Isaiah 53 is all about vindication. God’s servant, who suffered grievously, will one day be vindicated to the eyes of those who despised him. This is the primary thrust of the passage.
The missionary interpretation insists that it is Jesus who is going to be vindicated and ONLY Jesus who will be vindicated. According to the Church, the servant’s role can only be fulfilled by one who stands apart from all of humanity by virtue of his alleged divinity – no one can share in the servant’s accomplishment. The key element of the Church position is that the servant must be Jesus to the absolute exclusion of anyone else.
Judaism, on the other hand, asserts that the primary thrust of the passage is the vindication of those who accomplished God’s purpose on earth. Israel is God’s agent here on earth and it is through this nation that God’s purpose is fulfilled. Some individuals from within the nation, such as the prophet, the Messiah or the righteous may play a more prominent role in fulfilling God’s purpose, but they do so as part of the collective Israel. It is not by virtue of their being apart from Israel that they fulfill their role but because they are the heart of the nation that they achieve God’s purpose. If the passage is primarily speaking of Messiah, the prophet or the righteous remnant, it is not to the exclusion of the nation but that the nation’s role is concentrated in these individuals with the nation fulfilling the same role in a general sense. The vindication of the Messiah, the prophet or the righteous remnant is not something that stands apart from the vindication of Israel, but is part and parcel of the general vindication of the nation.
The concept of God’s purpose being fulfilled both by the nation and by an individual or an entity within the nation is a theme that is open and evident in the later chapters of Isaiah. In these chapters (40-66) the prophet refers to the nation as God’s servant (41:8; 43:10; 44:1; 44:21; 48:20) and he refers to an entity within the nation as God’s servant (42:1; 44:26; 49:3). Yet the prophet uses the same imagery and language to describe both the nation and this entity within the nation. The collective nation and the specific entity within the nation are both called from the womb (44:2,24; 49:2,5), are supported by God (41:10; 42:1), are chosen by God (41:8; 42:1), have God’s spirit placed upon them (44:3; 59:21; 42:1), are sheltered in the shade of God’s hand (51:16; 49:2), are called upon to establish the earth (51:16; 49:8), will bring the desolate ruins to life (61:4; 49:8), will be honored by kings (49:23; 49:7), will have ministers bow to them (45:14; 49:7), will serve as a light to the nations (60:3; 42:6; 49:6), were humiliated by their enemies (51:7,23; 49:7), fear that they have toiled in vain (40:27; 49:4), are honored by God (43:4; 49:5), and God is glorified through them (44:23; 49:3).
The theme of Israel’s vindication is also prevalent throughout the book of Isaiah. The prophet consistently teaches that those who trust in God will not be shamed (25:9; 30:18; 40:31; 41:10,11; 44:21; 45:25; 49:23). Isaiah describes how Israel’s righteousness will be obvious to the eyes of the nations and that God will reward their labor on His behalf (26:2; 40:10; 51:7; 60:21; 62:2).
The Jewish interpretation that has God’s purpose achieved through the prophet, the Messiah and the righteous more precisely and through the nation in a general sense – is fully supported by the text. The Christian interpretation which categorically cuts the nation out of God’s plan completely ignores the words of the prophet.
The concept that Israel is God’s servant has always been an integral part of Jewish self-identity. The Jewish people understood that they were called by God to serve His purpose here on earth. It was always understood that various members or entities within the nation, such as the prophet or the Messiah, will fulfill this calling more precisely than the nation as a whole – but these individuals will always be seen as an integral part of the nation. The theological assumption that only a divine being can fulfill God’s purpose and the doctrine which completely cuts Israel out of the role as God’s servant has no basis in any version of Jewish thought – starting from the Bible itself.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
I whole-heartedly agree Yisroel. Since, Is “53” has been one of the prime chapters for avodah zarah in the world, I cant help but think that G-d, in keeping with measure-for-measure, will use this passage as a primary “revelation” to the nations that they are in error, when the time comes.
Part of the reason why I use R’ Moshe Hegerman’s HY”D, iconic photograph as an avatar is to constantly remind myself that he will be vindicated. Not the goons behind him that in all likely hood went off to church that next Sunday. So, who will be vindicated…those who mock the Rabbi for no cause other than for being attached to the name of G-d? And this has been carried out time and time again throughout the last 2000 years.
Here are additional pictures from that day, along with other pictures of R’ Hegerman who was later murdered. (different day)
Although I do not agree with everything, I do agree that it is unwise for groups to put so much emphasis on a single chapter. If He had not given us that chapter at all, G-d would still be the same G-d – a Righteous yet Merciful and Redeeming G-d who loves and is ever devoted to His bride. The beauty of His Word is that we can truly come to know Him – His responses, what He loves, what angers Him, and what moves Him – throughout the many accounts that He has woven into One Story throughout Scripture…all telling us that His Love remains Faithful and Everlasting even when we have failed Him.
P.S. I do definitely agree that the Messiah’s kingship will be united with that of Israel and that the two will be One on that day…those who trust in the LORD will not be ashamed (Isaiah 49:23), and in His Perfect Love, He redeems Israel from all her sins (Psalms 130:8). I see the unity of the Messiah and Israel reflected also in Daniel 7:13-14 and Isaiah 52:7-12 in which He rules over all nations together with His people, leading Israel, but also One with her.
Thank you for your comments. As most who study the full word of the Tanach know, He said time and again that He is all there is. Also, we are told what He requires of us. By those who have ignore or put down these facts of His word, they have also require that the rest of Humanity be separated from G-d, because they (the Jews, or the rest of Humanity) do not agree with their interprertation of the Tanach. They have betried His word for their power. OK. Now they have the power, what are they going to do with it? We still have wars, no Temple, and the hatred of one another in many nations. Now, if we take this thrust for power from their immagination, and recognize only G-d has the power, then all of Human kind shall be included in the equation, as well as Israel, and He shall be able to get His way across to us (the Moshiac). So do Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk in Humility before the L-rd, our G-d, and we shall see and experience a different life. L.I.F.E. can = Let Infinite one Fulfill Everything.
