Thursday, December 7, 2017

Greek words that are viewed as Gnostic

Accusations of the New Testament being Gnostic or influenced by Gnosticism, or even just the Proto-Gnostic ideas of Philosophers like Plato and Philo.  Mostly come down to the New Testament using some key Greek words that the Gnostics also liked to use.  Even though they are all Greek words or at least roots that existed in the Greek lexicon before Plato.

This post is primarily a response to how this accusation is made with the intent of saying the New Testament is theologically inconsistent with the Hebrew Bible, especially The Torah.  If you want to argue that the Hebrew Bible presents a Gnostic cosmology, or is in some way consistent with interpreting the New Testament that way, and the Greek philosophers were influenced by Hebrew ideas, we can have that discussion in the future.  This post is to argue against the notion that these words make the New Testament philosophically Greek in exclusion to being Hebrew.

Every Gnostic word that the New Testament uses, has a Hebrew word that is equivalent and I feel can be shown is used in a similar way.  The New Testament does not use the words Demiurge or Ialdobath.  And Paul in Romans uses "Para Phusis" a term coined by Plato, in a way ultimately intended to refute the Platonic Philosophy behind it.

The most important is probably Logos, the Remember The Commands YouTube channel did an entire video about the Logos.

There are at least two Hebrew words Logos is used to translate in the Septuagint, though Rhema is also used for both those same words.  Dabar and Memra.  In my opinion a more coherent translation would just use Rhema for Memra and Logos for Dabar.  [Correction: Apparently Memra/Memar/Mamar is an Aramaic word appearing only in parts of the Scripture where Aramaic words appear, it may be Memra is the Aramaic translation of Dabar.  And Imrah is what works better as the Hebrew equivalent of Rhema.]

Genesis 15 begins with "The Dabar of Yahuah came unto Abram" and it's in this chapter that Yahuah on His own performs the covenant ritual.  So this is a strong argument for Dabar being used of a very tangible manifestation of God, even though what it means is word or speech.  This is probably the basis for Philo identifying the Logos with the Angel of The LORD, since Malak in Hebrew and Angelos in Greek mean messenger or message.  The Dabar of Yahuah appears throughout the Prophets also.

I think perhaps a better English translation of both Dabar and Logos would be Expression.  This came to me as I was thinking of making an analogy out of how artists sometimes use the word Voice.  Literally it means the sounds produced by out voice boxes via out mouths.  But artists speak of their Voice in the sense of how they best express themselves, as an aspect of who they are.  The Word of God is also the Expression of who God is, and Yeshua/Jesus is the ultimate Expression of who God is.

The Greek philosophical idea of The Logos "world permeating intelligence" is not really implied in any of John's usage of the word.

Sophia is a grammatically feminine Greek word for Wisdom.  The New Testament basis for seeing Sophia as a being or spirit of some sort is mainly when Jesus said "Sophia knows her children".  I could argue that's not very consistent with the Gnostic Sophia as the Gnostic Sophia doesn't have that much agency.  But that's besides the point of this post.

The book of Proverbs repeatedly talks about Wisdom as if Wisdom is an entity of some sort, and uses feminine pronouns of her.  Three different Hebrew words are translated Wisdom in the KJV of Proverbs, all three are grammatically feminine.  Some like Chuck Missler interpret the Wisdom of Proverbs to be Jesus, and I'm fine with that given my arguments for Jesus having female types in the TNAK in relation to the Song of Songs.

But Theophilus of Antioch makes what is considered the first Extra-Biblical reference to the Trinity, and refers to it as the Father, the Logos and Sophia.  One basis for that could be Isaiah 11:2 which uses two of the words for Wisdom that Proverbs does and other feminine words with comparable meanings.  And is often considered necessary to understand the Seven Spirits of God in Revelation, tied to the Seven Horns of the Arnion(Lamb in the KJV).

Of the three Hebrew words in question, Chokmah is considered the most likely to be the direct basis for Sophia.  And it is used of a Spirit in The Torah twice, in Exodus 28:3 and Deuteronomy 34:9.  And associated with the Spirit of God twice in Exodus 31:3 and 35:31., those verses use the same word for knowledge as Isaiah 11:2 does as well.

Interestingly, the Hebrew word for Spirit is also grammatically feminine.  And amusingly so is the word Torah.

Pleroma is a Greek word that Paul is accused of using in it's Gnostic sense in Colossians 2:9 where the KJV translates it fulness.  This verse was already discussed in my Godhead post.  Paul also used Pleroma in Romans 11 where it seems to be a Greek translation of what Jacob says of Ephraim in Genesis 48 that the KJV renders "Multitude of Nations", and the Hebrew word there based on how it's used elsewhere does mean "fullness" rather then "multitude".

The Gnostic meaning of Pleroma is mostly as a synonym for Heaven, no New Testament author uses it that way.

However Aion is the hardest Greek word to assert the New Testament uses the same way the Gnostics used it, Aions to the Gnostics are a class of divine beings, similar to the Hitorigami and/or Kamiyonanayo in Shintoism.  The New Testament clearly uses it to translate the Hebrew Olam, which means Age or Eon but sometimes gets wrongly translated world, forever, eternal or everlasting.

Paraclete is a word that I know at least one Gnostic used, Mani.   In the New Testament only John uses it, most famously of the Holy Spirit but also of Jesus, the Advocate of 1 John 2:1.  It means Comforter.  From what I've read it apparently isn't used in the Septuagint, but I feel it should have been, it is a perfectly valid Greek translation of Nachem Menachem/Menahem.  The Talmud quotes Lamentations as a basis for using Menahem as a name for The Messiah, and as such is used in the Sefer Zerubabel.

It's possible that Mani himself saw Paraclete as equivalent to Menahem and that he took the name Mani as a shortened form of that Hebrew name.  Noah and Menoah are other Hebrew names based on the same root.

The idea of God as Father is not accused of being particularly Gnostic but has been accused by some of being very not Jewish.  Here is a WordPress post about God as Father in the Old Testament.

Hypsistos is the Greek translation of Elyon, The Most High/Highest.

Monad doesn't seem to be accused of being used in a Gnostic way in the New Testament, either way it's Hebrew equivalent is Eched. In general though the idea behind calling God a title based on how old and ancient they are or being the first thing that existed, like Arche, has a basis in the title Ancient of Days in Daniel 7.  Daniel 7 also provides the main Old Testament basis for Son of Man as a Messianic Title.

Kosmos is the most difficult Greek word to find a Hebrew equivalent for, and ironically is not particularly Gnostic, Gnostics used it I'm sure but it's not one people act like should be ringing Gnostic alarm bells every time you see it.  Erets ad Adamah equate to Ge/Gaea and Chthon in Greek, and Olam=Aion as I went over already.  Tebel is another word translated world, but also does not seem to include outer space/the sky/heavens the way Kosmos does.  Or maybe Kosmos did not originally include all that as it does how we use Cosmos now?

There are no shortage of Hebrew words that Archon could equate to.  Arca, the root it comes from that gets translated principalites, no doubt equates to the use of Sar in Daniel 10 and 12.  And that use of Sar I think is also the basis for calling Michael the Archangel.  So Archon could also be a type of Sar, or of others words for ruler.

Satan is depicted as the King of Babylon in Isaiah 14 and the King of Tyre in Ezekiel 28, and the Pharaoh of Mizraim is called the Great Dragon in Ezekiel 29.  So there is some Old Testament basis for the New Testament's depiction of Satan as ruling the world.

Kosmokrator is a word that the Gnostics might have used as a synonym for Archon of the Kosmos.  Paul in Ephesians 6 uses this word in Plural form and that's the only place the New Testament uses it.  It's been my hunch in the past that the Kosmokrators are Angels ruling stars, while the Principalities and Powers rule nations and regions on earth.  I may have to abandon that in light of recent theories of mine, but maybe not.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Is Yahuah described the same a Leviathan

So I've been/watching some stuff from people saying the YHWH of the Old Testament is Satan.  I've done so open mindedly and there are arguments they've made that I don't know how to answer yet.  I don't think I'm likely to be convinced of it though based on what I read in 2 Peter today.

Right now there is one minor factor of it I feel like addressing.  A claim that a description of Yahuah in 2nd Samuel 22 and Psalm 18 is basically the same as Leviathan in Job 41.

First of all.  The parallels is more in what they do then of what they look like, no Reptilian, Serpentine or Coiling features in David's description.

Second, the YouTube videos mentioning this start reading at verse 6 in the Psalm and verse 7 in Samuel.  The context setting this up is that David is calling upon Yahuah because he's already under attack by forces from Sheol.  Sheol and Saul being spelled the same in Hebrew could be a deliberate word play here, but either way Yahauh may not be the only supernatural entity David is seeing.

