Mattityahu Jewish New Testament

chapter 1
1. This is the genealogy of Yeshua the Messiah, son of David, son of Avraham:
The New Testament begins with the genealogy of Yeshua in order to show that he meets the requirements set by the Tanakh for who the Messiah must be — a descendant of Avraham (Genesis 22:18), Ya'akov (Numbers 24:17), Y'hudah (Genesis 49:10), Yishai (Isaiah 11:1), David (2 Samuel 7:13; see below on "Son of David") and Z'rubavel (Haggai 2:22-23). All these names appear in vv. 1-16. This genealogy recalls the pattern of those in the Tanakh (Genesis 5, 10; 1 Chronicles 1-9, etc.). The genealogy of the Messiah as reported by Luke is different from the one here; see Lk 3:23-38.

"Yeshua the Messiah" is rendered "Jesus Christ" in other English versions, as if the man's first name were "Jesus" and his last name "Christ." Neither is the case. "Yeshua"* is Jesus* name in Hebrew and Aramaic, the languages he spoke; in his thirty-some years on earth people called him Yeshua. The word "Jesus" represents the efforts of English- speakers to pronounce the name of the Messiah as it appears in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, "Iesous" — yee-soos in modern Greek, perhaps yay-soos in an- cient Koine Greek, which began to displace Aramaic as the lingua franca of the Near East after Alexander's conquests (331-323 B.C.E.). In turn the word "lesous" represents the ancient Greek-speakers' attempts at pronouncing "Yeshua1" By using Hebrew "Yeshua" throughout, the JNT calls attention to the Jewishness of the Messiah. On the name "Yeshua" itself see v. 21

The Messiah. The Greek word here is "christos" which means the same thing as Hebrew "mashiach" namely, "anointed" or "poured on." The significance of being known as "The Anointed One" is that both kings and cohanim (priests) were invested with their authority in a ceremony of anointing with olive oil. Thus, inherent in the concept of "Messiah" is the idea of being given God's priestly and kingly authority.

The Greek word "Christos" is usually brought over into English as "Christ." In two verses of the New Testament (Yn 1:41,4:25) the Greek text has "Messias" obviously, like English "Messiah," a transliteration of the Hebrew word; there the JNT uses "Mashiach" (see Yn 1:4IN). The JNT also renders "Christos" as "Mashiach" in two narratives where its specifi- cally Jewish significance stands out in bold relief: at 16:15 and at 26:63 (and equiva- lently at Mk 8:29, 14:61; Lk 9:20, 22:67). Others might have used this criterion to introduce "Mashiach" in other passages, for example, at Ac 2:31, 36, 38. A translator's decision to use "Christ,'* "Messiah" or "Mashiach" depends on the purpose of his translation; in the end it may come down to his intuition or personal preference.

But usually in the text of the JNT Greek Christos is rendered by "Messiah"; "Christ" does not appear even once. This is because "Messiah" has meaning in Jewish religion, tradition and culture; whereas the word "Christ" has an alien ring and a negative conno- tation because of the persecutions Jews have suffered from those claiming to be his fol- lowers. Further, the use of the word "Messiah" more than 380 times in the text of the JNT is a continual reminder that the New Testament claims Yeshua to be none other than the promised Mashiach for whom the Jewish people have yearned. The English word "Christ" does not point to Yeshua's fulfillment of Jewish hopes and biblical prophecy.

Son of. The Hebrew word "ben' ("son," "son of") is commonly used in three distinctive ways in the Bible and in Judaism:

(1) In both the Bible and in Judaism a man is normally identified as the son of his father. For example, if Sam Levine's son Joe is called up to read from the Torah scroll in the synagogue, he will be announced not as Joseph Levine but as Yosefhen-Shmu 'el ("Joseph, son of Samuel").
(2) "Ben" can also mean not the actual son but a more distant descendant, as is the case in this verse: David and Avraham were distant ancestors of Yeshua (also v. 8: Yoram was not the father but the great-great-grandfather of Uziyahu).
(3) Thirdly, "ben" can be used more broadly to mean "having the characteristics of," and this too applies here: Yeshua had qualities found both in Avraham and in King David.

