To Make Holy, Part 4

The next form of ἁγιάζω I’ll consider is found in Jesus’ prayer to his Father: Set them apart (ἁγίασον, a form of ἁγιάζω) in the truth; your word is truth.[1]  But I plan to crawl through his prayer on my knees because I believe I can know his holiness here.

I have revealed your name, Jesus prayed, to the men you gave me out of the world.[2]  Though the Greek word translated men is masculine, I’m not convinced that justifies (note 15) translating ἀνθρώποις (a form of ἄνθρωπος) men in the 21st century.  John didn’t use ἄρσενες (a form of ἄῤῥην) for instance, as Paul did when his intent was to distinguish male from human.  But from the beginning of creation, Jesus said, he made them male (ἄρσεν, another form of ἄῤῥην) and female.[3]  And God made humankind (ἄνθρωπον, another form of ἄνθρωπος); according to divine image he made it; male (ἄρσεν, another form of ἄῤῥην) and female he made them.[4]

Also the Greek word translated I have revealed was not a form of ἀποκαλύπτω but Ἐφανέρωσα (a form of φανερόω).  So I think Jesus meant something more than calling God πάτερ, even something more than the mere fact that yehôvâh has a Father.  Jesus revealed (ἐφανέρωσεν, another form of φανερόω) his glory[5] by turning water to wine (John 2:1-11).  He revealed (ἐφανέρωσεν, another form of φανερόω) himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias[6] after he was raised from the dead[7] by telling them where to cast their net to catch fish and by having a charcoal fire ready to prepare their breakfast (John 21:1-14).  Jesus had revealed his Father’s name by demonstrating who the Father is by his own relationship to Him (John 14:8-10 NET).

Philip said, “Lord, show (δεῖξον, a form of δεικνύω) us the Father, and we will be content.”  Jesus replied, “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip?  The person who has seen me has seen the Father!  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me?  The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds.

At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on a Sabbath.  His disciples were hungry, and they began to pick heads of wheat [8] as they made their way,[9] rubbed them in their hands, and ate them.[10]  We may misunderstand this story because we live in a different world.  Most seed farmers sow today is dead, purchased from agribusinesses.  It will not grow a crop that produces viable seed.  We think it is wrong to walk through a farmer’s field to eat without payment the crop he purchased and labored over.

The grain Jesus’ disciples ate was alive, fully able to grow another crop and produce another harvest.  It was from God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food,[11] from God who said to Moses: When you go into the ripe grain fields of your neighbor you may pluck off the kernels with your hand, but you must not use a sickle on your neighbor’s ripe grain.[12]  But when the Pharisees saw this they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is against the law to do on the Sabbath.”[13]

They weren’t wrong (Exodus 16:4, 5; 20:8-11 NET):

Then the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people will go out and gather the amount for each day, so that I may test them.  Will they walk in my law or not?  On the sixth day they will prepare what they bring in, and it will be twice as much as they gather every other day.”

Remember the Sabbath day to set it apart as holy.  For six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord (yehôvâh, ליהוה) your God; on it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your cattle, or the resident foreigner who is in your gates.  For in six days the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

But Jesus defended his disciples’ from the Pharisees accusation by citing hunger as a commonly known exception: “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry – how he entered the house of God when Abiathar was high priest,[14] took and ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful for any to eat but the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?”[15]

His next argument might have been a bit more opaque to the Pharisees: Or have you not read in the law that the priests in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are not guilty (ἀναίτιοι, a form of ἀναίτιος)?[16]  This becomes clearer with Peter’s teaching, one of the men to whom Jesus revealed his Father’s name (1 Peter 2:4-10 NET):

So as you come to [Jesus], a living stone rejected by men but chosen and priceless in God’s sight, you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  For it says in scripture, “Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and priceless cornerstone, and whoever believes (πιστεύων, a form of πιστεύω) in him will never be put to shame.”  So you who believe (πιστεύουσιν, another form of πιστεύω) see his value, but for those who do not believe (ἀπιστοῦσιν, a form of ἀπιστέω), the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over.  They stumble because they disobey (ἀπειθοῦντες, a form of ἀπειθέω; disbelieve) the word, as they were destined to do.  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim (ἐξαγγείλητε, a form of ἐξαγγέλλω) the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people.  You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Isaiah prophesied yehôvâh’s description of my chosen people as the people whom I formed for myself, so they might praise (tehillâh, תהלתי; Septuagint: διηγεῖσθαι, a form of διηγέομαι) me.[17]  How we praise and proclaim Him is important.  Are we filled with his own ἀρετὰς (a form of ἀρέτη; translated virtues), his love, his joy, his peace, his patience, his kindness, his goodness, his faithfulness, his gentleness and his self-control, or are we bitter and resentful as we grudgingly strive in our own strength to obey rules that others apparently ignore with impunity?  Malachi prophesied (3:13-18 NET):

“You have criticized me sharply,” says the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה), “but you ask, ‘How have we criticized you?’  You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God.  How have we been helped by keeping his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord (yehôvih, יהוה) who rules over all?  So now we consider the arrogant to be happy; indeed, those who practice evil are successful.  In fact, those who challenge (bâchan, בחנו; Tanakh, tempt) God escape!’”

Then those who respected (yârêʼ, יראי) the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) spoke to one another, and the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) took notice.  A scroll was prepared before him in which were recorded the names of those who respected (yârêʼ, ליראי) the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) and honored his name.  “They will belong to me,” says the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) who rules over all, “in the day when I prepare my own special property.  I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.  Then once more you will see that I make a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not.”

I tell you that something greater than the temple is here,[18] Jesus continued.  I turn here to Hebrews, not as the thoughts of some anonymous disciple but, as the teaching that was foremost in Jesus’ mind between his resurrection and ascension (Hebrews 12:18-24 NET):

For you have not come to something that can be touched, to a burning fire and darkness and gloom and a whirlwind and the blast of a trumpet and a voice uttering words such that those who heard begged to hear no more.  For they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.”  In fact, the scene was so terrifying that Moses said, “I shudder with fear.”  But you have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than Abel’s does.

If you had known what this means:I want mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent (ἀναιτίους, another form of ἀναίτιος),[19] Jesus continued.  Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.  For this reason the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”[20]  It was not wrong to capitalize Son of Man, for Jesus certainly meant Himself, but clearly not Himself exclusively.

If I pay attention, He has given me a beautiful contrast between how the disobedient and unbelieving picture God and judge others according to their own image, and how the obedient and believing see Him.  Actually everything Jesus said and did confronting the Pharisees and teachers of the law offers this contrast and reveals his Father’s name, but I’ll consider only one other slightly different example in this essay:

Matthew 15:21-28 (NET)

Mark 7:24-30 (NET)

After going out from there, Jesus went to the region of Tyre and Sidon.

Matthew 15:21

After Jesus left there, he went to the region of Tyre.

Mark 7:24a

A Canaanite woman from that area came and cried out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David!  My daughter is horribly demon-possessed (δαιμονίζεται, a form of δαιμονίζομαι)!”  But he did not answer her a word.  Then his disciples came and begged him, “Send her away, because she keeps on crying out after us.”  So he answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Matthew 15:22-24

When he went into a house, he did not want anyone to know, but he was not able to escape notice.

Mark 7:24b

But she came and bowed down before him…

Matthew 15:25a

Instead, a woman whose young daughter had an unclean (ἀκάθαρτον, a form of ἀκάθαρτος) spirit (πνεῦμα) immediately heard about him and came and fell at his feet.

Mark 7:25

The woman was a Greek, of Syrophoenician origin.

Mark 7:26a

…and said, “Lord, help me!”

Matthew 15:25b

She asked him to cast the demon (δαιμόνιον) out of her daughter.

Mark 7:26b

He said to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for…

Mark 7:27a

“It is not right (καλὸν, a form of καλός) to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” he said.

Matthew 15:26

…it is not right to take the children’s bread and to throw it to the dogs.”

Mark 7:27b

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Matthew 15:27

She answered, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

Mark 7:28

Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, your faith is great!  Let what you want be done for you.”

Matthew 15:28a

Then he said to her, “Because you said this, you may go.  The demon (δαιμόνιον) has left your daughter.”

Mark 7:29

And her daughter was healed from that hour.

Matthew 15:28b

She went home and found the child lying on the bed, and the demon (δαιμόνιον) gone.

Mark 7:30

It is too easy to miss Jesus’ demonstration of his Father here.  When I obsess about what He called the woman I miss that He said, Woman, your faith is great, and honored her request when she accepted his description of her as a dog.  Mark described her socially and genealogically as Greek, of Syrophoenician origin.  Matthew described her lost soul as a Canaanite (1 Corinthians 10:19-22 NET).

Am I saying that idols or food sacrificed to them amount to anything?  No, I mean that what the pagans sacrifice is to demons (δαιμονίοις, a form of δαιμόνιον) and not to God.  I do not want you to be partners with demons (δαιμονίων, another form of δαιμόνιον).  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons (δαιμονίων, another form of δαιμόνιον).  You cannot take part in the table of the Lord and the table of demons (δαιμονίων, another form of δαιμόνιον).  Or are we trying to provoke the Lord to jealousy?  Are we really stronger than he is?

The word translated pagans (εθνη, a form of ἔθνος) doesn’t occur in the parallel Greek of the NET online.  It is found however in the Stephanus Textus Receptus and the Byzantine Majority Text.

1 Corinthians 10:20 NET Parallel Greek 1 Corinthians 10:20 Stephanus Textus Receptus

1 Corinthians 10:20 Byzantine Majority Text

ἀλλ᾿ ὅτι ἃ θύουσιν[21] , δαιμονίοις καὶ οὐ θεῷ [θύουσιν]· οὐ θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς κοινωνοὺς τῶν δαιμονίων γίνεσθαι αλλ οτι α θυει[22] τα εθνη δαιμονιοις θυει και ου θεω ου θελω δε υμας κοινωνους των δαιμονιων γινεσθαι αλλ οτι α θυει τα εθνη δαιμονιοις θυει και ου θεω ου θελω δε υμας κοινωνους των δαιμονιων γινεσθαι

After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do; and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do; neither shall ye walk in their statutes,[23] yehôvâh commanded Moses to Speak unto the children of Israel.[24]  Moses knew Israel would not obey yehôvâh’s statutes and prophesied in song (Deuteronomy 32:16, 17 Tanakh):

They roused Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations (tôʽêbah, בתועבת; Septuagint: βδελύγμασιν, a form of βδέλυγμα) did they provoke Him.  They sacrificed unto demons (shed, לשדים; Septuagint: δαιμονίοις, a form of δαιμόνιον), no-gods, gods that they knew not, new gods that came up of late, which your fathers dreaded not.

With this fresh in my mind I get a better picture of what was going on: Jesus came to town and a demon worshiper complained to Him that her daughter was demon-possessed.  It’s a vivid picture of the iniquity of the mother (in this case) being visited upon her daughter, whether we regard that visitation as punishment from God or the expected result of consorting with demons.  Jesus fully intended to ignore the Canaanite woman because He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  It is how He understood his mission from his Father.  It is what He taught his disciples (Matthew 10:5-8 NET):

Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them as follows: “Do not go to Gentile (ἐθνῶν, another form of ἔθνος) regions and do not enter any Samaritan town.  Go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near!’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.  Freely you received, freely give.”

Could there be anything more cruel than casting out a demon from the daughter of a demon worshiper?

Matthew 12:43-45 (NET)

Luke 11:24-28 (NET)

“When an unclean (ἀκάθαρτον, a form of ἀκάθαρτος) spirit (πνεῦμα) goes out of a person, it passes through waterless places looking for rest but does not find it.

Matthew 12:43

“When an unclean (ἀκάθαρτον, a form of ἀκάθαρτος) spirit (πνεῦμα) goes out of a person, it passes through waterless places looking for rest but not finding any.

Luke 11:24a

Then it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’  When it returns, it finds the house empty, swept clean, and put in order.

Matthew 12:44

Then it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’  When it returns, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.

Luke 11:24b, 25

Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits (πνεύματα, a form of πνεῦμα) more evil (πονηρότερα, a form of πονηρός) than itself, and they go in and live there, so the last state of that person is worse than the first.

Matthew 12:45a

Then it goes and brings seven other spirits (πνεύματα, a form of πνεῦμα) more evil (πονηρότερα, a form of πονηρός) than itself, and they go in and live there, so the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

Luke 11:26

It will be that way for this evil (πονηρᾷ, another form of πονηρός) generation as well!”

Matthew 12:45b

As he said these things, a woman in the crowd spoke out to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed!”

Luke 11:27

But he replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear (ἀκούοντες, a form of ἀκούω) the word of God and obey (φυλάσσοντες, a form of φυλάσσω) it!”

Luke 11:28

Jesus’ disciples couldn’t tolerate the woman’s loud persistence, so Jesus engaged her.  Still she persisted.  More to the point she accepted Jesus’ description of her as one of the dogs: She answered, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”  (The Pharisees by contrast wouldn’t even accept Jesus’ description of them as actors.[25])  And so Jesus, contrary to his own understanding of his mission from the Father and his own teaching to his own disciples, healed the woman’s daughter because of this woman’s one simple act of faith, believing his description of her as a dog.  Perhaps that faith would lead to more faith in more things Jesus taught and turn this Canaanite woman and her daughter from their faith in demons.

This all reminds me of yehôvâh’s repentance: And the LORD (yehôvâh, יהוה) repented (nâcham, וינחם; Septuagint: ἱλάσθη, a form of ἱλάσκομαι) of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.[26]  How can yehôvâh/Jesus repent of his own covenant, his own understanding or his own teaching, except by submitting his own will to that of his Father?  Who is his Father?

God is love,[27] wrote another of the men to whom Jesus revealed his Father’s name.  Not, Love is god.  This isn’t pagan worship of an idea or ideals achieved by human desire or exertion.  It is rather a shorthand for the name of the Father Jesus revealed to his disciples by his every word and deed.  Paul’s definition of love is the way He, in fact, loves and fills believers with Himself (1 Corinthians 13:1-8a NET):

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have God, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have God, I am nothing.  If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have God, I receive no benefit.

God is patient, God is kind, He is not envious.  God does not brag, He is not puffed up.  He is not rude, He is not self-serving, He is not easily angered or resentful.  He is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth.  He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  God never ends.

And Jesus said (Matthew 7:21-23; John 3:7; Matthew 12:33a NET):

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.  On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’  Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you.  Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’

Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good…

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God,[28] Paul wrote believers in Rome.  The Gospel harmony I created to write this essay follows.

Matthew 12:1-8 (NET)

Mark 2:23-28 (NET)

Luke 6:1-5 (NET)

At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on a Sabbath.

Ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ ἐπορεύθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοῖς σάββασιν διὰ τῶν σπορίμων

Matthew 12:1a

Jesus was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath…

Καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν |παραπορεύεσθαι| διὰ τῶν σπορίμων

Mark 2:23a

Jesus was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath…

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν σαββάτῳ διαπορεύεσθαι αὐτὸν διὰ σπορίμων

Luke 6:1a

His disciples were hungry…

οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπείνασαν

Matthew 12:1b

…and they began to pick heads of wheat…

καὶ ἤρξαντο τίλλειν στάχυας

Matthew 12:1c

…and his disciples began to pick some heads of wheat…

καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἤρξαντο … τίλλοντες τοὺς στάχυας

Mark 2:23b

…and his disciples picked some heads of wheat…

καὶ ἔτιλλον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ … τοὺς στάχυας

Luke 6:1b

as they made their way.

ὁδὸν ποιεῖν

Mark 2:23c

…rubbed them in their hands…

ψώχοντες ταῖς χερσίν

Luke 6:1c

…and eat them.

καὶ ἐσθίειν

Matthew 12:1d

…and ate them.

καὶ ἤσθιον …

Luke 6:1d

But when the Pharisees saw this…

οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἰδόντες

Matthew 12:2a

…they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is against the law to do on the Sabbath.”  He said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did…

εἶπαν αὐτῷ· ἰδοὺ οἱ μαθηταί σου ποιοῦσιν ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν ποιεῖν ἐν σαββάτῳ.  ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τί ἐποίησεν Δαυὶδ

Matthew 12:2b, 3a

So the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is against the law on the Sabbath?”  He said to them, “Have you never read what David did…

καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον αὐτῷ· ἴδε τί ποιοῦσιν τοῖς σάββασιν ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν; καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· οὐδέποτε ἀνέγνωτε τί ἐποίησεν Δαυὶδ

Mark 2:24, 25a

But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is against the law on the Sabbath?”  Jesus answered them, “Haven’t you read what David did…

τινὲς δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων εἶπαν· τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν; καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς πρὸς αὐτοὺς εἶπεν |ὁ| Ἰησοῦς· οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἀνέγνωτε ὃ ἐποίησεν Δαυὶδ

Luke 6:2, 3a

…when he was in need…

ὅτε χρείαν ἔσχεν

Mark 2:25b

…when he and his companions were hungry – how he entered the house of God…

ὅτε ἐπείνασεν καὶ οἱ μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ, πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ

Matthew 12:3b, 4a

…and he and his companions were hungry – how he entered the house of God…

καὶ ἐπείνασεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ, |πῶς| εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ

Mark 2:25c, 26a

…when he and his companions were hungry – how he entered the house of God…

ὅτε ἐπείνασεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ [ὄντες], [ὡς] εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ

Luke 6:3b, 4a

…when Abiathar was high priest…

ἐπὶ Ἀβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως

Mark 2:26b

…took…

λαβὼν

Luke 6:4b

…and they ate the sacred bread, which was against the law…

καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, ὃ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν

Matthew 12:4b

…and ate the sacred bread, which is against the law…

καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγεν, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν

Mark 2:26c

…and ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful…

καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως … ἔφαγεν … οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν

Luke 6:4c

…for him or his companions to eat…

αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ

Matthew 12:4c

…but only for the priests?

εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις

Matthew 12:4d

…for any but the priests to eat…

φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ τοὺς ἱερεῖς

Mark 2:26d

…for any to eat but the priests alone…

… φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ μόνους τοὺς ἱερεῖς

Luke 6:4d

…and also gave it to his companions?”

καὶ ἔδωκεν καὶ τοῖς σὺν αὐτῷ οὖσιν

Mark 2:26e

…and gave it to his companions?”

καὶ ἔδωκεν τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ

Luke 6:4e

Or have you not read in the law that the priests in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are not guilty?  I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.  If you had known what this means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

ἢ οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῷ νόμῳ ὅτι τοῖς σάββασιν οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τὸ σάββατον βεβηλοῦσιν καὶ ἀναίτιοι εἰσιν;  λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ὅτι τοῦ ἱεροῦ μεῖζον ἐστιν ὧδε.  εἰ δὲ ἐγνώκειτε τί ἐστιν· ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν, οὐκ ἂν κατεδικάσατε τοὺς ἀναιτίους

Matthew 12:5-7

Then he said to them…

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς

Mark 2:27a

Then he said to them…

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς

Luke 6:5a

“The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.  For this reason…

τὸ σάββατον διὰ τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐγένετο καὶ οὐχ ὁ ἄνθρωπος διὰ τὸ σάββατον·  ὥστε

Mark 2:27b, 28a

For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

κύριος γάρ ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

Matthew 12:8

…the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

κύριος ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ τοῦ σαββάτου.

