Messianic Jewish halakhah is established by the spontaneous work of the Ruach (Spirit) within us, as a response to what G-d is already doing.
An examination of Luke 2:25-52
25 And there was a man in Yerushalayim (Rain of Peace) whose name was Shimon (heard/ from Shema, hear); and this man was a tzaddik (righteous one) and devout, looking for the comfort (paraklēsis) of Israel; and the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit/Comforter--Parakeletos) was upon him.
The comfort (paraklēsis) spoken of here is the main theme of Isaiah 40 through 66. This Greek word is related to the word parakletos (comforter, advocate), the noun used to describe the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). In addition, one of the most quoted Messianic passages of all time, calls the Messiah:
“Wonderful, comforter (ya’atz), Almighty G-d…” –Isaiah 9:6
Therefore, we could read, “looking for the comfort of Israel; and the Comforter was upon him.”
26 And it had been revealed to him by the Ruach ha-Kodesh that he would not see death before he had seen HaShem’s Mashiyach. 27 And he came by the Ruach into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Yeshua, to carry out for Him the custom of the Torah,
This could only have taken place in the court of women or the court of the Goyim, because we are told that Shimon spoke to Miryam during this sequence of events. The, “custom of the Torah,” which is being carried out for Yeshua is pidyon ha-ben, redemption of the first born. (Numbers 18:16), see the previous article for details.
28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed G-d, and said,
29 “Now HaShem, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in shalom (peace),
According to Your d’var (word);
It’s interesting to note that Shimon is departing in peace, with the Prince of Peace in his arms and according to D’var (The Word) of G-d.
30 For my eyes have seen Your Yeshua (salvation), (literally)
31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 A Light of revelation to the Goyim,
And the kavod (glory) of Your people Israel (Overcomes in G-d).”
In this passage, unlike the words spoken to the shepherds, which referred specifically to all the people (singular) of Israel, gives hope to all peoples (plural). The, “Light of revelation to the Goyim,” is alluding several portions of Isaiah; 42:6; 49:6; 51:4.
Note the illumination, both literal and remez (hint) in this brief spontaneous psalm of praise:
· Eyes have seen (v.30)
· Light (v.32)
· Revelation (v.32)
· Glory (Kavod/Shekinah, the manifest light presence of HaShem) (v.32)
33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34 And Shimon blessed them and said to Miryam (rebellious people) His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign (different from a miracle) to be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
The, “fall and rise,” of many in Israel refers to both the divisions caused by Yeshua’s earthly ministry and the defining of the Ecclesia (church, community of believers) pursuant to His resurrection and ascension. It is also a metaphor for death and resurrection in the lives of all believers. This is why, “fall,” comes first because without death there is no resurrection to eternal life.
Some mother’s might consider the words of Shimon a curse rather than a blessing. He was not prophesying a warning, rather he was stating a fact, and “A sword will pierce even your own soul.”
Miryam has shown from the beginning that she takes all of the things of G-d deeply to heart (core being); she cradles the life of Messiah in the depths of her being, therefore His suffering and death will pierce her soul, nefesh (entire being). The sword here is not a sword of judgement, it is a sword of division, dividing even between bone and marrow. First it will pierce her soul in grief but as a result of its thrust, kavod, Glory will follow.
Blessing will not submit to the definition humanity gives it. Blessing can devastate as well as prosper, all blessing comes from G-d.
36 And there was a prophetess, Channah (grace, favour) the daughter of Penu’el (Our faces to G-d, facing G-d), of the tribe of Asher (Happy, to go straight). She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her virginity, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fasting and prayers.
Channah, who shares the root of her name with Yochanan (grace/favour), is a female prophetic hero of Israel in the order of those who have gone before her: Miryam, Exodus 15:20; Devorah, Judges 4:4; Huldah, 2 Kings 22:14.
At this point we should note a common misunderstanding regarding the so called, “Lost tribes.” While it’s true that portions of each of the tribes outside of Judah were at a number of times in Israel’s dispersion, taken to the ends of the earth (We see this evident even today in the returning members of Menashe from the Asian pacific region); it’s also true that a sizable number from each of the tribes were absorbed into Judah, both from those that remained in the land and among those taken into captivity. For this reason the name, “Yehudim (Jews),” has become synonymous with the name, “Yisrael (Israel).” The proof of this assertion can be seen in the fact that Channah’s lineage could still be tracked via Penu’el back to the tribe of Asher.
Note the story that is told through the meanings of each of the names in this section of the record:
It’s because of G-d’s grace and favour (Channah), that we are afforded the opportunity to face G-d (Penu’el) in humility and shuvah (return) to the straight path (Asher) of His kingdom.
Channah’s devotion to HaShem is astonishing and compelling. She would never have been allowed to enter beyond the court of the women into the court of Israel and yet she attended the temple every day for over 84 years, fasting and praying specifically for the redemption of Yerushalayim. Imagine the delight of her soul at the revelation of the physically manifest Messiah of G-d.
38 At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to G-d, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Yerushalayim.
Note: “the redemption of Yerushalayim.” –Isaiah 52:9
The redemption of Yerushalaim and the comfort of Israel are two different things. As a current example we see that Israel continues to return to the land from all over the globe, and yet, Jerusalem remains divided, it has yet to come under Israel’s governance. G-d promises through Isaiah that His Messiah will redeem Yerushalaim. This is our hope.
