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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Discussing Biblical Quotes from "Killing Jesus" From the Eyes of a Jewish Bubba

Nadene Goldfoot   

                           Zechariah, the king of Israel, died in 744 BCE.  He was the son of Jeroboam II and the last king of the house of Jehu.   His reign only lasted 6 months and he was assassinated by Shallum (743 BCE) who succeeded him.
                          The other Zechariah was the Prophet and priest who lived in the first half of the 6th century BCE when Jews returned from the Babylonian Exile. His prophecies are concerned with his own contemporary events.

Political situations that Jews found themselves in way back in "Old Testament" (in Hebrew, Tanakh,)  days are not much different than situations we find ourselves in today.   Writers of the gospel certainly used them.  I see that Bill O'Reilly also uses them to prove his novel, "Killing Jesus," on page 177, where he is listing Zechariah's ( 6th century BCE) predictions of a coming Messiah.

He is quoted by Bill Reilly to have said, "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  He will proclaim peace to the nations.   His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth."  

The Zechariah reference given below does not speak of this.  I found it listed in Zechariah 9:9-10.  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem!  For behold, your king will come to you, righteous and victorious is he, a humble man riding upon a donkey, upon a foal, a calf of she-donkeys. I will eliminate any battle-chariot from Ephraim and any war horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of warfare will be eliminated;  and he will speak peace to the nations.  His dominion will be from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.  
This was a prophecy by Zechariah against enemy cities for when the Messiah comes to Zion (Jerusalem).  He's saying that the Messiah will be a humble man riding a donkey rather than an ostentatious horse.  It goes on to say that not only the Messiah, but all Jews will be protected and snatched from the waterless pit of exile by merit of the blood of circumcision covenant and the blood of the covenant of Sinai which is spoken of in Exodus 24:8. {This is referring to the covenant the 600,000 took with Moses to follow the laws). We were chosen to follow the laws and to be the light of the world because we were so stiff-necked; a people who when giving a promise would stick by it.  It did not mean we were special in any other way.  This started as Isaac was the son of Abraham and is based on the covenant Abraham had with G-d and this same covenant was renewed in the Sinai.  It is conditional and depends on us following the Torah.  Israel was to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  Isaiah describes the image of Israel as the chosen servant of mankind whose suffering will bring salvation to the world and Israel is just an instrument.

 What happened for Jews  is that in 70 CE,  Rome, who was occupying Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple and took  Jews as prisoners to Rome.  Many escaped and became the Sephardis, Mizrachis and Ashkenazis who have been in exile for the past 2,000 years until May 14, 1948.  Jews are still waiting for the Messiah. Christians use it to prove that Jesus, who was crucified in 29 CE,  was the Messiah. Many scholars ascribe the chapters from 9 to 14, in which this was found, to another author or authors, possibly of the First Temple Period, on the basis of their language and content.  King Solomon had the Temple built and he reigned from 961 to 920 BCE.

 Zechariah was a prophet who lived during the time of the return from the Babylonian Exile.  He most likely was a priest and his prophecies were concerned with his contemporary events and foretold about material prosperity, the ingathering of the exiles, liberation from foreign yoke, and the expansion of Jerusalem.  His prophecies got the people to rebuild the Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar.

Bill writes of all the things that will happen to Jesus(c8 BCE -29 CE, died at the age of 37);  like riding into town on a donkey, being falsely accused of crimes not committed, being beaten, spat upon, stripped, soldiers rolling dice for his clothing, and of course, crucified.  He ends this section with "and those who love him will look on in mourning, unable to do anything to stop the agony.  Then he lists the 12 quotes this all comes from in order.  I had to look these up and read what they were about.


      King David of Israel, b: Bethlehem, youngest son of Jesse, armour-bearer of King Saul at age 25, married Saul's daughter, Michal.  The Tanakh tells of his virtues and vices.  

1. Psalms 27:12:  "Deliver me not to the wishes of my tormentors, for there have arisen against me false witnesses who breathe out violence."  This was written by King David (1010 BCE-970 BCE)  who fought against the Philistines of which the giant, Goliath was one.  The Philistines, who were not native to Canaan,  were eventually routed and the Israelites became a nation among men.  They were not even Semites.  These invaders had been one of the European Sea Peoples who migrated south from the Greek Island to crush empires and occupy much of the Middle East.  Egypt survived their onslaught but was greatly reduced in size.  When Moses had  Joshua and the Israelites enter Canaan  c 1271 BCE,  the Philistines were not there.  It was after their defeat in 1191 BCE by Ramses III, heir of the Ramses II who is thought to have been the Pharaoh in the Exodus story who relented and freed the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, that the Philistines were constructing their 5 cities in Philistia along the south coast of today's Israel.  Gaza was the southernmost of the cities.  Actually, coming from Greece, the Philistines can then be said to be European.

