[b-hebrew] OT: a link about Modern Hebrew

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Tue Jun 8 16:31:16 EDT 2004


Dear Vadim,

>  >HH; It is because of the figure who is identified
>as such in the OT, and the importance he has for
>all men, not just for the Jews.<
>This also always remained a puzzle for me. The Tanakh devotes much more
>space to dozens of other figures, yet so much importance is attached to
>avdi.
>And in every or so chapter mentioning the avdi, there is this talk of
>smiting the foreigners, hardly of universal salvation.
>Besides, a good case is made by many that the avdi references are inserted.
>I mean, I certainly understand this is a matter of belief, and in no way try
>to belittle yours. But since this belief is invoked as an additional axiom
>in the Tanakhic interpretation, I'd like to know more about this assumption.

HH: You might want to put a space between somebody else's comment and 
your own. It is hard to read when there is no space in between. My 
comment was an answer to your question about Gentile interest in the 
Messiah, I believe:

>I may understand when the earliest Christians, not well-acquianted with the
>Tanakh, put much stock in the title messiah. But I'm puzzled why this title
is of importance to you.

>  >HH; It is because of the figure who is identified
>as such in the OT, and the importance he has for
all men, not just for the Jews.<

HH: So I wasn't just talking about the Servant figure in Isaiah but 
about all the references to the Messiah in the OT.

>  >I may understand when the earliest Christians, not well-acquianted with the
>>Tanakh, put much stock in the title messiah. But I'm puzzled why this title
>>is of importance to you.
>
>
>This is exactly what I'm talking about: the title was not extraordinary,
>being applied to many people - some of sufficiently low credentials. Why the
>same title, implied for the avdi, is taken so seriously?

HH: OT prophecy makes predictions about things to come. Many OT books 
speak of a future ruler of Israel. He is often identified with the 
house of David and described as a king. Both Jewish and Christian 
interpreters have viewed many OT books as speaking of the same future 
figure and have given him the name Messiah. Christianity identifies 
the Servant in Isaiah with that future figure. It is not the 
particular term used of him that is paramount, but the overall 
prophetic description of this person.

>  >  You surely know that it was widely used; Isaiah
>>allowed even Chaldeans their own moshia (which, according to him, was not
>>forthcoming to save them).
>
>HH: God called Cyrus His anointed one in the
>sense that he was going to accomplish God's
>purposes in a special way. While I don't agree
>with Liz's theories that God took the kingship
>away from the house of David and gave it to
>Cyrus, she makes some good arguments in a
>published paper that it would possible for Jews
>to refer to Cyrus as their king. It would have
>been possible for God to label Cyrus as
>functioning in the role of His king.
>
>So, you accept that wrong translation can serve as a basis for better
>understanding of the original text?

HH: I don't know what you mean by a wrong translation. "Anointed" is 
correct. Liz applies all the Servant passages to Cyrus. I think that 
is what is incorrect, Liz's interpretation of the Servant. There is a 
distinction between the two figures; the Servant is not Cyrus. But I 
believe the Servant is the Messiah, even though the word "anointed" 
is not used of the Servant by Isaiah. I believe that Cyrus is only a 
type of the Servant, a picture from that age of what the Messiah (the 
Servant) will do in the future.

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard




More information about the b-hebrew mailing list