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

You are listening to Prophet Pearls with Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at

Keith: Welcome to Prophet Pearls, I’m here with Nehemia Gordon in the safehouse, in the sub-basement. Not just the basement, the sub-basement, and we’re about ready to start something that’s going to change the game for Prophet Pearls. I’m not going to call this…

Nehemia: This is a game changer?

Keith: This is a game changer. I’m calling this the Isaiah Series of Prophet Pearls. Because, Nehemia, we’ve got Isaiah, Isaiah, Isaiah, Isaiah, Isaiah. Now let me just tell you something. I’ve got the chills right now. I’ve got goosebumps, because on Shabbat I went out for my walk. You weren’t with me, you let me have my own Shabbat. So I went for my walk, and where did I walk, Nehemia? Just, if there’s anywhere I would walk, where would I walk?

Nehemia: To the Old City of Jerusalem.

Keith: No, not to the Old City of Jerusalem!

Nehemia: The Temple Mount.

Keith: No, not to the Temple Mount! As it pertains to the Isaiah Series, where did I walk, Nehemia?

Nehemia: To the Tomb of Isaiah.

Keith: No, I didn’t walk to the Tomb of Isaiah! I walked up the hill, over by the Knesset, next to this huge white building, it looks really weird. There’s this building with what looks like… it looks like a clay jar. Like the top of a clay jar!

Nehemia: The Shrine of the Book… The Israel Museum.

Keith: I walked to the Israel Museum, I didn’t actually go in, I walked there, and inside that place, Nehemia - I need you to stick your chest out now. Folks, let me tell you something. It’s not just Nehemia Gordon from the Hebrew University. Nehemia, you actually worked on some aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but what would you say is the crowning… the most important scroll that was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls collection? What would you say it would be?

Nehemia: Hm, that’s a really good question. I think most people would say it was the first Isaiah Scroll, which is “1Q Isaiah A”. That’s because it’s the only book of the Tanakh that’s complete. In other words, you have other scrolls that are parts of Isaiah, parts of Nehemia, parts of whatever, Leviticus…

Keith: I shouldn’t have said “the most important”. I should’ve said, “What’s the most magnificent-looking scroll that was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls? I walked to the Israel Museum…

Nehemia: I might call that the Copper scroll. Copper scroll because it’s unique, it’s made of copper. Why don’t you tell me what you’re looking for?

Keith: In the museum, what’s under...? They’ve got this thing that looks like the…

Nehemia: That’s 1Q Isaiah A, the first Isaiah Scroll. The Great Isaiah Scroll.

Keith: And why is it so magnificent? Why is it so amazing? When the President of the United States came to visit Netanyahu, where did he take him?

Nehemia: Netanyahu took Obama to the Shrine of the Book.

Keith: And what did he take him there for?

Nehemia: To show him the Isaiah Scroll.

Keith: Why would he show him the Isaiah Scroll?

Nehemia: We’ve talked about this.

Keith: It doesn’t matter, we’re talking about it now, it’s the series, it’s the Prophet Pearls series!

Nehemia: One of the things that Obama had said after a previous visit - you know, they take every dignitary to Yad Vashem, which is Israel’s Holocaust Museum, as you know, and Obama came back from America and gave some speech in which he said that, “You Jews rely too much on the Holocaust to justify your existence in Israel.”

And so Netanyahu decided to school him, as we say in Hebrew “la’asot lo beit sefer”, so he said, “Okay. You think we rely too much on the Holocaust? Let me show you. And he took him to the Shrine of the Book, Netanyahu walked up to the Isaiah Scroll. Now, I don’t know if people know this but Netanyahu’s father was a great Jewish historian, a very famous Jewish historian. Netanyahu knows the Bible very well; he walked up and he started to read from Isaiah chapter 2, about beating the swords into plowshares…

Keith: And what a great picture this is – Obama’s sitting there, he’s there under this place that I walked on Shabbat, we’re about to do this series and I’m like, “Nehemia, I’m not letting you off the hook.” We’re going to talk about this, we’re going to talk about this throughout the entire series.

Nehemia: Beseder. So he starts to read from the Isaiah Scroll and he says, “See Mr. President? It’s the same people in the same land speaking the same language. This scroll was found in 1947, it was written 200 BC, so it’s not that we’re some foreign people who have been planted in this land from some foreign place, it’s the same people in the same land speaking the same language that wrote this scroll.” As if we need to prove it, but for someone like Obama, you know - you need to see archaeological proof? Here it is.

And then he also showed him the Aleppo Codex, which is on the lower level there of the Shrine of the Book, it has its own section there. And he also pointed to that, and that’s the most important manuscript of the Bible, the most accurate copy of the Bible in Hebrew with vowels, and that was written in Tiberias in the year 924. So you’ve got the Isaiah Scroll in 200 BC, the Aleppo Codex in 924 CE, and that’s a span of 1,200 years, and the Jews are still in their land speaking Hebrew. So this myth of, “Oh, they left, they were there at one time, they’re not really there anymore, they’ve gone to some other place in somebody else’s land.” That’s not true. We were there, we are there, we will be there.

Keith: Well, I’ll tell you something. We’re about to go on this series, this Isaiah series. Now, you know, the normal thing has been, look, we’ve done 40-some of these things and now we’ve got this special series, and I really want us to do something. I want us to challenge people, really, to open up this book and to dig in it with us, and to really, if you haven’t made any comments up to this point, use this series to make comments, because I’m telling you - there are going to be sometimes where we’re going to be on a verse, and I’m not going to let us leave that verse. It’s going to be too powerful, and we might spend the entire time…

But here’s what’s exciting - when we’re in this Isaiah series, Nehemia, we’re down the street from Netanyahu’s apartment, we can see the Knesset, I walk over to the Israel Museum, Isaiah… I mean, you talk about Isaiah. We were at your mother’s house yesterday, and folks, I’m sorry, I have the right to do this. It’s half my show. We’re at your mother’s house and you casually come to the house and you say, “I had a little problem getting through traffic, they’re having a…” what did you call it?

Nehemia: Hakhnasat sefer Torah.

Keith: Okay, so he’s talking code language to his mother, but I heard the word “sefer”, and I heard “Torah”, and I thought, “Wait, wait, what is this?” So you start telling me something’s about to happen at the synagogue across the street. So your mom and I go down there, and I go around and I look up and I say, “Bubby Dina, what does that say?” And she looks at it… you know, there was a canopy there, and I said, “What does that say?” And she says, “I can’t tell what it says.” But I looked at it, Nehemia, and I get the chills again because I saw the name of the synagogue that’s about to have this thing which you’re going to explain… we’re not going to get into Isaiah yet - you’re going to explain - and I see the words, and they look just like, almost just like the words on the front of my Torah scroll. Now, can you tell the people the name of the yeshiva/synagogue, and what it was that they were going to have there?

Nehemia: So hakhnasat sefer Torah literally means the bringing in of the Torah scroll. It’s when someone dedicates a Torah scroll and there is this ceremony of dancing and singing and celebration and eating when the Torah scroll is actually brought into the synagogue.

Keith: Now, wait, here is the thing that’s confusing to me. Now, churches get new bibles and people get new things. You guys made it like, “Oh yeah, they’re going to have that and we better go out and order our food now, because of what they have that the police will shut the streets down and…” I’m like, “Wait a minute. You mean to tell me it’s a regular occurrence that when someone brings a new Torah scroll they shut the traffic down?”

Nehemia: Yeah, well, I mean, they’ll be dancing in the street and they’ll be singing and celebrating and they’ve got music blasting over loudspeakers, yeah. It’s a big deal. A Torah scroll is a very expensive thing, and a synagogue doesn’t get a new Torah scroll every day. You know, most synagogues… many will just have one, but most synagogues will have probably 2 or 3 Torah scrolls, some might have more if it’s a really big synagogue, if they can afford it. But when they bring in the Torah scroll, that’s a really big deal, it’s this huge ceremony. The Torah is given this great place of honor…

Keith: So what’s the name of the place?

Nehemia: So the name of this particular synagogue/yeshiva is called “Torah Betsiyon” - Torah in Zion, and I guess what you’re getting at is in Isaiah 2…

Keith: [laughing] Yes…

Nehemia: There is the verse on the front cover of your Torah scroll, “Ki mitziyon tetzeh Torah udvar Yehovah mi’yerushalayim”, the Torah shall go forth, mitziyon tetzeh Torah, that’s mitziyon Torah, and this is Torah betziyon, Torah in Zion.

