Newest Bible Translation

It is generating a bit of steam!

From the Masoretic text of the OT, and the Aramaic Peshitta Text of the NT:

HaDavarClick here:

HaDavar [The Word of יהוה ]

Update on “HaDavar, D’var יהוה “

01/21/20

Hu Ba!

It is FINALLY here!

I HOPE you get your copy, and are blessed and increased by reading His Word from these sources, and from a better, Messianic Jewish perspective, glorifying His Name and not hiding/blotting it out.

Click the link “HaDavar D’var יהוה ”  below…. amazon has it, they just haven’t posted the cover image yet.  If you struggle with the link, you can go to Amazon and search on “HaDavar Perek” and you’ll find it.

Read about it below if you’re not familiar yet with our project:

“HaDavar, D’var יהוה “

 

HaDavar

The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails well fastened are those that are composed in collections; they are given from One Shepherd. And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of the making of many books there is no end…”

~Kohelet 12:11-12a

When one encounters a new translation of the sacred writings, one is perhaps hesitant, and that is understood. But, the words of G-d are indeed ‘nails well fastened,’ and are powerful beyond language. Nevertheless, a new translation begs the question, what would compel a soul to attempt another rendering of these same words in a language which has offered so many translations already? Is it fanciful desire? Or necessity? For us, who undertook this monumental task with great hesitance and trepidation, it was necessity. We realize what we see as necessity may not be so looked upon by others, but we had a specific goal in mind, and we hope every reader can find value in our bringing that goal to fruition out of our necessity.

What authority or qualifications do we have in order to presume to do this work and offer it to the wider believing community? We do not claim any superior authority over anyone else, nor intellectual authority over His Word, that precludes anyone else having interpretive authority over His Word. Further, we do NOT presume to have authority over The Creator and His Son, who are the arbiters of our destiny. But, we do know this “One Shepherd” who is the composer of these words in Hebrew and Aramaic, collected herein in English, and are as capable through Him of understanding them as any other who has studied those languages. Our great desire is to restore the context of those words from the original texts: historical, religious, and cultural context, as well as scriptural and linguistic.

While many people helped to bring this final version to print, this was primarily the effort of one person, a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in History, whose study of the Hebrew language began some twenty-one years ago, after having become a Messianic believer by studying the Greek and Greek-sourced “New Testament” texts. After becoming a fluent reader of the Hebrew scriptures, and learning of the Aramaic Peshitta texts, he began to study the Aramaic Peshitta Brit Khadashah in Hebrew and Aramaic. He is now convinced by those words, and also other, external proofs, that they preceded the Greek translations, and are the source texts of those Greek translations. We realize not many scholars agree with this conclusion, but some very qualified persons do, and so we are in good company. But, the greater desire was to have a completely Semitic source of scriptures rendered into English, with the ancient Hebrew and Peshitta texts in Hebrew on facing pages, to give The Word a single flavor: a Jewish flavor. We still await the completion of a Hebrew/English version. But, there are many reasons for the desire of a more Jewish, English rendering of the sacred Hebrew texts, even though some already exist. Those reasons are further elucidated herein.

This is not the making of another book entirely. This is the making of a single volume that contains the Tanakh and Brit Khadashah writings of the ancient Jews who trusted in יהוה for Salvation. This work is meant to offer the Jewish scriptures which most call the “Old Testament”, in their original language, sourced from the Masoretic Texts, with an improved English rendering of those texts. The necessity of another English rendering is predicated upon seeing His Name, יהוה , in the English side of the book, and of seeing the Hebrew nature of the ancient concepts that are communicated in Hebrew to a modern world. It is thereby meant to bring the reader of the English closer to the Creator, if only from another, slightly different perspective. We are confident that the English Tanakh herein does exactly that, with integrity, and with beauty.

This work is also meant to offer a Brit Khadashah portion of the printed writ, “HaDavar,” [The Word] in the Hebrew language, sourced from the Aramaic Peshitta texts, and an English rendering on the facing pages. We still await the Hebrew version. But, this English version shows the reader that His Name, יהוה , was used by Yeshua and by His Talmidim, including Sha’ul, to declare the Good News of Messiah to the world. This Brit Khadashah text in English does that, and also serves to offer readers the Jewish flavor of HaDavar, maintaining the integrity of the original texts. It also shows just how Jewish the believers in the Brit Khadashah were, and remained for the rest of their lives. This volume, therefore, will be unique, giving the reader a different perspective on the use of the Name, completely Semitic text sources for both sides of the Bible, and Hebrew transliterations of important biblical words and concepts.

This translation contains translations of the Masoretic Texts of the Tanakh, and an English rendering of the Aramaic Peshitta Brit Khadashah. The English Tanakh herein is new and original, but relies heavily on the Jewish Publication Society 1917 Tanakh. Similarly, the Brit Khadashah herein is new and original, but relies heavily on Lamsa’s 1933 New Testament. Other sources were consulted for controversial/disputed passages, such as the “Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon”, the “Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible” by Jeff Benner, “The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon”, by Benjamin Davidson, and “Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature” by Marcus Jastrow.

We realize there are similar works out there, but none that we found using the Peshitta as a base text for the Brit Khadashah and the Masoretic Hebrew texts as the base for the Tanakh, that also satisfies our other desires, in a single volume.

There is not one volume offered by anyone we found that offers both the English and the Hebrew of these source texts in a single volume. And that was our primary motivation for setting about to do this work. We have yet to complete the Hebrew translation of the Brit Khadashah, but chose to publish the English ahead of time, by request.

Our secondary and tertiary motivations have already been stated: those of giving The Name יהוה a preeminent place in the English versions, of making the English language more Jewish in tone, and of clearing up confusing and/or contradictory renderings of certain phrases seen in the more traditional versions of scripture. We will cite just a few of those to begin to make our point herein.

