Category Archives: hebrew

Isaiah 9:5 – Another Misinterpereted Messainic Passage

5 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

6 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of YHWH almighty will accomplish this.  

The phrase “ElGibor” should be rendered as “God is Mighty,” not “Mighty God.” It's a theophoric name, that's all.

The word “El” was incorporated into Hebrew names on a regular basis: Mi'K'El = Michael = “who is like God.” Natan-I-El = Nathaniel = “Was Given to me (by) God.” It would be just as much a mistake to translate these names as meaning “this person is like God” or “God given to me” as it is to translate ElGibor as “mighty God.”

The name Elijah is composed of Eli (God) and Jah, which is short for Jahovah. The name Gabriel (גַּבְרִיאֵל) is constructed of exactly the same words as El Gibor (אֵל גִּבּוֹר). But it does not mean that the angel Gabriel is YHWH. The name Danel (not Daniel, Ezekiel 14:14, דנאל) means Judement of God. The name Emmanuel which means God [is] with us does not mean that any person named Emmanuel is the conduit of YHWH – though the writer of Matthew does some mental gymnastics to make this apply to Jesus. The name Ahijah means Brother of YHWH. There's no one who thinks that YHWH has a literal brother.

The commas in that translation are not in the original. Neither are the capitalized words.The way most Jews understand it is as follows:

“And he will be called wonderful, counselor, God-is-mighty, always father, prince of peace.”

So all you have is a Jewish Messianic prophecy listing the various names and titles which will be conferred to Messiah if/when he comes.


Posted by on November 17, 2010 in apologetics, hebrew


From Jehoshua to Jesu

“Jesus” is a Latinized Greek rendering of the Hebrew original name Jehoshua, which is a theophoric name – like Michael (who is like god?), Christopher (christ bearer), and even Netanyahu (gift of YHWH).
Since some other people wrote it better than me, here is some cribbing of others:
The issue of the different forms of [the] name [Joshua] is a chronological one. Forms like יהושע were earlier than those names with the contracted theophoric element, eg ישוע.

This table should help show the different usage:

Jehoshua in Haggai and Zechariah, while (fit the battle) Jehoshua is restricted to Exodus and Joshua (with a few elsewhere).
Jeshua occurs 30 times in the Hebrew bible, exclusively in Chr, Ezra and Nehemiah.
Jehozadak in Haggai and Zechariah, as well as Chr.
Jozadak found in Ezra and Nehemiah
Jehonathan mainly in Samuel (61 of 74)
Jonathan used sparsely (12x including 5 in Esther).
Jehoiakim appears 36 times in Kings, Chr and Jeremiah
Joiakim occurs 3 times only in Nehemiah.

Both Haggai and Zechariah are earlier than Ezra and Nehemiah. Esther is also thought late. What we see is not a sudden stop of using the long form but a transition from long to short forms. We have the same person, Yeshua the high priest of the return being called Yehoshua in Haggai and Zechariah, and the short form in Ezra and Nehemiah.

The LXX uses the one form for both Yehoshua and Yeshua, Ιησους; the one form for Yehonathan and Yonathan, Ιωναθαν; similar forms for Yehozadak and Yozadak, Ιωσαδακ and Ιωσεδεκ. The Greek is obviously following the later habit based on the short form.

And another:
[Irenaeus] starts by criticizing the heretics for relying on the Greek language for developing their kabbalah:

This very thing, too, still further demonstrates their opinion false, and their fictitious system untenable, that they endeavour to bring forward proofs of it, sometimes through means of numbers and the syllables of names, sometimes also through the letter of syllables, and yet again through those numbers which are, according to the practice followed by the Greeks, contained in letters;– [this, I say,] demonstrates in the clearest manner their overthrow or confusion, as well as the untenable and perverse character of their [professed] knowledge. For, transferring the name Jesus, which belongs to another language, to the numeration of the Greeks, they sometimes call it “Episemon,” as having six letters (i.e. Ἰησοῦς because it has six letters), and at other times “the Plenitude of the Ogdoads,” as containing the number eight hundred and eighty-eight (i.e. the numerological value of Ἰησοῦς). But His Greek name, which is “Soter,” that is, Saviour, because it does not fit in with their system, either with respect to numerical value or as regards its letters, they pass over in silence. Yet surely, if they regard the names of the Lord, as, in accordance with the preconceived purpose of the Father, by means of their numerical value and letters, indicating number in the Pleroma, Soter, as being a Greek name, ought by means of its letters and the numbers, in virtue of its being Greek, to show forth the mystery of the Pleroma. But the case is not so, because it is a word of five letters, and its numerical value is one thousand four hundred and eight. But these things do not in any way correspond with their Pleroma; the account, therefore, which they give of transactions in the Pleroma cannot be true.

