Chag Yeshua

Chag Yeshua 

(The Feast of Yeshua (Deliverance)

What is Chag Yeshua?

The Feast of Deliverance or “Chag Yeshua” is an ancient festival once kept by the Jewish people.  Chag Yeshua is not a feast from the Torah, it is instead comparable to the feasts of Purim and Channukah.  These feasts were established in and through Scripture by the authority of the Elders.

What is the background of this festival? After the Battle of Raphia in 217 B.C.E. Ptolemy IV sought to enter the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem, but was miraculously repulsed (3Macc. 1:1-2:24). Upon returning from Egypt he seeks to punish the Jews there for his humiliation. He lowers their political status and seeks to impose paganism on them (3Macc. 2:25-33) and tortures and kills those that refuse to renounce Judaism (3Macc. 3:1-5:51) An elder priest named Eleazar prays for the deliverance of his people (3Macc. 6:1-25), YHWH intervenes bringing about the repentance of the king and the deliverance of the Jews (6:16-7:23) The Jews declared an annual festival called “The Feast of Deliverance” (Chag Yeshua) as an annual celebration of the salvation of the Jews in Egypt at this time. The festival enacted from the 8th to the 14th of the Egyptian month of Epeiph. The Egyptian calendar was a Solar Calendar and these days correspond to 19 August 217 BCE on the Julian Calendar and this was 12th Elul 3544 on the Hebrew calendar. This festival should be observed beginning on the 12th of Elul each year.

And there is another element in this festival for us as believers in Messiah. The Hebrew word for “deliverance” is YESHUA so we have here “The Feast of Yeshua”. The deliverance of the Jews from the hand of Ptolemy IV points us forward to the deliverance of Israel by the Messiah Yeshua. This feast gives us another important theme, Messiah and the deliverance of Israel.

How to Celebrate the Feast

What do we do on Chag Yeshua? The text of 3 Maccabees tells us that the day was celebrated with rejoicing and they “were crowned with all kinds of fragrant flowers.” The text also tells us that they:

1. A celebratory meal called “The Banquet of Deliverance” or “The Banquet of Yeshua”. This should not be confused with the Passover Sader and would be more akin to a “Thanksgiving Dinner”, or this time of year, a barbeque. (3Macc. 6:31)

2. Traditional songs (“Songs of their fathers”) and praising Yah as “savior”. Particularly appropriate are songs about “Salvation” or which speak of Yah’s defense as our shield. (3Macc. 6:32)
Recommended Chag Yeshua songs:

Deliverance/Protection/Victory Theme:
Behold!
And it Shall Come to Pass
Melech Ozair
As the Mountains
Shield about Me
In the Shadow of your Wings
Shouts of Joy

Yeshua (the Messiah) Theme:
Do You Know Yeshua?
In Yeshua’s Name
Rejoicing Theme:
He Put Laughter into My Soul
He has Made me Glad
Roni Bat Tzion

3. Traditional Hebraic Dance (3Macc. 6:35)

4. Obviously the festival should involve recounting the story of 3 Maccabees.

Since the festival is in the summer (at least in the northern hemisphere) this points obviously to summer festivities. Modern activities could include barbeques and pool parties.

So plan your own Chag Yeshua events for Chag Yeshua

A Time for Intercessory Prayer
While the general theme of 3rd Maccabees (deliverance) is common in the Scriptures (deliverance from: Pharaoh, Haman, Antiochus Epiphanies etc.) the Chag Yeshua story is unique because it names only two protagonists. These two “heros in named in the Chag Yeshua story of 3rd Maccabees are Simon the High Priest and Eleazar the Priest are both prayer warriors. This is no accident, the lesson of the Chag Yeshua story is the power of prayer, it is a book whose two heroes are prayer warriors.

Simon’s prayer is found in 3rd Maccabees 2:1-20. This Simon, “Simon the Righteous” (219-196 B.C.E.), was one of the last members of the Great Assembly which had been established by Ezra. The Mishna says:

Simeon the Righteous was of the remnants
of the Great Assembly. He used to say, “On three
things the world stands: On the Torah,
On the [Temple] Service,
and on acts of piety (chasidim).
(m.Avot 1:2)

Ben Sira calls him “the leader of his brothers and the pride of his people.” (50:1) and dedicates an entire chapter to his good reputation (Sira 50). Simon was the earliest post-biblical sage cited in the Mishna.

The climax of the story follows a prayer by Eleazar the Priest (3Macc. 6:1-15)

The story lays out the deliverance from Israel and the place that intercessory prayer played in that deliverance.

This is a great time of year to engage in intercessory prayer for the salvation of all Israel and Judah!

The Amidah and Chag Yeshua

Over 2,000 years ago Ptolemy IV Philopater attempted to destroy the Jewish people.  YHWH intervened on our behalf when El’azar of Alexandria stood up and prayed for YHWH to intercede for the Jewish people saying:

1 And El’azar, an illustrious cohen of the country, who had attained to length of days, and whose life had been adorned with virtue, caused the Elders who were about him to cease to cry out to the set-apart Elohim, and prayed thus:
2 O king, mighty in power, most high, Almighty Elohim, who regulate the whole creation with your tender mercy,
3 look upon the seed of Avraham, upon the children of the sanctified Ya’akov, your sanctified inheritance, O Father, now being wrongfully destroyed as strangers in a strange land.
(3Macc. 6:1-3)

Note how these words have an uncanny parallel the opening prayer of the Amidah (called “AVOT” the fathers):

Baruch Atah YHWH Eloheynu v’Elohey a vo taynoo.
Elohey Avraham, Elohey Yitzchak V’Elohey Ya a kov,
Ha EL Ha Gadol, Ha Geebor, v’Ha Nora,
El Elyon, go mail chasadeem toveem, v’konay ha kol.
v’zo care chas day ahvot oo mayvee go ail leevnay v’nay hem
l’ma an sh’mo b’a havah.
Melech Ozair U’MaSHEEAH u OO ‘MAGEN
Baruch Atah YHWH, Magen Avraham!