There are many places where other Jewish translations of the Hebrew Tanakh into English are obviously not drawing on the Hebrew language alone, but possibly on doctrine, and they seem to betray a motivation to hide the Messiah Yeshua from our Jewish people. One of these places, and perhaps one of the more important, is in the book of Zekhar-Yah [Zechariah] 12:10 “…and they shall look unto Me [ where it is clear that יהוה is speaking ] whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.” The traditional, Jewish renderings of this verse, which read in this wise: “and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through”, change the meaning altogether, seemingly in an attempt to hide Messiah from the Jewish reader. The Christian community has also done likewise with certain verses, seeming to promote doctrine rather than translate the text faithfully. One example is from the book of Ma’asei HaShlikhim [Acts] 20:7, “And at the beginning of the week, when we assembled to break bread…” Most offer a different reading of this verse, inserting a word, seemingly to support a doctrine. Similarly, though probably not deliberate, the use of antiquated English words can leave room for misinterpretation. The best example of this, perhaps, is the use of the word “tongues” in the Brit Khadashah, where the context clearly shows us this word is referencing known, earthly languages. Others have used the literal but vague nature of this rendering to create doctrine. 

There are several examples in both sides of the book [OT and NT] where these types of renderings give us pause. Again, this was NOT our primary motivation, and we are not trying to say that all other versions are bad, but only that in certain places the translators seemed to have been influenced by something other than the language and culture of the scriptures. Having these passages cleared up and made more plain seemed a useful pursuit. Returning the English to a closer, more faithful “Hebrew” flavor gives the reader a better sense of the Jewish nature of these texts, and an understanding of the plain meaning of the text itself, leaving the establishment of doctrine to the reader[s], as much as possible.

The last motivation, but a good one, was that giving the Hebrew tone of the names of Biblical characters, places, and consecrated items not only gives the reader a better sense of the culture of the book, and compels the reader to learn more vocabulary, but also allows a Hebrew student to learn the language more quickly. Having the Hebrew on hand with this volume makes learning the language more meaningful, by having so large a vocabulary accessible in the texts, and a glossary to help learn those words.

This eight years of diligence, dedication, hard work, and sacrifice has truly been a labor of love. We truly hope that everyone who invests their time and means into this work is blessed for doing so, as we know and trust that His Word is the most important earthly evidence of our Creator, apart from His People, and the creation itself.

“Yes, He loves the peoples, all His K’doshim, they are in Your hand; and they sit down at Your feet, receiving of Your words.”  ~D’varim 33:3

Open Letter to U.S. Governors

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Dear Governor,

I write because you represent the people of your state.  Your duty is to protect the lives of those people.  Their location should not matter, as long as their corpus is within the boundaries of your state.  I believe that deep down, you should understand this.  You did not get elected because you are ignorant, nor a fool.

In our country, there is one state that has chosen to defy human decency and common sense.  That state is New York.  In all likelihood, your state does some sort of business/commerce with New York.  That exchange should cease, until New York changes its new stance on killing newborn babies.  One of the first declarations of our rights in our founding documents is the declaration that every citizen has a right to LIFE.  That’s the FIRST one.  Because it is very basic.  When a state chooses to kill, or to sanction the killing of American lives, it is violating our Constitution in the most egregious way.

New York has chosen not to protect the lives of its citizens.  They have determined that the rest of America does not understand the very basic definition of “life” or “human being.”  Just for clarity, we [humans] define life this way: “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.”  We define the human being as “a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance.”  Lest one equivocate over the human infant’s capacity to reproduce, speak, or stand upright, no one doubts that given the chance to exercise its capacity to GROW, he will also eventually stand upright, speak, and have the capacity to reproduce.  Your reading this is itself proof of that premise.  Further, our federal government has chosen to protect the American Bald and Golden Eagles, to the extent that we protect the EGG as if it were an Eagle.  Are we NOT to apply the same logic to the HUMAN, who is simply removed from the potential place of death by a mere few inches?  Or worse, one who simply has not taken his first breath?  Do you not see the hypocrisy?

I come to you as a citizen.  I plead with you, and with your whole state government: speak out about this heinous new law that New York has just instated.  Call Governor Cuomo and reprimand him for his inhuman act of signing that bill into law.  Sanction that state for NOT PROTECTING ITS CITIZENS.

What is to stop a mother from simply killing a baby that is a day old, a week old, a month old?  Do you not, seriously, see the slippery slope this country is on since Roe V. Wade?

Do not think for a moment that a callous, hardened heart will somehow escape the reward of approving of, condoning, celebrating, or even ‘tolerating’ such thought.  Whether you believe in a G-d or not, most of us in America do.  And our Creator, mentioned in our Declaration of Independence, hates this new law, and I state that with absolute confidence. Not because I think myself a prophet, or better than any other man, but because the scriptures upon which our laws were founded, whether you’ve denied that fact or not, state: “There are six things which יהוה hates, yes, seven which are an abomination unto Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…”  He clearly believes that the person who is residing in the womb of his mother IS a person.  He told the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb I set you apart…”  The prophet, John the Immerser, leaped in the womb, when he sensed the presence of the Messiah in his cousin’s womb.  How dare anyone think to take the life of an infant, simply because he has not breathed his first breath. He is partaking of his mother’s LIFE while he is in the womb.  He is a person.  Ask any mother or father in this country whether they would have grieved at the loss of their child, before or after his birth.   Do NOT harden your heart to these infant citizens.

I am, along with as many as I can persuade, demanding that you and all U.S. state governors SANCTION the state of New York, and speak about the atrocity that is this new law, and rail against the murder of American Citizens, born and unborn.  If we do not, then eventually, simply passing through any door, real or imagined, will be cause enough for the death of any of us.  This wicked, perverted, heinous line of thought must be extinguished.  If it is not, this country will perish.  Mark these words.

Sincerely,

Daniel W. Crouch

Concerned American Citizen

[Feel FREE to copy and mail in.  Being mailed via post to all 49 other governors. Gov. Cuomo will get his own, personal letter soon]

Have you considered my servant, Iyov?

…that there is none like him in the earth, a pure and an upright man, one that fears Elohim, and shuns evil?

