This is the prophetic picture the prophets have painted: the Yahuwdym would abandon their God, reject their covenant, and give birth to devilish doctrines. Two millennia separate the time they shunned Yahowsha’ and their eventual reunification with Yahowah. This two-thousand-year timeout is nearly over.
The Ma’aseyah told His people that He empathized with the emotional anguish associated with a wayward child. By sharing the parable we know as the Prodigal Son, Yahowsha’ demonstrates that He was ready for His people to come home. If they would change their thinking and amend their attitude, He would reconcile His relationship with them.
As we approach the parable of the prodigal son, we discover that some things never change. Political and religious types always see themselves as being important, above everyone else. That is why the “scribes,” who represent journalists, teachers, judges, and government officials of the day, and the “Pharisees,” the politicized clergy, were incensed that Yahowsha’ criticized them, while embracing those they believed were inferior.
Luke, who unfortunately was not an eyewitness to these events, reports: “Now all kinds of manual laborers, renters, merchants, farmers, tax-collectors (telones) and sinners were coming to (eggizo – were drawing near and approaching) Him and listening to (akouo – hearing, considering, and understanding) Him.” (Luke 15:1) The telones were common folk. God prefers them to clerics and politicians. When He returns, the last place you’ll find Yahowsha’ is in the Vatican or the Whitehouse. When God intervenes, politicians and clerics have the most to lose.
The “Pharisees” represented Orthodox Judaism—a religion of works and ritual performances. Today we would call them “religious conservatives.” A relic of the Babylonian exile, their theocracy recognized the “oral tradition,” or rabbinical view, as the standard for belief and life. It is their form of Judaism which is practiced today.
The “Scribes” functioned as the “enlightened left.” They sought public office and influence. Men of letters, the Scribes served as journalists, teachers, philosophers, lawyers, and judges. Many Scribes became enrolled in the Sanhedrin, the seat of politicized and more secular Judaism.
Now that we know the players, let’s examine Luke’s hearsay account of what he was told occurred. “Both the Pharisees and the Scribes grumbled (diagogguzo – murmured, indignantly complaining), saying, ‘This man receives (prosdechomai – grants access to and admits) sinners and eats with them.’ So then He [Yahowsha’] told them [the Jewish political and religious leaders] this parable (parabole – comparison, juxtaposition, likeness, or similitude; illustrated example): ‘What human being (anthropos) from out of (ek) you, if he has (echo – possession of) a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine alone in the pasture (eremos) and go after the one which would be destroyed (apollumi – is spiritually unaware and lost, declared dead and worthless) until he finds and attains that which was lost (heurisko)? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. When he comes home, he calls together (sugkaleo – calls out to assemble unto himself) his friends and neighbors, saying “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was spiritually lost and would have been destroyed (apollumi – declared dead and worthless)!” I tell you that in this same manner, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes his mind, attitude, and direction (metanoeo) than over ninety-nine of those who are in a right relationship (dikaios – upright, innocent, approved and acceptable) who do not need (ou chreia) to change their thinking, amend their attitude, or alter their direction (metanoia).’” (Luke 15:2-7)
The words chosen in this introduction to the parable of the Prodigal Son clearly convey that Yahowsha’ was talking to the Jewish leaders about lost and misdirected souls who were destined to die—not about sheep. His reference to “laying them on his shoulders” reminds me of zarow’a / the sacrificial lamb in Yasha’yah’s / Isaiah’s prophetic testimony upon whose shoulders was placed the sin of all mankind.
And that leads us to metanoeo / changing one’s mind, amending one’s attitude, and altering one’s direction. Coming to know Yahowah, coming to understand His Towrah Instructions, coming to accept and embrace the conditions of His Covenant, is what makes men and women “right” with God, “upright, innocent, approved, and acceptable.” No one is righteous on their own account – especially those in religion and politics who present themselves as righteous. A person’s relationship with God is based upon becoming properly informed and making the right choice, not about doing the right thing. It’s about knowing the terms and conditions of the Covenant and then changing your mind and attitude so that you embrace what society rejects. That is why Yahowsha’s message was perfect for this poligious audience.
Since the Scribes and Pharisees knew nothing of sheep but a lot about money, Yahowsha’ repeated Himself using the search for “a lost coin” as the illustration. Equating their love of money to Yahowah’s love for His children, Yahowsha’ reemphasized: “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the messengers (aggelos – envoys who are sent) of TU (a placeholder for ‘Elohym based upon the Greek theos / god) over one sinner who changes his mind (metanoeo).” (Luke 15:10)
Just as I have kept a copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls open during Scriptural reviews, I have Comfort and Barrett’s The Text of the Earliest New Covenant Greek Manuscripts beside me now that we have turned the page and entered the realm of Greek codices. Theos, the Greek word translated “God” in English bibles was never written out on any page of any of the 69 first, second, or third century (75 to 299 CE), pre-Constantine texts when used as a Divine title. The oldest manuscript copy of Luke 15:10 uses the Greek variation of a capitalized “TU” with a line over the letters to signify that it was a placeholder for the Hebrew title ‘elohym. The authors knew better than to write out the Greek word theos when addressing ‘elohym.
I see this as a blessing because it requires us to think. So here’s what we know for sure. The Ancient and Paleo Hebrew alphabets served as Yahowah’s chosen language for revelation. The foundation of the covenant relationship and all of what was and is Scripture, was conveyed to us using these characters. The language was specifically designed to convey spiritual truth.
Koine Greek was the lingua franca of the Gentiles, the most universally distributed language in the world. But it was a far cry from Hebrew, the language Yahowsha’, along with some Aramaic, actually spoke. So at best, even if all of Luke’s sources had perfect memories, and if they all chronicled the events the exact same way, adding nothing nor omitting anything, and even if Luke showed no bias in his selection or reporting of those stories, and even if Luke’s letter was perfectly preserved, coming down to us exactly as he wrote it (none of which actually occurred), it is still a translation of Hebrew into Greek. And these languages are as different as Yahuwdym and Gowym, relationship and religion.
Apart from Hebrew with its timeless tenses, relational stems, and volitional moods, languages are imperfect mediums. So the loss of stems and moods (conveying cause and effect relationships and the auspices of freewill) and the imposition of tenses stuck in time (past, present, and future verbal designations), koine-Greek shared very little in common with Hebrew. And while the same is true with English, cognizant of the nature of the eternal nature of Hebrew tenses, and the implication of its unique stems, conjugations, forms, and moods, through amplification we can convey their intent. But these Greek translations of Yahowsha’s statements simply ignored all of those things, arbitrarily applying the author’s grammatical preferences.
So there are many places where the exacting nature of Hebrew fails to mesh with Greek, leaving us with something vastly less reliable than Scripture. In addition, the transliteration of names and titles has obvious limitations when moving from Hebrew to Greek. Not only was the Greek language hopelessly impregnated with pagan notions, its alphabet lacked many of the sounds required to properly pronounce Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s name.
These problems were partially remedied to some extent by consistently using placeholders for the seven names and titles attributable to Yahowah and Yahowsha’. This had been the same strategy deployed in the Septuagint, where Yahowah and Yahowsha’, as well as the titles pertaining to them, were not transliterated or translated. Initially, they remained in Hebrew in the midst of the Greek text, not unlike writing and in this one. But then over time a system of capitalized and contracted Greek characters were deployed as Divine Placeholders to convey those same Hebrew names and titles. And this is the same system which is found on every page of every first through mid-fourth century codex of what came to be known through the trinity of misnomers as the “Christian New Testament”
There were three reasons for this. First, koine-Greek didn’t have the alphabetic characters, and thus sounds, to properly replicate the correct pronunciation of the Hebrew personal names attributed to Yahowah, such as Yahowsha’ and Yahowchanan. Second, the meaning of the descriptive titles like Ma’aseyah and ‘Elohym was lost when they were transliterated. And third, if they were translated instead, by using Greek the author was certain to run afoul of pagan mythology – something which permeated Greek culture and language.