Blessed Are You YHWH, our Elohim and Elohim of our fathers;
Elohim of Avraham, Elohim of Yitzchak, Elohim of Yaacov,
the great and mighty and awesome Elohim, the most high Elohim,
who bestows grace and creates all
and remembers the kindnesses of the fathers
and brings a Redeemer to their children’s
children, for His Name’s sake with love.
O King, helper Savior and Shield!
Blessed are You YHWH. Shield of Avraham.

Let us each recite this prayer in honor of Chag Yeshua, invoking YHWH to protect His people from the designs of the Enemy. Psalm 27 is Prayed both in Morning and Afternoon.

Psalms Chapter 27 תְּהִלִּים

א  לְדָוִד:    יְהוָה, אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי–מִמִּי אִירָא;
יְהוָה מָעוֹז-חַיַּי,    מִמִּי אֶפְחָד.
1 [A Psalm] of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
ב  בִּקְרֹב עָלַי, מְרֵעִים–    לֶאֱכֹל אֶת-בְּשָׂרִי:
צָרַי וְאֹיְבַי לִי;    הֵמָּה כָשְׁלוּ וְנָפָלוּ.
2 When evil-doers came upon me to eat up my flesh, even mine adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell.
ג  אִם-תַּחֲנֶה עָלַי, מַחֲנֶה–    לֹא-יִירָא לִבִּי:
אִם-תָּקוּם עָלַי, מִלְחָמָה–    בְּזֹאת, אֲנִי בוֹטֵחַ.
3 Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise up against me, even then will I be confident.
ד  אַחַת, שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵאֵת-יְהוָה–    אוֹתָהּ אֲבַקֵּשׁ:
שִׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-יְהוָה,    כָּל-יְמֵי חַיַּי;
לַחֲזוֹת בְּנֹעַם-יְהוָה,    וּלְבַקֵּר בְּהֵיכָלוֹ.
4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,to behold the graciousness of the LORD, and to visit early in His temple.
ה  כִּי יִצְפְּנֵנִי, בְּסֻכֹּה–    בְּיוֹם רָעָה:
יַסְתִּרֵנִי, בְּסֵתֶר אָהֳלוֹ;    בְּצוּר, יְרוֹמְמֵנִי.
5 For He concealeth me in His pavilion in the day of evil; He hideth me in the covert of His tent; He lifteth me up upon a rock.
ו  וְעַתָּה יָרוּם רֹאשִׁי, עַל אֹיְבַי סְבִיבוֹתַי,    וְאֶזְבְּחָה בְאָהֳלוֹ, זִבְחֵי תְרוּעָה;
אָשִׁירָה וַאֲזַמְּרָה,    לַיהוָה.
6 And now shall my head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me; and I will offer in His tabernacle sacrifices with trumpet-sound;
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
ז  שְׁמַע-יְהוָה קוֹלִי אֶקְרָא;    וְחָנֵּנִי וַעֲנֵנִי. 7 Hear, O LORD, when I call with my voice, and be gracious unto me, and answer me.
ח  לְךָ, אָמַר לִבִּי–בַּקְּשׁוּ פָנָי;    אֶת-פָּנֶיךָ יְהוָה אֲבַקֵּשׁ. 8 In Thy behalf my heart hath said: ‘Seek ye My face’; Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
ט  אַל-תַּסְתֵּר פָּנֶיךָ, מִמֶּנִּי–    אַל תַּט-בְּאַף, עַבְדֶּךָ:
עֶזְרָתִי הָיִיתָ;    אַל-תִּטְּשֵׁנִי וְאַל-תַּעַזְבֵנִי, אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי.
9 Hide not Thy face from me; put not Thy servant away in anger;Thou hast been my help; cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
י  כִּי-אָבִי וְאִמִּי עֲזָבוּנִי;    וַיהוָה יַאַסְפֵנִי. 10 For though my father and my mother have forsaken me, the LORD will take me up.
יא  הוֹרֵנִי יְהוָה, דַּרְכֶּךָ:    וּנְחֵנִי, בְּאֹרַח מִישׁוֹר–לְמַעַן, שׁוֹרְרָי. 11 Teach me Thy way, O LORD; and lead me in an even path, because of them that lie in wait for me.
יב  אַל-תִּתְּנֵנִי, בְּנֶפֶשׁ צָרָי:    כִּי קָמוּ-בִי עֵדֵי-שֶׁקֶר, וִיפֵחַ חָמָס. 12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine adversaries; for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out violence.
יג  לוּלֵא–הֶאֱמַנְתִּי, לִרְאוֹת בְּטוּב-יְהוָה:    בְּאֶרֶץ חַיִּים. 13 If I had not believed to look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!–
יד  קַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה:    חֲזַק, וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ; וְקַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה. 14 Wait on the LORD; be strong, and let thy heart take courage; yea, wait thou for the LORD.

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Parashat Ha’Azinu / פרשת האזינו

Torah Reading: HA-AZINU, Deuteronomy 32: 1-52
THE SONG OF G-D’S JUSTICE

Some songs are happy, some are sad. Some are for entertainment. Some come to tell a story or teach a lesson. Some express the inner heart and soul. Unique among all songs is the song of Moses in our parashah. HA-AZINU is the song of G-d’s perfect Justice — the ultimate reproof to man.

The Hebrew word for song, SHIRAH, is related to the word SHER, which means a chain or necklace. A song is a chain, thread or structure that connects various particulars together in order to make a meaningful order. As the very climax of the Torah, Moses’ song of HA’AZINU gives order and meaning to the history of the people of Israel with its great highs and terrible lows. Everything comes to show the faultless, inexorable justice of G-d. “The Rock — His work is perfect, for all His ways are Justice, the G-d of faithfulness in Whom there is no wrong, He is righteous and straight!” (Deut. 32:4).

