The Lord said to My Lord – Psalm 110 and the Messiah

The Lord said to My Lord
Psalm 110 and the Messiah
By
James Scott Trimm



In the Book of Matthew we read:

41 Now while the P’rushim were assembled, Yeshua asked them, saying:
42 How seems it to you concerning the Messiah? Whose Son is He? And they said to Him, He is the Son of David.
43 But He said to them: And how then spoke David, by the Ruach HaKodesh calling Him, My Adon, saying,
44 YHWH said to my Adon: Sit you on My right hand, until I make Your enemies the footstool of your feet?
45 If David then calls Him, My Adon: how is He his son?
46 And they could not return Him a word: neither did any man wish again to question Him further from that day.
(Matthew 22:41-46 HRV)

Here Yeshua cites Psalm 110 which reads (in its entirety):

1 A Psalm of David. (110:1) YHWH says unto my Adon: Sit you at My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.
2 The rod of Your strength, YHWH will send out of Tziyon. Rule you in the midst of your enemies.
3 Your people offer themselves willingly in the day of your warfare; in adornments of Set-Apartness: from the womb of the dawn, yours is the dew of your youth.
4 YHWH has sworn, and will not repent: You are a cohen forever after the manner of MalkiTzadek.
5 YHWH, at your right hand, does crush kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He will judge among the nations: He fills it with the dead bodies. He crushes the head over a wide land.
7 He will drink of the brook in the way: therefore will he lift up the head.
(Ps. 110:1-7 HRV)

Yeshua identifies himself as the Messiah as being the “my Adon” who YHWH speaks to in verse 1.

The Midrash Tehillim (Midrash on Psalms) identifies the “My Adon” of Psalm 110:1 as Messiah.  According to the Midrash Tehillim:

The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit you at My right hand.
To the Messiah it will also be said,
and in mercy the throne be established;…
(Midrash Tehillim on Ps. 110:1)

Tovia Singer and other anti-missionaries (and others who question the deity of Messiah) insist that the “my Adon” of this passage is not YHWH.

However this identification is based on one of the “Tikkun Soferim”, the “emendations of the scribes”


While in verse 5 the Masoretic Text has “Adonai”, this is one of 134 places where the Masoretic Text reads “Adonai” but which the Masorah indicates that the text originally read “YHWH” and had been altered by the scribes in an attempt on their part to clarify the text. A copy found at the Cairo Geniza also has “YHWH” here.

The scribes changed YHWH to Adonai in verse 5 because they did not want you to “mistakenly” identify the “My Adon” on the right hand of YHWH in verse 1 with the “YHWH” on the right and in verse 5.

As Jeremiah warns us:

8 How do you say, We are wise, and the Torah of YHWH is with us? Behold, certainly in vain, has wrought the vain pen of the scribes.
9 The wise men are ashamed; they are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of YHWH, and what wisdom is in them?
(Jer. 8:8-9 HRV)

Tovia Singer’s argument is based on an admittedly altered text.  Singer elsewhere condemns those who “mess with” the text, yet here his entire argument is based on a text that was admittedly altered to prevent it from saying what it actually says. 

Verse 5 tells us that the “Adon” on the right is also “YHWH”.  The original reading of Psalm 110:5 identified the Adon on the right hand of YHWH as YHWH.

The Zohar make it clear that the “My Adon” of Psalm 110:1 is YHWH.  According to the Zohar in this verse one aspect of the Godhead is speaking to another aspect of the Godhead:

Rabbi Simeon further gave an exposition of the verse:
The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand
Until I make your enemies your footstool (Ps. 110:1)
“The Lord says unto my Lord”:
to wit, the upper grade [of the Godhead],
said to the lower [grade of the Godhead],
“sit at My right hand”,…
(Zohar 1:50b)

Verse 4 of Psalm 110 identifies this figure as “Melchizadek.”  This Melchizadek figure was especially important to the Essenes.  One document found at Qumran commonly called the Melchizadek document (11Q13) deals with this Melchizadek figure.  This document quotes from Isaiah 61:1 but substitutes “Melchizadek” for YHWH.  The document goes on to call this Melchizadek figure both “El” and “Elohim” and to identify him with the Messiah who is “cut-off’ in Dan. 9:27:

(…) And concerning what Scripture says, “In this year of Jubilee you shall return, everyone f you, to your property” (Lev. 25:13) And what is also written; “And this is the manner of the remission; every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of the community, because God`s remission has been proclaimed” (Deut.15:2) the interpretation is that it applies to the Last Days and concerns the captives, just as Isaiah said: “To proclaim the Jubilee to the captives” (Isa. 61:1) (…) just as (…) and from the inheritance of Melchizedek, for (… Melchizedek), who will return them to what is rightfully theirs. He will proclaim to themthe Jubilee, thereby releasing them from the debt of all their sins.  He shall proclaim this decree in the first week of the jubilee period that follows nine jubilee periods. Then the “Day of Atonement” shall follow after the tenth jubilee period, when he shall atone for all the Sons of Light, and the people who are predestined to Melchizedek.  (…) upon them (…) For this is the time decreed for the “Year of Melchizedek`s favor”, and by his might he will judge Elohim`s holy ones and so establish a righteous kingdom, as it is written about him in the Songs of David ; “An ELOHIM has taken his place in the council of EL; in the midst of the ELOHIM he holds judgment” (Ps. 82:1). Scripture also says about him;  “Over it take your seat in the highest heaven; A divine being will judge the peoples” (Ps. 7:7-8) Concerning what scripture says ; ” How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality with the wicked? Selah” (Ps. 82:2), the interpretation applies to Belial and the spirits predestined to him, because all of them have rebelled, turning from Elohim`s precepts and so becoming utterly wicked. Therefore Melchizedek will thoroughly prosecute the vengeance required by Elohim`s statutes. Also, he will deliverall the captives from the power of Belial, and from the power of all the spirits destined to him. Allied with him will be all the “righteous ELOHIM”(Isa. 61:3). (The …) is that whi(ch …all) the ELOHIM.

The visitation is the Day of Salvation that He has decreed through Isaiah the prophet concerning all the captives, inasmuch as Scripture says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion “Your ELOHIM reigns”.” (Isa. 52:7)This scriptures interpretation : “the mountains” are the prophets, they who were sent to proclaim Elohim`s truth and to prophesy to all Israel. “The messengers” is the Anointed of the spirit, of whom Daniel spoke; “After the sixty-two weeks, an Anointed shall be cut off” (Dan. 9:26) The “messenger who brings good news, who announces Salvation”is the one of whom it is written; “to proclaim the year of YHWH`s favor , the day of the vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all who mourn” (Isa. 61:2) This scripture’s interpretation: he is to instruct them about all the periods of history for eternity (… and in the statutes) of the truth. (…) (…. dominion) that passes from Belial and returns to the Sons of Light (….) (…) by the judgment of God, just as t is written concerning him;”who says to Zion “Your ELOHIM reigns” (Isa. 52:7) “Zion” is the congregation of all the sons of righteousness, who uphold the covenant and turn from walking in the way of the people. “Your ELOHIM” is Melchizedek, who will deliver them from the power of Belial. Concerning what scripture says, “Then you shall have the trumpet sounded loud; in the seventh month . . . ” (Lev. 25;9)
(11Q13 Col. 2)

The Book of Hebrews in an extended homiletic Midrash on Psalm 110 which also identifies Messiah with this Melchizadek figure.

Philo makes a very interesting comment concerning the Torah command of the cities of refuge (Num. 35:6-28; Josh. 20:1-9). The Torah says:

And the assembly shall deliver the manslayer, out of the hand of the avenger of
blood, and the assembly shall restore him to his city of refuge, where he was fled. And he shall dwell therein until the death of the High Priest, who was anointed with the Set-Apart oil.
(Numbers 35:25)

Philo makes an interesting observation on this passage, he writes:

The fourth and last of the points which we proposed to discuss, is the appointing as a period for the return of the fugitives the death of the high priest, which, if taken in the literal sense, causes me great perplexity; for a very unequal punishment is imposed by this enactment on those who have done the very same things, since some will be in banishment for a longer time, and others for a shorter time; for some of the high priests live to a very old age, and others die very early, and some are appointed while young men, and others not until they are old. And again of those who are convicted of unintentional homicide, some have been banished at the beginning of the high priest’s entrance into office, and some when the high priest has been at the very point of death. So that some are deprived of their country for a very long time, and others suffer the same infliction only for a day, if it chance to be so; after which they lift up their heads, and exult, and so return among those whose nearest relations have been slain by them. This difficult and scarcely explicable perplexity we may escape if we adopt the inner and allegorical explanation in accordance with natural philosophy. For we say that the high priest is not a man, but is the Word (Logos) of God, who has not only no participation in intentional errors, but none even in those which are involuntary.
(On Flight 106-108)

Elsewhere he writes:

XXVI. (82) But Melchisedek shall bring forward wine instead of water, and shall give your souls to drink, and shall cheer them with unmixed wine, in order that they may be wholly occupied with a divine intoxication, more sober than sobriety itself. For the Word is a priest, having, as its inheritance the true God, and entertaining lofty and sublime and magnificent ideas about him, “for he is the priest of the most high God.”{38}{Genesis 14:18.} Not that there is any other God who is not the most high; for God being one, is in the heaven above, and in the earth beneath, and there is no other besides Him.”{39}{Deuteronomy 4:39.} But he sets in motion the notion of the Most High, from his conceiving of God not in a low and grovelling spirit, but in one of exceeding greatness, and exceeding sublimity, apart from any conceptions of matter.
(“De Allegoriis Legum,” iii. 26).

Moreover Philo taught the “Word” (Logos) and the Messiah are one and the same:

“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)

Philo thus concludes that the Messiah is the Word and the true High.  If we follow Philo’s logic through, then through the death of the Messiah, these exiles are set free.

The “My Adon” of Psalm 110:1 is the Messiah.  He is the Melchizadek figure, the heavenly High Priest of Ps. 110:4.  And he is the YHWH on the right hand in Ps. 110:5. 

Emergency Alert!

The rent is due and we must raise $1,000 ASAP!

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.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

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PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Out of Egypt I have Called My Son

Out of Egypt I have Called My Son
By
James Scott Trimm

We read in the Goodnews according to Matthew:

13 And after they had departed, and behold, the angel of YHWH appeared to Yosef in a dream, saying: Arise, take the boy and His mother, and flee you away into Egypt and be there. And there you will stay until I return to you: for Herod is seeking to put the boy to death.
14 And he arose, <and did as the angel had said to him,> and took up the boy and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt,
15 And was there until the death of Herod: to fulfill what was spoken from YHWH by the prophet, who said, From out of Egypt I have called, My Son. (Hosea 11:1)
(Matt. 2:13-15 HRV)

In an attempt to discredit this account, as well as the Messiahship of Yeshua, Tovia Singer and other anti-missionaries have claimed that Matthew quotes this passage of Hosea totally out of context. In reality Matthew’s use of this passage as a Messianic prophecy is perfectly justified, and in fact shows a great deal of Jewish insight.

First off it is important to have a basic understanding of Jewish hermeneutics. In Judaism it is understood that there are four levels of understanding of a passage, which correspond to the four Hebrew letters that spell the Hebrew word PaRDeS (Paradise) The word PRDS is also an acronym (called in Judaism “notarikon”) for:

[P]ashat (Heb. “simple”) The plain, simple, literal level of understanding.
[R]emez (Heb. “hint”) The implied level of understanding.
[D]rash (Heb. “search”) The allegorical, typological or homiletically level of understanding.
[S]od (Heb. “hidden”) The hidden, secret or mystical level of understanding.

These are the four levels of understanding. The Four Gospels each express one of these four levels of understanding of the life of Yeshua.

