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UK Hebrew Roots/Messianic/Nazarene Forum • Interpretation of the Torah in the first century - Page 2
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Re: Interpretation of the Torah in the first century

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:24 pm
by nazarene

In the first century part of the practice in observing the shabbat was not to tithe on the shabbat, Philo informs us that it was not lawful to receive or give anything like money or food;

Legat. 1:158 158 Moreover; in the monthly divisions of the country, when the whole people receives money or corn in turn, he never allowed the Jews to fall short in their reception of this favor, but even if it happened that this distribution fell on the day of their sacred sabbath, on which day it is not lawful for them to receive any thing, or to give any thing, or in short to perform any of the ordinary duties of life, he charged the dispenser of these gifts, and gave him the most careful and special injunctions to make the distribution to the Jews on the day following, that they might not lose the effects of his common kindness.

Re: Interpretation of the Torah in the first century

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:21 am
by nazarene
Intention and offerings

Lev_5:18 And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him.

Lev_19:22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.

Are the offerings arbitrary? If one makes an offering is the Most High forced to forgive that person?

In the first century, the concept of intention was understood and acknowledged, if one wanted to bring an offering, their intention [i.e. a repentant intention] worked together with their offering, to make their offering mean something. Without the correct intention, the offering, as was interpreted in the first century, was useless before the Most High. Two sources help us see this;

Mos. 2:106-107 106 But it became usual to call the altar which was in the open air the altar of sacrifice, as being that which preserved and took care of the sacrifices; intimating, figuratively, the consuming power of these things, and not the lambs and different parts of the victims which were offered, and which were naturally calculated to be destroyed by fire, but the intention of him who offered them; 107 for if the man who made the offerings was foolish and ignorant, the sacrifices were no sacrifices, the victims were not sacred or hallowed, the prayers were ill-omened, and liable to be answered by utter destruction, for even when they appear to be received, they produce not remission of sins but only a reminding of them.

Philo speaks about the intention of the one who was making the offering, later rabbinic sources agree that intention was crucial for the offering to have any real meaning;

If one says: I shall sin and repent, sin and repent, no opportunity will be given to him to repent. [If one says]: I shall sin and the Day of Atonement will procure atonement for me, the Day of Atonement procures for him no atonement. For transgressions as between man and the Omnipresent the Day of Atonement procures atonement, but for transgressions as between man and his fellow the Day of Atonement does not procure any atonement, until he has pacified his fellow. This was expounded by R. Eleazar b. Azariah [T2]: from all your sins before The Lord shall ye be clean, I.e., for transgressions as between man and the Omnipresent the Day of Atonement procures atonement, but for transgressions as between man and his fellow the Day of Atonement does not procure atonement until he has pacified his fellow. R. Akiba [T3] said: happy are you, Israel! Who is it before whom you become clean? And who is it that makes you clean? Your father which is in Heaven, as it is said: and I will sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be clean. And it further says: thou hope of Israel, The Lord! Just as the fountain renders clean the unclean, so does the Holy One, blessed be He, render clean Israel. m.Yoma 8.9

If a man slaughtered a beast for a heathen, the slaughtering is valid; R. Eliezer [T2 or T5] declares it invalid. R. Eliezer [T2 or T5] said, even if one slaughtered a beast with the intention that a heathen should eat of the midriff thereof, the slaughtering is invalid, for the thoughts of a heathen are usually directed towards idolatry. R. Jose [T4] exclaimed, is there not here an a fortiori argument? For if in the case of Consecrated Animals, where a wrongful intention can render invalid, it is established that everything depends solely upon the intention of him who performs the service, how much more in the case of unConsecrated Animals, where a wrongful intention cannot render invalid, does everything depend solely upon the intention of him who slaughters! m.Hullin 2.7

This type of reasoning is also behind the words of Mashiach Yeshua;

Mat 5:23 If therefore thou shalt bring thy oblation to the altar, and shalt there remember that thy brother hath any offence against thee,
Mat 5:24 leave there thy oblation before the altar, and go first and be reconciled with thy brother; and then come and present thy oblation.

Without the correct intention, offerings are meaningless.

Re: Interpretation of the Torah in the first century

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 9:37 am
by nazarene
How was ועניתם את־נפשׁתיכם "and you shall afflict yourselves" interpreted in the first century?

Woe to him who causes his neighbours to drink; who pours out his venom to make them drunk that he may gaze on their feasts (ii, 15) Interpreted, this concerns the Wicked Priest who pursued the Teacher of Righteousness to the house of his exile that he might confuse him with his venomous fury. And at the time appointed for rest, for the Day of Atonement, he appeared before them to confuse them, and to cause them to stumble on the Day of Fasting, their Sabbath of repose. (1qpHab)

Spec. 2:41 41 I. Now there are ten festivals in number, as the law sets them down. The first is that which any one will perhaps be astonished to hear called a festival. This festival is every day. The second festival is the seventh day, which the Hebrews in their native language call the sabbath. The third is that which comes after the conjunction, which happens on the day of the new moon in each month. The fourth is that of the passover which is called the pascha. The fifth is the first fruits of the corn-- the sacred sheaf. The sixth is the feast of unleavened bread, after which that festival is celebrated, which is really the seventh day of seventh days. The eighth is the festival of the sacred moon, or the feast of trumpets. The ninth is the fast. The tenth is the feast of tabernacles, which is the last of all the annual festivals, ending so as to make the perfect number of ten. We must now begin with the first festival.

