Archive for the 'Tanakh study' Category

the God of the spirits of all flesh

Posted by Pelgrim on 6th January 2009

Num 27:16 Let LORD/YHWH, the God/Elohim of the Spirit/Ruach of all/every/whole flesh/basar, set a man over the congregation, 17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom [is] the spirit/Ruach, and lay thine hand upon him; 

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Posted by Pelgrim on 17th September 2008

Prov 27 19 As the face of water to face, so the heart of man to man.

as water reflects a face, so one’s heart is reflected by the other

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the mountain of David, his seed and offspring

Posted by Pelgrim on 12th July 2008

Isa 25, 7 And he will destroy in this mountain [of Zion, the mount of David] the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it].

9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

10 For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.

The word used for vail here is maccekah followed by its Hebrew root from which it is derived, nacah.

maccekah is used eighteen times to denote a molten image as in the idol of the golden calf cast by the children of Israel in the desert: Exd 32:4, Exd 32:8, Deu 9:12, Deu 9:16.

Also one of the 10 commandments not to make a molten image, an idol: Exd 34:17 and Lev 19:4.


1) a pouring, libation, molten metal, cast image, drink offering

     a) libation (with covenant sacrifice)

     b) molten metal, molten image, molten gods

2) web, covering, veil, woven stuff



1) to pour out, pour, offer, cast

     a) (Qal)

          1) to pour out

2) to cast metal images

3) to anoint (a king)

     b) (Niphal) to be anointed

     c) (Piel) to pour out (as a libation)

     d) (Hiphil) to pour out libations

     e) (Hophal) to be poured out

2) to set, install

     a) (Qal) to install

     b) (Niphal) to be installed


Now why is it so hard for us to turn to Him who is the source/well of life in us? Our vessel the work of his hands awaiting the gift of life, His Breath of life, waiting to be filled. Why do we instead search it outside of ourselves, turning to objects that will never inherit his glory or receive His name. Why do we need to learn the hard way? The hard and painfull lesson of free will.

Isa 30, 1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

Isa 30, 14 And  he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water [withal] out of the pit.

15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Isa 43:7 [Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Isa 45:4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

Isa 65:1 I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name.

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I will hide my face/presence

Posted by Pelgrim on 12th July 2008

Deu 31:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go [to be] among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will cathar [hide, conceal] my paniym [face, presence] from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God [is] not qereb [among us, amidst us, within us]?

qereb from qarab to come near, approach, enter into, draw near.

Paniym from panah, to turn to, to turn toward, to turn around, to turn back.

as in Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, panah ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Zech 12, 1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him

Deu 30:14 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, [and] if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it [is] not hidden from thee, neither [is] it far off.

12 It [is] not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither [is] it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

14 But the word [is] very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 

15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

Deu 32:20 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 faith.

Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.

4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, [which] he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid [it] upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me.

9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and [there be] a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

13 But yet in it [shall be] a tenth, and [it] shall return, and shall be ba`ar [burned, consumed, kindled]: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance [is] in them, when they cast [their leaves: so] the holy seed [shall be] the substance thereof.

Aramaic Targum to Isaiah of verse 13. The Targums which are a translation and interpretive explanation of the text, were initially made in the intertestament period from 300 to 400 BCE and forward. Although added to after the time of Jesus they were initially composed before.

Translated Targum of Isaiah 6:13 And a tenth shall be left in it, and they shall be burnt up again: like a terebinth and like an oak, which appear to be dried up when their leaves fall, though they still retain their moisture to preserve a seed from them: so the exiles for Israel shall be gathered together, and shall return to their land; for a holy seed is their plant.

Eze 39:27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;  28 Then shall they know that I [am] the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.

29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

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Complete … no good will he withhold from them that walk uprightly

Posted by Pelgrim on 3rd July 2008

Continued from post Be thou perfect/whole/complete as the fulfillment of the way of Abraham, walk before my presence and be thou tamiym, perfect/whole/complete.

Halak, akin to yalak, to walk, live, way of conduct, way of life, go out [for thyself gen 12, 1]

Paniym, presence, face, person, before. From panah to turn oneself, to turn to.

Isa 40, 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare [panah] ye the way of the LORD, make straight [yashar] in the desert a highway for our God.

yashar, to make straight, to be straight especially of a way, to be upright, to be pleasing, be agreeable, to lead.

Isa 44, 3 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, [which] will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. 4 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

Jesurun, upright one, a symbolic name for Israel describing her ideal character, from yashar, to make straight.

Psalm 84, 2 My soul longeth, yea, even kalah for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life/neshamah chaim; and man became a living soul/chai nephesh.

Job 12, 10 In whose hand [is] the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Psalm 56, 13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: [wilt] not [thou deliver] my feet from falling, that I may walk/halak before God in the light/owr of the living/chaim?

kalah, to be complete, be at an end, to be completed, be finished, to be accomplished, be fulfilled, to put an end to, cause to cease.

