‘evan’ / אבן, Another picture…

Last evening as Jonathan and I sat around unwinding, he had a few thoughts from his morning Torah study he wanted to share.  As we were looking at verses in Deuteronomy 4, I suddenly had a brainstorm.  First, the verses,

12 Then the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice. 10 commandments.4213 So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten [a]Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14 The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it.

We noted several things…  The covenant is to be performed.  I.e., maintaining it is an action, not a belief.  (Faith without works is dead…)  The covenant is not just the Ten Words, as Christendom often teaches, but rather included much more than that.  Just refer to Exodus 20-23.  And, the covenant was to be performed not just before crossing the Jordan, but afterward as well.  (I’ll write on some of this later in terms of the symbolism and Christendom’s understanding of ‘crossing Jordan.’)  But something else stood out!

You may recall a very interesting and important post about eban, or אבן as a picture of Messiah.  After that, I wrote a follow-up post with more references to ‘stone,’ but always in connection with ‘uncut’ stone.  Of course, Messiah is/was not to have human works  added to Him. Continue reading “‘evan’ / אבן, Another picture…”

His Tender Mercies… Ha’azinu

This week’s Torah portion (Ha’azinu, Deu. 32) has been particularly interesting to study with it yielding a number of heretofore unseen gems.  I don’t really have the motivation to share all I learned, though I filled several margins of my Bible with notes.  I do want to share an item or two regarding the Memra and Moshe.

As many here recall, I have really enjoyed reading/studying the ‘angel of the Lord’ passages which led to me reading and searching the Targumim for the translator’s understanding of the presence of the Memra.  Now, if you are not familiar, the crash course is simple:  During the intertestamental period between the Babylonian exile and the destruction of the Temple, several authoritative Aramaic translations of the Torah were composed.  What makes them of particular interest is that they are dynamic equivalent translations allowing the translators to interject some of their theological understanding, thus giving us an avenue into the minds of some some Second Temple thought.

The part that has been most fascinating to me is the use of ‘the Word of the Lord,’ or ‘the Memra d’Yah,’ as a personification of YHVH working in the affairs of men.  Here is a basic article with additional pingback links in the comments.

With this fascination, I often search the Targumim in certain Torah portions to see what they yield, and this one was special.

Yeshua’s Presence is clearly visible, even without the Memra additions, as we see four significant uses of ‘the Rock,’ which Rav Sha’ul definitively connects to Yeshua in I Cor. 10:4.  Besides the ‘Rock’ references, I want to share a few ‘Memra’ occurrences as well as a few thoughts…

32:6-7  Can you indeed so requite the Name of the Word of the Lord, O foolish people, and receive the law, yet not be made wise? Is He not your Father who bought[2] you, who created you and established you?

Moshe is relating future prophecy to Israel.  Through the chapter we see many events that happened later, however there are a couple yet future events.  In the above quoted paraphrase from Targum Pseudo-Jonathan/Yonatan, we see the prophecy that Israel ‘repays’ the Word of the Lord wrongly by acting corruptly.  Continue reading “His Tender Mercies… Ha’azinu”