Mark 2:28b

“The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

κύριος ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

Luke 6:5b

 

[1] John 17:17 (NET)

[2] John 17:6a (NET)

[3] Mark 10:6 (NET)

[4] Genesis 1:27 (NETS)

[5] John 2:11b (NET)

[6] John 21:1 (NET)

[7] John 21:14b (NET)

[8] Matthew 12:1a (NET)

[9] Mark 2:23b (NET)

[10] Luke 6:1b (NET)

[11] 2 Corinthians 9:10 (NET)

[12] Deuteronomy 23:25 (NET)

[13] Matthew 12:2 (NET)

[14] Mark 2:25, 26a (NET)

[15] Luke 6:4b (NET)

[16] Matthew 12:5 (NET)

[17] Isaiah 43:20b, 21 (NET)

[18] Matthew 12:6 (NET)

[19] Matthew 12:7 (NET)

[20] Mark 2:27, 28 (NET)

[21] A form of θύω

[22] θυει another form of θύω

[23] Leviticus 18:3 (Tanakh)

[24] Leviticus 18:2a (Tanakh)

[25] Romans, Part 9; Romans, Part 10; Romans, Part 12; Romans, Part 26; Romans, Part 49; Romans, Part 60; Romans, Part 71; Romans, Part 83; Sowing to the Flesh, Part 2; My Deeds, Part 1

[26] Exodus 32:14 (KJV)

[27] 1 John 4:8b (NET)

[28] Romans 8:14 (NET)

Fear – Deuteronomy, Part 11

I’ve been considering yehôvâh’s fearful pronouncement: I punish (pâqad, פקד) the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin of the fathers who reject me[1]  The third of the three times forms of pâqad were translated punish or punishment in the NET prior to Deuteronomy 5:9 was Leviticus 18:25, and I have brought the punishment (pâqad, ואפקד).  I want to consider it in context.  A table follows with the English translations of Leviticus 18:24-30 from the Hebrew in the NET and Tanakh, and from the Greek Septuagint in the NETS.

Leviticus 18:24-30 (NET) Leviticus 18:24-30 (Tanakh)

Leviticus 18:24-30 (NETS)

Do not defile (ṭâmêʼ, תטמאו) yourselves with any of these things, for the nations which I am about to drive out before you have been defiled (ṭâmêʼ, נטמאו) with all these things. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things; for in all these the nations are defiled, which I cast out from before you. Do not defile (μιαίνεσθε, a form of μιαίνω) yourselves in any of these ways.  For by all these things the nations I am sending out before your face were defiled (ἐμιάνθησαν, another form of μιαίνω).
Therefore the land has become unclean (ṭâmêʼ, ותטמא) and I have brought the punishment for its iniquity upon it, so that the land has vomited out its inhabitants. And the land was defiled, therefore I did visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land vomited out her inhabitants. And the land became defiled (ἐμιάνθη, another form of μιαίνω), and I repaid their evil because of it, and the land was angry with its inhabitants.
You yourselves must obey my statutes (chûqqâh, חקתי) and my regulations and must not do any of these abominations, both the native citizen and the resident foreigner in your midst, Ye therefore shall keep My statutes and Mine ordinances, and shall not do any of these abominations (tôʽêbah, התועבת); neither the home-born, nor the stranger that sojourneth among you– And you shall keep all my precepts (νόμιμά, a form of νόμιμος[2]) and all my ordinances and not commit any of all these abominations (βδελυγμάτων, a form of βδέλυγμα), the inhabitant and the guest among you who has come
for the people who were in the land before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become unclean (ṭâmêʼ, ותטמא). for all these abominations (tôʽêbah, התועבת) have the men of the land done, that were before you, and the land is defiled– (for the men of the land, who were before you, committed all of these abominations [βδελύγματα, another form of βδέλυγμα], and the land became defiled);
So do not make the land vomit you out because you defile (ṭâmêʼ, בטמאכם) it just as it has vomited out the nations that were before you. that the land vomit not you out also, when ye defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. Otherwise the land will become angry with you when you defile (μιαίνειν, another form of μιαίνω) it, as it became angry with the nations that were before you.
For if anyone does any of these abominations, the persons who do them will be cut off from the midst of their people. For whosoever shall do any of these abominations (tôʽêbah, התועבות), even the souls that do them shall be cut off from among their people. For anyone who commits any of all these abominations (βδελυγμάτων, a form of βδέλυγμα)—the souls that do so shall be exterminated from their people.
You must obey my charge to not practice any of the abominable statutes (chûqqâh, מחקות) that have been done before you, so that you do not defile (ṭâmêʼ, תטמאו) yourselves by them.  I am the Lord your God. Therefore shall ye keep My charge, that ye do not any of these abominable (tôʽêbah, התועבת) customs, which were done before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am HaShem your G-d. And keep my ordinances: not to commit any of all these abominable (ἐβδελυγμένων, a form of βδελύσσω) precepts (νομίμων, another form of νόμιμος) that were done before you, and you shall not be defiled (μιανθήσεσθε, another form of μιαίνω) by them, for I am the Lord your God.

Abominations (tôʽêbah, התועבת; Septuagint: βδελυγμάτων, a form of βδέλυγμα) clearly refers to all acts described in verses 6-22.  Bestiality in verse 23 may be distinguished from abominations as perversion (tebel, תבל; Septuagint:μυσερὸν, a form of μυσερός[3]) or perversion may be a special class of abominations.  But quoting Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination (tôʽêbah)[4] out of context doesn’t make male-on-male homosexual acts a peculiar class of abomination.  It is not more abominable than adultery (verse 20) for instance, or approaching a woman in her menstrual impurity to have sexual intercourse with her[5] for that matter.  And these abominations (with the possible exception of bestiality) were legal/religious statutes in Egypt and Canaan at the time of the Exodus (Leviticus 18:1-5 NET):

The Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) spoke to Moses:  “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘I am the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) your God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהיכם)!  You must not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you have been living, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan into which I am about to bring you; you must not walk in their statutes (chûqqâh, ובחקתיהם).  You must observe my regulations and you must be sure to walk in my statutes (chûqqâh, חקתי).  I am the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) your God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהיכם).  So you must keep my statutes (chûqqâh, חקתי) and my regulations; anyone who does so will live by keeping them.  I am the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה).’”

The NET translators tended to translate two Hebrew words—gâlâh (לגלות; uncover) and ʽervâh (ערוה; nakedness)—with the words to have sexual intercourse.  I’ll quote the Tanakh instead for two reasons: 1) My hard core of materialism sweetened with Jesus jelly is all too willing to hear that only sexual intercourse, specifically vaginal penetration with and only with a penis resulting in orgasm, is sin; and, 2) I don’t want to miss yehôvâh’s disruption of nude pagan worship within families, what contemporary witches call skycladFamilies, law and religion are the primary conduits of visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons whether I consider that visiting punishment are the means of transmitting iniquity to others.

The statutes yehôvâh called my statutes to countermand the legal/religious statutes of the Egyptians[6] and Canaanites follow (Leviticus 18:6-19 Tanakh):

None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness.  I am HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה).  The nakedness of thy father,[7] and the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.  The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.  The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or the daughter of thy mother, whether born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.  The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or of thy daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover; for theirs is thine own nakedness.  The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister: she is thy father’s near kinswoman.  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister; for she is thy mother’s near kinswoman.  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy fathers brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter-in-law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness.  Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter; thou shalt not take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness: they are near kinswomen; it is lewdness.  And thou shalt not take a woman to her sister, to be a rival to her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her lifetime.  And thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is impure by her uncleanness.

Practicing these would make it extremely difficult for a family to engage in pagan worship.  It would greatly inhibit the family patriarch from seducing the younger women of his family or asserting his “sacred” rights over them.  I won’t deny that it could also inhibit the transmission of recessive traits to offspring.  But that seems almost incidental when the Hebrew is translated literally.

Other statutes of Egypt and Canaan were countermanded as well (Leviticus 18:20-23 Tanakh):

And thou shalt not lie carnally[8] with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her.  And thou shalt not give any of thy seed to set them apart to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy G-d: I am HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה).  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination.  And thou shalt not lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith; neither shall any woman stand before a beast, to lie down thereto; it is perversion.

Adultery and male homosexual acts were not prohibited as uncover nakedness but with the words nâthan (תתן; give) shekôbeth (שכבתך; copulation) in verse 20 and shâkab (תשכב; lie) and mishkâb (משכבי; bed) in verse 22.

All of these abominations defile those who commit them.  But since the land was also defiled, it is perhaps fair to ask if these statutes offer knowledge of sin for the land of Canaan only.  Consider the origin of the Samaritans (2 Kings 17:24-28 NET):

The king of Assyria brought foreigners from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the Israelites.  They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities.  When they first moved in, they did not worship the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה).  So the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) sent lions among them and the lions were killing them.  The king of Assyria was told, “The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהי) of the land, so he has sent lions among them.  They are killing the people because they do not know the requirements of the God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהי) of the land.”  So the king of Assyria ordered, “Take back one of the priests whom you deported from there.  He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהי) of the land.”  So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel.  He taught them how to worship the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה).

The king of Assyria and his pagan servant considered yehôvâh a local Canaanite god.  It comes down to one’s faithThat is why I told you that you will die in your sins, Jesus said, for unless you believe that I (ἐγώ) AM (εἰμι), you’ll die in your sins.[9]  I chose the ISV translation because it is the most accurate here in stating that John claimed that Jesus claimed to be the I AM (Exodus 3:14, 15) who spoke to Moses.  Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD (yehôvâh, יהוה), and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.  I, even I, am the LORD (yehôvâh, יהוה); and beside me there is no saviour.[10]  I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.[11]

Do not defile yourselves with any of these things, He said, for the nations which I am about to drive out before you have been defiled with all these things.  Therefore the land (ʼerets, הארץ) has become unclean and I have brought the punishment (pâqad, ואפקד) for its iniquity upon it (Tanakh: I did visit the iniquity thereof upon it), so that the land (ʼerets, הארץ) has vomited out its inhabitants.[12]

The land has vomited out its inhabitants is an amazing word picture of the flood: all the fountains of the great deep burst open and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.[13]  But this was not the flood.  No more than forty years earlier the promised land was a land (ʼerets, ארץ) flowing with milk and honey.[14]  When Israel’s spies came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a staff between two men[15]  Was the knowledge that the land has vomited out its inhabitants something only yehôvâh could perceive since He promised, I will never again curse the ground (ʼădâmâh, האדמה) because of humankind?[16]  Or was it prophetic of the war of extermination Israel was about to unleash in Canaan?

And surely your blood of your lives will I require, yehôvâh said after the flood, at the hand of every beast will I require it; and at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, will I require the life of man.  Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of G-d made He man.[17]  Then He promised (Genesis 9:9-11 Tanakh):

‘As for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your seed after you;  and with every living creature that is with you, the fowl, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that go out of the ark, even every beast of the earth.  And I will establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.’

In this sense then Israel’s army became a limited cleansing flood, as opposed to the flood yehôvâh promised not to unleash again to destroy the earth.  Now if someone deprived me and my family of life and claimed all that I owned for himself and his act was righteous, then I was clearly punished for a serious offense.  This is the way the translators of the Septuagint understood the verse: “And the land became defiled, and I repaid their evil because of it…”  Notice below that yehôvâh repaid the Canaanites’ for defiling the land in the NETS translation of the Septuagint rather than punishing the land for its iniquity in the NET translation of the Hebrew.

Leviticus 18:25 (NET) Leviticus 18:25 (Tanakh) Leviticus 18:25 (NETS)
Therefore the land has become unclean and I have brought the punishment for its iniquity upon it, so that the land has vomited out its inhabitants. And the land was defiled, therefore I did visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land vomited out her inhabitants. And the land became defiled, and I repaid (ἀνταπέδωκα, a form of ἀνταποδίδωμι) their evil because of it, and the land was angry with its inhabitants.

The translators of the Septuagint have tipped their hand here, translating pâqad (ואפקד) ἀνταπέδωκα (a form of ἀνταποδίδωμι).  To them visiting the iniquity was how yehôvâh repaid sin: Vengeance is Mine, and recompense (shillêm, ושלם; Septuagint: ἀνταποδώσω, another form of ἀνταποδίδωμι), against the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that are to come upon them shall make haste.[18]  Here shillêm (ושלם, requital) was translated ἀνταποδώσω (another form of ἀνταποδίδωμ).  Is corruption His?  No; His children’s is the blemish; a generation crooked and perverse.  Do ye thus requite (gâmal, תגמלו; Septuagint: ἀνταποδίδοτε, another form of ἀνταποδίδωμι) HaShem (yehôvâh, ליהוה), O foolish people and unwise?[19]

Here even gâmal (תגמלו) was translated ἀνταποδίδοτε (another form of ἀνταποδίδωμι).  When Isaac grew and was weaned (gâmal, ויגמל) Abraham prepared a great feast[20]  The staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted, and brought forth buds, and produced blossoms, and yielded (gâmal, ויגמל) almonds![21]  I can’t say it was wrong to translate gâmal with a form of ἀνταποδίδωμι: After their father’s death Joseph’s brothers feared, What if Joseph bears a grudge and wants to repay (shûb, וישב; Septuagint: requite [ἀνταποδῷ, another form of ἀνταποδίδωμι] us a requittal [ἀνταπόδομα] Genesis 50:15 NETS) us in full for all the harm we did (gâmal, גמלנו) to him?[22]  But it does reveal a particular fixation since the word signifies a ripening of fruit, whether good fruit or bad fruit. (Here, by the way, gâmal was translated ἐνεδειξάμεθα [a form of ἐνδεικνύω;[23] NETS: show] in the Septuagint.)

If I consider who translated the Septuagint their fixation on retribution makes a lot of sense (Deuteronomy 31:24-29 Tanakh):

And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites, that bore the ark of the covenant of HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה), saying: ‘Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה) your G-d, that it may be there for a witness against thee.  For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck; behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה); and how much more after my death?  Assemble unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to witness against them.  For I know that after my death ye will in any wise deal corruptly, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the end of days; because ye will do that which is evil in the sight of HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה), to provoke Him through the work of your hands.’

How could they help but perceive their world in terms of retribution (Deuteronomy 32:19-27 Tanakh)?

And HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה) saw, and spurned, because of the provoking of His sons and His daughters.  And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faithfulness.  They have roused Me to jealousy with a no-god; they have provoked Me with their vanities; and I will rouse them to jealousy with a no-people; I will provoke them with a vile nation.  For a fire is kindled in My nostril, and burneth unto the depths of the nether-world, and devoureth the earth with her produce, and setteth ablaze the foundations of the mountains.  I will heap evils upon them; I will spend Mine arrows upon them; The wasting of hunger, and the devouring of the fiery bolt, and bitter destruction; and the teeth of beasts will I send upon them, with the venom of crawling things of the dust.  Without shall the sword bereave, and in the chambers terror; slaying both young man and virgin, the suckling with the man of gray hairs.  I thought I would make an end of them, I would make their memory cease from among men; Were it not that I dreaded the enemy’s provocation, lest their adversaries should misdeem, lest they should say: Our hand is exalted, and not HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה) hath wrought all this.’

As I began this study I noticed that the rabbis who translated the Septuagint had translated pâqad (פקד) ἀποδιδοὺς (a form of ἀποδίδωμι) but I really didn’t know what to make of it: Thou shalt not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for I HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה) thy G-d am a jealous G-d, visiting the iniquity (pâqad, פקד; Septuagint: ἀποδιδοὺς, a form of ἀποδίδωμι) of the fathers upon the children, and upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate Me[24]  I was questioning, but still more or less persuaded, that visiting the iniquity was how God repaid sin.  Only through this study itself did I begin to wonder if visiting the iniquity, through family (Mark 3:20, 21), through law, through religion, was how God has consigned all people to disobedience.[25]

If I consider who I am, my developing fixation makes quite a lot of sense, too.  I am the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous[26]  I am one of the no-people of a vile nation.  I am one of the Gentiles who has received salvation by Israel’s transgression, one of the Gentiles Paul addressed in his letter to believers in Rome (Romans 11:22-36 NET):

Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God – harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.  And even they – if they do not continue in their unbelief – will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.  For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree?

For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob.  And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers.  For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.  Just as you were formerly disobedient (ἠπειθήσατε, a form of ἀπειθέω) to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience (ἀπειθείᾳ), so they too have now been disobedient (ἠπείθησαν, another form of ἀπειθέω) in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy.  For God has consigned all people to disobedience (ἀπείθειαν, a form of ἀπείθεια) so that he may show mercy to them all.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!  For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?  Or who has first given to God, that God needs to repay (ἀνταποδοθήσεται, another form of ἀνταποδίδωμι) him?

For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be glory forever!  Amen.

 

Coda: I attended a pagan feast Christmas evening.  I didn’t know it was a pagan feast until it was over.  It was an ecumenical pagan feast: I was asked to pray before the meal.  Interestingly, I didn’t eat, not because I had some scruple about eating a pagan feast but because I wasn’t hungry.  Caring for my mother has me eating way too much way too often.  My intent was to arrive before Grandmother, Mother and Daughter dispersed so I could visit with them all together.  I arrived earlier than anticipated.

I realized it was a pagan feast when Mother began to outline their preparations for Imbolc.  (I had to look it up, too.)  The women plan to write on paper scrolls what each is grateful for day by day, attach the scrolls to a stick or branch and burn the stick or branch with the scrolls on Imbolc (February 1).  As religious works go, it’s not too bad.

The next morning I delivered coffee and cigarettes to Mother.  She was too depressed to venture out into the cold.  Her lover had left her a few days before.  “I’m just so fucking sad all the time,” she said.  I remembered how the Holy Spirit bolstered me when my wife divorced me, and was reminded of Paul’s letter to struggling believers in Galatia (Galatians 3:2b-5):

Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard?  Are you so foolish?  Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?  Have you suffered so many things for nothing? – if indeed it was for nothing.  Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law or by your believing what you heard?

Of course, Paul meant the law God spoke at Sinai.  But clearly pagan ritual in obedience to pagan law (or creative imagination) was no better at filling Mother with Jesus’ love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.[27]

Two days later Mother asked me to pray for her job interview.  I don’t know whether she also sought Brigid’s aid (though I haven’t met any pagans who believe the gods are real, merely imaginary personifications of nature or ideas).  I left it to God’s discretion when my mother and I prayed.  Mother’s interview went well, and I’m happy that I’m not visiting her in rehab this year.

Back to To Make Holy, Part 4

[1] Deuteronomy 5:9b (NET)

[2] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/no.html#nomimos

[3] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/mu.html#museros

[4] תועבה, Leviticus 18:22 (Tanakh)

[5] Leviticus 18:19 (NET)

[6] http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/people/couples.htm

[7] This seems to have been established as a tradition by Noah’s time (Genesis 9:20-23).

[8] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/030751338407000113?journalCode=egaa

[9] John 8:24 (ISV)

[10] Isaiah 43:10, 11 (Tanakh)

[11] Isaiah 45:12 (Tanakh)

[12] Leviticus 18:24, 25 (NET)

[13] Genesis 7:11b (NET)

[14] Exodus 33:3a (NET)

[15] Numbers 13:23a (NET)

[16] Genesis 8:21b (NET)

[17] Genesis 9:5, 6 (Tanakh)

[18] Deuteronomy 32:35 (Tanakh)

[19] Deuteronomy 32:5, 6a (Tanakh)

[20] Genesis 21:8 (NET)

[21] Numbers 17:8b (NET)

[22] Genesis 50:15 (NET)

[23] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/end.html#endeiknuw

[24] Deuteronomy 5:9 (Tanakh)  “You shall not do obeisance to them, nor are you to serve them, because I am the Lord your God, a jealous God, repaying (ἀποδιδοὺς, a form of ἀποδίδωμι) the sins of fathers upon children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me…” (Deuteronomy 5:9 NETS)

[25] Romans 11:32a (NET)

[26] Romans 4:5 (NET)

[27] Galatians 5:22, 23a (NET)

Romans, Part 89

But now I go to Jerusalem to minister (διακονῶν, a form of διακονέω) to the saints, Paul continued his letter to believers in Rome.  For Macedonia and Achaia are pleased (εὐδόκησαν, a form of εὐδοκέω) to make some contribution (κοινωνίαν, a form of κοινωνία) for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.[1]  I’ve written about the poor among the saints in Jerusalem elsewhere[2] and won’t repeat it here.

I have no interest in, or intention of, making rules for (or against) giving beyond what I’ve written about the gift (Romans 12:1-8) of contributing (μεταδιδοὺς, a form of μεταδίδωμι).  For believers in Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to do this,[3] Paul continued.  I’m content to assume that the cheerfulness (2 Corinthians 9:7-15) which accompanies giving in the Spirit is sufficient to guide one into giving in the Spirit so long as one is not hardened by a religious mind.