There is, however, a benefit associated with the Divine Placeholders – at least for those who know they were consistently deployed in these documents. We are directed to rely upon the Towrah, Prophets, and Psalms to understand who and what the Greek text is addressing. To restore the proper names and titles to these conversations, the Greek placeholders are replaced with the names and titles found in Scripture. And by so doing, by observing the Hebrew words and names Yahowah revealed, we come to understand His nature and message.
Before we move on, there is the issue of rabbinical bumbling I’d like you to consider. Sometime after their Babylonian captivity, Jewish clerics and politicians made it a crime punishable by death to say Yahowah’s name. Mind you, there is no basis for this in Scripture—in fact it says the opposite. But the Rabbinical types wanted to play God and they served a different spirit. So Yahowsha’ knew that if He or His disciples said or wrote “Yahowah,” that baring Divine intervention and the resulting interference in the freewill of others, their witness would be cut short, ending at that very moment. In fact, Yahowsha’ was ultimately found guilty of “blasphemy” by the Scribes and Pharisees and condemned to die on Passover for this “crime.” Most of the disciples suffered the same fate, and for the same reason.
Returning to Yahowsha’s teachings, at least as this story was conveyed to and translated by Luke, the Ma’aseyah begins the parable designed to acknowledge the emotional trauma associated with having a parent’s attention and blessings shift from a child who considers himself or herself perfect to one considered unworthy. But more than this, Yahowsha’s story is all about reconciliation, about His willingness to embrace His wayward children, Yisra’el, if only they would change their attitude and thinking toward Him.
“And He said (logo – affirmed, maintained, taught, and advised, pointing out with words), a certain (tis – One, designating someone the speaker does not want to specify by name) ANOS (a placeholder using anthropos / human to convey a Divine Individual is found in the Towrah’s presentation of Yahowah as He revealed Himself to Abram) had two sons. The younger of them said to the father, ‘Father (pater), give me (didomi – grant me the gift of) the part of the estate offered to me (epiballo – placed upon and belonging to me). So he divided (diaireo – tore apart and separated, distributing and apportioning) its life (bios – the way by which life is sustained).” (Luke 15:11-12)
Bios means “life” and “the way of life.” That is why it is used as the title for the science which studies the way of life: “Biology.” The suffix “logy” is derived from the Greek “logo,” meaning “to say, affirm, maintain, teach, advise, and inform through words.” The logos / Word of ‘elohym / God is the source of bios / life. And extended life is one of the five gifts we inherit from the Covenant through its Invitations to Meet with God (the others include becoming perfect, being adopted into God’s family, and becoming empowered and enriched).
The fate of those who will live and those who will die is determined by their willingness to accept the Covenant’s five terms and conditions – one of which requires us to walk to God along the path which begins with Passover – the Doorway to eternal life. This is the Way bios / life is sustained and the basis for it being distributed and apportioned.
The “younger son” didn’t appreciate the value of what he had been given, at least not initially. The same is true with Yisra’el and Yahuwdym today. While Abraham, Yitschaq, and Ya’aqob appreciated the benefits of the Covenant, many of those born after them did not. They would come to squander its blessings.
“A few days later the younger son gathered everything and went on a long journey to a distant land and there he scattered and squandered what (diaskorpizo – threw away the grain harvest) he possessed (ousia) with unrestrained indulgence and licentious living (astos zao).” (Luke 15:13)
“But when he had wasted it all, there was a significant scarcity in the harvest (limos) in that land and his rule began (archo) to fail, leaving him powerless and destitute (hustereo).” (Luke 15:14)
Most men are inherently self-reliant. It is only when our material things and schemes fail us that some will seek help. And perhaps no institution in human history has played a more depressing role in reducing the actual harvest of redeemed souls than religion, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in particular, with their concealments, counterfeits, and corruptions.
Unfortunately, even when men hit rock bottom, we usually turn to other men before relying on God. And more times than not, they disappoint.
“So he joined (kollaomai – clung to) one of the citizens of that land. He sent him into his fields to feed the swine. Eventually, he longed to fill his belly with the husks the swine were eating but no one gave him anything.” (Luke 15:15-16)
When we consume religious doctrine, we are in essence, dining with swine. Pork may taste good, and their slop may make you feel good, but it is poison. Yisra’el did this very thing when, counter to Yahowah’s instructions, they rolled in the mud with Gowym and consumed a regular diet of religious abominations. Fortunately, there is a cure, but not in association with bacon.
Two of the most important steps we can take toward becoming right with Yahowah are to recognize what God is offering and then accept it. By doing so, we learn that the first step to God according to the Covenant is away from man. That is why it is essential that we understand that in this parable the “father” is Yahowah. And His children are distinguished by their choices relative to the Covenant.
“So he came to his senses and said to himself, ‘So many of my father’s employees (misthios – those who work for wages) have an abundance of bread and yet I am dying (apollumi – spiritually lost, destroyed, worthless and about to perish) in this place without a harvest (limos).’” (Luke 15:17)
Those of you who have read An Introduction to God and the many books of Yada Yah up to this point know that the first of five requirements to participate in the Covenant is to walk away from the institutions of man, especially the babel of human religious, political, economic, military, and societal schemes. Second, we are asked to trust and rely upon Yahowah, the prerequisite of which is to come to know Him and understand what He is offering by studying His Towrah Teaching. Third, our Heavenly Father asks us to walk to Him and become perfect. This process is facilitated by our willingness to answer His invitations to meet with Him on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, leading to the Day of Reconciliations and Shelters – where we return to God’s home. Fourth, we are encouraged to observe the Covenant, which means that we should closely examine and carefully consider its conditions so that we inherit its benefits. Those who have done so, are properly prepared to understand this parable. And lastly, the fifth and final requirement to participate in the Covenant is for parents to circumcise their sons, thereby dedicating themselves to raise their children to become God’s children. Our Heavenly Father wants us to teach our children His Towrah, so that they respond appropriately to Him.
In this light, to begin our journey home, when we turn to God we are turning our backs on human ploys, changing our direction, attitude, and thinking. That is what is happening here.
“I will arise (anapedao) and walk (poreuomai) toward (pros) my father affirming (lego – saying, maintaining, and confirming) that I am without an inheritance, having missed the way by being wrong (hamartano – have been mistaken, having wandered away from the right path, being offensive) toward (eis) heaven and before you.” (Luke 15:18)
Within this parable, Yahowsha’ has managed to affirm the basis of our participation in the Covenant. He is in essence, creating this parable out of Yahowah’s conversation with Abraham. He cannot be accused of giving up on Yahuwdym, or of not trying to help them find their way back home. And as always, Yahowsha’ is focused on conveying the Towrah’s teaching – especially relative to the Covenant.
Yahowsha’s next line has Yisra’el recognizing that Yahowah was right in Howsha’ / Hosea, when He told them that they were no longer His children. You see, Yisra’el had broken the Covenant, and were thereby expelled from God’s family.
“I am no longer (ouketi) worthy (axios – have sufficient weight or significance, value or merit) to be called (kaleo – bear your name or be received as) your son.” (Luke 15:19)
Ouketi is a compound of ouk, designating “no,” and eti, meaning “a different state or status exists based upon what has happened and continues to persist.” As such, the younger son’s confession of “unworthiness” is unequivocal, universal, and timeless. Based upon our own endeavors, we too are unworthy. And that is why the Covenant provides the means to perfect us, to enliven, to enrich, and to empower us, so that our Heavenly Father can adopt us.
