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Ohr Goyim (Isaiah 42:6)
(You can change the version; this is the Orthodox Jewish Bible)
I will explain this the best I can so you will at least understand the inputs to how did we get to where we are now (5777 or 2017), wherever that is!
We have agreed (on the Hebrew Mystery page) with Genesis 1 in the Old Testament of the Bible that G-d created the heavens and the earth. Maybe you didn't agree, but the discussion decided to agree with the Bible. We decided the first people, Adam and Eve, were approached by the serpent to distrust G-d and his motives and his goodness. After this encounter, and the ensuing disobedience to G-d, Adam and Eve lost their G-d-given dominion over the earth and it now belonged to the serpent. The serpent was judged by G-d and G-d promised the Offspring of the woman would overcome the serpent down the road in time. Until then, life was going to be much more difficult and certainly not infinite. They would die physically as they were herded away from the tree of life. This is the answer to the question, "If G-d is love and can do anything he wants, why is there so much evil in the world?" Those who went before us opened the door to the serpent and entertained doubt toward G-d which led to disobedience and we seem to make the same decision in our own individual lives.
We talked about covenant theology and how G-d made various successive covenants with man (humans, men and women). We listed those covenants. We said they are all in force and nothing of what G-d promised will be lost. What we did not go over was who were these covenants made with exactly? The answers may change how you think about what is possible in life.
Was Adam a Jew? Was Eve a Jew? They were people with a relationship with G-d their creator. So the Adamic Covenant was with Adam and all his offspring which is every one of us. It can be understood that the Offspring of Eve will deal with the serpent on behalf of all humankind, not just the Jews. We can see two righteous people who lost their righteous standing with G-d in a perfect place, the Garden of Eden, through the power of suggestion that G-d was holding back on them. Down the road a "Light to the Gentiles" was coming, the Messiah of the Jews, even before there was such a person as a Jew or a Gentile. If you are born on planet earth as a human being, this Promise is for you! You think you have no hope? Nope! You do have hope and this is it!
Was Noah a Jew? Were those who were in the Ark Jews? People acted so evilly that G-d was sorry he made man on the earth (Genesis 6:6). But Noah found favor with G-d. Noah built an Ark to float on water when there had never been rain. He built it amidst persecution from all those around him. It took him a long time to build it. This was the Noahic Covenant. Perhaps if we start with a really good guy (Noah) in the stream of Adam and Eve's unrighteous descendants and repopulate the earth with selected offspring, it will work out better than with Adam's offspring in general. G-d is not a dummy. He was not making this up as he went. He was giving us the benefit of the doubt as well as the cumulative recognition, no matter what he does with humans, it doesn't work because we have the overwhelming problem of disobedience to G-d. Who needed to figure this out? G-d or us? He was showing us nothing will acheive our righteousness except his promised Offspring. He is not planning to pick another Noah and destroy the rest of the inhabitanta of earth again. He put the rainbow (Genesis 9:13-17) in the sky as a sign of this promise not to destroy the earth with water again.
Was Abraham a Jew? He was called by G-d to leave home and relatives and go to a place G-d would show him. Polytheism abounded around Abram. This was a THE G-d calling him. No details, just pack your stuff, say your goodbyes, and leave. G-d took Abraham away from home to silence cultural voices and to listen only to G-d, but still on earth with other people living on it at the same time. We aren't even to Moses yet where G-d said his name is "I AM." Abraham is such a pivotal figure because he believed G-d and G-d counted Abraham's faith to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6) This was before the command to Abraham for circumcision! Abraham could not be righteous on his own (check out his lying) but G-d just gave him righteous. Just as G-d created the earth, G-d declared Abraham the equivalent of righteous. This is grace, undeserved favor. Chesed. So Abraham is the father of faith, but not a Jew. So if you are ready at any time to declare, "I can never be righteous on my own; G-d, you'll have to just declare me righteous in your eyes, because I have the faith to ask and the faith that you can and will do it for me," you are a child of Abraham, and stand in the Abrahamic Covenant.Abraham ran into someone called Mechizedek (Genesis 14:18-20) and Abraham tithed (gave 10% of his goods) to him. Who was Melchizedek? A representative of G-d or G-d himself? Who else was running around being a priest of the Most High G-d if Melchizedek was not also Abraham's G-d?
