It’s in the small changes, the tiniest acts of tishuvah (returning, repenting) that the wider body is ignited unto righteousness in Messiah.
After posting our intention to teach the Book of Yaakov at Beiyt Melekh I received comments like “sounds interesting”, “Is this an apocryphal book?”, and “I don’t see this book in my Bible, why are you teaching this extra-Biblical book?” etc.
One of the tragedies of English translational tradition is that many modern English readers of the HaBrit HaChadashah (New Testament) are unable to see in the name of the Book of James (Yaakov) a connection to this very Hebrew, even ethnically and religiously specific book. This is of course allayed by the opening verses, however, even the opening address has proven incomprehensible to some scholars and church fathers who try to explain away the ethnic, religious specificity of the opening phrasing, and instead apply it to the Gentile Church.
James is the Anglicized form of Iakobos, which is a transliteration into Greek of the Hebrew Yaakov, the English equivalent being Jacob. It’s likely that as is the case with other New Testament names shared in common with TaNaKh (OT) characters, the English translators were attempting to prevent confusion between historical figures separated by time but equally important in the metanarrative of Scripture. Put simply, they wanted to avoid confusion between the Jacob of the Old Testament and Jacob the brother of Yeshua (Jesus). However, the confusion and disconnect that has resulted through the modification of names far out ways any perceived benefit in the attempt to mitigate mistaken identities between the covenants (Old and New). The line of a country song by Lyle Lovett comes to mind, “She wasn’t good, she just had good intentions…”
I ask the reader (listener) to take a moment to consider how from the inception of the English translation of the Bible, the correct English equivalent naming of this New Testament book might have prevented a number of the misunderstandings the modern reader indulges based on the Anglicized title. This is also true of name modifications in other New Testament books. For example, using Jesus in place of Joshua, Jude in place of Judah and so on.
Simple and intrinsic common ground is found instantaneously when we read the title of the present book of study as “Jacob”. We think straight away of the patriarch Jacob who became Israel and of his 12 sons who became the collective people of Israel, and of their descendants who remain to this day. We think of Jacob the brother of our King Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) and of his role in leading the early body of believers. And if we think these things our spirit is stirred to behold the continuity of the redemptive metanarrative of Scripture and of the fact that God has never forsaken His covenant agreement to redeem the Jewish people in the King Messiah Yeshua. Nor has He abandoned us to an un-discipled future. We are therefore blessed by the correct naming of the book because even before we read it, we are afforded insight into its greater meaning.
On the other hand, if we read the title of this book as “James”, we have already failed to understand one of the key themes of the writing contained within it. We may well glean basic spiritual principles but we glean them devoid of the foundation upon which they are articulated. Thank God that by His Spirit in Messiah He is come to purify the bride of Messiah in our days and to reconcile us in righteousness, both Jew and non-Jew. It’s in the small changes, the tiniest acts of tishuvah (returning, repenting) that the wider body is ignited unto righteousness in Messiah.
The Human Writer:
It seems clear, beyond reasonable doubt that the human writer or dictator of the book of Yaakov was Yaakov (James) the brother of Yeshua (Jesus) [Matt. 13:55; John 7:2-5; 1 Co. 15:7; Gal. 1:19, 2:9; Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; Jude 1:1]. Yaakov either wrote the text himself or in the tradition of ancient Scripture, dictated it to a scribe (this latter option puts death any issues over the high form of Greek used).
The text is dated approximately 48 to 60 CE. Yaakov would have written it before his death in 62 CE (Ant. 20.9.1; Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 2:23).
Those who claim that Yaakov could not have written this work because of its high Greek expression, and his lowly Galilean upbringing, are unable to overcome the following obstacles: Four men in the New Testament have the name Yaakov (James). The author of this letter couldn’t have been the apostle Yaakov, who died too early to be its author in 44 CE. Nor could the remaining two men have authored the work due to their stature and unnamed influence in the early body of believers, given the author confidently names himself presuming that he is known by believers throughout the known world of the time.
In defense of Yaakov’s Galilean upbringing, it is ludicrous to presume that he was uneducated simply because he was from a rural area. Those scholars who make this claim are committing the same sin of hubris attributed to certain members of the first century religious leaders of Jerusalem. They neglect to consider that by making this assertion concerning Yaakov, they are by inference also making the same assertion in regard to Yaakov’s brother Yeshua.
Yaakov was one of several brothers of Yeshua and likely the eldest of Yeshua’s younger brothers (Matt. 13:55). Initially Yaakov did not place his belief in Yeshua and even challenged Him, misunderstanding Yeshua’s person and mission (John 7:2-5). However, Yaakov later became an important leader of the early body of Messianic Jews:
It’s not just wrong to conclude that this work was initially written to Gentile Christians, it’s antisemitism. The writer makes clear that the work is written to “The twelve tribes of Israel dispersed abroad” (Yaakov 1:1). Furthermore, the Hebraisms employed by the writer firmly establish its intended recipients as a believing Jewish audience. The Greek equivalent Hebrew title for God “Kyrios Sabaoth”, meaning “YHVH Almighty” is used, as are numerous Hebraic idioms, mashaliym (parables), and rabbinical teaching techniques such as derashot (comparative teachings) etc.
While it’s true that the spiritual principles of the work can be applied by all believers, it’s nonetheless clear that believing Jews were the intended first recipients. We add to this the understanding that not only was this letter written to believing Jews throughout the known world, but more specifically therefore, to believing Jews throughout the various localized bodies of believers within the Ecclesia who were at that time spread throughout the known world. In other words, when the work was distributed, it was given to various believing communities of Jews and Gentiles but was addressed specifically to the Jewish believers among them. In the modern “Church” this would be considered “non-inclusive, not nice, divisive”, and yet here we have a work inspired by the Holy Spirit that had a very specific purpose in strengthening the early Jewish believers within the wider body, which by that time was becoming predominantly Gentile.
It's interesting to note that the early fathers of the faith chose to place the two books specifically written to Hebrew believers one after the other in the New Testament Canon (Hebrews and Yaakov).
My translation is a convergent one which uses the three primary languages of the New Testament: Greek (oldest manuscripts), Aramaic (next oldest manuscripts), and Hebrew (a relatively modern translation made from the Greek text). All three primary languages are intended to be understood from a Jewish religious-cultural perspective given that the human writers of the New Testament, including Luke, are clearly Jewish, just as the human writers of the TaNaKh (OT) in its entirety, are Jewish.
God chose to reveal His Word through the people of Israel, ethnic, religious, empirical. This requires humility, both for Israel and for those Gentiles who have received God’s gift of salvation and discipleship in the King Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), Redeemer of Israel and Savior to the nations.
In presenting the combined meaning of these three languages my goal is to show that our trust is in the inerrant Creator and His Spirit, Who inspires the text, and not in language or human writers. To make the claim that language (any language, including Hebrew) is authoritative or superior in and of itself is to practice idolatry. Scripture is inerrant because God is inerrant. Even the perceived scribal errors so often pointed out by scholars, are subject to God’s order and are therefore inspired. There is no scribal error in the original texts that does not affirm and or illuminate the plain meaning. Therefore, we trust YHVH and acknowledge that all things are subject to Him.
[G] = Greek
[A] = Aramaic (added when it differs from or illuminates the Greek and Hebrew texts)
[H] = Hebrew
Yaakov 1:1-15 (Author’s convergent translation from Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew)
1 Yaakov, a bond servant of God and of the Lord Yeshua Messiah, to the twelve tribes which are dispersed abroad among the peoples, rejoice in peace. 2 Count it all, individually and collectively, transcendent joy, brothers and sisters of mine whenever trials continue to fall on you in a variety of ways, derivations, uncertainties, 3 knowing absolutely that the proving of you all in the faith, belief, trust, assurance, is being performed, fully worked out, producing cheerful, continuing patience, endurance. 4 And let the cheerful endurance, patience work to perfect, complete, construct well, have result, echo in you in order that you may be brought to the perpetual goal, perfection, completion, being well-constructed, and made whole, innocent, lacking in nothing, [Hebrew alt. not lacking in all word, essence, substance]. 5 But if certain ones of you leave behind wisdom, let him ask being near in proximity from God, the giver to all individually and collectively abundantly, liberally, generously and without reproach, defamation, chiding, bearing His teeth, deceit; and words, things, essences, substances will be given to that person. 6 Also he must ask earnestly in faith, trust, having been persuaded, without even one doubt, differing, contention, for the doubting, differing, contending one is like the surging wave of the sea, agitated and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person should not expect that he will receive anything, word, essence, substance from the Lord, 8 Such a person is two-spirited [double minded], unstable, inconstant, restless in all, [individual and collective] his ways, roads, paths. 9 Now the brother or sister who is low, depressed, humble, cast down is to rejoice, praise in his elevated position; 10 and the wealthy person in his lowly, humble, depressed, cast down position because like a flowering garden he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its burning heat and dries up the garden and its flowers drop off and the beauty [grace] of its face perishes; in this way also the wealthy person, in the midst of his pursuits, will be extinguished. 12 Blessed, happy is a person who patiently endures under proofing, trial; for once he has been accepted, he will receive the crown, moulded wreath of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him entirely. 13 No one is to say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, that which is worthless, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is under his own lustful desires being dragged away and entrapped. 15 Then when the lusting has conceived, it gives birth to sin, missing the mark set by God’s holiness; and sin, when it reaches its goal, brings forth the specific death.
Yaakov 1:1-15 (Line upon line)
1 Yaakov[H] (follower), a bond servant (doulos[G], eved[H]) of God (Theos[G], Elohiym[H]) and of the Lord (kurios[G], Adoneiynu[H]) Yeshua[H] (YHVH is Salvation, Jesus) Mashiyach[H] (Christos[G], Messiah, anointed one), to the twelve off shoots, tribes (phule[G], hashevatiym[H]) which are dispersed abroad among the peoples (diaspora[G], b’am’me[A], shebagolah[H]), rejoice in peace (chairo[G], s’lam[A], lish'lom[H]).
1 Yaakov, a bond servant of God and of the Lord Yeshua Messiah, to the twelve tribes which are dispersed abroad among the peoples, rejoice in peace.
The writer names himself confidently, aware that he is known to the wider body of believers as both a leader of the Jerusalem council and the brother of Yeshua. Yaakov humbles himself as a “Servant who has bound himself willingly” to God and to “the LORD Yeshua the Messiah”.
For Yaakov the brother of Yeshua this is a confession based on repentance , he has turned from his disbelief in Yeshua and has decided to submit to his older brother Yeshua’s person as both man and God with us, the promised King Messiah of Israel. Not only had Yaakov overcome familial pride of place as the next brother in line to the rule of his earthly family, he had also come to acknowledge that Yeshua is the manifest Word Essence and Substance (ha Davar emet) of God.
Yaakov writes to his Jewish brothers and sisters dispersed throughout the known world and among the various bodies of believers in numerous cities and towns.
We note that the great Rabbi Gamaliel, teacher of Rav Shaul (Paul the Apostle) [Acts 22:3] opens his epistle, which is recorded in the Talmud Bavliy in a similar way, writing:
“To our brothers, inhabitants of the dispersion… great be your peace always.” -Rav Gamaliel, Talmud Bavliy, Sanhedrin 11.b
Yaakov’s letter is specifically written to the “twelve tribes of Jacob (Israel) dispersed abroad among the Gentiles”. To say as some do, that the “twelve tribes of Israel” referred to by Yaakov are a reference to the Church, is to perpetuate the antisemitic and satanic lie of Successionist (Replacement) Theology. To you who say this, I say “Repent before it’s too late!”
The conclusion to Yaakov’s greeting in Greek is not “greetings” as many mistranslate, but “rejoice!” The conclusion in both Aramaic and Hebrew is S’lam & Shalom, “peace, wholeness, wellbeing!” Working together the inspired languages remind the early Jewish believers to “rejoice in the peace, wholeness and well-being of the Prince of peace, wholeness and well-being.” Later in the text (v.4) the “well-constructed” nature of God’s peace is again alluded to.
2 Count (hēgeomai[G]) it all, individually and collectively (pas[G]), transcendent joy (chara[G], lesimchah[H]), brothers and sisters (adelphos[G], echay[H]) of mine (mou[G]), whenever (hotan[G]) trials (peirasmos[G]) continue to fall on you (peripiptō[G]) in a variety of ways, derivations, uncertainties (poikilos[G]), 3 knowing absolutely (ginōskō[G], sheyod’iym[H]) that the proving (dokimion[G]) of you all (humōn[G]) in the faith, belief, trust, assurance (ho pistis[G], emunat’chem[H]), is being performed, fully worked out, producing (katergazomai[G], liydeiy[H]) cheerful, continuing patience, endurance (hupomonē[G], savlanut[H]).
2 Count it all, individually and collectively, transcendent joy, brothers and sisters of mine whenever trials continue to fall on you in a variety of ways, derivations, uncertainties, 3 knowing absolutely that the proving of you all in the faith, belief, trust, assurance, is being performed, fully worked out, producing cheerful, continuing patience, endurance.
Yaakov tasks his fellow Jewish believers with numbering all their individual and collective experiences as transcendent joy in Messiah. Even their experiences of trial, in the many forms that trials come. These opening verses (v.2-3) address the trials of life in general as well as those trials faced by Jewish Messiah followers in particular. Whereas the latter verses which use the same Greek root refer to moral trials, specifically temptation to sin (v.13-15).
In the counting of, paying close attention to, numbering, contemplating how God is outworking His perfect purposes in trials, the Jewish believers both individually and collectively are affirmed in “Knowing absolutely”. That is, having accepted the King Messiah, they have dispensed with the doubt of disbelief and view their trials as evidence of God’s redemptive purposes at work in their lives. This knowledge, which transcends mental prowess and is centred in the lev (core being), produces enduring patience because the Spirit of Messiah in them bears the fruit of limitless patience (1 Tim. 1:16).
We note that there is an order to the maturing of the believer. Focusing on the person of Messiah in God precedes all else. Once focused we are able to see Messiah at work in all things and in all circumstances the evidence of God’s purposes becomes clear both within and beyond this fallen world. The unity of trust in Messiah and evidence in circumstances produces the fruit of cheerful and patient endurance.
4 And let the cheerful endurance, patience (ho de hupomonē[G], vehasavlanut[H]) work (ergon[G]) to perfect, complete, construct well, have result, echo in you (teleios, echo[G], sheleimah[H]) in order that (hina[G]) you may be (es[G]) brought to the perpetual goal, perfection, completion, being well-constructed, (teleios[G], sheleimiym[H]) and made whole, innocent (holoklēros[G], utemiymiym[H]), lacking in nothing, [Hebrew alt. not lacking in all word, essence, substance] (en mēdeis leipō[G], kol-davar[H]).
