Hebrew Voices #40 – Hebrew Manuscript of the Book of Revelation: Part 2

door nails as descried in the Book of RevelationIn Hebrew Voices, The Hebrew Manuscript of the Book of Revelation: Part 2, Nehemia Gordon, AJ Bernard, and T-Bone, unlock the original meaning of the "keys of death", and reveal a message for the 10 Lost Tribes that was lost in translation. Make sure you first listen to  Part 1 of The Hebrew Manuscript of the Book of Revelation

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Hebrew Voices #40 – Hebrew Manuscript of the Book of Revelation: Part 2

You are listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Le ma’an Zion lo ekhesheh, ulema’an Yerushalayim lo eshkot. (For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest. Isaiah 62:1)

Nehemia: Shalom, this is Nehemia Gordon, and welcome back to Hebrew Voices, discussing the Hebrew manuscript of the Book of Revelation that was recently discovered. This is part 2 of our discussion. We went so long in the discussion that we decided that have to break this into two parts. This is so exciting. This is not the final word on this text, this is the beginning of study and exploration, and that’s one of the things that excites me about this text, is that it can be the basis for beginning a discussion. I am beginning exploration of this text and I’m very excited about this. And I’m here today once again with AJ Bernard and my friend, T-Bone. Shalom, guys.

AJ Bernard: Shalom.

T-Bone: Shalom.

Nehemia: So, we are back discussing the Hebrew version of the Book of Revelation, which can be found in the British Library. In fact, they have it on their website. It’s manuscript Sloane 273, and I want to get to verse 18, because verse 18 is the second most exciting verse in the whole section, for me.

AJ Bernard: Sure.

Nehemia: Maybe it’s the third, I don’t know. All right, verse 18 - and do you have my translation in front of you, AJ?

AJ Bernard: I do. I’ve got both of them, yeah.

Nehemia: Okay, I’m going to read the Hebrew. I’m going to let you read the English to verse 18. “Ve hachai vehayiti met, vehinei chai ani l’olmei olamim, amen. Veyesh li et hamasmerim hamavet vehaSheol.”

AJ Bernard: “And the one who lives and I was dead, and behold, I live forever and ever, amen. And I have the nails of death and Sheol.”

Nehemia: The “nails of death”. And in the Greek it doesn’t say “nails”, in the Greek it says, “the keys of death and hades”. Hades presumably is a Greek concept that’s parallel to Sheol except obviously, it’s somewhat different. But if you’re translating it into Greek, I don’t know how else you’d translate it. So, “nails”. So if this is translated from Greek, which it might be, where did they get the nails from? And the word “nails” is masmerim and keys are maftechot. So they both have a Mem in them, but many Hebrew nouns begin with a Mem. They don’t sound similar at all, so what’s going on here?

AJ Bernard: I don’t know. The Greek word here is “kleis” or “klace” which means alternatively, “key” and “to shut”. And so there is, if not a linguistic similarity, at least a functional similarity between a key and a nail, because they both shut things.

Nehemia: That sounds like you’re… [laughing]

AJ Bernard: Is it? Okay.

Nehemia: I mean, that sounds like you’re grasping at nails there. I mean, “They both shut things.” So, if he said, “I have here the chair of the Sheol and hades,” you could say, “Well, you put a chair up against the door to shut it, right?”

AJ Bernard: [laughing] That may be going a little far.

Nehemia: Right. Now, where you could say they’re similar is that a key is made of usually iron in ancient times, and it has more or less the shape of a nail, and that actually is not a coincidence. I looked into this, and I’m like, “Wow, this is probably the most significant difference from the Greek text.” And I couldn’t find any Greek text from what I was able to check, or even Aramaic. I looked everywhere. I couldn’t find anybody who has anything other than “key”, that has “nails”.

So, I looked at this word “nails”. It appears four times in the Tanakh, and it’s often related to doors. Actually, we have this expression in English, “dead as a doornail”. So, what is a doornail? So originally, a door was made of a series of planks, and you’d have a crossbar that would hold them together with nails. And then in later doors, the nail just became a decoration. In fact, I Googled “doornail” and I found modern doornails that are used as decorations. Like apparently, this is still a thing - a doornail. So, I think that’s interesting, that he’s talking about keys in the Greek, and in every other version and in Hebrew there’s a nail, and a nail can be associated with the door. But it doesn’t end there. So, in the Tanakh it’s related to doors.

The really interesting thing is, when I looked up “masmer” in Jastrow, that’s the dictionary of post-Biblical Hebrew, he has two fascinating references. What Jastrow does is he doesn’t just tell you what it means, he says, “Well, here are the texts the word is used in.” And that’s how we know what it means. We’re not telling the text what it means, we’re deriving the meaning from these Jewish texts.

So, the first text is the Mishna, and the Mishna in the tractate of Shabbat, it’s talking about Rabbinical law, you’re not allowed to carry something outside on the Sabbath. It’s considered work by the Mishna to carry something outside on the Sabbath, and they say, “Well, what about carrying the nail of a crucifixion victim?” I mean, isn’t it incredible? They’re talking in the Mishna that this was a thing! [laughing]

AJ Bernard: Wow.

Nehemia: People walked around carrying the nail of a crucifixion victim. The assumption by most people who read this is that it imparted them with some kind of protection or luck. But maybe these were Jews who believed in Yeshua, because we’re talking in the 2nd century, you know how many Christians would walk around wearing a cross? Maybe they walked around carrying a crucifixion nail in their pocket, because they believed in Yeshua. I don’t know. Isn’t that incredible?

AJ Bernard: Awesome. That’s awesome.

Nehemia: Yeah.

AJ Bernard: Now, there’s also the verse in Isaiah 22:23, “I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open and none shall shut. He shall shut and none shall open.”

Nehemia: Okay.

AJ Bernard: And that was linked from Matthew 16:18 and 19. “I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Nehemia: So, this can’t be a coincidence. We have a passage here where Yeshua’s talking about keys, and it’s immediately after talking about the gates of hell. It’s the keys of the kingdom and the gates of hell, and those keys open up a door that lets you into the kingdom, presumably. So, that connection to the gates of hell is very interesting, and I think it ties into Revelation, where he says, “I have the keys of death and Sheol.” So, maybe those are, at least from the Greek, the keys that maybe get you out of Sheol and death? No, I’m not trying to be funny, like isn’t that what it means in the Greek?

AJ Bernard: Yeah, I think so.

Nehemia: Like that’s the contextual, literal meaning of the Greek. You’re going to be in Sheol, which is the place in the Tanakh where you sleep after you’re dead, and I’ve got keys that you can get out of there. I think that’s what it’s saying in the Greek. And here in the Hebrew it’s the nails. So what’s your immediate association when you hear a figure that presumably is Yeshua, he says, “I was dead and now I’m alive,” and he has nails; what’s the immediate association, without overthinking this?

AJ Bernard: The cross, the nails of the cross.

Nehemia: The nails of the crucifixion. In fact, I looked up the word “nails” in the New Testament, and I believe the only passage it appears is in John, at least in the plural. Actually, can you read it, John 20:25, AJ?

AJ Bernard: “So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the marks of the nails and place my finger in the marks of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.’” This is Thomas speaking.

Nehemia: Right, and the word there is “eilon”. We have a related word in Colossians 2:14, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.” And the word there is “proseluses,” which is the verb form of nail, just like in the English. So, we have those two references to nails in the New Testament and they’re both related to the cross, and here, all of a sudden in a third place in Revelation, in Hebrew we have Yeshua showing up and saying, “Hey, I’ve got the nails to death and Sheol.”

But how do you get from nails to key or from keys to nail? I didn’t know until I was looking in Jastrow. So check this out - another reference he brings is to a passage in the Tosefta, which is around the same period as the Mishna, meaning around 200 AD, and it talks about various laws of ritual purity, and one of the questions the Rabbis discuss there is they say, “Well, what about a nail that’s bent to open and lock doors?” [laughing] Meaning a nail that’s turned into a key.

AJ Bernard: Oh, wow!

Nehemia: Like, that was a think in this period. So, you have Jews walking around carrying nails from a crucifixion victim, and then you have nails that are used as keys. This can’t be a coincidence. There are too many cultural connections going on here.

AJ Bernard: That’s awesome.

Nehemia: Something is going on here. This is fascinating. Yeshua shows up with the nails of death and Sheol in the Hebrew, and in the Greek it’s the keys, and nails are turned into keys, and Jews are walking around carrying nails. I mean, this is pretty cool stuff. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this, but this is huge. There’s something going on here.

T-Bone: I find this very fascinating, the nails. That’s one of the things that struck me on this manuscript. And I’ve been thinking about it for the last two days, trying to figure out what it could mean. I think what you’re saying there really brings it to light. And whoever translated this, if this was translated from Greek into Hebrew, they had to know the culture and have a deep understanding, I would think, to put nails in there.

Nehemia: Right. And here’s another possibility. There’s a man named William Darby, and he actually wrote a study on the Hebrew version of the Gospel of Matthew, Shem-Tov’s Hebrew Matthew. I wrote about that in my book, The Hebrew Yeshua Versus the Greek Jesus and A Prayer to Our Father, and I’m convinced that is a Hebrew original text, not a translation from Greek. But Darby, he of course is coming from the Greek perspective, and he says, “We all know it can’t be an original Hebrew text, because we learned that in Seminary.”

So, how do we explain that there are things in Hebrew Matthew that clearly go back to an early period of the Church? This is Darby, and I’m paraphrasing, of course. And he says, “Well, it must have been translated from a now lost early Latin text that preserved things from an earlier Greek text than what we have.” So, this is like a mainstream New Testament scholar. This is actually in the international critical commentary on Matthew. Like, I see that’s a big deal, that’s like mainstream academic university scholarship saying, “Well, we can’t deny that there are these early readings in the Hebrew version of the Gospel of Matthew of Shem-Tov, but we can’t accept that it’s an original Greek text - or an original Hebrew text - so maybe it’s translated from some early version that somehow got into Spain in 1380.” And maybe that’s what’s going on here. Maybe this is translated from some lost Latin or Greek text which goes back to an earlier Greek that had the word “nails”. I don’t know.

All I know is that I looked and I couldn’t find nails in any other text. If somebody has it out there, please come to the page on nehemiaswall.com and share that manuscript. There could be a manuscript out there in Greek or Latin that has the word “nails”, and I’d love to know that, because there are too many connections here for this just to be a colossal coincidence.

AJ Bernard: Yeah, absolutely.

Nehemia: And let’s state the obvious. Yeshua comes and He says, “I have the nails of death and Sheol.” And you have Jews walking around with nails from a crucifixion. This is cool. [laughing] This is very cool! All now, people - because I could see somebody out there listening to this and saying, “I’m going to get rid of my cross. I’m going to start walking around with a nail.” Please don’t bring it past the TSA. That could end badly. Okay, there I said my piece.

All right, verse 19. I’m going to read to the end of the chapter, 19:20. “Lachen ktov she ra’ita veshehena veshutzrach la’asot acharei zot. Ha sod hashiv’a cochavim she’ra’ita beyad yemini vasheva menorot hazahav hashiva cochavim malachim. Hashiva makelim heima, vehasheva menorot shera’ita shiva makelim hena.” In English, “Therefore, write that which you saw and that are here, and that which is necessary to do after this. The secret of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lamps, the seven stars are angels of the seven congregations and the seven lamps that you saw are the seven congregations.”

And by the way, I’m reading here my translation. Normally, what happens in scholarship is we’ll discover a text like this and we’ll work on it for 10 years, and then we’ll release the official authoritative translation and text. And I knew about the text 14 years ago, but I saw this text for the first time 3 days ago. So please - what I’m reading is not the last word. This is the beginning of study and research, and I’m hoping people will go to this text and they’ll do research and they’ll say, “Nehemia was wrong. Here’s this other information that within three days he didn’t pick up on,” which is entirely possible. I mean, I think this text is worthy of study. Do you guys have any thoughts on these last two verses of chapter 1?

AJ Bernard: There’s the issue of the angels of these churches, and does that refer to the divine heavenly beings, or does “angel” simply refer to messenger? Could it be the pastor or a prophetic figure?

Nehemia: And what is the word in Greek?

AJ Bernard: Angelos.

Nehemia: So, “angelos” means “messenger”, and it’s just as ambiguous as Hebrew. In other words, in the Tanakh, “mal’ach” can be both a human or a spirit messenger, and there’s no way to know except the context. And in Greek as well, “angelos” is just “messenger”. So a human messenger is also called “angelos” in Greek. So it’s ambiguous – meaning, whenever you see the word “angel”, know that word can be a human messenger as well. And that’s in the Tanakh, that’s in the New Testament, that’s everywhere that both Hebrew and Greek have this word that has this ambiguity.

