Posts Tagged ‘Hebrew’

While studying the book of Hebrews, which was primarily written to the Jews, I started thinking about the problem the Jewish believers faced in the first century and I took a look at the dilemma that the Jewish people found themselves confronted with from the teachings of the author of the book of Hebrews (which I believe to be Paul). Part of the issue covered by the writer of Hebrews in his instructions and lessons to the Jews about Christianity concerned their predicament about the Old Covenant and also about the Temple that was still standing in Jerusalem (the book of Hebrews was written about 68 AD while the temple was still standing.).

I believe part of the Jewish quandary with what was being taught to them by the Hebrew writer was that all Jews were raised and taught and instructed from a child that the Temple was the Holy Place of their Lord. They probably knew about the Messiah and were anticipating him but most likely most of them had no conception that the Messiah was to totally overturn and upset their whole religious system. Historically the evidence seems to support just the opposite, that most Jewish people were expecting a Messiah that would come swooping in and save them from the oppressive hand of the Roman rulers that had dominion over these proud Jewish people. This attitude reflects the great distance that the Jewish leadership had veered from the actual meaning and intention of the word of God in the Torah that they had before them.

The concept of taking and turning their backs on a part of life that they had grown up with, a religious system that was the linchpin around which their lives revolved, a religion that had been hammered into them so deeply it was an ingrained part of their life and was a daily, weekly and seasonally practiced and sometimes a legally required ritual would be difficult for the devout Jew to accept. If what these followers of Christ were saying and teaching was correct, they were expected to believe that the covenant that God had handed down through Moses and that was exemplified by the beautiful temple standing in Jerusalem was no longer in effect and was being replaced by a new covenant that had no temple. Additionally the fact that their respected teachers and leaders, the Scribes and Pharisees, were disparaging Christians and constantly throwing stumbling block and sowing doubt and confusion about this cult of heretics among the regular populace while persecuting anyone that started professing belief in the chief heretic called Jesus Christ had to cause a lot of anxiety among the Christian Jews. All these things would create a situation that would be akin to selling an ice box to an Eskimo and would require some extraordinary salesmen…God had such super salesmen such as Paul, Barnabas, Titus, Philemon, Peter, James and Jude, as well as others…even then it was a tough sell as we read in these epistles.

To accept and believe in the Christ and this new movement called The Way1 was possibly a guarantee of being looked upon with derision and possibly ostracized by your community leaders while the threat of persecution or death would be looming above the believers like the sword of Damocles. We need to remember that first century Christians met in homes and private areas, partially to try and escape prosecution because they feared for their lives. To a degree, it may not have mattered that the Torah from beginning to the end was a giant road-map full of prophecies and guide posts pointing toward Christ the Messiah. Or that the Messiah had been among them and had been executed upon that cruel tree by their leaders, because knowledge to all this information relied on access. While most of the population of the world was illiterate, I believe Judea would have had a much smaller percentage of illiteracy. However, even if a large percentage of the populace may have been literate, copies of the Torah were expensive and therefore, few and far between so the people would rely on the Rabbis and leaders of the local Synagogs for their information and inspiration and interpretation of the scriptures. In today’s world we have a tendency to hold our Pastors and Ministers in high esteem…be they right or be they wrong (why do you think there are so many blasted denominations?) why should the first century Jews be any different? On top of all this we need to remember it would have been common knowledge that all of the original disciples of Christ were martyred, tortured and killed except for John the beloved, by the Jewish leadership. No wonder first century Jews had a difficult time keeping the faith. What’s our excuse?

God Bless, Jim

1 https://www.blueletterbible.org/nkjv/act/9/2/s_1027002

Have you ever thought about what language God used to speak to Adam and Eve? How about when the Trinity speak amongst themselves, what language do they use? Have you wondered what language that Adam and Eve spoke between themselves, or about what language Satan used to speak to Eve and what language Adam and Eve taught their children?

If you listen to scientists and archaeologist, you would learn that they probably grunted, snapped, spit, and growled out unintelligible sounds while beating the ground with sticks and dragging their knuckles as the walked…not the same picture we read about in the scriptures, is it? I wonder which is correct…God’s view or mankind’s view of our past…I think I’ll go with God’s view.

We read in Genesis chapter 11 that all the earth spoke the same tongue until after the flood where we learn that the grandson of Ham, a chap named Nimrod, really developed some great ideas and went forth conquering and building cites and before you knew it, he had built the first world empire, apparently centered, in the land of Shinar1 (later known as Babylonia…for reasons we will quickly discover). Nimrod had some outlandish delusions of grandeur and also in Genesis chapter 11 we find that he and his followers decided to build a tower to heaven…not only to build a tower, but the greatest and most lofty tower ever and to populate the earth and basically spread the word that Nimrod, and not The Lord, is the greatest (makes you wonder who Nimrod’s hero was…it certainly wasn’t The Lord). He and his followers sought to elevate themselves to a higher and greater level than the Creator (it certainly sounds like Satan was behind this and it also sounds like what is going on today, doesn’t it?). This shows human nature is perpetually self-elevating since Satan appeared on the scene, hawking his snake oil and influence upon humankind and sin was produced as a result…anyway…later in Genesis 11 we find that they built the Tower of Babel which is the root of the word Babylonia and babel also is a word meaning confusion.

