Why do we count if we can simply name Sivan 6 as Shavuot?
Since it specifically says “count” it seems that the custom of considering Nissan 15 as “the day of rest” in regard to Lev. 23:15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete, is wrong.
The Hebrew does not say “Rest”, rather it says “the shabbat”. It says: וּסְפַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּחֳרַ֣ת הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת מִיּוֹם֙ הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה שֶׁ֥בַע שַׁבָּת֖וֹת תְּמִימֹ֥ת תִּהְיֶֽינָה׃
If we go by Nissan 15 NO COUNTING IS REQUIRED:for Shavuot will always be on Sivan 6. But if we go by the first Shabbat after Pesah, we indeed will have to count.
The counting method marries the Seven Day cycle with the Lunar calendar. By “counting” from Nissan 15 we only recognize the Lunar calendar.That it marries the Natural Lunar cycle with the supernatural weekly cycle IS Shavuot’s meaning: of marrying the Creator with His Creation.
Shavuot is said to be the day Moses was given the Ten Commandments the first time. This was proposing a marriage-like covenant between B’nai Yisrael and Hashem: between the Natural and the Holy.
Weird. Rabbi’s talking of OIL reminded me of the widow of a prophet who Elisha (I mistakenly mixed him up with Elijah) rescued financially by miraculously calling forth oil to fill every vessel she could find and borrow. And that is today’s Haftara!
In addition it also includes the Shunnamite woman (whom I mistakenly placed in the previous story).
Here, a devout woman frequently hosts Elisha as he passes on his travels. She has a small guest room built upstairs for his use.
His servant Gehazi is always mediating between Elisha and this woman, though in the earlier story, no servant is present. Elisha through Gehazi asks what could be done for her in blessing.
A son of her old age, since she has been barren.
Like in today’s Parsha she too is promised a son. He is born. He dies. She runs to Elisha.
II Kings 4. I don’t need to retelll the story.
I noticed in 4:23 ***So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.”
And she said, “It is WELL.” ***
AND THAT REMINDED ME OF MATTHEW 24:15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’[c] spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And PRAY THAT YOUR FLIGHT MAY NOT BE IN WINTER THE ON THE SABBATH.
NOTICE: housetop is where Elisha resurrects the boy. And Yeshua warns about not coming down from the housetop I.e. from where we have been born again.
REALIZE that the boy is said to be JONAH. And we knew about Yeshua and the sign of JONAH!
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning!
Today in CT, NY, MA, NJ everything is closed. By law, no cars may move. The “storm of the century” was just a moderate snow storm in my area.
BUT: think about this:
CNN had live coverage of the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army. On a Tuesday late morning, a weekday, normally few would be home watching CNN.
The preparation and hype for this storm was unprecedented. The closing of entire states, the NYC subway (why the subway would close is itself a question. It could have been a terrific asset in a snowbound city!), airports…. and no big storm showed up. At least not in NYC, nor my part of CT.
I can almost hear the Alex Jonesies “recognizing” the “Zionist” scheme for locking down 25 million people and creating a massive audience for the Auschwitz event. The Holocaust deniers will go nuts! Or more aptly, nuttier!
BUT nevertheless it does seem as if this were engineered to create an abnormally large audience for the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on CNN!
That the STORM forecast caused massive numbers of people to be in their homes AND the storm itself did NOT interrupt power and cable conspired to create this audience.
I SEE THE HAND OF THE G-D OF ABRAHAM ISAAC AND JACOB at work.
In that light I looked at today’s Aliyah of the Torah Parsha.