Son of David. Avraham and David are singled out because they have unique importance in the Messiah's lineage. The term "Son of David" is actually one of the titles of the Messiah, based on the Tanakh's prophecies that the Messiah will be a descendent of David and will sit on David's throne forever (for the Tanakh references see Ac 13:23&N). While "Son of David" does not appear as a Messianic title in the Tanakh and is first seen as such in the pseudepigraphic Psalms of Solomon 17:23, 36, written in the first century B.C.E., the New Testament records the use of this term some 15-20 times, and it has been used continuously in Judaism till the present. Son of Avraham. This term is significant in at least four ways:
(1) Both King David and King Yeshua trace their ancestry back to the individual chosen by God as the father of the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3).
(2) Yeshua is the promised "seed of Avraham" (Genesis 13:15, explained by Ga 3:16).
(3) The Messiah's mystical identity with the Jewish people (see 2.15N) is hinted at, since every Jew is a son of Avraham (3:9).
(4) Yeshua also has a mystical identity with everyone who believes in him, whether Jewish or Gentile (Ro 4:1, 11, 17-20; Ga 3:29).

2. Avraham was the father of Yitz’chak, Yitz’chak was the father of Ya‘akov, Ya‘akov was the father of Y’hudah and his brothers,
3. Y’hudah was the father of Peretz and Zerach (their mother was Tamar), Peretz was the father of Hetzron, Hetzron was the father of Ram,
4. Ram was the father of ‘Amminadav, ‘Amminadav was the father of Nachshon, Nachshon was the father of Salmon,
5. Salmon was the father of Bo‘az (his mother was Rachav), Bo‘az was the father of ‘Oved (his mother was Rut), ‘Oved was the father of Yishai,
6. Yishai was the father of David the king. David was the father of Shlomo (his mother was the wife of Uriyah),
7. Shlomo was the father of Rechav‘am, Rechav‘am was the father of Aviyah, Aviyah was the father of Asa,
8. Asa was the father of Y’hoshafat, Y’hoshafat was the father of Yoram, Yoram was the father of ‘Uziyahu,
9. ‘Uziyahu was the father of Yotam, Yotam was the father of Achaz, Achaz was the father of Hizkiyahu,
10. Hizkiyahu was the father of M’nasheh, M’nasheh was the father of Amon, Amon was the father of Yoshiyahu,
11. Yoshiyahu was the father of Y’khanyahu and his brothers at the time of the Exile to Bavel.
12. After the Babylonian Exile, Y’khanyahu was the father of Sh’altiel, Sh’altiel was the father of Z’rubavel,
13. Z’rubavel was the father of Avihud, Avihud was the father of Elyakim, Elyakim was the father of ‘Azur,
14. ‘Azur was the father of Tzadok, Tzadok was the father of Yakhin, Yakhin was the father of El’ichud,
15. El’ichud was the father of El‘azar, El‘azar was the father of Mattan, Mattan was the father of Ya‘akov,
16. Ya‘akov was the father of Yosef the husband of Miryam, from whom was born the Yeshua who was called the Messiah.
3,5,6,16 Tamar... Rachav... Rut... the wife of Uriyah (Bat-sheva)... Miryam. Women, especially those born Gentiles, were rarely included in biblical genealogies. The first four were Gentile women whom God honored by including them among the recorded ancestors of Yeshua the Jewish Messiah — through whom Gentiles, women and slaves are saved equally with Jews, men and free (Ga 3:28&N). On whether these women became Jews or continued to be Gentiles see Ac 16: l&N.

16 Yosef, the husband of Miryam, from whom was born... Yeshua. The change in language from the litany, "X was the father of Y," signals that Yeshua was not conceived in the usual way; other passages state that the Holy Spirit of God overshadowed Miryam, causing her to become pregnant without sexual union (vv. 18, 20; Lk 1:27, 31, 34-38; also see vv. 18-25&NN, Lk 3:23-38&N).