Just as there are five requirements to participate in the Covenant, there are five benefits. And it is by embracing the Covenant’s conditions that we are endowed with the Covenant’s blessings. Yahowah has a remedy for our failure to merit eternal life, a perfected, enriched, and empowered status as His children. And these directions, these prescriptions for living, are found in the Towrah.
As an interesting, albeit less significant point, this confession also renders the concept of “initial sin” moot. It matters not that Adam sinned, only that you and I have gone astray, missing the way. We need the benefits of the Covenant because of what we have done to ourselves; not because of what Adam once did. Had Adam never chosen poorly, you and I would still have had to have chosen well.
While I’m sure it is missed by most, axios is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew kabed, the pivotal term of what is errantly known as the “Fifth Commandment.” It defines the view we must hold of our (Heavenly) Father and (Spiritual) Mother if we want to endure forever in the Promised Land. The literal translation of these words is “to weigh heavily.” Kabed is shaded by its root association with kabowd, meaning “glory and majesty,” suggesting that we must come to recognize and appreciate these qualities of our Heavenly Father and Spiritual Mother if we want to live in God’s home.
So by using axios / weigh heavily in the context of the parable on the inheritance of bios / life and in the context of a son’s relationship with his father, Yahowsha’ was explaining the Second of Seven Instructions Yahowah etched on the Second of Two Tablets of Stone. To live forever, we need to understand that our relative insignificance requires us to rely upon Yahowah’s unlimited power and mercy. Simply stated, view Him as significant, and He will reciprocate by making you like Him. Disregard, diminish, or disrespect Him and you will be disregarded and diminished to nothingness.
Still talking to himself, working through his change of mind, and uncertain of his father’s response, the younger son asks his dad: “Make me one of your employees.” (Luke 15:19) But that is not what our Heavenly Father wants. We cannot earn His favor. We cannot work for our restoration. Redemption is a gift, one He has the right to freely bestow.
But far more than this, God does not want to lord over His children. While we are invited to serve with Him, He does not want us to work for Him. In the Covenant, Yahowah is “Dad,” not the “Boss.” He is our “Father,” not our “Lord.” Understanding Yahowah’s role in His Covenant Family is essential to one’s participation in this relationship.
Our reconciliation is dependent upon two things. First, we must change our direction, attitude, and thinking so that our approach corresponds to Yahowah’s Towrah’s Guidance regarding participating in the Covenant. And we must accept and act upon the means to return home, all of which have been conveyed in this parable as they are delineated in the Towrah. So while our reconciliation is also dependent upon Yahowah’s mercy, since He does not change, that is not a factor in our return home. Our Heavenly Father will embrace anyone, regardless of what they have done, regardless of their race, gender, age, or status, so long as they come to observe His instructions and walk to Him along the path He has provided.
“So he arose and came to his father, and while he was still some distance away (apecho – still away, absent, and distant, and not yet received), the father saw him and felt compassion (splanchinzomai – love and mercy), running over (trecho) to be by him (epi), ready to die for him (trachelos – prepared and willing to incur the most imminent peril to life; i.e., the father was ready and willing to sacrifice himself to save his son), embracing him (epipipto – pressing himself against him), and kissing him tenderly.” (Luke 15:20) Yahowah sacrificed Himself on Golgotha’s pole so that we could live by His side.
The Greek trachelos is defined by Strong’s as “to be ready and willing to incur the most imminent peril to life.” Trachelos is the basis for the English word “trachea,” identifying: “the main trunk of the system of tubes by which air passes to and from the lungs.” Crucifixion’s “most imminent peril to life” is suffocation. The victim is unable to draw air into their lungs or push it out. Therefore, through the parable of the Prodigal Son, Yahowsha’ was not only predicting His fate on Passover, but more importantly, explaining the reason for His sacrifice.
In the Dictionary of Biblical Languages there are a number of definitions for trachelos. The most relevant in this context may be “place to load down with burdens or obligations.” Explained in Yasha’yah / Isaiah 53, this rendering provides a confirmation of the prophetic promise where Yahowsha’ is shown bearing the burdens of all humankind.
In the word trachelos, many aspects of the salvation story are affirmed. We know that Yahowah was ready and willing to sacrifice His body as the Passover Lamb so that we might live. We know that Yahowsha’ knew He would endure this prophecy and enable this promise before He fulfilled it. We see just how crucifixion kills. We know that His sacrifice on Unleavened Bread was designed to bear our burdens, releasing us of them, and thereby making us right with God. And we are told that Yahowsha’ did this so that our Heavenly Father would be able to lovingly embrace His children, like a caring father does when his son returns home, on FirstFruits.
Too bad every English translation missed the primary definitions of trachelos, or ignored the word entirely as with the popular NIV. By doing so they failed to heed Yahowsha’s warning relative to trachelos as it was presented in Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, and Luke 17:2.
“He [Yahowsha’] said to His disciples (mathetes – pupils or students; to those who were appraised and increased their knowledge; to those who heard, learned, and became informed), it is to be (esti) inadmissible, unallowable, and improper (anendektos – not admitted and disapproved), but nonetheless (me), impediments which cause stumbling and entrapment (skandalon – movable triggers which trap and ensnare by causing victims to stumble and fall) shall come forth (erchomai – arise and appear before the public, influencing them). But how dreadful (ouai – how horrible) are those through whom (dia – by whose reason or account) they come forth (erchomai – appear before the public, influencing them). It would be more advantageous (lusitelei – better and more profitable) for him if a millstone (mulikos lithos) were devised to be worn around (perikeimai peri) his throat (trachelos – preparing him to incur/embrace the most imminent peril to life, burdening him down with obligations) and casting him down (rhipto) into the sea rather than (e) trip (skandalizo – entice a person to distrust and fall away) one of these young and little ones causing them to distrust and stumble (skandalizo).” (Luke 17:1-2) Those who have incompletely and errantly translated Yahowah’s Word by ignoring or changing His words, so as to influence and entice people, leading them astray, are going to suffer the perpetual torment which is far worse than simply dying. And first among them will be Paul, the man who beguiled billions of Christians to trip over the impediments he devised and placed before the Towrah.
Returning to Yahowsha’s parable, we find the son actually telling his father what he had admitted to himself...
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have squandered my inheritance, gone astray, and I have been mistaken, wandering from the Way of being upright (hamartano) with reference to (ouranos) heaven and in your sight (enopion), and I am no longer (ouketi) worthy (axios – have sufficient weight or significance, value or merit) to be called (kaleo – bear your name or be received as) your son.’” (Luke 15:21)
The reference to “heaven” is designed to help us recognize that this “father” represents our “Heavenly Father.” And more, it is designed to reveal that entry into Yahowah’s home is predicated upon God’s terms and conditions.
Our Heavenly father, like the father in Yahowsha’s example, wants to celebrate our return home, joyously embracing our restoration to fellowship. And to ensure that the reconciliation is permanent, He immediately wraps us in His Garment of Light.
