Torah Pearls #53 – Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52)

Original Torah Pearls - Ha'azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52)In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32), the song of Moses provides a lyrical backdrop for discussing the beauty and message of Moses’ last words to the people. Nehemia Gordon explains poetic structure and rhythm as well as how poetic names are formed in Hebrew. The trio explores the repeated references to the “rock” in this song and clarifies who “they” refers to—Israel or the nations. Johnson expounds on the beauty inherent in the Tanach for Christians—with no retrofits needed—while Gordon highlights the passage equating “calling out the name of Yehovah” with “giving greatness” to the Name. The trio concludes with all the conviction of Moses—that there simply are not any other gods out there.

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Transcript

Torah Pearls #53 - Ha'azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52)

You are listening to The Original Torah Pearls with Nehemia Gordon, Keith Johnson, and Jono Vandor. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Jono: G’day. Boy, here’s a list of everybody listening in the United States, of course, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Israel, United Kingdom, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, Colombia, Argentina, India, Costa Rica, Spain, New Zealand, Norway, Venezuela, and France.

Keith: You gotta be kidding me.

Jono: That’s just some of them - what are you talking about?

Nehemia: We’re global. We’ve gone worldwide.

Jono: It’s highly global. There’s listeners to truth2u all over the globe and wherever you may be around the world, thank you for joining us once again because it is time for Pearls from the Torah Portion with Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon. G’day, gentlemen!

Nehemia: G’day Jono! This is Nehemia Gordon, the wandering Jew in the United States.

Keith: Hey, listen, I want to say hello to everybody. Those in the United States, you know, it’s easy to take for granted those of you that are listening in the United States. I happen to be a real international guy. I love the idea of people around the world being able to click a button and listen to us. And so especially to those around the world. And I want to take a moment if I can, I want Nehemia, who’s slurping his coffee to take just a break to tell people about the whole iBooks issue. The way that we have a few different things available because I want him to give his piece first and I’ll give my piece. But, he’s the one that really encouraged me on this. It’s really a technological feat to get a book printed by iBooks... but Nehemia, tell them what’s available electronically.

Nehemia: What Keith is talking about is, if you’re into reading eBooks, and these days I try as much as possible to read eBooks because my eyes, as I am pushing the old age of 40 soon, my eyes are less and less effective. What I love about the eBooks is you can make the font as big as you want. At least I can do that on Kindle.

So any of the books that Keith and I have written, A Prayer to Our Father, my book The Hebrew Yehoshua Versus the Greek Jesus and Keith’s book His Hallowed Name, they’re all available in the iBooks format, which is something you can read on the iPad, and you can actually read it on an iPhone although it is kind of small. And it’s really comfortable for me on the iPad. You can also get it on Kindle. I’m not sure… Keith, is your book available on Kindle?

Keith: No. And I gotta tell them… I’ll let you finish about Kindle. Then I got to tell them something really exciting.

Nehemia: Well my book is available on Kindle. The Hebrew Yeshua Versus the Greek Jesus and A Prayer to Our Father. My new book Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence is currently not available in eBook format, although perhaps by the time this program is broadcast it will be. But you can get all of the older books in the iBooks format for iPad and also in the Kindle except for Keith’s - His Hallowed Name Revealed Again.

Keith: So, I want to give a shout-out. I want to give a shout-out to my friend Michael Swamp...

Nehemia: Hey Michael Swamp!

Keith: ...who’s over in Huntsville, Alabama. I don’t know if he’s listening or not, but folks...

Nehemia: ROLL TIDE!

Keith: Would you let me say what I have to say?

Nehemia: That’s my thing! Roll Tide! I love that shirt.

Keith: So, my friend Michael looks at the book, His Hallowed Name Revealed Again, and he didn’t know any Hebrew. He didn’t know any Hebrew letters. He didn’t know anything. And he said, “Keith, I’d like to get this on iBooks.” And I’m like, “Okay, you know, whatever.” And so, he starts going through it and literally this guy ends up picking up, Jono, all the letters of the Hebrew, all the vowels of the Hebrew. But what he did that was so amazing, he did this technological feat where he took the audio that’s in the back of the book - those of you that have seen the book, there’s actually audio 80 different Hebrew descriptions according to the Hebrew Bible of the name Yehovah or the descriptions like El-Elyon, the things that we’ve talked about throughout Torah Pearls. But what he did was he was able to embed those things in the book. So that if you’re reading the book on iBooks, and here’s what’s exciting, so you’ll see the name El-Elyon, you push it and then you hear my voice. It’s like really cool.

Jono: Really?

Keith: The other thing he did is, he put the video of Nehemia and myself as we were over in Israel, the video about the valley of Elah with David and Goliath. He put a bunch of technological bells and whistles in the book. Now, here’s what’s exciting, Jono. When you were reading the countries, this book now is in 26 different countries. Go to iTunes, go to iBooks and get this book. It’s like, I don’t even know, it’s a few dollars. I don’t even know what it is. But basically what I love about it is even if you don’t want to read it, the audio and the video in it, it’s worth it. So, His Hallowed Name, let the name be claimed. Amen.

Nehemia: Amen.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: And that was a softball. You’re supposed to hit it out of the park, Jono, when I talk about international... hint, hint, hint, hint! You’re supposed to say, “And I’m going to finally be leaving this rock called Australia and I’m going to get on an airplane.” And what are you going to Jono?

Nehemia: Jono, have you ever been outside of Australia?

Jono: Yeah, I’ve toured around Europe, probably 15 years ago. It’s been a while, and I had to get my passport again because it ran out.

Nehemia: So, you’re telling me you’ve never been the U.S.? You’ve never been to America?

Jono: I’ve never been to the U.S.

Nehemia: The people of America must bring you over to do the Jono Vandor Truth2U tour. Ma zeh?

Keith: What are you talking about? This is our second leg of the tour after he goes to Israel, he’s going to talk about. Talk about it, Jono, and then we’re going to bring you to the United States.

Jono: I’ve never been the States, I’ve never been to Israel.

Nehemia: Well, I’ve never been to Australia, so we’re even.

Jono: You’ll be here one day, believe me. You’ll come here with your boomerang and we’ll sit on the Lachlan River and go fishing, my friend.

Nehemia: That actually sounds kind of boring, to be honest. Fishing, it’s like watching grass grow.

Jono: Anyway! But I am, I’m going to go to Israel for the first time. I’m really, really excited and it’s funny that I’m talking about this now because Chanie is over there as we speak and we’re going to be speaking with her in regards to what she’s doing, sometime very soon. Of course, all the listeners would have heard it by the time this is published, but I am going to Israel and Nehemia you’re going to be there, right?

Nehemia: I’m going to be in Israel at the time that you guys are there.

Jono: Hey, you’re going to be busy looking at the grass, watching it grow.

Keith: Thanks Jono!

Jono: But we are going to hook up, right?

Nehemia: Well, I may make a cameo appearance on the T-Cubed Tour, the Time Torah Tetragrammaton Triple-T Tour. T to the third power. You’ve got Jono and you’ve got Keith, are you saying I’m the third T?

Jono: Sure. That’ll do. Sure you are.

Nehemia: I’m Tetragrammaton, and you’re Torah and Keith’s time.

Jono: Keith, is there going to be space left on the coach, or what?

Keith: I hope there isn’t. But if there is, I certainly would want anyone that’s a Torah Pearls person, if for some reason we don’t have space, we’ll kick Nehemia off.

Jono: We’ll kick him off the bus.

Keith: Okay. In all seriousness everybody. I want to say something. I really do want to say something and then we can really get started. You know, and I always do this, Jono, I talk about you and I talk about Nehemia. But you know, I’m humbled by the fact that we’re talking about this in such a casual way. You know, Nehemia for years has been going over and doing something that is so crucial for us, those of us that are concerned about God’s time and understanding. You know, one of the things that he’s done, and I could go into great detail about it, but I don’t want him to get too much of the big head. But he’s really blazed the trail in being able to combine the two things that I think based on the Scriptures that we understand - the barley and the sighting of the new moon. I mean this guy has made this his ministry, and when I say his ministry, I really mean his ministry. And so I’ve gotten to now two years in a row to actually go over to Israel and to follow him around and shlep around with him. And he’s taken me to some very, let’s just say interesting places. But what’s so powerful about it is to actually see with your own two eyes, the grass grow, he says it’s so boring, but to see the barley...

Nehemia: Actually, watching the grass grow is interesting. Fishing is boring to me.

Keith: No, when you go fishing with Jono you go catching. You don’t go fishing. We catch fish. We don’t fish for fish, right Jono, we catch them? But the point is that this is something that the way that this is working out, Nehemia will be there on a mission doing what he’s doing, look for the barley, we’ll be there, and hopefully at times he’ll come and eat dinner with us or come on over and share with us and we definitely would be excited about that. But we really want to be supportive of what it is that he’s doing because without that we’re kind of blind. At least I am over here in the United States, on knowing the two most important things, is the barley aviv, and the sighting of the moon. So those that are going to be on the trip will get a chance to see some of that, and they will get a chance to be there for the sighting of the new moon. So it’s going to be a pretty exciting time.

Jono: He’ll probably entice us to dangerous places, Keith, we’d better be careful. Today we are in Ha’azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1 to 32:52, it’s one whole chapter. This is the Song of Moses!

Keith: Yes.

Jono: Okay, so it starts with 32 verse 1, “Give ear, O heavens and I will speak. And hear, O earth, the words in my mouth. Let my teachings drop as the rain and my speech distill as the dew, the raindrops on the tender herbs and as showers on the grass. For I proclaim the name of Yehovah. Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the rock. His work is perfect. For all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice. Righteous and upright is he.”

Keith: Wow, this is awesome.

Nehemia: Amen.

Keith: We have to do something before we... I know we started at 32:1 and people have their wonderful little bibles that say 32:1, but of course for me, Nehemia, I’m not sure what you have there. Jono obviously you have... I’m thinking you have verse 30 at the end of the other chapter before we get to 32:1, do you not?

Jono: Of course. Of course.

Keith: And so I want us to read that verse, because that verse obviously sets the stage for the words that are coming after. So could you just take a moment to read verse 30?

Jono: Brilliant idea. And it does say by way of introduction, “Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel, the words of this song until they were ended.”

Keith: Okay. And so I wanted to ask the question, which was, you know, I want you to open up your English Bible, Jono, and take a look and see if you can see anything different with how the following words are laid out. The format of them, actually, on your page. I have them different here and then I even want Nehemia to look and see if it even looks if he takes a picture of his pages in the Hebrew Bible, I happened to have one here, so I know he can’t get away with it. See if the format actually looks different. So in your Australian Bible, is the format different Jono?

Nehemia: Other than being upside down, of course.

Jono: The format is certainly different. You know what, Keith, it really does resemble the Psalms actually.

Keith: Oh, well now you’re talking. So it resembles the Psalms, that’s a great connection. And of course, even in my NIV Bible, they’ve decided, yes, we’re going to allow it to follow this idea that there’s something different about the format. And we’ll talk about that a little bit more in detail when we have our Nehemia Gordon from the Hebrew University - he’ll give us the technical aspects of it.

But if I’m reading through this and I’m reading through it and I’m a person who knows nothing, if I’m just reading in my Bible, more than likely you’re going to see a format change and that format change is a hint. Even if you know nothing else, it’s a hint. And what we know is, Moses says this, he recited the words of this song. And so when it actually says “this song”, I’m thinking, “Okay, so what does that mean different?” We come to find out that this is a poetic form of writing that Moses is about to do. And when we know it’s poetic, there are some different things that happen in the Hebrew. So Nehemia, I want you to give them just a little bit, if you can, of background about the difference between what we were just reading, the format change and how does that change our interpretation of the song?

Nehemia: So, one of the things that you’ll see in the... and this is actually really exciting... you know, the most important manuscript of the Hebrew Bible is called the Aleppo Codex. It was held for centuries in Aleppo, Syria, and during the anti-Jewish riots there in 1947 it disappeared. And it shows up 10 years later in Israel, but then when it shows up again in Israel, about a third of the book is missing. It actually only starts late in Deuteronomy. And then the rest of it is... we don’t know where it is. What’s exciting is that we actually have the page for this section of Deuteronomy 32, and maybe Jono can put this up on the website - you can actually see very clearly, you don’t have to know how to read a single letter of Hebrew. You can see exactly where this poem begins because the page is laid out differently than the other sections of Scripture. It actually divides each verse into two sections, and it’s laid out in two columns, whereas in the other you have this continuous flow. And that, style-wise, is actually what’s happening; that you have something called parallelism that’s used, especially in Hebrew poetry, where every single verse is divided into two. And you can actually see that in the content.

So, he starts off saying, literally, “Give Ear, O heavens and I will speak and Hear O earth the words of my mouth,” or “the utterances of my mouth.” So, the parallelism is essentially saying the same thing in two different ways. Sometimes it says the exact opposite. So you have, “give ear” and “hear.” Hear, that’s the same word as in “Shema,” as in, Hear O Israel. So “give ear” and “hear” mean the same thing.

And then he says, “and I will speak,” in the second half of the parallelism, he says, “the utterances of my mouth”, so you’ve got again this same thing two different ways. I will speak in the utterances of my mouth, but then you have an opposite. You have “heaven and earth”. Those are the exact opposites. So, you have the same thing being said in two different ways and sometimes the opposite is being said. This is actually very important because sometimes we’ll read a verse and not really understand everything it means in ancient Hebrew, but the fact that it’s saying the same thing two different ways, that’s a clue for what it means. I love verse 3 where it says, “for the name of Yehovah I will call.” Is that what it says in your English, by the way, Keith?

Keith: Actually, it starts out, it says, “I will proclaim the name of the LORD.”

Nehemia: “Of the LORD.” And what name is that? I don’t know. It doesn’t tell us. But whatever His name is, we’ll proclaim it. In the Hebrew, it says “Ki shem Yehovah ekra” “For I will call out the name of Yehovah.”

And then it says “Havu godel le’Eloheinu”, “Give greatness to our God.” There you have the exact parallelism. I will call and give greatness. How do you give greatness? By calling out His name. And that’s interesting, because you know, in this passage we have God for the first time referred to as Father. I believe it’s the first time. A lot of people walk up to me and say, “well, how can you speak God’s name? You wouldn’t call your father by his name.” My father actually taught me a really interesting lesson about this. My father, who passed away last year, of blessed memory, he said that it’s only disrespectful to call a father by his first name if he doesn’t let you. But if he gives you permission to, then in Jewish tradition, it’s not considered anything negative. It’s actually considered honorable to call people by their first name if they allow you to call them. Our heavenly Father definitely has given us permission to call him by His first name. That’s what Moses is saying here, “for the name of Yehovah, I will call; give greatness to our God.” We give greatness to him by calling out His name. It’s not disrespectful, it’s honorable to do that to Him. But there again, you see the parallelism. I will call out, give greatness, name of Yehovah, our God. It’s saying essentially the same thing in two different ways.

Keith: So one of the things I was looking forward to this guys because you know, we were talking earlier and we were building up to it and I’m still surprised that Nehemia hasn’t brought this out, but I want you to, I can’t believe I’m letting him talk again. I’m gonna feel bad about his later, but Nehemia, I don’t want to take this away from you because I think it’s something that we built up toward, which had to do with the fact that this is something that Moses actually brought before the people. And in a sense as we talked about it, it was something that he expected that they would memorize, something that they would actually...

