of God, and that is the word of God. For it is according to the word of God, that generic virtue was created. And generic virtue waters the Paradise: that is to say, it waters the particular virtues. But it does not derive its beginnings from any principle of locality, but from a principle of preeminence. For each of the virtues is really and truly a ruler and a queen. And the expression, “is separated,” is equivalent to “is marked off by fixed boundaries;” since wisdom appoints them settled limits with reference to what is to be done. Courage with respect to what is to be endured; temperance with reference to what is to be chosen; and justice in respect of what is to be distributed. (Allegorical  Interpretation I, 63-65)

Philo’s Midrash on Genesis 2:10 teaches that generic virtue goes out as an unceasing and everlasting flow from the Word of Elohim to increase and nourish specific virtues in the souls of those that love Elohim and that from there generic virtue is marked off by fixed boundaries as prudence, courage, self-control, and justice and that each of these is a ruler and a queen that helps us to rule over our passions.

What is faith? 

When Paul speaks of the faith of believers, he often bases it on Genesis 15:16. Let us examine this verse:

And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
(Gen. 15:6 KJV)

The Targums were ancient Aramaic paraphrases of the Torah and the Prophets.  The official Targum to this verse paraphrases:

 “And he believed in the Word (Memra) of YHWH. And He counted it to him for righteousness.”
(Gen. 15:6 Targum Onkelos)

And Targum Psedo-Jonathan has:

“And he believed in YHWH, and had faith in the Word (Memra) of YHWH, and He reckoned it to him for righteousness.”
(Gen. 15:6 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan)

Philo of Alexandria made a very interesting comment about this verse (Gen. 15:6):

“It is best, therefore, to trust in God, and not in uncertain reasoning, or unsure conjectures. “Abraham trusted in the Lord, and it was counted to him for Righteousness” (Gen. 15:6) And Moses governed the people, being testified to that he was faithful with his whole house. But if we distrust our own reason (LOGOS, Word), we shall prepare and build ourselves a city of the mind which will destroy the truth.”
(Philo of Alexandria; Allegorical Interpretation, III, 228)

Abraham’s faith was a rational faith, and ultimately was a faith in the Logos.

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An Original Hebrew Reading in a Hebrew Ms. of Luke in a Swedish Library?

An Original Hebrew Reading in
a Hebrew Ms. of Luke in a Swedish Library?
By
James Scott Trimm

As many of you know, over a year ago, I was provided, by my friend Dr. Albert Garza, with a thumb drive containing some 4,000 pages, or more, of facsimiles of Hebrew manuscripts of “New Testament” books. Examining each of these in detail will take years. But I have been doing some preliminary work to that end, while aiding Dr. Garza in producing English translations of “New Testament” material, based upon these manuscripts.

Yesterday, while working on a draft translation of Luke for this Dr. Garza’s project, I discovered a very interesting reading in Uppsala University Library Ms O Hebr. 31 a Hebrew Manuscript of much of the “New Testament” (encompassing Matthew 1:1 thru Galatians 2: 16a, where is breaks off in the middle of the verse.)

This manuscript has a very interesting reading in Luke 2:1. Here we read in the KJV:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
(Luke 2:1)

In this verse, there is a variant reading between the major ancient versions in this verse. The Greek and Latin have words meaning “world” while the Old Syriac Aramaic has the Aramaic word ארעא (era) which is the Aramaic cognate of the Hebrew word ארץ (eretz). This word can mean “earth” (as in Dan. 2:35) “land” (as in Dan. 9:15) or “world” (as in Prov. 19:4) and which, when paired with the definite article (“the”) can be used as a euphemism for the Land of Israel (“HaEretz, “The Land”) (as in Dan. 9:6). Finally, the Peshitta Aramaic has here “people of his dominion” (עמא דאוחדנה).

So while I was studying this Hebrew manuscript (Uppsala University Library Ms O Hebr. 31) I discovered a Hebrew reading that would explain all of these three variants: כל [מן נו]חות הארץ “all o[f the inhabi]tants of the Land”.

The letters in brackets are a reconstruction, as these letters are covered in the photograph, by a small flake of paper from another page. (the מ is partially visible).

However, I have reconstructed these probable letters from context.

Most of the other Hebrew manuscripts have a word here which simply “world”. For example Biblioteque National Paris Hebrew Ms. 131 and Freiburg Univ. Library Hebrew ms. 314 both have התבל “the world” (with a negative “worldly” nuance) while British Library Hebrew Ms.  Add. 11659 and Vat. Ebr. 100  (the “Catalan” Gospels”) have העולם “the world/universe”

Cambridge Hebrew Ms. 00.1.32 and John Ryland’s Gaster Ms 1616 (The “Cochin Hebrew Gospels” have כל העם במקומותם “all the people in their dominion” indicating that this Hebrew text/version is a near literal translation of the Peshitta”.

However the reading of Uppsala University Library Ms O Hebr. 31 (כל מן נוחות הארץ ) “all of the inhabitants of the Land” could express an original Hebrew reading. One of the rules of textual criticism, is that a reading which best explains how other readings might have originated, is more likely to be the original. This reading would explain the Greek and Latin reading “world”, it would also explain the Aramaic Old Syriac reading which has the Aramaic cognate of the Hebrew ארץ (Eretz) “earth/land” and it would even explain the Aramaic Peshitta reading “people of his dominion”. All of these are reasonable translations or paraphrases of the Hebrew נחות הארץ “inhabitants of the earth/land”.

It is also extraordinary that Uppsala University Library Ms O Hebr. 31 has the word “Eretz” in this passage because Eretz is the Hebrew cognate of “Era” (the Aramaic word found here in the Old Syriac Aramaic) because the Old Syriac was completely unavailable in Europe from ancient times until the mid to late 19th Century.

Let me be clear, this is only one reading. I am not proclaiming, based on this alone, that Uppsala University Library Ms O Hebr. 31 is the original Hebrew of the “New Testament” from Matthew thru Galatians 2:16a, or even that its text of Luke is the original Hebrew of Luke. However, this very interesting reading does make this manuscript interesting, however it might have ended up in the text.