Channah’s response of spontaneous praise and proclamation to all those who were present within the temple grounds at the time, is the perfect example of Messianic Jewish Halakhah (the way we walk). Unlike rabbinical halakhah, Messianic Jewish halakhah is established by the spontaneous work of the Ruach (Spirit) within us, as a response to what G-d is already doing. Halakhah is not incumbent upon us, it is the freedom of G-d at work in and through us, a natural outworking of the gospel of Messiah in us. We do not do things for G-d, we do things from Him.
39 When they had performed everything according to the Torah of HaShem, they returned to the Galil, to their own city of Natzaret (root and branch). 40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of G-d was upon Him.
The Galil was approximately 130 km away, at least two days journey north of Yerushalayim.
Luke goes to great lengths to articulate the accurate and devout Jewish observance of Yosef and Miryam. Luke, a Greek proselyte, is clearly very familiar with Jewish practise and its intrinsic importance to the gospel of Messiah.
In the describing of Yeshua’s growth in strength and wisdom, we see His humility in subjection to the Father by entering time, conceived fully human and fully G-d with us. He was in every way proved as we are proved and yet remained sinless.
41 Now His parents went to Yerushalayim every year at the Feast of the Pesach (Passover). 42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast (Aliyah);
This is yet another proof of Yeshua’s parent’s devotion to the Torah of Adonai. They were true Jews, both outwardly and inwardly faithful to HaShem in all their ways. They went up (Aliyah) according to the custom of the Aliyah (pilgrimage) feasts of Israel (Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot). This was at least two days journey over 130km of terrain, avoiding Samaria (which added distance).
43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days (seven plus one--Yom ha-bikkurim, day of first fruit), the boy Yeshua remained in Yerushalayim. But His parents were unaware of it, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. They were half way home by the time they realized Yeshua wasn’t amongst them. This meant an entire day’s return travel to get back to Yerushalayim.
Most English versions read, “Stayed behind.” I believe this gives the wrong impression. Yeshua didn’t act in wilful disobedience to His parents, He was simply immersed in the opportunity to be in the temple grounds debating with the rabbonim. During Aliyah festivals Yerushalayim was packed with tens of thousands of worshippers, entire villages travelled together up to Yerushalayim to celebrate, making it easy for any number of members of the traveling party to become disconnected from the group.
In addition, it was not uncommon for the devout to remain in Yerushalayim after an Aliyah festival. The rabbis’ taught that HaShem welcomed Israel to stay and enjoy the blessing that He attached to these observances, it was like a summer holiday that seemed too short in duration or a family camp where we get to know and love extended family members; we stay to prolong the joy (simchah) of the occasion. Many of those who met in Yerushalayim would have formed friendships with Jews from all over the known world, friendships that could only be cultivated at each of the Aliyah festivals and in some cases perhaps only at the festival of Pesach (Passover).
45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Yerushalayim looking for Him. 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the Rabbonim, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.
By this time five days had passed since they had left Yerushalayim to return to Natzaret. Yosef and Miryam must have been beside themselves with worry. I recall losing my oldest daughter in a mall when she was only three years old, we found her after an hour of frantic searching; in that comparatively short period of time I felt as though my heart was being ripped from me.
Yeshua was most likely in Solomon’s colonnade debating with the rabbis’ and teachers of the Torah. We presume this is the case because, “they,” found Him, meaning that Miryam was there with Yosef, making it impossible for this to have occurred in the court of Israel.
This interactive debate was like a Yeshivah, a dialogue between talmidim (students). It wasn’t a lecture taken in the style of the Greeks, on the contrary, it was a conversation and debate over the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings (Tanakh), that challenged the varying rabbinical opinions and halakhic rulings of the day. Even as a boy, a Jewish male could be considered an equal to his elders in the study of Torah. Yeshua proved Himself well studied, knowledgeable and perceptive, those who heard Him were rightly amazed by His words, both in His questioning and answering.
48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Truly, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.”
Considering the number of days that had passed and the anxious possibilities that might have consumed Miryam’s thoughts, her response was very measured. She was however misdirecting her fears by suggesting that Yeshua had in any way treated Miryam and Yosef poorly.
49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Didn’t you know that I had to be among (en) Beit Avi—My Father’s house?”
Note Yeshua’s incredulity. It seems that He presumed that His earthly parents had known where He was, perhaps due to their previous experiences with angels and dreams, or perhaps because He assumed that they had remained in Yerushalayim for a few extra days.
The idiom, “father’s house,” is a familiar phrase from the Tanakh, however it is never used to describe the temple.
The psalm referred to in John 2:26 (Psalm 69:9) regarding the account of Yeshua overturning the selling tables in the outer courts of the temple, when read in context, describes the writer’s anguish over his people (Father’s house):
“I am become a stranger unto my brothers and sisters, and an alien unto my mother's children.
For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached
You are fallen upon me.” –Psalm 69:8-9
In this passage the phrases, “brothers and sisters,” and, “My mother’s children,” are synonymous with, “My Father’s house.” (Household).
Therefore, when Yeshua turns over the tables in the temple grounds He is referring both to the temple and the entire house of Israel and the kingdom of G-d.
The phrase, in Hebrew, can be understood as meaning:
· The literal house of one’s father
· The household of the father (my people). Hence, the house of Saul, the house of David etc.
If we add to this the words of Yeshua recorded in John 14:2, “In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” We see that He is referring to the coming kingdom, the Olam Haba (world to come) and the new Yerushalayim which will come down from the heavens. A city is the sum of its people and a people is known by its father. In this case, “My Father’s house,” refers to the community of believers both Jew and Gentile.
