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Ben Masada

The Back Steps in the Sun Dial of Ahaz

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THE BACK STEPS IN THE SUN DIAL OF AHAZ

King Hezekiah had got sick and Prophet Isaiah told him that it was to death. "Put your house in order, said Isaiah, for your time has arrived." (Isa. 38:1)

The King cried like a child asking for an extension to his life. I don't blame him; I would do the same. He was granted 15 years more. The man was so happy that he could not believe it! So, he asked for a sign to make sure he had really escaped death.

The shadow in the sun dial of Ahaz; yes! I want it to go back ten steps. Please, Isaiah! Pleaded Hezekiah. Granted! Was Isaiah's answer, "This is the sign for you." (Isa. 38:7) It means that it was all in the mind of Hezekiah; no one else had to be aware of what would happen.

The expression "To go back" with reference to a clock or watch is to go back in time, which is the same as to remember or to be reminded of something of the past. Ten steps of time are ten years. The year for this event in the life of Hezekiah was 691 BCE. Ten years prior to this event would take them back to 701 BCE when Sennacherib, king of Assyria besieged Jerusalem and, about 185,000 of his men, during that fateful night got mysteriously killed, which caused Sennacherib to lift the siege and return to Assyria where he was assassinated by his two sons. (2 Kings 19:35-37)

That's the act of God Hezekiah was reminded of that had happened ten years before in order to trust the word of God through Prophet Isaiah. Hence, the ten steps of time in years that went back in the sun dial of Ahaz. (2 Kings 20:11) Hezekiah remembered the miracle of that night and believed. And of course! He had his life extended 15 years more. Never mind that, Herodotus, the Greek Historian, somehow found out that the miracle of that night in the Assyrian camp outside Jerusalem had been a bubonic plague. He had come to this understanding from the bubonic plague that killed many of the Philistines in the city of Ashdod when they took over the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites in a war. (I Sam. 5:6,7)

Ben

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Posted (edited)

THE BACK STEPS IN THE SUN DIAL OF AHAZ

King Hezekiah had got sick and Prophet Isaiah told him that it was to death. "Put your house in order, said Isaiah, for your time has arrived." (Isa. 38:1)

The King cried like a child asking for an extension to his life. I don't blame him; I would do the same. He was granted 15 years more. The man was so happy that he could not believe it! So, he asked for a sign to make sure he had really escaped death.

The shadow in the sun dial of Ahaz; yes! I want it to go back ten steps. Please, Isaiah! Pleaded Hezekiah. Granted! Was Isaiah's answer, "This is the sign for you." (Isa. 38:7) It means that it was all in the mind of Hezekiah; no one else had to be aware of what would happen.

The expression "To go back" with reference to a clock or watch is to go back in time, which is the same as to remember or to be reminded of something of the past. Ten steps of time are ten years. The year for this event in the life of Hezekiah was 691 BCE. Ten years prior to this event would take them back to 701 BCE when Sennacherib, king of Assyria besieged Jerusalem and, about 185,000 of his men, during that fateful night got mysteriously killed, which caused Sennacherib to lift the siege and return to Assyria where he was assassinated by his two sons. (2 Kings 19:35-37)

That's the act of God Hezekiah was reminded of that had happened ten years before in order to trust the word of God through Prophet Isaiah. Hence, the ten steps of time in years that went back in the sun dial of Ahaz. (2 Kings 20:11) Hezekiah remembered the miracle of that night and believed. And of course! He had his life extended 15 years more. Never mind that, Herodotus, the Greek Historian, somehow found out that the miracle of that night in the Assyrian camp outside Jerusalem had been a bubonic plague. He had come to this understanding from the bubonic plague that killed many of the Philistines in the city of Ashdod when they took over the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites in a war. (I Sam. 5:6,7)

Ben

It is interesting that the text does not actually say the sun moved back, the shadow did that, it also does not say that it is a sundial either. The term references a stairway, as in New American Standard Bible (©1995)

"Behold, I will cause the shadow on the stairway, which has gone down with the sun on the stairway of Ahaz, to go back ten steps." So the sun's shadow went back ten steps on the stairway on which it had gone down.

The LXX in the Greek pretty much says the same thing...