Psalm 84, 11 … no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly/halak tamiym.

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Let us make man in our image, after our likeness

Posted by Pelgrim on 12th April 2008

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

Verse of the Month - Genesis 1:26

wmlub Mdah ta Myhla arbyw

The Revised Standard Version translation for this passage is “So God created man in his own image”. As we shall see, this translation is very Western and is missing the Eastern flavour of the original text. Below is a translation, word for word, followed by a translation reflecting the Eastern meaning.

arbyw (vay-yeev-rah)
The word arb (bara) is a verb, literally meaning “to fatten” as well as “to fill”. It is often translated as “create” as in this verse as well as in Genesis 1:1 but the concept of “creating” is a western abstract and not the true meaning of arb. When the y (Y) is prefixed to the verb it identifies the subject of the verb as masculine and singular (he) and the verb tense as imperfect (will fill). The first letter prefixed to the word is the w (V) meaning “and”. When this letter is prefixed to a verb it switches the tense of the verb. In this case the perfect tense verb becomes imperfect. The word arbyw would literally be translated as “and he filled”.

Myhla (eh-lo-hiym)
The root of this word is hwla literally meaning “strength” and “power” and is usually translated as God or god (a powerful one). The My is the masculine plural suffix. The word Myhla can be translated as “gods” (quantitative plural) or as “God” (qualitative plural) in the sense of being a very powerful god. As this noun follows the verb we know that it is the subject of the verb, the “he” in the word arbyw.

ta (et)
This word preceeds a direct object of a verb telling us that the next word is “what was filled”. This word is a grammatical tool used in Biblical Hebrew and has no equivelant in English and is therefore never translated.

Mdah (ha-ah-dahm)
The first letter, h (H), is a prefix meaning “the”. The word Mda (adam) means “man” and is also the name of the first man - Adam. Because it is prefixed by the article h, we know that this word should be translated as “man” rather than Adam.

wmlub (beh-tsahl-mo)
The word Mlu (tselem, the mem is written as M when at the end of a word, and as m otherwise) is an outline or form of an original and comes from the parent root lu (tsal) meaning “shadow”. A shadow is a also representation of an original. The prefix b (B) means “in” or “with”. The suffix w (O) means “of him” or “his”.

And the Great Powerful One filled the man with a representation of himself,


Likeness, image, appereance,  demuwth, from the root damah, to be like, become like, make oneself like. Here it is prefixed by a Chaf meaning like, as.

, like/after his likeness.

Compare to Gen 5, 3 Adam [man, Adam] begat/brought forth in his own likeness (Beth prefix in/with), after his image (chaf prefix as, like)

See also likeness in Ezekiel chapter 1, 8 and 10.

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Shavout - feast of weeks

Posted by Pelgrim on 4th April 2008

Shavuot (or Shavuos, in Ashkenazi usage; lit. “Festival of Weeks”) is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June). It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer and the day the Torah was given to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. It is one of the shalosh regalim, the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals.

The date of Shavuot is directly linked to that of Passover. The Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer, beginning on the second day of Passover and immediately followed by Shavuot. This counting of days and weeks is understood to express anticipation and desire for the Giving of the Torah. On Passover, the Jewish people were freed from their enslavement to Pharaoh; on Shavuot they accepted the Torah and became a nation committed to serving God.

Shavuot has many aspects and as a consequence is called by several names in the Torah. These include Festival of Weeks, Hag ha-Shavuot, Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:10); Festival of Reaping, Hag ha-Katsir, Exodus 23:16), and Day of the First Fruits, Yom ha-Bikkurim, Numbers 28:26). The Mishnah and Talmud refer to Shavuot as Atzeret (a solemn assembly), as it provides closure for the festival activities during and following the holiday of Passover. Since Shavuot occurs 50 days after Passover, Christians gave it the name Pentecost (”fiftieth day”). Wikipedia

This is considered a time for self-examination and repentance, during which one avoids exuberance. On the very first Shavuot, the Creator revealed Himself to Israel as a nation, in a mass epiphany, that briefly welded the six hundred three thousand+ souls of Israel into one united consciousness, where each soul was concerned only for the others, with no thought for itself. To stress the unity of this experience, the Torah describes Israel in the singular “VaYachan Mul HaHar” (and IT) [rather than they] camped opposite the mount. A beautiful, rabbinical expression for this inner disposition is, “K’ish Echad, U’B'lev Echad” (as one man and with one heart). In this atmosphere of awe of the Creator,
and love for others, Israel accepted the Torah (the blueprint of Creation) and the commandments therein, unconditionally (Na’asseh V’Nishma), as its eternal law. One of the most important implications of having received the Torah as an absolute obligation is that, as far as obedience is concerned, it precludes initiative. While we can struggle to understand and interpret to our hearts contents, we are not allowed to add to Torah, or detract one jot from it.

