"It will be with the last deliverer,(the Messiah), as with the first (Moses); as the first deliverer revealed himself first to the Israelites and then withdrew, so also will the last deliverer reveal himself to the Israelites and then withdraw for a while.” –Midrash Rut Rabbah
Objects are made for use, whereas people are created for relationship. Therefore, those who enter relationship with God are perfected in life while those who refuse relationship with God make objects of themselves. Objects exist but they are not alive.
This chapter concludes Yeshua’s words to the disciples following the Pesach (Passover) Seder and prior to crossing the Kidron valley to Gat Sheminim (Gethsemane), with a prayer to the Father. The words of Yeshua’s prayer read as statements of fact concerning things only God could know, and convey concepts of which Yeshua is intimately aware. Therefore, it’s clear that His intention is to entreat the Father on His disciple’s behalf and at the same time to teach the disciples about His relationship to the Father and the desired relationship between the disciples and the Father through Yeshua and toward one another.
There are some important distinctions made by the Hebrew translation that are not illuminated by the Greek text. These distinctions are consistent with the first century Jewish context and would have been easily comprehended by the disciples and early Jewish followers of Yeshua. In short, the original recipients of Yochanan’s Gospel.
33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace, wholeness, wellbeing (shalom[H]). In this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]) you have pressing together, travail, distress, troubles (thlipis[G]), nevertheless, be of good courage (tharseo[G]); I have conquered (nikao[G]) this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]).”
1 Yeshua[H] (Iesous[G], Joshua, YHVH Saves, Jesus) spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes toward the heavens (ouranos[G], hashamayiym[H]), He said, “My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), the certain definite time, hour (hora[G]) has come; glorify, magnify, be of the opinion of, celebrate (doxazo[G], Paeir[G]) the Son of You (ho uihos[G], HaBen Shelcha[H]), that the Son (ho uihos[G], HaBen[H]) may glorify, magnify, be of the opinion of, celebrate (doxazo[G], Paeir[G]) You,
“Yeshua spoke these things” meaning all that had preceded and all that was about to proceed in respect to His prayer to the Father before the disciples.
“Lifting up His eyes toward the heavens” is a reflection of Yeshua’s former prayer posture when standing before the grave of Lazarus (John 11:41-42). Then, as now, His prayer is being said aloud in front of His talmidim as a testimony to them. Yeshua need not lift up His eyes to the heavens nor pray aloud, both these actions are for the benefit of those who are with Him.
The phrase “he lifted up his face to the heavens” is used by our sages to describe a posture of prayer that denotes honour toward the seat of God’s power, figuratively speaking (Vayikra Rabba, sect. 34. fol. 174. 4.).
“My Father” expresses an intimate and distinct difference in Yeshua’s prayer. Yeshua is conversing as He has always conversed with the Father, in inseparable relationship. When asked how they should pray Yeshua instructed the disciples to pray “Avinu Shabashamayiym…” (Our Father in the heavens). Here, Yeshua intimates His unique familial connection to the Father as being the means by which the disciples are able to pray “Our Father”.
We note that the glory of the Son in the Father is more than just bright light and awe. The Greek “doxazo” denotes celebration and the idea of sharing the opinion and purposes of another. Therefore, The Son seeks to reflect back to the Father the mind of the Father and to do so based on the fact that the Father has already given the Son the power and liberty to act as the Son pleases.
Being in and of the Father the Son acts according to the mind of the Father in seeking the salvation of those who would receive the Father through the Son. This is explained from a perspective outside of time and space as being the result of the Father having given to the Son those whom He has seen as obedient to receive His offer of love, even before they themselves had chosen to act in obedience. Thus, seeing the end from the beginning the Father gives those to be redeemed to the Son, Who exists in the Father from before the foundation of the world.
2 According to the power, liberty to do as He pleases, authority (exousia[G]) You have given (natat[H]) Him, over all flesh (sarx[G], basar[H]) individually (pas[H]), that to all whom You have given Him, He may give (natat[H]) life, living (zoe[G], chayeiy[H]) without end (aionios[G], olam[H]).
“According to the authority You have given Him over all flesh” is an important distinction. Yeshua has been given authority over all creation, including the angelic etc. However, the focus here is on the Father’s relationship to humanity through the Son. Thus, “all flesh”, a reference to the human race.
“to all whom You have given Him, He may give life without end” The Father has given the Son the role of gate keeper to life without end. It is through the Son alone that human beings gain access to everlasting life. Like the Father the Son desires that none should perish, however, like the Father He also knows that love cannot exist without freewill. Therefore, predestination is concluded based on the observation of freewill.
“Yeshua answered, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”” -John 14:6
3 And this is the (ho[G]) unending (aionios[G], haolam[H]) life, living (zoe[G], chayeiy[H]) that gives them the opportunity to learn to know, perceive, understand, intimately know (ginosko[G], lada’at[H]) You, the only, singular (monos[G]) genuinely, absolutely, true (alethinos[G]) God (Theos[G], Elohim[H]), and Yeshua[H] (Iesous[G], Joshua, YHVH Saves, Jesus) Ha-Mashiach[H] (The Messiah, Christos[G], Christ) Whom You have sent.
Everlasting life is not simply continued existence after the death experienced as a result of this sin affected world. All, both the righteous and the wicked share continued existence following death (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29 etc.), some enter everlasting living and others everlasting torment/the second death (Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8).
Everlasting living through Yeshua in God is a form of relational existence that perfects the concept of life and is founded in the knowledge of God, the Creator and the One Who sustains all things through Yeshua His Anointed One. Objects are made for use, whereas people are created for relationship. Therefore, those who enter relationship with God are perfected in life while those who refuse relationship with God make objects of themselves. Objects exist but they are not alive.
A modern example of the difference between eternal living and eternal damnation might be that of the patient whose life is sustained entirely by medical machines, this person is considered to have “life” technically continuing to exist but for all intents and purposes is not truly living, not in practical action, nor in relationship to others. Add to this the possibility that one could experience consciousness while being utterly paralyzed in this state and we have an example of existing torment, a reflection, at least in part, of the far worse reality of eternal death.
To receive the Person of God and to be known by God in relationship is eternal living. In Messiah He unplugs us from the life support machines of this temporary world and supports us with life Himself. We do not merely exist in Him, we are alive in Him.
The life Yeshua speaks of begins in Him within time and space and in doing so transcends time and space. To begin to be known by God is to begin to know God, making everlasting living a journey entered into within the temporal world, a journey that transforms temporal things, sanctifying (setting them apart) to function outside of time and space.
“the only, singular genuinely, absolutely, true God” reflects the Shema (central prayer of Judaism Deut. 6:4). God is “monos” One, “echad” Complex and One, He defines truth.
Our sages remind us that engaging with God’s Torah (Written Word, Instruction) is part of the journey toward eternal life and that those engaged in temporary things are constantly afforded an opportunity to repent and turn to the practice of eternal things up until the time allotted them on this earth.
Rabbi Yoḥanan heard that one angel said to the other: Let us knock this wall down upon them and kill them, as they abandon eternal life of Torah study and engage in temporal life for their own sustenance. The other angel said to him: Leave them, as there is one of them whose time of achievement stands before him, i.e., his time has yet to come. Rabbi Yoḥanan heard all this, but Ilfa did not hear the angels’ conversation. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to Ilfa: Did the Master hear anything? Ilfa said to him: No. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to himself: Since I heard the angels and Ilfa did not hear, I can learn from this that it is I whose time of achievement stands before me. -Talmud Bavliy, Taanit 21a, 3
"fleeing to the Divine Being, "is eternal life"; and running front him is death.''
-Philo, De profugis, p. 461
4 I have glorified, magnified, am of the opinion of, celebrated (doxazo[G], peiartiycha[H]) You in the land [earth] (ho ge[G], va’aretz[H]), having accomplished the business, employment, occupation, work (ergon[G]) which You have given (didomi[G], tziviytaniy[H]) Me to do, make, produce, fashion, construct (poieo[G], la’asot[H]).
Both the Hebrew “aretz” and the Greek “ge (ghay)” mean “land” and thus to the Jewish residents of the land of Israel in the first century CE (in particular His disciples), Yeshua’s words are understood to refer first and foremost to Ha Aretz, the land of Israel and only secondarily to all the earth.
5 Now, My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), glorify, magnify, be of the opinion of, celebrate (doxazo[G], Pa’areiniy[G]) Me together with Yourself, with the glory, opinion, judgement, view, in the holiness (doxa[G], bakavod[H]) which I had/hold (echo[G], hayah-liy[H]) with You before this (ho[G]) the (ho[G]) world (kosmos[G], haolam[H]) was.
Our sages teach that God will give the Messiah “of the supreme glory” (Midrash Tillim in Psal. 20 apud Galatin. de Arcan. Cathol. Ver. l. 3. c. 9.)
The Greek “echo” meaning to “have, hold” is used in the past tense here but only because Yeshua is speaking within time and space. In reality Yeshua is speaking into time and space a transcendent truth. We could read “Now, (present) My Father, glorify Me together (echad) with Yourself, with the holiness which I hold (eternal present) with You before (past) the world existed.” In short, all things are an echo of God’s voice, His Davar (Word, essence = Yeshua) and therefore, Yeshua is God with us speaking within the echo of God. Thus, the Greek “echo” being the foundation for the English “echo”, reflects the reality of super-real truth.
Yeshua is not merely pre-existing, He is eternal. He is not only the Word that emanates from the mouth of God, He is also the eternally present thought that is in the mind of God. Therefore, Yeshua is unique and inseparable. “Imanu-El”.
On the eternal nature of Yeshua, the Davar (Word, Essence, Substance):
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.” -Micah 5:2
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” -John 1:1
“Yeshua said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” -John 8:58
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” -Colossians 1:17
“Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.” -Hebrews 7:3
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the goal.” -Revelation 22:13
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” -Colossians 1:15
“They will perish, but You remain;
And they all will become old like a garment,
And like a mantle You will roll them up;
Like a garment they will also be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.” -Hebrews 1:11-12
“John gave testimony about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” -John 1:15
“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” -Revelation 1:17-18
6 “I have manifested, made visible (phaneroo[G]) the Name, identity, character, person (ho onoma[G], shimcha[H]) of You to the children of the man [humanity] (anthropos[G], liv’neiy[H] haadam[H]) whom You gave (natat[H]) Me out of this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]); they were Yours and You gave (natat[H]) them to Me, and they have kept, preserved, guarded, observed (natzaru[H]) Your word, essence (ho logos[G], et-d’varecha[H]).
“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed Him.” -John 1:18
“Yeshua *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” -John 14:9
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” -Colossians 1:15
Notice that Yeshua has made the very Name (identity, nature) of God visible to those among the children of Adam whom God has given to Yeshua from the creation which was made through Him. Those given to Yeshua belong to God and are His to give, and, they (first the disciples and subsequently all believers) have (past tense) kept, guarded, treasured, protected, observed the Word (Davar). That is, in the capacity allowed them by the Word (Yeshua), they have been given the opportunity to treasure and guard His words, to observe them and to pass on His teaching, to convey to others the opportunity afforded them through His death and resurrection, that they too might receive His Essence (Davar, Logos, Memra etc).
7 Now they have come to know, perceive, understand, intimately know (ginosko[G], yadu[H]) that everything, individually (pas[G]) You have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) Me is from You; 8 for the words spoken, things, essence (rhema[G], had’variym[H]) which You gave (didomi[G], natat[H]) Me I have given (didomi[G], natatiy[H]) to them; and they received them and in truth (be’emet[H]) understood, have come to know, perceive, understand, intimately know (ginosko[G], yadu[H]) that I came forth from You, and they believed, trusted, were persuaded, placed confidence in the fact (pisteuo[G], vayamiynu[H]) that You sent Me.
Yeshua has given to His disciples the message of God’s redemptive love and His desire to reconcile humanity to Himself. The Disciples now understand that Yeshua has been given authority over all things. They have come to this understanding not by taking hold of it but by receiving it from Yeshua Who has taken hold of them. The disciples now comprehend that Yeshua is the promised King Messiah sent from God and have trusted Him.
ואיתן פתגמי, "and I will give the words", of my prophecy into his mouth, and he shall speak with them all that I have commanded.'' -Targum of Yonatan Ben Uzziel, Deut. 18:18 (second century CE)
9 I ask, desire (erotao[G]) concerning, for, on behalf of (peri[G]) them; I do not ask concerning, for, on behalf of (peri[G]) this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]), but of those whom You have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and all that is Yours is Mine; and I have been glorified, magnified, extoled of opinion, celebrated (doxazo[G]) in them.
Notice that Yeshua is not asking God to guard those who choose to reject Yeshua and God’s redemptive offer. There is no forgiveness for the unrepentant, this is a firmly established teaching of Scripture. “Forgive them for they know not what they do” denotes an opportunity for them to know and repent, it is not an offer of forgiveness to the unrepentant. God does not force people to spend eternity in relationship with Him. Yeshua is not interested in the prosperity of “this world” (the sin affected world), rather He is interested in the eternal prosperity of those whom God has given Him. Furthermore the glory and opinion of God in Yeshua is now in the disciples (and by extension, in all who come to faith).
11 And now, I am no longer in this world/in the land (hokosmos[G], baaretz[H]); but they themselves are in this world/in the land (hokosmos[G], baaretz [H]), and I come to You. Holy, morally blameless (hogios[G], kidoshiy[H]) Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), keep, guard, protect (sh’mor[H]) them in Your Name, identity, character, nature, person (shimcha[H]), which You have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) Me, that they may be one (heis[G], echad[H]) even as We are.
Notice the present tense “I am no longer in this world”. The Hebrew translation is interesting in that it says “I am no longer in the land” meaning, “I am no longer in the land of Israel”. The phrase “I come to you” is in the present continuous tense.
“Holy, morally blameless Father, keep, guard, protect them in Your Name, identity, character, nature, person, which You have given Me that they may be one even as We are.” Yeshua asks God’s protection over the souls of His followers (and by extension the souls of all believers) because He is aware that He will not be physically present to guard them Himself. Yeshua is speaking with the post ascension period in mind. He will of course return to His disciples briefly after His resurrection, however, in this context He is speaking within time and space of the present eternal perspective He holds at the right hand of the Father outside of time and space.
“Keep them in Your Name” does not mean keep them from trial or physical harm but keep them in the character, identity, eternal nature of Your Name, don’t allow them to be lost to disobedience and damnation. And this for a purpose, “that they may be one even as We are.”
“In Your Name which you have given Me” This reveals the true nature of Yeshua as Imanu (with us) El (God). Therefore, “that they may be one even as we are”. Yeshua is praying the heart of the Father, asking for what the Father desires, that those who receive Him might be a complex unity in relationship with the Father and the Son in the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy spirit).
12 While I was among (meta[G]) them in the world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]), I was keeping, guarding, protecting, observing (shamartiy[H]) them in Your Name, identity, character, nature, person (shimcha[H]), which You have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) Me; and I kept, guarded, protected, observed (shamartiy[H]) them and not one (echad[H]) of them perished, was lost, destroyed (apollumi[G]) except the son of damnation, destruction, waste (apoleia[G], ben haavadon[H]) so that the word (devar[H]) of the sacred writing, Scripture (graphe[G], hakatuv[H])would be fulfilled, accomplished, perfected (pleroo[G], l’malot[H]).
Yeshua was in this world and guarding His disciples from spiritual demise. However, Yeshua did not force the redemptive purpose of God upon them. Thus, because He loves as God loves He was not able to keep Yehudah (Judas Iscariot) from spiritual demise. Yehudah chose His own destruction and in doing so confirmed what God already knew, that he was destined to betray Yeshua and bring destruction upon himself.
“so that the word of the sacred writing, Scripture (graphe[G], hakatuv[H])would be fulfilled, accomplished, perfected” Both the Greek and Hebrew use words meaning “writing” and refer specifically to the “Ketuvim” (writings) of the Tanalkh (OT). In this case the writings in question are from the Tehilim (Psalms):
“Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.” -Tehilim (Psalm) 41:10(9) [John 13:18] NASB
“But it is you, a man [a]my equal,
My companion and my [b]familiar friend;
14 We who had sweet [c]fellowship together
Walked in the house of God in the throng.
15 Let [d]death come deceitfully upon them;
Let them go down alive to [e]Sheol,
For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.” - Tehilim (Psalm)55:13-15 NASB
“Thus they have [c]repaid me evil for good
And hatred for my love.
6 Appoint a wicked man over him,
And let an [d]accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty,
And let his prayer become sin.
8 Let his days be few;
Let another take his office.
9 Let his children be fatherless
And his wife a widow.” - Tehilim (Psalm) 109:5-9 [Acts 1:20] NASB
The prefigure of Yehudah (Judas Iscariot) referred to in these Psalms is probably Achitofel (my brother foolish), who betrayed King David (2 Samuel 16:14-17).
13 But now, to Your advantage (pros[G]) I come to You; and these things I speak in this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]) so that they may have My transcendent joy (chara[G], simchatiy[H]) made full, accomplished, perfected (pleroo[G]) in themselves.
Yeshua’s coming to the Father is to the Father’s advantage in that it is the catalyst for the redemption of those who are to be saved from the sin affected world. Yeshua speaks this aloud in the fallen world so that His disciples will have recollection of what He has said following His resurrection and ascension and will thus be filled with the transcendent Joy of Yeshua which refuses to submit to temporal sorrow. Therefore, their joy will be perfected within them because the Spirit of Messiah will dwell in them as a result of His death, resurrection and ascension.
14 I have given (didomi[G], natatiy[H]) them the word (ho logos[G], et d’varecha[H]) of You; and this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]) has pursued them with hatred (miseo[G]), because they are not of this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]), even as I am not of this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]).
“I have given them Your Word” is tantamount to saying “I have given them Myself”. It of course also refers to the words and practices of Yeshua as they have been conveyed to the disciples. It is because the disciples have received Yeshua (the Light) and His word, that the sin affected world (darkness) hates them. In receiving Yeshua the disciples have become as alien to the sin affected world as the light is alien to darkness. They have already become part of another world, that is the Olam Haba (world to come, the eternal present) and are therefore recognized as a threat to the temporal world of sin and death whose very existence is threatened by those who live in Messiah.
Note that the disciple of Yeshua, and therefore, by extension every believer is not of this world in the same way that Yeshua is not of this world. We have become children of a sinless Father and are therefore no longer recognized as being children of the fallen father Adam. This is why Yeshua is called the last Adam (1 Corinth. 15:45).
15 I do not ask, desire (erotao[G]) You to take them out of this world (hokosmos[G], baolam[H]), but to keep them, tenderly care for them, observe them, protect them (tereo[G]) from the evil, harassment, bad nature, wickedness, the evil one (poneros[G]). 16 They are not of this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]), even as I am not of this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]).
Yeshua does not ask that His followers be removed from this sin affected world, nor does He ask that they be kept from the struggles of life, rather He asks that they be kept from the evil one. Once again He is asking that God keep His followers in saving relationship. If Yeshua had asked for His followers to be taken out of this world He would have been preventing the salvation of all who would come to faith through them. The same is true of us today. Often I think, how much better it would be if God simply took me as He did Chanoch (Enoch), who walked with God and was not. Then I remember my calling in Messiah to make disciples of all nations, first the Jew and also the peoples of this world.
If our goal is to avoid suffering in pursuit of happiness we will fail to spread the Good News of our Messiah. The Good News of Yeshua walks in dark places because it is the darkness that must be illuminated. After all, what good are headlights in summer at midday? Not so long ago I was in hospital in agony and crying out to God asking why He would allow me to go through such suffering, at which point He pointed to the Muslim man and his suffering son in the bed next to me. Moments later the Muslim man asked me, “what do you believe?” I mean, who does that? I shared my faith in Messiah with him and prayed for his son. Perhaps that will be the only time that man ever has the opportunity to hear the Good News of Yeshua. And if I had not suffered? Forget the American dream, dream a better dream, make the ambition of Yeshua your dream.
They (the disciples and by extension all subsequent believers) are not of this world (fallen) any longer because in Yeshua they are born from above, that is, they are of the eternal world to come and are now eternally present through Yeshua. Thus, they are not of this temporary fallen world any more than Yeshua is.
In Messiah we are of the world to come. Therefore in this world we sin when we forget that we are of another world.
17 Sanctify, set apart, consecrate, purify, cleanse (hagiazo[G], kadeish[H]) them in the absolute, immutable truth (ho aletheia[G], b’emet[H]); Your Word, essence (logos[G], d’varecha[H]) is (eternally present) absolute, immutable truth (aletheia[G], emet[H]).
The Hebrew “kadeish” and the Greek “hagiazo” mean to be “set apart”. And how are the Messiah’s followers set apart? We are set apart in the Word (Both Living [Yeshua], and written [Divinely inspired]). God’s Word is eternally present, the measure of truth. Therefore, we are set apart, sanctified within time and space having already been perfected outside of time and space. The living Word Yeshua lives in us and so, we consume and practice the written word daily so as to perpetuate immutable truth in a world that is compromised by the temporary defilement of the lie.