The Pashat Gospel is Mark. Mark wrote a simple, brief, concise, pashat account of Yeshua’s life for the Goyim (Gentiles) while he was in Babylon with Kefa (1Kefa 5:13). He wrote his Gospel in the Syriac dialect of Aramaic for his Syrian and Assyrian readers in Babylon. Mark thus compiled material from Matthew and Luke and simplified it to create a simple version for Goyim. .

The Remez Gospel is Luke. Luke wrote a more detailed account for the High Priest Theophilus (a Sadducee). The Sadducees were rationalists and sticklers for details.

The Drash Gospel is Matthew. Matthew presents his account of Yeshua’s life as a Midrash to the Pharisees, as a continuing story tied to various passages from the Tanak As a drash level account Matthew also includes a number of parables in his account.

The Sod Gospel is Yochanan (John). Yochanan addresses the Mystical Essene sect and concerns himself with mystical topics like light, life, truth, the way and the Word. Yochanan includes many Sod interpretations in his account. For example Yochanan 1:1 presents a Sod understanding of Gen. 1:1. Yochanan 3:14; 8:28 & 12:32 present a Sod understanding of Num. 21:9 etc.).

Now let us return to Hosea 11:1 where we read:

When Israel was a child, then I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called My son.

This passage draws from the Torah Exodus 4:22-23:

Then you shall say to Pharaoh,
“Thus says YHWH:
‘Israel is my first-born son.
I have said to you, ‘Let My son go,
That he may worship Me,’
Yet you refuse to let him go.
Now I will slay your first-born son.’”
(Sh’mot (Ex.) 4:22-23)

Now if Israel is the first-born son of YHWH spoken of in these passages, then why did Matthew apply this passage (Hoshea 11:1) to the Messiah?

Why in the world does YHWH identify Israel as His first-born son? Why does Matthew identify Messiah as His son? Who in Judaism is the first-born Son of YHWH? Why the apparent confusion? Is Matthew really taking Hoshea 11:1 out of context?

No Matthew is giving a Midrash, a Drash understanding of Hosea 11:1 and Exodus 4:22-23. In order to understand this Midrash it is important to understand the concept of the “firstborn Son of Yah” in Judaism.

The firstborn Son of Yah referenced in the Zohar and is the Middle Pillar of the Godhead which the Zohar identifies as “The Son of Yah”. The Zohar describes the three pillars of the Godhead as follows:

Then Elohim said, “Let thee be light; and there was light.
And Elohim saw that the light was good…
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 it 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 God separated between the light and between the darkness.”…
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)

The right and left pillars are assigned as Mother and Father, the middle pillar, which balances the feminine and masculine characteristics from the male and female sides, is identified in the Zohar as “the Son of Yah”. The Zohar says:

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)

In another Passage the Zohar has:

We may also translate, “he who withholds blessings from the Son”, 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. II, 12), since he is invested both with judgement (gevurah) and with mercy (chesed).
(Zohar 3:191b)

And elsewhere the Zohar says of the Son:

The Holy One, blessed be He, has a son, whose glory (tifret) 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 (tifret) 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)

This is intended to point the reader back to a familiar passage from the Bahir:

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

According to the Zohar, the Middle Pillar of the Godhead is not only known as the “Son of Yah” but also as “Metatron”:

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)

The Middle Pillar is also known as “Metatron”:

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

In the Zohar we are also told that Metatron is “the firstborn”:

“And Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house…” (Gen. 24:2) Who is this of whom it said “his servant?” In what sense must this be understood? Who is this servant? R. Nehori answered:
“It is in no other sense to be understood than expressed in the word “His servant,”
His servant, the servant of Elohim, the chief to His service. And who is he? Metatron, as said. He is appointed to glorify the bodies which are in the grave.
This is the meaning of the words “Abraham said to His servant” that is to the servant of Elohim. The servant is Metatron, the eldest of His [YHWH’s] House, who is the firstborn of all creatures of Elohim, who is the ruler of all He has; because Elohim has committed to Him the government over all His hosts.
(Zohar 1:129b)

So in Judaism both Israel and “The Son of Yah” are identified as the “first-born Son of YHWH”.

According to the first century Jewish writer Philo, this firstborn Son of Elohim is also known as “The Word:

Philo Writes of the Word (Logos):

For there are, as it seems, two temples belonging to God; one being this world, in which the high priest is the divine word, his own firstborn son. The other is the rational soul, the priest of which is the real true man,
(On Dreams 215)

And if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, neverthless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his Firstborn Word, the eldest of his angels, as the great archangel of many names; for He is called, “the Authority”, and “the Name of God”, and “the Word”, and “man according to God’s image”, and “He who sees Israel”. . . For even if we are not yet suitable to be called the sons of God, still we may deserve to be called the children of his eternal image, of his most sacred Word; for the image of God is his most ancient word.
( On the Confusion of Tongues XXVIII:146-147)

Thus, indeed, being a shepherd is a good thing, so that it is justly attributed, not only to kings, and to wise men, and to souls who are perfectly purified, but also to God, the ruler of all things; and he who confirms this is not any ordinary person, but a prophet, whom it is good to believe, he namely who wrote the psalms; for he speaks thus, “The Lord is my shepherd, and he shall cause me to lack Nothing;” (Ps. 23:1.) and let every one in his turn say the same thing,
for it is very becoming to every man who loves God to study such a song as this, but above all this world should sing it. For God, like a shepherd and a king, governs (as if they were a flock of sheep) the earth, and the water, and the air, and the fire, and all the plants, and living creatures that are in them, whether mortal or divine; and he regulates the nature of the heaven, and the periodical revolutions of the sun and moon, and the variations and harmonious movements of the other stars, ruling them according to law and justice; appointing, as their immediate superintendent, his own right reason, his first-born son, who is to receive the charge of this sacred company, as the lieutenant of the great king; for it is said somewhere, “Behold, I am he! I will send my messenger before thy face, who shall keep thee in the Road.”(Ex. 23:20.)
(On Husbandry 50-51)

Furthermore Philo tells us that “The Word” (Logos) and the Messiah are one and the same:

“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)

So when YHWH says in Sh’mot (Ex.) 4:22-23 and Hoshea 11:1 that Israel is his first-born son he is speaking allegorically. He is comparing Israel to Messiah.

And when Mattitiyahu quotes Hoshea 11:`1 and applies this sonship to Messiah he is referring to the reality behind the allegory of Hosea 11:1 and Sh’mot 4:22-23. In effect Matthew is saying that Yeshua the Messiah is the figure that later Rabbinic Judaism came to call “The Son of Yah”. Therefore the Torah in Sh’mot 4:22-23 is prompting us that there is an allegorical relationship between Israel and Messiah:

So how is the Messiah allegorically like Israel?

* Both made a major impact on the world.

* Both were born through a biological miracle on their mother’s womb.

* Both were taken into Egypt to save their lives.

* Both are called up out of Egypt.

* Both have been despised and rejected by man.

* Rome attempted to execute each of them.

* Both are resurrected never to die again.

By saying, “Israel is my first-born son”, ELOHIM is saying that by oppressing Israel, it is as if Pharaoh was oppressing the Son of Yah, the Messiah himself.

In fact the Tanya makes use of this same allegory which connects the Son of Yah as spoken of in the Zohar with Israel:

So, allegorically speaking, have the souls of Jews risen in the [Divine] thought, as it is written, “My firstborn son is Israel,” and “Ye are children unto the Lord your G-d”. That is to say, just as a child is derived from his father’s brain, so— to use an anthropomorphism— the soul of each Israelite is derived from G-d’s (blessed be He) thought and wisdom.
(Tanya; Likutei Amarim; Chapter 2)

Similarly is it with the human soul, which is divided in two— sechel (intellect) and middot (emotional attributes). The intellect includes chochmah, binah and da at (ChaBaD), whilst the middot are love of G-d, dread and awe of Him, glorification of Him, and so forth. ChaBaD (the intellectual faculties) are called “mothers” and source of the middot, for the latter are “offspring” of the former.
(Tanya; Likutei Amarim; Chapter 3)

Emergency Alert!

The rent is due and we must raise $1,000 ASAP!

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.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

What is Hebraic Stoicism?

According to Wikipedia:

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy which was founded by Zeno of Citium, in Athens, in the early 3rd century BC. Stoicism is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world.

However, Stoicism was also a Jewish Philosophy, from at least as early as the time of the Maccabees, and arguably as early as Moses, which flourished at least until the early second Century CE.

Many Jews in ancient times maintained that the principles of “Helemistic philosophy” and “Stoicism” in particular, actually originated from the ancient Hebrews, and were borrowed by the Greeks.

The Alexandrian Jewish writer Aristoblus, wrote in the Second Century BCE:

“It is evident that Plato imitated our Torah and that he had investigated thoroughly each of the elements in it. For it had been translated by others before before Demetrius Phalereus, before the conquests of Alexander and the Persians.”
(Aristoblus; Fragment 3; quoted in Eusebius 12:12:1f)

“And it seems to me that Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato with great care follow him [Moses] in all respects. They copy him when they say they hear the voice of God, and they contemplate the arrangement of the universe, so carefully made and so unceasingly held together by God.
(Aristoblus; Fragment 4; quoted in Eusebius 13:13:4)

Aristoblus saw in these “Greek” philosophies, concepts that could be found much earlier in his Jewish Scriptures. Likewise the Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria, in the first Century, expounded upon the Torah, finding these same ideas in it.

The book of 4th Maccabees, likewise expounds principles of Stoicism, citing as examples, passages and narratives from the Tanak and the Channukah story as given in 2Maccabees.

And when the Mishna presents Simeon Ben Zoma’s four Stoic paradoxes (late first to early second century), he shows how each may be derived from a passage in the Tanak:

Ben Zoma would say:
Who is wise? He who learns from everyone. As is stated (Psalms 119:99): “From all my teachers I have grown wise”;
Who is strong? He who controls his impulses. As is stated (Proverbs 16:32), “Better one who is slow to anger than one with might, one who rules his spirit than the captor of a city.”;
Who is rich? He who is happy with what he has. As is stated (Psalms 128:2): “If you eat of toil of your hands, fortunate are you, and good is to you”; “fortunate are you” in this world, “and good is to you” in the World to Come;
Who is honored? He who honors everyone! As is stated (1 Samuel 2:30): “For to those who honor me, I accord honor; those who scorn me shall be demeaned;”.
(Pirkei Avot 4:1)

Hebraic Stoicism is a renascence of the ancient Stoic Wisdom of the Hebrews.

Some of the basic points of Hebraic Stoicism are:

  1. “The Torah corresponds to the world and the world to the Torah, and that a man who is obedient to the Torah, being, by so doing, a citizen of the world, arranges his actions with reference to the intention of nature, in harmony with which the whole universal world is regulated.” (Philo, On Creation 3)
  2. “Elohim fashioned man, he planted in him emotions and inclinations, but at the same time he enthroned the mind among the senses as a sacred governor over them all. 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) “emotions 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.” (Philo; Life of Moses 1; VI, 26)
  3. Ultimately we cannot control anything external. Worry is irrational, and a form of fear. The only thing we truly control is what we think, and as a result, how we choose to feel.
  4. The Memra (Word) is a rational intellect which permeates the universe. This results in the universe having a sort of intent or will, known as “providence” (not to be confused with predestination). While we have a freewill, it may be compared to a dog on a leash attached to a moving wagon.
  5. A man who lives by these principles will manifest four key “labors of wisdom” or “virtues”: wisdom, temperance, justice and courage.

I want to invite everyone who is interested in this renascence of “Hebraic Stoicism” to join us in building a Hebraic Stoicism community online.

