40 Days of Repentance for 2019 – Day 26

40 Days of Repentance for 2019 – Day 26

** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 26

Consider the Eagle…

Psalms 103: 1-5 – Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Isaiah 40: 27-31 – Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “my way is hidden from the LORD, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Exodus 19:3-4 – And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: ‘you yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.

Eagles. There’s something about them. They’re mentioned a lot in Scripture, and the Lord seems to speak to me through them at times. Though some would consider them only as predators, He encourages me through them.

They live on the top of the world; probably never get depressed or wallow in insecurity or low self-esteem.

They’ve nothing to dread; no predators, animal or man. In safety they rest at night and wake in the morning with full freedom to be who they are and do what they were created to do.

They’re decisive. They need permission from no one. They trust their instincts. It’s what they’ve been given, plus the design and strength God gave them. In fact, they’re designed physically perfect to accomplish exactly what they were created to accomplish.

Their vision is perfect, wingspan generous, in order to see what’s laid out before them – and from the top of the world, oh what a view they have – and they go after their mission with confidence.

There’s no one to stop them from being and doing what they’re created for, no one to question them. They don’t listen to gossip nor worry about what others think. They’ve no need to figure out who they are and why, nor defend it. They simply go about their being and doing.

Now, of course, being not quite like an eagle, but rather like a – mostly – conscious and rational human, it’s during those other, not-so-mostly times, that He patiently reminds me that I, too, am created by Him with everything I need, inside and out, to accomplish what He would have me to accomplish.

My prayer, Oh Father, is that you would show me, yet again, Your perspective, sharpen my vision and focus my instincts. Instill within me faith and understanding enough to spread the wings You fitted me with, and grant me the courage to catch the currents of Your Holy Spirit that I would, as eagle-like as possible, soar with You upon the heights of the earth. Amen and amen.

Candi Runyon


Glossary to 2019 40 Days of Repentance

40 Days of Repentance for 2019 – Day 26

40 Days of Repentance for 2019 – Day 25

** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 25

When I mention the name Jezebel, what is your response? Does it bring up images of a conniving, manipulative woman who could twist her husband into thinking that lying and murder would bring him gain? Most likely you do. But what impression arises when I say the name David? Is it a warrior king from whom the lineage of Mashiach came? Or is it that of a man who arranged the death of another innocent man in order to conceal his sin and fulfill the lust of his eyes?

So, how did a man with a heart for God end up destroying other people’s lives? I don’t believe it started with his casual glance toward a woman bathing within his sight. No, there must have been a root that bent this man towards an unrighteous, sinful decision. What could it have been?

I can only speculate about David. Perhaps he was feeling the effects of aging and wanted to feel young again. Or maybe he had become too comfortable with his success and wanted the thrill of conquest again. Possibly he was in a marriage of convenience and felt unfulfilled.

Intimate relationships can reveal our deepest thoughts and desires. How we get our needs met from the one we love the most can be revealing. The patterns in our lives are established early in our lives. For example, I was an affectionate child who longed to sit with her Dad and be held in his strong arms. Unfortunately, Dad was unable to express love and affection.

My dad was a WWII vet who was repeatedly involved in deadly combat. When he returned from war, there was no knowledge of PTSD among professionals nor was there help for the combat veteran. I believe my dad had anger and fear bottled within his heart and kept an emotional distance from his family. Consequently, a root of rejection was established in my life. In order to get my needs for love and affection met, I turned to ungodly, immoral means.

Recently, during the 50 days of repentance leading up to Shavuot, I was able to discern that the root of rejection still existed in my heart and manifested in my actions. This discovery came about through speaking with my friend who was grieving over her father’s death. She realized that the hardest part was accepting that the love she always wanted to receive from him would never be realized. This was causing her a great deal of pain. A few days later, I saw my friend again and she was making progress. Although she longed for her Dad’s love, she was turning to her heavenly Abba for comfort and solace. I knew that this was the real breakthrough that she had been trying to achieve for many years. The peace that I saw in her heart was very real. Like my friend, I was still trying to fill a void left from childhood with broken, sinful ways.

My takeway from her experience was that desperation can lead one of two ways. We can decide to control others to meet our needs like Jezebel and Ahab, or we can humble ourselves before our loving caring Abba and receive forgiveness as David did. One choice leads to death and one to life. My decision is to choose life by first going to my heavenly Father with my emotional needs Then, as He comforts me, and heals my hurt, and meets my needs, I will be able to accept that humans are limited in what they can do for me.