Keith: So here’s the deal. Now we’re going to open up in Isaiah, and we’re going to be talking about Isaiah the prophet, and we’re going to be talking about the prophecy… Well, not actually in this one, we’re in chapter 1… But when I think of this, Nehemia, I just think about the fact that we’re actually in here, we’re here, and it’s going around the world, and this has been… you know, so my point is it’s a series. This is a series, would you just tell the folks what you… I count, based on my understanding, I see Isaiah 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8… at least 8 sections…

Nehemia: 9.

Keith: At least 9 sections in a row in the Book of Isaiah.

Nehemia: Right. And the reason for that is something we’ll get to two weeks from now, because there’s actually… there’s a reason... Actually, this section corresponds to something in the Torah portion. There’s a series of seven haftarot, or Prophet portions, that have nothing to do with the Torah portion; it has to do with the time of year that they’re read.

Keith: Wow. [laughing]

Nehemia: And we’ll talk about that in two weeks when we get to that series of seven.

Keith: Okay. Now, so we’re in Isaiah 1:1. Now, look, we’re here, Nehemia, you’ve got your computer, I’ve got my Hebrew Bible, my English Bible, I got my stuff over here, and by the way I have to say our Prophet Pearl Partners, our friends, Michael and Irene from California, these are wonderful folks.

Nehemia: Shalom Michael and Irene.

Keith: Michael and Irene, they were very excited to be able to do this…

Nehemia: That’s wonderful.

Keith: …and they selected… You know, it’s really interesting. We were getting people to be Prophet Pearl Partners, that people would look through the list and kind of pick what they thought was significant to them. And it was a blessing to see that they selected this, because this really does kick off… We’re in the Prophet Pearls, I’m not saying this, I’m not trying to take away the fact that we’re in Prophet Pearls, but this is like a series, and this series… We get to refer back and forth, we don’t have to say, “Now, wasn’t it like 3 weeks ago we were in this section…?” No. We’re going to be in Isaiah this entire time, I mean… this… Wow.

Nehemia: Almost to the end. Two weeks before the end, or two episodes before the end.

Keith: We can read back and forth, I mean, let’s read back and forth. You want to start, or you want me to start?

Nehemia: Go ahead, I’ll let you read and I’m going to comment on what it says.

Keith: Okay, okay, okay.

Nehemia: I’ll read the first verse, because it gets butchered in English. “Khazon Yesha’yahu ben Amotz”, the vision of Yesha’yahu, the son of Amotz “asher khaza al Yehuda veyrushalayim”, which he saw, which he visioned concerning Judah and Jerusalem, “biymey Uziyahu, Yotam, Akhaz, Yekhizkiyahu, malkhey Yehudah”, in the days of Uziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah the kings of Judah.

Keith: Man, he’s got several that…

Nehemia: He’s got four.

Keith: He’s got four.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: Jeremiah had, what is it, three kings, wasn’t it?

Nehemia: It mentioned three, but he actually had four.

Keith: He had four.

Nehemia: Didn’t mention the middle one, for some reason.

Keith: Yeah, the third one.

Nehemia: I guess because he was cursed, but anyway… Yeah, so I love Isaiah, because you know, Jeremiah he’s from Anatot, he’s a suburbanite and he comes to Jerusalem, and Ezekiel, maybe he’s from Jerusalem, but he gets exiled to Babylon. Here we’ve got a true-blue Jerusalemite.

Keith: Oh, he’s really from…

Nehemia: He’s a Jerusalemite, he’s in Jerusalem, he’s prophesying about Jerusalem, he’s not… Remember, we had Hosea, who was a southerner who went to the north. This guy is a Jerusalemite. You know, he’s native to here as far as we know. He’s definitely is prophesying about this place, the place where we’re sitting right now. That’s incredible, I get chills. [laughing] Take it away.

Keith: Yeah, okay. You’re not commenting.

Nehemia: I commented.

Keith: That’s it?

Nehemia: Well, I mean, so we’ve already said that Isaiah should begin in chapter 6. Meaning, we should’ve had Isaiah 1:1 and Isaiah 1:2 should have been chapter 6 with the whole vision, we talked about that.

Keith: Exactly, okay. That’s all you want to say?

Nehemia: But instead, and here’s this principle that Scripture is not always in chronological order. We’ve talked about in the Original Torah Pearls we talked about Numbers 9 actually being chronologically before Numbers 1 given the dates, and here is an example of that. You know, chapter 1 verse 2 should have been what is now chapter 6 verse 1, where he actually gets his calling.

Keith: Yeah.

Nehemia: Where he sees the vision and God calls him as a prophet.

Keith: Well, you know what? When I read Isaiah 1:1 I immediately go to 1 Samuel, I think it’s 1 Samuel chapter 3, only because it says “the vision of Isaiah”, and in Samuel it says there were not many breaking out visions in… it says, at the time of Samuel, so we get to this time of Isaiah, and this vision of Isaiah - boy oh boy, you talk about significant, the khazon, is that it?

Nehemia: That’s the word, khazon.

Keith: The khazon of Isaiah, and like I said, the reason it caught me, folks, you can take a look at 1 Samuel please, tap tap, chapter 3, I think it is, 1 Samuel 3 verse 1 I think, where…

Nehemia: 1 Samuel 3:1 it says, “And the boy Samuel was ministering,” in a ministry, “mesharet et Yehovah lifney Eli”, he was ministering Yehovah before Eli, “and the word of Yehovah was precious in those days, en khazon nifratz” - vision was not widespread, or as you said, bursting forth, it wasn’t all over the place.

Keith: It wasn’t all over the place, and so again, when we get to Isaiah, and the reason I think… Again, I probably got a little more dramatic about it than I should have. But when I thought about the fact that we’re going to talk about Isaiah for these next 9 weeks or whatever it is, and that we’re placed here… You know, you selected this place. Did you look at a map, Nehemia, and say, “Now, let’s see, where could we be that would be the most significant for Prophet Pearls?” Because I think you…

Nehemia: You want to know what I really did?

Keith: I want to know what you did.

Nehemia: I went on Airbnb and found the cheapest place. [laughing] We have no money! We’ve got a bedsheet here, we’ve got some bath towels. But we were on a budget, so I literally found the cheapest place we could get in Jerusalem. Where we could record…

Keith: I think you found a great one, because, really…

Nehemia: It turned out to be an amazing place…

Keith: An amazing place, you know… the Knesset, like I said, and the Israel Museum…

Nehemia: But I didn’t know any of that, I just knew that… you know, I did “sort by price”, this was like number 2, number 1 was taken… [laughing]

Keith: So anyway, so here it is, now instead of 6:1 we are in 1:2.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: “Listen O heavens…” And you know what I like about Isaiah? He is like a great preacher, because…

Nehemia: He is a great preacher.

Keith: As he’s preaching, but he’s also a great… this kind of sounds… but he’s also a great writer, because he does these things where he moves in and out, you get… here’s the information and then boom! All of a sudden he starts getting poetic. “Hear, O heavens, and hear O earth for Yehovah speaks, ‘Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me. An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s manger. But Israel does not know, my people do not understand.’”

Nehemia: So first of all, verse 2 is reminiscent of language in the song of Moses, in the portion of Ha’azinu, Deuteronomy 32, where he says, “Ha’azinu hashamayim va’adabera vetishma ha’aretz imrey pi”.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: We’ve got a similar phraseology there. But I love this verse 3, and we have this phrase, the donkey knows the manger of his master, and it’s not exactly clear what this word is. Meaning, the word is “evus”, but “evus” according to some people means a manger, which, what does that mean in plain English? It’s the animal bed, meaning it’s where the animal sleeps. And according to other people it’s the feeding trough, and it’s not so clear which it means.

But I have this great story. I was in Nepal, and I was trekking through the foothills of the Himalayas, the Annapurna mountains there, and it was during plow season. And there were people were out in their fields, and they were plowing with their water buffalo. And I asked my guide, who was a Nepalese guy, “Do you think they would let me ride the water buffalo? I’m willing to do some work, could I do it?” And he said, “You don’t understand, a water buffalo is not a cow, it’s a wild animal, and it’s raised up with its owner and it will be tame around its owner, but if someone who’s not its owner gets near it, it could attack you and kill you.”

Keith: Woah.