Moreover, Jesus, which is a word belonging to the proper tongue of the Hebrews, contains, as the learned among them declare, two letters and a half, (ישו) and signifies that Lord who contains heaven and earth; for Jesus in the ancient Hebrew language means “heaven,” while again “earth” is expressed by the words sura usser. The word, therefore, which contains heaven and earth is just Jesus. Their explanation, then, of the Episemon is false, and their numerical calculation is also manifestly overthrown. For, in their own language, Soter is a Greek word of five letters; but, on the other hand, in the Hebrew tongue, Jesus contains only two letters and a half. The total which they reckon up, viz., eight hundred and eighty-eight, therefore falls to the ground. And throughout, the Hebrew letters do not correspond in number with the Greek, although these especially, as being the more ancient and unchanging, ought to uphold the reckoning connected with the names. For these ancient, original, and generally called sacred letters of the Hebrews are ten in number (but they are written by means of fifteen), the last letter being joined to the first. And thus they write some of these letters according to their natural sequence, just as we do, but others in a reverse direction, from the right hand towards the left, thus tracing the letters backwards. The name Christ, too, ought to be capable of being reckoned up in harmony with the Aeons of their Pleroma, inasmuch as, according to their statements, He was produced for the establishment and rectification of their Pleroma. The Father, too, in the same way, ought, both by means of letters and numerical value, to contain the number of those Aeons who were produced by Him; Bythus, in like manner, and not less Monogenes; but pre- eminently the name which is above all others, by which God is called, and which in the Hebrew tongue is expressed by Baruch, (בָּרוּךְ ??) which also contains two and a half letters. From this fact, therefore, that the more important names, both in the Hebrew and Greek languages, do not conform to their system, either as respects the number of letters or the reckoning brought out of them, the forced character of their calculations respecting the rest becomes clearly manifest.[AH 2.24.1,2]

How's your fourth century conspiracy, now? Irenaeus is actually attacking the use of Greek to understand Jesus and arguing for the Aramaic basis to the tradition. As I noted in another post I strongly suspect that Irenaeus original wrote in Aramaic.

Harvey agrees with my identification of yeshu as the two and a half letter name of Jesus (p. 336). He also points to a marginal note that somehow made its way into the sentence in the oldest manuscripts – 'sion' which he takes to be a misunderstanding of a note which spelled out the value of yeshu (i.e. shin = 300, yod = 10, vav = 6). This strongly implies to me again that the original text was written in Aramaic.

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Posted by on October 25, 2010 in hebrew


The Definition of Sin

According to Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT):

The root occurs about 580 times in the Old Testament and is thus its principle word for sin. The basic meaning of the root is to miss a mark or a way. It is used two or three times in Ugaritic to mean “sin.”

The verbal forms occur in enough secular contexts to provide a basic picture of the word’s meaning. In Jud 20:16 the left-handed slingers of Benjamin are said to have the skill to throw stones at targets and “not miss.” In a different context, Prov 19:2 speaks of a man in a hurry who “misses his way” (RSV, NEB, KJV has “sinneth”). A similar idea of not finding a goal appears in Prov 8:36; the concept of failure is implied.

The verb has the connotation of breach of civil law, i.e. failure to live up to expectations, in Gen 40:1.

In Greek translations of the OT (the LXX) and carried on into the NT, it is “hamartia” (άμαρτία) which was originally an archery term for missing the bulls-eye (from “αμαρτάνω” [hamartanō], I miss, fail). Essentially, it has a similar meaning to the Hebrew words.

I guess the feeling in antiquity was that if a god expressed his or her preferences for his/her own worship, or his/her expectations for his faithful followers, and you missed the mark, you deserved punishment.

Basically, sin is defined as transgressing the Law of Moses. If you are not bound by the Law of Moses, then you cannot “sin”. I wonder if Paul realized the irony of abrogating the Torah means that subsequent Christians really can’t sin any more, but not in the way that they think. Or on the other hand, that abrogating the Torah and not following the 613 commandments, while still claiming to follow the god of Moses, means that they are left in perpetual sin.
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Posted by on September 1, 2009 in archery, greek, hebrew

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