Father, our prayer today is that You will search our hearts and reveal to us any root of rejection or abandonment that might cause us to turn to fleshly means to meet our needs. Put a check in our spirit that will cause us to consider the consequences of our thoughts and actions. Help us each day to lay ourselves on the altar and allow You to burn up and purify our flesh. May we take delight in You so that You will fulfill the desires of our hearts.


Glossary to 2019 40 Days of Repentance

40 Days of Repentance for 2019 – Day 26

40 Days of Repentance for 2019 – Day 24

** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 24

What Can Faith Do?

As a testimony, I look back on my life and I see the things the Father has done. I am not sure if it was my faith or the faith of friends and family, but faith changed my life.

Because of inability to have children, I decided the Father thought I wouldn’t be a good mother… or that I wasn’t spiritual enough to be a good mother. I thought of every reason under the sun why He must have wanted me to be childless, and most of the “reasons” had to do with the thought that I was not worthy.

Then one day my husband and I decided to consider adoption. Within a few weeks, we had children in our home. And those thoughts came back: I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t spiritual enough. I wasn’t patient enough. I had none of the qualities a mother should have. Yet, somehow, through the years I began to develop those qualities. I grew more patient and more spiritual and much closer to the Father.

Someone had tremendous faith! Was it me? No way…. But…. In Matthew 17, Yeshua tells his disciples that they really trust so little but if they would have faith as big as a mustard seed, they could say to the mountains to move from one place to another and they would move! Nothing would be impossible to them…. Or us!!! It must be that faith starts small and then grows. If the Father wants us to do something we think we are unable to do or are not qualified to do…we need to rethink the situation. Yeshua said, “All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23), and the apostle Sha’ul (Paul) declared, “I can do all things through haMashiach, who strengthens me.”

The Father knows how to accomplish HIS desires in us, for us and for others. Be encouraged! We have a Father we can trust. He will lead us through any and every circumstance we encounter (Isaiah 43:1-2).

Blessings to all!


Glossary to 2019 40 Days of Repentance

The Holy and the Profane



Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The holy and profane cannot coexist together. Either the holy consumes the profane, or if the holy is not a result of inner peace, the profane could corrupt one who appears to be holy. The mere existence of both in the same location often causes a violent reaction. This could be dangerous to your existence.

Consider some examples given in Scripture. In Numbers 16 the story of Korah is given. Korah had rallied a group of men together to oppose Moses. If someone is trying to bring together a group to oppose a man, they are showing that they lack inner peace. Something has riled them, and this turmoil in their soul will cause them an incredible amount of trauma if they attempt to touch something holy. This was Korah’s intent. They not only desired to usurp some God given authority from Moses claiming that all Israel is holy, they accused Moses of presumptively lifting himself above Israel, indicating that God had not set him there. Moses’s reaction was quite different from the normal. Rather than rallying people to his cause and attempting to defend his position, he fell on his face before God. Moses’ power and authority did not stem from the actions of the people. Instead they were based on revelation from God through miraculous events prior to leading this group of slaves out of Egypt. If Moses had no inner peace concerning who had put him there and depended upon the rest of Israel to come to his defense, then he may have received an equal reaction from the Holy, but Moses was secure that God had placed him where he was and his help was going to come from God Almighty.

Due to the security that Moses had in God and the peace he showed from the relationship that had developed, Moses’ response was, “Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him.” Insufficient inner peace would have made him rally the troops, defend his position, expose Korah and his friends as rebels, and tell how unjustly he had been treated. Moses’ reaction was simply, “So you say I am the wrong man for the job, okay, let’s let God decide.” (paraphrased)

Moses points out the lack of inner peace in his contenders. He begins with showing that they considered God’s call on their life, a light matter. Moses reveals their envy for the position that he had been given, even though Korah and his company had been given a special and even holy position of their own. This is evidence of being discontent, another manifestation of lacking inner peace. When Moses called Dathan and Abiram forward, they refused and complained about the circumstances through which Moses had led them. Then they pointed the finger at Moses and spoke of how he was “acting like a prince” over them. This again is showing discontentment, anger toward God for the way He had delivered the Israelites. Moses then revealed some anger, but the anger was not toward God or the situation that God had set Moses in, but the attitude of those who had come to challenge him.