Nehemia: Isn’t that interesting? I didn’t know about water buffalo. And for the Nepalese it’s a big deal because they’re Hindus, and they worship the cows, but they don’t worship water buffalos, it’s considered a different species. And it really behaves like a different species, it’s this wild animal. But I thought that was so interesting, you know, this animal, when it comes to its owner it’s nice and friendly, and it’ll let them plow with it, but you get near it and it’ll attack you. Pretty cool. It reminded me of this verse. So there I am in Nepal and thinking about Isaiah 1:3. [laughing]

Keith: Amazing. So “Israel does not know, people do not understand.” Can we just do something really interesting? I don’t know if you’ve ever run into this, I’ve run into this sometimes, where people will be reading a verse, we talk about language, history and context, and sometimes when you’re reading, say, the narrative versus a poetic section, sometimes people will take a phrase and then make that phrase their deal, and they won’t have it in context. But when I read this, correct me if I’m wrong here, but when I read this and He says, “But Israel does not know, My people do not understand,” I connect the two. In other words, He’s like saying... I could just pull the one out and say Israel does not know and just stay there, but He goes further. He says they don’t know and they don’t understand. So He’s kind of doing this… what would be similar to us in the English language, where we, you know… I was really, really hungry, I knew I had to eat.

Nehemia: It’s like the same thing, so you have this biblical style which we call biblical parallelism, and actually you find it outside the Tanakh, in other ancient Hebrew writings, like for example the metzad khashavyahu inscription, go Google that, good homework. And basically, the idea is that the ancient Hebrew speaker kind of felt like he wasn’t heard unless he was saying everything twice. That’s the impression I get reading it. And so really they’ll say just about everything twice, but that’s actually the style of Hebrew. In the Hebrew accent system, every verse in the entire Bible is broken into two. And that two, if it’s a long enough verse it’s broken into two. And those two are broken into two, to the point where you’ll get quarters and eighths and sixteenths… I think the longest verse is a one sixty fourth part.

So there’s this element of saying everything twice, and I think you’d find this in English poetry, which I’m not an expert in. But no, it’s not like you would talk in daily speech, because it’s not just that it’s poetry, it’s what we call in Hebrew the poetic style. And that’s a very distinct style, you could be reading a passage even in the Torah, which will be narrative, which is one style, and all of a sudden it will break into the poetic style for a couple of verses, or go back to poetry. This whole section is poetic style. It also uses different words than it would normally use.

Keith: Yeah, and so what I was going to say though, for the readers, for those that are listening right now and again, I’m kind of taking this group… these folks have been tracking with us since last October, so they’ve been going along, they’ve been hearing about the Hebrew, they’ve been hearing about different things, and so I want them to be able to look at this and say, “Okay, there’s a shift here.” Even in the way that it’s laid out in most Bibles, in most English Bibles, you can kind of see that there is a difference. It’s not like a paragraph style, literally the indents are further in and you go through it… of course the words let us know that, but also just the style of the writing and what you see in writing, it really is a different look than it is, say for…

Nehemia: For Samuel or Kings, or Joshua…

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: Almost the entire Book of Isaiah is written in this style, there are a couple of chapters where we have the Assyrian invasion that bursts out into the narrative style, the prose style, but most of it is poetic.

Keith: Yeah, and it’s funny because when you get into it, I’ll tell you, I get a little overwhelmed when I think about Isaiah, because it seems like every word, every phrase, is potentially…

Nehemia: Oh, absolutely. We can spend the entire time just on one phrase.

Keith: Go ahead.

Nehemia: And, in fact, I don’t know… are we going to read every single one here…?

Keith: No, no! Now, here’s why I started this out. Let me confess. So we’ve got these people that have been tracking with us, we’re in the land of Jerusalem, we’re in Jerusalem, we’re not far from this place where the Isaiah Scroll is, there’s all these things, and I want people to experience this with us. I want them to be able to do some study themselves. And again, we’ve got the video on, we’ve got the audio on, where people could actually take a verse and you could say, “Hey guys, we’re not going to deal with this verse, but here are a couple of keys that you need to look at.”

Nehemia: And here’s some actual homework for people.

Keith: Okay.

Nehemia: I’m speaking to you, I want everybody who has never posted something on or to go to the website and make one comment. When I was over in China, I did this online course through one of these online distance learning things, just to kind of pass the time.

Keith: What was the course on?

Nehemia: It doesn’t matter. Anyway, one of the things that you had to do in the course, in addition to read the material and listen to the lectures, is you had to post something, and it had to be something of substance. So I want everybody to post a question, give a comment, give a thought, a prayer. Something needs to go up on or, or points will be deducted.

Keith: Nice. Points will be deducted. [laughing]

Nehemia: Okay, but I want to start in verses 4 and 6, we’ve got this word, there’s a play on words, I’ll read it real quick. This is the JPS. “Ah sinful nation, people laden with iniquity, brood of evildoers, depraved children, they have forsaken Yehovah, spurned the Holy One of Israel, turned their backs to Him,” and then verse 6, “From head to foot no spot is sound, all bruises and welts and festering sores. Not pressed out, not bound up, not softened with oil”. And you know, in English there’s nothing, no connection whatsoever, but in Hebrew we have this word nazoru, in verse 4, which means they were estranged, from the word zar, stranger. NRSV, for example, has, “they are utterly estranged,” that’s a decent translation.

And then we have zoru, in verse 6, which means to squeeze out a wound, you know, I don’t know how it’s translated in the JPS. Oh, “pressed out”. So “pressed out” is zoru, and the word before is nazoru. There is a play on words there, and then verse 7 takes up that same theme again. It says in verse 7, JPS, “Your land is waste, your cities burn down before your eyes, the yield of your soil is consumed by strangers. A wasteland as overthrown by strangers,” and there the word for “strangers” twice is zarim. So we have nazoru, zoru, zarim, zarim. And the message is very clear in Hebrew - you want to be strangers to Yehovah? You want to be nazoru? You’re going to get a wound that’s not zoru and you’re going to get the zarim, the foreigners, the strangers who are going to come, and they’re going to attack your land. So it’s nazoru, zoru, zarim, zarim, that’s a part of this poetic style. You have to hear it. And you know, when we do this beautiful thing where we read the actual portion, we post it on the website, I guess I do, and it’s so important, because these types of prophecies with this poetic style – you’ve got to hear it, you can’t just read it.

Keith: It’s really funny, you know, Nehemia, folks, I have to tell you. He’s throwing me a curve ball, we’ve been doing this audio thing, we’ve done it across the world, we’ve done it now face to face, now we’re in Jerusalem, we were in Charlotte, now he wants to add this whole video aspect, you know, and like, this guy is…

Nehemia: We’ll give it a shot.

Keith: We’re going to give it a shot, but I’m going to let you guys in on what we do sometimes. So, for example, I’m looking here in Isaiah 1:4 and I know you went further…

Nehemia: Oh, are you back in 4?

Keith: No, not really, because I want you to “tap tap”. He tap taps on his computer. So anyway, I see this word that I absolutely love that Isaiah does it, and I think he does it - from my own personal studies, Nehemia: I’d say he probably does it 18, 19 times - where he says “Hoy!”, and the first time he does it he says “Hoy goy”. 1:4 it says “Alas sinful nation”, it says, “Hoy goy”, so Isaiah uses “hoy” more than anywhere else, I’m convinced of it.

Nehemia: More than anybody in the Tanakh.

Keith: Anyone in the Tanakh.

Nehemia: You’re sticking with that.

Keith: And I’m sticking with that.

Nehemia: We’ve got hoy times in the Tanakh 51…

Keith: Di di di di di di di…

Nehemia: I like that music. So we have it in the Tanakh 51 times, 21 are which are in Isaiah. I don’t know the statistics of where the other ones are.

Keith: Survey says…

Nehemia: Survey says… I actually have a little program here, and it does say in the program that…

Keith: Trust me, folks, Isaiah is the king of “hoy”. [laughing]

Nehemia: Actually, there’s a bunch of “hoy’s” in 2 Kings…

Keith: Not 20.

Nehemia: Okay, we’ll give it to him.

Keith: No, Isaiah wins. But anyways, when he says, that does it not… like, when he goes out and he says “hoy!”

Nehemia: 11 times in Jeremiah.

Keith: Like he’s in the shuk and he says “hoy!”, you know, we had this whole thing about you saying “aha!”

Nehemia: Alas! But what does “hoy” mean? Translate it into English.

Keith: I would say “attention”. You know, it’s kind of like him saying...

Nehemia: “Aye, shiver me timbers.” Is that what it’s like? What’s the word?

Keith: It says “alas”.

Nehemia: Can I tell you what the dictionary says here?

Keith: What does it say?

