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It's Not the End of the World - Part II

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There is such fear expressed all over the internet about the return of the Lord, the Apocolypse, the End Times, and great predictions of dates for September or October 2015, or 2016.  All of this fear is unfounded in scripture.  We just need common sense, and a clear thinking to be able to discern His word.  Let’s look closer in this Part II at what the Scripture actually says about the Coming of the Lord, and when it really happened. ( If you missed Part I, you can find it here: /religion/2015/06/its-not-the-end-of-the-world-part-1-2492064.html)

TIME TEXTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

The New Testament was written over a period of years during the first century A.D. It recorded the genealogy of Christ, His birth, His earthly ministry, His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension, and the establishment of His church and His kingdom.  These events had a time and place during the first century A.D.  At the date of this writing, that makes the New Testament almost 2,000 years old.  Thus, the New Testament is an historical record for us, one just as historical as the Old Testament.

When we read the Old Testament we have no trouble recognizing the historical nature, and know that the events it records happened to another people in an earlier place and time.  But, when people begin reading the New Testament today some have a tendency to take the words recorded out of the first century and slip them into our day and time. That is a mistake.  We must read the New Testament knowing the events recorded, and the words spoken happened in the past.

In order to prevent any misunderstandings, it is important to know who is being spoken to, and when.  We must place the time of the word, the time of the speaker, and the time of those spoken to.  We begin with just a few of the time texts and pointers found in the New Testament. (Bold emphasis is mine.  Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quoted is from the KJV.)  Try to put away all learned views, clear your mind of what you think you know, and see what the words actually say.

1. Heb. 9:26:

“For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

ASV Heb. 9:26, “else must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

When was Jesus manifested?  When was he sacrificed?  We know that he was manifested and that was then sacrificed in the first century A.D.  Again, following the principles of basic Algebra, if A equals B, and if B equals C, then A must also equal C.  If Jesus showed (manifested) himself in the first century A.D., and he showed himself at the end of the ages, then the end of the “world” (KJV) or “ages” (ASV) was in the first century AD. 

Since we are reading this text some 2.000 years later, and the physical world and universe are still here, then the word “world” as used here was not refering to the “cosmos”.  The “world” spoken here was aeon, or age, and was the known customs and societal rules, the religious and political structure, the lifestyle of their day and time.

Let God’s word speak for itself.  The scripture must rule our understanding.  We must let go of any preconceived notions, or taught or learned concepts which are contradictory to the Scriptures.  We must comport with the Scripture.

2.  Matt 11:13:

 ”For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.”

Every word of God is profitable, even the little words.  The conjucntions and prepositions are just as important as the nouns and verbs in God’s word.  In fact, they are critical!  “For” is a conjunction, linking the previous sentence and thought to a concluding thought.  “Until” is a preposition, a time marker, and is used by God to indicate an end of things.

In vs. 7 -12 of Matt. 11, Jesus is telling the people who John the Baptist was.  Vs.13 pinpoints the time of the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies… until John.  When did John the Baptist come?  He came before Jesus, clearing His path, in the first century A.D.    In vs. 12, Jesus told them that the Kingdom of Heaven “suffereth violence from the days of John the Baptist until now...”   The words “until now” were spoken by Jesus in His contemporaneous time frame, in the first century A.D..  Not in our day and time.  Rather, in the first century.  The evil and violent ones were even then persecuting the Kingdom of Heaven, in the first century, during Jesus’ earthly life.

3. Matt 12:39-40:

But he answered and said unto them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

When?  Answering the question asked by the Scribes and the Pharisees who were seeking a sign, Jesus tells them the sign to look for.  He is pinpointing their generation in the first century A.D., when He would be sacrificed, when He woud spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, as the wicked and evil generation to be judged.  Vs. 41 & 42 go on to specifically state that their generation will be judged by Nineveh and the Queen of the South, because a greater than Jonah, and a greater than Solomon “is here.”   Present tense “is here”.  When?  It was in the present tense for them, for those hearing Jesus speak, for those listening in the first century A.D.

4.  Matt 16:28:

            “Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

Unless we are to entertain the notion that some people from the first century A.D. are even now still living on earth, then we have to acknowledge that Jesus said He would come in His kingdom in the their lifetime, in the first century A.D.

Since His death was only days away from the time he spoke these words, Jesus was not contemplating some of His disciples dying before His own death on the cross.  Nor is this a comment of the few more days that would pass before the establishment of His church on the day of Pentecost.  The reference to some of them still living means that enough time, years, will have passed for some of them to have died either in the persecution, or of natural causes.  Enough time would have passed so that some of them will have died before he came in his kingdom.  But, some would still be living to witness His coming.  Jesus is speaking here of his second appearance promised to that generation.

5.  In Matthew Chap. 10, Jesus is giving specific instructions to his disciples, speaking directly to them, for their missionary journeys throughout Israel.  These specific statements are not instructions for us today.  In Matt 10:23, Jesus tells them,

            “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

The disciples were told that they would not finish their mission to all of the cities of Israel before the Lord would come again.  Remember, we must discern and analyze who is being spoken to and when.  Some instructions are generic, meant for all people of all time.  Some instructions were specific, only to a certain person, or group of people.  We must know the difference.

6. Matt 23: 31 – 36:

31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?  34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.”

Jesus spoke these words to the Scribes and Pharisees almost 2,000 years ago. It is a judgment specifically addressed to those of that generation, and to the evil people Jesus was speaking to as He stood before them 2,000 years ago!.  They, the Scribes and Pharisees,  would kill (in their future, in their day and time) and crucify the wise men and prophets He would send them.  They would scourge the wise men in the synagogues.  They would persecute the wise men and scribes from city to city.  The persecution spoken of was pinpointed for that generation, and it was that generation, in the first century A.D. which would fill up the measure of their fathers, and suffer the judgment for all of the righteous blood shed from Abel to Zacharias.

The religious and political leaders of the Jews, the Scribes and Pharisees, of the first century A.D. would eventually crucify our Lord, and persecute the Christians.  They would use Saul and others, and hide behind the Romans to do it.  They held this power until the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70.  After A.D. 70, and the destruction of the temple by the Romans, the Scribes and Pharisees, the High Priest and priests of the Jews could not have caused this level of persecution, as they were killed, and scattered. The Jews would hold little if any power and authority after the destruction of Jerusalem, and would have no more influence with Rome.

The study of the Old Testament teaches us, just as the Jews were taught from their childhood, that the meaning of the phrase “a Coming of the Lord” was a day of judgment.  Jesus has been seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven since he received the Kingdom in the first century A.D.  He is here with us now!  He has been judging the world ever since, and each judgment is a Coming of the Lord.  I am sure He has come in judgment many times since the first century A.D.  But, the subject coming spoken of in the New Testament was pronounced on that generation, in that century, in the first century A.D.  Jesus came again, just as he said he would, when he came in judgment against Israel in A.D. 70.  He appeared a second time just as he promised he would to those listening in the first century A.D.

Today, as we study the New Testament, it is incorrect to be ascribing the contemporaneous statements spoken to the people who lived in the first century A.D. to a future coming some two thousand years later.  It is anachronistic to do so.  In Part III we will study some of the Old Testament prophetic language.

 



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    • Jardalkal

      Gina, you are correct that it is not the end of the world. The world ends in 3015 in the 7th Biblical month which is called Tishrei in the month of September/October on the first sliver of the new moon.

      Matt 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away (Isa. 65:17, Rev. 21:1), but my words shall not pass away. (Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33; Mt 5:18)

      Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Mk 13:32; Ac 1:6,7)
      When the days of the Messiah approach, even children will be able to discover secrets of wisdom, and through them be able to calculate the time of the end; then it will be revealed to all.’ ” (Zohar 1:117b-118a).
      Mk 13 note: In the Son’s humanity, Jesus did not know when the day or hour would be. During this time on earth, Yeshua voluntary waived some of His divine perogatives according to Ryrie Study Bible.
      1) This verse may refer to the return of His second coming in Matthew 24:31. If you notice the year is not mentioned, the season is not mentioned, the month is not mentioned. The year is a year of Jubilee. The next one is in 2017 (6003), then 2067 (6053), then 2117 (6103). The season is in the Fall based on Lev. 23:24ff. The month according to the Julian calendar is Tishrei or the seventh month Biblically again based on Leviticus 23. The first of the month is called Rosh Codesh and it begins on the sliver of the new moon. In September of 2017, for example, it is on the 20th or 21st. Since these days are shortened, then we have to add 2-3 days more. Just by guessing, we don’t know the day of the day. All we know is that it will be on the first sliver of the new moon in any given September. See notes Matt 24:31.
      Some people claim that Jesus was speaking only to people living in the first century of not knowing the day or hour, not to people living today.

      2) There is another interpretation to this verse and that refers to the end of the earth because of Matt 24:35 which Matt 24:36 follows. This month is Tishrei which is the 7th Biblical month in September/October which is tied to Leviticus 23:24ff which is called the Day of Trumpet. According to Torahcalendar.com, this will be in the year 3015. The earth began in the 7th month in 3986 BC according to Torahcalendar.com so it is fitting that it will end in the same month. The 7th month was the first month until 1441 or 1446 BC when the Exodus occurred in Exodus 12. Beginning in that year Abib/Nisan became the first month and it is in the spring in March/April and it begins on the first sliver of the new moon.
      3) Day and hour refers to the Day of Atonement for it is 25 hours long (i.e. one day plus one hour).
      4) Pentecost is also known as the Day and hour no man knoweth.
      According to the Jewish wedding, YeshuaJesus is in Heaven building His house while the bride on earth is preparing herself for the wedding. When the house is ready for the bride, the groom comes for her. (Matt 25:1-13). This will be on the Day of Trumpet (Lev 23:24). The story in Matt 25:1-13 clearly teaches watchfulness (v. 13); i.e., only those who are prepared for His coming will enter the kingdom.

      So when you say September 2015 is not Biblical, I will be adding my comments to your article and you will get the entire chapter of notes for every verse you use from the New Testament.

      John Ashcraft [email protected] Jesus in 2015-2017.

