Red Alert!

Please read below: This has been an especially difficult month! Please donate if you can! We must raise at least $130 by the end of the day to keep our account from going into the negative tonight!

As you know my wife has never fully recovered from her 53 day hospitalization in late 2018 when she went into septic shock. In addition to other medical problems, she now has two abdominal hernias from six abdominal surgeries since 2015. Due to a condition the surgeons call “hostile abdomen”, she is not a candidate for surgery. Hernias do not heal on their own, they get larger but not smaller. Eventually one of these hernias will get large enough to be life threatening, at which time she will be rushed into emergency surgery without very good odds on the table. In the meantime, she now lives every day in pain. Pain from the surgery and from the septic shock that has never been resolved, and more importantly pain from the two hernias which she cannot have repaired. I have been her caregiver since she left the hospital. She has Medicare and Medicare part D, however she is on several expensive medications. This month she hit what they call the “gap” or “donut hole” in her Medicare drug coverage, and her copay for her cost for her expensive medications just skyrocketed! Just one of her medications has gone up to about $200 for a one month supply, we are still suffering sticker shock when we try to refill one of her meds, so I don’t know her total monthly drug costs yet, but another is $350 for a three month supply… We are finding ourselves in a position of choosing whether to pay our basic bills and groceries, or pay for her medications. Any donation will help, and any donation is better than no donation.

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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

Emergency Alert!

Please read below: Bills are due and we don’t have it! Please donate if you can!

As you know my wife has never fully recovered from her 53 day hospitalization in late 2018 when she went into septic shock. In addition to other medical problems, she now has two abdominal hernias from six abdominal surgeries since 2015. Due to a condition the surgeons call “hostile abdomen”, she is not a candidate for surgery. Hernias do not heal on their own, they get larger but not smaller. Eventually one of these hernias will get large enough to be life threatening, at which time she will be rushed into emergency surgery without very good odds on the table. In the meantime, she now lives every day in pain. Pain from the surgery and from the septic shock that has never been resolved, and more importantly pain from the two hernias which she cannot have repaired. I have been her caregiver since she left the hospital. She has Medicare and Medicare part D, however she is on several expensive medications. This month she hit what they call the “gap” or “donut hole” in her Medicare drug coverage, and her copay for her cost for her expensive medications just skyrocketed! Just one of her medications has gone up to about $200 for a one month supply, we are still suffering sticker shock when we try to refill one of her meds, so I don’t know her total monthly drug costs yet, but another is $350 for a three month supply… We are finding ourselves in a position of choosing whether to pay our basic bills and groceries, or pay for her medications. Any donation will help, and any donation is better than no donation.

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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 Jewish Origin of the Septuagint

The Jewish Origin of the Septuagint
By
James Scott Trimm

The origin of the Septuagint is well known. Flavious Josephus records that Ptolemy Philadelphus (around 250 B.C.E.), entered into negotiations with the Jewish High Priest, to obtain a Greek translation of the Torah for the Library of Alexandria.  Ptolemy agreed to release many Jewish prisoners in exchange for the book. The Jewish authorities chose seventy-two translators, to produce a Greek translator of the Torah. (Josephus; Antiquities 12:2).

Although the Greek Septuagint (named after the Greek for “seventy”) was initially only a translation of the Torah, by no later than 150 B.C.E. the rest of the Tanak had been included as well, since at that time the grandson of Ben Sirach, in his prologue to his Greek translation of his grandfather’s “Wisdom of Ben Sirach”, briefly compares the Hebrew and Greek versions of “the law itself, the prophecies, and the rest of the books”.

The Greek Septuagint is actually very important because it is the earliest known translation of the Tanak into another language, and preserves a Greek translation of a Hebrew text of the Tanak, that existed in the third century C.E. (in the case of the Torah; the second century in the case of the Prophets and the Writings).  It was not composed by Christians.

While Singer generally accuses Christians of having created the Septuagint in order to alter the text and imbed altered verses to support their arguments into it, in fact exactly the opposite is true.

The Septuagint was the standard Tanak to the large Jewish Community that was thriving in Egypt well before the first Century.

The Tanak records that a large Jewish population took refuge in Egypt after the destruction of Judah in 597 BCE, and the subsequent assassination of the Jewish governor, Gedaliah. (2 Kings 25:22-24, Jeremiah 40:6-8) The Jewish population had fled to Moab, Ammon, Edom and in other countries but returned to Judah upon the appointment of Gedaliah as a Jewish governer. (Jeremiah 40:11-12) However, before long Gedaliah was assassinated, and many sought refuge in Egypt. (2 Kings 25:26, Jeremiah 43:5-7).

According to Josephus, when Alexander was dead and his government had been divided among his generals, Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, by treachery seized Jerusalem, and took away many Jewish captives to Egypt and settled them there. (Josephus, Ant. 12:1:1)

His successor, Ptolemy Philadelphus, restored to freedom 120,000 Jews who had been kept in slavery at the instance of Aristeus, one of his most intimate friends. He also dedicated many gifts to the Jewish God, and showed great friendship to the Jews in his reign. (Josephus, Ant. 12:2:1-15).

The center of the Jewish community in Egypt was the great center of Alexandria, and this became one of the largest Jewish communities of the world during the Second Temple Era.  It is this community whom the letters prefacing 2nd Maccabees is addressed.

The Jewish community at Alexandria had a grand synagogue, which is described in the Talmud as one of the great glories of the Jewish people:

It has been taught, R. Judah stated, He who has not seen the double colonnade of Alexandria in Egypt has never seen the glory of Israel. It was said that it was like a huge basilica, one colonnade within the other, and it sometimes held twice the number of people that went forth from Egypt. There were in it seventy-one cathedras of gold, corresponding to the seventy-one members of the Great Sanhedrin, not one of them containing less than twenty-one talents of gold, and a wooden platform in the middle upon which the attendant of the Synagogue stood with a scarf in his hand. When the time came to answer Amen, he waved his scarf and all the congregation duly responded. They moreover did not occupy their seats promiscuously, but goldsmiths sat separately, silversmiths separately, blacksmiths separately, metalworkers separately and weavers separately, so that when a poor man entered the place he recognized the members of his craft and on applying to that quarter obtained a livelihood for himself and for the members of his family.
(b.Sukkot 51b)

Relations between the community in Alexandria and the community in Judea were very good.  The Talmud records that the sages of Judea once consulted with experts from Alexandria on the baking of showbread and on the making of incense for the Temple (b.Yoma 38a).

