- Formal Introduction of Ha-Davar (The Word)
- Introduction of Ha-Shofet, the Presiding Judge
- Calling forth the first witnesses, the Prophets
- Brief Commentary on Moses, the Drawn Out One
- Adonai’s ark of reeds (His Word) delivered Moses from death
- Moses’ brilliant ministry
- Calling forth the second witnesses, the Shlichim
- The Shaliach’s (sent one’s) new identity is derived from Messiah’s Name
Formal Introduction of Ha-Davar (The Word):
בְּרֵאשִׁית הָיָה הַדָּבָר, וְהַדָּבָר הָיָה עִם הָאֱלֹהִים, וֵאלֹהִים הָיָה הַדָּבָר. הוּא הָיָה בְּרֵאשִׁית עִם הָאֱלֹהִים. הַכֹּל נִהְיָה עַל־יָדָיו, וּמִבַּלְעָדָיו לֹא נִהְיָה כָּל אֲשֶׁר נִהְיָה. בּוֹ הָיוּ חַיִּים וְהַחַיִּים הָיוּ הָאוֹר לִבְנֵי הָאָדָם. וְהָאוֹר מֵאִיר בַּחֹשֶׁךְ וְהַחֹשֶׁךְ לֹא הִשִֹיגוֹ.פ
In the beginning (בְּרֵאשִׁית) was The Word (הַדָּבָר), and The Word was with Ha-Elohim, and The Word was Elohim. He was in the beginning with Ha-Elohim. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life (חַיִּים), and the life (הַחַיִּים) was the Light of men (אוֹר הָאָדָם). The Light (הָאוֹר) shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
In the opening-up introductory narrative of the Proceedings of the Heavenly Court (פעולות של בית המשפט השמימי) there is a strong correlation between the “in the beginning” (Beresheet-בְּרֵאשִׁית) narrative and the observance of the two-day festival of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Teruah (Tishri1-2). For on Rosh Hashanah, at the beginning of the 10 Great Days of Awe, we celebrate the coronation day of the Creator (היוצר-Hayotzer), who is the King of the Universe. It is also important to recall that at this time (Tishri 1) we must assemble before the Holy One together spiritually, as individuals and as a nation, to be examined and judged by the Majesty on High (הַגְּדֻלָּה בַּמְרוֹמִים), the lawgiver and Judge (הַמְחוֹקֵק וְשׁוֹפֵט) of us all. In the Targumim the sacred term that is akin to the expression of “The Word” (HaDavar) is the Memra (ma’amar-מַאֲמָר), from אָמַר to “think,” “answer,” “speak.” The term Memra does not refer to the permanent manifestation of Adonai or to the manifest Presence of Adonai but it does convey the meaning of Adonai revealing Himself.
The term Memra is applied to Adonai (599 times) in the Targum Onkelos (תרגום אונקלוס), Jerusalem Targum (ירושלים תרגום), and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (תרגום המיוחס ליונתן). In a majority of these references (366 times) the term Memra is not only distinguished from Adonai, it refers to Adonai as revealing Himself. Similarly, the famous Jewish philosopher Philo (פילון) uses the Greek term Logos (λόγος) to discuss the Memra manifestation of Adonai as a manifestation of G-d. (צֶלֶם הָאֱלֹהִים-Tselem HaElohim). For Philo the manifestation (revelation) of the Holy One is principally a philosophical experience. For Philo the Logos is the very impersonal pre-existent, timeless, eternal Tselem (צֶלֶם), Eikon (εἰκών) Image upon which Adam was made. The Word (הַדָּבָר) is the ideal instrument, therefore, through whom Adonai created all things. Therefore, to Philo The Word is an intermediary thought construction between Adonai and the world. The Word announces and interprets to man the will and Mind of Adonai. The Word conceptually acts as *one mediator (מליץ אחד-melitz echad) between Adonai and Man. To Philo the Memra, the Logos, is the real High-Priest. The Word is a kind of personified Wisdom (חָכְמַת אֱלֹהִים, θεοῦ σοφίαν) that when heard, understood, and obeyed brings Divine Reality: righteousness and peace (שָׁלוֹם, εἰρήνη) to our souls.
*Melitz echad (לנו מליץ לפני האב) – we have an advocate (a defense attorney) before the Father (אבינו שבשמים- Avinu Shebashamayim).