Abraham and Sarah had a son, the son of the promise, Isaac, after Sarah's child bearing years were over. Amazingly, Abraham is required by G-d to sacrifice Isaac! Abraham goes ahead, not just going through the motions thinking he must be on Candid Camera. Abraham knows the promises that his offspring will be like the sand on the seashore or the stars in the sky, too numerous to count. But Isaac is the link. Abraham realizes it is up to G-d to make this work. He realizes G-d must be planning to resurrect Isaac after he is sacrificed. It's G-d's idea, G-d can do it somehow. So he actually goes through with it until G-d stops him. As we know now, G-d was testing Abraham and Abraham passed the test. But we didn't know that G-d was saying someday, he would do exactly what he required Abraham to do: G-d's would actually sacrifice his only son, the son of promise, the Offspring of Eve and resurrect him. I realize that can be really offensive. But my promise was to try and show how we got to wherever we are today. I am building the case that G-d in history has progressively showed us what won't work, while bringing us, humans in all the earth, not just Jews, to himself, via grace and via his Son.
Zemer Levav ~ Let the Righteous Be Glad
Abraham's son was Isaac and Issac's sons were Esau and Jacob. They had strong inheritance practices back then but three things happened to get things turned around from normal. The first was prophecy (Genesis 25:23). The second was Esau selling Jacob his birthright (Genesis 25:31). The third was Jacob stealing his father Isaac's blessing of the elder son Esau (Genesis 27:37) when Isaac was near death. Was Jacob a Jew? No! Jacob became the father of 12 sons associated with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. But the most he was was a family man. This family had lots of trouble! He eventually reconciled with Esau. He wrestled with G-d and G-d changed his name to Israel.
Jacob and his large family aren't getting along with each other. Joseph, the youngest, either gets off the hard jobs or is simply the youngest and hasn't started the hard jobs. We all know the baby of the family gets special treatment. Joseph is treated badly by his jealous and angry brothers. His story is long and torturous but well worth the read. Because his brothers sold him into slavery and because G-d had a plan, Joseph ends up being famous and powerful and saves his undeserving family from certain death by starvation. His family gets special treatment in Egypt and the best land. Joseph requested that after his death when the family went finally to the land G-d promised Abraham his grandfather (Canaan), please take his bones to with them to the Promised Land. We are getting fairly intense here, but was Joseph a Jew? No. He was part of a family with promises not yet fulfilled and a father whose name was changed from Jacob to Israel. This is to say we are continuing along in the Abrahamic Covenant. Abraham died, the Abrahamic Covenant continued.
. When a Pharoah rose up who knew not Joseph, 400+ years of slavery began. Moses as a child narrowly escaped death and rose to a high position in Egypt being presumed to be Egyptian and a possible heir to Pharoah. We know he chose to identify with the Hebrew slaves rather than the Egyptians when he finally learned his true identity. For an inspiring and entertaining and gripping drama, watch the movie The Ten Commandments with Charleton Heston.
The request to Pharoah was to go worship for a short period of time. The offspring of Jacob appeared to have kept their faith during the time of slavery. One good thing that happened during this time is the Hebrew population grew to the point Pharoah became afraid of them due to sheer numbers. Only such a numerous people could enter and subdue Canaan. The people ended up at Mount Sinai where Moses, friend of G-d, received the 10 commandments. There is high support that at this time the Hebrews could be called Jews as we understand today, as they willingly submitted themselves to a covenant, the Mosaic Covenant. It is a covenant defined by law or laws. There were real catastrophes associated with disobedience. Rebellion began almost immediately and even Moses' sister rebelled. Moses himself did not cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land due to one particular act of disobedience. Deuteronomy 28 is the high bar by which G-d judged or blessed his people.
