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What are opinions on the diety of Moshiach, and the trinity?

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Yochanan 17:11
"And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are."

Yahushua Ha Mashiach clearly tells us that as he is one with the Father, so can we be.
Therefore, the number would increase from trinity to quadrinity etc etc and invalidate the principle.
The point is that they are ONE, not that they are "THREE(as one)".

They are Echad.
So (as I had thought) the trinity is a christian invention/borrowed from pagans?
I would say with good faith that the Trinity and a focus on the number 3 would be much clearer indicated, if it were of value in explaining Elohim and the godhead.
Look at how prominent the number 3 and such became AFTER the Trinity-doctrine grew in popularity as the Catholic Church increased.


There are plenty of articles detailing the rich history of (pagan) trinities and triune gods and goddesses for your study, f.ex on Wikipedia for a quick overview.

Devan Smiralia said:
So (as I had thought) the trinity is a christian invention/borrowed from pagans?
Obviously the Flood myths are based upon common truth, and this is far from the only example.
However, the coinciding rise of Catholicism and Trinitarianism, as it enters regions with previously established triune deities allowing for easy syncretist-conversion is alarming to me, and I feel it is a part of a whole "un-Abrahamic concept" along with several other pagan tropes.

The Flood story has to be based on previously revealed, divine information.
However, the concept of trinity seems to continually pop out of nowhere, as though from natural preference and human creation instead of divine inspiration.
Trinites pop up out of nowhere in distant cultures who have not been in contact with monotheistic Shemites since the time of Babel, suggesting tri-unities are a natural inclination, or naturally preferable interpretation-method.
The Flood story has to be carried by legacy, and in my opinion does not spontaneously occur to someone who has not heard of it before.

What evidence is there to suggest man is capable of continually chancing upon, through apparently his own natural instinct, Scripturally correct interpreration of the Elohim godhead?
Anaiah Priel (Andrew P) Carlson said:
though, could not this three-fold aspect in these pagan religions have originated from judaism? did you know a lot of pagan religions have much of it based on truth? i mean, think of how the Nephilim portrayed themselves as divine. And, as many of the mythologies mention, some of their deities were half-god,half-man. i don't think many of these things are coincidence. it has to be based on some level of truth, and it seems pretty clearly that it is. now, with the three-fold aspect, i would not be quick to say it originated entirely for the pagans. in fact, the early nazarenes had an understanding of the three fold aspect. as indicated in the gospel of the hebrews, they called the ruach hakodesh, Elohim the Mother. We always knew there was the Father. And they believed in the deity of the Son as well. And i would be very hesitant to say the early nazarenes accepted pagan doctrines and teachings as an influence. they were pretty rigid in their protection from false teaching and outside influences.
I do seem to agree that the trinity concept was borrowed from paganism. I really can't find biblical evidence of it. The T'nakh never calls G-d "three in one" or anything of that nature - simply "echod". Not to mention that the trinity concept falls apart when all of the names of G-d come into play.

So, the bigger of the two questions was the least addressed: what are opinions on the diety of Moshiach?
The Deity of Messiah
and
The Three Pillars of the Godhead

Part 1
The Deity of Messiah is Scriptural

By
James Scott Trimm



Messiah as YHWH

The deity of Messiah is very easy to show from the Scriptures. The simplest way to show the deity of Messiah in the Scriptures is to point to instances where the “New Testament” quotes passages from the Tanak (“Old Testament”) and applies them to the Messiah.

For example in John 19:37, Zech. 12:10 is quoted:

But when they came to Yeshua, they saw that he was dead already
and did not break his legs.
But one of the soldiers stuck him in his side with a spear
and immediately blood and water came forth,…
For these things happened that the scripture might be fulfilled
which said, A bone of him will not be broken.(Ps. 34:21(20))
And again another scripture that said, They will look at him
whom they pierced. (Zech 12:10)

But now let us look at Zechariah 12:10 in context:

The burden of the word of YHWH concerning Israel.
The saying of YHWH, who stretched forth the heavens,
And laid the foundation of the earth,
And formed the spirit of man within him…
I will pour out upon the house of David,
And upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
The spirit of grace and supplication;
And they shall look at Me whom they pierced;
And they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only son….
(Zech. 12:1, 10)

The one being pierced in Jn. 19:37 is clearly Yeshua but the one being pierced in Zech. 12:10 is clearly YHWH.

Lets now look at the quotation of Is. 8:14 in Rom. 9:32:

Because it was not from faith but from “Works of the Law”,
for they stumbled at the stumbling stone.
(Rom. 9:32)

Now Paul is clearly referring here it Messiah, but lets now look at Is. 8:14 in context:

YHWH of hosts, Him shall you sanctify; and let Him be your
fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary;
but for a stumbling stone and for a rock of offence
to both the houses of Israel…
(Is. 8:13-14)

Here it is clearly YHWH who is the “stumbling stone”.

OK now lets look at Phil. 2:10-11:

That at the name of Yeshua every knee will bow
that is in heaven or on earth and that is under the earth,
and every tongue will confess that Yeshua the Messiah is YHWH,
to the glory of Eloah the Father.

Here Paul clearly refer to Is. 45:23:

Thus says YHWH…
That unto Me every knee shall bow,
and every tongue shall swear.
(Is. 45:1, 23)

Clearly Paul applies a Tanak passage which clearly speaks of YHWH to the Messiah.

Now lets look at Rom. 10:9, 13:

And if you confess with your mouth our Adon Yeshua,
And you believe in your heart that Eloah raised him from the dead,
you will be saved. …
For all who will call on the name of YHWH will be saved.
(Rom. 10:9, 13)

Here Paul clearly quotes Joel 3:5 (2:32) but applies the passage to Yeshua despite the fact that Joel is clearly here speaking of YHWH.

There are several other examples: James 5:7 clearly speaks of the coming of Messiah as likened to the “former and latter rain” while in Hosea 6:3 this is clearly the coming of YHWH. Likewise Jude 1:14 & 1 Thes. 3:13 refer to the coming of Messiah yet quote 1Enoch 1:9 & Zech. 14:5 which clearly refer to the coming of YHWH. Finally in Mt. 22:41-46 Yeshua himself identifies himself with the “YHWH” at the right hand of “YHWH” in Ps. 110:1-2, 5.


The Three Pillars

Now in Romans 1:19-20 we are told that

what may be known of Elohim is manifest in them [mankind]
his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood
by the things that are made, even his eternal power
and Godhead [or divine nature]..."

Then in Rom. 1:26-28 we are told that those who fail to perceive these things may fall into the errors of Homosexuality and Lesbianism. So when in creation were G-d's invisible attributes manifested in man and made clearly seen. The answer is in the Torah, in Gen. 1:26, 27 where we read:

Then Elohim said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...
So Elohim created man in His own image;
in the image of Elohim He created him;
male and female He created them.

Now following the parallelism of the passage, "Our image"; "Our likeness" and "male and female" appear to be parallel terms.

