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

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

God’s promise to cleanse the stains of sin lead Gordon to examine the Talmudic teaching that a red string in the second Temple turned white each Yom Kippur—until 40 years before the Temple was destroyed. While some Christians and Messianics receive this teaching as gospel, Gordon and Johnson reason together about the Isaiah passage and the Talmudic passage—and weigh the words of man versus the words of the living God. Gordon closes by thanking Yehovah for his righteousness and justice that make our scarlet sins like snow.

Artwork for this week's episode is a painting by Mara Hofmann, artist.

"though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." Isaiah 1:18

Looking forward to reading your comments!

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54 thoughts on “Prophet Pearls #44 – Devarim (Isaiah 1:1-27)

  1. Nehemia, may YHVH bless you and keep you!

    Im in to your teachings for 2 weeks and i really enjoy it.

    In different teachings youve asked people for help to find manuscripts.

    Im studying scripture, and have access to the ATLA-Library, and alsof to the royal library of the hague. Im living next to Leiden, so i also can visit that library.

    If you will find something, that you want to have, or Mayne you are looking for a book, you can ask me!


    Arie from the Netherlands

  2. If Nehemia really wants to resolve the Messiah question, maybe he could apologize for shutting the door on Elijah, promise not to do it again, and invite him back. Since Yehovah can make scarlet sins as white as snow, I am sure that he would overlook the Elijah incident if asked nicely. I’m not even sure that it was actually a sin. It seems more in the line of a severe breach of etiquette.

    Imagine the opportunity to ask Elijah about the Messiah! Or about 1 Kings 19:3 and what he saw. Although I have my own ideas about that…

    I think that Elijah saw that all his great miracles were not going to be sufficient to turn Israel around and avert the disaster that was coming and that this is why he was so depressed. But in 1 Kings 19:11-12 Yehovah revealed to Elijah that it was not mighty works that would bring salvation to Israel but rather the “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit. And in fact, the entire generation that witnessed at first hand all of Moses’ mighty works perished in the wilderness due to unbelief (excepting Joshua and Caleb). Even Aaron who actually performed some of the miracles didn’t make it into the Promised Land.

    And I think that perhaps that is why Elijah was granted the task and opportunity to prepare Israel for the coming of the Messiah. Just as the High Priest was required to cleanse himself before going in to the Ark, I think that the Israeli nation was supposed to cleanse itself for the coming of the Messiah by following the Torah. Today we see that one portion of Israel has rewritten the Torah and another portion tends to ignore it. So if that really is Elijah’s job, he will have his hands full when he arrives and could probably use all the help he can get.

    It might also be that Elijah’s second round of miracles will be less flashy than the first, but more marvelous in that they would actually lead up to the salvation of Israel.

    This speculation may be all wrong, but I wouldn’t mind in the least if Elijah were to show up and set me straight.

  3. My homework: 1Kings 8:29 the place of which You have said: My name shall be there; 1Kings 9:3 .. put My name there forever; and My eyes and My heart shall be there all the days (says Jehovah).
    Blessed are those who can enjoy this now. Thanks YHWH for Nehemia, the living house of our Lord, both of them in Jerusalem, as through him is going forth the Torah (law) and restoration of the Creator´s Name and truth even today.

  4. I love the book of Isaiah. Chapter 6 is my favourite, maybe. I enjoy listening to Nehemia explaining the ancient Hebrew. It lets me understand more about Yehovah’s view of our way of living and how we can please Him better. It’s brilliant! Many thanks.

  5. Proverbs Pearls sounds like an amazing idea!! Infact, it would be amazing if ya’ll did every book as a Pearls portion! Thank you guys so much for all your work!

  6. According to a lot of research, Yeshua was born some time between 7 BCE and 4 BCE. I tend to think it was 5 BCE after reading the various material. There is a 4 year mathematical error in the present calendar which would indicate he was born in 4 BCE.

  7. Thank you so much for your life work. I am so grateful that you share knowledge of the Hebrew and in depth understanding of the scriptures. Had it not been for your teachings I’m not sure if or how I would have had an passion to learn of the Almighty and Yeshua The Prophet spoken of and soon ruling blood and flesh King. Thank you.

  8. I love the extra depth I get from your torah portion studies and prophet pears. You encourage me to learn biblical Hebrew myself 🙂 Thanks for all your hard work (and for your passion for the Word).

  9. Thank you both, Nehemia and Keith, been listening since original Torah Pearls, and now with Prophet Pearls. Such a blessing to keep learning Torah and stringing pearls from your studies!! You are in my prayers for YHVH’s continual blessing on you.

  10. Thank you guys for all of the work you are doing to produce these teachings! I have a quick question for you concerning the best tools for a native English speaker to use to follow along with your translation/explanation.

    I am currently attempting to use “The Complete WordStudy Old Testament” by Zodhiates, BlueLetterBible App for Android, and HOT+ and KJV+ to get to the original language. Are there better tools I should be using?