Therefore Yeshua is saying that it was right for Him to be among the members of His father’s household, teaching and instructing them in the Torah. He was perhaps also alluding to the fact that, “G-d does not dwell in buildings made of stone, but in the hearts of human beings.” And, in addition, yes, He may also have been calling the temple a symbol of G-d’s house (the dwelling place of G-d’s family).
50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.51 And He went down with them and came to Natzaret, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
They didn’t understand. After all, Yeshua’s earthly father was Yosef and his father’s household were of Beit-lechem in the line of David, “Is He referring to David’s house?” The temple had never been called the Father’s house, so they were unlikely to have understood his words to refer to it. Regardless, Miryam, an incredible woman, in spite of her inability to understand, by faith, treasured these events in her inner being. This is an example of a pure spiritual halakhic response.
Note that Yeshua, “continued in subjection to them,” He was and remained, sinless.
52 And Yeshua kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favour with G-d and people.
Again, the fully human and fully G-d, Messiah Yeshua; increased His human wisdom and stature, finding favour from both His heavenly and earthly father’s, honoured among the people from a young age. Wood worker, Torah instructor, perhaps even an expert fisherman, a boy from the house of David, fishing the waters of the Galil for the souls of men, building a house with His Father.
© 2014 Yaakov Brown
The miracle gets our attention so that we will take notice of the sign.
An examination of Luke 2:1-24
Luke is the only gospel writer to include the finer details of Yeshua’s birth and brit milah. It’s interesting that Luke, a proselyte, would record these specific details relating to the Torah of HaShem, while the remaining gospel writers, Jews by birth, concerned themselves with other matters surrounding this part of Messiah’s life. A wonderful remez (hint) of redemption can be seen in the pidyon ha-ben (redemption of the first born) rite alluded to in this section of Luke’s gospel. There is also much to be gleaned from the p’shat (contextual, literal meaning).
2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all of the Roman empire. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
Caesar Augustus reigned over the Roman Empire from 27 B.C.E. to 14 C.E. It’s interesting to note that he was called, “god,” “saviour,” and, “father,” during his reign.
This census was the first of two, taken between 1 C.E. and 7 C.E. (It’s the latter of the two that is referred to in Acts 5:37). While Quirinius was not physically governing in Syria until 6 C.E., he was responsible for the oversight of its operations and defence under Varus, during Herod’s reign.
It’s important to remember that for the people of Israel, a census was considered an affront to G-d. The taking of a census denoted a lack of trust in G-d’s provision. This census therefore, was something they were forced to participate in under an oppressive Roman occupation. (See Exodus 30:12; 2 Samuel 24).
4 Yosef (HaShem will add) also went up from Galil (Circle, rolling), from the city of Natzeret (a branch), to Y’huda (Praise), to the city of David (Beloved) which is called Beit-lechem (House of bread), because he was of the house and family of David,5 in order to register along with Miryam (rebellious, bitter people), who was engaged to him, and was with child.
Yosef’s return (shuva) to his ancestral town is essential to fulfilling the prophetic birth announcement of the prophets (1 Samuel 17; 20; Micah 5:2).
Beit-lechem is approximately 8 kilometres from Yerushalayim and approximately 136 kilometres from Natzeret in the Galil.
Given that a majority of governors over the province of Palestine (Israel) were keen to avoid further uprisings and the causes for them, it is unlikely that a census would have been called during an Aliyah (going up) festival of Israel. In addition, a Jew could not be both in his ancestral town and in Yerushalayim at the same time. While Beit-lechem was close to Yerushalayim, the majority of Israel’s outer communities were more than two days journey from Yerushalayim, where the Temple stood. This is just one of many reasons why a Sukkot birth for Messiah is extremely unlikely.
There is a remez (hint) to deeper allegory in this text. It’s not literary manipulation, names are given and can’t be changed to suite the author simply because he is writing a record of history. These names were given before the creation of the world by The Author of creation. It’s no coincidence then, that the names of the participants in this historical account have deeper meaning regarding the events that are being revealed in time.
· Through Yosef G-d has promised that He will add to Israel.
· Through the land of the Galil He has shown that the purposes of G-d are like a (rolling circle) wheel that exists outside of time and space but also contains time and space.
· Through the town of Natzeret He reveals the branch of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1-10), the entrance of Messiah as He breaks into time and enters the world of humanity.
· Through Y’huda G-d brings praise to Israel’s King Yeshua. This is seen also in the latter designation that the news is for all ha-am (the people--singular—of Israel). The shepherds become the vehicle for the perpetuation of that praise.
· In the symbolic provision of matzot in Beit-lechem, HaShem offers, through the bread and the body of Messiah, the means of both spiritual sustenance and reconciliation.
· G-d offers this reconciliation both through and to Miryam, a rebellious people (Israel).
6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in strips of cloth, and laid Him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them to lodge.
In recent years many have focused on the Greek term kataluma and its interpretation. The word itself means, “Lodging or breaking journey,” an inconclusive meaning at best.
What we know is that Yosef was returning to an ancestral town where he was bound to have, at very least, distant relatives. Those returning to their town of origin would have been warmly welcomed by family and given whatever room was available. Archaeology testifies to the fact that many homes were built in two stories with a barn or animal enclosure at the base and living quarters above. As is the case with western Christmas and thanksgiving celebrations, the last to arrive usually get the air mattresses in the basement or garage, there is no rejection inferred, it’s simply the only practical option. Given that birth is a messy business, the downstairs quarters may have been the only reasonable location for Yosef and Miryam. We must conclude therefore, that their residing in a ground floor barn, is an act of love and a symbol of humility which is meant to convey the humble status of G-d’s most loving gift to humanity, His only begotten Son Yeshua. So He was born in a barn and had a feeding trough for a bed, big deal, He wasn’t the first Jew to sleep amongst animal faeces, and He won’t be the last.