There is a practical application here. We impede our own sanctification when we neglect the written word. To neglect the written word is to forget the Living Word Who dwells in us. Do you recall a time when you wrote a heartfelt message on a greeting card and handed it to your loved one with a gift in tow, only to see your loved one put the card to the side and rip open the gift?
18 As You sent Me into this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]), I also have sent them into this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]).
As followers of Yeshua we are being sent to this sin affected world from our new home in the eternal present. We have become shaliachiym (sent ones) of the King Messiah and are tasked with His purposes in God. We are not Him, but we are like Him.
19 For their sakes, [Aramaic alt. and upon/before their faces, v’al apayhun[A]] I sanctify, set apart, consecrate, purify, cleanse (hagiazo[G], makdiysh[H]) Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified, consecrated, purified, cleansed (m’kudashiym[H]) in truth (b’emet[H]).
The Aramaic text is beautiful. It reads “Upon their faces I set apart Myself…” In short, “My countenance illuminated in their faces will show them to be set apart and of a different world (Olam Haba). “Upon their faces” is an idiom denoting intimacy, a closeness of lovers. Therefore Yeshua is shown to be set apart in the countenance of His followers and by His work He has set apart those same followers in Truth. God defines truth.
The plain meaning is this, that the disciples will see Yeshua crucified and resurrected (the process of His being set apart).
20 “I do not ask, desire (erotao[G]) concerning, for, on behalf of (peri[G]) these only, but for those also who believe, trust (haamamiyniym[H]) in Me through their word (devariym[H]);
Over two thousand years ago Yeshua prayed not only for His disciples but also for you. Thus, He continues to make the same request to the Father on your behalf today.
“It is Messiah Yeshua that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. -Romans 8:34
21 that they may all be one (echad[H]); even as You, My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]) may believe, trust (ya’amiyn[H]) that You sent Me.
This is perhaps one of the greatest indictments against the body of believers today. Yeshua has asked that we might be one as He and the Father are one, and yet here we stand divided. The unity of the body of believers does not require us to agree on every little detail but it must be established in the Father and the Son through the intrinsic connection of the Holy Spirit. It must also submit to order and the roles God has given the Jew and the Gentile. Unity cannot come to a body of believers that denies the position of the elder brother (Israel, ethnic, religious, chosen, empirical). There is no unity in disrespecting one’s elders. Nor can unity come as long as the elder son looks down on the younger brother (Gentile believers). It is only in the love of God through Messiah that we can walk as one respecting our differences while holding tightly to core doctrine and the Word of Truth.
We must allow God to manifest the unity of His Son in us lest the world fail to see His redemptive purpose in us and thus fail to trust in Yeshua Whom God has sent. God will work this unity through discipline if we continue to refuse to operate in it of our own fruition.
22 The glory, opinion, judgement, view, splendour, brightness (doxa[G], haKavod[H]) which You have given Me (didomi[G], natatiy[H]) I have given (didomi[G], natat liy[H]) to them, that they may be one (echad[H]), just as We are one (echad[H]);
We have been given the glory, judgement, brightness of Yeshua as He has received glory from God. It is by His judgement, opinion, brightness that we find unity. The same unity that Yeshua has with the Father.
23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected, brought to the goal (teleioo[G]) in oneness (heis[G]), so that this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]) may come to know (ginosko[G]) that You sent Me, and loved entirely (agapao[G], ahavta[H]) them, even as You have entirely loved Me (ahavtaniy[H]).
Our oneness is being perfected within the fallen world so that we might reach the goal of that perfection in Messiah and thus give this sin affected world an opportunity for redemption and renewal.
We can take great comfort in the knowledge that the Father has loved us entirely just as He has entirely loved the Son. This, when it is manifested to the fallen world will bring many to faith.
24 My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), I desire that they also, whom You have given Me (n’tatam liy[H)), be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory, opinion, judgement, view, splendour, brightness (doxa[G], b’k’vodiy[H]) which You have given Me (didomi[G], natat liy[H]), for You entirely loved Me (agapao[G], ahavtaniy[H]) before the face of (lifneiy[H]) the foundation, establishment (mosdot[H]) of the world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]).
Yeshua desires that His followers dwell in the eternal present and behold His glory, opinion, judgement, brightness. This is not a narcissistic desire to be honoured by the subjugated masses, but a desire to share honour with family. Yeshua desires that we dwell in the mind of Messiah and thus the mind of God.
This is a further illumination of Yeshua’s eternal existence and the love relationship of the family of the Godhead.
“Before the face of the foundation of the establishment of the world…” This conveys the perfect relationship of the Godhead prior to the creation of this world, “world” being synonymous with universe, cosmos etc. God did not create us in order to meet a need, He was not lonely prior to creating us, to the contrary, he created us to meet our need, affording us the opportunity to experience true relationship and perpetual, abundant, perfected living in Him.
25 “O My Father, the righteous One (Aviy Hatzadiyk[H]), although this world (hokosmos[G], haolam[H]) has not known (y’da’acha[H]) You, yet I have known (y’da’tiycha[H]) You; and these (disciples) have known that You sent Me (sh’lachtaniy[H]);
“Yeshua responded, “Why do you call Me good? Only God is good!” (Mark 10:18)
The Hebrew text says “My Father The Righteous!” God defines righteousness and purity, which is an emanation of His Holiness. Yeshua acknowledges this fact before His disciples and in doing so identifies Himself as Imanu (with us) El (God).
“This world has not known you” This sin affected world lacks the ability in and of itself to gain the knowledge of and in God. The Hebrew “yadat” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse and denotes intimacy and the union of being. Both God’s marriage to Israel (ethnic, religious, chosen, empirical), and Yeshua’s marriage to the bride (body of believers) are made possible through the bride price in Yeshua’s blood and the invitation to engagement offered by Yeshua at the Father’s choosing. Therefore, the sin affected world and its rejection of Yeshua is the cause of its own demise. It lacks knowledge of God because it has refused God’s invitation for it to be known.
“Yet I have known You” Yeshua is present in the fallen world as the One Who has known God in the most intimate relational sense and is therefore the only One qualified to bring others into the knowledge of God.
26 and I have made known to them (hoda’tiym[H]) Your Name, identity, nature, person, character (et shimcha[H]), and will make it known (l’hodiyam[H]), so that the all-encompassing love (agapao[G], ha’ahavah[H]) with which You loved (ahavataniy[H]) Me may be in them, and I in them.”
15 [a]He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For [b]by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He [c]is before all things, and in Him all things [d]hold together.18 He is also head of the body, the body of beleivers; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” -Colossians 1:15-18
Not only has Yeshua made known to His disciples the Name and nature of God, He also continues to make God’s Name known to all who believe, and He does so for a purpose: “so that the all-encompassing love with which” God has loved Yeshua might be in us and that Yeshua Himself might be in/among us.
It’s overly simplistic, even superstitious to say as some do, that Yeshua is speaking about the Divine proper Noun YHVH and its correct pronunciation. We Jews know that the pronunciation of the Holy Name has been lost to us but as Jewish followers of Yeshua we understand that the character and nature of God is accessible to us through the King Messiah.
Those who claim that no one can be saved unless they properly pronounce the Name YHVH are not only wrong, they are in danger of damnation. No one knows the correct pronunciation of the Holy Name YHVH because the vowel markings indicating its pronunciation in ancient texts were representative of the Hebrew Adonai (Lord) and do not reflect the actual vowel markings for the Holy Name. The best scholarship guess to date is Yahweh, but this is not more than our best “guess”. Therefore, we are incapable of correctly pronouncing the Name YHVH, leaving us all damned if we are to believe the false teaching of the so called “Holy Name Movement”.
The Shaliach (Apostle) Kefa (Peter) speaks concerning the Name of Yeshua saying “There is no other Name under the heavens by which a person can be saved!” (Acts 4:12). God has intentionally kept the pronunciation of the Holy Name from us in order to protect us (Exodus 20:7; Deut. 5:11) and has given His Son the King Messiah the Name by which we can be saved. Therefore, when the prophet says “Those who call upon the Name of YHVH will be saved” (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13) he intends that we will understand that the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach represents the Divine Name on earth and affords us the opportunity to call on YHVH through the Messiah and be saved.
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
If we sing “Come Holy Spirit” we have already missed the point, it is the Holy Spirit in us Who sings “Welcome Yeshua, Glory to YHVH!” To promote the Holy Spirit at the expense of the Father and the Son is to blaspheme the entire Godhead.
This chapter continues the discourse of the previous two chapters and follows Yeshua’s words “rise let us go from here.” Based on these words numerous modern scholars claim that a documentary or a redactive method was applied to compile John’s Gospel. However, later scribal manipulation is not the only explanation for why Yeshua says “rise let us go from here” and then continues His discourse through to Chapter 18 of John’s Gospel where Yeshua and His disciples are said to have gone forth over the brook of the Kidron to Gan Shemanim (Gethsemane) [John 18:1].
The most likely explanation for the two allusions to “going” is that Yeshua following His calling of the disciples to rise and go, rose with His disciples, left the place where they had shared the meal, and then had begun to walk slowly through the narrow winding streets and alleyways of the city of Jerusalem, a rabbit warren today and certainly even more so in the first century. Therefore, as they walked through the city Yeshua continued to speak. Thus, as they neared the edge of the city Yeshua’s speech concludes, and we read in John 18:1 “When Yeshua had spoken these words He went with His disciples over the brook of the Kidron…” This quite literally means that the words spoken between chapters 14 and 18 were said on the west side of the Kidron. This does not mean that all of Yeshua’s words spanning chapters 14 to 18 were said in the home where the meal was eaten. Yeshua’s going over the Kidron is not the same as Yeshua’s leaving the home where He shared the meal with His disciples.
Therefore, Yeshua called His disciples to rise and go with Him (John 14:31), walked and talked with them as they made their way to the edge of Jerusalem and then down to where they would cross the brook of the Kidron valley, at which point Yeshua ended this section of speech and both He and the disciples “went over the brook of the Kidron to Gan Shemanim (Gethsemane)…”
What follows picks up again on the themes of Yeshua’s submission to the Father, His unity with the Father and the Spirit, the intrinsic connection between Himself and His disciples, His disciples’ relationship to each other, the disciple’s relationship to the world and a further illumination of the role and work of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).
1“I Am, I exist (ego eimi[G], Anochiy[H]) the vine (ampelos[G], hagefen[H]) of the immutable truth (alethinos[G], haamitiyt[H]), and My Father (ho Pater[G], Aviy[H]) is the Husbandman, Tiller of the soil, Vinedresser (georegos[G], Hakoreim[H]).
In the same way that the “Servant” Messiah of Yishayahu (Isaiah 49, 52, 53 etc.) is intrinsically linked to the “Servant” Israel (Isaiah 41, 44, 48 etc.) the Vine Messiah is intrinsically linked to the vine of Israel.
Throughout the Tanakh (OT) Israel is called both the vine and the vineyard of God (Isaiah 5:1-7, 27:2-6; Jeremiah 2:21, 12:10; Ezekiel 17:5-6; Hosea 10:1; Joel 1:7; Psalm 80:8-16). Yeshua also describes the land and people of Israel as a vineyard (Matthew 21:33-43; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19). However, it is as the living manifestation of truth that the Vine Yeshua nourishes the people of God. Therefore, just as the Servant King Messiah of Isaiah comes out of and stands out as a sign to the servant people of Israel, so too the Vine Messiah comes out of and stands as a sign to the vine of Israel (ethnic, religious, chosen, empirical).
A clear and precise understanding of both the ancient vine-dressing method and the distinct language describing the process is essential to understanding this text.
First, Yeshua once again makes an inference to His present deity by saying “Anochiy” (ego eimi) I AM, thus the Vine (as a figure) is intrinsically linked to the Father God while also being distinct in its representation of Yeshua.
The Father’s role in this mashal (parable, metaphor, allegory) is that of Vinedresser, an art known in old English as vine husbandry (an appropriate title given God’s relationship to Israel). We note that the Father as Vinedresser, tills the soil and acts as a Husband to the Vine (Both Messiah & Israel). He addresses the needs of the Vine and its branches which grow from the Vine. In this allegory Yeshua is conveying the spiritual reality that those who come to God through Him grow out of Him rather than toward Him. This affirms what He has taught concerning mitzvot (outworked commands) being the fruit of His Salvation and not the means of it.
Does a branch attach itself to the Vine? Of course not! The branch is feed by and grows from the Vine. It is the same with the disciple of Yeshua redeemed by grace through faith. The disciple grows from God through Messiah. We are as incapable of attaching ourselves to the Messiah (Vine) as a branch is of attaching itself to a vine, only the Vinedresser (God) can make the graft, and once grafted we feed from the source of the Vine and bear fruit, not of ourselves but of God (the Vinedresser) through Yeshua (the Vine).
We note that Yeshua as represented by the vine is not a counterfeit vine but the true Vine or Vine of truth, of God. There are different types of vines, some look appealing but bear bitter fruit. In the case of the true Vine the fruit is sweet and robust, good for the body and soul. On the other hand the fruit of the bitter vine is like a lie, it appears to be of value but when received into the body it sickens the belly and destroys the soul. Many false Messiah’s had come and would come to Israel. Therefore, Yeshua makes it clear that He alone is the true source of life and sustenance for His people.
The mashal (parable/metaphor/allegory) of the Vine and the Vinedresser concerns the ancient first century practice of tending to the grape vine. Modern methods of vine dressing notwithstanding, there are still vinedressers throughout the world who use these same ancient methods today (in particular certain Zinfandel growers in California).
The rabbis of the Kabbalah say that the Shekinah (manifest feminine glory of God) is called Gefen (a vine) [Zohar in Exod. fol. 70. 2. & Kabbalah denudata, par. 1. p. 241.] In addition they understand Genesis 49:11 to be using “vine” to refer to the King Messiah [Zohar in Gen fol. 127. 3.].
“The sceptre shall not depart from Yehudah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloach (the sent One) comes,
And to Him shall be the obedience of the tribes.
11 He binds his foal to the gefen (vine),
And his donkey’s colt to the sorekah (choice species of vine, “true Vine”);
He washes his garments in wine,
And his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 “His eyes are made white from wine,
And his teeth are made white from milk.” -Yishayahu (Isaiah) 49:10-12 (Author’s Translation)
The Mishnah (Oral Law) notes that there was a golden vine that stood over the gate of the temple, propped up with a specially designed structure; and whoever offered a leaf, or a grape, or a cluster, (a piece of gold offered to the temple, in the shape of a leaf, grape or cluster of grapes) would bring it as a freewill offering and attach it to the golden vine. [Mishnah. Middot, c. 3. sect. 8. Talmud Bavliy Chullin, fol. 90. 2. & Tamid, fol. 29. 1, 2. ] Josephus the Roman Jewish historian also notes the existence of such a golden vine in Herod’s temple [Antiquities of the Jews. l. 15. c. 11. sect. 3.] Suffice to say the imagery was well known to first century Jews.
2 Every individual (pas[G], kol[H]) tender, flexible branch (klema[G], sariyg[H]) in Me (biy[H]) that does not bear, carry (phero[G]) fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), He lifts up, elevates, raises from the ground (airo[G]); and every individual (pas[G], kol[H]) that bears, carries (phero[G]) fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), He prunes, cleans, purifies (kathairo[G]) that one, so that it may bear, carry (phero[G]) more fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]).
We note two very important things in the opening clause of verse 2. First, every single, flexible branch refers to the new seasonal growth on the vine and not to established vine stock or dead branches. Second, the new growth (green branches) being referred to are all “in” Yeshua. Therefore, even before we read on we already understand that the Messiah is speaking of those who are in Him and therefore already eternally secure. It is essential at this point to understand that when vines branches are green, flexible and growing in season they are NOT cut! The cutting of branches only occurs when the vine is dormant. Therefore, what is being alluded to here are the growing branches in season and not the dormant plant.
Next we see that the flexible green branches being spoken of are not yet bearing fruit. Therefore, the Vinedresser “lifts them up” or “carries them” or “raises them from the ground” (airo[G]). No ancient Vinedresser worth his salt would cut off a new branch that had been hidden under old growth and was struggling for lack of sunlight. Rather, he lifts up the branch, which has been struggling on the ground beneath the canopy of the leaves and ties it to an established branch nearer the top of the vine wear it can receive the sunlight it requires to be strengthened and produce fruit. This image denotes the strengthening of a fruitless branch by tying it to a mature branch (a lesson of discipling).
The author of the Greek text is careful to provide us with two very different Greek words to describe what happens to the vine branches. The new growth branch is airo, “lifted from the ground” while the strong fruiting stock is pruned, cleaned (kathairo) to provoke new growth, better quality fruit and more of it. The “pruning” or “cleaning” described here is not a cutting off but the removal of dead leaves and the cleaning away of moulds and compromising abrasions. As I have said, it is important to understand that the pruning is done when the vine is dormant during the winter months at the end of the season so as not to do harm to the branches, while the “lifting up” and “cleaning” (pruning) is done during the season in order to promote fruiting.
The Vinedresser does not “cut off” (a misleading English translation) the non-fruiting branches, rather He encourages them to fruit by “lifting” or “carrying” them up into the light. It is therefore, utter nonsense to say as some do, that this analogy points to the possibility that believers can lose their salvation. No one, having received Yeshua and who remains “in” Him, can ever be “cut off” from Him.
Regarding fruiting in general, newly planted fruit trees and vines take time to establish themselves in the earth. Most fruit vines will abort or fail to fruit for up to three years from planting (Leviticus 19:23). In the fourth year they will generally present their first successful harvest of fruit. Therefore, the gardener/vinedresser does not place unreasonable expectations on the plant, knowing that it requires time to establish itself. This is another important lesson for those discipling new believers.
Yeshua is speaking here of both physical and spiritual fruit. Spiritual fruit inevitably overflows into physical action (Galatians 5:22-23 fruit of the Ruach HaKodesh; Matthew 13:1-23 fruit of faith in Yeshua; Romans 6:21-22 fruit of righteousness).
3 Now already you are pruned, clean (kathairo[G]) through the word, essence, substance (ho logos[G], hadavar[H]) which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide, remain (meno[G]) in Me, and I in you. Just as the tender, flexible branch (klema[G]) cannot bear, carry (phero[G]) fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]) of itself unless it abides, remains (meno[G]) in the vine (ampelos[G], hagefen[H]), so neither can you unless you remain (meno[G]) in Me.
Yeshua explains to His disciples that through Himself, the Davar (Word), and by
His word God has already pruned and cleansed them. Therefore, He admonishes them to rest and abide in Him as the source of the fruit that they will inevitably bear in His Name.
It is possible that by saying “Now already you are pruned, clean through the word, essence, substance which I have spoken to you.” Yeshua is making a connection to the Torah as it applies to fruiting trees and vines in the promised land:
“And when you come into the land, and have planted numerous varieties of trees for food, then you should consider their fruit as being uncircumcised (unclean): for three years it is to be considered uncircumcised (unclean) to you: it shall not be eaten of.” -Leviticus 19:23
Therefore, the comparison is to the three years of Yeshua’s ministry which the disciples have participated in. Figuratively they were a freshly planted vine in Him at the beginning of His ministry and had been considered uncircumcised (unclean) fruit up to the point that His cleansing word had made their fruit circumcised (clean) for harvesting. That is, at the end of the three years according to the Torah allusion. Of course in counter distinction to this Yehudah (Judas Iscariot) had not stayed the course unto completion and therefore his fruit remained uncircumcised (unclean).
5 I Am, I exist (ego eimi[G], Anochiy[H]) the Vine (ampelos[G], hagefen[H]), you are the tender, flexible branches (klema[G]); the one who abides, remains (meno[G]) in Me and I in him, he bears (phero[G]) much fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), for separated (choris[G]) from Me you don’t have the power (dunamai[G]) to do anything. 6 If anyone does not abide, remain (meno[G]) in Me, that one is thrown away, dropped, discarded (ballo[G]) outside (exo[G]) as a tender branch (klema[G]) that is indeed dried up (xeraino[G]); and they gather them, and into the fire (pur[G], eiysh[H]) they cast, throw away, drop, discard (ballo[G]) them and they are burned.
The branch is entirely reliant on the vine and its root system to supply all the nutrients it needs to grow strong and bear fruit. Therefore, if the branch is not connected to the vine it cannot bear fruit. We note that the branch that is thrown into the fire is not one that has been cut off by the Vinedresser but one that has become detached and is gathered up from the ground where it has dried out and become good for nothing other than the fire. This is consistent with the fact that one has to wilfully refuse God’s offer of redemption and sustenance through Yeshua in order to be burned in the spiritual fires of eternal torment. God doesn’t send people to eternal punishment, rather they choose to go there.