    • Jardalkal

      Hebrews 9
      Heb 9:1 ThenG3767 verilyG3303 theG3588 firstG4413 covenant hadG2192 alsoG2532 ordinancesG1345 of divine service,G2999 andG5037 a worldlyG2886 sanctuary.G39
      9:1-10:18 This section shows that the New Covenant’s system of priesthood and sacrifice, in which Yeshua offered up himself once and for all in order to clear the way to the Holy of Holies for everyone, is better than the Old Covenant’s system and efficiently replaces it. The subject matter is the same as in Sedar Kodashim, one of the six major divisions of the Talmud.
      1-5 Both Tent and Temple consisted of an outer court (not mentioned in this passage), a Holy Place, and a Holiest Place (Holy of Holies), according to the pattern set forth in Exod 25-31,35-40). These verses provide only the minimal background necessary for vv. 6-10 and therefore end with one of the more tantalizing lines in Scripture; would that the author had chosen to discuss these things in detail!
      Heb 9:2 ForG1063 there was a tabernacleG4633 made;G2680 theG3588 first,G4413 whereinG1722 G3739 was the(G5037 G3739) candlestick,G3087 andG2532 theG3588 table,G5132 andG2532 theG3588 shewbread;G4286 G740 whichG3748 is calledG3004 the sanctuary.G39
      The menorah (candlestick, light) had seven branches and was made of gold; see Exod 25:31-39, 37:17-24; variations are found in synagogues throughout the world, and the design rivals the six-pointed star for popularity as a Jewish symbol. The gold-covered acacia-wood table (Exod 25:23-26, 37:10-16) had on it the Bread of Presence (Exod 25:30), one load to represent each of the twelve tribes, placed fresh every Shabbat (Lev 24:5-9); only priests were allowed to eat it compare Matt 12:4, Mk 2:26; Lk 6:4).
      Heb 9:3 AndG1161 afterG3326 theG3588 secondG1208 veil,G2665 the tabernacleG4633 which is calledG3004 the Holiest of all;G39 G39
      The first curtain or “screen” (Exod 26:36-37; 36:37-38) separated the Holy Place from the outer court, whereas the second curtain or ‘veil” (Exod 26:31-3336:35-36, Matt 27:51) separated the Holiest Place from the Holy Place.
      Heb 9:4 Which hadG2192 the goldenG5552 censer,G2369 andG2532 theG3588 arkG2787 of theG3588 covenantG1242 overlaidG4028 round aboutG3840 with gold,G5552 whereinG1722 G3739 was the goldenG5553 potG4713 that hadG2192 manna,G3131 andG2532 Aaron’sG2 rodG4464 that budded,G985 andG2532 theG3588 tablesG4109 of theG3588 covenant;G1242
      The Holiest Place had associated with itself the golden altar for burning incense. Critics have been quick to conclude that the author did not know what he was talking about, since the Torah clearly states that the golden altar was outside the curtain (Exod 30:6; Lev 16:18; I Kgs 6:22). Actually, the author knew his subject well. Although the incense altar was used daily for other purposes, it was used in a special way by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, when he would take from it a golden censer of coals and bring them into the Holiest Place (Ex 30:10, Lev 16:12,15).
      Inside the Holiest Place was the Ark of the Covenant(Exod 15:10-22), the box in which were the gold jar containing a sample of the manna on which the Israelites lived for forty years in the Wilderness (Exod 16:33); Aaron’s rod, the dry almond branch that sprouted overnight as a sign to Korach and his rebels that Moses and Aaron were God’s authorized representatives (Num 17:25); and the second set of stone Tablets of the Covenant that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai (Exod 34:1-4, 28-29; Deut 10:1-5) which were in Solomon’s Temple (2 Chron 5:10) but disappeared later, perhaps at the time of the Babylonian Exile (587 C.E.; see Rev 11:19).
      Earlier, in v, 2, the Greek text says that the table with showbread and the menorah were “in” the Holy Place, And in the latter part of the present verse, the Greek says that the manna, rod and tablets were in the ark. But the Greek expression for the relationship between the Holiest Place and the incense altar is not “in which” but “having,” i.e., “having associated with itself.” Like the ark the incense altar was associated with the Holiest Place. But the author did not make the mistake of locating the incense altar in the Holiest Place, which would have been an error; on the contrary, choosing his worlds carefully, he associated the incense altar with the Holiest Place even though it was outside. A diagram of the actual locations makes this even clearer; the figure shows that the incense altar was close to the Holiest Place, while the menorah, showbread and table were further away.
      Also compare Rev 5:8, 6:9-10, 8:3-4, where the golden censer represents the prayers of believers in Yeshua.
      Heb 9:5 AndG1161 overG5231 itG846 the cherubimsG5502 of gloryG1391 shadowingG2683 theG3588 mercyseat;G2435 ofG4012 whichG3739 we cannotG2076 G3756 nowG3568 speakG3004 particularly.G2596 G3313
      1-5 The apostle shows to the Hebrews the typical reference of their ceremonies to Christ. The tabernacle was a movable temple, shadowing forth the unsettled state of the church upon earth, and the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. The typical meaning of these things has been shown in former remarks, and the ordinances and articles of the Mosiac Covenant point out Christ as our Light, and as the Bread of life to our souls; and remind us of his Divine Person, his holy priesthood, perfect righteousness, and all-prevailing intercession. Thus was the Lord Jesus Christ, all and in all, from the beginning. And as interpreted by the gospel, these things are a glorious representation of the wisdom of God, and confirm faith in Him who was prefigured by them.
      5 The kid of the Ark was also known as the “mercy seat” (Hebrew kapporeet, meaning the physical place where Adonai met the High Priest on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:2) and from which, in his mercy, he forgave the sins of the people of Israel. The Greek word for “mercy seat” is used in the NT at only one other place, Rom 3:23, where it is rendered “kapparah” (covering, atonement): “God put Yeshua forward as the kapparah for sin.” Thus the Tabernacle’s mercy seat prefigured the eternal mercy seat, Yeshua.
      Casting their shoadow on the mercy seat were two figures, the cherubim (Exod 25:18-22, 37:7-9). Cherubim guarded the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:24). God spoke to Moses “from between the cherubim” (Exod 25:22; Num 7:89); and because the Tanakh speaks often of God’s presence there (I Sam 4:4; Isa 37:16; Ezek 10:1-22; Ps 80:1, 99:1), the author regards the cherubim as representing the Shekinah (God’s presence).
      Heb 9:6 NowG1161 when these thingsG5130 were thusG3779 ordained,G2680 theG3588 priestsG2409 wentG1524 alwaysG1275 intoG1519(G3303) theG3588 firstG4413 tabernacle,G4633 accomplishingG2005 theG3588 serviceG2999 of God.
      The elements mentioned in vv. 2 and 4 already call to mind the duties of the priests in the outer tent (the Holy Place). They included keeping the menorah continually lit (Exod 27:20-22, Lev 24:1-4), placing fresh loaves on the table (Lev 24:5-9) and burning incense on the incense altar (Ex 30:7-9), as did Z’kharyah the father of John the Immerser (Lk 1:9-11).
      Heb 9:7 ButG1161 intoG1519 theG3588 secondG1208 went theG3588 high priestG749 aloneG3441 onceG530 every year,G1763 notG3756 withoutG5565 blood,G129 whichG3739 he offeredG4374 forG5228 himself,G1438 andG2532 for theG3588 errorsG51 of theG3588 people:G2992
      The author mentions these activities only to contrast their regularity with the High Priest entry into the inner tent (the Holiest Place), which is permitted only once a year and is surrounded by other conditions. He must bring the blood of a slaughtered animal as a sin offering, as a reminder that death is the penalty for sin (he does not actually bring it into the Holiest Place itself, but slaughters a bull at the altar in to prescribed manner). He must offer for himself, since he too is a sinner; and his offering for the people is only for their sins committed in ignorance. These requirements are set forth in Leviticus 16.
      Heb 9:8 TheG3588 HolyG40 GhostG4151 thisG5124 signifying,G1213 that theG3588 wayG3598 into theG3588 holiest of allG39 was not yetG3380 made manifest,G5319 while as theG3588 firstG4413 tabernacleG4633 wasG2192 yetG2089 standing:G4714
      The arrangement showed that during the time before Yeshua’s first coming, when the first tent, the Tabernacle established by the Mosaic Covenant, or any of its replacements, such as the First or Second Temple, had standing, the way into the Holiest Place, that is, into God’s presence, was still closed to people in general and was open only to the High Priest, and only once a year, and only if he came with blood.
      Had standing. Some versions have “existed,” but this is wrong. The author is referring to the time when the Tabernacle or Temple had status or position as an essential element in God’s way of dealing with sin under the Mosaic Covenant.
      Holiest Place. Greek agia, which can mean either “Holy Place” (as in vv. 1-2) or “Holiest Place” (compare Lev 16:2, which speaks of “the Holy Place inside the curtain”. Because of context agia must mean “Holy Place” at Heb 10:1, and “Holiest Place” here in vv 12, 24,25; 10:19, 22; 13:11. Only at Heb 9:3 must the author use the explicit term “agia agion” (Holy of Holies) for “Holiest Place in order to avoid confusion.
      Heb 9:9 WhichG3748 was a figureG3850 forG1519 theG3588 timeG2540 then present,G1764 inG2596 whichG3739 were offeredG4374 bothG5037 giftsG1435 andG2532 sacrifices,G2378 that couldG1410 notG3361 make him that did the service perfect,G5048 G3588 G3000 as pertainingG2596 to the conscience;G4893
      Heb 9:10 Which stood onlyG3440 inG1909 meatsG1033 andG2532 drinks,G4188 andG2532 diversG1313 washings,G909 andG2532 carnalG4561 ordinances,G1345 imposedG1945 on them untilG3360 the timeG2540 of reformation.G1357
      6-10 The apostle goes on to speak of the Old Testament services. Christ, having undertaken to be our High Priest, could not enter into heaven till he had shed his blood for us; and none of us can enter, either into God’s gracious presence here, or his glorious presence hereafter, but by the blood of Jesus. Sins are errors, great errors, both in judgment and practice; and who can understand all his errors? They leave guilt upon the conscience, not to be washed away but by the blood of Christ. We must plead this blood on earth, while he is pleading it for us in heaven. A few believers, under the Divine teaching, saw something of the way of access to God, of communion with him, and of admission into heaven through the promised Redeemer, but the Israelites in general looked no further than the outward forms. These could not take away the defilement or dominion of sin. They could neither discharge the debts, nor resolve the doubts, of him who did the service. Gospel times are, and should be, times of reformation, of clearer light as to all things needful to be known, and of greater love, causing us to bear ill-will to none, but good-will to all. We have greater freedom, both of spirit and speech, in the gospel, and greater obligations to a more holy living.
      9-10 The present age refers to the period after Yeshua’s first coming, yet before the Mosaic Covenant’s system of priesthood and sacrifice has altogether disappeared (8:13). The sacrifices go on, but, in the light of what Yeshua had accomplished what they signify is that the conscience of the person performing the service cannot be brought to the goal by obeying regulations concerning the outward life (on “food and drink” in the Temple see Lev 23; compare Col 2:16). And if so, how much less (Matt 6:30) can the sacrificial ritual bring the consciences of those for whom the service is performed to the goal of being, both in fact and in feeling, cleared of guilt.
      Non-Messianic Judaism has never supposed that the mechanical performance of ritual acts causes God to forgive sin. Rather, since the destruction of the Temple, Judaism has taken a different tack, teaching that neither sacrifice nor priesthood is necessary for God to forgive sin. The author expresses the view that sacrifice and priesthood are indeed necessary, that the Mosaic system was imposed until the time for God to reshape the whole structure, literally, “until a time of re-formation,” and thus prefigured the system established by Yeshua the Messiah.
      Heb 9:11 ButG1161 ChristG5547 being comeG3854 an high priestG749 of good thingsG18 to come,G3195 byG1223 a greaterG3187 andG2532 more perfectG5046 tabernacle,G4633 notG3756 made with hands,G5499 that is to say,G5123 notG3756 of thisG5026 building;G2937
      Having described the Mosaic Covenant’s system of priesthood and sacrifice, the author now addresses his readers’ preoccupation with it by showing many ways in which the New Covenant’s system and its priest/mediator are better; in vv. 13-14 he makes use of a kol v’vhomer argument (a light and heavy argument. If A is true then B is even more true).
      (1) With Yeshua arrive the good things that are happening already (v. 11; some manuscripts have “the good things yet to come”. The entire discussion that follows, through 10:18, demonstrates that these things are better than what came with the Mosaic Covenant’s system of priesthood and sacrifice.
      (2) Yeshua serves in a better Tent. It is greater, more perfect, and not manmade (that is, it is not of this created world) (v. 11). Moreover, it is not merely a copy of the true Tent, but the heavenly origin (8:3, 9:24, 10:1).
      (3)Yeshua, unlike the High Priest (v. 7a) has entered into the Holiest Place (literally, “the Holy Place,” but the context implies “the Holiest Place”.
      (4) Yeshua’s means of entry into the Holy Place was better: his own blood, not the blood of goats, calves and bulls and the ashes of a heifer. The blood of any other human being would not only have been an abomination itself, but would have accomplished nothing useful for others. But because Yeshua was sinless, he was a sacrifice without blemish, and God accepted his shed blood.
      Secondly, his sacrifice was through the eternal Spirit (v. 14), that is, authorized by God.
      And finally, his death was necessary to set people free from the transgressions they have committed under the first covenant (v.15).
      (5) What Yeshua’s death accomplished is better than what the death of animals accomplishes: setting people free forever (v. 12) and purifying our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God (v.14), versus not having our conscience brought to the goal (v. 9) and instead merely restoring outward purity (. 13).
      Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
      Heb 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
      Restores their outward purity, so that they may enter the Temple; literally, “sanctifies toward the cleansing of the flesh.
      Ashes of a heifer. According to Numbers 19, anyone defiled by contact with or proximity to a corpse was ritually cleansed be sprinkling him with water containing the ashes of a perfect red heifer. According to Maimonides, the High Priest was sprinkled with this water in order to restore purity before entering the Holiest Place on the Day of Atonement; if so, this offers an explanation as to why these ashes are mentioned here.
      A curious phenomenon that attracted the attention of the rabbis is that the ashes of the red heifer both purified and defiled. After the ceremony the person who had touched a corpse was no longer defiled (Num 19:11-12), but anyone touching the ashes was impure until evening (Num 19:7-8, 10). Yeshua has a similar dual role–see Jn 9:39; Lk 20:18.
      Sprinkling is what cleansed; as also vv. 14, 19,22. At 10:19-22 the text uses the words “sprinkling” and “water” in an allusion to Ezekiel 36:16-38, which is the haftorah (prescribed reading from the Prophets) for Shabbat Parah (heifer), when Num 19 is the Torah reading.
      At 13:11-13, a comparison is made between Yeshua and the animals “burned outside the camp”; and the red heifer was on of those animals (Num 19:3, 5).
      Heb 9:14 How muchG4214 moreG3123 shall theG3588 bloodG129 of Christ,G5547 whoG3739 throughG1223 the eternalG166 SpiritG4151 offeredG4374 himselfG1438 without spotG299 to God,G2316 purgeG2511 yourG5216 conscienceG4893 fromG575 deadG3498 worksG2041 to serveG3000 the livingG2198 God?G2316
      11-14 All good things past, present, and to come, were and are founded upon the priestly office of Christ, and come to us from thence. Our High Priest entered into heaven once for all, and has obtained eternal redemption. The Holy Ghost further signified and showed that the Old Testament sacrifices only freed the outward man from ceremonial uncleanness, and fitted him for some outward privileges. What gave such power to the blood of Christ? It was Christ’s offering himself without any sinful stain in his nature or life. This cleanses the guiltiest conscience from dead, or deadly, works to serve the living God; from sinful works, such as pollute the soul, as dead bodies did the persons of the Jews who touched them; while the grace that seals pardon, new-creates the polluted soul. Nothing more destroys the faith of the gospel, than by any means to weaken the direct power of the blood of Christ. The depth of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot dive into, the height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness of it, or the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. But in considering the sacrifice of Christ, faith finds life, food, and refreshment.
      This verse mentions all three: the Messiah, the eternal Spirit and God likewise 10:29). But our understanding of how these relate to the oneness of Adonai is not compressed into the word “trinity.”
      Heb 9:15 AndG2532 for this causeG1223 G5124 he isG2076 the mediatorG3316 of the newG2537 testament,G1242 thatG3704 by means of death,G2288 G1096 forG1519 the redemptionG629 of theG3588 transgressionsG3847 that were underG1909 theG3588 firstG4413 testament,G1242 they which are calledG2564 might receiveG2983 theG3588 promiseG1860 of eternalG166 inheritance.G2817
      Mediator of a new covenant. Yeshua’s relationship to the new covenant, is, first, that he is mediator of it, and second, that his death inaugurated it. However, his death has a function not only in relation to the New Covenant, but also in relation to the first covenant: it sets people free from their transgressions of it by being an effective death that pays the penalty for sin once and for all, whereas the death of animals offered as sin offerings gives temporary remission (see 10:1-14; Acts 13:38-39).
      Promised eternal inheritance. These three words can be traced through the Tanakh, as they outline one of its major themes. God promised Adam everlasting life, conditional on obedience (Gen 2:9, 16-17; 3:22). God’s covenant with Noah includes many promises and is called eternal (Gen 9:16). God promised Abraham and his seed the Land of Israel for ever (Gen 13:15), and the term “inherit” is first used in the Bible in connection with the promise (Gen 15:7). God’s promises to Abraham are reconfirmed in the covenant with Moses, but people’s sins disqualified them from receiving what had been promised. Those who accept Yeshua’s once-for-all dealing with sin, may receive the promised eternal inheritance.
      Heb 9:16 ForG1063 whereG3699 a testamentG1242 is, there must also of necessityG318 beG5342 the deathG2288 of theG3588 testator.G1303
      Greek diatheke may be translated “covenant,” “will” or “testament”; the sense of these two verses depends on keeping in mind at least the first two meanings. A modern reader may be able more easily tog rasp the author’s argument by thinking in terms of will, but the context (vv. 15, 18-22 is that of covenants as set forth in the Tanakh, where the Hebrew word “b’rit” must be translated “covenant” and cannot be rendered as “will.” Although “will” is suggested by the last word of v. 15, “inheritance,” the Tanakh uses “inheritance” to mean “that which is to be received” and knows nothing of wills.
      There must necessarily be produced the evidence of its maker’s death. For wills this is self-evident; but it is also true for God’s covenants, insofar as sacrifices are standins for the death of the one offering them. Noah offered sacrifices (Gen 8:20, 9:9). In the case of Abraham there were actual sacrifices (Gen 15:9, 17-18) as well as the symbolism of the blood shed at circumcision (Gen 17:11). The author himself discusses the Mosaic sacrifices (Exod 24:1-8) in vv. 18-22.
      Now a will is one-sided, but a covenant is two-sided. Obviously it was not God, who set the terms of these covenants, who died. Rather, it was, in all instances, the receiver of God’s covenant who died–not actually, but symbolically through identification with the shed blood. In the Mosaic Covenant, the dead animals represent the people of Israel as having died to their former uncovenanted, sinful way of life; while the sprinkled blood represents the new life offered through the covenant (the life is in the blood; Lev. 17:11). The necessary connection between deaths and covenants in the Tanakh is further suggested in the Hebrew phrase for “to make a covenant,” “likrot b’rit,” which means, literally, “to cut a covenant.” On the day God cut a covenant with Abraham that his descendants would inherit the Land. Abram cut animals in pieces and saw a burning lamp pass between them (Gen 15:7-21).
      Heb 9:17 ForG1063 a testamentG1242 is of forceG949 after men are dead:G1909 G3498 otherwiseG1893 it is of no strength at allG2480 G3379 whileG3753 theG3588 testatorG1303 liveth.G2198
      Heb 9:18 WhereuponG3606 neitherG3761 theG3588 firstG4413 testament was dedicatedG1457 withoutG5565 blood.G129
      Heb 9:19 ForG1063 when(G5259) MosesG3475 had spokenG2980 everyG3956 preceptG1785 to allG3956 theG3588 peopleG2992 accordingG2596 to the law,G3551 he tookG2983 theG3588 bloodG129 of calvesG3448 andG2532 of goats,G5131 withG3326 water,G5204 andG2532 scarletG2847 wool,G2053 andG2532 hyssop,G5301 and sprinkledG4472 bothG5037 theG3588 book,G975 andG2532 allG3956 theG3588 people,G2992
      After Moses had proclaimed the Ten Commandments (Exod 20) and the civil code of Exod 21-23, and the people had responded, “We will do and obey everything Adonai has said, “he inaugurated the covenant by sprinkling blood on the altar and on the people (Exod 24:1-8). Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51-52 report that in purification rituals scarlet wool and hyssop (Jn 19:28-29) were used, and living (i.e. running) water was mixed with the blood. The scroll of the covenant, from which Moses read to the people, is nowhere mentioned as having been sprinkled; but since it was made by human hands, it too needed cleansing, even though the words in it were from God himself.
      Heb 9:20 Saying,G3004 ThisG5124 is theG3588 bloodG129 of theG3588 testamentG1242 whichG3739 GodG2316 hath enjoinedG1781 untoG4314 you.G5209
      Heb 9:21 MoreoverG3668 he sprinkledG4472 with bloodG129 bothG1161 theG3588 tabernacle,G4633 andG2532 allG3956 theG3588 vesselsG4632 of theG3588 ministry.G3009
      Exod 40:9-10 says that the Tent and all the things used in the ceremonies were purified with oil, but it does not mention blood. However, Josephus, in retelling the story, writhes that Moses purified “the Tent and the vessels which belonged to it, both with oil that had first been incensed, and with the blood of bulls and rams.”
      Heb 9:22 AndG2532 almostG4975 all thingsG3956 are byG2596 theG3588 lawG3551 purgedG2511 withG1722 blood;G129 andG2532 withoutG5565 shedding of bloodG130 isG1096 noG3756 remission.G859
      15-22 The solemn transactions between God and man, are sometimes called a covenant, here a testament, which is a willing deed of a person, bestowing legacies on such persons as are described, and it only takes effect upon his death. Thus Christ died, not only to obtain the blessings of salvation for us, but to give power to the disposal of them. All, by sin, were become guilty before God, had forfeited every thing that is good; but God, willing to show the greatness of his mercy, proclaimed a covenant of grace. Nothing could be clean to a sinner, not even his religious duties; except as his guilt was done away by the death of a sacrifice, of value sufficient for that end, and unless he continually depended upon it. May we ascribe all real good works to the same all-procuring cause, and offer our spiritual sacrifices as sprinkled with Christ’s blood, and so purified from their defilement.
      22 Everything is purified with blood. See the numerous examples in the Torah at Exod 29-30; Lev 1-9, 14-17. Almost. For exceptions, see Exod 19:10; Lev 15:5ff; 16:26, 28; 22:6; Num 31:22-24.
      Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. This basic principle is minimized or overlooked entirely in modern non-Messianic Judaism.
      On the one hand, those forms of non-Messianic Judaism which borrow from secular philosophy promulgate the idea that modern man has evolved past the kind of primitive religion that portrays God as requiring blood atonement. Thus Reform Judaism has removed from the ‘Amidah of its prayerbook all reference to the restoration of sacrifices.
      On the other hand, although Orthodox Jews pray thrice daily for the rebuilding of the Temple, so that animal sacrifices can be offered in the manner the Torah requires. Orthodox Judaism attenuates their significance by emphasizing the efficacy of other factors in atonement. For example, at Rosh-HaShanah, the solemn New Year festival when Jews are supposed to examine the sin in their lives and seek God’s forgiveness, one of the most revered and moving prayers in the liturgy is the Un’tanneh Tokef, quoted here in full:’