Nehemia: It says that in the earlier chapter.

Keith: Exactly. But I want to, I want to...

Nehemia: And it actually... if you think about it, one of the things that people have found is that it’s much easier to memorize things if it’s a song. Have you ever thought about that? Like songs... I remember jingles from the 1980s, from before I moved to Israel, you know, stupid little jingles you know, “1-800-Empire”. You know, and I can’t even sing, I’m tone deaf. So Moses wanting the people to memorize this, he presented it as a song, or God presented it through Moses as a song, and it talks about that in the previous chapter - they were to memorize this. Why do they need to memorize it? Because a lot of the people were illiterate, and even if they could read, they didn’t have access to books. So basically, he’s saying, “Okay, here are the core principles, the things that you need to remember, the things that you need to remind yourself constantly of. You’re not going to wait every seven years for this. This, you need to know always.” So really, in some sense, Deuteronomy 32 is, I would say, one of the… I don’t know, 17 most important passages in the Bible.

Keith: That’s 19.

Nehemia: Or is that 22? That’s one of the 22 most important passages in the Bible because it’s something that the Israelites had to memorize. Let’s look at that passage in the previous chapter, in Deuteronomy 31.

Keith: Because I was going to say, while you’re looking for that very quickly Nehemia, Jono, I want you to, I want to ask you a question, Jono, when he gets to it, whether or not you would interpret this verse that he’s about to bring as something that you would see as… this would be a call to memorize, or in your English Bible, might it be something different? So, I want us to go to that verse.

Nehemia: Is it verse 21?

Jono: “Then it shall be when many evils and troubles come upon them that this song will testify against them as a witness, for it will not be forgotten in the mouths of their descendants, for I know the inclination of their behavior today,” and so on and so forth.

Nehemia: Actually, verse 19 also, in the Hebrew, says that. Can you read verse 19?

Jono: 19 says, “Now, therefore, write down this song for yourselves.” Oh, “and teach it to your children. Teach it to the children of Israel, put it in their mouths that this song may be a witness with me against the children of Israel.”

Nehemia: It’s really interesting. Here’s a great example of how idioms vary from language to language too, and by idioms, I mean figures of speech. Like you know, I love the example, “dead as a doornail”. Say that in another language it makes no sense, probably even in Australian. So, here’s an example of an idiom that doesn’t translate. In English, when we want to know something by memory, we say we know it “by heart”, right? We know it by heart. In Hebrew, you say you know it “by mouth”. And when he says, “to put it in their mouth” means, have them memorize it. That’s what that means in Hebrew.

Keith: I want to be controversial here if it’s okay; if it’s not, it doesn’t matter. We’ve only got one more left. So, I’m imagining a rabbi who I met, and it is amazing, Nehemia, to be on the radio with you and to know that I’ve had a chance to sit down with your father to eat with him, to hear him. And he was really a wonderful man. I want to imagine him hearing this verse and then I want to give him to the NIV if I can, Jono, it says, “Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites.” And here it comes, now, “Have them sing it so that it may be a witness.” No, I’m telling you what it says.

Nehemia: What! It doesn’t say that. “Have them sing it”? You’re messing with me.

Keith: So, I’m imagining, I’m telling you what it says. Listen to what I’m saying. “Write it down...”

Nehemia: They probably did sing it, but...

Keith: “...and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it so that it may be a witness for me against them.” So if Rabbi Gordon would have ever let me sit down and open up my NIV, because you know I talked to him several times, Jono, and I came at him at all sorts of different angles. But if I would’ve brought this verse and he would’ve said, “Very well, I’ll teach my son to sing it,” he would stop and say, “but wait, if I do that, that would be a real problem. Because if I were to teach my son to sing this song, it would never be sung again.” Ladies and gentlemen, we must pray, Jono, that Nehemia never tries to sing this song.

Nehemia: “Ha’azinu hashamayim ve’adabera ve’tishma ha”aretz amrei phi. Ya’aroph kamatar likchi tizal kazal imrati, kisierim elai deshe, ve’chirvivim alei esev.” I’ve been practicing for weeks.

Keith: Oh wait…

Nehemia: “Ki shem Yehovah ekrah, havu godel le’Eloheinu. Hatzur tamim pa’alo, ki chol drachav mishpat, El amuna ve’ain avel tzadik ve’yashar hu.” I won’t do all 43 verses.

Keith: Well let me say something. Here’s something that’s amazing. If we have him sing a song in English, he destroys it. But in Hebrew, he sounded pretty darn good! I’m telling everybody my favorite song. My favorite song is Amazing Grace.

Nehemia: Amazing Grace! (singing)

Keith: Here’s the point. Listen to the song again. When he did it in Hebrew, it actually sounded pretty darn good. Anyway, I just wanted to go to that and now we can go back to 32.

Jono: It says, we’re going to talk about the fact that He is our rock a little later on because that’s a theme that keeps recurring in this chapter. Verse 5, “They have corrupted themselves. They are not His children because of their blemish. A perverse and crooked generation. Do you thus deal with Yehovah, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, who bought you?” Now, this is, as you mentioned, Nehemia, potentially the first verse that I’m aware of anyhow, that refers to Yehovah as “Father”, and that’s another focus later in this chapter as well. “Has He not made you and established you?” It says.

Keith: You know what’s interesting? I know we’re doing this a little bit different, but there is a phrase, a very, very important phrase in 32. So if I read my English Bible, it says here “He is a faithful God,” is what it says in 32 just before we get to that. But in Hebrew, when I read it, it says “El emuna.” So here’s this... you know, when I see that, when I’m looking at “El emuna” and then I’m looking at “a faithful God”, I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, when I have these descriptions and I speak them, it’s kind of like Nehemia singing in English and then singing in Hebrew. It’s two different things completely.” So when I’m reading it in English and I say “He’s a faithful God”, I kind of go real quick past it.

But when I read it in Hebrew and it says “El emuna” I stop and think, “Okay, so what does that mean?” And I know this word “emuna” happens to be a word that the root of it is a word we say on this show quite a bit, “Amen”. So what does that... in other words, if I read that casually, if I look real casual, “a faithful God who does no wrong”, but then I stop and say, “El emuna” this is what He is. This is who He is. This is a description. It’s a statement of what His... how can I say this? He’s full of faithfulness. You know, like you say this issue of a faithful God, but it’s like, He’s full of... this is who He is. His faithfulness is a part of when we talk about Him and the description of what He does and who He is, this is it...

Jono: Is this the second part of verse 4, Keith?

Keith: Yes.

Jono: So in mine, I’ve got “a God of truth without injustice, righteous and upright is He.”

Nehemia: So, they translate it as truth, basically is what you’re saying. So, the word is “emuna.” This is the normal word that we translate as faith. Whenever we talk about faith and you look back in the Hebrew Bible, this is the word “emuna”. There’s actually a famous verse, one of my favorite verses, and we could talk for a whole 45 minutes on this, and I might just do that. One of my favorite verses is in the book of “Chabakuk” or, what do you call that in English? Habacook? Chabakuk chapter 2 verse 4, one of the lesser-read prophets. It says, “vetzadik be’emunato yichyeh” which if you translate literally means “a righteous man will live by his emuna - by his faith”. When you talk about faith in the Tanakh, faith really means faithfulness; it means reliability.

I love this example of the word emuna, which appears in 2 Kings Chapter 22, verse 7. It’s talking about these people who are doing the repairs in the Temple. It says, “However, there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hands because they dealt faithfully.” And the word there is “emuna.” What that means is, they dealt in faith. What that meant is that these people were reliable, they were consistent, they were truthful, they were honest. And really “emuna” implies all of those things. That’s why we can say amen, which literally means truth. But we could also talk about “emuna” meaning faith. It’s all from the same root because it’s really faithfulness. I have trouble saying that word, faithfulness, and consistency.

It’s interesting because, what’s the context of Chabakuk, Chapter 2, verse 4? Let me read the verse before, which is I know in Judaism is one of the most famous verses in the Bible. I didn’t say it was the most important, but it’s one of the most famous. So, it says in chapter 2 verse 3 of Chabakuk, “For the vision is yet for the appointed time,” say appointed time, “and hasteth towards the end and shall not lie though it tarry; wait for it because it will surely come. It will not delay.” The reason this is such a famous verse, if you look at the original context, it’s talking about the coming of King Nebuchadnezzar who will destroy the Temple. But Jews have taken this verse and say, “Okay, that vision was something that was for a time in the future,” and I now… bear in mind Chabakuk was speaking before Nebuchadnezzar and he was saying, this thing might take a long time to happen, but there’s an appointed time that God has established, and wait for it. Even though it may tarry, it will come when it’s time for it to come. It’s not going to delay. Historically Jews have taken this verse and said, “Okay, what was true for Nebuchadnezzar is also true for the Messiah. The Messiah will come.” Of course, Christians say, “come back”, “but the Messiah will come, or come back, and when it’s his time, wait for it though it may tarry, wait for it because it will surely come. It will not delay.” In fact, this is a song I grew up singing about the coming of the Meshiach, the coming of the Messiah, based on this verse. “Though it tarry, wait for it because it will surely come. It will not delay.” And then it talks about… it says, “But behold his soul is puffed up,” talking about Nebuchadnezzar, “it is not upright in him, but the righteous shall live by faith, shall live by faith, shall live by truth, shall live by reliability and integrity.”

Keith: Now Jono I’m going to have him slow down here because this is very important for us in our conversation...

Nehemia: Because we’ve got to have our faith. We’ve got to have our Amuna.

Keith: Yeah, and so Jono I want to ask you this. You’re a seminary guy, you’re a guy that’s gone to theological, biblical training, et cetera. When you hear Nehemia quote, “the righteous will live by faith,” what’s the first verse you think about? Let me confess - when I hear you say, “the righteous will live by faith”, the first thing I think about is the New Testament.

Jono: The very first association that went through my mind as soon as he said that was New Testament.

Keith: There it is. And so the reason I wanted to say this, and this is something that by the time people hear this program Nehemia and I will have been through quite a bit of controversy because one of the things that’s been happening, and by the time you guys hear this is hopefully we’re still traveling together. There are some people that are really not liking this idea of a Karaite and a Methodist, a Jew and a Gentile getting on stage together, preaching together, teaching together, sharing together, because what possible connection could I as the enlightened Methodist that I am, have with this Jewish man whose eyes are closed? How could we possibly minister together?

And so we’ve asked this question over the last couple of months about what does it mean for a Jew and a Gentile that’s not a Jew, that’s not quote unquote Messianic, and a Methodist who doesn’t sometimes know where he is. Well, what does it mean for us together to go in to open the word of God and to share it with people? Well, one of the things that they would say is, “Well, you don’t have the faith of the New Testament,” and here Nehemia just casually is sharing about, and I brought this up to make it as a softball Jono, “El emuna”, this God of faithfulness. You know, a faithful God. And of course, for you, it uses the word “truth”. So by the way, Jono, we are starting a new radio program called Amen2U Radio. We’re going to be your competitor. We’re going to be doing our own radio show.

Nehemia: We’re going to need you to edit the audio, though.

Keith: We want to invite you on it. The only thing is I’m going to be in charge of the recording. So we never lose a recording. But let me just say this...

Nehemia: What the people don’t know is we’ve had to redo like four episodes, because...

Keith: But let me bring this up, Jono. So one of the things that’s happened is the reason that I asked the question, “can I ever minister with this guy” is because Nehemia has gotten me kicked off a radio program. The radio program was going to have us on, and then some people who were on the radio program said, “No we won’t, we won’t have Nehemia for two reasons. One, he keeps talking about this Hebrew manuscript that has the proclamation of a name that doesn’t match with our tradition. Two, he’s not a believer.” And so, I’m just going to say, the bottom line is it was antisemitic. But the point was they said, “Keith, you could come on, but not Nehemia.” So my point is, well, I’m not going to go if I can’t go with Nehemia because the point is based on what he just said, he has faith. The faith that we’re talking about in the New Testament bases itself from an understanding of faith. Paul himself quoted the verse that you just talked about, Nehemia. And the point is what is the basis of that faith? Back to Deuteronomy 32, He’s “El emuna”, He’s a God of faith. If you want to say faithfulness, faith, He’s full of faith. And so, I mean I just had to bring that up because I think sometimes we tend to think faith only starts in Matthew and never was at all talked about. And here we’re in Deuteronomy talking about it.

Jono: So, it’s Second Corinthians 5:7. “Walk by faith.”

Keith: There it is.

Nehemia: Hey, can I add a few things? All right, so one thing that’s interesting, you say, Keith, that Nehemia’s not a believer, couldn’t be on the radio show. If you say to any Jew, any Jew who is not Messianic, meaning any like, normal Jew, say, “I’m not a believer”. What they hear is, you’re an atheist. It would never occur to a regular Jew, if you say you were a believer, that means you believe in Jesus, or you believe in Yeshua. A believer means, “I believe in God.” I’ve actually had this conversation with some Jews, trying to explain to them the whole messianic and Christian mindset. For example, one time I was disinvited from a place and I explained that to a friend and they said, “Well, why didn’t they want you?” And I said, “Because I’m not a believer.” He said, “But I thought you did believe in God.” And I’m like, “Well, no, I’m a believer in the Jewish faith, in the faith that Moses is talking about in Deuteronomy 32. I believe that faith, I’m 100% believer,” and so I had to explain to them that in Christianese “believer” means believer, I guess in Jesus and the whole New Testament thing.

Speaking of the New Testament… actually, before we get to the New Testament, this verse that we quoted in Chabakuk Chapter 2 verse 4, “the righteous shall live by His faith,” it’s interesting because this is a verse that’s been perverted by one of the founders of modern Israel, whose name was David Ben Gurion. He was a great man who did a lot of good things, but he also perverted this verse. The way he did it is, he changed the words very slightly, so subtly, that unless you were a Bible scholar or, you know, sitting reading it, you might miss it. So, the verse says, “tzadik;” say “tzadik.” “Tzadik means a righteous man. “Tzadik be’emunato yichyeh” “A righteous man shall live by his faith.” And what he did is, he changed it to “Ish be’emunato yichyeh” and then he added another word “Ish” twice. He said, “Ish ish be’emunato yichyeh”, which in modern Hebrew, and actually in biblical Hebrew as well, means “each man shall live by his faith.” So basically, what he turned that into, from saying “a righteous man shall live by his emuna,” by his faithfulness, to “each man will live by his faith.”

Keith: Are you trying to say that was intentional Nehemia?

Nehemia: No, I’m saying that David Ben Gurion did that very intentionally and deliberately, and this is something Israelis will quote left and right. Each man will live by his faith, which means you can be a Buddhist. That’s fine. You can be a, you can be a, you know, a Muslim - that’s just fine. And they think they’re quoting the Bible. That’s the problem. They think they’re quoting the Bible. The phrase, “each man will live by his faith.” But what it says is, “the righteous will live by His faith,” so if you’re unrighteous, your faith is completely worthless! And I think this is what, going back to the New Testament, you know, you guys said this was quoted there. So, I just looked this up and I find it in three places. Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11. Look, I’m not very smart, this was a computer search. Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. Hebrews 10:38 is actually quoting the original passage of Chabakuk. It says, “For yet a very little while he that cometh shall come.” And obviously, it’s not Nebuchadnezzar. “And shall not tarry,” not delay, “but my righteous one shall live by faith. And if he shrink back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” What does that mean, “If he shrink back, my soul has no pleasure in him?” It’s the exact opposite of what David Ben Gurion said. Each man should live by his faith. No, the righteous shall live by his faith. If he turns to sin, that faith is not faith. It’s a perversion of faith. And Romans 1:17... well, I’ll let Jono read Romans 1:17.

