Nehemia Gordon & Keith Johnson – Pearls from the Torah Portion – Lech Lecha – Genesis 12:1-17:27

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50 thoughts on “Nehemia Gordon & Keith Johnson – Pearls from the Torah Portion – Lech Lecha – Genesis 12:1-17:27

  1. Thank you so much for these Torah Pearls we were able to receive through this teaching. For me I really enjoyed hearing the truth in regard of the tithe of Abraham and King of Salem! And how Abraham made sure to let the other king know that he was talking about YHVH and as he proclaimed His name. As Keith said many times Torah Pears, and yes I have received today from His Word!

  2. This is a joke. It is obvious from the parasha that it was Abraham who gave the tithes. He is the one who brought everything back. And to state that Hebrews is just allegorical shows your anti- Yeshua stance

  3. Shefer, thank you for your comment. What is an “anti-Yeshua stance” ? Also, why do you think that it is obvious from Genesis 14 that it was Abraham who gave the tenth?

  4. What a blessing!!! Jono, thank you for having Keith and Nehemia comment on the Torah portions each week!!!! To me, this is a “breath of fresh air”. May I suggest that I, personally, feel that Nehemia sharing with us is akin to Naomi teaching Ruth. Thank you, Nehemia, for being willing to share your understanding of the scriptures and the language with those of us who are embracing the Hebrew Roots of our belief.

  5. I just love the back and forth between the three of you, I am learning alot. Bless you! Guess I had better start donating!

  6. Thank you all for your broadcast; I have enjoyed it a lot.
    Just an observation in reading this portion:
    Gen. 12:1 (the blessing) states “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house.”
    Wasn’t Abram disobedient to the command of YHVH by taking Lot with him? Wasn’t he to leave his relatives? By taking Lot Abram may have missed his blessing coming earlier; it wasn’t until Lot left, in Gen. 13: 11 that Abram heard again from YHVH to ‘lift up your eyes and look”… descendants cannot be counted”…’go walk about the land”.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but seems that Abram may have had less strife in the camp if he’d obeyed and left him (Lot) behind.

  7. Really gleaned from your discussion today! I have never quite understood the whole tithe to Melchizedek and have heard many different arguments that Melchizedek was YHVH or wasn’t YHVH but listening to the explanation today made SO much sense!

  8. Thank you SO much!! I am learning a lot from you all. I appreciate you taking the time to provide learning for us. Thank you!!

  9. It makes sense when you read the Torah portion. But if you are a Messianic Believer and believe in the B’rit Hadashah, then the writer of the book of Hebrews completely misunderstood this portion. So unfortunately both cannot be correct and one has to make a choice here…

  10. Ida, it certainly is food for thought. On another comments thread I recently left this comment regarding Hebrews…

    Steven, it is interesting that you quote Hebrews 10:4 but not Hebrews 10:5-7, which goes on to say… “Therefore, coming into the world, He says, “Slaughtering and meal offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and offerings for sin You did not delight. Then I said, ‘See, I come – in the roll of the book it has been written concerning Me – to do Your desire, O Elohim.”

    Of course, we know that the writer of Hebrews misquotes Psalms 40:6-8, “Sacrifice and meal-offering Thou hast no delight in; mine ears hast Thou opened; burnt-offering and sin-offering hast Thou not required. Then said I: ‘Lo, I am come with the roll of a book which is prescribed for me; I delight to do Thy will, O my God; yea, Thy law is in my inmost parts.”

    Interesting indeed

  11. Ida, I’m not sure you made yourself clear. You wrote an if/then mathmatical expression that does not balance.

    (IF) I am a Messianic believer and believe in the New Testement (THEN) the writer of Hebrews misunderstood?

    What are you really trying to say? What choice do you say we have to make? Are you altogether sure both passages were correctly translated and is there some bias against Yeshua present?

  12. Steven, let me propose another mathematical equation.

    It is possible that the Tanakh and the New Testament are both false.

    It is possible that the Tanakh and the New Testament are both true.

    It is possible that the Tanakh is true and the New Testament is false.

    It is IMPOSSIBLE that the Tanakh is false and the New Testament is true.

  13. Steven, what was implied that if the Tanakh says that Abraham was the receiver of the tithe, and Hebrews says that Abraham was the give of the tithe, one of them MUST be wrong to make sense. So, as a Messianic Believer, one sentence in context with two personal pronouns weigh less than many sentences in the book of Hebrews which expounds so much further upon the fact that Abraham was the giver of the tithe. Many things were implied in my first statement, but I hope I’ve made myself clear this time. Sorry for the confusion!

