Do you see people the way God sees people?
The movie Avatar showed an alien race on another planet far far away. These “people” lived in harmony with nature, the plants and animals around them and the planet itself. It was in part a dig against our way of life and made some valid points. They also lived in harmony with each other and their “love” one for another was part of the story. Their greeting to each other “I see you” was an acknowledgment of the other persons whole being, as an individual and a vital, productive part of the community.
The Hebrew salutation “Shalom” means so much more that just “peace”, it carries with it sense of wholeness: spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It pictographically means “may you be separated from everything that joins you to disorder so that you may have order/peace/wholeness in all areas of your life”.
For those unfamiliar with the pictographic aspect of Hebrew here is a quick explanation. Hebrew was originally a pictographic language made up of symbols or pictures just like Egyptian hieroglyphs.
A thought or concept was represented by an image: the thought to “behold” “reveal”, or, “pay attention” “hey” was represented by the image to the left – a man with his arms raised. It also conveyed the idea of mercy or grace. This image became the letter “Hey”, the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The word “hey” in Hebrew means “to behold” or “reveal” and in grammar, instead of having a separate word for “the” you just put an “hey” on the front of the word as in “Y’shua HaMeshiac” Jesus the Messiah. Five is the number of mercy or grace.
The first letter in the Hebrew alphabet is “Aleph” and was originally a picture of an ox in a yoke. It conveyed the idea of strength and to teach by example as one who comes along side. The second letter “Bet” was a picture of the floor plan of a Bedouin tent, a square “6″ on it’s side. In Hebrew the word “bet” means “house” or “home”. More than this it refers to the life within the home. Grammatically a “bet” added to the front of a word means “in” as in B’reshiyt, the first word in the Bible – In (the) beginning.
Ab, aleph bet, is the Hebrew word for “father” which describes the role or function of being the strength and teacher of the house (family). In Hebrew the pictographic understanding of a word tells you what something is and how to do it.
If we now insert the letter “hey” in the middle of the word “father” we form another word “ahav” (a “bet” can be a hard “b” or a soft “v” sound) which pictographically can mean “to behold or reveal the father”. Ahav is the Hebrew word for LOVE. Jesus Christ, perfect love came to reveal the Father – John 14:8-9.
To love is “to reveal the father” to another, or “to behold the father” in another – to SEE them. To SEE them for who God created them to be, who they would be should they choose God’s plan and purpose for their life, to see them so that they can see themselves and then hopefully make that right choice.
I see you, ahav
I am confused.
Here we are again a few days before one of the two main Christian holydays of the year, firstly, their placement on our calendar was inspired by paganism, secondly, I have seen very little to do with the person whose day it is we are all supposed to be remembering or celebrating.
I don’t know about you but on my birthday I expect gifts, not so many these days I must admit but I would be miffed if my friends and family were to buy each other gifts to give to each other and not to me. How about you? What if your next birthday everyone you know buys a gift, no wait, buys lots of gifts for everyone else they know but not you. Do you like that idea? Not so much!
Don’t get me wrong. I am actually thrilled that the people of this world, even non Christians are remembering the birth of one Y’shua Ben Joseph of Nazareth, even though He was actually born around September or October during the Biblical Feast of Tabernacles (see the posts below for details).
But why do we all buy gifts for each other and not Him? Especially when at least some of the people we buy for we are not so fond of and we really can’t afford it and the gift we give they probably don’t want anyway?
He said in Matt. 25:40b “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” He was talking about food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, accommodation to strangers, clothing to the naked, visiting the sick and those in prison.
I read in the local paper this week that there are about 250 homeless in my small home town and I happen to know that there are more than 50 churches in my small home town. Now I also know that some of those churches have regular out reaches to the poor and homeless but I wander how much the population of my small home town has spent, over and above our normal monthly budget buying gifts to give people other than the person whose birthday we are all supposed to be remembering?
He also said “As my Father has sent me, even so send I you.”