The dead sea scrolls and Philo both interpret ועניתם with regards to fasting. The book of Acts also seems to agree with this interpretation when it speaks about the Day of Atonement in Acts 27;

Act 27:9 And much time having passed, and the voyage already being dangerous, because the Fast already had gone by, Paul warned them,

Re: Interpretation of the Torah in the first century

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:34 pm
by nazarene
Under the cloud...

1Co 10:1 And I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the Sea.

The apostle Paul speaks of being 'under the cloud', yet nowhere in the Torah does it specifically say the people were under the cloud, however, this was the targumic understanding;

And the sons of Israel moved forth from Pilusin towards Succoth, a hundred and thirty thousand, protected there by seven clouds of glory on their four sides: one above them, that neither hail nor rain might fall upon them, nor that they should be burned by the heat of the sun; one beneath them, that they might not be hurt by thorns, serpents, or scorpions; and one went before them, to make the valleys even, and the mountains low, and to prepare them a place of habitation. And they were about six hundred thousand men, journeying on foot, none riding on horses except the children five to every man; and a multitude of strangers, [JERUSALEM. A mixed multitude,] two hundred and forty myriads, went up with them, and sheep, and oxen, and cattle, very many. And they divided the dough which they brought out of Mizraim, which they had carried on their heads, and it was baked for them by the heat of the sun, (into) unleavened cakes, because it had not fermented; for the Mizraee had thrust them out, neither could they delay; and it was sufficient for them to eat until the fifteenth of the month Ijar; because they had not prepared provision for the way. [Targum Jonathan Exodus XII]

He loved the tribes, all the holy ones of the house of Israel; with power He led them out of Mizraim, and they were conducted under Thy Cloud, they journeyed by Thy Word. [Targum Onkelos Deuteronomy XXXIII]

Re: Interpretation of the Torah in the first century

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:33 am
by nazarene
..how was burial practiced and what were some of the beliefs surrounding the dead?..

Deu 21:23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree; but burying you shall bury him the same day. For he that is hanged is a reproach to God. And you shall not defile your land which Jehovah your God is giving to you as an inheritance.

A. The sword with which one is killed, the cloth with which he is strangled, the stone with which he is crushed, and the wood on which he is hung-all of them require immersion.
B. But they did not bury them with him.
C. When his flesh had rotted, agents of the court gather up the bones [M.San.6.6A], and bury them in a sarcophagus.
D. And even if he were a king of kings, they would not bury him in the burial grounds of his ancestors, but in the burial grounds of the court. t.San.9.8

When the flesh was completely decomposed, the bones were gathered and buried in their proper place. The relatives then came and greeted the judges and witnesses, as if to say, we have no [ill feelings] against you in our hearts, for ye gave a true judgment. And they observed no mourning rites but grieved [for him], for grief is borne in the heart alone. m.Sanhedrin 6.6

All the requirements of the dead may be done; He may be anointed with oil and washed, provided that no limb of his is moved. The pillow may be removed from under him, and he may be placed on sand, in order that he may be able to keep. The jaw may be tied up, not in order that it should close but that it should not go further [open] and likewise, if a beam is broken, it may be supported by a bench or bed staves, not in order that it [the break] should close up, but that it should go no further. One may not close [the eyes of] a corpse on the Sabbath, nor on weekdays when he is about to die, and he who closes the eyes [of a dying person] at the point of death is a murderer. m.Shabbat 23.5

[E] This is in line with what the Mishnah has said: They give testimony about the identity of a corpse only during a period of three days after death [m.Yeb.16.3E].
[F] R. Berei and R. Pappi, R. Joshua [T2] of Sikhnin in the name of R. Levi [T6 or PA3]: ``For the first three days after death the soul floats above the body, thinking that it will return to the body. When the soul sees the body, that the appearance of the face has changed, it leaves the body and goes its way.``
[G] And when three days have passed, the stomach swells up over the face and says to it, ``Here is what you have stolen and seized by violence.``
[H] R. Haggai [PA4] in the name of R. Josiah [T4] proves the case from this verse of Scripture: ```Behold, I spread dung upon your faces, and even the dung of your offerings` (Mal.2.3). At that moment: `He feels only the pain of his own body, and he mourns only for himself` (Job 14.22).`` y.Yeb.16.3 III

The "soul" departing would also explain the dealing with evidence;

If a man fell into the water, whether it had [a visible] end or not, his wife is forbidden [to marry again]. Said R. Meir [T4]: it once happened that a man fell into a large cistern and rose to the surface after three days. Said R. Jose [T4]: it once happened that a blind man descended into a cave. To perform ritual ablution while his guide went down after him; and after waiting long enough for their souls to depart, permission was given to their wives to marry again. Another incident occurred at Asia where a man was lowered into the sea, and only his leg was brought up, and the Sages ruled: [if the recovered leg contained the part] above the knee [the man`s wife] may marry again, [but if it contained only the part] below the knee, she may not marry again. m.Yebamot 16.4