G-d called Abraham and caused his descendants of promise through Isaac
to become a great nation. This group of people was to be peculiar on
the earth, set apart, worshipping, obeying, putting their faith in
him. They are to introduce their structure to foreigners who are
attracted to this set up as long as they are willing to be circumcised. It is to this
unique people the Messiah was to come. However, the Messiah was also
to bring justice
to the Gentiles (Iasaih 42:1).
However, there came a great misunderstanding as to the nature of this Messiah and what he would do. During the time of Roman occupation 2000 years later, if there was a Messiah at that time, it was expected he would end Roman rule over Israel. If I understand correctly, the most revered person in Bible history in Israel is Moses. I think it is correct to say the Mosaic Covenant is the covenant in force in Israel today considering religious belief and practice. The laws are meticulously obeyed and permutations of the orginal laws are meticulously obeyed to remove any possiblity of a misstep. Moses, who spoke with G-d face to face, is unique and not repeated.
The Old Testament is made up of the Torah, the first 5 books of Moses,
the Prophets, and the Writings. The Hebrew acrostic is T N C or
Tanach. Ch is pronounced as a gutteral hiss. The order of books is
different than in the Bible Christians read. There was a break of
approximately 400 years from the last book (prophet) to the time of Jesus.
The 400 years were
a famine of the Word of G-d.
What do you do when G-d stops speaking for that long, even if it is prophets warning of sword, famine, and pestilence? One thing that did occur, and this is unwarranted and extremely unfortunate, very smart rabbis made notes which became extra-bibilical (not directly in the Tanach) compilations, which eventually were given the same status as the Tanach. We thank you so much for your providing us with the Tanach in careful correctness throughout the centuries! But you hurt yourself when you took man's word and gave it equal status with G-d's Word. Today we call that redactions. The most harmful rabbinical declaration was in the 11th century that G-d can never become flesh. I really do understand that many Jews think born-again Christians are philosophical idiots because we believe Jesus, G-d, became flesh. We look to Isaiah 9:6, not to a rabbi in the 12th century. You have streets named after this rabbi just as we have streets named after JFK. Besides any unbelief of Isaiah 9:6 or pride in works obeying the Law of Moses, when you can't know G-d as Adam, Noah, Abraham, David or Moses did, you can't ask questions to G-d and hear His answers. You cut yourself off from living counsel and worse than that, you cut yourself off from the the Offspring. Your problem for a short time was Rome. But your long term problem is yourselves, just the same as the Gentiles. All your righteousness is as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) You were supposed to be a Light to the Gentiles. But you cut yourself off and the Gentiles came in. Admittedly, Gentiles look to this scripture as the mission of the Messiah. But I also know that you interpret Isaiah 53 as being Israel, not the Messiah. So for the sake of symmetry, I say it was you who were to be the Light to the Gentiles. Your best course of action is to ask what G-d was saying through Isaiah (and other writers of the Bible) and then go with it. Don't put yourself or any rabbi on a pedestal. Just ask G-d what he meant. If it's possible, obtain what I call a naked Bible that has no notes, no references, no helps. Struggle with the text yourself. The way you have things set up once Maidmondides says you can't know G-d, everthing else later in history is in error. Try telling David G-d doesn't speak or David can't know G-d (I Sanuel 23:2). G-d can tell the words a king speaks in his bedroom to a prophet (I KIngs 6:8-23). Gentiles love these interactions. You think they can't happen.
Paul the Apostle at one time was Saul the Hebrew of Hebrews (Philippians 3:5) who rounded up and killed Jews who believed in Jesus. He was so scary it was years before his conversion was generally accepted. Later, he always went to the Jews first (Romans 1:16), until he was rejected, and then he went to the Greeks, or the Gentiles. He said he would even give up his salvation (Romans 9:1-5) if he could if his people, the Jews, would come believe in Jesus because of it. But he couldn't sit around all day crying when they wouldn't. He was called by G-d (I Corinthians 1:1) whether the Jews accepted his message or not.