He gave Himself to us. I am not against giving gifts to each other but shouldn’t we at least give Him a birthday gift FIRST and maybe the best gift to give those around you is yourself: your time, your love, your attention.
If you are still confused as to WHEN the birth of Y’shua Ben Joseph of Nazareth is and choose to remember it in December please don’t be confused WHO the gifts are for and don’t be confused about the stress – be merry.
Happy birthday Jesus, thanks for the gift.
Who were these guys and why were they there anyway?
Lets start with the shepherds. Jesus, or if we are to call Him by His real Hebrew name – Y’shua, was born in Bethlehem, the City of David. Remember David was a shepherd boy before he became King and he took care of his families sheep, where? In the fields around Bethlehem.
It was traditional for Passover lambs, those perfect lambs that would be suitable for use as a Passover sacrifice, to be raised in the sheepfolds of Bethlehem. Simply, the shepherds responsible to oversee the birthing of and care of these lambs were the ones invited to the birth of Y’shua – the lamb of God, THE Passover lamb.
So much has been written about the “Kings” and when they visited Jesus. Was it the night of His birth, 12 days later (12 days of Christmas) or one to two years later, visiting the young “child” Jesus in a “house”?
First of all we are not told how many there were or that they were kings. The Greek text calls them “Magos” or Magi and tells us that they came from the East, [Matt. 2:1]. With a little history study we find the Magi were Seleucid “magistrates”, “wise men” and/or “magicians” who at the time of Daniel were the guys who could not tell Nebuchadnezzar about his dream. The book of Daniel tells us that Nebuchadnezzar, after Daniel did interpret the dream, put him in charge of these guys. In later years they were “king makers” the ones that decided who the next Seleucid king would be.
Prior to Rome making Israel a protectorate state it was occupied by the Seleucids and Roman General Anthony (yes, Cleopatra’s Anthony) was defeated by them. Herod was made “king of the Jews” by Rome but could not even go to Israel for a couple of years because the Seleucids were still there. Only when the Seleucids withdrew was Herod able to go back to Israel.
With this background it is easy to understand Herod’s reaction when a caravan of Seleucid “king makers” show up asking for the one BORN King of the Jews? Israel was not “occupied” by Rome at the time, they were a “protectorate” so probably only had a small garrison there. Looking at the history the “three” wise men could have been in a caravan of 50 – 100 armed men or more, a good reason for Herod to be “troubled, and all Jerusalem with him” [Matt. 2:3].
How did they know to show up and why? Yes, the signs in the stars but remember Daniel? He was put in charge of the Magi by Nebuchadnezzar and was rich [Dan. 2:28]. Daniel was an eunuch [Dan. 1:3]. Daniel had more revelation from God than almost everyone. I believe (yes this is my own belief – I hope an inspired theory) Daniel left instructions with the school of the Magi to look for certain signs in the heavens that would indicate his LORD had been born in Israel and then to take his gifts to the new born KING.
When did they get there? Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth and traveled to Bethlehem to be counted. [Lk. 2:4] As I explained in a previous blog, I (and many others) believe this was during the feast of Tabernacles. We know the Magi visited Jesus in Bethlehem, the city of David. What reason would there be for Mary and Joseph to stay in Bethlehem beyond two weeks, the time of the feast, especially for as long as one or two years?
Three of the “Biblical” reasons given for a later visit are:
1- Having learned of the time of the sign Herod ordered all children under 2 years old to be killed. [Matt. 2:16] However, it was and still is today common in the Middle-east to consider new borns one year old and there-fore what we in the West call the “first” birthday, they call “second” birthday.
2- In Matt. 2:8 and 9 Jesus is referred to a young child (Strongs #G3813 paidion pahee-dee’-on neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly), an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl;). However, the same Greek word in used in Lk. 2:21: “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child (#G3813), his name was called JESUS, . . .” Jesus at eight days old is referred to by Luke as a “paidion”.