Nehemia: So “ah”, “alas” in a kinah - kinah is a lamentation. And really, do you know what this word is? This is “oy”, it really is “oy”. The “hoy” of biblical Hebrew became “oy”. “Oy vey!” You could also use the word “woe”.

Keith: You know, it’s funny....

Nehemia: Grievous threatening cry of the prophets.

Keith: Yeah, like “woe!”

Nehemia: In English it also has an encouraging meaning. They give the example of Isaiah 18:1 and 55:1 here in the biblical Hebrew dictionary. So there’s “hoy”, but even in English we say “woe is me” but then there is “woah” where you’re like warning somebody. So “woah” is a good translation. And then you say “woah horsey!”

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: “Oy horsey, slow down!” Oy o-yoy.

Keith: You know, it’s funny because… the reason I brought that up is just because I liked the fact that it connected it to “hoy goy”. [laughing]

Nehemia: So there’s definitely a rhyme there. “Hoy goy khoteh, am keved avon, zera mereh’eem…”

Keith: You did 1 and 6…

Nehemia: I did 4 and 6.

Keith: When I get to 9, if that’s okay…

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: It says, “Unless Yehovah tzeva’ot”, “Unless the LORD of hosts had left us a few survivors.” And I think, I don’t remember, I’m almost sure that we… maybe we didn’t do this particular…

Nehemia: I don’t remember doing this. “Sarid kim’at” - a remnant almost.

Keith: Yeah. Is that what it’s saying?

Nehemia: Yeah, literally.

Keith: “We would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah.” Unless he intervenes and says okay, I’m going to protect… you know, we saw the story which we did just a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t remember where it says, “and I’ve kept 7,000 that are…”

Nehemia: “Kept” from Kings 19…

Keith: So the idea that He gets involved and He says, “Look, I’m going to take my people over here and I’m going to protect and keep some…” Unless He had done that… and you know what, the reason I brought this up is because, again, we could get in a car - if we had one… by the way, we don’t have a car, folks.

Nehemia: The bus.

Keith: And so if we had a car, we could drive down actually to the area of Sodom and Gomorrah. And what do you see when you go there? There’s no more Sodom, there’s no more Gomorrah. [laughing]

Nehemia: Right, we wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for God’s great mercy.

Keith: Exactly. So, you can pick the next one.

Nehemia: And I love verse 10, then he addresses Israel as the officers or leaders of Sodom and the people of Gomorrah. I love it. “Shim’u devar Yehovah ketziney Sedom”. I love it.

Keith: Just a second, let me back up. So you’re telling me, is he taunting them?

Nehemia: Absolutely, he’s taunting them.

Keith: It’s like He’s saying, “Unless Yehovah of hosts has left us a few survivors, we’d be like Sodom, we’d be like Gomorrah. Now, hear the word of the LORD you rulers of Sodom.”

Nehemia: Right. Now, verse 10 in the Hebrew does begin a new prophecy.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: We know that because there is what we call the samakh, the parasha stuma. There’s a space in the manuscript…

Keith: And if you’re a Prophet Pearls regular, you know about the samakh, because we talked about it.

Nehemia: You know about the samakh.

Keith: No, people are learning, this is huge.

Nehemia: Yofi. So we have these spaces - there’s a closed space, the open space, in the Hebrew manuscript to tell you there’s a new section, or a new thought or a new sub-thought. And probably this was a separate prophecy spoken in a separate time, but it’s connected because they both talk about Sodom. Often they’re connected by association. But also he’s definitely taunting them. And we have shma Yisrael - Hear O Israel, and this is shim’u, it’s the plural of shma, “hear ketziney Sedom” or leaders of Sodom, instead of “shma Yisrael” it’s “shma Sodom”, Sedom. That’s awesome.

And we’ve got some wording that’s referencing here Deuteronomy 32. What do you want to talk about next? Can we talk about, without maybe reading the entire thing, verses 11-15?

Keith: I was going to say 14 was the one that I was really kind of excited about, but…

Nehemia: Oh, okay, but in 11-14 the theme is this idea of, “Look, I’m sick of your prayers and your sacrifices; I want obedience.” We’ve talked about this before. And of course, it’s not a categorical rejection…

Keith: Controversy button - beep beep beep. Ready for the controversy?

Nehemia: I don’t know what that is.

Keith: No, this is brand new, I’m excited. So I come to you and I say, “Look, God doesn’t like the new moon, and God doesn’t like the mo’adim.” You talk about the mo’adim, you talk about the new moon, so I come to you and I say to you, “Look, here is the verse to prove that He doesn’t like it,” and now this is why context is important.

Nehemia: Or we could say God has abolished the Sabbath.

Keith: I want to talk about what’s in the verse. In 14 it says, “I hate your new moons and your appointed times.” And that’s my phrase, and that’s what I want to say. So He hates them. So if someone comes and brings that verse to you, what do you want to do? If someone came to you and you say, “You know, I just want to say I put up the new moon, and we’re excited we are counting the time.” And someone says, “Nehemia, Isaiah says, ‘Yehovah says, I hate your new moon and your appointed feast.’” Now, as ridiculous as that sounds…

Nehemia: People say that?

Keith: People…

Nehemia: Really, seriously… people take this verse out of context…

Keith: You could take the verse and bring it to you and say…

Nehemia: First, can’t we do the same thing in verse 15, that’s what I was trying to get to. “Ubefariskhem kapekhem a’alim eynay”, when you stretch out your hands I will hide my eyes from you, it literally says. So He’s saying here He hates prayer, so God is against prayer, we shouldn’t pray. We’re not going to end in prayer today.

Keith: No, and so… isn’t this interesting though? I want to find a way… and you’ve actually talked about this before, where there will be a phrase that’s taken out of context, and that phrase actually being used as sort of a commandment…

Nehemia: Look, I can speak for my own tradition, that the rabbis are masters of this. They’ll take a phrase out of context and they’ll develop an entire doctrine around that phrase.

Keith: And so you mean you think your people are better than our people? We have 30,000 denominations based on that.

Nehemia: At least.

Keith: No, no, where they take a phrase or take a concept and say…

Nehemia: And you can legitimately speak about that.

Keith: Yeah.

Nehemia: But yeah, you’re absolutely right, there are definitely people who will take these phrases out of context, and what’s the context? His context here is… it’s not a categorical…

Keith: Beep beep beep.

Nehemia: It’s not a categorical rejection of sacrifices, but it’s vain sacrifices and vain prayers from sinners who don’t repent. And I’ve got some verses here, I want to bring Proverbs 15:8, it says, “Zevakh resha’im to’avat Yehovah utfilat yesharim retzono” - the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Yehovah, and the prayer of the righteous (or literally- those of integrity, yesharim, the straight) are His desire, or are acceptable to Him.

So we’ve got on the one hand the sacrifices of the wicked, and we’ve got the prayers of the righteous. God wants prayer, He wants sacrifice but only if it’s in righteousness. And then Proverbs 21:27, again says “Zevakh resha’im to’eva” - the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination “af ki bezima yevi’enu”, how much more so when he brings it with depravity. That reminds me of this passage here, talking about depravity.

And then one more, Proverbs - I love Proverbs. Could we do a section called “Proverbs Pearls”? [laughing] We’ve got to do that.

Keith: I’m not saying a thing.

Nehemia: That’s awesome, we should do that. Proverbs 28:9. It says, “He who turns his ear from hearing Torah, also his prayer is an abomination”. So we’ve got 3 witnesses - abomination, abomination abomination, three times. You know, I love that, talking about prayer and sacrifice. And “abomination” is a really strong word. Here’s the homework for people - go look up in Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20 and see what the Creator of the universe calls abomination. Then come back to these verses and say, “Woah.” So when we’re talking abomination that’s something God hates, that’s a really serious thing. And here He’s saying, “If you’re doing this in wickedness and sinfulness, prayer isn’t going to help you. You can’t sacrifice yourself out of sin. You can’t pray yourself out of sin. It’s of no value, in fact it’s a detriment to you - prayer and sacrifice - unless it’s done in righteousness. And that’s a theme we’ve talked about before. I think in a previous episode we gave homework of all the passages that talk about sacrifice specifically, you know, which is brought without righteousness, and I’m not going to give that again. But I read here in verse 12, and it’s talking about the “trampling My courtyards”. Yeah, verse 12. Who asked this of you? I don’t want this, what I want is obedience. This is the theme we’ve had repeatedly.

