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 synagogueIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nitzavim (Isaiah 61:10-63:9), Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson, recount their most recent visit to the Temple Mount and Nehemia gives the historical background of Muslim-control of the only holy site in Judaism. They also 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 Nehemia provides three rabbinical traditions for the “angel of his presence” mentioned in this passage.  In closing, Nehemia 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 #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 Halevy 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

Prophet Pearls #46 – Eikev (Isaiah 49:14-51:3)

Prophet Pearls, comfort zion, eikev, eikev haftarah, eikev prophets portion, ekev, ekev haftarah, gather kibbutz, god as mother, haftarah, hebrew gender rules, hebrew grammar, Ingathering, isaiah, Isaiah 49:14-51:3, jeremiah, Keith Johnson, nehemia gordon, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Prophet Pearls, prophets, Torah PortionIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Eikev covering Isaiah 49:14-51:3. The gender rules of Hebrew grammar are explored in this portion as well as Isaiah’s (and Moses’) metaphorical references to God as a mother. We learn that the suffering servant’s message is one of great hope—that we can fully trust and lean on God. In addition to grammar goodies, word studies include “gather/kibbutz”—as we see nations gathering in the Land—fulfilling God’s word to Isaiah. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #45 – Va’etchanan (Isaiah 40:1-26)

In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Va'etchanan covering Isaiah 40:1-26. ”Nachamu, nachamu, / Comfort, comfort ye my people” begins this portion as well as the theme of Haftarah readings for the next seven weeks. Gordon explains the history and symbolism for these “Haftarot of consolation” and why they are read from Tish’ah b’Av (the ninth of Av) until Rosh Hashanah.  We also learn the remarkable story of Herbert Samuel—whose reading of this portion at the Hurva Synagogue in 1920 was seen as the official pronouncement of the end of the third exile. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #44 – Devarim (Isaiah 1:1-27)

Prophet Pearls Devarim, abominations, abominations to the lord, babylonian talmud, Devarim, haftarah, isaiah, Isaiah 1:1-27, Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah series, Keith Johnson, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Prophet Pearls, prophets, prophets portion, red ribbon scapegoat, thread of crimson, yoma 39, yoma 39bIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Devarim, covering Isaiah 1:2-27. Devarim kicks off the “Isaiah series” of haftarah readings—the preacher-prophet with a flair for the poetic. Word studies include the pun surrounding “stranger/zareem”; Isaiah’s frequent use of “hoy,” and the word-of-the-week, “HaAdon/the owner-lord-master” (hei,aleph, dalet, vav, nun). Gordon provides three witnesses that the prayers and sacrifices of the wicked are abominable to the Lord—confirming Isaiah’s message that it’s all about obedience. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #42 – Matot (Jeremiah 1:1-2:3)

Almond branch in the Valley of Elah. Photo by Nehemia Gordon. In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Matot, covering Jeremiah 1:1-2:3. Gordon and Johnson provide copious context for the life and times of Jeremiah and the heart-wrenching message he delivered to Jerusalem. The word-of-the-week is “shoked” (shin, qoof, dalet). Its expressions of “almond branch” and “diligence” provide a lesson in creative destruction and an example of a classic Hebrew word pun. Gordon closes with a prayer based on the last verse of the portion—thanking Yehovah for protecting the first fruits of his harvest in Jerusalem, in Israel, and throughout the world. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #41 – Pinchas (1 Kings 18:46-19:21)

Prophet Pearls Pinchas, 1 Kings 18:46-19:21, 1 Kings, elijag mount horeb, elijah and jezebel, elijah mount carmel, elijah mt carmel, elijah mt horeb, etbaal, haftarah, jezebel baal, jezebel sidonian princess, Keith Johnson, mount horeb, Mt. Horeb, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophets, spirit of jezebel, still small voice, this silent voiceIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Pinchas covering 1 Kings 18:46-19:21. Following the smack-down at Mount Carmel, Elijah flees to the desert. But was he “afraid” or did he just “see” what he needed to do? Gordon parses “ra’ah” (reish, aleph, hei) and explains why this word could be translated “afraid” or “saw.” Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #40 – Balak (Micah 5:7[6]-6:8)

Prophet Pearls Balak, Micah 5:7[6]-6:8, balak, biblical idolatry, haftarah, hebrew paragraph divisions, Yehovah, yhvh, Keith Johnson, micah 6:8, nehemia gordon, obedience sacrifice, paragraph divisions, samech pei, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophet micah, prophets, remnant, samech pei, what the lord requiresIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Balak covering Micah 5:6-6:8. The portion begins with Micah drawing from the song of Moses to illustrate what the remnant of Jacob will look like—“as showers upon grass.” The prophet also provides a list of things that will be cut off “in that day.” And lest we think biblical idolatry is obsolete, Gordon and Johnson provide modern day examples that masquerade as piety. We learn the uses of the paragraph divisions of “samech” and “pei” and Gordon scours the Tanakh for other uses of “in that day.” Continue reading