The Heavenly High Priest, part 1

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The Heavenly High Priest, part 1

Post by nazarene » Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:03 pm

Angels and Priests.

The priesthood was elevated to the status of angels. There are several sources which demonstrate this;

Mal 2:7 For the lips of the priest should guard knowledge, and they should seek the Law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah of Hosts.

The priest is elevated to the status of being a 'messenger', the Hebrew word can be translated as 'messenger' or 'angel', as an angel is a messenger;

Mal 2:7 For the priest's lips keep wisdom, and they seek the law at his mouth; for he is an angel of the LORD of the hosts.

The above English translation translates the Hebrew word as 'angel', this status is shown in other places;

Rev 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

In Revelation the measure of a man is equated with that of an angel, showing there is no difference.

Philo also makes the connection between the priesthood and angels;

Spec. 1:66 66 I. We ought to look upon the universal world as the highest and truest temple of God, having for its most holy place that most sacred part of the essence of all existing things, namely, the heaven; and for ornaments, the stars; and for priests, the subordinate ministers of his power, namely, the angels, incorporeal souls, not beings compounded of irrational and rational natures, such as our bodies are, but such as have the irrational parts wholly cut out, being absolutely and wholly intellectual, pure reasonings, resembling the unit.

This connection is also made in the dead sea scrolls speaking of the priesthood;

... May you be as an Angel of the Presence in the Abode of Holiness to the glory of the God of [hosts] ...May you attend upon the service in the Temple of the Kingdom and decree destiny in company with the Angels of the Presence, in common council [with the Holy Ones] for everlasting ages and time without end; for [all] His judgements are [truth]! May He make you holy among His people, and an [eternal] light [to illumine] the world with knowledge and to enlighten the face of the Congregation [with wisdom]! [May He] consecrate you to the Holy of Holies! For [you are made] holy for Him and you shall glorify His Name and His holiness …

Yochanan the immerser was of the line of Levi, when Yeshua describes Yochanan he connects him to a passage from Malachi;

Mat 11:8 But what did you go out to see? A man being clothed in soft garments? Behold, those wearing soft things are in the houses of kings.
Mat 11:9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one more excellent than a prophet.
Mat 11:10 For this is the one about whom it has been written: "Behold, I send out My messenger before Your face, who shall prepare Your way before You." Mal. 3:1

Malachi speaks of a messenger/angel who was to come;

Mal 3:1 Behold, I send My messenger, and he shall clear the way before Me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to His temple, and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in, behold, he cometh, saith the LORD of hosts.

This connection makes sense in light of the other sources, of an elevated, even quasi angelic like status of the priesthood.

It was believed in the second Temple period and after that Adam was part earthly and part heavenly, Philo in the first century says;

QG 1:51 51 What is the meaning of the expression, "Until thou returnest to the earth from which thou wast taken;" for man was not created out of the earth alone, but also of the divine Spirit? [Genesis 3:18]. 51. In the first place it is clear, that the first man who was formed out of the earth was made up both of earth and heaven; but because he did not continue uncorrupt, but despised the commandment of God, fleeing from the most excellent part, namely, from heaven, he gave himself up wholly as a slave to the earth, the denser and heavier element. In the second place, if any one burns with a desire of virtue, which makes the soul immortal, he, beyond all question, attains to a heavenly inheritance; but because he was covetous of pleasure, by which spiritual death is engendered, he again gives himself over a second time to the earth, on which account it is said to him, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return;" therefore the earth, as it is the beginning of a wicked and depraved man, so also it is his end; but heaven is the beginning and end of him who is endowed with virtue.

And later rabbinical writing also makes the connection;

Now all that you see are the offspring of heaven and earth, as it is said, In the beginning 'Elohim created the heaven and the earth. On the second day, His creations were of the celestial world: And 'Elohim said Let there be a firmament, etc. (Gen. 1.6); on the third, they were of the terrestrial: And 'Elohim said: Let the earth put forth grass (ib. 11); on the fourth, of the celestial: Let there be light (ib. 14); the fifth, of the terrestrial: Let the waters swarm etc (ib. 20). On the sixth day, He came to create man. Said He: If I create him belonging to the celestial world, this will outnumber the terrestrial by one creation, and there will be no peace in the universe; while if he is of the terrestrial world it will be likewise. But Lo! I will create him as partaking of both the celestial and the terrestrial worlds, for the sake of peace.' Hence it is written, Then the Lord 'Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (ib, 2:7), which is of the upper world. And so Resh Lakish cited: Dominion and fear are with Him; He maketh peace in His high places (Job xxv, 2) Genesis Rabbah 12:8

The connection between man being part earthly and part heavenly coupled together with the elevated angelic status would work towards an eschatological belief in a heavenly High Priest.

With this in mind it helps us understand why the High Priest when he entered into the Holy of Holies was no longer considered a man, as Philo relates in relating how Leviticus 16:17 was understood in the first century;

Somn. 2:189 189 "for when," the scripture says, "the high priest goes into the Holy of Holies he will not be a man." [Leviticus xvi. 17.] What then will he be if he is not a man? Will he be God? I would not venture to say that (for the chief prophet, Moses, did receive the inheritance of this name while he was still in Egypt, being called "the god of Pharaoh;") [Exodus vii. 1] nor again is he man, but he touches both these extremities as if he touched both the feet and the head.