This may be easy to say, but it is very hard to actually know and believe in our heart of hearts. Nevertheless, Moses challenges us to join him in this song of testimony, so that we too will know and declare G-d’s justice. The song is “interactive”: Moses chants, calling upon us to respond. “For I will call upon the Name of HaShem — ascribe greatness to our G-d” (ibid. v. 3). This verse is the Torah source for the prayer leader’s call to prayer and the congregational response, both in the synagogue — BAR’CHU — and at the table introducing the blessings after eating bread — NEVORECH (Brachos 45a). HA-AZINU challenges us to respond: to wake up, see and acknowledge G-d’s truth and justice, and to respond in the proper way, by repenting. HA-AZINU is such an important expression of the essence of Israel’s faith and destiny that some communities had the custom of reciting it daily in the morning prayers together with SHIRAS HAYAM (“Song of the Sea”) (Rambam, Laws of Prayer 7:13). In the Temple, successive portions of HA-AZINU were read every Shabbos in a six-week cycle as part of the service accompanying the Shabbos additional offering (Rambam, Temidim Umusafim 6:9).

“Listen, O heavens, and I will speak. Hear, O earth, the words of my mouth” (Deut. 32:1). Moses calls upon the heavens and earth, G-d’s impassive, unwaveringly obedient servants, as his witnesses. For mortal man is too devious and full of ploys to be a valid witness — he has a vested interest: he wants to justify himself. “Why did this happen to me? It isn’t fair.” Moses confronts us — the latter generation that he is addressing — with independent testimony that cannot be denied: the actual history of the people of Israel from the very beginning to the very end, for it is all encapsulated in HA-AZINU. “Remember the days of the universe, understand the years of generation after generation; ask your father and he will inform you, your grandfather and they will tell you…” (v. 7). What has happened in the past and what is happening now to Israel is of significance to the entire world. Israel is at the very center. “When the Supreme gave the peoples their inheritance when He spread out the children of man, He established the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the Children of Israel…” (v. 8).

The history of Israel is the history of Adam writ large. Adam was created out of dust and nothingness and placed in G-d’s sublime garden, but he quickly rebelled and sinned, causing G-d to punish and chasten him, in order to make him repent and to cleanse him. Similarly, G-d “found” the Children of Israel in wild, desolate land and built them into a nation, giving them to ride on the high places of the earth — the land of Israel and Jerusalem. But their very good fortune and prosperity became their undoing. “And Yeshurun became fat and he kicked” — causing G-d to let loose all the evils and terrors of persecution and oppression that have plagued the people of Israel for thousands of years. Only when we internalize the message that rebellion leads to nothing but the pain in the end and that we have no recourse except in G-d — only then will G-d relent and swing everything around to goodness and blessing — VE-ZOT HABRACHAH (the closing parashah of the Torah).

* * *

G-D ALWAYS HAS THE UPPER HAND

We cannot escape from G-d and His Covenant, with its privileges, responsibilities and its terrible sanctions. The stark severity of the message of HA-AZINU may cause discomfort among those in today’s obese, irreverent world who seek a sweet, undemanding spirituality that complements and enhances contemporary lifestyle without causing any radical upsets. People are bewildered by the war, terror, crime, disease and other scourges afflicting us, but we would like to see them as mere aberrations that should be able to be eliminated if only we could apply sufficient human ingenuity. HA-AZINU teaches the futility of trying to overcome these G-d-sent scourges without confronting the rebelliousness and deviousness in our own hearts. G-d always has the upper hand. “For I am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill and make alive, I struck the blow and I will heal, and none can save from My hand” (v. 39).

“If only they would be wise and apply their intelligence to this, and understand their latter end. How could one chase after a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight if not because their Rock sold them and HaShem delivered them?” (vv. 29-30). How could it be that small groups of Nazis were able to uproot thousands from their homes and towns and lead them literally like lambs to the slaughter? How could it be that today a people that are not a people have the whole world dancing to their tune, while small cells of terrorist torment and demoralize the entire population? How can this be if not that it is G-d’s doing?

If it is true that our sins as a nation have brought us great suffering, it must also be true that the stirrings of Teshuvah in our hearts will also prove to be the channel for abundant blessing and peace. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov taught that when Israel accepted the Torah, their essential wisdom lay in their willingness to throw away their own sophisticated wisdom and humbly submit themselves completely to G-d’s superior wisdom. Rabbi Nachman brings proof from Onkelos’ Aramaic translation of the verse in HA-AZINU: “O foolish people and not wise” (Deut. 32:6) — “O nation that received the Torah and was not sophisticated” (see Likutey Moharan I:123).

We cannot redeem ourselves with sophisticated ploys but only through taking the ancient, unglamorous path of Teshuvah — honest self-scrutiny, remorse, contrition, owning up to the foolishness and evil in our own hearts and taking ourselves in hand in order to better fulfill G-d’s commandments. HA-AZINU calls to repent with all our hearts and come home to G-d as we stand before Him in prayer during these Days of Awe. Repentance — Teshuvah — is the hallmark of the true savior, Melech Mashiach, as personified in David, the messianic king of Israel. David came to complete the work of Moses in rectifying the original sin of Adam. The striking fact about David is that he sinned. His greatness lay in the fact that he had the courage to acknowledge it and to repent. The true Messiah is Yeshua, not a flawless, superhuman saint who rides on clouds of glory. He is one who — on his level — knows sin and knows the devices of man’s heart. And he knows that only G-d can rectify It through Yeshua.

“Cleanse me of my sin and purify me from my transgression… O G-d, create in me a pure heart and renew within me a proper spirit… I will teach sinners Your ways and transgressors will return to You” (Psalm 51).

As soon as we learn that there is no other way but to repent, we will be redeemed. And then: “Sing aloud — O you nations — of His people, For He does avenge the blood of His servants and render vengeance to His adversaries, and will make atonement for the land of His people.”

Shabbat Shalom! Shanah Tovah! Gmar ChaTimah Tovah!

Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum

Pesach – פסח – Readings

Pesach – פסח

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Pesach I – פסח יום א׳

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Exodus 12:21 – 12:51 & Numbers 28:16 – 28:25 

1: Exodus 12:21-24 (4 p’sukim)        
2: Exodus 12:25-28 (4 p’sukim)
3: Exodus 12:29-36 (8 p’sukim)
4: Exodus 12:37-42 (6 p’sukim)
5: Exodus 12:43-51 (9 p’sukim)
maf: Numbers 28:16-25 (10 p’sukim)

Haftarah: Joshua 5:2 – 6:1

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Pesach I (on Shabbat) – פסח יום א׳ (בשבת)

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Exodus 12:21 – 12:51 & Numbers 28:16 – 28:25

1: Exodus 12:21-24 (4 p’sukim)
2: Exodus 12:25-28 (4 p’sukim)
3: Exodus 12:29-32 (4 p’sukim)
4: Exodus 12:33-36 (4 p’sukim)
5: Exodus 12:37-42 (6 p’sukim)
6: Exodus 12:43-47 (5 p’sukim)
7: Exodus 12:48-51 (4 p’sukim)
maf: Numbers 28:16-25 (10 p’sukim)

Haftarah: Joshua 5:2 – 6:1

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Pesach II – פסח יום ב׳

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Leviticus 22:26 – 23:44 & Numbers 28:16 – 28:25

1: Leviticus 22:26-23:3 (11 p’sukim)
2: Leviticus 23:4-14 (11 p’sukim)
3: Leviticus 23:15-22 (8 p’sukim)
4: Leviticus 23:23-32 (10 p’sukim)
5: Leviticus 23:33-44 (12 p’sukim)
maf: Numbers 28:16-25 (10 p’sukim)

Haftarah: II Kings 23:1 – 23:9; 23:21 – 23:25

 

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Pesach Chol ha-Moed Day 1 – פסח יום ג׳ (חול המועד)

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Exodus 13:1 – 13:16

1: Exodus 13:1-4 (4 p’sukim)
2: Exodus 13:5-10 (6 p’sukim)
3: Exodus 13:11-16 (6 p’sukim)
4: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)

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Pesach Chol ha-Moed Day 2 – פסח יום ד׳ (חול המועד)

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Exodus 22:24 – 23:19

1: Exodus 22:24-26 (3 p’sukim)
2: Exodus 22:27-23:5 (9 p’sukim)
3: Exodus 23:6-19 (14 p’sukim)
4: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)

 

Pesach Chol ha-Moed Day 3 – פסח יום ה׳ (חול המועד)Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.   

Torah Portion: Exodus 34:1 – 34:26

1: Exodus 34:1-10 (10 p’sukim)
2: Exodus 34:11-17 (7 p’sukim)
3: Exodus 34:18-26 (9 p’sukim)
4: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)

 

 

Pesach Chol ha-Moed Day 4 – פסח יום ו׳ (חול המועד)

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Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Numbers 9:1 – 28:25

1: Numbers 9:1-5 (5 p’sukim)
2: Numbers 9:6-8 (3 p’sukim)
3: Numbers 9:9-14 (6 p’sukim)
4: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)

 

Pesach Shabbat Chol ha-Moed – פסח שבת חול המועד

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Exodus 33:12 – 34:26 & Numbers 28:19 – 28:25

1: Exodus 33:12-16 (5 p’sukim)
2: Exodus 33:17-19 (3 p’sukim)
3: Exodus 33:20-23 (4 p’sukim)
4: Exodus 34:1-3 (3 p’sukim)
5: Exodus 34:4-10 (7 p’sukim)
6: Exodus 34:11-17 (7 p’sukim)
7: Exodus 34:18-26 (9 p’sukim)
maf: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)

Haftarah: Ezekiel 37:1 – 37:14

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Pesach VII – פסח יום ז׳

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Exodus 13:17 – 15:26 & Numbers 28:19 – 28:25

1: Exodus 13:17-22 (6 p’sukim)
2: Exodus 14:1-8 (8 p’sukim)
3: Exodus 14:9-14 (6 p’sukim)
4: Exodus 14:15-25 (11 p’sukim)
5: Exodus 14:26-15:26 (32 p’sukim)
maf: Numbers 28:19 25 (7 p’sukim)

Haftarah: II Samuel 22:1-51

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Pesach VII (on Shabbat)

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Exodus 13:17 – 15:26 & Numbers 28:19 – 28:25

1: Exodus 13:17-19 (3 p’sukim)
2: Exodus 13:20-22 (3 p’sukim)
3: Exodus 14:1-4 (4 p’sukim)
4: Exodus 14:5-8 (4 p’sukim)
5: Exodus 14:9-14 (6 p’sukim)
6: Exodus 14:15-25 (11 p’sukim)
7: Exodus 14:26-15:26 (32 p’sukim)
maf: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)

Haftarah: II Samuel 22:1-51

redemption

Pesach VIII – פסח יום ח׳

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 15:19 – 16:17 & Numbers 28:19 – 28:25

1: Deuteronomy 15:19-23 (5 p’sukim)
2: Deuteronomy 16:1-3 (3 p’sukim)
3: Deuteronomy 16:4-8 (5 p’sukim)
4: Deuteronomy 16:9-12 (4 p’sukim)
5: Deuteronomy 16:13-17 (5 p’sukim)
maf: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)

Haftarah: Isaiah 10:32 – 12:6

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Pesach VIII (on Shabbat)

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 14:22 – 16:17 & Numbers 28:19 – 28:25

1: Deuteronomy 14:22-29 (8 p’sukim)
2: Deuteronomy 15:1-18 (18 p’sukim)
3: Deuteronomy 15:19-23 (5 p’sukim)
4: Deuteronomy 16:1-3 (3 p’sukim)
5: Deuteronomy 16:4-8 (5 p’sukim)
6: Deuteronomy 16:9-12 (4 p’sukim)
7: Deuteronomy 16:13-17 (5 p’sukim)
maf: Numbers 28:19-25 (7 p’sukim)

Lesson 28

Parashah 28: Metzora (Person afflicted with Tzra’at) 14:1-15:33
[In regular year read with Parashah 27, in leap years read separately]

14:1(i) And Adonai spoke to Moshe, saying:

14:2 This shall be the Torat ha metzora in the day of his Tohorah (cleansing):

The First stage of Metzora’s purification (2-8)

He shall be brought to the Kohen:

14:3 And the Kohen shall go forth out of the camp; and the Kohen shall look, and, Hinnei, [if] the nega of tzara’at be healed in the tzara;

From Arrogance to humility

two birds alive, cedar wood, scarlet thread, and hyssop

14:4 Then shall the Kohen command to take for him that is to be Taher (cleansed) two birds alive [and] Tahor (clean), and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

14:5 And the Kohen shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over mayim chayyim (running water):

14:6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird [that was] killed (shachat) over the mayim chayyim (running water):

14:7 And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be Taher (cleansed) from the tzara’at seven times, and shall pronounce him Tahor (clean), and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

14:8 And he that is to be Tahor (cleansed) shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be Tahor (clean): and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent shivat yamim.