4 And let the cheerful endurance, patience work to perfect, complete, construct well, have result, echo in you in order that you may be brought to the perpetual goal, perfection, completion, being well-constructed, and made whole, innocent, lacking in nothing, [Hebrew alt. not lacking in all word, essence, substance].
The perfecting or completing of the patient endurance of the believer is said to be a perpetual action within time and space that echoes so as to be heard, witnessed, received by others and results in a rhythm of wholeness within the believer.
The work of the Holy Spirit in us causes us to become well-constructed where we were in disarray and falling apart. He repairs and makes whole that which was damaged in us and returns us to innocence. We enter into a lifestyle that transcends this world while walking in it. We find that when others see us as lacking a great deal, we are in fact lacking nothing.
Those who have Messiah Yeshua and are reconciled to God through His blood have received their role as sons and daughters of the King of the universe and are therefore heirs to all things in God. If then we have access to everything in God, we lack nothing.
We note that the ancient Aramaic affirms what the Hebrew says “not lacking in all word, essence, substance (kol-davar)”. The Hebrew text is saying that having been redeemed by God through Yeshua we do not lack Yeshua, Who is the Davar, Word, Essence, Substance by which all creation is held together, in Whom all things exist and have their being (John 1; Col. 1:16-17). Therefore, it’s because we do not lack Yeshua that we are able to patiently endure in innocence.
5 But if certain ones (tis[G], veiysh[H]) of you leave behind (leipō[G]) wisdom (sophia[G], chochmah[H]), let him ask (aiteō[G]) being near in proximity (para[G]) from God (Theos[G], meiElohiym[H]), the giver (ho didōmi[G], ha-notein[H]) to all individually and collectively (pas[G], lakol[H]) abundantly, liberally, generously (haplōs[G], bin’diyvah[H]) and without reproach, defamation, chiding, bearing His teeth, deceit (oneidezō[G], hona’at[H]); and words, things, essences, substances (devariym[H]) will be given (didōmi[G], vetinatein[H]) to that person (autos[G], lo[H]).
5 But if certain ones of you leave behind wisdom, let him ask being near in proximity from God, the giver to all individually and collectively abundantly, liberally, generously and without reproach, defamation, chiding, bearing His teeth, deceit; and words, things, essences, substances will be given to that person.
We note that godly wisdom is essential. Not the wisdom of intellectual learning or that gleaned from life experiences, but the wisdom that emanates from God’s Spirit at work in us.
This verse is directed at certain ones among the Jewish believers who lack such wisdom. The advice given is that in faith they should request the divine gift of wisdom from God, Who is eager to give such wisdom to His beloved children. They need not be afraid that God their Father will bear His teeth at them for asking or deceive them, because it is not in His character to do so. Thus, they can ask with confidence in Messiah for the wisdom present at the creation of the world in the mouth of the Word Essence Yeshua (Prov. 8:1-4, 22-31).
We note that it is the words, essences, substances (devariym, pl. of davar [logos]) that God gives to the one who asks. Simply put, God will give the one who asks the manifest words of Yeshua, from Whom wisdom comes.
“15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [a]Helper, so that He may be with you forever; 17 the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you.” -John 14:15-17 NASB
6 Also (de[G]) he must ask earnestly (aiteō[G]) in faith, trust, having been persuaded (pistis[G], be’emunah[H]), without even one (mēdeis[G]) doubt, differing, contention (diakrinō[G], safeik[H]), for the doubting, differing, contending one (diakrinō[G], safeik[H]) is like (eikō[G]) the surging wave (kludōn[G]) of the sea (Thalassa[G], hayam[H]), agitated (anemizō[G]) and tossed (rhipizō[G]) by the wind (baruach[H]).
6 Also he must ask earnestly in faith, trust, having been persuaded, without even one doubt, differing, contention, for the doubting one is like the surging wave of the sea, agitated and tossed by the wind.
The doubt being spoken of hear is not the doubt that is the counterpoint to faith, after all, within the fallen world faith cannot exist without doubt, rather it is the doubt that is defined as being in direct opposition to the will of God as heard in response to asking of God. The Greek “diakrino” translated as “doubt” means “to differ, contend”. Put as a simple question and answer conversation between the believer and God we could understand its use as follows:
“God, we need provision of food for our community,”
‘I will give you food tomorrow in the form of quail and bread from heaven’,
“No you won’t!”
The doubter in this context is like a student who asks his trusted teacher for an answer to a difficult question, and upon receiving the answer, doesn’t like what he hears and responds, “No, that’s not right!” Furthermore, the student continues to oppose his teachers instruction.
Therefore, we could read “For the disagreeable one who contends with God after receiving an answer to his request…should not expect that he will receive anything…”
We note that Rav Shaul (Paul) uses similar imagery in his letter to the Ephesians:
“14 [a]As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness [b]in deceitful scheming;” -Ephesians 4:14 NASB
Likewise John’s gospel informs us that if we have had an opportunity to receive the Messiah but have chosen to refuse Him, we stand condemned already.
“16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. 18 The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” -John 3:16-18
Yaakov challenges the believer to cry out for wisdom and when it’s given, to receive it without objection.
“For if you cry out for insight,
And [a]raise your voice for understanding;
4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And discover the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” -Proverbs 2:3-6 NASB
7 For that person (vehaiysh[H]) should not expect (oiomai[G]) that he will receive (lambanō[G]) anything, word, essence, substance (tis[G], davar[H]) from the Lord (ho Kurios[G], mei’eit YHVH[H]), 8 Such a person is (anēr[G], iysh[H]) two-spirited [double minded] (dipsuchos[G]), unstable, inconstant, restless (akatastatos[G]) in all, [individual and collective] (pas[G], bekhol[H]) his (autos[G]) ways, roads, paths (ho hodos[G], derakhayv[H]).
7 For that person should not expect that he will receive anything, word, essence, substance from the Lord, 8 Such a person is two-spirited [double minded], unstable, inconstant, restless in all, [individual and collective] his ways, roads, paths.
The person who wants to argue with God’s answer to their request has proven their lack of true faith and should not expect to receive what they have asked for. Why? Because they have refused to receive it. Their doubt is not uncertainty, rather, as I have explained, their doubt is defined as rejection of God’s answer.
The person in question is sitting on the fence. An Agnostic, neither believing or disbelieving. By inference Yaakov calls this person a disbeliever. The person in question is undecided in all areas of their life, in every path they take, in every decision they make, not listening to and walking in the direction of God but refusing His directives and doubting Him at every turn.
The Midrash on Psalm 119:46 describes the double minded who are tossed around as being like those “who grasp the rope at both ends”, who choose both God (YHVH) and Ba’al (Chief Canaanite deity) [1 Kings 18:21], and therefore fail to obtain salvation.
9 Now the brother or sister (ho adelphos[G], ha-ach[H]) who is low, depressed, humble, cast down (tapeinos[G], hashapeil[H]) is to rejoice, praise (kauchaomai[G], yithaleil[H]) in his elevated position (hupsos[G], beromamuto[H]); 10 and the wealthy (plousios[G]) person in his lowly, humble, depressed, cast down position (tapeinōsis[G]) because like a flowering (anthos[G]) garden (chortos[G]) he will pass away (parerchomai[G]).
9 Now the brother or sister who is low, depressed, humble, cast down is to rejoice, praise in his elevated position; 10 and the wealthy person in his lowly, humble, depressed, cast down position because like a flowering garden he will pass away.
Yaakov now turns to a distinct but related matter. There is a connection between the double minded person blown about by the wind and the person who takes pride in their high position and worldly wealth.
It’s the humble, even depressed and down trodden believer who should rejoice because God lifts up the humble (Psa. 147:6; Yaakov. 4:10). However, the one who is in a high position, being self-reliant and self-assured should consider himself lowly, humbled, depressed, because the temporal things he has placed his trust in will fade away like a seasonal garden, along with his very life.
11 For the sun (hēlios[G], hashemesh[H]) rises with its burning heat (kausōn[G]) and dries up (xērainō[G]) the garden (chortos[G]); and its flowers (anthos[G]) drop off (ekpiptō[G]) and the beauty [grace] (euprepeia[G]) of its face (prosōpon[G]) perishes (apollumi[G]); in this way (houtō[G]) also the wealthy person (plousios[G]), in the midst of his pursuits (poreia[G]), will be extinguished (marainō[G]).
11 For the sun rises with its burning heat and dries up the garden and its flowers drop off and the beauty [grace] of its face perishes; in this way also the wealthy person, in the midst of his pursuits, will be extinguished.
The Sun in this mashal (parable) or drash (comparative teaching), is the greater power, a metaphor for God, and the garden along with its flowering plants are a metaphor for humanity.
We note that it’s not wealth that is the problem but the pursuit of it. The pursuit of wealth is the love of mammon[G] (worldly things), and is therefore idolatry (1 Tim. 6:10).
12 Blessed, happy (makarios[G], ashreiy[H]) is a person (anēr[G], ha iysh[H]) who patiently endures (hupomenō[G]) under proofing, trial (peirasmos[G]); for once he has been accepted (dokimos[G]), he will receive the crown, moulded wreath (stephanos[G], ateret[H]) of life (zōē[G], hachayiym[H]) which the Lord (ho Kurios[G], YHVH[H]) has promised (epaggellō[G]) to those who love Him entirely (agapaō autos[G], leohavayv[H]).
12 Blessed, happy is a person who patiently endures under proofing, trial; for once he has been accepted, he will receive the crown, moulded wreath of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him entirely.
For the follower of Yeshua blessing and happiness are measured in a transcendent way that is counter intuitive in this fallen world. In the believer patient endurance under trial produces blessing and happiness that go beyond circumstances. The one who endures by trusting in God is accepted and given a wreath (a Greco-Roman laurel given to a victorious athlete or military leader) of victory pertaining to life everlasting. This is promised to those who love God entirely. What does it mean to love God entirely? It means simply to listen to and do what He has commanded (John 14:15-31). When we place our belief in the Son we are accepted by the Father.
The Hebrew text rightly understands the Greek Ho Kurios to refer to YHVH.
13 No one is to say when he is tempted (peirazō[G], ha-menuseh[H]), “I am being tempted (peirazō[G], menuseh[H]) by God (Theos[G], HaElohiym[H])”; for God (Theos[G], HaElohiym[H]) cannot be tempted (apeirastos[G], menuseh[H]) by evil, that which is worthless (kakos[G], bara[H]), and He Himself does not tempt (peirazō[G], yenaseh[H]) anyone.
13 No one is to say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, that which is worthless, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
In this verse the Greek verb translated “tempted” refers specifically to temptations that test a person’s moral strength.
God defines good, He cannot sin, lie, tempt etc. Therefore, while He allows human beings to choose whether they will give in to their fallen nature or resist it in Messiah, He Himself does not tempt, nor can He be tempted by evil.
Additionally, it’s impossible to tempt the Creator of the universe in Whom all things exist. What could He be tempted with? Power? Wealth? Dominion?
Those who claim that God is tempting them are impugning God’s character. It’s an act of blasphemy. In claiming that God is tempting them they are looking for an excuse for their wilful sin response to trial and or temptation.
After committing sin I have often caught myself thinking, “What’s wrong with me?” This is an attempt to excuse myself. I am essentially saying, “I couldn’t help it, it’s in my nature.” This is a lie. We can help it, despite the fact that we have an evil inclination as human beings as followers of Yeshua, Messiah in us gives us the strength to resist evil by His Spirit.
The question is not “What’s wrong with me?” I know what’s wrong with me. The question I should ask is “Why did I sin?” For the Messiah follower the answer is “Because in that moment you forgot who you are in Messiah. Repent, refocus, be the Messiah essential you.
As Messiah followers, when we sin, we are deceiving ourselves into becoming that which we are not. In Messiah we have already passed from death into life everlasting (John 5:24).
Put simply, when a Messiah follower sins he is acting against his nature (Messiah in him), whereas when a disbeliever sins he is acting according to his nature (yetzer ha-ra, evil inclination).
14 But each one is tempted (peirazō[G], yenuseh[H]) when he is under (hupo[G]) his own (idios[G]) lustful desires (epithumia[G], bata’avat[H]) being dragged away (exelkō[G]) and entrapped (deleazō[G]). 15 Then when the lusting (ho epithumia[G]) has conceived (sullambanō[G]), it gives birth (tiktō[G]) to sin, missing the mark set by God’s holiness (hamartia[G], cheit[H]); and sin (hamartia[G], ve’hacheit[H]), when it reaches its goal (apoteleō[G]), brings forth (apokueō[G]) the specific death (Thanatos[G], et ha-mavet[H]).
14 But each one is tempted when he is under his own lustful desires being dragged away and entrapped. 15 Then when the lusting has conceived, it gives birth to sin, missing the mark set by God’s holiness; and sin, when it reaches its goal, brings forth the specific death.
When we give in to temptation we have no one to blame but ourselves. Note that not only does Yaakov say that we should not blame God for our tempting, He also by inference says that we cannot blame Satan either.
We give into sin when we wilfully choose to entertain temptation. For example, when a man looks at a woman and finds her figure attractive, he is not sinning, but if he is them tempted to think of having sexual relations with her he has a choice to make. If he chooses to turn away and seek the mind of Messiah he will avoid sin, however, if he chooses to dwell on thoughts of defiling that woman he sins. In this scenario it is the man who is responsible for his response to temptation. Likewise, when a woman hears a rumour from a friend, she is tempted to remember the details and pass it on to another friend, at this point she has a choice to make. If she decides to keep the rumour to herself and determines not to pass it on she has resisted temptation, however, if she gives in to the desire to gossip and passes on that information to others she sins. She is responsible for her decision in the face of temptation.
God will hold each of us to account for our decisions regarding temptation. At the judgement we will not be able to say “The Devil made me do it”, or “It’s because I have a fallen nature” etc.
The three stages in the progression of sin alluded to here: desire, sin, and death (v.15), reflect the temptations of both Eve (Gen. 3:6-22) and king David (2 Samuel 11:2-17).
When temptation is entertained it becomes sin, a missing of the mark set by God’s holiness. When sin is manifest it produces death. When we practice a lifestyle of entertaining temptation and choosing to sin, numbing ourselves and choosing to be wilfully unrepentant, we will inevitably suffer the ultimate end of perpetual sin, that is the second death. This is why the Greek text very specifically says “and sin, when it reaches its goal, brings forth the specific death.” The writer is speaking of the second death, eternal torment (Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5; Rev. 2:11, 20:6, 14, 21:8).
