Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hezekiah vs. Sar-Shalom

Coming soon to a LMLK blog near you ... an extremely long essay explaining why Jewish arguments against Jesus being One with God as the Son of God are irrational.

I don't expect many people to read it due to its length (it'll be the longest blog I've ever published), & due to my lack of academic credentials. Although the draft is done, it may not be ready for publication for another few weeks due to all the cross-checks I still need to do. During the course of that work, I'm finding amazing, unexpected things that must be addressed. Today's discovery is so jaw-dropping, I cannot resist sharing it as a preview/teaser for the main essay.

The essay will consist of 3 main sections, followed by a minor 4th section, which is as long as the 3 main sections combined:

Section I: On whether God is One & only One in every sense & context
Section II: On whether the Messiah can appear twice
Section III: On the identification of the 3 actors in Isaiah 53

While proofreading it, it struck me as odd that none of the anti-Jesus literature mentioned Isaiah 9:5/6 (dubbed verse 5 in the Jewish numbering system, 6 in the Christian). Several years ago I purchased an English/Hebrew TNK from the Hebron Gift Shop, & was so impressed with its physical quality as a book, that I offered copies for resale on the LMLK Dotcom store (which I stopped doing). As part of my follow-up research, I recently ordered a copy of the Artscroll Tanach, which was promoted by anti-Jesus Jews as an excellent translation free from Christian bias found in English Old Testaments. It arrived today.

To contrast these 2 translations, it will not suffice to merely describe them. Who would believe my report? To whom would the arm of HaShem be revealed? Fortunately, the 1997 Koren publication contains no specific copyright statements; not so with the March 2011 Artscroll edition.

I decided it would be imperative to commit this crime, & deliberately violate the Artscroll publisher's copyright so that those of you reading this blog may benefit from an example of the foolish extremes otherwise-brilliant scholars will go to in order to justify their irrational religion.

"Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?"--1Corinthians 1:20

To ensure that the critical texts get picked up by Internet search engines, it says:

"No part of this volume may be reproduced IN ANY FORM--PHOTOCOPY, ELECTRONIC, DIGITAL MEDIA, OR OTHERWISE--even for personal, study group, or classroom use without written permission from the copyright holder, Mesorah Publications Ltd. except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in magazines or newspapers. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE PUBLICATION OF THIS WORK INVOLVED EXTENSIVE RESEARCH AND COSTS, AND THE RIGHTS OF THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED"

What are the odds that Mesorah would grant permission to a Christian seeking to demonstrate how faulty & heretical their publication is? Since this blog is neither a magazine nor newspaper, I suppose I'm officially a criminal on the run now. Not only am I violating an international copyright law, I'm clearly violating one of the "Big 10" commandments of God:

"Thou shalt not steal."--Exodus 20:15

(Actually, Jews will accuse me of violating another one, because I worked on this blog during the Sabbath, but that's an accusation I'll dispute & elaborate on in my long forthcoming essay.)

A key element for spotting irrational statements is arbitrariness. When someone has no logical basis for his/her belief, they resort to an arbitrary assertion. For example, if you believe that the Messiah will be an ordinary human, then when you translate a messianic prophecy such as Isaiah 9 that equates The Everlasting God with The Prince of Peace, you must arbitrarily ignore the original grammar, & arbitrarily arrange the words in the order that supports your erroneous interpretation.

Koren's version does not resort to such an extreme measure; it merely skips the translation & substitutes a transliteration, which is meaningless gibberish to most English readers:

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called Pele-yo-ez-el-gibbor-avi-'ad-sar-shalom..."

I don't know of any Biblical characters named Pele-yo-ez-el-gibbor-avi-'ad-sar-shalom, but if a future Jew's parents decide to name their son Pele-yo-ez-el-gibbor-avi-'ad-sar-shalom, he will certainly have some pressure on him! Kidding aside, Koren's version is correct in the sense that it recognizes all those Hebrew words as the name of the child.

Artscroll's version resorts to gross scholarly negligence, committing not just a secular sin of arbitrary mistranslation, but a violation of 2 of the higher "Big 10" commandments by committing idolatry (worshiping a false god) & blasphemy (degrading God's Name):

"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."--Exodus 20:3

"Thou shalt not take the name of HaShem thy God in vain; for HaShem will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain."--Exodus 20:7

And page x [10] of the Preface sets up another theological crime against God:

"THE FIRST GOAL OF A TRANSLATION MUST BE ACCURACY, SCRIPTURAL HEBREW is laden with nuance and meaning. ... The scholars involved in this task were consumed with a sense of mission--that they were dealing with the sacred and eternal word of God, not mere 'literature'; that their task was not to rewrite the text, but to convey its meaning faithfully."

Also the page advertising this edition I bought, describes it as being produced "in collaboration with an international team of scholars".