In many Sephardic congregations, prior to the Torah reading on the first day of Shavuot, a ketubbah le-Shavuot (marriage certificate for Shavuot) is read, as a symbolic betrothal of God and His people Israel. The terminology of this piyyut (medieval poem), in its various versions, strongly recalls that of the traditional prenuptial document (specifying the conditions agreed upon between the two parties; known as tena’im) or the marriage certificate given by the bridegroom to the bride at the wedding ceremony, known as ketubbah).

The hymns which compose this ketubbah le-Shavuot are based on the verses: “I will betroth you unto Me forever; I will betroth you unto Me in righteousness, and in justice, and in lovingkindness, and in compassion. And I will betroth you unto Me in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord” (Hosea 2:21-22); and “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel” (Jeremiah 31:31).

Shavout - I will betroth thee forever...Some texts describe the marriage as being solemnized symbolically between the Torah (the bride) and the people of Israel (the bridegroom). God, as the bride’s father, gives as dowry the 613 commandments, the Bible, Talmud, and other sacred writings. Moses presents as dowry to his son (the people of Israel) the prayer shawl and phylacteries, the Sabbath and festivals. The contracts are witnessed by God and His servant Moses.

In other versions the “Prince of princes and the Ruler of rulers” presents the Torah to the bride as dowry and in His love He gives her the Oral Law as an added portion. The bride responds affectionately,”We shall do and we shall hearken.” The contract is dated the sixth day of the month of Sivan, in the year 2448 from the creation — according to tradition the day on which the torah was given. The Mishnah1 comments that the wedding day of King Solomon (Song of Songs 3:11) refers to the day of the giving of the Torah. The heavens and the earth witness the marriage certificate.

The most widely used text of a ketubbah le-Shavuot is that of the prolific Safed mystic and poet Israel Majara (c.1550-c.1625). Many of his piyyutim are founded in the liturgy of oriental Jews. This hymn is included in the Sephardic prayerbook for Shavuot.

1 Taanit 4:8

From: The Shavuot Anthology, ed. Philip Goodman (Jewish Publication Society of America, 1974, 1992).Translated by Solomon Feffer. 

Jewish Heritage Online Magazine - calandar

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be thou perfect, whole, complete ….. completion

Posted by Pelgrim on 9th January 2008

Gen 17, 1 the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I [am] the Almighty God; walk [halak] before me [paniym], and be thou perfect [tamiym].

Halak, akin to yalak, to walk, live, way of life,  go out [for thyself gen 12, 1]

Paniym, presence, face, person, before from panah to turn oneself, to turn to

Isa 40, 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare [panah] ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Isa 45, 22 Look  [panah] unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.

Tamiym, perfect, complete, whole, what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact. From tamam, to be complete, be finished, be at an end.

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Aman, to believe in/to be firm in

Posted by Pelgrim on 20th December 2007

Gen 15, 6 And he aman [believed in, was firm in] YHWH; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 

Aman to support, confirm, be faithful

a) (Qal)

      1) to support, confirm, be faithful, uphold, nourish

           a) foster-father (subst.)

           b) foster-mother, nurse [naomi, who called herself mara bitter, the nurse to Obed]

           c) pillars, supporters of the door [Boaz, the left pillar]

b) (Niphal)

      1) to be established, be faithful, be carried, make firm

          a) to be carried by a nurse

          b) made firm, sure, lasting

          c) confirmed, established, sure

          d) verified, confirmed

          e) reliable, faithful, trusty

c) (Hiphil)

     1) to stand firm, to trust, to be certain, to believe in

          a) stand firm

          b) trust, believe

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The root and branch of Isai [Judaism]

Posted by Pelgrim on 11th December 2007

Elimelech [my God is King] his wife Naomi [my delight], who called herself Mara [bitter] after the loss of her husband and two sons [sick and pining]. 

Ruth [beauty, friendship] the moabites, the gentile daughter-in-law of Naomi that was redeemed by Boaz [strength, swiftness] by laying herself at his feet at the treshing floor.

Boaz the left pillar in the House of God and Jachin [he shall establish] the right pillar erected 2 Chr 3, 17 by Salomon [peaceable] from shalom [completeness, quiet, tranquillity, peace, friendship of human relationships/with God especially in covenant relationship]

The son of Ruth the substitute son to Naomi for the loss of her sons.
Ruth 4, 16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse [Aman, foster-mother, support, nurse] unto it. 17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he [is] the father of Isai, the father of David.

Obed [serving] from abad, to work, serve 

Isai/Jesse [my being, my existence, my substance, generally translated I possess, wealthy] from the root yesh [being, existence, substance] from Bethlehem [beth lechem, house of bread] Judah [praised].

David, beloved

Salomon [peaceable] the son of David and the promised son. 2 Sam 7, 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

serving my essence beloved peaceable [promised son]

The root and branch of Isai.

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