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You can now donate thru Pay Pal, Zelle or Go Fund Me!

As many of you know, my wife is chronically ill, disabled since and dealing with chronic pain daily, since her fifty three day hospitalization in late 2018, and I am her caretaker.

We need more of you to step up to the plate to donate, even in small amounts. I know you are out there.

This work takes hours of my time, and I spend most of my time at home as her caretaker. I work at a desk less than six feet from her bed. So I am in a position to dedicate many hours to this important work that I have been directed to do.

But I also realize that it is not the activity of James Trimm alone who is responsible to do this work, it is all of us together who are charged with the responsibility of accomplishing this work. I very much look on the efforts of this restoration work as a cooperative one with each one of you. We are all joint heirs with Messiah and should always be about our Father’s business. I am honored to be able to be partnered with truth seekers as this restoration of Scripture moves forward in fulfillment of prophecy.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

Or click HERE to donate

Codex Phillipps 1388

Codex Phillipps 1388 is one of the oldest extant copies of the Peshitta version of the Four Gospels dating to the 5th to 6th centuries. It is in the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin which sheds some important light on NT origins, especially for those of us who subscribe to Aramaic Primacy for much of the NT. (The picture above is a page of a Peshitta ms. but not actually Phillipps 1388)

Now you may have heard from certain Peshitta Primacists that all Peshitta manuscripts agree exactly, or that the Old Syriac and Peshitta versions are totally independent textual traditions. I have long maintained that both of these claims are false.

Peshitta manuscripts contain variants, just like Greek manuscripts. In fact the oldest Peshitta manuscripts contain even more variants.

Moreover the Peshitta version is not an independent textual tradition, but a revision of the Old Syriac version, created to bring the Aramaic into closer harmony with the Byzantine type Greek text.

It is well acknowledged that the Peshitta Gospels are a revision of the Old Syriac Gospels. As Voobus states:

The Peshitta is not a new translation, but a revision of the Old Syriac
version. … As the result of this revision, digressions were eliminated,
additions removed, omissions supplemented and peculiarities retouched.
Through this process the Peshitta lost its former singularities and variants
which were much cherished and so deeply rooted in Syriac textual traditions.
After this process, the text assumed a wholly new complexion, conforming
more or less to the Greek… This distinguishes the Peshitta from the
Old Syriac. Its back is turned on the ancient and endeared traditions,
and its face is decidedly turned toward the Greek form. …

…many idiomatic expressions found in the Old Syriac, particularly
the conjunctive construction over against the use of the infinitive, and
the predilection towards the nominal sentence, have been modified
and adapted more to the Greek. But… much of the idiomatic phraseology…
was still retained.
(Early Versions of the New Testament; Manuscript Studies;
Arthur Voobus; 1954 pp. 97-98 )

Kenyon says of this revision:

…he [the Peshitta redactor] must have used Greek MSS.
of a different family from that which is represented by
the Old Syriac. This [Old Syriac], as we have seen, belongs
to the d-type [Western Type], agreeing mainly with
[Codex] D and the Old Latin, and often also with [Codecies]
) [and] B; while the Peshitto ranges itself rather with the
authorities of the a-type [Byzantine Type].
(Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament;
Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, K.C.B., F.B.A.; 1951 p. 164)


In my recent research I have been taking a closer look at Codex Phillipps 1388. This is one of the oldest Peshitta manuscripts, and it contains a great many variant readings. More importantly, many of these variant readings are Old Syriac readings, thus providing “freeze frame” manuscript evidence that the Peshitta and Old Syriac are in fact part of the same Aramaic textual tradition.

This information is truly exciting. It means that there is much to be gained through a critical analysis of the variant readings found in the oldest Peshitta manuscripts. Using these Peshitta manuscripts and the Old Syriac together, a critical edition could be compiled creating a critical text, which as closely as possible, reproduces the original Aramaic text.

Donations are very low this month and our rent will be due in just ten days. We need your help today!

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

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Caught Up To the Third Heaven

Caught Up To the Third Heaven
By
James Scott Trimm

Paul writes:

1 To boast is necessary but not profitable: for I will come to visions and to revelations of our Adon.
2 I knew a man in the Messiah fourteen years from before (but whether in a body or without a body I do not know, Eloah knows) who was caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew this son of man (but whether in a body or without a body I do not know, Eloah knows),
4 Who was caught up to Pardes: and heard unspeakable words that are not permitted for a son of man to speak.
(2Cor. 12:1-4 HRV)

What is the “third heaven”?

The Hebrew word for “heaven” is SHAMAYIM which is always in the plural.  This is because in Hebrew thought, there is more than one “heaven”.  In fact several passages in the Tanak imply that there is more than one heaven:

Behold, unto YHWH your Elohim belongs the heaven,
and the heaven of heavens; the earth, with all that therein is.
(Deut. 10:14 HRV)

But will Elohim in very truth, dwell on the earth?
Behold, heaven, and the heaven of heavens, cannot contain You; how much less, this house that I have built!
(1Kings 8:27 HRV)

Praise Him, you heavens of heavens:
and you waters that are above the heavens.
(Ps. 148:4)

The Ketuvim Netzarim also implies the existence of multiple heavens:

He who descended, is He who also ascended higher than all the heaven, that He might fulfill all.
(Eph. 4:10)

And from whom, we have this Cohen which ascended through the heavens by the foundation–Yahushua the Messiah, the Son of Elohim, behold we must confess this
obligation.
(Heb. 4:14 HRV)


The Talmud (b.Hagigah 12b) tells us that there are actually seven heavens, giving us a proof text from the Tanak to demonstrate each is a heaven:

(1) The First Heaven – ROK “curtain” (Strong’s 1852)

“It is He that sits above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as
grasshoppers; that stretches out the heavens as a curtain (ROK), and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in;”
(Is. 40:22 HRV)

The Talmud says that this heaven “…serves no purpose except that it enters in the morning and goes forth in the evening and renews every day the work of creation.”