Once again Yehudah (Judas Iscariot) is alluded to as the branch that did not remain in the Vine and is therefore, fallen off the Vine and will be collected and thrown into the fire.
7 If you abide, remain (meno[G]) in Me, and My spoken words (rhema[G]) abide, remain (meno[G]) in you, ask whatever you desire (thelo[G]), and it will be done for you. 8 My Father (Ho Pater[G], Aviy[H]) is glorified (doxazo[G]) by this, that you bear, carry (phero[G]) much fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), and become, are seen to be (ginomai[G]) My Talmidim[H] (disciples, devoted students).
This is the qualification for John 14:13, “Whatever you ask in My Name” means “If you abide, remain in Me, and My spoken words abide, remain in you, ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.” The result is the same as is described in John 14:13, “that the Father may be glorified, extoled, celebrated, praised in the Son…”
How is the Father glorified in the Son through the disciples? It is by their fruit, seen by the fallen world. The same is true of all who believe.
9 Just as the Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Av[H]) has entirely loved (agapao[G], aheivaniy[H]) Me, I have also entirely loved (agapao[G], ahavtiy[H]) you; abide, remain (meno[G]) in My all-encompassing love (agapao[G], ahavtiy[H]). 10 If you keep, guard (tishmeru[H]) My mitzvot[H] (commandments), you will abide, remain (meno[G]) in My all-encompassing love (agapao[G], ahavtiy[H]); just as I have kept (shamartiy[H]) My Father’s (Ho Pater[G], Ha Aviy[H]) mitzvot[H] (commandments) and abide, remain (meno[G]) in His all-encompassing love (agape[G], ahavato[H]).
The mitzvot of Yeshua are the continuation and illumination of the Torah as expressed through Yeshua’s words and ministry, and the mitzvot of the Father which Yeshua has guarded and practiced are both the Torah and the direct instruction of the Father concerning Yeshua’s redemptive purpose. Therefore, for the disciples the miztvot of Yeshua transform their understanding of punitive law into an understanding of the law of freedom in Messiah (Yaakov[James] 1:25).
Yeshua’s instruction is simple, “Hear, listen, receive and comprehend Israel, YHVH our God YHVH is echad (One). Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind; and love your neighbour as you love yourself… Love one another as I have loved you…” There is perfect continuity in Yeshua’s words. The Torah has pointed to Yeshua (its Author) and He has in turn revealed Instruction where Law was once seen. He has revealed the Father, Shepherd of Shepherds, with His crook and staff, come to lead and guide, discipline and nurture His sheep.
All this is born of the fact that the Holy God has entirely loved the Son and the Son has entirely loved us, and now we are tasked to choose to remain in Him and entirely love one another.
We are reminded that love produces obedience and that obedience is our response to love and not the means by which we earn it.
11 These utterances (laleo[G]) I have spoken (dibartiy[H]) to you so that My joy (chara[G], simchatiy[H]) may be in you, and that your joy (chara[G], simchatechem[H]) may be made full (pleroo[G]). 12 “This is My mitzvatiy[H] (commandment), that you entirely love (agapao[G], tehehavun[H]) one another, just as I have entirely loved (agapao[G], ahavtiychem[H]) you.
Yeshua makes a clear distinction between the Torah[H], mitzvot[H], rhema[G], and the intimate spoken utterances (laleo[G]) that He has spoken directly to His disciples. This discourse spanning five chapters of John’s Gospel is an intimate relational pep talk intended for His trusted few close friends. While it is accessible to all who believe it is first and foremost spoken for the edification of the twelve (-1).
The purpose of Yeshua’s utterances to the disciples is so that His transcendent joy might be in them and that they, having understood why He has told them these things in advance would live to see the fullness of that same joy manifest within time and space.
To His mitzvot (plural) Yeshua confirms His mitzvah “Mitzvatiy” (singular): “Entirely love one another just as I have entirely loved you.”
13 Greater (mega[G], rabah[H]) love (agape[G], ahavah[H]) has no one than this, that a certain one (tis[G]) lay down, gift (hanotein[H]) his life breath, soul (psuche[G], nafsho[H]) in behalf (huper[G]) for his beloved friends (philos[G], yediydayn[H]). 14 You are My beloved friends (philos[G], yediyday[H]) if you do what I command (entellomai[G], mitzaveh[H]) you.
Most English translations are misleading here. They make this phrase sound like a universal idiom or general life coach. It is not. The Greek text in particular is very precise, saying “a certain one” and not “one”. Furthermore, the certain individual in question lays down his life for his friends (plural), often mistakenly rendered in the singular by English translations presuming an idiomatic application rather than a phrase pertaining to a specific individual. Therefore, we correctly read “Greater love has no one than this, that a certain one lay down, gift his life, breath, soul for his friends.” Yeshua is not teaching a general principal but is speaking specifically about His coming sacrificial death. His friends are defined as those who obey Him. This is why He goes on to say:
15 No longer do I call you bond servants (doulos[G], avadiym[H]), for the bond servant (doulos[G], haeved[H]) does not see, perceive (eido[G]yodeia[H]) what his lord (kurios[G], Adonayu[H]) is doing; but I have called each of (pas[G]) you a beloved friend (philos[G], yediyday[H]), for all things that I have heard, received, applied (akouo[G]shama’tiy[H]) from My Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Aviy[H]) I have made known (gnorizo[G], hoda’tiy[H]) to you.
While the disciples may have heeded Yeshua’s call to service three years prior, they had now been cleansed by His word and had become dearly loved friends. Following His death, resurrection and ascension the disciples will become Yeshua’s brothers and sons of God (Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:27-4:8). Thus the progression from servants to friends to brothers. From within time and space the adoption as children of God and therefore brothers and sisters to Messiah could not happen until after His death and resurrection. This is why at this point Yeshua calls them friends rather than brothers and sisters.
We note that Yeshua had made known to the disciples all that He had received from the Father up to that point. As we would expect of our perfect Redeemer, Yeshua was a transparent Leader of impeccable integrity. The Greek says “known” (gnorizo) rather than “seen” (eido) because the knowledge has been revealed, received and become all-encompassing as a result of the disciples having seen (eido) the living Messiah.
16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and set you in place (tithemi[G]) so that you would go and bear fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]), and that your fruit (karpos[G], p’riy[H]) would abide, remain (meno[G]), so that whatever you ask of the Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Av[H]) in My name (bishmiy[H]) He may give (yitein[H]) to you.
“You did not choose Me” does not mean the disciples had no choice in the matter but that they did not initiate the choosing. In other words, He chose them and they had to choose to accept Him. Having being chosen they chose to be predestined. This does not teach predestination over freewill but predestination and freewill.
“I chose you” means both “I physically searched you out and chose you, asking you to follow me in person” and “I chose you before the creation of the world”. To deny either is to be devoid of the revelation of the Ruach HaKodesh.
Yeshua chose them for a purpose, “so that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would abide, remain so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”
Yeshua’s choosing of His disciples was contrary to the rabbinical custom where disciples would seek out a rabbi and not the other way around.
“If you wish to make yourself a Rav (great rabbi/ great one), choose yourself a lord and become his pupil (companion)” -R. Yoshuah ben Perachiah, (said to be the master of Yeshua of Natzeret), Pirke Avot (Wisdom of the Fathers), c. 1. sect. 6. [Ganz Tzemach David, fol. 24. 2.]
"He has chosen me, and I have chosen Him:'' -Song of Songs 2:16 Praphrase Zohar in Exod. fol. 9. 1.
17 This I command (entellomai[G], mitzaveh[H]) you, that you entirely love (agapao[G], tehehavun[H]) one another. 18 “If this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) pursues you with hatred (miseo[G]), you know, have learned (ginosko[G]deu[H]) that it has pursued Me with hatred (miseo[G]) before you.
The disciples had witnessed the way the world had treated Yeshua and were to see yet greater proof of the world’s hatred toward Him. Therefore, Yeshua warned them to expect trouble. A true follower of Yeshua will be pursued by the hatred of those bound to the fallen world. There is a certain comfort in understanding this. Rather than presuming a life devoid of hatred and harm we are admonished to expect it and understand why it’s happening.
19 If you were of this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]), this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) would have filial love for (phileo[G]) you as its own; but because you are not of this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]), but I chose you out of this world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]), because of this, the present world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) pursues you with hatred (miseo[G]).
We see that the disciples and indeed all who follow Yeshua are no longer of the fallen world. The evidence is in the fact that the fallen world sees no filial (family) connection to them. Therefore, because Yeshua has chosen His followers and lifted them out of filial connection to the sin affected world, the sin affected world detests them as being aliens living among the inhabitants of the fallen creation. Thus, following Yeshua’s resurrection, the Father will recognize the followers of Yeshua as sons and daughters of God. Therefore, our filial (family) connection is no longer to the first Adam but through the last Adam (Yeshua).
The Talmud teaches something similar in its distinguishing of the wise men as set apart from anashiym l’olam “men of the world” (Talmud. Bavliy. Kiddushin, fol. 80. 2.).
20 Remember this word, essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]) that I said to you, ‘A bond servant (doulos[G], haeved[H]) is not greater than his lord (kurios[G], Adonayu[H]) [John 13:16].’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept, guarded, attended to (tereo[G]) My word, substance, essence (kurios[G], Adonayu[H]) they will keep, guard, attend to (tereo[G]) yours also.
Part of what it means to recognize that a servant is never greater than his lord is to understand that to whatever degree the lord was persecuted the servant will also suffer persecution, and in turn, those not a part of the servant’s group who none the less honoured the teaching of the servant’s lord, will also honour the teaching of the servant. This means that the disciples can expect both persecution and honour. They will be the sweet fragrance of salvation to those being saved and the stench of death to those being lost (2 Corinthians 2:15).
21 But all these things they will do to you through (dia[G]) the Name (onoma[G]) of Me, because they do not see, perceive (eido[G]) the One who sent Me.
Most English translations read “these things they will do because of My Name” meaning, because the people of the world hate Yeshua’s Name and teaching they will show the same hatred toward His disciples. This is qualified by the last clause which says “because they do not see the One Who sent Me.” However, the Greek literally says “these things they will do through the Name of Me, because they do not see the One Who sent Me.” Meaning, people claiming to act in Yeshua’s Name will persecute the true followers of Yeshua.
This is exactly what happen by the turn of the first century CE when the then predominantly Gentile Christian Church began to make it difficult for Jewish believers to maintain Jewish identity within the body of believers. Subsequently the same kind of persecution has been a mainstay of the political Christian Church throughout the centuries and is at present manifest in the mainstream evangelical, charismatic and orthodox Church (as well as the Roman Catholic, Eastern and Greek Orthodox Church) in the form of Continuationism (the latest version of Replacement Theology).
Communities like our own (Beth Melekh) are disliked equally by Orthodox Jews and Continuationist Christians.
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have retained their sin, missing the mark of God’s holiness (hamartia[G]), but now they have no sacrifice upon the face of their sin (elta al apay chtiythuvn[A]).
This concerns those who were a part of the generation who witnessed Yeshua’s ministry in person and rejected Him. As a result they are without means of covering for sin because of their disbelief. Of course sin is always without excuse, which is why the Aramaic text reads “now they have no sacrifice upon the face of their sin” rather than “they are without excuse…”
23 He who pursues Me with hatred (miseo[G]), hates My Father (Aviy[H]) also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have retained their sin, missing the mark of God’s holiness (hamartia[G]); but now they have both seen and pursued Me with hatred (miseo[G]) and have hated My Father (Aviy[H]) also.
This is extremely significant for Jewish people. One of the central prayers of our Rosh Hashanah service acknowledges God as Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King). Yeshua is saying, “Those who hate Me hate YHVH!”
25 But to fulfil the word, essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]) in the Tanakh (Torah)[H] (nomos[G], Law) that belongs to them (autos[H]), ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ [Psa. 35:19; 69:5(4)]
Numerous English versions needlessly infer separation between the Tanakh and Yeshua by translating this verse as “So is fulfilled the word written in their Scripture”. While this is technically correct it is none the less extremely misleading. Yeshua intends to convey the fact that the Scripture belongs to the Jewish people both believing and unbelieving because God has given them the Scriptures as a gift to be shared with the nations. This is why Rav shaul Hashaliach says “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29). Therefore, we better translate “But to fulfil the word, essence, substance in the Tanakh that belongs to them.” Note that “the Word (Davar) in the Tanakh belongs to them.” Yeshua is the Davar (Word, Essence, Substance).
The quote is from Psalms 35:19 and 69:5(4). Therefore, as is the case today, Torah (nomos[G]) is sometimes used to denote the wider body of inspired Hebrew Scripture. To “hate without cause” is the ultimate indictment in that every opportunity had been given for those disbelievers to believe and turn in love to God through Yeshua.
26 “As soon as the Helper, One Who stands alongside (parakletos[G]) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]), that is the Spirit, Breath, Wind (Ha Ruach[H]) of truth (Emet[H]) Who proceeds from the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]), He will testify, bear witness (martureo[H]) about Me, 27 and you will testify, bear witness (martureo[H]) also, because you have been with Me from the beginning, origin, head (arche[G], rosh[H]).
The Ruach HaKodesh will be sent by Yeshua from the Father. It is important to note that the Ruach HaKodesh has a specific role as the Spirit of the Father and the Son with us. He is the Helper Who comes alongside in support of us and dwells within us through Yeshua. He proceeds from the Father to testify to and bear witness of the Son.
The Ruach HaKodesh does not seek glory for Himself any more than the Son sought glory for Himself. Rather the Ruach HaKodesh seeks to bring glory to and testify about the Son. This challenges the theology of many modern Christian denominations who insist on making a mantra out of chanting or calling on the Name of the Holy Spirit. The only place in Scripture where God instructs us to invoke the Name of the Holy Spirit is in the tevilah (immersion) of believers, immersed into the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Note the order and role of each distinct and unified person of the Godhead.
King David speaks to the Father of the Holy Spirit in Psalm 51:11 but does not call on the Holy Spirit. Isaiah speaks of the Holy Spirit but does not call on the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 57:15; 63:10-11). John the Immerser speaks of the Messiah immersing (baptising) with the Holy Spirit but does not call on the Holy spirit (Matthew 3:11). Yeshua warns against blaspheming the Holy Spirit (not the same as invoking the Spirit’s Name or praying to Him Matthew 12:32; Luke 12:10).The Holy Spirit is said to give the persecuted believer words to speak (Mark 13:11). Ananias is accused of lying to the manifestly present Holy Spirit of God (Acts 5:3). So we see that the Holy Spirit is present among believers both corporately and individually and that His role is to point us to the Father and the Son.
When asked how they should pray Yeshua responded to the disciples by saying “When you pray, pray this way, ‘Avinu shabashamayim (Our Father Who Dwells in the heavens…)” Yeshua also says “Whatever you ask in My Name” meaning that He expects we will invoke His Name in prayer. However, He never teaches us to pray in the Name of the Holy Spirit or to invoke the Spirit’s Name. Here Yeshua is very clear about the role of the Spirit. He explains that the role of the Spirit is to testify to and bring one’s focus upon the Son unto the Father. Previously Yeshua has said that the Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance the things of Him (Yeshua). Tragically, those who invoke the Holy Spirit and promote His Name in repeated worship phrases are acting in direct contradiction to the role of the Holy Spirit Himself. Put simply, the Holy Spirit wants you to testify to the Name of Yeshua and give glory to the Father.
When you know that you are tasked with promoting someone else and are doing everything you can to celebrate and honour that person but those listening ignore that person and instead praise you, how do you respond? If we sing “Come Holy Spirit” we have already missed the point, it is the Holy Spirit in us Who sings “Welcome Yeshua, Glory to YHVH!” To promote the Holy Spirit at the expense of the Father and the Son is to blaspheme the entire Godhead.
If a helper has come into your home and dwells in your living room and has lived with you and helped you for many years, never leaving or forsaking you, would it not be rude to act as if He weren't already sitting beside you as a member of your family? Would it not be the height of rudeness to scream out loud "I invite You to enter" when He is right there having already long since entered? This is what we are doing when we pretend to invite the Holy Spirit to attend our worship gatherings. If you need to invite Him He is not in attendance. And yet many who do so claim that He dwells in them and see no contradiction.
We notice that in receiving the Holy Spirit we are reminded of Yeshua’s teaching and have the affirmation of His identity and Truth. As a result we do as the Spirit in us has done, testifying to others. In the context of this passage it is the disciples who are specifically tasked with the work of testimony as a result of the presence of God’s Spirit in order that those who hear might receive the truth of the Gospel from those who were present and witnessed the life and ministry of Yeshua on earth. They had been chosen to be with Him from the beginning of His ministry for this very purpose.
© Yaakov Brown 2020
“Don’t let yourselves be anxious” does not mean “You must not be anxious” or “You will not be anxious” but “Don’t continue to be anxious”. Yeshua was anxious at times (John 13:21) and yet remained sinless (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, it’s not a sin to be anxious, rather it is a sin to make anxiety your god. In those times when we are anxious we are afforded an opportunity to place our trust in God. When we do this we come to understand that the transcendent victorious Messiah suffers with us and will overcome in us.
This chapter continues the discourse of the previous chapter and follows the troubling revelation that Yeshua will soon be denied by Kefa, and indeed by all His disciples, perhaps with the exception of Yochanan (John) the Gospel writer, who was known to the priestly court and therefore, was not challenged as to his allegiance while he sought to observe the illegal trial of Yeshua among the priests.
Yehudah the betrayer has left, and while the disciples do not understand completely they do have a good general idea of what is about to take place. Therefore, they are distraught, anxious, afraid. Yeshua understands their emotional response because He has also experienced anxiety and turmoil regarding what lies before Him. The same Greek word tarasso used to describe Yeshua’s anxious emotional response in previous chapters is used here in Yeshua’s comforting of His disciples. He speaks as one who has experienced the full gambit of human emotion and ministers comfort as only the Comforter can. This is of great importance given that part of this chapter concerns the impartation of “another Comforter”, Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit).
John 14 contains some of the most misquoted, mis-taught, misused and misapplied Scripture of the Brit HaChadashah (New Testament). Read carefully, dispense with hubris, recall the words already spoken by Yeshua, and receive Him as He is, Lord, Master, Teacher, the manifest Father, Imanu (With us) El (God). His message is offered universally but His salvation is exclusive. Only those who receive Him are reconciled to the Father. A bride cannot be married unless she accepts the proposal and says “I will”!
1“Don’t let yourselves be troubled, anxious, agitated (tarasso[G]) of the heart, core being (kardia[G], leiv[H]); believe, be persuaded, place confidence, trust (pisteuo[G], ha’amiynu[H]) in the midst of (eis[G]) the God (Ho Theos[G], BEilohim[H]), believe, be persuaded, place confidence, trust (pisteuo[G]) also in Me.
“Don’t let yourselves be anxious” does not mean “You must not be anxious” or “You will not be anxious” but “Don’t continue to be anxious”. Yeshua was anxious at times (John 13:21) and yet remained sinless (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, it’s not a sin to be anxious, rather it is a sin to make anxiety your god. In those times when we are anxious we are afforded an opportunity to place our trust in God. When we do this we come to understand that the transcendent victorious Messiah suffers with us and will overcome in us.
Perhaps one of the most misused Scriptures of the New Testament with regard to anxiety is Philippians 4:6. The context of Philippians 4 regards ongoing rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 4:4) and the importance of moderation over lust and gluttony. “Let your moderation be known among all people, the Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5). Thus, the anxiety, or over thinking (merimnao[G]) of Philippians 4:6 is that which results from covetousness or lust for more, rather than that which results as a genuine emotional response to difficult circumstances. Therefore, we should read:
“Don’t continue to be anxious for anything; but in everything through prayer (conversation with God) and seeking with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” -Philippians 4:6
We note that “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard the core being and mental wellbeing” of those who practice trusting God in their anxious state “through Messiah Yeshua!” (Philippians 4:7)
We further note that the anxiety the disciples are experiencing in John 14:1 is of the core being (heart). Meaning that the very foundation of their belief system is being shaken. We can surmise that the disciples may still have held out hope for the reign of the King Messiah in their time, a mighty Warrior King come to destroy the Roman Empire and set Israel free from physical oppression. The idea that Yeshua might be betrayed and subsequently killed was one that shook their worldview to the core.
Yeshua, knowing the turmoil His disciples were experiencing sought to reassure them that the stability of their core being was to be found in God the Father and the Son, and not in temporal physical redemption. Their trust was to be in the midst of God and in Yeshua even while they were experiencing anxiety and fear.
2 In the House (oikia[G], b’veiyt[H]) of My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]) are many (rabiym[H]) rooms, dwelling places (mone[G], m’dorot[H]); if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a specific place (topos[G], makom[H]) for you (lachem[H] Pl.).
For the Jew the House of God is none other than the Temple on Mt Moriah in Jerusalem, also known as Har Beit (Mountain House), and yes, the heavenly Temple from which the earthly Temple receives its design as a shadow of its heavenly counterpart.