Jono: It’s interesting because it says “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written. The just shall live by faith,” and there it’s quoting Chabakuk, but the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith? Keith?

Keith: Look, he told you to read that verse, not...

Nehemia: Look, if we’re going to do justice to this passage, if we’re going to be faithful, we’ve really got to read the entire context. Do we, and I’m asking, do we want to do a whole show on Romans?

Keith: Look, I’m trying to go back to Deuteronomy 32.

Nehemia: Okay.

Jono: No, no, no. I’ve even got a subheading above 16, and it’s “The just live by faith” is the subheading. And it says, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ,” he says, “for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek, for in it, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written. The just shall live by faith.”

Nehemia: So, what I propose is that we save the explanation and interpretation of this verse for a Torah Pearls Part Four after we’ve done the Torah, after we’ve done the prophets, maybe we’ll do the writings after that. And then we save that for a future cycle. Because really, we could talk for an hour on Romans 1:17. Can I get an amen, Keith Johnson?

Keith: Absolutely.

Nehemia: But what I will challenge the people to do is to go read Chabakuk Chapter 2 in its context. Read Romans 1 in its context, read Hebrews 10 in its context, and then Galatians 3 verse 11. “Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident for the righteous shall live by faith.” And by the way, this is something I think every Jew would agree with, that you don’t come before God and you say, “Oh, I kept this commandment and that commandment and this other commandment, but I’m not righteous. I’ve lied and cheated and stolen, but I’ve got all my Brownie points! So I’m justified by the law.” No, you live by righteousness, excuse me, by faith, which is faithfulness, which isn’t just, you know, “I did this, this and that.” Faithfulness is this consistency. This is, I’m sticking with God. People could read Ezekiel 18 and Ezekiel 33 and get more information on that. We really should get back to the Torah portion.

Can I talk about verse 4, which you guys skipped over so conveniently? Where it says about our rock. Oh no, actually we were talking about the “El emuna.” He’s a faithful God “V’ayn avel tzadik ve’yashar hu.” He’s a “tzadik”, He’s righteous! But can you imagine if we said that about God, “Well, He believes, He doesn’t actually follow His own instructions of love, but He believes.” No. He’s righteous and He is “Yashar.” He has integrity. It says the “v’ayn Avel” and there is no... how do you have the translation to that in yours, Keith?

Keith: “Who does no wrong.”

Nehemia: Who does no wrong. What do you have?

Jono: “For he is perfect.”

Nehemia: He is perfect. Okay.

Jono: “And without injustice.”

Nehemia: Right, without injustice. And then I want to quote a verse in Isaiah 45, verse 7. This is one of my favorites. We talk about this in the book A Prayer to Our Father. And the context there… remember, context is important; context, context, context. The context there is that God is actually speaking to Cyrus. He mentioned Cyrus by name. He was the king of Persia and He calls him a Meshiach, an anointed one. Meaning, God has anointed Cyrus as king. And He says, “Even though you did not know Me,” meaning Cyrus wasn’t a believer. Cyrus had his own beliefs and he legitimately was not a believer. He was a Zoroastrian believer. The Zoroastrians believed in two gods. There was a good god and a bad god. The good god Ahura Mazda was the source of all good in the universe. And Angra Mainu was the source of all evil in the universe. He was called the evil one. God was speaking to His Messiah who doesn’t know Him, not that he’s the Messiah, he was a messiah - we’re waiting for a different one. Isaiah 45:7 it says about God, “He who creates...” actually you read it in your translation, Jono, 45:7 of Isaiah.

Jono: It says “For I am Yehovah there is no other. I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create calamity. I, Yehovah, do all these things.”

Nehemia: Oh, it doesn’t say, it doesn’t say “create calamity”.

Jono: It says “calamity”!

Nehemia: What are you talking about. What do you have there, Keith?

Keith: 45:7 one second, I love it when they do this, “I form the light and create darkness. I bring prosperity and create disaster.”

Nehemia: Guys you are just trying to mess with me, right? Here’s what it says in Hebrew. “He who forms the light and creates darkness. He who makes peace and creates evil.” The Hebrew actually says, “Boreh rah,” He who creates evil. “I, Yehovah, do all these things!” Now, some people have the spirit of Zoroastrianism and they say, “No, he’s the good god! There’s no evil that comes from him! All the evil comes from the evil one!” And they’ll throw in the word Satan there. But they’re really talking about Angra Mainu, the Zoroastrian evil one. That’s not the god of the Hebrew Scriptures. What God said to Cyrus the Zoroastrian, a message for all time for the Zoroastrians of today, for the spirit of Zoroaster, which is still among us, Yehovah is the one who creates good and He creates evil. Now that’s important for us to know. He is the source of all things.

Now having said that, we’ve got to remember what it says in Deuteronomy 32, verse 4, that there is no avel. And “avel” you really could translate as perversion, but it really is in the sense of iniquitous perversion. So, He creates evil, but then He gives us the freedom of choice, whether to do good or to do evil. And, let’s not get into the whole issue of Satan. But look, my understanding of Satan is, he is out there, he’s going to and fro in the earth and he’s causing trouble. But who gives him the permission to do that? Yehovah. And Yehovah is the one who creates evil. That doesn’t make him an evil God. He is a righteous God. He’s a god of truth and integrity and without any iniquity. But evil in the universe doesn’t come from some demonic force. Everything in the universe comes from Him. It’s all from Him.

Jono: Now you mentioned a word, we’re going to be coming back to that - demonic forces. It’s coming up in a few more verses. So conversely, he then talks about Israel, “they have corrupted themselves” and so on and so forth. In verse 5, as opposed to the righteousness and the faithfulness and the justice of God. And as I said in verse 6 there’s the mention of Him being our Father, and just a reminder to everybody who doesn’t know, A Prayer to Our Father: The Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s Prayer, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson - a brilliant book. If you haven’t got a copy of this you’re way behind. People gotta catch up!

Keith: And by the way, let me say this, to those who haven’t gotten the book, I want you to do us a favor, and this is a serious request. I would want you to go to aprayertoourfather.com, get the book right there and also if you noticed on the front there’s two little panda bears. There’s one that looks a little different than the other one.

Nehemia: I’m the cute one!

Keith: The cuter one is me. Yeah. And anyway that’s an opportunity for people to join us, because we are going to China to bring this wonderful message from the book A Prayer to Our Father: the Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s Prayer and some other things, very important things to the people of China. And we’re in conversations to do that today. The trip is getting bigger, there’s more opportunities. Things that are happening are really exciting and for those that have already come alongside, we’re extremely thankful to you for those that have already given, and those that would be willing to pray, do me a favor, get the book, read the book and then come back and see if that book is something that has a message for the world. And see if China wouldn’t be a good place to bring it. And if you believe that, then support us as we go, because we are taking a step of faith.

Nehemia: And for those who don’t know, that book has actually been translated into Chinese - A Prayer to Our Father, and Hebrew Yeshua Versus the Greek Jesus, have both been translated to Chinese and they’re being made available to the Chinese people. It’s actually very difficult to get a book about anything to do with faith into mainland China, but those two books have been put out by the China Alliance Press, which is actually authorized by the Chinese government to distribute books in China. So this is actually a real blessing that nothing like this has ever come out before in Chinese. I’m not sure anything has come out in English like that, but definitely not in Chinese.

Jono: Like I said, if you haven’t got the book, it is a brilliant book. I highly recommend it. Go to the website and buy the book. Now verse 7, “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders and they will tell you, ‘When the Most High divided the inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel, for Yehovah’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.’”

Nehemia: We’ve got to stop here because you might think this is not important, but this is actually a very important verse.

Keith: Go ahead.

Jono: Yeah, 23rd most important verse in the Bible.

Nehemia: Oh, I didn’t say it was one of the most important, a very important verse, say, a very important verse. I wouldn’t put it in the top 50, to be honest with you. But what makes it important is what people try to do with it. That’s what makes it important. So, it literally says in Hebrew, “When the Most High divided up the nations,” or literally “when He gave the nations as inheritance. When He separated the sons of men, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel,” or the children of Israel.

Now, what does that mean? “According to the number of the children of Israel?” If you look at historical Jewish sources, and I think we talked about this when we did Genesis 10… so if you read Genesis 10, it lists all the nations after the flood. If you count them, there are actually 70 nations. It’s actually 73 including Shem, Cham and Yefet, three sons of Noah; they were born before the flood. So, the ones born after the flood is 70. And it says there, from these were divided out, separated out the nations. So, there were originally after the flood 70 nations that were born, and essentially 70 languages at one time. Seventy mother languages, which should have separated into lots of other languages, obviously, like you know, you’ve got Latin, which became French and Spanish and Romanian, et cetera.

But originally there were 70 nations with 70 different languages at the Tower of Babel that God scattered throughout the earth. So, what does that have to do with the number of the sons of Israel, the children of Israel? When the children of Israel went down to Egypt, it tells us repeatedly, it says several times, that there were 70. So, 70 nations, 70 Israelites that went down to Egypt. This is actually very common in poetry to have little allusions like this, little kind of coded references. So, this is almost like a riddle, okay? He set out the borders of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel. If you hadn’t read Genesis and you hadn’t read Exodus, you would have no idea what he’s talking about. But since we know that, we understand it.

Now, what happened is... and remember, this is for the people who don’t have the Bible next to their bedside, they hear it once every seven years in the public reading. These are the points he wants them to remember and to know by heart, to constantly remember. So, what’s interesting about this is they found a Dead Sea scroll, and the Dead Sea scroll, according to the scholars, has a different reading. It says in the Dead Sea scroll, supposedly, “When the Most High divided the nations or gave the nations inheritance and divided the sons of men, he set the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” That’s what they say. And this is for 4Q Deuteronomy J, supposedly.

Now I remember back in the 1990s I was at Hebrew University and one of the professors presented this. The importance of this is that this matched a reading from our Hebrew Bible, the Masoretic text. But it has a difference with the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible. You know, a lot of people say, “Oh that’s the oldest Bible, the Greek Bible, because it was translated in 250 BC.” Actually, what they don’t realize is only the five books of Moses, the Torah, was translated in 250 BC. The one we have today is from 500 years later, 550 years later, from 300 AD. So, we don’t have the original from 250 BC.

But anyway, the Septuagint, the Greek… ancient Greek translation of the Bible says something different. Instead of, according to the number of the sons of Israel, it says, “according to the number of the angels of God.” The idea behind what the Septuagint says, the number of the angels of God, it really is something that comes from the book of Daniel. Remember where it talks about the angel over Persia and the angel over Greece? So, the idea there is that every nation, every one of the 70 nations, has an angel over it. When you talk about the angels of God… so the argument for many years that scholars made is that the Hebrew wouldn’t say “the angels of God”, the Hebrew would have said something like, “according to the number of the sons of God.” And then they find this Dead Sea scroll 4Q Deuteronomy J, which says “the sons of God”. And they say that proves that the original was just like in the Septuagint.

Now, what’s the idea here of God dividing up the nations according to the number of the sons of God? So, this… we’ve got to go over to something else, which is Deuteronomy 29:25. I think when we talked about this, I said I’m gonna hold off talking about it until we get to Deuteronomy 32, so now it’s time. And there it says, talking about Israel sinning in the curse, it says, Deuteronomy 29:25, in the Hebrew it says, “And they will go, and they will worship other gods and they will bow down to them. Gods whom they have not known.” And it says “Ve’lo chalak lahem”, which most translations have, and I think correctly so they translate it as something like, “which He did not allow them.” But you could also literally translate it as, “That He did not divide for them,” or “He did not give it to them.” And the implication that some people make from this is, “Oh, Israel wasn’t given these gods, but the nations were given these gods and the nations are allowed to worship idols.” This is what some people will say.

Jono: That’s bizarre.

Nehemia: It is pretty bizarre. Now where are they getting this idea? They’re getting it from two places. One of the other places they are getting it from is Deuteronomy 4, verse 19. It says, and this is talking about Israel again sinning and says, “Unless you lift your eyes to the heaven and you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the hosts of heaven, and you will go astray and you will bow down to them and worship them.” Then it says, “Asher chalak Yehovah Elochecha otam lechol ha’amim tachat kol hashamayim.” And what does yours translate actually, in Deuteronomy 4:19? Here, look, the King James says, “Which the LORD thy God has divided onto all the nations under the whole heavens.” That’s the King James version.

Jono: “And take heed lest you lift your eyes to heaven and when you see the sun, the moon and the stars, all the hosts of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which Yehovah your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heavens as a heritage.”

Nehemia: Some people read that and say, “Hey look, God gave the nations the sun, the moon, the stars to worship, and they’re allowed to worship the sun, the moon and the stars.” That’s some people’s understanding of that verse. I think it’s completely wrong. I think we probably talked about it and we did Deuteronomy 4, if not... so there’s another place this shows up, and the other place this shows up is... and basically what they’re saying is, “Yes, God divided the nations and gave each one of them an angel to worship.” That’s what’s behind the Septuagint translation.

Jono: That is pinned on Daniel, right? Because no other… no other book in the Tanakh does that.

Nehemia: Well, Daniel doesn’t say that the people were given angels to worship.

Jono: But that’s where the connection is made, right?

Nehemia: That’s what the Septuagint is basically saying, and they’re combining that with, like I said, Deuteronomy 29:25 and Deuteronomy 4:19. And then the other key passage is Isaiah chapter 2. It’s one of my favorite prophecies, and this is one of the 20 or 30 most important verses in the Bible. I’d even put it up at the top 10. It says in verse 2, “And it shall come to pass in the end of days...” and that’s important. “Acharit hayamim” - end of days. Go back to the last verse or second to last verse of Deuteronomy 31, just before we get to the poem we’re reading in 32, the Song of Moses, and it will tell you this is for the latter days, this poem, this song. And latter days in Hebrew is the same phrase as here - end of days; it’s for the end times.

“And shall come to pass in the acharit hayamim, the end times, the mountain of God shall be established at the head of the mountains and it shall be lifted up from the hills. And all the nations shall flow to it like a river.” It says in verse 3, “And many nations shall go and they shall say, ‘Let us go up to the mountain of Yehovah, to the House of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us from his ways and we will walk in his paths, for the Torah shall go forth from Zion and the word of Yehovah from Jerusalem. And he shall judge.’” Amen. Keith, are you asleep?

Keith: Yes, I’m here. Amen.

Nehemia: Can I get an amen, Keith Johnson?!

Keith: Amen!

Nehemia: C’mon, this is the verse! The Torah shall go forth from Zion! You’ve got a whole experience behind this. Ma zeh? I mean, you’re flying over to Israel for the sighting of the new moon because the Torah doesn’t go forth from Florida. It goes forth from Zion.