Was taking my brief, mid-day walk, and praying for people who I know are going through things.  I relied on my having been through similar things, in order hopefully to pray aright for them.  Some that I had in mind are dealing with life-long sin issues, things from which they feel they cannot be free.  Some are dealing with substances that control them.  Some, near poverty circumstances.  Some, ill temperament due to personal circumstances and dealing with other people.  I petitioned Abba, not asking ‘why’, but wondering, ‘will they ever truly be free’?  Is it possible that You will, some day, deliver them.  Most of these folks already trust that Yeshua is the Son of G-d.  Some even give themselves over heartily to worship, and to fellowship, and to keep His appointed times [and not those of men who claim to speak for Him].  Yet, they suffer.

Then, the images of children born with disabilities, extreme disabilities, went through my mind.  It always breaks my heart to hear of children born without limbs, born disfigured, born without the capacity to think and interact with the world around them.  Why them?  Some of that, much of it probably, is likely because mankind has taken to embrace behaviors and substances inordinately, or behaviors and substances that G-d clearly directs us to stay away from, and as such, we, collectively, have begun to make being born without defect a bit of a crap shoot.  But, is being born in that condition worse than not being born?

Iyov, Job, came to the place where he began to rue the day he was born.  But, was that right?  G-d finally told him, “Can you thunder with a voice like mine?  Do you have an arm like mine?”  In other words, like Sha’ul said, “Who are you, O man, to talk back to G-d?”

In Iyov’s case, he was innocent.  He was not born with any condition whatsoever, no apparent hindrance in life.  He had succeeded, having great wealth, a beautiful, large family and a loving wife.  And Elohim allowed all of that to be taken from him, finally, all the way down even to His own health and complexion.  He became disgusting to every other human, and only three people deigned to speak to him, and all they did was lecture him about how unrighteous he was.

Yeshua spoke of the man born blind, as the folks around him wondered if he had sinned, or had his parents sinned, and this is why he was born blind.  Yeshua taught that it was neither, but that he was born in order to bring G-d glory.  We all assume the ‘glory’ that G-d got was when Yeshua gave the man back his sight.  But was that the ‘glorious’ part of this man’s existence?  Or was it, by chance, the ‘way’ the man went through his life as a blind man, and gaining his sight was simply the reward.  After all, Iyov went through what he went through with great composure.  And he continued to trust in and love G-d, in spite of his circumstances.

As I pondered these things, reflecting on many of those I love who suffer, I realized, Iyov was ‘chosen’ for that purpose.  It was the will of G-d that he suffer.  Should it matter whether that suffering is done from birth, or later in life?  Might Iyov have been grateful for all those years of health and bounty, while he went through lack and sickness?  Might he have been a rare bird, and really learned how compassionate יהוה  is, in appreciation for all those blessings, knowing from where they came?  It appears so to me.

Then, it dawned on me.  Iyov is the root word of ‘enemy’/’hated’.  The man who was like NO OTHER MAN on the earth, feared G-d, shunned evil, pure, and upright, his very name meant ‘hated one’.  The bi-line above reads, “Have you considered my servant, Iyov?”  Have you?  G-d asked that question of HaSatan, the ‘Adversary,’ the one meant to bring us trouble.  And we can rest assured, that at the beginning of every evil issue of life that we deal with is this ‘adversary,’ this embodiment of perdition.  If we are marked to be the children of Elohim, and have trusted in His Son Yeshua, then you can bet, your name could be placed in the question?  “Have you considered my servant, the hated one?”  The ‘world’ hates us.  Is it possible that in his day, Iyov was the “Enemy” of HaSatan, because he was so ‘different’ than the rest of mankind?  That appears to be born out in his discourse with G-d!

Is it possible then, that G-d, who knows the end from the beginning, ‘allows’ His upright ones, those He marked with His seal, to be ‘buffeted’ by the adversary, to show His Kavod to ‘the adversary.’  Is it possible that G-d, then is ‘proud’ of you?  Knowing that you have what it takes inside of you to endure whatever the hardship is?  Because He put it there [light].  Isn’t that exactly what Yokhanan said when he started his account of the B’sorah?  “And the light shined into the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.”   Might that be why in Matti, when Yeshua began to teach the Torah, that He says, “You are indeed the light of the world; a city that is built upon a mountain cannot be hidden. [they do not] light a Menorah and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, so it gives light to all who are in the house.  So let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and glorify Avikhem [your father, plural ‘your’] in Heaven.”  The person who keeps the Torah is indeed ‘Iyov” to anything born of darkness.  Sickness, disease, affliction, perversion, dependency, conflict, hate, oppression, all of these things are born of darkness, and all of His children are subject to them.  The question is, how do we ‘bear up’ under them.  Do we remain faithful to G-d, as did Iyov?  If we truly are the ‘enemy’ of darkness, then we will.  And G-d KNOWS that.

He did not come to make us all strong.  He came to the weak, to confound the strong.  He came to the simple to confound the wise.  He came to the sick to confound those who are well.  He gives us of His strength, over, and over, and over again, as long as we are willing to fight.  “But we are not among those who shrink back.”

The man born blind, indeed, did receive his sight.  But, look how long he’d been blind.  Not everyone gets healed.  But, everyone who loves G-d and is consecrated from this world DOES glorify G-d, simply by continuing to be obedient, and to trust Him, and not to complain at whatever human ailment afflicts us, but finds His way to the merciful Elohim in spite of it.

Be Iyov.  Today, and every day, if need be.  Until HE is done getting glory from you.  Does He not deserve it?

A Spoonful of Sugar!

Sufganiyot1

This time of year is great for me.

Last Friday was my ‘Hebrew Birthday,’ the 14th day of the 9th “Khodesh,” or renewed crescent cycle, the ‘biblical month.’  I was the only one who ‘celebrated’ it, as I was the only one really aware of the disparity in the dates.

Next week is my ‘gregorian’ birthday, when most of the celebrating of my making it through another year is done.  But, also next week, on Monday night, Khanukah begins.  We will celebrate the conception of Messiah Yeshua, the Jewish defeat of Greeks and their imposition of greek culture and language, through oppression, and the Miracle of Oil for the Menorah and the Dedication of His House.  We will eat TONS of fried food, some of my favorite foods altogether, for EIGHT NIGHTS.  These are the things that make this time of year wonderful for me.