Yahuah is described as being in his "Temple" and in the Heavens, but there is also language making it sound like something might be coming up form beneath.

Third, Yahuah is riding a Cherub in verse 10 of the Psalm and 11 in Samuel.  There are four Cherubim around The Throne, and Satan is described as the Cherub that Covereth.  So what's described here need not be the only thing that can be described that way.

Also the identification of Leviathan with Satan is complicated.  In Job I still firmly believe both Behemoth and Leviathan are normal animals Job is being shown, probably ones one would today call Dinosaurs.  That word being used symbolically or poetically of Satan in Isaiah 27 of Psalm 74:14 is the same as Satan being called a Bird a Kingdom Parables.

Psalm 104:26 may also be of just the animal.  Job 8:3 may be using it as the name of a Constellation, possibly the same one called the Crooked Serpent in Job 26:13.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Nephilim and the Sons of God

I had opposed the Sethite view for a long time.  My last major post on the Nephilim issue on the Prophecy Blog involved me coming, The Sethite View and the Nephilim, was me still viewing the Nephillim and BeniElohim as fallen angels but arguing it doesn't actually depict any Hybridization.  An argument that was rather convoluted.

Calling it the "Sethite view" does it a disservice, it makes it sound like it's the Racist view, when what made me grow more and more uncomfortable with the Hybride view is how it is constantly tied into racist beliefs.  The real point of the Sethite view reaffirms how spiritual intermarriage is the only intermarriage Yahuah truly objects to.  Now it may have so happened that the peoples descended from Enosh may have been most likely to be followers of Yahuah in the Pre-Flood world, like how it was Israel Post-Flood, but that is not the actual point.

I get annoyed when people like Chuck Missler say that the end of Genesis 4 where it says "then began men to call upon the name of Yahuah" it actually says "profane the name of Yahuah" in the Hebrew.  Because this is actually the exact same Hebrew phraseology used when Abraham called upon the Name of Yahuah at Shechem and Bethel in Genesis 12.  If this Profane interpretation began among the Rabbis, it was probably a product of their Non-Biblical idea that you aren't supposed to pronounce the Name of Yahuah, that verbally saying it at all profanes it.

The Bible definitely describes Gigantic people, but no word used in Genesis 6 or any other Pre-Flood narrative actually means that.  We don't need supernatural hybridization to make that happen, I think this ancient Gigantism, distinct from the modern known condition, was simply a natural part of Noah's genetic potential that has been lost.

Nephilim is a word used only three times in all of Scripture, in two passages, Genesis 6 and Numbers 13.  The problem is using Numbers 13 to help us define the word is flawed.

In Numbers 13:21-25, the narrative voice describes the Anakim and it never calls them Nephilim or describes them as Gigantic.  Numbers 13:27-29 is the first description of the Anakim and others in Canaan the spies give, and still not yet called Nephilim or gigantic.

Caleb's good report comes next, and he doesn't use the word Nephilim or talk about giants.  Then comes Numbers 13:31-33.  In verse 32 the narrator says "and they gave and evil report of the land they had searched".  The Hebrew word translated "evil report" is also sometimes translated "defaming" and "slander", like in Numbers 14:36 referencing back to this report saying it was a slander.

It is this report that first talks about the Anakim having great stature and in verse 33 twice uses the word Nephilim.  What they are saying is not accurate, they are exaggerating, and may have themselves not been using this word correctly.

Deuteronomy 1:27-28 is again referencing back to this evil report.  Deuteronomy 2:10 calls the Anakim tall, but Saul was also tall compared to most Israelites.  Verse 11 says that Emims like the Anakim were "accounted" Rephaim, this word for accounted is also translated esteemed, reckoned, and even imagined.  It is again describing a belief that may not be true.  Verse 20 again talks about them being "accounted' Raphaim.  Verse 21 again calls the Anakim tall, but nothing more.  Deuteronomy 9:2 again simply calls the Anakim tall while referencing back to the evil report.

The first time the Anakim are mentioned in Joshua is in 11:21-22, where there is no mention of them being large in size, or Nephilim or Rephaim.  Joshua 14:12-15 again references the evil report but without talking about Giants.    Joshua 15:13-14 again mentioned the Anakim but no gigantic size.  Joshua 21:11 and Judges 1:20 are the last two references to the Anakim and they are again not called Nephilim or Rephaim or giants.

The word Rephaim is also the name of a location in Israel, and sometimes gets translated "giants" even when referring to that location.  The Rephaim as a group of people are first mention in Genesis 14 and 15.

The remaining references to the Rephaim are in Deuteronomy 3:11, Joshua 12:4, and 13:12.  Which all call Og the king of Bashan the remnant or all the remains of the Rephaim.  Og was defeated and killed by Israel in the time of Moses, well before the Anakim were.  So if Og was the last of the Rephaim, then this repeatedly recorded belief that the Anakim were Rephaim must be wrong.

The term BeniElohim, translated "Sons of God", appears in Genesis and Job only in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible.  Many Christians on this issue have argued the idea of believers being Sons of God isn't introduced till the New Testament in John 1.  The problem is that the debate about if this term refers to angels or humans or both and if so when forgets that more verses are relevant to this issue then those that use that exact phrase.

Exodus 4:22-23 Yahuah says to Pharaoh "Israel is my son, even my firstborn: and I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.".   Deuteronomy 14:1 says "Ye are the children of Yahuah your God".

In the Song of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:8-9 says in the Masoretic and Samaritan texts...
"When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.  For Yahuah's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.". 
A DSS manuscript however says BeniElohim instead of "sons of Israel", which has lead many scholars to insist that must be the original and tie it into Daniel 10 and Ephesians 6 to create an idea that Elown divided the 70 nations of Genesis 10 between 70 divine/angelic Principalities.  However, whatever is the original maybe the copyist who changed it simply felt "sons of Israel" and "sons of God" meant the same thing.  When Jacob came into Mizraim his family was 70, and in Numbers 11 we see another 70 for Israel.  Jesus had His 70 Disciples also.  And Deuteronomy also foretells Israel to be scattered to all the nations.

Psalm 82:6, a verse Jesus quoted, says "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.".  This is a Psalm of Asaph, and it sounds like it's referencing back to something.  When Jesus quotes it he attributes it to The Torah.

Job provides the only place where the Hebrew term "BeniElohim" is used in a way where it seems impossible to say it's human believers and not Angels.  And it's not even at the beginning, one could argue those are deceased believers in Heaven, or that this takes place in the congregation of the Mishkan.  It's the reference to BeniElohim and Morning Stars singing and shouting for joy when the foundations of the Earth were laid, in 38:4-7.

Thing is, Job unlike Deuteronomy and Psalm 82 isn't quoted by Jesus in the New Testament.  But even with viewing it as God's Word it could still be viewed as a parable.  And maybe how all these things said in Job 38 connect to each other is being misunderstood.  In Revelation 2:28 Jesus says He will give the Morning Star to the over-comer.

What Nebuchedzar says of the Angel who appeared in the Fiery Furnace in Daniel 3 gets cited.  This is an Aramaic term (that should be translated sons of the gods, plural) being used by a Pagan Gentile King who didn't became properly saved till chapter 4.  It's definitely not for building doctrine.

Torah only people have no real argument against the Sethite View.  According to Josephus the Torah Only people of his day, the Sadducces, didn't even believe there were Angels.

The word Angel is itself used of Human Beings plenty.  The New Testament uses Angelos when Jesus quotes Malachi 3's use of Malak to describe John The Baptist.  Malachi 2:7 calls the Priest the Malak of Yahuah of Hosts.  I think the Angels of the 7 Churches were Prophets of those Churches.  I have argued many New Testament angles are those Resurrected in 30 AD in Matthew 27:51-54.  And I also have a theory the Angel named Apollyon in Revelation 9:11 is The False Prophet aka Judas.  Hagai is called a Malak in 1:13.  The 70 in Numbers 11 were given some of the Spirit Yahuah put on Moses, so they too were messengers of Yahuah.

The Three individuals who appear to Abraham in Genesis 18:2 are all called Enosh, which I believe means descendants of Enosh, Yahuah became one in Luke 3.  And what Enosh means etymologically besides descent from the person named Enosh is Mortal.  Daniel 7's Son of Man is Enosh not Adam in the Aramaic.  Psalm 8:4 calls Enosh the Son of Adam.

The main reason lots of Christians have opposed the Sethite view is the apparent New Testament references in 2 Peter and Jude.

2 Peter 2:4 and 5 are possibly not even about the same thing.  Verse 4 could seemingly be describing Dathan and Korah's rebellion.