Paul continued, and indeed believers in Macedonia and Achaia are indebted (ὀφειλέται, a form of ὀφειλέτης) to the Jerusalem saints.  For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things (πνευματικοῖς, a form of πνευματικός), they are obligated (ὀφείλουσιν, a form of ὀφείλω) also to minister (λειτουργῆσαι, a form of λειτουργέω) to them in material things (σαρκικοῖς, a form of σαρκικός).[4]  For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening (πώρωσις) has happened to Israel until the full (πλήρωμα) number of the Gentiles has come in (εἰσέλθῃ, a form of εἰσέρχομαι).[5]

I am the door, Jesus said.  If anyone enters (εἰσέλθῃ, a form of εἰσέρχομαι) through me, he will be saved, and will come in (εἰσελεύσεται, another form of εἰσέρχομαι) and go out, and find pasture.[6]  The sense of indebtedness and obligation becomes personal to me in: if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?[7]  I take this to imply that if Israel had not been hardened they would have received Jesus as yehôvâh come in human flesh and the world as we know it would have come to an end before I ever came into existence.

I told Jesus more than thirty-five years ago that a time we had spent studying together “was better than I had expected…but that I was still inclined to wish for never having been born.”[8]  As I prepared for this essay I came across David Benatar’s book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence.  What I read online was exceedingly funny, a fact Mr. Benatar addresses early in his introduction:

A version of the view I defend in this book is the subject of some humour:

Life is so terrible, it would have been better not to have been born. Who is so lucky? Not one in a hundred thousand! [Jewish saying]

Sigmund Freud describes this quip as a ‘nonsensical joke’, which raises the question whether my view is similarly nonsensical.

While the idea of an interminable existence (Genesis 3:22-24) in this state of being feels like hell, eternal life fueled by an inexhaustible supply of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control seems more reasonable.  Strip me of all that impedes that gracious flow and I’m golden, ready to enjoy God face to face for as long as He pleases.  Reason, however, cannot persuade me that my existence is better than my nonexistence.  Only revelation can do that (Revelation 4:9-11 NET):

And whenever the living creatures (Revelation 4:6b-8) give glory, honor, and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders throw themselves to the ground before the one who sits on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever, and they offer their crowns before his throne, saying: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, since you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created!”

I exist at his pleasure, not my own, which is not to say that I am entirely free of the pleasures that wage war (στρατευομένων, a form of στρατεύομαι) in [my] members (James 4:1-10 NASB):

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you (ὑμῖν; 2nd person, dative plural)?  Is not the source your (ὑμῶν; 2nd person, genitive, plural) pleasures (ἡδονῶν, a form of ἡδονή) that wage war in your (ὑμῶν; 2nd person, genitive, plural) members?  You lust and do not have; so you commit murder.  You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel.  You do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures (ἡδοναῖς, another form of ἡδονή).  You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?  Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?  But He gives a greater grace.  Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

I am not abandoned to defend against the warfare of pleasures in my own strength, as Paul wrote Titus (3:3-6 NASB):

For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures (ἡδοναῖς, another form of ἡδονή), spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind (φιλανθρωπία) appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior

Years of following Jesus through the Scriptures have made me at first more willing that his Spirit win this conflict of pleasures, and slowly more accustomed to that victory.  He has lifted me from his description of the seed which fell among the thorns: these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures (ἡδονῶν, a form of ἡδονή) of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.[9]  Now the fact that I have received such mercy while most in Israel are still hardened to the Gospel of his grace—though I won’t accuse God of injustice—seems terribly unfair to me.

A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.  “For I tell you (ὑμῖν; plural), you will not see (ἴδητε, a form of εἴδω; plural, you see) me from now until you say (εἴπητε, a form of ῥέω, according to Strong’s Concordance and the NET dictionary, a form of εἶπον a form of λέγω according to Bible Hub and the Koine Greek Lexicon; plural),Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”[10]  So then, Paul concluded, God has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens (σκληρύνει, a form of σκληρύνω) whom he chooses to harden.[11]

I’m equating the πώρωσις (hardening) of Romans 11:25 with σκληρύνει (hardens) in Romans 9:18 not only by Romans 9-11 but also from Hebrews 3:12-19 (NET):

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has an evil, unbelieving heart that forsakes the living God.  But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may become hardened (σκληρυνθῇ, another form of σκληρύνω) by sin’s deception.  For we have become partners with Christ, if in fact we hold our initial confidence firm until the end.  As it says, “Oh, that today you would listen as he speaks!  Do not harden (σκληρύνητε, another form of σκληρύνω) your hearts as in the rebellion.”  For which ones heard and rebelled?  Was it not all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership?  And against whom was God provoked for forty years?  Was it not those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness?  And to whom did he swear they would never enter into his rest, except those who were disobedient (ἀπειθήσασιν, a form of ἀπειθέω)?  So we see that they could not enter because of unbelief (ἀπιστίαν, a form of ἀπιστία).

And Mark recalled (3:1-6 NET):

Then Jesus entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand.  They watched Jesus closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they could accuse him.  So he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Stand up among all these people.”  Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath, or evil, to save a life or destroy it?”  But they were silent.  After looking around at them in anger (ὀργῆς, a form of ὀργή), grieved (συλλυπούμενος, a form of συλλυπέω) by the hardness (πωρώσει, a form of πώρωσις) of their hearts, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.  So the Pharisees went out immediately and began plotting with the Herodians, as to how they could assassinate him.

Israel is not alone in experiencing hardness (Ephesians 4:17-24 NET):

So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking (νοὸς, a form of νοῦς).  They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness (πώρωσιν, another form of πώρωσις) of their hearts.  Because they are callous (ἀπηλγηκότες, a form of ἀπαλγέω), they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.  But you did not learn about Christ like this, if indeed you heard about him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus.  You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted (φθειρόμενον, a form of φθείρω) in accordance with deceitful (ἀπάτης, a form of ἀπάτη) desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind (νοὸς, a form of νοῦς), and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.

I am pleased now to pray for Israel and for all:  “My persistent prayer for justice is for the mercy on which everything depends, for it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on [You] who shows mercy,[12] and, [You have] consigned all people to disobedience (ἀπείθειαν, another form of ἀπείθεια) so that [You] may show mercy to them all.”[13]

This is completely unacceptable to the religious mind.  If it allows any god beyond itself it wants a god who shows me, or some arbitrary designation of us, favoritism while dealing punitively, even violently, with others, designated just as arbitrarily—not me, not us.

Back to Fear – Deuteronomy, Part 11

[1] Romans 15:25, 26 (NET)

[2] Romans, Part 69; Romans, Part 52; Romans, Part 18; Torture, Part 5; Romans, Part 69

[3] Romans 15:27a (NET)

[4] Romans 15:27b (NET)

[5] Romans 11:25 (NET)

[6] John 10:9 (NET)

[7] Romans 11:15 (NET)

[8] You Must Be Gentle, Part 3

[9] Luke 8:14 (NASB)

[10] Matthew 23:39 (NET)

[11] Romans 9:18 (NET)

[12] Romans 9:16 (NET)

[13] Romans 11:32 (NET)

Father, Forgive Them – Part 2

Jesus said (Matthew 23:34-36 NET):

For this reason I am sending you prophets and wise men and experts in the law, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that on you will come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.  I tell you the truth, this generation will be held responsible for all these things!

I’ve understood this without much thought just as the NET translators translated it: as Jesus’ justification for what He planned to do to Israel in 70 A.D.  The realization however that the description of events during the siege of Jerusalem has more to do with sin than Christ’s righteousness functions like a ratchet, making it difficult to go back.  I have to admit I have no alternative understanding ready at hand.  But I also have to admit that it takes very little thought to call the most persuasive portion of this translation—this generation will be held responsible for all these things—into serious question.

First, I want to consider one of Zechariah’s more controversial prophecies (Zechariah 12:10 Tanakh):

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced (dâqar, דקרו), and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

There is a companion prophecy in Revelation (1:7 NET):

Look!  He is returning with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced (ἐξεκέντησαν, a form of ἐκκεντέω) him, and all the tribes on the earth will mourn because of him.  This will certainly come to pass!  Amen.

The translators of the Septuagint couldn’t imagine a scenario in which yehôvâh (יהוה) could be pierced.  Their translation reads: ἐπιβλέψονται πρός με ἀνθ᾽ ὧν κατωρχήσαντο (“and they shall look to me because they have danced triumphantly” – NETS).  The Complete Jewish Bible reads: “And they shall look to me because of those who have been thrust through [with swords]…”[1]

In his “Analysis of Zechariah 12:10 A closer look at what the text of Zechariah 12:10 really says” published on Jews for Judaism online, Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz explained:

Starting with the beginning of Zechariah chapter 12 the prophet speaks of a time when the nations of the world will be gathered against Jerusalem to destroy it (Zec 12:3). On that day, G-d Himself will defend Jerusalem and destroy all of its enemies (Zec 12:4-9). G-d will pour out a spirit of grace and supplication toward the Jews…This new spirit will motivate the Jewish nation to look towards G-d concerning those Jews (collective Jewish Martyrs) (see Hosea 11:1 for the Jewish people described as him. See Ex.1 etc. verbs of oppression in singular. Cf. Deut 32, Hos 8:3 and Ex. 19:2) who have been killed in battle prior to G-d’s divine intervention in fighting our adversaries.

“For I tell you, Jesus prophesied over Jerusalem, you will not see me from now until you say,Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”[2]

An exhibition—The Great Revolt in the Galilee—in The Reuben and Edith Hecht Museum at the University of Haifa in Israel was reviewed in the June 2013 issue of the Jewish Magazine online by Norman A. Rubin.  He quoted extensively from the preface of the exhibition catalog by Ofra Rimon, the museum curator and director: “The Great Revolt against the Romans…constitutes one of the historic events that are permanently etched in the historical memory of the Jewish people…”  Two writers whose divergent opinions offer an interesting contrast were also quoted in that preface.

“Certainly, small Judea could have resigned itself to its fate and surrendered to Rome – and remained occupied with Torah,” Joseph Klausner wrote in his book, When a Nation Fights for Freedom:[3]

But then the Romans would have laid even a heavier hand on it and oppressed it more and more. An aggressive and abusive nation – in particular, its low-level officials – can sense a weak and submissive nation – and immediately tramples it like clay. Keeping quiet, turning the heart away from the affairs of the State and studying Torah and wisdom – woe is Torah that comes from dejection, alas the wisdom that comes not from expanding knowledge but from the imprisoned spirit in the cage of cruel servitude. Torah – that is the genius and that is the glory of the nation; and where they cease – Torah also ceases. And wisdom that has no vision, no exaltedness, no freedom, it too, is not worth very much.

Meir Shalev was quoted as counterpoint from a newspaper article titled, “Accepted Lies”:[4]

.…Judea was not destroyed because of factionalism and Judaism did not survive because of unity. Judea was destroyed because of the military superiority of the Romans, because of the stupidity and extremism of the Zealots and because of the surrender of the leadership to their Messianic violence. Judaism survived thanks to the wisdom, vision, and moderation of personalities like Rabbi Yochanan ben-Zakkai, who succeeded in escaping these murderous patriots, handing himself over to the Romans, exchanging the Temple for the synagogue and the slaughtered lamb for prayer, and equipping us with the means of cultural and spiritual existence for the time in exile.

Two thousand years after the destruction, two thousand years in which Judaism decried the Zealots and tried to put them out of heart and mind, we returned to Jerusalem. The Temple, fortunately, we have not yet built, but we have already acted like fools and called streets in our cities after those contemptible figures, Shimon bar-Giora, Yochanan of Gush Halav, and Elazar ben-Yair. And now we have added even honey-lipped gatherings of mourning and destruction, where they preach unity between those who do not quite understand the nature of these Zealots and those who see them as exemplars.

Before taking offense at the words “Messianic violence” remember that most in Israel don’t associate Messiah with a loving and gracious Savior who brought forgiveness to those who were dead in [their] transgressions and sins,[5] resurrection[6] and new birth[7] into an eternal life[8] of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control[9] by his own indwelling Holy Spirit.[10]  But consider the story of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai:[11]

The greatest Jewish sage of the time was Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai. He wisely foresaw that Jerusalem was doomed and understood the need to transplant the center of Torah scholarship to another location, to ensure the survival of Torah study after Jerusalem’s destruction. He devised a plan that would allow him to leave Jerusalem, despite the Zealots’ blockade. He feigned death so that he could be carried out of the city. His disciples carried the coffin out of the city’s walls, and Rabbi Yochanan proceeded directly to Vespasian’s tent. He entered the tent and addressed Vespasian as “Your Majesty.”

“You are deserving of death on two accounts,” said Vespasian. “First of all, I am not the emperor, only his general. Secondly, if I am indeed emperor, why did you not come to me until now?”

Rabbi Yochanan answered: “You are an emperor, because otherwise the Holy Temple would not be delivered in your hands.… And as for your second question, the reckless Zealots would not allow me to leave the city.”

While they were speaking, a messenger came and told Vespasian that Nero was dead and he had been appointed the new Roman emperor. Vespasian was so impressed with Rabbi Yochanan’s wisdom that he offered to grant Rabbi Yochanan anything he wanted as a reward. Rabbi Yochanan made three requests. The primary request was that Vespasian spare Yavne – which would become the new home of the Sanhedrin – and its Torah sages.

Rabbi Yochanan thus ensured the continuation of Jewish scholarship after the fall of Jerusalem. Even though they would no longer have a Temple or a homeland, the Jews would always have a spiritual center in the Torah.

Rabbi Yochanan’s “death” was faked, his “resurrection” merely a relocation to another city but his love for the Scriptures was more Christlike than any of the warlords Mr. Shalev excoriated or Mr. Klausner justified.  I tell you the truth, Jesus said, this generation will be held responsible for all these things![12]  The Greek word translated will be held responsible was ἥξει (a form of ἥκω).  A table of all the occurrences of forms of ἥκω in the New Testament follows:

Form of ἥκω Reference KJV NET
ἥκασιν Mark 8:3 …divers of them came from far. …some of them have come from a great distance.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

καὶ ἐὰν ἀπολύσω αὐτοὺς νήστεις εἰς οἶκον αὐτῶν, ἐκλυθήσονται ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ· καί τινες αὐτῶν ἀπὸ μακρόθεν |ἥκασιν| και εαν απολυσω αυτους νηστεις εις οικον αυτων εκλυθησονται εν τη οδω τινες γαρ αυτων μακροθεν ηκασιν και εαν απολυσω αυτους νηστεις εις οικον αυτων εκλυθησονται εν τη οδω τινες γαρ αυτων μακροθεν ηκουσιν
ἥκει Luke 15:27 Thy brother is come Your brother has returned
John 2:4 …mine hour is not yet come. My time has not yet come.
John 4:47 …he heard that Jesus was come …he heard that Jesus had come back
1 John 5:20 …we know that the Son of God is come …we know that the Son of God has come

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ἥκει καὶ δέδωκεν ἡμῖν διάνοιαν ἵνα |γινώσκωμεν| τὸν ἀληθινόν, καὶ ἐσμὲν ἐν τῷ ἀληθινῷ, ἐν τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ. οὗτος ἐστιν ὁ ἀληθινὸς θεὸς καὶ ζωὴ αἰώνιος οιδαμεν δε οτι ο υιος του θεου ηκει και δεδωκεν ημιν διανοιαν ινα γινωσκωμεν τον αληθινον και εσμεν εν τω αληθινω εν τω υιω αυτου ιησου χριστω ουτος εστιν ο αληθινος θεος και η ζωη αιωνιος οιδαμεν δε οτι ο υιος του θεου ηκει και δεδωκεν ημιν διανοιαν ινα γινωσκωμεν τον αληθινον και εσμεν εν τω αληθινω εν τω υιω αυτου ιησου χριστω ουτος εστιν ο αληθινος θεος και η ζωη η αιωνιος
ἥκω John 8:42 …I proceeded forth and came from God… …I have come from God and am now here.
Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come Then I said, ‘Here I am: I have come
Hebrews 10:9 Lo, I come to do thy will… Here I am: I have come to do your will.
ἥξει Matthew 23:36 All these things shall come upon this generation. …this generation will be held responsible for all these things!
Matthew 24:14 …and then shall the end come. …and then the end will come.
Matthew 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day… …the master of that slave will come on a day…
Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day… …the master of that slave will come on a day…
Luke 13:35 Ye shall not see me, until the time come Not translated

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν. λέγω [δὲ] ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ ἴδητε με ἕως [ἥξει ὅτε] εἴπητε· εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου ιδου αφιεται υμιν ο οικος υμων ερημος αμην δε λεγω υμιν οτι ου μη με ιδητε εως αν ηξη οτε ειπητε ευλογημενος ο ερχομενος εν ονοματι κυριου ιδου αφιεται υμιν ο οικος υμων ερημος λεγω δε υμιν οτι ου μη με ιδητε εως αν ηξει οτε ειπητε ευλογημενος ο ερχομενος εν ονοματι κυριου
ἥξει John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me… Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me…

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

πᾶν ὃ δίδωσιν μοι ὁ πατὴρ πρὸς ἐμὲ ἥξει, καὶ τὸν ἐρχόμενον πρὸς |ἐμὲ| οὐ μὴ ἐκβάλω ἔξω παν ο διδωσιν μοι ο πατηρ προς εμε ηξει και τον ερχομενον προς με ου μη εκβαλω εξω παν ο διδωσιν μοι ο πατηρ προς εμε ηξει και τον ερχομενον προς με ου μη εκβαλω εξω
ἥξει Romans 11:26 There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer… The Deliverer will come out of Zion…
Hebrews 10:37 …he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. …he who is coming will arrive and not delay.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ἔτι γὰρ μικρὸν ὅσον ὅσον, ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἥξει καὶ οὐ χρονίσει ετι γαρ μικρον οσον οσον ο ερχομενος ηξει και ου χρονιει ετι γαρ μικρον οσον οσον ο ερχομενος ηξει και ου χρονιει
ἥξει 2 Peter 3:10 …the day of the Lord will come as a thief… …the day of the Lord will come like a thief…

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

῞Ηξει δὲ ἡμέρα κυρίου ὡς κλέπτης, ἐν ᾗ οἱ οὐρανοὶ ροιζηδὸν παρελεύσονται στοιχεῖα δὲ καυσούμενα λυθήσεται καὶ γῆ καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ ἔργα εὑρεθήσεται ηξει δε η ημερα κυριου ως κλεπτης εν νυκτι εν η οι ουρανοι ροιζηδον παρελευσονται στοιχεια δε καυσουμενα λυθησονται και γη και τα εν αυτη εργα κατακαησεται ηξει δε η ημερα κυριου ως κλεπτης εν νυκτι εν η οι ουρανοι ροιζηδον παρελευσονται στοιχεια δε καυσουμενα λυθησονται και γη και τα εν αυτη εργα κατακαησεται
ἥξω Revelation 2:25 …that which ye have already hold fast till I come. …hold on to what you have until I come.
Revelation 3:3 If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief… If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief…
Revelation 3:3 …thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. …you will never know at what hour I will come against you.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

μνημόνευε οὖν πῶς εἴληφας καὶ ἤκουσας καὶ τήρει καὶ μετανόησον. ἐὰν οὖν μὴ γρηγορήσῃς, ἥξω ὡς κλέπτης, καὶ οὐ μὴ γνῷς ποίαν ὥραν ἥξω ἐπὶ σέ μνημονευε ουν πως ειληφας και ηκουσας και τηρει και μετανοησον εαν ουν μη γρηγορησης ηξω επι σε ως κλεπτης και ου μη γνως ποιαν ωραν ηξω επι σε μνημονευε ουν πως ειληφας και ηκουσας και τηρει και μετανοησον εαν ουν μη γρηγορησης ηξω επι σε ως κλεπτης και ου μη γνως ποιαν ωραν ηξω επι σε
ἥξουσιν Matthew 8:11 …many shall come from the east and west… …many will come from the east and west…
Luke 13:29 …they shall come from the east, and from the west… …people will come from east and west…
Luke 19:43 For the days shall come upon thee… For the days will come upon you…