The Second stage-Shaving

14:9 But it shall be on the yom hashevi’i, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, erev all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be Tahor (clean).

The Final stage of Purification – offering

14:10 And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs Tamiym, and one ewe lamb of the first year Tamiym, and three tenth deals of fine flour [for] a minchah, mingled with oil, and one log of oil.

14:11 And the Kohen that makes [him] Tahor (clean) shall present the man that is to be made Tahor (clean), and those things, before Adonai (יהוה), [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:

14:12 And the Kohen shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a asham (trespass offering), and the log of oil, and wave them [for] a tenufah (wave offering) before Adonai (יהוה):

14:13 (LY:ii)

And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the chatat (sin offering), and the Olah, in the kadosh place: for as the chatat (sin offering), [is] the Kohen’s, [so is] the asham (trespass offering): it [is] most kadosh:

14:14 And the Kohen shall take [some] of the blood of the asham (trespass offering), and the Kohen shall put [it] upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be Tahor (cleansed), and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

14:15 And the Kohen shall take [some] of the log of oil, and pour [it] into the palm of his own left hand:

14:16 And the Kohen shall dip his right finger in the oil that [is] in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before Adonai (יהוה):

14:17 And of the rest of the oil that [is] in his hand shall the Kohen put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be Taher (cleansed), and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the asham (trespass offering):

14:18 And the remnant of the oil that [is] in the Kohen’s hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be Taher (cleansed): and the Kohen shall make an atonement for him before Adonai (יהוה).

14:19 And the Kohen shall offer the chatat (sin offering),, and make an atonement for him that is to be Taher (cleansed) from his Tum’ah; and afterward he shall kill the Olah:

14:20 And the Kohen shall offer the Olah and the minchah upon the altar: and the Kohen shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be Tahor (clean).

14:21 (RY:v,LY:iii)

And if he [be] poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb [for] a asham (trespass offering) to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a minchah, and a log of oil;

14:22 And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a chatat (sin offering),, and the other a Olah.

14:23 And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his Tohorah (cleansing) to the Kohen, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before Adonai (יהוה).

14:24 And the Kohen shall take the lamb of the asham (trespass offering), and the log of oil, and the Kohen shall wave them [for] a tenufah (wave offering) before Adonai (יהוה):

14:25 And he shall kill the lamb of the asham (trespass offering), and the Kohen shall take [some] of the blood of the asham (trespass offering), and put [it] upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be Taher (cleansed), and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

14:26 And the Kohen shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand:

14:27 And the Kohen shall sprinkle with his right finger [some] of the oil that [is] in his left hand seven times before Adonai (יהוה):

14:28 And the Kohen shall put of the oil that [is] in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be Taher (cleansed), and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the asham (trespass offering):

14:29 And the rest of the oil that [is] in the Kohen’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be Taher (cleansed), to make an atonement for him before Adonai (יהוה).

14:30 And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get;

14:31 [erev] such as he is able to get, the one [for] a chatat (sin offering),, and the other [for] a Olah, with the minchah: and the Kohen shall make an atonement for him that is to be Taher (cleansed) before Adonai (יהוה).

14:32 This [is] the Torah [of him] in whom [is] the nega of tzara’at, whose hand is not able to get [that which pertains] to his Tohorah (cleansing).

14:33 (RY:vi, LY:iv)

And Adonai (יהוה) spoke to Moshe and to Aharon, saying,

14:34 When you be come into the eretz of Kenaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the nega of tzara’at in a beit of the eretz of your possession;

14:35 And he that owns ha beit shall come and tell the Kohen, saying, It seems to me [there is] as it were a nega in ha beit:

14:36 Then the Kohen shall command that they empty ha beit, before the Kohen go [into it] to see the nega, that all that [is] in ha beit be not made tamei: and afterward the Kohen shall go in to see ha beit:

14:37 And he shall look on the nega, and, Hinnei, [if] the nega [be] in the walls of ha beit with hollow strakes, greenish or reddish, which in sight [are] lower than the wall;

14:38 Then the Kohen shall go out of ha beit to the door of ha beit, and shut up ha beit shivat yamim:

14:39 And the Kohen shall come again the yom hashevi’i, and shall look: and, Hinnei, [if] the nega be spread in the walls of ha beit;

14:40 Then the Kohen shall command that they take away the stones in which the nega [is], and they shall cast them into an tamei place without the city:

14:41 And he shall cause ha beit to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an tamei place:

14:42 And they shall take other stones, and put [them] in the place of those stones; and he shall take other morter, and shall plaister ha beit.

14:43 And if the nega come again, and break out in ha beit, after that he has taken away the stones, and after he has scraped ha beit, and after it is plaistered;

14:44 Then the Kohen shall come and look, and, Hinnei, [if] the nega be spread in ha beit, it [is] a fretting tzara’at in ha beit: it [is] tamei.

14:45 And he shall break down ha beit, the stones of it, and the timber thereof, and all the morter of ha beit; and he shall carry [them] forth out of the city into an tamei place.

14:46 Moreover he that goes into ha beit all the while that it is shut up shall be tamei until the erev.

14:47 And he that lies in ha beit shall wash his clothes; and he that eats in ha beit shall wash his clothes.