9. [Because] the enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will share the booty; my desire will be filled from them; I will draw my sword, my hand will impoverish them. ט. אָמַר אוֹיֵב אֶרְדֹּף אַשִּׂיג אֲחַלֵּק שָׁלָל תִּמְלָאֵמוֹ נַפְשִׁי אָרִיק חַרְבִּי תּוֹרִישֵׁמוֹ יָדִי:
10. You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the powerful waters. י. נָשַׁפְתָּ בְרוּחֲךָ כִּסָּמוֹ יָם צָלֲלוּ כַּעוֹפֶרֶת בְּמַיִם אַדִּירִים:
11. Who is like You among the powerful, O Lord? Who is like You, powerful in the holy place? Too awesome for praises, performing wonders! יא. מִי כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם יְהֹוָה מִי כָּמֹכָה נֶאְדָּר בַּקֹּדֶשׁ נוֹרָא תְהִלֹּת עֹשֵׂה פֶלֶא:
12. You inclined Your right hand; the earth swallowed them up. יב. נָטִיתָ יְמִינְךָ תִּבְלָעֵמוֹ אָרֶץ:
13. With Your loving kindness You led the people You redeemed; You led [them] with Your might to Your holy abode. יג. נָחִיתָ בְחַסְדְּךָ עַם זוּ גּאָלְתָּ נֵהַלְתָּ בְעָזְּךָ אֶל נְוֵה קָדְשֶׁךָ:
14. People heard, they trembled; a shudder seized the inhabitants of Philistia. יד. שָׁמְעוּ עַמִּים יִרְגָּזוּן חִיל אָחַז ישְׁבֵי פְּלָשֶׁת:
15. Then the chieftains of Edom were startled; [as for] the powerful men of Moab, trembling seized them; all the inhabitants of Canaan melted. טו. אָז נִבְהֲלוּ אַלּוּפֵי אֱדוֹם אֵילֵי מוֹאָב יֹאחֲזֵמוֹ רָעַד נָמֹגוּ כֹּל ישְׁבֵי כְנָעַן:
16. May dread and fright fall upon them; with the arm of Your greatness may they become as still as a stone, until Your people cross over, O Lord, until this nation that You have acquired crosses over. טז. תִּפֹּל עֲלֵיהֶם אֵימָתָה וָפַחַד בִּגְדֹל זְרוֹעֲךָ יִדְּמוּ כָּאָבֶן עַד יַעֲבֹר עַמְּךָ יְהֹוָה עַד יַעֲבֹר עַם זוּ קָנִיתָ:
17. You shall bring them and plant them on the mount of Your heritage, directed toward Your habitation, which You made, O Lord; the sanctuary, O Lord, [which] Your hands founded.
Moses’ Song of the Sea the deliverance of Israel is the aliya of the day! As the Holocaust deniers understand very well, the State of Israel was able to slip through a brief and narrow window. In the wake of WW2, in the newsreels of the Death Camps liberated by the allies lay the impetus for creating and recognizing the Jewish State. From near annihilation in Europe to the Land referred to as “Philistia”, the miracle of the return of the Jews to their own nation was experienced by one generation!
The aliya for the day is breathtaking.
One might complain that this is the Fourth aliyah and today, Tuesday is the Third Aliyah. But in Poland where it was happening it was after dark, and two more hours later in Israel. Thus it is the Fourth Aliyah.
An Astonishing Discovery in Parsha Balak
If one were to ask a reasonably well-read Zionist to justify the creation of the Jewish state in what was British Mandate Palestine one reply (admittedly of several others), would be the Balfour Declaration. In fact even if some UN declaration is given as the justification, it would just take the asking “well, how was that decided?” And we’d be back to the Balfour Declaration.
Great Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour produced an official document to be handed to British Zionist Federation. It was officiated on November 2, 1917. (* Cheshvan 17)
His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The text of the letter was published in the press one week later, on 9 November 1917. (**Cheshvan 24 erev Shabbat Mevarchim (Kislev).
The importance of the Balfour Declaration is that it is fundamental to the entire legal chain upon which the State of Israel is internationally recognized. The Declaration was incorporated into the Sèvres Peace Treaty. This is the treaty analogous to the more famous Versailles Treaty imposed upon Germany and Austro-Hungary. At Sèvres, it was the Ottoman Empire that faced the victorious Allies. From there, the Levantine provinces of the Ottoman Empire were carved into British and French Mandates. As is well known, the British took “Palestine” and the territory to be known as “Iraq” and “Kuwait”. Palestine was to be divided into a western Jewish homeland, (from the river to the sea!) and an Arab eastern kingdom, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. (Trans means across (from), as in Transylvania. Sylvan refers to the forest. Transylvania is the land beyond the forest. Thus Transjordan was the land beyond the Jordan River. In 1946 when the five Arab armies tried to throttle Israel in the cradle the Jews managed to survive. They did lose what is now falsely called “The West Bank”. It was at that time that King Hussein changed the name from Transjordan to Jordan.)
