The Sinai resurrection scenes, part 1...

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The Sinai resurrection scenes, part 1...

Post by nazarene » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:20 pm

The Sinai resurrection scenes

The return of Yeshua seems to be built upon the scenes at Sinai in Exodus 19-20 and Exodus 32.

When Yeshua returns he will be accompanied “with all his saints”;

1Th 3:13 in order to establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and our Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

This expectation is built from Zechariah and Deuteronomy along side tradition. In Zechariah it uses the language of “all his saints”;

Zec 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal; and ye shall flee like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah; and the LORD my God shall come, and all his saints with him.

The context of this verse is the coming of the Most High at the day of Judgement [Zechariah 14:1] with splitting and moving mountain imagery included [Zechariah 14:4], earthquake comparison [Zechariah 14:5] and light acting unusual [Zechariah 14:7]. This imagery together with the imagery of the Most High coming with his holy ones [Zechariah 14:5] mirrors themes associated with the scenes at Sinai.

In Deuteronomy 32:2 in retelling the scenes at Sinai and giving the Torah it says this;

Deu 33:2 And he said: Jehovah came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir for them; He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came from the myriads of holy ones. At his right hand a law of fire went forth to them.

The Hebrew phrase ואתה מרבבת קדשׁ which is translated as “and He came from the myriads of holy ones” in the above translation was understood in terms of Holy Ones or angels coming with the Most High at the revelation at Sinai;

The Lord was revealed from Sinai, and the brightness of His glory appeared to us from Seir. He was revealed in His power upon the mountain of Pharan, and with Him were ten thousand saints; He gave us, written with His own right hand, the law from the midst of the fire. XXXIII The Targum of Onkelos

The Lord was revealed at Sinai to give the law unto His people of Beth Israel, and the splendour of the glory of His Shekinah arose from Gebal to give itself to the sons of Esau: but they received it not. It shined forth in majesty and glory from mount Pharan, to give itself to the sons of Ishmael; but they received it not. It returned and revealed itself in holiness unto His people of Beth Israel, and with Him ten thousand times ten thousand holy angels. XXXIII Targum Pseudo-Jonathan

Deu 33:2 And he said, The Lord is come from Sina, and has appeared from Seir to us, and has hasted out of the mount of Pharan, with the ten thousands of Cades; on his right hand were his angels with him. [LXX]

The retelling of the scenes at Sinai are told in various different sources, and just like the scenes in Zechariah, there is imagery of moving mountains, earthquake imagery, clouds and changes in light.

Philo writing in the early first century describes the scenes;

Decal. 1:44-46 44 XI. And, moreover, as was natural, he filled the whole place with miraculous signs and works, with noises of thunder too great for the hearing to support, and with the most radiant brilliancy of flashes of lightning, and with the sound of an invisible trumpet extending to a great distance, and with the march of a cloud, which, like a pillar, had its foundation fixed firmly on the earth, but raised the rest of its body even to the height of heaven; and, last of all, by the impetuosity of a heavenly fire, which overshadowed everything around with a dense smoke. For it was fitting that, when the power of God came among them, none of the parts of the world should be quiet, but that everything should be put in motion to minister to his service. 45 And the people stood by, having kept themselves clean from all connection with women, and having abstained from all pleasures, except those which arise from a participation in necessary food, having been purifying themselves with baths and ablutions for three days, and having washed their garments and being all clothed in the purest white robes, and standing on tiptoe and pricking up their ears, in compliance with the exhortations of Moses, who had forewarned them to prepare for the solemn assembly; for he knew that such would take place, when he, having been summoned up alone, gave forth the prophetic commands of God. 46 And a voice sounded forth from out of the midst of the fire which had flowed from heaven, a most marvellous and awful voice, the flame being endowed with articulate speech in a language familiar to the hearers, which expressed its words with such clearness and distinctness that the people seemed rather to be seeing than hearing it.

Next Josephus writing in the latter part of the first century also describes the scene;

Antiquities of the Jews 3:79-80 79 So they spent two days in this way of feasting; but on the third day, before the sun was up, a cloud spread itself over the whole camp of the Hebrews, such a one as none had before seen, and surrounded the place where they had pitched their tents; 80 and while all the rest of the air was clear, there came strong winds, that raised up heavy showers of rain, which became a mighty tempest. There was also such lightning as was terrible to those who saw it; and thunder, with its thunderbolts, were sent down, and declared God to be there present in a gracious way to such as Moses desired he should be gracious.