In fact, “malachai” means “my messenger, my angel”. It’s “malachi”, “my main angel”. And he’s referred as his “mal’achut”, his messengership, meaning referring to malachi. And then the King Balak sends messengers, which are also called angel, “malach”. So, it’s only from the context you could know whether it’s angel or messenger. It’s the same in Hebrew and Greek.

AJ Bernard: Okay. And does that share the root with “melech” meaning “king?”

Nehemia: No, absolutely not. Melech, the root is Mem-Lamed-Khaf. Noun, adjective and verb in the Hebrew language is based on a three-letter root. This is the most basic concept - literally, the most basic concept. It’s the root concept, no pun intended – or maybe pun intended – of the Hebrew language, that every word has a three-letter root. It doesn’t apply to prepositions and things, but every adjective, noun and verb has a three-letter root. And the root of “melech”, king is Mem-Lamed-Khaf. The root of angel, “mal’ach,” is Lamed-Aleph-Kaf. And “la’achah” means “to send, to send somebody to do something.” So, mal’ach is “the one who is sent”, that’s the literal translation.

Okay, chapter 2:1, “Lemal’ach hamakel ve’Efesus ktov hena. Omer she’okhez hashiva hakochavim beyad yemino sheholech betoch hasheva menorot hazahav.” “To the angel of the congregation of Ephesus write here. The one who is holding the seven stars in his right hand and that walks in the middle of the seven golden lamps says,” “Yode’a ani hamal’achotecha vaheyagi’ah ve’ha’erech apecha. Vekhilo tuchal laset ra’im u’bechantaha. Omrim lihiyotam meshulachim ve lo hema, umetzatam kozvim.” “I know your labors and toil and abundant patience that you are not able to bear evil ones. And you tested it, those who say that they are sent and they are not. And you found them to be liars.”

Verse 3, “Venatalta u’lecha erech apayim ba’avur shmi, velo chalita.” “And you took and you have abundant patience for my namesake and you have not perished.” “Ki’im li me’um alecha ki azavta ha’avcha harishon.” “But I have something against you. You left your first love.” “Uzechor me’ayin nirbateta, vehinachem ve’aseh harishonim ma’asim. Ve’im lo avor lecha pitom peta, ve’azua hamenora mimkomo lulei tinachem.” “And remember from where you were thrown down and repent and do the first deeds. And if not, I will come to you as a sudden surprise and I will shake your lamp from its place if you do not repent.” “Ki im lecha zot ki sotem atah hama’aseh nikola’itim shehsotem gam ani.” “But you have this that you hate the deeds of Nicolaitans that I also hate.” “Ve’asher ozen yishma ma haru’ach omeret lemakelim.” “He who has an ear will hear what the spirit says to the congregations.”

AJ Bernard: I love that phrase.

Nehemia: Let me just finish this verse. “Lamenatze’ach eten le’echol min ha’etz hachayim asher betoch hapardes haElohi.” “I will let the victorious eat of the tree of life which is in the Divine orchard.” Wow, that’s a lot! I don’t know if we can cover all of it, but what are the key things in these seven verses? And by the way, the Hebrew has verse numbers, but they’re slightly different than the Greek and the English. Of course, verse numbers were added much later.

T-Bone: I’m really interested in the divine orchard portion.

AJ Bernard: Oh, yeah. That’s awesome. So, the word there is “pardes”, and in the Greek I believe it says “paradise” or “paradisos”, which is simply a transliteration of the word “pardes”. Now, scholars say the word “pardes” is not a Hebrew word originally, that originally it is the Persian word for an orchard. Whether that is true or not is an interesting question. That’s beyond the scope of this discussion. But we do have the word “pardes” in the Tanakh. It appears three times, and each time it is referring to a literal area where fruit trees are planted, meaning an orchard.

So, for example, Ecclesiastes 2:5, “I made me gardens and orchards and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruits.” And the word is “pardesim”, orchards. Of course, the word “paradise” in English implies not just any orchard, but the Garden of Eden, meaning it’s a specific orchard, a holy orchard. And here it says, “pardes haElohi”, the Divine orchard. What’s interesting is we have a reference in the Talmud to four men who entered the pardes, and it’s this mystical orchard. Let me just pull this up and read it, because it’s quite interesting, the reference to pardes in the Rabbinical text. And this is a very famous story, it’s Arba Nichnesu Lepardes, the Four Who Entered the Orchard.

So, it’s in Chagiga 14:B, which is in the Talmud, but it’s quoting an earlier Mishnaic period source called a Baraita. It says, “Four entered the pardes, and these are they: Ben Aza and Ben Zoma, one they call Acher,” the other one, they won’t even say his name, “and Rabbi Akiva.” It’s a fascinating story. And basically, what comes out of this story is that one of the guys who went into the pardes died. Another one went crazy. And the third one became an apostate, and that’s why they call him Acher, they won’t even say his name. And of the four that entered, only Rabbi Akiva came out unscathed.

So, what is this pardes that they’re talking about, this mystical orchard, and what happened in the pardes? Now is that connected here to what Revelation is talking about, both in the Greek and the Hebrew, because they have the same word? I don’t know, but presumably it’s connected to this idea of the Garden of Elohim, the Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden, which was an orchard, right? It had at least two fruit trees in it, perhaps more. I guess it had lots of fruit trees, because they ate from it.

So, we think of it as the “Garden of Eden”, but actually, it’s the “Orchard of Eden”. It doesn’t sound as poetic in English. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: Oh, cool.

Nehemia: But it’s the pardes of Eden. And by the way, we do know the name of the man who became an apostate. His name was Elisha ben Abuyah, but he’s usually referred to as Acher, the other one, who entered the pardes and became a heretic.” [laughing] I wonder what he saw there.

AJ Bernard: The one thing I really wanted to hit on was the word “Nicolaitans”.

Nehemia: Okay.

AJ Bernard: Nicolaitans, because it comes from the Greek, it’s a transliteration of the Greek. I looked in the Hebrew text, and it had the transliteration there. The Greek word - a couple of ideas of where it may come from: One, a conjugation of “nicai’o” which means “to rule over” from the Greek god Nike, and the word that becomes “laity”.

Nehemia: Oh, so it’s to Nike over laity, to be victorious over the laity.

AJ Bernard: Right.

Nehemia: Oh, wow.

AJ Bernard: Yeah, to rule over the people. And I’ve heard people say that this talks about the idea of the clergy, the professional clergy, lording their religion over the people.

Nehemia: Wait, so in your church that you meet on Sunday, they’re under your authority. You’re their covering and they have to obey you, right?

AJ Bernard: Well, only when I want coffee, or slippers, or something.

Nehemia: [laughing] Okay.

AJ Bernard: No, actually because of this verse and a few other places, I don’t have my congregants call me “Pastor AJ”.

Nehemia: Oh, really?

AJ Bernard: I don’t want titles.

Nehemia: Oh, wow.

AJ Bernard: I’m AJ. And a famous Pastor, John McArthur, the Reverend Dr. John McArthur, who was the President of the Master’s Seminary, does the same thing. His congregants call him “John”.

Nehemia: Oh, very cool. That’s very cool.

AJ Bernard: And I think that’s a fantastic way of going about it.

Nehemia: Right, and that kind of ties into Matthew 23, “Call no man Rabbi, call no man father.” That’s way off track, but yeah. It is interesting that you have a Greek word here in the Hebrew. I should point out that in this period, when Hebrew was heavily influenced by both Greek and Aramaic, for example, there are two key concepts in Rabbinical literature from this period, one will be probably very well-known to many members of the audience, it’s the word “gematria.” Gematria is simply the Greek word for “mathematics”, but it appears all over Hebrew literature, both Hebrew and Aramaic literature of Jewish sources.

Gematria is where you take words and you turn them into numbers, and then find other words that have the same number. And that is actually a Greek concept, that they would take Alpha, Beta and Gamma and turn them into numbers. It actually came from the Greek schools of Alexandria.

And then the other word you have, which probably isn’t going to be too familiar to anybody but Hebrew scholars, is the word “notarikon”, which is another Greek word that you find all over Rabbinical literature in Hebrew and in Aramaic. And it’s another method of interpretation that comes out of the Greek schools of Alexandria. Notarikon actually makes a lot more sense in Greek than it does in Hebrew, because it’s identifying compound words. Hebrew doesn’t really have so many compound words, it’s quite rare. But in Greek, “Nicolaitans” is an example of a compound word. It’s the word “nicao”, victory and laity, right? So, compound words are much more natural in Greek.

So, you do have Greek words in Hebrew of this period. You have Aramaic words. We just saw a Persian word that goes back to the time of King Solomon, right, because he’s writing in Ecclesiastes, assuming he wrote Ecclesiastes. So, you do have foreign loaned words occasionally. They tend to be rare, depending on your period you might have more. So yeah, you have all kinds of Greek words in Hebrew sources of this period. You have “famalia” which is the word “family”, but it actually means an “entourage” or a “royal entourage”. You have “palatin” which is a word that appears all over the Rabbinical writings in Hebrew of this period. “Palatin” is the word “palatine” and it means “palace”. It’s actually the source of the word “palace”.

In other words, the original Hebrew, whether this is the original Hebrew or not I don’t know, but it’s very possible the original Hebrew did have the word “Nicolaitim” or something like it, Nicolaitans. It’s very possible.

AJ Bernard: All right. There was another theory that it refers to the heresy of someone named “Nicholas”, but I couldn’t find anything beyond that.

Nehemia: Yeah. And what you’re really saying is that Greek scholars aren’t exactly sure what it means.

AJ Bernard: Right, absolutely.

Nehemia: Meaning, you have this deed of the Nicolaitans, or I think they often talk about the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. Is that what it says in the Greek there?

AJ Bernard: Yes.

Nehemia: So, we don’t exactly know what that is, but the Greek is a good place to start, that’s for sure.

T-Bone: I’ve seen some people connect the Nicolaitans back to the same meaning as “Balaam”.

AJ Bernard: Yeah, I’ve heard that as well.

Nehemia: And tell me about that, what’s the connection with Balaam?

AJ Bernard: I don’t have it in front of me, but it says like the “conqueror of the people.” I’d have to look it up.

Nehemia: Okay, interesting. I think it’s interesting, this word the “victorious”. Is there something different in the Greek there? “I will let the victorious eat of the tree of life.” Just the tree of life is an amazing concept. We just talked about a pardes, a holy orchard, and in that orchard there are two trees, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. And we were never forbidden from eating of the tree of life, we were only forbidden to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If we had only just not eaten from the tree we were forbidden to eat from, and eaten from the tree where we were allowed to eat from, we would have had eternal life, but because we disobeyed God, that was taken away from us.

And then you have this concept, especially in Proverbs, “Eitz chaim hi lemachazikim ba.” “The Torah is a tree of life for those who grab hold of it.” The Tanakh concept is that through the Torah, we get a second crack at eating of the tree of life, the one that we gave up that opportunity when we ate of the tree of knowledge. Now we have a second chance to eat of that tree of life, and get eternal life…

AJ Bernard: Hallelujah.

Nehemia: …in the terms of the Tanakh. So, that’s pretty cool. I do think it’s interesting the victorious, because the words “lamenatze’ach” could also mean “the conductor”, that is, the conductor of a choir. And remember, I mentioned that “makelim”, which is congregations, could also be translated as “choir”. I just realized that. Maybe there’s some kind of play on words there, I don’t know.

AJ Bernard: And then, the Greek word “victorious” here gets translated in English as “conquers”, is actually “nikamti”, which comes Nike.

Nehemia: Wow!

AJ Bernard: Yes.

Nehemia: So, we may have a word pun in the Greek connecting Nicolaitans with the victorious.

T-Bone: The conquerors who oppose them, yes.

Nehemia: Wow. So there are the ones who conquer the laity, “We don’t like that. We hate that,” meaning whoever’s speaking here, but for the ones who are victorious in something else, maybe victorious in the Spirit, because the Spirit is talking? I don’t know. That’s theology that I’m not sure we want to get into.

But there’s this other group that are victorious without being victorious over the laity, victorious in the word, victorious in the Torah or whatever it is, they’re going to get to eat of the tree of life. That’s pretty cool.

AJ Bernard: That’s awesome.