Make it so!
Christian opinion differs,because of the many churches.I am a Mormon,I believe that after Christ was rejected by the Jews, any further writings concerning him, other than the torah will not be given to the Jews, because he was rejected but went to the gentiles,the book of Mormon.This will give the truth.
You forgot something G-d said; for ever. Also, you forgot that aside
from how He discribed Himself, He holds Israel (the Jewish people) in
the “palm of My hand.”)
We; in post Roman times, finished, or started and compleated many
voluums of torah that are in use today. I even have Mormon friends who
use some of the material religiously,
But, then, you side one thing right; it is opinion, as counter posed to
the Word of G-d. I accept the Word of G-d; do you?
As I mentioned in a previous post, today I referenced external sources, including the Talmud and other external Jewish sources (which I do not generally prefer to do because it is only the words of man and thus can lead to many long, unfruitful discussions). I am doing so today simply to point out that in fact the concept of a suffering Messiah — One who would take upon Himself the sin and affliction of Israel — came from Jewry and not from Christianity.
Here are a few quotes to various sources:
– Rabban Shimon bar Yochai, also known as Rashbi (1st-century sage in ancient Israel, active after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE) Zohar, part II, page 212a and III, page 218a:
“Soncino Zohar, Exodus/Shemot, Section 2, Page 212a: When the Messiah hears of the great suffering of Israel in their dispersion, and of the wicked amongst them who seek not to know their Master, he weeps aloud on account of those wicked ones amongst them, as it is written: “But he was wounded because of our transgression, he was crushed because of our iniquities” (Ibid. LIII, 5). The souls then return to their place. The Messiah, on his part, enters a certain Hall in the Garden of Eden, called the Hall of the Afflicted. There he calls for all the diseases and pains and sufferings of Israel, bidding them settle on himself, which they do. And were it not that he thus eases the burden from Israel, taking it on himself, no one could endure the sufferings meted out to Israel in expiation on account of their neglect of the Torah. So Scripture says; “Surely our diseases he did bear”, etc.” (Ibid. LIII, 4)
– Eliyahu de Vidas (1518–1592, known for his expertise in the Kabbalah):
“The meaning of ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities’ is, that since the Messiah bears our iniquities which produce the effect of His being bruised, it follows that whoever will not admit that Messiah thus suffers for our iniquities must endure and suffer for them himself” (Reshit Chochmah or The Beginning of Wisdom, 1575).
– Epistle to Yemen [xvii] Moses Maimonides (1135–1204):
“Messiah culminates in the following manner ‘Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.’ (Psalms 2:7)…. he will prove by means of miracles and wonders that he is the true Messiah. Scripture in allusion to his mysterious lineage says, ‘His name is the Shoot, and he will shoot up out of his place’ (Zechariah 6:12). Similarly, Isaiah referring to the arrival of the Messiah implies that neither his father nor mother, nor his kith nor kin will be known, ‘For he will shoot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of the dry ground’ (53:2)” (Epistle to Yemen XVII).
There have been many, many rabbis — some recorded in the Talmud (I can provide references if you need them) — who did indeed see Isaiah 53 as referring directly to Messiah suffering. This belief originated in Jewry, long before Christianity existed.
In addition, looking at Scripture itself, it is not logical to suppose that the “suffering” is that of Israel for other nations because “our” (i.e., “our suffering,” “because of our sin,” “because of our iniquities,” and so forth) refers to the people of the speaker, who was Isaiah. His people were Israelites, not Gentiles. In verse 8 he directly says, in fact, “for the sin of my people.”
Elsewhere in Scripture, also, G-d directly says why He punished Israel, and it was not for the sin of other nations but for her own sin, as He clearly declared. In Jeremiah 12, He declares that “My own people acted toward Me like a lion in the forest…She raised her voice against Me…” (JPS Tanakh).
“The LORD vented all His fury, poured out His blazing wrath; He kindled a fire in Zion which consumed its foundations….It was for the sins of her prophets, the iniquities of her priests, who had shed in her midst the blood of the just” (Lamentations 4:11–13, JPS Tanakh).
“…O my people! Your leaders are misleaders; They have confused the course of your paths…The LORD will bring this charge against the elders and officers of His people: ‘It is you who have ravaged the vineyard…” (Isaiah 3:13–15, JPS Tanakh).
“My people were silenced for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being a priest to me…” (Hosea 4:6–8, Chabad.org).
“That is why My people have strayed like a flock, they suffer for lack of a shepherd. My anger is roused against the shepherds, and I will punish the he-goats” (Zechariah 10:2:3, JPS Tanakh).
They have forsaken the LORD, spurned the Holy One of Israel, turned their backs” (Isaiah 1:3–4, JPS Tanakh).
“Now, go, write it down on a tablet and inscribe it in a record, that it may be with them for future days, a witness forever. For it is a rebellious people, faithless children, children who refused to heed the instruction of the LORD; who said to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ To the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy truth to us; speak to us falsehoods, prophesy delusions. Leave the way! Get off the path! Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel’” (Isaiah 30:8–11, JPS Tanakh)….
AND YET…“Truly, the LORD is waiting to show you grace, Truly, He will arise to pardon you” (Isaiah 30:18, JPS Tanakh).
I quote these verses, Friend, because I DO love Israel. And it is by truly seeking the LORD — reading and believing His Word for exactly what it says, accepting what HE has declared about our sin and need for redemption (and in many verses He says He will indeed be the Redeemer), and humbling ourselves before Him — that we can know He will indeed reward those who diligently seek Him.
But the concept of a divine Messiah and that all of man’s salvation hinges upon belief in an individual has no root in Judaism – these are completely pagan concepts
But I do not believe that “all of man’s salvation hinges upon belief in an individual”; I believe it hinges on trust in the LORD and believing He would fulfill His promises to be Redeemer and Savior, among many other promises.