In addition to this the house of one’s father was that place where a first century Jewish groom would go and, with his father’s help build an extension on to the family home, a room or rooms where he would bring is wife to live following the wedding celebration. In first century Jewish tradition the groom would seal his betrothal to a bride with a bride price and then depart to his father’s home to make preparations for the coming wedding. The betrothal period usually spanned one year and once the room was added to the father’s house and all had been prepared with regard to income and ongoing provision the groom would return to the bride’s village at an unannounced time, usually at night, with lamps and music and rejoicing in order to receive his bride and return with her household to the father’s home for the wedding celebration and subsequent feasting.
Therefore, the disciples understood “The House of My Father” to represent both the Temple of HaShem and a mashal (figure) concerning the common dwelling of an earthly Jewish father. When they heard Yeshua speak this way it must have invoked thoughts of the betrothal custom and thoughts of belonging in the Temple of God as priests, something that they had been cleansed for in the previous chapter (washing of the feet). Yeshua was assuring them of the priesthood He had conferred upon them and of their relationship to God as His bride. Something that Israel had understood from ancient times.
It is important to understand that Yeshua says these words to the disciples. These words apply to all who believe only as an outworking of the fact that those who receive the disciple of Messiah receive Messiah. First and foremost these words intend something very specific. Yeshua has a particular dwelling and role in mind when He speaks of preparing a place for His disciples. The Disciples of Yeshua will one day judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28).
“You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; 29 and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” -Luke 22:28-30 NASB
By extension these words apply to all who believe and bring comfort to those who place their trust in God and His Messiah Yeshua. We note that Yeshua has gone to prepare a specific place, room, for each one of us and has also gone to prepare a collective room which He and the Father have built to house all who believe as the culmination and perpetual outworking of Yeshua’s betrothal to the community of believers both Jew and Gentile. This does not negate God’s marriage to the ethnic religious Jewish people but rather fully fills it in that through Yeshua the entire remnant of Israel (ethnic religious, empirical, chosen) will be joined to Him after the fullness of the nations (Gentiles/non-Jews) have come to faith (Romans 11:25-29).
Our rabbis share in common with Yeshua the belief in mansions/rooms prepared for the righteous in the Olam Haba (World to come):
"says R. Isaack, how many מדורין על מדורין, "mansions upon mansions", are there for the righteous in that world? and the uppermost mansion of them all is the love of their Lord.'' -Zohar in Deut. fol. 113. 1.
"in the world to come every righteous man shall have מדור, "a mansion", to himself.''
-Praefat ad Sepher Raziel, fol. 2. 1. Nishmat Chayim, fol. 26. 2. & 27. 1.
3 And provided (ean[G]) I transfer, carry over, lead over, depart (poreuomai[G]) and prepare a specific place (topos[G], makom[H]) for you, I will come again and join you (paralambano[G]) to Myself, in order that where I am, exist, am present, manifest (eimi ego[G]), you also will be. 4 And where I bring under, lead under, depart to (hupago[G]) you see, perceive (eido[G]) the way (ha-derek[H]).”
“I will come again and join you to myself” This is the language of marriage, the uniting of groom and bride. Therefore, unless the groom goes and prepares the dwelling in the father’s house, there will be no room in which the marriage can be consummated, no promise of security for the bride. In terms of first century Jewish custom this would make the marriage a farce (which would have been considered abhorrent). Every marriage is consummated by the shedding of blood (the hymen of the bride), and is therefore a covenant entered into by the groom, which is received by the bride. Thus, Yeshua is joined to His bride by paying the bride price in His own blood and breaking the blood barrier (hymen) of death so that the womb of His wife might bear life.
With regard to the ancient Jewish betrothal rite a Ketubah (marriage document) is given by the groom to the bride as a promise of His commitment to provide for her in every way, through food, housing, clothing, emotional, mental and physical security etc. It is worth noting that in the ancient rite the bride gives the groom no such document, her role is simply one of acceptance of the ketubah. This means that the responsibility for maintaining security for the bride is entirely that of the groom. In this we see the Gospel manifest. Salvation is reliant on Yeshua Himself in God alone, we receive this salvation through faith, acceptance, trust, not by our promising to provide security for Yeshua but in His promising to provide security for us.
NB: For more information on how the ancient Jewish betrothal and marriage rites figuratively convey the Gospel please read my article on the subject: https://www.bethmelekh.com/yaakovs-commentary---15081497151214931513-1497150615111489/eternal-security-in-the-ancient-jewish-art-of-betrothal-marriage
“And where I bring under, lead under, depart to, you see and perceive of the way.” The disciples do not yet fully understand or know (ginosko[G]) the way but they quite literally see and are beginning to perceive (eido[G]) Ha Derek (The Way). Yeshua is going toward the fulness of all things and ultimately toward the marriage between God and redeemed humanity. By dying on the cross, resurrecting and ascending and by returning, He is become the Way.
5 Toma[H] (Thomas, twin) said to Him, “Lord (Kurios[G], Adonay[H]), we do not see, perceive (eido[G]) where You are going, how are we able (dunamai[G]) to see, perceive (eido[G]) the way (ha-derek[H])?” 6 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) said to him, “I am, I exist (ego eimi[G], Anochiy[H]) the way (ho hodos[G], ha-derek[H]), and the absolute truth (ho aletheia[G], ha-Emet[H]), and the life, living, perpetual existence (ho zoe[G], ha-chayiym[H]); no one comes to the Father (ho Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) except through Me.
“Yeshua said to him, “I am, I exist, the way, and the absolute, truth, and the life, living, perpetual existence; no one comes to the Father except through Me.””
This is perhaps the most difficult declaration for unbelievers and universalists to accept. I have heard many who claim to be followers of Yeshua say that Messianic/Christian faith is one of inclusivity. They are tragically wrong. Our faith is the most exclusive faith in the world and as a true faith is the most despised. The Gospel welcomes all but the outworking of the same Gospel is exclusive. We believe with absolute faith that no one can be reconciled to right relationship with God except through Yeshua and we believe it based on Yeshua’s testimony. Anyone who denies this fact does so by the spirit of anti-Messiah (antichrist). There is but One Way to God and He is that One sent from God, Yeshua the King Messiah, Ha Derek. This is one of the reasons that the early Jewish followers of Yeshua were called by the Jewish sectarian name of Ha Derek (Acts 9:2)
“Aniy haderek v’haemet v’hachayiym…”
“Derek” the Hebrew word for “way” is used for the first time in Torah in Bereishit (Genesis) 3:24 to refer to “the way” that enables access to Eitz hachayiym (the Tree of Living).
“So HaShem drove out the man (by extension humanity) and He placed at the east of the garden (of Eden) Kerubiym (Mighty Approachers of Blessing) and a flaming sword that turned in every direction to guard ha derek (the way) to Eitz hachayiym (the Tree of Living).” -Bereishit (Genesis) 3:24 [Authors translation]
Note that following humanity’s choice to sin the Way (to sinless existence in the presence of God) is guarded by Mighty Approachers of Blessing, and a flaming sword. The Sword is a symbol of God’s Word and the Flame is a symbol of His Spirit. In the text of John 14 the Mightiest of all Approachers of Blessing (Yeshua) has come to give His disciples, Israel, and by extension all humanity, access to the Sword (Living Word/Yeshua) and the Flame (Holy Spirit) so that we might t’shuva return to God and dwell with Him forever. Thus, the Guardian of the Way has become the Way.
Put simply in our decision to sin we lost access to perpetual living, the way to life was kept from us because the blood of animals was insufficient to atone for us perpetually, an all existing blood was required to atone for the sin and death that had been allowed to enter the creation. Therefore, Yeshua is saying that He is the Way and that by His eternal blood He will atone for us so that we might enter into perpetual living through Him.
Throughout the Tanakh (OT) “Ha Derek” The Way of YHVH is presented as a path of righteousness lived out of love for God, a path that bears the fruit of obedience to His Torah. This is in part why Yeshua alludes to the fruit of keeping His commands (mitzvot) later in this chapter.
“Emet” Truth is first mentioned in the Torah when Avraham’s servant Eliezer worships YHVH due to His Mercy and Truth. By walking in the way of YHVH Eliezer was Divinely led to his lord’s family and a bride for Itzchaak (Genesis 24:27). Truth and Mercy are intrinsically linked as attributes of God.
"Moses and his law are the truth"; - Talmud Bavliy Bava Bathra. fol. 74. 1. Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 223. 2.
If the rabbis truly believe this then they must accept Yeshua Whom God announces to Moses, and Moses in turn records the words in the Torah (Devarim/Deut. 18:15-18).
“Chayiym” Living (Life perpetual) is in the intense plural form and means “perpetual living” rather than life (singular) finite. Yeshua is not just saying He gives life but that He is the living essence of all things. He is life everlasting. Those who receive Him do not receive a life but living perpetual and eternal. The Hebrew chayah (life) is first used in the Torah in Genesis 1:20 where it is used in conjunction with the Hebrew nefesh (soul, person, creature, passion, mind, being). Therefore, there is an intrinsic connection between life and person, soul life in this world and perpetual life through relationship in the Olam Haba (world to come).
Ultimately Yeshua is referring to a metaphysical (not non-physical but physical in a transcendent sense convergent with spirit) spiritual life described by the Tanakh (OT) as “the Spirit of YHVH”, “the Spirit of Wisdom”, “the Spirit of Understanding”, “the Spirit of Counsel”, “the Spirit of Might”, “the Spirit of Knowledge”, “the Spirit of the fear (awe) of YHVH” (Isaiah 11:2).That is, found in the attributes of the sevenfold Spirit of God (Rev. 1:4; 3:1). Subsequently the life lived in the Spirit of Yeshua is a life that produces the fruit of obedience and of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
7 If you (plural) had known (ginosko[G], y’da’tem[H]) Me, you would have known My Father (Pater mou [G], Aviy[H]) also; from now on you know (ginosko[G], y’da’tem[H]) Him, and have seen, become acquainted with, experienced (horao[G]) Him.”
In one sense Yeshua seems to be saying that if the disciples had properly accepted the guidance of the physical signs present in Yeshua, that they would have easily recognized that He was Imanu El (God with them), the Father.
Now, Yeshua is empowering them to see in a transcendent way that He and the Father are echad (a complex unity). In this context the Greek “ginosko” infers relational knowledge learned through experience, acquaintance and seeing beyond a person’s physical being and into the heart (core being). In this case the person is Yeshua, Who is the Father God manifest with the disciples as the Son.
8 Philippos (friend of horses) said to Him (Yeshua), “Lord (Kurios[G], Adonay[H]), show us the Father (ho Pater[G], ha-Av[H]), and it will give us unfailing strength (arkeo[G]).”
It’s clear from Philip’s response that he (and probably the disciples’ as a whole) was still not quite comprehending Yeshua. We note that Philip seeks a proof that will result in “unfailing strength”. Many of us seek irrefutable empirical proof of God even while God manifests His person right in front of us, and if God by His grace gives us an immutable evidence we none the less have a propensity for quickly forgetting it when our circumstances change.
Yeshua has and will give His disciples irrefutable proof of His divinity and the redemptive purposes of God. However, doubt must remain while the fallen world remains because without doubt there is no faith. This is why Rav Shaul says “These three remain: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) Faith is needed only so long as we await the Olam Haba (world to come), and hope is needed only so long as we are looking forward to Messiah’s return and life in the Olam Haba. But Love is eternal, defined by God Himself, and therefore, in the Olam Haba we will love but we will no longer have need of faith and hope because we will be experiencing the fullness of all that we hoped for and placed our trust in.
9 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) said to him, “I have been with you all this time, and yet you have not come to intimately know (ginosko[G]) Me, Philippos (friend of horses)? He who has seen, become acquainted with, experienced (horao[G]) Me has seen, become acquainted with, experienced (horao[G]) the Father (ho Pater[G], ha-Av[H]); how can you say, ‘Show us the Father (ho Pater[G], ha-Av[H])’?
Essentially, while this may sound like a rebuke, it is in fact the equivalent of saying, “Philip, you disciples have been with Me and have observed My actions, witnessed My character, heard My words, and seen My signs. You already know that I and the Father are one. So why ask to see Him Whom you already see?”
Speaking of Yeshua, Rav Shaul says:
“For all the fullness of Deity lives bodily in Him, and in Him you have been filled to fullness. He is the head over every ruler and authority.” -Colossians 2:9-10 TLV
10 Do you not believe, trust (pisteuo[G], ma’amiyn[H]) that I am (Ego[G], Anochiy[H]) in the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]), and the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]) is in Me? The spoken words (rhema[G]) that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]) abiding in Me outworks His occupation, business (ergon[G]).
Once again Yeshua explains that He speaks of the Father as One submitted to the Father. In short, anything asked in Yeshua’s Name is asked of the Father. Yeshua is God with us and thus, being that God cannot be outside of Himself, Yeshua submits Himself to the Father.
11 Believe, trust, be persuaded of (pisteuo[G], ha’amiynu[H]) Me that I am in the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]) and the Father (ho Pater[G], v’Aviy[H]) is in Me; otherwise believe, trust, be persuaded (pisteuo[G], ha’amiynu[H]) because of the outworking of the occupation, business (ho ergon[G]) itself.
While it is true to say that the signs Yeshua performed point to His redemptive work, that is not entirely what He means when He says “otherwise believe, trust, be persuaded because of the outworking of the occupation, business itself.” For the full outworking regards the death, resurrection, and ascension which is yet to come (from the disciples’ perspective). It is not individual signs and wonders that Yeshua is exhorting them to be persuaded by but “the outworking of the occupation” of God Himself.
12 Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, he who believes, trusts, is persuaded (pisteuo[G], ha’ma’amiyn[H]) in Me, the outworking of the occupation, business (ho ergon[G]) that I enact, he will enact also; and something greater (megas[G]) than these he will do; because I go to the Father (ho Pater[G], Aviy[H]).
Far too many foolish Christian theologians and Bible teachers use this verse to support the claim that believers can do greater miraculous signs than Yeshua. Not only does this misrepresent the text and its context, it is also the height of hubris and is tantamount to blasphemy of the most vile kind.
First of all, “No servant is greater than his Lord” (John 13:16; 15:20).
Second, the text does NOT say that “the one who trusts in Me will do the works I do and will do works greater than these”, but “the one who trusts in Me will emulate My works and will do something greater than these works, because I go to the Father.”
Note that the “something greater” is greater than works, miracles, signs, wonders. It is also qualified by the fact that Yeshua must first go to the Father. Before Yeshua ascended to the Father He gave His disciples this command:
“go and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” -Matthew 28:19-20 (Author’s translation)
Note that He did NOT say, “go and do greater miraculous signs than I have done…”
To the contrary, the “something greater” Yeshua is referring to in John 14:12 is that which the miraculous signs He performed pointed to, that is, that He is the Way, the Truth and the Perpetual Living. Therefore, the “something greater” which the one who believes in Yeshua will do is to spread the Gospel to all nations. It is NOT to perform greater miracles. What good are miracles devoid of Salvation and discipleship? More importantly, temporal healing and signs will never be greater than eternal wholeness. The purpose of miracles is to point to Someone greater, and not to manifest something greater by our own hand. Our foolish modern Christian teachers have taught us that we are superheroes, while neglecting to remind us that superheroes are the progeny of Greek gods and are a modern reflection of ancient idolatry. Neither we nor the world have need of heroes. Our greatest need is a Saviour, Deliverer, Redeemer, and Righteous Ruler. If you want to participate in the “greater” thing, remind yourself that a servant is never greater than his Lord, and that the greatest gift of God is Yeshua the Miracle Maker, and not miracles themselves.
13 Whatever you ask in My Name (bishmiy[H]), that will I do, so that the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]) may be glorified, extoled, celebrated, praised (doxazo[G]) in the Son (ho uihos[G], bub’no[H]). 14 If you ask Me anything in My Name (bishmiy[H]), I will do it.
Once again, this verse has been widely mis-taught and misused to validate ungodly prayer demands in place of godly prayer requests.
The key to understanding this verse is to read and comprehend the first clause, “Whatever you ask IN MY NAME”. “In My Name” means “In My Character”, “In My Will”, “In My Identity”, “In My Purposes”, “In My eternal perspective” and so on. The prerequisite to receiving anything asked for in Yeshua’s Name is that the thing asked for is “In His will”, “According to His purposes” etc. Therefore, the foolish modern Christian practice of praying prayers like “We claim the healing over this brother in Jesus Name”, or “We demand a breakthrough for the finances of this Church in Jesus Name” and the affirmations that follow prayers such as these, “We have agreed in Jesus Name brother, He will do it according to His promise in John 14:13-14”, and so on, are often nothing more than sinful and presumptuous Pride!
What is the purpose of asking things in His Name? “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” What if it is not to God’s glory to heal in certain circumstances? What if it is not God’s will to prosper a Church financially? What if suffering is sometimes the will of God? When we pray presumptuously in Yeshua’s Name we are committing blasphemy. When we demand that God heal we are not showing our faith but rather our pride, fear, and our temporal perspective.
So what does it mean to “ask anything… in His Name”? It means, to ask His will, purpose, direction, and to pray accordingly together. And for what purpose? For temporal healing? For financial gain? For a show of faith? No! “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
I am NOT saying we should not pray for miraculous healing or for manifest signs that point people to salvation. To the contrary, I am saying we should pray for those miraculous healings and signs that are according to God’s will and for the purpose of glorifying the Father and the Son so that salvation might come to the lost and make way for the reconciliation of the children of God.
Next time you pray, rather than making demands, try asking in humility; rather than presuming what God wants, try seeking His direction; rather than looking only to resolve the problems faced in temporal circumstances, try receiving God’s eternal perspective and walking in it.
15 “If you entirely love (agapao[G], ahav’tem[H]) Me, you will keep, guard (tishmoru[H]) My commandments (entole[G], mitzvotiy[H]).
Some commentators attribute as many as 1,050 commands of the Brit HaChadashah (NT) to Yeshua (Dake’s ref. Bible). While some may be considered contextually as being specifically for Jewish believers, most are consistent with the moral law of the Torah which applies to all human beings. Therefore, believers are not saved through Yeshua in order to break the commandments (mitzvot) but are empowered by the Spirit of God to live out righteousness from within as those who are born of the goal of the Torah, that is Yeshua Himself. This is one of the many reasons that Yeshua refers to Himself as “the Way”. Put simply as an example, we are free but we are not free to murder. In Messiah Yeshua we are free to do anything except that which returns us to bondage.
16 And I (v’Aniy[H]) will ask the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]), and He will give you another Helper, Comforter, Consoler, one to stand alongside (Parakletos[G]), that He may abide, dwell, remain (meno[G]) with you forever, into the unending age (aion[G]);
Note that God will give “another” Comforter. Meaning Yeshua is a Comforter (Menachem). Also, the Comforter that will stand alongside every believer will be with us forever.
Interestingly the Pirke Avot says:
פרקליט אחד, ενα παρακλητον,"one advocate", or "comforter"; and he that transgresses one command, gets for himself one accuser.'' -Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 11.
17 that is the Spirit, Breath, Wind (Ruach[H]) of absolute truth (aletheia[G], emet[H]), Whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see (theoreo[G]) Him or know (ginosko[G]) Him, but you know (ginosko[G]) Him because He abides, dwells, remains (meno[G]) with you and will be in you.
The Spirit of God is at this time present with them in Yeshua but does not yet dwell within them. Therefore, “you know Him because He abides, dwells, remains with you and will be in you.” Only those who receive Yeshua can receive the Spirit of the Father and the Son.
It’s worth noting that one of the names that our rabbis attribute to the King Messiah is Menachem (Comforter):
“What is his (Messiah) name?... :His name is Menachem the son of Hezekiah, since it is written, ‘Because Menachem (a comforter) that could receive my soul, is far from me’ (Lamentations 1:16).” - Talmud Bavliy Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2.
18 “I will not leave you fatherless, orphans, alone (orphanos[G]); I will come to you.
It was customary among our rabbis to speak of the passing of righteous spiritual leaders as being like a father leaving orphans in his wake.
Concerning Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai, Rav Aba and others have said:
"woe to the world when thou shall go out of it, woe to the generation that shall be in the world when thou shall remove from them, וישתארון יתמין, "and they shall be left fatherless by thee".'' -Zohar in Num fol. 96. 3. & in Lev. fol. 42. 3. & in Exod. fol. 10. 3. & 28. 3. יתום, "fatherless by thee".'' -Midrash Hannealam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 65. 4.
19 After a short time the world (kosmos[G], haolam[H]) will no longer see (theoreo[G]) Me, but you will see (theoreo[G]) Me; because I live (zao[G], chay[H]), you will live (tichyun[H]) also. 20 In that day (hemera[G], bayom[H]) you will know (ginosko[G]) that I am in My Father (Aviy[H]), and that you are in Me, and I in you.