Nehemia: That’s cool. And look, that might be an argument for a Greek original, at least, of that passage. I don’t know. That’s interesting. It’s hard to deny that there’s a connection there in the Greek. But maybe the Greek translator from the original Hebrew wove that in. Maybe there was something in the Hebrew that’s not lost. In other words, maybe the original Hebrew said something like, “I hate the actions of the menatzchei ha’am, the ones victorious over the people.” But lamenatze’ach, the conductor of the choir, the one who is victorious in Torah, he’s going to get to eat of the tree of life. Here I’m speculating, I don’t know. I don’t have that text, right? We have a copy of a copy of a copy, possibly a translation.

Now we’re going to get to one of the most exciting verses in the whole thing. I’m going to read to the end, but then we’ll go back and discuss it. So, verse 9, “U’chtov lemal’ach hamakel beSmyrna, veheina omer harishon veha’acharon shehaya met vechaya.” Can you read my English translation of that, AJ?

AJ Bernard: Sure. “And right for the angel of the congregation of Smyrna and hear say the first and the last that was dead and lives.”

Nehemia: And who’s that referring to?

AJ Bernard: Well, that’s obviously Yeshua.

Nehemia: Somebody who is dead and is now… That’s pretty cool. And again, I’m not a Christian. I’m not Messianic. I’m reading this text saying, “What does it say?” I’m just a simple Jew who believes in the Tanakh, but let’s understand what the text says in its own terms. He goes on, “Yode’ah ani hamasecha vehatzara vehadalah ki’im kaved ata. Vehanatzat hamedabrim Yehudi’im lihiyot, ve’lo hema, ki im knesset hasatan…”

And there’s a lot to discuss here. Here’s the English translation: “I know your deeds and the suffering and the poverty, but you are rich, and the despising of those who speak to be Judaic, and they are not, but rather the Synagogue of Satan.” Wow. [laughing] This is interesting.

So first of all, talk to me in verse 8 about this phrase, “the first and the last that was dead and now lives,” because in chapter 1:8 we said, “Well, it’s ambiguous. When he says the Aleph and the Tav, that could be Yehovah speaking.” Actually, it says, “omer Yehovah”, it has to be Yehovah speaking, but here I don’t think anybody can dispute that presumably, Yehovah has never been dead. So presumably this is not Him speaking. So, what does Yeshua mean when He says, “I am the first and the last?”

AJ Bernard: Well, according to Christian theology, the name “Yehovah” applies to the entirety of the Godhead.

Nehemia: Oh.

AJ Bernard: It’s not just the Father, but it’s also the Son and the Spirit.

Nehemia: So, there are three Yehovahs?

AJ Bernard: No, no. It’s a very difficult concept and beyond the scope of this conversation. But…

Nehemia: I’m so confused, AJ. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: I’m so sorry Nehemia, I love you.

Nehemia: All right, so when I say, “Yehovah” I mean what Christians call “the Father”. So, Yehovah Elohim, the Elohim is speaking in 1:8, we all agree on that, because it says, “Yehovah Elohim”, at least in the Hebrew. And let’s go back to 1:8 really quick. Okay, so you’re saying it could be that Yeshua’s speaking even in 1:8?

AJ Bernard: Yeah.

Nehemia: And Yehoshua’s calling Himself “Yehovah”. Oh, okay. So, there’s Father Yehovah and there’s Son Yehovah?

AJ Bernard: And Spirit Yehovah, yeah. There’s only one God.

Nehemia: And that’s not three?

AJ Bernard: There’s only the one God, but He’s expressed in three persons.

Nehemia: Ooh. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: Yeah.

Nehemia: All right, let’s go back to the text. So, who is clearly speaking in chapter 2:8?

AJ Bernard: Oh, that would be clearly Yeshua, because he was dead and is now alive.

Nehemia: And I think we all agree that the Father, Yehovah, has never been dead.

AJ Bernard: Right, absolutely.

Nehemia: Okay, and He’s calling Himself “the first and the last”. I’ll let Christian theologians hash out what that means, that’s interesting. Verse 9 is really much more interesting to me, because it talks about the “despising of those who speak to the Yehudi’im”. Read me what it says in the English for that passage.

AJ Bernard: Okay. From the Greek, “I know your tribulation, your poverty, but you are rich.” There’s a parenthetical remark there. “And the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not but are a Synagogue of Satan.”

Nehemia: Wow, “those who say they are Jews but they are not,” and so that would be in Hebrew, “Yehudim”. But instead of Yehudim it has “Yehudi’im”, which is the adjective form. You could almost translate it as “Jewish-like”, or I translated here as “Judaic”. It’s not the same as Jew or Jews. And I looked this up because I thought, “Okay, so what is the difference between Jews and Judaic? Isn’t that the same thing?” And I found this amazing text, Genesis Rabbah section 97. And there, it’s speaking about how Judah, back in the time of the forefathers, was able to keep the tribes from sinning by killing Joseph. Unfortunately, [laughing] it didn’t turn out so well for Joseph, but at least he wasn’t killed.

And then they say here, “Also in this world, you will be honored that all the tribes will call themselves Yehudi’im just as you are called Yehudah.” And the semantic distinction that’s created here in Genesis Rabbah 97 is between Jews and those who are of the tribes and call themselves “Yehudi’im” rather than “Yehudim”. And Yehudi’im are people basically from the 10 lost tribes who will be called “Yehudi’im”. That’s an incredible concept here. Where are these Ten Tribes?

And so, if that’s the meaning - and I don’t know if it is – but if that’s the meaning, if either the translator or the writer was familiar with that semantic distinction, the explanation of Revelation 2:9 from this Hebrew text is that there are people who are going to call themselves “Yehudi’im”, meaning they’re going to be from the Ten Tribes and they’re going to say, “Look, we’re not Jews but we’re Judaic,” and they’re not Judaic, they’re a Synagogue of Satan. I mean, whoa! [laughing]

AJ Bernard: Yeah.

Nehemia: Wow. So, give me your Methodist take on that.

AJ Bernard: Well, Yeshua teaches in a couple of parables about corruption within the Church, and that the Church is going to grow into something that it shouldn’t, that it’s a perverted version of what He wants it to be. I don’t know if that’s the meaning here.

Nehemia: I don’t know. We’ve established what the text says, now the interpretation is less clear.

AJ Bernard: Sure.

T-Bone: I would like if you’d explain Genesis Rabbah a little bit, where it’s from, what it is, that sort of thing.

Nehemia: Okay, so Genesis Rabbah is a Midrash, and it dates to around the year 500, but it contains much earlier material. That’s actually something you’ll often hear in early Rabbinical literature, “It’s from the year 200 but it contains much earlier material,” and it’s true. So, for example, other people who are much greater experts in Genesis Rabbah than I am have pointed out that there are three clear connections between the Epistles of Paul and Genesis Rabbah. For example, where he talks about the Torah being a teacher, that is based on a sermon in Genesis Rabbah, in this Midrash.

And what this Midrash does is, it’s basically a series of interpretations of the Book of Genesis and other books when there’s some association, that are in the Midrashic method – which means, they’re not necessarily saying, “Okay, if we read this text, what meaning will we derive from it?” But there’s an association we can create from this text, and if we want to give a sermon in the synagogue, we could build it around this text. And that’s called the “Midrashic method of interpretation”, it’s sometimes described as reading meaning into the text instead of deriving meaning from the text, but often the Rabbis have a certain concept and they want to teach that concept, so they hang it on some verse from which you’d never get it from that verse alone, but they already have the concept and they want to teach it.

And there are three very clear connections between the Epistles of Paul and Genesis Rabbah which show you that that material goes back to the time when Paul, according to his description, was sitting under Gamaliel and teaching. So, even though it was written down in 500, it contains much, much earlier material that goes back to the 1st century, and probably earlier than that.

So when there’s this teaching that there’ll be people from the Ten Tribes - I guess, 11 Tribes – who will call themselves “Yehudi’im”, that could be from 500, it could be from 500 BC. We don’t know. Probably not from 500 BC, right? But it probably does go back to Second Temple times. Is this a reference to that here, that there are people who claim to be from the Ten Tribes and to be Judaic and they’re not? They’re the Synagogue of Satan? I mean, what on earth…? I mean, the first thought I had is, this is a reference to replacement theology, where the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church say that they are the new Israel. The old Israel’s done away with. They are the new Jews. The old Jews are done away with. I don’t know if that’s what this is talking about. I’m going to leave that for the listeners to search it out for yourself and pray about it, because it’s a very fascinating passage.

AJ Bernard: Yeah, it makes sense to me. I’ve always thought of replacement theology as heretical.

Nehemia: Uh-oh.

AJ Bernard: It’s really, really bad.

Nehemia: Uh-oh. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: Yeah.

Nehemia: Anything else, T-Bone?

T-Bone: Yeah, I agree with that about the dispensation. The other thing, I’d kind of like to explore the Synagogue of Satan. I notice that you capitalized Satan there…

Nehemia: Yeah.

T-Bone: …and I’d kind of like a deep understanding of what a synagogue is. Is it a system, is it a congregation? That sort of thing.

Nehemia: So, it literally says, “Knesset haSatan”, which if we want to be technical is “the knesset of the Satan”. [laughing] That’s without translating it. And the word for synagogue is beit knesset, the house of the gathering. And knesset is gathering, so it’s the gathering of the Satan. Satan really shouldn’t have a capital S. In fact, let’s change it right now and make it “the satan” with a small S, because if you say “the” in Hebrew, then it’s not a name. Then again, this is kind of a strange text where he adds “the” to almost everything, so maybe it is a name here. But normally in Hebrew if you have a “the” in front of a word it’s “the satan, the elohim.” Elohim then isn’t a name.

So, this is a big concept. What is the “knesset of the satan”? Is it necessarily a synagogue? So, for example, Israel’s parliament is called “the Knesset” and where that comes from is not the word “synagogue” but an earlier concept that there’s something called “the men of the Great Assembly, haKnesset haGdola, the Great Knesset”. And that dates back to around 400 BC. Supposedly Chaggai, Zecharia and Malachi or Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi were members of the Knesset haGdola.

So, knesset without the word “beit” in front of it, arguably is not synagogue. It could be some kind of what I think the call in Greek a “synod”, that is a counsel. And it’s interesting, because we have the word “congregation” here and it’s makelim, But with this word “synagogue”, so basically it’s the “counsel of the satan”, I mean, satan means “enemy”, but where you see about “hasatan” in the Tanakh it’s a type of angel, or perhaps a single angel, that’s arguable. So, we have this “counsel of the satan”. I don’t know, what is that? Thoughts?

AJ Bernard: The Greek does use a capital letter.

Nehemia: Yeah, but the original Greek doesn’t have capital letters. That’s your modern Greek.

AJ Bernard: Really?

Nehemia: Yeah. Well, to be more specific, the earliest Greek texts are written in all caps with no spaces between the words. So, whenever you see a capital in your modern Greek text, that’s the interpretation of some modern printer.

AJ Bernard: Very cool. Thank you.

Nehemia: So, read us the Greek, that phrase.

AJ Bernard:Synagogue tau Satana”.

Nehemia: Okay, which is just “the Synagogue of…”

AJ Bernard: Of Satan.

Nehemia: Satan. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: It doesn’t have the direct article, though. It doesn’t have the ha, the “the”.

Nehemia: Actually it does. Read it again.

AJ Bernard: Oh, “hoSatan.”

Nehemia: Yeah, so it’s “of the satan,” so it actually does.

AJ Bernard: The satan, yeah. Good.

Nehemia: So, it’s the “counsel of the satan, gathering of the satan”. I don’t know what that is. Maybe it’s some counsel that took place in the 1st century that John of Patmos is saying, “This counsel, that’s the side of a certain thing. They’re way off.” I have no idea. Or maybe it’s an enemy counsel, I don’t know. Presumably then, it would be a counsel that’s in Smyrna, which is what we were talking about. I don’t know.

AJ Bernard: Right, and those that are of the Synagogue of Satan are the Yehudi’im. They’re the ones who claim to be Jews but they’re not.

Nehemia: In fact, they claim to be Judaic.

AJ Bernard: Right.

Nehemia: They’re from the Ten Tribes and claim to be Judaic, but they’re not. And it’s not clear, are they not from the Ten Tribes, or are they from the Ten Tribes but not really Judaic? Maybe they’re from the Ten Tribes and they claim to be Judaic but they don’t follow the Torah and therefore they’re not. I mean, I don’t know. We’re trying to figure out what a text said both in Greek and in Hebrew. Yeah, I don’t know. I think whole books have been written about this.