The next day they returned with their holy censors, and their holy incense, but possibly with their personal fire. Their profane methods came before the holy God of Israel, and it says, “the Glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation.” While this would normally be considered a wonderful manifestation, this is a bad omen when there is a good deal of unholiness going on. Moses gave a scenario concerning how God would reveal His purpose, but left the decision on who is holy up to God. The earth opened up and swallowed all the families of the rebellion. Soon after that, the Levites became real conscientious about proper procedure and following the instructions of Moses.

Leviticus 10 tells of another time when profane fire was brought before the Lord. Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons brought incense lit with profane fire. They did not follow the instructions of the Lord. They touched a holy thing without showing proper protocol which revealed a lack of respect for the holy and YHWH. They mixed the holy and the profane. In doing so, the holy consumed their profane actions and got them in the process. Holy fire came from the altar and toasted the profane which included Nadab and Abihu. The holy and the profane do not coexist. One overtakes the other depending on the spirits of those involved. We must be clean vessels if we wish to draw near to a holy thing.

When I was in Israel last year for the B’ney Yosef Congress, we made a trip to the tabernacle in Shiloh. The tabernacle was not there, but there was great evidence that it had been there at one time. The hills were literally littered with pottery shards. People brought offerings to the tabernacle in clay pots. Since these pots brought an offering, they were considered holy, just as the offering would be holy. This meant that the pot could no longer be used for a common purpose. They could no longer use it to carry water to their house, or store flour for their daily sustenance. To make sure one did not accidentally place a holy pot in for common usage, they would break the pots where they camped. These broken pots cover these hills for miles in every direction. The pot shards represented that the children of Israel at one time considered this important. They took holiness seriously. The nation of Israel has no prohibition for taking these shards as souvenirs. My question is, do we want to take something that was holy 2000 years ago and use it for our own pleasure? Has holiness diminished over time? Maybe we would be putting something that was holy back into common usage if we brought it home to entertain our churches or family.

This leads me to why it is important to clear one’s conscience on a regular basis by restoring relationships. It is not good for us to be at odds with our brethren, our family members or even those unrepentant reprobates who live among us. As people of God, we need to properly represent him before man. Consider Yeshua’s words:

NKJ 1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

Ouch! We could argue that this is specifically speaking about a natural brother in the flesh. We certainly would present such an argument if we had little problems loving our natural brother but had dramatic problems loving those other believers in our congregation or in congregations that do not do things like ours. One of the easiest ways to follow this verse is to limit those who we call brothers. If our brothers are only those who believe exactly like ourselves, then we have it made. We don’t have to straighten out our relationship with anyone. Verse 15 in this chapter indicates that maybe this is speaking of our fellow believers in Messiah since it states, “confesses that Jesus is the Son of God,…” That might make it more difficult, since it probably already includes people we disclaimed years ago. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bahais, and Catholics claim Yeshua is the Son of God. It is truly difficult enough to have our relationship right with those of like beliefs. I don’t want to set the sights too high, so we should at least get started on relationships with those in our immediate fellowships. As we grow in maturity, we probably need to expand until we include those in churches that we were removed from when we first found this new information. I’m sure we made many errors in our approaches to old friends who now could use some apologies to mend the wounds. Let’s further explore the words of our Messiah.

NKJ Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old,`You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother,`Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says,`You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 “leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (emphasis added)

If we do not have our relationship with our brethren in proper alignment, we cannot have sufficient inner peace to deal with the holy. Our relationships are the greatest reason for us to have insufficient inner peace. If we are bickering in our families or in our assemblies, we cannot be about the work of God. Notice that this instruction of Yeshua doesn’t limit your actions to when you have done something to someone else. It speaks of when your brother has something against you. You could be innocent and completely without blame. Still He states that you should go to your brother. He knows that we often never see our own flaws and if He had worded it so that it only included those you knew you had harmed, very little clearing of the air would ever happen. We usually see ourselves as innocent, so Yeshua took an innocent person and asked him to go to the brother who may have falsely accused him. This is difficult. It requires great humility.