The Alexandrian Jewish Community was Hellenistic and used the Greek Septuagint as their primary text of the Scriptures.   These were not like the Hellenists of the Maccabean period who abandoned Torah for Paganism, but like Stephen (Acts 7) and the Hellenists in Acts 6. These Hellenists were Greek speaking Jews who remained Torah Observant (at least in there own understanding) while accepting Greek culture.  They were very much like American Jews today who embrace American culture, use English Scriptures as their primary texts and write commentaries in English, but retain their Jewish identity.

With the exception of a a few fragments from others, the writings of only one Alexandrian scholar have survived, those of Philo.  Philo was an Alexandrian Jew who was born nearly 20 years before Yeshua and died around 20 years after his death. Philo wrote commentary, primarily on the Torah, which was highly midrashic.  Philo interpreted the texts in an allegorical manner, finding in them philosophic symbolism.  Philo saw the commandments of the Torah as pregnant with deep symbolic truths, which he sought to express in his commentaries.  However Philo was very clear that the Torah still retains its literal meaning and he emphasized the importance of Torah observance.

Sadly, the grand Jewish community of Alexandria was completely annihilated by Trajan in the wake of the Jewish uprising in 116 CE.   But it is important to remember that in the Second Temple Era the Jewish Community of Alexandria was as important as the Jewish communities in Judea and in Babylon, and their tradition survives in the writings of Philo of Alexandria, their primary spokesman of the first century and the Septuagint was their standard Tanak.

At one time differences between the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint were taken to be the result of bad translation.  However since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls the new approach has been to recognize that the Septuagint often represents an alternate underlying Hebrew text that differed from the Masoretic Text.   Among the Dead Sea Scrolls are many biblical manuscripts dating back to a time prior to the first century. These manuscripts give us a sample of the wide variety of textual readings from the pre-Masoretic period. The Dead Sea Scroll biblical manuscripts vary widely, as to text-type. For example two copies of Isaiah found in cave one, agree very closely with the Masoretic Text, while a Hebrew copy of 1Samuel found in cave four has many important agreements with the Greek LXX (Septuagint), against the Masoretic Text.

The Septuagin was the Standard Jewish Greek text of the Tanak that came to be adopted by Christians, and it is Rabbinic Judaism that created its own Greek text in the second Cenury.  As we read in Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction, By Ellis R Brotzman:

“In time the Septuagint came to be adopted by the Christian churches.  Since it was often used in debates between Christians and Jews, it came to be viewed with suspicion by the latter.  This led, in the course of the second century A.D., to the production of three rival Greek versions that each bore a different relationship to the original Septuagint.”
(Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction, By Ellis R Brotzman; pp. 74-75)

So while the anti-missionaries accuse believers in Yeshua as Messiah of having altered the text and fabricated the Septuagint as a Greek text made to agree with their claims, the truth is much to the contrary.  It was in fact Rabbinic Jews who fabricated revised Greek versions intentionally revised to counter Septuagint based arguments being made by believers in Yeshua in their ongoing debates with them.

Please read below: Bills are due and we don’t have it! Please donate if you can!

As you know my wife has never fully recovered from her 53 day hospitalization in late 2018 when she went into septic shock. In addition to other medical problems, she now has two abdominal hernias from six abdominal surgeries since 2015. Due to a condition the surgeons call “hostile abdomen”, she is not a candidate for surgery. Hernias do not heal on their own, they get larger but not smaller. Eventually one of these hernias will get large enough to be life threatening, at which time she will be rushed into emergency surgery without very good odds on the table. In the meantime, she now lives every day in pain. Pain from the surgery and from the septic shock that has never been resolved, and more importantly pain from the two hernias which she cannot have repaired. I have been her caregiver since she left the hospital. She has Medicare and Medicare part D, however she is on several expensive medications. This month she hit what they call the “gap” or “donut hole” in her Medicare drug coverage, and her copay for her cost for her expensive medications just skyrocketed! Just one of her medications has gone up to about $200 for a one month supply, we are still suffering sticker shock when we try to refill one of her meds, so I don’t know her total monthly drug costs yet, but another is $350 for a three month supply… We are finding ourselves in a position of choosing whether to pay our basic bills and groceries, or pay for her medications. Any donation will help, and any donation is better than no donation.

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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 Jewish Origin of the Peshitta Tanak

The Jewish Origin of the Peshitta Tanak
By
James Scott Trimm

The Aramaic Peshitta Tanak is an important, and under-recognized witness to the text of the Tanak. The exact origin of the Peshitta Tanak is unknown. The “Syriac” version of the Tanak, is mentioned by Melito of Sardis as early as the second century C.E. One tradition has it that Hiram, King of Tyre in the days of Solomon, commissioned this Aramaic translation of the Tanak. Another tradition assigns the Peshitta translation as having been commissioned by the King of Assyria, who dispatched Assa the Priest to Samarir (see 2Kn. 17:27-28). According to the Aramaic “Church Father” Bar Hebraeus, the Peshitta Tanak originated when Abgar, king of Edessa, Syria, dispatched scholars to Israel to produce an Aramaic translation of the Tanak (Bar Hebraeus; Comm. To Ps. 10). Wichelshaus suggested that this king was the same as King Izates II of Adiabene. This king, along with his family, converted to Judaism as recorded by Josephus (Ant. 20:69-71). This king had dispatched his five sons to Israel in order for them to study Hebrew and Judaism. Burkitt maintained that the Peshitta Tanak originated not long after the first century C.E., as the product of the Jewish community of Edessa, in Syria.   (Early Eastern Christianity; Burkitt; p. 71ff)

There is certainly a good deal of evidence, to support the Jewish origin of the Peshitta Tanak. The Babylonian Talmud alludes to the Aramaic text of the Peshitta with the phrase “We translate”:


 ‘A greeting of ‘Peace’ is not permissible there’. This supports the following dictum of R. Haninuna on ‘Ulla’s authority: A man may not extend a greeting of ‘Peace’ to his neighbour in the baths, because it is said, And he called it, The Lord is peace. (Judges 6:24) If so, let it also be forbidden to mention, By faith! in a privy, for it is written, the faithful God? (Deut. 7:9) And should you answer, that indeed is so: but R. Hama b. Goria said in Rab’s name, By faith! may be mentioned in a privy?-There the Name itself is not so designated, as we translate it, God is faithful (Quoting the Peshitta); but here the Name itself is designated ‘Peace,’ as it is written, and he called it, The Lord is Peace.
(b.Shabbat 10b)

THE LENGTH OF THE TERU’AH IS EQUAL TO THE LENGTH OF THREE YEBABOTH. But it has been taught, ‘The length of the teru’ah is equal to three shebarim’? — Abaye said: Here there is really a difference of opinion. It is written, It shall be a day of teru’ah unto you, (Num. 29:1) and we translate, a day of yebaba (quoting the Peshitta), and it is written of the mother of Sisera, Through the window she looked forth, (Judges 5:28) [wa-teyabab]. One authority thought that this means drawing a long sigh, and the other that it means uttering short piercing cries.
(b.Rosh Hashanna 33b)