The Good News is that in Messiah Yeshua we have been redeemed and are being sanctified so that overcoming in Him we need not fear the second death (Heb. 10:14). Sin gives birth to death, but “In outworking His will God the Father gave birth to us by Yeshua the word (Davar/Logos) of truth, so that we would be made into a certain type of first fruits among His creatures.” (v.18)
“the person who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” -Revelation 2:11
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. 18 The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” -John 3:16-18 NASB
Copyright 2022 Yaakov Brown
“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in favour and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness and trust. Then you will intimately know the Lord.” -Hosea 2:19-20
There are many localized variations regarding minor elements within Jewish betrothal and marriage customs, however, the primary themes are consistent throughout Jewish history and practice, and continue to find a place of prominence in the modern Jewish wedding ceremony. It’s these common primary themes that I’d like to share with you. They’re themes that are evident in both Scripture and tradition and have been perpetuated for thousands of years. They are a living allegory for the great mystery of God’s relationship to Israel (empirical, ethnic) and of the relationship between Messiah Yeshua and the body of believers (Ecclesia). As such, they transcend their temporal function and become a picture of our eternity as believers. Having received Yeshua’s proposal we have been betrothed at great cost and have entered into intimate love relationship with God.
Much of the information that follows is taken from both Biblical and Talmudic sources. The information from Talmudic sources, while not codified until a much later date, does pass on an oral tradition dating back to a time long before the Messiah’s birth. Many of the Talmudic articles on the subject of marriage affirm the spiritual allegory attributed to Messiah and His bride and are therefore a valid commentary on the events that continue to transpire regarding the second coming of Yeshua our Mashiyach and Chatan (groom).
Here are some Scriptures from the Habrit Hachadashah (NT) that use Jewish betrothal & marriage rites as a foundation for comparative teaching (derashot) regarding the Gospel.
The Tanakh (OT) requires that a Jewish bride be:
The ancient Jewish practice which is based on the Tanakh (OT) requires a:
The ancient Jewish practice which is based on the Tanakh (OT) requires a:
Let’s take a look at the chronology of Jewish betrothal beginning with the selection of a
Shidukin (Arrangement) – Selection of the Bride:
From ancient days it’s always been the father of the groom who selects his son’s bride. In cases where it is not practical for the father to go to the home of the bride to arrange things, he sends a Shadkhan (arranger/matchmaker). This is exactly what happened in the case of Abraham’s selecting of a bride for his son Isaac:
“Abraham said to his servant (Eli-eytzer/My God is my helper, comforter), the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, ‘Please place your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will make you swear by HaShem, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, 4 but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Yitzak.” –Genesis 24:2-4
The Scriptures remind us that we were chosen by The Father (God) from before the creation of the world:
“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” –Ephesians 1:4
Yeshua reminds us that:
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit.” –Yochanan/John 15:16
The Bride Must Accept the Proposal:
In Jewish culture no woman may be forced to marry. Without the prospective bride’s acceptance of the marriage proposal there can be no marriage.
In Rebekah’s case, she had not seen her husband to be (Yitzak), but accepted his proposal based on the word of the servant (Eli-eytzer, My God is a helper). This is also true of each of us who have accepted Yeshua’s proposal having had it offered to us at the hands of the Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit/The Helper).
“The servant said to him, ‘Suppose the woman is not willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?’” –Genesis 24:5
“Then they called Rebekah and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ And she said, ‘I will go.’” –Genesis 24:58
However, we must remember that it is Yeshua as the Jewish bridegroom (Chatan) Who initiates the love relationship. It is God Who selects us and not the other way around:
“We love Him because He first loved us.” –1 John 4:19
The Mohar (Bride Price):
From ancient times brides in Israel were purchased, a bride price (mohar) was paid as a means of showing that the groom valued the woman he was to marry. The price varied depending on the circumstances of those involved. In Yaakov’s (Jacob) case, he worked seven years as the bride price for each of his wives Leah and Rachel respectively. (Genesis 29:20)
To the modern reader this may seem to denigrate women, treating them as property rather than valued equals, however, in the context of ancient Biblical society the opposite was true. The pagan nations surrounding Israel were taking women to wife without ceremony or consideration of a woman’s value. When a wife displeased a husband in these communities she was tossed aside and replaced without consequence, often left to fend for herself and in many cases would die without provision because men were the providers of a family’s income and protection at that time in history.
The value placed upon a Jewish bride was a means of protecting her and valuing her as a person rather than an object of property for men to abuse. The fact that a husband, “owned,” his wife was not demeaning in the least, it was a sign to other men and to the bride, that she was cared for and valued. One of the Hebrew words for wife, Be’ulah, means, “owned,” and the Hebrew word for husband, Ba’al, means, “master or owner”.
“52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground before HaShem. 53 The servant brought out articles of silver and articles of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.” –Genesis 24:52-53
Yeshua has paid the highest price as a mohar for His bride by dying on the tree:
“You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” –1 Corinthians 7:23
“Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” –Ephesians 1:14
“18 Knowing that you were not purchased with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Messiah.” –1 Peter 1:18-19
“19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” –1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Ketubah (written)/ Eyrusin (betrothal)/ Kidushin (sanctification):
Following the shidukhin (arrangement) by the father via his shadkhan (emissary), the acceptance of the proposal by the bride and the offering of the gift by the groom; a binding covenant was entered into and a ketubah (written) document was signed. This process, known as both Eyrusin (betrothal) and kidushin (sanctification from Kadosh, meaning set apart, holy), was conducted approximately one year prior to the actual marriage ceremony and was considered binding. So much so, that a divorce or get (Hebrew) must be obtained by the husband in order to dissolve the betrothal. It’s important to note that Biblically speaking, only a husband can initiate a get (divorce) Deuteronomy 24:1-4.
Figuratively, this is an affirmation of eternal security for the believer. Our security is not dependent on us, because we’re not able to break our engagement once we’ve entered into the agreement. Only the groom can break the betrothal covenant and Yeshua has no intention of doing so:
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” –Yochanan/John 10:28-30
“If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot disown Himself.” –2 Timothy 2:15
Prior to the Eyrusin rite, both the groom and the bride immerse (tevilah) themselves in a ritual bath (mayim chayim—living water) of purification called a mikveh. Yeshua was immersed by the forerunner Yochanan in preparation for Eyrusin (betrothal). Likewise as believers we enter into the mikveh of immersion (baptism) as a sign of our new beginning, identifying with Messiah’s immersion.
The mikveh is a symbol of a fresh start, a new beginning, a new family unit which is to be born of the married couple.
Following their immersion in the mikveh the Eyrusin ceremony took place under a chuppah (canopy). In ancient times the chuppah was a separate room in the groom’s father’s home, later the tradition of a canopy developed.
The chuppah is a symbol of a new household and of God’s protective covering over the couple and their future progeny. It is also a sukkah (shelter) which promises that God will one day shakan (dwell) in the midst of His people for all eternity:
“As a bridegroom coming out of his chuppah (chamber);
rejoicing as a strong man to run his course.” –Tehillim/Psalm 19:5
“Gather the people, sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom come out of his chuppah (room)
And the bride out of her bridal chuppah (chamber).” –Yo’el/Joel 2:16
The Kiddush Cup:
During the Eyrusin ceremony gifts/rings are exchanged and a cup of wine is shared. The cup used for this Kiddush cup is kept to be used again at the wedding ceremony in a years’ time. In ancient times the cup was most likely made of hardened clay: today a thin wine glass is used.
On the night He was betrayed, Yeshua offered His bride to be (Israel—empirical, ethnic, religious, and the birthing body of believers Ecclesia), a new covenant in blood, a wine cup, a kiddush (sanctifying) cup. This cup, the third cup of the Pesach/Passover Seder, taken after the main meal, is called Kos Geulah (cup of redemption):
“In the same way, after the meal He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you all.’” –Luke 22:20
“‘For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’” –Luke 22:18
Following the Eyrusin ceremony the couple is considered married in every way except for cohabitation (sexual relations). Both bride and groom live apart for approximately one year. Something similar is seen in the length of time between Rebekah’s acceptance of Isaac’s proposal and their marriage in Canaan.
The betrothal year was used by the groom as a time of preparation. It was traditional in the ancient Middle East for the groom to leave the bride’s home town and return to His father’s house where he would build a room onto his father’s dwelling place that would serve as the couple’s chadar wedding chamber following their marriage ceremony. The parallels with Yeshua and His bride are obvious. Yeshua has gone to prepare a place for us:
“2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
Likewise, the bride spends the year in preparation for her groom’s return. She is to be ready at any hour of the day as the year draws to a close. She prepares items for her future home and a pure white dress for the wedding day.
We are reminded in the Scriptures that we should invest our time in those things which are eternal in preparation for our groom’s return:
“‘19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;’”
The Return of the Groom:
Tradition dictates that only the father of the groom may decide on the time for the groom’s return, neither the groom nor the bride know at what hour the groom will return to carry the bride to the wedding feast.
“But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” –Mark 13:32
In many cases, as the year of waiting drew to a close, the bride’s household would wait late into the night, keeping oil lamps lit in case of the groom’s return. This tradition became common among certain groups and is still practised in some communities today. The groom would often return at night.
“But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’”
The implications for us as believers are clear, we are to prepare ourselves and be constantly ready for our groom’s return.
The groom would return, often late at night, with a procession of family and friends from his father’s household, shouting out, with torches burning and the shofar sounding to herald his coming.
“16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the shofar of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be carried away (nisuin) together with them in the cloud (of the presence) to meet the Lord in the open air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” –1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
The groom’s entourage would be carrying an aperion (a seated canopy, carried on the shoulders of men). He would pick up his bride and place her in the aperion thus carrying her away to her new home.
The bride would cover her face with a veil and intermittently along the way the groom would check under her veil to ensure he had carried away the right bride. This tradition is called bedeken and came about due to the problems experienced by Yaakov (Jacob) at the hands of Laban his father in law, when Laban deceived him on his wedding night by substituting Leah for Rachel.
Nisuin (to carry) Under the Chuppah:
The Nisuin ceremony is the last stage of the betrothal and marriage. The chuppah is a specially made embroidered canopy or a tallit (prayer shawl) held up by four poles. It was representative of the bridal chamber.
The groom enters the proceedings first, as the rabbi calls out, “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai,” blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. The groom stands on the left hand side, then the bride enters to the call, “B’rukhah haba’ah b’shem Adonai,” blessed is she who comes in the name of the LORD.
“O Lord, do save, we beseech You;
O Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity!
26 Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God, and He has given us light;
Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.”
The groom then walks out to meet his bride half way to the chuppah and the Jewish bride makes either three or seven circuits around the groom. The circling itself represents Israel returning to God after her rebellion and becoming part of the “new thing” which God brings about through the redemption found in the King Messiah. This is based on the text of Jeremiah 31:22 “For YHVH has created a new thing on the land (of Israel): A woman will encompass a man.”
The number three relates to the threefold Biblical phrase concerning Israel’s betrothal to HaShem (God/YHVH): “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in favour and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness and trust. Then you will intimately know the Lord.” -Hosea 2:19-20.
The threefold circling also reflects the threefold commitment of the groom made to the wife in the ketubah agreement. He covenants to provide, food, clothing & shelter, and conjugal relations.
Seven is a symbolic promise of the bridal week and the completeness found in marriage. Mirroring the completeness of the creation week and the Shabbat rest of God.
The bride then stands to the right of her groom.
Sheva Brachot (Seven blessings):
The Sheva Brachot (seven blessings) are pronounced beginning with the blessing over the Kiddush cup (the same cup used during the betrothal rite), but the cup is not drunk until the blessings are completed. These blessings are also known as Birkot Nisuin (blessings of being carried away):
ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן.
Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, bo'rei p'ri hagafen.
Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, sovereign of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine."
ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם, שהכל ברא לכבודו.
Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam shehakol bara lichvodo.
Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, sovereign of the universe, who created everything for His Glory."
The phrase is connected to Talmudic incidents in which the Sages said this phrase after failing in attempts to replace both the bakers of the showbread and those perfumers who made the holy incense in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem. It reflects both the grace to accept what one cannot change and recognises that everyone has unique and irreplaceable talents which act as essential tools in a harmonious marriage.
ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם, יוצר האדם.
Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, yotzer haa’dam.
Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, sovereign of the universe, who creates man."
ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם, אשר יצר את האדם בצלמו, בצלם דמות תבניתו, והתקין לו ממנו בניין עדי עד. ברוך אתה ה', יוצר האדם.
Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, asher yatzar et ha-adam b’tzalmo, b’tzelem d’mut tavnito, v’hitkin lo mimenu binyan adei ad. Baruch atah Adonai, yotzeir ha-adam.
Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, sovereign of the universe, who creates man in your image*, fashioning perpetuated life. Blessed are You, LORD, creator of man."
שוש תשיש ותגל העקרה, בקיבוץ בניה לתוכה בשמחה. ברוך אתה ה', משמח ציון בבניה.
Transliteration: Sos tasis v’tageil ha-akara b’kibutz baneha l’tocha b’simcha. Baruch ata Adonai, m’sameach Tzion b’vaneha.
Translation: "May the barren one exult and be glad as her children are joyfully gathered to her. Blessed are You, LORD, who gladden Zion with her Children."
שמח תשמח רעים האהובים, כשמחך יצירך בגן עדן מקדם. ברוך אתה ה', משמח חתן וכלה.
Transliteration: Sameiach tesamach reiim ha-ahuvim k’sameichacha y’tzircha b’gan eden mikedem. Baruch ata Adonai, m’sameiach chatan v’chalah.
Translation: "Grant perfect joy to these loving companions, as you did your creations in the Garden of Eden. Blessed are You, LORD, who grants the joy of groom and bride."
ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם, אשר ברא ששון ושמחה, חתן וכלה, גילה רינה, דיצה וחדווה, אהבה ואחווה, ושלום ורעות, מהרה ה' אלקינו ישמע בערי יהודה ובחוצות ירושלים, קול ששון וקול שמחה, קול חתן וקול כלה, קול מצהלות חתנים מחופתם, ונערים ממשתה נגינתם. ברוך אתה ה', משמח חתן עם הכלה.
Transliteration: Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher bara sason v’simcha chatan v’kallah, gilah rinah ditzah v’chedvah, ahavah v’achavah v’shalom v’reut. M’hera Adonai Eloheinu yishammah b’arei Yhudah uv-chutzot Y’rushalayim kol sason v’kol simcha, kol chatan v’kol kalah, kol mitzhalot chatanim meichupatam u-n'arim mimishte n’ginatam. Baruch ata Adonai, m’sameiach chatan im hakalah.
Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, sovereign of the universe, who created joy and gladness, groom and bride, mirth, song, delight and rejoicing, love and harmony and peace and companionship. Soon, LORD our God, may there ever be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem voices of joy and gladness, voices of groom and bride, the jubilant voices of those joined in marriage under the bridal canopy, the voices of young people feasting and singing. Blessed are You, LORD, who causes the groom to rejoice with his bride."
The Kiddush Cup #2:
Following the blessings the Kiddush cup (the same cup used in the Eyrusin ceremony of betrothal) is drunk by both groom and bride and is then wrapped in a napkin and shattered beneath the groom’s foot.
“‘For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’” –Luke 22:18
The breaking of the cup is a more recent addition to the ceremony but it holds great significance. Originally the rabbis added the shattering of the cup in order to remind those present that even in joyous times we remember the destruction of the temple and Israel’s suffering and that our joy cannot be complete until the temple is rebuilt and the Messiah comes (returns). However the symbolism is also powerfully representative of the fact that no one else can ever drink from the cup that the married couple have shared. The covenant of marriage is sacred and sealed for ever in the sight of God. This is also the case regarding our marriage to Yeshua.
The marriage is then consummated in the bridal chamber, following which the groom calls out to the shadkhan (matchmaker) or friend of the groom, letting him know that the marriage has been consummated.
“And Yeshua said unto them, ‘Can the attendants of the bride chamber mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” –Mattitiyahu/Matthew 6:15
The couple then celebrates an elaborate wedding feast with their guests. The feast is followed by a seven day period together in seclusion, in order to complete the marriage week.
All of these events remind us of the Messianic community’s coming marriage to Yeshua. We will be carried away, and joined with Him in spiritual marriage. He will finally drink again of the Kiddush cup with us and we will celebrate with Him at the wedding feast of the Lamb of God.
“‘Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.’ 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.9 Then he said to me, ‘Write, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’” –Revelations 19:7-9
Copyright 2022 Yaakov Brown
“For if Israel’s rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” -Romans 11:15
Amos 9 (Author’s translation)
1 I saw the Adonay standing upon the altar, and He said, “Strike the top of the pillars and quake the thresholds, and cause them to cut into the head of them all! And afterward with the sword I will slay them; they will not escape, to them fleeing will not deliver not even the refugee. 2 Though they dig into Sheol, the holding place of the departed, from there My hand will fetch them; and though they ascend to the heavens, from there I will bring them down. 3 And though they withdraw, hiding in the head of the Carmel, from there I will search them out and take them forth; and though they attempt to conceal themselves from My eyes on the floor of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it will bite them. 4 And though they go into captivity before the face of their enemies, from there I will command the sword and it will kill them, and I will set My eyes upon them for evil and not for good.” 5 The Adonay YHVH Who goes warring, the One who touches on the land so that it melts, and mourning will come on all those who live in it, and ascend like a river on all and they will sink like the flooding river of Egypt; 6 The Builder of the heavens which ascend and are bound upon earth has founded the calling to the waters of the sea and poured them out upon the face of the land, YHVH is His Name. 7 “You are not like children of Ethiopia to Me, you children of Israel?” declares YHVH. “Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines, from Caphtor and the Arameans, from Kir? 8 Behold, now, pay attention, the eyes of the Adonay YHVH are on the kingdom of sin (missing the mark set by God’s holiness), and I will destroy her from upon the face of the earth; ceasing nevertheless, for I will not utterly eliminate the peculiar house of Yaakov (Israel),” declares YHVH (Mercy). 9 “For behold, now, pay attention, I with a command will shake all the nations and the peculiar house of Israel as when sifting in a sieve, but not one kernel will fall to the ground. 10 In the sword, death will come to all the sinners of My people, those who say, ‘No evil will overtake or come against us.’ 11 “In that day I will raise up the specific fallen sukkah of David, and I will wall up its breaches; And its ruins I will raise up and I will rebuild it because of the days of eternity; 12 For the purpose that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My Name,” declares YHVH who fashions this. 13 “Behold, now, pay attention, days are coming,” declares YHVH, “When the ploughman will overtake the reaper, and the one who treads grapes will overtake the one who sows the seed; When the mountains will drip sweet wine, and all the hills will melt. 14 I will return the captivity of My people Yisrael and rebuild the cities left desolate and they will live in them; and plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 And I will plant them on their land, and they will not be uprooted perpetually again from their land which I have given them,” says YHVH your God.
Amos 9 (Line Upon Line)
1 Raiytiy I saw et the Adonay (Master, Lord) nitzav standing al upon ha-mizbeiach the altar, vayomer and He said, “Hach Strike ha-kaftor the top of the pillars ve’yir’ashu and quake hasipiym the thresholds, uvetza’am and cause them to cut berosh into the head kulam of them all! Veachariytam And afterward ba’cherev with the sword eherog I will slay them; lo they will not yanus escape, lahem to them nas fleeing v’lo will not yimaleit deliver lahem not even the paliyt refugee.
1 I saw the Adonay standing upon the altar, and He said, “Strike the top of the pillars and quake the thresholds, and cause them to cut into the head of them all! And afterward with the sword I will slay them; they will not escape, to them fleeing will not deliver not even the refugee.
I saw the Adonay standing upon the altar,
We note that while in the previous chapter the text spoke about “a temple” (at Bethel) and not “the Temple” (in Jerusalem), the present text uses the definite article when referring to “the altar” in Jerusalem and not to “an altar” anywhere outside of Jerusalem. Therefore, this last chapter of Amos brings to mind the first two chapters in which Judah and the surrounding nations are indicted along with the northern tribes, and thus draws together the 12 tribes under a nation-wide judgement both in the land of Israel and in exile among the nations, who are also judged in verse 9.
Further to this, the proper Noun YHVH is not used here. Rather the Hebrew Adonay (Master Lord) is used and this with the very particular proto-definite article “et”. In short, the Adonay being referred to is the person of YHVH manifest in a particular form. It is therefore clear that the LORD Who stands al “upon” the altar, and not “beside” it (as many English translations mis-render the text) is Imanu-El (God with us) the King Messiah.
We are reminded that mizbeach (altar) comes from the root zabach (slaughter). Where Judah (and Israel) had failed to properly honour the altar of YHVH, God would bring slaughter. Not the slaughter of annihilation but the slaughter of discipline.
Interestingly the Targum reads:
"Amos the prophet said, I saw the glory of the Lord removing from the cherub, and it dwelt upon the altar;''
The inference of the Aramaic Targum paraphrase is that because Israel had not offered acceptable sacrifices on the altar the manifest presence of God had moved from between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies and was standing upon the altar. The positional representation of the Person of God standing on the altar is therefore understood as an indication that His manifest presence was about to ascend. Thus, the inference is that God’s manifest presence will depart from Israel for a time.
and He said, “Strike the top of the pillars and quake the thresholds, and cause them to cut into the head of them all!
In the context of the altar the striking of the top of the pillars is a reference to the top of the pillars of the temple which are used metaphorically to denote the religious leaders of Judah and Israel respectively. The quaking is yet another reference to the great earthquake prophesied in chapter 1, and the cutting of the heads denotes the slaughter of the heads of the tribes of Israel beginning with the kings (of both Judah & Israel), priests, and nobles, and ending with the heads of the lowliest families.
The Targum understands this prophecy to refer to the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. Given that the nature of Hebrew prophecy is cyclical and that numerous fulfilments are possible, it is equally acceptable to say that the prophecy also points forward to the destruction of the re-established Temple later modified and restored by Herod the Great and its complete destruction at the hands of the Romans in 70 C.E.
"and he said, unless the people of the house of Israel return to the Torah, the menorah shall be extinguished, King Josiah shall be killed, and the house destroyed, and the courts dissipated, and the vessels of the house of the sanctuary shall go into captivity; and the rest of them I will slay with the sword,” -Targum Yonatan 2nd Century Aramaic Paraphrase
And afterward with the sword I will slay them; they will not escape, to them fleeing will not deliver not even the refugee.
Simply put, with regard to the wicked among the people of Israel, not even those who flee the initial invasion will be able to escape the discipline of God. His discipline will follow them all the way into their captivity.
2 Im-yachteru Though they dig (row) bi’sheol into the holding place of the departed, misham from there yadiy My hand tikacheim will fetch them; ve’im-ya’alu and though they ascend to hashamayim the heavens (skies, sky waters), misham from there oriydem I will bring them down. 3 Ve’im-yeichave’u And though they withdraw, hiding berosh in the head of hakarmel the Carmel (garden land) [on the summit of Mt Carmel], misham from there achapeis I will search them out ulekachtiym and take them out; veim-yisateru and though they conceal themselves mineged eiynay from My eyes bekarka on the floor of ha-yam the sea (body of water), misham from there atzaveh I will command ha-nachash the serpent, uneshacham and it will bite them.
2 Though they dig into Sheol, the holding place of the departed, from there My hand will fetch them; and though they ascend to the heavens, from there I will bring them down. 3 And though they withdraw, hiding in the head of the Carmel, from there I will search them out and take them forth; and though they attempt to conceal themselves from My eyes on the floor of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it will bite them.
The Hebrew poetic mechanism of repetition is employed here in order to emphasis the firmly established future disciplining of the people. The depths of Sheol are coupled with the depths of the sea and the heights of the heavens with the heights of the Carmel mountain range (specifically the highest peak in that range) in the north west of the land of Israel.
The positional language regarding Sheol and the heavens is not distinguishing between the revisionist Christian notions of heaven and hell, rather the point being made is that no matter how deep you go or how high you ascend there is no place you can go to escape God, in Whom all things exist and have their being.
“If I ascend to the heavens, You are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!” -Tehillim (Psalms) 139:8
The heavens are the metaphorical footstool of God and the representation of life and the depths of Sheol are the positional representation of death, that is, the defeated fruit of sin, which resides (positionally speaking) far beneath His footstool. Death has been overcome by Life in God through Messiah.
Sheol is not hell but is divided into Gan Eden (Paradise) and Gehennom (torment)[hell]. Sheol is not the grave, the Hebrew word for grave is kever (above ground burial, piled stones, caves, tombs etc.). Sheol is the temporal holding place of both the departed righteous and the departed wicked, the former dwelling in Gan Eden and the latter in Gehenom. At the resurrection all will rise and be judged, the righteous in Messiah unto eternal life and the wicked into eternal torment.
there I will command the serpent, and it will bite them.
The serpent of the depths of the sea can be understood to refer to a number of enormous carnivorous sea creatures. As figurative imagery the text connects the serpent that seeded sin in Gan Eden (Eden) as the devourer of sinners. In other words, Satan despises his own children. We note that the serpent is not afforded the power to work of its own accord but is under God’s control.
4 Veim-yeilechu And though they go vasheviy into captivity lifneiy before the face of their ’yveiyhem enemies, misham from there atzaveh I will command et-hacherev the sword vaharagatam and it will kill them, vesamtiy and I will set eiyniy My eyes aleiyhem upon them lera’ah for evil velo letovah and not for good.”
4 And though they go into captivity before the face of their enemies, from there I will command the sword and it will kill them, and I will set My eyes upon them for evil and not for good.”
The captives of the ancient Levant were taken away at the head of invading armies. In this case even while being led away there will be many who are cut down on the journey to their final captive destination.
“Her enemies have become the head; her enemies prosper, because the LORD has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the enemy.” -Lamentations 1:5
My eyes upon them for evil and not for good.”
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” -Proverbs 15:3 NIV
The forces of evil are given temporal permission, they are subject to God and His redemptive purposes. Evil is the fruit of a created being and will therefore one day cease and implode, whereas Good is an attribute of the all existing Creator and will therefore remain forever.
The Targum reads “my Word shall be against them.”
5 The Adonay YHVH Ha-tzevaot Who goes warring, hanogeia the One who touches ba’aretz on the land vatamog so that it melts, veavelu and mourning kol-yusheveiy va will come on all those who live in it, ve’altah and ascend chayor like a river kulah on all veshakeah and they will sink kiyor like the flooding river mitzrayim of Egypt (double distress);
5 The Adonay YHVH Who goes warring, the One who touches on the land so that it melts, and mourning will come on all those who live in it, and ascend like a river on all and they will sink like the flooding river of Egypt;
The Adonay YHVH Who goes warring, the One who touches on the land so that it melts,
It is God in His war against evil Who is depicted here as the destroyer of vile things in the land of Israel. The melting land is a euphemism for an earthquake which is the prophesied mechanism of destruction alluded to throughout the scroll of Amos.
and mourning will come on all those who live in it,
Not all will be destroyed but all will be affected. Even the righteous remnant will mourn because of the loss of friends and family members who had not repented of wicked lifestyles. All alike will mourn the exile of the nation.
We are fools to think that God will not bring discipline on the modern body of believers if we continue to syncretise paganism and walk in error. It is out of love born of holiness that God disciplines us as a people. The outworking of His justice begins with His children. Therefore, the days are coming when we will all mourn. However, this is not a story of doom and gloom but one of redemption. In Scripture mourning is synonymous with repentance.
“And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son, and shall weep bitterly for Him as one who weeps bitterly for his firstborn.” -Zechariah 12:10
and ascend like a river on all and they will sink like the flooding river of Egypt;
The reference to the Nile of Egypt invokes a memory of bondage and a return to that which God had delivered Israel from. Israel was responsible for her own return to captivity. Her bondage the result of corporate self-harm.
6 Haboneh The Builder vashamayim of the heavens (sky waters) ma’alotav which ascend va’agudato and are bound al upon eretz earth/land yesadah has founded hakorei the calling lemay-hayam to the waters of the sea vayishpecheim and poured them out al-peneiy upon the face of ha’aretz the land, YHVH (Mercy) Shemo is His Name.
6 The Builder of the heavens which ascend and are bound upon earth has founded the calling to the waters of the sea and poured them out upon the face of the land, YHVH is His Name.
"who causes to dwell in a high fortress the Shekhinah of His glory:'' -Targum
Once again God is being described as Creator, the One Who formed the heavens and the earth, the sky waters and the earth waters. Israel had sought to create a God like those of the nations around them, the calves of Jeroboam being a perfect example of the pathetic limitations that they had placed on their perception of God. Therefore, YHVH the God Whose Name is beyond human understanding, the Creator of all things Who chose a tribe for Himself but is not limited by concepts of tribal deity, reminds His myopic and self-deluded people Israel that before He was called El Eloheiy Yisrael (God the God of Israel) He is the all existing God in Whom all things have their being.