Somn. 2:231 231 And there is something which closely resembles this in the passage of scripture concerning the high priest; "For when," says the scripture, "he goes into the holy of holies, he will not be a man till he has gone out again." [Leviticus xvi. 17.] But if at that time he is not a man, it is clear that he is not God either, but a minister of God, belonging as to his mortal nature to creation, but as to his immortal nature to the uncreate God.

This approach of understanding Leviticus 16:17 is also found in later rabbinical writing in Midrash Rabbah Leviticus.

Given the priestly elevation given to the assembly [1 Peter 2:5] this link between angels and the priesthood could also explain the face of Stephen;

Act 6:15 Then all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as the face of an angel.

Stephen being before the High Priest [Acts 7:1] his face seems to be a demonstration of what the High Priest, and those around him, should have been exalted to in an 'ironic' twist.

In the dead sea scrolls Melchizedek is presented as an eschatological High Priest, exalted to bring about the redemptive plan of the Most High.

II... And concerning that which He said, In [this] year ofJubilee [each of you shall return to his property (Lev. xxv, 13); and likewise, And this is the manner of release:]
every creditor shall release that which he has lent [to his neighbour. He shall not exact it of his neighbour and his brother], for God’s release [has been proclaimed] (Deut. xv, 2). [And it will be proclaimed at] the end of days concerning the captives as [He said,To proclaim liberty to the captives (Isa. lxi, 1). Its interpretation is that He] will assign them to the Sons of Heaven and to the inheritance of Melchizedek; f[or He will cast] their [lot] amid the po[rtions of Melchize]dek, who will return them there and will proclaim to them liberty, forgiving them [the wrong-doings] of all their iniquities. And this thing will [occur] in the first week of the Jubilee that follows the nine Jubilees. And the Day of Atonement is the e[nd of the] tenth [Ju]bilee, when all the Sons of [Light] and the men of the lot of Mel[chi]zedek will be atoned for. [And] a statute concerns them [to prov]ide them with their rewards. For this is the moment of the Year of Grace for Melchizedek. [And h]e will, by his strength, judge the holy ones of God, executing judgement as it is written concerning him in the Songs of David, who said, ELOHIM
has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgement (Psalms lxxxii,1). And it was concerning him that he said, (Let the assembly of the
peoples) return to the height above them; EL (god) will judge the peoples (Psalms vii, 7-8). As for that which he s[aid, How long will you] judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah (Psalms lxxxii,2), its interpretation concerns Belial and the spirits of his lot [who] rebelled by turning away from the precepts of God to ... And Melchizedek will avenge the vengeance of the judgements of God...and he will drag [them from the hand of] Belial and from the hand of all the sp[irits of] his [lot]. And all the ‘gods [of Justice’] will come to his aid [to] attend to the de[struction] of Belial. And the height is ... all the sons of God... this ... This is the day of [Peace/Salvation] concerning which [God] spoke [through Isa]iah the prophet, who said, [How] beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion: Your ELOHIM [reigns] (Isa. lii, 7). Its interpretation; the mountains are the prophets... and the messenger is the Anointed one of the spirit, concerning whom Dan[iel] said, [Until an anointed one, a prince (Dan. ix, 25)] ... [And he who brings] good [news], who proclaims [salvation]: it is concerning him that it is written... [To comfort all who mourn, to grant to those who mourn in Zion] (Isa. lxi, 2-3). To comfort [those who mourn: its interpretation], to make them
understand all the ages of t[ime] ... In truth ... will turn away from Belial... by the judgement[s] of God, as it is written concerning him, [who says to Zion]; your ELOHIM reigns. Zion is ..., those who uphold the Covenant, who turn from walking [in] the way of the people. And your ELOHIM is [Melchizedek, who will save them from] the hand of Belial. As for that which He said, Then you shall send abroad the trump[et in] all the land (Lev. Xxv, 9) [11Q13]

The Scriptures do certainly leave a door open for an expectation of a priest who would have authority;

Neh 7:65 And the governor said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.

Ezr 2:63 And the governor said to them that they should not eat of the most holy things until a priest stood up with Urim and Thummim.

With the elevated status ascribed to the priesthood, an expectation that a priest with an authority would arise and that man is earthly and heavenly, a belief in an exalted, even heavenly High Priest suddenly becomes more reasonable.
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Re: The Heavenly High Priest, part 2

Post by nazarene » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:38 pm

Two stage formation.

It was understood that Adam was made of both the Heavens [breath] and the Earth [dust]. The High Priest as has been demonstrated was a microcosm of the universe, the Heavens and the Earth, this connection ultimately goes back to Adam. Creation itself is a series of separations/constructions and then a filling of those separations/constructions, a two stage formation.

This two stage formation is also found in the formation of Adam. He is taken from the dust [Earth] and then breath [from Heavens] is given to him. In other words, he is constructed [of earth] then filled [with breath]. Adam is 'born' from the same material [earth] as the animals and 'born' from the same material that formed the Heavens.

Adam is connected to the Creation around him, whether it be of the Earth or in the Heavens. This two stage formation is later used in the Tabernacle account. In the Tabernacle account in Exodus the Tabernacle is first constructed and then filled. It has already been shown that the Tabernacle was connected with the universe recalling Creation, what is additionally significant is the relationship between the materials used to create the High Priestly garments and their connection to the Tabernacle itself. The clothing of the High Priests is made from materials which are also used to create the Tabernacle itself.

Josephus speaking about the colours of the High Priestly garments says this;

The Jewish War 5:232 232 But that belt that tied the garment to the breast was embroidered with five rows of various colours, of gold, and purple, and scarlet, as also of fine linen and blue, with which colours, we told you before, the veils of the temple were embroidered also.