“The father said to his servants (doulos), ‘Without delay, bring forth (ekphero) the best (protos – most superior) garment and put it on him (enduo – clothe him), reaching out and bestowing (didomi – giving him) a ring (daktylios) moving it onto (eis) his hand (cheir – symbolizing the agency and might of God to uphold, protect, and preserve), and provide sandals (hypodema – establishing a foundation) for his feet.” (Luke 15:22)
By switching from “employees” to “servants” in this passage, Yahowsha’ is reinforcing the fact that the Son and the Set Apart represent Yahowah’s means of “serving” us. It is the Suffering Servant presented in Yasha’yah Isaiah 53 and the Set-Apart Spirit who as diminished manifestations of Yahowah, perform this role. Collectively, Yahowah’s Servants, the manifestations He has set apart to serve mankind, clothe us in the garment of light and place the ring of life upon our hand—thereby the sandal which enables us to stand upright with God, walking with Him as His children.
“Carry (phero – place the burden on) the most valuable young ram (moschos – sacrificial male lamb), sacrificing (esthio – slaughtering) it so that we can eat and be merry (euphraino – rejoice and be euphoric).” (Luke 15:23) I suspect that the message here embodies both the idea that Yahowsha’ allowed us to slaughter Him as the Passover Lamb so that we might live, and that that God likes to party.
I can, however, confirm that there was and remains reason to celebrate. “Because this son of mine (ego) was lifeless (nekros – had departed and was deceased, destitute of life) and now is alive again (anazao – restored to life, recovered and reborn). He was spiritually lost and destroyed (apollumi – unaware and thus declared useless and dead) and now is found and returned (heurisko). So they initiated the process of reigning and rejoicing (archo euphraino).” (Luke 15:24) Let there be no doubt. God loves to celebrate life.
But unfortunately, too many people, especially resolutely religious Yisra’elites, have chosen to wallow in pity, wearing a “woe is me” insignia on their foreheads. And that is why this story continues with...
“But then his older (presbuteros – higher ranking, elder) son was in the field, and as he came in and approached the house he heard music and the sounds of festive dancing. And he called one of the children (pais), asking him what this was all about.” (Luke 15:25-26)
One of the many troubling aspects of religious corruption is that when a person avails themselves of Yahowah’s remedy for reconciliation, it is so incompatible with the religious approach to piety, that religious devotees not only fail to appreciate God’s plan, they are actually hostile towards it.
The use of presbuteros demonstrates Yahowsha’s sense of humor. The “Scribes,” especially those who comprised the Sanhedrin, referred to themselves as the “Presbuteros / Elders.” There would have been no doubt in the Scribe’s and Pharisee’s minds that Yahowsha’ was talking about them. Also interesting is Yahowsha’s inclusion of pais / children in the family celebration. It provides a nice contrast to the “elder” who felt excluded. The idea of children helps to develop the concept that Yahowah’s idea of a good time is to party with His sons and daughters.
The child responded to the Elder’s query:
“He said, ‘Your brother has arrived (heko – seeking to reestablish intimacy). And your father has made a sacrifice (thuo – slain the Passover lamb), this most worthy (siteutos) ram (moschos – sacrificial male lamb), because he has received him (apolambano – recovered him, welcoming and taking him back as promised) safe and sound (hygiaino – healthy and without blemish).’” (Luke 15:27)
The Father redeemed all of His children by making a sacrifice that rendered them blameless—healthy and without blemish. He became the Passover Lamb. His sacrificial act cost the elder son nothing. Restoration was the Father’s gift to give and to celebrate.
The reason that the politicized religious leaders of “Israel” were so unhappy, was because they had been conditioned to believe that their religious approach to God was appropriate, just as Christians and Muslims are universally beguiled today. Every religious and political leader had come to accept the same lies as true, and yet here was this unassuming fellow saying otherwise, telling them that His approach (read Yahowah’s Towrah and Covenant) was right and that they were wrong. They reacted the same way those poisoned by religion react to Yahowah’s testimony today.
“But he was aroused to anger (orgizo – provoked to wrath) and was unwilling (thelo) to go in. Therefore, his father came out and beckoned him to his side (parakaleo – summoned him, pleaded with him, encouraged and instructed him, earnestly inviting him to come near).” (Luke 15:28)
While those beguiled by Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Socialist Secular Humanism are almost universally adverse to Yahowah’s Towrah Teaching, in that it provides Guidance which is incompatible with their religions, and indeed is actually opposed to them, Yahowah has not given up on poisoned people. And that is because He has an antidote, a means to perfecting that which is flawed.
The next line of the parable reflects the clerical mindset. Such individuals errantly perceive themselves “serving God” by having endured the burdens of their religion. But in actuality, the doctrines they promote are based upon the lifeless laws of their fathers rather than the joyous advice of the Father.
“The son answered his father, ‘Lo, so many years I have served you, never disobeying your commandments. And yet you never gave me a young ram (eriphos) to the degree that I could (tosoutos) party (euphraino – celebrate) with my friends (philos – companions and associates).” (Luke 15:29)
Yes He did. But the politically and religiously empowered elected to butcher Him, rather than celebrate life with Him. Moreover, the “commandments” the adherents of Judaism have been compliant with are their own – those found in their Talmud.
Also relevant, Yahowah isn’t seeking or impressed with obedience. The Towrah isn’t a set of laws to keep. There is no Hebrew word for “obey.” None. So Yahowah never once asks us to “obey” His Towrah.
What God wants instead is for us to “observe” His Towrah, to closely examine and carefully consider His Teaching, Instruction, Guidance, and Direction. When we do this, we come to know Him. When we do this, we come to understand His Testimony. When we do this, we are in a position to engage in His Covenant by accepting His means to reconciliation.
The bitterness continued to flow, but so did the symbolism. The delusional and religious son said:
“But when this son (hyios) of yours arrived, who has devoured (kateshio – consumed, wasted, squandered, and misappropriated) the sustenance of life (bios – the way to live) with whores (pornay – symbolic of the temple prostitutes in the perverted fertility cults associated with the Whore of Babylon, Rome, and the Northern Kingdom, the seats of idolatry), you sacrificed the most worthy Ram (thuo siteutos moschos) for him.’” (Luke 15:30)
The reason Yahowah announced His divorce of Yisra’el in Howsha’ / Hosea was because they were cavorting with this same Whore. They still were at the time this story was shared with them. It was the younger son, who while once equally guilty, had now recognized that doing so had been wrong. He had changed his thinking, his direction, and his attitude, and as a result, he had been welcomed home.
The leaders of the religious right and secular left who were listening to Yahowsha’ as He presented this parable for the first time would have recognized that they were the eldest son, as they embodied these words. They may not, however, have realized that the younger son represented the one in a million individuals who goes against the flow, who walks away from all forms of human corruption, and who by following the Towrah’s and Covenant’s very unpopular path to God, is welcomed home.
There would have been no question in the listeners’ minds that the father or the story was Yahowah, the God of the Towrah and the Author of the Covenant. So by framing the story in these terms, Yahowsha’s audience would have realized exactly what was at stake.
Throughout this parable, hyios / son has been used throughout. A “son” is born or adopted into a specific family by a father and mother. Sons and daughters are members of the family. But with this next verse, Yahowsha’ switches to from hyios / son to teknon / child when addressing the elder character representing the Yisra’elite religious and political establishment. While Yahowsha’ loved His people and wanted them to return, having devoted two thousand years to nurturing them, they no longer considered themselves part of His family, having chosen to create a rabbinical family of their own. So from Yahowsha’s perspective, their familial status, emotional condition, overall maturity, and thought processes were childish (as well as foolish and selfish).