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακα σοι καὶ περικυκλώσουσιν σε καὶ συνέξουσιν σε πάντοθεν οτι ηξουσιν ημεραι επι σε και περιβαλουσιν οι εχθροι σου χαρακα σοι και περικυκλωσουσιν σε και συνεξουσιν σε παντοθεν οτι ηξουσιν ημεραι επι σε και περιβαλουσιν οι εχθροι σου χαρακα σοι και περικυκλωσουσιν σε και συνεξουσιν σε παντοθεν
ἥξουσιν Revelation 3:9 …I will make them to come and worship… …I will make them come and bow down…

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ἰδοὺ διδῶ ἐκ τῆς συναγωγῆς τοῦ σατανᾶ τῶν λεγόντων ἑαυτοὺς Ἰουδαίους εἶναι, καὶ οὐκ εἰσὶν ἀλλὰ ψεύδονται. ἰδοὺ ποιήσω αὐτοὺς ἵνα ἥξουσιν καὶ προσκυνήσουσιν ἐνώπιον τῶν ποδῶν σου καὶ γνῶσιν ὅτι ἐγὼ ἠγάπησα σε ιδου διδωμι εκ της συναγωγης του σατανα των λεγοντων εαυτους ιουδαιους ειναι και ουκ εισιν αλλα ψευδονται ιδου ποιησω αυτους ινα ηξωσιν και προσκυνησωσιν ενωπιον των ποδων σου και γνωσιν οτι εγω ηγαπησα σε ιδου διδωμι εκ της συναγωγης του σατανα των λεγοντων εαυτους ιουδαιους ειναι και ουκ εισιν αλλα ψευδονται ιδου ποιησω αυτους ινα ηξωσιν και προσκυνησωσιν ενωπιον των ποδων σου και γνωσιν οτι ηγαπησα σε
ἥξουσιν Revelation 15:4 …all nations shall come and worship before thee… All nations will come and worship before you…

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

τίς οὐ μὴ φοβηθῇ, κύριε, καὶ δοξάσει τὸ ὄνομα σου; ὅτι μόνος ὅσιος, ὅτι πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἥξουσιν καὶ προσκυνήσουσιν ἐνώπιον σου, ὅτι τὰ δικαιώματα σου ἐφανερώθησαν τις ου μη φοβηθη σε κυριε και δοξαση το ονομα σου οτι μονος οσιος οτι παντα τα εθνη ηξουσιν και προσκυνησουσιν ενωπιον σου οτι τα δικαιωματα σου εφανερωθησαν τις ου μη φοβηθη σε κυριε και δοξαση το ονομα σου οτι μονος αγιος οτι παντα τα εθνη ηξουσιν και προσκυνησουσιν ενωπιον σου οτι τα δικαιωματα σου εφανερωθησαν
ἥξουσιν Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day… she will experience her plagues in a single day…

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

διὰ τοῦτο ἐν μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ ἥξουσιν αἱ πληγαὶ αὐτῆς, θάνατος καὶ πένθος καὶ λιμός, καὶ ἐν πυρὶ κατακαυθήσεται, ὅτι ἰσχυρὸς |κύριος| ὁ θεὸς ὁ κρίνας αὐτήν δια τουτο εν μια ημερα ηξουσιν αι πληγαι αυτης θανατος και πενθος και λιμος και εν πυρι κατακαυθησεται οτι ισχυρος κυριος ο θεος ο κρινων αυτην δια τουτο εν μια ημερα ηξουσιν αι πληγαι αυτης θανατος και πενθος και λιμος και εν πυρι κατακαυθησεται οτι ισχυρος κυριος ο θεος ο κρινας αυτην

Clearly, the translation of ἥξει as will be held responsible owed more to an interpretation of—For this reason I am sending you prophets and wise men and experts in the law, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that on you will come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar[13]—than to the meaning of any form of ἥκω.

That in itself opens my mind to the possibility that this was Jesus’ lament, predicated on his foreknowledge of what would happen to people who rejected Him, his death for the forgiveness of sins, his resurrection, his new birth into an eternal life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control by his own indwelling Holy Spirit, people who endeavored instead to establish their own righteousness in their own strength against a superior military force who knew nothing of these things.  Consider what Rabbi Irving Greenberg wrote:

The second Destruction…was the end result of a major national religious revival. The “crime” of the Jews was excessive enthusiasm and determination that only God would rule over them. The crushing defeat was all the more devastating. How could it be rationalized?

With my mind open I notice now that everything Jesus said in Matthew 23:34-36 was offered in relation to his question in Matthew 23:33 (NET):

You snakes, you offspring of vipers [e.g., experts in the law and you Pharisees[14]]!  How will you escape being condemned to hell?

I’ll pick this up in another essay.  A table of the Old Testament occurrences of dâqar and its translation in the KJV, NET and the Septuagint follows.

Form of dâqar Reference KJV NET Septuagint
וידקר Numbers 25:8 and thrust both of them through and thrust through the Israelite man and into the woman’s abdomen. ἀπεκέντησεν, a form of ἀποκεντέω[15]
וידקרהו Judges 9:54 …his young man thrust him through …the young man stabbed him… ἐξεκέντησεν,[16] a form of ἐκκεντέω
ודקרני 1 Samuel 31:4 Draw thy sword, and thrust me through Draw your sword and stab me… ἀποκέντησόν, another form of ἀποκεντέω
…these uncircumcised come and thrust me through …these uncircumcised people will come, stab me… ἀποκεντήσωσίν, another form of ἀποκεντέω
1 Chronicles 10:4 Draw thy sword, and thrust me through Draw your sword and stab me… ἐκκέντησόν, another form of ἐκκεντέω
ידקר Isaiah 13:15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through Everyone who is caught will be stabbed ἡττηθήσεται, a form of ἡττάω
מדקרים Jeremiah 37:10 …and there remained but wounded men among them… …that only wounded men were left lying… ἐκκεκεντημένοι, another form of ἐκκεντέω
Lamentations 4:9 stricken through for want of the fruits of the field. struck down from lack of food. ἐκκεκεντημένοι, another form of ἐκκεντέω
ומדקרים Jeremiah 51:4 …they that are thrust through in her streets. mortally wounded in the streets… κατακεκεντημένοι, a form of κατακεντέω[17]
דקרו Zechariah 12:10 …whom they have pierced …the one they have pierced. κατωρχήσαντο, a form of κατορχέομαι[18]
ודקרהו Zechariah 13:3 shall thrust him through will run him through with a sword συμποδιοῦσιν, a form of συμποδίζω[19]

 

[1] Zechariah 12:10 The Complete Jewish Bible

[2] Matthew 23:39 (NET)

[3] Joseph Klausner, When a Nation Fights for Freedom, Historical Essays, Tel Aviv, 1945, pp. 153-189. [Hebrew] See: https://jnjr.div.ed.ac.uk/primary-sources/modern/joseph-klausners-jesus-of-nazareth-1922-a-modern-jewish-study-of-the-founding-figure-of-christianity/ for Mr. Klausner’s view of Jesus.

[4] Excerpt translated from Yediot Ahronot, Saturday Supplement, July 27, 2007, p. 5.

[5] Ephesians 2:1b (NET)

[6] Romans 6:5

[7] John 3:7

[8] John 17:3; Philippians 3:1-11

[9] Galatians 5:22, 23 (NET)

[10] Acts 1:8; John 15

[11] http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/953564/jewish/Rabbi-Yochanans-Request.htm

[12] Matthew 23:36 (NET)

[13] Matthew 23:34, 35 (NET)

[14] Matthew 23:29 (NET)

[15] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/apoke.html#apokentew

[16] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/ekk.html#ekkentew

[17] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/katak.html#katakentew

[18] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/kato.html#katorceomai

[19] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/sumpo.html#sumpodizw

My Reasons and My Reason, Part 8

Considering walking in the light led me back here to try to bring this series of essays to some sort of conclusion.  Much as I might like something more definitive, this—like the rest of my life—will be more in-process.  But it highlights the advantage of taking notes by writing essays.

While it was probably good for me to type out Scripture verses and passages (copy and paste came later) and salutary to suspend my own judgments until a sufficient quantity of God’s own thoughts had washed over and through me, the notes that resulted from this exercise were simply typed lists of Scripture passages bound together only by the Greek or Hebrew word they shared.  Though it shaped my understanding of the Greek or Hebrew word in question, once the meaning of the exercise dimmed in memory my notes didn’t help me recall it.  Writing essays forces me to translate the gestalt that forms from word studies into a linear pattern of words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs that I can return to again and again as new patterns emerge.

This essay begins for all practical purposes with my divorce from my second wife (third wife if you’re willing to count my high school girlfriend).  One of the reasons she divorced me was stated: “I don’t like your sexuality.  And when I do, I don’t like myself.”

I’m persuaded a decade or so later—knowing we get along just fine now that sex and living together are off the table—that it wasn’t female emotional-speak, when a man should hear the emotion conveyed by the words rather than their literal content.  She was a poet, speaking content and feeling in a few precise words.  When I heard them I became the submissive sadist who had goaded her into a discomforting situation.

I was under the most extreme emotional duress, rejected again by another wife after having been accepted (including my masochistic sexuality).  I had believed she was God’s gift to me, that He had given me the desire of my heart and He was about to take that gift away, albeit through my inability to please a wife.  I don’t expect that He will ever taunt Satan with words like, Have you considered my servant Dan?  There is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil.[1]  I was in no shape to say blessed be the name of the Lord.[2]  That was accomplished entirely by the Holy Spirit.  He flooded Paul’s definition of love back into my mind (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NET):

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious.  Love does not brag, it is not puffed up.  It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful.  It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.   

That’s not to say that it had ever left entirely.  To Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind[3] and to Love your neighbor as yourself,[4] it’s nice to know what love is.  But under extreme emotional duress Paul’s definition became my mantra.

The obvious advantage of this is that Paul’s definition of love coincides absolutely with the fruit of the Holy Spirit: the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control[5] He is ever-producing in the believer, like a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.[6]  Jesus stood up and shouted out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.  Just as the scripture says, From within him will flow rivers of living water.’”[7]  And whatever the flow rate in ordinary times I’m convinced He increases it in times of duress, emotional or otherwise.

Though I was completely wrong the first time I was divorced to think that I could love like God and fulfill the law by turning Paul’s definition of love into rules I would obey in my own strength, the Holy Spirit was not wrong to make that definition my mantra.  It reminds me of another mantra from the movie The Patriot.

It comes at the turning point for widower and war veteran Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson).  He has avoided being dragged back into war until now.  He and his two younger sons Nathan (Trevor Morgan) and Samuel (Bryan Chafin) prepare an ambush for the Redcoats who have captured his eldest son Gabriel (Heath Ledger).  “What did I tell you fellas about shooting,” Benjamin asks his obviously frightened young sons.  “Aim small, miss small,” they respond in unison.  Benjamin prays, “Lord make me fast and accurate.”  Nathan repeats “aim small, miss small” as a mantra to steady his breathing.

When I consider sin as a missing of the mark,[8] “aim small, miss small” has a lot to do with how Paul’s definition of love worked as a mantra of righteousness.  A bit of impatience with God or my wife was a long way from atheism or murder.  Aiming at kindness kept the worst of my bitter diatribes at bay.  A little envy did not lead to adultery.  None of these small misses were quite as devastating as missing the absolutes of God’s law.  Paul’s definition of love may well be the God-ordained hedge about the law working in consonance with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Still, here I am with a desire for that combination of humiliation, pain and pleasure called masochism.  Now, admittedly, I have no desire for missionary-position sex with somebody’s grandmother.  Maybe this is the way sexual desire dies, most kinky last.  I don’t honestly know.  But it leads me aside here to another consideration.

Paul wrote believers in Rome (Romans 8:12-14 NET):

So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

The Greek word translated you put to death was θανατοῦτε (a form of θανατόω).  I’ve been frustrated at times not knowing how to behead, stab, shoot or poison the practices of the body (πράξεις τοῦ σώματος), as distinguished from the works of the flesh (ἔργα τῆς σαρκός).  In the past believers tried asceticism.  Today psychology is all the rage.  But I think that θανατοῦτε is a bit more passive than its English translation may seem.

Brother will hand over (Παραδώσει, a form of παραδίδωμι) brother to death, Jesus prophesied, and a father his child.  Children will rise against parents and have them put to death (θανατώσουσιν, another form of θανατόω).[9]  Here θανατώσουσιν was associated with Παραδώσει, “to give into the hands (of another).”  The brother, the father and the children would not kill directly but surrender their victims to another authority.  And I think that pattern holds.

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were trying to find false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death (θανατώσωσιν, another form of θανατόω).[10]  When it was early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people plotted against Jesus to execute (θανατῶσαι, another form of θανατόω) him.[11]  But when it got right down to it the chief priests and elders handed him over (παρέδωκαν, another form of παραδίδωμι) to Pilate the governor.[12]  Even Pilate handed him over (παρέδωκεν, another form of παραδίδωμι) [to others] to be crucified.[13]  I am to put to death the [practices[14]] of the body by the Spirit (πνεύματι, a form of πνεῦμα, dative case).

If I leave the killing to God, suddenly his beyond intimate knowledge of me as an individual is comforting rather than a threat.  Let the Creator and Lover of my soul perform the spiritual equivalent of neurosurgery in his own time with his own steady hand.  My part is to hand the practices of the body over to Him.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

I do, however, recognize another desire of my heart, a desire to do word studies in the Bible to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He has] sent.[15]  When I spent countless hours typing Scripture passages, or even copying and pasting them, though I wanted and needed to do it, I felt guilty about all the time I “wasted.”  I should have been making money or music or doing something “good.”  What I’ve learned from all that I’ve suffered is that studying God’s word is doing something good.

Now I have more time off from work than I can actually afford.  Bible study is not only good for me and the thing I look most forward to being off work to do, it is the most economical way to spend idle time.  Also, it is time spent when every inclination of the thoughts of [my mind] is not only evil (raʽ, רע) all the time.[16]  Yes, I have learned a more circumspect view of who and what I am now, as well as my own capacity for doing good (apart from being led by the Holy Spirit).  Why do you call me good? Jesus asked the ἄρχωνNo one is good except God alone.[17]

Of course He chooses which of the desires (mishʼâlâh, משאלת; Septuagint: αἰτήματα, a form of αἴτημα) of my heart (lêb, לבך; Septuagint: καρδίας, a form of καρδία) to grant and which to kill.  The heart (lêb, הלב; Septuagint: καρδία) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the LORD (yehôvâh, יהוה) search the heart (lêb, לב; Septuagint: καρδίας, a form of καρδία), I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.[18]

If I’m honest about it, almost the last thing I would desire now is a wife to disrupt my Bible study routine.  So, unless I plan to attempt a biblical justification for hiring a dominatrix, my masochism will just have to wither away.  Though I failed to find a definitive “masochism is sin”[19] in Scripture I think my life has demonstrated that for me at least masochism is not beneficial (συμφέρει, a form of συμφέρω).  And I’ve spent the better part of a lifetime coming even to that tentative conclusion.  I can certainly afford to be a little patient with the sexual obsessions of others.

I’ve written about Chad Allen before and won’t repeat it here.  The love and grace he demonstrated toward his accusers as producer and actor of Save Me deeply affected me and I loved him, though we had never met.  “The final thing the movie did for me was introduce me to the Gay Christian Network,” I wrote.

While not untrue it was perhaps misleading since the Gay Christian Network was nothing more than the Scriptural musings of Justin Lee to me.  I didn’t always agree with Mr. Lee’s conclusions but his process gave me confidence that the Holy Spirit would work in anyone pursuing God through his word that way.  Now that he has moved on to other endeavors the Gay Christian Network became the writings of Isaac Archuleta to me.  I admit to being somewhat less sanguine about his more psychological approach.

So, can I live in a world where my heart’s desire to do word studies in the Bible is granted while my heart’s desire to enjoy hot, kinky sex with a loving wife is strangled?  The simple answer is no—not on my own, not apart from the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  This brings me back to Habakkuk.  He didn’t describe the fruit of the spirit as a river or a fountain of living water but as the feet of a deer (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV):

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights (NASB: And makes me walk on my high places).

As a coda to this essay: My eighty-six-year-old mother fell again and broke her arm.  My ex-wife is staying with her until I can get there.

Back to Jedidiah, Part 2

Back to Fear – Deuteronomy, Part 11

[1] Job 1:8 (NET)

[2] Job 1:21b (KJV)

[3] Matthew 22:37 (NET)

[4] Matthew 22:39 (NET)

[5] Galatians 5:22, 23 (NET)

[6] John 4:14b (NET)

[7] John 7:37b, 38 (NET)

[8] Greek: ἁμαρτάνω; Hebrew: châṭâʼ (חָטָא)

[9] Matthew 10:21 (NET)

[10] Matthew 26:59 (NET)

[11] Matthew 27:1 (NET)

[12] Matthew 27:2b (NET)

[13] Matthew 27:26b (NET)

[14] πράξεις (a form of πρᾶξις) is from the verb πράσσω, “to ‘practise’, that is, perform repeatedly or habitually.”  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done (ἔπραξεν, a form of πράσσω) while in the body, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:10 NET).

[15] John 17:3b (NET)

[16] Genesis 6:5b (NET)

[17] Luke 18:19 (NET)

[18] Jeremiah 17:9, 10 (Tanakh)

[19] I might try again at another time with a word study of ἀσέλγεια.

My Deeds, Part 2

This is the table representing my unstudied view of the relationship of the clauses of Revelation 2:26-29.

Revelation 2:26-29 (NET)

And to the one who conquers

and

who continues in my deeds until the end,

I will give him authority over the nations –

he will rule them with an iron rod

and

like clay jars he will break them to pieces,

just as I have received the right to rule from my Father –

and

I will give him the morning star.

The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

I’m considering who continues in my deeds until the end, because it tugs the hardest at me to return to my own works.  As the title of this essay suggests my goal is to understand what Jesus meant by τὰ ἔργα μου, translated my deeds.  I’ve begun with τηρῶν (a form of τηρέω), translated who continues.  The most basic understanding of τηρῶν is: Blessed is the one who stays alert and does not lose (τηρῶν, a form of τηρέω) his clothes so that he will not have to walk around naked[1]  It means to keep, not to lose or discard.

In this essay I’ll begin with, The one who says “I have come to know God” and yet does not keep (τηρῶν, a form of τηρέω) his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person.[2]  This occurs in a particular context which I’ll begin for the sake of argument with John’s contrast of light and darkness (1 John 1:5 (NET):

Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light (φῶς), and in him there is no darkness (σκοτία) at all.

This hearkens back to John’s description of Jesus as the Word (λόγος): In him was life, and the life was the light (φῶς) of mankind.  And the light (φῶς) shines on in the darkness (σκοτίᾳ), but the darkness (σκοτία) has not mastered it.[3]  And it mirrors Jesus’ description of Himself: I am the light (φῶς) of the world.  The one who follows me will never walk (περιπατήσῃ, a form of περιπατέω) in darkness (σκοτίᾳ), but will have the light (φῶς) of life.[4]  John continued his letter (1 John 1:6, 7 NET):

If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking (περιπατῶμεν, another form of περιπατέω) in the darkness (σκότει, a form of σκότος), we are lying and not practicing the truth.  But if we walk (περιπατῶμεν, another form of περιπατέω) in the light (φωτὶ, another form of φῶς) as he himself is in the light (φωτί, another form of φῶς) we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin (ἁμαρτίας, a form of ἁμαρτία).

This brings me back to Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, the light (φῶς) has come into the world and people loved the darkness (σκότος) rather than the light (φῶς), because their deeds were evil.  For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light (φῶς) and does not come to the light (φῶς), so that their deeds will not be exposed.  But the one who practices the truth comes to the light (φῶς), so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.[5]

I admit I had hoped this would be plainly evident to others but apparently my deeds having been done in God is only plainly evident to me.  Most people who know me assume I obey, more or less, a stringent set of rules that I have proven over and over again (to myself) to be incapable of obeying.