  14. Jono, who said the Tanakh was error? Who is saying Hebrews is in error?

    It is not the writer of Hebrews who makes a false assumption of the text.

    So the correct equation is “It is possible that the Tanakh and the New Testament are both true.”

  15. Ida, thanks for clarification! :) Shalom

    I believe the right choice to make here is to believe that both writings are correctly saying that Abraham paid a tithe of the spoils to the King.

    To whom do sojourners pay tribute? Kings

  16. Ida, I appreciate the comments concerning Hebrews. I had the same misgivings and was trying to collect my thoughts when you articulated them very nicely. Shalom.

  17. Genesis 15:11 >> chasing off the birds of prey seems important, Abraham had a portion bringing the beasts and chasing off the birds? What doyou see here?

  18. Jono, I also wanted to add that when authors in the NT. quote from the OT, then I don’t see it as the author misquoting, but rather that the NT text is taken from Greek words, which most of the time could not express everything that was written in the OT Hebrew. As an example, when Is 61:1, quoted in Luke 4:18, most translations omitted the name of God YHVH, because there was no word in Greek to write YHVH. Instead of just saying ‘YHVH’, they omitted it. So, I would say that the translaters misquoted. and NOT the authors. Just a general observation. Looking at http://bible.cc/luke/4-18.htm, then see that only the Aramaic translation has the Name of God translated.

  19. Ida, thank you for your explanation. But surely you are not saying that the writer of Hebrews misquotes Psalms 40:6-8 in Hebrews 10:5-7 because he could not express “my ears you have opened” and therefore had to write the next best thing “but a body you have prepared for me”?

  20. Jono, that is a tough one. But many times I have found that Hebrew expressions are tough to convey to a Greek mind and so some colloquial Hebrew expressions might come accross very weird. Perhaps “My ears you have opened” or “ears you have dug for me” could refer to a Hebrew slave (Ex 21:1-6) whose ear was bored with an awl to the doorpost and could be relevant in this context (Phillip 2:8 – He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.) I would rather err on the side of an incorrect translation before I would side with a “misquote”. Otherwise I’d rather say the translator, rather than the author, misquoted. Many translators also decide to attempt to translate meaning rather than word for word, but in other cases, they stick to the literal. ‘..you will heap burning coals on his head’ (Rom 12:20). You probably know all these things already, but it’s great to share thoughts…

  21. If I am not mistaken, Nehemiah said that Avraham passed between the pieces before YHVH. If got it right from the broadcast, what verse in Gen 15 does say that?

  22. From the simple context of this passage in Gen 14 we can conclude that “he” is Malkitsedeq. However, Shaul gives another account of this even in Heb_7:1-5 : Avraham. How could Shaul have known that the giver was Avraham? And who was this Melchizedek and why did Abraham pay the tithe to him? The answer may be found in Sefer HaYashar. Jasher 16:11-12 contains this same account but with some important additional information: Malkitsedeq was Shem.

    This identity of Melchizadek is also recorded in the Talmud in b.Ned. 32. Jasher 9:5-6 also records the fact that Shem had been Avraham’s Torah teacher.

    I have done “Bible Math” and found that Noach and Shem died AFTER Avraham was born. Thus Abraham might have paid the tithe to Shem out of respect because Shem had been his personal Torah teacher.

    Just a thought for a consideration.

  23. According to Psalm 110 – David said Melchizedek was a priest… as far as “gave a tenth of all”… then what exactly was the “all”?? If Abraham had the spoils – did he give “all” to Melchizedek and then the king/priest gave him a tithe from “all” the spoils??? Then that wouldn’t be just because then he would have given spoil to Melchizedek of things that didn’t belong to him…. Would that make sense? Not to me…

  24. Just want to weigh in on the discussion of Psalms 40:6-8 being mistquoted…the author of Hebrews is quoting the Septuagint version of the TNK. Actually, to my knowledge, nearly every NT quote of the TNK matches with the Septuagint over the Masoretic text. So, I wouldn’t say he misquoted…he just used a different text.

  25. Matthew, spot on! That is the answer, and so the question becomes why does the Septuagint misquote the Psalms and why does a book called Hebrews derive it’s text from a Greek translation?