Verse 4, “And He shall judge between nations and He shall rebuke many peoples and they shall beat their swords into plowshares.” This is Isaiah chapter 2, verse 4, one of the most important verses of the Bible, “and their spears into pruning hooks.” And this is, by the way, to me… why is it such an important verse? You know, because people are always speculating. “How will we know when the end times come? How will we know when the Messiah is here?” Of course, Christians talk about when the Messiah comes back, for Jews when the Messiah comes, “How do we know when he comes, or comes back?” – “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks!” We won’t have any questions. “No more shall nation lift up sword against nation. They shall no longer learn war.” I can’t wait for that day.

Now the prophecy ends here in Isaiah, but in Micah Chapter 4, there’s another prophecy, so let me read the one in Micah – it’s almost word for word identical to verse 1. “And it shall come to pass in the end of days, the mountain of Yehovah should be established as the head of the mountains it should be lifted up over the hills. And many people will flow to it. And many,” verse 2, “many nations shall go and they shall say, ‘Let us go up to the mountain of Yehovah, to the House of the God of Jacob and He will teach us from His...’” and I’m reading it fast, it’s the same words, “‘teach us from His ways and will go in His paths for the Torah will go forth from Zion.’” That’s Micah chapter 4, verse 2, almost identical to what Isaiah says, “And the word of Yehovah from Jerusalem. And He shall judge between many nations and He shall rebuke mighty nations even from afar. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. No longer shall nation lift up sword and they shall no longer learn war.” And it says in verse four something it doesn’t say in Isaiah, it says “And each man shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree and they shall no longer fear, for the mouth of Yehovah of hosts has spoken.” That’s the end of the Prophet Micah, Chapter 4, Verse 4. Remember, the chapters were introduced later, but in Micah Chapter 4, Verse 4 the prophecy ends, “for the mouth of Yehovah has spoken.”

Then what comes in verse five is the people who hear this, they’re really upset. They hear this and they say, “Everyone’s going to come to Jerusalem and say, ‘Teach us from the ways of God of Jacob?’ No!”

Verse five, “for all the nations shall walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of Yehovah, our God forever.” This is the response to the people when they hear what has been spoken by the mouth of Yehovah by Micah. They say, “We’re not sharing the God of Jacob, the God of Israel, Yehovah! Let each man walk according to his own god and we will walk in the name of Yehovah our God forever.” Now think about that. What Micah just said is the exact opposite message of what the people say in verse 5.

Jono: So, I’m just going to say, in Micah 4:5 there’s absolutely nothing that indicates that to me when I read it in English. In English for 4 it says “But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree. And no one shall make them afraid for the mouth of Yehovah of Hosts has spoken for all the people walk each in the name of his god. All the people walk each in the name of his god. But we will walk in the name of your Yehovah our God, forever and ever.”

Nehemia: Right. So, is that really what Isaiah and Micah just said? What Isaiah and Micah just said is the exact opposite of that, right? This is a common thing that the prophets will do. They’ll have a prophecy and then there will be the response of the people. And the response of the people is very often the opposite of what the prophet just said. Very common, very common thing. And sometimes they’ll say, “the people say this” and other times they’ll just quote the people. I mean, because imagine, they’re standing there in the public square and they’re preaching these things and the people respond to what they’re saying. And you know, later on it was written in the book, but originally this was sort of a dialogue. What the people are saying here is really, it’s the Greek spirit, that each nation has an angel over them, and they’ll worship that angel, they’ll worship that god. Of course, they misunderstand the angel and they turn the angel over India and to Vishnu. And they turn the angel over, you know, I don’t know the name of another name...

Keith: Buddha.

Nehemia: Yeah, the one over in China they turn into Buddha or Confucius or whatever. I don’t, you know, I don’t really know. And then other people have an angel they worship, and they call him Allah. Oh. And so basically, what happens is people end up worshiping angels. They end up worshiping that which God sent over each of the nations to keep an eye on it, to keep watch after and to protect it. And they end up worshipping that. This is what paganism is about. It’s not that they don’t worship the true God, but they end up worshiping the angels. They end up worshiping the intermediary, the messenger, instead of the one who sent the messenger. And this is the Greek spirit. This is the spirit here that Micah is speaking against, really, in Micah chapter 4, verse 5.

Now, what’s really interesting - Keith mentioned how we were going to be on a radio program, and we were kicked off because they said Nehemia’s not a believer, and all my Jewish brothers and sisters said, “Is Nehemia an atheist?” No, he’s just not a Christian believer. So, I posted this on a discussion group on the internet to hear what people’s response was. And let me read you what I wrote. I actually quoted Keith. Keith wrote, as follows. He says, “I have a radical idea. Since some folks are uncomfortable with a Methodist and a Jew ministering together,” he was talking about the radio, “what if we start a one new man congregation for Jews and believers?” And of course, he means Messianic Christian believers. “What could be the name of such a congregation?”

And then I wrote, “Has Keith left the reservation or is he on to something?” And then I wrote, “For my Jewish brothers and sisters, is there any way we can worship together with people who believe Jesus is the Messiah but want to live by the Torah? Can we focus on our common ground? Or is it a lost cause?” We had hundreds of responses to this, and it wasn’t a rhetorical question. I don’t know. Can it work? I guess time will tell, just like Keith’s video, Time Will Tell.

But here’s the really interesting... here’s what Keith calls the money ball. A guy named Herbert, and I won’t say his last name on the radio, but a guy named Herbert posted. He said, “Micah 4:5 says it all. ‘For all the peoples go forward, each in the name of its god, while we go forward in the name of the LORD our God, forever and ever.’” Herbert is echoing the Greek spirit! He is echoing the spirit that Micah 4:5 is speaking against and he’s quoting it as the word of God! Remember the word of God in Micah 4:5 ends in verse 4, “For the mouth of Yehovah of hosts has spoken it,” and then he quotes the exact opposite message, evidently from the people. That’s how it’s always been understood, but he’s quoting that as what we should do. “We don’t want to pray with those gentiles. We don’t want to interact with those people who have a different understanding. Forget the common ground. Let them walk in the name of their gods, we’ll walk in the name of our God and everyone will be happy.” Except our Father in heaven.

Jono: Keith! You’ve got to have something on this, c’mon.

Keith: I actually do have an opinion, and it’s interesting that Nehemia would bring this up because by the time folks are reading this, like I said, we’re in the midst of a bit of a firestorm regarding this because there were some people, Jew and gentile, that have very strong feelings. And the feelings tend to be like this. The concept is, yes, let’s all come together, but not really. Let me just make one little quote that I got this morning. It says this - this man’s name is Daniel. He said, “That kind of congregation already exists. It’s called a Messianic congregation, but they are deluding themselves because they’re neither one nor the other. Our common ground is well and good for dialogue, but not for united worship because some will worship the true God while others will worship an idol or some combination of both, and this is unacceptable.” So the issue becomes... we’re going to decide ahead of time, okay, here’s who’s worshiping this way and here’s who’s worshiping in that way. What I actually asked, and I asked this question very intentionally, Jono, and I think even you would agree with it. When we use the word believers, we use the capital B. So Nehemia I’m going to ask you a very simple question. Do you consider yourself a Believer?

Nehemia: Absolutely I’m a Believer.

Keith: Jono, do you consider Nehemia a Believer?

Jono: I certainly do.

Keith: Well, I want to be the one to say that I didn’t consider him a Believer because I thought that Believers were only the Believers in a certain way of belief. When this was posted, I did include in Nehemia as a Believer, as a capital B, and we talked about this in the Torah, talking about believing in Moses. What does it mean to believe in Moses? I could get really radical on the radio today, but I’m not going to, because Nehemia and I had a little conversation, Jono, that I’m going to wait to have a special show just so we could talk about this. Nehemia’s willing to come forth and make it his proclamation of faith. But in the meantime, let me just say, there really is a judgment that takes place.

Nehemia: You know what happens when you assume! You make an ass of you and me.

Keith: Exactly. This point of what is that faith and what is the basis of that faith and who we are, who it is that we’re worshiping. So I just want to say, for me, Jono, and what I’ve loved about this program is to find the ways where we do have this point, this common ground, this belief, and even this issue of the “El emuna” the faith that we do have that is connected. And there are so many people that talk about the idea of coming together, but they really aren’t intending it at all. In fact, they would prefer... “Will you go worship something else? Worship somebody else, worship a different deal, and then leave us to the true worship,” as if they’ve cornered the market, which is not the case at all. It’s all I have to say.

Nehemia: It’s interesting you say people talk about unity and they want to have unity. Keith and I actually did, a couple of years ago, we did something called... I forgot what it was actually called. It was something like Unity Conference, and it was supposed to be Jews, Christians, Messianics all coming together in unity and talking about common ground. It might’ve even been called the Common Ground Conference. You know what I’m talking about, Keith - over in Oregon.

Keith: Of course, I do.

Nehemia: Then after the event, they did these little snippet interviews, in private, not in front of the audience. They did these little interviews and they asked people, “What is the common ground?” And there were five people there. Three of the people... there was, I won’t even say what they were. Three of the people said the common ground is Yeshua. The common ground is Yeshua, the common ground is Yeshua. And then I come on, and I’m like, “Wait a minute. How can you say the common ground is Yeshua? This is supposed to be for Jews, Christians, and Messianics. How could you say the common...?” Like, that’s insulting. I’m sorry guys. The common ground is what I said and what Keith said. The common ground is the word of God in Scripture and our heavenly father. You know, I’ve got nothing... I don’t begrudge anybody who believes in Yeshua. I’ve got nothing against that. I respect them for their faith. I obviously I’m a Believer, with a big B, in the Song of Moses and the message of the Old Testament, of the Hebrew Bible. But come on, if we’re talking about common ground, the common ground of the 33,000 Christian denominations may be Yeshua, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Again, I’m not putting that down. But if you’re coming to a Jew and talking about common ground, then the common ground is our heavenly Father, which Christians claim they believe in. And the word of God, which Christians claim they believe in. Now, of course, the Christians got the idea that the word became flesh, but whether the word became flesh, or it’s written down in a book, or on our hearts, it’s still the word of God! And Jews Believe in that word of God with a capital B. So, let’s focus on that common ground when we’re talking about Jews and Christians coming together.

Keith: Well, let me say this, Jono, since we’re doing this since we’re on this rant. So here’s one of the reasons that I don’t want to... and this is the part that I think is the tension. Where I don’t want to give an out for Nehemia and I don’t want to give an out for the people that maybe have a different perspective of what the focus of belief is. You see, where I get excited is I say, “Okay, does anyone realize what we’re talking about here?” Okay, we’re going to go to China to talk about a message that Yeshua, the people that people over here would say, “Okay, yes. He’s the focus,” that he taught, which happens to be based on the very word of God that we’re doing in Torah Pearls. So when I talk about loving this idea of being able to study the Bible that Yeshua studied, in his language, history, and context, why is that so important for me? Because I really don’t want to let anyone have an easy out - the Messianics, the Christians, the Methodists, the Jews, the Karaite. I’m sorry, Karaites are Jews. I’m sorry about that Nehemia.

Nehemia: Ma zeh? Karaite Jews, Orthodox Jews, Reform Jews, Conservative Jews.

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: Reconstructionist, who nobody really knows what that is, but...

Keith: I want to keep the tension there that I can look at the very bible that Yeshua studied, looked at, read, it’s quoted in the New Testament. I can go to the very Tanakh that’s quoted in the New Testament. We just did it with Habakkuk. And when I see those things, I’m thinking to myself, what’s the basis of that? It’s the word of God, and I want to keep it there. I’m not one of these liberal, “Oh, just whatever you believe is fine and whatever you think is fine and oh, whatever. You know you can do whatever you want to do.” No! That’s not at all what I’m saying.

Nehemia: That’s the Ben Gurion spirit - each man will live by his faith. You can believe in Buddha; you can believe in whatever you want.

Keith: Listen, there’s a line. Let me say this, there’s a line in the sand and where I’m going to stand is here. Here’s where I’m going stand at the line in the sand. The word of God is the common ground. And the minute Nehemia steps off of that, I will beat him over the head, and I hope he’ll do the same for me.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Okay I’m done.

Jono: “He found him in a desert land,” this is verse 10, “and in the wasteland in a howling wilderness; he encircled him, and he instructed him...”

Nehemia: Wait, wait, wait. I’m sorry to stop you. But we didn’t give the money ball of the 4Q, Deuteronomy J in the Dead Sea Scrolls. So, the Dead Sea scrolls supposedly confirmed the Greek spirit, that each nation has an angel over it. And you know, they’ve been given those angels to worship. That’s the Greek spirit. That’s what the Septuagint essentially says. So they found this Dead Sea scroll in Hebrew where it said the same exact thing; this was back in the 90s. I remember one of the professors presented this, and I ran to the library at Mount Scopus to look at this and it had just been published. To be honest with you, I’m pretty sure the professor had never seen the actual Dead Sea Scroll manuscript or even the photograph of it, because this is something that had been talked about for 40 years in biblical scholarship. I ran to the library and it had been just been published, fresh off the presses, you could still smell that fresh smell of a book. I opened it up to look at 4Q Deuteronomy J, and I found out it was a tiny scrap of paper which said, “The sons of God.” The word number wasn’t there. In fact, the rest of the verse wasn’t… the chapter wasn’t there.

I brought this back to the professor and I said to her, “How do you know this is Deuteronomy? I see it says what you think it should say in Deuteronomy. But how do you know this is Deuteronomy? How do you know this isn’t Job? How do you know it isn’t some...” you know, the Dead Sea Scrolls contained hundreds of documents which aren’t even in the Bible, and this doesn’t match what it says in our Bible. It doesn’t really match what it says in the Septuagint because the Septuagint says, “the angels of God” and this said, “the sons of God”. This doesn’t say anything about the numbers because it’s only a few words. It’s basically two words on that line. “Sons of God”. And she said, “I don’t know. That’s just what the scholars have said.” Tradition! Tradition! And the bottom line is you can’t say that’s Deuteronomy because Deuteronomy says something else.

Jono: Just repeating what you’ve been told... aw man. Yup.

Nehemia: This is my approach, which was always... you know, I say I was born and raised in Illinois, I lived in Israel for 19 years, but deep in my heart, I’m from Missouri and Missouri, I don’t know if you know this, Jono, but the motto of the State of Missouri is “Show me." It’s called the “Show Me State”. I got to see it for myself because people in the world will state things as facts, which are not facts. They’re opinions.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: Brilliant. And G’day to everybody listening in Missouri. “He kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreads out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on his wings, on its wings. So Yehovah alone led him, and there was no foreign God with him.”

Nehemia: Wow. “Yehovah alone led him.” Is that what you have in your English, Keith? “Yehovah alone led him.” Wow. And there was another verse that this immediately brings an association for me. So, can we really quickly turn to Isaiah 43, verse 11? Somebody read that to me in your English.

Jono: “I, even I, am Yehovah and beside Me, there is no savior.”

Nehemia: I love that verse. You know, and again, that’s exactly what He says.

Jono: Well let me keep going. “I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed and there was no foreign God among you. Therefore, you are My witnesses, says Yehovah, that I am God.”