WHAT DISCOVERY? Just a moment is required to make the point. There has been a constant disagreement between secular and religious Zionists. At times it is sotto voce yet it smolders always potentially able to enflame itself. The disagreement is about whether the right to the Land is based on the legalities entrained from the Balfour Declaration through Sèvres to the League of Nations to Independence from Britain, and finally to UN recognition. All secular Israelis will point to this legalistic chain as their right, their deed. Many religious Jews will rely on this argument as well. But there are those who see the Hand of G-d as the hand that moves History.
IT MATTERS because if it is International recognition that is responsible for the State of Israel, then it is vital to keep the “international community” mollified.
None doubt that it was the success of Israeli arms that made good the international recognition. But though many witness of the ’67 War felt the Hand of G-d moving, that generation is passing.
A new generation arose that did not experience the miraculous survival at Independence, nor the seemingly random events that Israeli soldiers saw in ‘67, each either to Israel’s benefit or the Arabs’ detriment.
The new MTV generation, with Gay Pride in Tel Aviv and all the neo-paganism of the decadent West would be scandalized to even hear anyone say that it was G-d, the G-d of Abraham Isaac and Jacob that returned the Jewish People to the Land.
In order to live the decadent Post-Modernist life, none of the justification for possession of the Land is attributed to G-d. Having the appearance of morality despite its absence, the trendy Post-Modern will forebear the “might makes right” justification. All that remains is International Law, and that is based as demonstrated above on the Balfour Declaration.
SO WHAT DID I DISCOVER IN PARHA BALAK? As always I read looking for new Messianic innuendos. After poring over Balaam’s oracles the remainder of the Parsha is anti-climactic and read quickly. Not yesterday, however.
Balaam was unable to curse that which G-d blessed. Only Israel itself can curse Israel. Sexual paganism tempted the Israelites. The daughters of Moab drew out the men. Israelites attended the feasts to their pagan gods. And especially they attached themselves to Baal.
Numbers 25: 3 And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of HaShem was kindled against Israel.
Looking at it in Hebrew is startling. VaYiTzaMeR YiSRaeL L’BaÅL PÅoR VaYiChaR- ǍaF Hashem B’YiSRaeL. To differentiate Alef from Ayin I used Ǎ for alef, and Å for Ayin.) וַיִּצָּ֥מֶד יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לְבַ֣עַל פְּעֹ֑ור וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֥ף יְהוָ֖ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
It is notable that the Hebrew letters for P and F are interchangeable. Pey פּּּ with a dot, (dagesh) and without is Fey פ. So it is possible to read our verse as “Israel joined himself to BalFor”. Balfour. It is also interesting to notice that Balaam’s name is B’LÅM. Ayin, Å, is far less common than Alef. So the Ayin in Baal’s name BaÅL and B’LÅM’s is significant. If we separate Balaam’s name into two syllables BL ÅM it is possible to read it as “Baal people”.
The anger of Hashem is being kindled even now. The debauched Israeli youth culture, though no worse than that in America, will be judged harshly. And given America’s historic blessings, America’s judgment too will be harsh.
Is there a Pinchas in the house? I am certain the Pinchas Principle is straining at the leash, awaiting only the Word.
Ayn Rand’s Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point,
New York – March 6, 1974
Forty years of water incessantly dripping on a flat plateau can carve out a badlands tableau. Deep furrows, gullies and blind box canyons make its map appear as if it were crumpled up and tossed in wastebasket for a week. We have lived through forty years of acid raining down from Ivory Towers, perverting the innocent minds that are drawn to be educated. Ayn Rand would certainly be persona non grata at any Graduation ceremony nowadays.
I am a great fan of Ayn Rand. However I am not an acolyte. In my opinion she elevates the rational mind into a God. She writes in her address to the West Point grads “Are the things you see around you real–or are they only an illusion? Do they exist independent of any observer–or are they created by the observer? Are they the object or the subject of man’s consciousness? Are they what they are–or can they be changed by a mere act of your consciousness, such as a wish?”
THE THINGS WE SEE? We have never “seen” a thing. We see one thing and only one thing: photons. Photons, quanta of light, impact our retina, causing neurochemical cascades in neurons that interact with other cascades in other neurons. The net output is further integrated with other neurons from other areas of the retina, from the same eye and from the other. These outputs are further integrated in the thalamic nuclei and then “filtered” through associative visual cortex. An image occurs in our mind’s eye.
