That Time “Rays” Came out from Yeshua’s Eyes!
James Scott Trimm
We read in the Book of Matthew:
12 And Yeshua went into the Temple of Elohim, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the Temple; and he healed them.
15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the Temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,
16 And said unto him, Hear you what these say? And Yeshua said unto them, Yes; have you never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise?
17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.
This is the event commonly known as the “Purification of the Temple”. The “moneychangers” would exchange unkosher coins (such as Roman coins) with graven images on them (remember Caesar was regarded as a “god”) for kosher coins for the Temple Tax. Also because of the burden of the journey to Jerusalem, people would convert shekles for darics for the journey, and back to shekles at the Temple (m.Shek. 2:1) This practice is mentioned in the Mishna:
On the fifteenth of the same month [Adar] they set up money changer’s tables in the provinces. On the twenty fifth [of Adar] they set them up in the Temple…
Yeshua quotes Jeremiah 7:11 in reference to the moneychangers identifying them as a “den of thieves”. This may be because they were not making fair exchanges, but it may also be because the Temple Tax was being exacted annually rather than once in a lifetime (see my Yeshua and the Temple Tax blog).
The obvious question arises, how was one man, Yeshua, able to accomplish this on his own? In his commentary to Matthew 21:12 the fourth Century “Church Father” Jerome writes (in Latin):
Igneum enim quiddam atque sidereum radiabat ex oculis eius et diuinitatis maiestas lucebat in facie.
or in English:
For a certain fiery and starry light radiated from his eyes and the majesty of the Godhead gleamed in his face.
(Jerome on Matthew 21:12)
But where did Jerome get this salacious information? The answer is to be found in a marginal note written on a manuscript of the 12th Century Aurora of Petrus Riga which reads (in Latin):
in libris euangeliorum quibus utuntur Nazareni legitur quod:
Radii prodierunt ex oculis Eius quibus territ fugabantur.
Or in English:
In the Gospel books which the Nazarenes use we read:
Rays went forth from his eyes by which they were afrightened and fled.
This refers to the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which was the original Jewish Gospel used by the Nazarenes, the original Jewish followers of Yeshua.
The following is the reconstructed Hebrew phrase:
קרניים יצאו מעיניו שעל ידם נמלטו באימה
While the English word “rays” may seem fantastic, it is a literal translation of the Latin “radii”. The literal Biblical Hebrew translation of this word would be קרניים which is the noun form of the verb קרן “to radiate” which appears in the Torah in a similar context:
29 And it came to pass, when Moshe came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moshe’s hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moshe knew not that the skin of his face was radiant while he talked with him.
30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face radiated; and they were afraid to come near him.
31 And Moshe called to them; and Aharon and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him: and Moshe talked with them.
32 And afterward all the children of Israel came near: and he gave them in commandment all that YHWH had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
33 And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.
34 But when Moses went in before YHWH to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moshe, that the skin of Moshe’s face radiated: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
[An interesting note is that the Latin Vulgate mistranslated this word “horns” (a related Hebrew word) which led Michael Angelo to sculpt Moses with “horns” and led to rumors that Jews had horns hidden under their kippah.]
Just as the children of Israel were afraid to come near Moshe because his face radiated, the moneychangers fled from Yeshua because his eyes “radiated” or “rays went forth from his eyes”. (Compare Matthew 17:2 = Luke 9:29 where Yeshua’s face also shines.)
Interestingly the Zohar says “there will never be a monumental event like this [referring to Exodus 35:29-35] until King Messiah appears!” (Zohar 3:132b)
This occasion demonstrated once again, that Yeshua was the prophet like Moshe that was prophesied to come (See my blog The Prophet Like Moses).
There is also a tradition found in the Book of Jasher as well as both 1st Enoch, that Enoch’s face may have likewise radiated:
And he [Enoch] did in this manner for many years, and he afterward concealed himself for six days, and appeared to his people one day in seven; and after that once in a month, and then once in a year, until all the kings, princes and sons of men sought for him, and desired again to see the face of Enoch, and to hear his word; but they could not, as all the sons of men were greatly afraid of Enoch, and they feared to approach him on account of the Godlike awe that was seated upon his countenance; therefore no man could look at him, fearing he might be punished and die.
Blessed be You and blessed be the name of YHWH forever and ever. And my face was changed; for I could no longer behold.
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