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
Some Christian commentators have foolishly called these shepherds the lowliest members of the first century Jewish society. What utter nonsense. It was the Egyptians that loathed shepherds (Genesis 46:33-34), Israel and her prophets have always held the shepherd in high regard. Moshe the human author of the Torah is called a shepherd of G-d’s people; David, Israel’s greatest king prior to Messiah’s coming, was both literally and metaphorically a shepherd to Israel. The prophets speak of both G-d and His Messiah as shepherds of Israel. Add to this the historical information regarding the region in which this account takes place.
It’s a historical fact that there was a tower in close proximity to Beit-lechem, called Eder (flock), around which were pastured the flocks destined for the Temple sacrifice. This group of shepherds held a position of great esteem in Israel and were led by a Priest whose role was to ensure the unblemished nature of the animals that would be offered in nearby Yerushalayim.
This is also the historical location of the fields of Boaz, the kinsmen redeemer who received Ruth into Israel. Ruth who is the mother of Obed, the grandfather of King David, from whom the Messiah is descended.
9 And a messenger of HaShem suddenly stood before them, and the shekinah (Manifest glorious light, feminine presence) of HaShem shone around them; and they were terrified.
No one remains unsettled when surprised by the seemingly immediate appearance of another being. The kavod (glory) or, Shekinah (manifest light presence) of HaShem was more than awe inspiring, it was terrifying. In our sinful state terror that inspires humility is a gift of G-d. Awe is the sum of these things. It is worthwhile to note that the Kavod (Glory) of G-d is spoken of many times at transitional points throughout Israel’s history (See: Exodus 16:7, 10; Isaiah 40:5, Psalm 104:31 etc).
10 But the messenger said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all ha-am—the people (singular);
While it’s true to say that Messiah came to save both Jew and Gentile, this isn’t the intended meaning here. If it were, the writer, a very meticulous historian, would have used the plural, “peoples.” A Jewish reader will hear ha-am or kol ha-am, and understand it to mean all of the people (am: singular) of Israel (empirical, ethnic, that is, the unity of the twelve tribes.) This is not a universal statement. It stands in stark contrast to the attempt that the Roman census has made, to show governance over G-d’s chosen people. This good news--while it will one day be good news for Roman citizens also—is bad news for Rome.
11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a deliverer, who is Mashiyach ha-Adon (the Lord).
The L-rd’s anointed, or Mashiyach, is a term used throughout the Tanakh in reference to certain Kings of Israel (See: Lamentations 4:20; 1 Samuel 24:7).
12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”
Perhaps one of the meanings behind this statement is in reference to the fact that it’s unusual for a baby to be kept in a feeding trough, even in first century C.E.
It’s important to note that, “signs,” and, “wonders,” are two entirely different things. The shepherds were already experiencing the wonder of the heavenly host of HaShem; this sign on the other hand was intended to teach them something of great importance. The Messiah comes as a lowly servant, His entrance into the world is marked by His low position, wrapped in rags and lying in a feeding trough. The sign was meant to reveal the humility of the second Adam, in contrast to the pride of the first Adam. Therefore, a, “wonder/miracle,” gets our attention, so that we will take notice of the, “sign,” that follows.
13 And suddenly there appeared with the messenger a multitude of the heavenly host praising G-d and saying,
14 “Glory to G-d in the highest,
And on earth peace among human beings of good will.”
Israel is no stranger to the heavenly host (tzvaah) of HaShem. They are the select messengers/angels in service of G-d. HaShem is known as, “Adonai tzvaot,” L-rd of the host. (Note: the feminine plural form tzvaot). (See 1 Kings 22:19; Jeremiah 8:2; Psalm 33:6 etc).
The peace offered here is not universal. Peace is offered to human beings, “of good will,” or, “upon whom G-d’s favour rests.” Only the humble are able to receive the gift of G-d, Yeshua, Sar Shalom, the Prince of Peace. G-d’s plan is not world peace, His plan is peace for those who humbly receive the gift of His son, which brings reconciliation. It remains that the opposite of peace belongs to those who refuse G-d’s gift.
15 When the messengers had gone away from them into the heavens, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Beit-lechem (House of bread) then, and see this thing that has happened which HaShem has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Miryam and Yosef, and the baby as He lay in the feeding trough.
Beit-lechem was clearly a tight nit Jewish community who were familiar with this group of shepherds and willing to direct them to the family home where Yeshua slept in a feeding trough. They went to the house of bread to meet the Bread of Life.
17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Miryam treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
The text affirms the presence of relatives and other members of the community, p,eople who would have had respect for the role the shepherds played in Israel’s sacrificial system. The familiar phrase is spoken of Miryam, “But Miryam treasured all these things, pondering them in her core being.” Truly a woman of noble character whose worth is greater than rubies, Ayshet Chayil.
20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising G-d for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
The shepherds returned to their duties at the Tower of the Flock. They would be out in the fields until the end of November when the weather began to become colder. This makes a 25th of December date for Messiah’s birth unlikely.
21 And when eight days had passed, it was time for His circumcision, His name was then called Yehoshua (HaShem’s Salvation), the name given by the messenger Gavriel (Mighty on of G-d) before He was conceived in the womb.
Yeshua was circumcised according to Jewish Instruction. To those who call Torah observant Messianic Jews, “legalistic,” I would say, “It seems that your Christ came under the Torah’s regulation for circumcision.”