(2) The Second Heaven – RAKIA “firmament” (Strong’s 7549)

“And Elohim set them in the firmament (RAKIA) of the heaven,
to give light upon the earth,”
(Gen. 1:14 HRV)

The Talmud says of this heaven “is that in which sun and moon, stars and constellations are set.”

(3) The Third Heaven – SHEHAKIM “skies, clouds; dust” (Strong’s 7834)

“And He commanded the skies (SHEHAKIM) above, and opened the doors of heaven,
And He caused manna to rain upon them for food, and gave them of the grain of
heaven.”
(Ps. 78:23-24 HRV)

According to the Talmud, in this heaven “millstones stand and grind manna for the righteous.”

The Zohar says: “…the manna which came down for the Israelites in the wilderness originated in the celestial dew from the most recondite spot, and at first its light would radiate to all worlds and the “field of apples”, and the heavenly angels drew sustenance from it, but when it approached the earth it became materialized through the influence of the air of this world and lost its brightness, becoming only like “coriander seed”.
(Zohar 3:208a)

(4) The Fourth Heaven – ZEBUL “high dwelling; glorious habitation” (Strong’s 2073)

“Look down from heaven, and see, even from Your Set-Apart and glorious habitation (ZEBUL). Where is Your zeal and Your mighty acts; the yearning of Your heart and Your compassions, now restrained toward me?”
(Is. 63:15 HRV)

According to the Talmud “Zebul is that in which [the heavenly] Jerusalem and the Temple and the Altar are built, and Michael, the great Prince, stands and offers up thereon an offering.”

(5) The Fifth Heaven – MA’ON “retreat; asylum, dwelling, habitation” (Strong’s 4583)

Look forth from Your Set-Apart habitation (MA’ON), from heaven, and bless Your people Yisra’el, and the land which You have given us, as You did swear unto our fathers—a land flowing with milk and honey.”
(Deut. 26:15 HRV)

The Talmud says “Ma’on is that in which there are companies of Ministering Angels, who utter [divine] song by night, and are silent by day for the sake of Israel’s glory.”


(6) The Sixth Heaven – MAKON “foundation; dwelling” (Strong’s 4349)

Then hear You, in heaven Your dwelling place (MAKON), and forgive, and do, and render unto every man, according to all his ways, whose heart You know: for You, even You only, know the hearts of all the children of men.”
(1Kn. 8:39 HRV)

The Talmud says:

Makon is that in which there are the stores of snow (Job 38:22f; Is. 29:6) and stores of hail, and the loft of harmful dews and the loft of raindrops, the chamber of the whirlwind and storm, and the cave of vapour, and their doors are of fire, for it is said: The Lord will open unto thee His good treasure,(Deut. 28:12) But are these to be found in the firmament? Surely, they are to be found on the earth, for it is written: Praise the Lord from the earth, ye sea-monsters, and all deeps; fire and hail, snow and vapour, stormy wind, fulfilling his word! (Ps. 148:7-8) — Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: David entreated concerning them, and caused them to come down to the earth. He said before Him: Lord of the universe, Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; let not evil sojourn with Thee; (Ps. 148:5) righteous art Thou, O Lord, let not evil sojourn in Thy abode. And whence do we derive that it is called heaven? For it is written: Then hear Thou in heaven, Thy dwelling place [Makon]. (1Kings 8:39)

(7) The Seventh Heaven – ARAVOT “sterile or empty place; desert, wilderness” (Strong’s 6160)

Sing unto Elohim; sing praises to His name: extol Him that rides upon the empty places (ARAVOT); whose Name is Yah, and exult you before Him.
(Psalm 68:5(4) HRV)

“There is none like unto Elohim, O Yeshurun, who rides upon the heaven as your help,
and in His excellency on the skies.”
(Deut. 33:26 HRV)

The Talmud says:

ARAVOT is that in which there are Right and Judgment and Righteousness, the treasures of life and the treasures of peace and the treasures of blessing, the souls of the righteous and the spirits and the souls which are yet to be born, and dew wherewith the Holy One, blessed be He, will hereafter revive the dead. Right and Judgment, for it is written: Right and judgment are the foundations of Thy throne. (Ps. 89:15) Righteousness, for it is written: And He put on righteousness as a coat of mail. (Is. 59:17) The treasures of life, for it is written: For with Thee is the fountain of life. (Ps. 36:10) And the treasures of peace, for it is written: And called it, ‘The Lord is peace’.(Judges 6:24) And the treasures of blessing, for it is written: he shall receive a blessing from the Lord.(Ps. 24:5) The souls of the righteous, for it is written: Yet the soul of my lord shall be bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God. (1Sam 25:9) The spirits and the souls which are yet to be born, for it is written: For the spirit that enwrappeth itself is from Me, and the souls which I have made. (Is. 57:1) And the dew wherewith the Holy One, blessed be He, will hereafter revive the dead, for it is written: A bounteous rain didst Thou pour down, O God; when Thine inheritance was weary, Thou didst confirm it. (Ps. 68:10) There [too] are the Ofanim and the Seraphim, and the Holy Living Creatures, and the Ministering Angels, and the Throne of God; and the King, the Living God, high and exalted, dwells over them in ‘Araboth, for it is said: Extol Him that rideth upon Araboth whose name is the Lord. (Ps. 68:5)
The Zohar tells us concerning ARAVOT:

Said R. Eleazar: ‘It ought to have been “who rideth upon (‘al) araboth”, why does it say “in (be) araboth”? Again: it ought to be, “He is in YAH”, why does it say “in YAH is His Name”? It is because this verse refers to the Hidden of hidden ones, the most Ancient of all the ancients, the completely unknown and undisclosed. It may be said that, since He rideth in it, then in this sphere at least He does disclose Himself. Not so. What the verse tells us is that the Ancient of ancients “rideth in the araboth” in the sphere of YAH, which is the primordial mystery emanating from Him, namely the Ineffable Name YAH, which is not identical with Him, but is a kind of veil emanating from Him. This veil is His Name, it is His Chariot, and even that is not manifested. to study the Torah.
(Zohar 2:165b)