The Yeshua who was called the Messiah. This somewhat awkward phrase calls attention to the fact that the genealogy leads up to this particular person named Yeshua, the particular Yeshua who was known as the Messiah. There is no implication that he was not the Messiah; he was called the Messiah because he was and is.

17. Thus there were fourteen generations from Avraham to David, fourteen generations from David to the Babylonian Exile, and fourteen generations from the Babylonian Exile to the Messiah.
18. Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place. When his mother Miryam was engaged to Yosef, before they were married, she was found to be pregnant from the Ruach HaKodesh.
18 Engaged. The Hebrew/Aramaic word for betrothal is "kiddushin" which signifies "sanctification, separation," i.e., the setting aside and separating of a particular woman for a particular man. According to the Mishna, adultery during the betrothal period is a more serious sin than adultery after marriage. The Mishna specifies four kinds of death penalty in descending order of gravity: stoning, burning, beheading and strangling (Sanhedrin 7:1). A man who has intercourse with a betrothed girl is subject to the same penalty as one who has intercourse with his mother, namely, stoning (Sanhedrin 7:4). Someone who has intercourse with another man's wife is liable to death by strangling (Sanhedrin 11:1). Today, partly in order to eliminate the possibility of committing this grave sin, formal Jewish betrothal (kiddushin or 'erusin) and marriage (nisu'in) are generally combined in a single ceremony.

Ruach HaKodesh, Hebrew for "Holy Spirit." The term appears in the Tanakh (Isaiah 51:13( 11), 63:10-11) and is equivalent to the "Spirit of God" (Ruach-Elohim), first seen in Genesis 1:2 as having "moved on the face of the waters" before God said, "Let there be light." From this verse, Isaiah 48:16 and other places in the Bible it can be learned that the Holy Spirit is divine, not less or other than God. Under the terms of the New Covenant, Yeshua sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in any person who trusts God through the Messiah. The Holy Spirit gives such a person power for service, guidance into God's truth, gifts to facilitate holy living, and fruits of righteous behavior. (The King James Version of the English Bible uses the term "holy ghost," which has nothing to do with spooks but is seventeenth-century English for "Holy Spirit.")

Miryam. In English this Hebrew name is usually rendered by the spelling "Miriam" in the Tanakh and "Mary" in the New Testament. This unfounded and artificial distinc- tion produced by translators subtly drives a wedge between Yeshua*s mother and her own Jewishness. The original Miriam was the sister of Moshe Rabbenu ("Moses, our teacher"; Exodus 2:4-8) and a prophet (Exodus 15:20); in some respects she is seen as a role-model for the Jewish woman leader of today. But the name "Mary" evokes in the reader's thinking an otherworldly image of "Madonna and Child," complete with ha- loes, beatific smiles and angels in array, instead of the New Testament's portrayal of a down-to-earth Jewish lady in an Israel village managing her wifely, maternal and other social responsibilities with care, love and faith.

Yeshua's mother was discovered to be pregnant by the Ruach HaKodesh. Sooner or later everyone discovered she was pregnant. But not everyone discovered that her

pin-nancy had resulted not from sexual relations but from the Holy Spirits super- natural activity. The "virgin birth" was a supernatural event (see Section (I) of v. 23N). The God who made heaven and earth is quite capable of causing a woman to become pregnant in a way not possible in nature.

Mattityahu informs his readers of Yeshua's supernatural conception in order to counter the obvious and natural inference that Miryam had misbehaved. The early rabbis developed a tradition that Yeshua was the illegitimate son of Miryam and a Roman soldier named Pantera (in the second-century Tosefta, a collection similar to the Mishna, see Chullin 2:23; in the fifth-century Babylonian Talmud see Sanhedrin 43a, 67a). This calumny, invented, of course, to counter the claims of the Gospel, was worked up further in the sixth-century anti-gospel, Toledot-Yeshu (see v. 2IN).