Yeshua will leave them to die and rise again and thereafter to ascend to the right hand of the Father. However, He will not leave His followers as orphans devoid of a Father. To the contrary, while in His metaphysical resurrected body He will physically ascend to the Father and no longer be seen by those who do not know Him, however in the Spirit He will never leave or forsake His disciples because He and the Father will pour out the Spirit of the Father and the Son into the disciples (Acts 2). Therefore, those who receive Yeshua will always see Him in a spiritual sense, while those who reject Him will not see Him and will therefore despise His existence and identity.
21 He who has My commandments (entole[G], mitzvotay[H]) and guards, keeps (shomeir[H]) them is the one who entirely loves (agapao[G], ye’ehavaniy[H]) Me; and the one who entirely loves (agapao[G], v’ohaviy[H]) Me will be entirely loved (agapao[G], ahuv[H]) by My Father (Aviy[H]), and I will entirely love (agapao[G], ohaveihu[H]) that one and will appear to, declare, show, manifest (emphanizo[G]) Myself to that person.”
The keeping of commandments that results from relationship with God in Yeshua is the evidence of love for Yeshua. We must be careful to note that Yeshua does not say “You must keep My commands in order to prove you love Me…” Rather, He says “He who has My commandments and guards, keeps them is the one who entirely loves Me.” The keeping of Yeshua’s commands is the evidence of love and not the purchase price. The former is faith that bears the fruit of works, whereas the latter is bondage through law keeping and vain religion.
Righteous acts are the evidence of right relationship in God. They are not the means of attaining it.
22 Yehudah (praise: not Iscariot) said to Him, “My Lord (kurios[G], Adoniy[H]), what then has happened that You are going to appear to, declare, show, manifest (emphanizo[G]) Yourself to us and not to the world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H])?”
There were two disciples named Yehudah (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13).
The answer that follows declares what will happen in order for Yeshua to show Himself to the disciples and not to the world. Of course Yehudah’s question is worded correctly, though He could not possibly know it, for from the perspective of God what will happen has already happened.
23 Yeshua[H A] (YHVH Saves, Joshua) answered and said to him, “If anyone entirely loves (agapao[G], ye’ehavaniy[H]) Me, he will guard, keep (shomeir[H]) My word, essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]); and My Father (Aviy[H]) will love (agapao[G], ye’ehav[H]) him, and We will come to him and make Our abode, dwelling (mone[G]) with him.
Yeshua affirms that it is through right love relationship to Him that the fruit of keeping Yeshua’s substance (davar) will give evidence of revelation. Thus, the Father revealed in the Son will come with the Son and dwell, abide, tabernacle in the believer. “I will send you (the Ruach HaKodesh) from the Father” -Yeshua (John 15:26).
24 He who does not entirely love (agapao[G], ye’ehavaniy[H]) Me does not guard, keep (shomeir[H]) My words, essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]); and the word essence, substance (logos[G], davar[H]) which you hear, receive, understand, act on (shematem[H]) is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me. 25 “These things, words (dibartiy[H]) I have spoken to you while dwelling (meno[G]) with you.
Once again it is love relationship that is key. To deny Yeshua’s offer of relationship will result in a failure to walk as Yeshua walked. Furthermore, to fail to receive right relationship in Yeshua is to fail to receive right relationship with God the Father because “the word essence, substance which you hear, receive, understand, act on is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me.”
26 But the Helper, Comforter, Consoler, One who comes alongside (Parakletos[G]) Ruach HaKodesh[H] (the Holy [set apart] Spirit, Wind, Breath), Whom the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]) will send in My Name [character, identity, attributes etc.] (onoma[G], bishmiy[H]), He will teach (didasko[G]) you all (pas[G], kol[H]), and quietly bring to your remembrance (hupomimnēskō[G]) all that I said to you.
We note that the role of the Ruach HaKodesh is to bring to remembrance the words of Yeshua. Therefore, while there is not a hierarchy in the Godhead in any earthly sense, there is an order to the Godhead. The Father sends the Son, the Father and the Son send the Spirit, the Spirit reveals the Son, the Son reveals the Father.
27 Peace, wholeness, wellbeing (eirene[G], shalom[H]) I leave with you; My peace, wholeness, wellbeing (eirene[G], shalom[H]) I give to you; I don’t give to you as the world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) gives. Do not let your heart, inner being (leiv[H]) be troubled, anxious, agitated (tarasso[G]) nor let it be fearful, timid, afraid (deiliao[G]).
Yeshua leaves Himself with them (the Spirit). His peace is given perpetually, therefore, He does not give temporarily as the fallen world gives. Yeshua’s gift of peace, wholeness and wellbeing is sinless and transcendent. All giving of the fallen world is temporary, decaying, doomed to die.
Our rabbis teach that peace given must be returned:
ליתן לו שלום, "to give him peace"; he shall prevent him with peace (i.e. salute him first), as it is said, "seek peace and pursue it"; but if he "gives" it to him, and he does not return it, he shall be called a robber.'' -Talmud Bavliy Beracot, fol. 6. 2.
28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will return (shuv[H]) to you.’ If you loved (ahavtem[H]) Me, you would have rejoiced (s’meichiym[H]) because I go to the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]), for the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]) is greater, larger (meizon[G], gadol[H]) than I.
“If you loved Me” can be understood to refer to the fact that the love of the disciples for Him is yet to find its fullness in His death, resurrection, ascendance and the outpouring of the Spirit.
“The Father is greater” in the sense that Yeshua as a human being and as God with us is within the Father. However, as I have said previously in another way, God is not divisible or subordinate. He is echad, One, Unique, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
29 And now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe, have faith, trust, be persuaded (pisteuo[G], ta’amiynu[H]). 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler, prince of this world (sar haolam[H]) is coming, and he has, holds, possesses nothing (echo[G]) in Me;
Yeshua has privileged His disciples with the knowledge of the outcome of His death, resurrection and ascension prior to these events taking place in order that when they do take place the disciples might come to understand the meaning and purpose of them and bear witness to them.
We note that while the disciples have been told that they will receive the Son and in doing so will receive the Father and the Spirit, the “prince of the fallen world” on the other hand neither has nor is able to possess anything in Yeshua. In other words, Satan is a footnote serving God’s purposes and has so wilfully rejected God as to have purchased for himself eternal damnation by his own choosing. This affirms the fact that those who don’t receive Yeshua are children of the prince of the fallen world.
31 but so that the world (ho kosmos[G], haolam[H]) may know, be aware of, understand (ginosko[G]) that I entirely love (agapao[G], oheiv[H]) the Father (ho Pater[G], Ha-Av[H]), I do exactly as the Father charged, commanded (entellomai[G]) Me. Get up, waken, rise (egeiro[G]) let us go from here.
The last clause connects the Gospel of John with the other Gospels and their account of the Passover Seder and subsequent journey to Gethsemane. It is interesting to note that Yeshua continues to reveal Himself to the disciples over the next few chapters and that it is not until 18:1 that He is said to have gone with His disciples over the Kidron to the garden of Gethsemane.
© Yaakov Brown 2020
Sefer Yochanan (Gospel According to John) Chapter 5 Pt.2 The Hour is Coming and Now is (John 5:25-47)
With regard to a Hebrew (religious, cultural) interpretation of the Scriptures, those things that appear contradictory are in fact unbound eternal concepts being understood within the boundaries of time and space.
It’s important to remember that the following verses are pursuant to the beginning of Yeshua’s conversation with the Judean religious Jews of Jerusalem following the physical healing and spiritual wholeness of that certain man at the pool of Beit Chasda (House of practical love).
Therefore, it’s foolish to apply these words generally without first having understood that Yeshua is speaking them to those religious Jews from Jerusalem who were opposing Him based on their understanding of the Torah and extra Biblical religious law. Many of those opposing Him here later became His followers (John 11:45; 12:41; Acts 2). Once again, the anti-Semitic Sunday school refrain “I don’t wanna be a Pharisee…” comes under scrutiny when faced with the reality that Yeshua’s theology was most like that of the Pharisees and that He had come to save the lost sheep of the House of Israel (including the Pharisees). His love for His enemies, especially those among His own people is one of the character attributes that distinguishes Him as God with us.
25 “Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I say (Aniy omeir[H]) to you all (lachem[H] PL), an hour, a season, a particular time (hora[G], sha’ah[H]) is coming and now (nun[G], veatah hiy[H]) is, when the dead (nekros[G], ha-meitiym[H]) will hear, comprehend, receive, understand (akouo[G], yishmeu[H]) the voice, sound (ho-phone[G], et-kol[H]) of the Son of God (ho huios ho Theos[G], Ben Ha-Elohiym[H]), and those who hear, comprehend, receive, understand (akouo[G], ha-shomeiym[H]) they will live (zao[G], chayh yichyu[H]). 26 For just as the Father (ho Pater[G], la-Av[H]) has life, living (yesh chayiym[H], chaye[A]) in His substance (baqnumeh[A]), even so He gave (didomi[G], natan[H]) to the Son (ho huios[G], la-Ben[H]) also to have life, living (zoe[G], chayiym[H]) in His substance (baqnumeh[A]);
“Amen, Amen, I say to you all, an hour, a season, a particular time is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear they will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in His substance, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in His substance;
Put concisely the theme of these verses is that of “realized eschatology”, the idea that God’s goals have already been accomplished in Yeshua outside of the limitations of time and space. However, this is an over simplification that needs to be examined more thoroughly. Suffice to say the conditions of the last days are already being realized at the time of Yeshua’s earthly ministry (first century CE).
“a particular time is coming and now is”
Just as it was true in the moment Yeshua spoke it, so it remains true today. The coming of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God is now and yet to come. Where the Spirit of the Father and the Son (Ruach Ha-Kodesh) has filled the believer and is at work in the life of that person, the Gospel and the Kingdom are manifest and present, having been seeded into time and space. The Gospel and the Kingdom therefore are a present deposit of eternity found within temporal creation, that await the bursting forth and renewal of creation when time is brought to a new beginning. Like a needle injecting the air outside a bubble into the bubble until the bubble explodes and the air inside becomes one with the air outside.
Yeshua is saying something like, “Even as you hear Me speaking the coming redemption you have hoped for is standing before you”.
“when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God”
The time when the “dead” will hear the voice of the Son is said to be both “coming” and “now”. Therefore, Yeshua is speaking of the present spiritually dead, and all those spiritually dead prior to His death and resurrection (who will hear the redemptive plan of God from the transcendent resurrected Messiah), and those who will be spiritually dead within time and space following His ascension to the Father after His resurrection. This cannot refer to those dead and departed in sheol at the time of Yeshua’s earthly ministry because they will rise either to life or to judgement at the final resurrection, depending on their acceptance or refusal of the Messiah (v.28).[The temporal resurrection which occurred at the time of Yeshua’s death and resurrection is an exception which acts as a sign of God pointing to the yet future and final resurrection and judgement (Matt. 27:51-53)].
We note that those who hear the Son’s voice in this verse will “live”. This is a reference to eternal life. This defines what hearing means, it is the Hebrew concept of “shema” hear, receive, and understand continually.
The previous verses (23-24) explain what is required in order to “hear” the voice/word/sound of the Son of God.
Put simply, the “dead” being referred to in this verse are those who are spiritually dead, including His hearers the religious Judean Jews of Jerusalem. Yeshua further adds to this an allusion to the coming and final resurrection of the physically dead (v.28). Thus He makes a clear distinction between the two.
For just as the Father has life in His substance, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in His substance;
This is a statement of divinity. Yeshua has been given the life of the Father and the power to create life according to the Father. Thus, the Son’s Word transforms the sin affected creation into a new and renewed creation through the eternal blood of God shed on the cross as a vicarious sacrifice. The Godhead is not divided or separate as the sadly lacking theological term “trinity” infers, but is echad (a complex unity), the persons of the Godhead being distinct and One.
Eternal life is given of God to and through the Son. Therefore, our Salvation is manifest in the fullness of the Godhead.
“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” -1 John 5:11 (ESV)
27 and He gave Him (The Son) authority (exousia[H]) to make, enact (poieo[H], ) judgment, sentencing (krisis[H]), because He is Son of Man (huios Anthropos[H], Ben Adam).
and He gave Him (The Son) authority to make, enact judgment, sentencing, because He is Son of Man.
As stated in my commentary on John 5:1-24:
With regard to judgement God is no hypocrite, the Father Who is outside all things and in Whom all things exist does not pretend to be a human being or to have the frailty of a human being. However, the Son, the King Messiah (Dan. 7:13: Zohar in Gen. fol. 85. 4. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 13. fol. 209. 4. Jarchi & Saadiah Gaon in Dan. vii. 13. & R. Jeshuah in Aben Ezra in ib.), God with us, experiences all things as we have and is therefore fully qualified in His own frailty to judge humanity (Phil. 2:5-7; Heb.4:15). Not that God the Father is unqualified, but that He perfects His qualification in the Son Who was crucified before the creation of the world in anticipation of humanity’s decision to sin. Therefore, God remains Judge in the sense that He gives judgement over to the Son in order that the Father might outwork His perfect justice.
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” -Hebrews 4:15 (NASB)
28 Do not marvel, wonder, be amazed (thaumazo[G], titmehu[H]) at this; for behold, pay attention, beware (kiy hineih[H]), an hour, a season, a particular time (hora[G], sha’ah[H]), is coming in which all who are in the tombs, graves (mnemeion[G], kever[H]) will hear, comprehend, receive, understand (akouo[G], yishmeu[H]) His voice, sound (phone[G], kolu[H]), 29 and will depart from (the tombs), come forth, burst, flow out, be spread abroad, rise (ekporeuomai[G]); those the good (ho agathos[G], ha-tov[H]) having done, made, constructed (poieo[G], oseiy[H]) to resurrection, standing upright, rising (anastasis[G], lakum[H]) of life, living (zoe[G], lachayiym[H]), those the evil (ho phaulos[G], ha-ra[H]) having performed, accomplished, exacted, required (prasso[G]) to resurrection, standing upright, rising (anastasis[G], lakum[H]) of judgment, sentencing, condemnation (krisis[G], ladiyn[H]).
Do not marvel, wonder, be amazed at this; for behold, pay attention, beware, an hour, a season, a particular time, is coming in which all who are in the tombs, graves will hear His voice, sound, 29 and will depart from, come forth, burst, flow out, be spread abroad, rise; those, the good, having done, made, constructed to resurrection, standing upright, rising of life, those the evil having performed, accomplished, exacted, required to resurrection, standing upright, rising of judgment, sentencing, condemnation.
Notice that all rise together, the “Good” to a reward of life and the “Evil” to a judgement of condemnation. One resurrection, and one judgement distinguished by two outcomes over a period of time (season, hour) called “Ha Din” (The Judgement). The dead in Messiah will rise first in the order of resurrection (1 Thess. 4:16) but this does not negate the continuation of that singular resurrection event over a period of time. Like so many Hebraic Biblical concepts, the resurrection and judgement are seen here in a future prophetic view that employs a yet to be present continuous tense. This is consistent with the Revelation, which teaches a single multifaceted judgement (Rev. 20:4-6; 11-15). We note that based on the Greek protos the “First resurrection” of the book of Revelation is first in order (rank) and that the Hebrew concept of the number 1000 is figurative, referring to perpetuity and is both a literal term and an everlasting beginning. The text of Revelation 20:5 should be read as “But the remaining dead did not live again until the thousand years were filled up. This is the first in order of resurrection”.
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” -Daniel 12:2 (ESV)
With regard to a Hebrew (religious, cultural) interpretation of the Scriptures, those things that appear contradictory are in fact unbound eternal concepts being understood within the boundaries of time and space.
“those, the good, having done, made, constructed to resurrection, standing upright, rising of life, those the evil having performed, accomplished, exacted, required to resurrection, standing upright, rising of judgment, sentencing, condemnation.”
Note carefully that the Greek text does not place emphasis on the deeds of the person but on the nature that produces the person’s actions. The nature of those who rise is called “ho agathos” (those the good Heb. Ha-tov) and “ho phaulos” (those the evil Heb. Ha-ra): in both cases the nature of the person precedes their deeds. In other words, it is the person’s relationship status with God that determines their deeds and not the other way around. Many mistake this verse to infer that it is the actions of a person that determine their eternal fate, this is not the case. In the Greek the meaning is clear, it is the nature of the person (be it redeemed or unredeemed) that determines their eternal destiny and the actions that are born of the person’s nature testify to it (the nature), be it redeemed in Messiah or unredeemed through a refusal of Messiah.
The idea of a voice that raises the dead is common to the Zohar but is misunderstood to be the voice of the forerunner rather than the Messiah:
"there are three things which do not come into the world but "by voices"; there is the voice of a living creature, as it is written, (Gen 3:16), "in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children", and as it is written, (Gen 30:22), "and God hearkened to her"; and there is the voice of rains, as it is written, (1Kings 18:41), "for there is a voice of abundance of rain", and it is written, (Psalm 29:3), "the voice of the Lord is upon the waters"; and קול תהיית המתים, "there is the voice of the resurrection of the dead", as it is written, (Isaiah 40:3), "the voice of him that cries in the wilderness";'' - Zohar in Gen. fol. 70. 4.
30 “I can do, make, construct (poieo[G], la’asot[H]) nothing of Myself (emautou[G]) [Heb. Alt. lo uchal la’asot davar minafshiy], word, essence do I construct, make from My soul alone]. As I hear, understand, receive (akouo[G], shema[H]), I judge, decide, distinguish (krino[G], umishpatiy[H]); and My judgment, decision, sentence (krisis[G) is just, righteous (dikaios[G]], tzedek[H]), because I do not seek My own will (retzoniy[H]), but the will of the Father (ha-Av[H]) who sent (pempo[G], shelachaniy[H]) Me.
“I can do, make, construct nothing of Myself, word, essence do I construct, make from My soul alone. As I hear, understand, receive, I judge, decide, distinguish; and My judgment, decision, sentence is just, righteous, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of the Father who sent Me.
Although the Father has given authority for judgement to the Son, the Son cannot judge except by the will of the Father. Therefore, the Father and the Son are echad (a complex unity), unique and inseparable. This answers the question, “Why does the Tanakh (OT) say that God judges but the Brit HaChadashah (NT) says that all authority to judge is given to Yeshua?”
"there were three courts of judicature; one that sat at the gate of the mountain of the house; and one that sat at the gate of the court; and another that sat in the paved chamber: they go (first) to that which is at the gate of the mountain of the house, and say, so have I expounded, and so have the companions expounded; so have I taught, and so have the companions (or colleagues) taught: אם שמעו, ‘if they hear’” - Mishna. Sanhedrin, c. 10. sect. 2.
Maimonides explains it, “if they know the law, and hear, or understand the sense of the law; in such a case they declare what they know; if not, they go to them that are at the gate of the court, and say (as before).—And, "if they hear", they tell them; but if not, they go to the great sanhedrim in the paved chamber, from whence goes forth the law to all Israel.'' - Maimon. in ib.
The point being that Yeshua is challenging Israel’s judges at the place of highest authority and is identifying Himself fully submitted to God’s will, as Israel’s Judge.
31 “If I testify, give evidence, bear witness (martureo[G], mei’iyd[H]) about Myself, My testimony (marturia[G]) is not true, unconcealed, admissible, faithful, trustworthy (alethes[G], ne’emanah[H])32 There is another who testifies, bears witness, gives evidence (martureo[G]) of Me, and I know (eido[G], yadatiy[H]) that the testimony (marturia[G]), eiduto[H]) which He gives about Me is true, unconcealed, admissible (alethes[G]).
“If I testify, give evidence, bear witness about Myself, My testimony is not true, unconcealed, admissible, faithful, trustworthy 32 There is another who testifies, bears witness, gives evidence of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true unconcealed, admissible, faithful, trustworthy.
“If I give evidence, My testimony is not admissible”
“My testimony is not true” This does not mean “untrue” as being contrary to the “truth” nor in relationship to secular legal proceedings but rather “true” in this case being synonymous with “admissible” in respect to Torah law. If Yeshua were to give testimony of Himself it would be quite literally true. Therefore, the meaning here denotes eligibility according to Torah law (of which He is the Author). The same Law that Yeshua’s audience demanded adherence to (albeit amended by the so called “Oral Law” and the commentary of their scribes and teachers etc.).
"for no man may give witness of himself" - Maimon. Issure Bia, c. 18. sect. 19.
“but no man is to be believed for himself: says R. Zechariah ben Hakatzah, by this habitation (swearing by the temple) her hand was not removed from my hand, from the time the Gentiles entered Jerusalem, till they went out: they replied to him, ‘no man bears witness of himself’.” - Misn. Cetubot, c. 2. sect. 9. T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 27. 2. Juchasin, fol. 56. 1.
Yeshua has just finished explaining that the Father has given Him authority to judge and that in fulfilling this role He will present the case for His Messiahship according to the Torah requirements.