A closer examination of the materials used in the High Priestly garments shows that there is a link between the materials used to both the Tabernacle and the garments.

The formation of Creation and Adam, using a two stage formation [forming and filling] lays down the framework for the formation and filling of the Tabernacle. A comparison of Exodus 25:1-31:11 [where the construction of the Tabernacle is spoken of] to Exodus 40 [where the Tabernacle is risen up] then forges a link between Adam, the Temple, and the High Priest.

Seen in this light Adam sets the stage for what the High Priest later comes to represent connecting the two together.
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Re: The Heavenly High Priest, part 3

Post by nazarene » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:16 pm

The warrior Priest.

In Genesis 1:26-28 Adam was to rule [i.e. radah] over the living creatures. To 'radah' means to tread down [with ones foot]. This implies that something needed to be conquered, subdued before Adam had total dominion over the Earth. Is there any figure that we see as an adversary in Genesis 1-3? The serpent certainly would fulfill the requirement for an adversarial figure, whether he was one of many, we are left to ponder. Furthermore one of the roles of Adam was to 'keep' or 'guard' the Garden [Genesis 2:15]. These two aspects reinforce that the Earth was not immediately given over to Adam, his dominion was still to be achieved.

The aspect of treading down with ones foot to obtain rule takes on heightened significance when read with Genesis 3 in mind. In Genesis 3 the serpent was to 'bruise' the heel of the seed of the woman. The heel being connected to a foot, and so, in harming the heel there is resistance against the foot that treads down. The Judgement of the Most High in Genesis 3:15 is then directly related to Genesis 1. If Adam is read within a priestly context then his 'mandate' to subdue the earth and tread down the animals also takes on a priestly context.

Adam was to serve the ground, the Hebrew word עבד means to serve, also translated as to 'work' or 'dress', and so Adam was to לעבדה serve the ground of the Garden [Genesis 2:15]. Adam was a servant. We know that Adam was not deceived [1 Timothy 2:14], yet he still ate from the fruit of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. By her own adminssion Chavah was deceived [Genesis 3:13], yet we are also made aware of a conversation between Adam and Chavah prior to Adam eating the fruit given to him by Chavah. In Genesis 3:17 we are told that Adam 'listened to the voice' of his wife. What was said the verses do not tell us, however, there is some first century evidence of a tradition of what was said, as Josephus relates;

Antiquities of the Jews 1:49 49 But God allotted him punishment, because he weakly submitted to the counsel of his wife; and said the ground should not henceforth yield its fruits of its own accord, but that when it should be harassed by their labour, it should bring forth some of its fruits, and refuse to bring forth others. He also made Eve liable to the inconvenience of childbirth, and the sharp pains of bringing forth children; and this because she persuaded Adam with the same arguments wherewith the serpent had persuaded her, and had thereby brought him into a calamitous condition.

Adam was persuaded with the same arguments which the serpent persuaded Chavah with. The only difference, if we accept the apostle Paul's words was that Adam was not deceived [counter to Josephus who says that Adam was deceived]. If we accept that Adam listened to the voice of his wife, and she used the same arguments that the serpent used on her, this would certainly have implications for the three temptations that Yeshua, the last Adam, has to overcome. Adam, the servant, if not deceived by his wife, nor the serpent, must have been motivated for another reason. We know that he was to eventually subdue the Earth and rule over all the living creatures on it, so he was a servant but only king in waiting, a servant-prince.

The offer to become 'elohim [i.e. gods] would certainly lead to an exalted state beyond that of a servant-prince and given the information that we have, it would seem that by eating of the fruit, Adam self exalted himself to a position that was not meant for him yet. This self exaltation then dislodges one of the two main purposes given to Adam in the Garden. The main purposes for Adam to be in the Garden was to 'serve' and 'guard'. By deceiving Chavah, and tempting Adam with the same arguments the serpent turned one of the core purposes of Adam on its head. The second victory was soon to follow. Whether or not for the first time, Adam feared [Genesis 3:10], this fear began to dislodge the second purpose of Adam in the Garden, to be a guardian. When questioned about who had told him that he was naked, Adam places the blame on his wife Chavah [and by implication the Most High, Genesis 3:12 ]. In guarding the Garden, he would also have to protect everything inside the Garden, and instead of acting as the husband, bravely willing to take the blame, and ultimately the death penalty for his wife, he instead passes the blame to his wife. In his now self imposed exalted state, his role of guardian of the Garden is stripped from him and given to the Cherubim [Genesis 3:24], the same Hebrew word applied to Adam is given to the Cherubim. The Cherubim later are connected to the Tabernacle via the Mercy Seat and Shlomo's Temple. This would also add to the priestly context of the role of Adam in 'guarding' the Garden. Both words connected with the role of Adam to 'work it and guard it' also have priestly connections later on in the Torah.

Adam however is not stripped of his servant role, as again the Hebrew word that is given to Adam for his work in the Garden is also given to him in his exiled state outside of the Garden [Genesis 3:23]. The purpose of this role would humble Adam to his true purpose, and turn on its head his self imposed so called exalted status of being an 'elohim with which the serpent tempted Chavah with. That Adam was still to be a guardian of his wife is now imposed upon Adam directly, as he would 'rule over' his wife, and her longing would be towards him. This would encourage Adam not to be passive, but to be a defender, protector, guardian of his wife in the future. Whilst at the same time focus her desires away from such things as had happened with the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil [Genesis 3:6] to him thus encouraging her not to repeat the sin of the Garden.

Through fear of death Adam passed on the blame to his wife, this narrative of fear of losing one's life or suffering loss for the sake of their wife is then repeated throughout the book of Genesis [Genesis 12:12, 20:11, 26:7, 26:9, 31:31] repeating the central theme from the Garden and bringing to mind the sin of Adam.
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Re: The Heavenly High Priest, part 4

Post by nazarene » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:59 pm

A Kingly Adam.

To have dominion over the Earth, would imply kingship. But there is another aspect that links Adam to being a King, his formation from the dust. Within the T'nach there is a connection between being raised up from the dust and kingship, more than one place shows this;

1Sa_2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.

1Ki_16:2 Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins;

Adam being raised from the dust, exalted out of the dust, now takes on a kingly aspect.

In the first century Philo believed that Adam was a king;

Opif. 1:148 148 LII. And with great beauty Moses has attributed the giving of names to the different animals to the first created man, for it is a work of wisdom and indicative of royal authority, and man was full of intuitive wisdom and self-taught, having been created by the grace of God, and, moreover, was a king. And it is proper for a ruler to give names to each of his subjects. And, as was very natural, the power of domination was excessive in that first-created man, whom God formed with great care and thought worthy of the second rank in the creation, making him his own viceroy and the ruler of all other creatures. Since even those who have been born so many generations afterwards, when the race is becoming weakened by reason of the long intervals of time that have elapsed since the beginning of the world, do still exert the same power over the irrational beasts, preserving as it were a spark of the dominion and power which has been handed down to them by succession from their first ancestor.

There are at-least three figures we can turn to that can show that a priest-king is permissible. The first is Melchizedek [Genesis 14:18], who was both king and priest, there is Mosheh who although not called a priest in the Torah is counted among the priests outside the Torah [Psalms 99:6] and by traditional interpretation was also considered a king, and David. David like Mosheh performed priestly activities, these activities included: sacrifice [2 Samuel 6:13], wearing the epod [6:14], pitching a Tent for the Ark [6:17], sacrifices in the Tent [6:17], blessing the people [6:18], distributing the bread to the people [6:19] just like Melchizedek who also distributed bread.

Given these roles were in these three figures it would also be permissible for Adam to be a priest-king.
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Re: The Heavenly High Priest, part 5

Post by nazarene » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:27 am

A Prophet High Priest.

Aaron was not only a High Priest, but he was also a prophet [Exodus 7:1]. In first century judaism this link between a High Priest and prophesy was understood to have continued on, Josephus gives us some examples of the High Priest prophesying;

Antiquities of the Jews 5:119-120 119 He was buried in the city of Timnath, of the tribe of Ephraim About the same time died Eleazar the high priest, leaving the high priesthood to his son Phinehas. His monument also, and sepulchre, are in the city of Gabbatha. 120 After the death of Joshua and Eleazar, Phinehas prophesied, that according to God's will they should commit the government to the tribe of Judah, and that this tribe should kill the race of the Canaanites; for then the people were concerned to learn what was the will of God. They also took to their assistance the tribe of Simeon; but upon this condition, that when those who had been tributary to the tribe of Judah should be slain, they should do the like for the tribe of Simeon.

Antiquities of the Jews 7:76 76 The king of Israel therefore inquired of God again concerning the event of the battle; and the high priest prophesied to him, that he should keep his army in the groves, called the Groves of Weeping, which were not far from the enemy's camp, and that he should not move, nor begin to fight, till the trees of the grove should be in motion without the wind's blowing;

Antiquities of the Jews 6:254 254 When the king had made this speech, not one of the rest of those who were present made any answer; but Doeg the Syrian, who fed his mules, said, that he saw David when he came to the city of Nob to Ahimelech the high priest, and that he learned future events by his prophesying; that he received food from him, and the sword of Goliath, and was conducted by him with security to such as he desired to go to.

Also Philo connects being a priest to the role of prophecy;

Spec. 4:192 192 and perhaps because the real genuine priest is at once also a prophet, having attained to the honor of being allowed to see the only true and living God, not more by reason of his birth than by reason of his virtue. And to a prophet there is nothing unknown, since he has within himself the sun of intelligence, and rays which are never overshadowed, in order to a most accurate comprehension of those things which are invisible to the outward senses, but intelligible to the intellect.

That the High Priest could Prophesy was also applied to the High Priesthood in the first century, in the Gospel of Yochanan we have this;

John 11:49-52 49 But one of them, Kayafa, who was cohen gadol that year, said to them, "You people don't know anything! 50 You don't see that it's better for you if one man dies on behalf of the people, so that the whole nation won't be destroyed." 51 Now he didn't speak this way on his own initiative; rather, since he was cohen gadol that year, he was prophesying that Yeshua was about to die on behalf of the nation, 52 and not for the nation alone, but so that he might gather into one the scattered children of God.

Whether intentional or unintentional prophesy is being attributed to the High Priest, but given that the High Priesthood was already being connected with prophecy this would make sense.

Did Adam prophesy?

Eph 5:29 For no one ever hated his own body; but nourisheth it, and provideth for it, even as the Messiah the church.
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body and of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31 For this reason, a man should quit his father and his mother, and adhere to his wife; and the two should be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery; but I am speaking of the Messiah, and of his church.

The apostle Paul is citing from Genesis;

Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

He is saying there is a great mystery in these verses, verse 23 says “And Adam said”, whether intentional or unintentional the apostle Paul is saying that Adam here is expounding a great prophetic mystery.