But, sometimes, over the last fifteen or so years, there is a bit of contrast with all the celebrating we attempt.  Because many, who ‘knew’ me before I turned to begin to do His Torah the way Yeshua does, do not understand why I no longer participate in that other holiday, you know, the one EVERYONE knows about, that the whole world ‘celebrates’?  Yeah, that one.

And periodically I have chosen to attempt to explain my reasons.  But, as a very upfront, even blunt person, I have simply stated facts, in my view, and have lost ‘friends’ over this very thing.  And I don’t think it is anything that should drive anyone out of my life, even if that relationship is only digital in this space-time continuum.

So, before I try to summarize things, I want to say this: I do NOT hold anyone in derision for celebrating christmas, or any other holiday.  Before I began to walk His Walk, I also celebrated it.  And as much zeal and affection as the most avid celebrants have for it, I also had, to the point of having written a very beautiful hymn about it while on board a U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarine during the season, some thirty-one years ago.

Did I ‘turn my back’ on Yeshua?  Of course not!  I turned more fully toward Him.

I always knew He is Jewish.  And I always suspected I was, even before I knew for certain how much Jewish blood is actually in my veins.  But, it was not about ‘becoming Jewish’ that caused me to turn away from this widespread holiday.  It was about seeking TRUTH. [I emphasize, I do not yell.  Here, my stubborn nature emerges, as I refuse to bend to the new convention].

Most people know Yeshua could not be born on Dec 25.  But, as a student of History [and eventually a Historian, an M.A. in History], I cannot overlook plain and simple facts.

No shepherds guard their flocks at night in the very dead of winter.  Anywhere.  Beit Lekhem is cold and grassless on Dec 25.

This simple fact alone gave me pause. It didn’t make sense.

But, further study of scripture itself revealed SO MUCH OTHER information concerning the timing of Yeshua’s conception and birth.

I am only summarizing, for brevity’s sake, but the scriptures are rife with facts, clues, and overtones that make all this very, very plain to me.

First, the birth of Yokhanan HaMatbil is directly related to Yeshua’s birth.  He was conceived exactly six months before Yeshua was conceived, and therefore we deduce rightly that he was born exactly six months before Yeshua.

We have some very key timing information concerning Yokhanan’s conception.  His father was a Kohen, serving in the Beit HaElohim when he saw the Messenger, who told him his wife would conceive and bear a son.  We are told the timing of his cycle of duty, by our learning his father was a Kohen in the order of Avi-Yah.  This is the EIGHTH course of the priestly courses established by King David in the books of Chronicles.  This puts him in the temple in June [Gregorian timing, for ease of understanding; I will refrain from confusing people with the biblical months in this post].  This means that Yokhanan was born during Passover, in March, and since Yeshua is born exactly six months later, He is born on the 1st of Sukkot, in late September.  Due to the biblical calendar, these dates float/change on our Gregorian calendar.  But, they are always the same on the Biblical Calendar: the 14th  of Khodesh 1 and the 15th of Khodesh 7.

Yeshua was born during Sukkot, which most know as ‘tabernacles.’  He ‘tabernacled’ among us, many say.

Since he was born at that time, based on facts of Scripture, we can see hints and overtones as well that affirm it.

The “Light of the World” is lit in the Beit HaElohim only during sukkot.  It is lit in the court of the women.  It is ‘high’ above the walls of the “House”, and can be seen from Beit Lekhem.   Miryam was a virgin, giving birth to the Light of the World, without the help of a man.  Sukkot is “The Season of Our Joy!”  And is the most exuberantly celebrated of all the seven feasts of G-d.  It is also the only feast to which all the nations of the world are invited, and in which offerings are made for all the nations.  “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which will be to the entire world. For this day is born to you in the city of David [Beit Lekhem], a Moshiah, who is יהוה HaMashi’akh.”  The light of the world, which was shining over the shepherds, is lit before sundown, and the Kohanim used ‘swaddling’ to make the torches in order to light those huge lights; ‘swaddling’ was strips of cloth used on the ends of torches; the kohahim made them from the old robes of the Kohanim.  But, all torches had ‘swaddling’ on the ends of them to hold the oil that creates the fire.  And thereby the light.   “And this is a sign for you: you will find the babe wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a sukka.”  [Our Aramaic Peshitta Brit Khadashah uses an obscure word here for ‘sukka’] So, the torch cloths would be wrapped around the “Light of the World”, who would be lying in a Sukka.  A Sukka is a booth that all Jews built in order properly to celebrate Sukkot.  The Jews built ‘booths’ in the desert in which to live during their wanderings.  The Sukka commemorates that time.  This is the time during which a great pillar of fire ‘lit up’ and warmed the Jewish people for forty years; the very Presence of יהוה .  Yeshua was placed in a sukka, because there was no room for them in any ‘inn’.  This is NOT because of the tax…  The Jews were given over a year to pay that tax; they did not all do it at once.  Yosef used the timing of Sukkot in order to go from Natzrat to Beit Lekhem to pay his tax, but ALSO to keep the feast!  Sukkot is a feast that all Jewish men must make pilgrimage to Jerusalem for.  He was killing two birds with one stone. Beit Lekhem is walking distance to Jerusalem.  Sukkot is seen throughout the Prophets as the time of the Shalom of יהוה on earth.  [Zekh 14, and other places].  “And suddenly there appeared with the Malakh a host of heaven, praising Elohim and saying,  “Glory to Elohim in the highest, and on earth Shalom, and good hope for the sons of men.”

So, with this information, [and more, but time does not permit] I was convinced that Yeshua’s birth COULD NOT happen in mid-winter.  As a historian, and a literalist, based on that information alone, I could no longer celebrate His birth on the wrong day.  Also as a historian, I wanted to learn ‘why’ did they pick that day?

I’ve given you the sugar.  Now here’s the medicine.  I hope you don’t throw up, or kick the nurse.