38:7 Isaiah replied,9 “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said: 38:8 Look, I will make the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.”10 And then the shadow went back ten steps.11

Edited by Jor-el

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It is interesting that the text does not actually say the sun moved back, the shadow did that, it also does not say that it is a sundial either. The term references a stairway, as in New American Standard Bible (©1995)

"Behold, I will cause the shadow on the stairway, which has gone down with the sun on the stairway of Ahaz, to go back ten steps." So the sun's shadow went back ten steps on the stairway on which it had gone down.

The LXX in the Greek pretty much says the same thing...

38:7 Isaiah replied,9 “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said: 38:8 Look, I will make the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.”10 And then the shadow went back ten steps.11

Even if it were literal, with the steps or degrees that the shadow on the sundial or stairway of Ahaz went down it would mean that the sun went back and not forward. But it was all metaphorical to point to a "going back" of the memory of Hezekiar to ten years in the past about what happened to the armies of Senacherib around Jerusalem when 185,000 Assyrian army men were killed by a plague or self-destruction as a result of confusing chaos.

Ben.

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Even if it were literal, with the steps or degrees that the shadow on the sundial or stairway of Ahaz went down it would mean that the sun went back and not forward. But it was all metaphorical to point to a "going back" of the memory of Hezekiar to ten years in the past about what happened to the armies of Senacherib around Jerusalem when 185,000 Assyrian army men were killed by a plague or self-destruction as a result of confusing chaos.

Ben.

The sun didn't go anywhere, that is not what the text describes. It describes an effect, the shadows on the steps retreated, ten steps. While this can have meaning as you describe, it is also resultant from the manipulation of light. The sun didn't have to go back in its course for the effect to occur.

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THE BACK STEPS IN THE SUN DIAL OF AHAZ

King Hezekiah had got sick and Prophet Isaiah told him that it was to death. "Put your house in order, said Isaiah, for your time has arrived." (Isa. 38:1)

The King cried like a child asking for an extension to his life. I don't blame him; I would do the same. He was granted 15 years more. The man was so happy that he could not believe it! So, he asked for a sign to make sure he had really escaped death.

The shadow in the sun dial of Ahaz; yes! I want it to go back ten steps. Please, Isaiah! Pleaded Hezekiah. Granted! Was Isaiah's answer, "This is the sign for you." (Isa. 38:7) It means that it was all in the mind of Hezekiah; no one else had to be aware of what would happen.

The expression "To go back" with reference to a clock or watch is to go back in time, which is the same as to remember or to be reminded of something of the past. Ten steps of time are ten years. The year for this event in the life of Hezekiah was 691 BCE. Ten years prior to this event would take them back to 701 BCE when Sennacherib, king of Assyria besieged Jerusalem and, about 185,000 of his men, during that fateful night got mysteriously killed, which caused Sennacherib to lift the siege and return to Assyria where he was assassinated by his two sons. (2 Kings 19:35-37)

That's the act of God Hezekiah was reminded of that had happened ten years before in order to trust the word of God through Prophet Isaiah. Hence, the ten steps of time in years that went back in the sun dial of Ahaz. (2 Kings 20:11) Hezekiah remembered the miracle of that night and believed. And of course! He had his life extended 15 years more. Never mind that, Herodotus, the Greek Historian, somehow found out that the miracle of that night in the Assyrian camp outside Jerusalem had been a bubonic plague. He had come to this understanding from the bubonic plague that killed many of the Philistines in the city of Ashdod when they took over the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites in a war. (I Sam. 5:6,7)

Ben

Sounds like a reasonable analysis of literature to me. Well done Ben!

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The sun didn't go anywhere, that is not what the text describes. It describes an effect, the shadows on the steps retreated, ten steps. While this can have meaning as you describe, it is also resultant from the manipulation of light. The sun didn't have to go back in its course for the effect to occur.

What's going on, can't you see that I agree with you? The sun indeed did not go anywhere but went on it's normal course. I said and repeat here that the text is a metaphor to point to a regress of Hezekiar's memory to the so-called miracle of the death of the Assyrians ten years prior to the day.

Ben

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Sounds like a reasonable analysis of literature to me. Well done Ben!

A good piece of literature, poetic or prose, is written in metaphorical language.