      “We will celebrate the solemn holiness of this day, how awesome and fearsome it is. On this day your rulership is lifted up, your throne is established in mercy, and you sit upon it in truth. Truly you alone are judge, arbiter, discerner, witness, recorder, sealer, inscriber and reckoner; and you remember all forgotten deeds. You open the book of records and it reads itself, and everyone’s signature is there.
      “The great shofar is sounded, the still small voice is heard, and the angels tremble with fear as they proclaim: ‘Behold! the Day of Judgement!’ Even the armies of heaven are to be brought to judgment, for in your sight even they are not innocent. You cause all who come into the world to pass before you like a flock of sheep. Like a shepherd seeking out his flock and causing them to pass under his staff, you cause every living soul to pass before you; you count, reckon and review every creature, deterimining its lifetime and inscribing its destiny.

      “On Rosh-HaShanah it is inscribed, and on Yom-Kippur
      (Day of Atonement it is sealed; how many will
      pass away and how many will be born, who will live
      and who will die; who will die prematurely and who
      will live out his days; who will perish by fire and
      who by water; who by word and who by wild
      animals; who by hunger and who by thirst; who by
      earthquake and who by plague; who by strangling
      and who by stoning, who will have rest and who will
      wander about; who will be at peace and who will
      be tormented; who will be at ease and who will be
      bothered; who will become poor and who will be-come
      rich; who will be brought low and who will be raised
      up.

      “But repentance, prayer and charity (righteousness)
      avert the harsh decree.”

      This prayer paints a terrifying picture of how gravely God views sin. It delineates heaven on the annual Day of Judgment (which gives but a foretaste of the final Day of Adonai (Rev 1:10), when forgotten deeds are remembered and God apportions fates according to what everyone has done. At the end is an attempt to relieve the tension with the assurance that “repentance, prayer and charity avert the harsh decree.” But this is a false hope. Although repentance, prayer and tzedakah (righteousness, charity; see Matt 6:1-4) are expected in a believer’s life, they do not suffice to avert the harsh decree of eternal separation from God awaiting those who refuse the prompting by the Holy Spirit of God to trust in Yeshua the Messiah’s blood atonement.
      It is understandable that it was necessary for the survival of non-Messianic Judaism after the destruction of the Temple that it minimise the role of blood sacrifice. However, it is the Torah itself which proclaims the necessity of blood atonement for sin:
      Lev 17:11. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
      It is not supposed here that a magical power resides in blood (see Jn 6:35; Rom 3:25). Rather, Leviticus 17:11 is one of the Torah’s clearest statements of the indissoluble connection between sin and death. Already of Genesis 2:17-21 it is clear that sin, defined as disobedience to God, requires the sinner’s death (see Rom 5:12-21). Animal sacrifice, which by implication is found as early as Genesis 3:11, is a reminder of the seriousness of sin and at the same time a demonstration of God’s mercy toward sinners (compare Rom 3:25-26).
      In non-Messianic Judaism there is today no blood atonement. This contradicts the Torah, which says that “the blood maketh atonement by reason of the life.” This discrepancy is implicitly acknowledged by some Orthodox Jews on Yom-Kippur (Day of Atonement) in a ceremony called kapparot (atonements). Each person wrings a chicken’s neck and swings the chicken around his head three times
      “While the following is pronounced: ‘This is my substitute, my vicarious offering, my atonement; this chicken shall meet death, but I shall find a long and pleasant life of peace.’ The fowl is thought to take on any misfortune which might otherwise befall a person in punishment of his sins. After the ceremony, it is customary to donate the fowl to the poor, except for the intestines which are to the birds.” (Encyclopedia Judaica 10:756).

      The paltriness of this substitute for the awesome, fearsome, never-ending bloodiness the Temple sacrifices is obvious even to those performing the ritual. For if “it is impossible that the blood of goats and bulls should take away sin, how much less will the blood of chickens?
      In the light of the above, what is to be made of Scripture passages that seem to minimize the importance of animal sacrifices? For example, Isa 1:11-17 says, 11. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13. Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17. Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. at Matt 12:7 Yeshua himself quoted Hosea 6:6: “I want compassion rather than animal-sacrifice.” The answer is that animal sacrifices offered by people who lack compassion, whose “hands are full of blood,” and who do not “seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless fairly or plead on behalf of the widow” (Isa 1:15-17); compare Jam 1:27) are not merely useless but are “an offering of abomination.”
      Micah has a representative Israelite say,
      Michah 6:6. Wherewith shall I come before
      the Lord, and bow myself before the high God?
      shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with
      calves of a year old? 7. Will the Lord be pleased
      with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of
      rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my
      transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of
      my soul?
      The answer is one of the Tanakh’s best-known epitomes of the Torah (see Gal 5:14):
      8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and
      what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8
      Other similar passages are I Samuel 15:22, Amos 5:2ff and Psalm 40:7-9–which the author himself quotes at 10:5-7 in support of his own argument! Thus it is clear that the author does not regard such verses as downgrading the sacrificial system. Rather, he sees that God has never regarded sacrifices in themselves as capable of removing the guilt of sin in a permanent way. Only those whose hearts are right can off blood sacrifices that will please God, ‘repentance, prayer and tzedakah (righteousness)” are necessary preconditions for acceptable sacrifice, but not substitutes for it.
      That this is true throughout the Tanakh, no only at the beginning of Israel’s history but at its end, is proved by quoting the last prophet, Malachi, who writes that in the Messianic times, when Adonai suddenly comes to his Temple along with the “messenger of the covenant (who should be understood as Yeshua the Messiah),
      1. Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall
      prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye
      seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the
      messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in:
      behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. 2.
      But who may abide the day of his coming? and who
      shall stand when he appeareth? 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, that they may offer unto the Lord
      an offering in righteousness. 4. Then shall the
      offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the
      Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

      What repentant, prayerful and righteous (or charitable) Judah and Jerusalem must offer God is “a sacrifice of praise continually, thanking him that Yeshua has provided a one-for-all kapparah, a blood atonement for sin; because, as the present verse says, without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. This kind of sacrificial offering will in truth “be pleasant to Adonai, as in days of old, as in years long past.”
      Heb 9:23 It was thereforeG3767 necessaryG318 that theG3588(G3303) patternsG5262 of thingsG3588 inG1722 theG3588 heavensG3772 should be purifiedG2511 with these;G5125 butG1161 theG3588 heavenly thingsG2032 themselvesG846 with betterG2909 sacrificesG2378 thanG3844 these.G5025
      Why do heavenly things require…sacrifices at all? Surely they are not defiled, as are the copies such as the Tent and its implements. The Messiah’s blood made it possible for undefiled heavenly things to purify defiled sinners. For external cleansing, external sacrifices suffice; but for spiritual cleansing, spiritual ones are needed.
      Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
      Heb 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
      Heb 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. To suffer death, Greek pathein, literally, “to suffer.” See Heb_2:9-10.
      Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

      God has so organized the universe that human beings have to die once, not many times. This is the Bible’s refutation of the concept of reincarnation, which is found in most Eastern religions and incorporated into a number of recent Western imitations. Reincarnation is based on the option that although the body is obviously mortal, the soul is not; so that after one’s body dies, the soul that was in it migrates, perhaps after an interval of time, to another body. The purpose of this migration is variously explained in these regions as purification, gaining experience or working out “karma.” In Hinduism and Buddism, karma is the spiritual force which attaches to a person’ a soul as a result of the ethical consequences of his actions. In general, karma causes the round of rebirths and deaths a soul endures until it achieves spiritual liberation; also the karma attached to a soul at a particular point in its evolution determines its specific destiny in its next existence.
      The concept of reincarnation is attractive to people who are in some measure discontented with this life–which is to say, it is attractive to most people. And understandably so–it satisfies deep romantic needs to suppose that in a past life one might have been a general, a princess, a hermit, a great religious leader, or even a lion or a snail. Moreover, it builds a nonbiblical notion, held by many, that only the soul to pure, the body is in clean, inferior, unworthy of being immortal (the same notion underlies, Gnostic and other philosophies the denigrate sex or promote various ascetic and, oddly, libertine practices; see 13:4; Rom 7:5, I Cor 7:2-9, Col 2:18-23).
      Quite apart form being false, belief in karma and reincarnation attenuates responsibility for one’s actions. Anyone who believes in reincarnation cannot take sin seriously. This is because in his view the transgressions of this life can be made up in subsequent ones, and eventually every soul will achieve lieberation from the “wheel of karma.” In other words, their will be no Day of Judgment when sinners must account to God for their actions and receive what their deeds deserve (as taught in 10:25b-29; JN 5 27-29; Acts 17:31; Rom 2:5-16; I Cor 3:8b-15; 4:5; 2 Cor 5:10); so that there is little motivation for ethical behavior here and now in this present existence. Moreover, a common vulgarization of the karma doctrine lets people excuse their present sins as the consequence of bad karma in past lives, so that they shouldn’t be held responsible now (my karma made me do it).
      But the text is correct in proclaiming the first everyone dies; and then, after this comes judgment. Human life is nonrepeatable, one’s actions in this life are judged after death, and there is no opportunity for amendment later. The concept of a Day of Judgment (Yom-HaDin) is found throughout the Tanakh, as well as in Jewish tradition. I am not a fan of reductionism, but I am tempted to see ethics without God and judgment as reducible either to acting from learned patterns or seeking one’s own advantage, and I question whether either deserves to be called ethics even if “one’s own advantage” is construned to include willing good for others.
      Reincarnation also does away with the idea of historical purpose. This is because it implies that the individual also does away with the idea of historical purpose. This is because it implies that the individual soul’s journey from body to body is incomparably more important than anything a nation or a people might do. I call this the yo-yo theory of history; it asserts that the soul descends from the eternal unchanging world, takes on a body and appears in the illusory world or ordinary existence where nothing matters, lives a life without significance in relation to other people, and then goes back up into the eternal unchanging world, only to repeat the process. This yo-yo theory of history, in which nothing of moment ever happens, completely contradicts the Tanakh’s pervasive theme that history has a beginning 9creation), a middle (revelation) and an end (redemption)–that God has created man for a purpose, and has revealed his choice of a people, Israel, through whom he will accomplish that redemptive purpose.
      In sum, when compared with the alternatives, the idea expressed in this verse provides the most solid basis for a sound ethics and an intellectually satisfying philosophy of history, both of which are needed by anyone seriously seeing happiness and meaning in his life.
      Heb 9:28 SoG3779 ChristG5547 was onceG530 offeredG4374 to bearG399 the sinsG266 of many;G4183 and unto them that look forG553 himG846 shall he appearG3700 the(G1537) second timeG1208 withoutG5565 sinG266 untoG1519 salvation.G4991
      23-28 It is evident that the sacrifices of Christ are infinitely better than those of the law, which could neither procure pardon for sin, nor impart power against it. Sin would still have been upon us, and have had dominion over us; but Jesus Christ, by one sacrifice, has destroyed the works of the devil, that believers may be made righteous, holy, and happy. As no wisdom, learning, virtue, wealth, or power, can keep one of the human race from death, so nothing can deliver a sinner from being condemned at the Day of Judgment, except the atoning sacrifice of Christ; nor will one be saved from eternal punishment who despises or neglects this great salvation. The believer knows that his Redeemer liveth, and that he shall see him. Here is the faith and patience of the church, of all sincere believers. Hence is their continual prayer as the fruit and expression of their faith, Even so come, Lord Jesus.
      Here is the clearest statement in the Bible of the relationship between Yeshua’s first and second comings. His first coming fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 52:13-53:12, which predicted that the Messiah would die as an atonement for human sin and be raised from the dead, so that he could appear a second time to fulfill such prophecies as Isa 2:2-5 and 9:5-7, which say that the Messiah will bring peace to the world and deliver his people Israel from oppression. However, since “not everyone form Israel is truly part of Israel” (Rom 9:6), only those who are eagerly waiting for Yeshua to return can have assurance that they will be delivered.

    • Jardalkal

      Matthew 11
      Yochanan ben Zechariah is “offended”. Languishing in prison, he sends envoys to Yeshua, “Are you The One– or not?”
      Matthew 11:2-30; Lk 7:18-35

      Matthew 11:1-30
      Having instructed the Twelve and sent them away, Yeshua continues his itinerant healing and preaching; the narrative joins up with Mat_9:36. The disciples of Yochanan the Immerser come to Yeshua with a message “in code,” which he also answers in code (Mat_11:2-6). The interchange piques the crowd’s curiosity, on which Yeshua capitalizes by challenging their understanding of Yochanan’s ministry and pinning their attention to the chief subject of his preaching, the Kingdom of Heaven (Mat_11:7-14; see Mat_3:2). Finding his hearers dull of spirit he provokes them first with irony over failing to penetrate the surface of things (Mat_11:15-19), then with direct reproach at not turning from their sins even when confronted with evidence that God is present in a new and mighty way (Mat_11:20-24). Finally Yeshua states plainly that he himself has power and authority directly from God the Father (Mat_11:25-27), closing with an unexpectedly gentle challenge that they trust Yeshua as the one who can meet their needs (Mat_11:28-30).

      Mat 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
      In the towns nearby, literally, “in their towns.” Whose towns? Some say, “the Jews’ towns,” as if Mattityahu or his redactor were writing specifically for non-Jews or trying to distance himself from the Jews. I prefer to think what is meant is simply the towns of the people with whom Yeshua was then spending his time, the people of the Galil, or possibly the home-towns of his talmidim. (Robertson’s A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 683, takes the Greek word “avtôn” (“their”) in this verse as being according to the sense of the surrounding words, with the narrative itself being compressed; this supports my understanding.) See Mat_9:35.
      Mat 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

      Matthew 11:3-6
      Yochanan the Immerser, apparently discouraged by being put in prison after having announced Yeshua as the Messiah (Mat_3:11, Mat_3:17; Joh_1:27, Joh_1:29), asks, “Are you the one who is to come?”-the one who will put an end to political oppression and get me out of jail? The question is in code, for the phrase, “the one who is to come,” would be clear only to those acquainted with Yochanan’s teaching. Had they asked, “Are you the Messiah?” it would have been more difficult for Yeshua to send an answer to Yochanan without revealing his identity, which he was not yet wanting to do (see Mat_8:4 Mat_9:30).
      Yeshua’s answer is also in code. He refers to prophecies in the book of Isaiah of six signs which the Messiah will give when he comes: he will make the blind see (Isa_29:18, Isa_35:5), make the lame walk (Isa_35:6, Isa_61:1), cleanse lepers (Isa_61:1), make the deaf hear (Isa_29:18, Isa_35:5), raise the dead (implied in Isa_11:1-2 but not made specific), and evangelize the poor (Isa_61:1-2 in the light of Mat_4:23 above). Since he has done all these things (chapters 8-9), the message should be clear: Yeshua is the one; Yochanan need not look for another. See Mat_8:1-4.
      But his answer avoids mentioning the Messianic sign of “proclaiming liberty to the captives” (Isa_61:1). Added to his remark, “How blessed is anyone not offended by me,” Yeshua seems to be saying delicately that even though he is the Messiah, Yochanan will not be set free-as proves to be the case (below, Mat_14:1-12).
      Another view of this passage: Yochanan had prophesied that the Coming One would be an instrument of judgment as well as compassion. But in prison he had heard nothing of judgment, only of compassionate miracles. His question thus arises from lacking insight into a first coming in mercy and a second coming for judgment.
      Mat 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

      Mat 11:4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:

      Mat 11:5 The blind (Isa 35:5; 61:1) receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

      Mat 11:6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
      whosoever shall not be offended in me. I.e., he who can in full faith acknowledge and accept my “mighty work” as evidence of my Messiahship.

      Mat 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness (Jud 1:16) to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
      These 2 are rhetorical questions expecting negative answers.

      Mat 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.

      Mat 11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea (Nu), I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
      Nu. A general-purpose Yiddish word meaning variously, “Well?” “So?” “Indeed!” “I challenge you,” or, as in this case, “If not that, then what?”-with many possible inflections and overtones. It translates the similarly flexible Greek particle “alla” (see Paragraph 3 of the entry on “alla” in Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament) and in one succinct word captures the dynamic flavor of the exchange between Yeshua and the crowd. See also Luk_12:42.
      Mat 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which (who) shall prepare thy way before thee.
      Mal_3:1, quoted here, introduces a passage which explicitly states that Eliyahu (Elijah) the Prophet will precede the coming of the Day of the Lord, that is, the Day of Judgment (Mal_3:23 (Mal_4:5)). Judaism expects Elijah-who never died but was taken up to heaven by a whirlwind in a fiery chariot (2Ki_2:11)-to precede the Messiah. See Mat_17:10. See Isa 40:3.
      Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
      is greater than he. The greatness of John the Baptist in the old dispensation before the cross fades in comparison to the high position every believer has had since Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, and the descent of the Spirit.

      Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
      The Greek is difficult. As rendered, it means that violent ones (demons and their human vehicles) are trying to keep God from carrying out his plan through Yeshua, e.g., through Herod’s having put Yochanan in prison (Mat_11:2). An alternative understanding, “… the Kingdom of Heaven has been advancing forcefully; and forceful people are seizing hold of it,” seems inconsistent with Mat_11:25-30.
      This verse has been hard to understand and wrongly interpreted to this day; even the Jewish commentary of the Bible has not been able to solve the mystery[17]. Professor David Flusser discovered the key to understanding it through an old rabbinic midrash. This verse alludes to Micah 2:13 One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the Lord at their head (NIV). This verse pictures the shepherd taking the stones of the pen away in the morning, therefore “breaking open the way” for the sheep to get back out, which is the Hebrew word parats (ץרפ)[18]. While the breach-maker and the king are the same in Micah 2:13, rabbinic interpretation says that the breach-maker is Elijah and the king the Messiah. Jesus, hinting at that, is therefore saying, “The Kingdom of heaven […] is breaking forth […] and every person in it is breaking forth […] individuals within the Kingdom are finding liberty and freedom.” (Bivin & Blizzard 1994:86). Jesus is here declaring himself to be the Messiah, John the Baptist being Elijah. Jesus is the shepherd who leads the sheep out and onto the green fields. http://healing2thenations.net/papers/hebrewmt.htm
      Yahshua is making a reference to a well-known rabbinic interpretation of Micah 2:12-13, that reads like this:
      Mic 2:12-13 12. I will gather all of you, Jacob; I will collect the remnant of Israel. I will put them all together like sheep in a fold, like a flock inside its pen. It will be noisy and crowded with people. 13. The breach-maker (“breaker” in the KJV, poretz in Hebrew) goes through before them. Then they break out, passing through the gate, they leave by it. Their king passes through before them, YHWH at their head.
      This is a picture of a shepherd out in the field, penning his sheep up for the night. He makes a sheepfold for them by throwing up a makeshift rock fence against the side of a hill. The next morning, he lets the sheep out by making a “breach” in the fence, and the sheep are eager and impatient to get out after being penned up all night. So they shove and push a bit to get out into the green pasture.
      So now we see what Yahshua is saying – the Kingdom of Heaven is breaking forth, NOT suffering violence, and every person in it is breaking forth or breaking out INTO it, NOT “the violent take it by force.”
      Let’s compare Luke 16:16, the parallel verse (Luke 16:16 KJV) “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of YHWH is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
      The authors say: “Two tremendous things are happening at the same time: the Kingdom is bursting forth into the world like water from a broken dam, and individuals within the Kingdom are finding liberty and freedom.” http://www.search-the-scriptures.org/hebrew_new_testament.htm

      Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

      Mat 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
      He is Eliyahu. See Mat_11:10 above. Not that Yochanan was Eliyahu reincarnated; on the contrary, Heb_9:27 specifically teaches that reincarnation does not occur; and when asked, Yochanan himself denied that he was Eliyahu (Joh_1:21). Rather, he comes in the spirit of Eliyahu and precedes the Messiah’s first coming in the same way that Eliyahu himself is to precede his second coming. Yeshua affirms this understanding at 17:11-12. See Mal 4:5.
      John fulfilled the O.T. prediction of the coming of Elijah before the day of the Lord.
      Mat 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

      Mat 11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,

      Mat 11:17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

      Mat 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

      Mat 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children (works or deeds).
      One can always find a reason to carp at prophets rather than repent at their urging.

      Mat 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
      Miracles. Modern critics sometimes criticize Christianity for emphasizing Yeshua’s miracles as a major ground for believing in him as Messiah and Son of God. They often add that while rabbinic literature frequently reports miracles, they are neither central to the content of Judaism nor taken as proof that God’s Law is valid. My response:
      (1) The Tanakh itself grounds the Israelites’ faith in God on one of his most awesome miracles. Exo_14:31 reports that after the Egyptians had been drowned in the Red Sea, “When Israel saw the great power Adonai displayed against the Egyptians, they feared Adonai and put their trust in him and in his servant Moshe.” Yeshua, showing forth God’s power, is only asking from his fellow Jews the same response to God and his servant the Messiah which their mutual ancestors gave.
      (2) We have already seen (Mat_9:34, Mat_10:25) and will see again (Mat_12:24-32; Yochanan 9, 11) that Yeshua’s miracles were acknowledged as such even by those who opposed him. To avoid having to decide whether to trust him as God’s man, they attributed the miracles to demonic powers. Unlike the modern critics they recognized that miracles require a response, a decision; they just made the wrong one.
      (3) Why should it be less noble or sophisticated to predicate faith initially on God’s miracles rather than on his Law? Both are from God. One who truly trusts God will acknowledge both his Law and his miracles; can one who withholds belief in either be described as trusting God?
      Mat 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
      Tzor (Tyre) and Tzidon. The wickedness of Tyre and Sidon and the predictions of judgment against them are detailed in Isa_23:1-8, Ezekiel 26-28, Joe_3:4-8, Amo_1:9-10 and Zec_9:2-4.
      Mat 11:22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

      Mat 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
      Sh’ol. Usually brought into English as “Sheol”; Greek adês (“Hades”), the place of the dead. In the Tanakh Sh’ol is a dim vague state where dead souls wait. Sometimes English versions use “Hell” to translate “adês”; this can be confusing, because “Hell” also translates “gehenna,” a place of torment for the dead (see Mat_5:22). But see Luk_16:23, where adês is also described as a place of torment.
      Mat 11:24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

      Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
      Yeshua makes known his unique role in history and in establishing mankind’s proper relationship with God. The Gospel is spiritually perceived and does not depend on being sophisticated and educated; see 1Co. 1:17-1Co. 2:16.
      Mat 11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

      Mat 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

      Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Jer 31:25.
      Judaism speaks of the “yoke of Heaven,” the commitment any Jew must make to trust in God, and the “yoke of the Torah,” the concomitant commitment an observant Jew makes to keep the generalities and details of halakhah. Yeshua speaks of his own easy yoke and light burden. These two are sometimes contrasted in a way implying that in comparison with Judaism, Christianity offers “cheap grace.” But this saying of Yeshua’s must be put alongside remarks such as at 10:38 (Luk_9:23-24). The easy yoke consists in a total commitment to godliness through the power of the Holy Spirit. It at once requires both no effort and maximal effort-no effort, in that the necessary moment-to-moment faith can not be worked up from within but is a gift of God (Eph_2:8-9); and maximal effort, in that there is no predeterminable level of holiness and obedience sufficient to satisfy God and let us rest on our laurels.
      Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
      I am… humble. Can a genuinely humble person even say this about himself? Moses could (Num_12:3). True humility implies having neither a higher nor a lower opinion of oneself than one should, and knowing when and when not to speak about oneself at all.
      Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
      Yeshua’s audience is “heavily laden” with the yoke of first century Phariseeism, which has put a burden on them “that neither our fathers or we are able to bear” (Acts 15:1-11). By contrast, Yeshua’s yoke, the Torah, “is not grievous” (I Jn 5:3).

    • Jardalkal

      Matthew 12
      Yeshua and his disciples “harvest, winnow, and grind” grain
      Matthew 12:1-8; Mk 2:23-28; Lk 6:1-5

      Mat 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
      Shabbat. The Hebrew word has entered English as “Sabbath.” The biblical concept of a weekly day for resting from workaday purposes has no close parallel in the ancient world. The fourth commandment (Exo_20:8-11, Deu_5:12-14) connects Shabbat with the fact that God rested after the six days of creation (Gen_2:1-3); makes it a day of equality in which all, high and low alike, are entitled to rest; and sets it aside as a day which is holy, on which God is to be honored.
      Mat 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
      Violating Shabbat. The Greek text says, literally, “doing what is unlawful on Shabbat,” that is, doing something the P’rushim considered to be against the Torah. The argument was not over whether it was permitted to pick grain by hand from someone else’s field, for that is expressly allowed by Deu_23:26 (Deu_23:25), but whether it could be done on Shabbat. At issue behind this seemingly minor matter is whether the Pharisaic tradition-which evolved into what rabbinic Judaism calls the Oral Torah, later committed to writing in the Mishna, Gemara and other works-is God’s revelation to man and binding on all Jews. The question is explored further at 18:18-20 and Mar_7:5-13. According to the Oral Torah as we have it now in the Mishna (Shabbat 7:2) thirty-nine categories of m’lakhah (work) are prohibited on Shabbat, namely, those prohibited on Shabbat while the Tabernacle was being built. One of these was reaping, another threshing. At Mat_12:1 we are told the talmidim were reaping; in the parallel passage at Luk_6:1 they were also rubbing the heads of grain together in their hands, which would be defined as threshing. This is the content of the accusation the P’rushim were making against them and by implication against Yeshua, responsible as their teacher for their behavior. See Exod 20:10. Doing work on the Sabbath was the charge of the Pharisees.
      Mat 12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
      Though Lev_24:5-9 allows only cohanim to eat the bread of the Presence set aside for display before the ark in the house of God (Tabernacle), 1Sa_21:1-6 (1Sa_21:2-7) recounts how King David and the priest Achimelekh violated this mitzvah of the Written Torah-which the P’rushim would accept as more authoritative than a rule in the Oral Torah. A kal v’chomer argument (Mat_6:30) is implied.

      Mat 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
      the shewbread. Better, bread of the Presence. Twelve cakes, made of fine flower, were placed in the Holy Place in the tabernacle each day, on the table which stood opposite the candlestick. The old bread was eaten by the priests. It was this bread that David requested of Ahimelech, the priest, for himself and his men.

      Mat 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
      The Torah itself specifies that some mitzvot are more important than others (see Joh_5:22-23, Gal_2:12). Keeping Shabbat is important, but the animal sacrifices required by Num_28:1-10 are more so, so that the cohanim work on Shabbat in order to offer them. (“Temple service takes precedence over Shabbat,” Shabbat 132b.)
      Mat 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. I.e.

      Mat 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
      At the Holy Spirit Feast at Matthew’s house (Matt 9:9b-14; Mk 2:14-22; Lk 5:27-39), Yeshua told these same Pharisees, “Go and find out what this meaans, I will have mercy and not sacrifice.” Nine days later, he insults them in their synagogue by saying that they still do not have a clue as to the meaning of Hos 6:6, “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” If they truly understood the prophecy in its context, they would not condemn the innocent nor conspire to have him killed.

      Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day (Mk 2:27-28).

      Yeshua heals a man with a withered hand
      Matthew 12:9-14; Mk 3:1-6; Lk 6:6-11

      Mat 12:9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:

      Mat 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days (Lk 6:9)? that they might accuse him.

      Mat 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
      A sheep. One should save an animal’s life on Shabbat; but whether lifting a sheep out of a pit would, in the first century, have been considered a violation of the rule against work (carrying) on Shabbat is not clear. According to modern halakhah, it would.
      Mat 12:12 How much (Matt 6:30) then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.

      Mat 12:13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

      Mat 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

      Yeshua heals many in the villages around the Kinneret
      Matthew 12:15-21; Mk 3:7-12

      Mat 12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;

      Mat 12:16 And charged them that they should not make him known:
      they should not make him known. Many were drawn to Christ because of His reputation as a healer, which may have been diverting attention from His primary role as Messiah.

      Mat 12:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

      Mat 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
      Isa_42:1-4 is the first of several “suffering servant” passages in Isaiah 42-53. Some parts of these passages seem to refer primarily to the people Israel, others to the Messiah yet in Isaiah’s future. This fact emphasizes the close identification of the Messiah Yeshua with the Jewish people, as pointed out above, Mat_2:15. This gem highlights Jesus’ graciousness and gentleness.
      Mat 12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.

      Mat 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

      Mat 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. Isa 42:1-3

      Yeshua heals a blind and dumb man possessed by a demon (v. 22-23)prophesied by Isaiah

      Mat 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
      While there were Jewish exorcists (Mat_12:27, Act_19:13), casting out a blind, deaf and dumb demon was a major miracle only the Messiah could be expected to perform (see Mat_8:1-4), because, unlike the legion of demons (Mar_5:1-20), one couldn’t talk with it. Compare Yeshua’s answer to Yochanan’s disciples (above, Mat_11:5), “the blind are seeing… the deaf are hearing.”
      Isaiah 35:3-5 Strenthen you the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
      Mat 12:23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

      Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit defined Reports spread concerning Yeshua’s healing of a blind and dumb man
      Matthew 12:24-37; Mk 3:22-20

      Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

      Mat 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

      Mat 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

      Mat 12:27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
      By whom do your people expel them? The implied answer is: Also by the Adversary. Satanic healings and miracles are possible, and many are led astray by them (Exo_7:22, Exo_8:7; below, Mat_24:24). Those involved in the occult and in false religions because of the miracles and healings they see have found the broad road that leads to destruction, not the narrow gate and hard road that lead to life (Mat_7:13-14).
      Mat 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

      Mat 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

      Mat 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
      Those who are not with me are against me (also at Luk_11:23). Here and in the next seven verses the P’rushimPharisees are presented with a last chance to stand with Yeshua. More generally, a standard is set by which a talmiddisciple can test himself: if he is not actively on Yeshua’s side, he is on the side of the Adversary. Contrast Mar_9:40, “For whoever is not against us is for us” (similarly Luk_9:50); the seeming contradiction is explained by the context. In Mark the talmidim are warned that prior to the final opportunity it is premature to conclude that anyone not on Yeshua’s side is against him. The same verse also gives a criterion by which others may be tested in relation to a talmid’s own work: whoever is not actively opposing the talmid is de facto an ally, not an enemy.
      Mat 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
      Blaspheming (that is, insulting) the Ruach HaKodesh consists in either (1) wilfully continuing to deny the Gospel when the Holy Spirit has made clear to you that it is true, (2) attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to the Adversary (Satan); in the present context these amount to about the same thing (other interpretations have been offered), or (3) direct and explicit abuse of the divine name. These circumstances cannot be duplicated today.
      One can say something against the Son of Man, etc. See Luk_12:8-10.
      ‘olam hazeh… ‘olam haba, “this world… the world to come.” These concepts are part of rabbinic Judaism. The latter can mean either the Millennial Age (Revelation 19-20; see 1Th_4:15-17) or the Eternal Age following Judgment Day (Revelation 21-22).
      Mat 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

      Mat 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

      Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

      Mat 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

      Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word (useless) that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Day of Judgment is the Bema Seat for the believers and the Great White Throne Judgment. Every man and woman at the age of accountability shall confess every thought, word spoken and written, and every action performed. We all come under the fire.