3- In Matt. 2:11 it says: “And when they were come into the house (#G3614), they saw the young child with Mary his mother, . . .” However, Strongs tells us #G3614 oikia oy-kee’-ah from 3624; properly, residence (abstractly), but usually (concretely) an abode (literally or figuratively); by implication, a family (especially domestics):–home, house(-hold). “Oikia” could have been translated “abode” or even “family”.
Non of these three indicate Jesus was anything other than a new born baby when the Magi came. We do know: Mary and Joseph left Bethlehem for Egypt [Matt.2:14]. The border is only seventy miles from Bethlehem, they did not have to go to Cairo. They left Egypt and went back to Nazareth [Matt.2:19-23]. When the time of Mary’s purification was complete they went to Jerusalem [Lk. 2:22]. They left Jerusalem and returned to Nazareth [Lk. 2:39]. Leviticus 12 tells us that a woman having given birth to a male child was unclean for seven days, clean on the eighth, then unclean again for thirty three days. So the time of her purification was a total of forty days and she needed to make the necessary sacrifice in Jerusalem, after the forty first day before she was clean again. Some thing she would have wanted/needed to do asap to be able to function in society.
The miss-understanding about Jesus being born in 3 or 4BC and Herod dying 1BC has also led to this theory. The evidence is in the Bible. You may have to dig for it and maybe even read more than one gospel to get the story straight.
Next time you see a manger scene with shepherds and Magi, enjoy it, it is most likely exactly the way it was, even though the time of year is almost certainly wrong unless you happen to see one in September.
Be wise, give gifts to the King.
In His name
Shepherds and “Kings” is on it’s way but something came up in the last few days and I thought this could not wait.
Our story starts in the Father’s garden with the first Adam (a gardener) and his bride; there is also a tree, fruit, the accuser, temptation/betrayal and a fall that leads to a curse of thorns. The man and woman are evicted and death follows, Gen3:17-18. God places Cherubim angels at the east of the garden to “keep the way”, Gen.3:24.
The story continues with the last Adam going to a garden where the accuser tempts Him,Jn18:1 He does not fall BUT He is betrayed, Lk22:3,48. He also is evicted from the garden and goes to His death. This Adam though, takes the curse of thorns and wears it as a crown; He dies on a tree and is buried – in a garden tomb.
A woman re-enters the garden, sees two angels and someone she thinks is – the gardener! The angels were not there to “keep the way” closed – but OPEN.
Sin entered the world because a woman took “fruit” OFF a tree; the first Adam listened and fell. The last Adam does not give into temptation and redeems ALL things by putting the fruit of the fall – sin, back ON the tree.
The risen Y’shua does not show Himself to the men who came to the tomb, Jn. 20 but chooses to wait for her; thus the last Adam’s first act is to restore the woman.
Our story ends – in a garden with a man, His bride and a tree – but the accuser and curse are gone, Rev21-22.
This is taken from “Behold I AM yOur Father” and you can download it FREE at http://www.BeholdIAM.com
Enjoy your walk in the garden.
Anthony B. Smith
Since almost every one knows Y’shua/Jesus was not born December 25th, when was He born? There are two main theories on this – in the Spring or in the Fall as these were the times the shepherds were in the fields but scripture does give us the answer if we make the connections.
John the Baptist’s father Zechariahs was a priest of the course of Abia or Abijah,Luke 1:5 there are twenty-four courses of priest who take turns in the temple through out the year,1Chron. 24:1-19 Abijah was the eighth.v10 Zechariahs was in the temple, on our calendar, around June/July because the religious New Year starts at Passover.Ex. 12:2 As soon as Zechariahs was finished in the temple having been told by the angel that he would have a child in his old age he went home to his wife. I’m sure he wasted no time ;-) and she conceived.Luke 1:23-24 Add nine months to July and John is born at Passover (March/April). Tradition is that Elijah would return at Passover and Y’shua tells us that John was the Elijah who would come.Mat. 11:14
John the Baptist was six months older than Y’shua.Luke 1:36 Six months after Passover Y’shua is born during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sept./Oct.). Mary laid Y’shua in a “manger” because they were outside with the animals. The Hebrew name for where the animals are kept is Succot, which is another name for Tabernacles. Y’shua came and dwelt (tabernacled) among us John 1:14 on the feast of Tabernacles! This year the Feast of Tabernacles, which is always on Tishri 15 on the Biblical/Jewish calendar, officially fell on September 23rd.