The time of Jesus (Isaiah 49:5-6) and the early believers was so interesting.
The people of the Book who waited and watched so long for the Messiah
rejected Jesus Christ who violated tradition, seemed to annul the law,
healed on the sabbath, spent time with women, ate with wrongdoers. The
Messiah was to have satisfied the Jews and then as overflow be a Light
to the Gentiles. Jews were chosen for a reason, to be peculiar and to
lead willing Gentiles into righteousness. Many Jews did follow Jesus.
A small but embarassing number of Gentiles also followed Jesus. What
to do with them? You may wish to read about
the Roman centurion (Matthew 8:5-12) or
the woman at the well in Samaria (John 4:1-42) in the heat of the day or
Cornelius (Acts 10).
At first it seemed only Jews could believe in Jesus. When the Gentiles started to come, they presented some real problems. Should they be required to be circumcised and essentially become Jews first? The Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 of which Acts 15:24-30 is the summary recommended 4 directives only to Gentiles who believe in Jesus. Rabbi Paul explained in Romans 1-16 the function of the law and what it can and cannot accomplish. Galatians is shorter but covers basically the same concepts. I love Romans. Galatians has sound bites.
Individuals and groups always find their way. However, the main body of Jews did not accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Paul, a rabbi, who first rounded up believers to jail and kill them, met Jesus one day. He spent his life trying to communicate covenantally Jesus Christ to the Jews and Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. So many Gentiles flooded in that all believers in Jesus were forced out of the synagogues. Eventually, believers in Jesus were called Nazarenes (Nazareth), or Christians (Notes ree). Today, Christianity is the largest religion on earth and is the fastest growing. This may seem odd to Americans or Europeans but real Christinity is flourishing in Africa, Latin America and Asia. My teacher at the kibbutz in Israel asked me, "Must I become a Christian to believe in Jesus?" I tried to explain that Jesus was a Jew and came to the Jews. No, just be a Jew who believes in Jesus. He answered, "Your Hebrew is very bad, but I think I understood what you said." I think he did too. Jesus healed him of a life-threatening blood blockage to his brain. He was not supposed to return to the kibbutz but he returned the third day no blockage found to do surgery on. When Jesus has healed you, you know it! It changes you,. (John 9)
So, what do you want? I've tried to build a bridge on these three pages, hebrew.htm, hebrewMystery.htm, hebrewgentilemystery.htm. Bottom line, we are all in this together. Jews and Gentiles both are entering the Kingdom of G-d through the narrow path of Jesus Christ and his righteousness imputed to us when and if we ask. Jews and Gentiles are both not entering the Kingdom of G-d by continuing on the broad path that leads to destruction. Believing Jews and believing Gentiles are best friends on earth (BFFs). We don't look alike or act alike but we have the same Abba. Please give us Gentiles a break. Please investigate the Tanach and compare it with the New Testament. See if the new covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 continues to be so strange to you. Do not let the future catch you unaware. Daniel and Revelation are in our future. We Gentiles sometimes think we understand it all. I think we need some more rabbis to make sense of what is coming AFTER you start depending on G-d and stop saying G-d can't come in the flesh and we can't know G-d.
What or Who is your Ark?
Jesus was cursed for our sins
My Yeshua (Isaiah 49:6-7) (Light to the Gentiles)
"13 I was beholding in visions of the night, and, hinei, one like a
Bar Enosh (Ben Adam, i.e., Moshiach) came with the clouds of Shomayim,
and came to the Atik Yomin (Ancient of Days, i.e., Hashem), and before
Him He was brought.
14 And there was given Him (Moshiach) dominion, and honor, and sovereignty, that all people, Goyim, tongues, should pey-lammed-chet (see Dan 3:12, serve, reverence as deity Him (Moshiach). His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His (Messianic) Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
Last updated: 01/17/2017