Nehemia: You know, there’s this group over in Brooklyn called the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’m going to stop here for a little tangent. And the Jehovah’s Witnesses took this verse and they said, “We, this little cult in Brooklyn, we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses.” It disgusts me how this small little group can usurp this concept that Isaiah talks about. And you know, Keith and I have taught what it says in the Aleppo Codex, that the proper pronunciation of God’s name is Yehovah. If you want to say, Yahweh, knock yourself out. But in the Hebrew manuscripts it says Yehovah. People say, but isn’t that what the Jehovah’s Witnesses say? And I went and researched this, and it turns out if you ask the Jehovah’s Witnesses, “What’s the proper pronunciation of God’s name?” Guess what they’ll tell you? On their own website. No, they say it’s Yahweh. I’m telling you! It’s on their website! So, why do they say Jehovah? Well, they say Jehovah is very well known so we’re going to say that. But the true pronunciation, they say, is Yahweh.

Jono: That’s hilarious.

Nehemia: That’s what the Yahweh Witnesses are out there proclaiming. But the true witnesses of Yehovah are His people. That’s what it says here. Not some little group in Brooklyn. His true witnesses are His people. Those who are faithful, those who have “emuna” in Him. And can you read verse 13 there? Keep reading the next verse, because that actually parallels also something over in... it’s all actually a paraphrase of Deuteronomy 32, of different parts of it. That’s what I love about these prophecies. The prophets didn’t make it up, they’re quoting what it says essentially. Yeah.

Jono: “Indeed before the day was, I am He, and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand. I work, and who will reverse it?”

Nehemia: Is that what it says?

Jono: Well that’s what mine says.

Nehemia: What?

Jono: In 43:13!

Nehemia: So maybe the verse numbers are different? Read the verse before that.

Jono: So that was, “I have declared and saved. I have reclaimed, and there was no foreign God among you. Therefore, you are My witnesses, says Yehovah, that I am God. Indeed,” it goes on to say 13, “indeed before the day was, I am He, and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand. I work, and who will reverse it?”

Nehemia: There it is. Right. “There’s no one who can deliver out of My hand.” We’re going to see that later in Deuteronomy 32, and the one I’m looking for, though, is probably somewhere else. But there it is. It’s the same message in Deuteronomy 32. There’s no other savior with Him. He’s there all alone. There’s no foreign god. Our heavenly Father is the one who does this all by Himself. Can I get an amen? Hallelujah.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: Amen. Most certainly. All right, we’re moving on. “He made him ride on the heights of the earth, that he might eat the produce of the fields. That he might draw honey from the rock and oil from the flinty rock. Curds from the cattle and milk from the flock with fat of lambs and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats with the choicest wheat. And you drank wine, the blood of the grapes.”

Keith: So, let me say this. So Jono, when you read this, being that you’re a man of the land, when you read this particular phrase, this idea the lambs…

Jono: It makes me hungry.

Nehemia: That was funny.

Keith: What did he say?

Nehemia: He said, “It makes me hungry.”

Keith: So, when you read that, do you read from a different perspective than I do, being a city guy?

Jono: Well, no, I mean particularly in verse 14, curds from the cattle and milk I mean, Chanie makes the most incredible cheese from cow’s milk and goat’s milk. She makes awesome cheese and yogurt from goat’s milk and all sorts of stuff there. And of course, we do have goats and so we have goat’s meat. And we live on a farm that also has sheep and we quite often have lamb, and yum! And by the way, a vineyard as well; our landlord has a vineyard, and quite often gives us cases of really nice wine.

Keith: That’s just amazing. It’s just amazing. We were talking about the whole perspective whenever we’re reading in the Torah and we’re hearing about the land and things like that in days past, so many more people were farmers, and then today, many people read these things and don’t even get a sense of what it is. Certainly, I don’t - it was the trip to Israel that really helped me to see how important the land is...

Jono: Oh, I understand what you’re saying, Keith. We both came out of Sydney, both Chanie and I. We grew up in Sydney and when we first moved out to the country, when we got out of the city, I remember being up close and personal, you know, by myself in the middle of nowhere with a flock of sheep and I just thought it was the most amazing, incredible thing. It was like an amusement park of nature, if I can put it that way. I was just so excited to be there taking it all in. And there was so much that we learned, and we still learn over the years of being in an agricultural environment and seeing all the object lessons throughout the Tanakh and going, “Oh, that’s what that means! We had no idea what that meant!”

Keith: Exactly. That’s what I was going to say. And that’s why I think, and this is what’s been so amazing these last 10 years for me now, I’ve actually been many times with my family over in the land and getting a chance to see, read these verses and to read different aspects of the verses and to actually see the land. To see what it is that Moses is talking about and to look and put your hands in the dirt and to see... you know, it just changes the whole understanding expectation as you’re reading the Bible. It just changes everything. It gives you a completely different dimension. So the chance for people to come and see the actual land... I mean it’s there, and it’s not like we’re not reading some fantasy land - this is not like Atlantis that we’re talking about.

Nehemia: Chronicles of Narnia.

Keith: Yeah.

Jono: The Chronicles of Narnia will actually be there. We’re going to be traveling all throughout the land and you’re going to be taking us to some incredible places. Really looking forward to that first couple of weeks March 2013.

Keith: Let me say this also, the other reason this is important is because of what I think Nehemia mentioned earlier - you know, we’re getting ready to talk about this in just a second. So just this idea that the things that we have in Scripture, again, remember these people were coming once every seven years and they’re sitting there and Moses is speaking and he’s preaching at different times. Here he’s singing, he’s teaching these people the songs. It’s amazing. I consider this sort of like a hip hop, the way that Moses does this.

Nehemia: He’s rapping it?

Keith: Just because he’s rapping the song. But the point is that again, I want to just say this, is the chance to actually encounter these things that are in Scripture, not just in terms of being in Israel, but the actual concepts, and applying them in our lives. This was the idea of the Torah. It was not written as some kind of, you know, if I can use this word, some law in the middle of some black book that’s up on some lawyer’s shelf that you pull down and open up and, “Law number 612.” No, this was actually a chance to encounter the God of Israel and to be embraced by Him and to embrace Him in a way that was practical. So I want people to realize that - you know, we didn’t go through this whole thing just for people to say, “Well, here’s where we can get out of it.” Rather, this is a privilege to understand what it means to be in relationship with the Creator of the universe.

Nehemia: What you’re really saying is that this is the living, breathing word of our heavenly Father.

Keith: Absolutely. I’ll go with that. Yes.

Jono: Amen.

Nehemia: Woo! Is it wrong that I’m excited? Am I allowed to be excited about this?

Jono: You can be excited about it.

Nehemia: No, no, no. I preached at this place a month ago, and afterwards I was rebuked. They said, “You were too excited - only Keith is allowed to be that excited.” And I’m like, “So basically, you’re saying I’ve got to pretend I’m not excited because the people don’t want me to be excited, they’re just not expecting it. They’re not ready for it.” I’m excited and I can’t hold it back!

Keith: Okay, there we go, ladies and gentlemen.

Nehemia: And it ain’t the coffee, it’s the living breathing word of Yehovah!

Jono: Amen. “But Yeshurun grew fat and kicked...” Now this is interesting. “Yeshurun grew fat and kicked; you grew fat, you grew thick, you are obese!” That’s what I’ve got. Then it says, “Then he forsook God who made him and scornfully esteemed the rock of his salvation.” There’s the rock again.

Nehemia: The rock of his salvation. And what’s the word for salvation, Keith Johnson?

Keith: Well, it depends. Which one do you want me to give you the... the theological one or the one where it actually says…

Nehemia: Work with me. Work with me. Come on. So, the word for salvation is “Yeshuah.” And here it’s actually “Yeshuato” which means, “his Yeshuah”. There may be some people out there who say, “Oh, that’s Jesus, Yeshuah.” But actually, Jesus in Hebrew, or the name behind Jesus in Hebrew, is “Yeshua” which actually is short for Yehoshua, which means “Yehovah hoshea” “Yehovah saves.” And so, you know, this is a noun that we have here, what’s called a common noun, “Yeshuah”, with the emphasis on the final syllable. It has a “Hey” at the end, silent “Hey”. And then “Yeshua” is a name, or what you call a proper noun, and it’s a compound of a noun, and a verb, which is “Yehovah yoshea.” That might sound like a whole bunch of grammatical mumbo jumbo, but here’s the way you could remember it. “Yeshua” is masculine and “Yeshuah” is feminine. And I know that because it ends in the kamatz hey, and it means salvation. Now, obviously the two words are related and if people want to say theologically that this is a reference to... because it does mean salvation. So, they want to say this is a reference to Yeshua, theologically I can’t prevent you from saying that, or really, you’re entitled to believe that. But first understand the literal meaning here, which is the rock of his “Yeshuah” the rock of his salvation. And that is common ground that we can all get excited about!

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: Can I get an amen? I’m going to downplay this and pretend I’m not excited. And yes, this is the feminine noun...

Keith: One of the beauties of actually looking into the language is because we do get a chance to see where we don’t have to retrofit. And what I mean by retrofit, we don’t actually have to take a theological concept and force it into the Tanakh or force it into the verse. Let the verse speak, understand what the verse says. And you know, you’ll find things that are even more beautiful. Things that Yeshua, the man, actually said that are wonderfully connected to what we read.

And then there are other times where people, like I say, try to retrofit it, and then you come up with all these theological gymnastics, which I don’t think we have to do. I will say this - another commercial - we had a big argument, Nehemia and I, because I added a bonus section in the back of the book His Hallowed Name Revealed Again at hishallowedname.com, and in the back of the book was an entire chapter, it’s called the bonus chapter on the name, “What About the Name Jesus?” And the reason that I did it is because when I would speak to my Jewish brothers and sisters, they would understand more about the name Jesus than many of the Christians did. And I thought, “Okay, so why not give people a chance to get the actual linguistic information, and then you can make your decision from there?” And I think they would be surprised if they just went through the biblical grammatical issues regarding the name Yeshua - Jesus. They might be pleasantly surprised on what that name really means and how they can make a connection without having to do what I call linguistic gymnastics.

Jono: Wonderful. “They provoked him to jealousy with foreign gods. With abominations, they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons, not to God, to gods they did not know. To new gods, new arrivals that your fathers did not fear. The rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you.”

Nehemia: Well, I’m taking an exception with that translation of verse 17, and I think we’ve probably talked about this when we did some other section... or maybe not, I guess not. So anyway, the word here they translate as demons is “Shedim”. The problem with translating that as demons is that God, Yehovah, is actually called by the same exact word and we know he’s no demon. No. He’s actually called El Shaddai, which some people translate as the God of my breath, which is ridiculous. El Shaddai means “God my spirit”, and “shed” actually means a spirit. Yehovah is a spirit. He’s God my great spirit. That’s actually the translation of “Shaddai,” my great spirit, the great is expressed by the plurality. But here it says they sacrifice to “shedim,” to spirits who are not God. So, the problem isn’t that they’re “shedim”, the problem is that they’re “shedim” who are not God. This is exactly the Greek spirit we talked about before, that each nation was given an angel to worship, a spirit, and it was given to them as their inheritance. And here He’s rebuking them for doing it. “And they sacrificed to a spirit who was not God, a God who they have not known.” This is the problem when we’re dealing with worshiping spirits, worshiping angels. We should only worship the one true God, not any intermediary, not any substitute, but the God who is echad. Can I get an amen?

Jono: Amen. Amen.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: “And when Yehovah saw it, He spurned them, because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters. And He said, ‘I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith. They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God. They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move them to anger by a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled in My anger and shall burn to the lowest hell.’” I’ve got hell, Keith. “It shall consume the earth with her increase and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.”

Nehemia: Jono, let me say this.

Keith: Just a second Nehemia. Just a second. The one thing that I do think, and I want people to be reminded again what’s happening. So, Moses comes down and he’s standing before the people and he says, “Look, I’m gonna change this up a bit. I’m going to give us a song.” And so, he starts to rap his song and he’s giving this song. And when I’m reading through this and I hear this, it makes me slow down just a little bit. And the slow down really comes down to just one simple thing - if I can say for me, “one of the most important verses in the entire Bible,” is this. Okay, so he says this...

Nehemia: He’s mocking me!

Keith: “‘I will hide My face from them,’ He said, ‘and see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.’” And then he tells us why they are. It says here, “They make Me jealous by what is no God and angered me with their worthless idols.” And I think that that has got to be, for me... if you want to talk about the thing that frustrates, upsets or makes the Creator of the universe angry, jealous, or whatever you want to call it, more than anything is this idea that there’s somehow some competition with Him. That there’s some idea that yes, here’s this god over here, and here’s this god over there. Would you both agree that the core of the issue becomes, He takes them out from this place where they had all these false gods? He shows that these are false gods. He does his radical thing. He brings them out to the thing. He says, “Ani Yehovah Eloheicha,” “I am Yehovah your God. You shall have no other gods. You shall have no other Gods in my face. You have no gods besides me,” whatever. And doesn’t that become the issue, the drum that gets continually beat, the drum that gets beaten? We want to have another god. We want one we can look at. We want one that we can see. We want one that we can put this honor, that honor, make golden or do whatever. And He’s like, “Look, you’re fooling yourself. There is no other besides Me.” So, I just think that’s important that He keeps reminding them over and over again. And what do they keep doing? Creating other gods, doing the very thing that’s going to cause them to be...

Jono: Bringing the wrath of God upon them. And it goes on to say...

Nehemia: Whoa, Whoa, whoa. We’ve got to just really quickly, verse 20; He says, “I will hide My face from them.” We’ve been talking for quite a while, so let’s try to cut it short. I’m going to refer people to my book, Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence: the Hebrew Power of the Priestly Blessing Unleashed. We’re talking about this whole concept of God hiding His face, which really is a central theme that appears repeatedly throughout the Hebrew Bible because this idea of God hiding His face is a very important concept. And also, you mentioned...

Jono: Brilliant, brilliant book. And you really do a good job at that. And just a reminder to everybody, Nehemiaswall.com, Nehemiaswall.com is where you can purchase that book.

Nehemia: Nehemiaswall.com. Hey, and also you talked here about hell. And of course, the Hebrew word is “shaol.” “Shaol” is in the Hebrew; some people translate it as “the grave”, but really, it’s the realm of the dead. It’s where you go when you die. It’s a place where, according to Ecclesiastes 9, there’s no thought or action or knowledge in “shaol.” This is why in the Psalms it talks about the dead can’t praise God; the dead don’t know anything. The dead don’t think, they don’t talk. And it’s really interesting because you talk here about how “they made Me jealous with that which is not God.”

You said that means they worshiped other gods. And I want to challenge that. I agree. I agree that they worshiped other gods, but they also did something else. Something that happens in some circles to this day, that rather than worshiping other gods, they worshiped God through an intermediary. Just so you understand what I’m talking about, one of the oldest places in Israel, I don’t know if Keith is going to take you because it’s kind of dangerous, but one of the oldest sites in Israel that is a true biblical site is the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. It’s a very controversial site because half of the place is controlled by the Jews and half is controlled by the Muslims. There have been massacres where they attacked each other.

