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Return of the Stranger

October 4, 2013
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Hi folks;

Sorry I’ve been gone such an excessively long time. Since we last spoke I’ve continued in my walk, growing in knowledge, confidence, and the love of YHWH. I’ve started attending a new fellowship, and I have several Hebrew Roots goals in mind for the upcoming months.

I want to get back to blogging here regularly, I’ve got some new translations of the Bible to review, I’ll be teaching myself Hebrew, and I’m going to read the Bible in chronological order this year.

I look forward to sharing these adventures with you.

G.O.T.S. 2

September 6, 2012

I just returned from a week at Straightway, an intentional community of Torah Observant Believers Headed by Pastor Charles Dowell.  What an awesome time it is being around HIS people.  Time with the saints is among the most relaxing that I have ever found.  If you recall from my first posts, Pastors Dowell and Fox were the men who introduced me to the faith.  Prior to my experience last year, I was only a Christian and only in the sense that I gave mental assent to the Savior, Christ Jesus.  During the last year I have been able to put shoes on my prayers and works into my faith and I have been repeatedly blessed for it.  I cannot stress enough how important it is for us to assemble together as a people so that we may laugh together, learn together, fellowship together, and most importantly, worship together.

Here are some thoughts from my fellow sojourners:

 

You have to find some way to be around the saints. You won’t believe the changes it makes in your life until you do.

Etymology of Totafot

August 1, 2012

While I was researching Tefillin, I came across this interesting article about the etymology or origin of Totafot, which is translated as frontlets in the KJV.

The etymology of Totafot:

Some words, borrowed intact from another language, may be given an equivalent pronunciation. The Englishman speaks of Paris but the Frenchman pronounces the word as Paree. The dialect spoken in Lower Egypt differed from the way some words were pronounced in Upper Egypt, so that an Israelite living in the region of the Delta would hear a word pronounced in the Memphite dialect, which differed from that of Thebes. For example, the letter written as “p” would be pronounced as “f” in the Delta.(2)

[Totafot] is a coined word which had no prior existence before it appeared in Exodus. It is a dual-formed word known to grammarians as a reduplication — where the sound of the first syllable is duplicated in the corresponding syllable of the added word. An example in English would be “hocus-pocus.” The T word is Hebrew but the background is Egyptian. It would have been recognized at, or about, the time of the Exodus by anyone familiar with both languages and with the religion and gods of Lower Egypt. The two elements of the T word are Thoth and Ptah, the names of the primary gods in the Memphis cosmogony. Thoth was sounded without change, whether written in Hebrew or in Egyptian.

Ptah (Phot) was regarded by Egyptians as the creator of the world: all the other lesser gods, including Thoth, were products of his divine will. Thoth was the god of learning and wisdom: he invented writing — the “words of god.” He was the scribe of the gods and the judge of right and wrong in the afterlife.(9)

In ancient Egypt, the practices of medicine and of magic were closely related. Healing often called for incantations, such as the spell for exorcising migraine. That incantation ends with:

“I will make for you the magic amulet of the gods, their names being pronounced on this day inscribed on fine linen and placed on the forehead of the man.”

The God of the Hebrews had fulfilled His prediction that He would execute judgment on those gods. (Ex. 15:16; Num. 33:4). He had humiliated them by the plagues, and showed that they were powerless at the Red Sea. The compound T word presented the ultimate indignity to the chief god, Ptah; it relegated him, the so-called creator of all things, including the lesser gods, to second place, following the name of his scribe, Thoth.

Like Humpty-Dumpty, the gods named in the T word had a great fall from which all of Pharaoh’s horses and men could not rehabilitate them. As the Israelites emerged from the Red Sea and passed through Shur (wall:Egypt.), they carried with them the ironic T word by which the two primary gods of Memphis became, willy- nilly, an eternal symbol certifying to the supreme power and trueness of the God of Israel, and serving as a memorial of the Exodus. (Emphasis mine.)

I suggest that you read the whole article.

 

Edited to correct dead links.

The Last Supper, Passover, Communion, or ?

July 12, 2012

As I said in my post about unleavened bread, my study on The Last Supper shattered some illusions for me.  As a former Lutheran I was raised believing that The Last Supper was where Christ instituted the sacrament of Communion.  There are many in the Hebrew Roots, Messianic, and Israelite movement who believe that it was in fact a Passover Meal. Which was it? Could it have been neither?