Yes, Ayn is correct that to a very large degree the image can be assumed to be “thing” itself. But, though it is an image of the thing, it is NOT the thing itself! The mental steps preceding an observation: i.e. I perceive a pattern of impulses that I have learned is associated with photons reflecting off of a certain object may be taken as given. It is not necessary to preface every thought with that disclaimer.
However, though 99% of the time the assumption is correct, it is not always so.
Take the Rainbow for instance. No one doubts the reality of the rainbow. However, it is a case of a mental image having NO basis in the external physical world.
The Rainbow is not in the water droplets, or the atmosphere. It is only in the mind. Ayn asks, “Are they only an illusion?” I suggest that ONLY, is a bad choice of words. Is a rainbow “merely” or “only” an illusion?
It is the example that shows the Truth. Our mental construction of the world is like a dim image traced on translucent paper laid atop of Reality. 99.99% of the time we can rely on it to make our way IN the world, BUT it does not suffice to explain the world. The rainbow is man example of something that exists on the traced paper that does not exist under it. There are perhaps many, many other mental phenomena that are analogous.
The miracle of consciousness ought never be dismissed as a given! And that is what Ayn rand does when she writes “only an illusion”. For, what manner of matter can have illusions?
On The Haftara of Metzora
There are two movements in the world today gathering momentum and converging. They are now within sight of one another and when they meet there will be shock and an awakening around the world. From within the Jewish world there are many who are awakening to the idea that Jesus Christ is not the blue-eyed blond Aryan leader of their nightmares. The Sunday Church has through the ages beaten the Jews with this cross from one end of Europe to the other. But as Churchianity itself seems a spent force in what was formerly known as Christendom, the trepidation of the Jewish people has diminished. No longer a blond blue-eyed crusader, Yeshua is returning to His Jewish identity. And with that Jews are allowing themselves to at least reconsider the possibility of him being Moshiah. In the same manner, from the decaying churches of The Mainline there is a movement out of the religion of Christmas Trees, Easter Eggs, Sunday worship and the deification of the Jesus Christ. It is increasingly difficult to read the Jewish People out of Bible Prophecy, as had been the case for the two millennia of the Age of the Gentiles. Since the IDF entered Jerusalem in 1967, the entire world has been reeling around this reality. Many are reconsidering the position that the Jewish People are no longer relevant to prophecy. Brave souls are reading Yeshua’s words, and Paul’s letters in an entirely new hermeneutic. They are coming to see the value of Yeshua not in “nailing the Law to the Cross” but rather in His being their way into the House of Israel. Initially they recognized themselves as “engrafted” into the people, Israel. But, even more deeply, many are coming to believe that they are not merely wild branches being newly engrafted, but are Lost Branches restored! No, they are not lost Jews. But, the entire understanding of who are, and what is Israel is changing. Yes the Jews are Israelites. But so too were the Lost Tribes, who were lost before the Southern Kingdom of Judah was exiled to Babylon. And it is in Babylon that the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levites were melded into The Jewish People. The Lost Tribes by definition therefore are not Jewish. Israelite, they are, but not Jews. But within both communities, Torah Observant Messianics from the Churches, and Messianic Jews are looked at as either apostates, insane, or suckers. This Haftara can be read as a beautiful metaphor for the current and future status of the brave individuals of both movements groping towards one another. It is read in conjunction with the parsha Metzora is 2 Kings 7: 3-20. The Torah portion is about “leprosy” and its treatment. That makes the connection with this story from Second Kings. The parsha: Lev. 15:31 towards the end of the Torah reading, summarizes the general topic. “31. And you shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, so that they will not die on account of their uncleanness, if they defile My Sanctuary which is in their midst.