But this is actually a place, a structure... the actual building was built by King Herod in the BC’s, over 2,000 years ago. And it’s mentioned of course in the Bible, the Tomb of the Patriarchs. What happened at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and still happens to this day with some people, is that the Jews would go there - this is actually mentioned in some of the early rabbinical writings - it talks about how Jews would go there and they’d stretch out on the graves and they would pray to the Patriarchs, and say, “Please intercede on our behalf before God.” That’s not praying to a false god. They’re praying to the intermediary. They’re saying, “Look, I can’t come to you directly, God, I need someone to do it for me.” So, they go to Abraham and they say, “Abraham, I’m having trouble here. I’m lying on your grave. Please, Abraham, pray to the Almighty for me. I need some help. I need some intercession.”

Now intercession, there’s nothing wrong with that in the Bible, when you go to a prophet or a living person. But when you go to the dead… Deuteronomy 18 talks about seeking the dead. They sometimes translate it cleverly as necromancy. But it literally is seeking the dead. That’s exactly what people do at the Tomb of the Patriarchs and have been doing for 2,000 years. The reason Herod built a building there… it wasn’t to honor the Patriarchs; it was so people could come and pray to them and ask for intercession from them. And this is making God jealous with that which is not God. This is, I think, what Deuteronomy 32:21 is talking about. It also includes the idols, but it also is talking about those dead people who know nothing according to the Psalms. And this is what it talks about… we quote this verse in A Prayer to Our Father, where Isaiah says, “You are our Father. Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us.” Right? They’re dead. They can’t help us right now. You, Yehovah, are the only one who can help us, not the ancestors that people are praying to. In the time of Isaiah, they were doing this, and they were going and praying to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the Tomb of the Patriarchs. This is why we are to pray directly to the Creator and not through an intermediary.

Jono: Amen. There is no one between us and our Creator. Amen. Amen. Amen. “Nor is there any mediator between us who may lay his hand on Me.”

Nehemia: They have made him jealous with that which is not God.

Jono: Job 9:33 as well.

Nehemia: In the second half of 21 it says, “And I will make them jealous with that which is not a nation, that which is not a people, a scoundrelous nation. I will make them angry.” What does that mean? What is “that which is not a nation”?

We know that which is not a God is an ancestor or a... something you’re praying to that you’re not supposed to be praying to or you’re worshiping, and you’re not supposed to be worshiping. What is a nation which is not a nation?

Jono: Okay. “But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation. I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.” So, they’re not a nation, then they are a nation.

Nehemia: Well, “they’re not a people”, actually is literally what it says, but they are a nation. So, what does that mean?

Keith: It means it’s Al-Qaeda.

Nehemia: You’re joking about that. But… it talks about in the last chapter, it says “Achrit hayamim” the end of time, the end of days. And Verse 20 says, “I will see what their end is.” This last part in verse 21 might be a prophecy that hasn’t been fulfilled yet. We might be coming to face something that hasn’t come to pass yet. You know, because the Babylonians, they were nasty, but they were a nation. And the Romans, they were even nastier, but they were a nation. But here He’s saying, “I will make them jealous by that which is not a people, a scoundrelous nation, I will make them angry.” So, we might be dealing with some kind of entity, maybe in the present, but definitely in the future, which...

Keith: It’s a concept.

Nehemia: … it isn’t a cohesive people but is a nation that will come against us.

Keith: It’s a concept of terror. And this is why these nations that aren’t... that are nations can say, “We’ll grab a hold of the concept and become this new nation. The new nation is to destroy Israel and those who stand with the God of Israel, et cetera.” So that’s why I said the word Al-Qaeda. I don’t mind that I said it and any organization like that.

Nehemia: Yeah. There’s an example of an entity which isn’t really... it has the army like a nation, but it isn’t a cohesive people.

Jono: No, that’s a fair guess.

Nehemia: It’s this coalition of these different...

Keith: Look, I slipped it in when Nehemia had to sip his coffee. I slipped that in.

Jono: Brilliant. No, that’s intriguing.

Keith: In fact, is it time for a bathroom break?

Nehemia: I actually slipped out when you were talking before. I slipped out when you were talking before, you didn’t even notice it. And I came back and Jono was like, “And what do you think of that Nehemia?” I’m like, “Yeah, um...” I’ve got it down to a science.

Jono: Here we go. “I will heap disasters on them. I will spend My arrows on them. They shall be wasted with hunger, devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction. I will also send against them the teeth of beasts with the poison of serpents of the dust. The sword shall destroy outside. There shall be terror within for the young man and the virgin, the nursing child with the man of gray hairs. I would have said, ‘I will dash them into pieces, I will make the memory of them to cease from among men, had I not feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should misunderstand, lest they should say, Our hand is high, and it is not Yehovah who has done all this.’”

Nehemia: So basically, it’s some entity that’s coming against Israel and they’re going to kick our butts. They’re going to really cause a lot of damage. And God’s saying, “Look, I’m not going to let them completely destroy Israel because then they’ll think that they’re the ones who did it. They’re going to think that this wasn’t the God of Israel, this was our God. This was the God that we worship that gave us this victory and Yehovah didn’t want that to happen.” So, he’s going to let them wreak havoc and destruction, but only up to a point so that they know who the true God is.

Jono: Now this is where it gets a little bit confusing for me, because verse 28 and verse 29 then begs the question... because it says “For they are a nation void of counsel, nor is there any understanding in them. O, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end.” Is the “they” in these two verses talking about the nation… the nations? Or is it talking about Israel?

Nehemia: Let’s keep reading on, verses 30 and 31. We’ll see how confusing that becomes.

Jono: “How could one chase a thousand and put 10,000 to flight, unless their rock had sold them and Yehovah had surrendered them?” So that’s saying, to me, if I understand that correctly, how could the nation chase a thousand and put 10,000 to flight unless their rock had sold them, unless Yehovah had surrendered them Israel?

Nehemia: So basically, this is talking about the nations, these foreign powers coming against Israel, and one of them will chase a thousand and two 10,000. It’s the opposite of the prophecies earlier in Deuteronomy, where there was a blessing of how a small number of Israelites would chase away many of the foreigners, of the invaders, and also that was in Leviticus 26 or so. It’s sort of like the opposite is going to happen because we sin. And it’s saying that if this foreign nation understood that, they would understand that the reason that they were victorious against Israel is because Yehovah had turned over Israel and allowed it and essentially delivered Israel into their hand.

Jono: Okay. So, then what we’re saying is that from verse 27 on to verse 30, it’s all talking about the nations. So, 28 and 29 is talking about the nations and not Israel, right?

Nehemia: That’s my understanding. Yeah.

Jono: I’m good with that. I’m good with that. “For their rock is not like our rock.” Here we are with the rock again. “Even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom and their fields of Gomorrah, their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the poison of serpents and cruel venom of cobras.”

Nehemia: Here it’s not clear. Is this talking about Israel? Or is it talking about the nations? Our rock is not like their rock. So, who’s saying that? Is that Israel saying that, or is that the nation saying that?

Keith: Well, if you read the NIV it’ll tell you because it’ll give you… capitalize the R.

Nehemia: Oh, of rock?

Keith: Yes, yeah – rock.

Nehemia: Does the Hebrew have a capital R? Can you check for me?

Keith: No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t. But you know what’s great about the NIV is, they let me know here. Because what’s funny - and I wanted to just share this with you guys - in verse 30, Jono, you said that verse 30, “speaking of the nations”. And so what the NIV does, it says, “How could one man chase 1,000 and two put ten thousand to flight unless their Rock...” and speaking of their rock, they use the capital R.

Nehemia: Right, which I think is correct because the parallelism...

Keith: Exactly. Because then they say... and then the parallels that this Yehovah, and then they say, but for their rock is not like our rock. Now if I read that based on how I’m reading this, now their rock is little R, which means that’s not Yehovah - that’s the angel that they worship.

Nehemia: Exactly. And so, for those who don’t know, obviously in Hebrew there are no capital letters, and whether it is a big R or little R for rock, that’s interpretation. That’s not what it says in the Hebrew. In the Hebrew it’s ambiguous - “for our rock is like their rock.” Who’s the our? Is that our, Israel? Or our Al-Qaeda? I don’t know. It’s not clear. But anyway, the two rocks are definitely different.

Keith: Definitely different rocks.

Jono: And so, when it talks about that they would consider their latter end in verse 29, it’s talking about the... could I say the ruinous future of the nations?

Nehemia: I think so. In other words, the nation thinks, “Wow, we’ve had this victory against the Jews. We’ve had this victory against Israel, we’ve got it all set. You know, our god has been victorious. Our angel that we worship, or demon, has been victorious.” And the point is that they don’t understand how this works.

Jono: They don’t understand, and now this is interesting, Keith, because in my New King James Study Bible, Keith, I’ve got a study note for that particular verse. It says, “Often the phrase ‘latter end’ is understood as a glorious future, but here it speaks of the ruinous future for the rebellious Israelites.”

Nehemia: No, it doesn’t say that. You’re messing with me. Right?

Jono: I’m telling you, that’s what it says in my study notes.

Nehemia: The ruinous future for the Israelites? The Israelites are going to get punished, it’s the foreign invader that’s going to eventually, the one that attacks Israel... that’s this whole section, what it’s talking about. Are you reading the same passage I’m reading?

Jono: This is what it says. If you read it that way, it’s very clumsy, which is why I asked verse 28 and 29.

Nehemia: They’re going to see that they’re missing the boat. But okay.

Jono: So, verse 34, “Is this not laid up in store with Me, sealed up among my treasures? Vengeance is Mine and recompense. Their foot shall slip in due time, for the day of their calamity is at hand and the things to come hasten upon them.”

Nehemia: Now here, everyone understands that this is talking about God is going to take vengeance upon the foreigners who attacked Israel, right?

Jono: But one would certainly hope so. I’m just going to double check.

Nehemia: Well, because the next verse, 36, “For Yehovah judges His people and upon His servant He has a...” and it’s interesting how yours translates that. How does it translate verse 36? Read verse 36.

Jono: Verse 36. “For Yehovah will judge His people and have compassion on His servants.”

Nehemia: Compassion!

Jono: “When He sees that their power is gone and there is no one remaining, bond or free.”

Nehemia: So, the point is… Israel is going to get punished horribly by this Al-Qaeda, this foreign non-nation entity, this nation which isn’t a people. It’s going to suffer horribly at their hand, but eventually Yehovah is going to look down and say, “Okay, they’ve had enough. And I don’t want these foreigners thinking that it was their God who caused this victory. It’s time for Me to step in and have some mercy here.”

Keith: And that’s why I’m going to read verse... if I can continue? Can I read this? This is 37 where he says, “And he will say, now where are their gods? The rock that they took refuge in.” And I think, when I read that in English and I think about that I think, “Okay, so they took refuge in a rock, and then we understand that we have a chance to take refuge in a rock, and it’s again this parallelism, you know. It’s like saying, which rock are you going to choose? And you know what? I understand there are a lot of people, and I did this you guys, I don’t even know if I want to go down this road, but I might as well. There is some confusion, Jono, regarding the quote-unquote denomination that Nehemia has been a part of, this Karaite movement. And I’ve been getting people that send me notes and websites and all sorts of things saying, “No, this is a Muslim thing.” No, no, I’m telling you yes!

Nehemia: What!? Believing in the Tanakh and in the Bible makes you Muslim?

Keith: Well, I’m just telling you what they say.

Nehemia: Don’t Muslims believe in the Koran?

Keith: No, no, no, no. Let me finish. Now let me go down this road for a second. And so, what everyone is doing is they’re trying to find a way, and actually I believe that the website itself that’s promoting has an agenda, which I won’t go into right now. But the point is...

Nehemia: We checked it out. We tracked them down, the website that claims to be... so there is a website, the website that claims to be a Karaite website.

Keith: Oh boy.

Nehemia: Hold on. It claims to be a Karaite website, and it says Karaites are Muslims. And people look at this and they say, “Hey, the Karaites admit they’re Muslims.” Except if you look into who’s website that is, it’s actually a Messianic website. So, these are Messianics pretending to be Karaites who are claiming they’re Muslims. Now, why would this particular group of Messianics want to claim that they’re Muslims, that Karaites are Muslims? I think their agenda... I mean look, I don’t blame Messianics for this, because these guys are completely whacked out. These are Lunar Sabbatarians. These are people who are Lunar Sabbatarians and so they’ve got all kinds of weird agendas, which I don’t blame Messianics for, I don’t blame Christians for. But here’s the moral of the story; beware of what you read on the internet because you’ve got people pretending to be things that they’re not. And then people pretending to be one thing and then pretending to be another thing and so just a lot of confusion out there. There are people out there who want to sow confusion, who want to spread disinformation because they’ve got an agenda.

Jono: Keith!

Keith: Jono, I didn’t want to go into the details of the whole thing. I was just trying to simply say that there are people who pick a rock and say this is our rock and that’s going to be the thing that they’re going to believe in and they’re going to hold to. And one of the things that’s so interesting to me is this whole issue of borrowing of terms. What I think is what’s really powerful about this is the borrowing of terms. Who’s the first one that was called the Rock? And then what other group goes and takes that and says, “Okay, now it’s the rock whose name is Yehovah,” and the others say, “We’ll call it Jehovah who looks at the sighting of the moon. We’ll also do that.” The list goes on and on and on, and then what people do is they’ll say, “Well, because this group does this, we won’t do this because it sounds like that.” Rather than looking at the root, what’s the root of it? Yehovah’s not afraid to say, “Yes, you’ve got a rock.” He’s not afraid to let them use that term. Point is, what’s the basis of it? Your rock that you consider him to be a rock is not a rock at all. Your name that you proclaim to be the name? Okay. And the list goes on and on and on.

Nehemia: And you know what you’re really talking about, Keith, is what I call the counterfeit. I talk about this in Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence: the Hebrew Power of the Priestly Blessing Unleashed from Nehemiaswall.com. But in all seriousness, what you’re talking about is the counterfeit. Yehovah is telling us right here, there is a counterfeit out there. We’ve got the true rock, the one that’s reliable, that’s solid, the source of the water. And then we’ve got the other people who have a rock as well. They call it the rock. Big R, little R, no difference in Hebrew. They call it a rock. They trust in it. They believe in it. They believe their victories come from that rock. But guess what? Their rock is not like our rock. There’s the true rock and there’s the false rock. And in the end, we’re all going to see which is the true one.

Jono: Amen. “Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God beside Me. I kill and I make alive.” Oh, hang on! “Beside me”?

Nehemia: Finish the verse and then we’ll talk about that.

Jono: “I kill, and I make alive. I wound and I heal. Nor is there anyone who can deliver from My hand. For I raise my hand to heaven and say, as I live forever.”

Nehemia: Yes, wow. So look, read yours in verse 39, Keith. “There is no God besides me...”

Keith: “See now I myself, I am He, there is no God besides Me.”

Nehemia: Besides me? You’re kidding me. So, what it says in the Hebrew is “Ayn Elohim imadi” “and there is no God with me.”

Keith: With me.

Nehemia: Sounds like a subtle difference, but this is exactly what a lot of the pagan nations... ask somebody in India and they’ll say, “Yeah, we believe in your God. Just we believe in our gods too. There’s lots of gods. They’re all up there in heaven together.”

Jono: That’s not the only difference, because once you do that, once you say, “And there is no god with me,” Keith, we have to take the word God and put a little g there. Right?

Keith: That’s exactly what you have to do.

Nehemia: Absolutely. As opposed to what? You’ve got a big G there?

Jono: Well, yeah, because it’s saying there’s no god, there’s no capital G, God besides me.