The coming of the Messiah quoted in the Talmud as associated with Isaiah 59:16 is but one instance showing this truth; here; in these verses we clearly see that there was NO MAN and that the LORD Himself saved by His own right arm. Thus, if there was no “man” and yet the sages believed these verses referenced the coming Messiah, it is clear Who that Messiah had to be — the LORD Himself.
Also, if you review Daniel chapter 8, there are numerous interesting issues, just one of which is the 2300 “days” of desolation prophesied to occur after the destruction of the Temple. We are nearing 2,000 years after said the destruction of the 2nd Temple (by the Roman Empire) now, and this would not be the first time G-d used days to represent years, if that is what He meant there. Time will tell.
That same passage, as per chabad.org, also says that same small but mighty horn (the Roman Empire — the same kingdom that would destroy the Sanctuary) would be in power at such a time that it would stand over “the Prince of princes” (http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16491#v=25), also prophesying that this same kingdom would be destroyed but not by human strength. Interestingly, to this day historians debate what exactly caused the Roman decline, with some referring to it as a “complex transformation” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_the_Roman_Empire).
There are numerous other interesting issues, too, that can be found on Wikipedia regarding this time period: Julius Caesar’s political brilliance and claim of descent from the gods, among others. I do not consider Wikipedia an academic source, by any means, but there are links included within the articles that lead the interested person to sources that are in fact reliable.
Reblogged this on 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources.
We know that God has many servants.
You conclude that Israel brings salvation to the earth.
To say Christians cut out the nation?
Where in my Book does it say that?
Bible 819 so what role do you attribute to Israel?
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
1st, my book Tells me that heaven is 1st for the Jew then to the Gentile.
My view is this, as the Gospel proclaims.
Israel at one point turned their backs on God. Everyone has turned their backs to God as my gentile brethren were worshiping everything but God before Christ came.
God turned Israel’s disobedience to bring salvation to the world to everyone.
In doing this, making them envious.
Envious that at 1 point they were the only people who had the word of God.
To answer your question, Israel is God’s inheritance.
The rest of the world is also Gods creation but not God’s inheritance.
Abraham the man is faith blessed many nations.
Only a remnant of Israel will be saved. What happens with the rest of the Israel?
To Sum up:
Israel is Gods child. He had to discipline them to show the rest of the world who he was.
He did this by Isaiah 53. A vindicator who would captivate the world.
Today remains that Hebrew Vindicator.
Bible 819 So you effectively cut the nation out of teh role assigned to her by God – God’s witness as per Isaiah 43:10, the beacon of light for the rest of the world as per Isaiah 60:3, teachers of the world as per Zechariah 8:23 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
No what I’m saying is God sustained his owned righteousness.
The Lord looked and was displeased
that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his OWN arm achieved salvation for him,
and his OWN righteousness sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
18 According to what they have done,
You said QUOTE:
…”the doctrine which completely cuts Israel out of the role as God’s servant has no basis in any version of Jewish thought….”
I agree with you there – and I see Yeshua (Jesus) as not only God but also a Jewish man, thus part of the Jewish nation, the Jewish Messiah. I believe He fulfilled all 3 roles, of
The Prophet like Moses,
High Priest like Aaron and Melchizedek,
King of Israel like David
I understand that you don’t see it quite that way…. Perhaps you have already written something elsewhere about what exactly you mean by “Messiah” vs. The Prophet vs. High Priest, and your basis in the Tanakh ?
Matthew Perri Perhaps you can tell me who is talking in Micah 7:7?
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
You asked me “who is talking in Micah 7:7?”
GREAT QUESTION !
“Who is talking” is really the first question we should ask for ANY text we look at.
Not all parts of the Scriptures are equally clear, (or equally important.) This particular text is less clear than many, and I don’t have a snappy answer. But I’m not above the Law, I’m not God, and I don’t’ know everything or understand the Scriptures perfectly. I am learning, and willing to admit when I am clearly wrong – or might be wrong.
I’ll make an educated guess that you believe “the speaker” is “the nation of Israel.” I’m really not sure. I will have to sit down with the Book of Micah and read the whole thing prayerfully, asking God to show me.
What I am sure of is that God, Yahweh the God of Israel, spoke hundreds of times, and His voice is recorded by His prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures. God’s voice is in the writing of the Patriarchs like Adam, Noah, Abraham etc, that Moses got ahold of in Egypt. God’ voice is in the 4 Books dealing with the life of Moses. And God’s voice is heard through numerous other Hebrew prophets after that. We can hear the voice of Yahweh talking with these prophets, and through these prophets.
And hundreds of times, we can hear the prophets themselves talking – sometimes about their own feelings, experience, and opinions. Sometimes the lines can get blurred about “who is talking” or “who is the speaker”, especially in the Law of Moses. Yet in many cases, clearly, there are distinctions. It’s idolatry to claim that “the voice of Moses is ALWAYS the voice of God.”
Matthew Perri One thing is quite clear – if you won’t find a way to square this verse in Micah with your most recent “belief” you will say that Micah simply lied 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
Matthew, how can Jesus be both the king of Israel and the High Priest? The king of Israel (and future Messiah) is a descendant of King David on his father’s side from the tribe of Judah. The High Priest is a descendant of Aaron on his father’s side from the tribe of Levi.
If you would read the Bible you would know this.
Indeed, Matthew should know this. In a bit of non sequitur a little while back he asked about Uzziah, the king who burned incense in the temple. That did not go over well.
Dina, that is why Christians say that Jesus is not of the Levitical priesthood, but of the Melchizedek priesthood: because, they say, Melchizedek was both king of Salem (Jersualem- a metaphor for heaven) and high priest at the same time. That is why the NT says “You are a high priest forever, of the order of Melchizedek” Thought I’d give you a preemptive leg up on this.