  26. The identity of Melchizadek is very obscure. Many take that Melchizadek is a name and it could well be a name. However, if we take it as “melchizadek” meaning “righteous king” we may come to other conclusion that in the light of “order of Melchizadek” it could mean just that: the order of the righteous kings.

    In the book of Rev we are told about the twenty-four elders sitting on twenty-four thrones. I am in opinion that those elders are the priests from the order of melchizadek, the order of the righteous kings starting from Adam being the first priest to Yeshua–the last and greatest priest and Shem being one of them. What is identity of the rest 21 priests I am still working on. They could be all righteous men from Adam, Seth, Avraham, Isaac, israel, David, etc.

  27. =D That assumes that the Masoretic text matches the original. From what I understand, the Septuagint is actually much older than the oldest Masoretic texts that we have. Not sure if the dead sea scrolls has anything on this particular passage, but I do know that that the dead sea scrolls sometimes match the Masoretic and sometimes match the Septuagint.

    I actually talked about a similar subject with a friend of mine who I would consider very skilled in the area of textual criticism and he pointed out that there could have been Hebrew manuscripts that no longer exists but agreed with the Septuagint at the time of the writing of the NT.

  28. Hebrews 7 clearly points out that Abraham gave tithe to Malkitsedeq…who was clearly someone even greater than Abraham for Abraham gave him tithe as if he were a Levite priest…although Malkitsedeq was not a Levite.
    It shows that the lesser is blessed by the better…the better being Malkitsedeq.
    Somehow Malkitsedeq has no mother, no father and no genealogy and his life has no beginning or ending…. which blows my mind. Who was Malkitsedeq? He is only mentioned a few times…in Genesis, Psalms and Hebrews.
    Yeshua is compared to malkitsedeq in Hebrews 7:1-3 ….saying he is like the son of God and remains a priest forever and in verses 15-17 saying that Yeshuah is a “priest forever of the order of Melchizedk”.
    Nehemia already said that the verse in Genesis could go either way…Abraham giving tithe or Malkitsedeq giving tithe. What interests me more about all this is Malkitsedeq. I think it’s more important to study the order of Malkitsedeq than to worry about who gave tithe to whom.
    Any other New Testament readers get on the edge of their seat reading Hebrews 7? lol

  29. Also wanted to say that it doesn’t make sense that Abraham comes back from getting Lot and meets the King of Sodom at Malkitsedeq’s place ….and Malkitsedeq tells Abraham, essentially, “Hey Abraham…I know none of that stuff is mine but I’ll tell ya what…I’ll give you a 10th of it”. What makes sense is Malkitsedeq blessing Abraham and Abraham giving thanks for that blessing by giving Malkitsedeq a 10th.
    Also, it doesn’t seem to me that the king of Sodom was trying to “one up” anyone at all. Because the King of Sodom was an idolator…the blessing that Malkitsedeq gave to Abraham made no nevermind to him…so after the blessing is out of the way, King of Sodom jumps back to business and offers Abraham the goods except for the living…as a thank you for bringing his stuff back.
    Remember….Abraham only went back to get Lot.

  30. Ha… I stopped to comment and thought the clip was finished. Apparently it wasn’t. Off to listen to the rest of it!

  31. Dawn – I agree…. it makes more sense that Abraham was distributing the booty to the king of Sodom when he was made that offer… to which Abraham turned it down. It would appear that the writer (those stories were originally orally transmitted) would assume the reader would know that priests “which it points out Melchizedek was) receive tithes and don’t give tithes – just as they pronounce blessing (which it clearly states he did). The story makes no mention of anything being taken from the King of Salem (it names the kings who things were taken from) – so why would Abraham have returned any goods to Melchizedek (and then Melchizedek turn around and give him a tithe)? Sadly, it appears they only want to discredit the writer of Hebrews. Melchizedek had bread and wine… so it would appear that he was never troubled by the wars that were going on.

  32. As far as translations go…

    1)when the scriptures we read were recorded there was no single source text for one thing. So even the ancient Israelites had SLIGHT variations in texts… as others have pointed out. Researchers have found many examples of this.

    2)Even the Torah itself records instances slightly differently between the books. That is because these ppl were witnesses. The Torah are witnesses of mostly Moses life in the same way the gospels are witnesses. The Torah wasn’t written down until hundreds of years after Moses died… just as Yeshua didn’t write the gospels. If we as believers can’t trust God to protect the testimony of these witnesses then our faith is in vain. It doesn’t mean we don’t conduct serious scholarship… but we have to trust God to preserve the truth!