These entirely Jewish theological and philosophical notions of the Memra highly correlate with the high revelation that is disclosed in the besorah of Yochanan Ben Zebedee. The variance of belief is that the messianic Jew Yochanan Ben Zebedee believes HaDavar (The Memra, The Logos) is “more” than a mere manifestation of or theoretical ideal about Adonai. The besorah of Yochanan declares that in actuality what the Targumim and philosopher Philo envisioned theologically and philosophically actually is a Divine Reality. The Word (HaDavar) did become flesh and dwelt (שָׁכַן-tented, lodged) among us. The Messiah is the Divine revelation of Adonai. Messiah is the visible manifestation of the Power (gevurah-הַגְּבוּרָה) and the Wisdom (chokmah-חָכְמַת) of G-d. He is the visible revelation and image of the invisible G-d (צֶלֶם שֶׁל הָאֱלֹהִים הַבִּלְתִּי נִרְאֶה-i.e. the Image of the G-d not seen).
.הַמָשִׁיחַ, שֶׁהוּא גְּבוּרַת אֱלֹהִים וְחָכְמַת אֱלֹהִים
Ha-Mashiach, the Power of Elohim and the Wisdom of Elohim.
From the very beginning of this Hebrew Besorah we see that the Messiah is the “The Word” (HaDavar): “The Word (הַדָּבָר) was (הָיָה) with Ha-Elohim (הָאֱלֹהִים), and the Word (הַדָּבָר) was (הָיָה) Elohim (אֱלֹהִים). He was in the beginning with Ha-Elohim (הָאֱלֹהִים).”
Introduction of Ha-Shofet, the Presiding Judge:
In this accounting of the Proceedings of the Heavenly Court (פעולות של בית המשפט השמימי) it is the Son of the Highest (בֵּן עליון-Ben Elyon) who is introduced as presiding (on behalf of Adonai) as the Judge of the Universe. He is The Word cloaked in human form. The court introduces the Messiah as the one who holds jurisdictional authority over the entire universe. This is so because He is the source and sustainer of all life. He is the Life and the Light of the World (אור העולם-or ha’olam). Thus the Messiah is introduced as being the Sovereign Ruler, as well as Judge, over everyone and everything. His rule extends over the domain of darkness, as well as light. He overcomes and subdues the powers of darkness and it is impossible for the powers of darkness to overcome Him.
Calling forth the first witnesses, the Prophets:
אִישׁ הָיָה שָׁלוּחַ מֵאֵת אֱלֹהִים וּשְׁמוֹ יוֹחָנָן. הוּא בָּא לְעֵדוּת, לְהָעִיד עַל הָאוֹר כְּדֵי שֶׁעַל־פִּיו יַאֲמִינוּ הַכֹּל. הוּא לֹא הָיָה הָאוֹר; הוּא בָּא לְהָעִיד עַל הָאוֹר. הָאוֹר הָאֲמִתִּי, הַמֵּאִיר לְכָל אָדָם, בָּא אֶל הָעוֹלָם. בָּעוֹלָם הָיָה וְעַל־יָדָיו נִהְיָה הָעוֹלָם, וְהָעוֹלָם לֹא הִכִּירוֹ. הוּא בָּא אֶל שֶׁלּוֹ וְאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר לוֹ לֹא קִבְּלוּ אוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל לְאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר קִבְּלוּ אוֹתוֹ, הַמַּאֲמִינִים בִּשְׁמוֹ, נָתַן תֹּקֶף לִהְיוֹת בָּנִים לֵאלֹהִים. לֹא מִדָּם וְלֹא מֵחֵפֶץ הַבָּשָׂר נוֹלְדוּ, אַף לֹא מֵחֵפֶץ גֶּבֶר, כִּי אִם מֵאֱלֹהִים.פ
There came a man sent from Elohim, whose name was Yochanan (יוֹחָנָן). He came as a witness, to testify about the Light (הָאוֹר), so that all might believe through Him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light (הָאוֹר הָאֲמִתִּי) which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own [Yehudim], and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him [remnant of Israel], to them He gave the right to become children of Elohim, even to those who believe in His name, who were born [from above], not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but from Elohim.