“And he said to him, ‘Child (teknon), you always (pantote – now and forever; past, present, and future) were (eimi – were present) with (meta) me, and individually all (pas) that is mine is yours. However (de), it was necessary, fitting, and proper (dei) that we should celebrate (euphraino – party earnestly and enthusiastically), rejoicing and being glad in our greeting and welcome (chairo) for this (houtos) brother (adelphos – a male sibling whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother; a person united by bonds of affection) of yours who was dead (nekros – was lifeless, deceased, and departed) and now lives (zao – breathes, existing among the living, enjoying life). He was spiritually lost and destroyed (apollumi – unaware and thus declared useless and dead) and now is found and returned (heurisko – has been obtained, perceives, and sees).’” (Luke 15:31-32)
Even though they were disloyal, even poisoned, the eldest son was still a descendant of Abraham, of Yitschaq, and of Ya’aqob. He, through this legacy, had been with God when God offered His Covenant, when God inspired His Towrah, when God spoke to His people through His prophets. So he should have been celebrating the promised benefits of this Covenant. And one day, he will. Not too long from now, on Yowm Kippurym in Year 6000 Yah (sunset on October 2nd 2033), upon Yahowah’s return, the Yisra’elites and Yahuwdym who survive the approaching Tribulation, and who change their thinking, attitude, and direction, will find Yahowah waiting for them with open arms.
Adopting formerly wayward souls into the Covenant family does not change the Covenant. It does not change the status of Yahuwdym or Yisra’el. It is the purpose of the Covenant.
The Way to God did not change, nor did God’s purpose or message. Yahowah wanted, wants, and will forever desire a singular objective: to establish a loving, family oriented relationship with us, with all of us who choose to change and act upon the Covenant’s conditions. When we make this choice, when we walk away from that which is wrong toward that which is right, we will be given the promises of the Covenant. God will make us immortal, perfecting, empowering, enriching, and adopting us so that we can enter and enjoy His family home. It is really that simple.
Also relevant, because Yahowah is infinite in time, power, and mercy, the inclusion of others into His family doesn’t diminish the inheritance of any other member. Those of us who embrace the Covenant receive far more than we can possibly imagine. And no one is shortchanged by the addition of another spiritual son or daughter.
Just because political and religious Yisra’elites chose to favor their own rules and excluded themselves from Yahowah’s family and care, doesn’t change history—past, present, or future. Yahowah was with us in the Garden. He was Abraham’s friend before Yisra’el was established or the first Yahuwdym was born. Yahowah established an eternal relationship with Ya’aqob and lived with his descendants through the best and worst of times. Now, He was standing in their presence, talking with them. And one day, quite soon, He will return to Yisra’el to reconcile His relationship with Yahuwdym. Man’s behavior has no effect on God’s promises, His Covenant, and His family. He has chosen to be with us. The only question is: do we choose to be with Him?
The key word in the previous passage was pas, which was rendered using its preferred definition: “individually all.” While the secondary connotation is “collectively of some or all types,” pas’ primary meaning confirms an important concept. For most, adoption is an individual event. But once adopted, the family of God is a collective affair. We come to God one at a time.
There is some irony here. Had Yisra’el seen itself as the wayward child the nation had become, had the nation been willing to admit its mistakes and had its people changed their thinking, all would have been forgiven. The relationship with Yahowah could and would have been reconciled. We know this, because it is exactly what Yahowah has promised to do on the Day of Reconciliations. The Covenant will be renewed with Yisra’el and Yahuwdym, not Gowym.
The Yisra’elites were keenly aware of their ancestral and historical status; they were descendents of Abraham and custodians of the Scriptures, recipients of the covenant promises of Yahowah, and they were proud of it. They had no capacity to understand how or why their God would open His home up to sinners. Moreover, they didn’t know that they, themselves, were the worst sinners of all. Their religion had made them that way.
Yahowsha’ predicted the establishment’s reaction to the parable of the Prodigal’s Son in another story. It begins the same way.
“And He said (logo – affirmed, maintained, taught, and advised, pointing out with words), a certain (tis – One, designating someone the speaker does not want to specify by name) ANOS (Deified Man, a placeholder for anthropos / human or individual) gave (poieo – fashioned, produced, provided, and brought forth) an exceedingly great (megas – abundant in mass and magnitude) feast (deipnon – main meal or banquet) and called (kaleo – summoned, inviting by name, and receiving) many.
He sent out (apostello – sent away with a message, allowing one to depart with the word, directing him to a certain place and appointed time) his servant (doulos) at the time of (hora – specific hour and season; [read the Miqra’ of Passover in the Yowbel of 33 CE]) the feast (deipnon – main meal) to say (logo – affirm, maintain, teach, and advise) to the (ho) invited (kaleo – summoned, called by name, and received), ‘Come (erchomai – move from one place to another; make an appearance and arise), because (hoti – for this reason, cause, and motive) all things (pas – conveys the idea of oneness and completeness; individually and collectively) are (esti – existing; was, is, and will be; third person singular of eimi) now (ede – at this time) prepared, ready, and at hand (hetiomos – opportune and in season to receive the one who comes).’
But they all (pas – individually and collectively) separated (apo – deserted and departed, fleeing, distancing themselves) as one (heis). They began to initiate the process of ruling (archo) by making excuses to not associate with him (paraiteomai – refusing to pay attention and rejecting an invitation to a wedding or feast).” (Luke 14:16-18)
This speaks of Yahowah inviting humankind to meet with Him during His seven Miqra’ey – Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God. Everyone has been called, few come. The invitation for these Feasts is found in but one place: the Towrah. It is there that God made all of the preparations. But the vast preponderance of people chose to separate themselves from the God of the Towrah rather than meet with Him. Through their religious philosophies, rather than engaging, they made excuses. And no one was worse at this than Akiba and Paul – the founders of Rabbinical Judaism and Christianity.
Prior to Yahowsha’s arrival, the thrust of Jewish religious teaching regarding the Ma’aseyah was found in their Targums, which confirmed the Towrah, Prophets, and Psalms with regard to the fact that the Ma’aseyah would be God in human form. They knew when He was going to arrive and what He would come to achieve. But after they rejected Him, the denial process began in earnest. Rabbis changed Yahowah’s Scriptures to reflect their sentiments, writing the Ma’aseyah’s redemptive advent out of their religion. They made “excuses not to associate with him.” They missed the party.
For Christians the problem is even worse. They changed the names, the times, and the purpose of the Feasts, replacing Yah’s parties with pagan substitutes. They misnamed Yahowsha’, separating Him from Yahowah. They changed His title from “Ma’aseyah – the Work of Yah,” to “Christ – Drugged.” They ignored His testimony, preferring Paul’s. And they completely lost sight of the fact that Yahowsha’ walked out of the pages of the Towrah, that He was Towrah observant, for the express purpose of enabling the Towrah’s promises.
Archo principally means “to rule as a leader.” “To begin,” as in “to initiate a process” is archo’s secondary connotation. So I’m assuming that Yahowsha’ selected archo to convey “the initiation of the process of ruling.” This may be designed to coincide with Dany’el’s predictions regarding the “mashyach – the set-apart servant” who by being a “nagyd – leader” would rule. In this way, He would be exposing the religious propensity to claim God’s authority for themselves.
Within that context, paraiteomai becomes much more important than simply refusing an invitation. Paraiteomai defines the purpose, power, and process of politics and religion: “to beg and to pander, to make allegations, to depreciate, to shun, to decline, to refuse, to reject, and to avoid,” but also “to crave indulgence, to excuse oneself, and to pardon.” As such, this parable explains the transition away from relying upon Yahowah and accepting His invitation to the Miqra’ey Feasts. Yahowsha’ came to fulfill the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits to lead His people from death to life, from corruption to perfection, from separation to adoption. But His people refused His offer. Worse, they created an offering of their own.
As the parable developed, a series of excuses followed. One fellow wanted to visit his new land, the second individual wanted to check out his new oxen, and the third man wanted to play with his new wife.