If I hadn’t already considered, and before I had considered, πονηρὰ (a form of πονηρός; translated, evil) and φαῦλα (a form of φαῦλος; evil deeds) I would have assumed that walking in darkness was equivalent to walking in sin and walking in the light therefore would mean not sinning.  But as John continued in his letter I gain another line of argument that πονηρὰ and φαῦλα are not equivalent to ἁμαρτίας, at least as far as they relate to Jesus’/John’s concept of walking in darkness or light.  John continued (1 John 1:8-10 NET):

If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin (ἁμαρτίαν, another form of ἁμαρτία), we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins (ἁμαρτίας, a form of ἁμαρτία), he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins (ἁμαρτίας, a form of ἁμαρτία) and cleansing us from all unrighteousness (ἀδικίας, a form of ἀδικία).  If we say we have not sinned (ἡμαρτήκαμεν, a form of ἁμαρτάνω), we make him a liar and his word (λόγος) is not in us.

Walking in the light and being cleansed of sin by the blood of Jesus are associated with acknowledging and confessing one’s own sin, while walking in darkness is associated with saying one does not bear the guilt of sin or has not sinned.  Here is the same information in tabular form.

Reference

Light (φῶς)

Darkness (σκοτία)

1 John 1:5 God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:6 If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.
1 John 1:7, 8 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:9, 10 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

The one who practices the truth comes to the light (φῶς), so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds (ἔργα, a form of ἔργον) have been done in God as opposed to those who love the darkness and hate the light so that their deeds (ἔργα, a form of ἔργον) [e.g., their deeds of righteousness] will not be exposed as πονηρὰ and φαῦλα.  And we have a hint here that τὰ ἔργα μου, translated my deeds, are deeds done in God as opposed to those done in one’s own strength.  John continued (1 John 2:1, 2 NET):

(My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin [ἁμάρτητε, another form of ἁμαρτάνω].)  But if anyone does sin (ἁμάρτῃ, another form of ἁμαρτάνω), we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (ἁμαρτιῶν, another form of ἁμαρτία), and not only for our sins (ἡμετέρων, a form of ἡμέτερος) but also for the whole world.

While the goal remains to cease from sin, the question that has plagued me is how?  Jesus’ attitude toward forgiveness was fairly clear when Peter asked how many times must I forgive my brother?[6]  Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times!”[7]  The note (33) in the NET reads: “Or ‘seventy times seven,’ i.e., an unlimited number of times.”  But long before I have returned to Jesus even seventy-seven times confessing the same sin in the same day I have reworked the commandment in my mind to assuage my own embarrassment.  And so through pride and unbelief I have effectively “lost” or “discarded” the commandment.  John continued (I John 2:3, 4 NET):

Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep (τηρῶμεν, another form of τηρέω) his commandments.  The one who says “I have come to know God” and yet does not keep (τηρῶν, a form of τηρέω) his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person.

Jesus’ patience has taught me (through many a trial and error) that disobeying a commandment and confessing my sin seventy-seven, or seventy times seven, times a day is keeping that commandment.  Rewriting the commandment and denying my sin makes me a liar, and the truth is not in me.  Still, I would prefer not to sin in the first place.  John continued (1 John 2:5, 6 NET):

But whoever obeys (τηρῇ, another form of τηρέω) his word, truly in this person the love (Romans 13:8-10) of God has been perfected.  By this we know that we are in him.  The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.

While it was virtually impossible to translate forms of τηρέω obey or obeys when confession of sin was the topic of discussion, here the NET translators reverted to obeys.  I assume it is because they did the same to Jesus’ teaching (John 14:23-26 NET):

If anyone loves me, he will obey (τηρήσει, another form of τηρέω) my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him.  The person who does not love me does not obey (τηρεῖ, another form of τηρέω) my words.  And the word you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.  I have spoken these things while staying with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.

The NET translators believed: The person who has my commandments and obeys (τηρῶν, a form of τηρέω) them is the one who loves me.[8]  Jesus believed: Therefore I tell you, her sins (ἁμαρτίαι, another form of ἁμαρτία), which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little loves little.[9]  Still, both Jesus’ teaching and John’s teaching point one to the same fulfillment of a desire for obedience.  Jesus said, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.  John wrote, The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.

How did Jesus walk (περιεπάτησεν, another form of περιπατέω)?  He was led (ἀνήχθη, a form of ἀνάγω[10]; ἤγετο, a form of ἄγω[11]) by the Spirit that descended and remained on him.  Mark wrote: The Spirit immediately drove (ἐκβάλλει, a form of ἐκβάλλω[12]) him into the wilderness.[13]  Oh, to let go of fear and be ἀνήχθη, ἤγετο and ἐκβάλλει by the Spirit of God.

And the person who keeps (τηρῶν, a form of τηρέω) his commandments, John concluded, resides in God, and God in him.  Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us.[14]  A comparison of these verses in the KJV and NET follows.

Reference

KJV

NET

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.)  But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One,
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.
1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. Now by this we know that we have come to know God (αὐτόν, a form of αὐτός): if we keep his commandments.
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. The one who says “I have come to know God (αὐτόν, a form of αὐτός)” and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person.
1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected.  By this we know that we are in him.
1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. The one who says he resides in God (αὐτῷ, another form of αὐτός) ought himself to walk just as Jesus (ἐκεῖνος) walked.
1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.  And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God (αὐτῷ, another form of αὐτός), and God (αὐτὸς) in him.  Now by this we know that God resides (μένει, a form of μένω; literally, he resides) in us: by the Spirit he has given us.

Back to Fear – Deuteronomy, Part 3

Back to My Reasons and My Reason, Part 8 

[1] Revelation 16:15b (NET)

[2] 1 John 2:4 (NET)

[3] John 1:4, 5 (NET)

[4] John 8:12 (NET)

[5] John 3:19b-21 (NET)

[6] Matthew 18:21a (NET)

[7] Matthew 18:22 (NET)

[8] John 14:21a (NET)

[9] Luke 7:47 (NET)

[10] http://biblehub.com/greek/321.htm

[11] http://biblehub.com/greek/71.htm

[12] http://biblehub.com/greek/1544.htm

[13] Mark 1:12 (NET)

[14] 1 John 3:24 (NET)

Forgiven or Passed Over? Part 3

I bogged down in this study a couple of years ago.  I don’t remember whether I balked at how much work it would be or simply recognized the futility of studying ʽâbar alone.  I’ll start again comparing and contrasting ʽâbar with nâsâh.

The translators of the Septuagint chose twenty-two different Greek words for fifty-four occurrences of nâsâh (only fifty-three were actually translated) from Genesis 4:13 through Exodus 19:4 (see table below).  They worked very hard to refine and communicate their own understanding in Greek, which only served to obscure yehôvâh’s mind if I fail to recognize the one Hebrew word—nâsâh—behind all that refinement.

The most concrete meaning of nâsâh is to bear, to lift or carry.  Both lift and carry are evident in: And the people took (nâsâh, וישׁא; Septuagint: ἀνέλαβεν, a form of ἀναλαμβάνω) their dough before it was leavened, their kneading-troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.[1]  But neither took nor ἀνέλαβεν fully convey the idea of lifting and carrying if I don’t already know nâsâh.

What was important to the translators was that the people took their dough with them before it was leavened.  Intended as a corrective, perhaps, even that added emphasis didn’t prevent religious minds from imbuing unleavened bread with spiritual significance beyond the haste of Israel’s exodus from Egypt (1 Corinthians 5:7, 8 NET):

Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch of dough – you are, in fact, without yeast.  For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.  So then, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of vice and evil, but with the bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.

The concrete meaning of nâsâh prevailed in the phrase lift up one’s eyes (Genesis 13:10, 14; 18:2; 22:4, 13; 24:63, 64; 31:10, 12; 33:1, 5; 37:25; 43:29; Exodus 14:10).  It was a bit more abstract in lift up one’s voice (Genesis 21:16; 27:38; 29:11) or lift up one’s feet (Genesis 29:1).  While I lifted up My hand[2] was translated concretely in the Tanakh, it was translated I swore in the NET and I did swear in the KJV.  I want to keep these variations in mind as I consider six occurrences translated forgive or forgiven.

The relatively contemporary translators of the Tanakh, the KJV and the NET all agreed that Cain was not spiritually aware enough to lament his iniquity: My punishment is greater than I can bear[3] (NET: too great to endure), he said in these translations.  The more ancient translators of the Septuagint translated ʽâvôn αἰτία and nâsâh ἀφεθῆναί (a form of ἀφίημι) which a relatively contemporary translator rendered My guilt is too great for me to be forgiven[4] in English.

Of the five occurrences of ʽâvôn in Genesis 4:13 through Exodus 20:5 (see table below) one was translated αἰτία, one ἀδικίαν (a form of ἀδικία), one ἀνομίαις (a form of ἀνομία) and two with forms of ἁμαρτία.  The most concrete meaning of forms of ἁμαρτία is found in its verb form ἁμαρτάνω, “to miss the mark.”  In the occurrence translated ἁμαρτίαι (Genesis 15:16) before Exodus 20, what mark was missed before the law was given?  I would not have known sin (ἁμαρτίαν, another form of ἁμαρτία), Paul wrote believers in Rome, except through the law.[5]  But sin (ἁμαρτία), seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires.[6]

I’ve questioned the idea of ἁμαρτία seizing the opportunity through the commandment in the context of Cain’s murder of his brother Abel.  But if the NET translation of Genesis 4:7b (see comparison below) is more correct than that of the Septuagint (namely, that Cain would rule again over Abel if Cain offered the correct sacrifice), then yehôvâh’s words, you must subdue sin (chaṭṭâʼâh, חטאת; Septuagint: ἥμαρτες, a form of ἁμαρτάνω), would serve as the commandment ἁμαρτία seized, for before the law was given, sin (ἁμαρτία) was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin (ἁμαρτία) when there is no law.[7]

NETS NET
Be still; his recourse is to you, and you will rule over him. …sin is crouching at the door.  It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it.

The translators of the Septuagint seemed to acknowledge a problem with ἁμαρτία prior to the law with the word ἀδικίαν: G-d hath found out the iniquity (ʽâvôn, עון; Septuagint: ἀδικίαν; NETS: injustice; NET: the sin) of thy servants[8]  The iniquity that concerned Joseph’s brothers wasn’t stealing his silver goblet (44:2).  They knew Benjamin hadn’t taken it but suspected (Genesis 43:18-23) that it had been placed there by the Egyptian’s (e.g., Joseph’s) servant to entrap them.  They had reasoned that yehôvâh was behind their difficulties with the Egyptian and that their iniquity was their injustice toward their younger brother Joseph (Genesis 42:21-23 Tanakh):

And they said one to another: ‘We are verily guilty (ʼâshêm, אשמים; Septuagint: ἐν ἁμαρτίᾳ) concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear (shâmaʽ, שמענו); therefore is this distress come upon us.’  And Reuben answered them, saying: ‘Spoke I not unto you, saying: Do not sin (châṭâʼ, תחטאו; Septuagint: ἀδικήσητε, a form of ἀδικέω) against the child; and ye would not hear (shâmaʽ, שמעתם)? therefore also, behold, his blood is required.’  And they knew not that Joseph understood (shâmaʽ, שמע) them; for the interpreter was between them.

They had not disobeyed a law: Thou shalt not sell thy brother into slavery.  But they had not dealt justly with their little brother, whether a tattletale, a braggart (Genesis 37:5-11) or a father’s favorite.  And I realize here that I am regarding iniquity (ʽâvôn) more like Jesus’ and Paul’s description of the flesh than like a sin, a missing of a mark.  What is born of the flesh (σαρκὸς, a form of σάρξ) is flesh (σάρξ), Jesus said, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.[9]  For when we were in the flesh (σαρκί, another form of σάρξ), Paul wrote believers in Rome, the sinful desires, aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.[10]  Paul continued (Romans 8:5-8 NET):

For those who live according to the flesh (σάρκα, another form of σάρξ) have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh (σαρκὸς, a form of σάρξ), but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit.  For the outlook of the flesh (σαρκὸς, a form of σάρξ) is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, because the outlook of the flesh (σαρκὸς, a form of σάρξ) is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so.  Those who are in the flesh (σαρκί, another form of σάρξ) cannot please (ἀρέσαι οὐ δύνανται) God.

The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, yehôvâh told Abraham, and their sin (chaṭṭâʼâh, וחטאתם; Septuagint: ἁμαρτίαι, another form of ἁμαρτία) so blatant that I must go down and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests.  If not, I want to know.[11]  Will you sweep away the godly along with the wicked? Abraham asked.  What if there are fifty godly people in the city?  Will you really wipe it out and not spare (nâsâh, תשׁא) the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it?[12]

In the Tanakh nâsâh was translated forgive rather than spare.  In the Septuagint it was translated ἀνήσεις (a form of ἀνίημι) which was translated go free in the NETS.  Abraham asked yehôvâh to bear the sin (chaṭṭâʼâh, וחטאתם) of the majority of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of fifty hypothetical godly (tsaddı̂yq, צדיקם; Septuagint: δίκαιοι, a form of δίκαιος; Tanakh, KJV, NETS: righteous) people who may or may not reside there, then forty-five, forty, thirty, twenty and ten.  And yehôvâh agreed to Abraham’s proposition: If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will forgive (nâsâh, ונשׁאתי; Septuagint: ἀφήσω, another form of ἀφίημι; NETS: I will forgive; KJV, NET: I will spare) all the place for their sake.[13]

I don’t mean to imply that forgive was a bad translation of nâsâh here.  I do intend to highlight the nature of this forgiveness as primarily forbearance on yehôvâh’s part, and to stress that it is only part, a very necessary part, of the forgiveness I hope for from Him.

Joseph’s brothers sought the same forbearance from Joseph after Jacob’s death: “What if Joseph bears a grudge and wants to repay us in full for all the harm we did to him?”[14]  So they sent word to Joseph, saying (Genesis 50:16, 17a NET):

“Your father gave these instructions before he died: ‘Tell Joseph this: Please forgive (nâsâh, שׁא; Septuagint: ἄφες, another form of ἀφίημι; Tanakh, KJV, NETS: forgive) the sin of your brothers and the wrong they did when they treated you so badly.’  Now please forgive (nâsâh, שׁא; Septuagint: δέξαι, a form of δέχομαι; Tanakh, KJV: forgive; NETS: accept) the sin of the servants of the God of your father.”

Though they asked for forbearance I think one could argue that they received so much more (Genesis 50:19-21 NET):

But Joseph answered them, “Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  As for you, you meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could preserve the lives of many people, as you can see this day.  So now, don’t be afraid.  I will provide for you and your little children.”  Then he consoled them and spoke kindly to them.

Pharoah asked for a similar forbearance: Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you!  So now, forgive (nâsâh, שׁא; Septuagint: προσδέξασθε, a form of προσδέχομαι; Tanakh, KJV: forgive; NETS: bear) my sin this time only, and pray to the Lord your God that he would only take this death away from me.”[15]

Moses extended his staff over the land of Egypt, and then the Lord brought an east wind on the land all that day and all night.  The morning came, and the east wind had brought up (nâsâh, נשׁא) the locusts![16]  The death (mâveth, המות) Pharaoh asked Moses to pray that yehôvâh would takeaway was those locusts: Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, and the Lord turned a very strong west wind, and it picked up (nâsâh, וישׁא) the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea.  Not one locust remained in all the territory of Egypt.[17]

No matter what I think of Cain’s spiritual competence, The Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) would speak to Moses face to face, the way a person speaks to a friend.[18]  Moses wrote the words we read in Genesis.  With the first occurrences of both ʽâvôn and nâsâh a son of Adam spoke words that may legitimately be translated, “my iniquity is greater than I can bear.”[19]  That sounds like something I can work with as I continue this study.

I found no occurrence of ʽâbar in this section (Genesis 1:1 – Exodus 20:5) that was, or should have been, translated forgive (see table below).

Form of nâsâh Reference KJV NET Septuagint
מנשׁא Genesis 4:13 …My punishment is greater than I can bear. My punishment is too great to endure! ἀφεθῆναί, a form of ἀφίημι
וישׁאו Genesis 7:17 …and the waters increased, and bare up the ark… As the waters increased, they lifted the ark… ἐπῆρεν, a form of ἐπαίρω
Genesis 37:25 and they lifted up their eyes and looked… …they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites… ἀναβλέψαντες, a form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 42:26 And they laded their asses with the corn… So they loaded their grain on their donkeys… ἐπιθέντες, a form of ἐπιτίθημι
Genesis 46:5 …and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father… …and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob… ἀνέλαβον, a form of ἀναλαμβάνω
Genesis 50:13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him… His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him… ἀνέλαβον, a form of ἀναλαμβάνω
Exodus 14:10 …the children of Israel lifted up their eyes… Not translated ἀναβλέψαντες, a form of ἀναβλέπω
נשׁא Genesis 13:6 And the land was not able to bear them… But the land could not support them… ἐχώρει, a form of χωρέω
Exodus 10:13 …the east wind brought the locusts. …the east wind had brought up the locusts! ἀνέλαβεν, another form of ἀναλαμβάνω
שׁא Genesis 13:14 Lift up now thine eyes… Not translated ἀναβλέψας, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow… Therefore, take your weapons – your quiver and your bow… λαβὲ, a form of λαμβάνω
Genesis 31:12 Lift up now thine eyes, and see… Not translated ἀνάβλεψον, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 50:17 Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren… Please forgive the sin of your brothers… ἄφες, another form of ἀφίημι
Genesis 50:17 forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. Now please forgive the sin of the servants of the God of your father. δέξαι, a form of δέχομαι
Exodus 10:17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once… So now, forgive my sin this time only… προσδέξασθε, a form of προσδέχομαι
שׁאי Genesis 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand… Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand… λαβὲ, a form of λαμβάνω
ישׁא Genesis 32:20 …peradventure he will accept of me. Perhaps he will accept me. προσδέξεται, another form of προσδέχομαι
Genesis 40:13 …within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head… Not translated μνησθήσεται, a form of μιμνήσκω
Genesis 40:19 …within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head… Not translated ἀφελεῖ, a form of ἀφαιρέω
וישׁא Genesis 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain… Lot looked up and saw the whole region… ἐπάρας, a form of ἐπαίρω
Genesis 18:2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men… Abraham looked up and saw three men… ἀναβλέψας, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes… Not translated ἀναβλέψας, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram… Abraham looked up and saw behind him a ram… ἀναβλέψας, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 24:63 and he lifted up his eyes, and saw… Not translated ἀναβλέψας, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 27:38 And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. Not translated ἀνεβόησεν, a form of ἀναβοάω
Genesis 29:1[20] Then Jacob went on his journey… So Jacob moved on… ἐξάρας, a form of ἐξαίρω
Genesis 29:11 and lifted up his voice, and wept. Not translated βοήσας, a form of βοάω
Genesis 31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels… So Jacob immediately put his children and his wives on the camels. ἔλαβεν, another form of λαμβάνω
Genesis 33:1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked… Jacob looked up and saw that Esau was… ἀναβλέψας, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 33:5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children… When Esau looked up and saw the women and the children… ἀναβλέψας, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 40:20 and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker… He “lifted up” the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief… ἐμνήσθη, another form of μιμνήσκω
Genesis 43:29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin… When Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin… ἀναβλέψας, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 43:34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him… He gave them portions of the food set before him… ἦραν, a form of αἴρω
Exodus 10:19 which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea… and it picked up the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. ἀνέλαβεν, a form of ἀναλαμβάνω
Exodus 12:34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened… So the people took their dough before the yeast was added… ἀνέλαβεν, a form of ἀναλαμβάνω
תשׁא Genesis 18:24 …and not spare the place for the fifty righteous… …and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty godly people… ἀνήσεις, a form of ἀνίημι
שׁאת Genesis 44:1 …with food, as much as they can carry …as much food as they can carry ἆραι, another form of αἴρω
ותשׁא Genesis 21:16 and lift up her voice, and wept. Not translated ἀναβοῆσαν, another form of ἀναβοάω
Genesis 24:64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac… Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac. ἀναβλέψασα, another form of ἀναβλέπω
Genesis 31:10 that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream… Not translated Not translated