Whether verse 24 came from Adam or the Most High depends on our reading of Matthew 19:4-5;

Mat 19:4 And he answering said to them, `Did ye not read, that He who made them , from the beginning a male and a female made them,
Mat 19:5 and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall be--the two--for one flesh?

A case could be made that the phrase 'And said' could relate to the Most High in the preceding verse, but another way to understand this is 'said' simply relates to what Adam said. An easy way out of this would be to suggest that Adam, as the spokesperson for the Most High, was being used as a vessel to speak the Words of the Most High. This does bring up an interesting situation, if Adam is the one speaking, and he knew what he was prophesying then that would certainly change our perception of the events in the Garden.

However we understand it, the apostle Paul is attributing Prophecy to Adam, in line with how Prophecy was being connected to the High Priest.

Paul was not the only one who attributed prophecy to Adam, Josephus also attributes prophecy to Adam;

Antiquities of the Jews 1:70 70 And that their inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam's prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars, the one of brick, the other of stone: they inscribed their discoveries on them both,
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Re: The Heavenly High Priest, part 1

Post by nazarene » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:51 pm

Gan Eden as the Holy of Holies...

In the second Temple period Gan Eden was associated with the Holy of Holies and sacrifices. Three main sources which show this include the book of Jubilees, the dead sea scrolls and the life of Adam and Eve.

Jubilees 8:18......And Noah rejoiced that this portion came forth for Shem and for his sons, and he remembered all that he had spoken with his mouth in prophecy; for he had said: ’Blessed be the Lord God of Shem And may the Lord dwell in the dwelling of Shem.’ 19 And he knew that the Garden of Eden is the holy of holies, and the dwelling of the Lord, and Mount Sinai the centre of the desert, and Mount Zion -the centre of the navel of the earth: these three 20 were created as holy places facing each other. …...

As Gan Eden is called the Holy of Holies this would obviously associate it with the Tabernacle/Temple, this would place Adam in a priestly context, even to the point where he becomes associated with making offerings;

Jubilees 3:26... And He made for them coats of skin, and clothed them, and sent them forth from 27 the Garden of Eden. And on that day on which Adam went forth from the Garden, he offered as a sweet savour an offering, frankincense, galbanum, and stacte, and spices in the morning with the 28 rising of the sun from the day when he covered his shame.....

The book of Jubilees ascribes holiness to Gan Eden and because of its holiness its sanctity becomes important and noting that Adam was created outside of the garden and then placed within it the book of Jubilees reasons that this was for purity issues...

Jubilees 3:7 [my] wife; because she was taken from her husband.’ Therefore shall man and wife be one and therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave unto his wife, and they shall be 8 one flesh. In the first week was Adam created, and the rib -his wife: in the second week He showed her unto him: and for this reason the commandment was given to keep in their defilement, 9 for a male seven days, and for a female twice seven days. And after Adam had completed forty days in the land where he had been created, we brought him into the garden of Eden to till and keep it, but his wife they brought in on the eightieth day, and after this she entered into the garden 10 of Eden. And for this reason the commandment is written on the heavenly tablets in regard to her that gives birth: ’if she bears a male, she shall remain in her uncleanness seven days according to the first week of days, and thirty and three days shall she remain in the blood of her purifying, and she shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor enter into the sanctuary, until she accomplishes these 11 days which (are enjoined) in the case of a male child. But in the case of a female child she shall remain in her uncleanness two weeks of days, according to the first two weeks, and sixty-six days 12 in the blood of her purification, and they will be in all eighty days.’ And when she had completed these eighty days we brought her into the garden of Eden, for it is holier than all the earth besides and 13 every tree that is planted in it is holy. Therefore, there was ordained regarding her who bears a male or a female child the statute of those days that she should touch no hallowed thing, nor 14 enter into the sanctuary until these days for the male or female child are accomplished. This is the law and testimony which was written down for Israel, in order that they should observe (it) all the days.....

The same purity concerns and the belief that Gan Eden was Holy is also contained in the dead sea scrolls;

vacat In the first week [Adam was created... until] he was not brought to the garden of Eden and a bone [from his bones was taken to become the woman] .... but she (Eve) had [no name (?)] until she was not brought to him (Adam) ... For holy is a garden of Eden, and every fresh shoot that is in it is holy [as it is written, If a woman conceives and bears a male child,] then she shall be unclean for seven days; as at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean (Lev. xii, 2).Then [she shall continue for] thi[rty-three days in the blood] of her purifying (Lev. xii, 4).But if she bears a female child, [then she shall be unclean two weeks as in her menstruation. And she shall contin]ue in the blood of her purifying[for sixty-six days(Lev. xii, 5).She shall not touch] any hallowed things, nor come into the Sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed](Lev. Xii, 4) (4Q265) Fr. 7

Outside of the book of Jubilees and the dead sea scrolls, the Life of Adam and Eve also connects Gan Eden to sacrificial themes, seen in light of the book of Jubilees and the dead sea scrolls we have Adam being placed into a priestly and Temple/Tabernacle context;

And having thus said, the Lord commanded us to be cast out of paradise. And your father wept before the angels over against paradise. And the angels say to him, What dost thou wish that we should do for thee, Adam? And your father answered and said to the angels, Behold, you cast me out. I beseech you, allow me to take sweet odours out of paradise, in order that, after I go out, I may offer sacrifice to God, that God may listen to me. Life of Adam and Eve.

If Adam had access to the Holy of Holies, then surely, the implication is that Adam was seen as a High Priest.