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A good piece of literature, poetic or prose, is written in metaphorical language.

So how do you decide when its historical narrative and when it isn't? And by this I am solely interested in the bible. Or is the bible only metaphorical from start to finish?

Edited by Jor-el

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So how do you decide when its historical narrative and when it isn't? And by this I am solely interested in the bible. Or is the bible only metaphorical from start to finish?

The context gives us most the hints to arrive at what the text is pointing to. No, the Bible is not all metaphorical. The historical part for instance must be interepreted literally to conform with the historical fact of the time.

Ben

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The context gives us most the hints to arrive at what the text is pointing to. No, the Bible is not all metaphorical. The historical part for instance must be interepreted literally to conform with the historical fact of the time.

Ben

And you think Isaiah 38:7 is not a historical fact, even though the text is quite plain to read as a historical narrative.

So are you interpreting the text simply by what is written or are you making choices to explain away unbelievable situations?

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And you think Isaiah 38:7 is not a historical fact, even though the text is quite plain to read as a historical narrative.

So are you interpreting the text simply by what is written or are you making choices to explain away unbelievable situations?

No, it is not a historical fact. It is an explanation of the prophet to the king about how the king would achieve his request of a sign to believe.

Ben

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No, it is not a historical fact. It is an explanation of the prophet to the king about how the king would achieve his request of a sign to believe.

Ben

Explain this in a little more detail, an explanation by what prophet to what king, if it isn't historical fact then neither existed.

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Explain this in a little more detail, an explanation by what prophet to what king, if it isn't historical fact then neither existed.

All right Jorel, you got me on that one. It was indeed a historical fact, but conveyed in metaphorical terms. In other words, a metaphorical case in History. That was Isaiah the Prophet to Hezekiah king of Judah.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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All right Jorel, you got me on that one. It was indeed a historical fact, but conveyed in metaphorical terms. In other words, a metaphorical case in History. That was Isaiah the Prophet to Hezekiah king of Judah.

Ben

So what you are actually saying is that although both these people actually existed, the dialogue presented is a fabrication and should not be taken seriously?

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So what you are actually saying is that although both these people actually existed, the dialogue presented is a fabrication and should not be taken seriously?

No, that's not what I am trying to convey. The dialogue did happen. What did not happen was the literal move of the shadow in the sundial of Ahaz ten steps backward. That was Isaiah's metaphorical way to make Hezekiah remember what had happened ten years prior to that dialogue as a reason to trust that he would live another 15 years by being spared to die then of his disease.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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No, that's not what I am trying to convey. The dialogue did happen. What did not happen was the literal move of the shadow in the sundial of Ahaz ten steps backward. That was Isaiah's metaphorical way to make Hezekiah remember what had happened ten years prior to that dialogue as a reason to trust that he would live another 15 years by being spared to die then of his disease.

Ben

But without the actual sign by God, the rest is useless.

Without that sign Ahaz would not have been given confirmation of Gods promise, not only to his house, but to his royal line and by extension to the whole of Israel. Think about it, here we have a king deeply worried, he has no successor (no children), he is dying, Israel is being threatened with invasion by the king of Assyria, if this sign is a metaphor, but the actual dialogue is real, what kind of confirmation would have been enough for Ahaz?

Josephus in Antiquities 10, 2 gives an an account of this passage, which interestingly enough is not considered to be metaphorical by him.