19. Her husband-to-be, Yosef, was a man who did what was right; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly, rather than put her to public shame.
20. But while he was thinking about this, an angel of Adonai appeared to him in a dream and said, “Yosef, son of David, do not be afraid to take Miryam home with you as your wife; for what has been conceived in her is from the Ruach HaKodesh.
Adonai. literally, "my lords"; but grammarians consider it the "plural of majesty"; so a slightly less literal translation would be "my Lord." Long before Yeshua's day. however, the word "Adonai" had, out of respect, been substituted in speaking and in read- ing aloud for God's personal name, the four Hebrew letters vud-heh-vav-hehy variously written in English as "YHVH," "Yahweh" and "Jehovah." The Talmud (Pesachim 50a) made it a requirement not to pronounce the Tetragrammaton (the word means the "four-letter name" of God), and this remains the rule in most modern Jewish settings. In deference to mis tradition (which, in my view, is unnecessary but harmless) the JNT uses "Adonai" where "YHVH" is meant. (Incidentally, the name "Jehovah" is a modern invention, an English hybrid based on the four Hebrew letters as transliterated into Ger- man, J-H-V-H, with the individually transliterated Hebrew vowel-points of "Adonai" e-o-a.)

The Greek word here is "kurios" which can mean (1) "sir," (2) "lord" in the human sense, as in "lord of the manor," (3) "Lord" in the divine sense, or (4) God's personal name YHVH. The JNT uses "Adonai" only when one can be certain mat "YHVH" is meant; it is not used if there is doubt. So far, editions of the JNT arc conservative on this score; there are probably additional places in the text where "Adonai" could safely be substituted for "Lord." For more on "kurios" see 7:21&N.

21. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means ‘Adonai saves,’] because he will save his people from their sins.”
This verse is an example of a "semitism" (an allusion to Hebrew or Aramaic) brought over literally into the Greek text. It provides strong evidence in favor of the theory that there was a Hebrew or Aramaic oral or written tradition behind the extant Greek manuscripts, for only in Hebrew or Aramaic does the explanation here of Yeshua's name make any sense; in Greek (or English) it explains nothing.

The Hebrew word for "he will save" is "yoshia'" which has the same Hebrew root (yud-shin-'ayin) as the name Yeshua (yud-shin-vav-'ayin). Thus the Messiah's name is explained on the basis of what he will do. Etymologically the name Yeshua' is a con- traction of the Hebrew name Y'hoshua' (English "Joshua"), which means "YHVH saves." It is also the masculine form of the Hebrew word "yeshu'ah" which means "salvation." The KJV renders this verse, "...and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." But in English, saving people from sins is no more reason for calling someone Jesus man for calling him Bill or Frank. The Greek is no better; only in Hebrew or Aramaic does the explanation explain.

In modern Hebrew Yeshua is usually called Yeshu (yud-shin-vav% without an *ayin) by nonbelievers. This verse also shows why the name "Yeshu" cannot possibly be correct — it does not include all three letters of the Hebrew root of yoshia'. However, the matter bears further scrutiny.

According to Professors David Flusser and Shmuel Safrai, Orthodox Jews, "Yeshu" was how the name "Yeshua'" was pronounced by Galilean Jews in the first century. We know from 26:73 below that Jews of the Galil had a different dialect than those of Judea.' According to Flusser (Jewish Sources in Early Christianity, p. 15) Galileans did not pro- nounce the Hebrew letter 'ayin at the end of a word, much as Cockneys drop "h" at the . beginning. That is, instead of saying "Ye-shoo-ah" they said "Yeh-shoo." Undoubtedly some people began spelling the name according to this pronunciation.