Jude verses 6 and 7 are viewed as comparing the Genesis 6 incident to Sodom and Gomorrah.  In my past studies on what Jude says about Sodom, I said both these incidents are about lust between angels and humans, emphasizing how "strange" in strange flesh means different, alien, foreign, ect.  But now I recall how my greater point about the Sin of Sodom is how Ezekiel and Jesus define it has being inhospitable to foreigners.  I should have realized sooner that Jude's intent was to condemn them for their desire to rape foreigners traveling through them.

Jude mentioned Korah in verse 11, could be this is all connected and he was also thinking of that incident in verse 6?  Verse 5 seems to set up the context as after the Exodus.  Chuck Missler makes a thing out of a rarely used word for Habitation in this verse.  Paul's use of Oiketerion in 1 Corinthians 5:5 follows a reference to the Tabernacle in verse 1.  Thing is Mishkan also mean Habitation, Dathan and Korah created their own Tabernacle, that their followers chose over the Tabernacle of Moses and Aaron.

I think the Greek root normally translated Tabernacle in the KJV is the Greek equivalent to Ohel, since it literally means Tent and is used of both the Mishkan and the Sukkots of Tabernacles in John 7.  I think Oiketerion should be viewed as the proper Greek equivalent of Mishkan.  A number of verses use Ohel and Mishkan interchangeably.

In the past I've argued Nephilim means Fallen ones because it comes from Naphal meaning fall.  And viewed that as supporting it being of fallen Angels because of Isaiah 14:12's use of Naphal.  But believers can also fall away.  Maybe Nephilim originally meant Apsotates?

Now in Number 13:33 it could be a wrong understanding of the word already existed, again we are told not to trust that account.  But hypothetically if at least that word was used accurately, there are ways one could argue the Anakin were Apostates.  It is said that Apostacey is the theme of Jude.

The Enochian literature is all influenced by Greek mythological and philosophical ideas.  I've been arguing against viewing such apocryphal literature as canon since way back when I did believe in Angel-Human Hybrids.

But what's interesting is how people act like Apocryphal literature in universal on taking the Hybrid view.  The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan is one example of a text that clearly depicts the Sethite view.  The Book of the Cave of Treasures is an older Syriac version of the same story as that one tells.

Which interpretation is older is irrelevant to which one is true.  The Angel view can't be proven to exist before the time of Alexander bringing Greek influence to Judea.

The idea that Genetic Impurity was the reason for The Flood is what makes it the Racist view.

In Genesis 6:11 the reason for the Flood id defined as the Earth being filled with Violence.  The word translated "corrupt" there is also a word often associated with warfare, being also translated things like perish and spoiler.  Verse 12 says they corrupted his way upon the Earth.  Meaning his way of doing things.  And this emphasis on violence is also consistent with the first 4 verses, the word translated "mighty men" in the KJV is gibborim, which also gets accused of being a word for Giant, but what it means is warrior.  It's sometimes used of good warriors in The Bible like David's Mighty Men and Nimrod.  But in this context it's about the world being filled with violence.

Also Genesis 6:4 calls them "Enosh of renown" which in a Preflood context I feel verifies they paternally descended from Enosh, since tribal identity in The Bible is usually identified by the father's line.

The line of Cain was also associated with Violence. From Cain being the first murder, to Lamech being a child murderer.  To Tubal-Cain's clan being perhaps the world's first weapons manufacturers.

The New Testament says Noah preached repentance, you can't repent of being born with genetic impurity.

I'm not sating I entirely now agree with the Sethite view and reject the Angel view.  But my perspective on it has changed.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Tabernacle and The Temple

So one another issue that comes up when dealing with Torah only and Torah centric teachers, is the distinction between Temple and Tabernacle.  How the very existence of Solomon's Temple violates their interpretation of The Torah.

2 Samuel 7 agrees entirely that a Temple like what David wanted to build was not originally God's Plan for Israel.  And I frankly feel I can consider the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles and even Ezra-Nehemiah to be God's Word while considering that Yahuah didn't approve of this Monarchical system as much as people assume.

What I want to talk about is how, even leaving aside the doctrine of The Church now being God's Temple, if the Eschatological Temple envisioned by the Prophets of the TNAK and New Testament really is a Tabernacle not a Temple like what Solomon built.

I could talk about how in the Hebrew and Greek there are more then one word translated Temple.  And I will to an extent.  But more importantly is that in English at least 2 Samuel 7 uses no no word for Temple to describe what makes David's intended project unlike God's original plan for Israel. Therefore there is no reason to assume either would be inaccurate to use to describe The Tabernacle.  Words for Temple tend to just mean a place for worship.

The word Ezekiel uses every time you see Temple in the KJV including in chapters 40-48.  Is used of the Tabernacle at Shiloh in 1 Samuel 1:9 and 3:3.  This word isn't used in The Torah, but also isn't used in 2 Samuel 7.  It's maybe if anything more difficult etymologically to argue can refer to a Tent or outdoor shrine.  The same word seems to other places by used of palaces, like of King's Palaces in verses Psalm 45:15.  Remember however that Yahuah was supposed to be Israel's King (Deuteronomy 33 calls Him King in Jashurum), and the Holy of Holies is treated like His Throne Room. This word is also used in Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22 about an event from when David was fleeing from Saul.

The other Hebrew word for Temple is also translated House, and as such is used in The Torah and 2 Samuel 7.  It is the word that the name Beth-El comes from, meaning House of God.  The Tabernacle is called "The House of Yahuah thy God" in The Torah, in Exodus 23:19, 34:26 and Deuteronomy 23:18.  And later Joshua 6:24 also calls it the House of Yahuah, and so does Judges 19:18, and again in 1 Samuel 1 and 3, and 2 Samuel 12:20 (when David still hadn't even bought Moriah from Ornan yet).

In that context, it seems odd for 2 Samuel 7:6 to have Yahuah say He hasn't dwelt in any House since He brought Israel out of Mizraim.  The context was David's comments about a House of Cedar in contrast to Curtains, so the context here is using House more distinctly then it might normally be used, of a House made of Wood or Stone and not a Tent. (I can't help but notice the implication the He did before, perhaps He had a House on Mt Sinai?)

A Hebrew word not translated Temple in the KJV but that possibly is in other translations is Mikadesh, derived from Kadesh. The KJV most commonly translates it Sanctuary.  It is very much used of both The Tabernacle (including in The Torah), Solomon's Temple (in Chronicles but not Samuel-Kings curiously), and Ezekiel's Temple.

Some of the Prophetic references do say Tabernacle rather then either of these words for Temple.  Isaiah 16:5 and 33:20, Ezekiel 37:27 and 41:1, and Amos 9:11, that a few of these say specifically of David I find interesting, since David's Tabernacle was in Zion, not where Solomon's Temple was.  I have pointed out some misconceptions about where Zion which is The City of David was located.  Though only Ezekiel 37:27 in the Hebrew is Mishkan. But Ohel is the word that most literally means Tent.  In Exodus 26:7 Ohel is translated covering, as if the Ohel is the Tent itself and the Mishkan the whole structure.  Amos 9:11 is quoted in the New Testament.

Places where Mishkan is translated something other then Tabernacle include Psalm 132:5 which I think is about David's Tabernacle on Zion where it is rendered Habitation.  But also interestingly 2 Chronicles 29:6, also Habitation, which seems to be using it of Solomon's Temple.  Psalm 74, a Psalm of Asaph, uses it in verse 7 where it is translated "dwelling place".

Outside The Torah the word Mishkan is used in plural form a few times, but in The Torah the only time it's used in a plural form is Numbers 24:5.

In The New Testament. there is only one word (or rather all from the same root, Strong Numbers 4633-4638) for Tabernacle, both in references to the Feast of Sukkot and of the Mishkan.  But this Greek word is also used as a verb, for Dwell.

What Stephen says in Acts 7:44-50 is interesting.

Everyone talks about Revelation 21-22 saying there is no Temple.  But overlook how Revelation 21:3 specifically calls New Jerusalem the Tabernacle of God.

A total of 3 Greek words are translated Temple in the KJV (and two verses in Corinthians that seem to use the word Temple without a direct basis in The Greek).  One of them is Temple in the KJV only once in Luke 11:51, it's usually translated House.

Naos is the word used in Revelation and by Paul when constructing his doctrine of The Church being the Temple of God.  And it's the word used when Jesus refers to His Body as "This Temple".  Naos also gets translated Shrines in Acts 19:24 referring to Diana's.  Naos's usage outside of the New Testament leaves no doubt it can apply to outdoor shrines, like it's usage of the Egyptian Naos.  Stephen and Paul both use the plural of Naos when saying God doesn't dwell in Temples made by Human hands in Acts 7:48 and 17:24.  Paul also used Naos when referring to our bodies as the Temple of God, Peter expresses that same doctrine saying our bodies are the Tabernacle.

