Prophet Pearls #3 – Lech Lecha (Isaiah 40:27-41:16)

Prophet Pearls - Lech Lecha (Isaiah 40:27-41:16)In this week's episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Lech Lecha, covering Isaiah 40:27-41:16. As Isaiah spoke consolation to invaded Israel, Gordon and Johnson console the listener with the deep wells contained in the original Hebrew—nuances that bring even greater comfort from the promises of the Creator. Word studies include: “renewed” strength, “first and last,” “righteousness,” and “eternity”—with the significance of its second root. Gordon and Johnson consider the options concerning “who stirred up from the east” and discuss how the ancient Israelites knew who was speaking in this Portion’s fast-paced dialog. Gordon concludes with the comforting news implied by the winnowing process—not all nations will be carried away. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #2 – Noach (Isaiah 54:1-55:5)

In this week's Prophet Pearls,  Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Noach covering Isaiah 54:1-55:5Gordon and Johnson revel in the glorious promises to Israel and explore the various ways the Tanakh allegorizes her: as a barren and abandoned woman, a maidservant, a slave, an owned animal, and yet, wholly and eternally a beloved wife. Original language brings insight to the following words: “foaming” anger, Yehovah of “hosts,” mercy, kibbutz, and “brief” moment. Despite differing views on some issues, Gordon and Johnson stand firmly on common ground concerning the messianic promise as Yehovah connects his eternal covenant with Israel to the seed of David. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #1 – Bereshit (Isaiah 42:5-43:10)

Prophet Pearls Bereshit (Isaiah 42:5-43:10)In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Bereshit covering Isaiah 42:5-43:10. After a quick tutorial on the origin of the Haftarah, we learn that the Prophets aren't the golden oldies; their writings are as relevant as ever and more current than our news feeds. Gordon and Johnson explore the original context in which this portion was written, followed by the context in 168 BCE when this passage was first read aloud in the synagogue, and finally the context in September 2014 when Netanyahu spoke the holy words of Isaiah to the United Nations. In addition to parsing key words from the portion, Gordon and Johnson answer the following: What service did the Jews provide to the ancient Roman Empire? And since the Creator refers to himself in so many wonderful ways, would he really name himself, “Lord”? In closing, Gordon and Johnson remind us that while God’s one and only name may have been lost for generations, he did not lose ours—he calls every one of his covenant people by name. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #53 – Ha’azinu (2 Samuel 22:1-51)

Prophet Pearls - Ha'azinu (2 Samuel 22:1-51)In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Haazinu, which covers 2 Samuel 22:1-51. As Gordon and Johnson compare this portion to its parallel in Psalm 18, we learn more about the contexts of these living, breathing prayers and prophecies and the families of Levites who read and sang them in the Temple and in synagogues. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #52 – Vayelech (Isaiah 55:6-56:8)

Prophet Pearls Vayelech, everlasting name, everlasting name not cut off, foreigners israel, isaiah, Isaiah 55:6-56:8, jewish soul, joined to israel, Keith Johnson, lavah joined, nehemia gordon, outcasts of israel, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Prophecy, Prophet Pearls, prophets, Vayelech, Vayelech haftarah, vayelech prophets, yad vashemIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Vayelech, covering Isaiah 55:6-56:8. Gordon and Johnson rejoice in this portion that heralds good news for the wicked, the unrighteous, the outcasts of Israel, the eunuch and the foreigner. And if none of these describe you, feel free to check “other.” Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #51 – Nitzavim (Isaiah 61:10-63:9)

Prophet Pearls Nitzavim, angel of his presence, Elijah, haftarah, Isaiah 61:10-63:9, Keith Johnson, Metatron Enoch, nehemia gordon, Nitzavim, Nitzavim haftarah, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Prophecy, Prophet Pearls, prophets, prophets portion, Temple Mount, watchmen walls, watchmen walls jerusalem, Yeshua, yeshua haftarah, yeshua reading synagogueThis week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Nitzavim which covers Isaiah 61:10-63:9. These watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem recount their most recent visit to the Temple Mount and Gordon gives the historical background of Muslim-control of the only holy site in Judaism.  Gordon and Johnson discuss the Isaiah passage read by Yeshua in the synagogue—which confirms first-century Haftarah readings. We learn statistics on named and unnamed angels in the Tanakh and Gordon provides three rabbinical traditions for the “angel of his presence” mentioned in this passage.  In closing, Gordon asks Yehovah to turn the hearts of those who desecrate the Temple Mount—and to send his messengers to help those on the wall do his work. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #50 – Ki Tavo (Isaiah 60:1-22)

Prophet Pearls Ki Tavo, glory of Israel, haftarah, Isaiah 60:1-22, Keith Johnson, ki tavo, ki tavo haftarah, ki tavo prophets portion, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Temple MountIn this episode of Prophet Pearls,  Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Ki Tavo, covering Isaiah 60:1-22. Gordon and Johnson revel in this sixth in a series of seven “Haftarot of Consolation,” as the prophet Isaiah details the future glory of Israel. Gordon and Johnson provide eyewitness accounts of the fulfillment of some of the prophecies—such as walls built by foreigners and the ingathering of exiles. Word studies include uri/wake up, kavod/glory leaving, netzer/branch and hamas/violence. We learn that signs of a hastening are going on right now and that eternal life on Earth is a Jewish concept. In closing, Johnson prays for the day when there are no coups and no confusion and Messiah reigns from Jerusalem. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #49 – Ki Teitzei (Isaiah 54:1-54:10)

In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Ki Teitzei covering Isaiah 54:1-54:10. Gordon and Johnson revel in the glorious promises to Israel, explore the various ways the Tanakh allegorizes her, and stand firmly on common ground concerning the messianic promise as Yehovah connects his eternal covenant with Israel to the seed of David. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #48 – Shoftim (Isaiah 51:12-52:12)

Prophet Pearls Shoftim, haftarah, haftarah consolation, isaiah, isaiah 53, Keith Johnson, nehemia gordon, orthodox jewish bible, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Prophet Pearls, prophets, prophets portion, shoftim, shoftim haftarah, YeshuaIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Shoftim covering Isaiah 51:12-52:12. Gordon and Johnson begin with the elephant in the room: Why does Shoftim (and Ki Teitzei following) decisively leapfrog over Isaiah 52:13-53:12?  Was the omission of this key prophetic passage for Christians and Messianics a conspiracy or did the Rabbis just not consider it comforting? Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #47 – Re’eh Bonus (Isaiah 66:1-24)

Isaiah 66:14 etched into the Western Wall. Photo by Nehemia GordonThis bonus episode of Prophet Pearls looks at Isaiah 66:1-24, which is read in synagogues around the world whenever the weekly Sabbath coincides with Rosh Chodesh (New Moon Day). Join Nehemia Gordon and Yoel Halevi of Hebrew in Israel, for a riveting discussion about what Isaiah has to say concerning Resurrection of the Dead, God's role as our Heavenly Mother, and eternal Hell-fire. Continue reading