1. NOW king Hezekiah being thus delivered, after a surprising manner, from the dread he was in, offered thank-offerings to God, with all his people, because nothing else had destroyed some of their enemies, and made the rest so fearful of undergoing the same fate that they departed from Jerusalem, but that Divine assistance. Yet, while he was very zealous and diligent about the worship of God, did he soon afterwards fall into a severe distemper, insomuch that the physicians despaired of him, and expected no good issue of his sickness, as neither did his friends: and besides the distemper itself, there was a very melancholy circumstance that disordered the king, which was the consideration that he was childless, and was going to die, and leave his house and his government without a successor of his own body; so he was troubled at the thoughts of this his condition, and lamented himself, and entreated of God that he would prolong his life for a little while till he had some children, and not suffer him to depart this life before he was become a father. Hereupon God had mercy upon him, and accepted of his supplication, because the trouble he was under at his supposed death was not because he was soon to leave the advantages he enjoyed in the kingdom, nor did he on that account pray that he might have a longer life afforded him, but in order to have sons, that might receive the government after him. And God sent Isaiah the prophet, and commanded him to inform Hezekiah, that within three days' time he should get clear of his distemper, and should survive it fifteen years, and that he should have children also. Now, upon the prophet's saying this, as God had commanded him, he could hardly believe it, both on account of the distemper he was under, which was very sore, and by reason of the surprising nature of what was told him; so he desired that Isaiah would give him some sign or wonder, that he might believe him in what he had said, and be sensible that he came from God; for things that are beyond expectation, and greater than our hopes, are made credible by actions of the like nature. And when Isaiah had asked him what sign he desired to be exhibited, he desired that he would make the shadow of the sun, which he had already made to go down ten steps [or degrees] in his house, to return again to the same place, and to make it as it was before. And when the prophet prayed to God to exhibit this sign to the king, he saw what he desired to see, and was freed from his distemper, and went up to the temple, where he worshipped God, and made vows to him.

Source: http://ancienthistory.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=ancienthistory&cdn=education&tm=21&gps=83_345_786_421&f=10&tt=14&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM

What is also interesting is that this event was also mentioned elswhere in the bible, specifcally 2 Chronicles 32:24, 31.

24 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign.

31 But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

Now, if this a metaphor as you claim, could you tell me what other miraculous signs these envoys would be asking Ahaz about?

Tell me something, have you ever heard of the term "the shekinah of the Lord"?

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13537-shekinah

I propose to you, that what caused the shadow to recede, was nothing more than the Shekinah Glory of the Lord, brighter than any sun...

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Posted (edited)

But without the actual sign by God, the rest is useless.

Without that sign Ahaz would not have been given confirmation of Gods promise, not only to his house, but to his royal line and by extension to the whole of Israel. Think about it, here we have a king deeply worried, he has no successor (no children), he is dying, Israel is being threatened with invasion by the king of Assyria, if this sign is a metaphor, but the actual dialogue is real, what kind of confirmation would have been enough for Ahaz?

Josephus in Antiquities 10, 2 gives an an account of this passage, which interestingly enough is not considered to be metaphorical by him.

1. NOW king Hezekiah being thus delivered, after a surprising manner, from the dread he was in, offered thank-offerings to God, with all his people, because nothing else had destroyed some of their enemies, and made the rest so fearful of undergoing the same fate that they departed from Jerusalem, but that Divine assistance. Yet, while he was very zealous and diligent about the worship of God, did he soon afterwards fall into a severe distemper, insomuch that the physicians despaired of him, and expected no good issue of his sickness, as neither did his friends: and besides the distemper itself, there was a very melancholy circumstance that disordered the king, which was the consideration that he was childless, and was going to die, and leave his house and his government without a successor of his own body; so he was troubled at the thoughts of this his condition, and lamented himself, and entreated of God that he would prolong his life for a little while till he had some children, and not suffer him to depart this life before he was become a father. Hereupon God had mercy upon him, and accepted of his supplication, because the trouble he was under at his supposed death was not because he was soon to leave the advantages he enjoyed in the kingdom, nor did he on that account pray that he might have a longer life afforded him, but in order to have sons, that might receive the government after him. And God sent Isaiah the prophet, and commanded him to inform Hezekiah, that within three days' time he should get clear of his distemper, and should survive it fifteen years, and that he should have children also. Now, upon the prophet's saying this, as God had commanded him, he could hardly believe it, both on account of the distemper he was under, which was very sore, and by reason of the surprising nature of what was told him; so he desired that Isaiah would give him some sign or wonder, that he might believe him in what he had said, and be sensible that he came from God; for things that are beyond expectation, and greater than our hopes, are made credible by actions of the like nature. And when Isaiah had asked him what sign he desired to be exhibited, he desired that he would make the shadow of the sun, which he had already made to go down ten steps [or degrees] in his house, to return again to the same place, and to make it as it was before. And when the prophet prayed to God to exhibit this sign to the king, he saw what he desired to see, and was freed from his distemper, and went up to the temple, where he worshipped God, and made vows to him.