Now there are passages in the Tanak in which YHWH is referred to in a male, fatherly aspect:

…If then I be a Father, Where is My honor?…
Says YHWH of Hosts…
(Mal. 1:6)

…You, O YHWH, are our Father,…
(Is. 63:16)

But now O YHWH, You are our Father…
(Is. 64:7)

But there are also passages in the Tanak in which YHWH is referred to in a female, motherly aspect:

As one whom his Mother comforts,
so will I comfort you…
(Is. 66:13)

Now YHWH as a “Father” and YHWH as a “Mother” are clearly two DIFFERENT aspects of YHWH, they are not the same thing.

Moreover YHWH as an allegorical “Mother” is also YHWH as a “comforter” which is the same as the Holy Spirit:

…the comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom my Father will send in my name…
(Jn. 14:27 see also Jn. 14:16-17; 15:26 & 16:7)

Now just as YHWH is expressed as an allegorical “Father” and an allegorical “Mother”, the combination of these two aspects produce an allegorical “son”:

Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has bound the waters in his garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name? And what is His Son’s name, if you know?
(Prov. 30:4)

The kings of the earth stand up,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against YHWH, and against His Messiah…
YHWH said to me: “You are My Son,”
This day have I begotten you…
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry…
(Ps. 2:2, 7, 12)

So now we have a Godhead which is the “image of Elohim” and is “male and female” expressing YHWH to us as a Father, a Mother and a Son.

Since the Son is the combination of the Father and Mother aspects of YHWH he is the fullness of the everlasting Godhead: “in him dwells the fullness of the Godhead” (Col. 2:9).

Thus the Messiah encompasses all the image of Elohim from which we were created:

…the Messiah, who is the likeness of Elohim.
(2Cor. 4:4)

[his Son] who is the image of the invisible Elohim…
(Col. 1:15)

[the Son] who is the radiance of his glory,
and the image of his being…
(Heb. 1:3)

And thus we can see all three aspects of the Godhead in passages like:

I, yes, I have spoken, indeed, I have called him,
I have brought him, and he will make his way succeed.
Come near to me and hear this: from the beginning
I have not spoken in [the] secret; from the time that she was,
there I am, and now ADONAI YHVH has sent me and his spirit.
(Is. 48:15-16 Original Bible Project preliminary edition)

Note the speaker is YHWH. Here we have:

1. YHWH the speaker.
2. ADONAI YHWH who sent Him.
3. "she" i.e. "his spirit"
("ruach" (spirit) is the only feminine word that "she" could refer to)

Another example of these three aspects is to be found in Hebrews 9:14:

How much more shall the blood of Messiah,
who through the eternal Spirit
offered himself without spot to Elohim,
purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?

Here we again have three aspects:

1. The Messiah (who is YHWH)

2. The Spirit through which his blood is offered.
3. The Elohim to whom he offers himself.

These three aspects of the Godhead are called in the Aramaic “K’NUMEH” (plural) “K’NUMA” (singular) as we read in Yochanan (John) 5:26:

For the Father has life in his K’NUMA,
Thus he gave also the Son to have life in his K’NUMA.
(Jn. 5:26 from the Aramaic)

K’NUMA is an Aramaic word meaning “aspect, element, substance, essence”. The three aspects of the Godhead are three K’NUMEH but are only one YHWH.


ECHAD as a Unity

This brings us to the wording of the Sh’ma:

SH’MA YISRAEL: YHWH, ELOHEYNU, YHWH ECHAD
“Hear O Israel, YHWH, our Elohim, YHWH is one.”
(Deut. 6:4)

Let us examine other passages in the Torah to understand how this word ECHAD (“one”) is used in the Torah:

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one [ECHAD] flesh.
(Gen. 2:24)

And YHWH said, “Indeed the people are one [ECHAD] and they all have one language…
(Gen. 11:6)

Thus it is clear that the word ECHAD in no way requires a singularity and can refer to a composite unity. Thus Deut. 6:4 may be taken as referring to the absolute unity of the three K’NUMEH of Father, Mother (Holy Spirit Comforter) and Son (Messiah).
The Deity of Messiah
and
The Three Pillars of the Godhead
Part 2
The Deity of Messiah is Jewish

By
James Scott Trimm




Preface

The reader should know that the Zohar, Bahir and Sefer Yetzirah are the three most authoritative works of Kabbalah which is Jewish mysticism. The purpose of this part is to demonstrate that the deity of Messiah and three pillars of the Godhead is indeed a Jewish concept.


The Sh’ma

In Part 1 we discussed the meaning of the word ECHAD in the Sh’ma which reads:

SH’MA YISRAEL YHWH ELOHEYNU YHWH ECHAD
“Hear O Israel, YHWH, our Elohim, YHWH is one (ECHAD)”
(Deut. 6:4)

Now let us to explore how this passage is understood by the Zohar:

The [profession of] unity that every day is [a profession of] unity is to be understood and to be perceived. We have said in many places that this prayer is a profession of Unity that is proclaimed:

”Hear O Yisrael, YHWH“ first, [then] “Eloheynu” [and] “YHWH” they are all One and thus He is called “One”.


Behold, these are three names, how can they be one? Is it because we call them one? (literally: And also concerning the proclamation that we call them one?). How these are one can only through the vision of the Holy Sprit be known. And these are through the vision of the closed eye (or the hidden eye) To make known that these three are one (i.e. a Tri-Unity).

And this is the mystery of the voice that is heard. The voice is one. And is three GAUNIN: fire and air and water. And all these are one in the mystery of the voice.

And also here “YHWH, Eloheynu, YHWH” these are One. Three GAUNIN that are One. And this is the voice of the act of a son of man in [proclaiming] the Unity.
And to which he sees by the Unity of the “All” from Eyn Sof (the Inifinite One) to the end of the “All”. Because of the voice in which it is done, in these are three that are one (i.e. a Tri-Unity).

And this is the [profession] of the daily profession of Unity that is revealed in the mystery of the Holy Spirit.

And there are many GAUNIN that are a Unity, and all of them are true, what the one does, that the other does, and what that one does, the other does.
(Zohar 2:43)

(The Aramaic word GA’UN (sing.)/GAUNIN (plural) has the same meaning in the Zohar as the Aramaic word K’NUMA did in the Aramaic New Testament. GAUN comes from the word for “color” and refer to an “aspect, element, substance, essence”. )

Thus the Zohar understands the Sh’ma to mean that YHWH, Elohim and YHWH are three GA’UNIN. This section of the Zohar also recalls a reading from the Sefer Yetzirah:

Three “mothers”: Alef; Mem and Shin
Their foundation is a pan of merit a pan of liability
and the tongue of decree deciding between them.
(Sefer Yetzirah 3:1)

Three “mothers”, Alef, Mem, Shin
in the universe are air, water, fire…
(Sefer Yetzirah 3:4a)

(Note: The letter SHIN has a gematria (numerical value) of 300 which is the same as the gematria of the phrase ”Ruach Elohim” (the Spirit of God).)

As it we will demonstrate the “tongue of decree deciding between them” is the Middle Pillar of the Godhead which reconciles the two outer pillars of the Godhead.

