Miracle #8. The Exorcism of Mary Magdalene.
- The Eighth Miracle of Messiah
- Opening-up questions and clues
The Eighth Miracle of Messiah:
וְהוּא כַּאֲשֶׁר קָם מִן־הַמֵּתִים בְּאֶחָד בַּשַּׁבָּת נִרְאָה בָרִאשֹׁנָה אֶל־מִרְיָם הַמַּגְדָּלִית אֲשֶׁר גֵּרַשׁ מִמֶּנָּה שִׁבְעָה שֵׁדִים׃
כַּאֲשֶׁר קָם בַּבֹּקֶר בָּרִאשׁוֹן בַּשָּׁבוּעַ, נִרְאָה בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה לְמִרְיָם הַמַּגְדָּלִית אֲשֶׁר מִמֶּנָּה גֵּרֵשׁ שִׁבְעָה שֵׁדִים.פ
But when He (the Mashiach) rose from the dead on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Miryam HaMagdalit, from whom He had driven seven demons.
וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי־כֵן וַיַּעֲבֹר מֵעִיר אֶל־עִיר וּמִכְּפָר אֶל־כְּפָר קוֹרֵא וּמְבַשֵּׂר אֶת־מַלְכוּת הָאֱלֹהִים וּשְׁנֵים הֶעָשָׂר אִתּוֹ׃ וְנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר נִרְפְּאוּ מֵרוּחוֹת רָעוֹת וּמֵחֳלָיִים מִרְיָם הַנִּקְרָאָה מַגְדָּלִית אֲשֶׁר גֹּרְשׁוּ מִמֶּנָּה שִׁבְעָה שֵׁדִים׃ וְיוֹחָנָה אֵשֶׁת כּוּזָא סוֹכֵן הוֹרְדוֹס וְשׁוֹשַׁנָּה וַאֲחֵרוֹת רַבּוֹת אֲשֶׁר שֵׁרְתֻהוּ מִנִּכְסֵיהֶן׃
אַחֲרֵי כֵן עָבַר מֵעִיר לְעִיר וּמִכְּפָר לִכְפָר כְּשֶׁהוּא מַכְרִיז וּמְבַשֵֹר אֶת מַלְכוּת הָאֱלֹהִים. הַשְּׁנֵים־עָשָׂר הָיוּ אִתּוֹוְ גַם כַּמָּה נָשִׁים שֶׁנִּרְפְּאוּ מֵרוּחוֹת רָעוֹת וּמֵחֳלָאִים: מִרְיָם הַנִּקְרֵאת מַגְדָּלִית, אֲשֶׁר שִׁבְעָה שֵׁדִים יָצְאוּ מִמֶּנָּה, וְיוֹחָנָה, אֵשֶׁת כּוּזָא מְנַהֵל מֶשֶׁק בֵּיתוֹ שֶׁל הוֹרְדוֹס, וְשׁוֹשַׁנָּה וְרַבּוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת אֲשֶׁר כִּלְכְּלוּ אוֹתוֹ מִנִּכְסֵיהֶן. פ
After this, He (the Mashiach) passed from town to town and from village to village, proclaiming and bringing the news of the kingdom of Adonai. The Twelve were with Him, as well as women who were healed from evil spirits and from sicknesses: Miryam who is called Magdalit, from whom seven demons had been driven out, Yochanah, the wife of Kuza the steward of Hordos, Shoshannah, and many others who attended to Him out of their wealth.