In instances of judicial Torah law any capital case (which might result in the death of the accused), must be tried in the presence, or upon the testimony of two or three witnesses (Deut. 17:6; 19:15). Yeshua is being accused of a capital crime by these particular Judean religious Jews of Jerusalem. Therefore, sufficient witnesses are called upon.
Yeshua goes on to produce 5 witnesses that testify of His good character, identity and innocence:
“There is another Who gives evidence of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is admissible, faithful, trustworthy.”
This “other” who testifies is not a reference to John the Immerser (Baptist), who is mentioned in the following verse because although John the Immerser has testified to the truth of Who Yeshua is, the testimony that Yeshua is speaking of as being valid and admissible is “not from man” (v.34). Therefore, the “other” (v.32) Who testifies of Yeshua is in fact God the Father.
33 You have sent (apostello[G], shelachtem[H]) to Yochanan[H] (YHVH is gracious, John the Baptist), and he has testified (martureo[G], hei’iyd[H]) to the truth (alethes[G], emet[H]). 34 But the testimony (marturia[G], eidot[H]) which I receive is not from man, human beings (mei’adam[H]), but I say these things so that you may be saved, preserved, rescued (sozo[G]).
You have sent to Yochanan and he has testified to the truth 34 But the testimony which I receive is not from human beings, but I say these things so that you may be saved.
It is important to remember that Yeshua is still speaking to the Judean religious Jews of Jerusalem and any other bystanders. He is saying these things that they (Judean religious Jews) “may be saved”. That is, He is pointing to the testimony of John the Immerser (Baptist) for their sake because they cannot comprehend the testimony of the Father at this point in time. This may infer that those listening were among the Perushiym (Pharisees) who had gone out to hear John the Immerser speak (John 1:19).
35 He was the lamp, light, flame (luchnos[G], ha-nir[H]) that was burning, igniting, consuming (kaio[G]) and was shining, shedding light (phaino[G]) and you were willing to rejoice (agalliao[G]) for a while, time, season (hora[G]) in his light (phos[G], leoro[H]).
He was the lamp that was igniting and was shedding light and you were willing to rejoice for a time in his light.
We note that this is an acknowledgement of the fact that some of the Judean religious Jews of Jerusalem had indeed rejoiced in the light of John the Immerser’s teaching, at least for a time.
To call a Jewish religious leader, sage, rabbi a “Light” or “Lamp” is familiar to the Jewish student of rabbinic and esoteric Jewish literature.
On a number of occasions the book of Zohar calls Rabbi. Simeon ben Yochai, בוצינא קדישא, "the holy light":
"R. Simeon, כבוצינא דשרגא דאדליק, is as "the lamp of light which burns above", and "burns" below; and by the light which burns below all the children of the world are enlightened: woe to the world, when the light below ascends to the light above.''- Zohar in Exod. fol. 79. 1.
Rabbi Abhu is called בוצינא דנהורא, "the lamp of light" - T. Bavli. Cetubot, fol. 17. 1.
Of Shuah, Judah's father-in-law, that he was בוצינא דאתרא, "the light of the place" - Bereshit Rabba, sect. 85. fol. 74. 4. & Mattanot Cehunah in ib.
36 But the testimony (marturia[G], eidot[H]) which I have is greater (megas[G], gedolah[H]) than Yochanan[H] (YHVH is gracious, John the Baptist); for the works, actions, tasks (ergon[G], ha-ma’asiym[H]) which the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) has given Me (natan liy[H]) to accomplish—the very works that I do, enact (poieo[G], oseh[H])—testify, bear witness, give evidence (martureo[G], meiydiym[H]) about Me, that the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) has sent (apostello[G], shelachaniy[H]) Me.
But the testimony which I have is greater than Yochanan; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—give evidence about Me, that the Father has sent Me.
This profession is similar in theme to that concerning Abraham (John 8:48-58) and the Queen of the South (Luke 11:31; Matt. 12:42)
The works of the Father manifest in the Son are greater than all the testimony and works of fallen human beings. The works of God are both transcendent and physically present simultaneously. They are signs for the redemption of the people and at the same time evidence of the legitimacy of the Messiah. Proof that He is sent of the Father.
37 And the Father (Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) Who sent Me (shelachaniy[H]), He has testified (martureo[G], meiydiym[H]) of Me. You all have neither heard (akouo[G], shema’tem[H]) His voice, sound (phone[G], kolu[H]) at any time, ever (popote[G]) nor seen, looked upon, experienced, perceived, discerned, of (horao[G], reiytem[H]) His form, shape, appearance (eidos[G]). 38 You do not have His word, essence (logos[G], devaru[H], miltha[A]) abiding, remaining, staying in you (meno[G]), for you do not believe, have faith in, trust in (pisteuo[G], ma’amiyniym[H]) Him Whom He sent (apostello[G], lishlucho[H]).
And the Father Who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You all have neither heard His voice, sound at any time, ever nor have you seen, looked upon, experienced, perceived, discerned, of His form, shape, appearance 38 You do not have His word, essence abiding, remaining, staying in you, for you do not believe, have faith in, trust in Him Whom He sent.
The testimony of God the Father concerning the Son spans the entirety of the Tanakh (OT) from Genesis 3:15 through to Malachi 3:1.
“Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O [j]judges of the earth.
11 [k]Worship the Lord with [l]reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 [m]Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may [n]soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” -Psalm 2:10-12 (NASB)
“I will declare the decree of Adonai.
He said to me: “You are My Son--
today I have become Your Father.” -Psalm 2:7 (TLV)
“and behold, a bat kol voice from the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.” -Matthew 3:17
“He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” -Matthew 17:5 (ESV)
“We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.” -1 John 5:9 (NIV)
“nor have you seen, looked upon, experienced, perceived, discerned, of His form, shape, appearance”
While it is true that Moses and Jacob among others saw manifestations of God and lived, none the less, no one has ever seen God in all the fullness of His glory except the Son.
“No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.” -John 3:13 (NASB)
“You do not have His word, essence abiding, remaining, staying in you, for you do not believe, have faith in, trust in Him Whom He sent.”
In one sense Yeshua is referring specifically to Himself as the “Davar (logos)” Word essence of God. His hearers do not yet have the Word of God living in them because they have not acknowledged the Word Himself, that is Yeshua, Who stands before them. This is pretext for what follows regarding the written word (Tanakh). The Judean religious Jews have the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings and yet do not recognize the Author (Yeshua, the Word essence of God).
“Him Whom He sent” is Yeshua.
39 You diligently search (ereunao[G], direshu[H]) the Scriptures, Writings (graphe[G], vaketaviym[H]) because you think (dokeo[G]) that in them you have life (zoe[G, chayeiy[H]) everlasting (aionios[G], olam[H]); it is these (ekeinos[G]) that testify bear witness, give evidence (martureo[G], hameiydiym[H]) about Me;
You diligently search the Scriptures, Writings because you think that in them you have life everlasting; it is these that testify bear witness, give evidence about Me;
“Scripture” (graphe[G], ketuviym[H]) refers to the Tanakh (OT) as a whole rather than the Ketuviym (poetry books) only. Therefore, the wealth of canonical Jewish literature of the first century CE is meant.
Yeshua does not deny that the Tanakh points to eternal life, rather He accuses His hearers of failing to listen to the Tanakh and instead making the text itself an object of worship. The text points to Yeshua as the Goal and Mediator through Whom God brings eternal life to human beings (Romans 10:4).
To this day many of our people misappropriate the Torah, continuing to misread and misuse it. The Zohar calls the Torah itself “eternal life” (Zohar in Gen. fol. 100. 3.).
However, the commentator Maimonides is correct in saying:
“he that begins to read in the book of the law is obliged to bless after this manner: blessed be he that has chosen us above all nations, and hath given us his law.--And he that finishes blesses after him in this manner: blessed is he who hath given us his law, the law of truth, and has planted "eternal life" in the midst of us.'' - Maimonides. in Misn. Megilla, c. 4. sect. 1.
After all, the seed of the Messiah is planted securely in the text of the Torah and is therefore awaiting the revelation of the Spirit of God at the appointed time when the fullness of the nations have come in (Romans 10:4; 11:23-27).
40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life, living (zoe[G], chayiym[H]). 41 I do not receive glory, renown, honour (doxa[G], kavod[H]) from men (anthropos[G], adam[H]);
and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory, renown, honour from men;
The specific Judean religious Jews in question were unwilling at that time to come to Yeshua in order to receive life. Yeshua assured them that He did not require their approval or the approval of any human being in order to fulfil His purpose and carry out the works of God’s Kingdom. He need not receive glory from men because He knew that He shared in the glory of the Father before the creation of the world.
“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be.” -John 17:5 (TLV)
42 but I know (ginosko[G], yada’tiy[H]) you, that you do not have the benevolent love (agape[G], ahavat[H]) of the God (ho-Theos[G], Elohiym[H]) in yourselves. 43 I Behold, now, take note, beware (Hineih[H]) have come in the name (en ho onoma[G], be’sheim[H]) of My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]), and you do not receive (lambano[G], kibaltem[H]) Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive (lambano[G], tekabeilu[H]) him.
but I know you, that you do not have the benevolent love of the God in yourselves. 43 I Behold, now, take note, beware have come in the name of My Father, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.
Yeshua knows the hearts of His accusers. He knows that they prefer to put their trust in men of their own sect and have deluded themselves through the pursuit of the theological ideas and rules of their priests, scholars, teachers, and rabbis. In this respect many in the believing community (Church) today are equally guilty. Knowing the text but misinterpreting it through a lack of knowledge of the Author.
Yeshua exposes the hypocrisy of His accusers by pointing out that they would rather follow a man who glorifies himself than a man who points others to the Father as He does.
44 How can you believe (pisteuo[G], leha’amiyn[H]), when you receive glory, honour, renown (doxa[G], kavod[H]) from one another and you do not seek the glory (doxa[G], ha-kavod[H]) that is from the One (monos[G], hayachiyd[H]) (Theos[G], ha-Elohiym[H]) God?
How can you believe, when you receive glory, honour, renown from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one God?
Because his hearers were seeking honour and prestige among their fellow religious Jews in Jerusalem, they were unable to see what was right in front of them. It is common to human beings to be distracted by beautiful lies and self-deification, a form of gazing that it is extremely difficult to be loosed from.
45 Do not think (dokeo[G]) that I will accuse (kategoreo[G], eton[H]) you before the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]); the one who accuses (kategoreo[G], ha-toein[H]) you is Moshe[H] (drawn out, Moses), in whom you have set your hope (elpizo[G]).
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moshe, in whom you have set your hope.
The ultimate irony in this situation is that the “hero” of these specific Judean’s and indeed of many Jews of Yeshua’s time, is Moses, the human recorder of the Words of Hashem (Yeshua). Moses who himself points to Yeshua as the “prophet like me” (Deut. 18:15). Therefore, it is Moses who is best qualified to accuse those Jews who deny Yeshua. (Keeping in mind that many Jews believed Yeshua, and that many of us are today returning to HaShem through our King Messiah Yeshua).
Our rabbis agree that the Messiah, when He comes, will rebuke the students of Israel’s sages:
"R. Zeira says, that R. Jeremiah bar Aba said, that in the generation in which the son of David shall come, there will be קטוגוריא בתלמידי חכמים, "accusations against the disciples of the wise men".'' - Talmud Bavli. Cetubot, fol. 112. 2.
46 For if you believed, trusted in, had faith in (pisteuo[G], ta’amiynu[H]) Moshe[H] (drawn out, Moses), you would believe, trust in, have faith in (pisteuo[G], ta’amiynu[H]) Me, for he wrote (grapho[G], katav[H]) about Me. 47 But if you do not believe, trust in, have faith in (pisteuo[G], ma’amiyniym[H]) his written words (gramma[G], lichtavayv[H]), how will you believe My spoken words (rhema[G], lidvaray[H])?”
For if you believed Moshe, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his written words, how will you believe My spoken words?”
The writings of Moses are widely believed to be prophetic of the Messiah by the vast majority of our rabbis and sages. We need only take God at His Word (Davar, Logos).
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
[a]Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” -Genesis 49:10 (NASB)
“I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near;
A star shall come forth from Jacob,
A scepter shall rise from Israel,
And shall crush through the [a]forehead of Moab,
And [b]tear down all the sons of [c]Sheth.” -Numbers 24:17 (NASB)
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your [a]countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ 17 The Lord said to me, ‘They have [b]spoken well. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their [c]countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.” - Deuteronomy 18:15-18 (NASB)
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
Sefer Yochanan (Gospel According to John) Chapter 5 Pt.1 Wholeness at the Pool of Beit-Chasda [House of Kindness/Practical love] (John 5:1-24)
Belief, faith, trust, is a journey begun that does not end. If your faith ends it proves itself to be counterfeit. I’m not speaking of doubt, doubt does not negate faith, to the contrary it qualifies faith.
1After these things, words, events (ha-devariym[H]) there was a recurring festival (heorte[G], chag[H]) of the (ho[G], ha[H]) Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]), and Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) went up to Jerusalem (Yerushalayim[H], Flood/Downpour of Peace, wholeness, wellbeing).
1After these things, words, events, there was a recurring festival of the Judeans, religious Jews, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem.
We note that these events follow the healing of the child of the officer of the king in Cana, Capernaum, and the Galilee region, 151 km, approximately 32 hours walk from Jerusalem.
Both the Hebrew and Greek texts refer to a singular festival, “a festival of the religious Jews/Judeans”. While some suggest that this festival is one of the Regaliym (Aliyot or pilgrimage festivals), this is untenable given the chronology of John’s Gospel.
Based on Yeshua’s reference to the approaching harvest in the previous chapter and the fact that it has almost been a year since His ascent to Jerusalem for the Passover (Pesach) the festival in the present verse is most likely the post-Torah festival of Purim which celebrates the deliverance of Israel from the evil Haman during the Persian exile (recorded in the Scroll of Esther). In fact this is the only option given that the Passover is just over a month away at this point in the chronology. Nor can the present festival be Passover because John’s Gospel uses the definite article “The” when referring to Passover, whereas the festival in question is simply called “Festival”.
The fact that Yeshua venerated this festival (Purim) shows that He was not opposed to honouring God’s continued work in Israel’s history and the spiritual history of humanity. An educated estimate of this festival’s occurrence in the first century CE places this particular Purim celebration on March 17th 29 CE, a weekly Shabbat day. As I have stated, it’s the only remaining festival that occurs prior to Pesach (6:4), and is therefore the only plausible choice here with regard to the chronology of the book of John.
Yeshua also venerated the extra-Biblical festival of Chanukah (Dedication) [John 10:22-23] which celebrates the deliverance of Israel from Greek (Syro-Phoenician) oppression, and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem on December (Kislev) 25, 165 BCE (1 Maccabees 4:36-40). The fact that Yeshua made Aliyah (going up) to go and celebrate an extra Biblical festival (something the Torah does not require of Jewish males) shows His veneration of those things which continued to memorialize the ongoing delivering work of God. Those foolish Messianic Gentiles who now rebuke Christians for celebrating Christmas (another extra Biblical festival) because it occurs on a pagan date, should take careful note of the date of the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees. Unlike many modern Messianic believers, Yeshua did not miss an opportunity to reveal God’s redemptive work to humanity. Thus, in our present text it is during Purim that He shows a suffering man the path, not only to healing, but to wholeness and a life lived free from condemnation.
“Went up” is a topographical phrase. Yeshua travelled south to Jerusalem going up to Mt Moriah (Temple Mount).
2 Now there is in (Yerushalayim[H], Flood/Downpour of Peace, wholeness, wellbeing) by the sheep gate (probatikos[G], sha’ar-hatzon[H]) a pool, which is called in Ivriyt[H] (Hebraisti[G], Hebrew) Beit chasda[H, A] (House of Kindness/Practical love, from the Hebrew root chesed), having five (chamishah[H]) porticoes, covered walkways lined with columns (stoa[G], ulamiym[H]).
2 Now there is in by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Beit chasda, having five covered walkways lined with columns.
The Greek text simply says “probatikos” sheep, and not “Sheep Gate”. However, historical context, archaeological evidence and common scholarship all point toward this being a reference to the north-eastern gate of the wall surrounding 1st century Jerusalem.
Notice, “Now there is in Jerusalem”. This means that contrary to popular Christian scholarly myth, the writer of John’s Gospel could not have written His original manuscript after 70 CE (the year of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans). The evidence continues to mount in support of the likelihood that the writer of John’s Gospel initially wrote his Gospel for a first century Jewish, Samaritan, Israeli audience, and only secondarily intended it to be distributed to the wider body of Jewish and Gentile believers throughout the known world.
“the sheep gate (sha’ar-hatzon[H])” This gate was probably named in connection to the main animal market where sacrificial sheep were bought and sold (some scholars dispute the existance of such a market in the 1st century), which was located directly outside this gate in the Second Temple era, and probably owed its location to the gate of Nehemiah’s time.
“Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel.” -Nehemiah 3:1 (NASB)
Scholars suggest that the Mishnah reference to “Sha’ar Tadiy” (Tadi Gate) [Mishnah. Middot 1:3] is a mis-spelling given that there is no known translation for the Mishnaic Hebrew word “Tadiy”. Therefore, they suggest that this gate is in fact “Sha’ar Taliy”, Gate of a Lamb, or, the Lamb’s Gate. Some suggest that this is the original Hebrew name for the gate mentioned in John 5:2.
Very near the site of the ancient Sheep’s Gate is the modern city gate dating to the 16th century. This modern gate is known as the “Lions’ Gate.” (ref. Rev.5:5-6; Isaiah 11:6)
The Lions’ gate is situated in the northeast corner of the Old City of Jerusalem, and provides access to the Temple Mount from the Kidron Valley. During the Byzantine period (6th Century CE) this gate was referred to as the “St Stephen’s Gate”, because it was believed that it was outside this gate Stephen, the first Messianic Jewish martyr was murdered (Acts 7:58).
Over the centuries, those who built up Jerusalem have had to reuse the ancient location of the gate due to the fact that Jerusalem gives way to the Kidron Valley on its north eastern side, thus it has always been the site of the north-eastern gate, which has been renamed multiple times over the centuries.
“Beit chasda[H, A] (House of Kindness/Practical love, from the Hebrew root chesed)” This pool is probably named for the healing and mercy shown by God to those who sought Him there. The pool was excavated in the 19th century, and is located directly north of the Temple Mount.
It is possible that prior to the second Temple era this pool was used to wash the sacrificial sheep before bringing them into the Temple. Though this seems unlikely given that no such requirement is commanded in the Torah. It is also highly unlikely, even tenuous, to suggest as some do, that this pool was being used by the Greco-Roman cult of Asclepius at the time of Yeshua (1st century CE). According to archaeological record the use of this pool for Roman rites dates back only as far as the second century CE (Encyclopaedia of Judaica 9: 1539), when it was used as a healing sanctuary of sorts, possibly related to neo pagan syncritism. Given the volatile Religious-Political climate of the first century CE, the use of this pool by the Asclepius Cult seems implausible at best. Further still we see that the movement of the pool’s waters is attributed to an Angel of God, and not to a foreign deity (v.4).
Those who claim that verse 4 is unreliable because it appears in fewer ancient manuscripts are, like so many revisionist scholars of our time, convinced that they have greater integrity than that of the scribes of Messianic (Greek) Scripture. Suffice to say, this is the height of hubris and a sad reflection on our post enlightenment propensity for self-delusion.
It is thought by some that this pool may be synonymous with the “Upper pool” mentioned in 2 Kings 18:17 and Isaiah 7:13, and by others that it is the pool known as “The Great Pool”.
"between Hebron and Jerusalem, is the fountain Etham, from whence the waters come by way of pipes, unto the great pool, which is in Jerusalem.'' - Cippi Hebraici, p. 10.
Therefore, the pool of Beit Chasda has a connection to the sacrificial Lamb of God Yeshua and the gate close by connects us figuratively to the attributes of His Messiahship, being both the humble self-sacrificing Lamb of God and the mighty returning Lion of Judah, King of the Jews and Ruler of the nations.
3 In these (the porticoes) lay a multitude (plethos[G]) of the sick, feeble, weak (astheneo[G]), blind (tuphlos[G]), lame, limping (cholos[G]), dry, withered, paralysed (xeros[G]) waiting for the moving (kinesis[G]) of the waters (hudor[G]); 4 for an angel, messenger (angelos[G], malakh[H]) of the Lord (YHVH[H]) went down during a certain season, on a certain occasion (Kairos[G]) into the pool and stirred up, agitated, disturbed (tarasso[G]) the water (hudor[G]); whoever then entered first into the water, after the stirring up was made sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]) from whatever at the time (depote[G]) was the disease, trouble, sickness (nosema[G]) which had tight hold of, arrested, possessed, restrained, held back, detained (katecho[G]) him, or held him down.