      Mat 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

      The sign of the prophet Yonah is given The religious leaders demand another messianic sign, but Yeshua says there will be only one sign
      Matthew 12:38-45

      Mat 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
      Yeshua never cheapens himself or dilutes his message for those whose interest in him is casual or hostile, and nowhere is this truer than when he predicts his own resurrection. Compare Mat_16:1-4, Mat_26:59-68; Mar_8:27-33, Mar_14:55-64, Mar_15:27-33; Luk_11:29-30; Joh_2:18-22.
      Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
      adulterous. The nation was unfaithful in its vows to the Lord. the sign of the prophet Jonas. In Matt. 16:4 and Lk 11:29-32 the sign is the warning of judgment to come (Jonah 1:2; 3:4). Here the sign is related to the death and resurrection of the Son of Man.

      Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
      Yonah (Jonah) was sent to prophesy to the non-Jews of Nineveh in Assyria.
      Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. a greater. The Greek word is neuter here and in v. 42 and refers to the kingdom of God.

      Mat 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
      Queen of the South, i.e., the Queen of Sheba (1Ki_10:1-10, 2Ch_9:1-12), also not Jewish.
      Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit (demon) is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
      There is only one devil (Satan) but there are many demons. The demons are those angels who sinned with Satan by following him when he revolted againsst God. Some are confined (2 Pet 2:4), but many are active in the world (Matt 12:43-45). They seek to hinder the purposes of God (Eph 6:11-12); they promote their own system of doctrine (I Tim 4:1); they can inflict diseases (Matt 9:33) and possess the bodies ofmen and of animals (Matt 4:24; Mark 5:13).

      Mat 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

      Mat 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

      Yeshua’s family comes to speak with him
      Matthew 12:46-50; Mk 3:31-35; Lk 8:19-21
      Matthew and Mark carry the details of Yeshua’s teachings during this period. Luke interjects this event into the narrative after the parables recorded in Luke 8:4-18 but the family intervention incident belongs here in the chronology. This is a rare case where Luke diverges from the chronological order of events so that he does not disrupt the continuity of Yeshua’s teachings.

      Mat 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
      Brothers. At 13:55 we are given their names. The Roman Catholic tradition is that these “brothers” were actually more distant relatives; hence their doctrine that Miryam remained a virgin throughout her lifetime (see Mat_1:25). Hebrew ach (“brother”) can have a broader range of meaning than Greek adelphos, and this broader sense could be read from the Synoptic Gospels, which probably had Hebrew or Aramaic antecedents. But the mention in Paul’s letters, written in Greek for Greek-speakers, of Yeshua’s brothers suggests that the word was meant to have the narrower Greek meaning. Protestants take the word to refer to children born to Miryam after Yeshua’s birth; they would be, actually, half-brothers, since their physical father, but not Yeshua’s, would have been Yosef.
      Mat 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

      Mat 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
      This is the first of several incidents in which Yeshua’s treatment of his family is considered by some to be disrespectful and cavalier, even though elsewhere he affirmed the fifth commandment (Mat_19:19) and even disputed with the P’rushimPharisees about it (Mat_15:4-6). Why did his family wish to see him? We do not know for sure; we do know that his brothers had little understanding of his ministry (Joh_7:2-9), and that his mother, even though she had been given special insight through the angel Gavri’el (Luk_1:26-56) and through Shim’on and Chanah (Luk_2:25-38), was at times puzzled by his actions (e.g., Luk_2:41-51), although upon being reminded by him, she could summon up a measure of trust (Joh_2:3-5). They may have wanted to bring him food and supplies out of concern for his well-being; or, fearing the opposition, they may have wanted to stop or even seize him (as his friends had wanted to, Mar_3:21). Under such circumstances, when busy ministering to a crowd and fielding opposition, Yeshua may have found it best to communicate that even though blood is thicker than water, spiritual family ties supersede physical ones. His remarks do not come from lack of respect but from his desire to point to the Kingdom of God. Eventually his relatives became members of his spiritual family as well (Act_1:14, Gal_1:19).
      Mat 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

      Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
      This means that the spiritual relation between Christ and believers is closer than the closest of blood ties. Obedience to God takes precedence over responsibilities to family.

    • Jardalkal

      Matthew 10
      Yeshua sends out the twelve, in pairs, after Rosh Khodesh (New Moon) Matthew 10:1-11:1; Mk 6:7-13; Lk 9:1-6

      Mat 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
      A disciple is one who is taaught by another; he is a learner. In the Gospels the word is frequently used–of disciples of Moses (Jn 9:28), of John the Baptist (Jn 3:25), and of Christ. Judas is an example of an unsaved disciple of Christ and there were others who deserted Him as well (Jn 6:66). The word is used in Acts as a synanym for believer. It does not appear at all in the rest of the N.T.

      Mat 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
      Emissaries. Greek apostoloi, which means “those sent out,” is usually rendered “apostles,” a word with a distinctly “churchy” ring I wanted to avoid. I debated using the Hebrew equivalent, “shlichim” (singular “shaliach”), but decided that “shaliach” makes Diaspora Jews think of an Israeli sent to encourage aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel)-not a bad image, in my view, but irrelevant to the New Testament.
      The apostle is an ambassador who bears a message and who represents the one who sent meassage and who represents the one who sent him. The qualifications included: (1) seeing the Lord and being an eyewitness to His resurrection (Acts 1:22; I Cor 9:1); (2) being invested with miraculous sign-gifts (Acts 5:15-16; Heb 2:3-4); (3) being chosen by the Lord or the Holy Spirit (Matt 10:1-2; Acts 1:26).
      Shim’on (Simon), called Kefa-see Mat_4:18. Andrew and Philip render Greek names. Ya’akov Ben-Zavdai and… Yochanan-see Mat_4:21. T’oma (Thomas) means “twin” in Hebrew-see Joh_11:16. Mattityahu, identified as L’vi (Mar_2:14, Luk_5:27-29), is believed to be the author of this Gospel. Bar-Chalfai, son of Alpheus. Taddai; some manuscripts have “Lebbai also known as Taddai” (Lebbeus also known as Thaddeus); he is supposed to be the same as Y’hudah the brother of Ya’akov (Luk_6:16, Joh_14:22, Act_1:13, Jud_1:1).
      Zealot. The Zealots were the “Jewish Liberation Front” of their day, actively opposing Roman occupation. Their provocations led in 66 C.E. to open rebellion, which was crushed by the Romans with enormous loss of life, destruction of the Temple in 70, and mass suicide of the last holdouts at Matzada in 73 to avoid being captured and enslaved by the Roman army.
      Y’hudah from K’riot is known to English-speakers as Judas Iscariot. “Iscariot” is probably not a surname but a rendering into Greek of Hebrew ish-K’riot, “a man of K’riot,” a town some twenty miles south of Jerusalem.
      Mat 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

      Mat 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
      In Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13 Simon is called “Zelotes” (the Zealot)> He likely belonged, before following the Lord, to the extremist party of Zealots who advocated the overthrow of Rome by force.
      Mat 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
      Goyim, “Gentiles” (see Mat_5:47). In some Jewish circles today “Gentile” and “Christian” are regarded as interchangeable terms, but this is a mistake, confusing one’s people with one’s religion. The word “Gentile” means only “non-Jew”; it does not mean “Christian.” A member of the Jewish people, a Jew, can opt for a form of non-Messianic Judaism (e.g., Orthodox, Conservative, Reform), or for Messianic Judaism, or for some other religion or none. Likewise a Gentile can decide to follow a form of non-Messianic Judaism and become a proselyte; or he can become a Christian in the same way a Jew becomes Messianic, namely, by putting his trust in God and in his son Yeshua the Messiah; or he can follow another religion or none. Because the religion of Judaism implies membership in the Jewish people, a Gentile who becomes a Jew by religion also becomes a member of the Jewish people, and his children will be Jews. Because Messianic faith-Gentile Christianity and Messianic Judaism-is transcultural and can be held by members of any people, a Jew who becomes a follower of Yeshua remains a member of the Jewish people and does not become a Gentile.
      Mat 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

      Mat 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

      Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
      You have received without paying, so give without asking payment. The Talmud gives the same advice:
      “Rav Y’hudah said in the name of Rav: Scripture says, ‘Behold, I have taught you [statutes and judgments]… ‘ (Deu_4:5). Just as I teach for free, so you should teach for free. Similarly it has been taught: The next words of this verse are, ‘ … as Adonai my God commanded me.’ This too implies: Just as I teach for free, so you should teach for free.
      “Whence do we deduce that if it isn’t possible to find someone who will teach gratuitously, one must pay to learn? A verse says, ‘Buy the truth… ‘ (Pro_23:23). And whence do we deduce that one who has to pay in order to learn should not say, ‘Since I had to pay to learn Torah, I will charge to teach it’? From the same text, which adds, ‘… and do not sell it.’ ” (Bekorot 29a).
      Mat 10:9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

      Mat 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

      Mat 10:11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

      Mat 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
      Shalom aleikhem. The word “shalom” means not only “peace” but also tranquillity, safety, well-being, welfare, health, contentment, success, comfort, wholeness and integrity. “Shalom aleikhem” means “Peace be upon you” and is a common greeting, as is simply “Shalom!” Thus there is a deeper meaning to Yeshua’s instruction in Mat_10:13 on when to give or withhold shalom, for he refers not only to the greeting but to the whole complex of peace/wholeness/well-being that the Messiah offers through his talmidim-and similarly at many places in the New Testament.
      Mat 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

      Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

      Mat 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha Gen 19) in the day of judgment, than for that city.

      Mat 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
      Serpents never allow themselves to get cornered. Yeshua always answered a question with a question when would-be accusers attempted to corner him.

      Mat 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

      Mat 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
      Compare Psa_119:46, “I will also speak of your testimonies before kings, and I will not be put to shame.”
      Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

      Mat 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
      It will not be just you speaking. The word “just” is not in the Greek text; I have added it to avoid the implication that the Spirit of your heavenly Father might take control of someone without his knowledge or against his will.
      Mat 10:21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

      Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

      Mat 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

      Mat 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

      Mat 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
      Ba’al-Zibbul or Ba’al-z’vuv (the manuscripts differ); usually seen in English as “Beelzebul” and “Beelzebub”: derogatory names for the Adversary (see Mat_4:1). The latter is the name of a Philistine god (2Ki_1:2) and in Hebrew means “lord of a fly.” The Ugaritic root z-b-l means “prince,” making the former name imply that the Adversary has a measure of status and power; but in post-biblical Hebrew the root z-b-l means “dung,” with “Ba’al-zibbul” meaning “defecator.” Other interpretations are possible.
      Mat 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

      Mat 10:27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
      The housetops were flat roofs where people gathered when the weather was pleasant (compare Mar_2:4). Since houses were close together, people could shout from their housetops and proclaim to an impromptu audience.

      Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him (God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

      Mat 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

      Mat 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

      Mat 10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

      Mat 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

      Mat 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

      Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

      Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
      The Talmud too applies Mic_7:6 to Messianic times:
      “It has been taught: R. Nehorai said, ‘In the generation when Messiah comes, young men will insult the old, and old men will stand before the young [to give them honor]; daughters will rise up against their mothers, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law. The people will be dog-faced, and a son will not be abashed in his father’s presence.’ ” (Sanhedrin 97a)
      This passage is relevant also at Luk_1:17, where Mal_3:23-24 (Mal_4:5-6), “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,” is quoted.
      A crude and foolish criticism of the New Testament based on this verse is that Yeshua advocates family strife. Yeshua’s purpose is, of course, not to create contentiousness but end it. Yet he knows that tension may result when some members of a family trust him while others do not (see Mat_10:37).
      Mat 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

      Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
      Yosef Vaktor, a Messianic Jew in Yerushalayim who escaped the Nazis by hiding in a forest and came to faith during the time of the Sho’ah (Holocaust), has taught on the subject of loving God more than parents:
      “In choosing between God and relatives, God comes first. Abraham had to leave his family, his kindred and his father’s house (Gen_12:1-3). He had to send his son Ishmael away permanently (Gen_21:8-13). He had to be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen_22:1-19). At the time of the golden calf, Moses told the Levites that because each was willing to be against his son and his brother, with the result that they killed three thousand, God bestowed a blessing (Exo_32:29-30). One is to stone the false prophet who leads the people into idolatry, even if he is your brother, son, daughter or wife (Deu_13:6-11). One is to put to death one’s rebellious son (Deu_21:18). In the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua machmir (interprets more stringently); he does the same here. But his method of judging more stringently is different. For example, in the incident of Joh_8:1-11 the Sanhedrin might have excused the sin of the woman caught in adultery, that is, it might have not pronounced her guilty. Yeshua does pronounce her guilty, but he lets her go, tempering justice with mercy.” (Teaching at Netivyah Congregation, October 29, 1989).
      Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
      Execution-stake, Greek stavros, usually translated “cross.” Actually it was a vertical wooden stake with a crossbar, usually shaped more like a “T” than the Christian symbol, used by the Romans to execute criminals who were not Roman citizens (Roman citizens sentenced to death were given a less painful way to die). It was not a normal Jewish means of execution. Halakhah specified four methods of execution-stoning, burning, beheading and strangling (Mishna Sanhedrin 7:1)-but not hanging or being suspended from a cross (see Gal_3:13, 1Pe_2:24).
      However, in Roman-occupied Israel public crucifixions were common: the condemned man carried the crossbar of the stake on which he was to be executed to the place of execution and was nailed to it by his wrists and ankles. Then the stake with him on it was pounded into the ground, where he was left hanging in excruciating torment until he expired, usually many hours later. Also it was a death of utter infamy (Php_2:8); a modern cultural equivalent would be electrocution. To grasp the enormity of Yeshua’s crucifixion process, picture the legitimate and glorious King of the whole world being put to death as a criminal in the electric chair-with too little electricity, so that it took hours for him to die instead of seconds-while crowds gaped and jeered. When the late Jewish comedian Lenny Bruce invited his audience to imagine Gentiles wearing little electric chair models around their necks he was resonating with a deep truth.
      Throughout the JNT the terms “execution-stake” and “stake” are used instead of “cross”; and “execute on a stake,” “nail to the execution stake” and “put to death on the stake” instead of “crucify.” These expressions focus attention on the events themselves, particularly their character as judgment; whereas the usual terms explain less and carry church-related associations developed much later in history.
      The quasi-Christian cult known as “Jehovah’s Witnesses” teaches that Yeshua was tortured on an upright pole without a crossbeam. My rendering of stavros as “execution stake” is functional, not symbolic. I want to stress not the cross’s shape but its use-in the first century it was not a symbol mounted on a steeple. Weighty archeological and historical evidence confirms that the kind of execution-stake used in Israel then had a crossbeam (Latin patibulum), and that it was this which the criminal, and likewise Yeshua, was forced to carry to his place of execution.
      To many Christians the cross represents all they hold dear; I do not object to their use of it to symbolize their faith. But for centuries Jews were done to death under the sign of the cross by persons claiming to be followers of the Jewish Messiah. Therefore to me the cross symbolizes persecution of Jews. As a Messianic Jew, still feeling the pain on behalf of my people, I do not have it in me to represent my New Testament faith by a cross.
      However, many New Testament references to the cross, or execution stake, are figures for Yeshua’s atoning death. If the term “execution stake” or “cross” speaks to us of what Yeshua, the eternal Word of God made flesh, did for us and for all humanity by his death, then the New Testament message is reaching our hearts.
      On the message of this verse see Luk_9:23-25.
      Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

      Mat 10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

      Mat 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. Tzaddik. See Mat_13:17.
      Mat 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

    • Jardalkal

      Matthew 23
      The Sermon on the (Temple) Mount Yeshua ‘spoils the principalities and powers’ of the Sanhedrin by exposing their illegitimate authourity in front of the multitude. Matt 23:1-39
      Mat 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
      Yeshua’s denunciation of the establishment (Mat_23:1-36) is combined with compassionate regret at their rejection of him (Mat_23:37-39). First he talks about them (Mat_23:1-12), then he speaks to them (Mat_23:13-36).
      Mat 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: Ezra 7:6, 25; Neh 8:4; Deu 33:3-5
      The seat (Greek kathedra) of Moshe. The Midrash Rabbah says:
      “They made for him [Moses] a katedra like that of the advocates, in which one sits and yet seems to be standing.” (Exodus Rabbah 43:4)
      Pesikta diRav Kahana 1:7 mentions the seat of Moses, and the editors of the English edition comment:
      “The particular place in the synagogue where the leaders used to sit was known metaphorically as the seat of Moses or as the throne of Torah, symbolizing the succession of teachers of Torah down through the ages.” (William G. Braude and Israel J. Kapstein, Pesikta diRav Kahana, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1975, p. 17)
      A third-century C.E. “Chair of Moses” from Korazin (Mat_11:21) is on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; a photograph and description may be found in Biblical Archeology Review 13:5 (1987), pp. 32-35. According to the Hebrew University scholarly journal Tarbitz I, p. 145, they can also be found in Hamot, Tiberias and Delos (Greece).
      The Torah-teachers and the P’rushim… sit in the seat of Moshe, exercising the power of “the cohen or judge in office at that time” (Deu_17:8-13), officially interpreting the Torah. There are some who understand this verse to mean that, according to Yeshua, the Oral Torah, as expounded in Orthodox Judaism, is binding on Messianic Jews today. I do not believe this, because I think Yeshua had already initiated a process transferring halakhic authority from the cohanim, judges and rabbis to the emissaries and later leaders of the Messianic Community. See Mat_18:18-20 and Messianic Jewish Manifesto, Chapter V.
      The “seat of Moses” was a literal seat in the synagogue in which the sages and Pharisees sat to proclaim their oral torah, which became binding upon anyone who willingly submitted to their self proclaimed authority.
      Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
      The ancient Hebrew text of Matthew’s Gospel states that the followers of Yeshua are commanded to not follow the takanot and ma’asim of the Pharisees oral torah, but that they should “do what he (Moses) says to do” in clear opposition to what the Pharisees teach. The Greek texts, which were translated from the Aramaic text, which was translated from the Hebrew original, missed the entire point of Yeshua’s admonition; each of these translations read: “do what they (the Pharisees) command you to do.” In the Hebrew texts of Matthew’s Gospel, the difference between obeying what he says to do, and what they say to do, is just a single small jot of the scribe’s quail. In the original Hebrew text there is no scholars who work with ancient texts understand how Aramaic and Greek translators could have easily missed that pen stroke–and the profound significance of that pen stroke, especially when the translators theology may have already pre-determined how they were going to transmit the text. Translating the text as if there were a vav on the end of the word may seem like a very small difference on the surface. In reality, the absence of that small stroke of the quill is the difference between obedient to the commandments of the Almighty, which no man has the authority to either add to diminish (Deut 4:2; 12:32), and living under a man-made system of religion that by its very nature is in violation of the commandments given to us as Mount Sinai.
      The Encyclopedia Judaica defines takanot as rules enacted by the Pharisees which change or negate biblical law, while ma’asim are acts of the rabbis which serve as a legal precedent for righteous behavior. Yeshua clearly and pointedly commanded his disciples, “Do not follow the takanot and ma’asim of the Pharisees!” This very issue was declared by Yeshua on the Day of Trumpets and it offended the Pharisees (Matthew 15:1-20; Mk 7:1-23) to the point that they threatened to kill him if he showed up in Jerusalem for the Feast of Sukkot in two weeks (Jn 7:1). So in this age of proliferating religious systems we might ask the confessed followers of the Messiah: “Just what part of ‘Do not follow the takanot and ma’asim of the Pharisees’ don’t you understand?” Yeshua vociferously violated the man-made rules of the Pharisees at every turn–that is why they started making plans to kill him at Shavuot (Jn 5:1-47) when he healed a man and then immediately commanded him to break the law of the eruv by picking up his mat on the Sabbath and carry it away. If we miss this one single stroke of the pen, which is the difference between following Moses or following the religious system of the Pharisees, we have missed the entire teaching ministry of the Messiah. He came to declare the truth that sets men free from the bondage of religion–every man-made religion that populates the planet.

      Mat 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
      Compare the remarks of the modern Orthodox rabbi H. Loewe:
      “Rabbi Me’ir used to say, ‘If I have ruled for others leniently, for myself I decide with stringency.’ And conversely, in branding excess, Rabbi Huna describes the Pharisee who, lenient to himself, teachers others to obey the hardest rules.” (C. G. Montefiore and H. Loewe, A Rabbinic Anthology, New York: Schocken Books edition, 1974, p. lxxix)
      Mat 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments (Matt 9:20),
      T’fillin are small leather boxes containing parchment scrolls on which are written excerpts from the Tanakh (specifically, Deu_6:4-9, Deu_11:13-21, Exo_13:1-16). Observant Jewish men past bar-mitzvah age (13) strap one on one arm and the other around the head during the morning weekday synagogue service, in literal obedience to Deu_6:8, “You shall bind them [that is, God's mitzvot] for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.” Other English versions of the New Testament have here the word “phylacteries”; this transliterates the Greek word used in the text, “phulakterion,” which means “safeguard, amulet, charm,” and thus does not reflect the purpose of t’fillin. They were held in place by leather bands, which the Pharisees made broad to attract more attention to themselves. The custom was based on Ex. 13:9, 16; Deut 6:8; 11:18, though phylacteries had only begun to be used by the ultrapious in Christ’s day. Christ critizes not the custom itself but the spirit that corrupted it. enlarge the borders of their garments. A hem or fringe on a garment was placed there in accordance with NUm. 15:38, but the Pharisees made theirs unnecessarily wide.
      Mat 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

      Mat 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
      Rabbi renders Greek rabbi, which transliterates the Hebrew (compare Mat_8:19). The word means, literally, “my great one,” and, less literally, “my master,” “my teacher.” It became a title of respect used for Torah scholars by everyone, even those of the same or higher rank. Thus the Talmud says,
      “Whenever King Y’hoshafat, King of Y’hudah, saw a talmid chakham ["wise student," "scholar"] he would rise from his throne, embrace him and kiss him, and call him, ‘Avi, avi ‘ ['My father, my father'], ‘Rabbi, rabbi ‘ ['My teacher, my teacher'], ‘Mari, mari ‘ ['My lord, my lord'].” (Makkot 24a; parallel Ketubot 103b)
      Mat 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
      But you are not to let yourselves be called “Rabbi”… “Father”… “leaders.” The Hebrew Christian scholar Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum holds that this passage prohibits Messianic Jewish congregations from calling their leaders “rabbis” (“The Quest for a Messianic Theology: Statement,” in Mishkan #2 (Winter 1985), pp. 1-19; with “Response” by myself in the same issue, pp. 20-23; and “A Comment” by him in Mishkan #3, pp. 67-68).
      My view is that a literalistic approach here is inappropriate, since Yeshua also warns against being called “father” or “leader,” terms everyone uses. The context leads me to believe that Yeshua here is prohibiting believers from accepting unearned honors, rather than outlawing three titles. A leader is to be humble, a servant (Mat_20:25-28); if he is given any title at all, he is not to become puffed up. Others in the community are to guard against making invidious distinctions between “clergy” and “laity” by bestowing titles.
      My own objection to the use of the title “rabbi” today is not theological but ideological and practical. What should a “Messianic rabbi” be? A pastor under another name? I think the term “rabbi” sets up Jewish expectations which ought to be fulfilled. A Messianic Jewish congregational leader who accepts the title “rabbi” without having training adequate to qualify him as a rabbi in a non-Messianic Jewish setting is accepting honor which he has not earned and to which he is not entitled; and this does violate Yeshua’s injunction.
      Should a Messianic rabbi have s’mikhah (ordination; see Mat_21:23)? If so, should it be Messianic or non-Messianic? If Messianic, who is qualified to grant it? Messianic Judaism at present has very few ordained rabbis and no accrediting agency. At present, in order not to embarrass the Messianic Jewish movement, I urge leaders without rabbinic training to resist letting themselves be called “rabbi.”
      Rabbi, rebbe, Rav, and Ravi do not mean teacher; they all come from the root , which means great, higher, or exalted (Gen 6:5 ). Teacher is moreh in Hebrew–as in Har Moreh-Yah (Mount Moriah) the mountain where YHVH will be our teacher. Moreh comes from the root , to teach (Ex 4:12). Titles of nobility such as Father, Rabbi, and Reverend are forbidden by Yeshua, but his words are generally ignored by the religious systems bearing his name today.
      Mat 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
      Father, Latin: papa-Pope. No one is to be called either Pope or Father upon the earth–this too is an exalted title of nobility and part of the nicolaitan hierarchy of gentile pagan temple service. This cannot be construed to say that the word father is evil. The one who begets or adopts you is your father–but we have one Head, one Master, one Father, onw who is the Teacher, one Messiah and no one is to replace him as our spiritual covering.

      Mat 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. The exalted title of Teacher is again forbidden. A servant who has a congregation in his home must be able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2). A teacher is one of the ministries given by Yeshua through the Ruach Kodesh for the edification of the body of believers (Eph 4:8-14). A teacher, like an apostle, an evangelist, a prophet, and a pastor are diversitives of serving–they are not capitalized as titles of nobility.