    3)The writer of Hebrews was writiting from Italy (see the end of the letter). I would ASSUME (not saying definitely) that it was written to Israelites (not Gentiles) in the diaspora. We know from academic history as well as the book of Acts that Jews in the diaspora spoke many languages – and some did not even speak Hebrew (see the dispute in Acts chapter 6)… so I would figure the letter (though probably transmitted orally in Hebrew) was most likely written in the language that would have the most impact of the day – just like the rest of the apostolic writings… NOT for the intent to deceive.

  33. I watched the portion on circumcision, I was and still am confused about this subject, are men suposed to be circumcised? I think yes or you have broken the cvenant. Could you help me w/this answer. The subject is never really answered. What if you are not circumcised and now am an adult????? Thank you

  34. Mary, I believe one should be circumsized even as an adult if one hasn’t been. Abraham was an adult as well as his “tribe” when they were circumsized. Also, in the NT in Acts 16:1-3 it speaks of Timothy whose mother was a Jew and whose father was a Greek; Timothy wasn’t circumsized but when Paul went out with him(Timothy) they circumsized him. Also, as Nehemiah pointed out in Ezekial it shows both the physical circumsicion and spiritual circumsicion (of heart) are important to Him. Hope this helps.

  35. A little late here. Nice video, btw.

    @Mary: Yes, I do think that circumcision is still commanded, but for a new believer, circumcision of the heart must come first.

    From what I understand, the 1st century Judeans taught that in order to join Israel, one must be circumcised, then pay temple tax, then sacrifice, and lastly, get baptized (mikveh).

    Paul was merely saying that mikveh (baptism) should come first (being born again), and obedience will follow.

    YMMV.

  36. I left a comment the other day regarding what Eileen said about Abraham being disobedient for bringing Lot with him from Chaldea. I’ve never left a comment before. Not here or anywhere else. So I don’t know if it was too late to comment, I didn’t make sense or what? But I do want to tell you I’ve enjoyed listening so far. I’m thankful my plumber shared your site with me. Keep up the good work.

  37. Forgive me for asking but I do not know what ‘your comment is awaiting moderation’ means? I feel really stupid for having to ask?

  38. G’day Jeanie, I’m not sure where your original comment went. It seems to have vanished. Sorry about that, but don’t let it stop you from commenting in the future ;-)

  39. Hello, thanks for replying. I’m really new to the internet and perhaps I did something wrong to cause it to get lost. But my comment was regarding the idea that Abraham was disobedient in taking Lot with him to Canaan. I’ve heard that teaching before and it really bothers me that we sit in judgement of people in the Scriptures. We do not always know the full story or these peoples mental or emotional states. We do know that Lot’s father was deceased. Abraham as his uncle very well might have been the one who raised Lot after his father passed. Culturally speaking for them taking Lot with him might have been the norm. Gen. 18:19 tells us Abraham was chosen that he may command his children and household in the ways of Yehovah. Perhaps he was chosen because Yehovah saw how he shared His ways with Lot. 2 Peter 2:8 calls Lot a righteous man.

    As a side note, I hope this comment appears as I tried to type it. I only have internet through my cell phone. I tried to proof read it and was just having a hard time of it.

  40. So i do have one question which nobody seems to have an answer to… maybe its just not what i want to hear…
    From what i understand, the circ which is done today is not the same as what would have been done in the days of old.
    What doctors and mohels do today just does not seem like it could have been done with a flint knife.

    I was not ” cut” as a child due to health issues, and my parents ( not believers) just never bothered, obviously, obedience is desired or i wouldn’t even discuss the matter…

    Any thoughts or comments? :-)

  41. After checking i found according to Blue letter bible the following versions add ( abraham)
    1. Niv as stated
    2.NLT
    3.ESV
    4.RVR – spanish
    5.HNC – hebrew name

    Its very clear to me Now …Its NEVER been as taught in CHURCH….

  42. I never understood what Abram and Isaac hoped the outcome would be when they claimed that their wives were their sisters. Did they just have faith that God would intervene if they lied and wouldn’t if they told the truth?
    Also, thanks for your broadcasts. I listen to all of them and get ever so much out of it. You are all the best.

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