7 “Halo chivneiy You are not like children chushiyiym atem liy of Ethiopia to Me, beneiy Yisrael you children of Israel?” neum declares YHVH. “Halo et Yisrael he’eleiytiy Have I not brought up Israel mei’eretz from the land mitzrayim of Egypt (double distress), ufelishtiyiym and the Philistines, mikaftor from Caphtor va’aram and the Arameans (Syrians), mikiyr from Kir (a city of Mesopotamia)?
7 “You are not like children of Ethiopia to Me, you children of Israel?” declares YHVH. “Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines, from Caphtor and the Arameans, from Kir?
The Hebrew commentator Yarkhi paraphrases the text as:
"from the sons of Noah you came as the rest of the nations.''
In other words, “You are like all other human beings in respect to your origin and your propensity for sin…”
However, this seems an unlikely conclusion given that the latter clause denotes Israel’s uniqueness among the nations and God’s deliverance of Israel from several of her enemies even so far as inferring her future deliverance from the approaching Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.
Therefore, the Targum understands it best when it renders the text:
"are you not reckoned as beloved children before me, O house of Israel?''
The best understanding of this verse is that Israel is not like the children of Ethiopia, or any other nation for that matter. To the contrary, God has chosen Israel to be His peculiar people, set apart, delivered, free for freedom.
8 Hineih, Behold, now, pay attention, eiyneiy the eyes of the Adonay YHVH bamamlachah are on the kingdom ha-chata’ah of sin (missing the mark set by God’s holiness), vehishmadtiy and I will destroy otah her meial from upon peneiy ha’adamah the face of the earth; efes ceasing nevertheless, kiy lo for I will not hashmeiyd utterly ashmiyd eliminate et ha beiyt the peculiar house of Yaakov (Israel),” neum declares YHVH (Mercy).
8 Behold, now, pay attention, the eyes of the Adonay YHVH are on the kingdom of sin (missing the mark set by God’s holiness), and I will destroy her from upon the face of the earth; ceasing nevertheless, for I will not utterly eliminate the peculiar house of Yaakov (Israel),” declares YHVH (Mercy).
The hineih refrain calls Israel to attention once more.
the eyes of the Adonay YHVH are on the kingdom of sin
We note that Adonay’s eyes are on the kingdom of sin and not on the kingdom of Israel. This is equivalent to reading “Adonay’s eyes are on the sins of Israel”. The all seeing, omnipresent nature of God is emphasised.
I will destroy her from upon the face of the earth
The “her” here is the “kingdom of sin”, that is those who are practicing a lifestyle of wickedness within Israel. We know that this does not denote the elimination of all Israel because of the following clause.
ceasing nevertheless, for I will not utterly eliminate the peculiar house of Yaakov
The righteous remnant of Yaakov (Israel) are called peculiar, unique, unusual and Adonay’s wrath is predetermined to cease so as not to eliminate the entire ethnic religious people of Israel whom He has chosen for His own possession.
“Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid.” -Jeremiah 30:10
9 “Kiy For hineih behold, now, pay attention, Anochiy I metzaveh with a command, vahaniotiy will shake vechol-hagoyim all the nations et-beiyt Yisrael and the peculiar house of Israel ka’asher as when yinoa sifting bakevarah in a sieve, vlo-yipol tzeror aretz but not one kernel will fall to the ground.
9 “For behold, now, pay attention, I with a command will shake all the nations and the peculiar house of Israel as when sifting in a sieve, but not one kernel will fall to the ground.
We note that the indictment prophesied in chapters one and two against the surrounding nations, Judah and Israel, has come full circle. The physical, historical, regional earthquake will shake all the nations of the Levant so that no matter where Israel is exiled she too will be shaken and so all will be sifted like wheat and the wicked like chaff thrown on the fire will perish. But, not one kernel of the righteous remnant of Israel will fall to the ground.
10 Bacherev yamutu In the sword death will come kol chataeiy to all the sinners amiy of My people, haomriym those who say, ‘lo-tagiysh vetakdiym ba’adeiynu hara’ah No evil will overtake or come against us.’
10 In the sword, death will come to all the sinners of My people, those who say, ‘No evil will overtake or come against us.’
It is very specifically the “sinners” of God’s people who will be cut down by the sword of the invading armies. Death will come to those who have been wilfully refusing to repent and have consistently turned away from God and toward evil. Those who qualify as being the “sinners” are those who in spite of their lifestyles are certain that they are blessed, even godly, who say “No evil will overtake or come against us!”
11 “Bayom hahu In that day akiym I will raise up et-sukat David hanofelet the specific fallen sukkah of David (beloved), vegadartiy and I will wall up et pirtzeiyhen its breaches; vaharisotav And its ruins akiym I will raise up uvniytiyah and I will rebuild it kiymeiy because of the days olam of eternity;
11 “In that day I will raise up the specific fallen sukkah of David (beloved), and I will wall up its breaches; And its ruins I will raise up and I will rebuild it because of the days of eternity;
The day being spoken of here is far into the future. While Israel does return from exile and the walls of Jerusalem are rebuilt by Nehemiah, and Israel’s spiritual path re-established by Ezra following the Babylonian exile, the city of Jerusalem was to be again destroyed. Therefore, while this prophecy may in part refer to Israel’s return from the Babylonian exile it is nonetheless not the ultimate goal of the prophecy.
On the historical eve of Israel’s disciplining God speaks in His prophet Amos the yet future restoration of Israel, the re-establishment of the house and dwelling of king David through David’s greater Son the King Messiah and the repairing and eternal establishment of Jerusalem. This is of course a reference to the King Messiah Yeshua, the preparation made among the Jewish people in the latter days and the descending of the New Jerusalem, when YHVH will shakan (dwell) with His people both Jewish and Gentile, forever, perpetually.
We note that YHVH does all this “because of eternity”, that is, because of His redemptive love for humanity and the eternal dwelling of His majesty in relationship to the reconciled children of God among all nations, first for the Jew and also for the Gentile.
12 Lema’an yiyreshu For the purpose that they may possess et she’eiriyt edom the remnant of Edom vechol-hagoyim and all the nations asher who nikra are called Shemiy aleiyhem by My Name,” neum declares YHVH (Mercy) oseh zot who fashions this.
12 For the purpose that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My Name,” declares YHVH (Mercy) who fashions this.
What is the purpose of Israel’s restoration? The purpose of Israel’s restoration is the restoration of all those who are called by God’s Name beginning with Yaakov’s estranged brother Esau (Edom) and spreading throughout the world.
“For if Israel’s rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” -Romans 11:15
We note that it is YHVH Who fashions this.
13 “Hineih Behold, now, pay attention, yamiym days baiym are coming,” neum declares YHVH (Mercy), “Venigash choresh bakotzeir When the ploughman will overtake the reaper, vedorech and the one who treads anaviym grapes will overtake bemosheich the one who sows hazara the seed; Vehitiyfu hahariym asiys When the mountains will drip sweet wine, vechol hagevaot titmogagnah and all the hills will melt.
13 “Behold, now, pay attention, days are coming,” declares YHVH (Mercy), “When the ploughman will overtake the reaper, and the one who treads grapes will overtake the one who sows the seed; When the mountains will drip sweet wine, and all the hills will melt.
The days being spoken of here correspond to the establishment of David’s tent in the King Messiah David’s greater Son and the restoration of Jerusalem. The agricultural references describe processes that will precede and follow on from the entry of the righteous into the Olam haba (world to come)
14 Veshavtiy I will return et-shevut the captivity amiy of My people Yisrael uvanu ariym and rebuild the cities neshamot left desolate veyashavu and they will live in them; venateu and plant cheramiym vineyards veshatu et-yiyinam and drink their wine, ve’asu and make ganot gardens veachelu and eat et-periyham their fruit.
14 I will return the captivity of My people Yisrael and rebuild the cities left desolate and they will live in them; and plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit.
This prophecy has been fulfilled in a significant way at least twice in history to date and will find its ultimate fulfilment in the return of the Messiah and the return of all the remnant of Israel in Him.
The resurgence of Israel in the establishment of the modern state in 1948 has seen the draining of swamps, the revitalising of water ways and replanting on a massive scale resulting in an increase in annual precipitation and subsequent rainfall throughout the land of Israel over the last 74 years.
The mention of vineyards and wine is symbolic of life, celebration and prosperity.
15 Uneta’tiym And I will plant them al-admatam on their land, velo yinateshu and they will not be od meial uprooted perpetually again from admatam their land asher natatiy which I have given lahem them,” amar says YHVH (Mercy) Elohaycha your God.
15 And I will plant them on their land, and they will not be uprooted perpetually again from their land which I have given them,” says YHVH (Mercy) your God.
While Israel was again uprooted following her return from Babylon, and subsequently returned some two thousand years after the exile which resulted following the Roman desecration of the land, this prophecy does not say “they will not be uprooted” but “they will not be uprooted perpetually”. In other words, there will be a final fulfilment of this prophecy that places Israel in the land eternally. The covenant for the land of Israel is made first with Abraham and then restated over Isaac and Jacob. It is a covenant which is entirely incumbent on God because Avraham was unconscious when it was ratified through blood (Gen. 15; Psalm 105:6-11). The establishment of Israel’s eternal possession of the land will of course come about at the redemption of the entire remnant of the ethnic religious Jewish people at the return of the King Messiah and convergent with the Olam Haba (world to come)[Rom. 11:].
“O seed of Abraham His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
7 He is the Lord our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
9 The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac,
10 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
As the allotment of your inheritance,” -Psalm 105:6-11 (NKJV)
“25 For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be ignorant of this mystery—lest you be wise in your own eyes[m]—that a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; [n] 26 and in this way[o] all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer shall come out of Zion.
He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
27 And this is My covenant with them,[p]
when I take away their sins.”[q] -Romans 11:25-27 (TLV)
Copyright 2022 Yaakov Brown
Amos Chapter 8
The prophet is not the mouthpiece of a channelled spirit but rather a relational representative of God. The
Amos 8 (Author’s translation)
1 This is what Adonay YHVH (Mercy) showed me, and behold, now, pay attention, a basket of summer fruit. 2 And He said, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” And YHVH said to me, “The goal (extremity) has come to My people Yisrael. I will not increase perpetually to pass over him. 3 And there will be wailing songs at a temple in that day,” declares Adonay YHVH. “Many will be the corpses; in every place thrown, silent!” 4 Hear, listen, receive, comprehend, understand you who inhale the needy, and put an end to the humble of the land (of Israel), 5 Saying, “When will the new moon pass over, and we’ll sell grain; and the Sabbath, and we’ll open the wheat, to make smaller the ephah (measure) and greater the shekel, and to pervert with deceitful scales, 6 In order to acquire for silver the weak, and the needy for a pair of sandals, and they sell the chaff from the wheat?” 7 Thus has sworn YHVH on the majesty of Yaakov (Israel), “Indeed, I will never forget any of their works. 8 On account of this will the land (of Israel) not tremble, and everyone who lives in it mourn? And a flood will rise up on all, and cast out and subside like the Nile of Egypt. 9 And it will come to pass in that day,” declares Adonay YHVH, “And I will make the sun go down in the noon, and I will make the darkness to the land (of Israel) in the day light. 10 And I will overthrow your festivals to mourning, and all your songs to songs of mourning; and I will ascend upon all the loins of those in sackcloth, and upon every head baldness. And I will place (appoint) it like the mourning for a solitary one, and the end of it will be like a day of bitterness. 11 “Behold, now, pay attention, days are coming,” declares Adonay YHVH, “And I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, because it will be from hearing, listening to, receiving the words of YHVH. 12 And they will tremble, wander from sea (body of water) to sea (body of water) and from the north and to the east; they will roam to and fro to seek the Word, Essence, Substance of YHVH, and will not find Him. 13 In that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint from thirst. 14 Those who swear by the offense, sin, guilt of Samaria, and say, ‘As your god lives, Dan,’ and, ‘Life in the way of Beersheba,’ they will fall and not rise perpetually (again, going round).”
Amos 8 (Line Upon Line)
1 Koh This is what hir’aniy Adonay the Lord YHVH (Mercy) showed me, ve’hineih and behold, now, pay attention, keluv a basket kayitz of summer fruit.
1 This is what Adonay YHVH (Mercy) showed me, and behold, now, pay attention, a basket of summer fruit.
As a continuation of the previous series of prophetic warnings the mechanism for revelation to Amos continues to be that of open visions. “The Master of Mercy showed me…”
"The last of the summer fruit;'' -Targum
While there are some exceptions the majority of the summer fruit collected just prior to autumn (fall) in the land of Israel is less hydrated and often not as good as the fruit harvested earlier in the season. The latter fruit was fully ripe and in some cases over ripe and therefore a metaphor denoting that Israel was ripe, even over ripe for destruction. The metaphor further infers that Israel would soon be quickly devoured by her enemies and enter a winter of exile.
2 Vayomer And He said, “Mah-atah What do you roeh see, Amos (burden)?” Va’omar And I said, “Keluv A basket kayitz of summer fruit.” Vayomer And YHVH said eilay to me, “Ba hakeitz The goal (extremity) has come el-amiy to My people Yisrael. Lo osiyf I will not increase od perpetually (going round) avor to pass over lo him.
2 And He said, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” And YHVH said to me, “The goal (extremity) has come to My people Yisrael. I will not increase perpetually to pass over him.
The conversation continues between HaShem and His prophet Amos. The prophet is not the mouthpiece of a channelled spirit but rather a relational representative of God. The questioning, like that which has gone before, is yet another opportunity for the disciple (Amos) to better understand the visual mashal (parable). Amos answers by describing what he sees and HaShem explains the remez, hint at deeper meaning.
“The goal (extremity) has come to My people Yisrael.”
This verse does not mean that God is finished with Israel or ending her kingdom, if it did, it would make the subsequent return from exile and the lineage of the King Messiah redundant. The text is simply saying that the natural consequence of Israel’s sin is about to reach its goal. From the view of the Omniscient Creator it “Has (already) come”.
“I will not increase perpetually to pass over him.”
HaShem had passed over Israel in Egypt because of the sign of the blood of the Pesach (Passover) Lamb on the doors of the homes of the Israelites, a symbol denoting God’s redemptive covering over the entire household. However, Israel had been practicing its own versions of the festivals and not properly applying the blood of the sacrifices. Nor had Israel been properly keeping Pesach. Therefore, HaShem would now cease to pass over Israel’s apostate homes and instead allow the angel of death to come against them. “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” (Lev. 17:11-14 Heb. 9:22).