AJ Bernard: Sure.

Nehemia: All right. To me, this is one of the three big pearls in this passage, one of the three golden nuggets. You’ve got Yehovah with the vowels in chapter 1 verse 8, you’ve got the nails, and you have this reference to Yehudi’im versus Yehudim. This is some cool stuff. And again, I don’t know if this is a translation from some lost Greek or Latin version, or if it is just the original Hebrew, I have no idea. But there’s something really fascinating about this text. Let’s read on.

Verse 10, “Al tira shehutzrach unot vehinei ha’avadon yiten mikem el beit hasohar lenasotchem. Velachem tzara asar yamim. Heyeh ne’eman ad mavet venatati lecha ateret hachayim.” “Do not be afraid for suffering was necessary. And behold destruction…” which is Avadon, or Abaddon, “will give some of you to the prison to test you. And you will have suffering for 10 days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” That’s pretty cool. What’s the crown of life? It sounds like a good thing, whatever it is. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: Yeah, it could be a reference to a victor’s crown from the Greek games.

Nehemia: So, we’re back to the victors, like in the earlier verse.

AJ Bernard: Right.

Nehemia: Okay, nice. Nice.

AJ Bernard: Now, the word “smyrna”, am I correct in saying that this comes Hebrew “myrrh”?

Nehemia: Oh, I assumed it was a Greek word, because it’s the name of a Greek city.

AJ Bernard: But myrrh is a plant that you crush…

Nehemia: Absolutely.

AJ Bernard: …and it releases a beautiful smelling oil. It’s also used in embalming fluid.

Nehemia: So, why does it have a Samach in the front of it?

AJ Bernard: Maybe just because of the corruption of the Greek or…

Nehemia: Yeah, I’m not buying it. I’m not buying it, but I guess it’s possible.

AJ Bernard: I get it, the similarities, it’s just that this Church has a lot of bad things happen to them. They get crushed, they get beaten up, that sort of thing.

Nehemia: Okay, like myrrh, huh? But they smell good.

AJ Bernard: Yeah.

Nehemia: All right. So, that’s a nice little midrash. It’s a good thing to share as a homily. I don’t know that’s what it… And look, it’s actually possible that Smyrna means something in Greek, because the word “myrhh” or “mor” in Hebrew, is the name of this plant, and it had that plant in probably many, many languages. So, in Greek it is called “myrrh” or something like that. So, maybe Smyrna is related to that. I don’t know, it’s possible. Or maybe it’s not even a Greek name, right? Greeks lived in that city, but maybe some other tribe lived there before and gave it the name. I just don’t know enough about it.

AJ Bernard: It says, “And behold destruction, Abaddon, will give some of you to the prison.” The word “Abaddon”, couldn’t that be construed as an adversary in that point?

Nehemia: Well, it’s not good. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: No, it’s not good.

Nehemia: Meaning, “avadon” is destruction. It certainly is not a pleasant experience, whatever it is. And of course, in the Book of Revelation in 9:11, do you want to read it?

AJ Bernard: Yeah, Revelation 9:11, “They have as king over the them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abadbon, and in Greek he is called ‘Apollyon.’”

Nehemia: And I think that’s really interesting. This is one of the signs that at least this has Hebrew sources, and his name is “Avadon”, “Destruction” and in the Greek the “v” becomes a “b”, Abadon. There’s no “v” in Greek. So, Avadon, Destruction is mentioned again, but you wouldn’t know that from the Greek of Revelation 2:10, but in the Hebrew here it’s “Avadon is going to give you over to the prison.” So, just real quick, what do we have in the Greek there?

AJ Bernard: Diabolos.

Nehemia: Wow!

AJ Bernard: Yeah.

Nehemia: So, there’s “Diabolos”, which is “the Devil”. You don’t even need to speak Spanish to know Diabolos is the devil, meaning something like Satan or maybe it’s “a diabolos”, “a devil”. Wow, so that’s interesting. So, there’s another thing where you have to say, “Why on earth, if he’s translating this from Greek, why would he translate “Diabolos” as “Avadon?” And you could make the argument, “Well, he read later in Revelation.” I wish we had Revelation 9 of this Hebrew text.

AJ Bernard: Yeah, no doubt.

Nehemia: That’s interesting. All right, let’s read verse 11. “L’asher ozen yishma mah haruach omeret lamakelim hagover lo yenugam min hamavet hasheini.” “He who has an ear will hear what the Spirit says to the congregations, the one who overcomes will not be smitten by the second death.” Okay, AJ. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: [laughing] The common Christian interpretation of this is simply that the first death is the death of the body. The second death is the eternal death in hell.

Nehemia: So, Jews, I think, have the same understanding, and that comes from Daniel 12 verse 2, where it talks about “Many of those sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise, some for eternal life and some for eternal derision and shame.” And the understanding there is that “eternal derision and shame” is, if you’re not judged for eternal life you just die, and it’s a permanent death. That’s a common Jewish understanding. But that this is something that’ll happen at the time of the resurrection, at least based on Daniel 12:2, and Isaiah 66 also has a discussion about that. Is that a similar concept to what you understand?

AJ Bernard: Yeah, absolutely.

Nehemia: Okay, cool. I mean, in the Tanakh it’s never called the “second death”, but it’s understood. So okay, interesting. Let’s do verse 12 and 13, “Velamal’ach hamakel bePergamos ktov heina omer, ‘la’asher hakerev pipiyot, yodea ani et ma’asecha ve’eifo yoshev eh hamoshav haSatan.” “And to the angel of the congregation of Pergamos write here saying, ‘He who has the double-edged cherub, I know your deeds and where he is sitting, where the seat of Satan is.’” And by the way, that’s the end of the manuscript, or I should say, it’s the end of the text - the manuscript goes on for another 20 or so pages. And that’s the middle of verse 13, right? So, it ends in the middle of the verse, and presumably, the source this was based on was just a fragment, and when he copied it there was nothing more to copy. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: Yeah.

Nehemia: Which is amazing. Talk to me about the “double-edged sword” which here is “cherub”. So, the Hebrew word for cherub here is “kerev”, which I would expect to be “kroov”, and so therefore, it’s very possible that this is a scribal error for “cherev”.

AJ Bernard: Right, that’s what I was going to say, as well.

Nehemia: Right.

AJ Bernard: It’s the difference between the Chet and the Hey.

Nehemia: Well, the Chet and the Kaf, actually.

AJ Bernard: Oh yeah, yeah.

Nehemia: So, it’s a difference between the Chet and the Kaf. So, “cherev” and “kerev”. But let’s deal with the text as we have it, meaning the original probably said, “double-edged sword”. But what would a double-edged cherub be?

AJ Bernard: Two-sided angel? I don’t know.

Nehemia: I don’t know. Well, on top of the Ark there were two cherubs facing each other.

AJ Bernard: Wow.

T-Bone: Could it be translated as “double cherub”? On the edge of the seat, of the seat of mercy?

Nehemia: You know what? That is the translation, “double-edged cherub”. So, maybe it’s a double cherub. I mean, you could literally translate it as a cherub with two mouths.

AJ Bernard: Okay.

Nehemia: Because really, when you say a “double-edged sword” it’s a sword with two mouths, because a sword is described in Hebrew as “devouring”, and a double-edged sword is actually a two-mouthed sword, technically speaking.

So, what comes to mind for me is Genesis 3:24, “So he drove out the man and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword which turns every way to keep the way of the tree of life.” Interesting.

AJ Bernard: Okay.

Nehemia: We have a sword that turns every way, or cherubs with these multi-faceted swords. And here is a double-edged cherub. I don’t know. It could just be a scribal error, who knows.

AJ Bernard: Now, the Greek word “Pergamos” comes from “gami”, meaning marriage. The Church at Pergamum is the Church that marries the world. So, this is one of the seven letters about which there’s nothing good said.

Nehemia: Okay. You probably didn’t want to receive one of these letters, is what you’re trying to tell me.

AJ Bernard: No, no, no. You didn’t want to be at Pergamos if you did.

Nehemia: Okay.

AJ Bernard: Yeah, because the rest of the letter is just condemnation after condemnation for the Church of Pergamos.

Nehemia: Can I be really controversial now?

AJ Bernard: Sure.

Nehemia: So, I know there are some Christians who have the concept of “once saved, always saved”. So, if I’m in Pergamos and I’m once saved, always saved because I believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – and that’s an if, that’s not me – hypothetical, right? What do I care that I get this letter? I’m already saved. I’m in heaven. I know I’m going to heaven. I said the Sinners’ Prayer, I know I’m going to heaven. What do I care? Why would I even bother with this letter?

AJ Bernard: Right, yeah. It’s a difficult concept. Okay, so the idea of once saved, always saved, sounds strong academically, but when you find someone in such a situation who says that he was saved and then 20 years later he’s a murderer on death row and convicted of multiple homicides or something, you’d have to say he was never saved in the first place.

Nehemia: Okay, so I guess it’s a pretty flexible concept. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: Yeah, it doesn’t want to be, but it ends up practically that it is.

Nehemia: So would you have to say that the people of Pergamos if you’re once saved, always saved, that they were never saved, and hence they’re getting this letter? Or maybe this letter is in effect their salvation, just Satan sitting among their congregation, but they’re still saved?

AJ Bernard: Yeah, it’s tough. If you were going to take the once saved, always saved hard line, you’d have to say they were never saved.

Nehemia: Well, I wish we had more of this text, but so far that’s all we’ve discovered, unless T-Bone can dig up more. T-Bone, can you find us the rest of verse 13 and the rest of Revelation?

T-Bone: I think we can.

Nehemia: Wow, I’m excited. [laughing]

AJ Bernard: That would be awesome.

T-Bone: It’ll cost money, though.

Nehemia: Guys, I just want to tell you something about T-Bone. He has seen the name “Yehovah” in more places in more Hebrew manuscripts probably than any other living human being, including me.

AJ Bernard: Wow.

Nehemia: And that’s because he’s looked through thousands of pages by now of, I think about…Well, we’ve found it in 21 manuscripts, but we’ve looked in more than 21. We didn’t find it in all of them. But I’ve looked through hundreds and hundreds of pages, but just for the Aleppo Codex alone he has me beat. That’s 593 pages. I didn’t read every page of the Aleppo Codex in the Codex. Wow, so if it’s out there, he can find it. And we’re going to work on that, and he just said it costs money. I just got an email from him this morning where they’re talking about, “Yeah, you want a photo of this? It’s going to cost you. We’ve got to have a team come and photograph this manuscript for you to know what’s in it.” And I think we’re going to pursue that. I think we have to. So, this is exciting.

We’ve had two amazing discussions here. We’ve gone on for over two hours between the two discussions. I’m going to end with a prayer. I’m so excited by finding this text. Look, I’m not a Christian. I’m not a Messianic. I want to make that really clear. I’m finding an ancient Hebrew text and I’m excited by what it has to say. How can you not be excited? I literally shouted when I saw this.

AJ Bernard: Absolutely, yeah.

Nehemia: And seeing the name “Yehovah” with the full vowels, that was so exciting to me, whether this is the Book of Revelation or any other Hebrew book that is testifying to this name with the vowels, that excites me. I don’t know how you can not be excited by that. That’s just who I am.

AJ Bernard: Amen.

Nehemia: Yehovah, Avinu shebashamayim, Yehovah our Father in Heaven, Yehovah, I look forward to seeing the bar enosh, the son of man, coming on the clouds, the one described in the Book of Daniel chapter 7. The one who will come and he’ll have victory over all the nations and he’ll conquer. He’ll appear before Your throne in victory and everybody will see Him. And He will bring peace to this world. Yehovah, You are the one that haya, that was and always has been. You are the one that hoveh, that is, and You are the one that yihyeh, the one that will always be. You are haya, hovey, yihyeh. You are one, Yehovah, and Your name is one.

AJ Bernard: Yes.

Nehemia: And so many things are being revealed in this time, Yehovah. I’m so blessed. We are all so blessed to live in this period of time where so much information about Your name and who You are is being revealed to mankind. And I thank you for this wonderful gift of Your name and the knowledge to be able to read these ancient Hebrew texts and the drive, the calling that You’ve given me and AJ and T-Bone to share this with people. This is a gift that I do not discount, that I know is a precious gift. It’s this burning inside me that I can’t explain. It doesn’t come from me - I know it comes from You.

AJ Bernard: Yes.

Nehemia: And I ask you to continue to reveal whatever truth You have for me soon in our days, Amen.

AJ Bernard: Amen. Gal einai ve’abita nifla’ot miToratecha.

