Mattityahu Jewish New Testament

chapter 12
1. One Shabbat during that time, Yeshua was walking through some wheat fields. His talmidim were hungry, so they began picking heads of grain and eating them.
Shabbat. The Hebrew word has entered English as "Sabbath." The biblical concept of a weekly day for resting from workaday purposes has no close parallel in the ancient world. The fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-14) connects Shabbat with the fact that God rested after the six days of creation (Genesis 2:1-3); makes it a day of equality in which all, high and low alike, are entitled to rest; and sets it aside as a day which is holy, on which God is to be honored.

2. On seeing this, the P’rushim said to him, “Look! Your talmidim are violating Shabbat!”
Violating Shabbat. The Greek text says, literally, "doing what is unlawful on Shabbat," that is. doing something the P'rushim considered to be against the Torah. The argument was not over whether it was permitted to piek grain by hand from someone else's field, for that is expressly allowed by Deuteronomy 23:26(25), but whether it could be done on Shabbat. At issue behind this seemingly minor matter is whether the Pharisaic tradition — which evolved into what rabbinic Judaism calls the Oral Torah, later committed to writing in the Mishna, Gemara and other works — is God's revelation to man and binding on all Jews. The question is explored further at 18:18— 20&N and Mk 7:5-13&N.

According to the Oral Torah as we have it now in the Mislina (Shabbat 7:2) thirty-nine categories of m'lakhah (work) are prohibited on Shabbat, while the Tabernacle was being built. One of these was reaping, another threshing. At v. 1 we are told the talmidim were reaping; in the parallel passage at Lk 6:1 they were also rubbing the heads of grain together in their hands, which would be defined as threshing. This is the content of the accusation the P'rushim were making against them and by implication against Yeshua, responsible as their teacher for their behavior.

3. But he said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what David did when he and those with him were hungry?
4. He entered the House of God and ate the Bread of the Presence!” — which was prohibited, both to him and to his companions; it is permitted only to the cohanim.
Though Leviticus 24:5-9 allows only cohanim to eat the bread of the Presence set aside for display before the ark in the house of God (Tabernacle), 1 Samuel 21:1-6 (2-7) recounts how King David and the priest Achimeiekh violated this mitzvah of the Written Torah — which the P'rushim would accept as more authoritative than a rule in the Oral Torah. A kal v'chomer argument (6:30N) is implied.

5. “Or haven’t you read in the Torah that on Shabbat the cohanim profane Shabbat and yet are blameless?
The Torah itself specifies that some mitzvot are more important than others (see Yn 5:22-23&N, Ga 2:12bN). Keeping Shabbat is important, but the animal sacrifices required by Numbers 28:1-10 are more so, so that the cohanim work on Shabbat in order to offer them. ('Temple service takes precedence over Shabbat" Shabbat 132b.)

6. I tell you, there is in this place something greater than the Temple!
7. If you knew what "I want compassion rather than animal-sacrifice" (Hosea 6:6) meant, you would not condemn the innocent.
8. For the Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat!”
For the Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat. See Mk 2:27-28N.

9. Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue.
10. A man there had a shriveled hand. Looking for a reason to accuse him of something, they asked him, “Is healing permitted on Shabbat?”
Is healing permitted on Shabbat? See Lk 6:9N.

11. But he answered, “If you have a sheep that falls in a pit on Shabbat, which of you won’t take hold of it and lift it out?
A sheep. One should save an animal's life on Shabbat; but whether lifting a sheep out of a pit would, in the first century, have been considered a violation of the rule against work (carrying) on Shabbat is not clear. According to modern halakhah, it would.

12. How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore, what is permitted on Shabbat is to do good.”
How much more. See 6:30N.

13. Then to the man he said, “Hold out your hand.” As he held it out, it became restored, as sound as the other one.
14. But the P’rushim went out and began plotting how they might do away with Yeshua.
15. Aware of this, he left that area. Many people followed him; and he healed them all
16. but warned them not to make him known.
17. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Yesha‘yahu the prophet,
18. "Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will announce justice to the Gentiles.
19. He will not fight or shout, no one will hear his voice in the streets;
20. he will not snap off a broken reed or snuff out a smoldering wick until he has brought justice through to victory.
21. In him the Gentiles will put their hope." (Isaiah 42:1–4)
Isaiah 42:1-4 is the first of several "suffering servant" passages in Isaiah 42-53. Some parts of these passages seem to refer primarily to the people Israel, others to the Messiah yet in Isaiah's future. This fact emphasizes the close identification of the Messiah Yeshua with the Jewish people, as pointed out above, 2:15N.

22. Then some people brought him a man controlled by demons who was blind and mute; and Yeshua healed him, so that he could both speak and see.
While there were Jewish exorcists (v. 27, Ac 19:13), casting out a blind, deaf and dumb demon was a major miracle only the Messiah could be expected to perform (see 8:1-4N), because, unlike the legion of demons (Mk 5:1-20), one couldn't talk with it. Compare Yeshua's answer to Yochanan's disciples (above, 11:5), "the blind are seeing... the deaf are hearing."

23. The crowds were astounded and asked, “This couldn’t be the Son of David, could it?”
24. But when the P’rushim heard of it, they said, “It is only by Ba‘al-Zibbul” — the ruler of the demons — “that this man drives out demons.”
25. However, knowing what they were thinking, Yeshua said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not survive.
26. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; so how can his kingdom survive?
27. Besides, if I drive out demons by Ba‘al-Zibbul, by whom do your people drive them out? So, they will be your judges!
By whom do your people expel them? The implied answer is: Also by the Adversary. Satanic healings and miracles are possible, and many are led astray by them (Exodus 7:22, 8:7; below, 24:24&N). Those involved in the occult and in false religions because of the miracles and healings they see have found the broad road that leads to destruction, not the narrow gate and hard road that lead to life (7:13-14).

28. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you!
29. “Or again, how can someone break into a strong man’s house and make off with his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? After that he can ransack his house.
30. “Those who are not with me are against me, and those who do not gather with me are scattering.
Those who are not with me are against me (also at Lk 11:23). Here and in the next seven verses the P'rushim are presented with a last chance to stand with Yeshua. More generally, a standard is set by which a talmid can test himself: if he is not actively on Yeshua's side, he is on the side of the Adversary. Contrast Mk 9:40, "For whoever is not against us is for us" (similarly Lk 9:50); the seeming contradiction is explained bw the context. In Mark the talmidim are warned that prior to the final opportunity it is premature to conclude that anyone not on Yeshua's side is against him. The same versa also gives a criterion by which others may be tested in relation to a talmid's own worka whoever is not actively opposing the talmid is de facto an ally, not an enemy.

31. Because of this, I tell you that people will be forgiven any sin and blasphemy, but blaspheming the Ruach HaKodesh will not be forgiven.
32. One can say something against the Son of Man and be forgiven; but whoever keeps on speaking against the Ruach HaKodesh will never be forgiven, neither in the ‘olam hazeh nor in the ‘olam haba.
Blaspheming (that is, insulting) the Ruach HaKodesh consists in either (1) wilfully continuing to deny the Gospel when the Holy Spirit has made clear to you that it is true, or (2) attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to the Adversary (Satan); in the present, context these amount to about the same thing (other interpretations have been offered).

One can say something against the Son of Man, etc. See Lk 12:8—10&N.
'Olam hazeh... 'olam haba, "this world... the world to come." These concepts are part of rabbinic Judaism. The latter can mean either the Millennial Age (Revelation 19-20; see I Th 4:15b-17N) or the Eternal Age following Judgment Dayl (Revelation 21-22).

33. “If you make a tree good, its fruit will be good; and if you make a tree bad, its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
34. You snakes! How can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what overflows from the heart.
35. The good person brings forth good things from his store of good, and the evil person brings forth evil things from his store of evil.
36. Moreover, I tell you this: on the Day of Judgment people will have to give account for every careless word they have spoken;
37. for by your own words you will be acquitted, and by your own words you will be condemned.”
38. At this some of the Torah-teachers said, “Rabbi, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”
39. He replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign? No! None will be given to it but the sign of the prophet Yonah.
40. For just as Yonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea-monster (Jonah 2:1(1:17)) so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the depths of the earth.
Yonah (Jonah) was sent to prophesy to the non-Jews of Nineveh in Assyria.

41. The people of Ninveh will stand up at the Judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they turned from their sins to God when Yonah preached, but what is here now is greater than Yonah.
42. The Queen of the South will stand up at the Judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Shlomo, but what is here now is greater than Shlomo.
Queen of the South, i.e., the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1-10. 2 Chronicles 9:1-12), also not Jewish.

Yeshua never cheapens himself or dilutes his message for those whose interest in him is casual or hostile, and nowhere is this truer than when he predicts his own resurrection. Compare 16:1-4, 26:59-68; Mk 8:27-33, 14:55-64, 15:27-33; Lk 11:29-30&N; i Yn 2:18-22.

43. “When an unclean spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry country seeking rest and does not find it.
44. Then it says to itself, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house standing empty, swept clean and put in order.
45. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they come and live there — so that in the end, the person is worse off than he was before. This is how it will be for this wicked generation.”
46. He was still speaking to the crowd when his mother and brothers appeared outside, asking to talk with him.
Brothers. At 13:55 we are given their names. The Roman Catholic tradition is that these "brothers" were actually more distant relatives; hence their doctrine that Miryam remained a virgin throughout her lifetime (see 1:25N). Hebrew ach ("brother") can have a broader range of meaning than Greek adelphos, and this broader sense could be read from the Synoptic Gospels, which probably had Hebrew or Aramaic antecedents. But the mention in Paul's letters, written in Greek for Greek-speakers, of Yeshua's brothers suggests that the word was meant to have the narrower Greek meaning. Protestants take the word to refer to children born to Miryam after Yeshua's birth; they would be, actually, half-brothers, since their physical father, but not Yeshua's, would have been Yosef.

48. But to the one who had informed him he replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
49. Pointing to his talmidim, he said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers!
50. Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants, that person is my brother and sister and mother.”
This is the first of several incidents in which Yeshua's treatment of his family is considered by some to be disrespectful and cavalier, even though elsewhere he affirmed the fifth commandment (19:19) and even disputed with the P'rushim about it (15:4-6). Why did his family wish to see him? We do not know for sure; we do know that his brothers had little understanding of his ministry (Yn 7:2-9), and that his mother, even though she had been given special insight through the angel Gavri'el (Lk 1:26-56) and through Shim'on and Chanah (Lk 2:25-38), was at times puzzled by his actions (e.g., Lk 2:41-51), although upon being reminded by him, she could summon up a measure of trust (Yn 2:3-5). They may have wanted to bring him food and supplies out of concern for his well-being; or, fearing the opposition, they may have wanted to stop or even seize him (as his friends had wanted to, Mk 3:21). Under such circumstances, when busy ministering to a crowd and fielding opposition, Yeshua may have found it best to communicate that even though blood is thicker than water, spiritual family ties supersede physical ones. His remarks do not come from lack of respect but from his desire to point to the Kingdom of God. Eventually his relatives became members of his spiritual family as well (Ac 1:14, Ga 1:19).

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