3 Veheiyliylu And there will be wailing shiyrot songs heiychal at a temple bayom hahu in that day,” neum declares Adonay YHVH. “Rav hapeger Many will be the corpses; bechol-makum in every place hishlich thrown, has silent!”
3 And there will be wailing songs at a temple in that day,” declares Adonay YHVH. “Many will be the corpses; in every place thrown, silent!”
This refers to the apostate temple at Bethel (a temple) rather than the Temple in Jerusalem. The context is a revelation of warning to the 10 tribes of the northern kingdom. The songs will be turned to wailing in response to the coming calamity.
The Targum understands the Hebrew “heiychal” as “palace/house” and reads “at that time they shall howl in their homes, instead of singing.”
The point being that in the primary place of apostate worship and throughout the homes of the northern tribes songs of rejoicing will be turned into songs of wailing.
“Many will be the corpses; in every place thrown, silent!”
As is the case earlier in the scroll of Amos (6:10) the number of dead will be so great that proper interment will not be possible. The silence refers to a lack of traditional funeral invocations and prayers. Alternatively, in keeping with the Jewish commentator Kimkhi’s interpretation, the silence is commanded by those shifting the bodies as an admonishment not to blaspheme God in response to the number of dead.
“one of them that casts them forth shall say to his companion, be silent;” -Kimkhi commentary on Amos 8:3
Kimkhi’s interpretation is consistent with Amos 6:10:
“10 And a man’s uncle will lift him up and burn him, and bring out bone substance from the house, and say to the one who is at the sides of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” And that one will say, “None.” Then he will answer, “Keep silent!” For the name of YHVH the Lord is not remembered.” -Author’s translation
4 Shimu Hear, listen, receive, comprehend, understand zot hashoafiym you who inhale evyon the needy, velashbiyt and put an end to aniyei-aretz the humble of the land (of Israel),
4 Hear, listen, receive, comprehend, understand you who inhale the needy, and put an end to the humble of the land (of Israel),
Yet again the dishonourable actions of those in power are pointed out. Their treatment of the needy and weak is likened to inhaling and consuming something. The phrasing “inhale the needy” reflects the imagery of a person suffering desperate thirst after a draught who upon finding water gulps it down, even if it means fighting off other dehydrated people to do so.
They have caused the deaths of the humble. The Hebrew “evyon” refers to the physically poor and needy, while the Hebrew “aniyei” refers to those who practice spiritual humility. Those wicked people among the powerful members of the northern tribes are responsible for heinous injustice both practically and spiritually speaking. The fruit of their hearts (centre of being) manifests in abhorrent actions.
“The land” in question is not just any land. The Hebrew “Ha’aretz” is synonymous with “Israel” as the noun applies to the land. Therefore, it is right to read “you who inhale the needy, and put an end to the humble of the land of Israel,” which can also be understood as “you who inhale the needy, and put an end to the humble, thus destroying your own inheritance.”
5 Leimor Saying, “Matay When will ya’avor hachodesh the new moon pass over, venashbiyrah and we’ll sell shever grain; vehashabat and the Sabbath, veniftechah-bar and we’ll open the wheat, lehaktiyn to make smaller the eifah ephah (measure) ulhagdiyl and greater the shekel, ulaveit and to pervert mozneiy mirmah with deceitful scales,
5 Saying, “When will the new moon pass over, and we’ll sell grain; and the Sabbath, and we’ll open the wheat, to make smaller the ephah and greater the shekel, and to pervert with deceitful scales,
Both Rosh Chodesh (Head of the month) and the weekly Shabbat (Sabbath) are holy consecrated days of worship on which Israel is commanded to refrain from ordinary work (Num. 28:11; 2 Kings 4:23). The inference here is that the people were spending these holy days planning their next opportunity to profit rather than focusing their attention on the worship of YHVH and practicing the regular rest which He had commanded. Added to this is the fact that even when they focused on worship they were practicing apostate worship that syncretised pagan practice.
The Targum renders “ya’avor hachodesh” as “the month of grain”. From which it seems that the Jewish commentators Kimkhi and Ben Melekh deduce that the text is speaking of the month of harvest, a time when the poor would glean from the edges of the fields according to the command of Torah and thus receive the food that sustained them. This verse then would be inferring that the powerful landowners were at that time eager for the harvest to finish so that they could profit from the poor by selling them grain they couldn’t afford in order to bring them into bondage as slaves. In this context the slaves would be fellow Israelites. The Torah forbids Israelites from owning one another as perpetual slaves. The slavery of Torah was intended as a type of social welfare system. It was a way of helping the poor out of a cycle of poverty (Ex. 21:2, 26-27). However, in the time of Amos this was not what was happening. Israelites were enslaving other Israelites for a pittance and abusing them.
Based on the definite article, the Targum and Yarkhi interpret “hashabat” (the Sabbath) to refer to the Sh’mita (seventh year Sabbath) [Ex. 23:10-11; Lev. 25:4] when there was no ploughing, sowing, or reaping, and therefore no selling of grain. Instead the Torah commands Israel to live off of what the earth brings forth of itself. This of course was a year when Israelite indentured servants were released and when the rich and poor alike were equally subject to the provision of the earth. This also meant there was to be no opportunity for profiteering during the Sh’mita.
“we’ll open the wheat, to make smaller the ephah and greater the shekel, and to pervert with deceitful scales,”
The ephah was a measure of grain and the shekel a weight used to access the value of the measure. This latter part of the verse refers to actions that were in direct contradiction to the Torah, which reads:
“13 You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. 14 You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. 15 A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 16 For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the LORD your God.” -Deut. 25:13-16 ESV
6 Liknot In order to acquire bakesef for silver daliym the weak, ve’evyon and the needy ba’avur for na’alayim a pair of sandals, umapal bar nashbiyr and they sell the chaff of the wheat?”
6 In order to acquire for silver the weak, and the needy for a pair of sandals, and they sell the chaff of the wheat?”
Not only were their weights dishonest, they were intentionally deceiving the poor in order to buy them as slaves, not in order to help them as the Torah intended but in order to subjugate them.
The valuation of a needy person’s life was “a pair of sandals”. Thus the prophet’s words come in full circle:
“Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals—” -Amos 2:6 ESV
7 Nishba Thus has sworn YHVH bigon on the majesty of Yaakov (Israel, follower), “Im-eshcach lanetzach Indeed, I will never forget kol-ma’aseiyhem any of their works.
7 Thus has sworn YHVH on the majesty of Yaakov (Israel, follower), “Indeed, I will never forget any of their works.
The “Majesty of Yaakov” is YHVH. Therefore, this is simply another way of saying that God has sworn by Himself. God cannot swear by anything or anyone else because there is nothing and no one greater than Him.
“The Majesty of Yaakov” is the counterpoint to “the pride of Yaakov” (Amos 6:8). Israel’s pride has led to her destruction, but through discipline her Majesty (YHVH) will restore her.
“The Lord GOD has sworn by himself, declares the LORD, the God of hosts: “I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds, and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.” -Amos 6:8 ESV
“Indeed, I will never forget any of their works.”
This refers specifically to evil actions. “Their works” are the works of wickedness described in verses 4 through 6. Unrepented evil deeds are not forgotten (forgiven). Where God says elsewhere “I will remember their sins no more” (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:12) it is a way of conveying to human beings who are subject to forgetfulness that God chooses to forgive (forget) the repentant and has provided the means (blood atonement) for the removal of guilt. It is impossible for an Omniscient God to forget in the normal sense of the word.
8 Ha’al On account of zot this lo-tirgaz ha’aretz will the land (of Israel) not tremble, ve’aval kol-yosheiv bah and everyone who lives in it mourn? Ve’altah cha’or kulah And a flood will rise up on all, venigreshah and cast out venishke’ah and subside kiyor mitzrayim like the Nile of Egypt.
8 On account of this will the land (of Israel) not tremble, and everyone who lives in it mourn? And a flood will rise up on all, and cast out and subside like the Nile of Egypt.
“On account of this”
On account of the wicked actions described in verses 4 to 6 the tides of consequence will bring back on the wicked that which they have sowed in the lives of others.
“will the land (of Israel) not tremble”
This is a reference to the earthquake prophesied in Amos 1:1. Additionally the land is affected spiritually by the actions of the wicked.
The shed blood of the innocent cries out from the ground (metaphorically speaking) and the Torah explains that only the blood of those who have shed the blood of the innocent can atone for it (Gen. 9:6; Num. 35:33).
“And a flood will rise up on all, and cast out and subside like the Nile of Egypt.”
The Targum understands this to refer to the invading armies of the king of Assyria.
“a king shall come up against it with his army, large as the waters of a river, and shall cover it wholly, and expel the inhabitants of it, and shall plunge as the river of Egypt;” -Targum
The prophet Yishayahu (Isaiah), who learned Torah from Amos according to one Jewish tradition, uses the same imagery:
“therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks,” -Isaiah 8:7 ESV
9 Vehayah And it will come to pass bayom hahu in that day,” neum declares Adonay YHVH, “Veheiveitiy hashemesh And I will make the sun go down ba’aharayim in the noon, veha’chashachtiy and I will make the darkness la’aretz to the land (of Israel) beyom in the day or light.
9 And it will come to pass in that day,” declares Adonay YHVH, “And I will make the sun go down in the noon, and I will make the darkness to the land (of Israel) in the day light.
This is interpreted in a number of ways. First it can refer to an eclipse, second, to a sky thick with the descending arrows of an invading force, third, it can be understood as a metaphor for the demise of the northern kingdom in the midst of her prosperity, the sun representing prosperity and the darkness at noon, sudden destruction and grief.
10 Vehafachtiy And I will overthrow chageiychem your festivals le’eivel to mourning, vechol-shiyreiychem and all your songs lekinah to songs of mourning; veha’aleiytiy and I will ascend al-kol-matenayim upon all the loins of those sak in sackcloth, veal-kol-rosh and upon every head karechah baldness. Vesamtiyha And I will place (appoint) it ke’eivel like the mourning yachiyd for a solitary one, ve’achariytah and the end of it will be keyom like a day mar of bitterness.
10 And I will overthrow your festivals to mourning, and all your songs to songs of mourning; and I will ascend upon all the loins of those in sackcloth, and upon every head baldness. And I will place (appoint) it like the mourning for a solitary one, and the end of it will be like a day of bitterness.
“And I will overthrow your festivals to mourning”
We note that HaShem is not overthrowing His festivals (moadiym: appointed times) but the syncretised apostate festivals (chagiym) of the people, hence “your festivals
“I will ascend upon all the loins of those in sackcloth, and upon every head baldness.”
All of the people from the rulers to the lowliest will be affected by the coming discipline. The reference to bald heads is not to natural or even stress related baldness but to the practice of shaving one’s head in grief. In other words everyone will have their heads shaved in grief, all will be affected, the sin of the majority at times affects even the innocent. It is often the case that our personal sin affects the community.
“like the mourning for a solitary one”
The suffering that the people will experience is likened to the suffering experienced by parents who lose an only child.
11 “Hineih Behold, now, pay attention, yamiym days baiym are coming,” neum declares Adonay YHVH, “Vehishlachtiy And I will send ra’av a famine ba’aretz in the land, lo-ra’av not a famine lalechem of bread velo-tzama or a thirst lamayim for water, kiy because im it will be lishmoa from hearing, listening to, receiving eit the divreiy words of YHVH.
11 “Behold, now, pay attention, days are coming,” declares Adonay YHVH, “And I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, because it will be from hearing, listening to, receiving the words of YHVH.
The “Hineih” refrain continues, “Pay attention, the days of discipline are fast approaching…”
“not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, because it will be from hearing, listening to, receiving the words of YHVH.”
The famine that is coming will not be a famine of bread and water but a famine of being cut off (temporarily) from the Bread of Life and Living Waters of God.
While the prophets of HaShem are prophesying, His word is available even to the wilfully rebellious, however, the time is fast approaching when He will withhold His Word. His warnings have been frequent and prolific but the time will come when at the point of Israel’s greatest physical suffering He will be silent.
12 Venau And they will tremble, wander miyam from sea (body of water) ad to yam sea (body of water) umitzafon and from the north vead-mizrach and to the east; yeshottu they will roam to and fro levakeish to seek et-devar the word, essence, substance of YHVH, velo and will not yimtza’u find Him.
12 And they will tremble, wander from sea (body of water) to sea (body of water) and from the north and to the east; they will roam to and fro to seek the Word, Essence, Substance of YHVH, and will not find Him.
The Hebrew “Yam” can refer to any “body of water”, and can therefore be understood here in a number of ways. From the Mediterranean to the Galilee, or from the Galilee to the Red Sea etc. Needless to say, the general meaning is easily gleaned. The people of Israel will look for the Word of HaShem in every part of the land and in every place of their exile from the earliest days of their discipline, but, at least for a time, they will not find Him. We note that the Hebrew text uses masculine and feminine words when referring to both subjects and objects. In this case the Word of the LORD is “Him” (John 1).
13 Bayom hahu In that day tit’alafnah habetulot hayafot vehabachuriym the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint batzama from thirst.
13 In that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint from thirst.
Even those perceived to be the healthiest members of society will faint from both physical and spiritual thirst. The children will suffer the natural consequences of their parents’ sins. Once again, our individual actions affect not only ourselves but also the community, and then generationally. The current western political trend toward hyper liberalism (the purveyor of secular immorality) will only serve to further pollute the generations to come. The proliferation of sexually transmitted diseases that have resulted from the so called sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies continue to proliferate exponentially in today’s society, some 40 odd years after the “sexual revolution”.
14 Hanishbaiym Those who swear be’ashmat by the offense, sin, guilt shomeron of Samaria, ve’ameru and say, ‘Heiy eloheycha As your god lives, Dan (judge),’ vecheiy and, ‘Life derech Be’er-shava in the way of Beersheba (well of oath, seven, blessing),’ venafelu they will fall velo-yakumu and not rise od perpetually (again, going round).”
14 Those who swear by the offense, sin, guilt of Samaria, and say, ‘As your god lives, Dan,’ and, ‘Life in the way of Beersheba,’ they will fall and not rise perpetually (again, going round).”
“The offense of Samaria” is the calf at Bethel, which was near Samaria. Two calves were made by king Jeroboam in order to draw the attention of the northern tribes away from the God appointed place of worship in Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:26-33). Jeroboam had said of these calf idols, “Behold your elohiym (gods) oh Israel”. Jeroboam at the time the calves were set up mirrored the idolatrous actions of Aaron and Israel at Sinai (Exodus 32).
