Amos 9: 11-12
Acts 15: 16-17
In our Yeshiva we recently studied the Book of Amos and I noticed an interesting anomaly in the Hebrew. It is interesting because it relates back to what I have previously taught as regards the Alef-Tav as it appears in Genesis 1:1; the Alef – Tav corresponds in Greek to the Alpha – Omega. Although I spoke on and wrote on this subject some time ago I noticed your current interest, and many of you were not attending this congregation then, so this seems like an opportune time to reintroduce one segment of that study to you.
Let me start by telling you something of the history of Amos.
Solomon’s famous Temple, which stood for 350 years, was destroyed in 587 BC. Amos, the Old Testament Prophet spoke of a future restoration of David’s Tabernacle, which inferred the destruction of Solomon’s Temple. Amos ministered to the Northern Kingdom, Israel, some 200 years before its destruction during the reign of Jeroboam II. We should note that his prophetical office took place in a time of prosperity and his prophetical judgments upon Israel seemed improbable and not possible of coming true. Yet, within fifty years, the Northern Kingdom was utterly destroyed.
What I want to point out to you is what is written in Amos 9: 11-12. Turn to this scripture in you bible and read along with me:
11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
We see that Amos did not even mention the destruction of and restorations of the various temples, but wrote about a future restoration of the Tabernacle of David. This is why I believe that there will not be another Temple built before the millennium Temple of Yahshua haMashiach, but there will be the restoration of the Tabernacle of David on Mt. Moriah. Possibly coming about by a divinely appointed natural disaster that destroys the Mosque of Omar. It is believed by many of the Temple Faithful in Jerusalem that the Tabernacle and the Ark are concealed beneath the Temple Mount at this very time. It is even suggested that some have already seen these artifacts, but cannot reveal their hiding place for fear of starting a full-scale war with the Arabs. Whatever the current circumstances this prophecy implied something terrible would happen to the Temple of Solomon. And two hundred years later the Temple was destroyed.
A century later Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel would restore the Temple liturgy in a structure inferior to Solomon’s Temple. Then in 19 BC Herod the Great would build the grand Herodian Temple that stood in the days of Yahshua. Messianic Believer’s met there some 18 years prior to its destruction in AD 70. James, the leader of the Jerusalem believers quoted from Amos there. The OT prophet Amos predicted that many Gentiles would someday be called by Adonai’s name. Luke, the writer of the Book of Acts has James quoting from the Greek Septuagint, which varies somewhat from the Hebrew Text that reads differently as we shall see. We shall also see how Alef-Tav figures in with this translation.
In the KJV Acts 15: 16-17 reads:
16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
18 Known unto G-d are all his works from the beginning of the world.
I particularly want to call your attention to verse 17-
Now let’s us go to Amos 9: 12 in the KJV.
We will see that there is as difference in the translation of the Amos passage and it quote in Acts 15;
Amos actually wrote:
Amos 9:12 “ That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of the heathen, which are called by my name.”
But when the passage is repeated in Acts 15:17, it becomes: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
In the original passage, the King James translation has the remnant possessing Edom. Yet in Acts, the KJV has the residue of men seeking after Adonai. Why? Those familiar with different translations of the bible both modern and in antiquity know it is evident that James quoted from the Septuagint version. This is a version that 70 Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt made about 330 BC. It was the bible used by Greek speaking Jews outside of Jerusalem and many early believers everywhere. These 70 scholars made a dynamic translation, which changed this passage in two areas as well as in other areas of the OT.
First, the Hebrew word for Edom [oult] is spelled the same as Adam. The Septuagint translators thought of the remnant as being from among Adam’s descendants “the residue of men.” The Amos passage says, “they may possess the remnant of Edom.” So who are “they”? They are the residues of Adam. If so, then what were they seeking to possess? The Hebrew passage appears as:
Ooult jhrta jt uarhh lgnk
Edom The they may So that remnant possess of
From right to left count to the third word. What we have is an untranslatable word, the first word of the Hebrew alphabet Alef and the last word Tav, pronounced “Eht.” It has no corresponding English translation, but the 70 Septuagint scholars translated it as “Lord.” So it is the Lord that the remnant is seeking to possess not Edom. The KJV is not in error since there is no translatable word in Amos for Lord. The alef-tav was a mystery to them. But the Jewish Scholars made a dynamic translation and referred to the eht, the Alef-Tav as Lord. This is correct also. It is the Hebrew equivalent of Alpha-Omega and is a definite reference to Yahshua haMashiach.
We can clearly see that He is the One who will be sought after in that day when the Tabernacle of David is set up! We might say that the KJV translation is incorrect, but we must note that the KJV translators were not at liberty to make a dynamic translation of either passage. Only the Jewish scholars of the Septuagint were given the task of changing Hebrew into Greek. From which comes the Acts quotation.
What we must assume is that the KJV of Amos was allowed to stand by HaShem to allow a spiritual veil that could not be understood by the readers of only the Tanakah for even in there it is translated as is the KJV. HaShem has placed a veil over many Jewish eyes that is being lifted today. There is a divine reason for all things in His inerrant infallible Word.
The prophecy of Amos has been partially fulfilled. We are only waiting for the reclaiming of the Temple Mount to see complete fulfillment. May it come soon!
Baruch haba b’shem YHVH Elohim.