Philo also connects Temple imagery to the body of Adam;

Opif. 1:137 137 The second consideration is that it is not likely that God made this figure in the present form of a man, working with the most sublime care, after he had taken the clay from any chance portion of earth, but that he selected carefully the most excellent clay of all the earth, of the pure material choosing the finest and most carefully sifted portion, such as was especially fit for the formation of the work which he had in hand. For it was an abode or sacred temple for a reasonable soul which was being made, the image of which he was about to carry in his heart, being the most God-like looking of images.
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Re: The Heavenly High Priest, part 1

Post by nazarene » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:06 pm


In Revelation the [re]new[ed] Jerusalem is described;

Rev 21:2 and I, John, saw the holy city--new Jerusalem--coming down from God out of the heaven, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband;

Further on this [re]new[ed] Jerusalem has its own tree of Life, merging Eden and Jerusalem together;

Rev 22:2 in the midst of its broad place, and of the river on this side and on that, is a tree of life, yielding twelve fruits, in each several month rendering its fruits, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations;

There was an expectation in the Prophets that Jerusalem would become a new Eden;

Isa 51:3 For Jehovah hath comforted Zion, He hath comforted all her wastes, And He setteth her wilderness as Eden, And her desert as a garden of Jehovah, Joy, yea, gladness is found in her, Confession, and the voice of song.

Eze 36:35 And they have said: This land, that was desolated, Hath been as the garden of Eden, And the cities--the wasted, And the desolated, and the broken down, Fenced places have remained.

Within this Jerusalem-Eden there also was an expectation for a priesthood;

Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called terebinths of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, wherein He might glory.
Isa 61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall renew the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
Isa 61:5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and aliens shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
Isa 61:6 But ye shall be named the priests of the LORD, men shall call you the ministers of our God; ye shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their splendour shall ye revel.

This is what we also see in Revelation, that a priesthood would now have access to this Jerusalem-Eden;

Rev 22:3 and any curse there shall not be any more, and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him,
Rev 22:4 and they shall see His face, and His name is upon their foreheads,

That the Name of the Most High would be on their foreheads would bring to mind the High Priest;

Exo 28:36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and engrave upon it, like the engravings of a signet: HOLY TO THE LORD.
Exo 28:37 And thou shalt put it on a thread of blue, and it shall be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.
Exo 28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, and Aaron shall bear the iniquity committed in the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow, even in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

Those who have access to this Jerusalem-Eden will be High Priests. Given that the Garden of Eden was seen as the Holy of Holies in the second Temple period, this would make sense. Also, the implication is that, Adam was considered to be a High Priest, as he had access to Gan Eden.
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Re: The Heavenly High Priest, part 1

Post by nazarene » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:13 pm


Yeshua, the warrior High Priest.

There are four Scriptures which describe a Judgement of the Most High has a sacrifice. The four Scriptures are as follows: Isaiah 34:6, Jeremiah 46:10, Zephaniah 1:7-8 and Ezekiel 39:17.

Each of these Scriptures uses the Hebrew word for 'sacrifice' זבח.

Below each Scripture is cited;

Isa 34:5 For My sword is drenched in the heavens. Behold, it shall come down on Edom, and on the people of My curse, for judgment.
Isa 34:6 A sword is to Jehovah; it is filled with blood; it is made fat with fatness, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For Jehovah has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
Isa 34:6 חרב ליהוה מלאה דם הדשׁנה מחלב מדם כרים ועתודים מחלב כליות אילים כי זבח ליהוה בבצרה וטבח גדול בארץ אדום׃
Isa 34:7 And wild oxen shall come down with them, and bulls with strong bulls; and their land is drenched with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
Isa 34:8 For the day of vengeance is to Jehovah, the year of repayments for Zion's cause.

Jer 46:10 For this is the day of the Lord Jehovah of Hosts, a day of vengeance, that He may avenge Himself of His foes. And the sword shall devour, and be sated, and made drunk with their blood, for there is a sacrifice to the Lord Jehovah of Hosts in the north country by the river Euphrates.

Jer 46:10 והיום ההוא לאדני יהוה צבאות יום נקמה להנקם מצריו ואכלה חרב ושׂבעה ורותה מדמם כי זבח לאדני יהוה צבאות בארץ צפון אל־נהר־פרת׃

Zep 1:7 Be silent before the face of the Lord Jehovah, for the day of Jehovah is near. For Jehovah has appointed a sacrifice; He has consecrated ones He called.
Zep 1:8 And it shall be in the day of the sacrifice of Jehovah, I will punish the rulers and the king's sons, and all those clothed in foreign clothing.

Zep 1:7 הס מפני אדני יהוה כי קרוב יום יהוה כי־הכין יהוה זבח הקדישׁ קראיו׃
Zep 1:8 והיה ביום זבח יהוה ופקדתי על־השׂרים ועל־בני המלך ועל כל־הלבשׁים מלבושׁ נכרי׃

Eze 39:17 And you, son of man, So says the Lord Jehovah: Say to the bird of every wing, and to every beast of the field: Gather yourselves and come, collect yourselves from all around to My sacrifice which I sacrifice for you, a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, so that you may eat flesh and drink blood.
Eze 39:17 ואתה בן־אדם כה־אמר אדני יהוה אמר לצפור כל־כנף ולכל חית השׂדה הקבצו ובאו האספו מסביב על־זבחי אשׁר אני זבח לכם זבח גדול על הרי ישׂראל ואכלתם בשׂר ושׁתיתם דם׃
Eze 39:18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the rulers of the earth, of rams, lambs, goats, and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
Eze 39:19 And you shall eat fat until satiated, and drink blood until drunkenness, of My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
Eze 39:20 And you shall be satiated at My table with horses and chariots, and mighty men, all the men of war, declares the Lord Jehovah.
Eze 39:21 And I will put My glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see My judgments which I have done, and My hand that I have laid on them.