Keith: So, you know, the images that Isaiah uses make things pretty clear to me. So in the end of verse 15 it says, “Your hands are covered with blood”, and then the next phrase is “wash yourselves, make yourselves clean…”

Nehemia: What does it mean “your hands are covered with blood”? So they’re slaughtering these sacrifices, and literally maybe there’s blood on their hands, and they think they’re being washed in the blood, cleaned in the blood, the blood is covering their sin, and actually it’s a sign of their sin. It’s evidence of their sin.

Keith: Exactly. I guess what I like about the verse is he says, “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean, remove the evil of your deeds from My sight, cease to do evil.” In other words, the physical idea of washing and then saying…

Nehemia: That their hands are covered with blood.

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: Can you read verse 17? I love verse 17.

Keith: Yeah. “Learn to do good, seek justice, reprove the ruthless”.

Nehemia: The ruthless?

Keith: Yes, that’s what it says.

Nehemia: I have “make happy the sour” in Hebrew, “asheru khamotz”.

Keith: That’s the word? Khamotz?

Nehemia: Yes khamotz, like khametz, leaven, which is soured bread.

Keith: Yeah. “Defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Boy, the orphans and the widows… it continues to come up.

Nehemia: Yeah. And I love this. What’s the basic message here? It’s not about prayers, it’s not about sacrifice, it’s about repentance and doing righteousness. That’s the message of Isaiah.

Keith: Here’s the deal, now, Nehemia, listen, I just want to say this. It was your idea for us to come here for two weeks, we prepared all this stuff, but I’m just feeling like… you know what I’m feeling like?

Nehemia: No, I don’t know what you’re feeling.

Keith: I’m feeling like I’m on that… in China they have what’s called the high-speed train.

Nehemia: Yeah. No, actually it’s the bullet train. Gaotiye. Gaotiye. If the high-speed train goes between 40-60 kilometers per hour, the gaotiye, the bullet train goes 300 kilometers per hour.

Keith: 300 kilometers per hour, and you know what, I want to be sensitive to people, and if you do this study you can take your time, but I’m waiting to get to verse 18.

Nehemia: Verse 18, that’s… What do you mean?

Keith: That’s my verse.

Nehemia: I’ve got pages on this. [laughing]

Keith: [laughing] You know, it’s really interesting because, I just want to say to you, this is a verse that well before I ever came to Israel in 2002, well before I ever had the encounter of God’s time, God’s Torah and God’s tetragrammaton. Well before I ever realized even the many powerful things that were in the Torah, this verse was something that I memorized.

Nehemia: Really? In Hebrew?

Keith: No, no, in English first.

Nehemia: Oh. Can you read it in English? Come on, let’s hear it.

Keith: Just a minute, I’m going to let you do your thing, don’t worry. But what I loved about it was, I went beyond in thinking of God’s thoughts with His people, and just this idea that He’s like… Okay, whatever it is that He says, He says, “Let’s talk about it, let’s have a conversation.”

Nehemia: Let’s reason together.

Keith: Let’s reason together. And I’ve got to tell you something. I was young in my faith, as you say, I was young in my walk, and I didn’t have all the information, I hadn’t gone to school, but I just thought about the fact that He would say, “Now, look, let’s have a conversation, let’s talk about it.” And then He goes on to say what the talking about is, and we can get into this with the Hebrew.

Nehemia: Yeah, let’s talk.

Keith: But, again, I basically looked at it from an English standpoint back then, I said, “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says Yehovah. ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.’” Here comes a softball folks, I’m about to pitch it to him, you can watch it right on video. Ready? You got the bat? Here it comes, Nehemia… whoosh. [laughing]

Nehemia: What?

Keith: What does it say?

Nehemia: Okay, so there’s a lot here to unpack.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: So first of all, it’s pretty clear - the basic message here before we get into the details is, basically they would dye stuff red, linen and cotton and wool, and once it was dyed there was no way to get it white again. They didn’t have powerful bleach. And so if something was red, it was permanently red, the red was a really powerful dye. And he’s saying, “Even if your sins are as shanim,” which is the word, you know, they translate it as “scarlet”, “it should be made white like snow.” Now, this is not the snow in Chicago on the highway, which is black. [laughing]

Keith: I was going to say, boy, that’s bad snow.

Nehemia: This is fresh snow…

Keith: Like what falls in Jerusalem.

Nehemia: Like what falls in Jerusalem, it’s white…

Keith: Were you here when that fell just a couple of weeks ago?

Nehemia: I wasn’t, no, unfortunately. But it’s white, it doesn’t actually last that long on the ground, and so when you see it it’s white. It’s like this bright white. “And if they are red like tola,” I love that word, which is literally “worm”, but they translate here as “crimson red”, which is a good translation based on some things in Exodus, “it should be made like wool.” And what they would do is they would take the wool from the animal and they would bleach that. So He saying, “Even if it’s red and there’s no way in nature it could possibly be made white, I’m going to make it white again.” And there’s a little bit of an association here with their hands covered in blood, so red here is blood, we’re going to get rid of that blood and we’re going to make it white. I feel like you’ve got something more you want to say. I have something more, but I want to give you an opportunity to do your Methodist thing.

Keith: No, no, I was going to ask you… No, this is not my Methodist thing, Nehemia. What are you talking about?

Nehemia: What’s the Methodist teaching? That’s what we want to know.

Keith: No, no, no. We don’t want to know that. What I want to know is what does the Bible say, and what I love about the Bible is that it has a message in language, history and context. And I want to throw this out, we’re already in verse 18, I want to know if we could make… if you would be willing to do something, because this is complicated.

Nehemia: We’re not done with 18…

Keith: No, that’s the point. No, we’re starting at 18, I want to know if this word that’s in… “come now, let us reason together,” if you could unpack that word.

Nehemia: I want to get back to that. I want to talk about the scarlet and the red, could we do that?

Keith: Okay. More on the scarlet and the red.

Nehemia: Yeah, absolutely. This is a verse that I’ve heard… thousands of times this verse has been quoted to me by Christians and Messianics, and Hebrew Roots people, and they’ve come to me and they said, “Nehemia, don’t you know the tradition based on this verse that proves that Jesus is the one?” Haven’t you heard this? I’m sure you’ve heard this, no?

Keith: No.

Nehemia: So they come to you with the four spiritual laws, this is what they come to me with. You really haven’t heard this?

Keith: No.

Nehemia: And what they’re referring to is a tradition in the Talmud, about how there was a string in the Temple. You haven’t heard about the special magical string?

Keith: Oh yeah, I’ve heard about the magical string.

Nehemia: There was a string in the Temple that was red, and every year on Yom Kippur it would turn white, based on this verse. In other words, this is a metaphor in Isaiah, but there was a literal string in the Second Temple, according to the Jewish tradition, and the last 40 years of the Temple it stayed red and didn’t turn white.

Keith: I have heard that.

Nehemia: You’ve heard that, okay. So I want to look at the Rabbinical source behind this. Can we do that?

Keith: So before you look at the Rabbinical source behind this, tell me this, honestly…

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: Why does it matter? And I think you’re probably going to tell me why it matters. So tell me about… in other words, people are…

Nehemia: I think it matters because this is out there. This is something that is common knowledge in the Hebrew Roots, in the Messianic world. I don’t know how well Christians know about this, if they talk about this in churches… And also one of the things it is, they’ll go to this Rabbinical source without… they actually wouldn’t even go to the Rabbinical source, they’ll say, “The rabbis say, the Jews say, the encyclopedia Judaica says…” And I say let’s look at the sources and see what they actually say.

Keith: Okay. And so in simplicity, for those of us who don’t know about what they say, tell us what it is that they say they say.

Nehemia: Okay. So here’s the point that they’re making. So the Jews were not forgiven the last 40 years that the Temple stood, because they rejected Yeshua. This is the argument of the Messianics, the Hebrew Roots people.

Keith: And it was based on the fact that…

Nehemia: The string was red, and here is the phrase – “Even the rabbis,” that’s always the phrase, “even the rabbis know that they weren’t forgiven those last 40 years, and do you want to know the reason why they weren’t forgiven? Because they rejected Jesus Christ.” This is what I had evangelized to me.

And so, look, I say, “Alright, let’s look at that. That’s really interesting to me, I want to hear about that, I want to check the sources. If there’s supernatural evidence that the Jews were not forgiven the last 40 years before the Temple was destroyed, and then it was destroyed, this is something that I need to look into. I need to check this out.”

Keith: Last thing before you check this out - so before those 40 years they would say it did change colors?

