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  • Keith, with HGP 27 & now 28 released, will the pdf of interlinear translations still be available? We cannot find anything after verse 19. This work is so important to the Body of Messiah…. Nige & Rae, Australia

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  • Howard’s Hebrew Gospel of Matthew 5:19 and its impact on v. 20

    I suggest keeping the word אלו as written, and translating it according to Ecc 6:6 and Est 7:4 as אִלּוּ (aleph with hireq – lamed with dagesh – sharuk vav). This word translates as “if, though (as a particle conjunction)” by the HALOT, “even” (“Even if the other” (NAS)), and “though, although” (“Yea, though” (KJV)) for Ecc 6:6 as a word of comparison and/or contrast. In Est 7:4 this word goes untranslated in English but the contrasting comparison in the text is contextually obvious, even if unwritten. The phrase אִלּוּ אֲשֶׁר אֲלַמֵּד becomes a parenthetical statement of contrast and comparison of “commandments.” The verb אֲלַמֵּד is a Piel imperfect which changes the Qal imperfect אֶלְמֹד ‘I will teach’ to an intensified ‘I will formally (expertly) instruct’ or ‘I will instruct with skill.’ In English this phrase therefore says, “even which I will formally instruct (with skill).” Yeshua is comparing his instruction to the unchanging Written Torah from YHVH from the previous verse. This is also contrasting his instruction to the righteousness of the Pharisee’s man-made commandments in their Oral Law of the following verse. To understand this comparing and contrasting of ideas, we need to look outside this verse and see its importance when placed within the surrounding texts. Only then do the meta themes show themselves properly.

    In the previous verses, I find it important that Yeshua declares “Blessed are those who pursue peace for they shall be called sons of God (v. 9).” This verse becomes important later in the theme of this verse. He also says, “you are salt in the world (v. 13)” and “you are light in the world … shine for all in the house (v. 14-15).” The metaphor here is likely the House of Jacob – all Israel’s sons who were given the Written Torah where not “one letter (consonant) or dot (vowel) will be abolished (v. 18).” But also, “let your light shine before [all mankind] (כל אדם)” or in other words, all the sons of mankind. Yeshua identifies himself as part of the crowd and the people he is teaching, as a son of Israel and a son of mankind, which he calls himself numerous times in other texts using “son of man.” He and his crowd are blessed for their persecution of maintaining righteousness according to YHVH’s Torah “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (v. 10)” and their “good deeds are praised and glorified before your father who is in heaven (v.16).” They are a kingdom of heaven on earth then and there in the here and now of their days.

    He is, however declaring differences with his teaching and those who have been teaching the people in verses 19-20. We don’t see this until he does what he said he will do “teach skillfully.” He does just this in verses 21-44. Although verse 45 appears to be tied to just verses 43-44, I see it applying to all these verses he skillfully teaches the crowd “in order that you will be sons of your father who is in heaven.” His kingdom is from heaven and, as his sons, you are the kingdom of heaven on earth. Verses 19-20 are tied to the differences between two kingdoms, one from heaven and one from the sages and Pharisees. It’s hard to see this by concentrating verse by verse, so we need to step back and see all the trees to understand the forest, as the saying goes.

    With all that in mind, here is my translation of v.19 according to the pointed text from Red Letter #19 for consideration:

    But he who will pass by one word from out of [the] commandments, which even I will teach skillfully, [is] another. “A son of nothing!” he will call a kingdom of heaven. But the upholding [one] and the teaching [one] “Great!” he will be called in a kingdom of heaven.”

    Let me explain: Yeshua has described who the sons of YHVH that are blessed and how they should act AS a kingdom of heaven in the kingdom of heaven. (In this verse there is only a beyt (in) attached to the second kingdom of heaven NOT the first!) They are people who follow the Written Torah for which you are called “great.” But to those who follow the edicts of the Pharisees and sages, who “pass by” such commandments for their own are “another.” (Using “another” removes the verb and “[is]” as a form of “to be” is not typically written in Hebrew, so it fits here perfectly to make a proper sentence.) They want you to follow their ‘upholdings and teachings.’ Instead, you, as one in the kingdom Yeshua teaches, are a kingdom of heaven. But to them, you are a son of nothing. To be blessed and righteous and a son of HaShem and son of Israel you MUST follow them not what Written Torah and Yeshua agree upon. Keep in mind, the expert “pointer” (as a Rabbinic) would most likely AGREE with the Pharisaic mindset and saw this exchange through that eye in his translating the text as pointed. (That was an AHAH! moment for me too. Todah Abba!)

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