Throughout the entire fourth Hebrew Besorah of the Testimony of Messiah we are afforded the distinct privilege of observing what are some of the actual Proceedings of the Heavenly Court. In these Proceedings of the Heavenly Court we see that those of us who are reading, studying, and meditating on this account are also witnesses (participants). We have been summoned to witness the heavenly session’s examination of the evidence surrounding the Testimony of Messiah. We are also summoned to be witnesses to the court’s vindication of those who have put their trust in the Messiah and the court’s findings of judgment against those who have rejected the besorah (good news, gospel) of the Beloved Son, Ha-Mashiach Yeshua. The Heavenly Court appears to function much like any normal court process with eyewitness accounts, evidentiary presentations (exhibits), cross-examinations and persuasive arguments being used throughout the court proceedings. The first witnesses called in these legal proceedings (בית דין של מעלה) are the prophets. The prophets bear witness to the Messiah. They speak as one voice. Moses and the prophets rely on their first century (CE) counterpart, the prophet Yochanan Ben Zechariah Ben Aaron (יוֹחָנָן בֵּן זְכַרְיָה בֵּן אַהֲרוֹן), the (first) *Elijah to cone, to be their principal spokesperson.
*Yochanan was a priest of the line of Aaron; as well as a prophet of El-Elyon (נָבִיא אֵל עֶלְיוֹן). Aaron (אַהֲרוֹן) means “Light-bringer.” Yochanan was the priestly forerunner of M’shiach Adonai, the “Light of the World” (אוֹר הָעוֹלָם-Or Ha’Olam). He is the first of two prophets who are the “Elijah to come.” There is another prophet like Elijah who is yet to come.
The second and last Elijah to come will appear to us just before the Messiah returns to Israel from heaven.
The prophetic spokesperson’s name in Hebrew, Yochanan, means “Adonai is Gracious” (ה’ חנן). When you join together the meanings of the names of the prophet’s father (זְכַרְיָה-Zechariah, זָכַר- יָהּ) and mother (אֱלִישֶׁבַע-Elizabeth, אֵל-שֶׁבַע), you get the prophetic outcome: Adonai Elohim Remembers His Promise of Grace (אדוני אלוהים זוכר את הבטחתו של חן). The testimony of this name teaches us that Adonai Eloheinu sent the Messiah to Israel to fulfill His promise to act favorably, graciously, generously and in loving-kindness (חֵסֵד-chesed) toward Israel; and through Israel—-to all humankind. In holy love Adonai our Father preordained that He would deliver humankind from sin unto perfect righteousness through His saving work that would be manifested through His sending His Spirit (HaDavar) into the womb of the (virgin) Jewess Miryam Bat David (מִרְיָם בַּת דָּוִד), so that He might take the form of the Messiah Ben Ha-Elohim (create a son to dwell in; something the Spirit of Adonai had never done before). In this way—through His Son—Adonai could provide a *Savior to all humankind, HaMoshia l’chol Adam.
*Adonai could not become our Savior by visibly manifesting Himself in an angelic form. Our Father Adonai could provide us salvation only by His Spirit taking on the form of Ben Ha’adam (בֶּן־הָאָדָם). For it is revealed in the Torah that the performance of the sacrifice of our atonement must be accomplished only by a man; not by an angel. Therefore, it is written of the Messiah that He is forever both our Great High Priest (הכהן הגדול שלנו) and our Korban Pesach (קרבן פסח שלנו), “Adonai has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You [M’shiach Adonai] are a priest forever according to the order of Malki-Tzedek (מַלְכִּי־צֶֽדֶק).’”
The Prophet of the Endowment of the Grace of Adonai (Yochanan Ben Zechariah) eloquently speaks for all the prophets when he proclaims that the Father (HaAv) graciously sent the Messiah to earth to be the visible manifestation of His Life and Light for the benefit of all humankind. In this way Avinu Shebashamayim (our Father in heaven) is able to offer our people (Israel) and all the people of the world deliverance from judgment—for all who *believe in M’shiach Adonai. The word “belief” (אֱמוּנָה-emunah) used here and elsewhere in the court narrative, requires acknowledgment that salvation only comes through affirming the truthfulness of all of Adonai’s promises that are voiced through His holy servant, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, whom He has appointed “the son who inherits all” (הַבֵּן אֲשֶׁר שָׂם לְיוֹרֵשׁ כֺּל) and the “head of all” (רֺאשׁ עַל כֺּל). This commandment of Adonai Eloheinu involves our placing our faith in the Messiah who He has sent to be our Deliverer.
