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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Abraham's Tent set up like the Tabernacle / Temple Mount in Josephus' Torah Copy?

Josephus and the Bible text:

There has been a concern that Josephus may have had a different family of Hebrew manuscripts than which we now currently have, and this family of manuscript masters sometimes has a particular word in its copy that is not quite the same as our own. But this might not necessarily have been the case. A careful analysis of Josephus' testimony using reasoning may help us in determining if there was a generalization or over-simplification by Josephus, a clear distinctive difference, or a deeper insight that was lost later on.

The analysis of Josephus in the first century and the earliest Hebrew manuscripts extant from the 10th Century, will sometimes yield interesting developments. However, we can say with confidence, that though the Massoretes copied from the same trunk family as those decended from Josephus' master Temple of Jerusalem copy...indeed, the Massoretes on at least one point made their own "branch family", as it were.

Josephus' Hebrew Torah copy would have been the one brought up by Hillel from Babylonia, for Jewish rote tradition states that "when Israel forgot the Torah, Hillel restored it unto them." In effect, it was a literal Hebrew copy that was inferred, as the Jewish copy of the Greek LXX was put into common usage, and dominated as the primary copy of those both in the Diaspora, but also in Israel. By the First Century B.C., Israel was a Hellenized land in many respects, but had failed to become as submissive to Romanization.

So what could one example of a Textual difference between the Temple Torah Scroll Josephus had and the Massorete copy which our Bible is now based upon? The Jewish Commentary from those scribes of the Massoretes, the Massorah, tells us that the Massoretes in 134 instances, took the 4 letters of the Tetragrammaton Name of Jehovah and changed the letters to ADNY (i.e., "lord" or "master"). Those instances, in and by themselves, created an entirely new branch family of manuscripts unique and distinctive to the Massoretes. Those 4 letter Y*** to ADNY substitution alterations were stated in the Massorah (hence, by the Massorete scribes themselves) as being done to these verses of Holy Scripture:

Genesis 18:3,27,30,32; 19:18; 20:4. Exodus 4:10,13; 5:22; 15:17; 34:9,9. Numbers 14:17. Joshua 7:8. Judges 6:15; 13:8. 1 Kings 3:10,15; 22:6. 2 Kings 7:6; 19:23. Ezra 10:3. Nehemiah 1:11; 4:14. Job 28:28.

Psalm 2:4; 16:2; 22:19,30; 30:8; 35:3,17,22; 37:12; 38:9,15,22; 39:7; 40:17; 44:23; 51:15; 54:4; 55:9; 57:9; 59:11; 62:12; 66:18; 68:11,17,19,22,26,32; 73:20; 77:2,7; 78:65; 79:12; 86:3,4,5,8,9,12,15; 89:49,50; 90:1,17; 110:5; 130:2,3,6.

Isaiah 3:17,18; 4:4; 6:1,8,11; 7:14,20; 8:7; 9:8,17; 10:12; 11:11; 21:6,8,16; 28:2; 29:13; 30:20; 37:24; 38:14,16; 49:14. Lamentations 1:14,15,15; 2:1,2,5,7,18,19,20; 3:31,36,37,58.
Ezekiel 18:25,29; 21:13; 33:17,29.

Daniel 1:2; 9:3,4,7,9,15,16,17,19,19,19. Amos 5:16; 7:7,8; 9:1. Zechariah 9:4. Micah 1:2. Malachi 1:12,14.

So, in just the use of the Tetragrammaton Name, in order to deny Jesus rather than to preserve the Tetragrammaton's Sanctity (as it is hyped), were the letters equally changed out or altered by the Massorete Scribes. The Presence of G-D rather than just a lord or master, when understood as being the true "context", really does matter, and it should not be hidden away, especially when such instances clearly affirm Christ's Deity in the Old Testament passages on some of those occasions.

Using the Massorah to our advantage:

In the Bible, there are only two Hebrew verses that begin with and end with the Tetragrammaton NAME of the L-RD.

When I say this, I say this with the knowledge of needing to not lightly dismiss the third cited alleged example by scribes writing Massorah in this Scriptural insight of the verses having begun and ended with the Divine Name. That third example, to them, is 1 Samuel 26:23. I do not add that verse to this collection, because in being very precise, 1 Sam. 26:23 leads off in our extant copies with a vav prefix to the Tetragrammaton.

By the standards of Gematria, the leading Yod in each of these two verses below, is the "hand" of the L-RD, who is the L-RD. The ending letter He, in Gematria, represents the "mnemonic sign, Jah is His Name" (C. David Ginsberg, Massorah, Vol. 4, 1880, 1905 reprint. p.472) By 1 Samuel's failure to have the Yod of the Divine Name first, I therefore see it is therefore to be recategorized.

1) “YHVeH your G-D (is) the One (who) is crossing over before you.
He shall destroy nations, those from before, and you will dispossess them.

{Joshua / Jesus } is the One (who) is crossing over before you, as has spoken YHVeH.” Deuteronomy 31:3 (literal)

2) YHVeH (is) to my (future) salvation deliverance,
therefore my songs we will play all the days of our life,
at the House of YHVeH
Isaiah 38:20 (literal)

In these, the L-RD Himself confirms the name of Joshua (LXX – Jesus) upon Himself; and in making this verse in Isaiah the only other match, the L-RD wishes us to learn that it is through this name, Jesus (Deut. 31:3) by which salvation deliverances – in this world and in the next – come about by.

Hence, in the Hebrew, Deuteronomy 31:3 and Isaiah 38:20, are for us -- Yeshua or confirmations of "Jesus" verses out of the Old Testament, and another confirmation in a long line of thousands of Biblical confirmations.

Returning to the theme:

Notice that in the list of the 134 instances provided by the Massorah, the first 4 letter for 4 letter instance begins with Genesis 18:3. But if we simply capitalize and hyphenate the Adonai "lord" top the true intent "L-RD", there is effectively -- for us -- no loss or true alteration to the texts. The infallibility of G-D's word still stands.

But as we examine Josephus' account, there appears to be a change noted in the Greek text of Josephus regarding Genesis 18:1 from the word used by the Massoretes. That word is PaTaCH...door-way or opening of the tent.

Young's Literal Translation states:
18:1 And Jehovah appeareth unto him among the oaks of Mamre, and he is sitting at the opening of the tent, about the heat of the day;

פתח־האהל Patach [open(ing)] is attached to the word Hohel [tent].

In the Greek LXX:
Gen. 18:1 Ὤφθη δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς πρὸς τῇ δρυὶ τῇ Μαμβρη καθημένου αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς θύρας τῆς σκηνῆς αὐτοῦ μεσημβρίας.

What does Josephus say? Instead of the Greek word “skene”, Josephus uses the Greek word “aulas” in his Antiquities of the Jews, 1.11.2., to tell us that Abram sat before the fabric enclosure surrounding his “courtyard”.

This is also how Brill translates it: @196 "After God had issued this judgment concerning the Sodomites, Habramos, noticing three angels and he was sitting near the oak of Mambre before the door of his courtyard.”

And then Brill notes: “Abram cannot be associated with homey details that lack nobility. Hence, when Abraham entertains the three angels here, he is seated not in the tent door (Gen. 18:1) but before the door of his courtyard (aulas), in a Greek type of house (so Thackeray, ad loc.). For similar reasons Josephus omits the detail about Abraham’s inviting them to wash their feet (Gen. 18:4).”

Problem with the Brill note, is that the Massorah calls one of these 3 "angels" as "Jehovah" Himself in Genesis 18:3,27,30,32.

It appears that the best answer to this dilemma of whether the Hebrew Copy of Josephus versus the Massorete copy of 600 or more years later, is that there was a lacunae (or hole where the word once was) in the much later Masorete primary copy where the word Petach (Pe-Tav-Chet) appeared in Genesis 18:1.

Therefore, if this was the case, that hole (lacunae), the size of only 3 letters, should have read the letters of "Chet-Tsaddai-Rosh" or "CHaTSeR". This would then be consistent with the Greek LXX "skanas", since its synonym of (Gr.) "aule" (and sometimes the Greek "epaulis") is a proper translation of (Heb.) "CHaTSeR".

Verification of other Hebrew to Greek Scrriptural instances will show that CHaTSeR is indeed translated with the LXX (Gr.)"skene". So now, using this information, we can then take Josephus' account in conjunction with its use with "skene"/ "aule" as also describing the courts / courtyards of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem in I and II Kings, and Ezekiel...and better understand what was being conveyed.

In this above example of Genesis 18:1, we now see that the intent was that Abraham sat before a precursor to the Tabernacle later used by Israel and its priests to worship G-D. Abraham sat before a single access openings into a courtyard series of tents set up within a surrounding tent wall enclosure. This was Abraham's residence at Mamre, and he and his hundreds of servants housed in a tent city having a singular access to within, with open ground for courts, fabric for walls, and sheep and what have you grazing outside these with shepherds for watchmen.

In this, our understanding is enriched by a Hebrew word picture which went beyond a simple one word translation, that before there was a Jewish Temple, Abraham’s own tent city preceded Moses and a knowledge of G-D prior to Sinai that was used to project how the later Court of Women, Priests, Holy Place and Holy of Holies was laid out.

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