Pseudo Philo written at the latter part of first century also describes the scene;

And on the third day there were claps of thunder and the brightness of lightnings and the sound of trumpets sounded aloud. Terror came upon all the people who were in the camp. And Moses brought the people out before God and behold the mountains burned with fire and the earth quaked and the hills were disturbed and the mountains were rolled out and the abysses boiled and every habitable place was shaken and the heavens were folded up and the clouds drew up water and flames of fire burned and thunderings and lightnings were many and winds and storms roared, the stars gathered together and angels ran on ahead until God should establish the Law of His eternal covenant with the sons of Israel and give His eternal commandments that will not pass away. Pseudo Philo 11:4-5.

The Targums also relates the scene;

And it was the third day at morning; and there were voices, and lightnings, and mighty clouds upon the mountain, and the voice of the trumpet exceedingly strong; and all the people trembled who were in the camp. And Mosheh led forth the people out of the camp to meet the Word of the Lord; and they stood at the lower parts of the mount. And the mountain of Sinai was altogether fuming from before the revelation of the Lord upon it in fire; and the smoke went up as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount trembled greatly. XIX Yethro

And it was on the third day, on the sixth of the month, in the time of the morning, that on the mountain there were voices of thunders, and lightnings, and mighty clouds of smoke, and a voice of a trumpet exceeding loud; and all the people in the camp trembled. And Mosheh brought forth the people from the camp to meet the glorious Presence of the Lord; and suddenly the Lord of the world uprooted the mountain, and lifted it in the air, and it became as a luminous beacon, and they stood beneath the mountain. And all the mount of Sinai was in flame; for the heavens had overspread it, and He was revealed over it in flaming fire, and the smoke went up as the smoke of a furnace, and all the mountain quaked greatly. XIX Jethro.

The scene at Sinai is also connected to the Trumpet that raises the dead;

And all the people saw the thunders, and were turned back, every one as he heard them coming forth from the midst of the lights, and the voice of the trumpet as it will raise the dead, and the mountain smoking; and all the people saw and drew back, and stood twelve miles off. [Targum Jonathan XX]

Could all this imagery form the background for the return of Yeshua? Is there any precedent for linking his return to the scene at Sinai?

Jud 1:14 And "the seventh from Adam," Enoch, also prophesied to these men, saying, Behold, "the Lord came with" myriads "of His saints,"
Jud 1:15 "to do judgment against all, and to rebuke all" the ungodly of them concerning all their ungodly works which they ungodly did, "and concerning all the hard things ungodly sinners spoke against Him." I Enoch 1:9; 5:4; 60:8

Jude connects the return of Yeshua to a Prophecy in Enoch, in 1 Enoch a time is described of the return of the Most High where Judgement will commence and it is linked with the scene at Sinai;

for to come. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them:
The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling, 4 And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, (even) on Mount Sinai, [And appear from His camp] And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven of heavens.
5 And all shall be smitten with fear And the Watchers shall quake, And great fear and trembling shall seize them unto the ends of the earth.
6 And the high mountains shall be shaken, And the high hills shall be made low, And shall melt like wax before the flame
7 And the earth shall be wholly rent in sunder, And all that is upon the earth shall perish, And there shall be a judgement upon all (men).
8 But with the righteous He will make peace.
And will protect the elect, And mercy shall be upon them.
And they shall all belong to God, And they shall be prospered, And they shall all be blessed.
And He will help them all, And light shall appear unto them,
And He will make peace with them’.
9 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly:
And to convict all flesh Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. Enoch 1:3-9

Enoch links the coming of the Most High specifically to the imagery of Sinai. There is fear and trembling, mountains being shaken, the tearing of the earth, and the coming of the Most High with His 'holy ones'.

The Brit when speaking of the return of Yeshua speaks of a trumpet;

1Co_15:52 In a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet; for a trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.

A return with holy ones;

1Th 3:13 in order to establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and our Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

A judgement with fire;

2Th 1:8 in flaming fire giving full vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Cloud imagery;

Rev_1:7 "Behold, He comes with the clouds," and "every eye will see Him, and the ones who pierced" Him, and all the tribes of the earth "will wail on account of Him." Yes, Amen. Dan. 7:13; Zech. 12:10


Mat_24:27 For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Sea roaring;

Luk 21:25 Then there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Where else would he get this imagery from except from the scene at Sinai?