εἶδον, a form of ὁράω

Genesis 39:7 …that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph… …his master’s wife took notice of Joseph… ἐπέβαλεν, a form of ἐπιβάλλω
ונשׁאו Exodus 18:22 …and they shall bear the burden with thee. …and they will bear the burden with you. κουφιοῦσιν, a form of κουφίζω
ונשׁאתי Genesis 18:26 then I will spare all the place for their sakes. I will spare the whole place for their sake. ἀφήσω, another form of ἀφίημι
ונשׁאתני Genesis 47:30 and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace… carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place. ἀρεῖς, another form of αἴρω
ונשׁאתם Genesis 45:19 and bring your father, and come. Bring your father and come. ἀναλαβόντες, another form of ἀναλαμβάνω
נשׁאת Genesis 45:23 …ten she asses laden with corn… …ten female donkeys loaded with grain… αἰρούσας, another form of αἴρω
נשׁאתי Genesis 19:21 I have accepted thee concerning this thing also… I will grant this request too and will not overthrow the town you mentioned. ἐθαύμασά, a form of θαυμάζω
Exodus 6:8[21] …the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham… I will bring you to the land I swore to give to Abraham… ἐξέτεινα τὴν χεῖρά μου[22]
נשׁאים Genesis 37:25 …with their camels bearing spicery… Their camels were carrying spices… ἔγεμον, a form of γέμω
Genesis 45:23 …ten asses laden with the good things… …ten donkeys loaded with the best products… αἴροντας, another form of αἴρω
לשׁאת Genesis 36:7 …and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them… …the land where they had settled was not able to support them… φέρειν, a form of φέρω
Genesis 45:27 …the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him… …the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him… ἀναλαβεῖν, another form of ἀναλαμβάνω
Genesis 46:5 …the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. …the wagons that Pharaoh had sent along to transport him. ἀνέλαβον, another form of ἀναλαμβάνω
ואשׁא Exodus 19:4 and how I bare you on eagles’ wings… and how I lifted you on eagles’ wings… ἀνέλαβον, another form of ἀναλαμβάνω

 

Form of ʽâvôn Reference KJV NET Septuagint
עוני Genesis 4:13 My punishment is greater than I can bear. My punishment is too great to endure! αἰτία[23]
עון Genesis 15:16 …for the iniquity of the Amorites is not…[24] …for the sin of the Amorites has not yet… ἁμαρτίαι, a form of ἁμαρτία
Genesis 44:16 …found out the iniquity of thy servants… …God has exposed the sin of your servants! ἀδικίαν, a form of ἀδικία
Exodus 20:5 …visiting[25] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children… …responding to the transgression of fathers… ἁμαρτίας, a form of ἁμαρτία
בעון Genesis 19:15 …be consumed in the iniquity of the city. …will be destroyed when the city is judged! ἀνομίαις, a form of ἀνομία
Form of ʽâbar Reference KJV NET Septuagint
עבר Genesis 15:17 …a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. …a flaming torch passed between the animal parts. διῆλθον, a form of διέρχομαι
Genesis 23:16 current money with the merchant. according to the standard measurement at the time. δοκίμου, a form of δόκιμος
Genesis 32:31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him… The sun rose over him as he crossed over Penuel… παρῆλθεν, a form of παρέρχομαι
Genesis 33:3 And he passed over before them… But Jacob himself went on ahead of them… προῆλθεν, a form of προέρχομαι
Exodus 17:5 Go on before the people… Go over before the people… προπορεύου, a form of προπορεύομαι
יעבר Genesis 33:14 Let my Lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: Let my lord go on ahead of his servant. προελθέτω, another form of προέρχομαι
Exodus 15:16 …till thy people pass over, O LORD… …until your people pass by, O Lord… παρέλθῃ, another form of παρέρχομαι
…till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. …until the people whom you have bought pass by. παρέλθῃ, another form of παρέρχομαι
עברו Genesis 32:16 Pass over before me… Pass over before me… προπορεύεσθε, a form of προπορεύομαι
עברתי Genesis 32:10 …I passed over this Jordan… I crossed the Jordan… διέβην, a form of διαβαίνω
עברתם Genesis 18:5 …for therefore are ye come to your servant. …since you have passed by your servant’s home. ἐξεκλίνατε, a form of ἐκκλίνω
ועבר Exodus 12:23[26] For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians… For the Lord will pass through to strike Egypt… παρελεύσεται, another form of παρέρχομαι
ויעבר Genesis 8:1 and God made a wind to pass over the earth… God caused a wind to blow over the earth… Not translated

ἐπὶ

Genesis 12:6 And Abram passed through the land… Abram traveled through the land… διώδευσεν, a form of διοδεύω
Genesis 31:21 and passed over the river… He quickly crossed the Euphrates River… διέβη, another form of διαβαίνω
Genesis 32:22 and passed over the ford Jabbok. and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. διέβη, another form of διαβαίνω
Genesis 32:23 and sent over that he had. Not translated διεβίβασεν,[27] a form of διαβιβάζω[28]
Genesis 41:46 and went throughout all the land of Egypt. and was in charge of all the land of Egypt. διῆλθεν, another form of διέρχομαι
ויעברו Genesis 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen… So when the Midianite merchants passed by παρεπορεύοντο, a form of παραπορεύομαι
Genesis 50:4 And when the days of his mourning were past When the days of mourning had passed παρῆλθον, another form of παρέρχομαι
ויעברם Genesis 32:23 and sent them over the brook… and sent them across the stream… διέβη, another form of διαβαίνω
ועברתי Exodus 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt… I will pass through the land of Egypt… διελεύσομαι, another form of διέρχομαι
תעבר Genesis 18:3 pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: …do not pass by and leave your servant. παρέλθῃς, another form[29] of παρέρχομαι
Genesis 31:52 …thou shalt not pass over this heap… …you will not pass beyond this pile… διαβῇς, another form of διαβαίνω
ותעבר Genesis 32:21 So went the present over before him… So the gifts were sent on ahead of him… παρεπορεύοντο, a form of παραπορεύομαι
והעברת Exodus 13:12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix… then you must give over to the Lord the first offspring… ἀφελεῖς, a form of ἀφαιρέω
העביר Genesis 47:21 he removed them to cities from one end… Not translated κατεδουλώσατο, a form of καταδουλόω
תעברו Genesis 18:5 …after that ye shall pass on: After that you may be on your way. παρελεύσεσθε, another form of παρέρχομαι
אעבר Genesis 30:32 I will pass through all thy flock to day… Let me walk among all your flocks today… παρελθάτω, another form of παρέρχομαι
Genesis 31:52 …I will not pass over this heap… …I will not pass beyond this pile… διαβῶ, another form of διαβαίνω

 

[1] Exodus 12:34 (Tanakh)

[2] Exodus 6:8 (Tanakh)

[3] Genesis 4:13 (Tanakh, KJV)

[4] Genesis 4:13 (NETS)

[5] Romans 7:7b (NET)

[6] Romans 7:8a (NET)

[7] Romans 5:13 (NET)

[8] Genesis 44:16b (Tanakh)

[9] John 3:6 (NET)

[10] Romans 7:5 (NET)

[11] Genesis 18:20, 21 (NET)

[12] Genesis 18:23, 24 (NET)

[13] Genesis 18:26 (Tanakh)

[14] Genesis 50:15b (NET)

[15] Exodus 10:16, 17 (NET)

[16] Exodus 10:13 (NET)

[17] Exodus 10:18, 19 (NET)

[18] Exodus 33:11a (NET)

[19] I’ve phrased this in a way that scarcely disguises my assumption, based on an argument I wouldn’t know how to defend, that Hebrew was not the original language Cain spoke with yehôvâh.

[20] “And Iakob, lifting up his feet…” Genesis 29:1 (NETS)

[21]I lifted up My hand” Tanakh

[22] I stretched out my hand  Exodus 6:8 (NETS)

[23] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/ait.html#aitia

[24] Septuagint: ἀναπεπλήρωνται, a form of ἀναπληρόω

[25] Septuagint: ἀποδιδοὺς, a form of ἀποδίδωμι

[26] The Hebrew for Passover is pâsach (ופסח) rather than a form of ʽâbar but in Greek in the Septuagint both words are παρελεύσεται, another form of παρέρχομαι, though Exodus 12:12 was translated διελεύσομαι, another form of διέρχομαι.

[27] http://www.greekdoc.com/lexicon/diab.html#diabibazw

[28] http://en.bab.la/dictionary/greek-english/%CE%B4%CE%B9%CE%B1%CE%B2%CE%B9%CE%B2%CE%AC%CE%B6%CF%89

[29] http://studybible.info/LXX_WH/Genesis%2018:3

To Make Holy, Part 3

When I began to study the Bible I thought Paul wrote Hebrews.[1]  The more I studied, the more I began to know Paul’s other writings, the more I began to suspect that Paul did not write Hebrews.  Someone who knew Paul and his writings must have written it.  But I thought that Romans was the literary parent and Hebrews the literary child until Andrew Schlafly’s entry on Conservapedia—“Mystery: Did Jesus Write the Epistle to the Hebrews?”—flipped me out of the rut I was in.

It’s probably more prudent to say that the Holy Spirit flipped me out of my rut with Mr. Schlafly’s writing, but I want to be sure to share my gratitude with him since I reject his main point: “Jesus spent 40 days on Earth between the Resurrection and the Ascension, and it is implausible that He did not continue His ministry in an effective way.  Writing (or distributing) an Epistle is most plausible activity, given what had transpired.”[2]  After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, the writer of Hebrews began, in these last days he has spoken to us in a son[3]

The words to us aren’t an artifact of translating Greek to English.  It is ἡμῖν penned by the author.  Did Jesus write that God spoke to Jesus in a sonThe Son [who] is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and [who] sustains all things by his powerful word?[4]  The writer of Hebrews continued, so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.[5]  Did Jesus write that He was on earth writing Hebrews and sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high simultaneously?  Or did He mean that He was someone distinct from this mysterious Son?  “Sit on my right” the Septuagint reads.  The author of Hebrews changed κάθου (a form of κάθημαι; second person present tense) to ἐκάθισεν (a form of καθίζω; third person past tense).

All in all it seems simpler to conclude that Jesus did not write Hebrews personally and that it was written after his ascension (Acts 1:9-11).  But what has grabbed me and won’t let go is Mr. Schlafly’s insight: “this sermon appears identical to the sermon given by Jesus on the road to Emmaus…”[6]  I have carped at Cleopas and the other disciple[7] almost every time I’ve read their story, “Don’t tell me how you felt.  Who cares how you felt!?  Tell me what He said!”  I was utterly unable to hear Hebrews as Jesus’ teaching on the Emmaus road because I was stuck thinking it was a late development dependent upon Paul’s theology in Romans.

This “Epistle was written before any physical persecution of the disciples: ‘In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.’ (12:4) Stephen was martyred around A.D. 37, merely a few years after the Crucifixion of Jesus, so this Epistle was written before then.”[8]  Was Hebrews one of the scrolls or parchments Paul prized?  Was it the literary parent of Romans?

I’ll approach the next occurrence of ἁγιάσῃ (a form of ἁγιάζω) with this possibility in mind, not hearing the scratching of Jesus’ pen perhaps, but listening for the teaching that was foremost in his mind during the forty days between his resurrection and ascension (Hebrews 13:9-16 NET):

Do not be carried away by all sorts of strange teachings.  For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not ritual meals, which have never benefited those who participated in them.  We have an altar that those who serve in the tabernacle have no right to eat from.  For the bodies of those animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as an offering for sin are burned outside the camp.  Therefore, to sanctify (ἁγιάσῃ, a form of ἁγιάζω) the people by his own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp (πύλης; literally, gate).  We must go out to him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse he experienced.  For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come (Revelation 21:9-27).  Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, acknowledging his name.  And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.

To sanctify the people by his own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp.  We must go out to him, then, outside (ἔξω) the camp (παρεμβολῆς, a form of παρεμβολή)…  The anonymous author of “Sacrifice Outside the Camp” concluded: “So just as Christ went outside the camp, the readers are also to go outside the camp and thus bear reproach by abandoning the established fellowship and ordinances of Judaism.”  That’s what I thought, too.  In fact, I thought that would be the point of this essay when I thought Hebrews was a late development from the mind of some unknown disciple.  Considering Hebrews as Jesus’ teaching during the forty days between his resurrection and ascension pushes me harder.

I assume that going out to Jesus, outside the camp, is a result of being sanctified by his own blood as opposed to its cause, though the NET translation (We must go out) of ἐξερχώμεθα (a form of ἐξέρχομαι; KJV: Let us go forth) sounds more like a prerequisite.  Are we to go outside the Israelite camp only to join the Roman Catholic camp, the Greek Orthodox camp, the Lutheran camp, the Baptist camp, the Presbyterian camp, the Pentecostal camp or the name-your-favorite-religion camp?  It got me thinking about yehôvâh.

He wasn’t a big fan of law or religion, at least it wasn’t his first choice.  Yet, when he got down to it He spent a good deal of verbiage establishing a legal/religious category called outside (chûts, מחוץ) the camp (machăneh, למחנה), ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς in the Septuagint.  It caused me to wonder if going outside the camp (see table below) meant anything more than trading in one legal/religious system for another.

I thought outside the camp was equivalent to not the camp.  But outside the camp was as much a part of the Israelite camp as the Holy of Holies.  It moved with Israel in total (or in part with its army).  It was a place of execution (Leviticus 24:14, 23; Numbers 15:36).  Or do you not know, Paul wrote the Romans, that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.[9]

It was a place for the unclean (Leviticus 13:46; 14:3), including every leper, everyone who has a discharge (Deuteronomy 23:10), and whoever becomes defiled by a corpse[10] (Numbers 5:3, 4).  Those who are well don’t need a physician, Jesus answered the Pharisees, but those who are sick do.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.[11]

Latrines were there outside the camp (Deuteronomy 23:12).  If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials (σαρκί, a form of σάρξ), I have more, Paul wrote believers in Philippi: I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews.  I lived according to the law as a Pharisee.  In my zeal for God I persecuted the church.  According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless.  But these assets I have come to regard as liabilities because of Christ.  More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness – a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ’s faithfulness.  My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.[12]

The bodies of Nadab and Abihu were carried off there (Leviticus 10:4, 5).  In him you also were circumcised, Paul wrote the Colossians, not, however, with a circumcision performed by human hands, but by the removal of the fleshly body, that is, through the circumcision done by Christ.  Having been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your faith in the power of God who raised him from the dead.  And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions.  He has destroyed what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness expressed in decrees opposed to us.  He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross.[13]

But it was not a lawless place (Leviticus 17:3-5 NET).

Blood guilt will be accounted to any man from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox or a lamb or a goat inside the camp or outside the camp, but has not brought it to the entrance of the Meeting Tent to present it as an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord.  He has shed blood, so that man will be cut off from the midst of his people.  This is so that the Israelites will bring their sacrifices that they are sacrificing in the open field to the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent to the priest and sacrifice them there as peace offering sacrifices to the Lord.

Do we then nullify the law through faith?  Absolutely not!  Instead we uphold the law.[14]  For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh.  By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.[15]  Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  For the commandments,Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,(and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this,Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor.  Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.[16]

It was a place of purification.  The red heifer was slaughtered outside the camp (Numbers 19:3) and its ashes were kept there (Numbers 19:9).  They must be kept for the community of the Israelites for use in the water of purification – it is a purification for sin.[17]  It was a way station for soldiers returning from battle (Numbers 31:19), the spoils of war (Numbers 31:11-13) and Rahab, her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her[18] (Joshua 6:23).  Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, her father’s family, and all who belonged to her.  She lives in Israel (NET note 46 Heb “in the midst of Israel”) to this very day because she hid the messengers Joshua sent to spy on Jericho.[19]

For the grace of God has appeared, Paul wrote Titus, bringing salvation to all people.  It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good.[20]

It was above all else the place where the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, the way a person speaks to a friend[21] and where Joshua lived (Exodus 33:7-11 NET):

Moses took the tent and pitched it outside the camp, at a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting.  Anyone seeking the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp.

And when Moses went out to the tent, all the people would get up and stand at the entrance to their tents and watch Moses until he entered the tent.  And whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses.  When all the people would see the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people, each one at the entrance of his own tent, would rise and worship.  The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, the way a person speaks to a friend.  Then Moses would return to the camp, but his servant, Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the tent.

Just as the Father has loved me, Jesus said, I have also loved you; remain in my love.  If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete.  My commandment is this – to love one another just as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing.  But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.  This I command you – to love one another.[22]

More than a geographical location or an institutional affiliation to go to Jesus outside the camp seems like a state of the believing heart and mind.  The Spirit is the one who gives life, Jesus said, human nature is of no help!  The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.[23]  To go to Jesus outside the camp is integrally associated with sanctification, but doesn’t appear to be something one does once, rather continually, maybe even progressively until like Joshua one resides there permanently.  Jesus said (John 14:23-26 NET):

If anyone loves me, he will obey (τηρήσει, a form of τηρέω) my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him.  The person who does not love me does not obey (τηρεῖ, another form of τηρέω) my words.  And the word you hear (ἀκούετε, a form of ἀκούω) is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.  I have spoken these things while staying with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.

 

Reference NET Hebrew – outside Hebrew – the camp Septuagint
Exodus 29:14 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Exodus 33:7 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Exodus 33:7 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 4:12 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 4:21 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 6:11 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 8:17 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 9:11 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 10:4 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 10:5 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 13:46 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 14:3 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 16:27 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 17:3 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 24:14 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Leviticus 24:23 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Numbers 5:3 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Numbers 5:4 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Numbers 15:35 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה Both are in verse 36
Numbers 15:36 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Numbers 19:3 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Numbers 19:9 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Numbers 31:13 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Numbers 31:19 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Deuteronomy 23:10 he must leave the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Deuteronomy 23:12 outside the camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς
Joshua 6:23 outside the…camp מחוץ למחנה ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς

[1] “As early as the second century, this treatise, which is of great rhetorical power and force in its admonition to faithful pilgrimage under Christ’s leadership, bore the title ‘To the Hebrews.’  It was assumed to be directed to Jewish Christians.  Usually Hebrews was attached in Greek manuscripts to the collection of letters by Paul… As early as the end of the second century, the church of Alexandria in Egypt accepted Hebrews as a letter of Paul, and that became the view commonly held in the East.  Pauline authorship was contested in the West into the fourth century, but then accepted.  In the sixteenth century, doubts about that position were again raised, and the modern consensus is that the letter was not written by Paul.” THE LETTER TO THE HEBREWS

[2] Andrew Schlafly, “Mystery: Did Jesus Write the Epistle to the Hebrews?,” Conservapedia

[3] Hebrews 1:1, 2a (NET)

[4] Hebrews 1:3a (NET)

[5] Hebrews 1:3b (NET)

[6] Andrew Schlafly, “Mystery: Did Jesus Write the Epistle to the Hebrews?,” Conservapedia

[7] His wife, my mother speculates, as do others.  “Would Cleopas leave her in Jerusalem?”

[8] Andrew Schlafly, “Mystery: Did Jesus Write the Epistle to the Hebrews?,” Conservapedia

[9] Romans 6:3, 4 (NET)

[10] Numbers 5:2 (NET)

[11] Luke 5:31, 32 (NET)

[12] Philippians 3:4b-11 (NET)

[13] Colossians 2:11-14 (NET)

[14] Romans 3:31 (NET)

[15] Romans 8:3, 4 (NET)

[16] Romans 13:8-10 (NET)

[17] Numbers 19:9b (NET)

[18] Joshua 6:23a (NET)

[19] Joshua 6:25 (NET)

[20] Titus 2:11-14 (NET)

[21] Exodus 33:11a (NET)

[22] John 15:9-17 (NET)

[23] John 6:63 (NET)

Fear – Deuteronomy, Part 10

“Because you obeyed (shâmaʽ, שמעת; Septuagint: ἤκουσας, a form of ἀκούω) your wife, the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים) said to Adam, and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground thanks to you; in painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.”[1]

The Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים) had commanded Adam: “You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.”[2]  Eve saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, so she took some of its fruit and ate it.[3]  When she brought some to Adam she brought not only her recommendation but empirical evidence that she had both touched it and eaten it and had not died.

