And Abraham said, “It is God who will see to the sheep for this burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them walked on together.
Genesis 22:8 (JPS)
, my son – When the text we read includes punctuation (periods, commas, quotes, etc.), it is important to note that the punctuation was added at a later time. None of the original manuscripts, or relative copies, were written with commas or periods, etc. So now in this verse, the comma indicates that Abraham is speaking to his son; “, my son.” but what if the comma was a semicolon; “; my son”? Do you read a change in what just happened?
Continue reading “Comma or Semicolon?”
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.
Deuteronomy 25:4 (KJV)
Muzzle the ox – The Rabbis have long suggested that the word “ox” can apply to all animals that are used for the purpose of work, but clarify that this verse does not apply to humans.
Continue reading “Paul, the Theological Rebel”
Make two cherubim of gold—make them of hammered work—at the two ends of the cover.Exodus 25:18 (JPS)
Make – There is no question in what is going on here. God has just instructed the fashioning of two cherubim, an entity found in heaven. The people are to make a graven/sculptured image of something in the heavens. Does this cause you to ponder? Was there not another commandment directly forbidding this?
Continue reading “Absolute, but Flexible”
“‘How can you say, “We are wise,Jeremiah 8:8 (NIV)
for we have the law of the Lord,”
when actually the lying pen of the scribes
has handled it falsely?
Lying – Is Jeremiah indicating that the scribes have lied – that they have corrupted the law by writing into it lies? It would appear so if we read the NIV version of this verse. The NIV suggests that the scribes have lied with their pen and handled the law falsely. This is quite serious! How can we possibly trust that the Torah is true if the scribes have been seeding inaccuracies into the text?
Continue reading “When Translations Become a Lie”
O Hope of Israel! O LORD!Jeremiah 17:13
All who forsake You shall be put to shame,
Those in the land who turn from Youe
Shall be doomedf men,
For they have forsaken the LORD,
The Fount of living waters.
Hope – There is something fantastic happening here with the language. Jeremiah writes, Oh YHVH, You are the hope of Israel, the fountain of living waters. Hidden behind the word “hope” is the relationship that pairs it to the fountain of living waters. The word “hope” here is actually the Hebrew word Mikvah ( מִקְוֵ֤ה ).
Continue reading “The Mikvah of Israel”
I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?”Ruth 1:21 (NASB)
Full – This response from Naomi when compared to chapter’s beginning opens up a deeper understanding of how she came into this state – a state of hopelessness. She went out full during a time of famine. How strange. If Naomi and her husband were full, then why would they leave?
Continue reading “Full of Nothing”
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
Be still – I’ve heard this verse quoted many times as if God was instructing us to just remain calm. Just quiet yourself and understand God. As if a call to stop the hustle and bustle of your life, and to just be still for a moment. Unfortunately, this understanding comes from selecting a verse out of context and glazing over the English translation to make it fit for us.
Continue reading “Be Disheartened”
And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:Exodus 4:22 (KJV)
Firstborn – As a follower of Yeshua, it is easy to forget history when you believe the history of the faith began with the advent of Jesus in the first century. When all we read is the New Testament, the history prior to it becomes irrelevant. If I believe that Yeshua completely absolved everything written in the Old Testament to create a new religion called Christianity, then I have lost perspective.
Continue reading “Firstborn and Only Begotten”
11 The word of the LORD came to me: What do you see, Jeremiah? I replied: I see a branch of an almond tree.Jeremiah 1:11-12 (JPS)
12 The LORD said to me: You have seen right, For I am watchful to bring My word to pass.
Almond tree / I am watchful – We lose so much when we read the text in a translated language. Below, the two Hebrew words look identical, but are expressed with very different meanings. In one case, the word שקד is an almond tree, but the second occurrence of שקד means to “watch.” What is going on?
Continue reading “A Hebrew Homonym”
And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:Genesis 25:19 (KJV)
Generations of Isaac – When someone begins to tell you about the generations of a person, they normally begin with that person’s children. I’m expecting this verse to end with and Isaac begat Jacob, but instead the verse jumps to Abraham. Why?
Continue reading “The Legacy of Isaac”