It is noteworthy that Yehoshua is the Hebrew form of Joshua. While Yeshua is also used in the Tanakh as a proper noun, it’s more likely that Yeshua’s given name was Yehoshua. Both names mean, “HaShem saves/delivers”.
Note that His name was given, “before,” He was conceived. He is the uncreated One Who was in the beginning with G-d and was G-d. (John 1:1).
22 And when the days for their purification according to the Torah (Instruction) of Moshe (drew out) were completed, they brought Him up to Yerushalem (Rain of peace) to present Him to HaShem
We are now reading at a point chronologically 32 days after Yeshua’s brit milah. Miryam was ritually unclean due to child birth and was required to offer a sacrifice 40 days after the birth. (Leviticus 12:1-10)
“When the days of her purification are completed, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the doorway of the tent of meeting a one year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. 7 Then he shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, whether a male or a female. 8 But if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’” –Leviticus 12:6-8
The sacrifice offered by Miryam denotes a position of poverty. (Leviticus 12: 8)
The text says, “their,” purification, which may refer to a unique form of uncleanness that Yosef was also seeking purification for (perhaps a nocturnal emission), or it could denote that Yosef was joining Miryam in the purification ritual. This was sometimes done as an act of solidarity, as seen in the case of Paul/Shaul, Acts 21:22-27.
23 (as it is written in the Torah of HaShem, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to HaShem”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Torah of HaShem, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
The purification of the mother was required for every child, however there was an added requirement for the firstborn male of each of Israel’s families called pidyon ha-ben. (Numbers 18:16). This redemption of the firstborn was a reminder to Israel of her redemption from slavery in Egypt. (Exodus 13:2-6). It specifically remembers the fact that the blood of the Passover lamb redeemed the firstborn of Israel. (Exodus 11:45; 12:29-30). Each family dedicates the firstborn son to G-d’s service and then redeems him with a payment of five sanctuary shekels. (Numbers 18:16). In the place of the firstborn, G-d accepts the service of the Levites. (Numbers 3:12-13, 45; 8:14-19). Pidyon ha-ben takes place when the child is 30 days old (Numbers 18:16), which means that they were in Yerushalayim for ten days following Yeshua’s ritual redemption in order to complete the sacrifice for Miryam’s purification.
· Peshat (פְּשָׁט) — "plain" ("simple") or the direct meaning.
· Remez (רֶמֶז) — "hints" or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
· Derash (דְּרַשׁ) — from Hebrew darash: "inquire" ("seek") — the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
· Sod (סוֹד) (pronounced with a long O as in 'bone') — "secret" ("mystery") or the esoteric/mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.
2014 Yaakov Brown
The practised reading of G-d’s word is foundational to our spontaneous prayers and expressions of worship
An examination of Luke 1:39-80
Soon after Gabriel visited Miryam with the remarkable news of her virgin pregnancy, she heads to the hills. Perhaps at between 13 and 18 years of age, she just needed to run away for a bit and seek comfort with Aunt Elisheva.
39 Now at this time Miryam (rebellious people, bitterly fragrant) arose and hurried to the hill country, to a city of Judah,
It seems that the news of her aunt’s pregnancy and the social disgrace of her own pregnancy drove Miryam to the shelter of Elisheva’s home in the hill country of Y’hudah—Judah. We know from the other gospel accounts, that Yosef acted righteously toward Miryam and that Gabriel explained the situation to him so that the Ketubah (engagement agreement) would not be broken. However it’s difficult to know the time frame for these events: it’s possible that Yosef’s dealings with regard to Miryam followed her stay with Elisheva because after those three months the baby was showing, thus exposing Miriyam’s pre-marriage pregnancy.
It’s also worth considering that Miryam’s own parents were obviously gracious toward her with regard to her pregnancy.
40 and entered the house of Zacharyah (HaShem has remembered) and said, “Shalom Elisheva“ (My G-d‘s oath/sevenfold blessing). 41 When Elisheva heard Miryam’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elisheva was filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh—Holy Spirit.
At the sound of the Hebrew greeting of peace and wholeness, Yochanan (HaShem’s chesed) danced in the womb of his mother Elisheva (My G-d’s oath). When the Prince of shalom (peace) meets with G-d’s mercy (chesed) and G-d’s oath (Elisheva) collides with humanity, the manifest power of the Ruach ha-Kodesh bears witness to a cataclysmic event. The Hebrew view is that consciousness begins at conception and that our first cries for Abba are a continuation of an ongoing conversation. Hence Yochanan dances in the womb and His mother recognizes the mother of Israel’s Messiah.
42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “B’ruchah—blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of Adoni—my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your shalom reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for simchah—joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what had been spoken to her by ha-Adon—the L-rd.”
Elisheva calls Miryam the mother of her master. It’s clear from this proclamation that Elisheva considers Miryam to be carrying the Messiah, Israel’s promised king. She also affirms the actions of Miryam as righteousness: it seems that she somehow knows what Miryam has been told by the messenger Gabriel. There is nothing to indicate that Miryam’s greeting was more than shalom, hello. It’s unlikely, given the text, that Miryam had already had a chance to explain all that had happened to Elisheva. This begs the question, “How did Elisheva know that Miryam had heard from and trusted in the prophetic words of Gabriel regarding the birth of the Messiah?”
46 And Miryam said:
(1 Samuel 2:1-10)
What follows is a recitation of spontaneous ecstatic praise, which is filled with textual quotes from the Tanakh. In fact, everything Miryam says in her psalm, is either a direct quote or a paraphrase of words taken from the Tanakh: in particular, words that acknowledge the coming Messiah and the salvation of the Jewish people.