However, that is not the end of the story. In Jewish anti-Christian polemic it became customary not to use Yeshua's correct name but intentionally and consciously to use the distortion "Yeshu" because at some point someone realized that "Yeshu" is also an acronym consisting of the first letters of the Hebrew insult, "Yimach sh'mo v'zikhro" ("May his name and memory be blotted out"; the words adapt and expand the last phrase of Psalm 109:13). Thus "Yeshu" was a kind of coded incantation against Christian evan- gelism. Moreover, since Yeshua came to be regarded in non-Messianic Judaism as a false prophet, blasphemer and idolater wrongly being worshipped as God, and since the Torah says, "You shall not even pronounce the names of their gods" (Exodus 3:13), the Messiah's name was purposely mispronounced. Today most Israelis saying "Yeshu" suppose this is the man's correct name and intend no disparagement. The JNT avoids "Yeshu" because of its history and also because in Hebrew it, like "Jesus" in English, carries the valence of "the god the Gentiles worship."

But Yosef Vaktor (see 10:37N) reinterprets the acronym to praise Yeshua, "Yitgadal sh'mo umalkhuto!* ("May his name and kingdom be magnified!").

22. All this happened in order to fulfill what Adonai had said through the prophet,
To fulfill what Adonai had said through the prophet The New Covenant consistently presents itself as fulfilling prophecies and promises made by God in the Tanakh. Such conformity to statements and predictions made hundreds of years earlier, in defiance of all reasonable probabilities, proves beyond reasonable doubt that God "knows the end from the beginning." Moreover, in this case, it proves beyond reasonable doubt that Yeshua is the Messiah. Prophecy fulfillment is the chief rational reason, based on empirical observation of historical events — mat is, based on facts — for Jews and others to accept Yeshua as the Messiah.

There have been more than fifty messianic pretenders in the last two thousand years of Jewish history, starting with Todah (Theudas) and Judah HaG'lili (Ac 5:36-37&NN), continuing with Shim'on Bar-Kosiba (died 135 C.E.), whom Rabbi Akiva recognized as the Messiah by changing his name to "Bar-Kochva" ("son of a star"; see 2 Ke 1:19N on "the Morning Star"), and culminating in Shabtai Tzvi (1626-1676), who became a Moslem, and Jacob Frank (1726-1791), who became a Roman Catholic. But none of them met the criteria laid down in the Tanakh concerning the identity of the Messiah; whereas Yeshua met all of them that are applicable to his first coming (these fulfilled prophecies are listed in 26:24N and in Section VII of the Introduction to the JNT). Of the four gospel writers Mattityahu especially concerns himself with pointing out these fulfillments (see 2:5,15,17;3:3; 4:14; 8:17; 11:10; 12:17; 13:14,35; 21:4; 22:43; 26:31; 27:9). His object is to demonstrate that Yeshua should be recognized as the Messiah be- cause he fulfilled what Adonai said about the Messiah through the prophets of the Tanakh. What Adonai had said through the prophet. On this phrase see 2:15N, third-from last paragraf.

23. “The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him ‘Immanu El.” (Isaiah 7:14) (The name means, “God is with us.”)
The virgin will conceive and bear a son. This verse introduces a major controversy concerning ihe use of the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament. Following are three objections which non-Messianic Jews and other skeptics often make to Matniyahu's quoting Isaiah 7:14b in this verse, along with Messianic Jewish replies.
1) Objection: A virgin birth is impossible.
Reply: In liberal scholarship miracles are characteristically explained away as natural phenomena in disguise. One might pursue this line here by pointing to observed instances of parthenogenesis in the animal kingdom or modern cloning experiments But there is no instance of human parthenogenesis. Therefore one must regard a virgin birth as supernatural.

Usually objection to a virgin birth as impossible follows as a logical consequence of objecting to any and all supernaturalism. But the God of the Bible is literally "supernatural," above nature, since he created nature and its laws. Therefore, if it suits his purpose he can suspend those laws. The Bible in both the Tanakh and the New Testament teaches repeatedly that God does intervene in human history and does sometimes overrule the natural course of events for his own reasons, Frequently his reason, as in this instance, is to give humanity a sign of his sovereignty, presence and concern. In fact, Isaiah 7:14a, immediately preceding the portion quoted, reads, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign." The Hebrew word for sign (" 'ot") means an extraordinary event that demonstrates and calls attention to God's direct involvement in human affairs. The "God" of Deism, pictured as starting the universe like a man winding a watch and Liaving in to run by itself, is not the God of the Bible.