Opening-up questions and clues:
The following opening-up questions and clues are provided as an introduction to this study on the 8th Miracle of Messiah. Look at the symbolism of the miracle narrative: At what location does the miracle occur? Clue: We don’t know for certain where the miracle occurred! Magdala is listed as the place where the exorcism happened because the Messiah most likely healed Miryam at the place where she lived. What do we know about the place where Miryam lived, the village of Magdala? Answer: Magadala, Greek name Taricheae (meaning, “the places where the fish are prepared”). Its location on the ancient road made it strategically important (the road from Netufa valley, via the Arbel valley, through Gennesaret valley on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, towards north and east). The nearby water springs, fertile land, and fishing industry made Magdala an important city in the Hellenistic period. In the Roman period the the fishing industry was gradually replaced by a textile industry. It was especially renown for its dye works and its production of fine woolen products. Magdala also possessed hundreds of shops that sold turtle doves and pigeons that were used for sacrifice at the Temple. Wagon loads of these birds were sent to the Jerusalem Temple during the religious festivals. As a witness to this fact the road that brought the Messiah Yeshua into the plain of Gennesaret was located between two mountains, called the “Valley of the Doves.” This public testimony was appropriate because of the incredible number and importance of the doves that came out of Magdala. What else do we know about Magdala? Tragically, this place that supplied numerous sacrifices for the Temple also was a place of great immorality. When Magdala was later destroyed and never rebuilt the rabbis attributed its destruction to its sinful-immoral lifestyle. When did the Messiah drive the seven demons out of Magdalit? Clue: The time of the miracle is deliberately withheld! The seven demons were driven out at an unspecified, “unknown” place and time. What do we know? We only know that since Miryam was included in the Messiah’s inner-circle of followers the miracle of her deliverance and healing most likely occurred very early on in the Messiah’s ministry. Most likely the miracle occurred during His first teaching and healing tour of Galilee. This would place the time of the miracle of Miryam before the tenth miracle when at Capernaum the Messiah forgave and healed a man who suffered from ‘paralysis of his limbs’ (cf. Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim, chapter 81). Why is the deliverance narrative of the Jewess Miryam deliberately placed in a context that exists ‘outside’ of time and place? Clue: The literal meaning of the personal name and place name of Miryam of Magdala is: “Tower of Bitterness.” What do you think is prophetically meant by this phrase? Is this not an apt description of the condition of Miryam’s life before she met the Mashiach? Does this phrase also describe the immense torment of the Messiah when He was crucified on the accursed tree? What do we know about the other two women who, along with Miryam, are named as close followers and supporters of the Messiah? What do the names and descriptions of all three of these women mean prophetically? Miryam Magdalit (Mary Magdalene)? Yochanah (Joanna), the wife of Kuza (Chuza) the steward of Hordos (Herod Antipas)? Shoshannah (Susanna)? How does this information describe in greater detail the prophetic meaning of the descriptive phrase, The Tower of Bitterness? “Miryam who is called Magdalit…” Now that you know the full meaning of Miryam’s name—Tower of Bitterness—(and the meaning of her women companions’ names and descriptions) what is the significance of Miryam being called by the place where she lived; instead of by her first name? What new meaning now emerges when we ask again the question: “When did the Messiah drive the seven demons out of Magdalit?” Clue: Rather than think about the individual Miryam, think of a ‘place’ where a community of persons are industriously engaged in the (public) business of religion but whose (private) lives are just as zealously engaged in immorality. What else do we know about this inner-circle of Jewish women who, along with Miryam, were loyal followers and dedicated supporters of the Mashiach? Answer: We know that this inner-circle of women followers would not have traveled with the men (disciples). We know that social convention at the time of the first century (CE) would have required these Jewish women to follow at a distance. We also know that at this time women were looked upon with contempt, and were very much mistreated by men. What was the attitude and behavior of the Mashiach toward women? Quite to the contrary of the dominant Jewish male culture of His day the Messiah, Rabbi Yeshua, always behaved toward women in a highly caring and respectful manner. The incredible high value and regard that the Messiah assigned to women (and they to Him) is well illustrated in what happened at His crucifixion and resurrection. There was a multiple number of the women who were part of Messiah’s inner-circle present at His crucifixion. Yet only one male follower out of the twelve closest male disciples of the Messiah was brave enough and loyal enough to be present at the time of His suffering and death. Furthermore, it must be noted that at the time of Messiah’s resurrection He chose to first appear to Miryam and a select group of His most loyal women followers and supporters. It was only ‘after’ the Mashiach first appeared to this inner-circle of women that He then ‘later’ appeared to His closest remaining eleven disciples (i.e. one of the Twelve, the betrayer Judas Iscariot, had taken his own life). What great historical significance is there to Messiah at His resurrection first appearing to women? Clue: The women became the first to be honored and the men became the last. Clue: The First Adam refused to become the Redeemer for his wife and chose to sin and to blame her for ‘his’ sin (i.e. he put himself “first” and became an “accuser” of women). The Last Adam, however, accepted the role of becoming the Servant-Redeemer and although He was without sin, He chose to bear the guilt and punishment for all women and all humanity (i.e. He put Himself “last” and became the “Servant-Redeemer-Savior” of all women and of all humankind!).
What lesson of Servant Leadership can both men and women learn from this example?
If the old order is passing away and it involves the subjugation and oppression of women, then what is the new status of women in the new creation order? Answer:
אֵין יְהוּדִי אַף לֹא גּוֹי, אֵין עֶבֶד אַף לֹא בֶּן חוֹרִין, לֹא זָכָר אַף לֹא נְקֵבָה, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁכֻּלְּכֶם אֶחָד בַּמָּשִׁיחַ יֵשׁוּעַ. פ
“There is not Yehudi nor Gentile, there is not eved (servant) nor ben chorin (freedman), there is not zachar (male) nor nekevah (female), for you are all echad in Mashiach Yeshua.” How is the resurrection day of the Mashiach the first day of a New Creation? How is the resurrection day of the Master both an Eighth day and a First day at the same time? What does the symbol of the Eighth day mean in Judaism? How is the resurrection day of the Mashiach a witness to the reality of eternity and of the gift of our heavenly Father (Avinu Shebashamayim) to us of Eternal Life?