Thank you. And “on his father’s side” is an assumption based on common practice, sort of like the “rights of the firstborn son” – which God was known to go around, as in the case of Jacob over Esau, David over his older brothers…..
The Apostle Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph. Luke gives the genealogy of Mary. Both were descendants of David.
Sorry, nowhere does it say that Luke’s genealogy is that of Mary. It says just the opposite. Both Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogies SAY they are Joseph’s. Yours is the Pauline “pious fraud” the church made up for damage control. I guess even the plain words mean nothing when one has cognitive dissonance?
“He was the son, SO IT WAS THOUGHT, of Joseph…” [Luke 3:23]
Matthew will not be able to appeal to the line of Melchizedek. His argument to show that one needed an intercessor was based on Leviticus. Melchizedek does not qualify to function as a high priest. Anyone who came from that line would not qualify as an intercessor by Matthew’s argument.
Are you saying that Moses’ “Systematic Theology” overrides the Book of the Patriarchs that came before Moses i.e. Genesis?
Your question about whether or not Moses’ systematic theology overrides Genesis is a bit misleading. In fact, it is little more than distraction. However, I will answer it, but not in this comment. I will come to it later, when I have time, either tonight or some time in the next couple of days. For now, I would like to comment on what the question itself tells us.
If you could have proven through Genesis that Abraham could approach God only through Melchizedek, you would have done so instead of asking insinuating questions. One notes that this is one instance where you do not even bother quoting irrelevant verses and then declare yourself correct by virtue of the volume quoted. But of course, you quote nothing because the Torah does not imply this in any way. You, with your unsystematic theology, read it into the text.
In fact, Abraham seems to have had a relationship with God quite without the help of Melchizedek. He was a prophet, after all, and called by God. Nothing in his calling implies that it came through Melchizedek. And, if one wonders why God called Abraham, why He made promises to Abraham, He tells Isaac why: “…because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” (Gen. 26:5). It certainly appears that Abraham had a relationship with God, and it appears to have had no need of Melchizedek.
But then, you have also ignored your own argument. It was you that introduced Leviticus into the conversation. Now you wish to lessen its importance. You call it Moses’ systematic theology, when it was not invented by Moses but God, and that according to your own standard, not mine and not the Jewish people’s standard. And since you want to make Jesus to be a Passover lamb, I hardly think you can diminish “Moses’ systematic theology”. With Leviticus, it was important to use it to prove Jesus, but now that it does not suit your need, Leviticus really is not so important after all.
I am sure I am not the only one who noticed you attempt to override Deuteronomy with Isaiah or Deuteronomy with Proverbs. Both attempts to do so violate your own self-made rules for scriptural interpretation. You argue that they are not on the level of Torah, but when they can be manipulated to sound Christological, then they override Torah. You could do with a dose of systematic theology.
I don’t think our Theology should be “systematic.” I think it should be personal and relational, like in a family. The God of Heaven and Earth is our Father, Yahweh, and we connect to Him through His Unique Son Jesus. The word “system” or derivatives don’t appear anywhere in the 66 Books of the Bible. System is a modern word – mechanical, technical, cold, impersonal. God is not a system, and our relationship with Him should not be understood as a system, in my opinion.
Once again you dodge the very issues you raise, and in so doing you malign the Torah. After all the boasting you have done that you are the truly Torah observant one here (which you prove by counting the verses you quote), you call that Torah “mechanical, technical, cold, impersonal”. If this is your view of the Torah, you are the last person who should be calling himself Torah observant. You clearly understand it not at all.
And I am appalled at the brazenness with which you misrepresent the Torah. When it suits you, that “systematic theology” of Moses is proof that one needs Jesus. Then you dismiss it as secondary. At the same time, you call it systematic and then condemn the term as one not appearing in the Torah. Such shamelessness!
Regardless, all of this is a smokescreen. Denigrating the Torah is just the tool you use to get out of your own arguments. Instead of showing that Melchizedek was an intermediary like the levitical high priest, you change the subject. You argue whether or not a word you introduced into the conversation appears in the Torah. Yet, you have not answered the objections to your faulty arguments. Instead, you malign the Torah as a distraction.
Fred, as you know, that is a ridiculous assertion because the priesthood did not pass through Melchizedek. Melchizedek wasn’t even Jewish! His offspring were not part of the nation of Israel. And the priesthood must be passed through patrilineal descent.
Matthew is grasping at straws by thanking you for saving him.
But then again, I have not seen a shred of evidence that Matthew is even remotely interested in honest discussion.
I thought it was odd that he thanked me. I was not doing him any favors. But if Matthew likes, I can probably provide better pro-Christian apologetic arguments than he can. I know every well-worn Christian apologetic argument in the book…which i why I am no longer Christian.
Ha! I’ll bet you can.
I am not suggesting being a “New Testament Christian following Paul.”
I’m suggesting being an “Acts 8 follower of Jesus of the Gospels, following Jesus, who cam to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (not abolish them.)
And What laws do you follow.
I try to start with Deuteronomy 6:4-5 first,
followed secondly by Leviticus 19:18
According to your own messiah you should be doing all that the Rabbis say to do. As you should know, they sit in Moshe’s seat.
Don’t we have the progressive revelations about the Levitical priesthood in the Bible? Age laws: age 30-50 Numbers4:47, age25-50 Numbers8:24, age20- ?1chronicles23:27 (David was a man after God’s heart, not after the letters of the Law?).
Samuel served as a priest even though he was a Ephraimit not Levites(1Sam.2:18): David served as a Judahite priest (Psalm110:4): priests served as a prophet (Ezekiel, Zechariah): the overlapping of ministry of King (Messiah)and priest-Genesis14:18, Ezekiel45:22.
Yeshua as both King(Judahite) and priest (descendants of Aaron-evidence: Mary was the Levites!- Luke1:5, 8, 36)
Now, how is Israel fulfilling the role of Priestly nation accordingI to Exodus 19:6? Who has the spirit of God and His words, scattered among the all nations like Levites were in the promised land, and doing the work of atonement for the sins of the nations and delivering God’s words and new divine revelations to them? Messianics ! (Christians ! whether they are Jewish or Gentile) “But you are a chosen people, a KINGLY PRIESTHOOD, a holy nation, a people belonging to God..” (1Peter 2:9). Thanks for reading.
Gean Guk Jeon
These examples have nothing to do with “progressive” revelation. Numbers 4 and Numbers 8 were spoken at about the same time – the answer to the seeming contradiction is that in Numbers 4 it speaks of the actual work while in Numbers 8 it speaks of the arrival to work – in other words Numbers 8 includes a 5 year training period
Samuel was a Levite not an Ephraimite – see 1 Chronicles 6:13,18,19 and he served as Levite not as a priest
The “priesthood” of David is like the priesthood of Israel – teacher and judge not one who serves in the Temple and when Ezekiel tells us that the king “makes a sin offering” he means that he is the one who brings it to the priests and lays his hands on it – functions that are not limited to the priesthood.
To answer your final question please read – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/a-light-to-the-nations/
Thank you rabbi for your explanation. יָבֹוא לִצְבֹא צָבָא can translate as “enter to perform- wait(?)- do- service” right? Then, why Tanakh didn’t use the Hebrew words for “wait or practice or learn”? or “after five years training, start service?” etc? I am wondering if there are any Jewish oral tradition or historical records that prove there was five years training period such as christian intern pastor or seminary student?
If Samuel was a Levite from Ephraimite’s region, then why the author didn’t say “Levite?” like Judges 17:7 and 19:1? Isn’t Samuel the author of both Judges and 1Samuel according to the Jewish tradition?
Gean Guk Jeon Because the intended audience (Israel) of the book knew him and loved him 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
>>>>I am not suggesting being a “New Testament Christian following Paul.”
I’m suggesting being an “Acts 8 follower of Jesus of the Gospels, following Jesus, who cam to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (not abolish them.)<<<
Then why are you using Pauline Christian tactics? Is Jesus God ( God forbid) or not? Strange that it is the gospels, particularly John, that presents Jesus as divine being, while Paul never does. of course this is due to the fact that Paul's writings were the earliest and the "Jesus as God" theology did not yet exist.
Besides, The gospels have several instances of Jesus breaking the law- on purpose. Christians actually make a point of this when discussing things like the Sabbath, unclean meats, etc. Christianity wears Jesus' law breaking as a badge of honor, and show it as "proof" that Jesus is God ( God forbid) and that "fulfilled" does in fact mean "no longer in force", or abolished.
we had extended discussion here recently regarding this issue. I laid out that Jesus did NOT break the Sabbath by making some mud and miraculously healing a blind man, or by His disciples eating heads of grain on the Sabbath, and Jesus never dishonored his mother. So leaving aside what “Christians” have preached at you,
Are there some other specific instances where you feel Jesus “broke the law”, and what are they?
How can you EVEN state if and how he broke Shabbat when you don’t EVEN Know Jewish law on the matter. You wouldn’t even be able to understand the arguments presented since you are unaware of the context surrounding those arguments.
You laid out? You laid out? You merely made an assertion. And in response to arguments that tore your assertion to shreds, you simply repeated your assertion.
About those 3 instances, I rest my case – the readers can look back at the discussion and decide.
Are there some other specific instances where you feel Jesus “broke the law”, and what are they?
Mathhew Perri I am satisfied to let the case rest regarding those three instances – here is another. Throughout he gospels Jesus paints a picture of the Pharisees which is false according to every historical record – and he does so for his own aggrandizement
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Certainly it is true that the general picture of the Pharisees that comes through in the Gospels is overwhelmingly negative- including the words of Jesus. (like Matthew chapter 23)…. Yet remember that after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after 4 days, none of the Pharisees denied it – but rather they planned to kill both Jesus and Lazarus. (And Jim wonders why Jesus didn’t choose to appear before the Pharisees again in person to prove that He rose from the dead….)
However, there are some bright spots for the Pharisees, 3 men in particular.
Nicodemus (John 3:1-21, John 7:45-52, John 19:39-40)
Joseph of Arimathea ( Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-40)
A “teacher of the law” (Mark 12:28-34)
This general pattern of the leaders of Israel becoming corrupt, and God in love sending them prophets to admonish them, while still preserving a “righteous remnant” and holding out hope for the future, is common. There are so many examples of this kind of pattern – in Judges, all through the Prophets, etc. Of the “12 spies” who entered the Promised Land, only Joshua and Caleb were righteous, the other 10 were not…. It almost seems like the majority is usually wrong, based on the Hebrew Scriptures. Maybe that is why there were so many Hebrew prophets?
Matthew Perri Would you believe a book that describes the enemies of the author in a negative way? You don’t believe Moses when you imagine that he had an incentive to lie – so why do the authors of the gospels get better treatment by you? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
The authors of the Gospels go way out of their way NOT to write about themselves and their own feelings, opinions, and experience. They are all about Jesus, and they put the focus on Jesus. None of them are “autobiographical”. (This is a huge contrast with Paul, who was VERY autobiographical in his letters.)
John goes to extreme lengths trying NOT to mention himself in the narratives where he was personally a part of the action. (To such an extent that some liberals deny John even wrote the book.) Other than Luke’s introduction in the first 4 verses of chapter 1, Luke says nothing at all about himself in his Gospel. Mark never mentions anything at all about himself. And if Matthew’s Gospel didn’t have his name at the top, you would never guess that he had written it. Nothing is in first person.
In the case of Moses, I would give first priority to him quoting Yahweh, and second priority to Moses’ teaching, (where he didn’t specifically quote Yahweh.)