3 In these porticoes lay a multitude of the sick, feeble, weak, blind, lame, limping, dry, withered, and paralysed, waiting for the moving of the waters; 4 for an angel, messenger of the Lord went down during a certain season, on a certain occasion into the pool and stirred up, agitated, disturbed the water; whoever then entered first into the water, after the stirring up was made sound, healthy, pure, whole from whatever at the time was the disease, trouble, sickness which had tight hold of, arrested, possessed, restrained, held back, detained him, or held him down.
Based on archaeological excavation (beginning early 19th Century), it is thought that the water of the pool became agitated when the pipes to the upper pool were opened and the flow of water into the lower pool caused a small whirlpool-like effect. This practical solution does not negate angelic intervention, nor does it suggest that healings associated with this pool were psychosomatic. Yeshua did not discount the paralysed man’s testimony regarding the potential healing he might have received in the pool, rather, Yeshua showed that He needed no mechanism in order to heal, and that He was offering not just physical healing but everlasting wholeness.
While modern scholars claim that the manuscripts containing verse 4 are “inferior”. It is none the less a valid explanation of the miraculous healings that were clearly taking place at the pool, and one, that unlike the pagan rite theory, is far more plausible. If the paralysed man had been seeking healing from a Greco-Roman deity Yeshua would have rebuked him specifically for it. Therefore, as I have previously mentioned I see no reason to discount verse 4 or to accept the theory of pagan influence regarding the use of the pool of Beit Chasda in the first century CE.
5 And a certain (tis[G]) man (anthropos[G], iysh[H]) was there who had been infirm, ill, weak, suffering (astheneia[G]) for thirty-eight years. 6 Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) having seen (vayare[H]) him lying there, and having known (ginosko[G], vayeida[H]) that he had already been there a long time (chronos[G]), He *said to him, “Do you wish, desire, are you willing, do you intend (thelo[G]) to become, be born (ginomai[G]) sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G])?”
5 And a certain man was there who had been infirm, ill, weak, suffering for thirty-eight years. 6 Yeshua having seen him lying there, and having known that he had already been there a long time, He *said to him, “Do you wish, desire, are you willing, do you intend to become, be born sound, healthy, pure, whole?”
Note the past tense “having seen” and “having known”. Yeshua had foreknowledge of this man’s condition and the length of time that the man had suffered.
“Are you willing to be born whole?” This is an interesting question that denotes something more than what is seen on the surface. Of course the man is willing to be physically cured but Yeshua is not only asking him if he is willing to be cured. Yeshua does not work miraculous signs except for the purpose of directing a person or persons to salvation in Himself through the redemptive work of God. Therefore, Yeshua is asking the man if he is willing to repent of his sinful condition and be born into everlasting wholeness, purity, health. This is affirmed by the latter verse and its warning against a worse fate (5:14).
7 The sick, weak (astheneo[G]) man answered Him, “Adoniy[H] (Lord, Sir, kurios[G]), I have no one to put, carry, gently throw (ballo[G]) me into the pool when the water (ha-mayim[H]) has been stirred (tarasso[G]) up, and while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) *said to him, “Get up, arise, awaken (egeiro[G], kum[H]), take up (airo[G]) your mat, bedding (krabattos[G]) and walk, conduct your life, live (peripateo[G], vehit’hleikh[H]).”
7 The sick, weak man answered Him, “Adoniy I have no one to put, carry, gently throw me into the pool when the water has been stirred up, and while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Yeshua said to him, “Get up, arise, awaken, take up your mat, bedding and walk, conduct your life, live.”
Both the Greek peripateo and the Hebrew h’leikh (from halakhah “The way of walking”) infer walking in moral uprightness. In other words, “Awaken (from your sinful state), take up the bedding (that supported your complacent slumber), and walk rightly (before God and man)”. Therefore, the physical healing was a figure that was to point the man toward salvation (Himself) and not an end in and of itself.
9 And Immediately (eutheos[G]) the man became, was born (ginomai[G]) sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]), and picked up his mat, bedding (krabattos[G]) and began to walk, conduct his life, live (peripateo[G], vehit’hleikh[H]). Now it was a Shabbat[H] (sabbath, sabbaton[G]) on that day. 10 So the (ho[G], ha[H]) Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) were saying to the man who was cared for, healed (therapeuo[G]), “It is the Shabbat[H] (sabbath, sabbaton[G]) and it is not permissible for you to carry your mat, bedding (krabattos[G]).”
9 And Immediately the man became, was born sound, healthy, pure, whole, and picked up his mat, bedding and began to walk, conduct his life, live. Now it was a Shabbat on that day. 10 So the Judeans, religious Jews were saying to the man who was cared for, healed, “It is the Shabbat and it is not permissible for you to carry your mat, bedding.”
After thirty eight years of suffering this man took Yeshua at His word and acted on his belief in Yeshua by beginning to stand. In doing so the man entered the convergent power of God and was immediately and fully healed. This was a life transforming moment that meant all other considerations were put aside. In picking up his mat the man disregarded the extra-Biblical pre-rabbinic law of the first century CE. It is clear from the man’s response to Yeshua and the miraculous experience of his healing, that he saw Yeshua as a man of God and His word as a binding halakhic practise. Though he had not yet had a chance to properly acquaint himself with Yeshua because Yeshua had quickly slipped away in the crowd (v.13).
The objection made by the Religious Jewish residents of Judea and Jerusalem was one that misinterpreted Jeremiah 17:21-22 to refer to all burdens rather than to those burdens pertaining to work resulting in profit. It is clear from the writing of the prophet Nehemiah 13:19 that the prohibition against carrying a burden on Shabbat was specifically regarding trade and did not apply to bedding or any other aid to rest, which was the very reason Shabbat was instituted in the first place. The Talmud affirms the right understanding:
"he that rolls up a bed of the brasiers or tinkers (i.e. on the sabbath day) is bound to a sin offering.'' -Talmud. Bavel. Shabbat, fol. 47. 1. & 138. 1.
The Mishna (oral law) prohibits carrying a burden in a public area on Shabbat (Mishna. Sabbat, c. 10. sect. 3). But in a walled city like Jerusalem an “eruv” (Jewish religious law injunction) allows for carrying a burden on Shabbat. According to late rabbinic law healing of a life threatening illness was permitted on Shabbat but healing a chronic illness was not (Babylonian Talmud. Yoma 84b). Regardless, neither the Mishna nor the writings of our rabbis are binding. The body of extra-Biblical tradition that forms rabbinic halakhah (practise) does not meet the standard of inspired Scripture and is therefore inadequate in its assessment of this healed man’s actions. More importantly, those complaining about the carrying of a mat on the Shabbat had entirely missed the sign that was standing before them, a man miraculously healed by God, a miracle that was intended to point them (religious Judeans) to the Messiah and redemption.
It is important to note that Yeshua did not break a single command of the Torah during His lifetime. All instances where He is accused of violating Torah are in fact lawful exceptions and or valid applications of Torah Law. After all, He is the Davar (Word, Essence) of God, the Author and Goal of the Torah (Rom.10:4). In order to be the perfect, sinless sacrifice for the redemption of humanity, Yeshua was required to live a sinless life in a frail human body. If He had broken Torah Law as some falsely claim, He would not have been qualified to be the spotless sacrificial Lamb of God.
We note that this particular Sabbath was both the weekly Sabbath and the Sabbath of the first day of Purim (14 Adar). In addition to the weekly Sabbath Jewish festival days are also referred to as Sabbaths and in the year 29 CE Purim fell on a weekly Sabbath. However, Purim is also celebrated on the 15th of Adar (Shushan Purim) in walled cities like Jerusalem. Therefore, this man was probably physically healed on the weekly Sabbath of Purim 14 Adar 29 CE during the two days of Purim celebrated in Jerusalem.
The Greek therapeuo means to be “treated, cared for, attended to” by a physician, and only means healing by inference. We note that it is not the same as the word Yeshua used, which is hugies, and means to be made “sound, healthy, pure, whole”. Therefore, the Religious Jews of Jerusalem perceived of a physical healing but did not see the wholeness and spiritual healing that Yeshua was offering to this man.
11 But he answered them, “He Who made (poieo[G]) me sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]) was the one Who said to me, ‘take up (airo[G]) your mat, bedding (krabattos[G]) and walk, conduct your life, live (peripateo[G], vehit’hleikh[H])’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man Who said to you, ‘take up (airo[G]) and walk, conduct your life, live (peripateo[G], vehit’hleikh[H])?”
But he answered them, “He Who made me sound, healthy, pure, whole was the one Who said to me, ‘take up your mat, bedding and walk, conduct your life, live’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man Who said to you, ‘take up and walk, conduct your life, live?”
Notice that the man uses the Greek word hugies, meaning “sound, healthy, pure, whole”. Perhaps he has begun to understand the greater significance of Yeshua’s ministry to him. He had taken up his mat at the instruction of Yeshua and was innocent of any wrong doing relating to the Shabbat. In fact, his obedience proved him more righteous than his accusers.
It seems that the religious Jews of Jerusalem in question were eager to find the one they perceived to be a false teacher and have him answer before a religious court for teaching actions that they believed were contrary to Jewish religious law.
13 But the man who was healed (iaomai[G]) did not properly behold, consider (eido[G]) Who it was, for Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place.
But the man who was healed did not properly behold, consider Who it was, for Yeshua had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place.
It seems that Yeshua had not remained to receive any credit for the miracle and that the pool of Beit Chasda had been crowded with people, so that the healed man had not had time to properly identify his healer.
14 After these things Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) found (heurisko[G]) him in the temple (beveiyt-haMikdash[H], ho-hieron[G]) and said to him, “Behold, pay attention, now (hineih[H], horao[G]), you have become, been born (ginomai[G]) sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]); do not sin, miss the mark of God’s holiness (hamartane[G]) anymore, so that nothing worse, more severe (cheiron[G]) happens to you.”
After these things Yeshua found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, pay attention, now, you have become, been born sound, healthy, pure, whole; do not sin, miss the mark of God’s holiness anymore, so that nothing worse, more severe happens to you.”
“Yeshua found him in the temple” We note that the man was in the Temple and was very likely there to give thanks to God for his physical healing.
Iaomai is now the third Greek word used to describe the man’s healing. Iaomai is most often used to describe physical healing. Thus, the author makes it clear that the man has been physically healed, while leaving room for the spiritual lesson afforded by the earlier uses of the Greek hugies, meaning “sound, healthy, pure, whole”, and applicable figuratively, spiritually etc.
“do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” While it is true that certain sin leads to physical illness (ref. Ex. 4:11; Lev. 26:16; Num. 12:9-10; Deut. 32:39; 2 Chr. 7:13; 21:14-15), Yeshua is not threatening a worse physical illness, rather He is completing the remez (hint), the sod (mystery) of the teaching He began when he asked the man “Are you willing to become pure?” In other words, “If I work a miraculous physical healing in you, are you willing to repent and receive the everlasting spiritual wholeness that I am offering you?” Therefore, “something worse” refers to eternal torment (the lake of fire [Rev. 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15]).
“beveiyt-haMikdash[H], ho-hieron[G]” means inside the temple area itself, and does not refer to the outer court of the gentiles which is not considered part of the temple proper from a Jewish perspective.
15 The man went away, and told the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) that it was Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) Who had made him sound, healthy, pure, whole (hugies[G]).
The man went away, and told the Judeans, religious Jews that it was Yeshua Who had made him sound, healthy, pure, whole.
There’s no reason to presume that the man was a tell-tale who was trying to get Yeshua into trouble. To the contrary, given his healing and obvious faith in Yeshua He was more likely hoping that the Judean religious Jews would see that Yeshua was a tzaddik (righteous one), and would become His followers.
16 For this reason the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) were persecuting Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves), because He was doing these things on the Shabbat[H] (Sabbaton[G], Sabbath).
For this reason the Judeans, religious Jews were persecuting Yeshua, because He was doing these things on the Shabbat.
The religious Jews of Jerusalem were clearly intent on tearing Yeshua down. This based on what they saw as a violation of the Shabbat. It is also possible that these same Judeans were present when Yeshua had performed miraculous signs during the Passover and were jealous and suspicious concerning Yeshua’s rise to fame among the Am Ha-aretz (common people, lit. people of the land).
17 But Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) answered them, “My Father (Pater[G], Aviy[H]) is working, labouring (ergazomai[G], poeil[H]) until now, at this moment (arti[G], ad-atah[H]), and I Myself am working, labouring (ergazomai[G], poeil[H]).”
But Yeshua answered them, “My Father is working, labouring until now, at this moment, and I Myself am working, labouring.”
In order to understand what Yeshua is saying we must have an understanding of the Shabbat within the meta-narrative of Scripture. The Father created all things in six days and took pause on the seventh, the Shabbat. This day is commanded to Israel as a constant reminder of the creation, God’s choosing of Israel as His people, and an opportunity to rest and refuel for the work ahead. This rhythm of rest and symbol of Jewish identity remains extremely important. However, The last we hear of God “resting” in Scripture is at the beginning of Genesis. Based on this the Talmud recognizes a dividing of history into six one thousand year days, making up a kind of historical week that will end with the seventh and eternal Shabbat day, the Messianic Millennium (Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 97b). This is consistent with the teaching of Brit Ha-Chadashah (NT) [Hebrews 4:9-11], which explains the Olam Haba (World to come) as an everlasting Shabbat.
Therefore, when Yeshua says “My Father is working, labouring until now, at this moment, and I Myself am working, labouring.” He is testifying to the fact that God has been actively participating in creation from the Shabbat of the beginning until the present time, and Yeshua has been and continues to participate with the Father in His redemptive work, even on the weekly Shabbat which remains in time and space until the end of all things when the everlasting Shabbat is made manifest to the renewed and restored creation.
Yeshua, Who was establishing a superior priesthood (Hebrews 4), was more than justified in His actions on the Shabbat.
“Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple [a]break the Sabbath and are innocent?” -Matthew 12:5 (NASB)
“7 You shall put pure frankincense on each row that it may be a memorial portion for the bread, even an offering by fire to the Lord. 8 Every sabbath day he shall set it in order before the Lord continually; it is an everlasting covenant [a]for the sons of Israel. 9 It shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the Lord’s offerings by fire, his portion forever.”
” -Leviticus 24:7-9 (NASB)
18 Because of this therefore the Judeans, religious Jews (Ioudaios[G], Ha-Yehudiym[H]) were seeking all the more to kill (apokteino[G]) Him, because He not only was breaking the Shabbat[H] (Sabbaton[G], Sabbath), but also was calling the God (ho-Theos [G], ha-Elohim[H]) His own (idios[G]) Father (Pater[G]), making Himself equal (isos[G]) with the God (ho-Theos [G], lei-Elohim[H]).
Because of this therefore the Judeans, religious Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Shabbat, but also was calling the God His own Father, making Himself equal with the God.
It is clear from the text that Yeshua’s first century Judean audience understood that Yeshua was making Himself equal with God and that what He had said was blasphemy. By claiming to have an intrinsic filial relationship with God Yeshua was revealing the fact that He is the promised Servant King Messiah, Imanu-El (God with us). This revelation is consistent with the meta-narrative and theme of John’s Gospel, which from the beginning makes the deity of the Messiah an unavoidable issue (John 1).
The fact that the Judeans were seeking to kill Yeshua is further evidence that they believed He was claiming to be one with God and was therefore guilty of the greatest of blasphemies in their eyes.
If Yeshua had broken the Shabbat and if He was not God with us as He claimed, then the Judean religious Jews had every right to stone Him to death according to the Torah (Ex. 31:14; Lev. 24:16). However, Yeshua is God with us and He has never broken the Shabbat. After all, He is the Lord of the Shabbat (Matt. 12:8).
19 Therefore Yeshua[H] [A] (Iesous[G] YHVH Saves) answered and was saying to them, “Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) can do (poieo[G], la’asot[H]) nothing (oudeis[G]), lo-yuchal[H]) of Himself, unless it is something, a word (davar[H]) from His soul (minafsho[H]) He sees, discerns, perceives (blepo[G], yireh[H]) the Father (ho-Pater[G], et-Aviyv[H]) doing; for whatever the Father (He) does (oseh[H]), these things (houtos[G]) the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) also (gam[H]) does, has done (poieo[G], ya’aseh[H]) likewise (homoios[G], kamohu[H]).
Therefore Yeshua answered and was saying to them, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something, a word from His soul He sees, discerns, perceives the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does, has done likewise.
Yeshua the Son can do nothing separately from God the Father because God is echad (a complex unity). The Father and Son are One, of one mind. Yeshua is God with us, He has submitted Himself to the Father because by entering time and space and taking on the frailty of human existence He is subject to the freewill of man and must therefore submit His will to that of the Father. This does not make Him less or unequal but shows the depth of love of God, Who, manifest in the Son, has entered His creation in order to personally redeem it.
Were Yeshua to do that which is not God’s will He would be inferior to God, but to submit Himself completely to do God’s will in the Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) is to show that He is one with God, not inferior but demonstrating the very nature of God manifest in human form. This is consistent with the appearances of the Malakh HaShem (Angel/Messenger of YHVH) of the Tanakh, Who in a number of places is clearly the resurrected and transcendent Messiah.
Authority does not negate equality. Authority denotes position whereas equality expresses nature. The value of like things does not change based on the roles they have.
20 For the Father (Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) loves, cherishes, has an intimate friendship with (phileo[G], oheiv[H]) the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]), and shows, points out, teaches, demonstrates, makes known to (deiknumi[G], umoreh[H]) Him all things (pas[G], kol[H]) that He (The Father) Himself is (has been) doing, making, constructing (poieo[G], ya’aseh[H]); and will show Him (Yeshua) greater (megas[G], gedoliym[H]) works, deeds, actions (ergon[G], ma’asiym[H]) than these, so that you will marvel, wonder, admire, be amazed (thaumazo[G], titamahu[H]).
For the Father loves, cherishes, has an intimate friendship with the Son, and shows, points out, teaches, demonstrates, makes known to Him all things that He (The Father) Himself is (has been) doing, making, constructing; and will show Him (Yeshua) greater works, deeds, actions than these, so that you will marvel, wonder, admire, be amazed.
The “greater works” are about to be made manifest in the life of Yeshua unto the salvation of all who will believe. Up to this point in time Israel has witnessed the miraculous works of God and is privileged to carry His written word: now, the Living Word is manifest in her presence to fill the redemptive purposes of God in her midst and cause her to marvel at the goodness born of God’s Holiness through the vicarious work of Yeshua.
The purpose of the works that the Father manifests through the Son is to cause the Judean religious Jews to marvel and admire the Son and the Father. Of course this will be extended to include all Jews and later Gentiles also. However, Yeshua is speaking these words directly to His opponents the Judean religious Jews. God’s plan for them is their salvation through Yeshua, Whom the presently despise but will later admire and believe in (John 11:45; 12:41; Acts 2).
21 For just as the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) raises, wakens, arouses (egeiro[G], yaiyr[H]) the dead (ho-nekros[G], et-ha’meitiym[H]) and gives (has given) them life, quickens living (zoopoieo[G], veychayeh[H]), even so the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) also gives life, quickens living (zoopoieo[G], yechayeh[H]) to whomever He wills, intends, designs (thelo[G], yechpatz[H]).
For just as the Father raises, wakens, arouses the dead and gives them life, quickens living, even so the Son also gives life, quickens living to whomever He wills, intends, designs.
Ezekiel 37:5 attributes the act of resurrection to God Himself. Once again, this statement denotes the unity of God the Father and God the Son. Only God gives life, therefore, if the Son also gives life He is God with us.
“18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” -John 10:18 (NASB)
22 For not even the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) judges (krino[G], yadiyn[H]) anyone, men, human beings (iysh[H]), but all, every kind of (pas[G], kulo[H]) judgment, sentence, decision (krisis[G], ha-mishpat[H]) has been given (didomi[G], natan[H]) into the hand (beyad[H]) of the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]),
For not even the Father judges anyone, men, human beings, but all, every kind of judgment, sentence, decision has been given into the hand of the Son,
With regard to judgement God is no hypocrite, the Father Who is outside all things and in Whom all things exist does not pretend to be a human being or to have the frailty of a human being. However, the Son, God with us, experiences all things as we have and is therefore fully qualified in His own frailty to judge humanity (Phil. 2:5-7; Heb.4:15). Not that God the Father is unqualified, but that He perfects His qualification in the Son Who was crucified before the creation of the world in anticipation of humanity’s decision to sin. Therefore, God remains Judge in the sense that He gives judgement over to the Son in order that the Father might outwork His perfect justice.
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” -Hebrews 4:15 (NASB)
23 so that all (pas[G], chulam[H]) will honour, pay homage to (timao[G], yechabdu[H]) the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) even as they honour, pay homage to (timao[G], yechabdu[H]) the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]). He who does not honour, pay homage to (timao[G], lo-yechabeid[H]) the Son (ho-huios[G], ha-ben[H]) also does not honour, pay homage to (timao[G], mechaveid[H]) the Father (ho-Pater[G], ha-Av[H]) who sent Him (pempo[G], shelachu[H]).
so that all will honour, pay homage to the Son even as they honour, pay homage to the Father. He who does not honour, pay homage to the Son also does not honour, pay homage to the Father who sent Him.
