I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Halakhic Measuring Rod and the Israel of God: Galatians 6:16

Due to a long tradition of replacement theology found in the Gentile Church, Scripture has been and is translated in a way to support the concept that the Church has replaced Israel. One of the texts used to support this idea is found in Galatians 6:16. 

"...And whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God..."
Different versions translate the Greek slightly differently. Christian theologians also give their own slant on the translation. Paul has just been vigorously discussing that Gentile believers don't need to become circumcised in order to be saved and that Jewish believers don't need to deny their circumcision and its value in order to be saved and is summing up the discussion. 

In Gal 6:16 he is saying that he places peace (shalom) upon those Christians who obey his ruling or Halakah. However many translate the last part of the sentence that refers to mercy (rachamim) and the Israel of God as if he is still speaking of those who received his "shalom". However if the peace and mercy apply to those believers who follow his halakah, it would have been clearer to just say ἐρηνη και ἐλεος (peace and mercy). However it makes more sense that peace is associated with Jewish and Gentile believers being reconciled and that the mercy refers to the Israel of God. The και (and) after mercy is most likely to be translated as the explicative (even) rather than the additive (and). It is the Israel of God (the Jewish people and authorities who haven't accepted Yeshua as the Messiah yet) that has stumbled and is in need of God's mercy or salvation.

Many read this "Israel of God" as referring to the new Church made up of Jews and Gentiles. However this may possibly be the case if it had said the "Israel of Christ" or some such expression. If we refer to Romans 9-11 then we see Paul's greatest desire is for the full salvation of the Jewish people and their attaining to God's mercy in the Messiah. Another way of translating Galatians 6:16 is:

"...And peace be upon those who measure according to this halakah and mercy even upon the Israel of God (the still chosen Jewish people)..."
The Greek word στοιχήσουσιν (they will walk) refers to the Rabbinic term Halakah (the way one walks). The Douai Rheims Bible uses the word "follow" in English. The Greek word κανόνι means a rule or measure or level and translates the hebrew קְנֵח (kaneh) (a measuring rod). This evokes the imagery of a well balanced or level scales between Jews and Gentiles in Messiah. Unfortunately the Gentile believers gradually decided to place everything on the Gentile side of the scale and ignore the Halakah as taught by Paul and the early Church. Not only did they want Jews in the Church to deny the value of their circumcision and all Jewish observances, they then decided to nullify the Jewish people by replacing themselves as the Israel of God and taking the special mercy and role reserved for the Jewish people to themselves.

Many today and in the past read Paul in a literalistic and Gentile manner. Rabbi Sha'ul of Tarsus is a great Rabbinic Jewish mystic and has trained as a master of the Torah both written and oral under the tutelage of Hillel's grandson Gamaliel.  Paul uses a Jewish midrashic approach including the seven rules of Hillel for biblical exegesis and their expansion by the great mystic master Rabbi Nechunya ha Kanah. This is why Peter, the down-to-earth fisherman reflected in Mark's Gospel, warns us that Paul can be difficult for some to understand. 2 Peter 3:15-16:

 "15 Consider also that our Lord’s patience brings salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom God gave him. 16 He writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. "

When the divine peace and measure between Jews and Gentiles in the Church is restored will the special saving mercy of God touch the Jewish people when the Halakah of Paul and the early Church is restored? Will we have a new and fresh Hebraic penetration of Paul's teaching when the future ingrafted Rabbis and mystics of Judaism are reconciled with their Gentile brothers and sisters in the Church? Will this be part of the resurrection or life from the dead that will bless the Church and the world mentioned by Paul in Romans 11?

Enoch a Gentile ancestor of both Jews and Gentiles and Elijah a Jewish prophet coming again to preach repentance to the Jews and Gentiles as the two Olive Trees and to be martyred by the Antichrist or Beast like a Leopard (the Third Beast of  Daniel). This Antichrist will have the oratory power of the Beast like an Eagle or Lion (Hitler) and the ruthlessness of the Beast like a Bear (Stalin).
Note: The Peshitta text in Aramaic or Syriac states:                          ואילין דלהנא שׁבילא שׁלמין שׁלמא נהוא עליהון 
 ורחמא ועל איסריל דאלהא .
This also demonstrates that the peace is for those who follow the path (Halakah) and the compassionate mercy is for the Israel of God

see St Thomas Aquinas and New Law: A Hebrew Catholic Opinion

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