Source: http://ancienthistor...ks/JOSEPHUS.HTM

What is also interesting is that this event was also mentioned elswhere in the bible, specifcally 2 Chronicles 32:24, 31.

24 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign.

31 But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

Now, if this a metaphor as you claim, could you tell me what other miraculous signs these envoys would be asking Ahaz about?

Tell me something, have you ever heard of the term "the shekinah of the Lord"?

http://www.jewishenc.../13537-shekinah

I propose to you, that what caused the shadow to recede, was nothing more than the Shekinah Glory of the Lord, brighter than any sun...

Jorel, the sign was given but not to Hezehiah. To Isaiah it was. The sign was the memory of what happened ten years before to the Assyrians besieging Jerusalem when 185,000 got killed during the night. This was given to Hezekiah. That event was enough for Hezekiah to trust that the cure of his condition would be effected. Only that the sign would be metaphorized by the ten steps or degrees turn backward in the sundial of Ahaz. I know it is hard to understand that the shadow going backward in the sundial of Ahaz was the memory of Hezekiah being taking back ten years into the past. Literally, the sundial of Ahaz never stopped or moved backward. The envoys from Babylon asked what they had heard and not about how it happened. I don't believe that even Hezekiah got an explanation of the metaphor by Isaiah.

The "Shechinah of the Lord" meant the presence of Elohim in the Temple in a way that only the High Priest would witness once a year. It was symbolized by that area right on the top of the Ark of the Covenant between the two angelical statues. So, when the Jews went into exile to Babylon the "Shechinah" went along and retuned as the "Everlasting Righteousness" of Daniel 9:24 soon after Ezra prepared the People to receive It.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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Posted (edited)

Jorel, the sign was given but not to Hezehiah. To Isaiah it was. The sign was the memory of what happened ten years before to the Assyrians besieging Jerusalem when 185,000 got killed during the night. This was given to Hezekiah. That event was enough for Hezekiah to trust that the cure of his condition would be effected. Only that the sign would be metaphorized by the ten steps or degrees turn backward in the sundial of Ahaz. I know it is hard to understand that the shadow going backward in the sundial of Ahaz was the memory of Hezekiah being taking back ten years into the past. Literally, the sundial of Ahaz never stopped or moved backward. The envoys from Babylon asked what they had heard and not about how it happened. I don't believe that even Hezekiah got an explanation of the metaphor by Isaiah.

The "Shechinah of the Lord" meant the presence of Elohim in the Temple in a way that only the High Priest would witness once a year. It was symbolized by that area right on the top of the Ark of the Covenant between the two angelical statues. So, when the Jews went into exile to Babylon the "Shechinah" went along and retuned as the "Everlasting Righteousness" of Daniel 9:24 soon after Ezra prepared the People to receive It.

Ben

I had to read this twice before I got the idea you were trying to put forawrd, my anwer is simple... No Way! Let me add that if this was the sign given to me, it wouldn't be much of one. Not enough even to stir the curiousity of a few Asyrian envoys. Sorry it doesn't wash. And the sign was given to Hezekiah, not Isaiah. The message itself was transmitted to Hezekiah by Isaiah, but the sign was given to Hezekiah by the Lord himself. It says so right there!

The Shekinah as Light

Tetragrammaton by "invisible" (ἀόρατος). In like manner Ḥag. 5b declares that "God sees, but is not seen," although V11p260001.jpg was rendered by δόζα ("glory"), even in the Septuagint (Deissmann, "Hellenisirung des Semitischen Monotheismus," p. 5). According to this view, the Shekinah appeared as physical light; so that Targ. to Num. vi. 2 says, "Yhwh shall cause His Shekinah to shine for thee." A Gentile asked the patriarch Gamaliel (c. 100): "Thou sayest that wherever ten are gathered together the Shekinah appears; how many are there?" Gamaliel answered: "As the sun, which is but one of the countless servants of God, giveth light to all the world, so in a much greater degree doth the Shekinah" (Sanh. 39a). The emperor (Hadrian) said to Rabbi Joshua b. Hananiah, "I desire greatly to see thy God." Joshua requested him to stand facing the brilliant summer sun, and said, "Gaze upon it." The emperor said, "I can not." "Then," said Joshua, "if thou art not able to look upon a servant of God, how much less mayest thou gaze upon the Shekinah?"(Ḥul. 60a). Rab Sheshet (c. 300) was blind, and could not perceive when the Shekinah appeared in the Shaf we-Yatib synagogue of Nehardea, where it rested when it was not in the synagogue at Huzal. In the former synagogue Samuel and Levi heard the sound of its approach and fled (Meg. 29a). The Shekinah tinkled like a bell (Soṭah 9b), while the Holy Spirit also manifested itself to human senses in light and sound. The Holy Spirit had the form of a dove, and the Shekinah had wings. Thus he who acknowledged God took refuge under the wings of the Shekinah (Shab. 31a; Sanh. 96a); and Moses when dead lay in its pinions (Sifre, Deut. 355; Soṭah 13b; Targumic passages in Maybaum l.c. p. 65). The saints enjoy the light of the Shekinah in heaven (Ber. 17a, 64a; Shab. 30a; B. B. 10a).