Nehemia: Amen. Uncover my eyes that I may see the wonderful hidden things of Your Torah. Amen.

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93 thoughts on “Hebrew Voices #40 – Hebrew Manuscript of the Book of Revelation: Part 2

  1. I always hear nicolaitans as conquering laity or lording it over the people. But what about ‘victorious laity’ pointing to self-appointed lay leaders teaching false doctrines not grounded in scripture. I see so many home churches that function this way. This would contrast with the victorious eating from the tree of life–torah. Torah being the truth and the nicolaitans being false teachers/interpreters.

  2. Shalom to you Nehemiah,

    May Adonai bless you really good for the great work you’re doing especially on the New Testament with AJ Bernard and “T-Bone”.

    I did enjoy the exposes on the Book of Revelation using the Hebrew manuscript from the 17th century. Though I would love to have other discussions with you for now I will stay on the Revelation Topic.

    AJ made a statement about the Father, Son and Ruach that got you spinning – yes you’re right to be in that state. Even while agreeing that it is a very difficult concept to explain. But the words 3 persons in one God is very misleading. I believe it should be 3 personalities in one God. This is my explanation:
    You’re a teacher of the Torah: so let’s call you a Rabbi for the this analogy. Then same you married and called a husband by your wife. It’s still same you your children call Father, sometimes your childhood friends call you by one name and other people know you by other names….

    Truly the concept is three persons in one God is very misleading and goes against the most important commandment in the Torah – The Shema! Mark 12:28-31.

    The concept of trinity was never a biblical concept. It was made popular by a Christian hymn – Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty! The last line of the first stanza climax with this sentence – God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity! Reginald Heber (1783-1826)

    Todah

  3. The reason He said I Am the Aleph and the Tav has to do with the beginning of the Gospel of John where it say in the beginning was the word, the word with God and the word was God. Without the Hebrew alphabet we would not have The Word of Yehovah. It has to do with the beginning and the end as well.

    • Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
      Jn 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

      This to me says ‘The Word’ to have had a beginning …

      Jn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

      I have a problem with this saying, as it would make more sense to have made all things ‘FOR The Word’ of Yehovah to be fulfilled! As Yehovah is the Creator!

      Mt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

      Lk 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled….

      Again, I have a problem with this saying,
      Jn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
      … as Yehovah is the Creator!
      Isa 40:28 Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

  4. nehemiah,
    if the nicolaissim are “those who are victorious (nike/controlling) over the common (layity)” then perhaps the play on words is that מְנַצֵחַ (victorious/conductor) is that those who lead/conduct their community without abusing them will be victorious and rewarded with the tree of life.

  5. Interesting, two faced cherub? 2 Cherubim? Ezekiel 1:6 / 4 Cherubim w/4 faces! Ezekiel 10:14 (different faces) face 1 / that of a Cherub – face 2 / that of a man. GARDEN OF EDEN was guarded by 2 Cherubim. One of which fell from grace because of greed and was cast to the Earth and became the original King of Tyre? Ezekiel 17 I think, not positive. One might say the fallen Cherub was 2 faced I don’t think that is what is intended here though. I don’t believe in unconditional Salvation. The soul that sins will die! Jesus and his Apostles taught; you must repent or you will die in your sins! Today’s churches just preach to people what they want to hear. Eschatology is exciting stuff! Are there any more Hebrew Revelation manuscripts? I found it interesting the reference to “shaking the church out of its place” verses the Greek ” removed from its place. Interestingly, none of those churches survived, because they didn’t repent? And lost their chance to receive Eternal Life? You’ll have to look at Ezekiel again, in Hebrew. Cherubim, different places, different faces! What does it mean? I look at Ezekiel’s writings and realize the churches are about to be shaken out of their place! Last days prophecies are like the Last Supper. We feed on these things until The Messiah comes! Blessed is Yehova! ✡️ Our God & Saviour!

    • Also look at Ezekiel 9:6. The judgment of God begins with the house of God! 9 is the # for judgment and the Wrath of God. 6 is the # for humans. Concerning the year of the Destruction of the Temple, it was most likely 69 AD.

  6. since Malachi means one who is sent and apostolos in greek means the same thing is it possible that angelos is a greek translation of the hebrew word for sent one? if so then apostle of a particular ekklesia would be an appropriat person to address a letter to since it was the apostolic office that appointed elders and deacons. perhaps the letters are addressed not to the angel but rather to the sent one which would be an apostle.

  7. Shalom qodeshim chavarim,
    Just as the two disiples on the road to Emmaus, i burn in my heart when i listen to these teachings i spent all weekend on this wall. Did not even go to church to day.
    Also a BFA’er and a Roodawek’er
    beliver in Yeshua and a Watchman ezek 33.2-3
    From Norway

    Jer.3.15 I will give you sheperds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

  8. Shalom again! Now I’m commenting on part 2 of Hebrew Revelations. I believe this is a reiteration of Yeshua’s words in John 8:44, when Yeshua confronted the religious leaders who thought they were faithful to God, but were hypocrites. Think also about “white-washed sepulchres.” Elsewhere in the epistles, Paul writes of people who are Jews only outwardly, but not in their hearts (outward circumcision), versus following God from the heart (circumcize your hearts therefore). Shalom!

  9. Amazing! I would like to see the rest, especially where the number of the beast is given. The Hebrew characters would be:

    tav – 400 – paleo: crossed sticks – meaning: mark, sign, signal, monument
    resh – 200 – paleo: head of man – meaning: first, top beginning
    samech – 60 – paleo: thorn – meaning: grab, hate, protect
    vav – 6 – paleo: tent peg – meaning: add, secure, hook

    So if we combine the meanings we get something like: mark-head-hate-attach,
    which kind of describes what the number is: a mark on the head that attaches hate (or to which hate is attached).

    Also the elements of head, thorn, and attachment suggest the crown of thorns placed on Yeshua’s head when he was crucified. I assume the thorns would have left a mark. The implication would be that He took on the mark of the beast for everyone he planned to save.

    We need to know the original language in order to recognize the antichrist when he comes.

    Please keep up the good work!

  10. Thoughts on the..

    “double angel”(the two sides of one face)

    In Jeremiah we are told that Yehovah is going to make a “new covenant with the House of Israel and Judah” This covenant is based on a physical structure with Israel acting as Yehovah’s example nation.(new heart and new spirit)
    This in my view represents one halve of the face.

    In the book of Revelation the author expresses devine Revelation on a conclusive and final narrative of the Father revealing through his son the story of eternal life. This is the other halve of the face.

    “The Torah” unites the face with the two sides to make it one entity but with separate functions in the sense that the house of Israel/Judah /Gentiles can come to the Father through the son and receive eternal life. (access to the tree of life .)
    The thousand years of Yehovah’s physical kingdom comes to mind where death has no more sting and a continuum of salvation to eternal life is guaranteed through accessibility to the tree of life.

    A journey from the garden of Eden to the garden/kingdom of eternal life through redemption…A
    New Jerusalem) which Abraham envisioned, but could not have happened through”his” son. The donkey (and colt) speak volumes on this occasion as it pictures a continuation of fulfilment through Yeshua when he entered Jerusalem on the colt.

    The Father had sent the son to do away with the works of the devil and why?

    Because he loves the world!

  11. Though I don’t know biblical Hebrew, I’ve learned to understand Rev 2:9 unlocks what’s truly interpreted as “the Jews” in the Gospels of Yeshua. Jude 1:4 is the key to understanding this.

    Bottom line: those of the Children of Satan, managed to “creep in” to the religious institutions, obtain high positions, and completely corrupt the whole system (mind you, 2 Corinthians 11:14!). This has been going on since the beginning – it’s Satan’s nature to be a counterfeit of Yehovah. Something to check out. 🙂

    • It definitely has to do with replacement theology there was probably a council formed that was saying that God had left Israel and replaced the so called Church with Israel. Most of the Churches see it as opposite by justifying through the judaizers who were opposing the Gospel and therefore Yehovah divorced all natural Isreal and thus antisemetism becomes wrongly justified and deception comes in. If you take this line of thinking eventually you deny the blood, the Son, and replace it to some elite group thinking that they are the coming messiah.

  12. I noticed some pictures I had come across of human remains of a crucifixion where the point of the nail had been bent over, presumably where it had exited the wood so as not to loosen. Interesting in light of the fact that “bent nails” can unlock doors. “what seemed to be meant to seal something had become the very thing that had to capability to open it”. This concept is not so unusual in the Hebrew scriptures.

  13. So, this manuscript spells the Messiah’s name as Yehoshua.. But ,your book title the “Hebrew Yeshua vs. Greek Jesus” spells it Yeshua..

    So, which is correct Yehoshua or Yeshua?

        • The Kodesh Name of Messiah should not be reduced to a “nickname”. His Name is “Yehoshua” which only means “Yehovah’s Salvation”.

          • so you shouldn’t use a nickname for someone you think is some sort of messiah but its ok to call the only one who created everything Yah?

          • @dalehurleyblog I believe that Yah is not literally a nickname, but is, rather, a poetic form. My mind goes to other poetic forms: “until Shiloh come,” or to “the Shekhinah Glory.”

            @tirzah77 That sounds like something one would find in Strong’s Concordance. By this logic, wouldn’t Messiah’s name be Yehovahshua, not Yehoshua? Perhaps “Yeho” is the nickname; thus, YehoShua = Yeho Saves..

  14. Just want to state that I did a search on “Christian+nail+jewelry” remembering something I saw in an ad… sure enough, like amulets or a talisman… wear and be “inspired”… so not just a 1st Century thing.

  15. Hi, my names Joshua Keith Hard one of my ancestors is Hadrian from Hadrians wall. Intresting. Inspiring I’m going Hard, baby.

  16. Very interesting conversation. If Yeshua is saying that His nails are the keys to get into the kingdom (which seems to verify the prophet’s writings), then what is He actually saying? Wouldn’t the concept itself already be in the prophet’s writings? Why is the door going to open only by this nail?
    The nail obviously signifies the crucifixion and death. Why is Yeshua’s death the important factor to open the door to the kingdom of God? His death is declared in the first part of the verse tying this event to the nail (or key). Isn’t it because the House of Israel, as a divorced wife, cannot come back into covenant with YHVH as long as her husband is alive? Torah states this. Paul restates this in Rom 7. It is the all encompassing dilemma that the someone must answer because only living in the words of the OT would mean that YHVH says He will regather His lost sheep but He also says it is against Torah to do so. So how in the world is this going to happen without a violation of Torah? The husband cannot take the wife back, it is forbidden.
    ……..unless He dies……and releases the wife from the previous marriage covenant. Then and only then can she return to her first husband. Death is the key. Death is by the nail. Death of God (YHVH’s salvation) is the “good news” to the northern tribes who desire to return. That is why Yeshua “was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” It is the regathering that the prophet’s wrote about and how it is accomplished. It is probably the sermon subject on the road to Emmaus when Yeshua says that the prophets wrote of His suffering/death because it is the ONLY WAY the regathering can happen according to Torah.

    • Yes indeed,
      Very interesting conversation.

      Romans 7 is of great interest, it also makes clear that the commandments were not nailed to the cross. I think this to be a crucial issue in connection to the nails. It would not make sense for sins to be nailed to the cross as the commandments of God are binding in connection with the covenant made with the House of Israel. Although both Houses went into captivity, the promise of a new covenant with both Houses had been established going back to Jeremiah

      Jer_31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the “house of Israel, and with the house of Judah”:

      This of course is a confirmed understanding in the book of Hebrews.

      Heb_8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
      Heb_8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
      Heb_12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

      Jeshua being :
      The mediator, The book of Galations chapter 2,3,8,9,12

      High priest, Gen_14:18 (Interesting side note Joh_11:51 )
      Heb_5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. Psa_2:7, Mar_1:11 ,Luk_3:22

      lamb of God ect. Gen_22:8 Exo_12:5, Joh_1:29 Rev_5:6 Eze_45:15

      The question arises ‘How can a NEW COVENANT be established when the covenant on mount Sinai had been broken because of the breaking of the laws?’ What sort of human anointed high priest could establish this ? (without taking away the sin , which had separated Israel from their God in the first place? )
      Interestingly and the only explanation I can find of how it is possible for the Father to take back a backsliding wife is as follows..

      What are all Things?
      Joh_13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
      Joh_16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
      Joh_17:7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

      In my understanding, it can only be through the ‘Mediator’ of all things (physical) as Yehovah is the Most High God and cannot break his own laws. The mediator stands in between, just as he stood in between in the time of Abraham…

      At least this is the only way it makes sense to me so far!