The story takes place in Samaria. Samaria was first encountered as Shechem in Genesis. The story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah, took place here. Dinah allowed herself to be taken by the son of the king of Shechem. The upshot of this was that Levi and Simeon massacred the Shechemites in their recovery from circumcising themselves. For this Jacob had to pick up and flee the region, being made odious in the nose of the peoples. However later in Genesis (48)as the elderly Jacob is blessing his sons he adds to Joseph “22 Moreover, I am giving to you a sh’khem [shoulder, ridge, share, city of Sh’khem] more than to your brothers; I captured it from the Emori (Amorite) with my sword and bow.” Further, in Joshua 24:32 the connection of Joseph with Shechem is made more explicit: “And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants. Second Kings chapter seven is part of the story of the latter days of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. This kingdom is referred to variously as Joseph, Ephraim, Samaria, Shechem, and Israel. (In contradistinction “Israel” is juxtaposed with “Judah”, the Southern Kingdom.) Samaria is besieged by the Arameans. 2 Kings 7:1 Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” In a city under siege, where starvation is already occurring, (cannibalism is described in the previous chapter), Elisha is claiming that the next day the finest flour will be dirt-cheap! To the man of the world this was ridiculous prophecy. 2 The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”
“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!” Now we come to the point of relevance to Messianic Jews and Torah Observant Messianic Joes, and the leprosy connection. 3 Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”
Those unfortunates diagnosed with Tzaraat or “leprosy”, were excluded much nearly all communal activities. Forced to live beyond the city walls, in a city besieged was to suffer the worst of both worlds: not allowed to enter the walls, yet not allowed to leave because of the surrounding enemy! How many Messianic Jews have been scorned as “traitors” to Judaism even by close relatives? How many formerly secular Jews that have been touched by Yeshua and brought to the Torah and to then to mockery by their suburban relatives? How many Messianic “Joes” have been shunned for merely pointing out that Easter Eggs, and Christmas Trees are nowhere to be found in the Bible?
“5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans…” At dusk, as the Israelite day was ending and the new day beginning the four set out. At this point they were taking a leap of faith. All New Days begin with a leap of faith. “…When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!”” And there before these four men only moments earlier outcasts, on the verge of starvation saw something that no one on either side had seen! Neither the Israelites in the city, nor the Arameans who fled understood that a camp filled with food and treasure was abandoned for no natural reason! It would be only natural for the men to eat drink and be merry, keep the treasure for themselves and turn their backs on the city that had in fact turned its back on them. 8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. They could have hid it all! But… here is the point! 9 Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace. “A DAY OF GOOD NEWS” is translated from the Hebrew “Yom Besorah”. “Besorah” is also the Hebrew for “The Gospels”. Who in the entire world is able to read this verse in this context and get it? I mean get the connection between “a day of good news” and “The Gospels”? Not the mainstream Jewish reader. Not the Sunday Churchgoer. Only we, who are of the exact same status of the four lepers get it! It is for us! It is for us, because we are the ones kept outside the walls of orthodoxy. And it is for us, because we are the ones who took a leap of faith. And even more so it is for us because rather than keep The Truth hidden, hidden from our Sunday sisters and Jewish brothers we seek to bring the Good News back with us!
A Non-Messianic Jew cites Matthew 2: 14-15. He may point out the foolishness of Matthew for confusing the individual Yeshua with the entire nation Israel.
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother and left during the night for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until Herod died. This happened in order to fulfill what Adonai had said through the prophet,” Out of Egypt I called my son.
In this case it is HOSEA 11:1
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.
His argument is that clearly Hosea is alluding to the people, Israel. Further, it is erroneous to imply that this Prophetic verse is relevant to Joseph removing Yeshua to Egypt, in order to save Him from the mortal threat posed by King Herod. But is this so obviously the case?
In Matthew 2 there are two other references to the Prophets, which are applied to Yeshua’s childhood. Perhaps by looking at all three as a unit, a less risible interpretation is possible.
In Matthew 2, there are three citations to the Prophets.
1. Verse 3 When King Herod heard of this he became very agitated, and so did everyone else in Yerushalayim. 4 He called together all the head cohanim and Torah-teachers of the people and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?” 5 “In Beit-Lechem of Y’hudah,” they replied, “Because the prophet wrote,
6 ‘and you, Beit-Lechem in the land of Y’hudah,
are by no means the least among the rulers of Y’hudah;
for from you will come a Ruler
who will shepherd my people Isra’el.”
This refers to MICAH 5:1 But thou, Beit-Lechem Ephrata, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.
2. Matt 2:14 (our original verse) “So he got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until Herod died. This happened in order to fulfill what Adonai had said through the prophet,
“Out of Egypt I called my son.
This refers to HOSEA 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.
3. Matt. 2:16 Meanwhile, when Herod realized that the Magi had tricked him, he was furious and gave orders to kill all the boys in and around Beit-Lechem who were two years old or less, calculating from the time the Magi had told him. 17 In this way were fulfilled the words spoken through the prophet Yirmeyahu,
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and lamenting loudly.
It was Rachel sobbing for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no longer alive.”
This refers to JER. 34:15 Thus saith HaShem: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuseth to be comforted for her children, because they are not.
16Thus saith HaShem: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith HaShem; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17 And there is hope for thy future, saith HaShem; and thy children shall return to their own border.
Looking at all three together it becomes arguable that in fact Matthew was not engaged in “name-dropping”. A case can be made that together the three references all point to a certain viewpoint.
The first prophecy regards the significance of the fact of Yeshua’s birth in Bethlehem. , Micah5:1 out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.
So, the first prophetic citation is to establish a basis for considering Yeshua as that promised ruler. Of whom is Yeshua to be king? Though He is to be born in Bethlehem, one amongst the thousands of Judah, it is over Israel that He is to be king. Tanakh knows how to say “King of Judah” if it wished. But, no it is the throne of Israel upon which He shall sit.
The second prophecy cited is regarding His going down to Egypt. Matthew’s claim that Yeshua’s sojourn in Egypt was prophesied by Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son” is a stretch. The easy answer is that just as the lives of the Patriarchs are said to foreshadow the history of Israel, so too the life of Yeshua parallels Israel, perhaps even its future.
But the easy answer is just too pat, too glib. Looking deeper we recall the artificial nature of the chapters and verses of Tanakh. Let us look back from chapter eleven of Hosea to ten. Hosea 10 is a very brief summary of the history of Israel. From its initiation as 10:1
Israel was a luxuriant vine, which put forth fruit freely: as his fruit increased, he increased his altars; the more goodly his land was, the more goodly were his pillars.
To the indictment of 10:2 Their heart is divided; now shall they bear their guilt; He will break down their altars, He will spoil their pillars.
3 Surely now shall they say: ‘We have no king; for we feared not HaShem; and the king, what can he do for us?’ Israel’s history, judgment and execution are outlined.
But within the common destiny of Israel two subsets are described. Hosea 10:10-11 When it is My desire, I will chastise them; and the peoples shall be gathered against them, when they are yoked to their two rings.
11And Ephraim is a heifer well broken, that loveth to thresh, and I have passed over upon her fair neck; I will make Ephraim to ride, Judah shall plow, Jacob shall break his clods.
Finally, in the context of the punishments handed down the last verse in Hosea 10, the line immediately preceding 11:1 is
So hath Beth-el done unto you because of your great wickedness; at daybreak is the king of Israel utterly cut off.
The King of Israel (is) utterly cut off! Is this not word for word from Daniel? Daniel 9:22-27
And he made me to understand, and talked with me, and said: ‘O Daniel, I am now come forth to make thee skilful of understanding.
At the beginning of thy supplications a word went forth, and I am come to declare it; for thou art greatly beloved; therefore look into the word, and understand the vision.
Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sin, and to forgive iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal vision and prophet, and to anoint the most holy place.
Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem unto one anointed, a prince, shall be seven weeks; and for threescore and two weeks, it shall be built again, with broad place and moat, but in troublous times.
And after the threescore and two weeks shall an anointed one be cut off, and be no more; and the people of a prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; but his end shall be with a flood; and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and upon the wing of detestable things shall be that which causeth appalment; and that until the extermination wholly determined be poured out upon that which causeth appalment.’
By citing Hosea 11 in association with Yeshua’s sojourn and return from Egypt, Matthew brings reference to Israel’s blessing, her disobedience, her indictment and her punishment. In addition an association is made with a cutting off of a King. And there is recognition that there are two separate sets within the rubric “Israel”, namely Ephraim and Judah. In the context of the first of the three prophecies, this second adds the description of Yeshua to be that king, born of Judah, who shall be utterly cut-off as part of Israel’s punishment yet is to rule Israel (Ephraim).
Finally the third prophecy cited by Matthew in the second chapter is meant to connect Herod’s massacre of the innocents with Jeremiah 34.
Thus saith HaShem: 13 A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuseth to be comforted for her children, because they are not.