Edited by Jor-el

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I had to read this twice before I got the idea you were trying to put forawrd, my anwer is simple... No Way! Let me add that if this was the sign given to me, it wouldn't be much of one. Not enough even to stir the curiousity of a few Asyrian envoys. Sorry it doesn't wash. And the sign was given to Hezekiah, not Isaiah. The message itself was transmitted to Hezekiah by Isaiah, but the sign was given to Hezekiah by the Lord himself. It says so right there!

The Shekinah as Light

Tetragrammaton by "invisible" (ἀόρατος). In like manner Ḥag. 5b declares that "God sees, but is not seen," although V11p260001.jpg was rendered by δόζα ("glory"), even in the Septuagint (Deissmann, "Hellenisirung des Semitischen Monotheismus," p. 5). According to this view, the Shekinah appeared as physical light; so that Targ. to Num. vi. 2 says, "Yhwh shall cause His Shekinah to shine for thee." A Gentile asked the patriarch Gamaliel (c. 100): "Thou sayest that wherever ten are gathered together the Shekinah appears; how many are there?" Gamaliel answered: "As the sun, which is but one of the countless servants of God, giveth light to all the world, so in a much greater degree doth the Shekinah" (Sanh. 39a). The emperor (Hadrian) said to Rabbi Joshua b. Hananiah, "I desire greatly to see thy God." Joshua requested him to stand facing the brilliant summer sun, and said, "Gaze upon it." The emperor said, "I can not." "Then," said Joshua, "if thou art not able to look upon a servant of God, how much less mayest thou gaze upon the Shekinah?"(Ḥul. 60a). Rab Sheshet (c. 300) was blind, and could not perceive when the Shekinah appeared in the Shaf we-Yatib synagogue of Nehardea, where it rested when it was not in the synagogue at Huzal. In the former synagogue Samuel and Levi heard the sound of its approach and fled (Meg. 29a). The Shekinah tinkled like a bell (Soṭah 9b), while the Holy Spirit also manifested itself to human senses in light and sound. The Holy Spirit had the form of a dove, and the Shekinah had wings. Thus he who acknowledged God took refuge under the wings of the Shekinah (Shab. 31a; Sanh. 96a); and Moses when dead lay in its pinions (Sifre, Deut. 355; Soṭah 13b; Targumic passages in Maybaum l.c. p. 65). The saints enjoy the light of the Shekinah in heaven (Ber. 17a, 64a; Shab. 30a; B. B. 10a).

Jorel, if an atheist reads this post of yours he or she will comment about the reason why they (atheists) laugh at theists of the literal interpretation club. Besides, as I can see, you are too fun of Jewish midrashim. Those midrashim are nothing but embelishments of their own romantic approaches to the religion of Judaism. Paul used to call them "shadows of things to come." Since he went too far into the opposite side in terms of ridiculing the midrashim he ended up by apostasizing from the Jewish Faith

And your reaction to the metaphorical interpretation of the sundial of Ahaz was not surprise to me. I hope only that you won't get into the theological error to

anthropomorphize God down to the level of man. When Einstein was asked if he was an atheist, he strictly denied by adding "Neither a theist of a personal God." Jesus himself declared that God is a Spirit and that the only way to relate to Him is in a spiritual manner and not on a personal basis.