Nehemia: Oh, absolutely. That’s the argument, yeah. So now let’s look at this. Go look this up for yourselves, people, and read it in context, read the whole section. It’s Yoma page 39b of the Babylonian Talmud. And Yoma, or Yuma more accurately, is specifically the section that talks about the Yom Kippur sacrifice. That’s what the whole tractate in the Talmud is about. It says, “Our rabbis taught during the last 40 years before the destruction of the Temple, the lot for the Lord did not come up in the right hand (meaning it came up in the left hand), nor did the crimson colored strap become white, nor did the western most light shine, and the doors of the heykhal (that’s the middle section of the Temple) would open by themselves.”

So they’re listing 4 supernatural things that happened the last 40 years that the Temple stood, here in Yoma 39b. Okay, that’s interesting. Now look, as a Jew I don’t need this… in other words, the first thing that comes to mind for me is, “Oh, okay. First of all, I don’t know if this is a true story.” You know, the Talmud says all kinds of things that, you know, I don’t know, there are stories about demons showing up, and exploding and you know, parchment falling from heaven, and saying things about rabbis, all kinds of things like that in the Talmud. I don’t know that this is actually a true event. Josephus doesn’t mention this, and he’s a historian who was in the Temple in the 1st century.

But let’s say this is all true; what does it really mean? What are the rabbis trying to say by this? And what they’re trying to say is that last generation - because 40 years in Hebrew thought is a generation, read it in the Bible, it’ll say 40 years, 40 years, 40 years - they’re saying that last generation was a generation of sinners. And I don’t think anyone disputes that. Why else was the Temple destroyed if they weren’t sinners? What was the sin, that’s the question. Now this is me being the Jewish accountant. You know, I’m going to look at the numbers. And here is what I come up with. So historians say the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE or 70 AD. I say historians, because the rabbis have a different date. If it was destroyed in 70 CE, the last Yom Kippur is in the year 69, right?

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: That means the last time the crimson thread turned white was in what year? In 29, okay? Well, that means in the autumn of 30 AD it didn’t turn white, it stayed red. And let me ask you this, who went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, when was Yeshua or Jesus crucified?

Keith: There’s debate about when it was.

Nehemia: Uh-oh.

Keith: There is debate about the years. I don’t know if anyone can say definitively, “This is the exact year,” I mean, based on the source… in other words, there are some people that would argue it’s 30 AD, some people would say it’s 33, some people would say it’s 20...

Nehemia: But most people would say sometime between 30 and… Now, you’re aware of this, I don’t know if some people are aware of this - there’s this whole blood moon mania going on right now.

Keith: No, I’ve never heard of it.

Nehemia: You haven’t heard about the blood moon doctrine?

Keith: No.

Nehemia: So according to the blood moon doctrine, there’s a very specific date on which Jesus had to be crucified, it’s central to their concept of tetrads and the middle and things like that, and eclipses and things.

Keith: Okay, so I’ve heard of it. [laughing]

Nehemia: So it’s very specifically April 3rd, 33 AD.

Keith: Yup.

Nehemia: So that means the red string failed to turn white three times before the crucifixion, based on the blood moon doctrine. In 30 it stayed red, in 31 it stayed red, in 32 it stayed red. What were the sins in those years according to the people who say that it didn’t turn white, it stayed red because of Jesus?

Wait a minute, that was before the crucifixion - by their own doctrine. I say that’s three witnesses. Now, I don’t know if it turned red... by the way, according to the rabbis, the Temple was destroyed in the year 68, which means 27 would have been the last time the miracle turn of the string took place according to these same… in other words, the rabbis are the ones who are telling us this, we’ve got to look at their chronology, and according to them the Temple was destroyed in 68, so 27 AD was the last time the red string turned white, according to the Talmud.

So we’ve got 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - five years it didn’t turn white, way before Jesus was crucified, and maybe this entire discussion is ridiculous…

Keith: It’s nonsense.

Nehemia: Because what are we talking about? We’re talking about an alleged miracle that we don’t even know happened, it’s not in Scripture, it’s not even in the New Testament. It’s not in Josephus, it’s only in the Talmud, I don’t know if it happened or didn’t happen. You’re going to base your faith on that? Really? And you’re going to tell me I’ve got to change my faith based on some miracle in the Talmud? I mean, I don’t understand who’s falling for this kind of thing. I don’t know. You know, I hear this and I say, “Well, if that’s what your faith is based on, that doesn’t impress me. I’m not impressed with that.”

Keith: I have a confession to make about it.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: The reason when you brought it up I was like, “Okay, how long is this going to move on?”

Nehemia: “Let’s move on this real quick.”

Keith: No, no, the reason I say that isn’t because it’s not important to me, you have people that talk to you about it, but the thing that I just always ask myself is, “Okay, so there are all these things that could be, and all these things that are possible, and there are all these things that maybe had happened, and whether the rabbi said it or is it the Talmud or not,” and I’m looking at the Scripture and I’m like, “Wow. This is amazing.” I look at what it says, and then I’m dealing with if the story is correct or not, and it’s like… you know, okay, alright…

Nehemia: I’m not done, I want to go back to Yoma 39b, and here we have the same passage that they’re quoting to me about the red string and the doors opening, I can’t see anybody really believe that the doors open by themselves, seriously. [laughing] Maybe they did, but I don’t know, maybe it was a trick of the priest, you know, there are these ancient greek documents where… I don't know if you know this, there is an ancient Greek book that talks about how to trick the believers into believing in the pagan God by making the doors open by themselves. And that’s actually what’s being described here as a miracle. Look that up guys, this’s this great documentary you can even see on YouTube, it’s called “Machines of the Gods”. Interesting stuff.

Alright. “Our rabbis taught that in the year in which Simon the Righteous died, he foretold them that he would die.” This is the same passage talking about the red string, that’s why this is relevant. This is talking about an event sometime around 200 BC. They said, “How do you know this?” He replied, “On every day of atonement and old man wrapped in white would join me, entering the Holy of Holies and leaving it with me. But today I was joined by an old man wrapped in black, who entered but did not leave with me. After the Festival of Sukkot he was sick for seven days, and then died.” This is interesting. “His brethren that year, the priests, forebade to mention the ineffable name in pronouncing the priestly blessing.” Isn’t that interesting?

So this was the first time in history that we hear that the name of Yehovah was not spoken in the priestly blessing, actually that it was forbidden at all, it’s the first time ever, and this is the year around 200 BC that Simon the priest dies, and it says, just during the seven days of mourning over his death, “This temporary measure is as a sign of mourning, we won’t speak Yehovah’s name for seven days because this great high priest died.” This is in the same passage talking about the red string and talking about the doors of the Temple, and I’m reading this and I’m thinking, “I don’t know if this happened or not, I don’t know if he really saw a white figure or not. Maybe he did, it sounds like what I saw with Elijah, you know, it actually sounds very much like…” And as a kid I didn’t know this passage. This isn’t something that’s taught in yeshivas and rabbinical schools. But it sounds very much like what I saw - an old man dressed in white, wrapped in white. Maybe he did see it, but is your faith is going to be based on some story in the Talmud about he saw the guy dressed in white not the guy dressed in black, or there was a red string, not a white string? That’s not even what Isaiah is talking about! It’s a metaphor, it’s a symbol! That’s the whole point! The symbol is, if your sins are red I can make them white!

And this is where I’m vexed by this whole attempt to convert Jews based on something in the Talmud which maybe happened, maybe didn’t happen. The whole point in the passage in Isaiah here is if your sins are red, I can make them white. And how am I going to do that? I’m going to do that because you repent, and you think your repentance can’t clean you, it can! That’s the point.

Now can we read verses 17 and 18 again, he says, “Limdu heytev,” - learn to do good, “dirshu mishpat,” - seek judgement, “asheru khamotz,” - make happy the sour “shiftu yatom, rivu almana,” - “do justice for the orphan and plead the case of the widow, and go let us reason,” says Yehovah. “If your sins are as scarlet they will be as white as snow, if they are red as crimson they will become like wool.” And the whole point of this argument based in the Talmud is to throw reason out the door. “We’ve got this miracle and it stopped happening, and it was the same time (it was 3 or 5 years off but whatever).”

It’s not about reason. I say, let’s go to reason. That’s what you wanted to talk about? That’s the whole point here of the story, it’s about using reason. And from my perspective, rational thought is a core Jewish and Tanakh value. Thinking rationally… and look, God gave us reason, He created us with reason, He didn’t make us like animals. He made us in the image of Yehovah, in the image of God. That means we have reason. Now, I’ve heard people warned all the time - you’re being too rational, you’ll lose your faith. And I say if your faith isn’t consistent with reason, it’s not a biblical faith. And I say you need both information and inspiration, it can’t just be inspiration. You need to have the information and inspiration, they’re indispensable to each other. And the point of Isaiah 1:18 to 20 is that repentance… Say “repentance”.