2) Objection: Isaiah, in using the Hebrew word "'almah" was referring to a "young woman"; had he meant "virgin" he would have written "b'tulah"
Reply: "'Almah" is used seven times in the Hebrew Bible, and in each instanse it either explicitly means a virgin or implies it. because in the Bible "'almah" always refers to an unmarried woman of good reputation. In Genesis 24:43 it applies to Rebecca, Isaac's future bride, already spoken of in Genesis 24:16 as a b'tulah. In Exodus 2:8 it describes the infant Moshe's older sister Miryam, a nine-year-old girl and surely a virgin. (Thus the name of Yeshua's mother recalls this carlier virgin.) The other references are to young maidens playing on timbrels (Psalm 68:25), maidens being courted (Proverbs 30:19) and virgins of the royal court (Song of Songs 1:3,6:8). In each case the context requires a young unmarried woman of good reputation, i.e., a virgin.

Moreover, Mattityahu here is quoting from the Septuagint, the first translation of the Tanakh into Greek. More than two centies before Yeshua was born, the Jewish translators of the Septuagint chose the Greek word "parthenos" to render "'almah." "Parthenos" unequivocally means "virgin." This was long before the New Testament made the matter controversial.

The most famous medieval Jewish Bible commentator, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki ("Rashi," 1040-1105), who detertminedly opposed Christological Interpretation of the Tanakh, nevertheless explained that in Song of Songs 1:3 "'almot" (plural of " 'almah") means "b'tulot" ("virgins") and refers metaphorically to the nations. Victor Buksbazen, a Hebrew Christian, in his commentary The Prophet Isaiah, quoted Rashi as writing that in Isaiah 7:14 " 'almah" means "virgin."
(this quote was incorrectly translated Victor Buksbazen, instead of the original "her life has had intercourse with any man" Rashi says "never prophesied" and David Stern apologized for negligence translation - approx. Ed. site

In the first four editions of the Jewish New Testament Commentary I cited this Rashi. It has been pointed out to me that Rashi did not write what I represented him as having written, so I have removed the citation from the main body of the JNTC and herewith apologize for not checking the original source. For more details, see Appendix, p. 929.

Also, in earlier editions, I referred to a 1953 article in the Journal of Bible and Religion, in which the Jewish scholar Cyrus Gordon held that cognate languages support translating " 'almah" in Isaiah 7:14 as "virgin." However, Michael Brown, a Messianic Jewish scholar with a Ph.D. in Semitics, informs me that Gordon's observations were based on an early incorrect reading of a key Ugaritic text. In this case, my error stemmed from unfamiliarity with recent scholarship. However, the Bible itself shows us how we can know when an 'almah is a virgin. Rivkah is called an 'almah at Genesis 24:43, but it can be deduced from Genesis 24:16 ("Neither had any man known her") that she was a virgin. In the same way, we know that the 'almah Miry am was a virgin from Lk 1:34, where she asks the angel how she can be pregnant, "since I am a virgin?"

A possible reason for Isaiah's using the word "'almah" instead of b'tulah is that in Biblical (as opposed to later) Hebrew, "b'tulah" does not always unambiguously mean "virgin," as we learn from Joel 1:8: "Lament like a b'tulah girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth." Deuteronomy 22:19 speaks of a woman after her wedding night as a b'tulah.

3) Objection: In Isaiah the context (vv. 10-17) shows that Isaiah was predicting as a sign to King Achaz that before the 'almah's as yet unconceived and unborn child would be old enough to choose good and refuse evil, Syria and the Northern King- dom would lose their kings, and Assyria would attack Judah. This prophecy was fulfilled in the eighth century B.C.E. Therefore the prophet was not predicting an event some 700 years in the future.