Join us at the Hebraic Stoicism Facebook group

And like the Hebraic Stoicism Facebook page at:

Kiss the Son

KISS THE SON
THE DECEPTION OF TOVIA SINGER
By
James Scott Trimm

In Psalm 2 we read:

The kings of the earth stand up,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against YHWH, and against His Messiah:…
I will tell of the decree:
YHWH said to me: “You are My Son,”
This day have I begotten you….
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry…
(Ps. 2:2, 7, 12)

Now in his deceptive anti-Missionary tape set titled (wrongly) “Lets Get Biblical” Tovia Singer refers to Psalm 2:12 saying “The word BAR in Hebrew does not quite mean ‘son’.”

Tovia goes on to say:

“What we do is we look at all the other places where the word BAR exists and what I did for you is I did you a favor. I showed you every single place where the word BAR appears in the Book of Psalms and you will notice that isn’t it odd that the King James Bible everywhere that the word appears in all its forms is always translated cleanliness or purity? Why if that word truly means son or sonship why isn’t it translated that way in other places?”

Notice here that Singer plays a shell game. He starts out suggesting “we look at all the other places where the word BAR exists” then he leads you to believe that he has done this for you, but he has played a switch on you for what he actually has done instead is “showed you every single place where the word BAR appears in the Book of Psalms”. Then he switches back claiming to have shown that “everywhere that the word appears in all its forms is always translated cleanliness or purity”. And then poses the question “Why if that word truly means son or sonship why isn’t it translated that way in other places?”.

So he begins by telling you that we need to look at EVERY passage where the word appears, he then shows you ONLY the passages where the word appears in Psalms, then he CLAIMS to have proven that BAR is always translated “cleanliness or purity” and never as “son”.

The reason for this deception is that Singer knows full well that if we were to enlarge the search by even looking at the neighboring book of Proverbs we would find Proverbs 31:2 where we read:

“What, my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?”
(Proverbs 31:2 Jewish Publication Society version)

Every translation I have ever seen, be it Jewish, Christian or Secular renders BAR as “son” in this verse. So now you see why Singer plays the shell game. He has to tell you that he is showing you “all the other places where the word BAR exists” while he really only looks at the book of Psalms, and then he pretends to have shown you “everywhere where the word appears” for the sole purpose of deceiving you, because he cannot honestly look at all of the passages, or even to the neighboring book of Proverbs or you could plainly see that the word BAR can be and is translated from Hebrew as “son”, even in Jewish sources.

In fact Jewish sources attest to “son” as a meaning of BAR in Hebrew even though Singer claims “The word BAR in Hebrew does not quite mean ‘son’.” In the Student’s Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary to the Old Testament by Alexander Harkavy published by the Hebrew Publishing Company in 1914 we read “In Heb. BAR [as Aramaic for “son”] occurs only in poetry Pr. 31,2.”
(p. 68 column 8). The reader may notice that Psalms is also poetry, so Singer is plain wrong when he declares “The word BAR in Hebrew does not quite mean ‘son’.”.

In fact the tenth century Jewish scholar Abraham Ibn ‘Ezra writes in his commentary on this very passage:

“Serve YHWH” (Ps. 2:7) refers to YHWH’ and “kiss the son (BAR)” (Ps. 2:12) refers to His Messiah; and behold the presence of BAR, is like that of “What, my son (BAR)…”
(Prov. 31:2)”

Notice Ibn ‘Ezra not only understands BAR here to mean “son” but identifies this “son:” as the Messiah!

BAR in Psalm 2:12 is also understood to mean “son” in the Zohar:

We may also translate, “he who withholds blessings from the Son”, 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. II, 12), since he is invested both with judgement (gevurah) and with mercy (chesed).
(Zohar 3:191b)

This “son” referenced in the Zohar is the Middle Pillar of the Godhead which the Zohar identifies as “The Son of Yah”. The Zohar describes the three pillars of the Godhead as follows:

Then Elohim said, “Let thee be light; and there was light.
And Elohim saw that the light was good…
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 it 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 God separated between the light and between the darkness.”…
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)

The right and left pillars are assigned as Mother and Father, the middle pillar, which balances the feminine and masculine characteristics from the male and female sides, is identified in the Zohar as “the Son of Yah”. The Zohar says:

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)

In another Passage the Zohar has:

The Holy One, blessed be He, has a son, whose glory (tifret) 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 (tifret) 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)

This is intended to point the reader back to a familiar passage from the Bahir:

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

Tovia Singer’s argument is deceptive and dishonest. When the Psalm says “Kiss the Son (BAR), lest he be angry…” (Ps. 2:12) the word BAR definitely means “son”. Moreover the “son” in this verse refers to the Messiah and to the figure called in the Zohar “the Son of Yah” who is the “Middle Pillar” of the Godhead.

Emergency Alert!

The rent is due and we must raise $1,000 ASAP!

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.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

The Qumran Community were Essenes

The Qumran Community were Essenes
By
James Scott Trimm



There has been a lot of speculation about the identity of Qumran Community.  The standard model accepted by most scholars is that the Qumran Community were Essenes and that the bulk of the Dead Sea Scrolls represent Essene documents.  However some have been misled by various theories ascribing the scrolls to Sadducees or other groups.  The truth is that the evidence that the Qumran Community were Essenes is overwhelming.  To begin with Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus (c. 23 CE – August 25,  79 CE)) was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher. He was also a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian.  In his writings he tells us that in the Second Temple Era there was a community of Essenes that lived right at the physical location of Qumran:

To the west [of the Dead Sea] the Essenes have put the necessary distance between themselves and the insalubrious shore. They are a people unique of its kind and admirable beyond all others in the whole world without women and renouncing love entirely, without money, and having for company only the palm trees. Owing to the throng of newcomers, this people is daily re-born in equal number; indeed, those whom, wearied by the fluctuations of fortune, life leads to adopt their customs, stream in great numbers. Thus, unbelievable though this may seem, for thousands of centuries a race has existed which is eternal yet into which no one is born: so fruitful for them is the repentance which others feel for their past lives! Below the Essenes was the town of Engada [Engedi], which yielded only to Jerusalem in fertility and palm-groves but is today become another ash-heap. From there, one comes to the fortress of Masada, situated on a rock, and itself near the lake of Asphalt.
(Pliny the Elder, Historia Naturalis V, 17, 4 (73))

When we compare what the first century Jewish Roman writer Josephus tells us about the Essenes with the Dead Sea Scolls, it becomes obvious that the authors were Essenes:

EssenesQumran
Predestination:
“…the sect of the Essenes affirm that fate governs all things, and that nothing befalls men but what is according to its determination.”
(Josephus; Ant. 13:5:9)
Predestination:
“From the God of Knowledge comes all that is and shall be. Before ever they existed He established their whole design, and when, as ordained for them, they come into being, it is in accord with His glorious design that they accomplish their task without change. …”
(1QS 3:15f)
Communal Property:
“This is demonstrated by that institution of theirs, which will not allow anything to hinder them from having all things in common; so that a rich man enjoys no more of his own wealth than he who has nothing at all.”
(Ant. 18:1:5)
“These men are despisers of riches, and so very communicative as raises our admiration.  Nor is there any one to be found among them who has more than another;  for it is a law among them, that those who come to them must let what they have be common to the whole order, insomuch, that among them all there is no appearance of poverty or excess of riches, but everyone’s possessions are intermingled with every other’s possessions,…”
(Wars 2:8:3)
Communal Property:
“All who volunteer for his truth are to bring the full measure of their knowledge, strength, and wealth into the Yahad of God.  Thus will they purify their knowledge in the verity of God’s laws, properly exercise their strength according to the perfection of his ways, and likewise their wealth by the canon of His righteous counsel.”
(1QS 1:11-13)
Negative View of Women:
“…they guard against the lascivious behavior of women, and are persuaded that none of them preserve their fidelity to one man.”
(Wars 2:8:2)
Negative View of Women:
“She speaks emptiness…  she flatters men with nonsense and leads them to uselessness.  Her heart sets traps,
…  No one will keep her from her never-ending fornication.  Her eyes dart here and there, looking for a virtuous man to catch, an important man to lead astray, a just man to make unjust,…
(4Q184)
Office of Overseer:
“…and if any of their sect come from other places, what they have lies open for them, just as if it were their own;  and they go into such as they never knew before, as if they had been ever so long acquainted with them. For which reason they carry nothing with them when they travel into remote parts, though still they take their weapons with them, for fear of thieves.  Accordingly there is, in every city where they live,  one appointed particularly to take care of strangers,  and provide garments and other necessaries for them.”
(Josephus; Wars 2:8:4)
Office of Overseer:
“They [the Yahad] shall also take steps to incorporate his property, putting it under the authority of the Overseer together with that of the general membership,…”
(1QS1 6:19-20)
Ritual Bathe of Purification:
“…they then bathe their bodies in cold water.  And after this purification is over…”
(Josephus; Wars 2:8:5)
Ritual Bathe of Purification:
“About purification by water.  A man may not wash himself in water that is filthy and to shallow to make a ripple.”
(Dam. Doc. 10:10-11)
“Ceremonies of atonement cannot restore his innocence, nor cultic waters his purity.  He cannot be sanctified by immersion in oceans and rivers, nor purified by mere ritual bathing….  Only thus can he really receive the purifying waters and be purged by the cleansing flow.
(1Qs 3:4f; 5, 13)
Ritual Communal Meal:
“…every one meets together in an apartment of their own, into which it is not permitted to any of another sect to enter; while they go, after a pure manner, into the dining-room, as into a certain holy temple, and quietly set themselves down; upon which the baker lays them loaves in order; the cook also brings a single plate of one sort of food, and sets it before every one of them; but a priest says grace before meat; and it is unlawful for any one to taste of the food before grace be said. The same priest, when he has dined, says grace again after meat; and when they begin, and when they end, they praise God, as he that bestows their food upon them;…”
(Wars 2:8:5)
Ritual Communal Meal:
“They shall eat, pray and deliberate communally.  Wherever ten men belonging to the society of the Yahad are gathered, a priest must always be present.  The men shall sit before the priest by rank, and in that manner their opinions will be sought on any matter.  When the table has been set for eating or the new wine readied for drinking, it is the priest who shall stretch out his hand first, blessing the first portion of the bread or the new wine.”
(1Qs 6:2-5)
“The procedure for the [mee]ting of the men of reputation [when they are called] to the banquet held by the society of the Yahad, when [God] has fa[th]ered (?) the Messiah (or, when the Messiah has been revealed) among them: [the Priest,] as head of the entire congregation of Israel, shall enter first, trailed by all [his] brot[hers, the Sons of] Aaron, those priests [appointed] to the banquet of the men of reputation.  They are to sit be[fore him] by rank.  Then the
[Mess]iah of Israel may en[ter], and the heads of the th[ousands of Israel] are to sit before him by rank. … all the heads of the congregation’s cl[ans], together with [their] wis[e and knowledgeable men]. Shall sit before them by rank.  [When] they gather [at the] communal [tab]le, [having set out bread and w]ine so the communal table is set [for eating] and [the] wine (poured) for drinking, none [may r]each for the first portion of the     bread or [the wine] before the Priest.  For [he] shall [bl]ess the first
portion of the bread and the wine, [reac]hing for the bread first. Afterw[ard] the Messiah of Israel [shall re]ach for the bread.  [Finally,] ea[ch] member of the whole congregation of the Yahad [shall give a bl]essing, [in descending order of] rank. This procedure shall govern every me[al], provided at least ten
me[n are ga]thered together.”
(1Qsa 2, 11-22)
Row:6 Cell:2
They Speak in Turn:
“Nor is there ever any clamor or disturbance to pollute their house, but they give every one leave to speak in their turn; which silence thus kept in their house appears to foreigners like some tremendous mystery; the cause of which is that perpetual sobriety they exercise,…”
(Wars 2:8:5)
They Speak in Turn:
“…none should interrupt the words of his comrade, speaking before his brother finishes what he has to say.  Neither should anyone speak before another of higher rank.  Only the man being questioned shall speak in his turn.”
(1Qs 6:10-11) 
Against Oaths:
“…whatsoever they say also is firmer than an oath; but swearing is avoided by them, and they esteem it worse than perjury for they say that he who cannot be believed without [swearing by] God is already” condemned.
(Wars 2:8:6)
Against Oaths:
“A man must not swear
either by Aleph and Lamedh (Elohim) or by Aleph and Daleth (Adonai)…”
(Dam. Doc. 15:1)
Process of Initiation:
But now if any one has a mind to come over to their sect, he is not immediately admitted, but he is prescribed the same method of living which they use for a year, while he continues excluded’; and they give him also a small hatchet, and the fore-mentioned girdle, and the white garment. And when he has given evidence, during that time, that he can observe their continence, he approaches nearer to their way of living, and is made a partaker of the waters of purification; yet is he not even now admitted to live with them; for after this demonstration of his fortitude, his temper is tried two more years; and if he appear to be worthy, they then admit him into their society. And before he is allowed to touch their common food, he is obliged to take tremendous oaths,
(Wars 2:8:7)
Process of Initiation:
If any man in Israel wish to be affiliated to the formal congregation of the community, the overseer of the general membership is to examine him as to his intelligence and his actions and, if he then embark on a course of training, he is to have him enter into a covenant to return to the truth and turn away from all perversity. Then he is to appraise him of all the rules of the community.  Subsequently, when that man comes to present himself to the general membership, everyone is to be asked his opinion about him. and his admission to or rejection from the formal congregation of the community is to be determined by general vote.  No candidate, however, is to be admitted to the formal state of purity enjoyed by the general membership of the community until, at the completion of a full year, his spiritual attitude and his performance have been duly reviewed. Meanwhile he is to have no stake in the common funds.
After he has spent a full year in the midst of the community, the members are jointly to review his case, as to his understanding and performance in matters of doctrine. If it then be voted by the opinion of the priests and of a majority of their co-covenanters to admit him to the sodality, they are to have him bring with him all his property and the tools of his profession. These are to be committed to the custody of the community’s ‘minister of works’. They are to be entered by that officer into an account, but he is not to disburse them for the general benefit.
Not until the completion of a second year among the members of the community is the candidate to be admitted to the common board. [Drink] When however, that second year has been completed, he is to be subjected to a further review by the general membership, and if it then be voted to admit him to the community, he is to be registered in due order of rank which he is to occupy among his brethren in all matters pertaining to doctrine, judicial procedure, degree of purity and share in the common funds. Thenceforth his counsel and his judgment are to be at the disposal of the community.
(1Qs 6:13-23)
“And whosoever in all Israel shall enter into the covenant by a statute forever, together with their children who are (not of an age) to pass over into the number of those who are enrolled by the oath of the covenant, shall confirm it on their behalf.  And this is also the law throughout the entire period of the wickedness for every one who returns from his corrupt way.  On the day when he speaks with the Overseer of the many they shall enroll him by the oath of the covenant that Moses established with Israel the covenant to re(turn to the Law of  M)oses …with all (his) heart…(and with all his) soul: as regards that which there is found to be done by them…  And no man shall make known to him the laws until he stand before the Overseer  (who) shall search out concerning him when he examines him.
(Dam. Doc. 15:5-12)
Spitting Prohibited:
“They also avoid spitting in the midst of them, or on the right side.”
(Wars 2:8:9)
Spitting Prohibited:
“A man who spits in a session of the many shall be fined for thirty days” (1QS 7:13).
Stricter than any other Jews Regarding Sabbath:
“…they are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the seventh day…”
(Wars 2:8:9)
Stricter than any other Jews Regarding Sabbath:
“As to the Sabbath, to observe it according to its law, no man shall do work on the sixth day from the time when the sun’s orb in its fullness is still without the gate, for it is He who has said, ‘Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’
And on the Sabbath day no man shall utter a word of folly and vanity.  No man shall lend aught, to his neighbor.  None shall dispute on matters of wealth and gain.  None shall speak on matters of work and labor to be done on the following morning.  No man shall walk in the field to do the work of his business.  On the Sabbath none shall walk outside his city more than a thousand cubits.  No man shall eat on the Sabbath day aught save that which is prepared or perishing (in the field).  Nor shall one eat or drink unless in the camp.  (If he was) on the way and went down to wash he may drink where he stands, but he shall not draw into any vessel.  No man shall send the son of a stranger to do his business on the Sabbath day….
No man shall fast of his own will on the Sabbath.  No man shall walk after the animal to pasture it outside his city more than two thousand cubits.  None shall lift his hand to smite it with (his) fist.  If it be stubborn he shall not remove it out of his house. No man shall carry anything from the house to the outside or from the outside into the house, and if he be in the vestibule he shall not carry anything out of it or bring in anything into it.  None shall open the cover of a vessel that is pasted on the Sabbath. No man shall carry on him spices to go out or come in on the Sabbath.  None shall lift up in his dwelling house rock or earth.  Let not the nursing father take the sucking child to go out or to come in on the Sabbath.  No man shall provoke his manservant or his maid-servant or his hireling on the Sabbath. No man shall help an animal in its delivery on the Sabbath day.  And if it falls into a pit or ditch, he shall not raise it on the Sabbath.  No man shall rest in a place near to the Gentiles on the Sabbath.  No man shall suffer himself to be polluted [the Sabbath] for the sake of wealth or gain on the Sabbath.  And if any person falls into a place of water or into a place of… he shall not bring him up by a ladder or a cord or instrument.  No man shall offer anything on the altar on the Sabbath, save the burnt-offering of the Sabbath, for so it is written ‘Excepting your Sabbaths’.
(Dam. Doc. 10:14-11:18)
…they will not remove any vessel out of its place [on the Sabbath]…
(Wars 2:8:9)
No man shall carry anything from the house to the outside or from the outside into the house, and if he be in the vestibule he shall not carry anything out of it or bring in anything into it.  None shall open the cover of a vessel that is pasted on the Sabbath.
(Dam. Doc. 11:7-9)
Their Four Classes:
“…they are parted into four classes…”
(Wars 2:8:10)
Their Four Classes:
“All shall be mustered by their names; the priests first, the Levites second, the Children of Israel third, the proselytes fourth.”
(Dam. Doc. 14:3-6) 


If it walks like an Essene and talks like an Essene…. its an Essene!

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.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Yeshua Made a Fence Around the Torah

Yeshua Made a Fence Around the Torah
By
James Scott Trimm

One of the basic precepts of the Oral Law is the directive to עשו סייג לתורה “make a fence about the Torah” as we read at the opening of tractate Avot in the Mishnah:

Moses received the Torah from Sinai and gave it over to Joshua. Joshua gave it over to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets gave it over to the Men of the Great Assembly. They [the Men of the Great Assembly] would always say these three things: Be cautious in judgment. Establish many pupils. And make a fence about the Torah.
(m.Avot 1:1)  

Later in Avot we read that Rabbi Akiva said “Tradition is a fence to Torah”  (Akiva Avot 3:13)

What does is mean to “make a fence about the Torah”?  Rambam explains it like this:

“Make a hedge about the Torah”, refers to the decrees and enactments of the Sages-these keep a man far from transgression, as the Blessed One said, ‘Therefore shall ye keep what I have given you to keep (Lev. 18:30),’ which the Talmud (Yebamot 21a) interprets to mean; add protection to what I have already given you as protection.”
(Maimonides on Avot 1:1)

A good example of such a fence can be found in the very first Mishnah of the Talmud:

1:1 From what time may they recite the Shema in the evening?
From the hour that the priests enter [their homes] to eat their heave offering.
“until the end of the first watch” the words of Rabbi Eliezer.
But the sages say, “Until midnight.”
Rabban Gamliel says, “Until the rise of dawn.”
M’SH’SH: His [Gamliel’s] sons returned from a banquet hall [after midnight].
They said to him, “We did not [yet] recite the Shema.”
He said to them, “If the dawn has not yet risen, you are obligated to recite [the Shema].
And this applies not only [in] this [case]. Rather, [as regards] all commandments which sages said [may be performed] ‘Until midnight,” the obligation [to perform them persists] until the rise of dawn.”
[For example,] the offering of the fats and entrails—their obligation [persists] until the rise of dawn [see Lev. 1:9, 3:3-5].
And all [sacrifices] which must be eaten within one day, the obligation [to eat them persists] until the rise of dawn.
If so why did sages say [that these actions may be performed only] until midnight?
In order to protect man from sin.
(m.Berakhot 1:1)

While the Torah requires the evening Shema to be said before the rise of dawn, the sages erected a “fence around the Torah” teaching that it should be said by midnight (Rabbi Eliezer held that it should be said even before the end of the first watch).  The sages set up the fence “in order to protect man from sin”.  If one is attempting to fulfill the commandment to say the evening Shema before midnight, then even if one is late, one is less likely to violate the actual Torah.  Thus the “fence” helps prevent transgression of the actual Torah.

Now in Matthew chapter 5, Yeshua delivers a teaching in which he presents a commandment from the Torah, and then proceeds to make a fence around each commandment.

Making a Fence Around Murder

Yeshua begins by citing the commandment against murder:

You have heard what was said to them of old time,
You shall not murder: (Ex 20:13; Deut 5:17)
and whoever commits murder,
the same will be condemned to the judgment.
(Matthew 5:21 HRV)

Yeshua builds a fence around this Torah command, saying not to even be angry with your brother.

22 But I tell you, that whoever shall be enraged against his brother, he will be
condemned to the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, You are nothing: he
will be condemned to the council of the synagogue. And whoever says to him, You
impious one: he will be condemned to the fire of Gey Hinnom.
23 And if you present your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother
has something against you:
24 Leave your offering there before the altar, and go you first, to atone to your brother,
and then come and give your offering.
25 Come to terms with your adversary quickly, while you are with him on the way: lest
HaSatan deliver you up to the judge, and the judge deliver you up to the officer, and you
be cast into the jail.
26 Amen, I tell you, you will not go out from there, until you have paid the last penny.
(Matt. 5:22-26)

Making a Fence Around Adultery

Next Yeshua cites the Torah commandment against adultery:

You have heard that it was said to them of old time,
You shall not commit adultery: (Ex 20:13(20:14); Deut. 5:18)
(Matt. 5:27 HRV)

Yeshua then builds a fence around this commandment as well, saying:

28 But I tell you, that whoever sees a woman and covets her, has already committed
adultery with her in his heart.
29 And if your right eye offends you, pluck it out and cast it from you: for it is better
for you that one of your members should perish, than that the whole body should be
cast into Gey Hinnom.
30 And if your right hand offend you, cut it off and cast it from you: for it is better for
you that one of your members should perish, than that your whole body should be cast
into Gey Hinnom.
(Matthew 5:28-30 HRV)

Yeshua makes a fence around this commandment, telling us not to even lust after another man’s wife to commit adultery even in our hearts.  The Talmud places a similar hedge saying “Unchaste imagination is more injurious than sin itself…” (b.Yoma 29a).