“So then (ekeinos) the servant (doulos – [read: Yahowsha’, the Suffering Servant]) approached and was present (paraginomai – came forth making an appearance [read: before Yahowah]) to make known (apaggello – a report and openly declare) to his (hautou – himself as) KO (a placeholder for ‘edon, Upright One using the Greek kurios – he to whom the servant belongs, the one with the power to judge) these things (tauta).” (Luke 14:21)
The “servant’s” duties continue to mirror the Ma’aseyah’s. He is the Upright One who directs our attention to God.
In the next line of the parable, the oikodespotes seems to represent our Heavenly Father in His role as head of the eternal family. That is reinforced by the fact that in the earliest manuscript of Luke, His title was rendered by the use of a Divine placeholder in the opening portion of the verse.
“Then the master of the house (oikodespotes), being provoked to anger (orgizo), said to his servant, ‘Go out (exerchomai) to those who are receptive (platys – formable and moldable, i.e., not rigid; from plastos, meaning malleable) to being rescued (rhume – fluid and flowing, i.e., not set in stone or hiding behind walls; from rhoumai, meaning able to be rescued and delivered) in the city (polis – population) and lead them in (eisago – bring them in, carrying them) here (hode – to this place): the destitute and needy (ptochos – the helpless and powerless), the disabled and injured (anaperos – the bereft and crippled), the blind (tuphlos – those who can’t see and don’t know), and the lame.” (Luke 14:21)
By emulating one another, and by failing to examine the roots of the words they were translating, the KJV, NKJV, NIV, and NASB all rendered platys and rhume “streets” and “lanes,” missing the meaning of Yahowsha’s message. The Yisra’elites had become set in their ways. Their excuses were numerous, fixed, and firm. They had become unreceptive and thus could not be saved.
Our Heavenly Father, desiring relationships with men and women, and freely offering the means to this Covenant, had no interest in spending His eternity without suitable company. So when the chosen people opted to ignore and reject His invitation, He simply invited others. And consistent with His message and style, those He summoned were those who recognized that they were helpless and powerless without Him. God reached out to those of us who realized we were damaged goods, lacking the means to save ourselves.
“The servant said, ‘KE (a placeholder for ‘edon, foundation of the Tabernacle and Upright One; from the Greek kurios – he to whom the servant belongs), that which you have directed by your authority (epitasso - enjoined) has been received and has come into existence (ginomai – has arisen, appeared in history, and come upon the stage) and yet there is still space (topos – unoccupied places and additional opportunities).” (Luke 14:22)
Yisra’elites and Yahuwdym have not been excluded from the party, but others have been invited. And considering the beginning of this relationship and how we are told it will end, I have no doubt that when the final tally is taken, there were be far more Yahuwdym than Gowym among the thousands who have been granted access to Yahowah’s home.
Yahowsha’ fulfilled the directives of Yahowah as they were delineated in His Towrah. He appeared at the crossroads of history. He reached out to all mankind. And the first to accept His invitation to approach Yahowah were humble, non-religious, Yahuwdym. But there was still room available in God’s home.
God has always been willing to do whatever it takes to make us aware of His hospitality.
“So the KS (placeholder for ‘edon, Upright One of the Tabernacle) said to the Servant, ‘Leave this place and go out (exerchomai) making a path (hodos) in (eis) the hedges and fences which separate, preventing them from joining us (phragmos – in the barriers which divide), stressing the advantages and necessity (anagkazo) of them coming in (eiserchomai – being possessed so as to arise and enter existence) in order that they may fill My house (oikos –home, tabernacle, and dwelling place).” (Luke 14:23)
By enlightening and empowering His children during the “Chag – Feast” of Shab’uwah to become effective witnesses, those adopted into His family during the Miqra’ey of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym, all barriers were removed. If language had been a hedge, fencing off the message, that impediment was resolved. Just as He had promised in Bare’syth / Genesis, His Covenant would bless people from different races and places. So if we don’t end up walking through the Doorway to His Home, it won’t be His fault. It will be our own. He created the Way. All we need to do is walk through it.
Speaking of those who will be left out, those who chose to reject His invitation, Yahowsha’ confirms:
“For this reason (gar) I say (logo – affirm and maintain) unto you that none of those men who were invited (kaleo – called and summoned) shall partake of, experience, or enjoy (geuomai – taste) my feast (deipnon – main meal or banquet).’” (Luke 14:24)
There is only one way to God. If a person disregards Yahowah’s invitation to meet with Him on Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, Seven Sabbaths, Trumpets, Reconciliations, and Shelters, they will be rejected.
Yisra’el abandoned the Covenant and condemned their Ma’aseyah. So Yahowah began to fill His home with adopted children. Ten days after Yahowsha’ ascended heavenward, the Feast of Seven Sabbaths opened the floodgates of opportunity for the rest of humanity. Yahowah’s Covenant children would be empowered and enlightened, making them vastly more effective witnesses to the rest of the world.
God forged the Way, tearing down everything that separated Him from His creation. Yahowah’s Spirit was ready and able to empower and enlighten, to nurture and counsel, Her children. It had happened this way before, but not to the extent witnessed during the fulfillment of Shab’uwah. For the first time, an entire assembly of people were set apart to serve. During Feast of Seven Sabbaths, the Spirit enlightened, enriched, and empowered the Disciples, and those who embraced their message, just as Yahowsha’ had predicted and the Covenant and Miqra’ey had foretold.
Yahowsha’ gave His Disciples their instructions, just as Yahowah had done for all of us in His Towrah. Mattanyah’s / Matthew’s witness culminates with these words:
“And then (kai), approaching and drawing near (proserchomai – seeking an agreeable association and relationship), IE (placeholder for the divine name Yahowsha’) shared His thoughts (laleo – spoke, disclosing what was on His mind) to them, saying (lego – affirming, maintaining, teaching, advising, and directing), ‘All (pas – individually and collectively, the totality as a whole) power of choice (exousia – liberty and permission to choose; jurisdiction and authority) has been given (didomi – bestowed upon; granted and delivered as a gift) to Me (moi) in (en) heaven (ouranos – the universe and abode of God) and on (epi) earth (ge – land).” (Matthew 28:18) As declarative statements go, this one is as universal as they come.
The context of this verse is important. It follows the fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. All eleven disciples were meeting with the Spiritual manifestation of Yahowsha’ on a Galilean mountain.
The concept of drawing close is advanced by, proserchomai, a compound word. Pros means “close, related, and advantageous.” Erchomai is “to come forth from one place to another, to come into being, to arrive, to appear, show oneself, influence, establish, and become known.” By using proserchomai in this setting, Yahowsha’ is detailing the purpose of the Covenant and its Invitations to Meet with God.
The next revealing word is exousia. The primary meaning of exousia summarizes, embodies, and proclaims the totality of Yahowah’s message. From the first moment of creation nearly fifteen billion years ago, from the strolls with Adam in the Garden six thousand years ago, from the friendship formed with Abraham four thousand years ago, from the Towrah’s witness through Moseh three thousand four hundred years ago, from the fulfillment of the first four Miqra’ey by Yahowsha’ nearly two thousand years ago, Yahowah’s revelation to and interaction with mankind has all been predicated upon us knowing Him so that we could choose Him. That was and remains Yahowsha’s purpose. It is the purpose of Scripture. It is the purpose of this book. It is our mission in life.
Exousia conveys a series of secondary messages which serve to underscore the importance of choosing wisely. In addition to being the living embodiment of choice, Yahowsha’ was also given “complete physical and mental power.” He possesses the “supernatural ability and strength” to “exercise His authority,” which is also universal according to the meaning of exousia. He holds “absolute dominion” and is the “ultimate judge.” Therefore, Yahowsha’ just confirmed the obvious: He is representing Yahowah.