הַדָּבָר נִהְיָה בָּשָׂר וְשָׁכַן בְּתוֹכֵנוּ; וַאֲנַחְנוּ רָאִינוּ אֶת כְּבוֹדוֹ, כְּבוֹד בֵּן יָחִיד מִלִּפְנֵי אָבִיו, מָלֵא חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת. יוֹחָנָן הֵעִיד עָלָיו וְקָרָא בְּאָמְרוֹ: “זֶה הוּא שֶׁאָמַרְתִּי עָלָיו, ‘הַבָּא אַחֲרַי הוּא כְּבָר לְפָנַי, כִּי קֹדֶם לִי הָיָה’.” הֵן מִמְּלוֹאוֹ כֻּלָּנוּ קִבַּלְנוּ, וְחֶסֶד עַל חֶסֶד; כִּי הַתּוֹרָה נִתְּנָה עַל־יְדֵי מֹשֶׁה, וְהַחֶסֶד וְהָאֱמֶת בָּאוּ דֶּרֶךְ יֵשׁוּעַ הַמָּשִׁיחַ. אֶת הָאֱלֹהִים לֹא רָאָה אִישׁ מֵעוֹלָם; הַבֵּן הַיָּחִיד, הַנִּמְצָא בְּחֵיק הָאָב, הוּא אֲשֶׁר הוֹדִיעוֹ.פ
And The Word (הַדָּבָר) became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (מָלֵא חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת). Yochanan (יוֹחָנָן) testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace (חֶסֶד עַל חֶסֶד-chesed upon chesed). For the Law was given through Moses; grace (הַחֶסֶד-loving-kindness, mercy, favor) and truth (הָאֱמֶת-stability, certainty, reliability) were realized through Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. No one has seen Elohim at any time; the only begotten Elohim who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
The prophet Yochanan Ben Zechariah Ben Aaron bears witness to the pre-existence of the Messiah.
He existed at the beginning. He is the Beginning (הוּא הָרֵאשִׁית). The Messiah alone exists “in the bosom of the Father” (בְּחֵיק הָאָב). He is the one who makes G-d known (הוּא אֲשֶׁר הוֹדִיעוֹ). Moses himself, along with Elijah (1, 2) and all of the prophets of Israel, testifies that the Messiah who is the True Light has already visited the earth in human form and that a genuine and comprehensive understanding of the will of Adonai regarding the Messiah has already been amply imparted to us through all of the prophets; the last of whom was Yochanan Ben Zechariah (בֵּן אַהֲרוֹן-Ben Aaron, son of the Light-bringer).
Brief Commentary on Moses, the Drawn Out One:
.כִּי הַתּוֹרָה נְתוּנָה בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁה
“For the Torah (הַתּוֹרָה) was given through Moses.”
The name Moses means “Drawn Out” (Moshe-מֹשֶׁה) in Hebrew and “Son” in Egyptian. Moses was the Son drawn out of the World (Egypt, Mitzraim-מִצְרַיִם) when he miraculously survived the Pharaoh’s Edict ordering him to be thrown into the Nile River. The Nile River was considered by the Egyptians to be the source of all life. According to Pharaoh’s Edict of Death, Moses was to be drowned to death (by age two) in the (anti) life of the World (the Nile of Egypt). Instead Adonai drew out His servant Moses who is a type of the Messiah. The Nile speaks of the World’s anti-torah, false beliefs, convictions, and values that bring only death by drowning (immersion) in the lies of the evil one. The deliverance of the drawn out Son was accomplished through a floating ark made out of reeds that lifted him up out of the deadly waters below. This “ark” is a type of the Word of Adonai (the reeds of the Nile are used to make parchments for writing; i.e. the parchment of the Torah). Therefore, Adonai delivers and sustains His people through His Scriptures. The Son in the ark who is prophetically in view here is the promised Deliverer to come, the Messiah who fulfills all of the Torah of Adonai. The Messiah delivers His people (Israel) through the power of His Life and His Word. The Messiah’s Living Torah is drawing out from the world a people for His Name. One day soon all the followers of Yeshua (past and present) will hear the Shofar of Adonai’s Voice (the Messiah), then the righteous dead will gloriously be resurrected and we who are alive will be immediately translated (transformed and lifted up) out of this world into heaven (as were Enoch and Elijah).