      • Correction,
        would not make sense for ‘sins’ to be nailed to the cross should read ‘commandments’, sorry.

    • I have had similar thoughts and the immediate answer is Jesus is the second husband that YHVH provided to his divorced wife Israel, so that his people could return to Him through His Son. But concerning the people of Israel alive at the time of Jesus, it does not look very good for them. Its almost as if Jesus rejects them himself, and starts over with whoever will receive him, to include the gentiles.

      but God is not dead and his commandments have not been done away with, but they are fufilled.

      additionally, we have the difficulty of at least one (and likely dozens of others) of the 613 commandments were given to Israel out of the hardness of their hearts, and God seems to acknowledge those laws but says it was not so in the beginning.

      for example, Jesus says what you eat does not make you unclean, that does not mean its not sin to eat unclean meat, it merely means that eating unclean meat does not make you unclean. this throws a big of a monkey wrench in dozens of Torah laws if i’m not mistaken. for example, i cook milk and meat in the same dish, no problem. but i don’t boil my first born goat in its mother’s milk and bury it at the corner of my field as a sacrifice to whoever.

  17. As far as the keys and the nails translation go, it seems obvious to me that they are the same thing, in that Yeshua’s death (being NAILED to the cross) is what unlocked the gates to Sheol. The entire bible old and new, is and points to, God in flesh dying for sinful man, by being nailed to a cross, which saved men from the gates of Sheol. Yeshua is The Word ‘Aleph’ (which is God) He is the ‘Tav’ the cross. Beginning and End. First letter of the Word and last letter of the Word. The end was declared from the beginning, as stated in Isiah. Literally the end was declared in the Hebrew word Bereshit, ‘in beginning’. If you look at the Pictograph of the Hebrew letters that make up the word ‘Bereshit’ it says something like this depending on how you translate the picture, it can vary a little but the meaning remains the same, “The son of God will be pressed by his own hand on a cross” So so cool!!! Praise Yehovah!! Amen

    • first thought on keys and nails was that the tomb was sealed with a big nail which kept the stone locked in place.
      also Yeshua cannot be YHVH but his son and they both have a holy spirit in accordance with each other.
      also ..doesnt satan mean adversary therefore ha satan , the adversary?

  18. What do you think Nehemia about the nails having something to do with the nails put in a coffin to seal it ?! As I was listening, this came to me, I believe it’s got a connection but I’d like your guys take on this ??

    In the pictogram Hebrew nails are represented as Tent Pegs. To fix something, a tent, the body/flesh down or as they did to Yahushua, to something, that being a tree. ??!!

    Waoh all that which has been hidden will be brought to the light. Amen

    Also the once saved always saved is NOT the truth. We’re told to seek out our salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING.

    Baruch and Love

    • In this period they didn’t use wooden coffins in Israel. They primarily used ossuaries, small stone boxes to place the bones after the body decayed for a year. Sometimes they also had sarcophagi, stone coffins. Then again, maybe the wood coffins just decayed.

  19. In reference to the nails of Sheol and death:
    You made reference to door nails. Is it possible that the implication is that Yeshua not only unlocked the door/gate of death & Sheol; but He actually completely destroyed the door, since He had possession of the nails that held the door together?

    • That could be the case, John.
      Also for the sake of clarity, Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary, A Library of Essential Knowledge and other sources define door-nail as “the nail on which, in ancient doors, the knocker struck.” It makes no reference to the common nails used to bind together two or more planks specifically for a door like a box nail is used in making boxes.
      I cannot find any reference explaining the phrase, “dead as a door-nail.” But I suggest and admit I could be far off, the phrase may refer to the (dead) dull thud sound that results from striking a door-nail.

  20. Have you considered the expression “nailing shut”? In history when a boat was sinking and had prisoners or insignificant people below deck, they would nail the opening shut so they could not get out and die/drown.

  21. Hello Nehemia and thanks for your fascinating Revelation

    You wanted to know what they shall mean, the letters to the seven Kelihot in Asia-Minor? Here I’am with my part, what may be the most important message you have ever received in your life. I don’t want neither to put me up nor to put you or anybody else down, but only to share in the most honest way what I found in the book of revelation. And if you get it as serious as I’m giving it to you, you will have to confirm, to have found the most important key for any understanding.

    My Background:
    My skill is of the elementary school, and a professional education in automation, very technical and logical oriented with very little knowledge of ancient linguistic and culture. My honour to you and many more persons who are teaching and sharing such things, also to attend all context as good as possible, you are the ones who opened my eyes. My own native language is German, is a little bit better than English, and much better would be Russian, and then Greek, and then Latin, why the medicine faculty could not exist without Latin. Without knowing any Greek, I’m using different dictionaries for the wording. As Keith Johnson required in an Open-Door, he wants to see in the future more Nehemias, Michaels and Keiths bringing more and better light into the story, here is my part [fanfare].

    I don’t remember why, I found it necessary to do my own translation of the Revelation, am still working on it, and it is is confirming itself more and more to be the key to the main door. I care for the wording over all in the manner of unification, to translate one and the same word always in the same way, as far as ever possible. For example ‘desire’ is a strong feeling, can be of positive or negative nature. I let it be as it is in all its occurrences, anything else would be a personal interpretation, what I want to exclude. The bible is speaking of ‘god’s wrath’, and this seems to be more than only a personal interpretation, and more than only an evil lie, but in fact a terrible fearmongering. The primary sense is a strong feeling, any secondary I don’t want to know: If it is ‘desire’ at one place, it has to be ‘desire’ at any other place as well. It shall be as neutral and standardised as possible, and any exception needs compelling linguistic reasons, or would be a failure. If you believe or not, Im getting a very beautiful text, making perfect sense, much more than everything I ever knew. We must learn to distinguish between what is in the bible and what is in the Revelation, they are entirely different stories.

    The strengt that I can bring in as an automatizer is in the really powerful Greek grammathematic or grammathelogic (not theologic) or how you wat to call it. In this category English is one of the most downgraded languages of the world. In modern digital texts there are after the Strong-Numbers also the grammatical adds for each and every word. I red some literature about it, found some contradictions, and also wich of them can be true and wich must be wrong. The truth must make every perfect sense, an everything else must produce problems of any kind.

    One can not use only one single standard text, they are all containing errors, what easily can be seen in grammatical inconsistence. The solution is in the world of today to use a compilation of all of them, showing all the differences and variants. Observing a perfect grammathematic it is not a hard decision wich variant to choose, either one gets a perfect sense or is dealing with nonsense. Following such things, the Greek Revelation is reviling itself to me as an absolute masterpeace, up to 99% error free. So Im contradicting Michael’s theory after that it must be a translation from the Hebrew, or if so, the translator must have been much better than the author. If you maybe find hebraisms, Yochanan was a Hebrew speaking and thinking person, and he could have written Hebrew wordpans in the Greek Language, why not.

    I’m giving you some Ideas of what I mean, and that I know what I mean, and that I mean what I know. And as a professional you will be familiar with the grammar-system of modern source texts.

    A simple example:

    what is commonly translated as ‘behold’ is in the source see[V-2AAM-2S]

    Verb ‘see’, 2nd Aorist tense, Active, iMperative, 2nd person Singular

    This is precisely to be translated as ‘you-must-have-seen’.

    The difference in its understanding is huge: If you look without seeing anything, then forget it, and continue reading, or if you understand that you’re failing, if you can not recognize its meaning.

    Many verbs are much more complicated, are unfolding half up to entire sentences, if they are implying future tense, semi-activity and indicative or subjunctional mood all at once. Semi-activity needs at least two subjects, and one can be known, and the rest can only be guessed. This makes it very hard to translate, very difficult to express in neutrality. I’m rendering such sentences out of one single word bound by dashes. It is keeping clarity of the source of every word, and is giving a lot of freedom of expression, to imply descriptions for words that have no equivalent. And my expression shall count less than to know the lexical form and the grammatical add, [] is to be displayed in small superscript.

    that-what-has-been-sacrificed-to-idols[A-APN] (adjective with no equivalent)

    in-the-future-they-would-be-made-known-and-know[V-FDI-3P] (to-know+[add])

    At least one thing seems to be even impossible: The eagle is flying in the semi-active voice, what in no way can be expressed, in an understandable manner: Either one is a passenger and lets himself fly, in the passive voice, or one is a pilot and flies, in the active voice. In the assumption that an eagle is not having a double seated cockpit, and no copilot can fly it semi-active, this way of flying seems to be an impossibility for our understanding. On the other hand, this is proving that the eagle has to be taken as a symbol, and must be understood as a semi-active flying eagle, to get right what it has to mean. Seek for verbs in semi-active voice and/or in any indirect mood, and you will be surprised what treasures you will find. And you can’t find such things it in any version of the bible, but only in the original revelation.

    Another important aspect is the genitive case, what is often used where we would expect dative or accusative. One has to accept it how it is, one can not transform it according to the own imagination. If upheld the genitive a while, it begins to offer much more depth and precision, and you will be impressed what can be found. As western degenerated warhorses we would say that we stand before the house, in dative case. In the Greek understanding this would also imply that we must be bigger than the house, that we are hiding it entirely, when we stand before it. So in Greek it is expressed more sensitive, one stands before the house in genitive. Correct translated one stands before ‘of the house’, before a part ‘of the house’. This is an important part of honesty, to imply that one is in measure not bigger than a house, in wich one could find place up to many hundredfold or thousandfold. The clue of this topic is the throne of יְהֹוָה by this way you can find out exactly what it is made of, and who made it, a very powerful revelation.

    One more other and not less important aspect is the nominative case in combination with active and/or semi-active verbs. Passive verbs can not have a suspect or doer if you will, the object is nominative. Active verbs must have one, that must be found as the nominative case of the same gender and number. In the so called bible, most of the deeds are just happening without implying any suspect doer. But if you read out of the true revelation, you will find many many more, they are known for most of the deeds implying activity, and you can get understanding instead of raising questions. Sometimes the subject and the object are not only disconnected from one another, but even turned upside down. The resulting difference is about the same as either if you burn something, or you will be burned, or if you destroy something, or will be destroyed. If you don’t believe me, translate as a sample the trumpets 1+2, only four verses, and you will be convinced in a shocking manner, I guarantee you.

    But the most important thing, that all the Jews must know, regardless of their believes, is the so called image of the beast: YOU MUST KNOW AND UNDERSTAND IT, and make it known among your people, in the described precision. I must warn you, when you understand, you will have eaten the little roll, that tastes sweet as honey, but hurts in the entire belly that you would wish to die. When I began to understand, it had hurt me that hard, that I cried to our creator to let me either serve in healthy, or take me away from this world. In addition you must imply Enoch 17-19, and the most basic things of Steve Quale’s latest book. Then you will have explained everything, the entire history, and it is much more and much harder than you would ever wish to know. But you must know and share it, I guarantee you, and ask for help if needed.

    With highest respect and best wishes

  22. Wonderful teaching. Nehemia, you hit it out of the park this time. I laughed until I cried when your Methodist Pastor friend tried to explain the unexplainable, the Trinity. Kudos to you, Nehemia.

    The Trinity is not Christian. It is Catholic. The Trinity is total plagiarism from paganism. The Trinity is a lift from a very old idea in many pagan religions — Baal/Dagon/Hadid (Canaanite – sometimes Baal/Yam/Mot), Zeus/Poseidon/Hades (Greek), Jupiter/Neptune/Pluto (Roman), Shiva/Vishnu/Brahma (Trimurti, Hinduism) and many others. The main pagan idea here is three in one. What is really hilarious is when Catholic or post-Catholic adherents (like your Methodist friend) try to meld Trinity doctrine with the monotheism of scripture. This, of course, cannot be done and the result is a mixture of embarrassment, hilarity and humiliation, just as we heard on your podcast.

    What early Christians sources, such as the four gospels, teach is quite different. YHVH, who is One God, sent out His Breath (or spirit, ruach) and it came upon a woman, Mary (Mariam) who conceived and bore a son she called Yeshua, or Yehoshuah. This is rather like YHVH stretching out his right arm (BRANCH) and putting on a Yeshua puppet (like the Spirit putting on a Zechariah suit – 2 Chr 24:20). YHVH, for the next 34 years, became a ventriloquist and spoke to men through the Yeshua puppet as though it was a man. Did this Yeshua puppet have a spirit of its own, aside from YHVH? It does not appear so. To all men, this puppet was very real and very human. YHVH interacted with, and taught, men through the Yeshua puppet. Often YHVH even spoke to Himself through the Yeshua puppet, as any good ventriloquist will do, to teach men how to pray to Himself. When some men took offense and killed the Yeshua puppet, YHVH drew back is right arm (BRANCH) to Himself. He didn’t even leave the empty puppet shell.