The Three Pillars of the Godhead

The Zohar also calls these three GAUNIN the three pillars of the Godhead. The Zohar teaches that the two outer pillars are reconciled by the middle pillar just as the “tongue of decree” decides between the two pans of the scale in the Sefer Yetzirah. The Zohar reads as follows:

Why, it may be asked, was it necessary to repeat the word “light” in this verse? The answer is that the first “light” refers to the primordial light which is of the Right Hand, and is destined for the “end of days”; while the second “light” refers to the Left Hand, which issues from the Right.

The next words, “And God saw the light that it was good” (Gen. 1:4), refer to the pillar which standing midway between them, writes both sides, and therefore when the unity of the three, right, left, and middle, was complete, “it was good”, since there could be no completion until the third had appeared to remove the strife between Right and Left, as it is written, “And God separated between the light and between the darkness.” …

This is the Middle Pillar: Ki Tov (that it was good) threw light
above and below and on all other sides, in virtue of YHWH,
the name which embraces all sides.
(Zohar 1:16b)



The Middle Pillar of the Godhead is the Son of Yah

According to the Zohar the Middle Pillar of the Godhead is the Son of Yah:

Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off.
This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the Godhead,
which is the Son of Yah.
(Zohar 2:115)

The Zohar also says of the Son of YHWH:

The Holy One, blessed be He, has a son, whose glory (tifret)
shines from one end of the world to another. He is a great
and mighty tree, whose head reaches heaven, and whose roots
are set in the holy ground, and his name is “Mispar” and his
place is in the uppermost heaven… as it is written, “The heavens declare (me-SaPRim) the glory (tifret) of God” (Ps. 19:1). Were it not for this “Mispar” there would be neither hosts nor offspring in any of the worlds.
(Zohar 2:105a)

This Zohar passage is intended to recall a passage from the Bahir:

Why are they called Sephirot? Because it is written (Ps. 19:2),
“The heavens declare (me-SaPRim) the glory (tifret) of God.”
(Bahir 125)

The Zohar also says concering the Son of Yah:

"We may also translate "he who withholds blessings
from the Son" (Prov. 11:26), whom the Father and Mother
have CROWNED and blessed with many blessings,
and concerning whom they commanded, "Kiss the SON
lest he be angry" (Ps. 2:12), since he is invested
with judgment (GEVURAH) and with mercy (CHESED)"
(Zohar 3:191b)


Metatron

The Zohar also identifies the Middle Pillar as “Metatron”:

The Middle Pillar [of the Godhead] is Metatron,
Who has accomplished peace above,
according to the glorious state there.
(Zohar 3:227)

the Zohar teaches that Metatron is not just the Son of Yah, but that he is "first begotten of all the creatures of God":

"And Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house…" (Gen. 24:2) Who is this of whom it said "his servant?"
In what sense must this be understood? Who is this servant?
R. Nehori answered: "It is in no other sense to be understood
than expressed in the word "His servant," His servant,
the servant of God, the chief to His service.
And who is he? Metatron, as said. He is appointed to glorify
the bodies which are in the grave. This is the meaning of the words "Abraham said to His servant" that is to the servant of God. The servant is Metatron, the eldest of His [YHWH's] House, who is the first-begotten of all creatures of God,
who is the ruler of all He has; because God has committed to Him the government over all His hosts.
(Zohar 1:129b)


The Memra (The Word)

Another term for the Middle Pillar of the Godhead in Judaism is the Memra (the “Word”). The eminent Kabbalah Scholar Gershom Scholem writes of the Memra:

...the memra-- the paraphrase used in the Targumim,
the Aramaic Bible translations, to refer to God's word.
The memra is not merely a linguistic device for overcoming
the problem of biblical anthropomorphisms; it has theological
significance in its own right. The memra....is.... a world-permeating force, a reality in the world of matter or mind, the immanent aspect of Elohim, holding all things under its omnipresent sway.
(On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead:
Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah, by Gershom Scholem pg 181-182)

The Targums were authoritative Aramaic paraphrases of the books of the Tanak which were read in the synagogues along with the Hebrew of the Torah and Haftorah readings. Whenever the Targums come to passages where YHWH is anthropomorphisised or seen, or where two or more YHWHs are indicated by the text, the Targums will often substitute "The Word [Memra] of YHWH" for YHWH. For example in Gen. 19:4 the Tanak has:

And YHVH rained brimstone and fire
upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah,
from YHVH, from the heavens.
(Original Bible Project preliminary edition)

The Hebrew grammar here indicates that one YHWH rains fire from another YHWH) But Targum Jonathan substitutes "The Word of YHWH/the LORD" for the first of the two YHWHs as follows:

And the Word of the YHWH caused to descend
upon the peoples of Sodom and Gommorah,
brimstone and fire from the YHWH in heaven.

In another example the Torah has:

Ex. 24:1a (YHWH is the speaker, see Ex. 20:1-2)

Now He [YHWH] said to Moses, "come up to YHWH..."

But Targum Jonathan paraphrases the speaker in Ex. 20:1 with the substitution "the Word [Memra] of YHWH" in place of "YHWH."

And the Word of the Lord spoke all these glorious words...

So it would seem that one of these entities called "YHWH" in these Torah passages was actually understood by the Targumists as being the "Word of YHWH." It was, according to Targum Onkelos, this Word of YHWH that Abraham trusted in:

And Abraham trusted in the Word [Memra] of YHWH,
and He counted it to him for righteousness.
(Targum Onkelos Gen. 15:6)

Moreover Abraham prayed in the name of the Word of YHWH:

And Abraham worshipped and prayed
in the name of the Word [Memra] of YHWH,
and said, "You are YHWH who does see, but You cannot be seen."
(Jerusalem Targum Gen. 22:14)

Note that here Abraham prays "in the name of the Word of YHWH" to the YHWH who "cannot be seen." Here two YHWHs are very apparent. Abraham is praying in the name of the Word of YHWH but is praying to the YHWH who cannot be seen. This idea is reinforced elsewhere as follows:

And Hagar praised and prayed

in the name of the Word [Memra] Of YHWH
who had revealed Himself to her…
(Jerusalem Targum Gen. 16:3)

It was this Word of YHWH that Jacob also trusted in:

And Jacob vowed a vow, saying,
"If the Word [Memra] of YHWH will be my support,
and will keep me in the way that I go,
and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
so that I come again to my father's house in peace;
then shall the Word [Memra]of YHWH be my God.
(Targum Onkelos on Gen. 28:20-21)

King David also urged Israel to trust in the Word of Yah as the Targum of Psalm 62 reads:

Trust in the Word of Yah at all times,
O people of the house of Israel!
Pour out before Him the sighings of your heart;
Say, God is our trust forever.
(Targum on Psalm 62:9)

This "Word of YHWH" was, according to Targum Jonathan, the Creator:

And the Word [Memra] of YHWH
created man in his likeness,
in the likeness of YHWH, YHWH created,
male and female created He them.
(Targ. Jonathan Gen. 1:27)

This idea is also put forward in the Jerusalem Targum:

And the Word [Memra] of YHWH said to Moses:
"I am He who said unto the world 'Be!' and it was:
and who in the future shall say to it 'Be!' and it shall be."
And He said: "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel:
'I Am' has sent me to you."
(Jerusalem Targum Ex. 3:14)

The Fragmentary Targum of the Torah also expresses that the Word of YHWH was the Creator:

The first night, when the "Word of YHWH"
was revealed to the world in order to create it,
the world was desolate and void,
and darkness spread over the face of the abyss
and the "Word of the Lord" was bright and illuminating
and He called it the first night.
(Fragmentary Targum Ex. 12:42)

That the Word of YHWH was the Creator can also be seen in the Tanak itself:

By the Word of YHWH were the heavens made,
And all the hosts of them by the Spirit of His mouth.
(Ps. 33:6)

The Word was also the covenant maker. For example the Noachdic covenant was between the Word and all mankind:

And YHWH said to Noah,
"This is the token of the covenant
which I have established between My Word [Memra]
and between all flesh that is upon the earth.
(Targum Onkelos Gen. 9:17)

The Word also made the Abrahamic covenant as Targum Onkelos also paraphrases:

And I will establish my covenant
between My Word [Memra] and between you…
(Targum Onkelos Gen. 17:7)

The Word of YHWH was also the giver of the Mosaic Covenant and the Torah as the Jerusalem Targum (as quoted above) makes the Torah giver "the Word of YHWH" in Ex. 20:1. It was to th e Word that Jacob turned to for salvation:

Our father Jacob said: "My soul does not wait for salvation
such as that wrought by Gideon, the son of Joash,
for that was but temporal; neither for a salvation
like that of Samson, which was only transitory;
but for that salvation which You have promised to come,
through Your Word unto Your people, the children of Israel;
for your salvation my soul hopes."
(Targum Jonathan Gen. 49:18)

That the Word of YHWH is the savior is expressed elsewhere:

But Israel shall be saved by the Word of YHWH
with an everlasting salvation…
By the Word of YHWH shall all the seed of Israel be justified…
(Targum Jonathan Is. 45:17, 25)

But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah,
and I will save them by the Word of YHWH, their God.
(Targum Jonathan Hosea 1:7)


Conclusion

Thus the Zohar teaches that the Sh’ma (Deut. 6:4) refers to the three pillars of the Godhead as being ECHAD. Moreover the Zohar also teaches that the Middle Pillar of the Godhead reconciles the two outer Pillars (Father and Mother). The Zohar further teaches that this Middle Pillar of the Godhead is the Son of Yah, the firstborn of all creation who will glorify all the bodies which are in the grave. This is the Word of YHWH in whom Abraham placed his faith and who made the covenant with Israel.
THE WORD OF YHWH REVEALED
PART I
IN THE BEGINNING



Yochanan (John) writes:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him,
And without him was not any thing made that was made…
And the Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1-3, 14 KJV)

And in Revelation he writes:

And he was clothed with a vesture,
dipped in blood: and his name is called
The Word of God.
(Rev. 19:13 KJV)

These statements MEANT something in context of Second Temple Judaism. And they meant something very significant. The concept of the “Word” (Greek: LOGOS; Aramaic: MEMRA; Hebrew: DAVAR) already had a very special and unique meaning in the Second Temple Era. The LOGOS/MEMRA was a very important concept in the Second Temple Era, and if we are to understand what Yochanan (John) is saying, we must understand this concept.



PHILO

Philo was an Alexandrian Jew who was born nearly 20 years before Yeshua and died around 20 years after his death. Philo was a “Hellenist Jew”. Not like the Hellenists of the Maccabean period who abandoned Torah for Paganism, but like Stephen (Acts 7) and the Hellenists in Acts 6. These Hellenists were Greek speaking Jews who remained Torah Observant (at least in there own understanding) while accepting Greek culture.

Josephus' comments about Philo are so brief that we can quote them here in full:

"There was now a tumult arisen at Alexandria, between the Jewish inhabitants and the Greeks; and three ambassadors were chosen out of each party that were at variance, who came to Gaius. Now one of these ambassadors from the people of Alexandria was Apion, who uttered many blasphemies against the Jews; and, among other things that he said, he charged them with neglecting the honors that belonged to Caesar; for that while all who were subject to the Roman empire built altars and temples to Gaius, and in other regards universally received him as they received the gods, these Jews alone thought it a dishonorable thing for them to erect statues in honor of him, as well as to swear by his name. Many of these severe things were said by Apion, by which he hoped to provoke Gaius to anger at the Jews, as he was likely to be. But Philo, the principal of the Jewish embassage, a man eminent on all accounts, brother to Alexander the alabarch, and one not unskillful in philosophy, was ready to betake himself to make his defense against those accusations; but Gaius prohibited him, and bid him begone; he was also in such a rage, that it openly appeared he was about to do them some very great mischief. So Philo being thus affronted, went out, and said to those Jews who were about him, that they should be of good courage, since Gaius's words indeed showed anger at them, but in reality had already set God against himself." (Antiquities of the Jews, xviii.8, 1)

Rabbinic Judaism has forgotten Philo. He is never mentioned or cited in the Rabbinic literature which makes no great mention of any Alexandrian Jews.


THE LOGOS

Philo is very important to us because he writes much about the Second Temple Era Jewish concept of the “Word” (Greek: LOGOS). We should not seek to understand John 1:1-3, 15 1and Jn. 19:13 in a vacuum. Remember, Philo lived and wrote at the same time as the “New Testament” events were taking place. However Philo was far away in Alexandria Egypt, and apparently unaware of the budding Nazarene movement which had not yet come to Alexandria.

In order to understand Philo’s concept of the Word, we must understand Philo’s concept of Elohim. Philo saw a conflict within Elohim. On the one hand, he saw Elohim as beyond man and far removed from the finiteness of this universe. He refers to this concept in Greek as TO ON (that which exists) and TO ONTOS ON “that which alone truly exists”. This concept of Elohim is conceived as virtually outside this universe with no real contact with it. This unknowable Elohim appeared from Ex. 20:21. In Rabbinic Judaism (i.e. Kabbalah) this unknowable Elohim is called in Hebrew EIN SOF (without end/border; The Infinite One).

For Philo the Word (Logos) was a sort of bridge between the unknowable remote Elohim and the universe. The Word was a manifestation of the unknowable Elohim in this universe, an intermediary or mediator between man and Elohim. One can immediately see that Philo’s Word parallels Rabbinic Judaism’s (Kabbalah’s) SEFIROT.

Philo writes much about the concept of the “Word” (Greek: Logos)

…So that the Word (Logos) is, as it were, the charioteer of the powers,…
(On Flight and Finding XIX 101)

This is very important, as we have a first century Jew revealing to us the mystery of the throne-chariot.

The Mishna tells us:

They do not expound upon…
Ma’aseh Bereshit before [more than] two, or Ma’aseh Merkavah before [more than] one unless he was a sage and understands of his own knowledge.
(m.Hagigah 2:1)

In the Mishnah the Ma’aseh Merkavah (account of the throne-chariot) was a secret. But Philo tells us all about the secret, he tells us that the charioteer is the Word (Logos). It is generally accepted that the mysteries of the Ma’aseh Merkavah (account of the chariot – i.e. Ezek. 1-2) and Ma’aseh Bereshit (account of creation) were the material that later came to be referred to as “Kabbalah”. Philo tells us that the big secret of the chariot is that the charioteer is the Word.