Each set of Scriptures either speak of a time of Vengeance, the Day of YHWH, or a time when the nations will suffer an eschatological defeat. This defeat/judgement is spoken in terms of a sacrifice, where the nations themselves become the sacrifice.

If there is a sacrifice then logically there would need to be a priest to perform that sacrifice.

The next five posts will argue that Yeshua is the High Priest warrior king who brings about the eschatological sacrifice of the nations in Revelation 19.
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Re: The Heavenly High Priest, part 1

Post by nazarene » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:16 pm


There is first century evidence to demonstrate that the High Priest was called the Word of 'Elohim;

Fug. 1:108 108 This difficult and scarcely explicable perplexity we may escape if we adopt the inner and allegorical explanation in accordance with natural philosophy. For we say that the high priest is not a man, but is the word of God, who has not only no participation in intentional errors, but none even in those which are involuntary.

Somn. 1:215 215 For there are, as it seems, two temples belonging to God; one being this world, in which the high priest is the divine word, his own first-born son. The other is the rational soul, the priest of which is the real true man, the copy of whom, perceptible to the senses, is he who performs his paternal vows and sacrifices, to whom it is enjoined to put on the aforesaid tunic, the representation of the universal heaven, in order that the world may join with the man in offering sacrifice, and that the man may likewise co-operate with the universe.

Rev 19:13 and having been clothed in a garment which had been dipped in blood. And His name is called The Word of God.

This may indicate that the title that Yeshua is given in Revelation 19 is a High Priestly title.

To support the usage of this title and presenting Yeshua as High Priest, we shall now turn to Revelation 1.

Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice which spoke with me.
Rev 1:13 And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, having been clothed to the feet, and having been girded with a golden girdle at the breasts.

In verse 13 there are 'seven golden lampstands', how exactly should we read this description? One way would be to understand it as seven separate lampstands. However, was this the way it was intended to be read?

Josephus [writing in the first century] also gives us a description of the lampstand;

Antiquities of the Jews 3:182 182 And when he ordered twelve loaves to be set on the table, he denoted the year, as distinguished into so many months. By branching out the lampstand into seventy parts, he secretly intimated the Decani, or seventy divisions of the planets; and as to the seven lamps upon the lampstands, they referred to the course of the planets, of which that is the number.

According to Josephus there are seven lamps upon the lampstands [plural]. He is describing a singular lampstand with seven lampstands protruding out of the branches with lamps further protruding out of each lampstand.

This description gives us the interpretive option to interpret 'seven lampstands' not as individual lampstands, but smaller lampstands on the branches extending from the singular golden lampstand.

The lampstand is Temple imagery, we are then given a description of the clothing of Yeshua;

Rev 1:13 And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, having been clothed to the feet, and having been girded with a golden girdle at the breasts.

In the first century the High Priest was associated with golden clothing, as Josephus demonstrates;

Antiquities of the Jews 3:159 159 The high priest is indeed adorned with the same garments that we have described without abating one; only over these he puts on a vestment of a blue. This also is a long robe, reaching to his feet, [in our language it is called Meeir] , and is tied round with a belt, embroidered with the same colours and flowers as the former, with a mixture of gold interwoven.

The Jewish War 5:232 232 But that belt that tied the garment to the breast was embroidered with five rows of various colours, of gold, and purple, and scarlet, as also of fine linen and blue, with which colours, we told you before, the veils of the temple were embroidered also.

The girdle is a belt or band;

Revelation 1:13 13 and among the menorahs was someone like a Son of Man, wearing a robe down to his feet and a gold band around his chest.

Yeshua then is standing in the midst of the lampstands [Temple imagery] and wearing High Priestly clothing [Temple/Priestly imagery].

Yeshua is also standing in the middle of the lampstands;

Revelation 1:13 13 And in the middle of them one like a son of man, clothed with a robe down to his feet, and with a band of gold round his breasts.

Why the middle? In the second Temple period planets were also considered stars;

Mos. 2:103 103 and in all the seven there were seven candles and seven lights, being symbols of those seven stars which are called planets by those men who are versed in natural philosophy; for the sun, like the candlestick, being placed in the middle of the other six, in the fourth rank, gives light to the three planets which are above him, and to those of equal number which are below him, adapting to circumstances the musical and truly divine instrument.

Not only does Philo inform us that the planets are stars [with elsewhere a distinction between ones that move and fixed stars] but he also explains that the lampstand was to bring to mind the seven planets with the sun in the middle.

Josephus also makes the same connection writing later in the first century;

Antiquities of the Jews 3:182 182 And when he ordered twelve loaves to be set on the table, he denoted the year, as distinguished into so many months. By branching out the lampstand into seventy parts, he secretly intimated the Decani, or seventy divisions of the planets; and as to the seven lamps upon the lampstands, they referred to the course of the planets, of which that is the number.