Ben

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Posted (edited)

Jorel, if an atheist reads this post of yours he or she will comment about the reason why they (atheists) laugh at theists of the literal interpretation club. Besides, as I can see, you are too fun of Jewish midrashim. Those midrashim are nothing but embelishments of their own romantic approaches to the religion of Judaism. Paul used to call them "shadows of things to come." Since he went too far into the opposite side in terms of ridiculing the midrashim he ended up by apostasizing from the Jewish Faith

And your reaction to the metaphorical interpretation of the sundial of Ahaz was not surprise to me. I hope only that you won't get into the theological error to

anthropomorphize God down to the level of man. When Einstein was asked if he was an atheist, he strictly denied by adding "Neither a theist of a personal God." Jesus himself declared that God is a Spirit and that the only way to relate to Him is in a spiritual manner and not on a personal basis.

Ben

They can laugh all they want, I'm not here to convert anybody, i'm here to defend my position and views regarding scripture, sometimes that favours Judaism, other times it favours christianity, other times neither one is favoured.

I am quite fond of Jewish midrashim, they were once called the precursors of science fiction, but that is not the case here. I am a literalist when the text demands it, I am a metaphorist when it can be explained in a way that does not contradict scripture.

Yes I believe in an anthropomorphic God, because that is the exact revelation scripture gives, I don't spend my time trying to countrer or justify it, if its there, its there.

God has more than one dimension to him, He is Spirit, but when it comes to revealing himself to us, he will take on visibility, that is why the ancients talked of two Yahwehs, the lesser Haweh and the greater Yahweh, The Father and the Son.

This is called "Two powers in Heaven" Theology and it is expressed quite clearly in the bible, in the Targums and in dozens of other places belonging to Jewish thought and beliefs before the end of the 1st century.

As a matter of fact, it is the title of a book by a Jewish scholar who unfortunately passed away recently.

Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism by Alan F. Segal

It is an excellent book and describes quite clearly that Jews of the early 1st century and before clearly believed this to be a real aspect of their religion that was later abandoned and declared heretical due to the rise of a certain jewish sect that later became known as christianity.

Oh and Einstein was a pantheist...

Einstein never denied the existence of God, but rather denied the existence of a God that is overly concerned with the inhabitants of a little blue-green planet, and he definitely denied the existence of a God that demands certain food restrictions or worship practices. This is classic Pantheism: the belief that everything in the Universe, the Universe itself, is God.

Edited by Jor-el

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They can laugh all they want, I'm not here to convert anybody, i'm here to defend my position and views regarding scripture, sometimes that favours Judaism, other times it favours christianity, other times neither one is favoured.

I am quite fond of Jewish midrashim, they were once called the precursors of science fiction, but that is not the case here. I am a literalist when the text demands it, I am a metaphorist when it can be explained in a way that does not contradict scripture.

Yes I believe in an anthropomorphic God, because that is the exact revelation scripture gives, I don't spend my time trying to countrer or justify it, if its there, its there.

God has more than one dimension to him, He is Spirit, but when it comes to revealing himself to us, he will take on visibility, that is why the ancients talked of two Yahwehs, the lesser Haweh and the greater Yahweh, The Father and the Son.

This is called "Two powers in Heaven" Theology and it is expressed quite clearly in the bible, in the Targums and in dozens of other places belonging to Jewish thought and beliefs before the end of the 1st century.

As a matter of fact, it is the title of a book by a Jewish scholar who unfortunately passed away recently.

Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism by Alan F. Segal

It is an excellent book and describes quite clearly that Jews of the early 1st century and before clearly believed this to be a real aspect of their religion that was later abandoned and declared heretical due to the rise of a certain jewish sect that later became known as christianity.

Oh and Einstein was a pantheist...

Einstein never denied the existence of God, but rather denied the existence of a God that is overly concerned with the inhabitants of a little blue-green planet, and he definitely denied the existence of a God that demands certain food restrictions or worship practices. This is classic Pantheism: the belief that everything in the Universe, the Universe itself, is God.