14:48 And if the Kohen shall come in, and look [upon it], and, Hinnei, the nega has not spread in ha beit, after ha beit was plaistered: then the Kohen shall pronounce ha beit Tahor (clean), because the nega is healed.

14:49 And he shall take to purify’ ha beit two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

14:50 And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over mayim chayyim (running water):

14:51 And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the mayim chayyim (running water), and sprinkle ha beit seven times:

14:52 And he shall purify ha beit with the blood of the bird, and with the mayim chayyim (running water), and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:

14:53 But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for ha beit: and it shall be Tahor (clean).

14:54 (LY:v)

This [is] the Torah for all manner of nega of tzara’at, and scall,

14:55 And for the tzara’at of a garment, and of a beit,

14:56 And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot:

14:57 To teach when [it is] tamei, and when [it is] Tahor (clean): this [is] the Torah of tzara’at.

shivat yamim – seven days

The Eight day: Type of offering Sin offering and burnt offering. Eight is a symbol of the glory of Adonai (יהוה), it is the symbol of the New beginning, It is a symbol of the perfect Kingdom (after the 7th millennium 8th millennium) Eight is a symbol of  Moshiach. Tumah is a person dying off the living dead

A Pre-Christian “Son of God” Among the Dead Sea Scrolls

A Pre-Christian “Son of God” Among the Dead Sea Scrolls
By John J. Collins
Picture
Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center/Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority
The ‘Son of God’ text, one of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments found in Qumran Cave 4, consists of two columns of nine lines each in the Aramaic language. We lack the beginnings of the lines in the first column, which has been damaged on the right (Aramaic, like Hebrew, is read from right to left). The second column ends in mid-sentence, so the document originally must have possessed at least a third column.This text, dated to the late first century B.C.E., has extraordinary parallels to the annunciation scene in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:31–35), including use of the titles “Son of God” and “Son of the Most High,” the earliest known references to these terms in a messianic context. These parallels strongly suggest a relationship between this Qumran text and the later Gospel text, if not a direct dependence, then a dependence on a common tradition.