    When I try to look at only the Hebrew words with Strong’s numbers listed, Isaiah 1:3 sounds like this:

    Showr (the ox) yada (knows, knows how, considers) qanah (acquire, obtain, buy) chamowr (a he ass) ba’al (owner, lord, husband) avus (crib, manger, trough) Yisra’el (Israel) yada (knows) am (my people, nation, country-men) biyn (understand, perceive, instruct)

    For a newbie that doesn’t have background in Hebrew grammar, is there are resource to help bridge the gap?

    The job of a translator seems monumental as the words appear so disjointed and incomplete, like it could go in any number of directions to find the true meaning.

    Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!

    • Strong’s is a good tool, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Take the word qanah, for example. That is the root (or simplest) form of the word. It is a verb. The actual Hebrew word in this verse is qonayhu. The hu suffix means his. Qonay is an infinintive functioning as a noun; owner.
      Any root (as a verb) may have several dozen variations in it’s conjugation. It may also mean a few different things as a noun based on small differences in spelling.
      The bottom line is this; in order to sort out the full meaning, you need to have some understanding of how Hebrew grammar works. That is beyond the scope of Strong’s.
      I highly recommend learning the language. It is a lot of work, but the reward is enormous!

  11. Thank you for the very thought provoking session. Prior to this I thought all Jews believed the red string was a true account.

  12. Thank you Nehemia! Much learned from this lesson as in all the previous ones, they are a blessing.

  13. Per your request, I am leaving a note. I enjoy listening to both of you doing the Prophet Pearls. Thank you

  14. OK, I am looking up what is an abomination to YHWH and I find in Deut 23:18 that bringing the price of a dog for a vowed offering. Can you explain what this is? Is there something wrong with money earned selling dogs? Honestly curious here.

    • I don’t really know, but I wish more people would answer questions here? 😉 My guess is, a dog is not “clean” so why would
      one make ANY offering with the price they got from selling a “dog” (unclean?)

  15. The following story illustrates how a phrase out of context can be passed down as truth:

    “A newly-wed bride cuts off the end of the ham before baking it. Her husband asked why. The wife responds that her mother always cut of the end of the ham and that was the way it was supposed to be.

    Not accepting “the way it was supposed to be,” the husband called his mother-in-law and asked why she cut of the end of the ham before baking. The response was that her mother cut of the end of the ham.

    More curious than ever, the husband called grandma and asked her why she cut off the end of the ham. The answer was that she had a small oven and that was the only way to get the ham to fit.”

    Grandma had a reason for cutting off the end of the ham. The next two generations did not. They were blindly following a custom because it was “the way it was supposed to be.”

    How many of our traditions do we follow because we perceive them to be the way they are supposed to be? We reason that our fathers would never lie to us, they love us to much…. so we accept blindly instead of searching for ourselves.

    “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit”.

  16. I can tell you study Michael Rood’s stuff Ms. Crepps. I will tailgate on your post: According to brother Rood’s calculations, our Messiah died in 28AD. There was no red string from 28-68 AD (40 years). So, brother Rood is taking both the red string and the 68 AD from the Talmud. He still proposed a 28 crucifixion even without those Talmudic references. I am guessing the popularity of his teachings is why the red-string-turned-white quote is permeating the, “Messianic,” world. Now, as far as blood moons and 33 AD go… Someone else care to answer that one?

    • Regardless, red string or not… I am going to post it, just so that it is posted… This is for both my Karaite brothers, and those that still, “Identify as Christian.” We all still have to follow the Torah! If Yeshua is the Messiah, like most of us believe… WE STILL HAVE TO FOLLOW THE TORAH! That is where our traditions – Christians and even many Messianics fell off the boat. But, we must repent, with a broken spirit and a contrite heart… We must return to Yehovah! The blood of bulls and goats, and dare I say it… even the blood of Yeshua HaMashiach does no good for UN-repentant sinners. Yehovah does not delight in [unrighteous] sacrifice, etc…

      • Yes, we still have to follow Torah, because–why don’t people understand, when will they finally see the truth of this–it was not the law that was nailed to the cross, it was the CURSE that results from BREAKING THE LAW that was nailed to the cross. We were not in any way relieved of the obligation to keep Torah by his death, but the curse, the death penalty, from breaking the law that we were relieved of. I say we need to learn Greek just as much as Hebrew, because the New Testament translations are just as maligned as the Old.

    • Thanks Kwaktastic 🙂 I’ll have to check this out further and will get back to you… I thought the 457 BC starting date was a pretty solid date, there is ONLY one true answer, and God gave it to us 🙂
      How did John the Baptist know to go down to the river to start baptizing? His mother “home-schooled” him, he knew the book of Daniel which prophesied about the messiah being anointed in the fall of 27A.D. and he was expecting Him. He and Christ were very close growing up as cousins.
      Luke 3:21-22 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
      He began preaching after His baptism, that the “time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand”. (Mark 1:15 & Daniel 9:25 fulfilled)!
      “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” 457BC to 27AD (no year zero) works for His anointing 🙂

    • On the red string theory.. you mentioned that 27AD was the last time, and according to my records, that’s when Yahshua was baptized and began His public ministry. So that date DOES mean something?