Adam preferred the voice of his wife to the voice of yehôvâh.  When Jacob preferred the beautiful Rachel over Leah the Lord saw that Leah was unloved (śânêʼ).[4]  In other words Adam hated the voice of God relative to that of his wife, the voice of God was unloved.  For the sake of argument I’ll describe Adam’s iniquity as defiance: Adam was not deceived,[5] Paul assured Timothy.

Adam’s defiance visited upon Cain became a murderous rage: Cain became very angryCain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”  While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.[6]  Cain’s murderous rage combined with the memory of the mercy yehôvâh showed him became a defiant self-righteousness in his descendant Lamech, perhaps even incipient tribal law (Genesis 4:23, 24 NET):

Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah!  Listen (shâmaʽ, שמען; Septuagint: ἀκούσατέ, another form of ἀκούω) to me!  You wives of Lamech, hear my words!  I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for hurting me.  If Cain is to be avenged seven times as much, then Lamech seventy-seven times!”

The upshot of this relatively unhindered visiting of fathers’ iniquity upon the sons was: The earth was ruined in the sight of God; the earth was filled with violence.[7]  So God said to Noah, “I have decided that all living creatures must die, for the earth is filled with violence because of them.”[8]

I began this portion of my study of fear to understand how the translators of the NET “arrived at I punish as a translation of the Hebrew word pâqad (פקד)” in Deuteronomy 5:9.  If punishment could arrest this relatively unhindered visiting of fathers’ iniquity upon the sons before it culminated in a death sentence for all living creatures it would be a welcome relief.  This brings me to the third occurrence of ואפקד (pâqad) translated punish or punishment (and I have brought the punishment) in the NET (Leviticus 18:25 NET):

Therefore the land has become unclean and I have brought the punishment for its iniquity upon it, so that the land has vomited out its inhabitants.

This was not a reference to the violence of the antediluvian world but to the worship/sexual practices of the inhabitants of Canaan before Israel entered the promised land.  But first I need to consider whether the visiting of the fathers’ iniquity upon the sons was quite as unhindered as I have imagined it.

I was born and raised in the latter half of the twentieth century near the northern edge of the Bible belt in the United States of America.  I am a hardcore materialist with some Jesus jelly smeared on top.  I acknowledge this to confess the iniquity of my fathers, not to blame them or excuse myself, but to begin to claim my freedom from my own acceptance of that iniquity as my truth.

The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground (ʼădâmâh)![9] yehôvâh told Cain.  I hear this as a poetic reference to yehôvâh’s omniscience (Psalm 139:1-12).  These days I’m not unwilling to take it literally, that Abel’s blood had a voice that yehôvâh could hear crying out from the ground, but it’s not natural to me.  I am the dark side of, Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.[10]  Still, opening myself to its possibility gives me a different perspective.

So now, you are banished (ʼârar, ארור) from the ground (ʼădâmâh, האדמה: NET footnote 28): Heb “cursed are you from the ground”), yehôvâh continued, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.  When you try to cultivate the ground (ʼădâmâh, האדמה) it will no longer yield its best for you.  You will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.[11]  To Adam He had already said, cursed (ʼârar, ארורה) is the ground (ʼădâmâh, האדמה) thanks to you; in painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, but you will eat the grain of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat food until you return to the ground (ʼădâmâh, האדמה), for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you will return.[12]

I can begin to accept these as revelation of the very nature of the ground created by a loving, gracious and holy God, how the earth itself responds to its sinful inhabitants, rather than as post hoc punishments invented in the moment.  And I can begin to see the nature of the earth, the ground we live on, as a deterrent to the unhindered visiting of the fathers’ iniquity upon the sons.

Cain couldn’t supply himself with food by his own cultivation of the ground; the ground would no longer yield its best for him.  Cain built a city, a place where people could live in community and trade with one another for things they all needed.  Did he honor those still righteous enough to cultivate the ground that would not yield its best to him?  Did he learn from them?

The text doesn’t say.  It says, The earth (ʼerets, הארץ) was ruined in the sight of God; the earth (ʼerets, הארץ) was filled with violence.  If I accept that the blood of victims has a voice that yehôvâh can hear crying out from the ground, crying out to Him to act, and multiply that by the increase of population over the many generations I can at least imagine the cacophony in his ears and begin to appreciate his choices (Genesis 6:6, 7 NET):

The Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) regretted that he had made humankind on the earth (ʼerets, בארץ), and he was highly offended.  So the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) said, “I will wipe humankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth (ʼădâmâh, האדמה) – everything from humankind to animals, including creatures that move on the ground and birds of the air, for I regret that I have made them.”

The religious mind must sit quietly here to meditate that at this moment in history yehôvâh preferred to destroy all life (air and ground) but that which could be saved in a boat and to start over again rather than to establish a law or a religion (aside from the rudiments of animal sacrifice handed down from Adam, Cain and Abel).  One might say that yehôvâh hated law and religion, law and religion were unloved relative to starting over again with a remnant of the former world.  But after the flood (Genesis 8:20-22 NET):

Noah built an altar to the Lord (yehôvâh, ליהוה).  He then took some of every kind of clean animal and clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  And the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) smelled the soothing aroma and (yehôvâh, יהוה) said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground (ʼădâmâh, האדמה) because of humankind, even though the inclination of their minds is evil from childhood on.  I will never again destroy everything that lives, as I have just done.  While the earth continues to exist, planting time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.”

God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים) spoke one law to address violence, “Whoever sheds human blood, by other humans must his blood be shed; for in God’s image God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים) has made humankind”[13] and one revised dietary law: Everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea are under your authority.  You may eat any moving thing that lives.  As I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.[14]  I assume that the trees of life and of the knowledge of good and evil did not survive the flood and had become a nonissue (Genesis 3:22).  But in Leviticus yehôvâh was establishing both a law and a religion in clear contrast to those originated by men.  Now that will have to wait for another essay.

In my first draft of this essay I had hoped to avoid Noah’s curse: Cursed (ʼârar, ארור; Septuagint: ἐπικατάρατος) be Canaan![15]  But I couldn’t get away with it.  And I have to admit it is more germane than I want it to be.  If Noah’s story (Genesis 9:20-27) were about almost anyone else we would take it simply as James’ source text (James 3:7-12 NET):

For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind.  But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse (καταρώμεθα, a form of καταράομαι) people made in God’s image.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing (κατάρα).  These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.  A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it?  Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs?  Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water.

But it was Noah, the heir of the world, who spoke this curse and this blessing so we are taught: “God’s blessing is going to rest directly on Shem, indirectly on Japheth, and His cursing is going to rest upon Ham’s son Canaan.”[16]  “So Ham was cursed and Shem and Japheth were blessed in cooperative unity.  The problem which must arise from the cursing of Canaan is this: Why did God curse Canaan for the sin of Ham?  Beyond this, why did God curse the Canaanites, a nation, for the sin of one man?”[17]  The text is fairly clear that Noah not God spoke both the curse and the blessing.  To this point Moses had been very explicit when ʼĕlôhı̂ym or yehôvâh spoke.  Why do we want to believe that Noah spoke for Him here?

Noah was a godly man; he was blameless (tâmı̂ym, תמים; Septuagint: τέλειος) among his contemporaries.  He walked with God.[18]  Perhaps we want tâmı̂ym to be an absolute term.  But this was not Paul writing, According to the righteousness stipulated in the law [as understood by first century Pharisees] I was blameless (ἄμεμπτος).[19]  Noah was blameless (KJV: perfect) among his contemporaries[20] (dôr, בדרתיו; Septuagint: γενεᾷ), those condemned to death for their violence: Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time.[21]  About all one can say for sure about Noah is that he wasn’t a murderer and perhaps not every inclination of the thoughts of [his mind] was only evil all the time.

God said to Noah, Make for yourself an ark of cypress wood.  Make rooms in the ark, and cover it with pitch inside and out.[22]  And Noah did all that God commanded him – he did indeed.[23]  Through his faithfulness Noah was declared a herald of righteousness: and if [God] did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, when God brought a flood on an ungodly worldthen the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials, and to reserve the unrighteous for punishment at the day of judgment[24]  By faith Noah, when he was warned about things not yet seen, with reverent regard constructed an ark for the deliverance of his family.  Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.[25]

But Noah found favor (chên, חן; Septuagint: χάριν) in the sight of the Lord.[26]  As followers of Jesus it is more prudent to believe that Noah’s faithfulness was on account of yehôvâh’s grace rather than due to some inherent quality of Noah’s: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.[27]  There is no one righteous, not even one[28] [i.e., in and of himself] there is no one who shows kindness, not even one,[29] Paul quoted the Psalm of David (Psalm 14:2, 3 Tanakh):

The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Jesus’ assessment of Noah and of the entire Old Testament is very helpful here: Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’[30]  Noah didn’t miraculously escape the corruption of the flesh of Adam.  Noah didn’t speak for God unless the text had said that Noah spoke the word of God.

Noah’s “words came to pass, so we believe he was inspired by God.”[31]  I know of no place in Scripture where it is written, “this took place to fulfill Noah’s prophecy.”  Generations of Bible expositors would surely have quoted it if they had found it, so the contention that Noah’s curse and blessing “came to pass” is in the eye of the beholder.

“The act of Ham could not go unpunished.  In the curse of Noah upon Canaan, he was not punishing him personally for something his father Ham had done.  The words of Noah refer not to Canaan himself, but to the nation that would come from him…Though we are not told the exact sin of Ham, we do know that it was reprehensible enough for God to curse the line of his son Canaan.  The judgment was not directed to Canaan personally but rather to his descendants.”[32]  As prophecies go, then—and the Scriptures do not record that Canaan himself was ever enslaved to his brothers—one need not fear Noah as a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:21, 22 NET):

“Now if you say to yourselves, ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the Lord?’ – whenever a prophet speaks in my name and the prediction is not fulfilled, then I have not spoken it; the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.”

“Noah’s words did come to pass in the future, as we read that many of Canaan’s descendants were either killed or put under tribute by Israel (descendants of Shem) during the times of Joshua and the Judges, and later by King Solomon.”  God’s words will come to pass but the simple fact that a man’s words come to pass doesn’t make them God’s words (Deuteronomy 13:1-4 NET):

Suppose a prophet or one who foretells by dreams should appear among you and show you a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder should come to pass concerning what he said to you, namely, “Let us follow other gods” – gods whom you have not previously known – “and let us serve them.”  You must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer, for the Lord your God will be testing you to see if you love him with all your mind and being.  You must follow the Lord your God and revere only him; and you must observe his commandments, obey him, serve him, and remain loyal to him.

I’m not accusing Noah of being a false prophet.  I’m not accusing Noah of being any kind of prophet at all.  If I’m accusing Noah of anything it is that he spoke angrily, self-righteously, with a hangover.  But what I must believe about God to believe that He cursed a nation of people for something a man did many generations before those people were even born is a very different god than the One I am knowing through the Scriptures.

I concede that one who believes this is God because “many of Canaan’s descendants were either killed or put under tribute by Israel (descendants of Shem) during the times of Joshua and the Judges, and later by King Solomon” may also believe that He will punish the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin of the fathers who reject (śânêʼ, לשׁנאי) me[33]  Still, I hope that one may be willing to concede that Noah’s curse was not the love that does no wrong to a neighbor, not the love that is the fulfillment of the law.[34]

While I don’t believe that Noah’s curse, or his blessing, were the immutable Word of God I do think his curse is a terrifying example of God visiting Noah’s iniquity upon Canaan, terrifying precisely because the effect of Noah’s iniquity[35] has seemed so sure and certain that so many have assumed it was divine prophecy.  We’re not told how Canaan reacted to Noah’s curse.  I know how I would react to Noah’s “godliness,” “blamelessness,” and his “walk” with God unless I were willing to forgive him for his drunken rant.  And I know that Canaan’s descendants practiced a law and religion inimical to yehôvâh.

I’ll return to Leviticus 18 in another essay.

Fear – Deuteronomy, Part 11

Back to To Make Holy, Part 3

[1] Genesis 3:17 (NET)

[2] Genesis 2:16, 17 (NET)

[3] Genesis 3:6a (NET)

[4] Genesis 29:31a (NET)

[5] 1 Timothy 2:14a (NET)

[6] Genesis 4:5b, 8 (NET)

[7] Genesis 6:11 (NET)

[8] Genesis 6:13a (NET)

[9] Genesis 4:10b (NET)

[10] Proverbs 22:6 (NET)

[11] Genesis 4:11, 12 (NET)

[12] Genesis 3:17b-19 (NET)

[13] Genesis 9:6 (NET)

[14] Genesis 9:2b, 3 (NET)

[15] Genesis 9:25a (NET)

[16] J. Ligon Duncan, “The Cursing of Canaan,” Sermon on Genesis 9:18-29, November 22, 1998, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

[17] Bob Deffinbaugh, “10. The Nakedness of Noah and the Cursing of Canaan (Genesis 9:18-10:32),” Bible.org

[18] Genesis 6:9b (NET)

[19] Philippians 3:6b (NET)

[20] NET note 32: Heb “Noah was a godly man, blameless in his generations.” The singular “generation” can refer to one’s contemporaries, i.e., those living at a particular point in time. The plural “generations” can refer to successive generations in the past or the future. Here, where it is qualified by “his” (i.e., Noah’s), it refers to Noah’s contemporaries, comprised of the preceding generation (his father’s generation), those of Noah’s generation, and the next generation (those the same age as his children). In other words, “his generations” means the generations contemporary with him. See BDB 190 s.v. דוֹר.

[21] Genesis 6:5b (NET)

[22] Genesis 6:14 (NET)

[23] Genesis 6:22 (NET)

[24] 2 Peter 2:5, 9 (NET)

[25] Hebrews 11:7 (NET)

[26] Genesis 6:8 (NET)

[27] Genesis 6:9 (KJV)

[28] Romans 3:10b (NET)

[29] Romans 3:12b (NET)

[30] John 3:7 (NET)

[31] Troy Lacey, “The Curse of Canaan,” October 12, 2012, Answers In Genesis

[32] Don Stewart, “Why Was Canaan Cursed Instead of Ham?,” Blue Letter Bible

[33] Deuteronomy 5:9b (NET)

[34] Romans 13:10 (NET)

[35] To those who hold that the fourth generation is a limit to Noah’s iniquity, I concede the point.  It would not be accurate to blame Noah’s iniquity for the sins of Canaanites in the time of Israel’s conquest.  My point is that iniquity is like a snowball rolling downhill, gaining mass and momentum, as long as people continue to reject, hate, prefer something other than, yehôvâh.

Fear – Deuteronomy, Part 9

I’ll continue to look at yehôvâh’s fearful pronouncement: I punish the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin of the fathers who reject me[1]  Two tables comparing/contrasting four partial verses follow.  In the center columns the Hebrew words read from top to bottom, beside them are my best effort at a word-for-word translation, and then the NET translations are in the outer columns.

Exodus 20:5b

Deuteronomy 5:9b

…responding (פקד) to the transgression (עון) of fathers by dealing with children to the third and fourth generations of those who reject (לשׁנאי) me…

Exodus 20:5b (NET)

visiting פקד פקד visiting …I punish (פקד) the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin (עון) of the fathers who reject (לשׁנאי) me…

Deuteronomy 5:9b (NET)

the iniquity עון עון the iniquity
of fathers אבת אבות of the fathers
upon על על upon
sons בנים בנים sons
upon על ועל and upon
the third שלשים שלשים the third
and upon ועל ועל and upon
the fourth רבעים רבעים the fourth
who hate לשׁנאי לשׁנאי who hate

Exodus 34:7b

Numbers 14:18b

…responding (פקד) to the transgression (עון) of fathers by dealing with children and children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.

Exodus 34:7b (NET)

visiting פקד פקד visiting …visiting (פקד) the iniquity (עון) of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generations.

Numbers 14:18b (NET)

the iniquity עון עון the iniquity
of the fathers אבות אבות of the fathers
upon על על upon
sons בנים בנים sons
and upon ועל על upon
sons(’) בני
sons בנים
upon על
the third שלשים שלשים the third
and upon ועל ועל and upon
the fourth רבעים רבעים the fourth

There doesn’t seem to be anything about the Hebrew words themselves that would compel anyone to translate פקד (pâqad) I punish or עון (ʽâvôn) for the sin.[2]  In fact, forms of pâqad were only translated punish or punishment three other times in the NET prior to Deuteronomy 5:9.  Two occur after Israel worshipped the golden calf.  Moses said (Exodus 32:30-35 NET):

“You have committed a very serious sin, but now I will go up to the Lord – perhaps I can make atonement on behalf of your sin.”

So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Alas, this people has committed a very serious sin, and they have made for themselves gods of gold.  But now, if you will forgive (nâsâh, תשׁא) their sin…, but if not, wipe me out from your book that you have written.”  The Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me – that person I will wipe out of my book.  So now go, lead the people to the place I have spoken to you about.  See, my angel will go before you.  But on the day that I punish (pâqad, פקדי; Tanakh: I visit), I will indeed punish (pâqad, ופקדתי; Tanakh: I will visit) them for their sin.”

And the Lord sent a plague (nâgaph, ויגף) on the people because they had made the calf – the one Aaron made.               

I don’t have any quarrel with describing this plague[3] as punishment, but it occurs in a particular context.  Though Moses offered—wipe me out from your book that you have writtenyehôvâh said, Whoever has sinned against me – that person I will wipe out of my book.  Later in his address recorded in Deuteronomy Moses said:  Fathers must not be put to death for what their children do, nor children for what their fathers do; each must be put to death for his own sin.[4]

Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber in his article “Punishing Children for the Sins of their Parents,” on TheTorah online wrote about “the surprising claim” from Rabbi Yossi bar Chanina in the Babylonian Talmud “that in four cases the prophets overturned a decree Moses makes in the Torah.”  Apparently Rabbi Yossi bar Chanina held that not only Deuteronomy 5:9 but Exodus 20:5 “makes a clear and strong claim that in at least one case—worshipping other gods or idols—God punishes the descendants of the sinner until the fourth generation.”  Rabbi Farber took issue with one of the “four cases”:[5]

The prophet Ezekiel, who was exiled to Babylon in 597, offers a torrent of arguments and rhetoric against the concept of punishing children for the sins of the parents. He does not frame it as an argument against the Torah…but rather he frames it as a response to a popular notion (Ezek 18).

Rabbi Yossi bar Chanina apparently did not accept that “God punishes the descendants of the sinner until the fourth generation” was an erroneous popular notion and so he pit Ezekiel against Moses and even yehôvâh Himself.  This tenacious aspect of the religious mind to justify itself should be familiar to us.  How many generations of English speaking followers of Jesus have believed that ἄνωθεν meant again, Nicodemus’ misunderstanding of Jesus’ words?  How can a man be born when he is old?  He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?[6]  Jesus answered (John 3:5-8 NET):

“I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above (ἄνωθεν).’  The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

I want to simplify the world to consider pâqad in the context of Adam and two of his sons Cain and Abel.  First, for background, consider Paul’s understanding of their situation (Romans 5:12-14 NET):

So then, just as sin entered the world through one man [e.g., Adam] and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned – for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law.  Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming one) transgressed.

And the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) was pleased with Abel and his offering[7]  But when Cain killed Abel it is apparently possible to argue by the Hebrew words of Deuteronomy 5:9 that yehôvâh punished Abel for Adam’s sin.  It’s not an argument I want to make before the judgment seat of Christ.  Then the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”[8]  Cain lacked David’s knowledge of yehôvâh (Psalm 139:1-12 NET):

O Lord, you examine me and know.  You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives.  You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest; you are aware of everything I do.  Certainly my tongue does not frame a word without you, O Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה), being thoroughly aware of it.  You squeeze me in from behind and in front; you place your hand on me.  Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension; it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it.

