Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Hebrew of Judah

Hebrew fascinates me. There is usually so much more going on under the surface of the text, in part because of the deep meanings of the letters. Our English translations simply miss all the amazing nuances and word plays that are going on.

When Jacob blesses his sons in Genesis 49, there is definitely more going on than meets the eye.

Let's look at the blessing he gave Judah in verses 8-11:

Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise;
Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s children shall bow down before you.

Judah is a lion’s whelp;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
And as a lion, who shall rouse him?

The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes;
And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

Binding his donkey to the vine,
And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
He washed his garments in wine,
And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
His eyes are darker than wine,
And his teeth whiter than milk.

First of all, the word Judah means praise... Literally giving thanks. The prophecy starts out with his brothers doing just that.  Someday, the brothers of Yeshua are going to thank and praise Him for what He did for them.

I have previously written about the connection between the name of God  (Yehovah) and the name of Judah.  You can read it here if you wish.

Shiloh is considered to be a synonym for the Messiah, even by the ancient Jewish scholars.  The meaning of Shiloh is He whose it is.

It is interesting to note that in Jacob's entire prophecy to Judah, every single Hebrew letter can be found, except the zayin.  Every Hebrew letter carries a meaning, and the original meaning of the letter zayin is a sword or sharp weapon.

The zayin even looks like a sword.
Just zayin'
At the time of Yeshua, the Jewish people were looking for a man of war, a mighty Messiah who would deliver them from Rome's oppressive rule. 

Just as the zayin was missing from the prophecy, perhaps this is why so many missed His first coming. They wanted the physical, visible sword!  They did not want the invisible, spiritual sword by which Yeshua conquered sin and death through His suffering.

Yeshua is returning soon. But He is no longer the suffering servant with the invisible sword.  The second time around, He will be arriving with the zayin as a mighty conquering King, and will vanquish His enemies. Are you ready?

Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.
And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.
He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Revelation 19:15

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