Philo says:

...Every man in regard of his intellect is connected with Logos (Word),
being an impression of, or a fragment or emanation of that blessed
nature...
(Philo; On Creation LI (146))

Philo gave a very detailed description to the Word (Logos). To Philo the Word was the creator:

As therefore the city, when previously shadowed out in
the mind of architectural skill had no external place, but
was stamped solely in the mind of the workman, so in
the same manner neither can the world which existed in
ideas have had any other local position except the
Logos (Word) which made them...
(Philo; On Creation V (20))

Philo taught that the Word (Logos) was the shadow of God and was the instrument of creation.

...But the shadow of God is his Logos (Word),
which he used like an instrument when he was
making the world.
(Philo; Allegorical Interpretation III XXXI (96))

Not only does Philo speak of this “Word” but the ancient Targums do so as well. The Targums were Aramaic paraphrases of the books of the Tanak. Throughout the Targums we read of this entity called the “Word” (Aramaic: MEMRA). On many occasions the Targums paraphrase YHWH with the phase “Word of YHWH” and on some occasions the Word (MEMRA) is mentioned in the paraphrase where YHWH is not mentioned. The term is applied to YHWH in Targum Onkelos 179 times, the Jerusalem Targum 99 times and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan 321 times.

This "Word of YHWH" was, according to Targum Jonathan, the Creator:

And the Word [Memra] of YHWH created man in his likeness,
in the likeness of YHWH, YHWH created,
male and female created He them.
(Targ. Jonathan Gen. 1:27)

This idea is also put forward in the Jerusalem Targum:

And the Word [Memra] of YHWH said to Moses:
"I am He who said unto the world 'Be!' and it was:
and who in the future shall say to it 'Be!'
and it shall be." And He said: "Thus you shall say
to the children of Israel: 'I Am' has sent me to you."
(Jerusalem Targum Ex. 3:14)

The Fragmentary Targum of the Torah also expresses that the Word of YHWH was the Creator:

The first night, when the "Word of YHWH"
was revealed to the world in order to create it,
the world was desolate and void,
and darkness spread over the face of the abyss
and the "Word of the Lord" was bright and illuminating
and He called it the first night.
(Fragmentary Targum Ex. 12:42)

That the Word of YHWH was the Creator can also be seen in the Tanak itself:

By the Word (DAVAR) of YHWH were the heavens made,
and all the hosts of them by the Spirit of His mouth.
(Ps. 33:6)

Whenever the Targums come to passages where YHWH is anthropomorphisised or seen, or where two or more YHWHs are indicated by the text, the Targums will substitute "The Word [Memra] of YHWH" for YHWH. For example in Gen. 19:24 the Tanak has:

And YHVH rained brimstone and fire upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah, from YHVH, from the heavens.
(Original Bible Project preliminary edition)

The Hebrew grammar here indicates that one YHWH rains fire from another YHWH. But Targum Jonathan substitutes "The Word of YHWH/the L-RD" for the first of the two YHWHs as follows:

And the Word of the YHWH caused to descend upon the peoples of Sodom and Gommorah, brimstone and fire from the YHWH in heaven.

In another example the Torah has:

Ex. 24:1a (YHWH is the speaker, see Ex. 20:1-2)
Now He [YHWH] said to Moses, "come up to YHWH..."

But Targum Jonathan paraphrases the speaker in Ex. 20:1 with the substitution "the Word [Memra] of YHWH" in place of "YHWH."

“And the Word of the Lord spoke all these glorious words...”

So it would seem that one of these entities called "YHWH" in these Torah passages was actually understood by the Targumists as being the "Word of YHWH."

Moreover Abraham prayed in the name of the Word of YHWH:

And Abraham worshipped and prayed
in the name of the Word [Memra] of YHWH,
and said, "You are YHWH who does see,
but You cannot be seen."
(Jerusalem Targum Gen. 22:14)

Note that here Abraham prays "in the name of the Word of YHWH" to the YHWH who "cannot be seen." Here two YHWH’s are very apparent. Abraham is praying in the name of the Word of YHWH but is praying to the YHWH who cannot be seen. This idea is reinforced elsewhere as follows:

And Hagar praised and prayed in the name of the Word [Memra] Of YHWH who had revealed Himself to her…
(Jerusalem Targum Gen. 16:3)

Of this very incident Philo writes:

But Hagar flees out of shame. And a proof of this is, that the angel, that is the WORD of God, met her, with the intent to recommend her what she ought to do, and to guide her in her return to her mistress's house. For he encouraged her, and said unto her: "The Lord has heard the cry of thy humiliation," which you uttered, not out of fear, nor yet out of hatred. For the one is the feeling of an ignoble soul, and the other of one which loves contention, but under the influence of that copy of temperance and modesty, shame.
(On Flight and Finding (5))

It was this Word of YHWH that Jacob also trusted in:

And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If the Word [Memra] of YHWH will be my support, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Word [Memra]of YHWH be my Elohim.
(Targum Onkelos on Gen. 28:20-21)

Chaverim I have much, much more to share with you about the Word of YHWH. Believe it our not, this study is just part one and there is much more, even deeper material coming in the next few days.
THE WORD OF YHWH REVEALED
PART 2
THE IMAGE OF ELOHIM
By James Trimm


Philo’s concept of the “Word” (Logos) is the “image of Elohim” which served as the pattern for the creation of man in Gen. 1:26-27. Philo writes:


...For God does not seem to have availed himself
of any other animal existing in creation as his model
in the formation of man; but to have been guided,
as I have said before, by his own Word (Logos) alone...
(Philo; On Creation XLVIII (139))

But the divine Word (Logos) which is above these
does not come into any visible appearance,
inasmuch as it is not like to any of the things
that come under the external senses,
but is itself an image of God,
the most ancient of all the objects of intellect
in the whole world, and that which is placed
in the closest proximity to the only truly existing God,
without any partition or distance being interposed
between them:
(On Flight and Finding XVIII (101))

Now, Bezaleel, being interpreted, means God in his shadow.
But the shadow of God is his Word (Logos), which he used
like an instrument when he was making the world.
And this shadow, and, as it were, model, is the archetype of other things. For, as God is himself the model of that image which he has now called a shadow, so also that image is the model of other things, as he showed when he commenced giving the law to the Israelites, and said, "And God made man according to the image of God."[Gen. 1:26] as the image was modeled according to God, and as man was modeled
according to the image, which thus received the power and character of the model.
(Allegorical Interpretations III 96)

For if it was necessary to examine the mortal body
of the priest that it ought not be imperfect through
any misfortune, much more was it necessary to look
into his immortal soul, which they say is fashioned
in the form of the living God. Now the image of God
is the Word (Logos), by which all the world was made.
(The Special Laws I, 81)

What is the man who was created? And how is that man
distinguished who was made after the image of God? (Gen. 2:7). This man was created as perceptible to the senses,
and in the similitude of a Being appreciable only by the intellect; but he who in respect of his form is intellectual and incorporeal, is the similitude of the archetypal model as to appearance, and he is the form of the principal character;
but this is the Word (Logos) of God, the first beginning of all things, the original species or the archetypal idea,
the first measure of the universe.
(Q & A on Gen. I, 4)