Who was caught up to Pardes

Paul says that the man who was caught up to the “third heaven” was caught up to PARDES (“Paradise”).  This same section of Talmud goes on to record a tradition about four Rabbis who also entered Pardes but only one left in peace:

The Rabbis taught: Four entered the Pardes. They were Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher and Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva said to them, “When you come to the place of pure marble stones, do not say, ‘Water! Water!’ for it is said, ‘He who speaks untruths shall not stand before My eyes’ (Psalms 101:7)”. Ben Azzai gazed and died. Regarding him the verse states, ‘Precious in the eyes of God is the death of His pious ones’ (Psalms 116:15). Ben Zoma gazed and was harmed. Regarding him the verse states, ‘Did you find honey? Eat as only much as you need, lest you be overfilled and vomit it’ (Proverbs 25:16). Acher cut down the plantings. Rabbi Akiva entered in peace and left in peace.
(b.Hagigah 14b)

The Zohar elaborates on Akiva’s words saying:

The ancient Saba (an old man) stood up and said (to Shimon bar Yochai), “Rabbi, Rabbi! What is the meaning of what Rabbi Akiva said to his students, “When you come to the place of pure marble stones, do not say ‘Water! Water!’ lest you place yourselves in danger, for it is said, ‘He who speaks untruths shall not stand before My eyes.'” But it is written, ‘There shall be a firmament between the waters and it shall separate between water (above the firmament) and water (below the firmament)’ (Genesis 1:6). Since the Torah describes the division of the waters in to upper and lower, why should it be problematic to mention this division? Furthermore, since there are upper and lower waters why did Rabbi Akiva warn them, “do not say, ‘Water! Water!'””

The Holy Lamp (a title for Shimon bar Yochai) replied, “Saba, it is proper that you reveal this secret that the chevraya (Rabbi Shimon’s circle of disciples) have not grasped clearly.”

The ancient Saba answered, “Rabbi, Rabbi, Holy Lamp. Surely the pure marble stones are the letter yud – one the upper yud of the letter aleph, and one the lower yud of the letter aleph. Here there is no spiritual impurity, only pure marble stones, so there is no separation between one water and the other; they form a single unity from the aspect of the Tree of Life, which is the vav in the midst of the letter aleph. In this regard it states, ‘and if he take of the Tree of Life (and eat and live forever)’ (Genesis 3:22)…”
(Zohar I, 26b)

This sheds light on Paul’s statement:

1 To boast is necessary but not profitable: for I will come to visions and to revelations of
our Adon.
2 I knew a man in the Messiah fourteen years from before (but whether in a body or
without a body I do not know, Eloah knows) who was caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew this son of man (but whether in a body or without a body I do not know,
Eloah knows),
4 Who was caught up to Pardes: and heard unspeakable words that are not permitted
for a son of man to speak.
(2Cor. 12:1-4 HRV)

The man of whom Paul speaks (Paul himself?) was caught up to the place where millstones stand and grind manna for the righteous, the place where the celestial dew originates, the most recondite spot, Pardes, where he heard unspeakable words, learned of the unity of the Godhead and partook of the Tree of Life and returned in peace.

Emergency Alert!

Donations are very low this month and our rent will be due in less than two weeks. We need your help today!

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

Or click HERE to donate

Update on My Wife’s Health

Shalom Chaverim,

I wanted to update you all on my wife’s health. As I have said, one of the hardest parts about being married to my wife, is seeing her in pain, and not being able to help. My wife suffers from chronic pain every day. The extensive abdominal surgeries she had from 2015 to 2018, and the septic shock and fifty three day hospitalization she had in 2018 left her in chronic pain. Every morning, when she can no longer sleep through it, pain wakes her up. And each night she cannot sleep until she is so exhausted that she can sleep through the pain. And so I am her constant caretaker. If she drops something on the floor, I go over and pick it up, because it is to painful for her abdomen to bend over and pick it up. Just getting up and going to the bath room or taking a bath is a matter of playing through the pain for her. Pain follows her everywhere and is her constant companion, she can never completely get away from it. She once kept up on the house, cooked meals etc. But she can no longer do any of those things. I keep the house and cook the meals, and I work at a desk just a few feet from her bed.

The source of my wife’s pain is a combination of strands of scar tissue from her surgeries as well as multiple hernias. These hernias cannot simply be surgically corrected, because of what the surgeons call “hostile abdomen” meaning that operating on her abdomen is very high risk, and so no one wants to do it. This means she must simply live with the pain. We have known since 2018 that eventually one of her hernias will get large enough that a portion of her small intestines will be pulled into a hernia, and in time become kinked and form a blockage. Once there is a blockage, she will become violently ill, and emergency surgery will be necessary to save her life, and only then will they be willing to preform the very high risk surgery.

Over the last couple of months, her pain has gotten worse, especially when she eats. As a result her doctors sent her for a new CT scan of her abdomen, which showed that she now has a portion of small intestines in one of her hernias. It is not yet kinked, so it is restricted but not yet a blockage. This is why her pain has increased, especially after she eats.

Unfortunately the cost of her medications has just increased, because she is in what they call the “doughnut hole” or “Medicare Coverage Gap” which means that thru the rest of the year, her drug costs have sky rocketed. Unfortunately, two of her medications are exorbitantly expensive, even after her coverage. This last week up I picked up two prescriptions which were $175 and $265 respectively! Meanwhile back on January 31st, we learned that we were losing a substantial portion of income beginning in February. And. of course, our rent is due in less than a week (and we do not have it).

So now more than ever we need your prayers and your support. Any donation is better than no donation, and every donation helps.

This work takes hours of my time. But I also realize that it is not the activity of James Trimm alone who is responsible to do this work, it is all of us together who are charged with the responsibility of accomplishing this work. I very much look on the efforts of this restoration work as a cooperative one with each one of you. We are all joint heirs with Messiah and should always be about our Father’s business. I am honored to be able to be partnered with truth seekers as this restoration of Scripture moves forward in fulfillment of prophecy.

Donations can be sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org

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Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak? (Who is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53?)

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak?
(Who is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53?)
By
James Scott Trimm

Tovia Singer and other anti-mssionaries argue that the “Suffering Servant” figure of Isaiah 53 is not a Messianic prophecy at all, and speaks instead only about Israel.

In fact the Suffering Servant Song (Is. 52:7-53:12) is the fourth of four “Servant Songs” in Isaiah. These four servant songs are to be found in:

Isaiah 42:1-9

Isaiah 49:1-12

Isaiah 50:4-11

and Isaiah 52:7-53:12

Now before we look at Is. 52:7-53:12 we should first look at the first three servant songs in Isaiah. Let us first look at Is. 42:1-9:

1 Behold My servant, whom I uphold; My chosen, in whom My soul delights:I have put
My spirit upon him; he shall make the right to go forth to the nations.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the dimly burning wick shall he not
quench: he shall make the right to go forth according to the truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be crushed, till he has set the right in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his Torah.
5 Thus says El YHWH, He that created the heavens and stretched them forth, He that spread forth the earth and that which comes out of it, He that gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I YHWH have called you in righteousness, and have taken hold of your hand, and kept you, and set you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations.
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
8 I am YHWH, that is My Name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.
9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.
(Is. 42:1-9 HRV)

Is. 42:1 says:

Behold my servant, whom I uphold;
my elect in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.

This is a close parallel to another passage in Isaiah:

And the Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon him…
with righteousness shall he judge…
(Is. 11:2, 4)

Now EVERYONE agrees that Is. 11:1f speaks of the Messiah and it is clear that Is.

42:1 speaks of the same individual. (Also Is. 61:1 is parallel.)

Ok now lets look at Is. 49:1-12:

1 Listen, O isles, unto me: and hearken, you peoples, from far. YHWH has called me from the womb, from the innermost parts of my mother, has He made mention of my name.
2 And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand has He hid me, and He has made me a polished shaft. In His quiver has He concealed me,
3 And He said unto me: You are My servant, Yisra’el, in whom I will be glorified.
4 But I said, I have labored in vain. I have spent my strength for nought and
vanity: yet surely my right is with YHWH, and my recompense with my Elohim.
5 And now, says YHWH, that formed me from the womb to be His servant; to bring Ya’akov back to Him, and that Yisra’el be gathered unto Him: for I am honorable in the eyes of YHWH, and my Elohim is become my strength.
6 Yes, He says: It is too light a thing, that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Ya’akov, and to restore the offspring of Yisra’el. I will also give you for a light of the nations, that My salvation may be unto the end of the earth.
7 Thus says YHWH, the Redeemer of Yisra’el, his Set-apart One, to him who is despised of men, to him who is abhorred of the nation, to a servant of rulers: kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, because of YHWH that is faithful, even HaKadesh of Yisra’el, who has chosen you.
8 Thus says YHWH: In an acceptable time have I answered you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you, and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people: to raise up the land; to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
9 Saying to the prisoners, Go forth. To them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.  They shall feed in the ways, and in all high hills shall be their pasture.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that has compassion on them will lead them, even by the springs of water will He guide them.
11 And I will make all My mountains–a way–and My highways shall be raised on high.
12 Behold, these shall come from far, and behold, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim.
(Is. 49:1-12 HRV)

It is the claim of the anti missionaries that 49:3 closes the case and clearly identifies the Servant as Israel. However in context that identification must be allegorical. In Is. 49:1-12 the servant is clearly NOT literally Israel because in verses 5 & 6 the servant brings Jacob (Israel) back to YHWH; raises up the tribes of Israel and restore the preserved of Israel. Clearly then the next two verses reveal that the servant is NOT Israel. So why does Is. 49:3 make that identification? Because their is an allegorical relationship Between Messiah and Israel. Both for example are the Son of Elohim. Both had miraculous births. Both were taken into Egypt to save them in their youth. Both were called out of Egypt. Rome tried to kill both of them. etc.

In verse 7 most translations state that a “nation” abhors the servant. However some Rabbinic translations (JPS and Sonicio) state that the “nations” abhor the servant. This makes a big difference. If the word is singular “nation” then by context the “nation” would be Israel. Thus proving once again that the servant is not Israel because Israel cannot abhor Israel. However if the reading is “nations” then this fits with the Rabbinic interpretation that the servant is Israel and that in Is. 53 Israel is being oppressed by the nations. So one must ask: who is being honest? This is pivotal.  Is the word “nation(s)” in Is. 49:7 plural or singular? The word is in the Hebrew SINGULAR thus proving once again that the servant is NOT Israel. The Rabbinics have actually CHANGED the text of Is. 49:7 so as to make it fit with their theory.

4 The Adonai YHWH has given me the tongue of them that are taught, that I should know how to sustain with words, him that is weary. He wakens morning by morning. He wakens my ear to hear, as they that are taught.
5 The Adonai YHWH has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away backward.
6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
7 For the Adonai YHWH will help me, therefore have I not been confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
8 He is near that justifies me: who will contend with me? Let us stand up together: who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.
9 Behold, the Adonai YHWH will help me: who is he that shall condemn me? Behold, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.
10 Who is among you that fears YHWH, that obeys the voice of His servant, though he walks in darkness, and has no light? Let him trust in the Name of YHWH, and stay upon his Elohim.
11 Behold, all you that kindle a fire; that gird yourselves with firebrands. Begone in the flame of your fire, and among the brands that you have kindled. This shall you have of My hand: you shall lie down in sorrow.
(Is. 50:4-11)

Finally lets look at Is. 52:7-53:12

7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messengers of good tidings--that announces peace, the harbinger of good tidings; that announces salvation; that says unto Tziyon, Your Elohim reigns!
8 Hark! Your watchmen! They lift up the voice. Together do they sing, for they shall see eye to eye, YHWH returning to Tziyon.
9 Break forth into joy; sing together, you waste places of Yerushalayim: for YHWH has comforted His people; He has redeemed Yerushalayim.
10 YHWH has made bare, His Set-Apart arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our Elohim.
11 Depart you! Depart you! Go you out from thence. Touch no unclean thing; go you out of the midst of her. Be you clean, you that bear the vessels of YHWH.
12 For you shall not go out in haste, neither shall you go by flight: for YHWH will go before you, and the Elohim of Yisra’el will be your rearward.
13 Behold, My servant shall prosper: he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.
14 According as many were appalled at him,135 so marred was his visage unlike that of a man: and his form, unlike that of the sons of men.
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations: kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which had not been told them, shall they see, and that which they had not heard, shall they perceive.
1 Who would have believed our report? And to whom has the arm of YHWH been revealed?
2 For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground. He had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him.
3 He was despised, and forsaken of men–a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face: He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
4 Surely our diseases He did bear, and our pains He carried: whereas we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of Elohim, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced because of our transgressions; He was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon Him, and with His stripes, we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way, and YHWH has made to light on Him, the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, though He humbled Himself, and opened not His mouth. As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb: yes, He opened not His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away, and with His generation who did reason? For He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due.
9 And He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich, His tomb: although He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased YHWH to crush Him. He has put Him to suffering to see if His soul would offer itself, as a guilt offering: that He might see His seed, prolong His days, and that the purpose of YHWH might prosper by His hand.
11 From the travail of His soul, He shall see light, and shall be satisfied in His understanding. My Righteous servant shall justify many, and their iniquities, He bears.
12 Therefore will I divide Him a portion among the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the mighty, because He bared His soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
(Is. 52:7-53:12 HRV)

The key questions are:

Who is the speaker?

Who is the servant?

Who is “we”?

Who is “he”?

OK who is the speaker?

Three answers have been proposed:

1. Isaiah

2. YHWH

3. The Gentile Kings of the Earth

We will examine number 1 last.

First: Is the speaker YHWH?

The speaker cannot be YHWH because the speaker has sins (53:6)

Second: Is the speaker The Gentile Kings of the Earth (As Tovia Singer claims) ?

The speaker cannot be the Gentile Kings because:

1. The chiastic structure in 52:7, 10; 53:1 reveals the speaker is the
same as the individual on the mountains in 52:7 which NO ONE claims is the Gentile Kings.

Is. 52:7
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him
that brings goodnews,
that publishes peace;
that brings goodnews of good,
that publishes salvation,
that says to Zion: “Your God reigns!”

Is. 52:10
A. YHWH
B. has made bare his holy arm
C. in the eyes of all the nations
C. and all the ends of the earth
B. shall see the salvation
A. of our God.

Is. 53:1
Who has believed our report?
And to whom is the arm of YHWH revealed?

Clearly the “arm of YHWH” in 53:1 is the “report” of 53:1
Clearly the “arm of YHWH” in 53:1 is “his holy arm” in 52:10
Clearly “see the salvation” of 52:10 is “bare his holy arm” of 52:10
Clearly the “publishes salvation” of 52:7 = “see the salvation” of 52:10

Therefore the “report” of 53:1f is being given by the figure on the mountains who is certainly NOT the Gentile Kings.

2. The text of 52:15 specificly tells us that the Gentile kings are silent they have nothing to say, they are NOT delivering a report. If it was important that we think that the speaker was the Gentile kings of 2:15 then why would YHWH have the text tell us they are silent. in fact the Targum actually states that the kings “shall be silent because of him”

The speaker is Isaiah. In fact there is no reason not to believe that the speaker is Isaiah.

Now who is the servant?

Is the servant Israel?

The servant cannot be Israel because:

1. The servant is a voluntary sufferer (Is. 53:7, 12b)

2. The servant is contrasted with the speaker who counts
himself with a group (Israel) saying “we” throughout.
(Is. 53:6) If “we” is Israel and “we” is being contrasted
with “he” then “he” the servant cannot be Israel.

3. The servant is an innocent sufferer (53:6, 9) but Israel
has guilt. Israel suffers BECAUSE we have sinned
(see Deut. 28-29 and Lev. 26)

53:10 says “he shall see his seed” and anti-missionaries make much of this. They say that zera cannot be used allegorically. Infact the word zera (seed) is used allegorically in Jewish literature to refer to the scattered tribes. In fact the Targum on this passage understands “seed” allegorically and paraphrases it “the Kingdom of their Messiah”. In fact then term seed is used allegorically in the very next chapter (Is. 54:1-3)

In the Hebrew of the Masoretic Text Isaiah 53:11 has a serious grammatical problem.

The Hebrew of the Masoretic Text reads literally:

From the travail of his soul he shall see ________
shall be satisfied in his understanding.
My Righteous servant shall justify many
and their iniquities he bears.

There is very clearly a missing word in the Hebrew resulting in two verbs in a row “shall see” and “shall be satisfied”. What shall he see? Now the missing word “light” DOES appear in the Septuagint and has also now turned up in two Hebrew copies of Isaiah found at Qumran.

The passage SHOULD read (as it does in the HRV):

From the travail of his soul he shall see light
and shall be satisfied in his understanding.
My Righteous servant shall justify many
and their iniquities he bears.
(Is. 53:11 HRV translation)

In fact the Targum Jonthan to Isaiah plainly proclaims the servant of the Suffering Servant Song in Isaiah to be the Messiah:

Behold, My Servant the Messiah shall prosper;
he shall be exalted and great and very powerful.
(Targum Jonathan on Is. 52:13)

It is the will of the Lord to purify and to acquit
as innocent the remnant of His people, to cleanse
their souls of sin, so that they may see the Kingdom
of their Messiah, have many sons and daughters,
enjoy long life, and observe the Torah of the Lord,
prospering according to his will.
(Targum Jonathan on Is. 53:10)

The Babylonian Talmud also applies this section of Isaiah as speaking of the Messiah:

The Rabanan say that that Messiah’s name is the Suffering
Scholar of Rabbi’s House (or the Leper Scholar) for it is
written, “Surely he has born our grief and carried our sorrows,
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.”
(Is. 53:4)
(b.San. 98a)

The Messiah- what is his name?Š The House of Rabbi Judah the
Holy One says: The Sick OneŠ “Surely he has born our sicknesses”
(Is. 53:4)
(b.San. 98b)

Rabbi Joshua came upon the prophet Elijah as he was standing
at the entrance of Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai’s cave. He asked him:
“When is the Messiah coming?” The other replied: “Go and ask
him yourself.” “Where shall I find him?” “Before the gates
of Rome.” “By what sign shall I know him?” “He is sitting
among the poor people and covered with wounds.”(see Is. 53:5)
(b.San. 98a)

The same application is made in the Midrash Rabbah:

Rabbi Jose the Galilean says: Great is peace-for
at the hour the King Messiah reveals himself unto Israel,
he will begin in no other way than with “peace” as it is
written: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of
the messenger of goodnews, that announces peace.” (Is. 52:7)
(Perek HaShalom in some Talmud editions and Numbers Rabbah XI, 16-20)

Rambam says:

Regarding the mission by which Messiah will present himself
Isaiah states, “He grew like a tender plant and as a root
out of dry land At him will kings shut their mouths,
for what had not been told unto them shall they see,
and what they never heard shall they understand.”
(Is. 52:15-53:2)

Perhaps most interesting is the application of Isaiah 53 to the Messiah in the Zohar:

In the Garden of Eden there is a hall that is called the
“hall of the afflicted.” Now it is into this hall that
the Messiah goes and summons all the afflictions and pains
and sufferings of Israel to come upon him. And so they all
come upon him. And had he not eased the children of Israel
of their sorrow, and taken their burden upon himself, there
would be none who could endure the suffering of Israel
in penalty of neglecting the Torah. Thus it is written:
“Surely our diseases he did bear and our pains he carried.”
(Is. 53:5) As long as the children of Israel dwelt in the
Holy Land, they averted all afflictions and sufferings from
the world by the service of the sanctuary and by sacrifice.
But now it is the Messiah who is averting them from the
habitants of the world.
(Zohar 2:212a)

The Messiah like the service of the sanctuary and the sacrifice has taken upon himself the sins of Israel. Messiah is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 52:7-53:12

3 He was despised, and forsaken of men–a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face: He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
4 Surely our diseases He did bear, and our pains He carried: whereas we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of Elohim, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced because of our transgressions; He was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon Him, and with His stripes, we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way, and YHWH has made to light on Him, the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, though He humbled Himself, and opened not His mouth. As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb: yes, He opened not His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away, and with His generation who did reason? For He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due.
(Isaiah 53:3-8 HRV)

In fact Yeshua is actually identified with his name actually encoded in the prophecy of Isaiah 53. If we start with the sixth to the last YOD in Isaiah 53:10 and count every 20th letter going from left to right, we spell YESHUA SHMI “Yeshua is my name”,

In the Zohar we read of Isaiah 53:13:

R. Simeon further discoursed on the text: Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high (Is. 52:13). ‘Happy is the portion of the righteous’, he said, ‘to whom the Holy One reveals the ways of the Torah that they may walk in them. This verse contains an esoteric meaning. When God created the world, He made the moon, and made her small, for she possesses no light of her own, but because she accepted her diminution she receives reflected light from the sun and from the other superior luminaries.
(Zohar 1:181a)

Now to fully understand Rabbi Simeon’s meaning here, we must look to another passage in the Zohar:

It is strange that the Messiah should be called “poor” [in Zech. 9:9]. R. Simeon explained that it is because he has nothing of his own, and he is compared to the holy moon above, which has no light save from the sun. This Messiah will have dominion and will be established in his place. Below he is “poor”, because he is of the side of the moon, and above he is poor, being a “mirror which does not radiate”, “the bread of poverty”. Yet withal he “rides upon an ass and upon a colt”, to overthrow the strength of the Gentiles; and God will keep him firm.
(Zohar 1:238a)

So we can see plainly that Rabbi Simeon in the Zohar is identifying the servant of Isaiah 52:13 as the Messiah.

Now as we continue to read our initial passage of the Zohar (1:181a) the passage immediately continues with:

Now, as long as the Temple existed, Israel were assiduous in bringing offerings, which together with all the other services performed by the priests, Levites, and Israelites had for their object to weave bonds of union and to cause luminaries to radiate.
(Zohar 1:181a)

This brings us to another passage in which the Zohar alludes to the “servant” of Isaiah 52 and 53 saying:

In the Garden of Eden there is a hall that is called the
“hall of  the afflicted.” Now it is into this hall that
the Messiah goes and summons all the afflictions and pains
and sufferings of Israel to come upon him.  And so they all
come upon him. And had he not eased the children of Israel
of their sorrow, and taken their burden upon himself, there
would be none who could endure the suffering of Israel
in penalty of neglecting the Torah. Thus it is written:
“Surely our diseases he did bear and our pains he carried.”
(Is. 53:5) As long as the children of Israel dwelt in the
Holy Land, they averted all afflictions and sufferings from
the world by the service of the sanctuary and by sacrifice.
But now it is the Messiah who is averting them from the
habitants of the world.
(Zohar 2:212a)

Our initial passage of Zohar (1:181a-b) continues:

But after the Temple was destroyed there was a darkening of the lights, the moon ceased to receive light from the sun, the latter having withdrawn himself from her, so that not a day passes but is full of grievous distress and afflictions. The time, however, will come for the moon to resume her primordial light, and in allusion to this it is written: “Behold, my servant will prosper.” That is to say, there will be a stirring in the upper realms as of one who catches a sweet odour and stands alert. “He shall be exalted”, from the side of the most exalted luminaries; “and lifted up”, from the side of Abraham; “and shall be high”, from the side of Isaac; “very”, from the side of Jacob. At that time, then, the Holy One will cause a stirring on high with the object of enabling the moon to shine with her full splendour, as we read: “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of the seven days” (Ibid. XXX, 26). There will thus be added to the moon an exalted spirit whereby all the dead that are in the dust will be awakened. This is the esoteric meaning of “my servant”, viz. the one that has in his hand the key of his Master.
(Zohar 1:181a-181b)

The Zohar tells us that the revealing of Messiah is like the revealing of the moon.  Initially the moon cannot be seen, however in time the moon is gradually restored to its full light.  So it is with Messiah,  and when the Messiah is fully revealed, the resurrection will take place.