The Shema has been translated in many ways, but there is one word that clearly has a better, but less used English word to translate it. It is the word that gives us the name for the passage, “Shema.” In most translations this word is said to be “hear,” i.e. “Hear O Israel….” Our English word, “hear,” is not a direct equivalent. Hear can be just the result of the sense, not indicating any action resulting from the sense. In Hebrew the word shema does not only mean to hear a noise, word, or instruction. There is a distinct indication of action from what is heard. In other words, it could be translated as hear and do. Yet, there is one less used English word that indicates this nuance. It is the word “heed.” I believe a better understanding would be gained if we translated the shema to say, “Heed O Israel, the LORD your God, the LORD is one.” In this case we should act as though He is one and that He is our God. Actions speak much louder than words. If we believe the holy writ, it is important that we act accordingly. The words of the Tanakh are quite clear that the holy and the profane should not be mixed together. The words of our Messiah are clear that we should get our relationships straightened out or we shouldn’t even bring our gifts to God. It is profaning his name to ignore our relationships with each other and continue to claim we are His followers. “By this all will know we are His disciples if we have love for one another?” (NKJ John 13:35)

This work concerning a unity between Yehudah and Yosef, which God has proclaimed and Bney Yosef highlights, will happen, but it requires a people who are willing to lay down their pride and take up a holy assignment. It cannot be exercised with envy, greed, an ego, a need to be the most visible, the most in control, the one who is always in the forefront. Neither can it be manifested if we have relationship problems with each other. This job description requires a group of people who are willing to humble themselves because they see a higher goal that is more important than feeding their ego, or making them famous. This requires humility and a willingness to take the blame even when you may not be responsible. When we see the plan of God, it diminishes our self-importance. He can and will do what He has proclaimed through the prophets. The question is not whether He is capable, the question is whether we will be His servants who accomplish the task before us. He is looking for a few humble men and women. He will find them. Maybe not in America where we lean on ourselves more than on Him, but maybe we can humble ourselves and submit to His desires. He will provide the holiness when we are clean enough vessels to not explode because of our profane nature. Only He can clean us, but only we can allow Him the opportunity. We study Torah. It gives instructions. We know what to do. Shema Israel.

Written by Frank Houtz, former B’Ney Yosef North America Elder Originally published 9-20-16

The Great Commission and its Relationship to Judaism


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

In the article “Evangelism, Historically and Hysterically,” we discussed our methods of gaining vocabulary and learning definitions to our words. This learning starts in the sub-conscious by us hearing and imitating our parents. Our skills develop in more complex methods later as we learn the need for a dictionary and how to use it. Our development for understanding words should not cease with an English dictionary if we desire to be good Bible students. The Bible is not a plain English document written a few days prior to our present time. We must learn to consider that the book originally was written in a language dramatically different from our own in a time period that few of us can even understand.

We might even have a difficult time agreeing on the original language of a particular passage. We have several options for the specific passage in Matthew that this article will address. A good number of Christian pastors assume that it was written in Greek because that is the source text for most of our Bibles. Digging further we might discover that historical evidence states that Matthew was written in the language of the Hebrews, 1 indicating to us that the original was Hebrew, but later translated into Greek for the surrounding Greek speaking culture. And then there is the third option. Matthew could have been written in Aramaic since many Jews spoke Aramaic at the time and Aramaic could have been known as the language of the Jews. 2

Some of you may wonder why time has been spent in discussing the language of origin. There are various nuances of a language that hint at the meaning of certain phrases. Depending on how the document was translated, those nuances may become a determining factor on what was meant by the passage. The following discussion will be based on the belief that the book of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew, not Greek or Aramaic. While I acknowledge that Aramaic was a language of the Galilee region, there are a few lines in Matthew that seem to indicate a Hebrew origin over that of Aramaic. The naming of Yeshua is a classic example and an article “The Use of the Messiah’s Name” concerning that explanation and to why this indicates Hebrew rather than Aramaic can be read in full at http://drybonesrestorationcompany.com/articles/Individual/Messiahs_Name.pdf. The article is an explanation as to why I will often use Yehoshua rather than the shortened form Yeshua.

Language is not the only clarifying topic we should consider when reviewing a passage. The context including the prevalent culture, grammatical nuances, time period in which it was written, to whom it was written and what purpose was the focus of the author are just a few of the additional tidbits of information that will help give a clearer understanding of this ancient and very important document.

With expanding our analysis in considering more things than just the English translation of the Bible, we need to reevaluate the meaning of a passage that is believed by many to be a command. It is the instigator that caused us to head in the direction of making all conform to a particular belief. This passage is referred to as the Great Commission. Here, a portion of Matthew 28:19 is quoted from the New King James Version, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,…” For now, we will examine the source language of this translation. The New King James was translated from the Textus Receptus, a Greek text of the New Testament. Reviewing the first word “go” starts our journey to discover a clearer understanding of the text in its ancient framework.