Antiquities of the Jews 3:144-146 144 Opposite this table, near the southern wall, was set a lampstand of cast gold, hollow within, being of the weight of one hundred pounds, which the Hebrews call Chinchares; if it be turned into the Greek language, it denotes a talent. 145 It was made with its knops, and lilies, and pomegranates, and bowls (which ornaments amounted to seventy in all;) by which means the shaft elevated itself on high from a single base, and spread itself into as many branches as there are planets, including the sun among them. 146 It terminated in seven heads, in one row, all standing parallel to one another; and these branches carried seven lamps, one by one, in imitation of the number of the planets. These lamps looked to the east and to the south, the lampstand being placed obliquely.

The sun was said to be in the middle by Philo and 'among them' by Josephus. Given the location of Yeshua in the middle of the seven lampstands there is a further indication that the same kind of imagery of planets being associated with the lampstands is also being employed in Revelation;

Rev 1:16 and having in His right hand seven stars; and a sharp, two-edged sword proceeding out of His mouth, and His face shining as the sun in its power.

The face of Yeshua is 'shining as the sun'. In the second Temple period the High Priest was already being associated with the imagery of the sun, Ben Sirach demonstrates this;

Sir 50:1 Simon the high priest, the son of Onias, who in his life repaired the house again, and in his days fortified the temple:
Sir 50:2 And by him was built from the foundation the double height, the high fortress of the wall about the temple:
Sir 50:3 In his days the cistern to receive water, being in compass as the sea, was covered with plates of brass:
Sir 50:4 He took care of the temple that it should not fall, and fortified the city against besieging:
Sir 50:5 How was he honoured in the midst of the people in his coming out of the sanctuary!
Sir 50:6 He was as the morning star in the midst of a cloud, and as the moon at the full:
Sir 50:7 As the sun shining upon the temple of the most High, and as the rainbow giving light in the bright clouds:

There is then a further association with the stars/planets as seven stars are then described in the hand of Yeshua;

Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw on My right, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are angels of the seven assemblies, and the seven lampstands you saw are seven assemblies.

Given these associations this would place Yeshua in a High Priestly context in chapter 1......
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Re: The Heavenly High Priest, part 1

Post by nazarene » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:38 pm


In Revelation 14 we again have one 'like the Son of man' associated with a cloud;

Rev 14:14 And I saw; and behold, a white cloud and on the cloud One sitting like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.
Rev 14:15 And another angel went forth out of the temple, crying in a great voice to the One sitting on the cloud, Send Your sickle and reap, because Your hour to reap came, because the harvest of the earth was dried.

As the one 'like the Son of man' has already been associated with clouds in Revelation 1, this is speaking of the same figure;

Revelation 1:7-13 7 Look! He is coming with the clouds! Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the Land will mourn him. Yes! Amen! 8 "I am the 'A' and the 'Z,'" says ADONAI, God of heaven's armies, the One who is, who was and who is coming. 9 I, Yochanan, am a brother of yours and a fellow-sharer in the suffering, kingship and perseverance that come from being united with Yeshua. I had been exiled to the island called Patmos for having proclaimed the message of God and borne witness to Yeshua. 10 I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of the Lord; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet, 11 saying, "Write down what you see on a scroll, and send it to the seven Messianic communities- Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea!" 12 I turned around to see who was speaking to me; and when I had turned, I saw seven gold menorahs; 13 and among the menorahs was someone like a Son of Man, wearing a robe down to his feet and a gold band around his chest.

It is significant that in chapter 14 this Son of man has a golden crown;

Rev 14:14 And I saw; and behold, a white cloud and on the cloud One sitting like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.

In chapter 1 the Son of man was already associated with a golden garment which has been established is High Priestly clothing, could the golden crown spoken of in chapter 14 also be High Priestly?

Exo 29:6 And you shall put the miter on his head; and you shall put the holy crown on the miter.
Exo_39:30 And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and they wrote on it the writing of the engravings of a signet: HOLINESS TO JEHOVAH.

Lev 8:9 And he set the mitre upon his head; and upon the mitre, in front, did he set the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses.

A golden plate was to be placed on a crown, we are not told exactly what material the crown is made of, but the plate was gold.

However, there are three sources which indicate that the entire crown was gold;

Philo speaking about the High Priestly attire describes the crown as wholly gold;

Mos. 2:113-114 113 and the logeum was made square and double, as a sort of foundation, that it might bear on it, as an image, two virtues, manifestation and truth; and the whole was fastened to the mantle by fine golden chains, and fastened to it so that it might never get loose; 114 and a golden leaf was wrought like a crown, having four names engraved on it which may only be mentioned or heard by holy men having their ears and their tongues purified by wisdom, and by no one else at all in any place whatever.

Josephus also speaking of the crown describes it as gold;

Antiquities of the Jews 3:172 172 The high priest's mitre was the same that we described before, and was wrought like that of all the other priests; above which there was another, with swathes of blue embroidered, and around it was a golden crown polished, of three rows, one above another; out of which arose a cup of gold, which resembled the herb which we call Saccharus; but those Greeks that are skilful in botany call it Hyoscyamus.

The Jewish War 5:235 235 A mitre also of fine linen surrounded his head, which was tied by a blue ribbon, about which there was another golden crown, in which was engraved the sacred name [of God]: it consists of four vowels.

Finally, Ben Sirach also informs us that the crown was gold;

Sir 45:12 He set a crown of gold upon the mitre, wherein was engraved Holiness, an ornament of honour, a costly work, the desires of the eyes, goodly and beautiful.

Just as the Son of man [i.e. Yeshua] is wearing a golden garment in chapter 1, he is then seen wearing a golden crown also in chapter 14, given the evidence presented it not only seems reasonable that both golden objects are related, but both are High Priestly.
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