Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #13: Sh’mot (Names) (Ex.) 1:1-6:1
Haftarah: Yirmeyahu (Jer.) 1:1-2:3 (S)
B’rit Chadashah: Mattityahu (Matt.) 22:23-33; 41-46
Mark 12:18-27; 35-37; Luke 20:27-44; Acts 3:12-15;
5:27-32; 7:17-36; 22:12-16; 24:14-16
This week’s Parashah brings up an interesting parallel. “There is nothing new under the sun” discussed in the book of Ecclesiastes and the idea of a Messiah, who is G-d and the “Son of G-d”, is not foreign in some Jewish writings of long ago.
The question we will examine is borne out of the following passage. “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says YHVH: Israel is my first-born son. I have said to you, Let My son go, that he may worship Me, yet you refuse to let him go. Now I will slay your first-born son.'” (Ex. 4:22-23).
Similarly we read in Hoshea (Hosea) 11:1: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.”
If in fact Israel is the first-born son of YHVH spoken of in these passages, why did the writer Mattityahu (Matthew) apply this passage (Hoshea 11:1) to the Messiah; “So he [Yosef] (Joseph)] got up, took the child [Yahshua] and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died. This happened in order to fulfill what YHVH had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Mt. 2:14-15) Why in the world does YHVH identify Israel as His first-born son? Why does Mattityahu identify Messiah as His son? Who in Judaism is the first-born Son of YHVH? Why the apparent confusion? Is Mattityahu taking Hoshea 11:1 out of context?
For anyone doubting the G-dship status of Yahshua, listen and or read closely. The Zohar tells us that the “Son of Yah” is a figure called “Metatron” and the “Middle Pillar of the G-dhead.” Does that sound like what is known in Christianity as the “Trinity” or as we would put it, “Complex Unity” (Echad) to you? Remember, the idea of the Trinity neither taught nor stated in the Bible but implied according to Christian scholars , did not evolve until the 4th century courtesy of Aristotle, who was one of Plato’s pupils. Aristotle had pioneered the fields of logic and metaphysics with his notion of ‘categories,’ This idea was that things in the world could be divided into ‘substances’, ‘qualities’; that those substances possessed, ‘relations’ that existed between the substances and so on. Christian thinkers such as Tertullian (for all his hatred of philosophers) and Gregory of Nyssa built on this as they were talking of Christian doctrines. “Indeed, Gregory’s account of the Trinity revolves around a technical discussion of Aristotle’s categories; a discussion that goes beyond Aristotle to consider that they apply to the divine” (Hill, 2005, p. 90). It is most interesting that this perception and subsequent doctrine is certainly not evidence-based according to “credible research” which is required before being considered qualified and valid in every scientific community. Yet, there are practices in medicine considered the “gold-standard” of care based on information that is neither valid nor reliable. Fortunately, for all of the effort by the scientific community to prove there is no Intelligent Source of life, the opposite truth of the matter continues to reveal itself. This is another instance of G-d using secular humanity and disciplines to reveal Himself to the world.
The Middle Pillar [of the G-dhead] is Metatron, Who has accomplished peace above, According to the glorious state there. (Zohar, vol.3.Ra’aya Mehaimna, p. 227, Amsterdam Edition). Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off. This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the G-dhead, which is the Son of Yah. (Zohar vol. ii, Ra’aya Mehaimna; p.115, Amsterdam Edition). Moreover, the Zohar teaches that Metatron is not just the Son of Yah (G-d), but that he is “first begotten of all the creatures of G-d”:
“And Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house…” (Gen. 24:2) Who is this of whom it said “his servant?” In what sense must this be understood? Who is this servant? R. Nehori answered: “It is in no other sense to be understood than expressed in the word “His servant,” His servant, the servant of G-d, the chief to His service. And who is he? Metatron, as said. He is appointed to glorify the bodies, which are in the grave.”
This is the meaning of the words “Abraham said to His servant” that is to the servant of G-d. The servant is Metatron, the eldest of His [YHVH’s] House, who is the first-begotten of all creatures of G-d, who is the ruler of all He has; because G-d has committed to Him the government over all His hosts. (Zohar, Gen. ; Midrash HaNe’elam ; P. 126 Amsterdam Edition)
So in Judaism both Israel and “Metatron” are identified as the “first-born Son of YHVH”.