Why is it that he speaks as if of some other god,
saying that he made man after the image of God,
and not that he made him after his own image? (Gen. 9:6).
Very appropriately and without any falsehood
was this oracular sentence uttered by God,
for no mortal thing could have been formed
on the similitude of the supreme Father of the universe,
but only after the pattern of the second deity,
who is the Word (Logos) of the supreme Being;
since it is fitting that the rational soul of man should bear it
the type of the divine Word (Logos); since in his first Word (Logos) God is superior to the most rational possible nature.
But he who is superior to the Word (Logos) holds his rank
in a better and most singular pre-eminence, and how could
the creature possibly exhibit a likeness of him in himself?
Nevertheless he also wished to intimate this fact,
that God does rightly and correctly require vengeance,
in order to the defense of virtuous and consistent men,
because such bear in themselves a familiar acquaintance
with his Word (Logos), of which the human mind is
the similitude and form.
(Q & A on Gen. II 62)

This parallels what we read in the Targum:

And the Word (Memra) of YHWH
created man in his likeness,
in the likeness of YHWH, YHWH created,
male and female created He them.
(Targ. Jonathan Gen. 1:27)


ADAM KADMON

We said before that Philo’s Word (Logos) parallels the SEFIROT of the Kabbalah in Rabbinic Judaism. In Kabbalah the SEFIROT are said to be manifested in "Adam Kadmon". According to Genesis man was created in the "image of Elohim". This "image of Elohim" was a manifestation of the Godhead, which served as a model for Adam.

...the form (image) of G-d in which He created man is actually G-d's blueprint form for man. This "form" or "blueprint" consisted of G-d's first thought in creation, and hence the highest level of creation. This is referred to as "Adam Kadmon" (Primeval Man).
(Bahir; Aryeh Kaplan; p. 95 in Kaplans commentary to Bahir 7)

"Adam Kadmon" means "before Adam" and refers to the "image of Elohim" after which we were created. Gershom Scholem writes:

In His active manifestations, the Godhead appears as the dynamic unity of the Sefiroth, portrayed as the "tree of the Sefiroth," or the mystical human form ('Adam Kadmon), who is none other than the concealed shape of Godhead itself.
(On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead; Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah; p. 39)

However, the Sefiroth do not appear only in the shape of the tree. They also appear in the form of Primal Man ('Adam Kadmon),which corresponds to that of earthly man.
(ibid p. 43)

Thus he is not just the Tree and the Sefirot, he is Adam Kadmon, the image of Elohim:

The Holy One, blessed be He, has a son, whose glory (tifret) shines from one end of the world to another. He is a great and mighty tree, whose head reaches heaven, and whose roots are set in the holy ground, and his name is “Mispar” and his place is in the uppermost heaven,… as it is written, “The heavens declare (me-SaPRim) the glory (tifret) of God” (Ps. 19:1). Were it not for this “Mispar” there would be neither hosts Nor offspring in any of the worlds.
(Zohar 2:105a)

Adam Kadmon, however, was not just the image of Elohim. He was actually Elohim himself, as Gershom Scholem writes:

...God entered into the form of the Adam Kadmon...
(Kabbalah by Gershom Scholem p. 116)

The Adam Kadmon was "the likeness like the appearance of a man" which Ezekiel saw upon the throne (Ezek. 1:26) in his Merkavah vision (vision of the divine throne-chariot).

Remember, Philo tells us:

…So that the Word (Logos) is, as it were, the charioteer of the powers,…
(On Flight and Finding XIX 101)

In the so-called “New Testament” the “Word” is the Messiah Yeshua, of whom we read:

…the Messiah, who is the likeness of Elohim.
(2Cor. 4:4)

[his Son] who is the image of the invisible Elohim..
(Col. 1:15)

[the Son] who is the radiance of his glory,
and the image of his being…
(Heb. 1:3)

The identification of Messiah Yeshua with Adam Kadmon is also reflected in 1Cor. 15:45 where Yeshua is called “the last Adam”.
THE WORD OF YHWH REVEALED
PART 3
THE MIDDLE PILLAR
By James Trimm


In order to understand Philo’s concept of the Word (Logos) it is important to understand Philo’s concept of Elohim. Philo says:

"The primal existence is God, and second the God-Word"
(Allegorical Interpretation II, 86)

"The Creator of the world sends out His powers
from an eternal and invisible place"
(Q&A on Genesis, II, 48)

Philo raises the question

"...regarding its Creator, asking of what sort this Being is so difficult to see, so difficult to conjecture. Is He a body or incorporeal or something exalted above these? Is He a single nature... Or a composite Being?...and seeing that this is a problem hard to pursue, hard to take in by thought, he prays that he may learn from God Himself what God is."
(Flight and Finding, 164)

Philo doesn't answer this question here, but he does answer these questions elsewhere. In On the Confusion of Tongues, 62, He calls God "incorporeal" and in a later section, he describes God as a "Triad" (Trinity). He refers to God as “...the Lord God of three natures...”(Philo; On the Change of Names II, 11). He also says:

...it is reasonable for one to be three and for three to be one, for they were one by a higher principle... ...in the place of one, He makes the appearance of a triad [trinity]... He cannot be seen in his oneness without something [else], the chief Powers that that exist immediately with him... the Creative, which is called "Elohim" and the Kingly, which is called "Lord"... he begins to see the sovereign, holy, and divine vision in such a way that a single appearance appears as a triad [trinity], and the triad [trinity] as a unity.
(Philo; Questions on Genesis, IV, 2)

According to Philo God appears as a Triad -- himself and his two Powers: Creative and Ruling. To the "purified soul," however, God appears as One.

… the Father of the universe, who in the sacred scripture is called by his proper name,
‘I am that I am’; and the beings on each side are those most ancient powers which are always close to the living God, one of which is called his Creative Power, and the other his Royal Power. And the Creative Power is God, for it is by this that he made and arranged the universe; and the Royal Power is the Lord, for it is fitting that the Creator should lord it over and govern the creature. Therefore, the middle person of the three, being attended by each of his powers as by body-guard, presents to the mind, which is endowed with the faculty of sight, a vision at one time of one being, and at another time of three; …
(Abr. 119-123).

The reconciliation of these two opposing “powers”, the central power is the Word (Logos):

...the Divine Word (Logos)...fills all things and becomes a mediator and arbitrator for the two sides....from the Divine Word (Logos), as from a spring, there divide and break forth two powers. One is the creative through which the Artificer placed and ordered all things. This is named "God". And the royal, since through it the Creator rules over created things. This is called "Lord" And from these two powers have grown the others. For by the side of the creative power there grows the propitious of which is named "beneficial" while (besides) the royal the legislative, of which is aptly named "punitive". And below these and beside them is the ark."
(Philo on Q&A on Exodus, II.68)

As we stated earlier Philo’s “Word” (Logos) parallels Kabbalah’s SEFIROT.

According to the Sefer Yetzirah there are ten sefirot:

Ten Sefirot of Nothingness ten and not nine ten and not eleven…
(Sefer Yetzirah 1:4)

The ten sefirot are arranged on a chart known as the “Tree of Life” under three columns known as the “three pillars of the Godhead”.