At the return of Yeshua, the dead will be raised and given immortality;

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet; for a trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Was immortality connected to the scenes at Sinai? In one Targum we have already seen that the event at Sinai was connected to the trumpet that raises the dead, other sources also connect the idea of resurrection to Sinai;

The Talmud also records this tradition;

R. Joshua b. Levi [PA1] also said: At every word which went forth from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He, the souls of Israel departed, for it is said, My soul went forth when he spake. But since their souls departed at the first word, how could they receive the second word? He brought down the dew with which he will resurrect the dead and revived them, as it is said, Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, Thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. b.Shabbath ch.9.3-4, 86a

The Targum of Psalms also relates this tradition;

When the house of Israel heard the voice of your power, their souls flew away; at once he made to descend upon them the dew of resurrection; O God, you brought the favorable rain to your inheritance, and you supported the assembly which was exhausted. [Targum of Psalms 68:10]

Exodus Rabbah 29:4 also has the tradition that there was death and resurrection associated with the giving of the Torah;

דבר אחר "אָנֹכִי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ" רבי אחא ברבי חנינא פתח בו (תהלים נ, ז) שמעה עמי ואדברה (כמ"ש בעשרת הדברות (פסיקתא רבתי, יב) עד)
א"ר שמעון בן יוחאי אמר להם הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל אלוה אני על כל באי עולם אבל לא יחדתי שמי אלא עליכם איני נקרא אלהי עובדי כוכבים ומזלות אלא אלהי ישראל א"ר לוי שני דברים שאלו ישראל מלפני הקדוש ברוך הוא שיראו כבודו וישמעו קולו והיו רואין את כבודו ושומעין את קולו שנאמר (דברים ה, כא) ותאמרו הן הראנו ה' אלהינו את כבודו ואת גדלו וכתיב (שם) ואת קולו שמענו מתוך האש ולא היה בהם כח לעמוד שכיון שבאו לסיני ונגלה להם פרחה נשמתם על שדבר עמהם שנאמר (שיר ה, ו) נפשי יצאה בדברו אבל התורה בקשה עליהם רחמים מלפני הקדוש ברוך הוא יש מלך משיא בתו והורג אנשי ביתו כל העולם כולו שמחים ובניך מתים מיד חזרה נשמתן שנאמר (תהלים יט, ח) תורת ה' תמימה משיבת נפש א"ר לוי וכי לא היה גלוי לפני המקום שאם הוא מראה כבודו לישראל ומשמיען קולו שאינן יכולין לעמוד אלא צפה הקדוש ברוך הוא שהן עתידין לעשות עבודת כוכבים שלא יהו אומרין אלו הראנו את כבודו ואת גדלו והשמיענו את קולו לא היינו עושים עבודת כוכבים לכך נאמר שמעה עמי ואדברה [Exodus Rabbah 29:4]

That these targumic sources can go back to the first century, is further supported by the 2nd benediction of the amidah, the standing prayer, which parts of can be dated back to the first century;

You are powerful, humbling the proud;
Strong, and judging the violent;
Alive forever, raising the dead;
Making wind blow and dew fall;
Sustaining the living, reviving the dead.
Like the fluttering of an eye, make our salvation sprout.
Blessed are you Lord, reviving the dead

The dew falling is connected to the raising of the dead.

The phrase "fluttering of an eye" is also used in relation to the reviving of the dead, notice the parallel to the apostle Paul, which would strengthen the connection between him and his knowledge of the tradition;

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet; for a trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.

Another source also relates the association of immortality to the scene of Sinai;

Said Resh Lakish [PA2]: Come let us render gratitude to our forebears, for had they not sinned, we should not have come to the world, as it is said: I said ye are gods and all of you sons of the Most High; now that you have spoilt your deeds, ye shall indeed die like mortals etc. Are we to understand that if the Israelites had not committed that sin they would not have propagated? Had it not been said, And you, be ye fruitful and multiply? That refers to those who lived up to the times of Sinai. But of those at Sinai, too, it is said, Go say to them, Return ye to your tents which means to the joy of family life? And is it not also said, that it might be well with them and with their children? It means to those of their children who stood at Sinai.

He [Resh Lakish [PA2]] may be of the same opinion as the following Tanna*, for it is taught: R. Jose [T4] said, The Israelites accepted the Torah only so that the Angel of Death should have no dominion over them, as it is said: I said ye are gods [i.e, immortals] and all of you children of the Most High, now that you have spoilt your deeds, ye shall indeed die like mortals. b.Abodah Zarah ch.1.1, 2a-7b

What this reveals is that if the nation had not sinned with the golden calf at Sinai then they would have been given immortality. This directly links the scenes of Sinai with the aspect of immortality.