It seems that in a Patriarchal time when women were supposedly kept from study, that Miryam was well versed in the Torah, the Nevi’m and the Ketuvim.
The similarities with the song of Hannah are worth noting along with the fact that songs like this were uttered by women at key points in Israel’s history: Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Miryam, Hannah, Deborah.
“My soul exalts HaShem—the L-rd,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in G-d my Yeshua—Savior. (Psalm 18:46, Isaiah 17:10; 61:10, Habakkuk 3:18)
48 For He has had regard for the humble state of His hired servant; (Psalm 138:6)
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49 For El-Shaddai—the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name. (Psalm 71:19; 111:9)
50 ‘And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.’ (Exodus 20:6, Psalm 103:17)
51 He has done mighty deeds with His arm; (Psalm 98:1, Isaiah 40:10)
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
53 ‘He has filled the hungry with good things;’ (Psalm 107:9)
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
54 He has given help to Israel His servant,
In remembrance of His chesed—mercy, (Psalm 98:3)
55 As He spoke to our fathers (Avraham, Y’tzakhak and Yaakov)
To Avraham (father of many peoples) and his descendants forever.”
56 And Miryam stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home.
This was a time of good counsel and sound preparation for Miryam, a time of intimate fellowship in the home of a priestly family; blood relatives and participants in the hope of Israel. Miryam now returns to face the music as it were, she will live a life of community disgrace up until the time of Messiah’s birth.
57 Now the time had come for Elisheva to give birth, and she gave birth to a son.58 Her neighbors and her relatives heard that HaShem—the L-rd had displayed His great chesed—mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.
59 And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharyah (HaShem has remembered), after his father. 60 But his mother answered and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called Yochanan (HaShem shows chesed, favoured by HaShem).” 61 And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63 And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is (already) Yochanan.” And they were all astonished.
The tradition of naming the firstborn son after the father remains to this day in many families among the Sephardim (Spanish origin Jewish communities). This tradition takes on new significance as a precursor to the birth of Messiah, when the name of Yochanan, the forerunner, is written down by his father Zakaryah.
64 Instantly his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of G-d.
At the writing of it Zakaryah’s tongue is released and he begins the ecstatic praise of a repentant man, one who has had his prayer for a sign answered in multiple ways.
65 Fear (awe) came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of HaShem—the L-rd was certainly with him.
Israel’s hope had been ignited from within the hill country of Judea. Events like these had previously only occurred at key points in Israel’s history. The people of Israel had endured what’s known as the 400 silent years, years without a prophet to prove her and give her hope. Now she will hear of “the prophet,” of HaShem, who has come to hail in the Messiah.
67 And his father Zacharyah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
Again, this is another spontaneous and passionate exclamation of prophetic praise, filled with Tanakh references. What this shows us is that devotion to the Tanakh and the practised reading of G-d’s word is foundational to our spontaneous prayers and expressions of worship. Those who despise repetition miss out on one of G-d’s greatest gifts of equipping for the believer. Our unrehearsed prayers take on greater significance when they are melded together with the ketvi—written word—and the D’var—living word essence, Yeshua—and the Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Shekinah)—Holy Spirit.
68 “Blessing comes from HaShem—the L-rd—G-d of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, (Genesis 24:27, 1 Kings 8:15, Psalm 72:18; 111:9)
69 And has raised up a horn of Yeshua—salvation for us
In the house of David His servant--
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old--
71 ‘Salvation from our enemies,
And from the hand of all who hate us;’ (Jeremiah 23:5)
72 To show mercy toward our fathers, (Avraham, Y’tzakhak and Yaakov)
And to remember His holy covenant, (Micah 7:20, Psalm 105:8-9; 106:45, Ezekiel 16:60)
73 The oath which He swore to Abraham our father, (Genesis 22:15-18)
74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
Zakaryah, the loving father of Yochanan now turns to his own son with tender care. He has proclaimed the coming Messiah, now he honours the fruit of his loins, the promised forerunner, come in the spirit of Eliyahu; the Prophet of whom Yeshua says, “Among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than Yochanan the Immerser” –Matthew/Mattitiyahu 11:11
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; (Malachi 3:1)
77 To give to His people the knowledge of Yeshua—salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins, (Jeremiah 31:34)
78 Because of the tender chesed—mercy of our G-d,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, (Malachi 4:2)
79’ To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Psalm 107:14, Isaiah 9:2; 59:9)
80 And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
It’s possible that due to the old age of his parents, Yochanan may well have been orphaned at a young age and wondered off into the desert as a result. It’s also possible that he simply knew that this was G-d’s will for him. Regardless, he remained a wonderer in the desert until the age of approximately 30 years when he began his public ministry of calling Israel to tishuva—repentance.
© 2014 Yaakov Brown
Miryam, unlike Zakaryah, is not asking for proof but for understanding. Like Avraham she is seeking greater relational knowledge of G-d rather than asking Him to prove Himself. Both Avraham and Miryam believed and inquired of a pure motive, one of deep love for G-d. This is the difference between disbelief and wonder.
An examination of Luke 1:1-38
The human author: Luke, from Lucas, meaning, “Light bearer.”
This gospel was written in approximately 60 C.E. by Luke, a gentile who is clearly a G-d fearer and is most likely a convert to Judaism. Luke is a doctor (Col 4:14) and a dear friend and companion to Shaul/Paul the Apostle (as seen in the Acts account).
It’s evident from Luke’s natural and prolific referencing of Jewish thought, culture and custom, that he is more than familiar with what it means to be Jewish and is in every way—with the exception of his birth—a Jewish adherent. His birth, if it is agreed that he was born to gentile parents, makes him the one exception among the 40 human authors of the Bible.
1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of ha-D’var (the Word), 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.
Luke’s writing compiles the eye witness accounts of the disciples as handed down to him both directly and indirectly. His writing is systematic and carries the cadence of historical record. He is writing his gospel in order to affirm and encourage Theophilus and those who fellowship with him. This account is intended to clearly articulate the facts concerning the life and works of the Messiah so as to silence any attempts made to suggest that His life and gospel message are merely myth or sensational revisionist lies intended for political and spiritual gain.
Theophilus seems to be a person of good character, someone who Luke trusts to perpetuate the faith and instruct others in the truth of the gospel. His name, which is a contraction of the Greek words, “Theo,” and, “philos (friendship love),” means either, “One who loves G-d,” or, “One who is loved by G-d,” or both.
Note that Luke calls the apostles, “servants of ha-D’var, the Word.” He uses the same Greek word, “logos,” as Yochanan/John uses in the first chapter of his gospel. While a servant may serve the message of the written word (ketvi), a servant can only serve, “the Word,” as a personification. In this case Luke is referring to Messiah Yeshua.
5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharyah (HaShem has remembered), of the division of Aviyah (My Father is HaShem); and he had a wife from the daughters of A’haron (mountain), and her name was Elisheva (My G-d‘s oath/sevenfold blessing).
Herod the Great reigned from 37 to 4 B.C.E. During the time of King David, the priests of Israel were arranged into 24 divisions; Aviyah (My father is YHVH) was a family head of the eighth division. (Nehemiah 12:12, 17; 1 Chronicles 24:2, 10). In Judaism the number eight represents the renewal of the unity of the week (seven), it’s both a completion and a new beginning. On the seventh day HaShem ceased (stopped: the meaning of Shabbat) and on the eighth day He began again. Yeshua says, “My father is always working”(John 5:17).
The meaning of Zakaryah’s name reveals that HaShem has remembered His promise to bring about a new covenant, a new creation, One Who will say, “Avi-Yah,” my father is YHVH. This Son will be heralded by the son born by the oath of G-d (Elisheva), one who is favoured by G-d, Yochanan the immerser, who in turn will symbolically transfer the priesthood of Aaron in submission to the High priesthood of Messiah in the order of melkiztidek—my king of righteousness.
It’s important to note that each of the priestly divisions performed their duties for one week twice yearly and all the priestly divisions appeared before HaShem during Sukkot. However this account is clearly referring to one of the division of Aviyah’s twice yearly obligatory services and not to Sukkot.
6 They were tzidakim (righteous ones) in the sight of G-d, their halakhah (trust based action) was faultless in all the instructions and requirements of HaShem.
Contrary to the majority Christian theological teaching of our time it’s clear from this passage that the Brit ha-Chadashah (New Testament) teaches that the Torah of Moshe offers righteousness.
The fact that both Zakaryah and Elisheva were considered righteous ones before HaShem does not denote a sinless state, after all, only several verses later Zakaryah is punished for his disbelief concerning the promise of HaShem. What this implies is that they were, to the best of their human ability, seeking to fully obey HaSHem’s instruction and live in the shelter of the precepts and promises He had given to Israel. We could say that they understood that Messiah was the goal of the Torah and lived in anticipation of His coming. It’s from this generational faith that the prophet Yochanan/John was born.
It’s important to note that both Zakaryah and Elisheva were of the line of Aaron the Cohen ha-Gadol (The great High Priest) of Israel, in fact Elisheva was a direct descendant. Later, through the symbolic immersion that Yeshua receives from Yochanan/John we are able to see that Messiah unifies both the Priesthood and Kingship of Israel. The Priesthood of Aaron is symbolically submitted to the order of melkitzidek (My King of Righteousness) Yeshua by Yochanan/John and the Kingship is something He is born to through His mother’s lineage (and symbolically through His earthly father’s lineage).
7 But they had no child, because Elisheva was barren, and they were both advanced in years.
This is reminiscent of the conception stories throughout Israel’s history, including: Isaac, Samuel, Samson etc.
8 Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before G-d in the appointed order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of HaShem and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering.
It was the responsibility of the priest to keep the incense burning before HaShem (outside the curtain) perpetually. The priest would enter to offer incense both before the evening sacrifice and again prior to the morning sacrifice. This was decided by lot, making it an infrequent task and in some cases a priest in the appointed division may not be chosen at all during his lifetime. (Exodus 30:6-8).
11 And a malach (messenger) of HaShem appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharyah was troubled when he saw the malach (messenger), and fear gripped him. 13 But the malach (messenger) said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharyah, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elisheva will bear you a son, and you will give him the name Yochanan (favoured by HaShem). 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of HaShem; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) while yet in his mother’s womb.
The right side of the altar symbolizes strength, which is appropriate given the messenger’s name.
It is likely that Yochanan was intended to be a Nazarite, as outlined in Numbers 6:1-21. This is affirmed by Yeshua, who refers to Yochanan as being one who comes, “neither eating nor drinking.”
Zakaryah had been praying for a child, this is evident in the messenger’s announcement. Incense is a symbol of the prayers of the righteous.
16 And he will turn (shuva) many of the children of Israel back to the HaShem their G-d. 17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him (Isaiah 40:3-5) in the spirit and power of Eliyahu (My G-d is HaShem), ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children,’ and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for HaShem.”