Bill has it on page 14 that the northern portion of the Jewish Homeland, Israel, fell to the Philistines.  Wrong, Bill.  It fell to the Assyrians in 722 BCE.  By 721 BCE they were leading off the best of Israelites into captivity.  Then the Babylonians came along in 597 BCE and again in 586 BCE and did the same thing.

 Today's Arab Palestinians got their name from the Romans in 135 CE after fighting for 3 years against the Jewish General, Bar Kokhba, and were so angry at being involved in a war with him for so long that after killing him, they named Judah and Israel   Palestine after the Jewish enemy, the Philistines, just to be antagonizing.   Israelis today have certainly been suffering from a lot of false witnesses breathing out violence from these very same people, who call themselves "Palestinians."  Actually, before May 14, 1948 when Israel became a legal state being the mandate England held was up, both Jews and Arabs were listed as Palestinians being the land was called Palestine.

2. Psalms 35:11:  "False witnesses rise up, for that of which I know nothing they call me to account."  Here we see that King David was describing the machinations of his enemies.  He had been appealing for help against friends that had turned into traitors.  So too, Israel in exile appealed against nations that repayed Israel's contributions with oppression.  They're repeating the past today.  Israel stands alone but for a few friends, and today's attitude of the USA today has been the worst in many respects since 1948.
How many times has this applied to Jews in the Middle Ages who were accused by the Christians of a blood libel?  If they knew anything about Judaism, they would have known that Jews do not eat blood of any creature at all.  Part of the laws concerning food, (Kashrut) go to great lengths telling about how to not eat blood when eating from cows, sheep, those certain animals allowed.

3. Micah 5:1:  "Bethlehem--Ephratah--you are too small to be among the thousands of Judah, but from you someone will emerge for ME to be a ruler over Israel;  and his origins will be from early times, from days of old."  Ephratah was another name for Bethlehem of Judah as found in Genesis 48:7.  As the city of Ruth, a convert from Moab, Bethlehem was an unlikely source of leadership, but it produced David, the ancestor of the Messiah.  (To Jews, the Messiah is yet to come.)  Christians take this for being Jesus.  This is when Jewish rulers start to emerge.  Judah was created out of southern Israel when King Solomon died in 920 BCE.  He had charged too much in taxes and a rebellion ensued causing the split.  The king following Solomon in Judah was Rehoboam (933-917 BCE).  It was made up mostly of the descendants of Judah-the tribe of Judah, and most of the tribe of Benjamin and presumably absorbed the tribe of Simeon which was isolated in the extreme south.  It was a poor kingdom and did not have access to the sea.  Micah was born in the latter part of the 8th century BCE and was a prophet of Judah.  His future monarch he sees from the House of David would bring peace to the world.  This prophecy was already familiar in the reign of King Jehoiakim (608-598 BCE).  One reason Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah is that there hasn't been any peace in the world.  Instead, Jews have suffered more than ever.  It took them 1,878 years to regain their own land and finally have a country of their own again.

4. Isaiah 50:6: "I submitted my body to those who smite and my cheeks to those who pluck;  I did not hide my face from humiliation and spit."  Here Isaiah, a prophet in Jerusalem, Judah,  who started prophesying from the death of Uzziah until the middle of Hezekiah's reign (740- 701 BCE). speaks of both his own readiness to be God's spokesman and God"s readiness to inspire him.  Every morning, God inspires him anew with teachings and prophecies, and does it in such a way that he can understand them clearly.  This is part of the prophet's sacrifice.  Christians use a lot of quotes from Isaiah to prove that Jesus is the Messiah but the writing at that time was actually about the Jewish people.  Prophecies of redemption and comfort have been of supreme importance both in Judaism and Christianity.  No doubt Jesus knew many of them by heart himself.

5. Psalms 22:18: "I can count all my bones;  they look on and gloat over me."  David meant this speaking as an individual and as the king.   Frenzied mobs were comprised of the base people.  He's thinking that the mob wishes to take his mantle of royalty for themselves.  Later,  Jews prayed for a final end to Israel's long exile from its land and its Temple.  (The first exile happened in 721 BCE when the Assyrians attacked and took away 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel  to their own lands.)  Quotes 22: 18 and 16 would have been relevant.

6. Psalms 22:16: "My strength is dried up like baked clay, and my tongue cleaves to my palate;  in the dust of  death You set me down."  David had started 21 with not rejoicing in his own strength, but in Yours (God).  He goes on to say that even if the chain of Jewish sovereignty is interrupted, the monarchy will be restored to the seed of David.  People will bless each other with the wish, "May God make you like him (David)."  He knows more than anyone else, kings and powerful people must set an example by acknowledging God's kindness.