The bible tells us God came down down and visited Babel and that God caused Nimrods people to all start speaking unintelligible tongues to each other, therefore stopping Nimrod’s plan in his tracks. If you study the text carefully you will discover that the people that were affected by this were primarily the descendants of Ham (Nimrod’s father, Cush was the son of Ham and the grandson of Noah). Genesis 11:9 implies to me that those that were in this area were scattered and suddenly they could not only not understand each other, but by default, they also wouldn’t be able to understand the language of their relatives in other areas and those only one generation older, the other sons of Noah; Shem and Japath.

Fast forward a few hundred years and we find The Lord choosing Abram as the root of a family and later a nation that the Lord creates as His children, a nation he called after the God-given name of one of Abram’s descendants, Jacob, which God called Israel (at least when he was being good…). Abram’s ancestor was Shem and he came from an area, that I believe, wasn’t affected by the dispersion of language…in other words, I believe that the language of Abram was the language of Noah and the language of Adam…Hebrew2.

Why do I think this? There are indicators, one of which is Hebrew is one of the more precise languages ever known. What else?

Hebrew is one of the only languages known that have numerical values ascribed to the letters. This allows fast, easy and accurate copies of the text to be made…if the numerical value of the page being copied and the numerical value of the page where the text is copied to match, then it assures accuracy.

Hebrew is the base language of the only language system where the letter not only creates an arbitrary sound that speaker and listener agree to, but the shape of the letter also looks like the object that is the base meaning behind the letter. Therefore it is one of the easiest languages to learn.

Hebrew is the language The Lord chose as the language of His people…do you think they spoke Hebrew just by chance, when we learn that there is nothing in the bible by chance? I don’t think so.

What about Greek, the language of the New Covenant, which also is very precise, which also has numerical values attached to the letters and both these factors afford a precision which helps eradicates ambiguities of the text. Personally, I haven’t wanted to take the time to research the root of Greek, but because exhibits many of the same qualities as Hebrew, I strongly suspect as we dig deeper, we will find God’s hand was right there creating this language that is also used to convey His precious and very coolly important word.

God Bless, Jim

P.S after I had written most of my theory, I discovered it is old hat to some, for I stumbled across this neat website that says basically the same thing I thought of…burst my bubble will ya…

http://www.jewishmag.com/58mag/hebrew/hebrew.htm

1 Genesis 10:8-12

2 There is a form of Hebrew called Ugaritic that has been discovered in some very ancient writings in an area of what we know of as Canaan. In itself, it offers some additional insights to biblical Hebrew, but there are those that attempt to use it to discredit the bible. Ugaritic and Hebrew are similar languages that are derived from a common root, just as Spanish and Italian are similar languages because the are both derivatives of a common root, Latin.

I know I probably can’t do this justice, but I decided to tackle some subject matter that highly interest me and the patterns that they seem to represent. This subject covers the time between the creation and the Flood of Noah, and deals with some controversial beings called the Nephilim. To those that have no idea what Nephilim are…here’s a link to start with (there are many, many more references that could be cited, but this will start your investigation) http://www.nwcreation.net/nephilim.html

I wish to begin this topic with some patterns I see represented in the bible. In my mind, I feel that the Nephilim represent Satan and sin, and that Enoch represents the saved children of God and Noah represents the remnant being saved from the judgment of an evil, unrepentant world. So, let’s see if I can tie these thoughts and patterns together.

I like patterns. I look for patterns to assist me with understanding and remembering thoughts, items and concepts whether at work or at home. Therefore, I see patterns within the scriptures that I believe were intentionally woven into the fabric of the Holy Word to allow us to tie events and concepts together for our edification, our remembrance and our worship. The Holy Spirit tells us in Romans that Adam was a model, or a type for Jesus.

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (NKJV)

I remember when I first read this I thought, “hold on, how in the world is Adam, who fell, like Christ?”. I owe the clarification of this comment to Chuck Missler who explained it in one of the 40,000 recordings he has made (OK, maybe not 40,000, but he has made a lot of fascinating instructional and inspirational recordings…). He explained it this way; Eve was deceived by Satan and because of this deception she choose to defy God, Adam, knowing he would suffer along with her, (God told them they would die) made the conscious decision to stay with her, therefore taking on her sin, similar to how Christ chose to come and take on our sin. When explained this way, the connection between Adam and Christ makes perfect sense.

OK, so we know that the scriptures are full of patterns and types for us to look for and digest, so we can understand the meanings of them and apply the meaning to our lives. Lets look at a few that I feel tie together the Nephilim, Enoch and the Flood.

1st Pattern…The Nephilim. I learned in history class about Greek and Roman gods. It seemed each and every one had superhuman strengths, they were huge imposing creatures that struck fear in the hearts of mere mortals, similar to the superheros that we read about in comic books or watch on the silver screen. When I was a kid I never would have imagined that the basis of these legends had their root in the history of mankind and was recorded in the Word of God. Genesis, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Joshua, Samuel, Chronicles and Ezekiel1 most have references to these aberrant humans that were the result of the union of fallen angels2 and human females. It is very easy to infer from looking at the Hebrew meaning of the passages that the genetic code of all the offspring and their descendants would have been altered, corrupting the purity (or perfection) of the DNA of the children of the Lord (which would eventually become the Israelites) if they had been allowed to intermingle. I feel this was an early attempt by the original adversary, Satan, to corrupt the DNA code of man and prevent the future birth of the perfect human, Christ. For this reason the only way to accurately insure that corruption of the line didn’t happen would have been to reformat the Earth, so to speak…hence, Noah.

2nd Pattern…While all this attempt to corrupt the human genomes by Satan though the Nephilim was taking place around the globe, there was a seventh generation descendant of Adam named Enoch that we are told in Genesis 5:22 and again in verse 24 walked with God for three hundred years after the birth of his son, Methuselah at the age of sixty five. There is a Jewish tradition that Enoch was born on the 6th of Sivan3 which is the Jewish Feast of Weeks, or as we know it, the Day of Pentecost and we are told in Genesis 5:24 that three hundred sixty-five years later the Lord took him, or translated him, and according to Jewish tradition, he was translated also on his birthday (what a present!). The parallel between Enoch and the Church jumps right out at me…both were ‘born’ on Pentecost, Enoch was born amid a world of decay and corruption but found favor with God and followed his commandments and so subsequently God snatched Enoch from the sin and corruption of the world before he destroyed it. We are told in I Thessalonians 14:16 and 17 that the Church will be caught up to be with the Lord, just like Enoch was.

3rd Pattern…The days of Noah were dim days indeed for the Earth. Satan had, successfully it seemed, corrupted the line of man with the Nephilim so the birth of a pure Lord born of the line of David wouldn’t be able to take place. Genesis 6 speaks of this tale of woe where starting with verse two the Holy Spirit tells us that Sons of God (‘ĕlôhı̂ym)4 came down to co-mingle and produce offspring with the daughters of man (‘âdâm)4 and the product of those unions were the Nephilim, or ‘giants’ as the modern translations render them. Primarily because of this corruption of the human race, God decided to destroy life on the Earth. However, Genesis 6:8 is a short but very sweet verse to our ears because it simply says but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (KJV). Because Noah found favor with the Lord and his gene pool was pure (or perfect), The Lord chose to keep Noah, his family and male and female of all flesh safe from destruction as he wiped the impure seed of Satan’s attempt at destruction of the race of man from the face of the Earth. What are the lessons to be learned from Noah? Noah is a model of the remnant of the Children of Israel as we see in Isaiah 11:11, Jeremiah 23:3, Ezekiel 11:17, Micah 2:12 and Romans 9:27 which will be protected and saved from the judgment of the Earth by fire, just as the Flood was a judgment of the Earth by water.

As we look at the history of mankind before the flood, we see that the patterns there are exemplar to the history of mankind after the flood. Perhaps we should really take a close look at the lessons God has laid out for us and dig deep to find the gems and jewels of information hidden beneath the surface of these first chapters of the Book of Genesis.

God Bless, Jim

P.S. While researching this I came across some interesting websites pointing to the Book of Enoch. Apparently it was discovered that the Ethiopians weren’t highly influenced by the Early Church leaders thus their bibles retain some characteristics of some of the early canons before the Early Church Fathers did their editing, resulting in the Book of Enoch being included in their scriptures. Supposedly the passages that Jude quotes about Enoch’s prophecies in Jude 14 are found there implying that he was familiar with the text. Also fragments of the Book of Enoch are included in the Dead Sea Scroll remains and, if we can believe the carbon 14 dating, these copies were ascribed around 200 BC. It seems most scholars believe the Book of Enoch was not written by Enoch himself, but it retains a good enough pedigree, that a healthy biblical library maybe should include one as historical reference. The Book of Enoch was translated from the Ethiopian text in 1906. Here is one interesting website: http://exodus2006.com/ENOCH.HTM

 

1 Genesis 6, Numbers 13, Deuteronomy 3, Joshua 14 & 15, II Samuel 20 and I Chronicles 20

2 fallen angels = sons of God. All of the earliest writings, as well as the Kaballah refer to sons of God as angels. It wasn’t until the 2nd century AD did a reference to sons of Seth appear in the writings of an early church father, Augustine. To consider the sons of God as righteous men, doesn’t really play in my mind as the scriptures tell us that the offspring of this union were giants, or when you look at Strongs definition (H5303) they were not only giants, but were tyrants, bullys. You may have some children that are badly behaved, but to have aberrant offspring, there has to be something else in play, other than human to human unions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sons_of_God

3 http://www.khouse.org/articles/1994/101/

4 from Strong’s Concordance courtesy of E-Sword