If we connect the other imagery of the Trumpet, the mountains shaking, and being torn apart, the appearance of clouds, and the Most High coming with His Holy ones, we have the imagery of the return of Yeshua as described by the apostles.

This would mean that the scenes of Sinai meeting the people was being interpreted as a [future] judgement and resurrection event.
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Re: The Sinai resurrection scenes, part 2...

Post by nazarene » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:06 am

The answer of Sinai to the problem of the exile of Gan Eden

Adam sinned and was exiled from Gan Eden, as a result he could not partake of the tree of Life. The intent of Sinai was to restore to the nation immortality, to make them like the angels, i.e. become immortal. There is an expectation in the Gospels that the sons of the resurrection would become 'as the angels';

Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are as the angels of God in Heaven.

In the rabbinic material there was a belief that if the nation did not sin at Sinai, then they would have become immortal.

He [Resh Lakish [PA2]] may be of the same opinion as the following Tanna*, for it is taught: R. Jose [T4] said, The Israelites accepted the Torah only so that the Angel of Death should have no dominion over them, as it is said: I said ye are gods [i.e, immortals] and all of you children of the Most High, now that you have spoilt your deeds, ye shall indeed die like mortals. b.Abodah Zarah ch.1.1, 2a-7b

Through the giving of the Torah the nation were to become angelomorphic, that is, take on the status of character of angels.

This type of association was reflected in the Targum of Song of Songs where when the Tabernacle was built, the nation took on a quasi angelic status;

1:5 When the House of Israel made the [Golden] Calf, their faces grew dark like the children of Cush [Ethiopians] who dwell in the tents of Qedar. And when they turned in repentance and their guilt was pardoned them, the splendor of their faces’ glory increased like the angels, because they made the curtains for the Tabernacle and the Presence of YY dwelt among them. And Moses their master went up to the Firmament and made peace 4 between them and their King.

Their faces “glory increased like the angels” at part of the construction of the Tabernacle, in the speech of Stephen before the Sanhedrin (and the Topic being the Temple) Stephen's face is described as being angelic;

Act 6:15 And having looked intently at him, all those having sat in the sanhedrin, saw his face as if it were the face of an angel.

There was a belief in the second Temple period that through the observance of the Commandments the nation worshipped along side the angels, because the angels also obeyed the Commandments and were even circumcised;

17 everything. And He gave us a great sign, the Sabbath day, that we should work six days, but 18 keep Sabbath on the seventh day from all work. And all the angels of the presence, and all the angels of sanctification, these two great classes -He hath bidden us to keep the Sabbath with Him 19 in heaven and on earth. And He said unto us: ’Behold, I will separate unto Myself a people from among all the peoples, and these shall keep the Sabbath day, and I will sanctify them unto Myself as My people, and will bless them; as I have sanctified the Sabbath day and do sanctify (it) unto 20 Myself, even so will I bless them, and they shall be My people and I will be their God. And I have chosen the seed of Jacob from amongst all that I have seen, and have written him down as My first-born son,and have sanctified him unto Myself for ever and ever; and I will teach them the 21 Sabbath day, that they may keep Sabbath thereon from all work.’ And thus He created therein a sign in accordance with which they should keep Sabbath with us on the seventh day, to eat and to drink, and to bless Him who has created all things as He has blessed and sanctified unto Himself 22 a peculiar people above all peoples, and that they should keep Sabbath together with us. And He caused His commands to ascend as a sweet savour acceptable before Him all the days . . (Jubilees 2:17-22)

25 circumcised with him. This law is for all the generations for ever, and there is no circumcision of the days, and no omission of one day out of the eight days; for it is an eternal ordinance, ordained 26 and written on the heavenly tablets. And every one that is born, the flesh of whose foreskin is not circumcised on the eighth day, belongs not to the children of the covenant which the Lord made with Abraham, but to the children of destruction; nor is there, moreover, any sign on him that he is the
Lord’s, but (he is destined) to be destroyed and slain from the earth, and to be rooted out of 27 the earth, for he has broken the covenant of the Lord our God. For all the angels of the presence and all the angels of sanctification have been so created from the day of their creation, and before the angels of the presence and the angels of sanctification He hath sanctified Israel, that they should 28 be with Him and with His holy angels....[Jubilees 15:25-28]

If the nation had not sinned the sin of the golden calf, then immortality would have been assured, but the sin took place, and what develops in Exodus 32 is “repeat” of the sin in Gan Eden.