    How many gods are there in YHVH? Only one, of course. Using a puppet does not make YHVH two, and certainly not three, still just one. Sometimes the Yeshua puppet called Himself the Son of God, but it is no stretch at all to realize that a Son is a BRANCH of the Father. After all, YHVH did make the Yeshua puppet by birth through a woman. Seeing a branch of a tree does not make anyone think there are two trees, still just one. Seeing an arm of a man does not make anyone think there are two men, still just one. Philip, have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me? He that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Shew us the Father? (Jhn 14:9)

  23. I am so excited about these manuscripts! It’s like unwrapping birthday presents! I’m hopeful there is something written about chapter 7:4-8, because I have always wondered why aren’t the tribe’s of Dan and Ephraim mentioned as part of the 144,00.

      • Not sure I understand, but from what I read in Genesis 48 M’nasheh and Ephraim are counted as part of the tribe’s. M’nasheh is mentioned but not Ephraim in Revelation 7. Also, where’s Dan ?

        • You are right about Dan not being in the list. I believe the reason is that Dan left his inheritance, next door to the Philistines, and moved north. The story in Judges 18 says the whole tribe moved and became idol worshippers. Is this enough to loose status as a tribe? Not sure.

          Many times in the bible Ephraim is called Joseph. This began when Jacob crossed his hands and put Joseph’s younger son ahead of the older son – Gen 48. Joseph got the double portion blessing of the oldest son, even though he was the eldest son of the second wife. This is, presumably, because of Reuben’s sin, or maybe because of the sin of all the brothers in selling Joseph into slavery. Judah still got the birthright of the eldest son (Reuben sinned and Simeon/Levi murdered a whole town of innocents).

        • The two half-tribes of M’nasheh and Ephraim are listed as full tribes in the book of Revelation. Along with the loss of the tribe of Dan this makes the count remain at twelve.

  24. Greetings all,
    Very interesting ideas. Thanks for all your hard work researching and presenting these studies.
    Re: keys
    Here’s one more idea based on common sense as I see it.
    Keys usually or commonly refer to instruments used to open a mechanism like a lock or an understanding.
    Nails usually or commonly refer to instruments used to seal up or bind together like materials or ideas.
    Yeshua, it is written, has the keys to the Kingdom and has the keys (nails) to hell and the grave. He holds the keys to knowledge and understanding.
    He also has the nails to close up or defeat death and the grave. Perhaps death and the grave are bound together then sealed up – forever.
    By the way, put a nail in your pocket and see how long it takes to wear through and rub raw the flesh on your thigh. Coins have the same effect ergo wallets, pokes and purses.
    I wonder what a pocket crucifixion nail holder was called – hmmm.

  25. The concept Nehemia speaks of, “dual causality” is true and critical to deciphering this apparent puzzle. Parallel to this is the concept of “agency”. This simplifies things a great deal if we operate from that perspective.

    There are many reasons why the Father needed an agent to deal with the sin problem. One of these reasons is that It dwells in unapproachable light and cannot coexist with sin. Secondly, it appears that It has had to recuse Itself from this judgment process as It has been directly or indirectly accused of wrong doing. Psalm 51; 1 Timothy 6:16 We see this resolved in a stepped approach in Revelation 4 and 5. The Father is judged in chapter 4 and is found “worthy”. The Lamb, Yeshua, Jesus, the Son…is judged in chapter 5 and is also found “worthy”.

    Most people believe this drama ends at Revelation 22:21. This is incorrect. It ends when the “Agent” completes the task (resolution of the sin problem) and returns all authority back to the Father and then voluntarily subjects Himself to the One that gave Him the mission and the authority and wisdom to carry out the task. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 It follows if the agent gives back the authority, He must have been given it at some distant point in the past.

    He spoke of this mission and authority often, but He also spoke of where it came from and how He was dependent upon the Father. He came for many reasons. One was to demonstrate what submission looks like. Has anyone learned this lesson? Not likely.

    Applying the concept of agency/dual causality; He acted as God. Philippians 2:6; Mark 12:26; Exodus 3:6, 14, 15 The Pharisees knew what He meant and did the only thing that they could have done as long as the clung to their paradigm; kill somebody for blaspheme. Really, who says they are “I am”; “light of the world”; “the door”; the “way” to the Father. John 8:58; John 9:5; John 10:7; John 14:6.

    Another reason for coming is to give a sinful people a glimpse of the Father. John 14:9 In other words, this is a close as you will ever come to seeing It. The first law of created things says that: “All creators are outside of and transcendent to their creation.” Thus, the Father is outside of time and space. It can never be viewed in Its entirety, so this is “as good as it gets”.

    It is important, however, to realize that Yeshua never asked us to pray to Him; only to the Father. So you see that is the litmus test as to whether He was Son (agent) or supplanter.

  26. From Tehillim 110:1 we have this:

    The LORD says to my lord, sit at my right hand … (NRSV)

    Given that “LORD” in small capital letters in the translation is standing in for YHWH (yod hay vav hay) in the Hebrew text, we have this:

    YHWH says to my lord, sit at my right hand …

    The New Testament (NT) makes the case that it is Jesus who sat down at the right hand of God (see Mark 16:19), and writers of the NT cite the above passage to support this claim (see Acts 2:32-36; Hebrews 10:12-13). Therefore, it is the NT position that Jesus sat down at the right hand of YHWH.

    So, from the NT itself we can see that Jesus cannot be YHWH because it can’t have been Jesus instructing himself to sit down next to himself; hence, any “Godhead” description of YHWH is contradicted by the NT itself.

    The Tanakh couldn’t be clearer on this issue:

    I am YHWH, and there is no other;
    besides me there is no god. Yeshayahu 45:5 (repeated in verse 6)

    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1045.htm

    There is no mysterious “we” or “us” here. It is a single person claiming exclusivity as God. (If this is somehow a pre-existent Jesus talking, he apparently told a fib based upon his own words in John 14:28 where he said the Father is greater than himself (Jesus). You can’t have it both ways. It can’t be Jesus claiming there is “no other” in Yeshayah, yet later claiming the Father is the greater one. It’s a contradiction.)

    Yeshayahu removes all doubt who YHWH is in 63:16 and 64:8:

    Thou, O YHWH, art our Father;

    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1063.htm

    So what do you want to believe? The plain words of the biblical text, or the convoluted words of men contrived to prop up a doctrine borrowed from you know where?

    • Shalom,

      Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

      Yehovah says, Let Us make Man in Our Image..
      I would appreciate if this could be explained to me. If this is a wrong translation , I really would like to know. Thank you!

      • Elohim of Genesis 1:26-27 is plural and has both male and female physical forms. YHWH Elohim isn’t mentioned unitl Genesis 2, which is a continuation of the chronological account of the book of Genesis and is not a restatement of chapter one.

        Your text “Yehovah says, Let Us make Man in Our Image..” is a mistranslation.

    • I believe the plain text and trust in Yehovah alone because He gives warning to anyone who adds or reads into the text. (Proverbs 30: 5-6)

      Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. 

      Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

  27. The first & the last means the Aleph Tav 4th word Gen.1:1. Example in Ruth her name is 12 times mentioned. The first 10 times mentioned no Aleph Tav. Then the last 2 times mentioned there are the Aleph Tav. This was after she was bound with the redeemer. Yehoshua is mans redeemer. The other example is Solomon at first his name had the Aleph & Tav then after worshipping Idols for his wife no more connection to the fathers house Aleph & Tav.

  28. If you ask me those rascally Nicolaitans are still ruling over the masses.

    Starting in the great Protestant Reformation many pushed back and re-examined the New Testament and rejected a number of later Catholic and Orthodox doctrines as being incompatible with common sense, reason. Many leaders of the Great Reformation initially de-emphasized the trinitarian doctrine and seemed unsure whether or not to confine it to the same waste bin as the doctrines of papal authority and transubstantiation.

    The two translations of John 1-1:4

    John Wycliffe is credited with giving us the first English bible around 1380 C.E. One of his many desires for his people was to give the common man a bible he could read and understand in his own language, he succeeded. It also appears he remained in lockstep with the pro-nicean consensus of his church fathers. As we see in his translation he defined the Word (Verbum) as a person or being rather than audible speech when he made reference to it as ‘hym’ (him). ‘Him’ being a translation of the Latin words “ipsum” and “ipso” which depending on the context in which it is used means he, she, or it.

    Jerome’s John 1:1. In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.
    2. Hoc erat in principio apud Deum.
    3. Omnia per ipsum facta sunt: et sine ipso factum est nihil, quod factum est.
    4.In ipso vita erat, et vita erat lux hominum:

    Wycliffe’s John 1:1. In the bigynnyng was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word.
    2. This was in the bigynnyng at God.
    3. Alle thingis weren maad bi hym, and withouten hym was maad no thing, that thing that was maad.
    4. In hym was lijf, and the lijf was the liyt of men; and the liyt schyneth in derknessis,

    Unfortunately for John Wycliffe his english translation and rebellion against what he saw as corruption in the clergy ultimately lead to him being declared a heretic, have his writings banned and he was put to death.

    Enter the next translator to make his mark in history, William Tyndale. He had access to and used something Wycliffe did not, the Greek text of Erasmus and the Hebrew texts. In Tyndale’s 1534 translation of John 1:1-4 concerning God’s ‘logos’ it reads as follows:

    John 1:1 In the beginnynge was the worde and the worde was with God: and the worde was God.
    2 The same was in the beginnynge with God.
    3 All thinges were made by it and with out it was made nothinge that was made.
    4 In it was lyfe and the lyfe was ye lyght of men

    The elephant in the room here is the seemingly little known fact that Tyndale did not personalize the ‘word’ (logos) instead referring to it as an “it” rather than “him”. “It” here is a translation of the Greek “autou” meaning he, or it. By choosing to refer to logos as an ‘it’ tells me that Tyndale was not influenced by the Latin Vulgate, John Wycliffe or the pro-Nicene consensus. Nor were others influenced, those such as John Rodgers ‘Mathews Bible’. King Henry’s The Great Bible of 1539 or The Bishops Bible. Even Miles Coverdale eventually revised his 1535 translation and referenced logos as an ‘it’ rather than persona.

    History records that Queen Mary I resenting the earlier break with Papal Rome, ordered a stop to printing English language Bibles and strictly forbade their use in England’s churches. Tyndale was burned at the stake for heresy. His charge? A corrupt translation of the Bible. The reality? Papal clergy were afraid of something that he, John Wycliffe and others were not. That the common folk would see their hold on them and realize they did not need tradition and the decrees of old men’s imaginations to interpret the bible for them. These times of persecution gave rise to another bible known as the Geneva Bible, which for awhile became the Bible of the English-speaking nations and as I mentioned earlier ‘logos’ was not personalized in that translation either.

    Later with Queen Elizabeth’s rise to power she ordered the Great Bible again be placed in every church and encouraged its reading. The bishops in time made a revision known as the Bishop’s Bible in 1568 both bibles referred to the ‘word’ of God as an ‘it’ or a verbal expression of an idea or thought.

    In 1582 yet another translation was produced, one known as the Rheims New Testament entered into the ring. It was the work of Roman Catholic scholars based on the Latin texts and earlier pro-nicean decrees. Once again these scholars chose to follow the pro-nicean consensus and personalize the latin word ‘Verbum’ in John 1:1-4 by referring to it as “him” in their translations just as previous Papal versions. From this point on many, and-I-do-mean-many, future English versions including one I own the famous 1611 King James version was influenced by the Rheims translation. It appears to have full circle, as once again the words God spoke is, in the great multitude of translations in circulation these days, referenced as persona (him). Instead of using the common sense God endowed everyone one of us with and defining the word ‘word/verbum/logos’ as an audible expression of information.

    Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines word as an articulate vocal sound or combination of articulate vocal sounds meant to express thought an idea or ideas.