R. Samuel b. Nahmani introduced his discourse on this section with the following text: Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle: (Is. 55:13) ‘Instead of the thorn’: instead of the wicked Haman who put himself up as an object of worship, as it is written, and upon all thorns and upon all brambles (Is. 7:19) ‘shall come up the cypress’: this is Mordecai who was called the chief of all spices, as it is said, And do thou take to thee the chief spices, flowing myrrh, (Ex. 30:23) which [last words] we translate [in Aramaic], mar deki. (quoting the Peshitta) ‘Instead of the brier’: instead of the wicked Vashti, the daughter of the wicked Nebuchadnezzar who burnt the ceiling of the house of the Lord; as it is written, its top was gold, (Song 3:10) ‘the myrtle shall come up’: this is the virtuous Esther who is called Hadassah, as it is said, And he brought up Hadassah. (Esther 11:7) ‘And it shall be to the Lord for a name’: this is the reading of the Megillah; ‘and for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off’: these are the days of Purim.
(b.Megilah 10b)

The books of Ezekiel and Proverbs in the Aramaic Peshitta, read very similarly to the Aramaic Targums of those same books.  The Peshitta Tanak has many Jewish liturgical divisions. For example, the Psalms are divided into five sections as in Jewish copies, and the Torah is divided according to the triennial Torah reading cycle, and festival readings are also indicated (for example Lev. 23:1; see b. Meg. 30b). Moreover the Peshitta Torah also contains many headings which are likely of Jewish origin. For example the ten commandments have the heading עםרא פתגם “The Ten Commandments” just above Ex. 20:1 and just above Leviticus 17, the Peshitta has the heading ומוסא דקורבנא ודדבחא “The Torah of Offerings and Sacrifices”, (compare with the Talmud b. Meg. 30b).

The text of the Aramaic Peshitta was originally written in Hebrew letters, until this was forbidden by Ephraim Syrus in the fourth century C.E., and contains many Judeo-Aramaisms. (Encylopedia Judaica; Article “Bible”)  Finally, many readings in the Peshitta Aramaic Tanak read Jewish halacha into the text. Many of these are noted in the footnotes of the HRV translation

The Aramaic Peshitta translation is a literal Aramaic translation, made directly from a Hebrew text which closely resembled the current Masoretic Text.

For example we read in Exodus 22:30 (31):

And you shall be set-apart men unto Me. Therefore,
you shall not eat any flesh that is torn of beasts
in the field: you shall cast it to the dogs.
(Ex. 22:30 (22:31) HRV)

Where we read “flesh that is torn of beasts in the field” the Hebrew reads ובשר בשדה טרפה  The Aramaic Peshitta has for this phrase ובסרא דנתיש מן חיותא חיתא  “And flesh which is torn from a living beast”. The Peshitta here alludes to the concept also found in the Talmud which applies the meaning of this text to eating flesh torn from an animal while it is still alive:

R. Johanan said: The verse: Thou salt not eat the life with the flesh,(Deut. 12:23) refers to a limb [severed] from a living creature; and the verse: Ye shall not eat any flesh in the field, that is trefah [torn of beasts],(Ex. 22:30) refers to flesh [severed] from a living creature and also to flesh of a trefah animal.
(b.Hullin 102b)

Another example is found in Leviticus where we read:

And he shall take the two goats,
and set them before YHWH at the
door of the tent of meeting.
(Lev. 16:7)

The Peshitta Aramaic has here “set them alive before YHWH” in agreement with the tradition recorded in the Talmud that the goats are both alike, and therefore both alive at the time they are presented together at the altar:

R. Aha b. Jacob said: It is derived from the case of the Scapegoat. The Divine Law says. And he shall take the two goats, which implies that the two shall be alike in all respects,
(b.Hullin 11a)

Another example in Leviticus reads:

21 And you shall not let any of your seed pass to Molekh,
neither shall you profane the Name of your Elohim: I am YHWH.
(Lev. 18:21)


Where the Hebrew gas “Molekh” the Peshitta Aramaic has “alien” (נוכריתא). This follows the tradition recorded in the Talmud that the use of “Molekh” in this passage is a euphemism for a “heathen” (b.Meg. 25a; m.Meg. 4:9).  According to the Mishna this passage is a euphemism meaning “you shall not let any of your seed pass to an Arameaness (בארמיותא)” (m.Meg. 4:9) the Gemara to this Mishna passage relates a tradition from the school of Rabbi Yishma’el which understands this to refer to “an Yisra’elite who has intercourse with a Cutheaness (הכותית) and begets from her a son to idolatry (בן לעבודה)” (b.Meg. 25a).

Again in Leviticus we read:

8 Shabbat Day by Shabbat Day he shall set
it in order before YHWH continually: it is
from the children of Yisra’el; an everlasting
covenant.
(Lev. 24:8)

Where we read “Shabbat day by Shabbat day” the Hebrew has: ביום השבת ביום השבת The Aramaic Peshitta has instead ביומא דשתא “on the sixth day”. And the Greek LXX has “on the Shabbat”. The Peshitta may reflect a tradition recorded in the Talmud (b.Men. 97a) that while the work was done “Shabbat by Shabbat” it was actually done on the evening of the sixth day just before the Shabbat began.  However it may also be possible that the Aramaic reading  “of דשתא six” is a scribal error for דשבתא “of the Shabbat”.

The Peshitta Tanak is clearly of Jewish rather than Christian origin.  This is evident from the parallels with many Jewish Targums, the use of Jewish literary divisions, the various citations of the Peshitta as a Jewish translation in the Talmud and the influence of the Talmudic traditions on passages in the Peshitta Tanak.  Because the Jewish origin of the Peshitta has been largely overlooked, a valuable and important resource to Tanak understanding and textual criticism has been greatly under utilized.

The rent is due and we don’t have it! Please donate if you can!