Reply (for which I am grateful to the Jewish believer Arnold Fruchtenbaum): On the contrary, the context, which includes all of Isaiah 7, not just eight verses, shows that the "sign" of v. 14 was not for King Achaz, who is referred to as "you" (singu- lar) in vv. 11 and 16-17, but for the entire "House of David," mentioned in v. 13, and referred to as "you" (plural) in vv. 13-14.

The sign for Achaz was that before the na'ar ("child," at least a toddler, never a newborn baby) should know how to choose good and refuse evil, the events of vv. 16b— 17 would occur. That child was Isaiah's son Sh'ar-Yashuv (v. 3), who was with him as he prophesied and at whom he was probably point- ing, not the son (Hebrew ben) of v. 14. This leaves v. 14 to provide a sign to the whole House of David, including all the descendants of David from that time onward until the prophecy should be fulfilled — which it was by Yeshua's virgin birth.

Occasionally persons unacquainted with Christian tradition, specifically Roman Catholic tradition, confuse the term "virgin birth" with "immaculate conception." The virgin birth of Yeshua — his being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit of God in

Miryam before she had ever had sexual contact — is accepted by all Bible-believing Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians. The immaculate conception, the Roman Catholic doctrine (first taught by the ( hureh bathers) mat Miryam herself was sinlessly conceived, is not accepted by Protestants because the New Testament makes no mention of it.

Immanu'el is the name given to the Messiah at Isaiah 7:14, 8:8. As Mattityahu himself explains, it means "God is with us" — which is how Hebrew iimnanu El is translated at Isaiah 8:10. However, Yeshua was not known by that name during his life on earth; rather, the name gives a hint {remez\ sec 2:15N) at who he is by describing him: he is God-with-us. God's people experience the final fulfillment at Rv 21:3, where in the new heavens and new earth "God-with-them" dwells among them.

In the Tanakh names frequently describe an aspect of the person named. In fact the Tanakh uses several names to refer to the Messiah, including "Shiloh" (Genesis 49:10), "Branch" (Isaiah 11:1), "Sprout" (Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15), and the longest, "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:5-6(6-7)). All describe the Messiah, yet he was known by just one name, Yeshua.

24. When Yosef awoke he did what the angel of Adonai had told him to do — he took Miryam home to be his wife,
25. but he did not have sexual relations with her until she had given birth to a son, and he named him Yeshua.
Yosef s behavior shows that he accepted Yeshua as his son. According to the Mishna, "If one say, 'This is my son,' he is to be believed" (Bava Batra 8:6). The Gemara explains that he is believed "as regards the right of inheritance" (Bava Batra 134a). Thus Yeshua, as a legally acknowledged son, is entitled to inherit the throne of King David from Yosef, a descendant of David (v. 8). (This point is made in Phillip Goble, How to Point to Yeshua in Your Rabbi's Bible, New York: Artists for Israel, 1986.)

Until she had given birth. Protestants generally affirm that Miryam was a virgin when Yeshua was born, but that "his sisters" (plural: at least two) and four brothers (13:55-56, Mk 6:3) were Miryam and Yosef s natural children. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Miryam remained a virgin all her life, and that the terms "brothers" and "sisters" are used loosely to refer to more distant relatives (compare Genesis 14:12-16, 31:32, Leviticus 10:4). The Greek phrase "eo's ou" ("until") is inconclusive because it does not necessarily imply a change; that is, the Greek could mean either that they did not have relations during the period before she gave birth but did afterwards, or that they remained celibate afterwards as well. But celibacy in particular and asceticism in general, though regarded by pagans as spiritually meritorious, were and are the exception in Judaism and in New Covenant faith, as bom Yeshua and Sha'ul teach (see 19:10-12&N, 1C 7:1^10&NN, Co 2:18-23&NN, 1 Ti 4:3a&N).

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