Making a Fence Around Divorce

Next Yeshua quotes the Torah concerning divorce:

It was also said concerning him that would put away his wife
that he should write her a bill of divorcement,
and give it to her, and send her away from his house: (Deut. 24:1)
(Matt. 5:31 HRV)

Yeshua makes a fence once again saying:

But I tell you, that whoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause of
fornication, commits adultery with her, and whoever takes her that is cast off, commits adultery.
(Matt. 5:32 HRV)

Here Yeshua tells us not only that we must not put away a wife without issuing her a bill of divorcement, but that we should also only do so for the cause of fornication.  (Here Yeshua agrees with the House of Shammai m.Gittin 9:10)

Making a Fence Around Vows

Next Yeshua cites the Torah in regards to keeping ones vows:

Again, you have heard that it was said to them of old time,
You shall not forswear yourself,
but shall pay to YHWH your vow:
(Lev 19:12; Num. 30:3(30:2); Deut. 23:22(23:21))
(Matt, 5:33 HRV)

Yeshua then goes on to make a fence around this commandment as well:

34 But I tell you, you shall not swear by a confirming word–not by heaven, for it is
Elohim’s throne,
35 And not by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, and not by Yerushalayim,
for it is the city of the great king.
36 And you shall not swear by your head, in that you have no power to whiten one hair
or turn it black again.
37 But let your words be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these words, is of
evil.
(Matt. 5:24-37 HRV)

So to make sure we do not break our vows, Yeshua says not to even make them in the first place.  This was in fact the practice of the Essenes in those days.  Josephus writes:

…swearing is avoided by them [Essenes],
and they esteem it worse than perjury;
for they say, that he who cannot be believed
without [swearing by] God, is already condemned.
 (Josephus; Wars; 2:8:6)

And  we read in the Dead Sea Scrolls:

A man must not swear
either by Aleph and Lamedh (Elohim)
or by Aleph and Daleth (Adonai)…
 (Damascus Document Col. 15, 1)

Making a Fence Around Liability

Next Yeshua cites the Torah in regards to the laws of liability:

You have heard what was said,
An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. (Ex. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21)
(Matt. 5:38 HRV)

I will write a separate blog about this in the future.

Making a Fence Around Loving our Neighbor

Next Yeshua cites the commandment to love our neighbor, but adding a false conclusion to it:

You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor, (Lev. 19:18)
and hate your enemy,
(Matt. 5:43 HRV)

The additional phrase “and hate your enemies” was drawn from a false Essene interpretation.  The Damascus Document interprets Lev. 19:18 as follows:

As for the passage that says,
“Take no vengeance and bear no grudge
against your kinfolk” (Lev. 19:18)
any covenant member who brings against his fellow
an accusation not sworn to before witnesses
or who makes an accusation in the heat of anger
or who tells it to his elders to bring his fellow into repute,
the same is a vengence-taker and a grudge-bearer….
(Damascus Document 9, 2)

Note that this Qumran interpretation of Lev. 19:18 would limit “neighbor” in Lev. 19:18 to “any covenant member” i.e. a member of the Yachad (Essene community). In fact the Essenes taught:

…bear unremitting hatred towards all men of ill repute…
to leave it to them to pursue wealth and mercenary gain…
truckling to a depot.
(Manual of Discipline 9, 21-26)

But Yeshua makes a fence around “love your neighbor” saying:

44 But I tell you, Love your enemies. Do good to them that hate you, and pray for them
which persecute you and despitefully use you: b
45 In order that you may become the sons of your Father which is in heaven, who makes
His sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and sends rain on the righteous and on the
wicked.
46 For if you love only them which love you, what reward have you: do not even the
transgressors do this?
47 And if you ask after the shalom of your brothers only, what do you exceed: do not
even the Goyim do this?
48 You therefore be wholehearted, like your Father which is in heaven, who is
wholehearted.
(Matt. 5:44-48 HRV)

Yeshua make a fence, telling us not just to love our neighbor, but to love everyone, even those not already in the Torah observant community.  This is like the words of Hillel:

Be disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace,
loving people and drawing them near to the Torah.
(m.Avot 1:12)

Conclusion

Yeshua followed the precept of building a fence around the Torah, to protect the Torah.  In Matthew Chapter 5 Yeshua cites one Torah command after another, and builds a fence around each, designed to keep us far away from actually violating these commandments. 

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.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

They have Pierced My Hands and My Feet

They have Pierced My Hands and My Feet
by
James Scott Trimm

Psalm 22 is an amazingly prophetic Psalm which describes the crucifixion of Yeshua in great detail.

In Matt. 27:46 = Mk. 15:34 Yeshua recites Ps. 22:2(1) from the gallows. Matt. 27:39 alludes to Ps. 22:8(7) about on lookers shaking their heads at him. In Matt. 27:43 the people use the same phase as those in Ps. 22:9(8) (see also Luke 23:35) Luke 23:34 and John 19:24 (as well as the Hebrew text of Matt. 27:35) allude to Ps. 22:19(18) about the casting of lots to divide his clothes, and Hebrews 2:12 also quotes Ps. 22:23(22) as a reference to Yeshua as the Messiah.

It is not just the so-called NT that understand Psalm 22 as propheticly speaking of Messiah, the concept is also to be found in Midrash Pesikta Rabbati which applies verses from Psalm 22 to the Messiah ben Yosef, the Suffering Messiah also known as “Ephraim”:

During the seven-year period preceding the coming of the son of David, iron beams will be brought low and loaded upon his neck until the Messiah’s body is bent low. Then he will cry and weep, and his voice will rise to the very height of heaven, and he will say to God: Master of the universe, how much can my strength endure? How much can my spirit endure? How much my breath before it ceases? How much can my limbs suffer? Am I not flesh and blood?
It was because of the ordeal of the son of David that David wept, saying My strength is dried up like a potsherd (Ps. 22:16). During the ordeal of the son of David, the Holy One, blessed be He, will say to him: Ephraim, My true Messiah, long ago, ever since the six days of creation, thou didst take this ordeal upon thyself. At this moment, thy pain is like my pain . . .
At these words, the Messiah will reply: Now I am reconciled. The servant is content to be like his Master.
(Pesikta Rabbati, Piska 36.2, translated by William G. Braude, Yale University Press, pg. 680-681)

It is taught, moreover, that in the month of Nisan the Patriarchs will arise and say to the Messiah: Ephraim, our true Messiah, even though we are thy forbears, thou art greater that we because thou didst suffer for the iniquities of our children, and terrible ordeals befell thee . . . for the sake of Israel thou didst become a laughingstock and a derision among the nations of the earth; and didst sit in darkness, in thick darkness, and thine eyes saw no light, and thy skin cleaved to thy bones, and thy body was as dry as a piece of wood; and thine eyes grew dim from fasting, and thy strength was dried up like a potsherd – all these afflictions on account of the iniquities of our children . . .
(Pesikta Rabbati 37.1, translated by William G. Braude, Yale University Press, pg. 685-686)

Ephraim is a darling son to Me . . . My heart yearneth for him, in mercy I will have mercy upon him, saith the Lord (Jer. 31:20). Why does the verse speak twice of mercy: In mercy I will have mercy upon him? One mercy refers to the time when he will be shut up in prison, a time when the nations of the world will gnash their teeth at him every day, wink their eyes at one another in derision of him, nod their heads at him in contempt, open wide their lips to guffaw, as is said All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head (Ps. 22:8); My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my throat; and thou layest me in the dust of death (Ps. 22:16). Moreover, they will roar over him like lions, as is said They open wide their mouth against me, as a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is become like wax; it is melted in mine inmost parts (Ps. 22:14-15).
(Pesikta Rabbati 37.1, translated by William G. Braude, Yale University Press, pg. 686-687)

Perhaps the most amazingly prophetic verse of Psalm 22 is:

For dogs have encompassed me;
a company of evildoers have enclosed me:
they have pierced my hands and my feet.
(Ps. 22:17 (16))

In his series Let’s Get Biblical” Tovia Singer has made the claim that Christians changed Ps. 22:16 (17) to read “they have pierced” rather than “like a lion”.

Now let us seek the TRUTH on this matter:

In the Hebrew the difference between these two readings is only one letter.

KARU ( בארו) “They have pierced”
(כאר means “pierced” and the ו means “they”)

KARI (כארי) “Like a lion”
(כ means “like” and ארי means “lion”)

The difference between these two words is between a ו and a י. The misreading of a ו for a י or a י for a ו is a frequent scribal error in Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts. A ו is simply a י with a long tail. This scribal error is clearly not an intentional change but a common scribal error.

Now let us determine which was the original reading.

Now if we look up this passage in the BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia). Here we find a footnote that reads:

“pc Mss Edd כארו  ,

2Mss Edd כרו cf G(S)…”

To transalate this note into lay terms it says:

“A few manuscripts read KARU (כארו) and two manuscripts read KARU (ברו)and the Greek Septuagint has [pierced]”

In other words while MOST Masoretic Text manuscripts read KARI (“like a lion”) SEVERAL read “they have pierced” (two possible spellings) as does the Greek Septuagint.

The Greek Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Tanak that was completed by about 200 to 160 BCE.

The Peshitta Aramaic Tanak also has “they have pierced” in this passage. According to the Encyclopedia Judaica article on “Bible” The Peshitta Aramaic was produced by Jews for Assyrian and Syrian converts to Judaism in the first century BCE.

Now lets look at the oldest extant Hebrew copy of this Psalm which was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. If we look in THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS BIBLE under Psalm 22 on pages 518-519 we read:

“They have pierced my hands and my feet.”

We are directed to footnote 41 which says:

“5/6HevPs MT(mss) LXX. Like a lion are MT.”

In layman’s terms this note means:

In the Dead Sea Scroll manuscript designated “5/6HevPs”, some
Masoretic Text manuscripts and the Septuagint the reading is “they
have pierced” while most Masoretic Text manuscripts read “like a
lion are”.

A header above this section of Psalm 22 reads:

“Psalm 22 is a favorite among Christians since it is often linked in
the New Testament with the suffering and death of Jesus. A well-
known and controversial reading is found in verse 16, where the
Masoretic Text reads “Like a lion are my hands and feet,” whereas
the Septuagint has “They have pierced my hands and feet.” Among the
scrolls the reading in question is found only in the Psalms scroll
found at Nahal Hever (abreviated 5/6HevPs), which reads “They have
pierced my hands and my feet”!”

Moreover the grammar does not work for “like a lion” since the phrase would lake a verb. Many insert additional words to MAKE the text read “Like a lion [they are at] my hands and my feet”. The understood verb of being does not work here because “Like a lion are my hand and my feet” makes about as much sense as “Like a pizza are my hands and my feet”.

OK lets review the facts:

1. Only the Masoretic Text (which originated in the 9th Century CE)
has “like a lion” and even then some copies have “they have pierced”.

2. ALL other versions INCLUDING the Greek Septuagent and Aramaic
Peshitta Tanak read “they have pierced”.

3. The error itself is an accidental scribal error and NOT an
intentional change.

4. By far the OLDEST Hebrew copy of the Psalm from the Dead Sea
Scrolls reads “they have pierced”

5. The reading “like a lion” does not fit the grammar.

6. Several copies and versions from BEFORE the life of Yeshua
have “they have pierced” and NO copy or version prior to the 9th
century CE has “like a lion.”

Tovia Singer’s claims, once again, are without merit. The reading “they have pierced” existed BEFORE Christianity existed, the scribal error in question was clearly NOT intentional and the textual evidence points STRONGLY to “they have pierced” as the original reading.

The truth is that Psalm 22 is a prophecy of the suffering of Messiah and verse 17(16) speaks specifically of the crucifixion of Messiah, having his hands and his feet pierced, pointing clearly to Yeshua as having fulfilled this amazingly clear prophecy.

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.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

What Were the Urim and Thummim?