December 25th was and is the universal pagan day of celebrating the birth of the sun-god, whose ‘father’ is married to the second part of a trinity, a female goddess, and they copulate in the spring, and give birth to the ‘inconquerable sun’ on dec25. The three deities in this trinity go by different names in the many cultures that celebrate it. To celebrate, the ancient pagans slew babies under evergreen trees.  They died eggs in their blood and hunted for them during the spring Equinox, to create the fertility necessary for the December births, to keep the cycle of fertility going.  The spring day is the day of Ishtar.  It only very rarely coincides with the actual Passover.  During Roman times, in their version of this pagan, winter season, for twelve days, they celebrated with fertility rituals [sexual deviance], giving gifts, drunkenness, and persecuting/killing Jews.  The most heinous rites were common among all pagan communities, though they went by different names.  EVERY ancient western and near-eastern society participated in this, including Israel in their time of disobedience.  These rites are seen condemned by the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.  By the time of Yeshua, Israel had been purged of these rites, through great suffering in the form of punishment from G-d: conquered by foreign armies, starvation, slavery, expulsion from the land, and more.  Khanukah actually celebrates being freed from having these rites again forced on the Jews.

And that is the main reason I re-write this explanation this year.

I do NOT set myself up as one who would infringe your right to celebrate your holiday.  Neither to greet someone with whatever greeting you wish.  You are indeed free to do whatever you want.

But, I ask for mutual respect of my right NOT to celebrate it, and TO celebrate Khanukah, and my desire not to be wished well on a day or for a day that holds no value to me whatsoever, but in fact is offensive to me.  Being greeted as such by strangers is understandable; but, I ask my friends to refrain.  I seek to follow truth.  12/25 is being portrayed as the day of Yeshua’s birth: it is NOT the day of His birth, and facts prove that.  And, even those who say they are celebrating His birth are blending that celebration with rites of pagans who did the most abominable things with those rites.  Most people do so in their ignorance.  And I certainly am alert and judicious enough to know that NO ONE that I know would advocate the slaughter of babies under evergreen trees; but, I cannot commemorate it, even with a hint.  Never mind the facts that led me away from it in the first place; now I loathe to see a tree.  For my own reasons. Especially since so many babies die every day in this country, and no one blinks.  But, many, who now know the information, persist in perpetuating the abominations that יהוה Himself speaks against.  Some may choose to equivocate, and say that “Jesus is God” but then deny that He said NOT to do those things, when G-d said:

“You shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations that you are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every evergreen tree. [The Kananite version is Molekh and Asherah] And you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim [trees used during winter pagan rites] with fire; and you shall hew down the graven images of their gods; and you shall destroy their name out of that place. You shall not do so unto יהוה your Elohim.”

Israel went into the land, and was to purge it of peoples who celebrated these pagan fertility rites.  They did not completely rid the land of those peoples, and those rites, and they ended up celebrating them themselves.  The same is true of America.  The original founders made this holiday ILLEGAL, in every colony.  It remained so until the 1840s; but then, with a heavy influx of immigrants people started giving in, and now the season practically consumes 95% of the population for a whole quarter-year.  It’s so very disappointing.

Do yourself a favor: LOOK FOR THE MESSIAH in it?  How prevalent is HE in the rites and celebrations?

His birth was indeed a momentous event; but, the MIRACLE of it happened at Khanukah.   Which happened to fall on the 25th day of the ninth month, which coincided with the tenth month of rome [deca-ember], our Gregorian 12th month.  Yeshua was CONCEIVED at this time of year: the ‘candle’ of the Light of the world was stoked by the Ru’akh causing Miryam to conceive at this time.

If anything has pricked your heart, I ask you to consider it prayerfully.  Again, everyone is indeed FREE to do what they will. Everyone is also free to reject G-d and His Truth, but that does not mean that He wants them to.  I believe what I believe with my whole heart, and I pray for all of you to come into His Truth.  I do see this as error against His Word. And I do believe it needs to be corrected by HIS PEOPLE,  AGAIN!

Now, for some more sugar.

If I did not love people, I would not risk losing their friendship/approval for telling them these things.

This is the last I will think of that other holiday this year.  I am so looking forward to Khanukah.  The purity of it, symbolized in the oil, is such a balm against what I know about what everyone else is doing, and the sadness it would otherwise bring me.  I KNOW that HE is calling HIS PEOPLE out of these behaviors, as HE does in EVERY GENERATION.  I just pray that those I love respond.  Soon.

“You therefore, my beloved, seeing that you know these things beforehand, beware, lest you follow the error of those without Torah, and fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in compassion and in the knowledge of Adoneinu and Moshi’einu, Yeshua HaMashi’akh, and of Elohim HaAv. To Him be glory both now and forever, and through all eternity. Amein.”

 

http://www.battzion.org/resources/glossary/

Let’s Wrestle!

Growing up in a house full of boys, wrestling was a big part of my life.  I never had my thigh snapped, but I did break my collar bone on New Year’s Day during my eighth grade year, wrestling with my brother.

But, I still tussle with folks, even as an old man!  Only now I’m careful not to break anything!  I know my limits.

I find it interesting that my Torah portion is VaYishlakh, where Ya’akov, the namesake of my son, wrestles with someone.

Ya’akov wrestles with the Messenger of יהוה , which is a manifestation of Yeshua, before He finally manifested forever as a human being.

He knows who he is wrestling with.  This man is about to become the namesake of Yisra’el.  He tells the being with whom he wrestles, “I will not let you go, except that you bless me!”  That being is a temporary manifestation of G-d as a Malakh, a Messenger; it is, as I said, Yeshua, manifesting as the Creator in the form of a man.  He is a tangible being, APPEARING AS A MAN, wrestling with the man Ya’akov.  Ya’akov knows who He is, even though he asks Him to tell him His Name. “I have seen the face of Elohim!”

This is at the culmination of Ya’akov’s life in Shinar, the land of Bavel.  He is returning to Be’er Sheva, the land of his fathers, the “Well of the Oath.”  And he is seeking the blessing of the Creator.  This time, he is not asking for food and raiment as he had twenty years before, but a ‘blessing.’  An ‘increase’ in the supernatural.  A greater manifestation of the power of Elohim.