Nehemia: You’re kidding.

Jono: No. There is no capital G...

Keith: No, mine is little g.

Jono: Yours is little g?

Keith: Yes.

Jono: Wow. Okay. Alright. Interesting.

Nehemia: Wow. Can we look at a few other passages? By the way, Jono, cut this out. But if I plug this in, you’re really gonna get noise. Hold on. Let’s try this. Are we okay?

Keith: Yes.

Jono: That’s a very interesting hum.

Nehemia: Hold on. Let me try plugging it into a different hole cause I’m almost out of juice. Hold on.

Keith: That’s on purpose. Okay, Jono, let’s go for it. He’s looking for a way to plug in, ladies and gentlemen. So, what we’re going to talk about is we’re going to talk about, “I put to death and I bring to life.” Is that not powerful Jono?

Jono: Well, doesn’t it sort of a tie into the other verse that Nehemia was reading out that says that “he created, he creates evil?” “I kill and I make alive. I wound and I heal.”

Keith: “And no one can deliver out of my hand.”

Nehemia: Wait, so do we have the hum?

Jono: Yeah.

Keith: We still have the hum.

Jono: That’s all right. Don’t worry about it. We’ll deal with it.

Keith: That’s okay, we’re doing fine.

Nehemia: Is there a hum now?

Keith: When he says in verse 40, “I lift my hand to heaven and declare as surely as I live.” This is so cool because you know we get this image when we go to court - I don’t know if they do this over in Australia, certainly here they do, I don’t know if they do it in Israel - but they make you stand before the judges there and they take out the Bible and they’ll put your hand on the Bible and raise your hand. You know, and this concept of Him raising His hand saying, listen, I swear by myself. In other words, there’s no greater thing to swear by, you know what I’m saying? I am as surely as I live forever. I mean, that’s pretty darn powerful.

Jono: Absolutely. And of course, as it says, in 39, “Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God with Me. When I raise my hand and I say, ‘as I live.’” Okay, “If I whet My glittering sword and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to my enemies and repay those who hate Me. I will make My arrows drunk with blood and My sword shall deliver flesh with the blood of the slain and the captives from the heads of the leaders of the enemy.”

Nehemia: Now I know you want to run ahead, Jono, but can we just go back again for a sec?

Keith: What’s that humming noise again?

Nehemia: Ma zeh? All right. I know you want to run ahead, Jono, but can we just go back real quick for a second to this thing about “there’s no god with Me”, which is what it says in the Hebrew? Can we just read really quickly? I love this passage, Isaiah 63 - just the image of Yehovah as a warrior and He’s coming as a warrior from the south, and here we are reading about vengeance. Well, here He’s taken vengeance against Edom, against Israel’s enemies, and it says, “Who is this coming from Edom in crimson garments from Bozrah?” And crimson means he’s covered in blood. “Who is this majestic attire pressing forward in His great might? It is I who contend victoriously, powerful to give triumph. Why are your clothes so red, your garments like his who treads grapes?” It’s a dialogue - and He says, “And I trod out a vintage alone of the peoples. No Man was with Me. I trod them down in My anger, trampled them in My rage, their lifeblood bespattered My garments and all my clothing was stained.” So here He’s describing His destruction of the nations, and this is exactly what we’re talking about here, taking the vengeance. And that’s why His clothes are symbolically covered with blood. “For I had planned a day of vengeance and My year of redemption arrived.” Then He says, and this is the key passage for me. “Then I looked, but there was none to help. I stared, but there was none to aid. So My own arm wrought the triumph and My own rage was My aide. I trampled peoples in My anger, and I made them drunk with My rage and I hurled their glory to the ground.”

Tell me if this is not a paraphrase of Deuteronomy 32 in much more poetical symbolic language. It’s talking about – “there’s no one with Me and when I take vengeance upon those nations, it’s going to be Me. I’m looking and there are no helpers.” What it literally says. “I’m staring and there is no one to support Me. My own arm is My salvation and My wrath is what aids Me, what helps Me.” So Yehovah is saying, “I’m going to take vengeance upon those nations and it’s going to be Me. No one else is going to get the credit. I’m going to do it.”

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Well, we got to do this. You guys, Jono we have to do this and I know folks must be... let me do this. I’m going to do a Nehemia. I’m going to pull a Nehemia and I’m going to turn over to Exodus 15 very quickly if we can. If you guys go to Exodus 15, I want to read something that I really, really, really think is connected to this. And I want Nehemia, if he would, I’m sorry, Jono, if you would read Exodus 15:3.

Jono: It says, “Yehovah is a man of war. Yehovah is His name.”

Keith: Amen. And so it’s “Yehovah ish milchama”

Nehemia: Amen.

Keith: This idea of Him being a man of battle, and of course this also happens to be the same sort of format that we find in Deuteronomy, which we didn’t get a chance to talk about just as much as I wanted to, but it has to do with this idea of the poetic form of God’s name. And so what I want to do really very quickly is go to Exodus 15:2. And Nehemia, I want you to read it in Hebrew and then I want you to read yours in English. 15:2 - that verse Nehemia.

Nehemia: Exodus 15 verse 2 it says, “Ozi vezimrat yah veyehi li leyeshuah.” “Yah is my strength and my song and He has become for me, salvation.”

Keith: And then of course in English, Jono.

Jono: It says, “The LORD is my strength and song and He has become my salvation.”

Keith: Right. And so even if we were doing a Torah Pearls and people have kind of caught onto this idea that when we see capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D, we say Yehovah. When we taped this earlier, ladies and gentlemen, and then it didn’t come through, we tricked Nehemia and made him read it in Hebrew and then translate it in English. And he said Yehovah. There was the one time I finally caught him. And of course, that’s been lost in cyberspace. We don’t have that. This time, he knew not to do that. But the idea being that...

Nehemia: I didn’t fall for it.

Keith: He didn’t fall for it this time because he already knew. But when Jono read the verse in English and did his translation, Jono will translate it and he says, “and the LORD” and then he said “and Yehovah.” And then of course Nehemia did the same thing at first translation because he understood that Yah is the poetic form of God’s name. And then we have, of course, the folks that are Yahwists and others who say here, it’s proof. And of course, maybe Nehemia was trying to hide the fact that it says Yah right there. So I had him to read it in Hebrew.

Nehemia: No, it says Yah.

Keith: Nehemia why are you not nervous? Let me finish. Why are you not nervous to be able to proclaim that it is Yah here, but that you called the name Yehovah? I’m going to throw you a softball and I’m gonna give you two minutes and then I’m going to interrupt you.

Nehemia: Alright, so Yah is a poetic form of the name Yehovah, and we actually have an example in Deuteronomy 32 of a poetic name, the name Yeshurun or Jeshurun, which is a poetic form of the name Israel. I think we might’ve talked about this in the last episode or one of the episodes, but Yeshurun is the poetic form for Israel. It’s actually not even abbreviated, it’s just as long. But, you know, you wouldn’t pronounce the… you know, in a hypothetical world, if we didn’t know how to pronounce the name Israel, which by the way in Hebrew is Yisrael. Yisrael, if we didn’t know how to pronounce Yisrael, if we didn’t have the vowels, you might think, oh, it’s Yeshurul because of Yeshurun, you know, the poetic form. But it’s not. Like, the poetic form doesn’t teach me how to pronounce the full name. You know, I’ve got a nickname, I’m Nehemia, but my nickname is Hemi. So, it doesn’t mean that the full form of my name is Nehemia; it’s not, it’s Nechemia. Or Jono, which is Jonathan. He’s not Jonothan. And you know, or Keith, which his nickname is… I won’t say it.

Keith: No, no, no.

Nehemia: I’m not allowed to say that. All right. So, there it is. Edwin.

Keith: We’ll edit that out. I insist on editing this...

Nehemia: Edwin! So maybe his full name should be Kedwin. Who knows? I don’t know. Whatever. Anyway, the point is that people have nicknames all the time and sometimes the poetic form of the nickname doesn’t tell you necessarily how to pronounce the full form of the nickname and the form Yah, this poetic form, one of the characteristics is it’s almost always at the end of a word. What I mean by that is that here we have in Exodus 15:2, it says “Zimrat Yah,” which those two words, “the song of Yah,” but really those two words are essentially connected because the “Zimrat” is something called the “smichoot,” the construct form, which is very common in Hebrew. But it basically “Zimrat Yah” “song of Yah“Yah is my song,” is essentially one word. It’s pronounced as one word in ancient Hebrew. And it’s just like Halleluyah. I mean, people know that. They know Halleluyah is pronounced as one word, even though it’s a compound word, made up of two words, which is very common in Hebrew. It’s “praise Yah.” It could be divided up into two words, but it’s pronounced and even written sometimes as one word. Even in Hebrew, it’s written as often as one word, as Halleluyah, and so is “Zimrat Yah.” You have “Cays Yah” ‘the throne of Yah,” one word. So, what we have essentially is that Yah, this poetic form, tends to appear at the end of words. My name Nechemia, Nehemiah, Nechem Yah, is “Yah comforts” and so Yah is at the end.

You have numerous things like this. Isaiah’s “Yesha Yah”, which means “Yehovah saves.” In fact, “Yesha Yah,” Isaiah is the same exact name as Joshua, Yehoshua, except one has the Yud Hey Vav of the name at the beginning and one has it at the end. Now at the end, it’s always Yah or Yawhu. At the beginning, it’s always “Yeho” or Yo in the abbreviated form. So like Jonathan is Yehonatan, which is abbreviated to Yonatan, the exact opposite name, NetanYahu. Which is also Netanya. In fact, there’s a prime minister Netanyahu and there’s a city named Netanya. So, Netanyahu, Netanya is the same exact thing. And that’s Yahu, Yah at the end, and Yeho, Yo at the beginning. So, you know… so the point is that Yah isn’t inconsistent with Yehovah. It’s simply a poetic form that sometimes appears by itself, but usually it appears at the end of a word and it’s an abbreviation. I mean, look, think about it. It’s a name like, you know I love the example of Jono and Jonothan is obviously Jonathan, not Jonothan, but in American English, we have names like, you know, we’ve got a name like, you know, Dick, which is short for Richard. Well, no one’s going to call him Dickered, Dichard.

Jono: Or Bill! Like my youngest boy, his name is Bill, but his name is actually William.

Nehemia: Wasn’t that short for Billiam? I’m going to start a sect, a whole denomination that refers to your son as Billiam!

Jono: You can do that?

Nehemia: Yahweh personally told me that your son’s name is Billiam. That’s a joke, people. No, you know, I’ll get people who write to me all the time. They’ll say, “Nehemia, how can you teach that his name is Yehovah? God has personally told me that his name is Yahu-hey.” And I’m not joking. Like literally I’ll get stuff like that. And I don’t even write back to them. But my point is like, if God has told you that personally, I didn’t have that revelation. That’s between you and Him. All I know is I can look at the texts and the sources and the written sources.

And by the way, we just came up with a really interesting series of sources that I wasn’t aware of. And I’m revealing this now for the first time in public, and maybe I should hold this back for video, which is available for $29.95. But in all seriousness, there’s this series of sources which confirmed that the name is Yehovah and of all places to find this is in a book called the Zohar. Now you have to understand, when I was first told this, I said, Zohar? I don’t want to touch that with a 10-foot pole. That’s Kabbalah. And the reason I don’t care for Kabbalah personally is that it comes with all kinds of weird interpretations and strange understandings.

One of the things they do in the Zohar is they give symbolic interpretations of the vowels in God’s holy name. In the name Yud Hey Vav Hey. Now those symbolic interpretations, I don’t buy into that. I just want to know what the words mean. I don’t care about the symbolic interpretations. But the literal behind the symbolic is the vowels Yehovah. In other words, they’ll come along and say, “the ‘Cholam’ represents the crown of God.” And why did they say that? Because the “Cholam”, the O in Yehovah is above the letters, so they say, that’s the crown of God’s name. All right, whatever. I’m not going to deal with the crown. I’m gonna leave that for the Kabbalists to do their symbolic stuff. But the point is they acknowledged that vowel; they talk about the secret of the name and they acknowledge the vowels as Yehovah.

Jono: Interesting. Very interesting.

Nehemia: Pretty cool.

Keith: No, that’s it. That’s fine.

Jono: Here we go. “Rejoice, O nations, with His people. For He will avenge the blood of His servants and render vengeance to His adversaries. He will provide atonement for His land and His people. For His land and His people. So Moses came with...”

Nehemia: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Verse 35, where He says, “Mine is vengeance and recompense.” Come on. So, I’ve got... come on guys. Romans 12:19… I’m not even a Christian and I know this. Where Paul is saying, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ sayeth the Lord.” And he’s quoting Deuteronomy 32:35, and what he’s saying is actually something really profound. We talk about this in A Prayer to Our Father, on the Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s prayer that Keith and I wrote together. So, in Leviticus 19, and we may have talked about this in Leviticus 19, we’re commanded “Lo tikom,” you shall not take revenge. And then here He says, “Li nakam veshilem” “Vengeance is Mine and recompense.” So, vengeance belongs to Yehovah. We’re not allowed to take revenge.

Well, what does that leave us with? That leaves us with faith in the Creator of the universe, that if something goes wrong, he’s going to take care of it. Isn’t that exciting? I’m excited by that! And there’s actually a verse that talks about this, where David comes before Saul and he says, “Look, I can’t touch you. You’re the meshiach of Yehovah.” You’re the Messiah. Meaning, he was literally anointed with oil. And he says, “I dare not,” I’m paraphrasing; he says, “I dare not put my finger upon the Messiah of Yehovah, the anointed of Yehovah, the legitimate true king.” But he says, “Yehovah will judge between me and you.” David says to Saul. He’s saying, “There’s going to be payback here, Saul, so don’t worry about it. It’s not going to be at my hand, but there’s going to be payback because Yehovah is going to take the vengeance.” And I think that’s what Paul is saying. It’s a perfectly good Tanakh message. He’s saying, avenge not yourselves. You don’t need to take revenge. Give place unto the wrath for it is written, vengeance is Mine, I will pay, sayeth the Lord, and quoting here, Deuteronomy 32:35

Jono: Keith already let the cat out of the bag by telling everyone that we have recorded this Torah portion before, but it got lost in cyberland and we don’t know where it is.

Keith: It’s gone.

Jono: But it was the best Torah Pearls we’ve ever done of all time.

Keith: Ladies and gentlemen, I will tell you, it was amazing. There were three or four times where Jono and I took the show over.

Jono: There was nothing like it in the history of Torah Pearls. It was the best Torah Pearls in the history of all time. This is just a tribute to the best Torah Pearls program of all time. But, if I remember correctly, it was about here that you quoted Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice.

Nehemia: I did quote Shakespeare. Do we have time for that?

Jono: We are going to have to because it’s the first time and probably the only time that Shakespeare is going to be quoted on Torah Pearls, so you better do it.

Nehemia: All right. The reason I want to quote this is one of the things I’ll hear from Christians a lot, not from everyone, but I’ll hear from some Christians and they’ll say, “You Jews have the God of the Old Testament. He’s the God of vengeance. And our God is the god of love, the God of forgiveness.” We just saw that, according to Paul, that actually the God of the New Testament is also a God of vengeance, when it’s appropriate, when someone has been wronged and they allow for God’s wrath and the person hasn’t repented, that “vengeance is Mine”. He will take that vengeance both in the Old and the New Testament.