What Were the Urim and Thummim?
By
James Scott Trimm


In the Tanak we read of the mysterious objects known in Scripture simply as “the Urim and Thummim”

And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment, the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be upon Aharon’s heart when he goes in before YHWH. And Aharon shall bear the judgment of the children of Yisra’el upon his heart before YHWH continually.
(Ex. 28:30 HRV)

And he placed the breastplate upon him; and in the breastplate he put the Urim and the Thummim.
(Lev. 8:8 HRV)

And he shall stand before El’azar the cohen, who shall inquire for him by the
judgment of the Urim before YHWH. At his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in: both he, and all the children of Yisra’el with him, even all the assembly.
(Num. 27:21 HRV)

8 And of Levi he said, Your Thummim and Your Urim be with Your Set-Apart-One, whom You did prove at Massah; with whom You did strive at the waters of M’rivah:
9 Who said of his father and of his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he
acknowledge his brothers, nor knew he his own children: for they have observed Your word, and keep Your covenant.
10 They shall teach Ya’akov Your ordinances, and Yisra’el Your Torah; they shall put incense before You, and whole burnt-offering upon Your altar.
11 Bless YHWH, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise up against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.
(Deut. 33:8 HRV)

And when Sha’ul inquired of YHWH, YHWH answered him not: neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
(1Sam. 28:6 HRV)

62 These sought their register–that is, the genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they deemed polluted, and put from the priesthood.
63 And the Tirshata said unto them, That they should not eat of the Most-Set-Apart things, till there stood up a cohen, with Urim and with Thummim.
(Ezra 2:62-63 HRV)

64 These sought their register, that is, the genealogy: but it was not found. Therefore were they deemed polluted, and put from the priesthood.
65 And the Tirshata said unto them, That they should not eat of the Most-Set-Apart things, till there stood up a cohen, with Urim and Thummim.
(Nehemiah 7:64-65 HRV)

Scripture does not tell us exactly what the Urim and Thummim were or how they worked.

The Urim and Thummim were instruments the High Priest used to consult the will of Elohim (Ex. 28:30; Lev. 8:8; Num. 27:21; Deut. 33:8; 1Sam. 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Neh. 7:65). The word “Urim” means “lights” while the word “Thummim” (Tummim) means “perfections”.)

The Greek version of the Apocryphal book 1Esdras has “Doctrine/Manifestation and Truth” (1Esdras 5:40) in the place where the parallels in Ezra and Nehemiah have “Urim and Thumim” (Ezra 2:63; Neh. 7:65). (A footnote in the original 1611 text of the KJV indicates that the now lost, original Hebrew of 1Esdras had “Urim and Thumim” in this passage as well.)

The Targum Jonathan to the Torah explains the Urim and the Tummim this way:

And you shall put into the breastplate the Urim,
which illuminate their words and make manifest
the hidden things of the House of Israel,
and the Tumim [sic] which perfect their deeds.
(Targum Psuedo-Jonathan on Exod. 28:30)

The Babylonian Talmud says:

Why are they called “Urim and Thummim”
“Urim” because they made their words enlightening.
“Thummim” because they fulfill their words.”
(b.Yoma 73b)

The first century Jew Philo of Alexandria ties the Urim and Thummim to language saying:

(119) “And you shall put manifestation and truth (the Urim and the Thummim), in the oracle of judgment, and it shall be on the breast of Aaron when he comes into the holy place before the Lord” (Ex. 28:30). Now by the oracle is here meant the organs of speech which exist in us, which is in fact the power of language. Now language is either inconsiderate, and such as will not stand examination, or else it is judicious and well approved, and it brings us to form a notion of discreet speech. For Moses here speaks not of a random spurious oracle, but of the oracle of the judgment, which is equivalent to saying, a well-judged and carefully examined oracle; (120) and of this well approved kind of language he says that there are two supreme virtues, namely, distinctness and truth, and he says well. For it is language which has in the first place enabled one man to make affairs plain and evident to his neighbour, when without it we should not be able to give any intimation of the impression produced on our soul by outward circumstances, nor to show of what kind they are.

XVI. On which account we have been compelled to have recourse to such signs as are given by the voices, that is nouns and verbs, which ought by all means to be universally known, in order that our neighbours might clearly and evidently comprehend our meaning; and, in the next place, to utter them at all times with truth. (121) For of what advantage would it be to make our assertions clear and distinct, but nevertheless false? For it follows inevitably that if this were allowed the hearer would be deceived, and would reap the greatest possible injury with ignorance and delusion. For what would be the advantage of my speaking to a boy distinctly and clearly, and telling him, when I show him the letter A, that it is G, or that the letter E is O? Or what would be the good of a musician pointing out to a pupil whom comes to him to learn the rudiments of his art that the harmonic scale was the chromatic; or the chromatic, the diatonic; or that the highest string was the middle one; or that conjoined sounds were separated; or that the highest tone in the tetrachord scale was a supernumerary note? (122) No doubt, a man who said this might speak clearly and distinctly, but he would not be speaking truly, but by such assertions he would be implanting wickedness in language. But when he joins both distinctness and truth, then he makes his language profitable to him who is seeking information, employing both its virtues, which in fact are nearly the only ones of which language is capable.
(Philo; Allegoricall Interpretations III, 119-122)

The Zohar says:

The term “Urim” signifies the luminous speculum, which consisted of the engravur of the divine Name written in the forty two letters by which the world was created, whereas the Thummim consisted of the nonluminous speculum, composed of the divine Name manifest in twenty two letters. …we read, “In the beginning Elohim created the
(ET) heaven and the (ET) earth” (Gen. 1:1), where the particle ET (spelled Alef-Tav) is a summary of the twenty-two
letters by which the land is nourished.
(Zohar 2:234b)

Elsewhere the Zohar tells us that the Urim and Thummim were connected to the “permutations” or “combinations” of letters with which Elohim created the world, and by which Bezalel and Moses created the Tabernacle and its furnishings:

Observe that the world has been made and established by an engraving of forty-two letters, all of which are the adornment of the Divine Name. These letters combined and soared aloft and dived downwards, forming themselves into crowns in the four directions of the world, so that it might endure. They then went forth and created the upper world and the lower, the world of unification and the world of division. … These forty-two letters thus constitute the supernal mystical principle; by them were created the upper and the lower worlds, and they indeed constitute the basis and recondite significance of all the worlds. Thus is explained the verse, “The secret of the Lord is to them that fear him; and his covenant to make them know it”, the first part alluding to the undisclosed engraven letters, whereas the latter speaks of the revealed. Now, it is written: “And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim” (Ex. 28:30). The term “Urim” (lit. Iight, illumination) signifies the luminous speculum, which consisted of the engravure of the Divine Name composed of forty-two letters by which the world was created; whereas the Thummim consisted of the non-luminous speculum made of the Divine Name as manifested in the twenty-two letters. The combination of the two is thus called Urim and Thummim. … Thus we read, “In the beginning God created the (eth) heaven and the (eth) earth” (Gen. I, 1), where the particle eth (consisting of Aleph and Tau) is a summary of the twenty-two letters by which the earth is nourished. Now, the same letters were the instruments used in the building of the Tabernacle. This work was carried out by Bezalel for the reason that, as his very name (Bezel-EI = “in the shadow of El”) implies, he had a knowledge of the various permutations of the letters, by the power of which heaven and earth were created. Without such knowledge Bezalel could not have accomplished the work of the Tabernacle; for, inasmuch as the celestial Tabernacle was made in all its parts by the mystical power of those letters, the lower Tabernacle could only be prepared by the power of the same letters. Bezalel was skilled in the various permutations of the Divine Name, and for each several part he employed the appropriate permutation of the letters. But when it came to the rearing up of the Tabernacle it was beyond his power, for the reason that the disposition of those letter-groups was entrusted to Moses alone, and hence it was by Moses that the Tabernacle was erected. So Scripture says: “And Moses reared up… and he laid… and put in…” (Ex. 40:18) Moses, but not Bezalel.’
(Zohar 2:234a-235a)
For more about these permutations of letters click here

Now there is an amazing yet mysterious fragmentary document found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (1Q29; 4Q376) which seems to give a detailed description of the manner in which the Urim and Thummim actually functioned. Unfortunately only tantalizing fragments survive, but these fragments speak of “tongues of fire” coming from the stones, and say “the Priest shall interpret”.

The Urim and the Thummim were therefore anciently connected with the gifts of tongues and interpretations of tongues.  (For more inf on the Gift of Tongues see my recent blog on the topic by clicking HERE)

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.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues

Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues
By James Scott Trimm

The Ba`al Shem Tov said:
“When I weld my spirit to Elohim,
I let my mouth say what it will,
for then all my words are bound
to their root in Heaven”


Man was created in the image of Elohim. One of the ways that man was created in the image of Elohim was in being “male and female” (Gen. 1:26-27). But there is also another way in which man was created in the image of Elohim.

In Gen. 9:6 we are told that killing a man is a sin because man is “in the image of Elohim”. The preceding verses (9:2-5) tell us that man may kill and eat animals. Since many animals are “male and female” there must be more to man being “in the image of Elohim” than his being “male and female”. What is it that distinguishes man from animals?

The element about man that makes man “in the image of Elohim” while animals are not “in the image of Elohim” is the gift of speech.

The first two verses of Book of Jasher read:

1:1 And Elohim said, let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness,
and Elohim created man in his own image.
1:2 And YHWH Elohim formed man from the ground,
and he blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and man became a living soul, endowed with speech.
(Jasher 1:1-2)

Note that Jasher 1:1 parallels Gen. 1:26-27 and Jasher 2:7 parallels Gen. 2:7 but adds the phrase “endowed with speech”.

Now Targum Jonathan to Genesis 1:26 has “And the Word of YHWH said, let us make man in Our image.” And Targum Onkelos to Gen. 2:7 adds a phrase at the end “and man became a spirit with speech”.

Thus it would appear that man’s gift of speech is the difference between man and animals so that man is “in the image of Elohim” while animals are not. It should also be noted that man was GIFTED with speech, Adam did not have to learn speech.

Isaiah prophesied about the manifestation of tongues:

Paul quoted directly from this scripture while teaching the assembly at Corinth about the gift of tongues. (1 Cor 14:21-22).

The gift of the manifestation of tongues is well known in the Rabbinic literature. The Talmud and midrashim both speak of this gift.

The “tongues of fire” event of Acts chapter two was a repetition of an event that took place at the first Shavuot (Shavuot is the aniversary of the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai). According to the Midrashim when the Torah was given at Mount Sinai the Torah message was divided up into the seventy languages of the Gentiles:

“Elohim’s voice, as it was uttered, split into seventy voices,
into seventy tongues [leshonot], so that all the nations should understand.”
(Midrash from Exodus Rabbah 5:9)

The Midrash also describes this event in even more detail:

In the occasion of Matan Torah [the giving of the Torah], the Bnai Yisrael (Children of Israel) not only heard Hashem’s Voice but actually saw the sound waves as they emerged from Hashem’s mouth. They visualized them as a fiery substance. Each commandment that left Hashem’s mouth traveled around the entire Camp and then to each Jew individually, asking him, “Do you accept upon yourself this Commandment with all the halochot [Jewish law] pertaining to it?”
Every Jew answered “Yes” after each commandment. Finally, the fiery substance which they saw engraved itself on the luchot [tablets].
(The Midrash Says; Rabbi Moshe Weissman. Benei Yakov Publications (1980) p. 182)

Thus the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh and the manifestation of tongues in Acts chapter 2 was a repetition of the gift of Torah and the manifestation of tongues that took place then.

Moreover the Talmud tells us that Yosef (Joseph) the patriarch was also given the gift of “kinds of tongues”:

Rabbi Hiyya ben Abba said in the name of Rabbi Johanan: “At the moment when Pharaoh said to Joseph, And without thee shall no man lift up his hand, Pharaoh’s astrologers exclaimed: ‘Wilt thou set in power over us a slave whom his master bought for twenty pieces of silver!’ He replied to them, ‘discern in him royal characteristics.’ They said to him, ‘in that case he must be acquainted with the seventy languages.’ Angel Gabriel came and taught [Joseph] the seventy languages, but he could not learn them. Thereupon [Gabriel] added to his name a letter from the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He, and he knew [the languages]…”
(b.Sotah 36b)

The same story appears in the Book of Jasher:

And the angel roused him from his sleep, and Joseph rose up and stood upon his legs, and behold the angel of the Lord was standing opposite to him; and the angel of the Lord spoke with Joseph, and he taught him all the languages of man in that night, and he called his name Jehoseph.
(Jasher 49:14)

The name Yosef is sometines spelled in the Tanak Yahusef. According to the Talmud the extra letter “H” (hey) from the name of YHWH was added to his name thus giving him the knowledge of the seventy languages which he had been unable to learn. It is significant that in Jewish tradition the first HEY in the name of YHWH represents the Ruach HaKodesh. Thus Yosef received the Ruach HaKodesh and the gift of tongues.