What the Messenger does is beat him; he snaps his sinew on his thigh, causing him to limp for the REST OF HIS LIFE.

Is that the blessing?  Is it a blessing to know the WEAKNESS that G-d gave you, in order for you to trust in HIS strength?  Isn’t that exactly what the Creator tells Sha’ul when he prays three times that He take his infirmity away?  ““My compassion is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in your weakness.”  Is it possible that Elohim visited him at this moment, and ‘blessed’ him with such a condition, because Ya’akov finally recognized the Presence of G-d in His life all along?  He had just prayed, “I am not worthy of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which You have shown unto your servant…”

So many people are striving to ‘be perfect’, when what hey do not realize is that they should be striving for HIM to make up the difference between our shortcomings and HIS perfection, with HIS perfection.

This acceptance of permanent brokenness, which is memorialized in the diets of observant Jews, is indeed a blessing, because it reminds us of our having seen HIS FACE!  ONLY HE can truly ‘break us’.  And when He does, it is for OUR BLESSING.

This Guy?

 

cal

Kefa said of the writings of Sha’ul these words:

“And consider that the longsuffering of Adoneinu is for Salvation; even as our beloved brother Pavlos also, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his letters he speaks concerning these matters, in which there are certain things so hard to be understood that those who are ignorant and unstable twist their meaning, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, my beloved, seeing that you know these things beforehand, beware, lest you follow the error of those without Torah, and fall from your own steadfastness.”

Yes, I reference this scripture a lot, but today I do so for a slightly different reason, other than discussing the importance and relevance of Torah in our lives.

Kefa said that those who twist the scriptures are ‘ignorant and unstable.’  It is difficult to prove ignorance in someone who has been long dead.  But, thankfully, history has left a trail to show us that Calvin was indeed ignorant and unstable.

Not the cute guy in the cartoon above.  But the beast of a man that was a so-called ‘reformer’, who is the pride of many religionists today: John Calvin.  His adherents look on him as innocently as newspaper comic fans look on Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes fame, saying his antics were harmless.  I don’t buy it.

This is not meant to be a dissertation on his theology, which is indeed twisted, but more an infomercial on who the man was, and how mentally deranged and prideful he was. Most of his adherents are not aware of the many people he executed.  Yes, murdered.

How could a man of such ‘notoriety’ and acclaim be heralded a father of the reformation, and have so many people look to him for guidance on what salvation is?  Because people did not heed or continue to heed Kefa’s warning.

Calvin believed that a saved person was saved ONLY because of the will of G-d, and that a person who would not accept his Christ was predestinated to go to hell, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.  He believed this so strongly that he executed anyone who would not submit to him, or that opposed him in any way.  This is the ‘instability’ Kefa warned us about.  He forced most of the people of Geneva into conversion, deeming them worthy of death and hell if they did not submit.

Many are not aware of Calvin’s one-time friend, Michael Servetus.  He was much like myself, half Jewish, but a believer in Messiah.  He opposed the Catholic church, and that was the basis of their friendship at the first.  But when Calvin published his “Institutions,” Servetus read it, wrote comments on it in the margins of his copy, and sent it to Calvin.  Calvin swore publicly that if he ever saw Servetus again, he’d kill him.  And he did.  He burned him at the stake, making sure the wood was green so it would take longer, and increase his suffering.  He never once showed any remorse for having done it, but instead nine years later was still rejoicing in his decision.  He believed that it was his duty to kill Servetus, and that Servetus was predestined for that fate, and the fate of burning in hell, in spite of Servetus’ confession of trust in Messiah.

This is the man too many today follow, in their ‘plan of salvation.’

They cannot read the word with any clarity, seeming to prefer the socratic, twisted logic of John Calvin, which is laced with hatred and pride.

The two main passages they use to justify their doctrine are so distorted by their logic, and so many today pride themselves in being able to follow that twisted train of logic, that they think the logic must be true.  They dismiss and discourage the plain reading of the text itself, and completely ignore two-thirds of scripture in order to perpetuate Calvin’s lies, and forgive him of his heinous crimes against mankind, though he himself remained unrepentant.

The scriptures that are twisted are these:

“And we know that those who love Elohim are helped by Him in everything, for the good, to those who from the beginning are destined to be called. He knew them in advance and He marked them with the likeness of the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, those whom He marked in advance, He has called, and those whom He has called, He has declared righteous, and those whom he has declared righteous, He has glorified.”  Rom 8:28-30

A couple of things to point out:

He marked in advance those who ‘would’ love Him,’ knowing them ahead of time, and THEN HE ‘called’ them, and THEN he declared them righteous, because THEY responded to the call, and THEN He glorified them.

Another passage that they twist is Efisim 1:

“Since, as from the beginning, He has chosen us through Him before the foundation of the world, that we may become consecrated and without blemish before Him, in love, as at the first, for Himself. And He marked us for Him, and appointed us to be sons through Yeshua HaMashi’akh, as was the pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His compassion that He has poured upon us by His beloved one. ….. And He marked us from the beginning, so He would carry out everything according to the good judgment of His will, that we should become the first to trust in Mashi’akh, to His honor and His glory. In Him you also have heard the Davar HaEmet, which is HaB’sorah for your life; in Him you have trusted, so you are sealed with The Ru’akh HaKodesh that was promised, which is the pledge of our inheritance for the redemption of those who live, and for the glory of His honor.”

Nothing in this indicates that there is no response on the part of the one who trusts.  On the contrary, the impetus of trust is put on us.  A response is elicited.  The response to the call of those who were marked to be called is clearly seen.  Yet Calvinists ignore the many, many places in scripture, invent new terms to explain their doctrine, and condemn anyone who does not believe their ‘idea’ about how salvation works.  They’re arguing semantics over the trust that must be in us, and dismissing everyone of the duty to trust and to obey, and further think that there is NOTHING they can do thereafter that would fate themselves to hell.  I would sooner believe Calvin in hell than many others I know, based on his life AFTER his so-called “Institutions” were written.