As we read in the Bahir:

Why are they called Sephirot?
Because it is written (Psalm 19:2),
“The heavens declare (me-SaPRim) the glory of God.”
And what are they?
They are three. Among them are three troops and three dominions.
(Bahir 125-126)

The Zohar describes the three pillars of the Godhead as follows:

Then Elohim said, “Let thee be light; and there was light.
And Elohim saw that the light was good…
Why, it may be asked, was it necessary to repeat the word “light” in this verse? The answer is that the first “light” refers to the primordial light which is of the Right Hand, and it is destined for the “end of days”; while the second “light” refers to the Left Hand, which issues from the Right.

The next words, “And God saw the light that it was good” (Gen. 1:4), refer to the pillar which, standing midway between them, unites both sides, and therefore when the unity of the three, right, left, and middle, was complete, “it was good”, since there could be no completion until the third had appeared to remove the strife between Right and Left, as it is written, “And God separated between the light and between the darkness.”…

This is the Middle Pillar: Ki Tov (that it was good) threw light above and below and on all other sides, in virtue of YHWH, the name which embraces all sides.
(Zohar 1:16b)


THE SON AND METATRON

Philo Writes of the Word (Logos):

For there are, as it seems, two temples belonging to God; one being this world, in which the high priest is the divine word, his own firstborn son. The other is the rational soul, the priest of which is the real true man,
(On Dreams 215)

And if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, neverthless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his Firstborn Word, the eldest of his angels, as the great archangel of many names; for He is called, "the Authority", and "the Name of God", and "the Word", and "man according to God's image", and "He who sees Israel". . . For even if we are not yet suitable to be called the sons of God, still we may deserve to be called the children of his eternal image, of his most sacred Word; for the image of God is his most ancient word.
( On the Confusion of Tongues XXVIII:146-147)

Thus, indeed, being a shepherd is a good thing, so that it is justly attributed, not only to kings, and to wise men, and to souls who are perfectly purified, but also to God, the ruler of all things; and he who confirms this is not any ordinary person, but a prophet, whom it is good to believe, he namely who wrote the psalms; for he speaks thus, "The Lord is my shepherd, and he shall cause me to lack Nothing;" (Ps. 23:1.) and let every one in his turn say the same thing, for it is very becoming to every man who loves God to study such a song as this, but above all this world should sing it. For God, like a shepherd and a king, governs (as if they were a flock of sheep) the earth, and the water, and the air, and the fire, and all the plants, and living creatures that are in them, whether mortal or divine; and he regulates the nature of the heaven, and the periodical revolutions of the sun and moon, and the variations and harmonious movements of the other stars, ruling them according to law and justice; appointing, as their immediate superintendent, his own right reason, his first-born son, who is to receive the charge of this sacred company, as the lieutenant of the great king; for it is said somewhere, "Behold, I am he! I will send my messenger before thy face, who shall keep thee in the Road."(Ex. 23:20.)
(On Husbandry 50-51)

According to the Zohar, the Middle Pillar of the Godhead is also known as the “Son of Yah”:

Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off.
This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the godhead,
which is the Son of Yah.
(Zohar 2:115)

The Middle Pillar is also known as “Metatron”:

The Middle Pillar [of the godhead] is Metatron,
Who has accomplished peace above,
According to the glorious state there.
(Zohar 3:227)

And in the Zohar we are also told that Metatron is “the firstborn” and the “ruler of all He has” and “committed to Him the government over all His hosts”:

"And Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house…" (Gen. 24:2) Who is this of whom it said "his servant?" In what sense must this be understood? Who is this servant? R. Nehori answered:
"It is in no other sense to be understood than expressed in the word "His servant,"
His servant, the servant of Elohim, the chief to His service. And who is he? Metatron, as said. He is appointed to glorify the bodies which are in the grave. This is the meaning of the words "Abraham said to His servant" that is to the servant of Elohim. The servant is Metatron, the eldest of His [YHWH's] House, who is the firstborn of all creatures of Elohim, who is the ruler of all He has; because Elohim has committed to Him the government over all His hosts.
(Zohar 1:129b)

This recalls, not only what Philo has said about the “Word” (Logos) but also a statement by Paul in his letter to the Colossians:

Who is the image of Eloah, which is invisible, and the Firstborn of all creation. And by him was created everything that is in heaven and on earth, all that is seen and all that is not seen, whether thrones or sovereignties or principalities or authorities. Everything through him and by him was created. He was from before, and all and everything by him was established. And he is the head of the Assembly, because He is the head, And the Firstborn from among the dead, that he might be first in all.
(Col. 1:15-18)
THE WORD OF YHWH REVEALED
PART 4
THE TRUE HIGH PRIEST
By James Trimm


THE TRUE HIGH PREIST

Philo makes a very interesting comment concerning the Torah command of the cities of refuge (Num. 35:6-28; Josh. 20:1-9). The Torah says:

And the assembly shall deliver the manslayer, out of the hand of the avenger of
blood, and the assembly shall restore him to his city of refuge, where he was fled. And he
shall dwell therein until the death of the High Priest, who was anointed with the Set-
Apart oil.
(Numbers 35:25)

Philo makes an interesting observation on this passage, he writes:

The fourth and last of the points which we proposed to discuss, is the appointing as a period for the return of the fugitives the death of the high priest, which, if taken in the literal sense, causes me great perplexity; for a very unequal punishment is imposed by this enactment on those who have done the very same things, since some will be in banishment for a longer time, and others for a shorter time; for some of the high priests live to a very old age, and others die very early, and some are appointed while young men, and others not until they are old. And again of those who are convicted of unintentional homicide, some have been banished at the beginning of the high priest's entrance into office, and some when the high priest has been at the very point of death. So that some are deprived of their country for a very long time, and others suffer the same infliction only for a day, if it chance to be so; after which they lift up their heads, and exult, and so return among those whose nearest relations have been slain by them. This difficult and scarcely explicable perplexity we may escape if we adopt the inner and allegorical explanation in accordance with natural philosophy. For we say that the high priest is not a man, but is the Word (Logos) of God, who has not only no participation in intentional errors, but none even in those which are involuntary.
(On Flight 106-108)

Philo thus concludes that the true High Priest is the Word (Logos). If we follow Philo’s logic through, then through the death of the Word, these exiles are set free.


MELCHIZADEK

Philo’s true “High Priest” (The Word) ties in well with a document found among the Dead Sea Scrolls known as The Melchizadek Document (11Q13). 11Q13 speaks of this Messiah as a figure called "Melchizedek." In this document Is. 61:2 is quoted with "Melchizedek" substituted for YHWH. Furthermore the terms EL and ELOHIM are in 11Q13 applied to the Melchizedek/Messiah figure.