      Mat 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

      Mat 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

      13-33 This passage is often called “the eight woes,” each beginning with the same pharse.
      Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
      Nowhere is it clearer than here and at 21:12-13 that the image of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” falls short of reality. The repeated slashing litany, Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers (“scribes”; see Mat_2:4) and P’rushim! angers Jews, mystifies Gentiles and embarrasses Christians, who find Yeshua’s remarks intemperate, antisemitic, even “un-Christlike.” But Yeshua, like all the prophets, spoke the words of God without fear or favor. He comforted those who were open to him and made repeated invitation to those who opposed him; but when it had become evident that these particular Torah-teachers and P’rushim were hardhearted, closed-minded and interested only in confuting or trapping him, he seized the initiative, revealing his accusers for what they were. Was he “unloving” toward them? Love must sometimes be tough. Even less was he antisemitic: his within-the-family correction was aimed at making these Jewish brothers of his live up to their high calling (and he partly succeeded; see Act_15:5, Act_21:20, Act_23:6). If Yeshua was unloving or antisemitic, one must say the same of all the Jewish prophets from Moses to Malachi.
      A truer measure of antisemitism-as it developed in the Church-is the ease with which the terms “scribes” and “Pharisees” are uncritically equated with “hypocrites,” falsely implying that all of them were. For Yeshua, in addressing “you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim” rather than “the hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim,” restricts his scathing denunciation to a specific group of them. See Mat_3:7, Mar_12:38, 1Th_2:14-16. The Jewish scholar Menahem Mansoor, writing in the Encyclopedia Judaica, also recognizes this:
      “While the Pharisees, as a whole, set a high ethical standard for themselves, not all lived up to it. It is mistakenly held that the New Testament references to them as ‘hypocrites’ or ‘offspring of vipers’ (Mat_3:7; Luk_18:9 ff., etc.) are applicable to the entire group. However, the leaders were well aware of the presence of the insincere among their numbers, described by the Pharisees themselves in the Talmud as ‘sore spots’ or ‘plagues of the Pharisaic party’ (Sot. 3:4 and 22b).” (Encyclopedia Judaica 13:366)
      The Mishna remarks that the “plagues” (or “hits” or “self-inflicted wounds”) “of Pharisees… ruin the world” (Sotah 3:4). The Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds both comment on this in famous passages delineating seven kinds of Pharisees (J. B’rakhot 14b, Sotah 20c; B. Sotah 22b). The following is a hybrid combining elements from both Talmuds with rabbinic expositions; it mentions eight kinds:
      There are seven kinds of Pharisees: the “shoulder” Pharisee, who ostentatiously carries his good deeds on his shoulder so all can see them; the “wait-a-moment” Pharisee, who wants you to wait while he performs a mitzvah; the bruised Pharisee, who runs into a wall while looking at the ground to avoid seeing a woman; the “reckoning” Pharisee, who commits a sin, then does a good deed and balances the one against the other; the “pestle” Pharisee, whose head is bowed in false humility, like a pestle in a mortar; the Pharisee who asks, “What is my duty, so that I may do it?” as if he thought he had fulfilled every obligation already (compare Php_3:5-6); the Pharisee from fear of the consequences if he doesn’t perform the commandments; and the Pharisee from love-either love of the rewards God promises for performing the commandments, or love of Torah itself [no matter which, he is understood here to be the one good kind of Pharisee].
      Continuing with B. Sotah 22b:
      “Abaye and Raba said to the teacher [of the above passage], ‘Don’t mention the Pharisee from love and the Pharisee from fear, because Rav Y’hudah quoted Rav as saying, “A person should always engage himself in Torah and mitzvot even if not for their own sake [i.e., even if motivated by fear of punishment or love of reward; see above]; because from doing them not for their own sake he will come to do them for their own sake.” ‘ Rabbi Nachman ben-Yitzchak said, ‘What is hidden is hidden, and what is revealed is revealed-the Great Tribunal will punish those who rub themselves against the walls, simulating humility [that is, God penetrates hypocrisy, reads hearts and judges truly; compare Luk_16:15, Joh_2:25.' "
      The passage concludes with this quotation from Alexander Yannai, the Hasmonean ruler of Judea (103-76 B.C.E.), who hated the Pharisees:
      "King Yannai said to his wife, 'Fear neither the Pharisees nor those who are not Pharisees; rather, fear the tsvu'in who ape the Pharisees, because their deeds are like the deed of Zimri (Num_25:14) but they expect a reward like that of Pinchas (Num_25:11).' "
      The literal sense of the Aramaic word "tsvu'in" is "dyed, colored," from which comes the metaphorical meaning, "hypocrites"; it also means "hyenas."
      Mat 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation (condemnation).
      The manuscripts which add Mat_23:14 probably borrowed from Mar_12:40 (see note there) or Luk_20:47. devour widows' houses. They used their position as jurists to adjust claims against wealthy widows or to get them to bestow on them their estates.
      Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
      You go about over land and sea to make one proselyte. Modern Judaism does not consider itself a missionary religion, and already by the time the Talmud was written Jews had become cautious about receiving converts (see Yevamot 47a). But in the second century B.C.E. the Idumeans were forcibly converted to Judaism, and apparently in Yeshua's time there was still active proselytizing by the Jewish community. For more on this topic, see 1Co_7:17-20, 2Co_4:1-2, Gal_5:3.
      Orthodox Judaism has a strand that clearly calls for missionary activity on behalf of Judaism, as is seen in the following citation from the Rambam's Sefer HaMitzvot:
      "The Sages say that this Commandment [to love Adonai your God with all your heart, soul and might] also includes an obligation to call upon all mankind to serve Him (exalted be He), and to have faith in Him. For just as you praise and extol anybody whom you love, and call upon others also to love him, so, if you love the Lord to the extent of the conception of His true nature to which you have attained, you will undoubtedly call upon the foolish and ignorant to seek knowledge of the Truth which you have already acquired.
      “As the Sifre says [on Deu_6:5 : 'And thou shalt love the Lord thy God: this means that you should make Him beloved of man as Abraham your father did, as it is said, "And the souls they had gotten in Haran" [Gen_12:5.' That is to say, just as Abraham, being a lover of the Lord-as Scripture testifies, 'Abraham My friend' [Isa_41:8-by the power of his conception of God and out of his great love for Him, summoned mankind to believe, you too must so love Him as to summon mankind unto him." [Maimonides: The Commandments, translated by Charles B. Chavel, Volume 1, Commandment 3, page 5].
      Mat 23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor (his oath is binding)! Blind guides are a reference to the “seat of Moses” in which they claim to sit. Here Christ argues with the Pharisees on their own grounds. The rabbinic elaboration of the laws pertaining to oaths is found in Talmud tractate Shvu’ot. Matt 5:33-37.
      Mat 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether (Ex 30:29) is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

      Mat 23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. guilty. I.e., under obligation; guilty if he fails to carry out his oath.

      Mat 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether (Ex 29:37) is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
      The altar which makes the sacrifice holy. Exo_29:37-38 : “… the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches the altar will become holy. This is what you are to offer upon the altar: two lambs a year old every day, continually.”
      Mat 23:20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

      Mat 23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple (I Kgs 8:13; Ps 26:8; 132:14), sweareth by it, and by him (God) that dwelleth therein.

      Mat 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
      The Pharisees circumvented the commandment in Deuteronomy 6:13, “Thou shalt fear YHVH thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name” and negated their responsibility to speak the truth by swearing by any number of things that sounded holy, but they secretly claimed that they were under no obligation to honor. In Lev 19:12 the Torah specifically warns, “Ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy Elohim: I am YHVH.” Yeshua extrapolates on this commandment and states that we are not to swaer falsely by anything! The ancient Hebrew text of the Gospel of Matthew maintains the word “falsely” in Matthew 5:33-37, but the modern Greek texts have omitted it–probably because gentile copyists were not familiar with the text or the commandments in the Torah that Yeshua vehemently proclaimed “will not pass away.” Yeshua is actually establishing the veracity of the eternal Torah with every denouncement of Pharisee takanot and their modern day equivalents found in every man-made religion on the planet. The Torah forbids us from swearing falsely in the name of YHVH, and commands us to make our ssolemn vows in the name of YHVH. Yeshua further clarifies the heart of the Torah, and that is to not swear falsely at all. Yeshua does not forbid the wearing of an oath when the Torah commands us to do just that. Yeshua adamantly affirms that swearing by some contrived oath does not relieve one from the obligation of telling the truth.

      Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise (dill) and cummin (a seed resembling the caraway), and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone without neglecting the proper normal tithing).
      Tithes. The cohanim and L’vi’im were debarred from owning hereditary land but were to be given a tithe (tenth) of all produce (Lev_27:30-33, Num_18:21); a second tithe was to be consumed by the owner in Jerusalem (Deu_14:22-27); and a tithe for the poor replaced the second tithe in the third and sixth year of the seven-year cycle that culminated in the year of sh’mittah, in which the land was allowed to lie fallow. The rabbinic elaboration of the law of tithes is found in Talmud tractates Ma’aserot and Ma’aser Sheni. Though tithing of grain, fruit, wine, and oil was demanded (Num 18:12; Deut 14:22-23), the scribes had expanded the items required to be tithed to include even the smallest of herbs.
      The weightier matters of the Torah-justice, mercy, trust. Yeshua seems to be alluding to Mic_6:8 : “… what does Adonai require of you but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God?”
      These… you should have attended to-without neglecting the others! Yeshua clearly upholds keeping even the minutiae of the Law. Those who encourage Messianic Jews to stop observing the Torah are ignoring his advice both here and at 5:17-20 above. Nevertheless, the main point in this and the following verse is that one should properly order one’s priorities so as to live a life pleasing to God.
      Mat 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at (strain out) a gnat, and swallow a camel.

      Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess (greed).

      Mat 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

      Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. whited sepulchres. The outsides of tombs were often whitewashed to make them attractive and easily seen, while inside were death and decay.

      Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
      And far from Torah, or: “and wickedness”; Greek anomia. An especially cutting denunciation when aimed at those who considered themselves the authoritative expositors of the Law. See Mat_7:23.
      Mat 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

      Mat 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood (in the death) of the prophets.

      Mat 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

      Mat 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. the measure. I.e., add to the iniquity of your fathers and bring down divine judgment on yourselves.

      Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

      Mat 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: Matt 10:17, 23.

      Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. “the son of Barachiah” are not in the ancient Hebrew Mathhew. Zecharias. This murder is recorded in 2 Chron. 24:20-22. Barachias was likely the father of Zacharias, while the famous Jehoiada (though his father was also named Barachias). Since Abel’s death is recorded in Genesis, and since 2 Chronicles the last book in the Hebrew Bible, Christ was aaying, in effect, “from the first to the last murder in the Bible.” See Lk 11:51.

      Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

      Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
      As if to refute the theology, developed later by the Church, which teaches that God is no longer interested in the Jewish people as such, Yeshua here gives the condition for the salvation of national Israel, as distinct from salvation of individual Jews and Gentiles. In these verses, at the end of his ministry, he addresses the nation of Israel, speaking to its capital, Yerushalayim, and thus continues the Tanakh’s tradition of corporate salvation, which will come when Israel as a nation blesses the Messiah, who comes in the name of Adonai. (It is clear from Mat_21:9 in its context that this phrase here refers to Yeshua himself.) The fact that Yeshua will not return until Israel receives national salvation is a powerful motivator for evangelizing Jewish people (see Rom_11:11-12 Rom_11:15 Rom_11:31); in fact Jewish evangelism can hasten his coming (2Pe_3:12). For more, see Mat_5:5, Act_4:12, Rom_11:23-29, 2Co_1:20. (Also see Maimonides’ “Letter to Ovadyah the Proselyte,” quoted in Rom_4:16.)
      Under her wings. Compare the use of such a natural metaphor in the Talmud. A non-Jew comes to Shammai requesting to become a proselyte in order to be appointed cohen gadol. Shammai drives him away with a stick, but Hillel receives him and teaches him in a way that enables him to see for himself that the Torah prohibits a proselyte from holding that office. He returns to Hillel and thanks him: “Gentle Hillel, blessings on your head for bringing me under the wings of the Sh’khinah” (Shabbat 31a). Likewise Moshe is described as being taken to his burial place “wrapped in the wings of the Sh’khinah” (Sotah 13b).
      God is abandoning your house to you, leaving it desolate. As is clear from the use of the word “house” in Jer_22:5, which Yeshua alludes to, he is not speaking here about the Temple, destroyed forty years later by Roman armies, but to the future generations of Israel, who will be desolate of salvation so long as they seek to achieve it by themselves (“abandoning your house to you”) and do not welcome God’s Messiah Yeshua.
      Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. your house = the temple and the city of Jerusalem.

      Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. You shall not see me henceforth. I.e., I will no longer teach publicly. till ye shall say. At the second coming of Christ, Israel will recognize and welcome their rejected Messiah (Zech 12:10).

    • Gina

      Jardaikal, I have several Parts to go yet. You are hitting a nail with a sledge hammer. I understand your position, and find a great deal of your information correct. But, your view point is still skewed to a certain desired outcome, which conclusion I will show in a few days is promoted for a certain world view. I will address some of your points in the coming days, as the Bible has shown already that much of your concerns are answered.

      Gal. 3:24-29, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

      It is through his righteousness, as we have none of our own, that we find the way home to the Father. It is only through putting on His righteousness through baptism (immersion) that we are covered by the blood of His sacrifice, and then have the promise of eternal life. Jew or Gentile, doesn’t matter any more. Only whether we answer the call of the Gospel of Christ (Yeshua, Adonai). And that is determined by each man or woman, and at the time of our death we face a judgment of whether we answered that call or not. Please follow the coming Parts, and allow me to slowly proceed so all may easily understand.

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