      • That’s according to Daniel 9:24-25, Messiah would be anointed after 483 weeks (years) from the command to return and rebuild (even the wall in troublesome times) 457BC…mentioned in Nehemiah 4:7-8. Which would take us to 27AD for His Baptism.

        • AND one final point! What was John the Baptist’s point?! REPENT and be baptized.. and that’s when Yahshua was baptized 🙂 (even tho He had nothing to repent from, He did it for us as a model).

  17. Nehemia, You asked us to list other (future) names of Jerusalem. I am kind of obsessed with Ezekiel chapters 40-48 these days… so right now, this is my favorite future name of Jerusalem: Ezekiel 48:35 …and the name of the city from that day shall be, ‘Yehovah is there.'”

    • Also, Isaiah 44:2, “Yshuruwn –the straight one, one of integrity”, and Revelation 3:12, “New Jerusalem”.

  18. Nehemia, very thoughtful prayer at the end of that Prophet Pearls session – appreciated.
    Read the whole story, including the red heifer giving birth to a lamb. Just amazing wonderous things happen (or not) in those days. Still, I am holding tight to scriptures only and do not elevate those miracles to the level of HIS word.
    Just my thoughts on it.

  19. Homework.

    Prov. 28:9 He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.

    Prov 15:8 The sacrifice made by the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is his delight.

    Prov The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination: How much more, when he brings it with a wicked mind!

    WOW great verse to share.

    This is deep after reading Leviticus 18 and 20. These chapters dealt with improper sexual relations, homosexuality, incest, beastyality etc..

    My interpretation is that not listening (or rejection) to Torah puts one on the list of things YHVH hates. Abominations are the worst of the worst in YHVH mind. So Listen to the the Torah and don’t ignore or hide your eye from it.

    • Prov 6:16-19 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: a haughty look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that make haste to run to do evil, a false witness that breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers.

  20. This is not a cheap shot at you, but I don’t know how to ask the question any other way. Considering the nature of what was said even about the other written documents and the authors, in the closing prayer only the politicians of the land were asked to be considered and could not the religious leaders that mislead the bulk of the people be asked to be tended to also?”

  21. Your discussion about the red string and the Talmud was excellent. When was the Temple destroyed 68 or 70 CE?

      • Very interesting that you said 27AD that it stopped turning white.
        Thats when Michael Rood’s Chronological Gospel places Yeshua’s death actually.

  22. its interesting you mentioned how president Obama was shown the scroll of Isaiah and the Aleppo codex.Presently as am posting this comment he is in my country Kenya and there is alot of hype in the coutry.However in the midst of all the hype there is a remnant that keep the Torah and and thus keep the shabbat and Enjoy listening to the prophet pearls.Keep up the good work.

  23. My trainer friend teaches her horse-students to slow/stop at “hoe”, not “woe”, because she says that woe sounds too much like walk. Ha. There’s my comment. Was it relevant? Ha – no probably not. Ok how about a Bible quote about animals…

    But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
    And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
    Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
    And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
    Who among all these does not know
    That the hand of the Lord has done this,
    In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
    And the breath of all mankind?

    Job 12:7-10

  24. Okay,so I’m posting this question, in response to the homework assignment given by Nehemia: based on Isaiah 1:18, why are the sins being whitened like snow and wool at all instead of being removed altogether?

    • I believe that the string represents our physical bodies – a physical article that the color/sin was in. Repentance washes away the red/sin off from within our being – something that water alone can not do. The whiteness represents what God sees in our spirit after He has forgiven/washed us, when He looks upon our physical presence.
      The removal of the string altogether would symbolize the need to destroy the physical body in order to remove sin – but that is not what God is saying, I believe. Repentance truly does bring forgiveness, and if He says His grace has forgiven, then we need not destroy our physical body in order to complete the work.

  25. (Heard) : I also wish to mention , I was advised to avoid the Talmud (sp) and stick to scripture. Good advice to my Messanic friends out there.

  26. I have attended a Messanic congregation for about Ten years and have never herd of this red string fable. I enjoy your program.
    Denver , Co

  27. Great presentation guys. I and my Family have been truly blessed by your teachings. Nehemia, when we met in Utopia, I told you about how we had been blessed by your ministry. This teaching reiterates this to me. We had been steeped in error and you and Keith have awakened us and pointed the way to truth. You guys are watchmen on the wall warning those like me who were in error to wake up. Yehovah bless you and your ministries. Thanks, Jim

  28. I love the joy you two men share in the Word. It is contagious. I was glad to hear it said that some of what we were told to believe in the past contains no reason and that we can become unstable when we cling to superstition.

    I want to praise Him but feel so feeble when I attempt. How do you praise the Holy One of Yisrael? Honor and praise forever to you… you are beautiful and awesome. We worship at your footstool. Holy are you. Praises to your Name. Let our words be fragrant to you, my love, my life, my El…..

    • LeeLee,
      Great question. I love reading the Psalms to learn about worship, it encouraged me to learn to play guitar. I started last year just for my own personal worship. I see the words sing a new song to YHVH many times.

      Psalm 33:2-3, Praise YHVH with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

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