This idea of two powers in Heaven gives off the impression of Greek Mythology. To me there is neither heaven nor two powers in heaven. Heaven according to Jesus himself was rather a state of mind one is expected to allow it into him or herself. That's in Luke 17:21. And for these two powers in heaven they must be the sun and moon as natural powers. And for believing in an anthropomorphic God you might want to read Deuteronomy 4:15,16. Such a belief rather degrades one into idolatry.

Ben

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This idea of two powers in Heaven gives off the impression of Greek Mythology. To me there is neither heaven nor two powers in heaven. Heaven according to Jesus himself was rather a state of mind one is expected to allow it into him or herself. That's in Luke 17:21. And for these two powers in heaven they must be the sun and moon as natural powers. And for believing in an anthropomorphic God you might want to read Deuteronomy 4:15,16. Such a belief rather degrades one into idolatry.

Ben

According to the ancient Jews what was idolatry?

Two powers in heaven does relate to Greek mythology, and Ancient Near East cosmology as well, all these beliefs are related. The Jews contrary to public opinion did not reject this cosmological outlook, it was part of their beliefs, what was different is that understood that God was the creator of all the other gods.

Your reading of Deuteronomy 4:15,16 is erroneous because you don't understand the ancient Jewish view, you just assume that the modern version equals the ancient version, sorry but that isn't true.

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Posted (edited)

According to the ancient Jews what was idolatry?

Two powers in heaven does relate to Greek mythology, and Ancient Near East cosmology as well, all these beliefs are related. The Jews contrary to public opinion did not reject this cosmological outlook, it was part of their beliefs, what was different is that understood that God was the creator of all the other gods.

Your reading of Deuteronomy 4:15,16 is erroneous because you don't understand the ancient Jewish view, you just assume that the modern version equals the ancient version, sorry but that isn't true.

Jorel, sorry to have say this although meaning no offense: You are becomming more and more akin to the common anti-Jewish Christian whose main consern is the paranoia to keep the past sins of Israel afresh. You say that my views are erroneous because I do not understand the ancient Jewish view. The hell with the ancient Jewish view. That's a past long gone. How about modern Judaism? The Lord has forgiven our ancient past sins. He has preserved us alive to the present day when the nations used as the tools to punish us for our sins have gone. According to Jeremiah 46:28 of the other nations the Lord will eventually make an end of them but of Israel He will only chastise as we deserve. According to Daniel 9:24 our transgression has stopped, our sin has come to an end, our guilt has been expiated and the Lord aka Everlasting Righteousness has returned to Israel.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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Jorel, sorry to have say this although meaning no offense: You are becomming more and more akin to the common anti-Jewish Christian whose main consern is the paranoia to keep the past sins of Israel afresh. You say that my views are erroneous because I do not understand the ancient Jewish view. The hell with the ancient Jewish view. That's a past long gone. How about modern Judaism? The Lord has forgiven our ancient past sins. He has preserved us alive to the present day when the nations used as the tools to punish us for our sins have gone. According to Jeremiah 46:28 of the other nations the Lord will eventually make an end of them but of Israel He will only chastise as we deserve. According to Daniel 9:24 our transgression has stopped, our sin has come to an end, our guilt has been expiated and the Lord aka Everlasting Righteousness has returned to Israel.

Ben

I say the hell with the present views, which go against the very book that reflects the origin of the people. It is God that kept the people alive and brought them back to the Holy Land as promised in the very bible itself. The bible is not your humiliation, it is your crowning glory.

The Lord did forgive Israel's past sins, but many still insist in perpetuating them. I also say the same to christians who persist in this modern view of christianity that has no basis in the beliefs of the bible. Peoples fears, peoples ignorance and peoples need to be special justify their continual perpetuation of non-biblical beliefs even when confronted with the very words of the bible.

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I say the hell with the present views, which go against the very book that reflects the origin of the people. It is God that kept the people alive and brought them back to the Holy Land as promised in the very bible itself. The bible is not your humiliation, it is your crowning glory.

The Lord did forgive Israel's past sins, but many still insist in perpetuating them. I also say the same to christians who persist in this modern view of christianity that has no basis in the beliefs of the bible. Peoples fears, peoples ignorance and peoples need to be special justify their continual perpetuation of non-biblical beliefs even when confronted with the very words of the bible.

He didn't do a very good job with the six million jews who died during the holocaust.

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