By stating their credentials (primarily edited by Rabbi Nosson Scherman, with contributing editors Rabbi Yaakov Blinder, Rabbi Avie Gold, & Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, plus other editorial acknowledgements spanning 2 & a half pages), they're also violating another of the "Big 10" by bearing false witness that their translation is accurate & reliable, while that of their neighbor (Koren & all Christian scholars) is not:

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."--Exodus 20:16

Why is it unreliable? How has it violated the aforementioned holy commandments?

"For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us, and the dominion will rest on his shoulder; the Wondrous Adviser, Mighty God, Eternal Father, called his name Sar-shalom [Prince of Peace]..."

That's not what it says! Beginning immediately after the "shoulder" phrase:

UYQRA (7121) "they will call" or "and he called" (UQRA = "and call" in DSS)
SMU (8034) "his name"
PLA (6382) "wonderful"
YUO$ (3289) "adviser"
AL (410) "God"
GBUR (1368) "mighty"
ABY (1) "father"
OD (5703) "eternal"
SR (8269 "prince"
SLUM (7965) "peace" (ESLUM = "the peace" in DSS)

No matter which phrase you choose for the first word, the only way you can dissociate "Peace Prince" from "Eternal Father" is through an arbitrary break in the list of names for which there is no grammatical warrant. Why would Isaiah use so many names for God in this particular instance if he intended to say that the name of the person is only the last name listed? (Note also that the end of the paragraph names HaShem as "Master of Legions" instead of reiterating Wondrous Adviser or Mighty God or Eternal Father.)

For similar arrangements of "call/called his name X" in prophetic contexts, see Isaiah 7:14; 8:3; Hosea 1:4; 1:9 (that's the same grammatical sequence as in non-prophetic contexts too, such as Genesis 4:26).

If the intention were really the way it's presented by Artscroll, it would've been arranged "called X his/her name Y" (as in Genesis 3:20; 16:15; 21:3; 22:14; 32:30; 35:15; 41:51; Exodus 35:30):

UYQRA (7121) "and he called"
PLA (6382) "wonderful"
YUO$ (3289) "adviser"
AL (410) "God"
GBUR (1368) "mighty"
ABY (1) "father"
OD (5703) "eternal"
SMU (8034) "his name"
SR (8269 "prince"
SLUM (7965) "peace"

This construction occurs nowhere in the Hebrew TNK!

But even if the Artscroll translation is correct, who is this "Prince of Peace"? Is it the Jewish messiah? No, according to the footnote at the bottom of the page, it's none other than LMLK VIP King Hezekiah, whose name means "HaShem Strengthens"!

"This wondrous salvation took place in the days of the child of Ahaz, the righteous King Hezekiah, whom God--the Wondrous Adviser, Mighty God, Eternal Father--called 'Prince of Peace' (Rashi)."

The highly acclaimed medieval Jewish sage, Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki) believed that King Hezekiah, during whose reign the Israelite capital of Samaria was destroyed by Assyrians, during whose reign most of the Judean cities in the Shephelah region were destroyed by Assyrians, during whose reign Jerusalem was besieged by Assyrians, who being the "righteous king" he was, stripped the Temple of some gold & silver to appease the Assyrians, was the Prince of Peace, Sar-Shalom, apparently because when Hezekiah was a child several years before he began to reign, there was a brief peace in Judah.

Notice what the rest of the paragraph records about Sar-Shalom:

"...upon the one with the greatness in dominion and the boundless peace that will prevail on the throne of David and on his kingdom, to establish it and sustain it through justice and righteousness, from now to eternity."

Even if Rashi was referring to the so-called Pax Assyriaca, did that qualify as "boundless peace"? No, it was bounded only by the territory conquered by Assyrians.

Did it last from "now to eternity"? No, it lasted less than a century.

Is Hezekiah referred to anywhere else in the TNK as Sar-Shalom? No!

Is the Messiah described as a prince (SR) anywhere else in the TNK? Yes! Daniel 8:25.

Is the Messiah associated with peace anywhere else in the TNK? Yes! According to the anti-Jesus Jews in my forthcoming essay, they cite Isaiah 2:4 & Micah 4:3.

Artscroll's translation violates Hebrew grammar, & does not comport with other Hebrew Scripture. It is not the product of scholarship, but of fools who don't believe The Prince of Peace is One with The Eternal Father: our Mighty God.

In case any of the elite Artscroll rabbis ever read this blog, here's a special message just for them:

"You have acted foolishly! You did not keep the commandment of HASHEM, your God, that He commanded you..."--1Samuel 13:13

"You would be considered in Israel as one of the despicable men!"--2Samuel 13:13

"Remember this: The foe reviled HASHEM, and the degenerate people blasphemed Your Name."--Psalms 74:18

"For My people are stupid, they have not recognized Me."--Jeremiah 4:22

The 4 preceding quotations came courtesy of "The Artscroll English Tanach: The Jewish Bible with Insights from Classic Rabbinic Thought", available for only $15.99 (special 20% Web discount). Get your copy today, & tell them a Christian sent you.

Now all the Artscroll lawyer-boys are after me ... but for as long as I can, I'm running free!

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."--John 8:36

G.M. Grena