Yeshua is describing His role as King over Israel in the line of David. He is the King Messiah and has therefore been given authority by God and has submitted Himself back to God.
To deny that a son is born of a father is to call the father impotent. Therefore, to deny Yeshua’s Sonship is to deny God’s potency and is an act of dishonour toward God.
These words are a warning to the Judeans. They will be afforded the opportunity to honour Yeshua in the future, however, if they choose to dishonour Him they will prove that they have not known nor truly ever honoured the Father, El Elhohay Yisrael.
It is interesting to note that the Judeans had an officer of the Sanhedrin named “Av Beit Din”. Father of the House of Judgement, responsible for trying cases of religious law.
"and the father of the house of judgment", who judges thy judgments, or determines thy causes, is mighty over thy people, &c.'' -Targum on Song of Songs 7:4
Within early Jewish post Biblical literature a clearer figurative example of the role of the King Messiah in judging Israel would be hard to find.
24 “Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I say to you, he who hears, listens to, comprehends (akouo[G], ha’shomeia[H]) My word (logos[G], davariy[H]), and continues to believe, trust in, have faith in (pisteuo[G], uma’amiyn[H]) Him who sent (pempo[G], le’sholchiy[H]) Me, has (echo[G]) everlasting life, perpetual living, a living world (zoe-aionios[G], chay-olam[H]), and does not come (ve’lo yavo[H]) into judgment, sentencing (krisis[G], ba’mishpat[H]), but has passed (metabaino[G]) out of (ek[G]) the death [both physical and spiritual] (ho-thanatos[G], mimavet[H]) into life, living (zoe[G], la’chayiym[H]).
“Amen, Amen, I say to you, he who hears, listens to, comprehends My word, and continues to believe, trust in, have faith in Him who sent Me, has everlasting life, perpetual living, a living world, and does not come into judgment, sentencing, but has passed out of the death [both physical and spiritual] into life, living.”
“Shomeia” from “Shema” is the call of God to Israel from the very beginning (Deut. 6:4).
“continues to believe” The Greek is a present and continuous tense. Belief, faith, trust, is a journey begun that does not end. If your faith ends it proves itself to be counterfeit. I’m not speaking of doubt, doubt does not negate faith, to the contrary it qualifies faith.
“has everlasting life” Not will have, but already has, in Messiah Yeshua by trusting the Father we have already begun to live eternally.
“And does not come into sentencing” Although all will be judged at the end of the age (2 Cor. 5:10), we who believe have nothing to fear regarding the Judgement because Yeshua’s sacrifice has afforded us freedom from sentencing and condemnation. Yeshua promises us that we will not come into sentencing because by His work we have already “passed out of death (the second death) into life”. In other words the just judgement that was upon us because of our sin has been mediated by Yeshua, He has taken our rightful punishment and has therefore removed all possibility of us suffering the second death. Thus, “has passed out of the death [both physical and spiritual] into life, living.”
“14 Therefore, since the children share in [a]flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” -Hebrews 2:14-25 (NASB)
“18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear [a]involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” -1 John 4:18 (NASB)
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
In the sense that God is in control of all things and that He allows but is not subject to free will, the phrase “You make us wander” is accurate. It is in fact in our wandering that we discover the need for direction.
Isa 63:1 Miy zeh Who is this ba Who comes mei’edom from Edom (red), chamutz in leavened, fermented, dyed crimson begadiym garments mibatzrah from Bozrah (sheepfold), zeh hadur this One Who is splendid, honourable, glorious, majestic bilvusho in His clothing, tzo’eh stooping berov in the greatness kocho of His strength? “Aniy It is I, me’dabeir speaking bitzdakah in righteousness, rav mighty lehoshiya to save.”
There are a number of reasons we understand the speaker in verse 1 to be HaShem, and by extension the Servant King Messiah. First, chapter 62:11 speaks of Salvation the Person (Yeshua) coming to deliver Israel (Zion, Jerusalem), following which the prophet speaks of the redeemed people of Zion and the titles by which the redeemed city of Jerusalem will be described. Therefore, the One described in verse 1 of Isaiah 63 must be the Salvation that comes in 62:11, bringing reward and recompense (just vengeance). Second, only God Himself is capable of truly saving Israel, which alerts us again to the intrinsic connection between the Servant Redeemer, Who is Salvation, and HaShem. In fact, the Salvation personified in the previous chapter is that of God Himself coming as God with us, the King Messiah. He comes with reward for the redeemed and recompense for the wicked.
“Some refer this to Messiah, others to the angel Michael; but more correctly it may be referred to God.” -Iben Ezra
A number of Jewish commentators, both ancient and modern, interpret this portion of Isaiah as referring to the Messiah, specifically in relation to what they understand as His first (only) coming. They also understand Edom as being figurative of Rome, given that the political and physical end of the Edomites actually occured during the Maccabean period (167-160 BCE), when the Edomites were conquered and forced into conversion to Judaism. Following this their land became nothing more than a desert wasteland.
When the King Messiah shall come, he will be clothed in purple, beautiful to look at, which in colour shall be like to wine for the clothing of the King Messiah shall be silk, red as blood; and it shall be worked with the needle in various colours, and he shall be the Head of Israel; and this is what is said in Isa. 63:3 ‘wherefore art thou red in thy apparel?’'' - R. Moses Haddarsan in Bereshit Rabba in Gen. xlix. 11.
“the Ishmaelites or Turks shall fight three battles in the latter day; one in the forest of Arabia; another in the sea; and a third in the great city Rome, which shall be greater than the other two; and from thence shall spring the Messiah, and he shall look upon the destruction of the one and of the other, and from thence shall he come into the land of Israel, as it is said, ‘who is this that comes from Edom?’” - Pirke Eliezer, c. 30. fol. 32. 1.
“the Ishmaelites or Turks shall come against Rome, and destroy it; and then shall be revealed the Messiah, the son of David, and shall complete the redemption of the Lord, according to Dan 12:1 … the son of David, shall be of the Jews that are in the captivity of Edom (or Rome), Isa. 63:1 ‘who is this that comes from Edom?’” – Abarbinel; Mashmiah Yeshuah, fol. 44. 1, 2.
Also the Jewish commentator Kimchi interprets the present verse as prophetic of the time to come (Messianic age). However, although it is true that the King Messiah is intended, the present text relates to His second coming, and not to any current historical event or to His ascension to heaven, after his death and resurrection; which took place in Judea, and on the Mount Olives, near to Jerusalem (not in or from Edom, which is south east of Jerusalem). Therefore, the present text finds its greater fulfilment yet future, when Messiah returns to take vengeance on the anti-messiah, and all the anti-messianic powers (empire of the Beast).
Edom, while being a brother nation to Israel, also symbolises pagan opposition toward God and Israel (Chosen, ethnic, religious) [Isa.34:5; Jer.25:22; 49:17].
Bozrah was once a strong city in Edom on the shore of the Sea of Salt (Dead Sea). Edom is another name for Esau (Gen. 36:8), and comes from the root adom (red), thus, blood stains or wine juice, the blood of grapes. Bozrah, meaning sheepfold, is related to the Hebrew bazir “a vintage” and is therefore an interesting poetic allusion within the wider narrative of Isaiah 63.
Yet another Jewish commentator Yarchi interprets the garments of the One coming from Edom as being dyed in blood, or dipped in it; which agrees with the vesture od Messiah as described in the Revelation:
“On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘King of kings, and Lord of lords.’ Then I saw a single angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he cried out to all the birds flying high in the sky, ‘Come, gather for the great banquet of God--18 to eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of generals and the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and those riding on them, the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great!’” -Revelation 19:16-18 (TLV)
Ultimately the King Messiah will return as the warring Mashiyach Ben David, coming with reward for the righteous and bringing judgement upon the wicked:
“These kings are of one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them—because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.” -Revelation 17:13-14 (TLV)
Isa 63:2 Madua Why adom lilvushecha is your clothing red, uve’gadeycha and your garments kedoreich be’gat like one who treads in the winepress?
As alluded to previously, adom and edom are easily related and convey the extent of the punishment of the wicked who oppose God and His purposes for redeeming Israel. The treading of the winepress and the act of harvesting are figurative Biblical pictures of judgement against the wicked (Joel 3:13; Isa. 63:2-3; Rev. 14:19).
Isa 63:3 “Purah darachtiy levadiy The winepress I have trodden alone, umei’amiym and from the tribes eiyn-iysh no man (one) itiy with me; ve’edrecheim I trod on them be’apiy in My anger ve’ermeseim and trampled them bachamatiy in My rage; ve’yeiz nitzcham their lifeblood spattered al-begaday on my garments, vechol-malbushay and all My attire egaletiy I will stain.
Both the literal and figurative judgements that God executes over Edom are His doing alone accomplished without the assistance of anyone from among the tribes of Israel (with the exception of Yeshua of course).
He treads on Edom, the enemies of God and of His chosen people Israel. The wine press is a wine press of wrath, and the trampling results in the garments of HaShem being spattered with blood like stains. The life sap (nitscham) is symbolic of the blood of the enemies of God.
“He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.” -Revelation 19:13 (ESV)
The context of this correlating passage from Revelation is one of God’s wrath meted out through the Messiah. Therefore, the blood of the Messiah’s robe in this context is the blood of vengeance and not the Messiah’s own shed blood of redemption
Isa 63:4 Kiy For yom a day nakam of vengeance belibiy is in My heart, ushenat and My year geulay of redemption ba’ah is come.
Once again we note that God’s vengeance is brief (a day) and His redemption is wide (a year).
In order that Israel might be redeemed, Edom, both the literal and figurative, perpetual enemy of Israel must be wiped out.
Isa 63:5 Veabiyt And I looked, ve’eiyn but there was no ozer help; ve’eshtomeim I was appalled, ve’eiyn but there was no someich one to uphold; vatusha liy zeroiy so My own arm brought Me salvation, vachamatiy and My rage hiy He semachateniy upheld Me.
God needs no help from man, thus the meaning is related to the fact that there was no one without sin. Nor is any man capable of redeeming himself, let alone bringing salvation to all Israel.
“He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then His own arm brought him salvation, and His righteousness upheld him.” -Isaiah 59:16 (ESV)
The arm of God is the King Messiah Who brings salvation and the rage of God against sin and death is the force that upholds and renders His righteous judgement.
Isa 63:6 Ve’avus And I trampled down (rejected) amiym the tribes be’apiy in My anger; va’ashakereim making them drunk bachamatiy in My rage, veoriyd and descending la’aretz to the land nitzcham their lifeblood (grape juice).”
Israel will also suffer under the anger and wrath of God as a result of her sin and rebellion. At this point HaShem has come up from trampling Edom and is bringing just punishment against Israel as a precursor to her redemption and the remembrance of His covenant promises, His loving kindness and mercy toward her.
“For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.” -Psalm 75:8 (ESV)
Isa 63:7 Chasdeiy The kindnesses of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), azkiyr I will remember, tehilot the praises of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), ke’al because upon kol all asher-gemalanu HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) that the LORD has recompensed, ve’rav-tov and the great good le’veiyt to the house Yisrael of Israel asher-gemalam that He has granted them kerachamayv according to His compassion, uchero and according to the abundance of chasadayv His steadfast kindness.
From 63:7- 64:12 the prophet Isaiah cries out in humble confession and from a place of great desperation, on behalf of his people Israel: seeking forgiveness and restoration to right relationship with God.
“Chasdeiy” is plural and indicates the many miraculous works of deliverance and loving kindnesses of God toward Israel.
This verse begins and ends with “Chesed” loving kindness, the action of love.
Isa 63:8 Vayomer And He said, “Ach-amiy Indeed they are My tribe, heimah baniym lo yeshakeiru children who will not deal falsely.” Vayhiy And I became lahem to them le’moshiya their Saviour.
Once again God is quoted as calling Israel His tribe and Himself her Saviour. However, this becomes an indictment against the people of Israel who should have acted rightly toward their God. None the less, He has and will continue to be a Saviour to them.
Isa 63:9 Be-chol In all tzaratam their affliction (distress, trouble, rival wives) lo tzar He was afflicted (distress, trouble, a rival wife), umalach and the messenger (angel) of panayv His face hoshiyam saved them; beahavato in His love uvechemlato and in His mercy hu ge’alam He redeemed them; vaynateleim He lifted them up vaynaseim and carried them kol-yemeiy all the days olam in perpetuity.
“In all tzaratam their affliction (distress, trouble) lo tzar He was afflicted (distressed, troubled)…” God suffers because of, with, and for His people, both emotionally and literally (Messiah Yeshua). The Hebrew “tzarah” (affliction, distress, trouble) can also mean “rival wife”. Thus, there is a sense in which the prophet is making a comparison between the hurt Israel feels at being rejected by God and God’s hurt at being rejected by His people.
“and the messenger (angel) of panayv His face hoshiyam saved them…” We have previously read that HaShem’s own arm will bring Salvation (v.5). Therefore, the Messenger of the Face of God must also be God with us. In fact, the Angel of the presence that went before and behind Israel as she fled Egyptian bondage was none other than Yeshua the transcendent resurrected King Messiah.
“Behold, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. 21 Watch for Him and listen to His voice. Do not rebel against Him because He will not pardon your transgression, for My Name is in Him. 22 But if you listen closely to His voice, and do everything I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.” -Exodus 23:20-22 (TLV)
“in His love uvechemlato and in His mercy hu ge’alam He redeemed them; vaynateleim He lifted them up vaynaseim and carried them kol-yemeiy all the days olam perpetuity.” The nearest previous subject is the Angel of the Face, therefore, God with us, the King Messiah is meant, none other qualifies to action the love, mercy, and redemption of Hashem, nor did anyone other than Hashem lift up and carry Israel perpetually.
Isa 63:10 Ve’heimah And they maru rebelled ve’itzevu and grieved et-ruach kadosho His Holy Spirit; vayeihafeich therefore He turned to become lahem leoyeiv their enemy, hu nilcham-bam He fought against them.
“Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD.” -Deut. 9:7 (ESV)
“Some understand by the Holy Spirit the Angel of the Lord.” -Iben Ezra
“But they rebelled against the word of His holy prophets, and blasphemed, and His Word became their enemy, and He waged war against them.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Centruy CE)
“Now if in spite of these things you will not be chastened by Me, but walk contrary to Me instead, 24 then I will also walk contrary to you. Then I will strike you, I Myself, seven times for your sins. 25 I will bring a sword upon you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant, and you will be gathered together inside your cities. I will send the pestilence among you and you will be given into the hand of the enemy.” -Leviticus 26:23-25 (TLV)
Isa 63:11 Vayizkor Then bringing to remembrance (recalling) yemeiy-olam the days of perpetuity, Mosheh of Moses, amo His people. Ayeih Where hama’aleim is He Who brought them up out mi’yam from the sea eit roeiy with the shepherd tzono of His flock? Ayeih Where is He Who hasham put bekirbo in the midst of them et-ruach kadesho His Holy Spirit,
“And He had compassion for the glory of His name, because of the remembrance of His goodness of old, the mighty works which He did by the hands of Moses for His people; lest the Gentiles should say, Where is He that brought them up out of the sea? Where is He that led them through the wilderness, as a shepherd his flock? Where is He that made the word of His holy prophets to dwell amongst them?” - Targum Yonatan (2nd Centruy CE)
“Where is He?” The greater answer is that He never left them or truly forsook them. While the reference to a shepherd (shepherds) may refer to Moses, or Moses and Aaron collectively, it is equally likely to refer to the Angel of the presence and or God Himself. It is also acceptable to understand the shepherds to be all the aforementioned.
“You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst.” -Nehemiah 9:20 (ESV)
Isa 63:12 Moliych liymiyn Mosheh zeroa tifarto Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, bokei’a who divided (split, broke open, tore up) mayim the waters mipeneiyhem from before their faces la’asot to make for lo sheim olam Himself an everlasting name,
“Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power;
Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.
7 And in the greatness of Your excellence
You have overthrown those who rose against You;
You sent forth Your wrath;
It consumed them like stubble.
8 And with the blast of Your nostrils
The waters were gathered together;
The floods stood upright like a heap;
The depths congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue,
I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil;
My desire shall be satisfied on them.
I will draw my sword,
My hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with Your wind,
The sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.” -Exodus 15:6-10
Isa 63:13 Moliycham Who led batehomot them in the depths? Kasus Like a horse bamidbar in the desert (ba in, mi from, davar word, essence) lo yikashelu they did not stumble.
A poetic way of referring to Israel’s escape through the depths of the Red sea and her journey through the desert to the promised land.
Isa 63:14 Kabeheimah Like livestock babikah tered going into the valley, Ruach-YHVH the Spirit of the LORD teniychenu gave them rest. Kein So nihageta you drove, led, guided amecha Your tribe, la’asot to make lecha for Yourself sheim tifaret a glorious name.
We note that the Spirit of the Lord, Who is called “Comforter” in the Brit HaChadashah (NT), is described here as the One Who gives Israel rest.
The strong theme of the glorification of God’s Name is significant because it is through the recognition of the saving God of Israel that all who seek redemption are saved in the Messiah and reconciled to the God of Israel.
Isa 63:15 Habet Look (regard, consider) mishamayim from the heavens ure’eih and see, mizevul kodshecha from the lofty habitation of Your holiness vetifartecha and Your Glory, Majesty, Splendour. Ayeih Where are kinatecha Your zeal, jealousy ugevurotecha and Your strength? Hamon The roar (stirring, tumult, sound) me’eicha from Your intestines (inner parts) verachameycha and Your womb (compassion) eilay hitapaku are held back from me.
The prophet expresses the people’s feelings of abandonment. Though the prophet knows that God is ever present, he uses distancing language to show both the Lofty glory and all powerful nature of God and His seeming rejection of the people of Israel who have acted so wickedly toward Him.
We note that the literal Hebrew translation reveals both the masculine and feminine nature of God. “The roar me’eicha from Your intestines (masculine), verachameycha and your womb (feminine)…”
Isa 63:16 Kiy-atah For You are Avinu our Father, kiy Avraham lo yeda’anu for Abraham does not know us, ve’yisrael and Israel (The individual progenitor Jacob) lo yakiranu does not acknowledge us; Atah You, HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), Avinu are our Father, Goaleinu our Redeemer mei’olam she’meicha from perpetuity is Your name.
The prophet reminds himself and Israel that they are generations from the patriarchs and must remember that from before the beginning of Israel’s existence God has been her Father and Redeemer.
I recall a foolish Christian teacher who once told me that “Jews don’t understand God as Father but Christians do because Jesus taught us to prayer which says, ‘Our Father Who is in Heaven’”. I responded, “You obviously know very little about Jewish people and the Bible (present text not withstanding). One of the central prayers of Rosh Hashanah begins, ‘Our Father, Our King’”.
Isa 63:17 Lamah tateinu YHVH mideracheycha, Why do You make us wander from your ways HaShem, takshiach hardening libeinu our core being (heart), miyiratecha from fearing You? Shuv Turn back lema’an for the sake avadeycha of your servants, shivteiy the branches of nachalatecha Your inheritance (heritage, possession, property).
“Why hast Thou cast us off, Lord, that we should go astray from the paths which are right in Thy sight, as the nations which have no part in the instruction of Thy law? Our heart is not turned away from Thy fear: return Thy Shekinah unto Thy people, for the sake of Thy righteous servants, unto whom Thou hast sworn by Thy Word to make the tribes amongst them Thine inheritance.” - Targum Yonatan (2nd Centruy CE)
In the sense that God is in control of all things and that He allows but is not subject to free will, the phrase “You make us wander” is accurate. It is in fact in our wandering that we discover the need for direction.
Though God had never truly left Israel, Isaiah asks Him to turn back toward her for the sake of His righteous servants the prophets and the Patriarchs of Israel, the branches of God’s inheritance.
Isa 63:18 Lamitzar For a little while yareshu am-kodshecha Your tribe took hold of Your Holiness; tzareinu our adversaries bossu have trampled mikdashecha Your sanctuary.
This refers to the dwelling of God’s presence in a manifest way upon the Temple in Jerusalem during Solomon’s reign and the subsequent withdrawal of His glory during Israel’s years of idolatry and debauchery.
Isa 63:19 Hayiynu meiolam lo-mashalta ba lo-nikra shimcha We have become from perpetuity, like those not ruled by You, like those not called by Your name.
It’s as if Israel has become like a goy (foreign nation) who have never known God. The weight of this statement is lost on the modern reader. The nation God chose and to whom He revealed His glory, power, might and Holy fearful presence, has now become like those who never knew Him. Tragic, beyond appalling. The prophet is distraught, gutted, grieved to the core of his being by this sobering realisation.
Copyright 2019 Yaakov Brown
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