By sharing these words, and by having Mattanyah memorialize them, Yahowsha’ left mankind with only two choices. You can accept Yahowah’s authority or reject it. You can embrace the fact that Yahowsha’ served as the diminished corporeal manifestation of Yahowah to advance the Towrah’s teachings and promises, or sever these associations.
Which option you select is up to you. So I only want to accomplish two things: for you to know enough to make an informed decision and for you to be free to choose.
Not surprisingly, that’s what Yahowsha’ wanted too. His Tabernacle was being enlarged and the door was being held open.
“Go out, pursue, and lead (poreuomai – carry and journey forward; set into motion; bring on the Way) accordingly (oun – therefore, these things being so). Accept and assist in the dissemination of these instructions (matheteuo – following and conveying these precepts, disciplining and teaching) to all (pas – individually and collectively, everyone of) the multitudes of individuals, races, nations, and communities (ethnos – large groups of people with ethnic, cultural, or geographic ties), immersing and cleansing (baptizo – bathing, washing, and overwhelming) them into (eis – in the direction, place, condition and state of) the proper name, character, authority, reputation, interests, and account of (onoma) the PR (a placeholder for ‘ab, Father, from pater, father [i.e., Yahowah]) and the US (a placeholder for ben, Son, builder of the family name, from uihos, son [i.e., Yahowsha’]) and of the Set-Apart (hagios – revered and cleansing) PNA (placeholder for ruwach, Spirit, from pneuma, spirit), teaching them (didasko – holding discourse to instruct them, imparting information), carefully attending to and observing (tereo – keeping focused on and taking note of) all of the things that I have related (entellomai – enjoined; a compound of en, meaning in, and telos, meaning aims and purposes related) to you. And lo (idou – see and behold), I Am (eimi – I Exist, I Was, I Am, and I Will Be [i.e., Yahowah is]) with you (meta – among you and in your midst; united and together with you for companionship and fellowship) individually and collectively, every (pas) day (hemera) until the end (sunteleia – completion and consummation) of the age (aion into perpetuity, forever).” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Yahowsha’s testimony was identical to Yahowah’s testimony. God wants us to observe His instructions, which is to closely examine and carefully consider His Towrah. And once we come to know Him through it, and come to understand what He is offering with it, we are called to disseminate Yah’s instructions to everyone who will listen.
As God’s messenger, Yahowsha’ was acknowledging the Towrah’s prophecies and promises, especially the fact that the Covenant and Invitations to Meet with God would be for everyone. His first words in this regard were chronicled in the opening chapters of Mattanyah, when Yahowsha’ was engaged in His Teaching on the Mount. There He said the same thing, telling all who would listen that there was nothing more valuable than teaching the Towrah, nor anything less meritorious than slighting it.
God wants everyone to be taught, instructed, and to be guided and directed by His Towrah. And the best way for that to occur is for those who are proclaiming His message to understand His teachings. He wants us immersed in His “onoma – name.” But that’s hard to do if we don’t know or use His name. And, please note, onoma is singular. God has only one name. Yahowsha’ is merely a contraction of “Yahowah and Salvation,” defining the Ma’aseyah’s mission. God’s name is Yahowah.
In this next passage, Yahowsha’ is addressing His chosen people, the Yisra’elites, telling them that He is the Ma’aseyah, the Cornerstone, God in the flesh. But as a consequence of rejecting Him, they would continue to be estranged. But not forever.
Yahowsha’ wanted to be certain Yahuwdym understood. So He referred to some of the revelations in the Tanakh which predicted it. And worthy of note, He called Scripture “the Writings,” not the “Bible,” not even the “Old Testament.” The English word I have been using, “Scripture,” is from the Latin scriptura which simply means “the act or product of writing.” Scripture is a “body of writings considered sacred or authoritative.”
With that introduction, here is what God asked the religious and political establishment. “IS (placeholder for Yahowsha’) said to them, ‘Have you never (oudepote) read (anaginosko – recognized, accurately discerned, acknowledged; from ana, meaning in the midst of, and ginosko, meaning to learn and know) in the Writings (graphe – Scriptures), ‘The Stone which (hos – who) the builders disapproved, repudiated, and rejected (apodokimazo)? This (houtos – He as a marker of equivalence) came into existence, appeared in history, and arrived on the stage, appearing in public (ginomai – possessed the characteristics needed to perform and complete the miracles) as the cornerstone (kephale gonia – supreme corner, the chief and most prominent capstone).
He (houtos – this) arrived (ginomai) from the immediate proximity and force of (para – emerged with equivalence proceeding from the source and author of) KS (placeholder for Yahowah)—existing as (eimi) wonderful and marvelous (thaumastos – worthy of admiration, amazing, and extraordinary, exceeding human comprehension) in Our eyes.’
By this (houtos - His) means (dia – for this reason, from His position and place in space time, on this and His account) I say unto you, ‘The power, authority, and dominion (basileia) of TS (a placeholder for ‘elohym, God, from theos, god) shall be taken away (airo – lifted and held in suspense) from you, and given to (didomi – bestowed and delivered up to) a community of individuals who share something in common (ethnos – people, races, and communities) who will be formed, fashioned, and acquired (poieo – will be prepared and made ready, will be provided for and will profit from) through this (autos) deed and harvest (karpos – reaping fruit, progeny and posterity, the resulting advantage of an offering).” (Matthew 21:42-43)
Yahowah said the same thing, through Moseh, Dowd, Yasha’yahuw, Yirmayahuw, Howsha’, Mal’aky, and Zakaryahuw. This shouldn’t have been news to their ears.
They knew, or at least should have known, that the Covenant and its Invitations to Meet with God make this possible. They are for everyone. These are the deeds which enable the harvest.
The same message was conveyed just as vividly in Mark using Yahowah’s favorite metaphor for Yisra’el—the vine. When we ponder the full implications of this story, it becomes very moving.
“And He [Yahowsha’] began His reign by (archo) relating to them (laleo – sharing His thoughts) in parables. ‘A man (anthropos) planted a vineyard, placed a barrier around it (phragmos – something which separates, preventing two things from coming together), and dug a place for the wine under the press (hupolenion – a vessel placed beneath a winepress to receive the juice). And he constructed (oikodomeo – built, erected, established and restored, edifying and making more able) a tower (purgos – a fortified structure rising to a considerable height to repel hostile attack and enable watchmen to see in every direction) and turned it over to (ekdidomi – took it out of His house, power, and possessions; farming it out for someone’s advantage) a worker to till the soil and dress the vines (georgos – to a tenant farmer or share-cropper engaged in producing wine).’” (Mark 12:1)
Yahowah uses the vine metaphor because His vineyard is rooted in the land. A vine may be grafted upon, with the original root system supporting a different or adopted variety of grape—Gowym in addition to Yahuwdym – speaking of adopted children and of those who are naturally born. The Covenant envisions both. Also, when the fruit of the vine is crushed and fermented it turns into wine—the symbol of Yahowah’s Passover, where Yahowsha’s blood dripped upon the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant below.
Yahowah’s restored tower is for our protection. It is the vantage point from which we come to know and learn to trust our Creator by observing His Towrah Instructions. Yahowsha’ simply gave us a clearer and more panoramic view of God’s plan.
Lastly, georgos is a provocative term. It suggests that the original workers had “temporary possession of the land and its vines.” The Land is Yahowah’s and the Vine represents His family on earth.