Lastly in priority would be Moses’ testimony about himself, his feeling and experience and opinions. (Deuteronomy 9:19-21 would be in that lowest priority, in my opinion.) Again, I’m not saying that Moses “lied.” But in this particular case, in talking about his own feelings and experience 40 years previously, he put some “spin” on the story, and had a “selective memory” to gloss over his own shortcoming. Moses was human. You will note that Moses didn’t claim that Yahweh heard his prayer for Aaron specifically, yet in truth, it WAS Aaron who physically made the calf, not the people…..
I’m not trying to “tear down Moses” – but neither should he be idolized.
Matthew Perri There are other incentives to lie aside from self-aggrandizement or protecting one’s own authority or reputation – People lie to defend their favorite characters, their cult leader or their idol. And people lie to demonize people who think differently than them. It is clear that the gospel writers were doing this in their description of the Pharisees because every other historical record of the Pharisees yields a completely different picture than the one the gospel paints 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
Matthew, you wrote that you are not trying to tear down Moses but think he should not be idolized.
Dishonesty yet again. You are dismissing Moses in order to elevate Jesus, which would be obvious to you if you were capable of mustering some self-awareness and summoning forth a shred of honesty.
We don’t “idolize” Moses as you falsely charge, but you idolize Jesus. That is some irony. Hey, is it hypocritical to preach one thing and practice another?
You asked QUOTE:
“Would you believe a book that describes the enemies of the author in a negative way?”
That question is very applicable to the letters of Paul the false apostle. It’s one man, Paul, writing letters blasting and denigrating his enemies and preceived “rivals” for power, and justifying himself. Other than Paul’s biographer Luke, it’s hard to think of any other leader in the early Church that Paul DIDN’T have a problem with. (Peter, Barnabas, James, other leaders in Jerusalem, Mark, etc. Paul has a negative putdown for almost everyone.)
Jesus was NOT the author of ANY books. And the 4 Gospels are 4 different “books”, compiled by 4 different men. They obviously took some time to pull together, before they were distributed in their final form, and they were based on numerous sources, not just one man sitting down and writing a letter.
For example, if you take a minute or two and skim through the first half of Gospel of Matthew, you will see that many thousands of people were affected by Jesus, at all levels of society – for 3+ years. In Matthew chapter 9, Jesus raised a synagogue ruler’s daughter from the dead. Do you really think he was illiterate, and never told anyone or never wrote anything down? Jesus miraculously feeds 5000 families – and no one wrote anything down anywhere?
You wrote, QUOTE:
“People lie to defend their favorite characters, their cult leader or their idol. And people lie to demonize people who think differently than them.”
The 4 Gospel Books do not claim to be comprehensive summaries or histories of everything the Pharisees ever taught and did in all Israel. The focus is Jesus, and His interactions with the people around Him – including the Pharisees and their “system” during a period of a few years. They were constantly accusing Jesus of “breaking the Law”, when really He was NOT breaking the Law, he was simply breaking their human tradition.
Matthew Perri Your answer has nothing to do with my question. The gospel writers were obviously drawn into the magnetism of Jesus – why do you believe what they say? If you can’t believe Moses when you imagine that he has the slightest of motives to lie how then can you believe the gospel writers in their petty smallness? You also seem to have no clue about the historical record of the Pharisees. The way their world-view is described in the gospels has nothing to do with the historical record
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
You observed that QUOTE:
“You also seem to have no clue about the historical record of the Pharisees.”
You are right, I don’t know much about it. I’m aware that there were hundreds of years of tradition before Jesus. Yet, if we look at the “historical record of the United States”, and study 1776, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, etc. that doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality on the ground today hundreds of years later…..
Matthew Perri Let’s say you read a book written by a British writer about the American Revolution and it describes the American Revolutionists as people who were trying to establish a communist society with a stalinist type dictator – would you believe this writer?
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You confess your ignorance of the history of the Pharisees, yet you have the arrogance to wax forth about a specific period in their history. The problem for you is that the historical record that coincides with the period of time that Christian scripture was penned gives the lie to Christian scripture. Maybe you should read up on some history, eh?
You wrote about QUOTE: ,,,”a book written by a British writer…”
in your analogy, that could describe Gospel of Luke… And if that was all there was, no I wouldn’t believe it.
Yet that was the basis for Marcion’s “New Testament” in the Second Century. Nothing but an abbreviated / edited Gospel of Luke, and 10 of Paul’s letters. I’ve said it before, but most people don’t know this, and fail to grasp the monumental significance of it. Practically speaking, much of modern “Christianity” is functionally revived Marcionism, following Paul’s “Christ” and Paul’s false “gospel.”
Matthew Perri How about an American loyalist? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
Matthew Perri According to the gospels Jesus did break the Law of Moses and you testified to the truth of this by being unable to defend him without turning his words into pretzels
1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
In answer to your question here:
To be honest, I am disinclined to answer your question. You have exhibited the greatest dishonesty in your arguments. When Leviticus seems to support your theology, you employ it. When it contradicts your theology, you attempt to downgrade it. The question itself is a mere distraction, a way of releasing yourself from the obligation to support your claims about Christianity. However, because it goes to show how poorly you understand Torah and the principles thereof, I will address the issue, distraction though it may be.
First, let us note that your question rests on a false premise. You imply that Moses is the author of the Torah and its systematic theology. Once again noting that this systematic theology was once used to support your worship of a human being, it is disingenuous to say the least for you to affirm it when it suits you and deny it when it does not. Such haphazard application of Torah is not observance, as you claim, but the replacing of God’s Word with your own. Putting that aside, however, according to you, we are to take as God’s words any time the text reads: “And the Lord said…”. This systematic theology that establishes the priesthood, sacrifice, etc. are not then, by your own argument, not the systematic theology of Moses but of God.
Second, in Numbers 12, God testifies to the purity of Moses’ prophecy:
“When there are prophets among you, I the Lord make myself known to them in visions; I speak to them in dreams. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak face to face—clearly, not in riddles; and he beholds the form of the Lord.” (vv. 6-8)
Your attempt to downgrade Moses is fascinating, but clearly shows that you either know or care nothing for Torah.