The other is Herion, which is a noun form of the Greek word for Holy, Heiros.  It coincidentally happens to resemble how the first part of Jerusalem is rendered in Greek.  That happens to fit though since Jerusalem is called God's Holy City, and it is where Solomon and Herod's Temples were located.  In Matthew 12:5 Jesus used Herion while citing The Torah, so He must have been using it of The Tabernacle, possibly the Holy Place.

In the New Testament "Sanctuary" is Hagios/Hagion, derived from another Greek word for Holy.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Tribal divison of Deuteronomy 27

Scholars have long been puzzled by how the Tribes of Israel are divided in Deuteronomy 27:11-13, placing half on the mountain of Blessing and half on the mountain of Cursing.  It doesn't correspond the split between Rehoboam and Jeroboam, it doesn't line up to their mothers exactly either, it seems random.

As someone who's spent a lot of time comparing in my mind the tribal allotments of Joshua to the how Israel was geopoliticaly in the Time of Christ based largely on how Herod's domain was divided upon his death.  I've noticed an interesting correlation here.

Those on Mount Gerizim seem to equate to what was directly under Rome via Pilate's governance, which had at Herod's death been inherited by Archleous mentioned at the end of Matthew 2.  While those on Ebal equate to what was inherited by other sons of Herod, or perhaps even specifically by Antipas.

First listed on Ebal are Gad and Reuben, the southernmost of the Trans-Jordan tribes thus making them equate pretty well to Perea.  Galilee as it was in NT times wasn't just Zebulun and Naphtali but also included much of Assher and perhaps even some of Dan.  Dan could also equate well to what Philip inherited.  But I still think it could also be Antipa, usually Antipas isn't thought to have extended that far north, but when Antipas and Aretas went to war, Damascus got tangled up in that.  Or it could be notable that Dan's original allotment being adjacent to the Philistines could be in what Herod's sister Salome inherited.

On Gerizim were Judah, Levi and Benjamin, the three core Tribes of the Kingdom of Judah which became Judea.  Simeon's original allotment equates well to NT era Idumea.  And the house of Joseph became Samaria.  What Archelus inherited is defined as Judea, Samaria and Idumea.

The only possible issue is Isschcar, which I'll get into later.

But first, if this is true, what is the theological significance of it?

Luke 23:6-7 shows Jesus as a Galilean was of Herod Antipas jurisdiction.  Jesus grew up in Galilee and did most of his ministry there, but He also said "no Prophet is accepted in his own country".  It was in Judea that his Birth, Death, Resurrection and Ascension happened, and where Pentecost happened.  Perea being under Antipas control is why he had the authority to arrest John The Baptist.

During the time of of the 66-73 AD war, the same lands Antipas ruled and beyond were under Herod Agrippa II's control.

Issachar is often considered also part of NT era Galilee.  Mainly because the traditional site of Nazareth is adjacent to what is traditionally identified as Japhia/Jafia, a city of Issachar.  But I have reasons to think one or both of those traditional identifications is wrong.

But both Isaiah 9:1 and the New Testament passages that quote it (Matthew 4:13-15) only mention Zebulon and Naphtali.  I think Isaiah's original context was possibly only intending to define Naphtali as Galilee, (other OT references to Galilee mention just Naphtali not Zebulon).  In New Testament times Galilee as Antipas ruled it definitely extended further west then just Naphtali, possibly because of how Greco-Roman Jews interpreted Isaiah 9.  Meanwhile Matthew 4 could be viewed as saying Jesus going from Nazareth to Capernaum was going from Zebulun to Naphtali.

Zebulun and Issachar are often paired together, like in Deuteronomy 33 and arguably also Genesis 49.  And there are other passages that seem to mention only one and not the other.  But also in general the different views on how to map out the allotments of the tribes are often most confusing when it comes to these two tribes, both in how they relate to each other and in how they relate to Asher and parts of western Manasseh.  The most popular map gives neither and coast land while Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33 both seem to predict at least Zebulon will be by the sea.  (Not, in Deuteronomy 33 the "West" linked to Naphtali is the Hebrew word for Sea and so probably refers to the Sea of Galiee.)

The city of Samaria itself is possibly a reason why I think perhaps Issachar should be considered part of Samaria not Galilee. 

First you should know that in the Hebrew text the spelling of Samaria often has an N at the end.  Meaning it's spelling is basically the same as Shimron, a son of Issachar in Genesis 46:13 who had a clan in Numbers 26:24.  And Joshua 12:20 mentions a Shimron near Meggido.

As the name of a city Samaria didn't exist before Omri founded it (there is a Prophetic reference in the time of Jeroboam).  But he's said to have named it after who he bought the hill from.  At first glance it seems like it's saying an individual, but it could mean the clan.

Omri had just overthrown a Dynasty who came from Issachar, Baasha's, and was fighting a civil war with Tibni who could have been of the same tribe for all we know.  Choosing a capital at the border of Issachar and Manasseh-Joseph could have been a unifying gesture.  Like David's move in choosing Jerusalem for his capital, just on Benjamin's side of the Benjamin-Judah border.

Even if this moves south what's typical viewed as Issachar it's still moving Samaria north of it's traditional location, since it's traditionally south of Tirzah and this would make it north since Tirzah was firmly Manasseh.  But perhaps it also makes more sense of some things to place Samaria closer to Jezreel (which was in Issachar), Ahab's capital, then it is usually placed.

And then there is that there are passages associating Issachar with Dor.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Psalm 45, The Tune of The Lilies

The traditional views of this Psalm doesn’t sit right with me.  But nothing I argue here will really go against how I use this Psalm in my Bride of Christ post on my Prophecy Blog.

The traditional view has the person being addressed in the Psalm change a few times.  The first verse isn’t the Psalm proper at all but just the author's preface, that I agree with.  Then the traditional view says verses 2-9 are addressing “The King” and 10-15 his Bride, and then 16-17 are addressing The King again.  Of course the King’s Bride is presumably first introduced in verse 9.  I don't see these changes in who’s being addressed as being all that justifiable.

Nothing in the sections presumed to address the King actually calls them King.  In fact verse 5 is referring to the King as separate when it says they defeated the King’s enemies.  Verse 1 says this Psalm concerns the King in some fashion, but doesn’t clearly say how.

Verses 13-15 say.

“The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.  She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.  With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.“

Again, the King and the subject are separate, the King’s daughter is being brought to the King first then given to the subject.  These verses tell me that the King like in my view of the Song of Solomon is serving as the father of the Bride, not as the Groom.

I think it’s much more coherent to interpret the subject of the Psalm as being the same person all throughout.  And that this person is being given the King’s daughter.  

Now it’s possible in that view the Subject could still be David, but that in this context the King isr God or Saul.  But that will become less likely later.

The word translated “Queen” in verse 9 in reference to the subject’s bride is not a feminine form of Melech or Sar like a lot of other words for Queen in The Bible.  The word is Shegal, which is translated “wives” when Daniel 5 uses its plural form though it’s not a usual word for wife either.    The verb it’s derived from is Shagal, a word usually translated “lie” or “ravished”, and in all contexts seems clearly about sex.

Nothing all that controversial so far.  Till we look at verse 10 which clearly called the subject a daughter.  Verse 11 is the primary basis for saying this is a woman the King is marrying, but I think that is jumping to conclusions.  Verse 10 is also the basis for seeing the woman here as a foreigner, but I feel that terminology could simply be her not being of the same Tribe.  The word for “people” is Am not Goyim.  Genesis 48 foretells Manasseh will be his own Am.

Verses 6 and 7 are quoted in Hebrews chapter 1, verses 8 and 9 as being about Jesus (Paul says “the Son” not “a son”.  

First of all I can again reference my Song of Solomon studies as precedent for a female personage being a type of Christ.  And many think the Wisdom of Proverbs is Jesus, which is clearly referred to with Feminine pronouns, and the Hebrew and Greek words for Wisdom are all grammatically feminine.

Secondly this isn’t the only place where a New Testament quotation is kind of abusing the Old Testament context.  I think it’s also possible Paul was paraphrasing and that this doesn’t justify the Septuagint translation as much as one might at first think.

On the subject of translating these verses, the words for Throne in both Hebrew and Greek are words for Seat or Chair not solely limited to Royal Thrones the way that english word usually is.

Alternate translations of Psalm 45:6 include "your divine throne endures for ever and ever"[Rhodes 78] and "the eternal and everlasting God has enthroned you"[Dahood 269].  Verse 7 could also read “Elohim thy God has anointed thee” or “Elohim has anointed thy God”.  The Hebrew Bible calling a human an El in the right context isn’t as weird as you at first think, just look at Exodus 7:1.