The short of it is this: G-d knows ahead of time who will respond to His call, so He marks them ‘to be called.’ The trickiness of Sha’ul’s writing here cannot outweigh all the many passages of Yeshua’s words that tell us WE must believe.  He indeed GIVES US the ‘power’ and the ‘authority’ to become sons of Elohim.  But we must do the ‘becoming.’  Just because Elohim ‘marked’ us for that purpose ahead of time, does not remove the impetus of us to believe, and to love Elohim, and WE must obey Him.

I wish I had time to further expound and explain the foreknowledge of Elohim.  But, what I really want to point out in this is the CHARACTER of John Calvin, the man who twisted these writings of Sha’ul, and invented the doctrine that so many today are following again.  “You shall know them by their fruits.”  Here is a man who very cruelly tortured and murdered a Messianic Jewish man, simply because he disagreed with him doctrinally.  And he did so standing on the foundation of his ‘predestination’ doctrine, which gave him the seared conscience one would need in order to so murder someone without any guilt.  No one can claim to follow the Son of G-d and commit murder without calling his very salvation into question.  Calvin simply became the alternative pope of Geneva, guilty of the very same crimes of the ‘church’ he left.  That is NOT the fruit of the Spirit of Messiah Yeshua.

And Servetus is NOT the only one Calvin murdered.  Some that he murdered he did so for even less serious ‘crimes’ than Servetus.

Some of John Calvin’s ‘accomplishments’ while ‘religious magistrate’ in Geneva:

A man was banished from the city for three months because he heard a donkey bray and said as a joke: “He prays a beautiful Psalm.”

Three men who had laughed during a sermon were imprisoned for three days.

Three children were punished because they remained outside of a church to eat some cakes.

A child was whipped publicly for calling his mother a thief.

A girl who slapped her mother’s guiding hand away was beheaded!!!!

A person was imprisoned for four days because he wanted to call his child Claude instead of Abraham.

In Geneva, a secret police was forged under the name of The Consistory. Every home was compulsorily examined and searched. The City was divided into districts and committees of the Consistory were empowered to search and interrogate all residents without previous notice. Attendance at public worship was commanded and watchmen were directed to see that people went to church. The one thing that Calvin did not endorse was religious liberty.

From 1541 to 1546, John Calvin caused 58 people to be executed. His victims ranged in age from 9 to 80. All executions were public, and Geneva residents were forced to watch. The executions were spaced out so as to exert a continuing policy of fear and terror. Others were killed for advocating local church autonomy; opposing the tie-in of church and state: and preaching that Messiah died for all sinners.

While in Geneva, Servetus made the mistake of attending church on Sunday where he was recognized and arrested. It was on Calvin’s information to the magistracy that Servetus was put in prison, which fact Calvin did not deny. The trial lasted over two months and Calvin himself drew up a document of thirty-nine accusations against Servetus.

On the way to the stake, Servetus asked G-d to pardon his accusers. Because of the use of green wood, Servetus suffered for half an hour, while Calvin watched.  No one with the mind of Messiah could burn a fellow believer simply because he disagrees, and revel in his torture.  This is the pinnacle of instability, and is the work of HaSatan, and is the product of ignorance of the Torah.  Just as Kefa predicted.

Yet so many today are beginning again to follow this man.  It is disgusting and abhorrent.

Dogs returning to vomit: YUK!

Yeshua called Epharaimites ‘dogs’, saying they eat the crumbs from the table of the Master.  Most don’t realize a Samaritan is actually from the former ‘Northern Kingdom of Israel, and they are only “1/2” Israeli.  The KINGDOM of Israel, which was rebellious, was scattered and FORGOTTEN.  The REMNANT of that KINGDOM joined Israel and are now called “Jews”, blended into the DNA pool of Judah.  They were scattered with Judah, finally, as prophesied, in 70-150 AD, and will return as Jews.  [See my former post “Yeshua’s Brother found the lost tribes of Israel”].

The “Ephraimites” movement today says that they are the “fulness of the nations”, because of the blessing that Yisra’el spoke over Ephraim in Gen 48.19

‘I know it, my son, I know it; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; howbeit his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.’

Their reasoning is that this means that Ephraim would become the gentiles, and that this happened when Ephraim was ‘scattered’ or ‘lost’, and so the gentiles who believe in Messiah are the Ephraimites, and therefore Israelites. They reason that since Yeshua said He came to save the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”, that He must be speaking of Ephraimites, and that is who gentile believers are today.  No.  The lost sheep of the house of Israel were the twelve tribes, called Jews, to whom Yeshua sent His Talmidim for a BRIEF SEASON while He was with them here on earth!  And they came back to Yeshua from going to those lost sheep in “Judea”, saying they could not cast out demons.  They were not ‘geographically’ lost and in need of google maps.  They were LOST SOULS, because Israel, the religious class, was not teaching them TRUTH!  They were teaching them they are saved by their DNA and by THEIR righteousness.  Today’s “Ephraimites” of the movement do the same.

They also add to this that Avraham’s promise of having a multitude of descendants is fulfilled through Ephraim.

This is a twisted LIE.

They misread the prophets.

And, they conveniently FORGET what יהוה promised would happen when Israel, which includes Judah, would disobey and be scattered:

Deut 4:27 only a FEW of you will survive among the nations to which יהוה will drive you.

This was spoken to ALL TWELVE TRIBES.  NOT just the ten of the north.

Deut 28:62 And you shall be left FEW IN NUMBER, whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because you would not obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim.

They had become “as the stars of heaven for multitude” when they left Egypt. G-d said so.

יהוה  your G-d has multiplied you, and, behold, you are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.” Deut 1:10

So, the “stars of heaven for multitude” promise is negated concerning Israel after the flesh, by the promise of יהוה that they would be FEW IN NUMBER if they got expelled from the land!

Today, Isra’el of the flesh, including all 12 tribes, known as “Jews” to the world, are indeed FEW IN NUMBER.  There are only maybe 20 million worldwide.