In fact, when I read your comment the other day, I asked my daughters who was a more trustworthy prophet, Abraham or Moses. Assuming it to be a trick question, the initial answer was “neither”. But I shook my head and asked them to think about it for a moment. It was only a short moment when one came up with the correct answer: Moses. She even knew the reason why he is the more trustworthy prophet.
In addition to what was said in Numbers, she presented a compelling reason why Moses could be trusted. The entire people heard God speak to Moses at Sinai. She even knew the reason why God granted this revelation to the entire nation: “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak to you and so trust you ever after” (Ex. 19:9). This public revelation made it common knowledge to the Israelites that Moses was a prophet. Of course, anyone can claim to be a prophet. Only Moses had a public display made to credential him so that his words could be trusted.
My daughter also pointed out that Moses was chosen twice over. He was chosen by God, and he was chosen by the people. After hearing God speak, the people appointed Moses as the messenger who would bring to them God’s teaching: “When all the people witnessed the thunder and the lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die” (Ex. 20:18-19). Therefore, God and the people agreed that Moses should be God’s prophet to them, granting Moses authority.
Abraham was a great prophet. This I do not deny. But the real reason we can accept his prophecy as true is because Moses attested it to later on. Otherwise, his prophecy is not quite as trustworthy as Moses’ prophecy, because one could not know that God spoke to him. Anyone can claim to have a message from God. Just a couple weeks ago, you tried to tell us that God showed you something. But of course, we have no reason to accept your private revelation. We know that anyone can claim anything. Moses, on the other hand, received revelation publicly. It has been authenticated.
Of course, your original question is really just a mess. You ask if Moses systematic theology overrides Genesis. This implies that there is a contradiction between Genesis and the other four books. However, they are all penned by Moses, dictated by God. They all rest on the same authority, the public revelation at Sinai. Moreover, no contradiction exists between Genesis and the other four books. The only conflict was between your assumptions and those books.
It is quite silly that you pick and choose what you will accept as authoritative. No, silly is not the right word. It is presumptuous. When it suits you, you quote from Deuteronomy, claiming without proof that Jesus is the prophet like Moses. Then you pretend that Deuteronomy is not really authoritative. Your strategy for understanding Torah is to accept what you like and discard the rest. Some observance.
Moses is the greatest of all the prophets. He received more clear prophecy than others. No less importantly, he was publicly verified. Doubly appointed, he acted as the agent of God and the agent of the people. You are not the first to try to tear Moses down, but I would think you might have learned from the others.
You wrote about QUOTE:
…..”Genesis and the other four books. However, they are all penned by Moses, dictated by God. They all rest on the same authority, the public revelation at Sinai. ”
This gets at the root of our difference of opinion.
….”all penned by Moses, dictated by God….. at Sinai” ? ? ? ? ?
Do you believe that nothing of the Book of Genesis was written down or existed, until God dictated it to Moses at Sinai?
Not as a book, no. As a tradition, yes. Obviously Israel had traditions from their fathers which they passed down. (And I did not write that it was dictated at Sinai.)
Even if it had been written, however, it would be of no greater importance than Exodus-Deuteronomy.
I draw your attention to the fact that you ignore the substance of the comment.
Why NOT “as a book” ?
Why say “even if it had been written”?
It’s 50 chapters long. Filed with detailed personal conversations between God and people, including Adam in the Garden of Eden. Chapter 10, the “Table of Nations”, Chapter 36 Esau’s descendants, chapter 46 Jacob’s descendants…..
Of course it was written down. It must have been preserved by someone in Egypt, probably from Joseph’s line……
Why do have to tear down the Patriarchs like Abraham etc. to elevate Moses? That’s idolatry. Your one “special author” above everyone else – just because Moses was a true Prophet of Yahweh is no excuse for idolatry. That is the same pattern false prophets use – Joseph Smith and his Book of Mormon, Muhammad with his Koran, Paul with his letters, creating a theological system that people could control, with himself as Boss, on top, accountable to no one.
Your incessant references to others and idolatry is really getting sickening. Don’t forget to include YOUR version of Xtianity. It never ceases to amaze me how each and Every Xtian has their own religion and structure and if some revelation came to their minds.
Your own personal definition of idolatry is of no interest or utility. For all the boasting you do about how you quote scripture, I will not be the only one to note that you have no scripture to quote to support your definition of idolatry.
Jim and Sharbano,
Definitions of idolatry aside,
You want to give Moses all the credit for writing Genesis.
Yes I believe Genesis is true and authoritative, and Moses was the “guardian” of sorts, and could be considered an editor – maybe – but Moses certainly did not sit down and just write it out, like the other 4 books. Anyway, Moses never claimed he did that !
The “Book of the Covenant” in Exodus 24:7 might be a reference to Genesis…
You say “Not as a book, no. As a tradition, yes.”
This is simply another way to undermine the authority of Abraham and the Patriarchs and elevate Moses, giving him all the glory…..
How in the world do you KNOW it was “not a book”?
Although there were Yeshivas, namely the Yeshiva of Shem, who taught Isaac and Jacob, Moshe Did write Genesis because tradition holds that he questioned G-d on his wording of the text.
Common sense should tell us that Genesis was an existing Book completed long before Moses was born, and Moses simply copied it into a new scroll at the beginning of his own writings. Moses never claimed he “wrote it.” Let’s not be ridiculous, and make Moses guilty of plagiarism.
What’s your point, G-d didn’t tell Moshe what to write.
“Common sense tells us?” Since when according to your standard are we allowed to use common sense? According to your standard, if it’s in Scripture it exists and if it’s not in Scripture then it does not exist. Scripture does not give an order of authority to its own books. That is something you made up based on your “common sense.”
You continue to argue a red herring.