16Thus saith HaShem: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith HaShem; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
There are several traditional explanations and Midrashes about this verse. All of them pertain to either the Babylonian or Roman exiles. As one who looks to the very exact genealogy given in Torah as meaningful, the detail of this being Rachel, and not Leah catches my eye. Rachel is the mother of Joseph and died in delivering Benjamin. Given Rachel’s and Joseph’s treatment at the hands of Leah and her sons, one would wonder why the Jewish People would believe she would be mourning over their exiles? “and thy children shall return to their own border”? Rachel’s children would be Ephraim (and Manasseh) and not Judah!
So the final prophetic piece in Matthew 2 further describes the role of Yeshua. The three prophecies applied to Yeshua define Him as being born in Bethlehem as a son of Judah who will be cut-off utterly for the sins of Israel, and though a Judean will rule Joseph. And in the latter days will be the One leading Joseph home.
1. Pharaoh orders the midwives to destroy the infant boys of the Hebrews. He discovers that they have not. Then in 1:22 So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.”
He does not say “Hebrew sons”. Though implied, it is not said. It may be read as applying to all the sons of Egypt. So the generation of Egyptians he spoke this to in fact became the men who drowned in the Red Sea.
2. The word “bank” is given (i.e. river bank) in 2:3 and 2:4 but the Hebrew is two different words. In 2:3 the mother of the Son placed him in the basket and the basket upon the “bank of the River”. The word here is “S’fat (שפת)” or LIP. The daughter of the mother of the Son watches to see what will become of him. In 2:4 the daughter of the Pharaoh and her maidens were walking along the “bank of the river” where she saw the basket. Here the “bank of the river” is “Yad (יַד)” or HAND.
Of what significance is the use of two different words, two different body parts in the description of the river-bank? Do you think I know? LOL! Some thoughts: LIP produces sound, HAND produces action. The male child is passing from WORD/LOGOS/POTENTIALITY to ACTION/PRAXOS/ACTUALITY. This parallels John 1:1 and 14 “14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
3. The various names given for Moses’ father-in-law: the first “Reuel”. (רעואל). The name is given shortly after Moses rescues Reuel’s seven daughters her were watering their flocks (i.e they were shepherdesses) from shepherds. Shepherds is “re-im (רעים)”. Sp Reuel’s name is EL- Reu. EL, God of Shepherds. So this is a title rather than the name. Later we see the name as Jethro. So before Moses meets the God of the Israelites he becomes son-in-law to the God of Shepherds.
4. Moses pastures his father-in-law’s flocks on Mount Horeb. (חורבה). There he meets the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob who informs Moses that He will rescue the Israelites in Egypt and bring them to a good and spacious land, flowing with Milk and Honey. “And Spacious” is “ur’chava (רחבהו). Not only is Mitzraim the Torah’s name for Egypt, but it also means “a narrow, confining place”. Thus at Horeb, a good and spacious land is promised. The Hebrew for “Horeb” and “and Spacious” are anagrams. This reinforces the possibility of generalizing the story of Exodus. From a particular historic event it maybe read as a Soul’s journey from harsh confinement to spacious halls in the Kingdom of God. And on a psychological level is it not consistent with the developing fetus in the wound, passing through Narrow places into a good and spacious world of Creation? And further on that point: to what does the mention of the Puah and Shifra, the midwives who protected the Israelite boys speak of in regard to the sanguinary fanatics of Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood? If the good midwives were praised, what will the judgment be upon all those who encourage and facilitate and actualize the destruction of developing humans?
5. In the Artscroll Interlinear Chumash for Exodus there is a note at 2:5 that is interesting. The Egyptian Princess is named, Bisyah.
As I often do when confronted by new words or names I attempted to discover the Hebrew underpinning. B I S Y A H. Hmm: בסיה? בשיאה? Then it hit me. This was transliterated from the Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation. But I have been learning Sephardic (or modern Israeli) pronunciation! Therefore the “S” sound might be written as ת (Tet). Bet-Yah! Daughter-of God!
I learned in a quick Google search that “Medrash Talpiyos quoting the Zohar” teaches “Bisyah and Tziporah were twins… whom Paroh and Yisro respectively, found in the market-place. On account of their beauty, they took them home and brought them up as daughters.” These names are more recognizable to many of us as Pharaoh and Yitro (Jethro). If true Moses would be Bisyah’s adopted son, and thus Tziporah’s nephew! But the Tziporah- Bisyah connection is just something I came across in trying to discover on what the Artscroll note at 2:5 is based.