Who is this “Metatron” figure? According to the Zohar he is the “Way to the tree of life” and the only mediator between ELOHIM and man:
“To keep the way of the tree of life.” (Gen. 3:24) Who is the way to the tree of life? It is the great Metatron, for he is the way to that great tree, to that mighty tree of life. Thus it is written, “The Angel of G-d, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them.” (Ex. 14:19) And Metatron is called the Angel of G-d. Come and see, thus says R. Simeon. The holy One, blessed Be He, has prepared for Himself a holy Temple above in the heavens, a holy city, a city in the heavens, and called it Jerusalem, the holy city. Every petition sent to the King, must be through Metatron. Every message and petition from here below, must first go to Metatron, and from thence to the king. Metatron is the Mediator of all that comes from heaven down to the earth, or from the earth up to heaven. And because he is the mediator of all, it is written “And the Angel of G-d, which went before the camp of Israel, removed; that is, before Israel which is above.” (Ex. 14:19) This Angel of G-d is the same of whom it is written “And YHVH went before them…” (Ex. 13:21) to go by day and by night as the ancients have expounded it. Whoever will speak to me [says G-d] shall not be able to do so, till he has made it known to Metatron. Thus the holy One, blessed be He, on account of the great love to and mercy with which He has over the Assembly of Israel, commits her (the Assembly) to Metatron’s care. What shall I do for Him (Metatron)? I will commit my whole house into His hand, etc. Henceforth be you a Keeper s it is written “The Keeper of Israel” (Ps. 121:4) (Zohar; Vol. ii,, Exodus p. 51, Amsterdam Edition)
So when YHVH says in Sh’mot (Ex.) 4:22-23 and Hoshea 11:1 that Israel is his first-born son He must be speaking allegorically. He is comparing Israel to Metatron. And when Mattityahu quotes Hoshea 11:1 and applies this sonship to Messiah he is referring to the reality behind the allegory of Hosea 11:1 and Sh’mot 4:22-23. In effect Mattityahu is saying that Yahshua ha Mashiach is the figure that Rabbinic Judaism came to call “Metatron”. Therefore the Torah in Sh’mot 4:22-23 is prompting us that there is an allegorical relationship between Israel and Messiah/Metatron.
So how is the Messiah allegorically like Israel?
· Both made a major impact on the world
· Both were born through a biological miracle on their mother’s womb
· Both were taken into Egypt to save their lives
· Both are called up out of Egypt
· Both have been despised and rejected by man
· Rome attempted to execute each of them
· Both are resurrected never to die again
By saying “Israel is my first-born son”, Elohim is saying that by oppressing Israel, it is as if Pharaoh was oppressing the Son of Yah, the Messiah himself. Metatron; the Breath of Life breathed; the Messiah, the Way, the Truth, the Life, the future Groom of Israel, Liel (my G-d). To deny Yahshua as G-d incarnate is to call Him a liar. Anyone in this category has no place in my life or among my sheep!
Haftarah: Yirmeyahu: 1:1-2:3
This haftarah speaks to similarities between Moshe and Jeremiah as they were called by G-d for their specific missions. They were both humble men who initially attempted to recuse themselves from their G-d-given tasks. G-d reassured both men that they were prepared for their missions and that they would not be killed at the hands of their enemies. Jeremiah saw a staff from an almond tree, a symbol described in Numbers 17:23 to designate Aaron as the man G-d chose as the High Priest before all Israel, and to represent that the legitimate priesthood would remain with Israel. Only the Kingship would be lost through their disobedience. Similarly, we need to accomplish our purpose in life which is to glorify G-d as did these great prophets. Our specific mission is made known to us at G-d’s chosen time, whether in our youth or in old age. We need to prepare our hearts and minds to take advantage of the opportunities as they are presented. Like Jeremiah, G-d is with us to rescue us (Jer.1:19).
B’rit Chadasha Hebrews 11: 23-26 (11: 1)
Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see. 2. It was for this that Scripture attested the merit of the people of old.) Trusting or “faith,” Greek pistis.
Being confident, Greek upostasis (literally, “that which stands under”), what gives present reality to what we hope for. In contrast to the rest of the chapter, which analyzes various “heroes of faith” chronicled in the Tanakh, this verse sets forth a basic function of trusting, namely, that by trusting we understand—or, as the 11th-century Christian theologian Anselm put it, Credo ut intelligam (“I believe in order to understand”). Those who refuse to take the tiny step necessary to trust in G-d cannot understand the most basic truths: the benevolent consequences of faith are not only emotional but affect the realm of the mind.
23 By trusting, the parents of Moshe hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they weren’t afraid of the king’s decree.
24 By trusting, Moshe, after he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose being mistreated along with G-d’s people rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin. 26 He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes fixed on the reward.
The author devotes more space to Moshe than to any of the other heroes of faith except Avraham.
Verse 23 The parents of Moshe, Amram and Yoch‘eved (Exodus 6:20), hid him by placing him in a basket to float in the Nile, so that he wouldn’t be killed according to Pharaoh’s decree. In answer to their faith, Pharaoh’s daughter found him there and raised him as her own son, even employing the child’s own mother to nurse him (Exodus 2:1–10).
24–26 Moshe had every possible advantage Egypt could offer. Jewish tradition maintains that as the adopted child of Pharaoh’s daughter he may even have been in line for the throne. But he also had knowledge of G-d’s revelation and of his own identity as an Israelite, and chose being mistreated along with G-d’s people rather than enjoying the perquisites of his position, until finally (Exodus 2:11–15) he was forced to flee for his life.
26 He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah …. Moshe did not know of Yahshua, nor is there evidence that he had specific knowledge of a coming Messiah, Savior or Son of G-d, although he did refer to a Star that would come out of Jacob (Numbers 24:17–19) and to a future prophet like himself (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18–19). But Yn 5:46 says that Moshe nevertheless wrote about Yahshua. One may fairly say that Moshe suffered on behalf of all G-d’s promises, both those known to him at the time and that G-d would make in the future; and, after the fact, it is clear that this implies his suffering abuse on behalf of the Messiah. Sha’ul, in many ways the Moshe of his day, suffered similarly
He kept his eyes fixed on the reward, which was “not seen” (v. 1).
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart
Additional reference used in this teaching:
Hill, J. (2005). What has Christianity ever done for us? : How it shaped the
modern world. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.