“Go” is the Greek word, πορευθέντες (poreuthentes), meaning to transfer or go. 3 This particular usage has some grammatical nuances that may confuse the English speaking reader since we truly do not have an equivalent English form of the word. The Greek word is a participle. 4 To clarify this grammatical analysis for those of us who speak English but are not skilled in grammar, a participle in English often but not always ends in “ing.” 5 It has the characteristics of both a verb and an adjective. Hence it is a verb describing what the noun is doing. Clarity would not be increased on this subject by just inserting a participle form of go, “Going therefore and make disciples…,” doesn’t make much sense. To further complicate this, the Greek word is passive, not active. 6 This means that it is an action in process that is referring to the subject of the sentence. In this case, the subject is not even mentioned but assumed. The noun in question is the person to which the sentence addresses. So maybe a better way to indicate its passive participle nature would be to say, ‘As you are going….” It is a state of being. You are in the process of going as a part of your daily routine. You are being assumed to be a going person.

Let’s hold that thought for a moment and combine it with a second phrase that will begin to reveal the intent of this passage, “make Disciples.” Maybe the word disciple will be too foreign for most people, so a more common term in English would be, students. This phrase, “make Disciples.” is taken from one Greek word µαθητεύσατε (mathateyusate). 7 It’s grammatical analysis is as follows; a verb, imperative, active 2nd person plural. This means among other things that it is in the command form. This nuance is problematic, because we cannot make students. We can become a student and sit under a teacher to learn, but we cannot force an individual to sit under our teaching. They are free to go where ever they like and if they are being treated in a manner they do not like, then they are sure to leave. Making a disciple would require force, so I think we are misunderstanding the intent of the text to assume such. The force used in new movements to gain adherents is usually their downfall. Force indicates what today is called “cultish behavior.”

The teachings of Messiah tend to remove force from the picture. We cannot force anyone to sit under our teaching. Forced conversion does not work either since force can only cause compliance of action, not submission of the mind. You can have a compliant individual, but not a sincere one. Our history has been full of us using force to gain our desired end. History indicates that we truly believe the end justifies the means. Force takes on different forms in different centuries. During the Holy Roman Empire, we used Roman Law to influence people to follow Christ. Certain national laws were made to change Jewish behavior in regards to keeping Torah. Constantine, made a Roman law indicating that the Sabbath was Sunday, the first day of the week. While this actually was a change in Roman practice as well since prior to that time the seventh day was Friday (Venus Day) in the Roman count according to the Planetary week, 8 it effectively shows how Roman law was used to counteract Jewish teaching. Many other such laws were made to force Jews to follow Christian tenets. In the middle ages we participated in the crusades. It was mainly a dispute between Christians and Muslims, but the Jews often got the brunt of our dispute. The carnage of force colored the deserts. So, the actions of Isis in this day were common in Christian and Muslims communities in that day. Youthful zeal often causes much harm and gives birth to uncontrolled use of force. Youthful zeal does not always dissipate with age. Proper aging will distill zeal into contemplated resolve. Without proper aging, it manifests as militaristic force over the will of an unprepared people.

But the question remains, did Yeshua incite the passion to teach people who did not want to be taught? Does this one word, translated as, “make disciples” demand that His followers stop a person on the street or at their front door to demand they hear the saving message? I do not believe that Yeshua was that ignorant of human nature. Did He not know about personal boundaries? 9 Did he not say, “seek and ye shall find?” 10 I suspect He did know about human nature and personal boundaries. So his command to teach is only in the context of the first phrase. Please allow me to paraphrase a bit to give a more clear intent of the Great Commission. “As you are going … live in such a manner that people come to you and ask about why you act the way you do.” That was a lot of paraphrasing, and without some additional textual support, I could be taking it way too far. This concept is echoed in 1 Peter.

NKJV 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
(emphasis added to clarify the conditions under which this is done)

Our life is suppose to cause someone to ask about the hope we exude. Our response is to be one of meekness and fear, not of arrogance and causing others to fear God’s damnation. I would like to propose, the model of conversion that we have been given in the church is one of failure. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken the church model and perfected it. If that method worked, every person in America would either be a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness. Instead, the Jehovah’s Witnesses usually only have a very small congregation similar in size to most Hebrew Roots Congregations. We have taken a modern evangelism method and incorporated it into the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movement. It has failed to produce any large change in the Jewish world toward Christianity and I suspect it will continue to fail for all those who persist to use it. The reason it will fail is that it is not the meaning of the texts. We are following failed methodologies rather than Scripture’s instructions.