The Dead Sea Scroll Son of God text from Qumran Cave 4 has attracted attention both in scholarly publications and in the press because it contains remarkable parallels to the annunciation scene in the Gospel of Luke. The Aramaic text has been known for 20 years, since J. T. Milik presented it orally in a lecture at Harvard in December 1972. Milik, however, failed to publish it. Part of the text, based on Milik’s lecture, was published by Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J., in 1974.1Fitzmyer also set out the parallels between this text and Luke in his monumental commentary on that Gospel in 1981.2 The fact that Fitzmyer, a Jesuit priest, risked the disapproval of his colleagues by his unauthorized publication of the text is significant. It shows that any suggestion that this text has been withheld for religious reasons is utter nonsense. The text was discussed in the March/April 1990 Biblical Archaeology Review in “An Unpublished Dead Sea Scroll Text Parallels Luke’s Infancy Narrative,” sidebar to “Dead Sea Scroll Variation on ‘Show and Tell’—It’s Called ‘Tell, But No Show,’” BAR 16:02. Not until 1992, however, was it published in full, by Emile puech, who had succeeded Milik as the officially designated editor.3
Puech, however, failed to resolve the most intriguing question in this document: the interpretation of the figure who is called “Son of God.” Puech allowed that two interpretations are possible: (1) The Son of God may be viewed negatively in the text, in which case he is a Syrian king; or (2) he may be viewed positively, in which case he is a Jewish messiah.
I believe that Puech’s hesitation is unnecessary. The Son of God may be identified with confidence as a messianic figure.4 The text then raises some intriguing questions about the relationship between Jewish and Christian ideas of the Messiah.
The text is known technically as 4Q246, which simply indicates that it is from Qumran Cave 4 and was given the arbitrary number 246 among those documents. As can be seen in the photo (above), the fragment includes two columns, but the first one (on the right) has been torn vertically, roughly in half, so that the first part of each line is missing. (Remember that Aramaic, like Hebrew, is read from right to left.) Column 2 ends with an incomplete sentence, so there was at least a third column. Each of the preserved columns contains nine lines. The complete text, in the original Aramaic and in English translation, is printed in the sidebar to this article.
The text contains some remarkable parallels to a prediction about Jesus at the beginning of Luke’s Gospel. When the angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary, to announce the conception of Jesus, he tells her:
“And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. … [T]he child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:31–35).
Three phrases in this quotation from Luke’s Gospel are translation equivalents of phrases in the Dead Sea Scroll fragment: “will be great” (column 1, line 7), “he will be called Son of the Most High” (column 2, line 1) and “he will be called Son of God” (column 2, line 1).
Luke also speaks of an unending reign; the Dead Sea Scroll fragment speaks of an “everlasting kingdom” (column 2, line 5).
If the Gospel of Luke showed such exact parallels to an Old Testament text, all would agree that this was a case of literary dependence. It is hard to deny that there must be some relationship between this Gospel text and the long-lost text from Qumran, even if it is only dependence on a common tradition. (The manuscript is dated to the late first century B.C.E. by Puech on the basis of the writing style [paleography]. Even if we allow a generous margin of error, it is clearly older than the Gospels.)
In the Gospel of Luke, the one who is called Son of God is explicitly identified as the heir to the Davidic throne: “the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David” (Luke 1:32). Puech allows that the phrase “Son of God” may have the same reference in the Qumran text, that is, that this Son of God is a descendant of David. But he also allows for another interpretation. If you look at column 2 in the photograph, you will see that there is a blank space (vacat, in scholarly jargon) in the middle of the column, before the phrase “until the people of God arises.” Several scholars have taken this break as an indication of the turning point of the text. Everything before the break, then, would pertain to the rule of the nations, and would be viewed negatively from a Jewish point of view. So Milik, in his lecture at Harvard, argued that the one who would be called “Son of God” was a Syrian king, Alexander Balas, son of the notorious Antiochus IV Epiphanes who had persecuted the Jews in the time of the Maccabees (167–164 B.C.E.). Balas is called theopator (god-begot- ten) and Deo patre natus (born of a divine father) on coins. Puech, in his publication of our Dead Sea Scroll text, also allowed as one possibility that the reference might be to a Syrian king, although he preferred the better-known Epiphanes.
It was not uncommon in antiquity for pagan kings to be regarded as gods or sons of gods. In a Jewish context, however, “Son of God” is a highly honorific title. If this reference was to a Syrian king, we would expect to find some indication in this Jewish text that the title was inappropriate. If the Son of God was viewed negatively, we would expect the text to tell of his eventual downfall. In fact, however, there is no indication in the extant text that the Son of God was regarded with disapproval.5
True, the blank space in the second column of the Son of God text marks the transition to the final stage of the drama, the rise of the people of God. It does not follow, however, that everything before this is negative. This text belongs to the category of apocalyptic literature, broadly defined; that is, literature that reports visions about the end of days. It is very closely related to the Book of Daniel, which is itself a classic apocalyptic text. It is typical of apocalyptic literature that it does not tell its story in simple sequential order, but often goes over the same ground again and again to make its point. For example, Daniel 7 recounts a famous vision in which “one like a son of man” comes on the clouds of heaven (verse 13) and is given a kingdom. An interpretation follows, which says that “the holy ones of the Most High” receive the kingdom (verse 18). Finally, there is an elaboration of this interpretation, according to which the kingdom is given to “the people of the holy ones of the Most High” (verse 27). The giving of the kingdom, then, is narrated three times, but these are not three separate events.
The “one like a son of man” in Daniel 7 represents the “people of the holy ones,” and receives the kingdom on their behalf. The Son of God text should be read in a similar way. The figure who is called the Son of God is the representative, or agent, of the people of God. That is why he is not mentioned again after the rise of the people of God in column 2. His career and the rise of the people of God are simply two aspects of the same event.
Fitzmyer made a number of important points about the interpretation of this text when he published part of it in 1974. He saw the text as apocalyptic rather than historical, which is to say that it refers to some climactic event of the future and not to the present or past. This is shown by phrases drawn from Daniel 7:14: “his kingdom is an ever-lasting kingdom,” “his dominion is [an] everlasting dominion.” Fitzmyer also saw that the figure must be “someone on the Jewish side” and suggested that he is “possibly an heir to the throne of David.”6 He adamantly refused, however, to use the word “messiah” with reference to this figure, since that word does not appear in the text.
It may be well at this point to pause for a moment to comment on the word “messiah.” As is well known, the Hebrew word for messiah, mashiach, means simply “anointed.” Kings were anointed in ancient Israel, and so were some other figures, notably high priests. Originally, the word had no special reference to the future. When the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 2:2 that the kings of the earth take counsel “against the Lord and his anointed,” he was speaking of the king of the day, not of someone who was expected in the future. In later times, however, when there was no longer a Davidic king in Jerusalem and when the Jewish people looked increasingly to the future, the word “messiah” took on a new meaning. It now referred to the one who would restore the kingdom of Israel, and who was often conceived in a highly idealized way. The Dead Sea Scrolls do not restrict the word “messiah” to the one who would restore the Davidic kingship; they also speak of a priestly “messiah of Aaron” and use the word “messiahs” with reference to prophets. But they also attest the use of “messiah” with reference to the “branch of David.” Eventually the word “messiah” came to mean primarily the Davidic messiah in both Jewish and Christian traditions: Passages in the Psalms and in the Prophets that spoke of a messiah or of a Davidic king were commonly interpreted as referring to this figure who would come in the future. At the turn of the era, an heir to the Davidic throne, in an apocalyptic context, cannot be distinguished from the Davidic messiah, and we are fully justified in speaking of a messiah here, even though the word does not appear in the text.
The Hebrew Bible provides a clear basis for referring to the Davidic messiah as Son of God. Psalm 2, which uses the word “messiah,” or “anointed,” with reference to the king, goes on to say “I will tell of the decree of the Lord: he said to me, ‘You are my son, today I have begotten you’” (Psalm 2:7). In Psalm 89:27, God says of the king “I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.” In 2 Samuel 7:14, the Lord promises that he will establish the kingdom of David’s offspring: “I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.” This latter passage is cited in the document known as 4Q174, or the Florilegium, from Qumran (this document consists of biblical citations followed by explanations; the citation commented on is from 2 Samuel 7:11–14):
“‘The Lord declares to you that He will build you a house. I will raise up your seed after you. I will establish the throne of his kingdom (for ever). I (will be) his father and he shall be my son.’ He is the branch of David who shall arise with the Interpreter of the Law (to rule) in Zion (at the end) of time.”
This passage from the Florilegium is a good illustration of how Scripture was read at Qumran. A text that originally referred to Solomon and the historical Davidic line now refers to the end of days. The son in question is now the branch of David who will appear in the future, or, in common parlance, the Davidic messiah.
In view of this background, it is not surprising that the Davidic messiah should be called “Son of God” or “Son of the Most High.” Indeed the Davidic association of these phrases is explicit in the verses previously quoted from the Gospel of Luke: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.” Our scroll text from Qumran (4Q246) is probably the oldest extant text that explicitly uses the title “Son of God” with reference to a future messianic king.
If we grant then that the Son of God here is the Davidic messiah, what significance does this have for our understanding of Jewish and Christian messianism?
The title “Son of God” is of considerable importance in the New Testament and early Christianity. Traditionally, scholarship has been divided between those who see the attribution or divine titles to Jesus as a result of Hellenistic influence and those who understand them against a Semitic, Jewish background. Fitzmyer, a prominent champion of Jewish backgrounds, has nonetheless claimed that “There is nothing in the Old Testament or Palestinian Jewish tradition that we know of to show that ‘Son of God’ had a messianic nuance.”7 Even from the brief sketch we have presented here, it should be clear that this claim cannot be maintained. There was a clear basis for giving “Son of God” a messianic nuance in 2 Samuel 7 and Psalm 2, given the propensity of Jews of this period to interpret Scripture as prophecy of the future. The Florilegium text from Qumran provides concrete evidence that Jewish interpreters of Scripture had made the connection between the Son of God and the messiah before the rise of Christianity. The newly published Son of God text from Qumran is a major corroboration of this connection.
The Jewish background has implications for the meaning of the expression “Son of God.” In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (but not in Mark, the oldest Gospel), Jesus is the son of God in the literal sense, insofar as he is born of a virgin who was impregnated by the power of Holy Spirit. In Israelite and Jewish tradition, however, a king was the son of God by adoption, with no suggestion that he did not have a human father. In the Hellenistic world, rulers were sometimes said to have been begotten by divine beings. There was such a legend about Alexander the Great. In a Jewish context, however, “Son of God” was a title that expressed a spiritual rather than a biological relationship to God. (The phrase could also be used for people other than the king, for example, the people of Israel as a whole in Hosea 11:1 or the righteous man in the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon 2:13.) It is likely that Jesus, too, was first called “Son of God” because he was accepted as messiah, and that the stories about his birth were formulated later.8
Jesus, in the Gospels, is often designated by Jewish messianic titles. (Christ simply means “messiah.”) Nonetheless, the way he is portrayed does not fit easily with Jewish messianic expectations. The Son of God in the text from Qumran is rather typical of these messianic expectations: He will establish an everlasting kingdom and make war cease from the earth; God will cast the nations down before him; he will be a warrior who relies on the power of God. Jesus of Nazareth was no warrior, and some of his followers may have been disappointed in this respect. His death by crucifixion was not part of the common Jewish script for a successful messiah. Nonetheless, his followers persisted in their belief that he was indeed the Messiah.
One of the ways in which they justified this belief was by reinterpreting the vision of Daniel about the “one like a son of man” who would come on the clouds of heaven. As we have seen, the Son of God text from Qumran is closely related to Daniel’s vision. It is possible that the Son of God was identified with Daniel’s “one like a son of man,” but we cannot be sure because of the gaps in column 1 of the text. The Gospel writers, however, placed more emphasis on the heavenly setting of Daniel’s vision. The “one like the son of man” would not achieve his victory on earth, but on the clouds of heaven. Jesus did not judge the nations in his earthly life, but he would come back from heaven after his death to do so (see Mark 13; Matthew 24; Luke 21). The Book of Revelation, written at the end of the first century, envisages Jesus as a rider on a white horse who would strike the nations with the sword of his mouth (Revelation 19:11–16: “From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron” [19:15]). The early Christians recognized that Jesus had not fulfilled the common Jewish expectations of the messiah. Some of them, at least, held that he would conform more closely to those expectations at the Second Coming.
The relevance of the Son of God text, and of the Dead Sea Scrolls in general, to early Christianity is complex. The scrolls illuminate in many ways the conceptual world in which Christianity developed and the language on which the Gospel writers drew. Yet there were also factors that led the Christian movement to diverge from its Jewish matrix. Not least among these factors was the acceptance of a messiah who did not conform to the expectations of many Jews of the time.
Endnotes:

1. Joseph A Fitzmyer, “The Contribution of Qumran Aramaic to the Study of the New Testament,” New Testament Studies 20 (1973–1974), pp. 382–407, reprinted in his A Wandering Aramean. Collected Aramaic Essays (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1979), pp. 85–113.

2. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke I–IX, Anchor Bible 28 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981), pp. 205–206, 347–348.

3. Emile Puech, “Fragment d’une Apocalypse en Araméen (4Q246 = pseudo-Dand) et le ‘Royanume de Dieu,’” Revue biblique 99 (1992), pp. 98–131.

4. The messianic interpretation was first proposed by Frank Moore Cross. I am grateful to Professor Cross for sharing with me the notes that he compiled after Milik’s lecture in 1972.

5. David Flusser (“The Hubris of the Antichrist in a Fragment from Qumran,” Immanuel 10 [1980], pp. 31–37) argued that the Son of God figure was the Antichrist or anti-Messiah. But the Antichrist, conceived as a mirror-image of Christ, is a Christian idea and unattested in pre-Christian Judaism.

6. Fitzmyer, A Wandering Aramean, pp. 92–93.

7. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke I-IX, p. 206. Fitzmyer adds that “the title ‘Son of God’ was as much at home in Palestinian Judaism as in the contemporary Hellenistic world.”

8. For an excellent, full treatment of this complicated issue, see Raymond Brown, The Birth of the Messiah (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977).

Reference for this article

Collins, John J. “A Pre-Christian “Son of God” Among the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Bible Review, Jun 1993, 34-38, 57. http://members.bib-arch.org/publication.asp?PubID=BSBR&Volume=9&Issue=3&ArticleID=12 (accessed 11/21/2014)

Who’s Your Teacher

The Sages, seeing that his mind was clear, entered his chamber and sat down at a distance of four cubits. ‘Why have ye come?’ said he to them. ‘To study the Torah’, they replied; ‘And why did ye not come before now’, he asked? They answered, ‘We had no time’. He then said, ‘I will be surprised if these die a natural death’. R. Akiba asked him, ‘And what will my death be?’ and he answered, ‘Yours will be more cruel than theirs’. He then put his two arms over his heart, and bewailed them, saying, ‘Woe to you, two arms of mine, that have been like two Scrolls of the Law that are wrapped up. Much Torah have I studied, and much have I taught. Much Torah have I learnt, yet have I but skimmed from the knowledge of my teachers as much as a dog lapping from the sea. Much Torah have I taught, yet my disciples have only drawn from me as much as a painting stick from its tube.

Sandheden 68a

And My Master Yeshua of Nazareth is the Greatest of them all.

R’Yaakov

Messiah is concealed in the name Noach

The Number 58-nun chet-spells the word Noach (Noah), whose name means “rest.” Noah, the tenth generation of mankind–“the tenth shall be holy for G-d” (Leviticus 27:32) –symbolizes the rest and peace that will bless the earth in the Messianic era. … of “all”–“for all is in it”) which had previously been concealed in it.

Christopher discusses how the Messiah is concealed in the name Noach, and the parallels to the concealed Messiah through the word Manechem