Prophet Pearls #26 – Shemini (2 Samuel 6:1-7:17)

Image courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University.In this episode of Prophet Pearls, on the Prophets portion of Shemini, covering 2 Samuel 6:1-7:17, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson provide background and insight into this portion focusing on the Ark of the Covenant. Gordon tracks the movements and uses of the Ark from the time of Saul to the last we hear about it, during David’s reign. We learn possible meanings for the unique word “shal” - the reason that Uzzah was slain. Johnson draws prophetic parallels for Obed-edom’s relationship with the Ark and David’s decision to return it to Jerusalem. We learn of  two other instances in the Tanakh where God refers to himself as a father to Solomon, and to Solomon as his son. Gordon closes with a prayer of thankfulness to be in the Land of his fathers and to be part of an era of blessing in which the Torah is going forth from Zion. All this and more in this week's Prophet Pearls! Continue reading

Torah Pearls #26 – Shemini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

Torah Pearls Shemini, leviticus, Nehemia Gordon, Keith Johnson, Jono Vandor, Torah portion, strange fire, Aaron, judgment, Yehovah, Be Holy for I am Holy, Torah PearlsIn this week's Original Torah PearlsShemini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47), we discuss the blessing of fire falling from Heaven, the sin of strange fire offered by Aaron’s sons, and the judgement of fire from Yehovah! Also, listen in as Nehemia Gordon eats a grasshopper! And, was Tevye right when he declared in Fiddler on the Roof that in the Good Book, “somewhere there is something about a chicken!” And what about the duck, goose and the swan? Lastly, what does it mean when Peter quotes Leviticus 11:45, “Be Holy for I am Holy” in 1 Peter 1:15? All this and more in this week’s Torah Pearls! Continue reading

When was the Passover Sacrifice Brought

The Torah commands us: "In the First Month on the fourteenth day of the month, between the two evenings [Hebrew: "Bein Ha'arabayim"], is the Passover [Sacrifice] to Yehovah." In biblical Hebrew, the word "evening" (Ayin-Resh-Bet) indicates both the "early part of the night", as well as the actual "onset of evening". Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #67 – Was the Last Supper a Passover Seder (Rebroadcast)

Da Vinci's painting of the Last SupperIn this episode of Hebrew Voices, Was the Last Supper a Passover Seder, Nehemia Gordon and Professor Shaye Cohen of Harvard University give an overview of the Passover sacrifice from Biblical times up until the destruction of the Temple, and how it evolved into the modern-day Passover Seder. Then they use that as a foundation for looking at the nature of the Last Supper in the New Testament. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #25 – Tzav (Jeremiah 7:21-8:3; 9:22-23)

Prophet Pearls Tzav (Jeremiah 7:21-8:3; 9:22-23) with Nehemia Gordon and Keith JohnsonIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion of Tzav covering Jeremiah 7:21-8:3,  9:22-23. In this portion paralleling the sacrifices in Leviticus, Gordon traipses through millennia to offer explanations for the perplexing statement, “I didn’t command you to bring sacrifices.” So, were sacrifices allowed or commanded? Plan A or plan B? A remedy for idleness or a method for learning principles? Continue reading

Torah Pearls #25 – Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

Torah Pearls Tzav, Leviticus 6:1-8:36, Aaronic, blood, cohen, Documentary Hypothesis, JEPD, Cohen, laws, Noachide, Noahide, Noahides, priest, priesthood, Torah PearlsIn this week's episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36), we discuss what exactly is the JEPD theory otherwise known as the Documentary Hypothesis? What is the role of the the Aaronic priest and is it fulfilled by any particular order today? Is the command to not drink blood just for Israel or does it apply to all the peoples of the earth? All this and more in this week’s Torah Pearls! Continue reading

Hebrew Voices – Passover Special (Rebroadcast)

Israel Leaving Egypt, Passover, Passover sacrifice, Nehemia Gordon, leaven, Torah Pearls Passover, torah pearls, original torahIn this episode of Hebrew Voices, Passover Special, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson delve into the story of the exodus, beginning with Ex 12:21. They start off by sharing the time they personally experienced "darkness so dark, it could be felt". Nehemia points out a few examples in the exodus story where we are given background information by way of a flashback and he explain how the Passover sacrifice was brought, who could eat of it and how it should be commemorated today. Keith gets all excited when they come to the part where Yehovah introduces His calendar and Nehemia suggests we be tolerant of our neighbor who may be celebrating the holidays on a different date than ourselves. Nehemia also gives a very quick overview of the three different types of leaven and the extent of the prohibition of leaven on Chag HaMatzot (Passover). Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #24 – Vayikra (Isaiah 43:21-44:23)

Prophet Pearls Vayikra, haftarah, isaiah, prophets, jeshurun, israel, poetic name, Keith Johnson, nehemia gordon, obedience, sacrifice, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, vayikra, portionIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Vayikra covering Isaiah 43:21-44:23. This portion parallels the Torah’s central section on sacrifices. Gordon and Johnson delve deep into the issues of sacrifice, obedience and idolatry.  Word studies include:  “blot out” (with its historical context of a debt certificate), “first father” (with Jewish and Christian perspectives on original sin), and “bow down” (with its exclusive connection to idolatry). Continue reading

Torah Pearls #24 – Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26)

In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26), we share our recommendations of English translations and how to use them responsibly. What is really going when we see Leviticus chapter 5 ending with verse 19 in the gentile translations, while in the Hebrew and Jewish translations it ends with verse 26. We review the five primary types of sacrifices, which correspond to the first five chapters of the book Leviticus. We discuss whether there is atonement and forgiveness without blood. What “to lean his hand” means.  Whether if you sin can you just bring a sacrifice and receive atonement. What fats we are and aren’t we allowed to eat. The difference between intentional and unintentional sin. If one becomes unclean, have they done something which makes them guilty? Are we really expected to ring the neck of the bird? And so much more. Continue reading