Consider Deuteronomy and how God planned on His word going out to the nations.

NKJV Deuteronomy 4:6 “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say,`Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7 “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?
(emphasis added to clarify the methods under which this is done)

The way the message gets out is to carefully keep the commandments. It is to impress the people as to how wise we are shown by our actions. It says nothing about going to the people and claiming they should be keeping them. It is “live and do” rather than, “go and demand.” There is no manipulation, verbal coercion or condemnation. Just plan proper behavior and letting those around recognize it. Pride contains the message, “see how holy I am.” Only humility without the “see how holy I am” message can reveal the truth of God. This Deuteronomy passage is comparable to the Great Commission, “As you are going, make students…”

Another nuance in the Great Commission that should be considered is that it makes a distinction of who or where these disciples should be found. The phrase, τὰ ἔθνη (ta ethno), 11 “the nations” is translated somewhat randomly by the translators depending on the paradigm to which they hold. In the New King James it is translated as, all nations, the nations, or the gentiles. It is a good equivalent to hagoyim in Hebrew. If a Jew read this verse and it used hagoyim in Hebrew, 12 he would immediately feel relieved. Hagoyim would be recognized as the heathen by a Jew because that is the way it was used in the first century and the Tanakh. 13 A Jew would never consider himself a heathen. When considering the Greek in this passage, the form of ethnos used, is in a plural form with a definite article in front of it. This pattern is usually exclusive of the Jews. 14 Yes, goy is a Hebrew word that means nation and in a singular form could refer to the nation of Israel. But when used in a plural sense and especially when combined with the definite article i.e. hagoyim or ta ethno, it is typically exclusive of self or the Jews. Hence this would likely read, in a New Testament reflecting its Hebrew nature, “As you are going, make disciples of all the heathen….”

I agree that Israel is a nation. So if the nations, in context, is discussing every nation on earth, all nations might be an appropriate translation. However, I’m not too certain we should take that liberty with its general usage. Ha goyim and ta ethno both are pre-dominantly used to designate a group exclusive of those Jews using the term. The Great Commission was spoken by a Jew. His native tongue was likely Aramaic or Hebrew, but it seems he was fluent in each. Therefore the idiomatic usage of hagoyim being exclusive is likely the cultural norm in Yeshua’s surrounding society. Therefore, in absence of any clear distinguishing context to the contrary, it would be appropriate to translate it as common usage. Historically, Christianity has considered their mission to be to anyone who moves, so in context of our current society, this has been translated as it is. This is a bias introduced by our modern culture, not a historical analysis of the text. Considering this, it is probable that the Great commission is not even suggesting that one should evangelize a Jewish believer in YHWH. 15 It may not be a command to convince anyone of who Messiah is, rather to introduce them to the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. Notice what is to be taught, “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you….” This connects right back to Deuteronomy 4, where the wisdom that “the nations” were to understand was the commandments.

In closing, the mistaken notion that has been taught over several centuries is that it is our responsibility to explain everything we know concerning Yeshua to everybody we meet and that the complete Gospel message must be preached to all by us. Instead it seems that Yeshua was teaching us to behave properly and was saying that our behavior was the proper method of spreading the news about His work in our lives. There are further terms that we need to explore in order to fully understand Scripture versus dealing with this topic. Each of us may have received from our youth a definition to many of these words and now impose that understanding each time we read the passage. In following papers we will discuss other terminology and false methodologies. Hopefully this will give us a clearer understanding of the will of our Messiah. Israel has had a partial blindness put upon them. We cannot be certain that the term Israel here includes the Jews, but from our present paradigm we can be sure that it includes us. So we must look at the manner in which this blindness has been put on us and recognize that it was the plan of God. We now have the job of removing the blindness because the times of the nations has come to an end.



1 Eusebiusʼ Ecclesiastical History, translated by C. F. Cruse, Hendrickson Publishers second printing Jan 2000, p 164 (quote from Irenaeus) “Matthew, indeed,” said he, “produced his gospel written among the Hebrews in their own dialect,…”, p166 quote from Pantaenus indicates that the Gospel of Matthew had traveled as far as the Indies and “Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached and had left them the Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew, which was also preserved until this time.” p 106 (quote from Papias) “Matthew composed his history in the Hebrew dialect, and everyone translated it as he was able.” p215 (Origen is quoted speaking about the gospels) “The first is written according to Matthew, the same that was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who having published it for the Jewish converts, wrote it in Hebrew.” p89 (Clement is quoted) Matthew also having first proclaimed the gospel in Hebrew, when on the point of going also to other nations, committed it to writing in his native tongue and thus supplied the want of his presence to them by his writings.”