We read in Matthew:

38 Behold, your house is forsaken; to you desolate.
39 And I tell you, that you will not see Me here after,
until you say,
Blessed is He that comes in the Name of YHWH!
(Matt. 23:38-39)

Of course this is quoting Ps. 118:26:

“Blessed be he that comes in the Name of YHWH; we bless you out of the House of YHWH.” (Ps. 118:26).

Above this is the phrase “the stone the builders rejected is become the chief corner-stone” (Ps. 118:22)

Now we read in the Zohar concerning the stone that the builders rejected:

David, indeed, was king in this world and will be king in the time to come; hence “the stone the builders rejected is become the chief corner-stone”. For, when the sun turns away his face from the moon, and does not shine upon her, she has no light whatever and so does not shine, but is poverty-stricken and dark on all sides; but when the sun turns towards her and radiates his light upon her, then her face is illumined and she adorns herself for him as a woman for a man. She thus is then invested with the dominion of the world. So David adorned himself after this very manner. Now he would appear poor and dejected, but then again he would be revelling in riches. Hence David’s declaration, “I am small and despised, yet have I not forgotten thy precepts.” It behoves, indeed, every man to follow this example and to humble himself in every respect so as to become a vessel in which the Holy One, blessed be He, may find delight. This lesson has also been expounded in connection with the phrase, “with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit’ (Isa. LVII, 15).’
(Zohar 2:232b)

The Zohar says that when this stone is rejected “the sun turns away his face from the moon, and does not shine upon her.”

Earlier the Zohar says:

So it says: AND HIS HAND HAD HOLD ON ESAU’S HEEL , i.e he put his hand on Esau’s heel in order thereby to force him down. According to another explanation, the words “and his hand had hold” imply that he could not escape him entirely, but his hand was still clinging to his brother’s heel. Esoterically speaking, the moon was obscured through the heel of Esau; hence it was necessary to deal with him cunningly, so as to thrust him downwards and make him adhere to the region assigned to him.’
(Zohar 1:138a)

The moon is obscured “through the heel of Esau”, and therefore the stone is rejected “through the heel of Esau” because the sun “turns away his face”.

So what does this mean?

It points us to Gen. 25:26 which reads:

And after that, came forth his brother. And his hand had hold on Esav’s heel, and his name was called Ya’akov. And Yitz’chak was threescore years old when she bore them.

If we take the first letter of each word (a process called Notarikon) starting with the name Ya’akov (Jacob) and ending with Esav (Esau) going backwards we spell the name YESHUA, and if we continue through the next two words we read “Yeshua comes.”

So the moon is obscured in shining the light of Messiah by the heal of Esau.

Now the last letter in YESHUA in the Hebrew is an AYIN and that is the initial letter of the name ESAU in “Esau’s heel”. So if the heal of “Esau” is taken from YESHUA we have “YESHU”.

“Yeshu” is a name used in Rabbinic Judaism which refers to the anathema Rabbinic Judaism associates with Yeshua.

For Rabbinic Jews is is a acronym for a curse on the name of Yeshua meaning “may the name be blotted out forever”.

But Yeshua said:

38 Behold, your house is forsaken; to you desolate.
39 And I tell you, that you will not see Me here after,
until you say,
Blessed is He that comes in the Name of YHWH!
(Matt. 23:38-39)

They will say “Blessed is He that comes in the Name of YHWH!” (Ps. 118:26) when they accept the “stone that the builder rejected” (Ps. 118:22). This happens when the AYIN is restored to the name YESHUA, the reversal of the anathema, thus the Messiah, the Sun of Righteousness, will shine his light on the moon, which was obscured by the “heel of Esau”. And when the “heel of Esau” no longer obscures the “Sun of Righteousness” and YESHU is restored to YESHUA, then we can clearly see that “Yeshua comes”!

Our original Zohar passage continues:

So, too, in the verse: “And Abraham said unto his servant, etc.” (Gen. 24:2), the servant is an allusion to the moon as already explained. Also, the servant is identical with Metatron, who is the servant and messenger of his Master, and who was, as we read further, the elder of his house, the same who is alluded to in the text: “I have been young, and now am old” (Ps. 37:25). “That ruled over all that he had”; this applies to the same Metatron by reason of his displaying the three colours, green, white, and red. “Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh”; this is symbolic of the foundation of the world, for this servant was destined to bring to life again the dwellers in the dust, and to be made the messenger by the spirit from on high to restore the spirits and souls to their places, to the bodies that were decomposed underneath the dust.
(Zohar 1:181b)

The Zohar also identifies the Metatron as the “Middle Pillar”

The Middle Pillar [of the Godhead] is Metatron,
Who has accomplished peace above,
according to the glorious state there.
(Zohar 3:227)

And according to the Zohar the Middle Pillar is the Son of Yah:

Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off.
This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the Godhead,
which is the Son of Yah.
(Zohar 2:115)

And what is the Middle Pillar?  The Zohar says:

Concerning this, too, it is written: “Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen. I, 3). Why, it may be asked, was it necessary to repeat the word “light” in this verse? The answer is that the first “light” refers to the primordial light which is of the Right Hand, and is destined for the “end of days”; while the second “light” refers to the Left Hand, which issues from the Right. The next words, “And God saw the light that it was good” (Gen. 1:4), refer to the pillar which, standing midway between them, unites both sides, and therefore when the unity of the three, right, left, and middle, was complete, “it was good”, since there could be no completion until the third had appeared to remove the strife between Right and Left, as it is written, “And Elohim separated between the light and between the darkness” (Ibid.).
(Zohar 2:167a)

And:

This is the Middle Pillar: Ki Tov (that it was good) threw light above and below and on all other sides, in virtue of YHWH, the name which embraces all sides.
(Zohar 1:16b)

Emergency Alert!

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