The connection here in the prophecy of Amos is to the inception of Israel’s rebellion and therefore likens the behaviour of the northern tribes at this time in history to the abhorrent rebellion of Israel at Sinai. Not only had Israel made an image of a calf god, they had also given it the name Elohiym and credited this inanimate idol with the miracles of God which had delivered them from Egyptian bondage.
The prophet Hosea also refers to this:
“I have spurned your calf, O Samaria. My anger burns against them. How long will they be incapable of innocence?” -Hosea 8:5 ESV
“and say, ‘As your god lives, Dan,”
This refers to the second of the two calves (1 Kings 12:29) made by Jeroboam, which was located in the territory of the tribe of Dan.
‘Life in the way of Beersheba,’
This refers to those from the tribe of Simeon who made the long journey from Beersheba to the territory of Dan at the northern border of the territory of Judah to worship the calf idol there rather than going to worship the calf idol in Bethel, and ultimately, rather than going to Jerusalem to the God appointed location of worship.
“they will fall and not rise perpetually”
Those who have practiced the aforementioned idolatry will die and not practice their idolatry again in the land of Israel. This does not mean an end to Israel, rather it means an end to those who are guilty of the aforementioned idolatry. Discipline is coming, as is redemption. There is hope for Israel.
Copyright 2022 Yaakov Brown
Amos Chapter 7
With very few exceptions the prophets of the TaNaKh (OT) do not name themselves prophets. The many self-proclaimed prophets of the modern body of believers would do well to take note and repent.
Amos 7 (Author’s translation)
1This is what Adonay YHVH showed me, and behold, now, pay attention, He was forming locusts when the crop began to sprout, and behold, now, pay attention, the spring crop is mowed by the king. 2 And it came to pass, when they had ceased to eat the vegetation of the land, that I said, “Adonay YHVH, forgive please! Who will lift up Yaakov? For he is small.” 3 YHVH placed comfort upon this. “It will not be,” said YHVH. 4 This is what Adonay YHVH showed me, and behold, now, pay attention, Adonay YHVH calls to contend with them by fire, and it devoured the great deep and ate up the apportioned territory. 5 Then I said, “Adonay YHVH, cease please! Who will lift up Yaakov? For he is small.” 6 The comfort of YHVH is upon this. “This also will not come to pass,” says Adonay YHVH. 7 So He showed me, and behold, now, pay attention, Adonay was standing upon a wall, a plumb line, and in His hand a plumb line. 8 And YHVH said to me, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then Adonay said, “Behold, now, pay attention, I am placing a plumb line in the midst of My people Yisrael. I will not increase them any longer. 9 And desolate will be the high places of Isaac, and the sanctuaries of Yisrael will be laid waste. Then I will rise up upon the house of Jeroboam with the sword.” 10 Then Amaziah, a priest of Bethel, sent to Jeroboam king of Yisrael, to say, “Amos has bound you up in the midst of the house of Yisrael; the land is unable to overcome all his words. 11 For this is what Amos says: ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will certainly go from his land into captivity.’” 12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Seer, go, flee to the land of Judah; and eat bread there and there prophesy! 13 And don’t increase prophesy at Bethel perpetually, for it is a sanctuary of the king and a house of his.” 14 And Amos replied to Amaziah, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman, I am a gatherer of sycamore figs. 15 And the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Yisrael.’ 16 And you listen, hear, receive, understand the word, essence, substance of the Lord: you are saying, ‘Do not prophesy upon Israel and don’t preach upon the house of Isaac.’” 17 Therefore, this is what YHVH says: ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters by the sword will fall, and your land will be measured and divided, and you upon unclean ground will die. And Israel will certainly go from its land into captivity.’”
Amos 7 (Line Upon Line)
1Koh hir’aniy Adonay YHVH This is what Adonay YHVH showed me, ve’hineih and behold, now, pay attention, yotzeir He was forming govay locusts bitchilat alot halakesh when the crop began to sprout. ve’hineih and behold, now, pay attention, lekesh achar gizeiy hamalekh the spring crop is mowed by the king.
1This is what Adonay YHVH showed me, and behold, now, pay attention, He was forming locusts when the crop began to sprout, and behold, now, pay attention, the spring crop is mowed by the king.
“1This is what Adonay YHVH showed me,”
The Word essence of God is now manifest visually. The LORD is “showing” Amos a vision of the complete destruction of the coming crops. This is established and finished outside of time and space and Adonay is revealing it to Amos within time and space.
The citing of the mechanism of vision points to the use of the ancient title “Seer” (as it applies to the prophets of Israel) by Amaziah the apostate priest of Bethel in verse 12. In modern script writing terms this is a “set up”. Amaziah will later acknowledge the legitimacy of the prophetic gift of Amos but rather than listen to Amos, Amaziah will tell tale on him to the king Jeroboam and command Amos to leave Israel and go back to Judah where he came from.
“and behold, now, pay attention,”
This repeated phrase is a grave warning. Those who fail to listen and act in repentance based on what follows will do so at their peril.
“He was forming locusts when the crop began to sprout,”
Simply put, God both enacts and sees the end from the beginning. In and through the prophet Amos, God is expressing His burden upon His precious possession the ethnic religious people of Israel.
The locusts are representative of the invading armies of the Assyrians. The invasion is a foregone conclusion.
“behold, now, pay attention, the spring crop is mowed by the king.”
At least three readings are possible. Given that it is God’s formation of the locusts that is in question, the first and most likely interpretation is that the mowing refers to the damage caused by the locusts and therefore is referring to God as King. Second, the text could be describing the harvesting of the latter crop by the king of Israel as coming too late to prevent the damage caused by the locusts formed by God. And third, it may refer to the king of Assyria mowing down the crop of Israel. Of course all three interpretations can be held in tension because God is the Author of all things.
2 Vehayah And it came to pass, im-kilah when they had ceased le’echol to eat et-eisev the vegetation ha’aretz of the land, va’omar that I said, “Adonay YHVH, selach-na forgive please! Miy Who yakum will lift up Yaakov? Kiy katon hu For he is small.”
2 And it came to pass, when they had ceased to eat the vegetation of the land, that I said, “Adonay YHVH, forgive please! Who will lift up Yaakov? For he is small.”
Amos sees the fullness of the vision and the destruction that results and is heartbroken. He pleads with YHVH asking forgiveness for all Israel, Judah included. We understand that the Word (Davar) of God is pleading with the Father from within Amos. Amos asks, “Other than YHVH, who else can save Yaakov (Israel)?”
We note that the pleading of Amos follows his seeing the invasion of the land in a vision and therefore relates to God’s mercy upon the exiles of Israel. Discipline must come, and so too mercy and restoration.
The phrase “For he is small” is both a reference to the crop of Israel having been cut short in discipline and to God’s choosing of Israel as the least of the nations (Deut. 7:7). In short, “You chose Yaakov as the smallest and have treasured the people of Israel as Your precious possession, please forgive Israel and save him from himself!”
3 Nicham YHVH placed comfort al-zot upon this. “Lo tihyeh It will not be,” amar said YHVH.
3 YHVH placed comfort upon this. “It will not be,” said YHVH.
The Hebrew expresses the idea that it is the comfort of God that relents from completely destroying His disobedient people. There is comfort in His judgement. The boundaries He sets are walls of security. From within time and space it may appear that God relents, but this is not the literal meaning. God, Who knows the end from the beginning never needs to relent or repent. He has established all things. It is this aspect of His character that affirms the hope of eternal security for all who believe.
The phrase “It will not be” refers to the total annihilation of Israel, “It will NOT be!” We note that this is a response to the prayers of a righteous man [Amos] who has accepted the burden of God for His people (Yaakov [James] 5:16).
4 Koh hir’aniy Adonay YHVH This is what Adonay YHVH showed me, ve’hineih and behold, now, pay attention, korei lariv ba’eish Adonay the Lord YHVH calls to contend with them by fire, vatochal and it devoured et-tehom rabah the great deep ve’achelah and ate up et-hachelek the apportioned territory.
4 This is what Adonay YHVH showed me, and behold, now, pay attention, Adonay YHVH calls to contend with them by fire, and it devoured the great deep and ate up the apportioned territory.
This second vision affirms the destructive metaphor of the locusts. This is a Hebrew poetic mechanism employed throughout Scripture. Fire, like the locust swarm, will purge the land and the people.
YHVH will contend with a contentious people (Jeroboam) [v.9].
Fire is consistently used in Hebrew Scripture to denote judgement, discipline, cleansing, purging. The fire will purge every part of the land and waters from the coast of Israel to the outlying territories of the tribes of the north.
5 Vaomar Then I said, “Adonay YHVH, chadal-na cease please! Miy Who yakum will lift up Yaakov? Kiy katon hu For he is small.”
5 Then I said, “Adonay YHVH, cease please! Who will lift up Yaakov? For he is small.”
To paraphrase, “Master, please don’t completely wipe out Israel. Who else can save Yaakov but You. You chose him as the least and in your discipline he is small, unable to save himself. In Your mercy redeem him.”
Just as the purging of discipline is firmly established in repetition so too the plea for mercy. The mercy of God precedes and follows God’s just judgement.
6 Nicham The comfort of YHVH (Mercy) al-zot is upon this. “Gam hiy This also lo tihyeh will not come to pass,” amar says Adonay YHVH.
6 The comfort of YHVH is upon this. “This also will not come to pass,” says Adonay YHVH.
Once again YHVH listens to the petition of the prophet of burden (Amos) and the Word of His Son (Yeshua) in Amos and comforts the prophet by relenting. YHVH will not completely destroy His people but will leave a remnant and restore the people of Israel for His glory.
The total destruction of Israel “will not come to pass” and the protection of Israel’s remnant is firmly established in mercy with the second phrase “This also will not come to pass,”.
7 Koh hiraniy So He showed me, ve’hineiy and behold, now, pay attention, Adonay netzav was standing al-chomat upon a wall anach a plumb line uvyado and in His hand anach a plumb line.
7 So He showed me, and behold, now, pay attention, Adonay was standing upon a wall, a plumb line, and in His hand a plumb line.
The wall itself is a plumbline and on the plumbline which He has formed YHVH stands as Master, holding a plumbline in His hand. Israel is the wall formed by HaShem. Her Master stands upon her with the measure of judgement in His hand. The Torah is the plumbline by which moral behaviour is measured. As Adonay (Master), the King Messiah (HaMalakh HaShem) stands to measure out judgement and withhold blessing in order to provoke Israel to repentance in exile.
8 Vayomer YHVH (Mercy) And the Lord said eilay to me, “Mah atah What do you roeh see, Amos (Burden)?” Vaomar And I said, “Anach A plumb line.” Vayomer Then Adonay said, “Hin’niy Behold, now, pay attention, sam I am placing anach a plumb line bekerev in the midst amiy of My people Yisrael. Lo-osiyf I will not increase them od avor lo any longer.
8 And YHVH said to me, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then Adonay said, “Behold, now, pay attention, I am placing a plumb line in the midst of My people Yisrael. I will not increase them any longer.
“And YHVH said to me, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A plumb line.””
Again the emphasis is on what Amos sees. Amos has not immediately responded to this third vision, which is somewhat more cryptic than the former two. Therefore HaShem explains the mashal (visual parable) to His disciple Amos, just as Messiah Yeshua did with His disciples when they were unsure of His meaning.
Having seen the vision Amos now perceives the measure by which God will discipline those whom He loves. Prosperity through increase will be met by captivity through decrease. A word play is apparent. Where “Yosef” means “Yah adds (increases)”, “lo-osiyf” means “No addition (increase)”.
YHVH reveals His discipline to the prophet in numerous ways, sight being one of them. God’s conversation with His servants is unlimited. He speaks in many ways. The servant of God who is willing and intentional with regard to prayer will hear, see, feel, touch, the Word (Davar: Yeshua) daily in conversation. All prayer is a response to a conversation God began before the creation of the worlds.
The prayers of human beings do not serve God, He knows what we will ask before we ask it, rather God has gifted us prayer for our benefit so that we might understand the perfect will of our Creator. We were not created in order to worship God, rather we were created for relationship, worship is the reciprocal function of relationship. In worship we return to God the love which He has bestowed upon us. The Groom offers eternal security at great cost to Himself, the bride is left to decide whether or not she will accept that offer.
9 Venashamo And desolate will be bamot the high places of Yischak (He laughs: Isaac), umik’desheiy and the sanctuaries of Yisrael yecheravu will be laid waste. Vekamtiy Then I will rise up al-beiyt upon the house of Yarav’am (Jeroboam: contentious people) becharev with the sword.”
9 And desolate will be the high places of Isaac, and the sanctuaries of Yisrael will be laid waste. Then I will rise up upon the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
“And desolate will be the high places of Isaac,”
The apostate places of worship that syncretise pagan practices will be decimated. The naming of Isaac, from whom Yaakov and Israel descend, is an allusion to the sacrificial ransom of Isaac on Mt Moriah (Mt Zion). It is a rebuke against the northern tribes who have turned their backs on the one God appointed high place of Mt Zion in Jerusalem. They have instead defiled the memory of the Patriarch Isaac and the redemptive provision of God by making offerings to deities that cannot save on mountains that have not been appointed for the worship of YHVH the God of Israel. Additionally, in Beersheba where Isaac acted righteously in worship of the One true God, the tribes of Israel have acted in apostacy.
The reference to Isaac is also an indictment against Judah, thus the “sanctuaries of (all) Israel” are subsequently alluded to. Therefore, all 12 tribes are rebuked for their idolatrous worship on the many high places throughout the land of Israel.
“Then I will rise up upon the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
God will contend with Jeroboam king of the 10 tribes, whose name means “People of contention”. The sword, like fire, is a mechanism of judgement. The cutting of the sword is the just counterpoint to the “cutting” of covenant. The measure of the plumb line notwithstanding, the sword is the third metaphor of destruction. The discipline established is immutable.
10 Vayishlach Amatzyah (YHVH is mighty) kohen beiyt-el (a house of a god, judge) Then Amaziah, a priest of Bethel, sent el-Yaraviam to Jeroboam meileikh-Yisrael king of Yisrael, leimor to say, “kashar aleykha Amos has bound you up be’kerev in the midst beiyt of the house of Yisrael; lo-tuchal ha’aretz lehachiyl eit-kol-divarayv the land is unable to overcome all his words.
10 Then Amaziah, a priest of Bethel, sent to Jeroboam king of Yisrael, to say, “Amos has bound you up in the midst of the house of Yisrael; the land is unable to overcome all his words.