2 (Possible alternative understanding of “Hebrew”) The above quotes of many early Christians all use the term Hebrew, but each could have been speaking of Aramaic a close sister language. The Clement quote illustrates this best because he claims to be writing in his native tongue. Judging from an assumption that Matthewʼs origin was in the Galilee region since he was a tax collector in Capernaum, Aramaic is believed to have been the lingua franco of that area.

3 πορευθέντες from poreuomai to lead over, carry over, transfer.

4 πορευθέντες verb, participle, aorist, passive, nominative, masculine, plural form of poreuomai

5 (The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, second edition) Participle: an adjective or complement to certain auxiliaries that is regularly derived from the verb in many languages and refers to participation in the action or state of the verb; a verbal form used as an adjective.

6 πορευθέντες verb, participle, aorist, passive, nominative, masculine, plural form of poreuomai Passive denotes the form or voice of the verb whose subject is the receiver of the action. it is carried is an example where the action is upon the subject, rather than an active form, “he carried the ball” where the subject does the action.

7 μαθητεύσατε verb imperative aorist active 2nd person plural from μαθητεύω
[GING] μαθητεύω – 1. intrans. act. and pass. deponent be or become a pupil or disciple Mt 13:52; 27:57 (both pass.); 27:57 v.i. (act.) – 2. trans. act. make a disciple of, teach Mt 28:19; Ac 14:21.*[Cf. μάνθανω, μαθείω.] [pg121]

8 For studies on the planetary week Oxford Companion to the Year is a wonderful source.

9 I recommend Barry Phillips teaching on this subject given at the Bney Yosef North American summit in Tampa 2016. Video footage of this teaching will be available soon.

10 Matthew 7:7-8

11 1484 εθνος ethnos (eth-nos) Meaning; 1) a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together 1a) a company, troop, swarm 2) a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus 2a) the human race 3) a race, nation people group 4) in the OT, foreign nations not worshipping the true God, pagans, Gentiles
Usage: Gentiles 93, nation 64, heathen 5, people 2 total 164

12 In the Hebrew New Testament the translators saw fit to translate this as haamim, “the people” rather than hagoyim, the Gentiles. The translation into Hebrew most likely used an English source and translated it with a modern evangelical bias.

13 1471 גוי gowy {goʼ-ee} rarely (shortened) גי Meaning: n m 1) nation, people 1a) nation, people 1a1) usually of non-Hebrew people 1a2) of descendant of Abraham 1a3) of Israel 1b) of swarm of locusts, other animals (fig.) n pr m 1c) Goyim? = “nations”
Usage: AV nation 374, heathen 143, Gentiles 30, people 11: total 558

14 τα ετηνο is used in 44 verses in the New Testament. Luke 24:47 is one of the few times that τα ετηνο might be considered to include the nation of Israel because of its translation as, “all nations” instead of “the gentiles.” Luke 24:47 “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” The word ἀρξάμενοι (beginning) in this verse is a form of αρχω meaning to rule. The word “at” would more accurately be translated as “from.” It seems this phrase would better be translated as, “beginning from Jerusalem” as a source not as a subject. Here the English seems to uses τα ετηνο as referring to Israel, but a closer look reveals that the source is from Israel rather than being to Israel. The American Standard Version, Youngʼs Literal Version both agree with this interpretation and the Peshitta clearly indicates it by using מן as the Aramaic word indicating “from.” Matthew 25:32, Acts 14:16, Romans 16:26, Galatians 3:8, in the NKJV translates the phrase as all nations, but again would be better understood as exclusive of Israel, rather than inclusive. Revelation constantly translates the phrase as all nations. The massive usage of all nations in Revelation stems from an ignorance that Israel rules with Messiah during the Millennial kingdom. So of the 44 verses only 5 in the NKJV attempts to be inclusive of Israel outside of the book of Revelation. I think every time it is used, it should be exclusive including the book of Revelation because it is based on a false paradigm from eschatology.

15 NKJV Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Written by Frank Houtz, former B’Ney Yosef North America Elder