TZERUF: Permutations of Letters

Each of the twenty-two Hebrew letters represents one of twenty-two paths which connect the Sefirot of the Tree of Life. Each of these twenty-two letters represents a relationship between two of the Sefirot and a combination of two of the Sefirot. These twenty-two letters are part of the image of Elohim and they took part in the creation. Messiah said that he is the ALEF and the TAV. The ALEF and the TAV are the first and last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet and are intended as an abbreviation to indicate that Messiah the incarnate “Word” embodied the twenty-two letters. When Elohim created the heavens and the earth he did so through words. Elohim “said” things and they were so. Elohim created the universe
by his Word.

Each Hebrew word is more than a word, it is a matrix of dynamic relationships within the Godhead. Hebrew letters are also the building blocks of creation. In the upper worlds all things exist in their prime-material state as the strings of Hebrew letters and words which were the building blocks of creation. As we read in the Sefer Yetzirah:

Twenty-two Foundation letters: He engraved them,
He carved them, He permuted (TZIRUF) them,
He weighed them, He transformed them,
And with them, He depicted all that was formed
and all that would be formed.
(Sefer Yetzirah 2:2)

This brings us to what is called in Rabbinic Judaism “Khokhmat HaTziruf” (Wisdom of Permutation) or simply “Tziruf” (permutation). This practice utilizes the letters of the alphabet in various permutations. By immersing oneself in various permutations of letters and names one empties ones mind of the carnal thoughts that might interfere in focusing on the things of Elohim. Thus ones nefesh (soul), neshoma and ruach are freed from their natural constraints and opened to the influx of the Ruach HaKodesh. Through this process the believer is communing directly with the upper worlds and accessing the permutations of letters which are the creative substance of the universe, thus connecting with the worlds of formation and creation and the “Word”, the ALEF and TAV through which all was created.

This practice is described in the Talmud:

Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: Bezalel knew how
to combine (TZIRUF) the letters by which the heavens
and earth were created. It is written here, And He hath filled
him with the spirit of God, in wisdom and in understanding,
and in knowledge (Ex. 35:31), and it is written elsewhere,
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding
He established the heavens (Prov. 3:19), and it is also written,
By His knowledge the depths were broken up (Prov. 3:20).
(b.Ber. 55a)

And in the Zohar:

R. Eleazar began here with the verse, “Ask thee
a sign [Hebrew: OT “sign” or “letter”] of the Lord thy God,
ask it either in the depth or in the height above” (Isa. 7:11).
He said: ‘We have compared the former with the latter
generations, and found that the former were conversant with
a higher wisdom by which they knew how to combine (TZIRUF)
the letters that were given to Moses on Mount Sinai,
and even the sinners of Israel knew a deep wisdom
contained in the letters and the difference
between higher and lower letters,
and how to do things with them in this world.
For every letter that was transmitted to Moses used to
ascend as a crown upon the heads of the holy celestial Hayyoth,
who with them flitted through the ether which is
under the refined and unknowable supernal ether. There
were large letters and small letters; the large letters came
from the most high and hidden Temple (hekhal) and the
smaller letters from another lower Temple; and both kinds
were transmitted to Moses on Sinai, along with their
hidden combinations.
(Zohar 3:2a)

Tzeruf is comparable to “machine language” in computer programming.

The Hebrew word for “tongue” (LASHON) and the Hebrew word TZIRUF (permutation) have the same gematria (numerical value) (386) which is also the gematria for the word YESHUA.

It is the practice of Tziruf which Paul speaks of when he writes:

For he who speaks in a tongue
does not speak to the sons of men but to Eloah,
for no man understands a thing that he speaks;
yet in the spirit he speaks a mystery.
(1Cor. 14:2)

If I were to pray in a tongue, my spirit prays,
but my understanding is without fruit.
(1Cor. 14:14)

When man was created he was given the gift of speech that he might manifest the image of Elohim. Through the manifestation of the gift of tongues man is able to manifest the image of Elohim on an even deeper level.

The Ba`al Shem Tov said:
“When I weld my spirit to Elohim,
I let my mouth say what it will,
for then all my words are bound
to their root in Heaven”

We must raise at least $1,000 by the end of the day today (1/21/2020) or our account will go into the negative and bills will bounce!

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.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

The Tithe of YHWH

The Tithe of YHWH
By James Scott Trimm

So you are excited about Torah. So you are ready to say “we will hear and do”. Not so fast… there is a disclosure to be made first.

In Rabbinic Judaism Gentiles seeking conversion are discouraged. Gentiles seeking conversion are turned away three times. Then after being turned away three times it is required to make a full disclosure of the financial obligations of the Covenant. It is said that few Gentiles would willingly enter the Covenant once they know the cost.

To begin with we must understand that EVERYTHING belongs to YHWH (Ex. 9:29; 2Kn. 19:15; Is. 66:1-2; Jer. 27:5; Job 12:9-10; Ps. 89:11; 95:3-5; Dan. 4:7; Neh. 9:16; 1Chron. 29:13-14). He owns this universe, all of its resources, all of its energy, and he owns YOU. YHWH is entitled to ask for 100%. In His CHESED, in His undue favor, He allows us to keep 90%.

Now one might ask: Where in the Mosaic Torah is the commandment “Thou shalt tithe?”. The answer is, nowhere. When Moshe went up on Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, he did NOT receive a commandment to tithe. Nowhere in the Mosaic Torah is there the Tithe instituted. Instead the very first mention of the tithe in the Mosaic Covenant is not until the end of Leviticus where we read:

30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is YHWH’s: it is Set-Apart unto YHWH.
31 And if a man will redeem aught of his tithe, he shall add unto it, the fifth part thereof.
32 And all the tithe of the herd, or the flock, whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be Set-Apart unto YHWH.
33 He shall not inquire whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it. And if he change it at all, then both it, and that for which it is changed, shall be Set-Apart; it shall not be redeemed.
34 These are the commandments, which YHWH commanded Moshe for the children of Yisra’el in mount Sinai.
(Lev. 27:30-34)

Notice that this first mention of the “tithe” does not initiate the tithe, it simply recognizes the fact of the tithe saying “it is Set-Apart unto YHWH”. Notice also this first passage says nothing about Levites or Priests. It does not say that the tithe belongs to the Levites, but rather to YHWH.

When next we read on the Tithe in the Mosaic Torah is in the book of Numbers:

And unto the children of Levi, behold,
I have given all the tithe in Yirae’el for an inheritance,
in return for their service which they serve,
even the service of the tent of meeting.
(Num. 18:21)

Notice that these are two different precepts of Torah. Lev. 27:30 recognizes that the Tithe belongs to YHWH, while a separate commandment in Num. 18:21 tells us that the Levites were to be paid out of the tithe, for their service in the Tabernacle (later Temple). The tithe was not directly paid to the Levites, it was paid to YHWH and from that “fund” the Levites were paid. This was so that the Levites could devote themselves to full time Torah Study (2Chron. 31:4-5) so that they could in turn teach Torah to the people of Israel (Deut. 14:22-23; Ezek. 44:23-24).

Nowhere are we told to pay the Tithe to the Levitical priesthood. We are told only that the Tithe is paid to YHWH and YHWH gave the Levites payment from the Tithe “for their service.”

THE SECOND AND THIRD TITHES

Now before moving on from the Mosaic Torah we should also cover the second and third tithes. Some lump these together as “the second tithe” because they are never paid on the same year.

There are actually two tithes in the Mosaic Covenant which were tied to the seven year cycle of the Land. The first tithe (Masserot) is due every year.

The second tithe (Maaser Sheni) was converted to money and used to make a personal pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The “pilgrim” could spend this money however he liked on the pilgrimage but was expected to treat the Levites to a feast as well upon his arrival and any surplus was given to the Levites (Deut. 14:22-27). Every third year however the tither used this second tithe (some all this third year tithe as a “third tithe”) to feed the needy and local Levites (Deut. 14:28-29). Thus the Mosaic tithing schedule goes like this:

Year

1. First Tithe: Levites; Second Tithe: Pilgrimage and Levites

2. First Tithe: Levites; Second Tithe: Pilgrimage and Levites

3. First Tithe: Levites; Third Tithe: Feeds the needy and Levites

4. First Tithe: Levites; Second Tithe: Pilgrimage and Levites

5. First Tithe: Levites; Second Tithe: Pilgrimage and Levites

6. First Tithe: Levites; Third Tithe: Feeds the needy and Levites

7. The Sabbath of the land, only the First Tithe was paid on any volunteer crop and on other non-planted produce.

(The first tithe could only be converted into money by paying a 20% penalty (Lev. 27:31) however the second tithe was generally converted to money as a matter of course (Deut. 14:25).)

The three Tithes are laid out in the book of Tobit as follows:

6 And I went to Yerushulayim at the appointed times as it is written in the Torah of YHWH concerning Yisrael in firstfruits and tithes and firstlings.
7 To the priests, sons of Aharon and new wine and fat and labors and pomegranates and from all fruits of the ground to the sons of Levi, ministers before, the presence of YHWH in Yerushalayim, and the second tithe. (8) And the third tithe to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow. And I would go in every year with all these, to Yerushalayim by the commandments of YHWH and according to that duty upon me, Devorah mother of my Father.
(Tovi (Tobit) 1:6-7 HRV – From our ongoing work )

ABRAHAM TITHED

Now as we have shown, the Tithe was not initiated in the Mosaic Torah. Instead the first mention of the Tithe in the Mosaic Covenant only acknowledges that the Tithe is YHWH’s. The principle of tithing did not originate in the Mosaic Covenant. Avraham tithed in Genesis 14 long before the Mosaic Covenant (or even the Abrahamic Covenent) was entered into.

Lets examine Gen. 14 and see what the Torah tells us about this pre-Mosaic tithe.

18 And MalkiTzadek, king of Shalem, brought forth bread and wine, and he was a cohen of El Elyon.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Avram, of El Elyon–Maker of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be El Elyon, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him a tenth (tithe) of all.
(Gen. 14:18-20 HRV)

Who was this Melchizedek and why did Abraham pay the tithe to him? The answer may be found in the Book of Jasher also known as Midrash Sefer HaYashar. The Book of Jasher contains this same account but with some important additional information:

And Adonizedek king of Jerusalem, the same was Shem,
went out with his men to meet Abram and his people,
with bread and wine, and they remained together
in the valley of Melech.
And Adonizedek blessed Abram, and Abram gave him
a tenth from all that he had brought from the spoil of
his enemies, for Adonizedek was a priest before God.
(Jasher 16:11-12)

Now according to the Book of Jasher Abraham tithed to Melchizadek (or Adonizadek) because he was a “priest”. How is it that Melchizadek is called a “priest”? Although Melchizadek was not a Levite (there were not yet any Levites) we do have a clue in Jasher as to why he is called a “priest”. Jasher reveals the identity of Melchizadek saying

“the same is Shem” (this identity of Melchizadek is also recorded in the Talmud in b.Ned. 32). Now this is very important because the Book of Jasher also records the fact that Shem had been Abraham’s Torah teacher:

And when Avram came out from the cave, he went to Noach and his son Shem, and he remained with them to learn the instruction of YHWH and his ways, and no man knew where Avram was, and Avram served Noach and Shem his son for a long time.
And Avram was in Noach’s house thirty-nine years,
and Abram knew YHWH from three years old, and he went in the ways of YHWH until the day of his death, as Noach and his son Shem had taught him;
(Jasher 9:5-6)

Thus Abraham paid the tithe to Shem because Shem had been his personal Torah teacher. (If you do the “Bible Math” you will find that Noach and Shem died AFTER Avraham was born, a point that surprises some people.)