“Then Amaziah, a priest of Bethel, sent to Jeroboam king of Yisrael,”
Amaziah is an apostate priest of “a house of god”. The Jewish commentator Iben Ezra calls Amaziah the “priest of Ba’al”. Ba’al meaning “husband, master, lord” and referring to the chief Canaanite deity. Amaziah was one of the apostate priests that succeeded the priests which Jeroboam the son of Nebat had placed in Bethel to offer sacrifices to the calf which he had set up in that place, repeating the rebellion of Israel at the foot of Sinai (Choreb) [1 Kings 12:32].
Amaziah was an apostate priest, and Bethel an unacceptable location of worship. The involvement of the priest in matters of governance infers a convergence of religion and secular rule. In other words the leaders of Israel both religious and secular are united in apostacy.
The juxtaposition of the names Jeroboam and Israel express the wrestling of Jacob. Jeroboam (a contentious people) is king of Israel (overcome in God). Even in the midst of Israel’s rebellion God has seeded redemption.
“Amos has bound you up in the midst of the house of Yisrael;”
The use of binding denotes the binding of the commandments of God. The same commandments that when bound to the hearts and minds of Israel protect her from harm also bind upon her discipline when she fails to bind them to herself. The words of the prophet are binding for good or bad depending on how they’re received.
“the land is unable to overcome all his words.”
The words of Amos are the expression of the Word (Yeshua) and neither the people nor the land are able to resist the fullness of these prophetic words. We remember that Israel’s discipline which is already complete from God’s perspective outside of time and space, is being spoken into time and space through the prophet Amos.
11 Kiy-Koh amar For this is what Amos says: ‘Bacherev yamot Yaravam Jeroboam will die by the sword, veyisrael and Israel galoh yigleh meial admato will certainly go from his land into captivity.’”
11 For this is what Amos says: ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will certainly go from his land into captivity.’”
Amaziah is here relaying to Jeroboam what Amos has prophesied.
12 Vayomer Amatzyah Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Chozeh leikh barach-lecha Seer, go, flee el-eretz Yehudah to the land of Judah; ve’echal-sham lechem and eat bread there vesham tinavei and there prophesy!
12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Seer, go, flee to the land of Judah; and eat bread there and there prophesy!
In a colloquial sense Amaziah is telling Amos to go back to his own tribe and trouble them instead. “If you don’t like it here go back to Judah”.
13 Uveiyt-el lo-tosiyf od lhinavei And don’t increase prophesy at Bethel perpetually, kiy for it is mikdash-meileikh a sanctuary of the king hu uveiyt mamlachah hu and a house of his.”
13 And don’t increase prophesy at Bethel perpetually, for it is a sanctuary of the king and a house of his.”
Amaziah asks Amos to stop “increasing” prophecy at Bethel, which was apparently also king Jeroboam’s capital at that time. The Hebrew meaning “increase” reflects the meaning of the name Yoseph (YHVH adds, increases). Though he doesn’t realise it in his fallen delusion, Amaziah is essentially asking Amos not to increase God’s goodness to Israel. After all, the increase of warning is a blessing, whereas the failure to increase warning means the destruction of an unprepared people.
14 Vaya’an vayomer And Amos replied el-amatzyah to Amaziah, “Lo-naviy I am not a prophet, velo vein-naviy nor am I the son of a prophet; anochiy kiy-vokeir for I am a herdsman, anochiy I am a uvoleis shikmiym gatherer of sycamore figs.
14 And Amos replied to Amaziah, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman, I am a gatherer of sycamore figs.
It’s interesting to note that Amos continues to see himself as a herdsman and a fruit picker. His self-assessment is in the present tense. Even here in the midst of his prophetic ministry Amos considers himself a common shepherd and fruit tree tender.
With very few exceptions the prophets of the TaNaKh (OT) do not name themselves prophets. The many self-proclaimed prophets of the modern body of believers would do well to take note and repent.
15 Vayikacheiniy YHVH And the Lord took me meiachareiy from following hatzon the flock, vayomer eilay YHVH and the Lord said to me, ‘Leikh hinavei Go prophesy eil-amiy to My people Yisrael.’
15 And the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Yisrael.’
The LORD took Amos from “following” and made him a voice of leadership, he was called out from shepherding sheep into a ministry where he was shepherding the sheep of Israel. Good shepherds who reflect the nature of the Good Shepherd Yeshua, are a gift from God.
Amaziah, a honoured religious leader of the northern tribes says to the humble herdsman and fruit picker Amos, “Don’t prophecy”, on the other hand YHVH the Creator of all things says “Prophecy”. When those who seem godly contradict God’s Word we know them to be apostate. We are challenged not to give in to the fear of ungodly human authority, but instead to fear God.
16 Veatah And you shema listen, hear, receive, understand Divar-YHVH the word, essence, substance of the Lord: Atah omeir you are saying, ‘Lo tinavei Do not prophesy al-Yisrael upon Israel velo tatiyf and don’t preach al-beiyt upon the house of Yischak (Isaac).’”
16 And you listen, hear, receive, understand the word, essence, substance of the Lord: you are saying, ‘Do not prophesy upon Israel and don’t preach upon the house of Isaac.’”
Amos, a shepherd of God speaks to Amaziah, an apostate shepherd and says “You say ‘Do not prophecy’”. In other words, “Don’t say anything against our bad behaviour, don’t warn us, tell us only good things…”
Many in the modern body of believers judge the efficacy of the prophetic gifting using the presumptive measure that it must be uplifting and affirming in order for it to have come from God. What utter nonsense, this ludicrous basis for accessing prophecy discounts all the prophets of God. Those who look only for the good are blind to evil and inevitably call good that which is evil. Why would a godly person ever affirm sinful behaviour? We are instead called to name it, repent of it and allow God to remove it. Not an uplifting experience, but a godly one. We would do well to soberly re-access the measure we use for determining godly prophecy within the modern body of believers.
Amaziah commands Amos to neither prophecy or preach. “Keep it to yourself”, or, “Go tell it to your own tribe Judah”.
17 Lachein Therefore, koh-amar YHVH this is what the Lord says: ‘Ishtekha Your wife baiyr tizneh will become a prostitute in the city, uv’noteycha and your sons and daughters bacherev yiflu by the sword will fall, veadmatecha and your land bachevel techulak will be measured and divided, veatah and you al-adamah temeiah upon unclean ground tamut will die. VeYisrael And Israel galoh yigleh meial admato will certainly go from its land into captivity.’”
17 Therefore, this is what YHVH says: ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters by the sword will fall, and your land will be measured and divided, and you upon unclean ground will die. And Israel will certainly go from its land into captivity.’”
Amos in direct contradiction to Amaziah’s instruction and knowing that he is putting his life at risk (given that the king has been informed), now makes plain what will happen to the disobedient northern tribes.
“Your wife will become a prostitute in the city”
Due to famine, your family will have no other options for earning income.
“your sons and daughters by the sword will fall”
Shallum smote Zachariah the son of Jeroboam with the sword, Menachem, slew Shallum, and ripped unborn children from the wombs of their mothers; and the foreign invaders of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, Pul, Tiglathpileser, and Shalmaneser likewise killed the sons and daughters of Israel (2 Kings 15:10).
“your land will be measured and divided,”
Your tribal lands will be taken from you, measured and divided as spoils for the invaders.
“you upon unclean ground will die.”
On the same ground you worshipped false deities you will die. On ground already defiled by blood, you will die. Not only will you die an unclean death, you will die that death on unclean land. Worse still it is the land of Israel which you yourself defiled in preparation for your death. The ultimate manifestation of self-harm. Alternatively, “You will die in the unclean land of the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires.” Although the latter seems unlikely given that the death on unclean land precedes the next clause which speaks of Israel going into captivity.
“And Israel will certainly go from its land into captivity.”
In spite of the fact that some of the sons and daughters of Israel will die by the sword, there will also be a remnant that goes into captivity. This affirms the previously alluded to fact that Israel will not be entirely destroyed. Israel’s exile unto repentance and restoration is firmly established. It will happen, she will leave her land for a time, but she will also be restored to it in the future expression of God’s mercy through His redemptive ransom. Thus Isaac will once again be delivered through the substitutionary sacrifice of the Ram of God (Yeshua).
Copyright 2022 Yaakov Brown
A Messianic Jewish Wedding Infographic
The Chuppah (Wedding canopy) is representative of the marriage chamber and the ancient custom of the chatan (groom) building a room onto the house of his father in preparation for receiving his Ishah (wife) to be. This once took place during the year of erusin/kiddushin (betrothal, sanctification) prior to the groom returning for his kalah (bride) and carrying her away following the nissuin (Wedding ceremony, marriage, to be carried [nasa]) John 14:1-4.
The Tallit (prayer shawl) tied to the four corners of the chuppah, covers the bride and groom symbolizing the Shekhinah (Dwelling, settling)/Kavod (Glory) HaShem (YHVH) [Divine Presence/ Manifest Spirit of G-d]. With this in mind the chuppah also mirrors the Mishkan (Tent of meeting) of the heavenlies which will descend and house the people of God in the New Jerusalem at the end of the age Rev. 21:1-6, 22-23. Thus, God will dwell (shakan) with His people (His bride), and YHVH and the Lamb (Yeshua) will be the Covering and the Light to the people of God both Jewish and Gentile for all eternity.
The head covering warn by Jewish men is called a kippah (covering, from kaparah- atonement) [Yarmulke: Yiddish] and reminds us of the fact that no one can stand before the Holy God of Israel without atonement Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22. It is therefore a reminder to those who have become followers of Yeshua Melekh HaMashiach the King Messiah Yeshua that without the shedding of His atoning blood (everlasting) no one can stand before God eternally in the Olam Haba (World to Come) John 3:13-21.
Veiling the Bride
This signifies that the groom’s love for her is for both her outward and her inner beauty, and also that the two are distinct individuals even after marriage. This custom also connects the modern wedding to the historical Biblical account of Jacob, who was tricked into marrying the sister of the woman he loved (Jewish tradition suggests that Leah was veiled). If the groom does the veiling himself, deceit of this sort can be avoided Gen. 29:16-28.
Circling the Groom
A Jewish bride makes either three or seven circuits around the groom. The circling itself represents Israel returning to God after her rebellion and becoming part of the “new thing” which God brings about through the redemption found in the King Messiah. This is based on the text of Jeremiah 31:22 “For YHVH has created a new thing on the land (of Israel):
A woman will encompass a man.”
The number three relates to the threefold Biblical phrase concerning Israel’s betrothal to HaShem (God/YHVH): “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in favour and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness and trust. Then you will intimately know the Lord.” -Hosea 2:19-20.
The threefold circling also reflects the threefold commitment of the groom made to the wife in the ketubah agreement. He covenants to provide, food, clothing & shelter, and conjugal relations.
The number seven reflects the creation week and the sheva brachot (the seven marriage blessings).
Kiddush Cup (Sanctification cup)
Kiddush means sanctification. The Kos kiddush (Kiddush cup) is blessed twice and drunk once in order to convey the two very distinct but connected occasions of betrothal and marriage as practiced in ancient times. The fruit of the vine (grape juice/wine) is a symbol of both blood covering and prosperity. Therefore, the kiddush cup denotes atonement (the means of reconciliation), sanctification (a process), and prosperity (the result).
Traditionally the groom gives a ring and the bride receives it (in modern observance it’s become common for both groom and bride to offer rings). No women may be married unless she consents to receiving the groom’s proposal. Likewise, no human being can enter eternity with God unless that person willingly receives His sacrificial substitutionary offer of redemption and life everlasting. The ring symbolizes an everlasting covenant. The joining of a man and a woman makes them echad (a complex unity). Marriage between a man and a woman is till death, and in Messiah those aspects of marriage that are transcendent remain Gen 2:24.
It’s customary to place the ring on the index finger of the left hand. This is based on the ancient belief that this finger is connected to the blood vessel that connects directly to the lev (heart) which in Hebrew denotes the center of a person’s being rather than the seat of emotion. In other words, love is eternal and transcends temporal emotion.
Ketubah (To write)
Like the traditional ring giving, the ketubah is given by the groom to the bride. In it the groom covenants to provide for the bride in every aspect of their lives together. Like the salvation and sanctification offered by God through the Groom Yeshua (Jesus) to humanity, the ketubah and its promises are the obligation of the groom, the bride need only receive the covenant offered. This teaches us that salvation is the work of God and not of ourselves. In and of ourselves we are unable to atone for the sins of the past (we are not time travelers, nor are we devoid of evil intentions), nor can we effect salvation by any means. Knowing this God our Creator provided His own eternal blood through Yeshua Melekh HaMashiach the King Messiah Yeshua before the creation of the world 1 Peter 1:19-21; Rev. 13:8, so that all who receive Him (Yeshua) might be reconciled to God for eternity in the same way that an honorable bride is joined to her groom by receiving the ketubah covenant which he offers her.
While there are many interpretations of this custom, there are at least two primary orthodox explanations. The first is that with few exceptions all the covenants of Torah are made by “cutting”. The Hebrew B’rit (covenant) is formed from the word bara meaning to cut. The second is that the breaking of the glass reminds us that the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans and that the joy of Israel cannot be fully realized until the temple is rebuilt at the (second) coming of the King Messiah.
Our Messianic view adds the understanding that the cup of the covenant entered into by the groom and bride is symbolic of their intimacy with one another and the life (progeny) that comes forth from that union. Therefore, because they alone have drunk from it and they have committed to loving each other and forsaking all others with regard to sexual intimacy, the breaking of the cup seals that commitment and acts as a warning to any who might seek to drink from it, thus lacerating their lips. This is symbolic of a death curse upon any who would practice adultery (one of the things alluded to in Birkat Erusin [Betrothal blessing] of the Jewish wedding covenant).
Alphabetic Transliterated Hebrew Word List:
B’rit – covenant
Bara - to cut
Birkat Erusin - Betrothal blessing
Chuppah - Wedding canopy
Chatan – groom
Erusin/Kiddushin – betrothal (sanctification)
HaShem - God/YHVH
Kalah – bride
Kaparah – atonement
Kavod - Glory
Ketubah – The Groom’s Covenant Agreement with his Bride
Kippah - covering
Lev – Center of being/heart
HaMashiach – The Messiah (Christ)
Melekh – King
Mishkan – Tent of meeting
Nissuin - Wedding ceremony (marriage, carried)
Olam Haba - World to Come
Shekhinah - Dwelling, settling
Sheva brachot - Seven marriage blessings
Tallit – Prayer Shawl
Torah – Five books of Moses
Yeshua – Jesus
Copyright 2022 Yaakov Brown
Art Copyright 2022 Azariah Brown
Founder of the Beth Melekh International Messiah Following Jewish Community,