    When God looked at creation and said it was good I include my brain and ability to reason as part of that thing He created and called good, it can be said I dont need anyone to tell me what things mean, though I think it is extremely beneficial to reason with one another. After reading the bible with my own eyes I made my own choice and find myself agreeing with Tyndales and other like translations of John 1:1-4 where the “logos” (word) of God in John 1:1 is defined as it is in Websters dictionary an audible expression of information, motive, thought, wisdom or idea pertaining to Yehovah. In that sense, ‘logos’ is an “it,” not a person, and being the expression of the thoughts of ones mind it is without gender or personality. ‘It’ fits the translation as ‘it’ aligns perfectly with passages found in Genesis chapter 1 verses 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20 and 24 where it is written “And God said…” In my Hebrew bible it quite clearly reveals by name who it was that created the heavens and earth in Genesis 2:4 ” it is written …Yehovah God made the earth and the heavens”. Further clarification how he created it is found in the Psalms 33:6,9 where it is written: By the word of Yehovah were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth… For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. Nobody else was involved.

    Proverbs 3:9 Yehovah by wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding has he established the heavens.

    A king of flesh and blood has a father and a brother; but God says, With Me it is not so; “I am the first” because I have no father, and “I am the last” because I have no brother; and “besides me there is no God,” because I have no son’

    thats my opinion 🙂

      • In my opinion. All of creation, all matter in the universe is a product of God’s spoken word. What makes you or me different than the other guy?

    • so maybe the kehillat Yeshua needs to go over the manuscripts again and get rid of all the anti torah interpretations of the new covenant writings.
      re include books thats the anti semites of old took out. a fresh look at the hebrew book of matthew and revelation, maccabees etc.

      • If I understand your question correctly I offer you the words of Michah.

        “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does YHVH require of you, but to do justice, and to love loving mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

        It is my understanding when you walk in darkness one should have a lamp to light the way. It is written: “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” But if you ask me even that has been twisted by the Nicolaitans and like lemmings the flock follows.

        Lets say you read a particular translation of John 1-1:4 and it defined God’s word as ‘him’. You might ask what that means and you would most likely be told by the professionals who parrot the pro-Nicean consensus of their church father, that ‘him’ is a reference to Jesus. Now I dont mean to speak for others but it would most likely lead you to believe if Jesus is the word described in John 1:1-4 then that must mean he is that light everyone must come too.

        Its been said the bible is its own best commentary. But there is nothing to back such an idea that Jesus is a light.

        There is another translation of John 1-1:4 which defines God’s word as ‘it’ an audible expression of His thoughts, will or ideas. You don’t have to ask anyone all you have to is look back in Tanach and you will find countless references to the words YHVH himself breathed and men wrote down, it is those words which are the light we are to follow, namely His Torah.

        It seems to me Tyndale was right unfortunetly he was put to death because of it.

        Thats my opinion 🙂

    • I’m not sure what difference it makes whether you call the LOGOS “him” or “it”?

      John 1:14 still says: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, …”

      Isn’t this still Yeshua either way? How have you changed anything?

  29. i thought (ha)satan meant the adversary and therefore able to manifest personally as a spirit in either one person or many as in a gathering of like minded people.
    I think that YHVH is God alone and Yeshua being the messiah is His son and are both One in spirit but seperate entities.
    the followers of YHVH are all one in spirit and messiah is the head (of the followers)

  30. Nehemia, I love your Hebrew Voices podcast. Please keep up the great work.

    I do have a question. I think you would agree that God appeared as a man several times in the Torah (for example, Genesis 18). If you don’t think that, please correct my assumption and provide your interpretation. On the other hand, if you have no problem with God appearing there as a man, and yet simultaneously not vacating his position as a spiritual being ruling the physical and spiritual worlds, why would the idea of God coming as a man, the Messiah, perhaps even Jesus of Nazareth, be a difficult concept for you? It seems to me that the model for the concept is already present in the Torah.

    Also, in Daniel 7, the “Son of Man” is described as “coming on the clouds.” Is this not a description that is reserved in the Torah, Psalms, etc., for Yehovah? I thought the use was basically a polemic against Ba’al (the cloud rider). Does this then name the Messiah as Yehovah in the Daniel 7 passage (again, referencing the previous concept of Yehovah present as a man, while still a distinct spiritual being)?

    Thanks in advance! Again, I love your content, enthusiasm, and willingness to make scholarly content accessible.

    Eric

    • Hi Eric, Jews generally believe that when people saw Yehovah in the Tanakh, they actually saw an angel. For example, regarding Moses in Exodus 3:2 and Gideon in Judges 6:11, it says they were speaking to Yehovah, but this is also described as an “angel”. The common Jewish understanding is that it was an angel representing Yehovah. This is based on verses such as Exodus 33:20, “for a man cannot see me and live” (what follows in Ex 33 is an exception to the rule). There is a concept called “Dual Causality” according to which the same attribute can be assigned both to Yehovah and one of His agents, whether it be an angel or a human. For example, it says there is no “savior” besides Yehovah (Isaiah 43:11), yet we can read that Othniel is a “savior” (Judges 3:9). Yehovah saved Israel through Othniel.

      • Doesn’t Exodus 33:20 say no man can see His “face” and live? I like to use the “two or three witness” rule, even within the Tanakh.

        I’m not saying I don’t believe things that only occur once, but I am a lot less convinced and I’m not willing to make a whole doctrine on something that only appears once.

        Basically, if something only appears once, I’m thinking I’m not translating correctly or not understanding fully.

  31. TWO PEOPLE ARE PRESENT besides John.

    Revelation 1:4…Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come (Yehovah is the one who is, who was and is to come), and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 AND from Yeshua ha Mashiach, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. (The Father and the Son are both mentioned)

    To Him who loved us and washed[a] us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings[b] and priests to**** His God and Father*******, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Please note: Yeshua has a God!
    [Also see John 20:17
    17 Yeshua said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to**** My God and your God****.’”
    (Also see: 1 Corinthians 11:3, Matthew 27:46, 2 Corinthians 1:3, Hebrews 1:8,9 ,John 14:28)]

    7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Yeshua)

    8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,”[c] says the Lord,[d] “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Yehovah)

    The Father is the one who was, who is and who is to come.
    Yeshua says: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys (nails) of Hades and Death.

  32. Shalom Nehemia,

    May I just say a big Thank You for transcribing the manuscript. Also a big thank you to everyone in the discussion. It is nice that although we may hold different and various views, we can discuss with dignity. I find that by doing so all benefit and I certainly have learned quite a few things that I had not been aware of. Again thanks!

    This manuscript is amazing and it is more than likely written by a Jewish scribe with distinct understandings…

  33. As always Nehemia, the passion you have been given for The Word of Yehovah, to seek out truth where ever it may be enriches all of us. Thank you.

  34. These discussions are truly a gift. Revealing the hidden things so as to bring clarity to the Oracles of Yehovah as given to us by Moses & the Prophets.

  35. John 10:1-16 has a lot of the same concepts as this passage in Revelation. There are walls and a gate around a sheepfold, but I was imagining an orchard (garden, paradise), but maybe that’s a little too much influence from C.S. Lewis. 😉 But also a stranger (Nicolaitan), whose voice we should not listen to. Anyway, it’s fun watching all the themes continue throughout the Tanakh and then into the Apostolic writings. Thank you for this show!

  36. The nail/key discovery and it’s application to Yehoshua using similar nails used in the crucifixion to literally unlock the doors in sheol/hades/the grave to lead out those held captive there.. perhaps the ones witnessed by the living in Mat t27:52? Amazing!

    • This past week PBS aired a documentary titled “The Last Days of Jesus”. They discussed roman crucifixion methods and showed nails in museum collection that are bent and curled under like a fish hook. The expert concluded that this happened when the condemned was nailed to the olive wood as the execution stake was lying on the ground. Presumably bending the tip of the nail as it hit the hard rocky ground after passing through the wood. Giving a shape that generally could resemble a key. Possibly even function like a key in a primitive lock of those times.

      • I thought they bent the tips on purpose after nailing the victim to the cross so the nails could not come back out. In Mel Gibson’s film they turned them over after nailing them on, face down in the dirt, and purposefully bent the nails.

  37. I have a theory that “those who say they are Jews…” could be translated (though not necessarily literally) “those who say they are praisers of YaH….” The same could be applied to Romans 2:28-29

  38. I never thanked you for when you were in Stavanger, Norway and gave a most interesting talk. Thanks and may Jehovah continue to bless you in His work. I have three books that that you and Keith Johnson wrote to geather. May Jehovah bless you. Thanks again. Gerard R. Rasmussen.

  39. Sad that trinity stuff is in here, but I once believed that. Hopefully they will be delivered from it and understand it is the literal Father and literal Son, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father which is also in the Son, and in us all who are His. Not a third person, but rather the personal power and Presence of the Father.
    The Lord’s day is either the Sabbath or the day of His return. There is nothing Scriptural to suggest that this refers to the day He was resurrected.

    • I agree with you about those doctrines that have twisted the straight path of Yehovah.

      AJ does not realize how insightful his statement was when he alluded to Rev. 2:9 as being the perverted version of the church. I believe the evidence for this is the doctrine of the Trinity, worshiping a man as God and replacement theology.

  40. My thoughts on the nails/key…That Yeshua bearing our sins and having His blood shed through the crucifixion (very similar to Leviticus 10:17) IS the key to overcoming sin and death (meaning the second death). Hence the nails are the keys.

  41. A J mentions that keys and nails both close things, but also the Hebrew word mafteach has the root patach; to open.

  42. Shalom,
    I want to thank you for your work, it has help me much in my faith, as you have help bring understand to the word of YAH to me.

  43. First of all Thank you- Truly amazing and a delight to be able to study and ask questions without being made to feel stupid.. Shalom

    My thoughts on ” I am the first and the last. (18)
    And
    the one who lives, and I was dead and behold I live forever and ever. ”

    It didn’t make sense to me what was stated about this verse.
    The scriptures below .. and if looking at patterns in scripture, reminds me of ….

    Hosea 6:7
    But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

    Romans 5:14
    Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.

    1 Corinthians 15:22
    For as in Adam all die, so in Messiah all will be made alive.

    1 Corinthians 15:45
    So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being;” the last Adam a life-giving spirit.

    http://biblehub.com/isr/1_corinthians/15.htm

    • Angela thank you for this, how interesting.
      I too have a few thoughts on those lines..

      The first Adam before the fall had the promise of eternal life and access to the tree of life, but failed .

      The last Adam holds the key (nails) to eternal life because he has not failed and had been in a position to put down his life because he could.
      Why?
      Because he did not have any corrupting seed as of the first Adam after his fall. His body therefore need not have died,(just like the first Adam before his fall) hence Yeshua put down his life on his own free will.

      He had been the only human being to be able to do so “The first and with it the last” , no other human is in a position for such action…

      first one who lives, and need not have died
      last one who put down his life and died.(and lives)

      And behold he lives forever and ever, therefore he holds the keys (nails) of death and sheol.

      I hope this makes sense..

  44. Firstly, Thank You so much for this post. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time with anticipation! How I wish that the Hebrew translation of this book could be found in it’s entirety.

    Of course, I was very much looking forward to hearing Nehemia’s take on the meaning of Rev 2:9. I’ve always found the modern explanations, at best, rather feeble and at worst, contradictory to the rest of what I hold to be scripture. It seems that this particular puzzle piece warrants further study for some historical context.

    I just need to cite one correction regarding Rev 2:13 and the letter to the church at Pergamus. AJ Bernard stated that this church only receives condemnation. The church at Pergamom actually receives one commendation,

    Rev 2:13 reads as follows “I know where you are living, where Satan’s throne is, Yet you are holding fast to my name, and you do not deny your faith in me even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one,who was killed among you where Satan lives.” (NAOB)

    Also, to shed more light on the meaning of “where Satan lives” requires a historical lens on the city of Pergamom and how it was renowned in antiquity for it’s political, cultural and religious influence. (intriguing side note – Pergamom contained a monument dedicated to the Olympian gods, primarily Zeus and it looked like a giant throne)

    With that said, Mr. Bernard’s statement can be astutely applied to Rev 3:14 – 22 in regard to the church of Laodicea, in which it only receives rebuke.

    Again, Many Thanks!

      • The meaning of the word Pergamom is very interesting as it would also suggest a word play that coincides with character flaws of this church as stated in Rev 2:12-16.

        Another school of thought suggests that the letter to the seven churches is a prophetic unfolding of church history from it’s beginning to modern times. The time period of the “Pergamom age” would coincide with the 4th century CE, when Constantine made Christianity the favored religion of the Roman Empire, the hierarchy of bishops was formed, a solar-planetary calendar was introduced (which replaced the scriptural calendar), pagan philosophies and festivals were assimilated into Christian theology and tradition and thus the Church received temporal power and benefits (not unlike a fortified and perverted marriage).

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