Where can I go to escape your spirit?  Where can I flee to escape your presence?  If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there.  If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be.  If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn, and settle down on the other side of the sea, even there your hand would guide me, your right hand would grab hold of me.  If I were to say, “Certainly the darkness will cover me, and the light will turn to night all around me,” even the darkness is not too dark for you to see, and the night is as bright as day; darkness and light are the same to you.

Cain mistook yehôvâh’s question—Where is your brother Abel?—for ignorance of what he had done rather than as an opportunity to confess, and repent of, his rash act.  We can only imagine how differently this scene might have played out if Cain had expressed his own shock and horror at what he had done in anger, anger directed primarily at yehôvâh’s rejection of his offering.  But I don’t take that to mean that yehôvâh was ignorant that Cain murdered Abel: The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground![9]  Nor do I take it to mean that David was disputing with Moses or imagining novel qualities of yehôvâh.  I assume that yehôvâh is ever this knowledgeable and Cain was simply ignorant of it.

Cain wasn’t stupid.  Consider his clever evasion to yehôvâh’s question, Where is your brother Abel: I don’t know!  Am I my brother’s guardian?[10]  Apparently, he reasoned that his father had tripped himself up by being too forthright with yehôvâh: I heard you moving about in the orchard, Adam had answered yehôvâh’s question, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.[11]  As Cain understood it, the knowledge Adam let slip—I was naked—enabled yehôvâh to infer what his father had done: Who told you that you were naked? yehôvâh asked Adam.  Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?[12]  But again, I don’t assume that yehôvâh had to infer what He already knew Adam had done simply because Cain didn’t know Him.

In a similar way I assume that the word of yehôvâh (יהוה) that came to Ezekiel is the same word of the same yehôvâh revealed to Moses and recorded in Deuteronomy 5:9.  The erroneous popular notion—Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear (nâsâh, נשׁא) the iniquity (ʽâvôn, בעון) of the father?[13]—that the son should or must die for the father’s sin (Ezekiel 18:20 Tanakh) was the misunderstanding of religious minds no matter how many famous rabbis espoused it.  And so I take the translation of פקד (pâqad) as I punish in Deuteronomy 5:9 as a perpetuation of an erroneous popular notion of religious minds that was clearly corrected in Ezekiel 18.

I am not yet perfected in love.  The first thing that comes to mind when things don’t go my way is that God is punishing me for something.  Faith in yehôvâh comes from the fruit of his Spirit, along with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.  If I think of verses like Deuteronomy 5:9 from the perspective of sons, grandsons and great grandsons, I will come to the same erroneous conclusion, what Rabbi Farber called Sour Grapes Theology:[14]

The sour grapes theology paints the punishment of descendants as a harsh but necessary way of God dispensing justice. Full punishment of a sinner may include the punishment of his family.

I think it’s more productive to view Deuteronomy 5:9 from the perspective of iniquitous fathers, particularly iniquitous fathers who don’t want the horror of their iniquity visited upon their children.  For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but [God] does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness.[15]  My children were not my biological offspring so I won’t even comment on passing on my iniquity via nature.  But the iniquity I passed on to them via nurture was not merely a matter of my inept blundering.

As I think of it now I recall how often I passed on my perverse views of life, the way things “really” work.  And I did so with as much or more conviction than anything I taught them about Christ and his righteousness.  Add to that my own on-again-off-again righteousness—sometimes led by the Holy Spirit, sometimes not so much—and I have a truly horrifying picture of yehôvâh visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children,[16] my children!  And this, when I wanted what was best for them.

I find myself crying aloud with Cain’s words (if not his meaning): My iniquity (ʽâvôn, עוני) is too great to endure (nâsâh, מנשׁא)!  What hope do I have but that which is to be found in the long name of yehôvâhThe Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, [bearing] (nâsâh, נשׁא) iniquity (ʽâvôn, עון) and transgression and sin.[17]

In a prophecy that reads so much like history unbelievers doubt its authenticity, yehôvâh spoke of disobedient (Leviticus 26:13-17) survivors (Leviticus 26:39, 40 Tanakh):

And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.  And they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their treachery which they committed against Me, and also that they have walked contrary unto Me.

Confession of one’s own iniquity is obvious.  Confession of one’s fathers’ iniquity is necessary because we are far too likely to mistake our fathers’ iniquity for the way things are done, especially if those fathers were religious leaders of some note.

In the movie The Shack in a dream within a vision during a life-threatening coma Mack (Sam Worthington) spends a weekend in a cabin at a lake with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  His wife Nan (Radha Mitchell) calls God Papa, a bit too familiar for Mack’s taste at the beginning of the film.

Papa (Octavia Spencer) appears to Mack as the neighbor woman who, looking at young Mack’s bruised face, said, “Daddies aren’t supposed to do that to their kids.  It ain’t love.  You understand?”  Papa explains to adult Mack, “After what you been through, I didn’t think you could handle a father right now.”  But once Mack has God in his hands, so to speak, he has a lifetime of blame to unleash.

“You’re the almighty God, right?” he accuses Papa.  “You know everything.  You’re everywhere, all at once.  And you have limitless power.  Yet, somehow you let my little girl die.  When she needed you most, you abandoned her.”  Mack’s 7-year-old daughter Missy (Amélie Eve) was abducted by a serial killer.  Nothing of her was ever found but her bloodstained dress.  Still, Mack’s first salvo is mostly a ruse that doesn’t quite get to the heart of his issue with God.

That first night he reads himself to sleep with the Old Testament and dreams of Missy’s abduction, a dream within a dream within a vision in a coma.  Missy calls out to him for rescue.  The next morning at breakfast Mack moves one step closer to the real issue.

Mack: Everybody knows you punish the people who disappoint you.

Papa: Hmm.  Nope.  I don’t need to punish people.  Sin is its own punishment.[18]  As difficult as it is for you to accept, I’m in the middle of everything you perceive to be a mess, workin’ for your good.

Later, after a stroll across the lake with Jesus (Aviv Alush), Mack meets Wisdom (Alice Braga) in a cave beneath a waterfall.  She helps him take his first steps toward obeying Jesus’ command: Do not judge so that you will not be judged.[19]  Sitting with Wisdom, Mack approaches the heart of the matter.

Mack: You know, what I don’t understand is how God can love Missy and put her through so much horror.  She was innocent.

Wisdom: I know.

Mack: Did he use her to punish me?  ‘Cause that’s not fair.  And she didn’t deserve it.  My wife and my children didn’t deserve it.  Now, I might.  ‘Cause you know I’m…

Mack can never bring himself to confess that he murdered his father.  Later that day Mack acknowledges being overly hard on God.  Papa responds: “I can work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies.  But that doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies.”

That evening Mack is taken to meet the abusive father he poisoned.  Before he can say anything more than “Dad” his father says, “Mack, I’m so sorry for everything.  I was blind and I couldn’t see you.  I couldn’t see anyone.”  Still, Mack can’t or won’t confess his murder, he only makes excuses.  “Son, I forgive you,” his father continues.  “You’ve become the father I could never be.  And I’m so proud of you.  Can you ever forgive me?”

In the movie Papa protested that she didn’t “orchestrate the tragedies.”  Still, woven into the fabric of The Shack is a serial killer who came to a campground to abduct a little girl.  His victim of opportunity was a murderer’s daughter.  Papa in Mack’s dream in a vision in a coma in a movie may want to leave it to chance or fate or karma, but in Scripture visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children is as much a part of yehôvâh’s self-proclaimed name as forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.[20]  That’s as important in reality as it proved to be in The Shack.

The next morning Papa appears to Mack as a man (Graham Greene).  “For what we have to do today you’re gonna need a father,” Papa explains.  He wants Mack to forgive the man who murdered his daughter.

Mack: So, you just let him get away with it?

Papa: Nobody gets away with anything…I’m not asking you to excuse what he did.  I’m asking you to trust me to do what’s right and to know what’s best.

 

Form of pâqad Reference KJV NET
פקד Exodus 34:7 visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children… responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children…
Exodus 38:21 …as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses… …which was counted by the order of Moses…
Numbers 1:44 …which Moses and Aaron numbered …whom Moses and Aaron numbered
Numbers 3:15 Number the children of Levi after the… Number the Levites by their clans and…
Numbers 3:39 …which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD… …whom Moses and Aaron numbered by the word of the Lord…
Numbers 3:40 Number all the firstborn of the males of the children of Israel… Number all the firstborn males of the Israelites…
Numbers 4:37 …which Moses and Aaron did number …whom Moses and Aaron numbered
Numbers 4:41 …whom Moses and Aaron did number …whom Moses and Aaron numbered
Numbers 4:45 …whom Moses and Aaron numbered …whom Moses and Aaron numbered
Numbers 4:46 …whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered …whom Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel numbered
Numbers 4:49 According to the commandment of the LORD they were numbered According to the word of the Lord they were numbered
Numbers 14:18 visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children… visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children…
Deuteronomy 5:9 visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children… I punish the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin of the fathers…
יפקד Numbers 16:29 …or if they be visited after the visitation of all men… or if they share the fate[21] of all men…
Numbers 27:16 set a man over the congregation… appoint a man over the community…
פקדי Exodus 32:34 …nevertheless in the day when I visit But on the day that I punish
פקדו Numbers 26:63 …who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab… …who numbered the Israelites in the plains of Moab…
Numbers 26:64 when they numbered the children of Israel… when they numbered the Israelites…
פקדיו Numbers 1:22 those that were numbered of them, according to the number of the names… …all the males numbered of them twenty years old or older…
Numbers 26:54 …be given according to those that were numbered of him. …given according to the number of people in it.
פקדיכם Numbers 14:29 …and all that were numbered of you… …all those of you who were numbered
פקדיהם Numbers 1:21 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Reuben… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Reuben were 46,500.
Numbers 1:23 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Simeon… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Simeon were 59,300.
Numbers 1:25 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Gad… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Gad were 45,650.
Numbers 1:27 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Judah… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Judah were 74,600.
Numbers 1:29 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Issachar… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Issachar were 54,400.
Numbers 1:31 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Zebulun… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Zebulun were 57,400.
Numbers 1:33 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Ephraim… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Ephraim were 40,500.
Numbers 1:35 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Manasseh… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Manasseh were 32,200.
Numbers 1:37 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Benjamin… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Benjamin were 35,400.
Numbers 1:39 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Dan… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Dan were 62,700.
Numbers 1:41 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Asher… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Asher were 41,500.
Numbers 1:43 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Naphtali… Those of them who were numbered from the tribe of Naphtali were 53,400.
Numbers 3:22 Those that were numbered of them, according to the number… Those of them who were numbered, counting every male…
Numbers 3:22 …even those that were numbered of them were seven thousand and five hundred. Not translated
Numbers 4:36 And those that were numbered of them by their families were… and those of them numbered by their families were 2,750.
Numbers 4:40 Even those that were numbered of them, throughout their families… those of them numbered by their families, by their clans, were 2,630.
Numbers 4:44 Even those that were numbered of them after their families… those of them numbered by their families were 3,200.
Numbers 4:48 Even those that were numbered of them, were… those of them numbered were 8,580.
Numbers 26:7 and they that were numbered of them were… and those numbered of them were 43,730.
Numbers 26:62 And those that were numbered of them were… Those of them who were numbered were 23,000…
פקודי Exodus 38:21 This is the sum of the tabernacle… This is the inventory of the tabernacle…
Exodus 38:25 And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation… The silver of those who were numbered of the community…
Numbers 1:45 So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel… …who could serve in Israel’s army, were numbered
Numbers 2:32 These are those which were numbered of the children of Israel… These are the Israelites, numbered according to their families.
Numbers 2:32 …all those that were numbered of the camps… All those numbered in the camps…
Numbers 3:39 All that were numbered of the Levites… All who were numbered of the Levites…
Numbers 4:37 These were they that were numbered of the families of the Kohathites… These were those numbered from the families of the Kohathites…
Numbers 4:41 These are they that were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon… These were those numbered from the families of the Gershonites…
Numbers 4:45 These be those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari… These are those numbered from the families of the Merarites…
Numbers 26:51 These were the numbered of the children of Israel… These were those numbered of the Israelites, 601,730.
Numbers 26:57 And these are they that were numbered of the Levites… …Levites who were numbered according to their families…
Numbers 26:63 These are they that were numbered by Moses… These are those who were numbered by Moses…
Numbers 31:14 …Moses was wroth with the officers of the host… …Moses was furious with the officers of the army…
ויפקד Numbers 3:16 Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD… Moses numbered them according to the word of the Lord…
Numbers 3:42 And Moses numbered, as the LORD commanded him… So Moses numbered all the firstborn males among the Israelites…
Numbers 4:34 And Moses and Aaron and the chief of the congregation numbered …Moses and Aaron and the leaders of the community numbered
ופקדיו Numbers 2:6 And his host, and those that were numbered thereof… Those numbered in his division are 54,400.
Numbers 2:8 And his host, and those that were numbered thereof… Those numbered in his division are 57,400.
Numbers 2:11 And his host, and those that were numbered thereof… Those numbered in his division are 46,500.
Numbers 4:49 thus were they numbered of him… Thus were they numbered by him…
ויפקדם Numbers 1:19 so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai. And so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai.
ופקדתי Exodus 32:34 I will visit their sin upon them. I will indeed punish them for their sin.
ופקדתם Numbers 4:27 …and ye shall appoint unto them in charge… You will assign them all their tasks…
ופקדיהם Numbers 2:4 And his host, and those that were numbered of them… Those numbered in his division are 74,600.
Numbers 2:13 And his host, and those that were numbered of them… Those numbered in his division are 59,300.
Numbers 2:15 And his host, and those that were numbered of them… Those numbered in his division are 45,650.
Numbers 2:19 And his host, and those that were numbered of them… Those numbered in his division are 40,500.
Numbers 2:21 And his host, and those that were numbered of them… Those numbered in his division are 32,200.
Numbers 2:23 And his host, and those that were numbered of them… Those numbered in his division are 35,400.
Numbers 2:26 And his host, and those that were numbered of them… Those numbered in his division are 62,700.
Numbers 2:28 And his host, and those that were numbered of them… Those numbered in his division are 41,500.
Numbers 2:30 And his host, and those that were numbered of them… Those numbered in his division are 53,400.
Numbers 3:34 And those that were numbered of them, according to the number… Those of them who were numbered, counting every male…
Numbers 26:34 …Manasseh, and those that were numbered of them… …Manasseh; those numbered of them were 52,700.
Numbers 26:41 …and they that were numbered of them were… and according to those numbered of them, 45,600.
Numbers 26:50 and they that were numbered of them were… and those numbered of them were 45,400.
ואפקד Leviticus 18:25 …therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it… and I have brought the punishment for its iniquity upon it…
והפקדתי Leviticus 26:16 I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague… I will inflict horror on you, consumption and fever…
ופקודי Numbers 4:38 And those that were numbered of the sons of Gershon… Those numbered from the Gershonites…
Numbers 4:42 And those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari… Those numbered from the families of the Merarites…
לפקדיהם Exodus 30:12 …sum of the children of Israel after their number …census of the Israelites according to their number
Numbers 3:43 of those that were numbered of them, were twenty and two thousand… Not translated
Numbers 26:18 …Gad according to those that were numbered of them… …Gadites according to those numbered of them, 40,500.
Numbers 26:22 …Judah according to those that were numbered of them… …Judah according to those numbered of them, 76,500.
Numbers 26:25 …Issachar according to those that were numbered of them… …Issachar, according to those numbered of them, 64,300.
Numbers 26:27 …Zebulunites according to those that were numbered of them… …Zebulunites, according to those numbered of them, 60,500.
Numbers 26:37 …Ephraim according to those that were numbered of them… …Ephraimites, according to those numbered of them, 32,500.
Numbers 26:43 …Shuhamites, according to those that were numbered of them… …Shuhahites according to those numbered of them were 64,400.
Numbers 26:47 …Asher according to those that were numbered of them… …Asherites, according to those numbered of them, 53,400.
בפקד Exodus 30:12 …ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them …ransom for his life to the Lord when you number them
Exodus 30:12 …that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. …there will be no plague among them when you number them.
Numbers 31:49 …and there lacketh not one man of us. …and not one is missing.
הפקד Leviticus 6:4[22] …or that which was delivered him to keep …or the thing that he had held in trust
תפקד Numbers 1:49 …thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi… …the tribe of Levi you must not number
Numbers 1:50 But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony… But appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony…
Numbers 3:10 And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons… So you are to appoint Aaron and his sons…
Numbers 4:23 …until fifty years old shalt thou number them… You must number them from thirty years old and upward…
Numbers 4:29 thou shalt number them after their families… you are to number them by their families…
הפקדים Exodus 30:13 …every one that passeth among them that are numbered Everyone who crosses over to those who are numbered
Exodus 30:14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered Everyone who crosses over to those numbered
Exodus 38:26 …for every one that went to be numbered …for everyone who crossed over to those numbered
Numbers 1:44 These are those that were numbered These were the men
Numbers 1:46 Even all they that were numbered were… And all those numbered totaled 603,550.
Numbers 2:9 All that were numbered in the camp of… All those numbered of the camp of Judah…
Numbers 2:16 All that were numbered in the camp of Reuben… All those numbered of the camp of Reuben…
Numbers 2:24 All that were numbered of the camp of Ephraim… All those numbered of the camp of Ephraim…
Numbers 2:31 All they that were numbered in the camp… All those numbered of the camp of Dan…
Numbers 4:46 All those that were numbered of the… All who were numbered of the Levites…
Numbers 7:2 …over them that were numbered …had been supervising the numbering.
תפקדו Numbers 1:3 …thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. You and Aaron are to number all in Israel…
Numbers 4:32 …and by name ye shall reckon the instruments… You are to assign by names the items…
תפקדם Numbers 3:15 …a month old and upward shalt thou number …a month old and upward you are to number.
Numbers 4:30 …unto fifty years old shalt thou number them… You must number them from thirty years…
הפקדים Numbers 31:48 And the officers which were over thousands of the host… Then the officers who were over the thousands of the army…
התפקדו Numbers 1:47 …were not numbered among them. …were not numbered among them.
Numbers 2:33 But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel… But the Levites were not numbered among the other Israelites…
Numbers 26:62 …they were not numbered among the children of Israel… …they were not numbered among the Israelites…
מפקודי Numbers 26:64 …whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered …a man among these who had been among those numbered by Moses…

[1] Deuteronomy 5:9b (NET)

[2] I also notice that the qualifications לשׁנאי (translated: of those who reject me) and מצותי ולשמרי לאהבי (translated: those who love me and keep my commandments ) have vanished from occurrences after the end of the forty-day covenant.  I won’t say more since they reappear in Moses’ history lesson (Deuteronomy 5:5-10).

[3] Leviticus 26:14-17 may give some hint what this plague may have been.

[4] Deuteronomy 24:16 (NET)

[5] Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber, “Punishing Children for the Sins of their Parents,” TheTorah

[6] John 3:4 (NET)

[7] Genesis 4:4b (NET)

[8] Genesis 4:9a (NET)

[9] Genesis 4:10b (NET)

[10] Genesis 4:9b (NET)

[11] Genesis 3:10 (NET)

[12] Genesis 3:11 (NET)

[13] Ezekiel 18:19a (Tanakh)

[14] Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber, “Punishing Children for the Sins of their Parents,” TheTorah

[15] Hebrews 12:10 (NET)

[16] Deuteronomy 5:9 (Tanakh)

[17] Exodus 34:6b, 7a (NET)

[18] “Sin is its own punishment,” is practically the definition of ʽâvôn but that will have to wait for another essay.

[19] Matthew 7:1 (NET)

[20] Exodus 34:7 (KJV)

[21] peqûddâh

[22] According to NET online this is piqqâdôn rather than pâqad as it is listed in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.