The hatred and animosities of Ishmael and Esau toward the Jews were instilled in their descendants.[1] There has been a continuous, perpetual hatred of the descendants of Esau and Ishmael against the Jews that is characterized especially by the Ishmaelites, descendants of Ishmael, and the Edomites, descendants of Esau. An example that shows how early the descendants had this animosity is found in Numbers 20:14‑21.

By the time this passage takes place, it would appear that the tables were indeed reversed; it would appear that the Arabs had all the blessings and the Jews had all the curses. The descendants of Esau had established their nation in the mountains ofMt.Seir; they had king after king and had become a strong and mighty people. But Jacob and his descendants went intoEgyptand eventually became slaves of the Egyptians. NowIsraelhad been rescued and was moving toward her inheritance¾theLandofCanaan. The shortest route to their homeland would be to go by way of thelandofEdom. Again, the Edomites are the descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob. A request had to be issued, and this is found in Numbers 20:14‑21:

From Kadesh Moses then sent messengers to the king of Edom: “Thus your brother Israel has said, ‘You know all the hardship that has befallen us; that our fathers went down to Egypt, and we stayed in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians treated us and our fathers badly. ‘But when we cried out to the LORD, He heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out from Egypt; now behold, we are at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. ‘Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or through vineyard; we will not even drink water from a well. We will go along the king’s highway, not turning to the right or left, until we pass through your territory.'” Edom, however, said to him, “You shall not pass through us, or I will come out with the sword against you.” Again, the sons of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, and if I and my livestock do drink any of your water, then I will pay its price. Let me only pass through on my feet, nothing else.” But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against him with a heavy force and with a strong hand. Thus Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.

A simple request is made on the basis of the blood relationship between these two nations. When Moses writes his letter, he says: Thus says your brother Israel. Although this is a simple request only to pass through without doing any damage to the territory, the answer of the Edomites is “no.” Although about four hundred years had passed by this time, the perpetual animosity that had begun with Esau had been instilled in Esau’s descendants against the Jews. To make sure the Jews do not cross their country, the Edomites come out with their army to their border to force the Jews to take a much longer route to their own homeland, even though the Edomites had already settled in theirs.

In the Book of Judges, we often read of Ishmaelites, Edomites, and other descendants of these two men inflicting damage upon Israel. Even afterIsraelsettled in her own Land, we find the animosity still there.

[1] This post is a modified version of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s original Messianic Bible Study. The full version may be obtained here.

What has the Church Received from the Jews? Part 2, The Savior

A second thing that the Church has received from the Jews is the Savior, for Yeshua was a Jew.[1] The Jewishness of the Savior is brought out several times in Scripture. For example, in John 4:9, the Samaritan woman clearly recognized Him to be a Jew, and later in Rom 9:5, after stating that the Scriptures are of the Jews (v. 4), Paul adds of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh. Hebrews 7:14 states: For it is evident that our Lord has sprung out of Judah, meaning He was a member of the Tribe of Judah, and Gal 4:1-7 states that Jesus was born “under the law” in order to redeem Jews that were under the law and so that both Jews and Gentiles might receive the adoption of sons.

Another passage concerning the importance of the Jewishness of Yeshua is Hebrews 2:14‑17. The emphasis in this passage is to show why Jesus had to come as a human being and, more specifically, as a Jewish human being. It distinguishes, first of all, between fallen angels and fallen men. Verse 16 points out that God did not choose to provide salvation for angels and, for that reason, Yeshua never took on “angelanity.” He never became an angel to become a substitutionary atonement for other angels. God provided salvation only for humanity, and so God became human. But because there was a special connection with the work of redemption in connection to Israel under the Law, verse 16 points out that He did not come as just any man; He came specifically as a member of the seed of Abraham. He came as a Jew.

[1] This post is a modified version of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s original Messianic Bible Study. The full version may be obtained here.

Death and the Work of the Messiah

Death and the Work of the Messiah

Yesterday we began a discussion about the biblical view/meaning of death.[1] Today we shall look at death with respect to the work of the Messiah. Two things need to be discussed: the two types of resurrections, and the kind of death that Yeshua (Jesus) died.

The Two Types of Resurrections

When the Bible speaks of resurrection from the dead, one must distinguish between two types of resurrections.

1.  Restoration Back to Physical Life

The first type is only a restoration back to natural physical life. What this means is that later the person will die again physically. This restoration-type resurrection occurred twice in the Old Testament (2 Kg. 4:32‑37, 13:20‑21) and at least four times in the New Testament (Mat. 9:18‑26; Mk. 5:21‑24, 35‑43; Lk. 8:40‑42, 49‑56; Lk. 7:11‑17; Jn. 11:1‑44; Mat. 27:52‑53). In all of these resurrections, each person died again later.

2.  True Resurrection Life

The second type of resurrection from the dead is the type that means resurrection life, in which one is no longer subject to death (Rom. 6:9). True resurrection life means a person is no longer capable of dying physically, because there was a change in the nature of the body that has been resurrected. So far, Jesus is the only one who has been resurrected in this way. That is why Yeshua is called the firstfruits of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:23; Col. 1:15, 18; Rev. 1:5). Critics have often felt that this statement is contradictory, for how could Jesus be called the firstfruits of the resurrection since there were others who had been resurrected before Him. But all the others who were resurrected before Yeshua underwent the first type of resurrection, which was merely a restoration back to natural life

The Kinds of Deaths the Messiah Died

What kind of death/s did Yeshua the Messiah die? Two types (see yesterday’s study):

1. Spiritual Death

First, He died a spiritual death. During the second three hours upon the cross when the whole world was enveloped in darkness, those three hours of darkness marked the three hours in which He was separated from God the Father. At that point, the sins of the world were placed upon Yeshua the Messiah, and at that point, God the Father turned away. There was a separation between the Father and the Son, Jesus the perfect man. For three hours, Yeshua was spiritually dead.

We must remember that the Messiah was the God-Man, meaning that He was only one Person, but with two distinct natures: divine and human. As for His divine nature, there was never any separation between the Father and the Son; that is, there was always an unending, uninterrupted fellowship with God the Father. However, as for His human nature, there was a three-hour separation as Jesus died spiritually on the cross. It must be emphasized that this was a separation in His humanity, not in His deity.

2. Physical Death

At the end of those three hours, He cried: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Yeshua died spiritually and was resurrected spiritually (Matt 27:45‑46; Mark 15:33‑34; Luke 23:44) before He died physically (Matt 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30).

Jesus died two types of death on the cross. First of all, He died a spiritual death; and, secondly, a physical death. It is the physical death that was necessary for the Atonement. The spiritual death was not necessary for the Atonement, but it was necessary for Him to become a sympathetic High Priest (Heb. 2:17‑18). Because of the kind of deaths that Yeshua died on the cross, He changed the whole nature of death for the believer.

[1] This post is a modified version of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s original Messianic Bible Study. The full version may be obtained here.