The scene is “recast” with different people playing different roles, which will now be briefly explored.

Mosheh plays the role of the Most High.
Aaron plays the role of Adam.
The community play the role of Chavah.
The golden calf plays the role of the forbidden fruit.
The Levites play the role of the Cherubim.

With this basic structure in mind the scene is set for the fall scene.

Mosheh departs from the community and ascends the Mountain. There is an absence, note well that in Gan Eden the absence of the Most High in the fall scene before the fruit is partaken of. Whilst Mosheh is gone, the people turn with thoughts of transgression, just as Chavah reasons with the serpent and partakes of the forbidden fruit. The community then come to Aaron, as Chavah comes to Adam, and just as Adam was passive, Aaron becomes passive about the sin, and follows along. Both now have participated in the sin. They then begin to “sport”, in two of the Targums there is an association with nakedness with this “sport”;

And I said to them, Whoever hath gold, let him deliver and give it to me; and I cast it into the fire, and Satana entered into it, and there came out of it the similitude of this calf! And Mosheh saw that the people were naked; for they had been stripped by the hand of Aharon of the holy crown which was upon their head, inscribed and beautified with the great and glorious Name; and that their evil report would go forth among the nations of the earth, and they would get to them an evil name unto their generations. [Targum Jonathan]

[JERUSALEM. And Mosheh saw the people that they were uncovered; for they had been stripped of the golden crown which was upon their head, whereon the Name had been engraven and set forth, at Mount Horeb.[Targum Jerusalem]

The apostle Paul also associates fornication [and hence nakedness] to this event also;

1Co 10:7 Neither be idolaters, even as some of them, as it has been written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play." Ex. 32:6
1Co 10:8 Nor should we commit fornication, as some of them fornicated, and twenty three thousand fell in one day.

Mosheh [just like the Most High in Gan Eden] then returns, and there is a judgement scene. Mosheh grinds the golden calf into dust and causes the people to drink it. Is this part of the Torah dealing with the unfaithful wife? For dust was part of the water ordeal [Numbers 5:17], yet dust also in found in the judgement scene of Gan Eden, where the serpent was to eat dust. There is then a scene of death where 3000 die, for just as in Gan Eden Adam was to die in the day that he ate, there was death in the day that the people sinned. Chavah was to have travail in her birth and now the community sees the death of its sons.

Through this judgement of death, the Levites come into focus, with their sword they slay, just as, presumably the Cherubim with the flaming sword was to slay anyone who would attempt to defile Gan Eden, they are then given the priesthood and the responsibility to guard the Holiness of the Tabernacle, just as the Cherubim are given the responsibility to guard Gan Eden, a role which was originally given to Adam, but now was stripped away from him and given to others. For the firstborn of the nation were to be the priests, but now, that role is given to the Levites.

There was an association in the second Temple period between priests and angels;

18 was (reckoned) unto them for righteousness, and it is written down to them for righteousness. And the seed of Levi was chosen for the priesthood, and to be Levites, that they might minister before the Lord, as we, continually, and that Levi and his sons may be blessed for ever; for he was zealous (Jubilees 30:18)

13 Judah by his left. And he turned to Levi first, and began to bless him first, and said unto him: May the God of all, the very Lord of all the ages, bless thee and thy children throughout all the 14 ages. And may the Lord give to thee and to thy seed greatness and great glory, and cause thee and thy seed, from among all flesh, to approach Him to serve in His sanctuary as the angels of the presence and as the holy ones. (Even) as they, shall the seed of thy sons be for glory and greatness (Jubilees 31:13-14)

However, just as Adam was now to toil by his sweat, the sons of Aaron were now given their burdens;

Num 4:19 But do this to them, and they shall live and not die as they draw near the Holy of Holies. Aaron and his sons shall go in, and shall appoint them each man to his service, and to his burden.

The judgement scene then complete, immortality was again out of their reach, but the Sinai account still held within it the potential to be fulfilled, the hope of attaining an angelic status was not lost, only frustrated.

No wonder then, read in this way, that just as immortality is spoken of as clothing;

1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

..that the apostle Paul speaks of not wanting to be found naked but clothed;

2Co 5:3 if indeed in being clothed, we shall not be found naked.
2Co 5:4 For indeed, being in the tabernacle, we groan, having been weighted down, inasmuch as we do not wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed, so that the mortal may be swallowed up by the life.

Lest we be found naked at the return, and fall into the same problem as Adam and those at Sinai.
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