11Q13 Col. 4-9 quotes Is. 61:1-2 but substitutes "the year of Melchizedek's favor" for "the year of YHWH's favor" thus identifying the Melchizedek figure with YHWH in this passage. 11Q13 goes on to say:

…as it is written about him [Melchizedek] in the Songs of David,
"ELOHIM has taken his place in the council of EL;
in the midst of the ELOHIM he holds judgment"
(Ps. 82:1) Scripture also says about him [Melchizedek],
"Over it take your seat in the highest heaven;
EL will judge the peoples" (Ps. 7:7-8)
(11Q13 Col. 10-11)

The text of 11Q13 goes on to apply the passage "Your ELOHIM reigns" (Is. 52:7) to Melchizedek finally concluding:

"Your ELOHIM" (Is. 52:7) is Melchizedek, who will deliver them from the power of Belial.
(11Q13 Col. 24-25)

The Melchizadek figure of 11Q13 would free the captives (Is. 61:1-2) and through the Day of Atonement will “atone for all the Sons of Light”.

In Hebrews 4:14-7:28 Paul argues that Messiah Yeshua (The Word of Jn. 1:1-3, 14) is the true High Priest and true Melchizadek making atonement for us in the heavenly Temple by his blood.


THE PARAKLITA

Philo also describes the Word (Logos) not only as the “Son” of the “Father” but as a PARACLETE who is “perfect in all virtue” and procures “forgiveness of sins” as well as a “supply of unlimited blessings”:

…the twelve stones arranged on the breast in four rows of three stones each, namely the logeum, being also an emblem of that reason (Logos, Word) which holds together and regulates the universe. For it was indispensable that the man who was consecrated to the Father of the world, should have as a paraclete, his son, the being most perfect in all virtue, to procure forgiveness of sins, and a supply of unlimited blessings;
(Life of Moses II, 133-134)

This Greek word (paraclete) is also a Hebrew and Aramaic word also appears in the Mishna:

He who does even a single religious duty
gets himself a good advocate (or comforter Hebrew: paraklita)
he who does even a single transgression
gets himself a prosecutor.
(m.Avot 4:11a)

And in the Talmud it is used to refer to the sin offering::

R. Simeon said: For what purpose does a sin-offering come? —
[You ask,] ‘for what purpose does a sin-offering come?’
Surely in order to make atonement! —
Rather, [the question is:]
Why does it come before the burnt-offering?
[Because it is] like an intercessor (paraklita) who enters
[to appease the King]: When the intercessor (paraklita)
has appeased [him], the gift follows.
(b.Zev. 7b)

The Jewish Dictionary states:

…The sin offering is like the parclete (paraklita) before God,
it interceded for man and is followed by another…
a thank offering for the pardon obtained…
the two daily burnt offerings are called ‘the two parcletes’…
Jewish Dictionary pp. 514-515

Now Yochanan, who identifies the Messiah as the Word (logos) in Jn. 1:1-3, 14 and Rev. 19:13 also says of Messiah:

1 My sons, I write these [things] to you, that you do not sin: and if someone should sin, we have an advocate (paraklita) with the Father, Yeshua the Messiah, the just [One].
2 For He is the propitiation for our sins, and not on behalf of ours only, but also on behalf of [the sins of] the whole world.
(1st Yochanan (John) 2:1)


OUR SAVIOR

With all of this in mind, it is no surprise that the Targums tell us that the Word (Aramaic: Memra) is the source of our salvation. Jacob called upon the Word for his salvation:

Our father Jacob said: "My soul does not wait for salvation such as that wrought by Gideon, the son of Joash, for that was but temporal; neither for a salvation like that of Samson, which was only transitory; but for that salvation which You have promised to come, through Your Word unto Your people, the children of Israel; for your salvation my soul hopes."
(Targum Jonathan Gen. 49:18)

That the Word of YHWH is the savior is expressed elsewhere in the Targums:

But Israel shall be saved by the Word of YHWH with an everlasting
salvation… By the Word of YHWH shall all the seed of Israel be justified…
(Targum Jonathan Is. 45:17, 25)

But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Word of YHWH, their Elohim.
(Targum Jonathan Hosea 1:7)

It was, according to Targum Onkelos, this Word of YHWH that Abraham trusted in, by which he was justified:

And Abraham trusted in the Word [Memra] of YHWH, and He counted it to him for righteousness.
(Targum Onkelos Gen. 15:6)

Likewise Paul quotes Gen. 15:6 in Romans 4:3 and Galatians 3:6 to prove his point that we are justified by faith in the Messiah.


THE MESSIAH

Now here is perhaps the most amazing thing, Philo believed “Word” (Logos) and the Messiah to be one and the same:

"The head of all things is the eternal Word (Logos) of the eternal God, under which, as if it were his feet or other limbs, is placed the whole world, over which He passes and firmly stands. Now it is not because Messiah is Lord that He passes and sits over the whole world, for His seat with His Father and God but because for its perfect fullness the world is in need of the care and superintendence of the best ordered dispensation, and for its own complete piety, of the Divine Word (Logos), just as living creatures (need) a head, without which it is impossible to live."
(Q&A on Exodus, II, 117)

And with all of this in mind, we should not be surprised to read in the Zohar concerning Messiah:

"In the Garden of Eden there is a hall that is called the "hall of the afflicted." Now it is into this hall that the Messiah goes and summons all the afflictions and pains and sufferings of Israel to come upon him. And so they all come upon him. And had he not eased the children of Israel of their sorrows, and taken their burden upon himself, there would be none who could endure the suffering of Israel in the penalty of neglecting the Torah. Thus it is written: "Surely our diseases he did bear and our pains he carried." (Is. 53:5) As long as the children of Israel dwelt in the Holy Land, they averted all afflictions and sufferings from the world by the service of the sanctuary and by sacrifice. But now it is the Messiah who is averting them from the habitants of the world,"
(Zohar 2:212a)

So there you have it. I have a few times failed to resist the temptation to crack open the “New Testament” simply for the purpose of showing a clear parallel, but using the works of Philo, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Rabbinic literature I have laid out the concept of the Word as I believe it existed in the first century.

The Word is:

* The Image of Elohim from which we were created
* The Middle Pillar of the Three Pillars of the Godhead, reconciling to opposing “powers” or “pillars” and thus encompassing all three.
* The Firstborn Son of Yah
* The true High Priest, Melchizadek, redeeming us through his death.
* The Paraklete procuring forgiveness for our sins.
* Our Savior
* The Messiah

All of these concepts about the “Word” existed in the Second Temple Era and were all packed into this concept of the “Word” (Logos/Memra). Maybe you thought you knew what Yochanan meant when he said:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him,
And without him was not any thing made that was made…
And the Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1-3, 14 KJV)

And:

And he was clothed with a vesture,
dipped in blood: and his name is called
The Word of God.
(Rev. 19:13 KJV)

But now you really know what that meant in terms of Second Temple Era Judaism.
First of all, I think it's great you chose the spelling "Yahushua" :D
I can't describe why, it makes me happy deep in my heart to read and pronounce this word.

Secondly, concerning Melkitzedek, I myself do not think this, and if I've understood your earlier posts correctly, you were sceptical towards this as well.
It seems to be reading way too much into it, simply because to our modern ears, who have few trustworthy extra-Scriptural understanding of him. Remember the Urim and Tummim, they also go without much explanation - does that mean we should form unsupported theories of what they are?


Anaiah Priel (Andrew P) Carlson said:
great posts! i pretty much agree, though, just one thing: do you believe Melchizedek was Yahushua when Melchizedek was talking to Avraham?

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