The word for God used in verse 6 is Elohim.  But in verse 7 the word for God with the Thy/Your suffix attached is not Elohim though the Strongs categorizes it like it is.  It does have a Heh however, which makes it possible to view as Grammatically Feminine.  Actually it’s possible to even interpret Elohim as partly grammatically feminine, but that is a much bigger rabbit hole.

But the subject possibly being or representing Jesus isn’t actually the most controversial implication of making the subject a woman all throughout it.  The biggest issue is the implication that this daughter is being given, either in marriage or in some sexual fashion, the King’s daughter.  Meaning I have just argued this Psalm is about a Lesbian couple.

Now at face value you can say the last two verses are clearly making this about a Heterosexual couple since they have children.  But the application of this to Jesus and His Bride does not view these children as literal offspring of Biological reproduction, but as the “remnant of her Seed” of Revelation 12:17, or more controversially in my view The Man-Child.  There is also the Suffering Servant’s Seed in Isaiah 53.  

What is special about Psalm 45 however is it doesn’t even say Seed, so it is the most linguistically justifiable to apply to children by Adoption, or whatever other means by which a Lesbian couple could have kids.

The word for Earth in verse 16 also just means Land, and refers to specific lands many times.  It doesn’t necessarily mean the whole Planet Earth.  That is how I interpret it when applying it to Jesus, but as far as this original woman who married into the royal family, they may have been given a specific region, maybe a whole Tribe’s allotment at most.

Now what I’m about to mention is just an interesting coincidence.

I started seeing this possible Lesbian implication to Psalm 45 before I noticed this is one of the Psalms that is to the Tune Shoshannim as it’s transliterated in the KJV.  

What does Shoshannim mean?  Well first of all the im suffix makes it plural.  And Shoshan/Shushan is the Hebrew word for Lily.  Meaning Shoshannim means Lilies.  But what does Lily/Shushan translate to in Japanese?  Yuri!!!  

Meaning this Psalm was “to the Tune of the Yuries”.

The last verse is a bit of an issue if the original subject of the Psalm is some random woman forgotten by history.  So let’s see if we can identify her with someone else mentioned in Scripture.

The Gold from Ophir tells me this isn’t a proper Davidic Psalm but from the time of Solomon at the soonest.  The word for “Daughter” can also refer to a granddaughter or more distant female descendant, basically any woman of the Royal family could be the King’s Daughter in question.  I note that here though it may not be relevant.

1st Kings 4:7-19 lists officers Solomon placed over the Tribes of Israel, it’s most well known for how two of them are said to have married daughters of Solomon.  One of those two, Ahimaaz in verse 15, is also unique in being the only one of these 12 not called the Son of someone.  The English translation uses a male pronoun, but that could be misleading.  In fact there are other places where this same Hebrew prefix Hu is translated more gender neutrally, and Genesis 29:12 uses it of Rebecca.

The other references in the Hebrew Bible to people with the name Ahimaaz seem to clearly be males (though it’s not impossible that for some reason Ahinoam wife of Saul was referred to as the daughter of her mother).  The name ends with the letter Tzadiq, the Hebrew word for Earth/Land is Eretz which also ends with a Tzadiq and is considered grammatically feminine according to the Strongs.  

The meaning of Ahimaaz being interpreted to have “brother” in it doesn’t mean anything in regard to their gender, David had two wives whose names mean father of something, Abigail and Avital.  Ach, the part taken to mean brother, is used at the start of a few feminine words and names, like the name of Ahinoam.

So perhaps Psalm 45 is about the marriage of Ahimaaz to Basemath?

This might be a good time to note my personal hunch that Basemath was probably the daughter of one of Solomon’s Edomite wives, given that name’s association with wives of Esau.

Ahimaaz was placed over Naphtali, Genesis 49 calls Naphtali a Hind, Ayalah in the Hebrew, a specifically feminine word for a deer like animal.  So maybe a woman being in charge of Naphtali fits that prophetically.

The land allotted to Naphtali is where most of Jesus ministry was. Isaiah 9 defines Galilee as Zebulun and Napthali, though the traditional site of Nazareth is in Issachar being very near Japhia.  But Capernaum which seems to be the main base of operations in the Synoptic Gospels was firmly in Naphtali.  Tiberias, the capital of NT Galilee, was also in Naphtali.

I proposed a theory on my now semi defunct coronology blog that the Amazons of Greek mythology might have come from Dan.  Dan was the full sibling of Naphtali.  The goddess of the Amazons was sometimes viewed as being Artemis, who was often associated with female Deer.  And I could conceivably connect the name of Artemis to Ahimaaz.  And the husband of a daughter of Salmoneus was also relevant to that post.  Perhaps the Greek mythologization changed Ahimaaz to a brother of Salmoneus because of the name’s meaning having brother in it.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Torah failed it's own Prophet Test

I obviously do not believe that, I'm saying it Rhetorically.

You see, these Hebrew Roots people insisting The Torah says it will last forever have a problem, it didn't.

You see the verses that say something will last for Olam or "All of the Days", are not saying simply that's how long this will be Yahuah's preferred way or doing things.  They are saying that is how long it will last.

At the latest The Torah stopped being practiced in 70 AD, but a lot of these Torah only people insist the true Torah system was abandoned well before that, when The Temple replaced the Tabernacle at the latest.  That is a subject I'll probably discus in future posts, not sure which Blog I'll put it on.

So you can't just pick and choose which parts of these verses to apply the most extreme interpretation to.

Especially when it comes to the Aaronic Priesthood, that was a Promise to Aaron and his Sons that they wold be Priests, not simply that only they were allowed to be, because as I remind you Yahuah never shut down Jethro's Priesthood.  Today the descendants of Aaron have nothing other then special Synagogue reading privileges.  So if Yahuah's promise to Aaron was FOREVER then He failed to keep it, period.

"But doesn't the foretold Captivity imply a temporary ceasing of the system?"  You may ask?

1. I believe the true Captivity didn't fully begin till the 130s AD.  Everything before was just lesser warnings.

2. During the time between the first and second temples the Elephantine Temple was functioning in Egypt.  In 66-73 AD the Egyptian back up Temple was also shut down.

3. Since I believe The Torah was only for an Olam, I believe the Captivity begins after that Olam ends.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Torah as The Foundation of The Canon

A few posts I've made over the last two months have been addressed to people who's view on Canon I've described as "Torah Only".  The Remember The Commands YouTube channel rejects that description it seems, preferring to say it's the Torah as the Foundation.

Thing is it's basically the same thing, when you're using an extreme interpretation of the Prophet Test to discredit any book that has any apparent conflict with The Torah.  But of course they have a different attitude towards alleged places where The Torah contradicts itself.

Numbers 12:6-8 is cited as explaining why Moses is distinct from other Prophets, why what Moses said and wrote is more Canon then anything else.

But Deuteronomy 18:15-19 foretells a future Prophet like Moses, who's authority will be exactly like how Moses was described in Numbers 12.

I believe that Prophet was Jesus.  That belief requires a great deal of Faith, as does placing one's Faith in Moses.  So anything Jesus quoted as Scripture must be Scripture, and He also passed on His authority to the 12, starting with Peter.  And Peter called Paul's writings Scripture.

It's interesting in the context of this title of Jesus to remember what Exodus 7:1 says.  Typologically that's another place where Moses represents Jesus, and Aaron all New Testament believers, since now we are all Priests.

Basically what I'm saying is, to Christians Jesus is out Cornerstone, and His Apostle who wrote the New Testament are our Foundation.   The dispensation of The Torah is over.

Update November 25th 2017:

Some who aren't Christians or Rabbinic Jews seek to deconstruct the whole idea of Messianic Prophecy.  They might insist that Deuteronomy 18 wasn't meant to be about a single individual.   But that it would be an office.

Meanwhile the context in Numbers 12 is Yahuah explaining why Miriam and Aaron' authority are not like that of Moses.  So you can argue the intent was only that while Moses lived no one else's authority equals Moses.

The end of Deuteronomy does clearly say there was no one like Moses during whatever time separated it's authorship from the Death of Moses.  However....

When you look at Samuel's story in 1st Samuel 3, it's easy to conclude that perhaps that author meant us to think of Samuel as the Prophet like Unto Moses, and he was contemporary with other events foretold in Deuteronomy, in chapter 17.  Samuel is often considered the first Prophet in the sense of how that Office functioned during the Kingdom period.  And most of the Prophetic books are arguably defining themselves as being like how Moses is defined in these passages of Numbers and Deuteronomy, with only Daniel fitting Numbers 12's description of the not Moses like Prophets.

This view can be reconciled with the Christian view.  The Prophet like unto Moses is ultimately Jesus, but other Prophets foreshadowed Him, and then He passed His Authority onto The Apostles.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Bible is not against "Interacial" Marriage

The Torah's commands against marriages with Moab, Amon and the Canaanites were about mixed marriages on Spiritual grounds.  The issue with the marriages Balaam helped arranged is deliberately explained as the daughters of Moab leading them to into idolatry.

Lots of people want to deny this, yes even today some still try to preach against White People marrying Black People (as if that modern ethnic divide could possibly correlate to any tribal relations in The Bible).

Even going off just The Torah  Who Israelites are allowed to marry, and who they're not, makes no sense if it's purely Ethnic or genealogical lines, they're too arbitrary.  The commands against it are primarily directed at Canaanites, which would work in that context.  But then Moab and Ammon, who descend from Lot, Abraham's Nephew.  One could speculate their gene pool was corrupted by their Incestuous origin, but in Deuteronomy 2 Yahuah still recognized their right to their land as much as he does Edom's.  Their idolatry is I believe the reason they normally can't marry Israelites, yet God's promise of the land he gave to the family of Abraham still applies to them in spite of that.

However marriages to Mizraimites, other descendants of Ham, same son of Noah as Canaan, are repeatedly shown to be okay.  Hagar and Abraham's relationship was not disapproved of by God.  Then Ishmael married a Mizraimite.  Joseph married the daughter of a Priest.  Leviticus 24 records the son of a Danite Woman and a Mizraimite man being an Israelite.  You can conjecture his ancestry related to his Sin all you want, but the text doesn't say that, his Punishment shows he was considered a citizen.  Later the Book of Chronicles tells us of other marriages with Mizraimites that happened pretty early on.

I just did a post on the Cushite Wife of Moses.  It can be viewed as an oversimplification of the passage to say it's explicitly approving that marriage, yet if Moses was wrong to marry her, Yahuah would have said so as Moses Sin at Meribah is not glossed over.

Edom is not included on those prohibited to marry either.  On the one hand you could say that makes sense, they are closer related to Israel then them, coming from Jacob's Twin.  Yet Edom himself married some Canaanites he wasn't supposed to, so why wasn't that condemnation inherited by their descendants if genetics not who they worship was the issue?  Plus in other contexts The Torah mentions Edom right by Moab and Amon.  The difference is Moab and Amon worshiped Idols, Chemosh and Molech, while Edom as I've talked about before seem to have worshiped Yahuah, often worshiped Him wrong perhaps, but still worshiped Him.  Compare Deuteronomy 23:3 to 23:7.

And in a post I'm working on for my Prophecy blog, I'm going to suggest the Mizraimites (often translated Egypt and Egyptian) of the Torah may not have worshiped Idols yet either.

The Levites had many special restrictions, they were not allowed to even marry women of other Tribes of Israel.  You can't use their restrictions to interpret general Laws for all the people.

Deuteronomy 7:3 is the primary verse sited by anti-Mixed Marriage people. They ignore the very next verse.

Now, going beyond The Torah, since most Christian consider all of The Bible canon.

The Book of Ruth.

One website obsessed with saying Interracial marriage is wrong regardless of faith, insists Ruth was not a Moabitess.  This was not a Torah only website obviously, or they'd just do what I've seen some Torah only people do and reject the line of David.  They seem to overlook that if you want to be selective about Canon only the Book of Ruth places a Ruth in Davids ancestry in the TNAK, and Matthew does not repeat her Moabite status.  Though I feel Matthew's mention of her name does Canonize the book of Ruth for all Christians, since there is no other Biblical source he could have gotten it from.

This website argued the Country or Plain of Moab mentioned in Ruth is not in what you usually see Moab limited to on Maps, south of Reuben and the river Arnon, but land that was Moabite before the conquest under Joshua.  I think this website was trying to argue it wasn't even Tran-Jordan. This forgets that Deuteronomy 2 explicitly says God wasn't going to give Israelites any land of Edom, Moab or Amon.  The Trans-Jordan tribes decision to stay Trans-Jordon when that wasn't the original plan arguably complicated this, but I still think it was mostly only Canaanite and Ishmaelite territory they borrowed.

The word Sojourn is used in the very first verse, a word that is usually used of dwelling in a foreign land. Used of Non-Israleites in Israel, and of Isrealites when they Sojourned in Egypt.

They say it doesn't matter that Ruth is called a Moabitess, they believe she was an Israelite, yet is the only Israelite ever repeatedly called a Moabite.

Some verses do say ___ite when referring to a geographical asociation rather then genealogical ancestry.  But there are usually of Non-Israelites, or of the Patriarchs back before they were their own tribe, hence them being called Arameans even though they came form Arphaxad not Aram.   Or if it's used of Israelites it's only in a sense that confuses what Tribe they are, like Samuel as a Levite called a Ephraimite, or the mother of Hiram being both a daughter of Dan and a Widow of Naphtali.

Even if the land they were in can be argued to formally Moabite territory then belonging to Gad or Reuben.  That hardly rules out Ruth being ethnically Moabite, as the Moabite population of that region would hardly disappear.

Either Ruth was not an Israelite, or the Author of Ruth wanted to device their readers into thinking she wasn't.

But regardless of all their technical arguments about what terms mean.  To any literary analysis of the book it is absurd to deny that Ruth was a foreigner and that it is advocating for allowing a foreigner to marry into Israel if they are faithful to The Torah.  Ruth is ignorant of the ways Israel at the start and needs to learn them from Naomi.  And in Ruth 4:5-6, why else would the kinsman in line before Boaz reject her out of concern of his inheritance being barred unless he was concerned with the laws against marrying Moabites?  Obviously people who thought those laws were purely Ethnic existed back then, Ruth is a book written to argue against that belief.

Uriah The Hittie's marriage to Bathsheba was not an issue either, because he was clearly someone who worshiped Yahuah and who Yahuah considered His Servant.

Ezra and Nehemiah.

Some argue that it is specifically Ezra and Nehemiah who's decisions strongly leave no room for allowing ethnically mixed marriages.  Skeptics of The Bible see them as clearly philosophically opposed to the Book of Ruth (and try to claim Ruth was written about the same time).

Now I haven't studied these two book as much I as should yet.  Maybe they too are being miss-characterized by those who opposed mixed Marriages.  If so I apologize that I can't adequately defend them here just yet.

What I am going to say is that while I believe the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are canonical inspired records of History.  Ezra and Nehemiah were still flawed fallible humans who's interpretations of The Torah we don't necessarily have to agree with.  Even Paul sometimes said "says I not The Lord", and I trust Paul's Judgment more then theirs.

The website I have in mind says The Messiah (they believe that is Jesus) upheld the rulings of Ezra and Nehemiah.  But I see no place in The Gospels where Jesus does that.  The book of Ezra is never directly quoted in the New Testament, there is one verse where arguably Jesus is referencing Nehemiah, but that is disputable.  But even then, the verse of Nehemiah in question is not one of their rulings but describing the Manna miracle in the Wilderness.

Jesus acknowledgment of the Second Temple in John 4 is only upholding Zerubabel and Jeshua, Ezra and Nehemiah came later.  Likewise the Prophetic books of the return form Captivity period uphold those two a lot but don't mention Ezra of Nehemiah.  And I think even they possibly built The Temple on the wrong location.

Malachi who was clearly quoted by Jesus as a Prophet, says in chapter 2 verse 11 that the issue is marrying "the daughter of a strange god".  He was a contemporary of the same concerns Ezra and Nehemiah were dealing with.  And the only specific people group spoken of negatively in Malachi is Esau, who were not among those prohibited to marry in the Torah as I laid out.

In The New Testament, Paul taught that there is neither Jew or Gentile in The Church in Galatians three, and about Gentiles being grafted into Israel Unnaturally in Romans 11.

Wives of Moses

I want to dedicate a post specifically to this question, since it's something I haven't made up my mind 100% on yet.

Most famously is Zipporah, daughter of Jethro also called Raguel, a Priest in Midian.  That could imply they were ethnically Midianite (descendants of Abraham by Keturah) but maybe not.

There is a controversy in Numbers 12 about Moses marrying a Custhie Wife.  There have been two common theories about who this is.

Either it's the same person as Zipporah, thus making this relevant to speculation about the Tribal identity of her and her father Jethro.

Or the extra-Biblical tradition recorded in Josephus that Moses married a Nubian Cushite Princess when he conquered Kush for Egypt was back when he was still a Prince of Egypt.  (This is  in DeMille's The Ten Commandments 1956 film, but it doesn't make their marrying explicit, cause it's 1950s America).