Nine months BEFORE Tabernacles is the Feast of Dedication John 10:22 also known as Chanukah or the Festival of Lights. Mary would have conceived during Chanukah. Y’shua, the light of the world, came into the world, on the Feast of Lights! The only temple God has every wanted is the heart of man. When else would He become a man, than on a day set aside to celebrate the rededication of His temple, a day that is a picture of His eternal light burning in the hearts of men? Remember, He was here on the Earth for nine months, in a body, as a man, before He was born.
The Feasts tell the story. They are historic (His story) and prophetic, appointments and rehearsals.
Why were the shepherds told to be there? Who were they? Who were the Magi and when did they show up, on the night of His birth or one to two years later? Next blog for those answers.
For more Hebraic understanding of the scriptures you can down load for FREE “Behold I AM your Father” from http://www.BeholdIAM.com
Keep the light on.
Anthony B. Smith
When Jesus stood up in the Temple on the “Last Great Day” and said “If any man thirst . . .” Jn. 7:37 there was a lot going on. People were waving palm branches, priests were carrying water jugs through the temple having paraded through the streets in long flowing robes and literally the nation was gathered at the temple to watch this age old custom. It was the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
It was this ancient “water oblation ceremony” that make these words of Jesus even more significant and it is back ground to the scripture like this that this blog, in part, will be about because a text without a context can lead to a pretext.
Most people reading this are totally unaware that Saturday, September 25th – the day I am writing this first blog, is most likely the true “Christmas” for the year 2010. How so? Well, the Biblical calendar, the one God gave us, is based on cycles of the moon. A new moon signifies a new month. Our calendar in the west is based on cycles of the sun. This year the Feast of Tabernacles, one of seven annual Biblical feasts given by God, falls on September 25th by the sighting of the moon. (It was on Sept. 23rd according to the Rabbinic calendar, the difference can be explained in a latter blog.)
I will get into the details of this in a future blog but there are many indicators in the Bible to support this idea, the Feasts being one of them: Jesus came and “tabernacled” among us on the Feast of Tabernacles, six months after John was born during Passover. Tradition held that Elijah would return during Passover and Jesus tells us that John was the Elijah to come, Matt. 11:14.
You can read about the feasts in Lev. 23 but why should you, after all it is Old Testament and they are Jewish. Well actually, even though they form part of that religion, they are the LORD’s Feasts and as in the example above, knowing about them can help us understand the New Testament far better.
Another example of this is that the feasts actually form the outline for the Gospel of John, a favorite for most Christians. If you look at the context from John 2:13 on, Jesus is either on His way to, attending or on His way home from a feast. Much of the dialog and events John writes about are directly to do with the feast in question. The “Last Great Day” passage mentioned above is a perfect example and because of the “water oblation ceremony” many of the scriptures used in the temple that week had to do with water.
Ever wondered what Jesus wrote on the ground when the woman caught in adultery was brought to Him in John 8:3-11? This happened the day after the “Last Great Day” and Jer. 17:13 had just been read as part of the Temple rituals. Jesus had quoted from Jeremiah when He stood up in the Temple, effectively identifying Himself as the Messiah, but officials had forsaken Him. Now here we are the next day and Jesus responds to these same officials by acting out what was to them a very familiar passage, Jer. 17:13 says:
“O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.”
He wrote their names on the ground.
For more Hebraic understanding of the scriptures you can down load for FREE “Behold I AM your Father” from http://www.BeholdIAM.com
May you behold the Father in and reveal Him to all you meet.
Anthony B. Smith