7. Zechariah 12:10: "I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitant of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplications.  They will look toward Me because of those whom they have stabbed;  they will mourn over him as one mourns over an only children and be embittered over him like the embitterment over a deceased firstborn." This is a prophecy of the world of G-d concerning Israel.  The salvation will be so complete that people will be astonished if even one man is killed by the enemy.  The Judeans will be compelled to fight their brethren and see that they were miraculously spared, and they will turn against their enemies who forced them to join their ranks.  It is then that Jerusalem will be restored to its former status. The prophet lived in the 500's BCE.   According to 2 sources, the Targum and the Talmud, 2 events are alluded to here;  the mourning over King Ahab (876-853 BCE) , son of Omri, king of Israel, who was killed in battle by Hadadrimmon, son of Tabrimmon;  and the mourning for King  Josiah(637-608 BCE) , King of Judah, who was slain in the Valley Megiddon/Megiddo.

8. Deuteronomy 21:23: "His body shall not remain for the night on the gallows, rather you shall surely bury him on that day, for a hanging person is a curse of G-d, and you shall not contaminate your Land, which Hashem, your G-d, gives you as an inheritance.  This is part of the 613 laws Moses handed down to the Israelites.  It concerns hanging and burial.  Jews follow this today in that a corpse must be buried within 24 hours.  Bill wrote about Lazaras being dead for 4 days and Jesus raising him from the dead to show a miracle had happened.  .

9. Numbers 9:12: "For Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon.  For the children of Joseph-for Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud;  for Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.  For Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni.  for Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai."  This is part of a list of the tribal leaders.  It's from a census taken in the wilderness of the Sinai Desert by Moses and Aaron.They counted men from age 20 and older.  Joseph is represented by his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh as tribes. What is Bill using this for to prove?  I don't know.

10.  Psalms 34:20: "Many are the mishaps of the righteous, but from them all Hashem rescues him." No one becomes truly righteous and great without his share of mishaps.  David conquered despair by composing 34 which is an alphabetical hymn, to show that our every faculty, from aleph to tav (a to z) should be dedicated to G-d.    

11. Exodus 12:46:"In one house shall it be eaten, you shall not remove any of the meat from the house to the outside, and you shall not break a bone in it. "  This is part of the laws of the Pesach offering. and that no alienated person may eat from it.   The Exodus had been discussed in 12:37 previously.   It was saying that the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years before Moses came along and took them out.
12:  Zechariah 12:10: (repeated reference).  Incorrect.

As I look at all 12 references, only one, that of Zechariah which I found to be from 9:9-10, actually referred to a Messiah.  The rest were comments from contemporary events in the life of the prophets.  Those from Psalms, of course, seem to fit any occasion and are used as comfort for everyone.  As Bill wrote on page 176, "Jesus had led a life that was a continual fulfillment of Jewish prophecy" if taken out of context.  Only the donkey was a reference legitimate to use, and that was a well known reference.  So everybody in Jerusalem could have known it, and certainly Jesus would have known it.  In order to make his point, he could copy this reference to the Messiah.

It was a cruel and horrible punishment to crucify people that the Romans practiced.  It was done by the ancient Greeks and Romans and was derived from Persia (Iran today) but not known to Jewish law.  The custom was introduced into Judah by the Romans and was the usual punishment inflicted by them for rebels. Thousands of Jews suffered this fate under Roman rule.  The New Testament description of the crucifixion of Jesus clearly shows that the Roman procedure was followed.  Jews did not crucify people but were crucified.

 73 BCE-4 BCE Herod I, the Great, king of Judea appointed by Rome.  When he died, there were uprisings by the people so Roman General Publius Quinctilius Varus crucified 2,000 Jews to quell the uprisings.   
30 BCE  Herod the Great by Julius Ceasar, crucifixions; 25,000 Jews till 70 CE.  when Romans burned down the Temple. 

Resource: Novel, Bill Reilly's "Killing Jesus"
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
The Northwest Connection Volume 8 #92,  The Eternal War Between Israel and the Palestinians:  Part I in series by Jim Wagner.  About Philistines.

1 comment:

Nadene Goldfoot said...

To explain our differences; Bill writes on page 211; "If Jesus is God, that will soon be known." The concept of Messiah in Judaism is not that. "The word comes from the Hebrew word, "mashiach" which means "anointed with oil." The Messiah in Jewish thought was never conceived of as a Divine Being. As God's anointed representative, the Messiah would be a person who would bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the people Israel through the ingathering of the Jews to their ancestral home of Eretz Yisrael and the restoration of Jerusalem to its spiritual glory. He would bring about an era marked by the moral perfection of all mankind and the harmonious coexistence of all peoples free of war, fear, hatred, and intolerance." (To Be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin). The concept of a man being a god was common in the religion of the Greeks and Romans who believed in many gods. Judaism is strictly a religion believing in the concept of one G-d; one unseen G-d. We think of a Messiah as a special General. In the Bible it is used to refer to kings who have been anointed, etc. (The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia).