Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Messianic Commentary: Prophecy Through Jewish Eyes

Messianic Commentary: Prophecy Through Jewish Eyes
Messianic Commentary: Prophecy Through Jewish Eyes
Strange as it may sound, such cardinal beliefs as resurrection from the dead and the Messiah are not to be found in a literal reading of the Bible. Despite this, both are so essential in Judaism and Christianity that negation of either is regarded as heresy.

The fact that the Messiah does not appear literally in the Bible means that he can be perceived only through interpretation. The genre known as “messianic prophecies” therefore essentially consists of drawing messianic significance out of biblical verses.

In contrast to Christianity, which engages in messianic prophecies in order to prove Jesus’ messiahship, Judaism regards them merely as plausible interpretations concerning the Messiah. Unfortunately, this disparity frequently leads to the use of messianic prophecies as a tool to prove the other tradition wrong, both Jews and Christians attempting to claim the truth to be on their side.

This column rejects this form of polemics, seeking instead to examine the many Jewish interpretations of messianic prophecies as a way of enriching one's faith rather than justifying it.

Our first "messianic prophecy" comes from “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 2:4).

The messianic clue in this verse requires a brief explanation. The scribes who copied the biblical text are called sofrim in Hebrew because they “counted” the letters, words, and verses in each book in order to ensure a faultless manuscript. This process revealed numerous irregularities, particularly between plene (full) and defective (short) spellings, Hebrew allowing words to be written with or without vowels.

For example, the word toledot (generations) in this verse can be spelled with or without the letter vav so that it can look like toledot, tledot, toledt, or tledt. These divergences were meticulously copied, not being considered “scribal errors” but intentional spellings hinting at possible hidden meanings.

The plene spelling toledot (generations) in Genesis 2:4 appears only here and Ruth 4:18, the latter verse stating “this is the genealogy (toledot) of Perez.” According to Jewish commentators, this unique spelling is that which links the two genealogies and juxtaposes Adam with the Messiah, the son of Perez.

The Midrash explains why these two are the only places in the Bible which use the plene spelling: “R. Judan said in R. Abun's name: The six [the letter vav, which equals six] corresponds to the six things which were taken away from Adam: his lustre, his immortality, his height, the fruit of the earth, the fruit of trees, and the luminaries … R. Berekiah said in the name of R. Samuel b. Nahman: Though these things were created in their fullness, yet when Adam sinned they were spoiled, and they will not again return to their perfection until the son of Perez [Messiah] comes; [because] ‘… toledot (generations) of Perez’ … is spelled fully, with a vav. These are they: his lustre, his immortality, his height, the fruit of the earth and the fruit of trees, and the luminaries" (Gen. Rabbah 12:6).

This interpretation asserts that Adam's perfect state of being has been lacking in all succeeding generations and will only be restored by the Messiah, who will give man back his primordial splendor. According to this midrash, therefore, the Messiah is the second, perfect Adam.


1 comment:

  1. The interpretation then of messiah is wanting for a true purpose...
    He has already come in the flesh.
    Yeshua did so to prove & answer the need for a perfect sacrificial offering for the altar of the arc of the covenant,which was buried beneath golgatha & was discovered with the validated blood of Messiah...with no earthly father in the dna...deposited upon the mercy seat.
    If one can beleive this minor detail to the crucifixion, the rest begins to make sense ,also.
    any true messianic will appreciate the end of all perfection offered up as the fullfilment of the old testament & the beginning of the new ...
    In addition, we find no other bloodline in the 12 tribes qualified to inherit the throne of David & sit upon the right hand of the Father in heaven.
    The entire state of israel is in most cases too worried about the coming throne in this world to notice that it has already been finished at the cross...with the destruction of the body of Christ as the true temple of the most high God.
    Steven was martyred for his message on that subject.
    To deny the jews actually have a temple upon the earth to rule in is indeed for them, blasphemy & the end of all perfection.

    He has already sat on that throne...theres not going to be another to rule before Him.


Thanks for sharing. Blessings on your head from the Lord Jesus, Yeshua HaMashiach.

Steve Martin
Love For His People
Charlotte, NC USA