Yahowah separated Himself from His first georgos / wine-dressers during the divorce proceedings chronicled by Howsha’—a separation which included every tribe except Yahuwdah. Now they were estranged as well. But their reconciliation is neigh.
In this parable, the landowner is Yahowah. The workers were initially the Children of Yisra’el. The servant is Yahowsha’. The harvest is the reaping of saved souls.
“Then he went on a journey abroad (apodemeo). And at the proper time (kairos – right occasion and precise season) he sent out (apostello) to the tenant workers (georgos) a servant in order that (hina) he might take (lambano – lay hold of, take upon himself, lift up and carry away; acquire, collect, and receive) from (para) the share-cropping wine growers (georgos) the harvest (karpos – fruit, progeny, and posterity; that which originates and comes from the vine as a result of an act or deed; specifically, the gathering of souls for eternal life) proceeding from (apo – separated from) the vineyard.” (Mark 12:2) Especially meaningful in this context is apo as it indicates the separation of a person or people from someone with whom they were formerly united.
Yahuwdym have had a long history of abusing Yahowah’s witnesses, a bad habit they were unable to break. It began with Yahowah’s prophets and ended with His Son.
“But they got hold of him [the servant] and scourged him (dero – flayed him alive, beat and thrashed him) sending him away (apostello) empty (kenos – without accepting the truth or the gift). And again (palin – repetitively to renew), he [Yahowah, the one to whom the Land and Vine belong] sent to (pros) them another servant whom they wounded in the head (kephalaioo), withdrawing from and avoiding him, insulting and dishonoring him (atimoo/atimazo – treating him with indignity and contempt). And again, he sent another, and they killed him outright. And many others, beating some and indeed depriving others of their life.” (Mark 12:3-5)
After having rejected, despised, and sometimes mutilated, a thousand years of prophetic witnesses, the Yisra’elites were given another chance to make the right choice. But the stakes would be higher this time because this Servant would be Yahowah’s only begotten Son. If they sought to kill Him, they would be on their own for a very, very, very long time.
“Having (echo – possessing) now (ouv) only (eti) one (heis) UU (placeholder for Defied Son from hyios), his beloved, he sent him also as the last (eschatos – the final in a series and the last in time) to them, saying, ‘They will respect (entrepo – revere) my UN (placeholder for Defied Son from hyios).’
But those share-cropping wine growers (georgos) said among themselves, ‘He (houtos) is the heir (kleronomos – the one who receives; the one who possesses the legitimate right of inheritance). Come, let us kill him here and now (deute apokteino) and the inheritance (kleronomia – property, possessions, and kingdom) shall be (esomai – shall exist, now and forever as) ours (ego – I, me, and mine).’
And they seized him, cast him out of (ekballo – ejecting and expelling him from) the vineyard and killed him.” (Mark 12:6-8)
It was obvious. The motive for attempting to murder the Ma’aseyah was greed. The egotistical Rabbis coveted His authority. By playing God they had become rich and powerful. But to continue to pass themselves off as “Masters” they would have to dispense with the Master. For nearly two thousand years now Rabbis have fixated upon hiding this crime from their brethren.
Being God, Yahowsha’ was fully aware that these men would brutalize His body for booty. He knew they would do it to promote their political and religious ambitions. Moreover, He let them and then He left them. It was the most suicidal act in human history.
Their behavior prompted God to ponder this question: “What shall therefore, KS (placeholder for ‘edon, which is Yahowah) do?” (Mark 12:9)
Not wanting there to be any misconceptions, Yahowsha’ explained that there would be two inevitable consequences of this crime. “He [Yahowah as Yahowsha’] will come (erchomai – arise, appear in public, coming forth from one place to another) and the share-cropping wine growers (georgos – the tenant workers of the land) will be removed and put out of the way (apollumi – rendered useless, declared destined for death, be abolished, and destroyed; perishing, lost and ruined; from apo – to be cast off, separated from, to cease relations with, and to depart; and olethros – that which leads to destruction, ruin, punishment, and death) and the vineyard will be given (didomi – bestowed a gift, offered, delivered, granted, and entrusted) to different people (allos – to others).” (Mark 12: 9)
The consequence of apollumi in this context is beyond comprehension. As a direct result of disregarding, rejecting, robbing, and attempting to murder their God, Yahuwdym were removed from Yisra’el. They were rendered useless and pushed out of the way. Cast off and separated from Yahowah, their souls were destined for death. As a nation, they would be abolished and destroyed, perishing lost and ruined. And they would be replaced, at least temporarily. The vineyard which grows the fruit of everlasting life and the wine of salvation was entrusted to others – regardless of their previous race or place. Gowym would be offered the most valuable gift on earth.
All of these words were chosen with godlike precision. There was no missing this message. The Yisra’elites had abused Yahowah’s prophets. That was bad enough. But now the political and religious leaders were in the process of rejecting God Himself. They craved being in control. So they conspired to have Yahowsha’ silenced by having their Roman overlords affix Him to an upright pole on Passover. And rather than reaping the benefits, they suffered the consequences. Yahowah did the only thing He could. He cast them off, separated Himself from them, and ceased relations with them. That led to their destruction and death. Then He grafted others onto the vine.
Clarity, however, did not stop man’s unrelenting attempts to confuse. As we have consistently done, a great deception was constructed upon this simple truth—making the revolting lie of “Replacement Theology” seem plausible.
All that happened here was an announcement of a consequence, albeit serious and breathtaking, and the fulfillment of a prophecy. Temporarily, Yahowah replaced one set of tenant workers with another. Gowym were adopted because Yahuwdym rejected Yahowah, ignored His Towrah, and disregarded His Covenant. They made themselves useless.
But that’s all that changed. Yahowah didn’t replace His Towrah, Prophets, or Psalms. Yahowah didn’t replace His Covenant. Yahowah has not abrogated any of His instructions. His Word, Name, Teaching, Covenant, Instructions, Invitations, and Way stand. Yahowah didn’t replace His family, His home, His land, or His city. He simply affirmed the Towrah’s promise to adopt people from different races and places into His family. As He had said, there was one Towrah for all. Gentiles don’t become Yahuwdym, but adopted Gowym are grafted into the vine which is rooted in the land. We become Yisra’el and Yahuwdym in the truest sense of those titles.
We inherited a great gift. We were entrusted with the most precious treasure in the universe—a relationship with Yahowah. But this transition does not mean that Rome and its Vatican have somehow replaced Yisra’el or Yaruwshalaim. The vineyard is still rooted in the same place. Christianity didn’t replace Judaism. There is no “Renewed Covenant” because the one and only Covenant endures. Sunday didn’t replace the Sabbath. Easter didn’t replace Passover. Christmas didn’t replace Tabernacles. Man’s institution of “the Church” did all of these things, creating the errant doctrine of “Replacement Theology.”
Yahowah has chosen to establish His relationship with humans on the basis of family. Individually, Yahuwdym can still be redeemed, but the means to their personal restoration is the same as it is for everyone else. That is why the parable of the prodigal son delineated each step in the path to reconciliation and why that path mirrors the codicils of the Covenant.
But these parables aren’t the end of the story. Yahuwdym are returning to Yisra’el, just as Yahowah predicted. And the story ends with Yahuwdym celebrating and Gowym dying. As a whole, the invited guests have been as unfaithful, self-reliant, deceitful, arrogant, foolish, and rebellious as their predecessors. We have acted just like them—heedless of the lessons recorded in Scripture. But since God is consistent, we will be held accountable for what we have done and for what we have said.
So now it is time for Yahuwdym to come home and embrace their former status. All they need to do is “metanoeo – change their thinking, amend their attitude, and alter their direction” so that their approach is consistent with the Covenant.