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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

Sanctification and Overcoming the Flesh


Sanctification and Overcoming the Flesh
By
James Scott Trimm


In Yochanan (John) we read the following:

23. And Yeshua was walking in the Temple, in the porch of Shlomo.
24  And the Judeans gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, How long will You hold us?  If You are the Messiah, tell us in the open.
25  Yeshua answered and said to them: I told you, and you did not believe.  And the works that I do in the Name of My Father, bear witness about Me.
26  But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.
27  My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me:
28  And I give them eternal life, and they will not perish, forever. And no man will pluck them from My hands.
29  For My Father who gave to Me from all, is great,  and no man, is able to pluck them from the hand of My Father.
30  I and My Father are one.
31  And again the Judeans took up stones to stone Him.
32  Yeshua said to them: I have shown you many good works from My Father. Because of which work, do you stone Me?
33  The Judeans said to Him, We do not stone You because of good works, but because You have blasphemed, and being a son of man, have made Your nefesh [to be] Elohim.
34  Yeshua said to them: Is it not thus written in your Torah?  I have said that you are Elohim. (Ps. 82:6)
35  If he called those [people] elohim because the word of Elohim was with them, and the Scripture is not able to be broken,
36  To Him–whom the Father sanctified  and sent to the world–do you say, You blaspheme? Because I told you that I am the Son of Elohim?
(Yochanan (John) 10:23-36 HRV)

What does this very controversial passage mean?  Yeshua says “I and my Father are one” (Yn. 10:30) and when the Judeans respond by threatening to stone him for “blasphemy”, Yeshua defends himself by quoting Psalm 82:6.

Some have attempted to explain this quotation by referencing Rabbinic sources that explain “Elohim” in Psalm 82:6 as simply meaning “judges” or “angels” and not Elohim.  However, if this is the real meaning of Psalm 82:6 in this context, then Yeshua would have been taking the passage completely out of context, as he uses the passage, not to justify a claim of being a judge or angel, but a claim of being one with the Father.

Lets look at Psalm 82:

1 A Psalm of Asaf. (82:1) Elohim stands in the assembly of El; in the midst of the
elohim He judges:
2 How long will you judge unjustly, and respect the persons of the wicked? Selah
3 Judge the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute:
4 Rescue the poor and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
5 They know not, neither do they understand; they go about in darkness. All the
foundations of the earth are moved.
6 I said, You are Elohim, and all of you, sons of Elyon.
7 Nevertheless you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O Elohim; judge the earth: for You shall possess all nations.
(Psalm 82:1-8 HRV)

Yeshua’s citation of Psalm 82:6 brings to mind a passage found in the Dead Sea Scroll document known as the Melchizedek Document (11Q13) which cites Psalm 82:1.  11Q13 speaks of this Messiah as a figure called “Melchizedek.” In this document Is. 61:2 is quoted with “Melchizedek” substituted for YHWH. Furthermore the terms EL and ELOHIM are in 11Q13 applied to the Melchizedek/Messiah figure.

11Q13 Col. 4-9 quotes Is. 61:1-2 but substitutes “the year of Melchizedek’s favor” for “the year of YHWH’s favor” thus identifying the Melchizedek figure with YHWH in this passage. 11Q13 goes on to say:

…as it is written about him [Melchizedek] in the Songs of David,
“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 [Melchizedek],
“Over it take your seat in the highest heaven;
EL will judge the peoples” (Ps. 7:7-8)
(11Q13 Col. 10-11)

The text of 11Q13 goes on to apply the passage “Your ELOHIM reigns” (Is. 52:7) to Melchizedek finally concluding:

“Your ELOHIM” (Is. 52:7) is Melchizedek, who will deliver them from the power of Belial.
(11Q13 Col. 24-25)

The Melchizadek figure of 11Q13 would free the captives (Is. 61:1-2) and through the Day of Atonement will “atone for all the Sons of Light”.

As shown above. The Melchizadek Document quotes Psalm 82:1 in reference to its identification of the Messiah with the terms YHWH, EL and Elohim.

Is it a complete coincidence, then, that Yeshua quotes Psalm 82:6 to support his claim that he is one with the Father?

What does Psalm 82:6 really mean?  How does it support Yeshua’s claim?

The answer lies in Genesis 2:7:

Then YHWH Elohim formed man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
(Gen. 2:7 HRV)

Man is a spark of the Divine, a fragment of Elohim.  This is why the first Century Jewish writer Philo f Alexandria commented on this passage saying:

There are two several parts of which we consist, the soul and the body; now the body is made of earth, but the soul consists of air, being a fragment of the Divinity, for “God breathed into man’s face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul.”(Gen. 2:7) It is therefore quite consistent with reason to say that the body which was fashioned out of the earth has nourishment which the earth gives forth akin to the matter of which it is composed; but the soul, inasmuch as it is a portion of the ethereal nature, is supported by nourishment which is ethereal and divine, for it is nourished on knowledge, and not on meat or drink, which the body requires.
(Allegorical Interpretation, III, 161)

He does well here to attribute the flow of blood to the mass of flesh, combining two things appropriate to one another; but the essence of the mind he has not made to depend on any created thing, but has represented it as breathed into man by God from above. For, says Moses, “The Creator of the universe breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul,” (Gen. 2:7) who also, it is recorded, was fashioned after the image of the Creator.
(Who is the Heir of Divine Things? 56)

For among created things, the heaven is holy in the world, in accordance with which body, the imperishable and indestructible natures revolve; and in man the mind is holy, being a sort of fragment of the Deity, and especially according to the statement of Moses, who says, “God breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul.”(Gen. 2:7).
(On Dreams 1, 34)

In the Tanya of the Rebbe Zalman we read likewise:

The second soul of a Jew is truly a part of G‑d above (Job 31:2), as it is written, “And He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” (Gen. 2:7) and “Thou didst breathe it [the soul] into me.” (Morning Prayer b.Berachot 60b)
(Tanya; Likutei Amarim Chapter 2)

In the Tanya, this second soul is called the Nefesh Elohit (נפש אלהית)  and is in conflict with the animal soul.

When Psalm 82:6 says “you are Elohim” it means that you are a fragment of Elohim.  You have within you a spark of the Divine, a Nefesh Elohit.  But we don’t act like it, we judge unjustly because we know not, neither do we understand that we are elohim, but we wonder around in darkness (Ps. 82:2-5).

But it is not YHWH’s intent that we wonder in darkness forever.  The prophet Zechariah writes:

9 And YHWH shall be King over all the earth. In that day, shall YHWH be One, and His
Name one.
(Zech. 14:9 HRV)

If YHWH will me One “in that day” then what is YHWH now?  Right now, YHWH is fragmented, because we are all fragments of YHWH, but the time will com when YHWH will once again be One.  This is called the “lifting up of the sparks.”  It is a great work of refinement and sanctification.  And this is why Yeshua referenced Psalm 82:6 to support his own claim of being one with the Father.