Note that Abraham’s tithe in Gen. 14 was not being made on agricultural produce but on “all” (Gen. 14:20) and specifically in this case the “spoils of his enemies” (Jasher 16:12; also Hebrews 7:4). This dispels the theory taught by some, that the Tithe is only paid on agricultural produce.

Now some have taught that the tithe Melchizadek paid was not the same Tithe mentioned in the Mosaic Torah from which the Levites were paid. This is also not true, as Paul argues in the book of Hebrews:

4 Consider and see his greatness, which also Avraham our father, gave to him a tenth from the spoil.
5 And also the sons of L’vi collect for the priesthood, having received a commandment to collect the tithe from the people, according to the decree of the Torah. And this is of their brothers, although having come from the loins of Avraham.
6 Truly he who is not from their tribe, has received the tithe from Avraham, and blessed those, who are blessed, to him.
7 And behold, this no one disputes: that the lesser is blessed by the greater.
8 Behold here, sons of man which die, receive tithes: but sleep received he of whom it is said that He lives.
9 For so to say, that to he who was accustomed to take the tithe, he also tithes through Avraham.
10 For He was yet in the loins of the Father, when He met, he who was called Malki-Tzedek.
(Heb. 7:4-10 HRV)

The whole logic of Paul’s argument here is based in the fact that the tithe that Avram paid to Melchizadek was EXACTLY the same tithe that the Levites were paid from.

Another example of the pre-Mosaic tithe is the vow Jacob made to tithe saying to Elohim “and of all that you shall give me I will surely give the tenth onto you” (Gen. 28:22). Note that Jacob tithed on all that Elohim had given him and not simply on agricultural produce. In fact Jacob even tithed from his sons. In the Midrash Rabbab there is an important story related to Jacob’s tithe told by Rabbi Joshua of Sikaan in the name of his teacher Rabbi Levi:

A certain Curthean (Samaritan) attempted to trap Rabbi Mier
in a question concerning Jacob’s vow to HaShem to give a
“tithe of all.”

You Jews teach that Jacob gave a tenth of all to HaShem;
yet Jacob had twelve sons: Jacob also said, ‘Ephraim and Manasseh are mine.’ That makes fourteen sons of Jacob, yet Jacob gave only one son to HaShem and that was Levi,” spoke the Curthean, implying that Jacob the Jew had broken his vow to HaShem.
“How,” continued the Curthean, “can only one of fourteen sons
be reconciled as a tithe of fourteen sons?”
Rabbi Mier replied, “How many matriarchs of Jacob’s sons were there?”
“Four,” answered the Curthean,” Leah, Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah.”
‘True,” answered Rabbi Mier. “Then how many were sanctified by Pid-yon-ha Ben or the Redemption of the Firstborn?
“Four,” responded the Curthean.
“True,” responded Rabbi Mier. “And what is redeemed as holy
need not be sanctified again. Therefore, since there were four
firstborn sons sanctified by the redemption of the firstborn,
they need not be sanctified by the tithe of Jacob’s sons.
Hence, Levi, who was not the firstborn of Leah; was given
by Jacob of his nine remaining sons: Jacob gave more than
one ninth, he gave one tenth of his sons, more than fulfilling
his vow to “give a tenth of all.”
(Midrash Rabbab, 70:7-8, page 640)

YESHUA UPHELD THE TITHE

Yeshua also upheld the principle of Tithing:

Woe to you, scribes and P’rushim; hypocrites–who tithe mint, and rue, and cumin, and have neglected those things which are weightiest in the Torah: judgment, lovingkindness, and trust. Those things ought you to have done, neither to have rejected these.
(Matt. 23:23 HRV)

When Yeshua says “neither to have rejected these” he is speaking in part of tithing even on produce of garden herbs.

THE LABORER IS WORTHY OF HIS WAGE

But let us look to see what the Scriptures say about this very important matter. The prophet Malachi writes:

1 Behold, I send My messenger, and he shall clear the way before Me; and the Adon, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, and the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in, behold, he comes, says YHWH Tzva’ot.
2 But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap;
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver; and there shall be they that shall offer unto YHWH offerings in righteousness.
4 Then shall the offering of Y’hudah and Yerushalayim be pleasant unto YHWH, as in the days of old, and as in ancient years.
5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers; and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, says YHWH Tzva’ot.
6 For I YHWH change not; and you, O sons of Ya’akov, are not consumed.
7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, says YHWH Tzva’ot. But you say: ‘Wherein shall we return?’
8 Will a man rob Elohim? Yet you rob Me. But you say: ‘Wherein have we robbed You?’ In tithes and heave-offerings.
9 You are cursed with the curse, yet you rob Me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring you the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now herewith, says YHWH Tzva’ot, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency.
(Malchi 3:1-10)

Now it is very clear that this is speaking of the last days judgment “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness” (Mal. 3:5). In this context, YHWH calls the Body to return to keeping Torah, and the Body says “Wherein shall we return” (3:7) in other words “But YHWH, we HAVE been keeping Torah.” Then YHWH informs them to their surprise that they have failed to keep his Torah because they have failed to tithe, though they did not even realize that they were not tithing (3:8). The context here is clear, why would YHWH rebuke his last days people for not tithing, if there is not obligation to tithe in these last days?

We also get a reminder here. We do not GIVE the Tithe to YHWH, it was already His. He GIVES the 90% to us. When we do not tithe, we are not simply choosing not to give, we are actually stealing from YHWH!

Tithing is not restricted to the Mosaic covenant. Those who labor in the Word and teach the community, are entitled to be supported by the tithes and offerings of the community. In these last days YHWH says to his people “Return to my Torah”. The people say “But we are Torah observant.” YHWH responds, “Then why are you stealing from Me?”. The people say “what do you mean, stealing from You?” and YHWH says “You have been stealing My tithe”.

These are people in the last days who think they are Torah Observant because they have convinced themselves that they do not need to tithe. They are keeping the 612 commandments.

But to the contrary, they are oppressing the laborer in His Word, denying him his wage, when the laborer is worthy of his wage.

Now lets look at the phase “against those that oppress the hireling in his wages” (3:5).
What does this mean?

Yeshua said:

for nothing you have received,
for nothing you will give.
(Mt. 10:8)

Sadly for years this passage has been quoted out of context and misused by many to “prove” that those in the ministry should not receive community support for our efforts.

In fact the verse in question is, in context, saying exactly the opposite of what these people represent it as saying.

Actually, Yeshua in the next few verses following this statement instructs his talmidim to request and subsist on community support:

Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor lesser coin in
your belts. Pack not for the journey, either two coats, or sandals, or a staff, for the laborer is worthy of his food. And into whatever city or town you will enter, enquire who in it is honorable, and there abide until you go out from there.”
(Mt. 10:9-11)

Some light on this text may be acquired by examining a statement by Josephus concerning the first century Essene
sect of Judaism:

…and if any of their sect come from other places,
what they have lies open for them, just as if it were their own;
and they go into such as they never knew before,
as if they had been ever so long acquainted with them.
For which reason they carry nothing with them
when they travel into remote parts,
though still they take their weapons with them, for fear of thieves. Accordingly there is, in every city where they live,
one appointed particularly to take care of strangers,
and provide garments and other necessaries for them.
(Josephus; Wars 2:8:4)

Yeshua’s talmidim had for the most part, come from an Essene back ground. It would appear that they were therefore able to travel within Essene circles from town to town without having to carry additional supplies. Yeshua felt that his twelve were entitled to be supported by the community.

Yeshua drives the point home saying “the laborer is worthy of his food.” A saying which Paul later cites to prove that “those who labor in the word and its teaching” are worthy of “double honor” which in context seems to indicate that they have the right, like any other laborer, to expect to be paid for their work in the ministry. In fact he even quoted this statement by Yeshua (Mt. 10:10) to support the point:

Those elders who conduct themselves well
should be esteemed worthy of double honor,
especially those who labor in the word and
in teaching, For the Scripture says that
`you should not muzzle the ox, while threshing,’ (Deut. 25:4)
and `the laborer is worthy of his wage.” (Mt. 10:10)
(1Tim. 5:17-18)

Paul also expands on this thought in 1Cor. 9:6-14:

Also, I only, and Bar Nabba, have we not the power not to work?
Who is this who labors in the service (ministry) by the expanse of his nefesh?
Or who is he who plants a vineyard and from its fruit does not eat?
Or who is he who tends the flock and from the milk of his flock does not eat?
Do I say these [things] as a son of man?
Behold, the Torah also said these [things]. For it is written in the Torah of Moshe,
`You shall not muzzle the ox that threshes.’ (Deut. 25:4)
It is a concern to Eloah about oxen? But, it is known that because of us he
said [it] and because of us it was written, because it is a need

[that]

the plowman plow unto hope and he who threshes, unto the hope of the harvest. If we have sown spiritual [things] among you, is it a great

[thing]

if we reap [things] of the flesh from you? … those who labor

[in]

the Beit Kodesh [the Temple] are sustained from the Beit Kodesh and those who labor for the alter have a portion with the alter?
So also, our Adon commanded that those who are proclaiming his goodnews should live from his goodnews.”
(1Cor. 9:6-14)

Certainly the context of Yeshua’s statement “for nothing you have received, for nothing you will give.” (Mt. 10:8) was that of a society in which all things were held in common and each person’s needs were taken care of by that community (Mt. 10:9-11 and Acts 2:44 & 4:32) but we do not live in such a society, and so citing Mt. 10:8 to those in the ministry today, is akin to asking us to make bricks without straw.

To the contrary Paul quotes the verse shortly afterward (10:10) to reach a principle by which those who are proclaiming his goodnews should be supported for doing so, just as those who labor in the Temple and for the alter are supported for doing so. In other words, Paul draws a midrash from the fact that Levites and Priests received tithes and offerings to teach a principle that “those who labor in the word and teach” should be supported with tithes and offerings.

RABBINIC JUDAISM AND TITHING

Some have spread a false teaching that Rabbinic Judaism today does not teach tithing on one’s income (for whatever reason), and that the modern practice of tithing on one’s income is merely a Christian invention. Actually the Orthodox Jewish position is in favor of tithing on one’s earnings to this very day.

We read in the Midrash Sifre to Deuteronomy, and also in the Tosefta that “…tithing ones earnings” is “…considered an obligation imposed by the Mosaic Law” (t.Taan. 9a and Sifre Deut. xiv 22).

This is why Blu Greenburg writes:

“…to contribute one tenth, a tithe, to charities…
is a mitzvah [commandment], an act of gratitude,
and a good habit that one should be taught at an early age.”
(How To Run a Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg p. 280)

(Of course Rabbinic Jews tithe to charities today because the Temple no longer stands, and they do not have Paul’s halachah which teaches us that “those who labor in the word” are equally worthy to receive YHWH’s Tithe.

POURING OUT A BLESSING

“Bring you the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now herewith, says YHWH Tzva’ot, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency.”
(Mal. 3:10)

Nazarenes need to get serious. Nazarenes need to ask themselves if the cost of the covenant is more than they are willing to pay. Others have paid with their lives, just read 2nd and 4th Maccabees. They were tortured and killed..

Yeshua said:

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is comparable to a man that is a merchant, seeking
good pearls: Who, when he had found one precious pearl, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
(Matt. 13:45-46)

Is the cost of the covenant to high for you?

Nazarenes need to be as serious about tithing as about the Sabbath and eating kosher.

Bring you the whole tithe into the store-house,
that there may be food in YHWH’s house.
(Mal. 3:10).

In a generous spirit pay homage to YHWH,
Spare not freewill gifts.
With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,
and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
(Sira 35:8-9 HRV)