Your original contention was that Leviticus showed the need for an intermediary. When we pointed out that Jesus did not fit the bill, you appealed to Melchizedek, but you have been unable to show that he was an intermediary. Instead, you have pretended that some dichotomy exists between Genesis and Leviticus, but, not only have you shown no such dichotomy to exist, no such dichotomy does, in fact, exist. Because you could not support your contention regarding Melchizedek, you then tried to diminish Moses, implying that he was seizing power, which point is both untrue and irrelevant. And then, to cover your tracks, you have accused others of diminishing the Patriarchs and elevating Moses, which even if were true has nothing to do with your argument.
I suppose we may take your bunny trail as an implicit admission that you were mistaken. I suppose we may assume that you now realize that Jesus could not have been an intermediary, not a king and high priest. It would have been simpler for you to just say that.
You wrote about QUOTE: “all rest on the same authority, the public revelation at Sinai. ”
Your view is that your one “special author” with his “special writings” was given the “ultimate complete revelation” by God at one point in time – and it’s written in his books. His “special writings” override everything else that came before and also after, and are the ultimate authority. (This view is present also in false religions like Paul’s theology, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon.) In other words, you don’t believe in “Progressive Revelation.” You think your “special man” knew everything, and couldn’t be wrong.
We agree that what God spoke later should not contradict what He spoke earlier – rather, it should agree with or compliment earlier revelation.
You don’t want to admit that Moses didn’t write Genesis. You want to claim that Moses got the “original download” of “the complete revelation” at Sinai, which makes Moses “the first”, and therefore the most authoritative.
But obviously, Moses did NOT write Genesis, and he never claimed he did. So we should not try to make Genesis fit into “Moses’ Systematic Theology”. Yahweh our God is alive, He was speaking to people long before Moses was born – and afterward too, even today. Moses’ teaching on marriage in Deuteronomy 24 should not override God’s Word in Genesis, but rather Genesis should take priority.
Everything Moshe had taught the people was first told to Moshe From G-d.
Matthew Perri Why does the writer of Genesis have precedence over Moses? How do you know what his name was or what his authority is?
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Matthew, you wrote: “Your view is that your one “special author” with his “special writings” was given the “ultimate complete revelation” by God at one point in time – and it’s written in his books.”
Yup, that’s true–and since God commanded that we are not to add or subtract from His word, then anyone who follows Moses who contradicts Moses’s teachings is a false prophet. No prophet after Moses was given the authority to add or subtract to or from the law or to introduce a new form of worship. Jesus lacked the authority to do so and thus is rejected as the false prophet that he is.
Progressive revelation is something invented by Christians to justify Jesus worship and is not supported by Scripture.
So it seems we agree that Moses did not write Genesis.
I believe it is a kind of running diary of the Patriarchs in it’s pages – Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and they all contributed to it. Probably the prophecy that God gave to Abraham about 400 years of slavery was an encouragement and authentication for Moses when he came across the document…
My question would be, why would Moses’ writings have precedence over Genesis?
Matthew Perri I don’t agree with you I am just asking according to your warped view of reality. Jim already explained to you why Moses takes precedence over other prophets – its because God went out of His way to establish the credibility of Moses more so than he did for any other prophet 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >
Matthew, according to you, if it isn’t in Scripture it doesn’t exist. Saying that one book takes precedence over another book is not in Scripture. You set standards for everyone else which you don’t abide by, then expect everyone to accept your made-up views. I am coming to expect dishonesty from you.
According to your standard, God said we are to believe Moses forever (Exodus 19:9). Last time I brought this up you ignored it, as you often do to inconvenient facts. Guess what? God didn’t say we should believe Moses in certain instances and not in others.
I admit, I’ve spent the last 20 years believing, without any doubt, question, or thought, that “Moses wrote the Pentateuch.” I don’t doubt that he basically wrote the 4 books – but Genesis? Even though Moses never even claimed he wrote it?
So in the Garden of Eden, God actually created 3 people – Adam, Eve, and Moses?
On the Ark, it wasn’t just Noah’s family of 8 and the animals – they had a stowaway in the elephant’s haystack – MOSES.
Wow – talk about a warped sense of reality.
Matthew, no one thinks Moses was tucked away in the Ark recording history and so on. Do you really not know that we believe Moses wrote all of the Torah with Divine guidance? Or are you just pretending in order to make us all out to be stupid and foolish? For shame!
We’re not tearing down Abraham or anyone else either, just showing that Scripture testifies that Moses was the greatest prophet who ever lived. You decided that it’s inconvenient for you to believe that particular passage. Well, that’s too bad for you, but don’t expect us to take you seriously.
You said —-“Wow – talk about a warped sense of reality.” Are you trying to bully Dina again? Is it just me or do you have a problem with women challenging you? If not Dina, just who here has the warped sense of reality here? Why is your view not warped.
Larry, in fairness to Matthew, he wasn’t addressing this comment to me, although I agree he does seem to have a problem with women, which is likely why he ignores most of my comments. Or it could be that my comments are so devastating he doesn’t know how to answer them :).
What book was Moses writing at this time?
Exodus 17: 14The Lord said to Moses, Inscribe this [as] a memorial in the book, and recite it into Joshua’s ears, that I will surely obliterate the remembrance of Amalek from beneath the heavens
I do not know for certain, but it could be the Torah generally. It could just be to Exodus as well. R’ Blumenthal is more likely to have a better answer.
Larry and Jim
It is my understanding that these words written in Exodus are a fulfillment of this command of God
Mathew Perri, you have to remember that there was not a written text of the Torah before Moses. Moses went and received the tablets, and then the Torah (specifically the book of Deuteronomy) was written down. Remember Deuteronomy 4:32? Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?
Moses is telling the people at that time, ask now. IE The Sinai event after the Exodus, up until the death of Moses, is the immediate context of what we call the Hebrew Bible. There wasn’t a text called Torah, (genesis or otherwise,) until Sinai.
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