What makes a person mighty in the Scriptures, and why you should care.


Tsiyon Messianic Radio Newsletter  - Vol 18.27 - 04/21/6023 TAM - 07/09/2023 AD

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Be a disciple

From Eliyahu

Consider this:


Let's play a little game. Just read this little poem:

But saying o'er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world;
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.

(Romeo and Juliet, Act 1,Scene 2)

If you are a Shakespeare buff you probably got through that pretty well, otherwise, maybe not. If you had trouble understanding some of that, it really isn't your fault. This is what we sometimes call archaic language, meaning old language that is seldom if ever used anymore. Here is what that same poem might read like if updated to the way we speak now:

But saying again what I have said before:

My child has little experience in this world.
She isn't even fourteen yet.
Let two more glorious summers come and go
Before we regard her as ready to marry.

Now that we are all on the same page with the same familiar modern language we can understand these verses quite well. However, now that we get the basic meaning, we may not like what these words say. The girl who is the subject of the poem is not even fourteen years old. Yet the speaker here is saying she will be ready to marry in two years? No way! That's not even sixteen yet! What kind of a pervert is this guy?! This can't be right!


Actually, what we have just run into here is a difference in culture. This was written in William Shakespeare's 1500s England. Life was very different then. Most people died a lot younger back then. Typically, most families experienced the death of some of their children. For these reasons it was thought prudent for women to marry much younger than they do now, to make the most of their child-bearing years.


There was nothing unusual about this at the time - meaning the speaker in the poem was not a pervert, but was an ordinary father by the standards of his time. When reading the verses, what they say is clearly not the norm today, but it was back then, and understanding that helps us to understand the story of Romeo and Juliet.


What we can glean from this is the importance of common ground with one's audience. Shakespeare, of course, had common ground with the people who shared the common culture of 16th Century England with him. Since we are not part of that group, it takes us some effort to rightly understand his words.


Can you see how this might effect our reading and understanding the Gospels?


Yeshua spoke to a multitude of people from the side of a mountain in the area of Galilee. This is reported in Matthew chapters 5-7, and is commonly called "The Sermon on the Mount." Of course, Yeshua shared the common culture of 1st Century Judea with those listening to Him. Beyond that, though, He and they all shared a commonality with every age of their Hebrew nation. I'm referring to the covenant with YHWH that defines Israel as a nation. The Constitution of that nation is The Torah, the five books of Moses that contain the Commandments of YHWH for His people. While the people of Israel were divided into different sects and viewpoints in the 1st Century, all looked to the Torah as God's establishing revelation to Israel. Yeshua and His disciples shared that common ground with His listeners. Therefore, His hearers back then recognized the Torah in nearly EVERYTHING He said!


Most Bible readers today do not share that common ground with Yeshua that He was sharing with His listeners back then, when He taught. They have often been told that it is the "New Testament" that is important, not the "Old." Do you see the disconnect here? If you read His words without the common ground of the Torah you simply are not equipped to rightly understand much of what Yeshua says, in the Gospels.


In the 2nd Century, Gentiles dominated the body of believers in the world, by sheer numbers, and have ever since. Not having a grasp of the Torah, they created many speculations regarding the meaning of Yeshua's words. In many cases these were sincere speculations. Even so, speculations are not established truth, so many falsehoods were born of this ignorance of the Torah - falsehoods that have survived through the centuries right down to our day. Hear what I'm saying. Messiah's words have been misunderstood and then misinterpreted on a massive scale.


That's why we are bringing you The Sermon on the Mount - Messiah Reveals the Heart of the Torah starting at our live meeting tonight.  Join us for this live-stream broadcast tonight, July 9, at Tsiyon.Net at 8 PM, Central. We all need to know what Yeshua actually taught, and requires from His faithful disciples. This is your chance to get that sorted out, as we look at Messiah's orientation for Kingdom citizens.


In His Name,






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