In either of those cases I'm inclined to question, why was it just becoming an issue now?

It's often overlooked that in Exodus 18:2 Moses went Zipporah back to Jethro in Midian.

The Miriam and Aaron are condemned by God for objecting to Moses marriage is taken as prof their objection was wrong.  While that can suit my own agenda well, it's perhaps an oversimplification, since what God was directly angry at was their implying their authority was equal to Moses.  So it's more like this was a minor issue bringing a greater one to the forefront.

What were the objecting to however?  This passage become relevant to two debates about Marriage.  Mixed or "Interracial" Marriage, and Polygamy.

Zipporah is last mentioned by that name in Exodus 18. And this passage seems to be the only place after that Moses having a wife comes up.  So whether or not Polygamy is possibly relevant here is just dependent on if they are the same wife.   Zipporah could have passed away by this point, leaving Moses free to remarry regardless of how okay with Polygamy you interpret the Torah as being.  If Polygamy was their objection, I think they would have said "in addition to".

None of the verses in the Torah taken as condemning mixed marriages even address descent from Cush, they seem to be about Canaanite, Moab and Ammon.  Intermarriages with Mizraimites are not objected to at all, so the ban on Canaan can't inferred to include all Hamites.  I believe these are in truth about spiritually mixed marriages, not ethnicity, I'll be doing a post on that later.

That proves Yahuah wouldn't have objected to a Cushite wife, but Miriam and Aaron are a different story.

In The Torah Zipporah and Jethro's clan is never explicitly called Kenite.  So people who limit their Canon to the Torah might insist they aren't.

But for those of us who consider Judges a worthwhile source.  Judges 1:16 says the Father in Law of Moses was a Kenite.  Going of that verse alone it could be a different Father in Law is who was meant.  But later Judged 4:11 clarifies these are people who descend form Hobab, and again calls them Kenites.  Now this verse as it's rendered in English at least can be accused of contradicting Numbers 10:29.  Numbers Says Hobaba was the son of Moses Father In Law, while this verse in Judges looks like it's calling Hobab Moses Father in Law.  It might be something is lost int translation her,e that it might to call Hobab and the Father in Law of Moses ancestors of this clan.

Only this verse in Numbers calls Raguel a Midianite, and not just of the region of Midian.  But even then Midianite can mean that and not stickily ethnically.  Genesis 15 lists the Kenites as people who already existed at this time, that is different other places in Genesis where I think the narrative voice is mentioning people who'll exist later.

People who don't want The Bible to make sense love to accuse Kenites of being being the descendants of Cain, who's line logically perished in The Flood.  However if you look at Kenite's placement in the Strongs, the Pre-Flood patriarch name it's closes to is Cainan or Kenen of Genesis 5, the son of Enosh son of Seth.  Luke 3 tells us another person with this same name (in the Greek text it's spelled identically to the Genesis 5 Kenen) exited after the Flood as a son of Aprhaxad son of Shem.  My theory on this extra name of Luke 3 is that Shelah was a younger son of Arphaxad who married his niece Kene's daughter.  The Kenites could be people who paternally descended form this Kenen.

That Exodus 4 strongly implies Jethro's family didn't practice Circumcision, I think is also evidence against them descending form Abraham.

I myself had strongly argued for Zipporah being the Kushites wife in my post about Cushites in Arabia.  However that argument was by no means dependent on that, I had another verse implying Cushites and Midian being associated with the same area.

And since my conclusion is most likely this was someone Moses married at the time this controversy broke in Numbers 12, or just a little before.  Given where they were, in Arabia, this Wife of Moses is still evidence for Cushites in Arabia.

For the Josephus tradition, you could get around my first question by saying Moses was obviously separated from her when he fled Egypt, and perhaps they were reunited now.   But still, I feel Josephus is recording a story someone before him imagined to explain this mysterious verse in Numbers while also making Moses more awesome.  I think it's also dependent on assumptions about "Egypt" that may be wrong.

Numbers 11 ends with the Israelites settling at a place called Hazeroth.  Could be this was a place where Cushites dwelt, and Moses married one of them.

Modern Americans have a distorted view of what Conservatism is.

Both ones who are conservative, and one's who attack Conservatism.  I'm not saying American Conservatives aren't conservative, mostly they are, I'm saying they are delusional in how they define themselves.

The origins of the Right Wing/Left Wing terminology are from the French Revolution, where those who supported the King sat on the right side of the Assembly, and those who opposed the King sat on the left.  The word Conservative comes from the idea of conserving how things were, and thus throughout 19th Century European history and literature the Conservatives were the Monarchists and Royalists.  And the way things were before the Revolutions was that the State headed by the King held absolute authority, and regulated aboslutly everything.

So the idea that Conservative = Small Government, is totally wrong.

And American Conservatives don't support small government.

They support laws to enforce morality from Prostitution to Gambling to Drugs, they support Wars, they supported the Patriotic Act.  They talk a lot about cutting Government spending, but are offended by any suggestion to cut what actually is the most expensive part of our Government, military spending, but also like to spend money on police and prisons.  So the actual fists of big government they don't want to defund at all.

They don't want to make Government small, they just want to prevent it from accidentally doing anything good.

For the most part, the only position I hold that modern America considers the Conservative position is on Guns, I'm firmly against all restrictions on Gun Ownership.  However in 19th Century Europe that was not considered a Conservative position, that was the position held by Karl Marx.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Offices of Apostle and Prophet

The New Testament offices of Apostle and Prophet are not the same, they are distinct.

I am a Continuationist, the Spiritual Gifts are for today, one of those if Prophecy.

An Apostle is something more specific.  Chris White has a good video on Apostolic Succession directed at Catholic Doctrine.
Thing is other versions of that doctrine have been utilized by non Catholic denominations.  I already did a post once on the Baptist version of it some Baptist believe.

This post is partly about a problem I've noticed of some Pentecostal and Charismatic Christian Leaders calling themselves Apostle.  Paul defined himself as the Last Apostle (1 Corinthians 15:8-9), and made clear you had to be an eye witness to the Resurrection to be an Apostle in the verses leading up to that.

Critics of Continuationism sometimes assert that the Canon isn't closed if there is still Prophecy, and some Contuionationists seem to effectively teach that.  Prophecy has to be tested against Scripture, and I believe only Apostles could add to Scripture.  In order for something to be Scripture it had to be written by an Apostle or approved by one.

I've seen some Ceasationists use Apostle and Prophet as if they are the same.  But The New Testament clearly treats them as distinct.  There are some passages where you can cite that verse alone and say maybe they're being used as synonyms there.  And in a sense I think every Apostle was a Prophet.   But verses like 1 Corinthians 12:28 clearly define them as distinct.

Some of the people who want to reject Paul, act like Paul's claim to Apostolic status makes him a 13th Apostle, or in some way the only one additional to the 12.  But that's clearly not what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, placing James the Half-Brother of Jesus and many others between the 12 and himself as the last.  Acts 14:14 says Paul and Barnabas were both Apostles.

Peter calls Paul's writings Scripture at the end of 2 Peter.  Which he wouldn't have done if Paul wasn't an Apostle.

I bring this up because the Anti-Paul people often desire to limit the title of Apostle only to the 12 (with Matthias taking Judas's spot).  Yet they try get around the full implication that that would remove canonical status from at least 2 of the Gospels.  And that they may have to throw out James and Jude too if you believe the tradition that they were written by Half-Brothers of Jesus not the James the Lesser and Jude "Not Iscariot" of the 12.  And they frequently use James in their attacks on Paul.

Ironically for all this James vs Paul theorizing nonsense, it is only Paul and Luke in Acts (who they sometimes want to reject as being of Paul) who tell us James the Brother of Jesus was a leader of the Early Church.    Without them, we'd have no Biblical basis for believing that that James ever became a Believer at all.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Do we use the phrase "The Ten Commandments" incorrectly?

It's not uncommon to see people claim this.  I myself had been under similar misconceptions in the past, and had to edit some mistakes out of the post I made earlier today.

Now it's true the narrative presented in the film The Ten Commandments is garbled.  I mean it arguably undermined the moral of the narrative that they change it so the people hadn't received the Commandments yet when they engage din the Golden Calf orgy.  DeMille kind of anticipated the Godfather Baptism montage by having them break the Commandments as God writes them.

It is true that they are not being written in Stone when God first gave them in Exodus 20, there they are spoken by Yahuah to the People directly, without even using Moses as a middle man.

It is true that The Bible does not use the exact three word phrase "The Ten Commandments" in Exodus 20, or Deuteronomy 5 where they are repeated.