Evidence [of identity] may be legally tendered only on [proof afforded by] the full face with the nose, though there were also marks on the man`s body or clothing. No evidence [of a man`s death] may be tendered before his soul has departed; even though the witnesses have seen him with his arteries cut or crucified or being devoured by a wild beast. Evidence [of identification] may be tendered [by those] only [who saw the corpse] within three days [after death]. R. Judah b. Baba [T3], however, said: Neither all men, nor all places, nor all seasons are alike. m.Yebamot 16.3

Re: Interpretation of the Torah in the first century

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:06 pm
by nazarene
Headcovering and first century intepretation;

Num 5:18 And the priest shall cause the woman to stand before the LORD and shall uncover the woman's head and put the present of remembrance in her hands, which is the present of jealousy; and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that brings the curse.

Spec. 3:56 56 And the priest shall take the barley and offer it to the woman, and shall take away from her the head-dress on her head, that she may be judged with her head bare, and deprived of the symbol of modesty, which all those women are accustomed to wear who are completely blameless; and there shall not be any oil used, nor any frankincense, as in the case of other sacrifices, because the sacrifice now offered is to be accomplished on no joyful occasion, but on one which is very grievous.

Antiquities of the Jews 3:270 270 But if anyone suspect that his wife has been guilty of adultery, he was to bring a tenth deal of barley flour; they then cast one handful to God and gave the rest of it to the priests for food. One of the priests set the woman at the gates that are turned toward the temple, and took the veil from her head, and wrote the name of God on parchment,

Re: Interpretation of the Torah in the first century

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:10 pm
by nazarene
A male child;

Num 5:28 But if the woman is not defiled, but is clean; then she shall be free and shall conceive seed.

Antiquities of the Jews 3:271 271 and enjoined her to swear that she had not at all injured her husband; and to wish that, if she had violated her chastity, her right thigh might be put out of joint; that her belly might swell; and that she might die thus: but that if her husband, by the strength of his affection, and of the jealousy which arose from it, had been rashly moved to this suspicion, that she might bear a male child in the tenth month.

The Targum of Jonathan also indicates that a male child will be produced;

And when he hath caused her to drink the water, it will be that if she hath been defiled by adultery, and hath acted with wrongness against her husband, those proving waters will enter into her with a curse, and her belly will swell, and her thigh become corrupt, and the woman will be an execration among the children of her people. The adulterer as well will be detected by these waters of probation, in whatever place he may be. But if the woman hath not been defiled by adultery, but is innocent, they will enter without harm, and her brightness will shine forth, and she will find affection before her husband, and become the mother of a son.

Re: Interpretation of the Torah in the first century

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:40 pm
by nazarene
Melchizedek and Avram

Gen 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Some interpret the 'he' to mean Melchizedek and that Melchizedek gave Avram a tenth instead of Avram giving Melchizedek a tenth. However when the earliest sources speak about this event they all read the Hebrew as Avram giving Melchizedek a tenth.

The Septuagint has a clear reading of this;

Gen 14:20 and blessed be the most high God who delivered thine enemies into thy power. And Abram gave him the tithe of all.

Philo also reads it this way;

Congr. 1:98-99 98 On this account I think it is, that God ordered to be consecrated the whole of the first-born, the tenth, I mean the tribe of Levi, taking them in exchange for the first-born, for the preservation and protection of holiness, and piety, and sacred ministrations, which all have reference to the honor of God. For the first and best thing in ourselves is our reason, and it is very proper to offer up the first-fruits of our cleverness, and acuteness, and comprehension, and prudence, and of all our other faculties which we have in connection with our reason as first-fruits to God, who has bestowed upon us this great abundance of power of exerting our intelligence. 99 From this consideration it was, that Jacob, the practiser of virtue, at the beginning of his prayers, says "Of all that thou givest me, I will set apart and consecrate a tenth to thee." [Genesis xxviii. 22.] And the sacred scripture, which was written after the prayers on occasion of victory, which Melchisedek, who had received a self-instructed and self-taught priesthood, makes, says: "For he gave him a tenth of all the things," [Genesis xiv. 20] assigning to him the outward senses the faculty of feeling properly, and by the sense of speech the faculty of speaking well, and by the senses connected with the mind the faculty of thinking well.

Josephus has this reading;

Antiquities of the Jews 1:181 181 Now this Melchizedek supplied Abram's army in a hospitable manner, and gave them provisions in abundance; and as they were feasting, he began to praise him, and to bless God for subduing his enemies under him. And when Abram gave him the tenth part of his prey, he accepted the gift:

The Epistle to the Hebrews has this reading;

Hebrews 7:2 2 also Avraham gave him a tenth of everything. Now first of all, by translation of his name, he is "king of righteousness"; and then he is also king of Shalem, which means "king of peace."

Later rabbinic sources also agree that it was Avram who gave Melchizedek a tenth.

If the Hebrew was to be read the other way around then the burden of proof lays with the one who claims it to be so.