The Fall of Adam

Now I want to share with you a secret, the Fall of Adam, was absolutely essential to this process of the lifting up of the sparks and of our sanctification. We read in the Torah concerning the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge:

And out of the ground made YHWH Elohim, to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
(Gen. 2:9)

The Jewish commentator Ramban comments on this passage saying:

…You may think the serpent was lying to her [saying “you shall be as gods”] (in Gen. 3:5), but our tradition admits he told the truth; and see “the YHWH Elohim said, ‘Now that the man has become like one of us knowing good and bad’” (Gen. 3:22).  The explanation that seems best to me is that man would have done what was naturally proper for him to do, just like the heavens and all their host, surely, reliably, and without emotion; but the fruit of that tree engendered will and desire, so that those who ate it could choose a thing or its opposite, good or bad.  That is why it was called “the tree of knowledge of good and bad,…”

Ramban refers back to this very insightful comment in his commentary on Deuteronomy 30:6

And YHWH your Elohim will circumcise your heart (Deuteronomy 30:6) It is this which the Rabbis have said, “If someone comes to purify himself, they assist him” [from on High]. The verse assures you that you will return to Him with all your heart and He will help you.

This following subject is very apparent from Scripture: Since the time of Creation, man has had the power to do as he pleased, to be righteous or wicked. This [grant of free will] applies likewise to the entire Torah period, so that people can gain merit upon choosing the good and punishment for preferring evil. But in the days of the Messiah, the choice of their [genuine] good will be natural; the heart will not desire the improper and it will have no craving whatever for it. This is the “circumcision” mentioned here, for lust and desire are the “foreskin” of the heart, and circumcision of the heart means that it will not covet or desire evil.”

Man will return at that time to what he was before the sin of Adam, when by his nature he did what should properly be done, and there were no conflicting desires in his will, as I have explained in Seder Bereshit.

It is this which Scripture states in [the Book of] Jeremiah 31:30], ‘Behold, the days come,’ says YHWH, ‘that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers ..etc. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Eternal, I will put my Law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it.

This is a reference to the annulment of the evil instinct (yetzer ra) and to the natural performance by the heart of its proper function. Therefore Jeremiah said further, and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My People; and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: ‘Know YHWH; ‘for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.’

Now, it is known that the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth and it is necessary to instruct them, but at that time it will not be necessary to instruct them [to avoid evil] for their evil instinct (yetzer ra) will then be completely abolished. And so it is declared by Ezekiel, ‘A new heart will I also give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will cause you to walk in My statutes.’ ” (Ezekiel 36:26)

The new heart alludes to man’s nature, and the [new] spirit to the desire and will. It is this which our Rabbis have said : “And the years draw nigh, when you shall say: I have no pleasure in them; these are the days of the Messiah, as they will offer opportunity neither for merit nor for guilt,” for in the days of the Messiah there will be no [evil] desire in man but he will naturally perform the proper deeds and therefore there will be neither merit nor guilt in them, for merit and guilt are dependent upon desire.”

Ramban makes some very insightful comments to these verses.  To begin with, he points out that the Jewish tradition is that the Serpent did not lie in saying “you shall be as elohim” for we read later in Psalm 82:6 “you are elohim”.  (This does not mean that the Serpent was not deceptive, he was deceptive in questioning the word of YHWH “Did Elohim really say?” and in saying “you shall not die”. But his statement “you shall be as elohim” was not a lie, as attested to in Psalm 82:6.)

It seems that the Fall of Adam was absolutely essential for our sanctification.  Can good be derived from the Yetzer Ra?  The Midrash Rabbah gives a surprising answer:

Nachman said, In the name of Rabbi Shmu’el: ‘and behold it was very good’ (Gen. 1:31) refers to the yetzer ra [evil inclination]. But can the yetzer ra be ‘very good?’ Amazingly enough, yes—were it not for the yetzer ra no man would build a house, take a wife and father children, or engage in business; as Solomon said, ‘I considered all labor and excellence in work and concluded that it comes from a man’s rivalry with his neighbor’ (Eccles. 4:4)”
(Gen. Rabbah 9:7).

This brings us also to Proverbs 14:34 which reads in the KJV: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Prov. 14:34 KJV) 

צְדָקָ֥ה תְרֹֽומֵֽם־ גֹּ֑וי וְחֶ֖סֶד לְאֻמִּ֣ים חַטָּֽאת׃

The Hebrew word חסד (Strong’s 2617( can mean “reproach” but can also mean “loving kindness” so that the sages understood this to verse to mean: “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but the kindness of the nations is sin.”

The Talmud quotes this verse as follows:

Rabban Johanan b. Zakkai said to his disciples: My sons, what is the meaning of the verse, Righteousness exalteth a nation, but the kindness of the nations is sin? (Prov. 14:34) R. Eliezer answered and said: ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation:’ this refers to Israel of whom it is written, Who is like thy people Israel one nation in the earth? (2Sam 7:23) But ‘the kindness of the peoples is sin’: all the charity and kindness done by the heathen is counted to them as sin, because they only do it to magnify themselves”
(b.Babba Batra 10b)

And the Tanya cites this portion of Talmud saying:

…all the good that the nations do, is done from selfish motives. So the Gemara comments on the verse, “The kindness of the nations is sin,”— that all the charity and kindness done by the nations of the world is only for their own self-glorification, and so on.
(Tanya; Likutei Amarim 1)

This traditional Jewish understanding of Proverbs 14:34 is telling us that the heathen nations do in fact perform acts of loving kindness, but they do so with selfish motives.  In other words they perform acts of kindness, motivated by the yetzer ra (evil inclination). 

So there are certainly ways that good can result from the Yetzer Ra, giving meaning to Yeshua’s statement that a Kingdom cannot stand against itself. (Mark 3:23–27; Matthew 12:25–29; Luke 11:17–22)

In fact, had it not been for the Fall of Adam, you and I would never have been born, as is pointed out in the Zohar:

For indeed, if Adam had brought offspring with him out of the Garden of Eden, these would never have been destroyed, the light of the moon would never have been darkened, and all would have lived for ever; and not even the angels would have equalled them in illumination and wisdom, as we read, “In the image of God he created him” (Gen. I, 27). But since, through his sin, he left the Garden by himself and bore offspring outside it, these did not endure in the world, and this ideal was, therefore, not realised.’ Said R. Hizkiah: ‘How could they have begotten children there, seeing that, had the evil inclination not enticed him to sin, Adam would have dwelt for ever in the world by himself and would not have begotten children?
(Zohar 1:60b-61a)

Perhaps the most important good thing (apart from our existence) that man derives from the Yetzer Ra is sanctification.  This is explained very well by the Rebbe Zalman in the Tanya:

This is also what the Rabbis meant, “If a man consecrates himself in a small measure down below, he is sanctified much more from above,” (b.Yoma 39a; b.Shabbat 10a) apart from his having fulfilled the positive commandment of the Torah, “Sanctify yourselves, and be ye holy” (Lev. 20:7) by dedicating himself [through abstemiousness] in permissible things. The meaning of “Sanctify yourselves” is “You shall make yourselves holy,” that is to say, although in truth one is not holy and separated from the sitra achra, for it is at its strength and might, as at its birth, in the left part, yet one subdues his evil impulse and sanctifies himself— then “Shall ye be holy,” that is to say, in the end one will be truly holy and separated from the sitra achra, by virtue of being sanctified in a great measure from above, and being helped to expel it from his heart little by little.
(Tanya I, 27)

Man has to have freewill and to be tested by the Yetzer Ra in order to be sanctified, and thus to subdue the Yetzer Ra (evil inclination/impulse). 

In order to subdue the Yetzer Ra, it was necessary for us to be burdened with bodies of flesh, which could be tempted by the Yetzer Ra.  This is why both Philo of Alexandria and Paul associate the Yetzer Ra with “the flesh”:

… There are two several parts of which we consist, the soul and the body; now the body is made of earth, but the soul consists of air, being a fragment of the Divinity, for “God breathed into man’s face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul.”(Gen. 2:7) It is therefore quite consistent with reason to say that the body which was fashioned out of the earth has nourishment which the earth gives forth akin to the matter of which it is composed; but the soul, inasmuch as it is a portion of the ethereal nature, is supported by nourishment which is ethereal and divine, for it is nourished on knowledge, and not on meat or drink, which the body requires.
(Allegorical Interpretation, III, 161)

He does well here to attribute the flow of blood to the mass of flesh, combining two things appropriate to one another; but the essence of the mind he has not made to depend on any created thing, but has represented it as breathed into man by God from above. For, says Moses, “The Creator of the universe breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul,” (Gen. 2:7) who also, it is recorded, was fashioned after the image of the Creator.
(Who is the Heir of Divine Things? 56)

For among created things, the heaven is holy in the world, in accordance with which body, the imperishable and indestructible natures revolve; and in man the mind is holy, being a sort of fragment of the Deity, and especially according to the statement of Moses, who says, “God breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul.”(Gen. 2:7).
(On Dreams 1, 34)

Paul also writes of this conflict within.  Paul similarly characterizes this as a conflict between the “spirit” or “inner man” and the “flesh” or “outer man.”:

14 For we know that the Torah is of the spirit,
but I am of the flesh and I am sold to sin.
22 For I rejoice in the Torah of Eloah in the inward son of man.
(Romans 7:14, 22 HRV)

Because of this, we are not weary, for even if our
outer man is corrupted, yet that which [is] inside
is renewed day by day.
(2Cor. 4:16 HRV)

for the flesh desires a thing which is opposed to
the Spirit
and the Spirit desires a thing that is
opposed to the flesh and the two of these are
opposed to each other, that you do not do the thing
which you desire.
(Gal. 5:17 HRV)

Without a body of flesh, the Yetzer Ra would have no hold on us, and we could not overcome it’s temptations.

The Zohar well illustrates this process of sanctification, and of overcoming the Yetzer Ra very well, in the Parable of the Harlot:

But, indeed, the “evil inclination” also does through this the will of its Lord. It is as if a king had an only son whom he dearly loved, and just for that cause he warned him not to be enticed by bad women, saying that anyone defiled might not enter his palace. The son promised his father to do his will in love. Outside the palace, however, there lived a beautiful harlot. After a while the King thought: “I will see how far my son is devoted to me.” So he sent to the woman and commanded her, saying: “Entice my son, for I wish to test his obedience to my will.” So she used every blandishment to lure him into her embraces. But the son, being good, obeyed the commandment of his father. He refused her allurements and thrust her from him. Then did the father rejoice exceedingly, and, bringing him in to the innermost chamber of the palace, bestowed upon him gifts from his best treasures, and showed him every honour. And who was the cause of all this joy? The harlot! Is she to be praised or blamed for it? To be praised, surely, on all accounts, for on the one hand she fulfilled the king’s command and carried out his plans for him, and on the other hand she caused the son to receive all the good gifts and deepened the king’s love to his son. Therefore it is written, “And the Lord saw all that he had made, and behold it was very good”, where the word “very” refers to the angel of death (i.e. the evil inclination).  Similarly, if it were not for this Accuser, the righteous would not possess the supernal treasures in the world to come. Happy, therefore, are they who, coming into conflict with the Tempter, prevail against him, for through him will they attain bliss, and all the good and desirable possessions of the world to come; concerning which it is written: “What eye hath not seen… he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Isa. LXIV, 3).
(Zohar 2:163a)

We are fragments of Elohim in a process of sanctification which requires us to be burdened with bodies of flesh, in order to overcome the Yetzer Ra (evil inclination) thru the exercise of our free will and elevate the sparks which are our Nefesh Elohit (Divine Souls).

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Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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The Lost Old Syriac Aramaic Reading of Acts 1:4

The Last Supper, Jesus breaks the bread.

The Lost Old Syriac Aramaic Reading of Acts 1:4
By
James Scott Trimm

In the King James Version we read in Acts 1:4:


And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
(Acts 1:4 KJV)


The Peshitta Aramaic  version has “And he ate bread (לחמא) with them…” where the KJV has “And, being assembled together with them…”


Here the Earliest Greek manuscripts may reflect a more original Old Syriac reading.


There are a number of variant readings in the Greek for this phrase. The Alexandrian text reads “kai sunalizomenus” Greek scholars have found this a difficult word to deal with in this text. With a long “a” sunalizomenu was used in Classical and Hellenistic Greek to mean “collect or assemble”. With a short “a” sunalizomenu means literally “to eat salt together”.
According to Bruce Metzger the meaning “to eat salt together” is a rare and late meaning of the Greek word which did not appear until the end of the Second century A.D.. Most of the early versions do take the word to refer to eating (The Old Latin, the Latin Vulgate; the Coptic, the Armenian, the Ethiopic and the Armenian for example). About thirty-five late Greek manuscripts read alternately sunaulizomenos “to spend the night with”.


Aramacist Dr. Daniel L. McConaughy has noted that the Ancient Aramaic “Church Father” Ephraim (“Mar Aprim” (early 4th Cent.) quotes the passage in Aramaic in his Hymns on Virginity hymn 36. This is very important because Ephraim’s quotations from the Gospels often agree with the Old Syriac against the Peshitta text and because the Old Syriac of Acts has been lost. Ephraim’s quote uses the word אתמלח “salted” or “ate salt” here. McConaughy suggests that this is the lost Old Syriac reading which would refer to an ancient Semitic custom of eating salt together in ritual meals (Num. 18:19; 2Chron. 13:5).


There is obviously some kind of scribal error here between the roots לחמ (“bread”) as in the Peshitta and מלח  (“salt”) as in the Old Syriac.

( See An Old Syriac Reading of Acts 1:4 and More Light on Jesus’ Last Meal before His Ascension; Daniel L. McConaughy; Oriens Christianus; Band 72; 1988; pp. 63-67)

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Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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.


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

Emergency Alert!

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In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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

1Corinthians and the Counting of the Omer: The Words of Elohim

1Corinthians and the Counting of the Omer
Part 4: The Words of Elohim
By James Trimm


The Lower Triad

The balance between tongues and interpretations of tongues is prophecy: tongues + interpretation of tongues = prophecy. Prophecy is our foundation.


Kinds of Tongues

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 outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh 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 [leshonoth], so that all the nations should understand.”
(Midrash from Exodus Rabbah 5:9)

The Talmud says:

“Every phrase which issued from the mouth of the All-powerful divided itself into the seventy languages.”
(b.Shabbat 88b)


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 22 Hebrew letters represents one of twenty two paths which connect the Sefirot of the Tree of Life. Each of these 22 letters represents a relationship between two of the Sefirot and a combination of two of the Sefirot. These 22 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 22 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.


Interpretations of Tongues

I have identified this manifestation with HOD placing it under the pillar/column BINAH because “interpretation” of tongues adds an element of understanding to tongues.


Prophecy

The Torah regulations concerning prophecy and prophets can be found in Deut. 13:1-6 and Deut. 18:15-22. From these texts we learn that a prophet is a false-prophet if he:

1. Prophecies of a thing that does not come to pass. (Deut. 18:20-22)
2. Prophecies in or through false gods (Deut 13:2-8)
3. Is not Torah observant (Deut. 13:5-6)
4. Detracts from or adds to the Torah (Deut. 13:1).

This means that even if prophet prophecies events that comes to pass 100% of the time but is not Torah Observant, he is a false prophet. His prophecy is mere divination.

As we continue counting the omer toward Shavuot I will be posting much more about the gifts of the Ruach. Get ready for a great move of the Ruach HaKodesh this Shavuot.

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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

Nazarene Judaism Conversions Now Available- We have a Mohel!

Over the years we have often been asked about conversion. One distinction between Nazarene Judaism and Messianic Judaism surrounds the issue of conversion.

I quote from a presentation given at the Netzarim ’99 conference 21 years ago:

This brings us to another problem with Messianic Judaism. They don’t know what to do with the Gentiles. The confusion again results from having one foot in either camp. On the one hand, they want to see themselves as a legitimate branch of Judaism and to this end, they have set up many institutions in which the leadership and policy bodies are made up of ethnic Jews (although in Messianic Judaism the definition of an ‘ethnic Jew’ does not usually follow ‘traditional’ halachah). However, many Gentiles have become attracted to Judaism, as has been the case throughout history, and a brand of Judaism that allows them to maintain their belief in their Messiah is particularly attractive. Many Christians have come to see the value in understanding the jewishness of their original faith and some have even been motivated to adopt some Jewish practices. And others, like many of us, have seen the value of Torah as the correct way of life for the redeemed person and have sought to apply it all to the best of our knowledge and understanding. But when a Gentile comes into Messianic Judaism they find out that their participation is limited to the perimeter. In the MJAA they are not allowed full membership. They are not ordained as Rabbis. There is no mechanism or procedure to allow a Gentile’s full participation in the institutions of Messianic Judaism.

In Non-Messianic Judaism, this is accomplished through the conversion process. After a Gentile has gone through this process they are members of the House of Israel, no different than their natural born counterparts, with all the same privileges and responsibilities. Messianic Judaism, on the other hand, does not see the need for conversion. The Gentile Christians are already their brothers, fellow heirs in the body of Messiah. Why would they need to convert? In many Messianic synagogues, Jews and Gentiles alike are encouraged to pray the ‘sinners prayer’ at which time they enter the ‘Church’. The Jew and the Gentile take divergent paths from there, however. Once they come into the ‘Church’ they have different responsibilities and duties. In the Messianic synagogue, Judaism is practiced to some degree. The Gentile is sent to a church with different practices. He can visit the synagogue but it not really there for him, regardless of what he thinks. So the Gentile on whom Elohim has impressed the importance of Torah and Judaism finds himself in limbo. While the Messianic Jews see him as a ‘brother in Messiah’ he is held at arms length due to an accident of birth. It seems as though the Messianic Jewish ‘denomination’ is a ‘Jews only’ club.

(Excerpt from 1999 Presentation “Nazarene Judaism: A New Vision“)

In the book of Ester, certain Persians “became Jews” (Ester 8:17) and Paul addresses his epistles to those who were “formerly gentiles” (1Cor. 12:2; Eph. 2:11)

The following is the Conversion halacha which has been established by the International Nazarene Beit Din:

If at the present time a man desires to become a Ger Tzadik, he is to be addressed as follows: `What reason have you for desiring to become a proselyte; do you not know that Israel at the present time are persecuted and oppressed, despised, harassed and overcome by afflictions’? If he replies, `I know and yet am unworthy’, he is accepted forthwith, and is given instruction in all of the minor and all of the major commandments. He is informed of the sin [of the neglect of the commandments of] Gleanings, the Forgotten Sheaf, the Corner and the first, second and third tithes. He is also told of the punishment for the transgression of the commandments. Furthermore, he is addressed thus: `Be it known to you that before you came to this condition, if you had eaten unkosher food you would not have become unclean, if you had profaned the Sabbath you would not have been punishable; but now were you to eat unkosher food you would become unclean; were you to profane the Sabbath you would face the penalty’. And as he is informed of the punishment for the transgression of the commandments, so is he informed of the reward granted for their fulfillment. He is told, `Be it known to you that the world to come was made only for the righteous, and that Israel at the present time are unable to bear either too much prosperity. or too much suffering’. He is not, however, to be persuaded or dissuaded too much.  If he accepted, he is circumcised after having learned the commandments of the Torah. Should any shreds which render the circumcision invalid remain, he is to be circumcised a second time. As soon as he is healed arrangements are made for his immediate immersion, when two learned men must stand by his side. Here he shall pledge “Where you go, I will go, where you lodge, I will lodge, your people will be my people and your Elohim my Elohim (Ruth 1:16), all the words which YHWH has said will I do (Ex. 24:3) and I confess with my mouth that Yeshua is the Messiah whom Elohim raised from the dead (Rom. 10:9). When he comes up after his immersion he is deemed to be an Israelite in all respects. In the case of a woman proselyte, women make her sit in the water up to her neck, while two learned men stand outside.

However, we have been hindered in the past by the lack of a Mohel available to perform circumcisions for our community. I am pleased to announce that we now have a Mohel available to facilitate circumcisions. Our Mohel is an Ephraimite who is a Medical Doctor and Urologist with many years experience performing circumcisions.

If you are interested in becoming halachically part of the House of Judah, in accordance with the Nazarene Halacha, please email me at cleartruth “at” yahoo.com with the subject CONVERSION. (We make no representation that these conversions will be accepted as valid outside of the Nazarene Community).

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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

1Corinthians and the Counting of the Omer: The Works of Elohim

1Corinthians and the Counting of the Omer
Part 3: The Works of Elohim
By James Trimm


The Middle Triad

Gift of Healing

For obvious reasons this manifestation is closely associated with the Sefirah known as CHESED. It is associated with the right hand of Adam Kadmon (the right hand being on the right hand side of the chart, as if Adam Kadmon had his back toward the viewer.) For this reason Healing is often associated with laying on of hands as described in the Dead Sea Scrolls:

So I prayed for him… and laid my hands upon his head.
Thereupon the plague was removed from him, the evil [spirit] exorcised [from him,] and he was healed.
(1QapGen. Col 21; Lines 28-29)


A good example of this gift in the Tanak occurs in 2Kings 5:10-14 where Elisha the prophet heals Na’aman the captain of the host of the King of Syria.

The Prophet Isaiah speaks of Messiah saying, “…our diseases he did bear… with his stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:4-5). Both Matthew and Kefa apply this passage to healing through Yeshua (Mt. 8:17; 1Kefa 2:24).

Ya’akov tells us:

And if one is sick, let him call for the elders of the assembly and they will pray for him and will anoint him [with] oil in the name of our Adon.
And the prayer of trust will heal him who is sick and our Adon will raise him; and if [any] sins were committed by him, they will be forgiven.
(Ya’akov 5:14-15 HRV)


Notice that this gift is associated with anointing with oil. In the Scriptures olive oil is commonly symbolic of the Ruach HaKodesh. At the moment of his anointing the Ruach HaKodesh came upon Saul causing him to “be turned into another man” (1Sam. 10:1, 6, 9). David was anointed with oil by the prophet Samuel and “from that day forward… the Spirit of YHWH came upon David” (1Sam. 16:13-14; cf 1Sam. 18:12). Isaiah again speaks prophetically of Messiah saying “The Spirit of YHWH is upon me; because YHWH has anointed me…” (Is. 61:1 cf. Lk. 4:18, 21) Some other passages in which the Ruach HaKodesh is symbolized by olive oil are: Acts 10:38; 2Cor. 1:21-22; Zech. 4 & Rom. 11). There is therefore a Scriptural basis to anoint someone with oil when exercising this gift, symbolizing the anointing of the Ruach HaKodesh.

The connection this gift has with the Yayin HaMeshumar is clear, in my blog on the Yayin HaMeshumar we explained its connection with the Suffering Servant Song of Isaiah 53, a line of which reads “by his stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:5)

There is one major element of this gift which is often misunderstood. Just as the gift of tongues is not the gift to cause others to speak in tongues, and the gift of prophecy is not the gift to cause others to prophecy, the gift of healings is not the gift of healing others, it is the self realized gift of being healed oneself. A person manifests this gift, not by healing others, but by being healed.

Note also that Ya’akov 5:14-15 refers to “the prayer of faith” in connection with this gift. This gift flows from the gift of faith and as you will find in our discussion of the gift of faith, the gift of faith manifests itself in being guided to observe Torah. So if you seek a gift of healing, you should first make sure that you are following the path of Torah.


Power

The Aramaic word here is KHAILA, which means, “power, miracles, authority”. This is the very Aramaic word, which the Peshitta Tanak uses to translate Hebrew GEVURAH in 1Chron. 29:11 (the Tanak text from which the lower seven sefirot are derived) and is obviously associated with the sefirah called GEVURAH.

The gematria (numerical value) of (KHAILA) is 49 (7 x 7). This is the same as the gematria of the MAT ”the rod” of Aaron and Moses, which was so closely related to many of their “miracles”.

Khaila includes the power to perform “miracles”:

And Eloah was doing great miracles (KHAILA)
by the hand of Paul.
(Acts 19:11)


And the power to exercise authority over spirits and shedim (demons):

And Yeshua called his twelve and gave them power (KHAILA) and authority over all the spirits and shedim and to heal sickness.
(Luke 9:1)


The word Khaila in Aramaic can also denote “courage” and may therefore also indicate the strength to endure trials, tribulation and torture. Thus Khaila can also refer to a supernatural ability to endure these tortures, like the martyrs of 2nd and 4th Maccabees.. As such Khaila is especially associated with the Armor of Elohom.

Khaila is often exercised (like healing) through the evocation of the “Names of Power” which are discussed below. Khaila is associated with the left hand of Adam Kadmon and thus it is often exercised in connection with a ritual of laying on of hands, especially when exercising authority over shedim (demons).

Acts 1:8 says:

But when the Ruach HaKodesh comes upon you, you will receive power (KHAILA) …


Paul tells us that the effecting of Khaila comes from “the hearing of faith” (Gal. 3:5) because this gift flows from the gift of faith, a gift which itself manifests itself in Torah observance.

There is a good example in the Torah of this gift being expressed in the effecting of miracles when YHWH, through Moshe parts the red sea (Ex. 14:16-22). It was also manifest when David, through his Psalms, drove a shed out of Saul (1Sam. 16:14-23) and when Toviyah exercised Khaila over the shed Asmodeus (Tobit 6). Finally Khaila was exercised by Eleazar and Hanna and her seven sons, when they endured the tortures inflicted upon them by Antiochus Epiphanies (2Macc. 6:18-31; 7:1-42; 4Macc.).



Trusting Faithfulness

This manifestation is known as Haimanuta, which in Hebrew is Emunah (faith, trust). This manifestation is associated with tiferet (beauty, harmony) and is at the center of the tree. The other manifestations must proceed from “trusting faithfulness”. According to the Tanak the Torah is the way of faith (Emunah) (Ps. 119:29-30)

Yeshua calls the Ruach HaKodesh the “Spirit of Truth” which will “guide us in all truth” (Jn. 16:13). The Psalmist tells us “the Torah is truth” (Ps. 119:142, 151). One of the promised manifestations of the Ruach HaKodesh was that the Ruach would guide us in observing Torah:

And I will put My Spirit within you,
and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them.
(Ezek. 36:27)


Since Torah is “the way of faith” the manifestation of “faith” is that of guidance to observe Torah as described in Ezekiel 36:27.

Both Ya’akov (Ya. 2:14-26) and Hebrews (Hebrews 11) lay out a tendency for faith to be accompanied by works.

This manifestation is at the center of the three triads, all other manifestations of the Ruach are tied to this one. This manifestation is the one which is the true evidence of the immersion of the Ruach. You can now say “I have the immersion of the Ruach with evidence of walking in statutes and keeping of ordinances”!

(to be continued in Part 4: The Words of Elohim)

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

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