I found this amazing resource online. I was researching the Naqod in today’s Parsha, Pinchas. At Numbers 29:15 occurs one of the strange “Extraordinary Dots” which appear in 10 places in the Torah. Their meaning or meanings are unclear.
In this case the extra dot appears over the second vav in the word vav ayin sin raish VAV final nun. The verse “One tenth a tenth for one lamb for each of the fourteen lambs.” It is taken to mean a tenth of an ephah (of fine flour) for EACH of the fourteen lambs.
By clicking on the link the extremely detailed discussion of this singular point is accessed from a text written in 1910. In brief it attributes the naqod to scribes taking into account the variant manuscripts. Other than the now standard Masoretic Version, there were many many variants. At this particular verse many do not have the repetition “a tenth a tenth”. Some have more than one naqod.
This all is interesting. But. Before I looked into the whys and hows of the naqodoth (plural) I played numerology theories. I found an interesting answer not relevant to textual variants but meaningful numerologically.
The verse mentions 14 lambs. If one counts 14 letters before the VAV Naqod and 14 letters afterwards both are dalet. Dalet Vav Dalet. This is a spelling used by or for David. ד ו ד. Interesting, but more. The gematria (number value) is 4 + 6 + 4 = 14. 14 = the number of David, the number of lambs and in Matt. 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
So this naqod marks a letter from which 14 letters can be counted backward and forward that produce the name David and the value 14. A number the Gospel writer of Matthew linked to Yeshua.
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There are several caves on Mount Carmel associated with Elijah the Prophet. One of them is inside the Church of the Stella Carmelite Monastery. In Israel it is not unusual to find special sites actually enclosed within a church building.
After spending an infernally hot day walking down the Bahai Gardens and a quick shower in my el-cheapo hotel, and I was off to see the cave.
I got there just as they were locking up. I drove my Eldan rental to Stella Maris from the Hotel, with the AC as always on full blast. I parked just above the monastery. Haifa is nearly a vertical city, perched on Mount Carmel. Up and down are directions as well as left and right. And to traverse that verticality there is the upper terminus of the cable car just down the block.
The Monastery was closing just as I arrived. There is a trail descending down from Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery to the sea. Down it, I was told, are several other caves. Learning of the other caves I decided to walk down. So I walked down the trail as the sun was going down to my left. The trail winds down from the hilltop. After a little while I saw the cement skeleton from some abandoned building or bunker. I noticed the sun shining through an empty window and casting a bright rectangle on the wall.
I had been traveling alone and was very aware of my intuitive thoughts. Often times hiking about the many Nature areas I sought out, I would come to forks in the trail. Nearly always I picked what turned out to be the most fortuitous choice. That fiery orange rectangle must be significant, I knew! I strolled off on a subsidiary trail to check it out. As the sun was going down the air was cooling. Birds were singing. The sky over the Med was shades of mauve and pink with the formerly fierce sun now casting a whisper and shadows.
The bunker (or whatever it was) was cool and hushed. The orange rectangle on the wall opposite the empty window was at hand. Whatever was in that rectangle was there for me. I knew that. What would it be?
I thought of the day’s sights and travels. I thought of the precise sequence of the day that lead me to this place at this particular time on this exact day to see this beam lighting this rectangular space. Inside, stepping over broken glass, Coke bottles and beer cans and signs of bonfires past I was greeted by a welcome cool moist feeling. As only the glass and small stones underfoot broke the silence I proceeded to see just what I was supposed to see.
There, as if framed perfectly by the sun beam was writing. I knew it! But what does it say?
It was the Ten Commandments! Someone had written the Ten Commandments in graffiti. And whoever did, did so at this precise location. They must have been here at the same time and solar day as I was. Another year maybe. Another decade?
I was stunned. I was grateful that G-d brought me there at that time with eyes to see and a hunch. Still stunned I walked on. The trail descended down into shaded and hushed forest. And down to the sound of the highway. Across the road there is a restaurant on the sea. It is in the building that also serves for the bottom terminus of the cable car. I watched the sun finish setting, had a bite and a cold drink and ascended in the cable car back to my car. TRUE STORY GOT THE PICS