When Hillel’s Son Blessed Yeshua

When Hillel’s Son Blessed Yeshua
James Scott Trimm

In Luke 2:25-35 we read:

25 Now there was one man in Yerushalayim; his name was Shim’on. And this man was just and righteous, and waiting for the comfort of Yisrael, and Ruach HaKodesh was upon him.
26 And it had been said to him by the Ruach HaKodesh, that he would not see death until he would see the Messiah of YHWH.
27 This one came by the Spirit to the Temple, and when His parents brought the child Yeshua, to do for Him as is commanded in the Torah,
28 He, Shim’on, took Him up in his arms and blessed Eloah and said,
29 Now my Adon, dismiss your servant in shalom as you have said.
30 For behold, my eyes have seen your mercy,
31 That you have prepared before all nations:
32 A light for a revelation of the Goyim, and a glory to your people, Yisrael.
33 And His father and His mother, marveled at these that were spoken about Him.
34 And Shim’on blessed them: and said to Miriam His mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and the rising of many in Yisrael, and for a sign of contention.
35 And a spear shall pass through your nefesh, so that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed.
(Luke 2:25-35 HRV)

Who was this Shimon (Simon)? He appears to have been a figure of some authority and influence, to have been at the Temple in a position to inject himself into this Temple ritual. The prophecy that he would not see death until he saw the Messiah fits with this as well, as little is known about Shimon ben Hillel, and it i suspected that this is because he died shortly after becoming Nasi.

This Shimon (Simon) was almost certainly Shim’on the son of Hillel who would later succeed his father as Nasi of the Pharisaic Sanhedrin.  His son Gamliel would become the teacher of Paul (Acts 22:3) and would take a tolerant stance toward the Nazarene sect (Acts 5:34) possibly influenced by his father’s earlier blessing of Yeshua.  Luke stresses this important blessing of Yeshua by such an important figure.  Theophilus (Luke 1:3) was likely a witness not only to this blessing by Shim’on, but for Shim’on’s father Gamliel’s urging of tolerance in Acts 5:34.  We are told that he has  the Ruach HaKodesh was upon him – As a member of the Sanhedrin, Shim’on was supposed to have this quality (Num. 11:16-17).

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