Keith: Repentance.

Nehemia: Repentance will result in forgiveness and reward. Refusal to repent will result in punishment. “For the mouth of Yehovah has spoken.” I’m done.

Keith: Wow, and this is the reasoning together. Okay, so this is the verse that I would like people to do something really kind of radical. Instead of us making it the Word of the Week, I would like people to first go to Isaiah 1:18 and pick a part, a little bit of this verse, because I do think it’s pretty powerful, especially the word that’s used there. In fact, what I want to do if we can, we have a couple here, I want to take a little bit of a break, because one of the things that’s interesting, you know, as you were talking about that, Nehemia, I will confess…

Nehemia: You were zoning out, they can see it on the video.

Keith: Look, I was zoning out. Now let me tell you why I was zoning out and why it’s important that you did bring it. We have two backgrounds. Very clearly two different backgrounds.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: You and I are not the same, we don’t come from the same place. And my passion, my desire, if I could go so far as to say, my mission, is to try and reach those people that are in a place where they don’t have access to the information at all. And here is why I’m going to get in trouble, please don’t edit it out. When I first learned about the Messianic movement, I was a little bit shocked. And the reason I was shocked, I had no access to it whatsoever, I didn’t know anything about Messianics or anything like that.

But one of the things that really threw me off was I thought, “Okay, great, if these are people who really have taken the Jewish side of things from history, and Christian side of things, and their faith, and they brought them together, wow - that must mean that they’re interacting with the text. That must mean that they know that this is the word, and that’s the word, and then I was shocked because I kept coming across leaders, and I would say, “So what do you do with this verse?” And they would say, “Well, it says it right here in the King James.” I’m like, “I understand what it says in the King James, let’s open up the Hebrew.” And many of them would just in humility say, “You know what, I’ll get to it, I’ve been so busy, I’ll get to it, but I haven’t gotten a chance to learn much of Hebrew.” So then you come along and you say that there are these people… and look - this is your experience.

Nehemia: Oh yeah.

Keith: Where they come to you with these fantastical stories.

Nehemia: Oh, I would say I get this email probably once a month – “How can you not believe in him, don’t you know what it says in the Talmud about the red string?” I get this all the time. And I’m thinking, “Have you even read what it says in the Talmud about the red string?”

Keith: Okay, so this is what I want to say.

Nehemia: Have you even read Isaiah, what it says about the red string?

Keith: And here is where my confession comes in…

Nehemia: And my gut reaction is, if that’s what your faith is based on, I don’t need to believe that. Like, can the conversation. If that’s really the source of your faith then we’re done.

Keith: So that’s why for me, and I guess I’ve gotten into a little trouble about this, I take a different approach. When we’re sitting here and we’re looking at this, and now, again, this is a real experience, I can’t take that away from them, it’s like me talking about my experience when people said to me, “Keith…” whatever, I can’t even begin to tell you the kind of things I deal with or the assumptions that people make about me… And look, that’s not so important, but I think the thing that’s really powerful about this is that people actually can get past what someone said.

Nehemia: Okay.

Keith: Including the Talmud. Because what is the Talmud, Nehemia, in comparison to Scripture, from your opinion?

Nehemia: A bunch of words of men, and this is the word of the living God.

Keith: Exactly. So like I said, I’m sitting here, that hasn’t been my experience, people don’t come to me with that because they make assumptions about what I believe or don’t believe. But then when we get to this word, and we’re opening it up and we’re doing it, I get overly excited about it. And so again, what I want people to do, if it’s okay, is go to 1:18 and to just go through and say, “What are these words? What do these words mean?” And they actually can do that.

Nehemia: And I guess the issue is that sometimes it’s difficult to see what Scripture says, because all these traditions and doctrines and arguments and claims are piled on top of it…

Keith: That’s a good point.

Nehemia: And we’ve got to unpack those so we can actually see what it says down there in Scripture, and what Scripture says is, “Repent, and then I’ll make your sins, which are red, white as snow.” It’s really simple and straightforward. But yeah, I’m done.

Keith: Okay. Well, if it’s okay, we can do one of two things.

Nehemia: Bevakasha.

Keith: One of two things. We actually talked about a few of these things, actually one of the things that’s cool, even in verse 22 it talks about “your silver has become dross”. I thought you did a really good job of explaining about what that process was, and then again, we have it here. But I don’t want to jump ahead if we don’t need to jump ahead, I mean, if there’s something…

Nehemia: I’m ready to jump ahead. What’ve you got?

Keith: Okay. For me, I like verse 24.

Nehemia: Let’s go for 24. Oh yeah, 24 is fine. And then I want to go to 26.

Keith: Okay, awesome. So here’s an example where we see the word “Lord” - capital “L” with a little “o”, a little “r” and a little “d”. And in this situation it says, “ha’adon Yehovah tzeva’ot” - therefore the Lord, God of hosts, and then it goes on to say, the mighty one of Israel. And for me, whenever I get these phrases that are like descriptions of Him, and we find it over and over again… I wrote a book called, which one was it? His Hallowed Name Revealed Again, that was the only book, and in the back of the book I do this deal where I give people a chance to see, I think it’s 40 times where Yehovah is connected to a descriptive aspect, or other times where it’s Elohim, or El, and it really, really is pretty cool, because what it allows people to do, it’s another one of these examples where you get a chance to interact with the text as it says it, as you’re actually looking at it. And people have been able to take some of those descriptions, some of those, like I say, descriptions of Him and apply them in their life. I mean, He is the God, He is the Lord, the Adon, the God of… Yehovah tzeva’ot, He’s over the hosts, He’s the mighty one of Israel, and it’s like in times like these, when you look around and you see what’s going on, you’ve got to be reminded. This is a part of His description, this is who He is. He’s the mighty one of Israel, not the prime minister, not the government that thinks that they’re the superpower, they’re not the mighty ones of Israel. He is the mighty one of Israel.

Nehemia: Amen.

Keith: And over and over again, He’s got all these descriptions, this is just one example that kind of got me excited.

Nehemia: Yeah, so can we make “Adon” the Word of the Week?

Keith: Oh, that would be great.

Nehemia: Because that’s a good word. Because we’ve got the word “Adonay”, and Adonay which is not the Word of the Week, means “my great lord”, it’s actually the plural of “Adon”, with the “my” suffix. It’s adonim-y which becomes Adonay.

But Adon is the singular, it means “lord”, and here we have the hei which is “the” - ha’adon, so we have Hei Alef Dalet Vav Nun, 5 letters, the Vav there is functioning as a vowel, and so the actual root is Alef Dalet Nun, which means “lord”. It could also mean “the owner”, of like an ox is called adon, it could mean “a master”, it’s the root of the word adonay as well, ha’adon. And we have seven times in the Tanakh that it says ha’adon, or ha’adon Yehovah, and we have once where we have… well, kind of, it says, Aron Yehovah - the Ark of Yehovah, adon kol ha’aretz, Joshua 3:13, the master of the whole world, the Lord of the whole world. But Adon Yehovah we have seven times, for example, Exodus 23:17, Exodus 34:23 et cetera, seven times, and we have it four times in Isaiah.

Keith: Four times in Isaiah?

Nehemia: No, five times in Isaiah, sorry!

Keith: Wow.

Nehemia: Five times in Isaiah where he has “Adon Yehovah” and Isaiah, I want to say, always has “Yehovah tzeva’ot”, so we’ve got twice in Exodus without the tzeva’ot. Actually Exodus 34:23 has “Ha’adon Yehovah Elohey Yisra’el” - The Lord Yehovah God of Israel, and five times in Isaiah “the Lord Yehovah of hosts”. So adon is the Word of the Week, ha’adon.

Keith: Man, oh man, it is amazing.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: I have to say, I make fun about the computer. You know, when it works like this and you can see those things so quickly and it really is kind of…

Nehemia: It’s pretty awesome.

Keith: It’s very awesome. Okay, so that’s what I had in 24. You go ahead.

Nehemia: Yeah, so that’s 24.

Keith: You said you want to say something about 25?

Nehemia: 26. Can you read 26?

Keith: Sure. “Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and your councilors”, it says. “Your councilors as at the beginning. After that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city.”