"Behold, I will send you Eliyahu the prophet before the great and awesome day of HaShem comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction." –Malachi 4:5-6
Yochanan was not Elijah returning in the flesh (that has yet to occur). This is made clear by Yochanan himself in his gospel 1:21. Hence, “in the spirit and power of,” that is, “with the same strength of will and G-d given power of,” Elijah. Like Elijah, John was to be a prophet of returning, one who would call upon Israel to return to HaShem.
18 Zacharyah said to the malach (messenger), “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 The malach (messenger) answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel (Mighty one of G-d), who stands in the presence of G-d, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
Many of Israel’s great men had asked for signs, in fact G-d had promised signs that would affirm His work. Avraham asked, “How can I know?” (Genesis 15:8) A question of genuine inquiry and faith, whereas Zakaryah asks, “How can I be sure,” a question of mistrust. It’s the motivation of the heart that propels the question and even the righteous have times of disbelief.
Gavriel (mighty 0ne of G-d), is the great herald of cataclysmic news from G-d. He is one of only two messengers named in the Tanakh. (Daniel 8:16, 9:21) The other being Michael (Who is like G-d?)
21 The people were waiting for Zacharyah, and were wondering at his delay in the temple.22 But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute.23 When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.
The fact that the people were waiting of Zakaryah denotes devote observance by the Jews of the time.
In the end, Zakaryah became the sign, his inability to speak was a sign to both him and the people. Additionally Yochanan himself was a miraculous sign, a child born to a barren woman. Yochanan’s conception is very similar to that of Sh’muel (Hears G-d). They also share similar ministries.
24 After these days Elisheva his wife became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, 25 “This is the way HaShem has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among the people.”
Perpetuating a family line was one of the greatest hopes of the people of Israel, producing progeny was the ultimate goal of every marriage. Therefore it was a great disgrace to be barren, resulting in bitterness of heart and disillusionment for many women within the community. Perhaps one of the reasons for Elisheva staying in seclusion, was the ever present danger of miscarriage at an early age.
Elisheva echoes the words of the famous matriarch Rachel, “take away my disgrace among the people.” Genesis 30:22-23.
26 Now in the sixth month the messenger Gabriel was sent from G-d to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,
There has been much needless conjecture relating to this text. Many who are desperate to claim a Sukkot birth for Messiah need to perform linguistic, contextual, chronological and cultural gymnastics—to name a few—in order to manipulate this date to fit their argument, something every good Bible student knows, is usually an indication that we’re headed in the wrong direction. It’s most likely that this figure refers to the time as counted from the conception of Yochanan (see verse 36), the problem with confirming the date this way is that we don’t know which of the two times of year that Aviyah’s division was serving is intended by the narrative.
We’re not told at what point during the year that the 24 divisions began to serve but we can presume that they began in the seventh month, Tishrei, following the inauguration of Solomon’s temple. If this continued to be the practise and providing the beginning of their service was not initiated at the spiritual new year of Pesach or at the giving of the Torah during Shavuot (Which are also possibilities), then we would calculate that each of the 24 divisions would serve one week twice a year. If they performed their duties in order of selection, Aviyah’s division would have performed its duties eighth, in the last week of Nisan and the last week of Cheshvan, with some anomalies caused by the lunar calendar this will have varied slightly. If we count from Nisan, the sixth month would be Tishrei. If this is the month of Messiah’s conception then He was born in the month of Sivan. If we count from Cheshvan we arrive at Iyar, which makes Messiah’s birth in the eleventh month of the Hebrew Calendar, Shevat. Neither date is even remotely close to Sukkot.
However, the sixth month could also refer to the sixth month of the Hebrew calendar Elul, which is the month prior to Tishre, which again leaves us with Iyar as a possible birth date for Messiah. Additionally because Luke is a Greek proselyte, he could also be refering to the sixth month of the Roman calendar. Regardless, any conclusion arrived at is pure conjecture.
27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Yosef (G-d will add), of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Miryam (rebellious, bitterly fragrant). 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Shalom, favored one! HaShem is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of greeting this was. 30 The messenger said to her, “Do not be afraid, Miryam; for you have found favor with G-d. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Yehoshua—HaShem saves. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and HaShem G-d will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob (supplanter, holder of the heal) forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
G-d had promised King David that his greater son the Messiah would reign over Israel and the nations and that His Kingdom would be eternal. 2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16.
34 Miryam said to the messenger, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
Notice that Miryam, unlike Zakaryah, is not asking for proof but for understanding. Like Avraham she is seeking greater relational knowledge of G-d rather than asking Him to prove Himself. Both Avraham and Miryam believed and inquired of a pure motive, one of deep love for G-d. This is the difference between disbelief and wonder.
35 The messenger answered and said to her, “The Ruach ha-Kodesh—Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of ha-Elyon (the most High) will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Ben Elohim—Son of G-d.
Not, “son of the gods,” but, as the title Ha-Elyon infers, “Son of G-d.”
36 And behold, even your relative Elisheva has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with G-d.” 38 And Miryam said, “Behold, I am the bond slave of HaShem; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the messenger departed from her.
Miryam joyfully accepts the privilege of bearing the Son of G-d. In her name we see that the bitterness of Israel’s suffering will be turned to fragrant blessing for all who mourn. The suffering Messiah will become the triumphant Messiah Who will redeem Israel and the nations.
© 2014 Yaakov Brown
Founder of the Beth Melekh International Messiah Following Jewish Community,