Exodus 34:28 says of Moses "And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.".  The context f this Chapter, is kinda unclear about exactly what that means.  It may be, given the issues of translating, that there should be an "and" between "words of the Covenant" and "The Ten Commandments".  I say this based on the fact that the "words of the Covenant' arguably refers to Exodus 20:22-23:33, and the Covenant is then ratified in chapter 24.

At any-rate Exodus 34:28 is about the second set of Stone Tablets, the first set are mentioned in the last verse of Exodus 31, verse 18.  It could be on the original Tablets were only written the information relied in 25:1-31:17.  Israel's breaking of the Covenant with the Golden Calf as these were written, changed things.  Originally the contents of Exodus 20:22-23:33 were written on a scroll as Exodus 24 records.  But that is unclear.  It could have been all three sets of instructions. 

However the people claiming that phrase refers to a mostly completely different set of rules, are ignoring that the phrase appears twice more in Deuteronomy, in 4:13 and 10:4.  Deuteronomy 10:4 defined that that phrase refers to more clearly then any other verse.
"And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which Yahuah spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and Yahuah gave them unto me."
That clearly describes the commands given in Exodus 20, Moses is also repeating the wording of how he described that event in Deuteronomy 5:4.

Now one article you'll find online (and I agree with their political point about it violating the Establishment Clause to put the Commandments on Government buildings), gives a list of ten different commands, well at least three overlap, saying that's what Exodus 34:28 called 'The Ten Commandments".  This list is arbitrarily taking 10 of the commands given earlier in Exodus 34, as a warning not to make a covenant with the Canaanites, and they aren't even consecutive.  They are, first is verse 14 worded incorrectly, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25 is split into two commands, and then so is 26.  Just reading chapter 34 you would not see that as listing of ten commands.

Perhaps they would simply argue Deuteronomy is contradicting Exodus.  But even on it's own, you have to draw some flimsily conclusions to think Exodus is calling that list of more then 10 instructions the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 34 defines what was written on the second Tablets as the same thing written on the first.

How do Torah only people determine what is The Torah?

People like the Remember the Commands YouTube Channel keep saying things like "The Torah never told us to recognize the Canon of Jamnia, or the Calvanists".  My response is....

How do you know the Torah is what we today think it is?  Nothing in The Torah defines it as Five Books of Moses, one of which is actually an historical narrative of events that happened before Moses was born, so traditionally saying Moses wrote it kinda hurts seeing it as an eye witness account of that history.  And another is a book Moses couldn't have physically wrote himself since it records his death.

Now Deuteronomy can be called a "Book of Moses" since it's mostly a record of Speeches Moses gave, so quoting it for the most part is quoting Moses.... IF it's an authentic account.

Only Deuteronomy refers to there being a "Book of Law" in that exact phrase.   You can interpret those verses as implying what your reading now is part of that book, but that's kinda iffy.  It seems equally likely it's referring to a book already written.

Why would a book of Laws also include all these historical narratives?  Well there being commands to remember things seemingly makes the historical narratives part of the Law.  But still, one could easily argue that The Torah proper is just what God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Exodus 20:22 begins the full Covenant Law Code, which arguably concludes in Exodus 24:4, this was written in a Scroll by Moses.  But Exodus 25:1 through 31:17 are seemingly what is defined as being written in Stone, according to 31:18.  The Stones had to be carved again after the Golden Calf incident.  But Exodus 34:28 says the second set of Tablets were written by Moses dictated by Yahuah not by the Finger of Yahuah like the first Tablets were. 

Leviticus is stuff added later, as are the parts of Numbers that are new Commands, they don't even define themselves as part of either the original Scroll of Moses or what was written in Stone.  Deuteronomy meanwhile, doesn't even pass it's own Prophet Test by the standards of how Remember the Commands interprets things.  But even if presumed to be a valid record of Speeches Moses gave at the end of the wandering, it mostly demonstrates that Moses memory was often faulty, even the Ten Commandments are expressed differently.

I'm certain Deuteronomy is Canon, since I think anything Jesus quoted as Scripture must be Scripture, and Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6 for what He called the Greatest Commandment.  In fact Deuteronomy is the most quoted book of The Torah in the New Testament, with even some NT references to the Ten Commandments seemingly preferring Deuteronomy's version.  Jesus also quotes Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus, and allusions are made to events from Numbers.

Thing is, I think it's fairly illogical to accept Deuteronomy as Canon but not Joshua.  I think Deuteronomy and Joshua's scrolls mostly had the same human author, much of Deuteronomy seems like it's written there just to set the stage for Joshua.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Prophet Test of Deuteronomy

Most websites I find online talking about the Prophet Test of Deuteronomy in relation to Jonah, Jeremiah or Ezekiel, are doing so assuming the readers will not question the Prophetic Status of those three Prophets, and so we must interpret Deuteronomy in a way that is consistent with them being valid Prophets.

But I have become aware of a growing Torah only movement, or at least heavily Torah centric, that would rather reject Prophets of the TNAK as true Prophets then change their overly strict "Plain Reading" interpretation of Deuteronomy.  To them it's blasphemous to use Jeremiah 18 to interpret Deuteronomy 18, they would say Jeremiah 18 was Jeremiah making excuses for himself.

Jonah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel are all upheld as Prophets by the New Testament.  So as a Christian I need to uphold them as legit Prophets.

What Jeremiah says Yahuah said in Jeremiah 18 is absolutely consistent with The Torah, the Torah repeatedly teaches that God's Blessings and Curses are conditioned upon behavior.  In fact Deuteronomy's prophecy in chapters 29 and 30 is entirety couched as a hypothetical.

This website teaches plenty I disagree with, like on Ezekiel and Tyre which I'll get to later.  But it's a analysis on the Prophet test of Deuteronomy that I think is over all pretty helpful.
http://www.crivoice.org/prophetdeut18.html

What's deemed a capital offense is prophesying in the name of other gods, or saying it's okay to worship other gods. That is what it's most concerned with.  Deuteronomy 18:22 says.
"When a prophet speaketh in the name of Yahuah, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which Yahuah hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
It doesn't say this Prophet wasn't a true Believer, or even that he never was a true Prophet.  But he spoke Presumptuously, and for that reasons you should no longer fear his words.  But it doesn't call for execution.  In English in the KJV it looks like this Prophet would also be guilty of Deuteronomy 18:20's offense, but clearly there is a difference.

Interestingly some offshoots of Mormonism like Temple Lot teach that Josephus Smith was a true Prophet at first, but eventually went bad and spoke Presumptuously.  I think the very foundation of what Joseph Smith taught from the start had major inconsistencies with Scripture.   But it's interesting to note that here.

As a Continuationist Christian, I think it's important to note that 1 John 4:2-3 says "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God".  There is no room for exceptions to either of those declarations.  Likewise 1 John 5:1 "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God".

Now, I disagree whole heartedly with the assertion that Ezekiel's Prophecy of Tyre failed.  Or that we need to expand it's time-frame to include Alexander to make it not a failure (I believe Isaiah 23's Prophecy about Tyre is specifically of Alexander's conquest, where Kittim/Greece is mentioned).

First of all, there is an accusation that Ezekiel 29:17-20 is some kind of admission that his Prophecy about Tyre failed.  This is not the case.  God is saying Nebuchadnezzar and his army performed a service for him by sieging Tyre, and so he's giving him Egypt to reward that service.  Strictly speaking we do not know whether that Siege was successful based on Ezekiel 29 alone.

Now some might infer that if sieging Tyre was successful they wouldn't need to capture another country to be paid for it.  A, plenty of successful sieges have failed to produce booty, like when Xerxes captured Athens.  B, I can counter that if no judgment was inflicted on Tyre, they performed no service to be paid for.

People are reading things into Ezekiel 26 that aren't there when they say Nebuchadnezzar had to capture the Island to fulfill the Prophecy.  What people ignore criticizing this Prophecy is the origin of the Island being the main city was the people fleeing there during this Siege, and that is what Ezekiel is describing.  The Mainland city is all Ezekiel is clearly saying will be destroyed.

And as far as saying the not being inhabited part is a failure because Tyre exists to this day.  That is false, there is a city in New Testament and modern times calling itself Tyre, but that doesn't make it Tyre, it was not built on the same location.  The Mainland city Nebuchadnezzar destroyed is still a barren ruin right not.

Now one could say Alexander's actions have some relevance because of how he threw many of the ruins of the old city into the sea as he built his land bridge.  But that is a minor epilogue.

Now as far as questioning of Nebuchadnezzar ever captured Egypt.   I talked about that on my Prophecy blog.

But going back to the conditional commands.  As far as some people who might fear I'm weakening the Prophet Test's usefulness in opposing cults.  The conditional aspect is only an excuse if a nation wide change in behavior happens.