Adonai’s ark of reeds (His Word) delivered Moses from death:
The Life of the Messiah (symbolized in the Ark) is what delivered Moses from the Edict of Death. Moses did not deliver himself. The Messiah’s besorah of Adonai’s Grace is not a replacement of the Torah. It is the vehicle through which all of the Torah of Adonai is “fulfilled.” The good news Message of the Life of the Messiah is an Edict of Life. It delivers to all who believe the right to be called the “sons and daughters” of the heavenly Father and the gift of eternal life. The Messiah’s Living Torah (that is engraved in our hearts by the Holy Spirit) is an Ark of Salvation to all who believe. His Living Torah (the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit) imparts to all who believe the fullness of Adonai’s grace (chesed) and truth (emet). The Torah of Moses exposes the unrighteousness of all men in order to prove the necessity for all to believe the Messiah. For Ha-Mashiach Yeshua is the Savior of all Men (HaMoshia l’chol Adam) and the Savior of the world (Moshia HaOlam).
Moses’ brilliant Ministry:
Moses’ ministry brilliantly convicts us of sin. All of us must confess we have sinned; we are all guilty of breaking the commandments of the Holy One. Moses’ ministry convicts us all. Yet his ministry saves no one. The wise Talmid (talmid chacham-תלמיד חכם) who the Messiah loves testifies to us of the extraordinary uniqueness of the Messiah. No one has ever perceived the full reality of the Father (“seen Adonai”) at any time. Not even Moses has seen the Spirit of the Father (רוּחַ הָאָב-Ruach HaAv) in the way that the Messiah has. Only the Beloved Son fully knows the Father (הָאָב-HaAv). The Beloved Son pre-exists creation. As the only one born out of eternity into creation the Messiah shares equally in the mutual love, intimacy and omniscient knowledge that is exclusively enjoyed only in the “Bosom of the Father” (חֵיק הָאָב). Therefore, Messiah is able to communicate, declare (exegete) who our Father Adonai is to a degree no prophet ever could because He alone is the place (הַמָּקֹום-hamakom) where the Holy One tents; where He dwells in the human form of the Messiah.
Calling forth the second witnesses, the Shlichim:
The second witnesses called in these legal proceedings are the shlichim (sent ones). Like the prophets of Israel the shlichim of Israel bear witness to the M’shiach Adonai. Together these emissaries (שָׁלַחִים) of the Messiah speak as one voice. In like manner to the prophets the shlichim have a spokesperson, the shaliach (שָׁלִיחַ) Yochanan Ben Zebedee. The full name of Yochanan Ben Zebedee (יוֹחָנָן בֵּן זַבְדַּי) means: “Endowment of the Grace of Adonai.” Mysteriously, however, nowhere throughout the entire Besorah of Yochanan does he use his personal name. Rather, the only name by which this Spokesperson of the Shlichim will identify himself by is the name of Yeshua. Throughout his besorah he will only identify himself as the disciple (תַּלְמִיד-talmid) that Yeshua loved (אָהוּב עַל יֵשׁוּעַ). This self-identification of the (unnamed) Talmid solely by the name of his master, our Rabbi Yeshua (ישוע רבנו)—-is very important. This manner of self-identity discloses to us that a profound transformation had occurred in the lives of the shlichim and of all of the remnant of Israel—-in faith they had joined themselves to Adonai by accepting the new name He had given them—-the name of Yeshua (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). For these reasons this privileged remnant of Israel is described later as being the “bride of Messiah” (kallat Ha-Mashiach).
The Shaliach’s (sent one’s) new identity is derived from Messiah’s Name:
Therefore, the wise Talmid (התלמיד החכם) whom the Messiah loves has exchanged his old identity for a new one. His new identity is derived from the Messiah’s name. He is now about the business of daily being lead by the Spirit of truth, who is the one who has instructed us to follow the Messiah by hearing,understanding, and obeying His word (1, 2, 3).
הַדְרִיכֵנִי בַאֲמִתֶּךָ וְֽלַמְּדֵנִי כִּֽי־אַתָּה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי אֹותְךָ קִוִּיתִי כָּל־הַיֹּֽום׃
Lead me in Your truth (בַאֲמִתֶּךָ) and teach me, for You are the Elohei Yishee (G-d of My Salvation-אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי); for You I wait all the day.