Nehemia: And so that’s interesting. Here is another name for Jerusalem - “Ir hatzedek” - city of righteousness, “kirya ne’emana” - kirya is another word for ir, kirya ne’emana - a faithful city.

Keith: You have to put that in the intro. Can you add this phrase in the intro, when you talk about the eternal city? This is good stuff here.

Nehemia: Beseder.

Keith: This is nice.

Nehemia: Okay. Yeah, the faithful city. Actually, this is homework. I’m going to give people the verses, and youv’e got to go look this up, and if you have other ones that I didn't bring, then please go bring them and post them on and

So different names for Jerusalem, Isaiah 62:12 has a name for Jerusalem, Zechariah 8:3, and I think we’re going to get to some of these again, or maybe not, maybe we did already. Jeremiah 23:6, Jeremiah 33:16, and that’s it. So if you have other ones… And then we have to end in verse 27.

Keith: Yeah, yeah, yeah, so, “Zion will be redeemed with justice”.

Nehemia: Tipadeh. Maybe that should’ve been the Word of the Week.

Keith: Maybe it should have been…

Nehemia: It has to be.

Keith: “And her repentant ones with righteousness.” Knock yourself out.

Nehemia: “Zion will be redeemed through justice,” is what it says in Hebrew, “and her captives through righteousness.” Wow. I can’t wait for that redemption through justice and righteousness. It’s telling us what we have to do.

Alright, so for me this is the choice of Deuteronomy 30:9, where He places before us life and good, death and evil. Choose life that you may live.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: This is what we need to be redeemed, is to live a righteous and just life, a life of righteousness and justice. So Isaiah 35:10 and 51:11 have the phrase “pedu’yey Yehovah” - those who are redeemed of Yehovah. And I’m going to ask you to share about…

Keith: There’s a section that we’re going to be dealing with…

Nehemia: I think that’s one of the sections, isn’t it?

Keith: No, no. Believe it or not, I actually... I have an application with the…

Nehemia: Okay, so we’re going to talk about that later. Alright, beseder. So look forward to that in a future section, I’m going to hold him to it to talk about the redeemed of Yehovah in a future section.

Keith: What I really want to talk about is sort of the bigger picture around it.

Nehemia: Okay.

Keith: But, in Isaiah 1:27 it says “Zion”, Tziyon. And for me, again, Nehemia, I don’t know how many times Isaiah talks about this word, how many times he says this word, you could probably “tap tap tap” and we could see who could find it faster, let’s see. Hold on.

Nehemia: I’ll let you do it. What are you asking? Padah?

Keith: [laughing] What did you say?

Nehemia: Padah appears 60 times in the Tanakh, that root, and in Isaiah it appears…

Keith: No, I was asking about the word “Zion”.

Nehemia: Oh, Zion.

Keith: Yeah, so 158 times…

Nehemia: Tziyon is 159 times I got, and of those in Isaiah… and Zion, of course, is the mountain on which Jerusalem is located. 49 times in Isaiah.

Keith: Isaiah really loves this word. He loves this word. And I love this word, and I love that idea… You know, people are called Zionists. There’s a cult, something called “the Zionist movement”. Now, I don’t want to get overwhelmed when I talk about this, there’s sort of a political issue that’s going on… by the time the people will hear about this, which will be well into the summer, there could either be a new…

Nehemia: We’ll probably have another war by then.

Keith: Oh boy, I hope not.

Nehemia: I hope not, too.

Keith: There would either be a new prime minister, or a new government. It’s possible you have the same government… you know, the system that goes on here, and then you know, whether the people are the conservatives… I was looking at a bus the other day. The bus goes down and it says, it’s either us or those from the left. And I’m like, it’s on the bus, people talking about the different groups and who is really Israel and Zionists, and not Zionists, et cetera. But when I see this, Nehemia, when I think about Zion, and the beauty of the word, and what it means and to be here… and like I say, we see it. We’re going to be… we’ll be talking about this soon, but we’ll actually go to Mount Zion. And… wow. [laughing]

Nehemia: I think tomorrow morning we’re going to Mount Zion.

Keith: Maybe, yeah.

Nehemia: May it be. So “Zionists” simply means people who believe that God gave Israel to the people of Israel, and that we should return to live here. That we were sent out into exile and it’s time for us to return, that’s what a Zionist means.

Keith: Amen. Zionist, you can pray.

Nehemia: Yeah, and I’m a proud Zionist. Yehovah gave us this land. Wow.

Yehovah, Avinu shebashamayim - Yehovah, our Father in heaven, boreh olam - Creator of the universe, go’alenu - our redeemer, Yehovah - the One who through righteousness and justice will turn our sins though they be as scarlet, white as snow. Yehovah, I ask that… You said, “Tziyon bemishpat tipadeh, veshave’hah beetzdaka” - Zion will be redeemed through justice, and her captives through righteousness. Yehovah, I ask You to turn the hearts of Your people to You, to justice and righteousness. The ones who are still captive in many parts of the world. They’re physically captives or they’re spiritually captives out in the diaspora, and many of Your people who have turned to You who aren’t from Your seed of Israel or… they are captives in the systems in which they’re operating. Yehovah, I ask You to redeem them, to accept their righteousness and their justice, their desire to do righteousness and justice, that You redeem them and You free them, You set the captives free and… Yehovah, I ask for peace for the faithful city Jerusalem, peace for the city of truth, which sometimes is mired with these politicians who aren’t always focused on truth, but Your people, Yehovah, love You. And Your people are trying to be faithful to You, Yehovah. And please, Yehovah, remember the righteousness of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who served You and You had a covenant with them. Remember Your covenant, Yehovah, and redeem Your people, Israel, redeem all those who call upon Your name, and bring peace to Your people wherever they may be in the world. Amen.

Keith: Amen.

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  • Arie Kralt says:

    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

  • Ted Craven says:

    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.

  • Jonah says:

    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.

  • Charlotte Smith-Connolly says:

    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.

  • Angie says:

    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!

  • Barbara Jayne says:

    May all who grow to understand the truth in God’s Word, sensibly, become Zionists.

  • Steve Starr says:

    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.

  • Carvel Rider says:

    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.

  • Elissa says:

    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).

  • Sandra Knudsvig says:

    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.

  • Jeremy Stollings says:

    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!

    • Kevin George says:

      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!

  • Adina Teaha says:

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

  • Jennifer Snyder says:

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

  • Pari Johnson says:

    Nehemia, I did some homework! I’m posting 2 links that I found because I thought they can help others who want to dig deeper.

    1) Why Didn’t the Red Ribbon on the Head of the Scapegoat Turn White in 30 C.E.? by Rabbi Singer::

    2) Machines of the Gods:

    • Ged says:

      If the mercenary Singer is going to `help others` turn off the lights and let`s go home.

  • M says:

    I am just thankful.

  • Margaret Hatcher says:

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

  • Marie says:

    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.

    • MaryAnne says:

      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?)

      • donald murphy says:

        isn’t that what they called the temple prostitues?

        • Steve Starr says:

          Yehovah never authorized nor in any way encourage the concept of temple prostitutes. That was a pagan practice.

  • Reyes Nava says:

    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”.

    • Kwaktastic Woogle says:

      That reference was a bit טָמֵא, don’t you think? But, Amen.

  • 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…

      • aurorekeath says:

        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.

    • Mary Anne Crepps says:

      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 🙂

  • Mary Anne Crepps says:

    Homework… Did Isaiah write this from Babylon when Israel was captured?

    • Mary Anne Crepps says:

      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?

      • Mary Anne Crepps says:

        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.

        • Mary Anne Crepps says:

          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).

  • Anita says:

    Thank you for work Nehemiah and Keith!

  • Piper Kelly says:

    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.'”

    • Lisa Runyon says:

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

  • Lea Harris says:

    I would LOVE it if you would do Proverbs Pearls!!!!!

  • George says:

    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.

  • Erick Taylor says:


    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.

    • aurorekeath says:

      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.

  • Norman says:

    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?”

  • John Dudley says:

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

    • It depends who you ask. The rabbinical tradition puts it in 68 CE, secular historians in 70 CE. Who is to say which is correct?

      • james says:

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

  • jess says:

    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.

  • kris says:

    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

  • Barbra Terry says:

    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?

    • April says:

      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.

  • jimmy fink says:

    It appears this sunday is 9 Av, do you expect something to happen?

  • John says:

    (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.

  • John says:

    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

  • James Hayman says:

    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

  • 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…..

    • Erick Taylor says:

      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.