When the days of the gentiles are finally over, there will only be 144,000 men from ALL TWELVE TRIBES assembled in Yisrael, and Ephraim is NOT EVEN MENTIONED! Rev 7:5-8

Even though Ephraimites are of the tribe of Yosef, and they could be included in that 12000 men for Yosef, they have no such preeminent place in the last days as ‘two-house Ephraimite/Israelite people like to hope.  These 144k are today’s JEWS, a small portion who will come to faith during the Time of Jacob’s trouble.

[Remember, יהוה does not add women and children to the counting, so it will be more than 144,000 total people].

These are the only ones sealed with the Torah and Faith in Messiah during the tribulation. That’s a TINY number, and it is made up of today’s Jews. And many are already in Israel!!!!

יהוה clearly shows us that there are members of the Northern Kingdom who basically became “Jewish”. Khanah, in the Brit Khadasha, who recognized the infant Messiah, was of the tribe of Asher. II Chronicles tells us that many from the north joined Yehudah in the south. Khanah is a descendent of those, as are many JEWS today!

This “multitude” in Revelation is seen as JEWISH today, but יהוה alone knows their true tribal lineage. And that theory has more scriptural weight by far than any “Ephraimite/Two House” conjecture.

Jews share as much DNA with China, Africa, and Native Americans as they do with Europeans. So, there is no person who can know what their “Israelite Tribe” is, unless they are Jewish, and then many of them do not know!  DNA is showing that there is NO ‘pure’ ‘race’ of Jewish people, only threads of common DNA, in small percentages.  And there is NO evidence of Danes and Brits being from the middle east.

This lie DIVIDES Jewish believers in Messiah from Gentile believers in Messiah. There usually is not one Jew in Ephraimite “congregations”. This LIE divides the Body of Messiah. It causes distress and argument. And it serves absolutely NO PURPOSE but division. It is a SAD doctrine, and I hate it almost as much as I dismiss the catholic trinity doctrine, since it turns the Body of Messiah into a two-headed beast, as much as the catholic trinity turns god into a 3-headed monster.

Ephraim’s sin, which got him expelled from the HOLY LAND, was creating TWO HOUSES! And blaming it on יהוה :

כו וַיֹּאמֶר יָרָבְעָם, בְּלִבּוֹ: עַתָּה תָּשׁוּב הַמַּמְלָכָה, לְבֵית דָּוִד. 26 And Yaravam [The Ephraimite king] said in his heart: ‘Now will the kingdom return to the house of David.
כז אִם-יַעֲלֶה הָעָם הַזֶּה, לַעֲשׂוֹת זְבָחִים בְּבֵית-יהוה בִּירוּשָׁלִַם, וְשָׁב לֵב הָעָם הַזֶּה אֶל-אֲדֹנֵיהֶם, אֶל-רְחַבְעָם מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה; וַהֲרָגֻנִי, וְשָׁבוּ אֶל-רְחַבְעָם מֶלֶךְ-יְהוּדָה. 27 If this people goes up to offer sacrifices in Beit  [the house of] יהוה at Yerushalayim, then will the heart of this people turn back unto their lord, even unto Rekhavam Melekh Yehudah; and they will kill me, and return to Rekhavam Melekh Yehudah.’
כח וַיִּוָּעַץ הַמֶּלֶךְ–וַיַּעַשׂ, שְׁנֵי עֶגְלֵי זָהָב; וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם, רַב-לָכֶם מֵעֲלוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם–הִנֵּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלוּךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם. 28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold; and he said unto them: ‘You have gone up long enough to Yerushalayim; behold your gods, O Yisrael, which brought you up out of the land of Mitzrayim.’
כט וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת-הָאֶחָד, בְּבֵית-אֵל; וְאֶת-הָאֶחָד, נָתַן בְּדָן. 29 And he set the one in Beit El, and the other put he in Dan.
ל וַיְהִי הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, לְחַטָּאת; וַיֵּלְכוּ הָעָם לִפְנֵי הָאֶחָד, עַד-דָּן. 30 And this thing became a sin; for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
לא וַיַּעַשׂ, אֶת-בֵּית בָּמוֹת; וַיַּעַשׂ כֹּהֲנִים מִקְצוֹת הָעָם, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-הָיוּ מִבְּנֵי לֵוִי. 31 And he made [two] houses of high places, and made priests from among all the people, that were not of the sons of Levi.

That is exactly what today’s “Ephraimite/Israelite” people are doing.  And they will be scattered and forgetten, barring true repentance.

יהוה has ONLY ONE HOUSE, and our genealogy is irrelevant to our salvation, AND to whether or not we ever live in the Land of Yisrael during the Millennial Reign. Speculating about what tribe we are from is a distraction from building us up in Messiah Yeshua, and building the ONE Body of Messiah.

Heed the words of Shaul:

Command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer, or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing the work of Elohim—which is by trust.” I Tim 1:3-4

L’Khayim! No, REALLY!

Khai

I’m not one for thinking that images in clouds mean anything at all. But this is just an opportunity to show that random patterns in clouds sometimes lean in another direction…and I don’t blame Jews for pointing this one out! Since there are so few of us, these get pointed out far less often, but are probably ‘available’ just as often as others’ hopes.

This is, however, a VERY distinct “Khet”, the eighth letter of the Alef Bet.

It is the Hebrew symbol for ‘infinity’, and also the symbol worn around the neck of many Jews, including my brother Kefa Berg, as it means “Khai,” which means “LIFE”. The theme of the letter, then, is ‘eternal life’.

This happens also to be the symbol that would have been painted over the houses in the Pesakh [Passover], the blood of the lamb being painted over the doorposts and lintel [side posts and top] as instructed in Shemot [Exodus] 12:7 . It is not a coincidence that this forms the “Khet”, the symbol for eternal life.

Messiah Yeshua IS our “Pesakh”, our ‘pascal lamb offering’, [1 Cor 5:7 ] and is our source of life ETERNAL, for those who turn to the Way of G-d, the Torah as taught by Yeshua, and trust in His shed blood.

It is also the first letter in “Khermon,” or Mount Hermon…. now, go read Psalm 133…., and pay attention to the “Dew of Khermon,” in the LAST verse….

L’khayim! [To LIFE!]