But what I love is in The Merchant of Venice, there’s the scene that many Christians get this as, you know, this is the stereotypical Jew for them. The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s plays and it’s about this Jewish moneylender who lends money to the Christian merchant, and the guy doesn’t have collateral, so he takes as collateral a pound of flesh. When he originally says this, the guy thinks it’s a joke, you know, “A pound of flesh? I’m not going to give you a pound of flesh; that would kill me.” And anyway, the Christian thought, “Well, this is a sure thing. I’ve got nothing to worry about.” So, this is in The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 1. What’s happening here is this guy, he sent out a boat using the money he borrowed from the Jewish moneylender... and by the way, for those who don’t know, Jews were required to be moneylenders. There were some countries… and the reason was that the Christian doctrine said you’re not allowed to lend money from one Christian to another, so they actually required the Jews to lend out the money. The Jews didn’t want to do this; they wanted to farm and milk cows like Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof, wanting to milk cows. But in some countries, in some places, the Jews were required to be money lenders. And part of the advantage was they would make all this money and then, if the Christian King couldn’t pay it back, he just came and stole it from the Jews or killed them.

So here we have a scene where Shylock the Jewish moneylender comes and he says, “Okay, you haven’t paid the debt. I want my pound of flesh. I need to get my pound of flesh.” And the guy says to him, “Why am I sure, if you forfeit, thou will not taketh flesh? What’s that good for?” In other words, a pound of flesh, what are you going to do with that? That’s of no value to you. And then Shylock says, “To bait fish with all; if it will feed nothing else it will feed my revenge.” In other words, I’ll use this pound of flesh as fish bait if I want, but the bottom line is this will feed my revenge.

He goes on and he says, “He has disgraced me and hindered me half a million. Laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation,” meaning he made fun of Jews. “He thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies. And what’s his reason? I am a Jew.” And then this is one of the most famous passages in all of literature, where Shylock then says, “Has not a Jew eyes?” In other words, you treated me so horribly, like I’m not even a human being. And he says, “Has not a Jew eyes? Has not a Jew hands, organs, dimension, senses, affections, passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as the Christian is?” In other words, we’re human just like you are. “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you and the rest, we will resemble you in that.” In other words, he’s saying, “You guys take revenge and we’re human just like you.” He says, “If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute, and I shall go hard, but I will better the instruction.” What he’s saying here in this fancy old English is, “Hey, I learned revenge from you Christians. You talk about forgiveness, but I’ve been watching you and I see that you’re the masters of revenge. I’m going to learn from your lesson and better you at it.”

So, this is this image that Christians have of Jews that you know, there’s this… God of the Old Testament is the God of vengeance. And look, the Jews love taking revenge. But if you actually read what Shakespeare says, and for better or for worse, this is the image many people have of Jews. They read this in high school, or at least they used to in the U.S. and they think, “Oh, the Jews are all about revenge. They want the poor man’s pound of flesh and he’s going to die from, you know, cutting out a pound of his flesh.”

But what’s Shakespeare’s point? The point is, Jews are humans. And one of the things humans want to do is take revenge. And that’s what the Torah is coming to teach us. There’s this statement earlier in Genesis, it appears twice, where it says, “the thoughts of man’s heart are evil from his youth.” And this is what Yehovah says. He says, “Okay, this human being I created, he’s scheming and he’s planning and he’s looking to do evil from the day he’s born until the day he dies. I’m going to come and teach him how to be a decent human being.” And the way he teaches us is through his teaching; the Hebrew word for teaching is Torah. He’s given us the Torah. The Torah tells us “Lo tikom” Leviticus 19, “you shall not take revenge.” And it says ‘ve’ahavta leracha camocha”, “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” No one would want themselves to have a pound of flesh be cut out, and you know, we want to be forgiven by other people when we screw up. The point is we need to do that to others. We need to not take revenge and leave that to Yehovah. There will be justice. And that’s why I’m reading Shakespeare, because here’s the stereotypical image of the Jew. What the Jew is really saying is, “Hey, I learned from the best how to take revenge. I learned it from the Christians.” We both need to learn from the Creator of the universe, just like Paul did, from Moses, who wrote the words of the Creator of the universe in Leviticus 19, and Deuteronomy 32, teaching us not to take revenge, but to leave that to the Father of Creation.

Jono: Amen, thank you for that. Keith! You mentioned before of course, the book His Hallowed Name Revealed Again, brilliant book. Another one that is a must-have on the bookshelf, and of course the bonus chapter which you mentioned - What About the Name Jesus?

The next verse, “So Moses came with,” and now, I’ve got “Joshua the son of Nun”, but it’s not Joshua is it?

Keith: Well actually it depends on what translation you read. Some will say Hoshea.

Jono: Truly!

Nehemia: Then what does it say in the Hebrew?

Keith: That’s a great question. Let’s open up the Hebrew and see what it says.

Nehemia: It says “Hoshea Bin Nun.”

Keith: It does say Hoshea.

Jono: But is it Hoshea? Is it Hoshea in the NIV?

Keith: I’ve got a note in the NIV that says Hoshea. Where did we… did we do it? We went over that in Numbers. You remember where the first time that anyone... where Moses actually renamed someone. We have it with this man named Hoshea. And what did Moses do? He said, “Your name shall no longer be Hoshea, and now I will call you Yehoshua.” And what is that Jono?

Jono: Yehoshua is “Yehovah saves”, Hoshea is “he saves” - is that correct? Do I remember that correctly?

Keith: Boy, oh boy, we’re getting really close. So… and what’s happening in the NIV? They’re saying we don’t want to confuse them too much. We just want to remind them it’s Joshua, but we’re supposed to be reminded that it’s Hoshea in the Hebrew. Hoshea was the first man that was ever really given a new name using the name Yehovah connected. I think if we look in the Bible, we’ll find that Moses is the first man to do that. Joshua was the first man to have that happen to him. And so, as a result, that name is the name that was given. We’re reminded of his other name. And then what happens with this name later? We find that even this name becomes Yeshua, son of Nun, and I think that’s in Ezra or is that in...

Nehemia: It’s Nehemiah 8:17. It says, can I read it real quick in Hebrew? It says, “veya’asu kol hakahal hashavim min hashvi sukkot” and “all the congregation who returned from the captivity made Sukkot.” “Veyeshvu basukkot” “and they dwelt on the Sukkot” “ki lo asu mimei Yeshua Bin Nun, ken bnei Yisrael ad hayom hawho” “for the sons of Israel had not done like that since the days of Yeshua the son of Nun.” In other words, they hadn’t made so many… sukkot hadn’t been kept so widely. And he’s called there Yeshua Bin Nun, Yeshua the son of Nun, and Yeshua and Yehoshua is the same name.

Now I’m a little confused by everything you said here, Keith. Because you said that the original name of this man who was called Yehoshua, or Yeshua the son of Nun, Moses’ faithful disciple, that originally he was called Hoshea. But shouldn’t his name, if we add the Yud, then be Yehoshea? No, look, if it’s Yah, and then we add the Vav Hey, it’s Yahweh. So, if we had the Yud to Hoshea, it should be Yehoshea shouldn’t it?

Keith: Yeah, well it should be.

Nehemia: And don’t we have a prophet in the Bible named Hosea, which is really Hoshea? I think maybe we should start calling him Hoshua. No, I’m serious. We’ve got the book of Hosea. It should be Hosua instead of Hosea because Yehoshua... isn’t that the logic of Hebrew?

Keith: That’s the logic of Hebrew.

Nehemia: I think that’s actually the logic of people who don’t know Hebrew.

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: Hoshea Yehoshua.

Jono: You know, the next verse says, “Moses finished speaking all these words.” Can you imagine if it was Nehemia? They’d be there until the...

Keith: No, no, no. They’d never finish.

Nehemia: The book of Deuteronomy would have been the size of the writings of Shakespeare!

Jono: “Moses finished speaking all these words to Israel...”

Nehemia: “Wherefore art thou Romeo?”

Jono: “... and he said to them, ‘Set your heart on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children and be careful to observe—all the words of this Torah. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word, you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.” There it is.

“Then Yehovah spoke to Moses on the very same day saying, ‘Go up this to mountain of the Avarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, across from Jericho. View the land of Canaan, which I will give to the children of Israel as a possession, and die on the mountain which you will ascend, be gathered to your people, just as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. Because you trespassed,” Keith, this what it says. It goes. “You trespassed against Me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah Kadesh.”

Keith: Regardless of what people understand, what you’ve heard from others, maybe on the internet or on the radio shows, the reason that Moses did not cross over is because he trespassed.

Jono: He trespassed.

Keith: There is no other confusion, you may have heard something from some other maybe Muslim sites or something like that. The bottom line is...

Nehemia: What are you talking about?

Jono: “...in the Wilderness of Zin, because you did not hallow me in the midst of the children of Israel. Yet you shall see the land before you, though you shall not go there, into the land which I am giving to the children of Israel.” And that concludes Chapter 32, which is our Torah portion. My goodness.

Keith: That’s awesome. Well, that was good you guys. That was excellent. Folks, thanks for listening to our rant. We’ve only got one more Torah Pearls left now.

Nehemia: Unless we have to do this one the third time. Third witness!

Keith: There is controversy that some people are writing in and saying the only way that they’ll listen if we’d go forward is if we even it out and it’s 33, 33 and 33 as far as the time that we use to speak. So, if we can get to the 33 each, there will be another Torah Pearls.

Jono: I’ve got one more thing to say before we finish...

Nehemia: I’m just checking, and I’ve got the file.

Jono: You’ve got the file.

Nehemia: It’s 134 megabytes. And let me just see if it’s...

Jono: Hey, don’t stop recording. I’m adding something to it.

Nehemia: Oh, I stopped recording; start recording again.

Jono: No, don’t worry about it. This is all I have to say. And that is, Father, open our eyes that we may see wondrous hidden things in your Torah. Amen.

Nehemia: Amen.

Jono: There it is. And so, you’ve been listening to Torah Pearls. This was again, as we mentioned, a tribute to the greatest Torah Pearls in the history of the world. It was lost in cyberspace and so we did it again. So next week! Oh, next week we are in VeZot HaBracha. Is that right?

Nehemia: VeZot Habracha, “this is the blessing”. You know you say the first one was lost? But Yehovah heard that one. We did that one for Him. This one we did for the people.

You have been listening to The Original Torah Pearls with Nehemia Gordon, Keith Johnson and Jono Vandor. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

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17 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #53 – Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52)

  1. All I hope is that when torath YHWH goes forth from zion, enough will be left in Jerusalem to get the rabbinic and atheistic israelis straightened out. But I guess I shouldn’t worry; isn’t that the karaites job to deal with?

  2. God sees your heart. You can not hide. To believe is to do. God hates proud hypocrites. He exalts the meek. Only you can humble yourself. Only you can surrender. His will is better than yours.

  3. Deuteronomy 32:15-21 – prophetic message about Israel (generally, as a people/nation) from which YHVH would hide “His Face” from them. The question becomes, who is YHVH’s Face? I submit His paniym (Face) is the Annointed One, the “unseeable” Father YHVH who became humbled, earthly flesh as Son (carrying on His House), and whom the nation of Israel would become jealous by those “who are not a people/nation” (goy in general, from all nations). This is how Moses was able to speak with Him face to face (Exodus 33:11, Deut. 5:4) despite no one is able to see YHVH in His full glory (Exodus 33:20-23).

    • See also Romans 11:11b re: “But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.” Context is Romans 7-11.

      • On an important side note, verse about the “Rock” vs rock, this includes the Romans who worship through a dead saint, that is Peter, instead of YHVH, The Rock!

    • Who is Yehovah’s face? God is spirit and spirit cannot become flesh neither can it have a face or be anointed. If we read the scriptures plainly they say “…the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and Yehovah would speak with Moses…all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent…thus(meaning, in this way) Yehovah used to speak to Moses face to face…” Exodus 33:9-11

      • Actually in Hebrew it could also mean, mouth to mouth ( as in a conversation before one another ) . I’m really not sure why this is never brought up . In scripture this is unique, we usually see God speak in a vision or a dream is dreamt by the one e is speaking with and God might even ask the receiver a question about what they have seen, but almost always except for with Moses the answers or exchange is always done by an intermediary some form of Malak (messenger) or heavenly malak, a spiritual being .

  4. I appreciate so much your discussion on the ‘Rock’ being Yehovah. The Elephant in the room of Matthew 1613-19 is the ‘Rock’ – Petra that Messiah builds on, not Peter the pebble/petros which Rome claims to have co-opted. Many evangelicals claim that Jesus says he will build on himself, or that he -Jesus is that ‘Rock’ which is in error. Messiah is a corner stone, tried and trued by his Father Yehovah. Job 38:4-6 and Hebrews 3:4-6.

  5. Would love to be a part of a Jewish/Christian congregation that studied common ground in The Word and The Name. Agree with Believer, ignore the negative responses. Everyone is at a different place in their journey. It may not gel right away. It may never gel for some and with others you might plant a seed that grows and helps them grow in their Faith later on. I remember the first class I had that went outside my denominational traditions to look at God in all 66 books of the Bible. What I heard intrigued me… But I wasn’t sure I agreed right away. It took a while to “un- indoctrinate” my mind so that I was able to register what the study of The Word revealed about God, independent of my Denominational doctrines. And I am still a baby, and learning much. That first class was an answer to prayer in my search for better understanding of history and context. And Finding this open study of The Word was an answer to my prayer to better understand Jewish roots. With The little I knew about Jewish beliefs and traditions, I was uncertain I could gain anything by searching for what I thought would be Rabbi interpreted teachings. I really had no idea where to start. I didn’t know anything about Karaites! It was amazing to find the open door series out of all the possible sources I could have stumbled across. Since then, I can’t tell you the number of times I have listened to these recordings and the timing of subjects discussed seemed like God was answering me personally and encouraging me specifically through your studies. Which seems even more amazing since they were all pre-recorded! You all are a Blessing and God is working through you all! I hope you would consider to continue the studies to include “the writings” and more of the New Testament…

  6. I also find it frustrating after listening…everyone claims to have The Truth, and when we pick up that book we do, but then it gets translated into our religious beliefs. I use to be one of those random “believers” claiming The Truth in one of the 33 thousand paths of limited understanding. I grew up Catholic, then I got “saved” became a non-denominational “believers” but much like Nehemiah, I kept butting heads with tradition that went against the Word and The Words of God. Now I am undefined, I just believe. I agree, whether you believe the Word that became flesh or the Word on the page, believe it and live by it, that is being Emanu-joined to Yah, Yah with us, Faithful… No one but YHVH has absolutely Truth. ..and that makes the verses comforting. Justified by FAITH, Not knowledge…

    Keep the Faith! Ignore the haters. I’m glad you all are proclaiming The Word and The Name together from your various background. Worship in Spirit and truth…but we are all trying to get to the Truth part of that….

    If you are ever in DFW, come to our Bible Study on Wednesday morning. I really would like to study with y’all (Texan), my fam and I. We would be honored!!!!

  7. Ha’azinu – the next to last Torah Pearl – has to be one of the most important of all for the info it contains. I have to go back again and take careful notes. Thank you all once again.

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