There are a lot of arguments for and against both Passover and Communion. I could talk about what wasn’t mentioned in the account of The Last Supper – no lamb, no bitter herbs, etc.  I could talk about how God doesn’t change and, as scripture tells us we are not to do, Yeshua didn’t add anything to the commandments of God, just as he didn’t take away from them.  I could talk about how it was common practice for a Rabbi to have a Passover Meal with his followers the night before the Passover, not on Passover, as the Passover Meal is to be eaten with one’s family.  I could talk about pagan sun-god worshipers who ate sun-shaped (round) disks emblazoned with the tau (a cross).

Instead of doing that, let’s KISS this study and just take it to the word.

In all accounts of The Last Supper, when Jesus broke the bread, the word for bread is the Greek word artos It is Strong’s number G740. It means:

bread, loaf.

From airo; bread (as raised) or a loaf — (shew-)bread, loaf.

see GREEK airo

Wait, raised bread? Don’t we eat unleavened bread at the Passover?  Is it the same word?

No, it isn’t unleavened bread is G106 azumos:

unleavened bread.

From a (as a negative particle) and zume; unleavened, i.e. (figuratively) uncorrupted; (in the neutral plural) specially (by implication) the Passover week — unleavened (bread).

see GREEK a

see GREEK zume

All occurrences of the word “bread” in The New Testament are G740 and all instances of “unleavened bread” are G106.

G740 can also mean shewbread, which was unleavened.  It is necessary  to note that any time that G740 means shewbread it is a compound word with G4286 prothesis:

a setting forth, i.e. (figuratively) proposal (intention); specially, the show-bread (in the Temple) as exposed before God:–purpose, shew(-bread).

Also shewbread was only present in the temple; it was not eaten outside of the Temple.

So if Yeshua and the disciples were eating bread made with leaven, clearly it was not a Passover meal or communion – unleavened bread are required for both.

What was it then? Could it have been a regular evening meal? I think so. To the best of my knowledge, meat wasn’t eaten at every meal in bible times the way we do today in developed countries.  This explains the lack of commentary about meat being eaten as it would have been during a Passover meal.

It is interesting to note that Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states that G740 can be food of any kind:

2. As in Greek writings, and like the Hebrew לֶחֶם, food of any kind

In reading the biblical account of the last supper it is important to remember that a Hebraic day starts at evening, not at morning.  Therefore in Matthew, Mark, and Luke when it says that they went to find a room on the first day of the Feast of Passover – they are talking about the evening before when the Passover Meal would have been eaten, which was actually the same Hebraic date as the day for the eating of Passover.  Until the Passover meal, leavened bread is still acceptable because The Feast of Unleavened Bread doesn’t begin until dark that evening (the beginning of the next Hebraic day).

Should the last supper be celebrated? Yes. Jesus tells us to “Do this in remembrance of me.”  The question is how?

I can think of two ways to do this. The first way is to remember him every time we eat bread or drink wine. The second is to have a meal, as an assembly, the evening before Passover.

As I see it, one could get together with your church or qahal the evening before you celebrate Passover with your family.  At this gathering, you could eat simple foods – definitely including bread and wine, and also fulfill Yeshua’s commandment to wash each other’s feet from John 13.

I think it is perfectly acceptable to do both.

Where, o, where have I been?

July 8, 2012

I apologize to anyone who reads this blog for not being here and posting more often.  I’m too much of a perfectionist about what I write sometimes, and as such, it can take me a really long time to finalize a new post.  Frankly, even after I publish a post, I want to keep going back and editing it.  This is no excuse, but I’ve been really busy with work, and with my garden. This time of year is filled with activity for me and I put the blog on the back burner.

I do have a couple of new studies that I’m going to post soon, (I hope.)  One of them is finished, I’m just waiting for some feedback from a couple friends.  The other is already scheduled and revisits the word “totafot” which we discussed a little bit when we looked at teffilin.

I’m going to get back into the habit of trying to make a commentary on each weeks Torah Portion and, if I can ever get the videos to upload, I’m going to be putting up some videos.  For the most part, they won’t be about the scriptures, but they will show you what I am doing in my life and how the scriptures are motivating me to go and do.

Some of the videos will be instructive on different subjects including home maintenance, gardening, and wilderness skills.

I’m really hopeful that I can get youtube figured out.

Shabbat Shalom!

June 28, 2012

Do not curse the ruler of your land.

June 28, 2012

On days like today I have to remember Ecclesiastes 10:20 & Exodus 22:28

 

Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

 

Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.