Torah: Sh’mot (Ex.) 1:1-6:1
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23 (A)
Yirmeyahu (Jer.) 1:1-2:3 (S)
B’rit Chadasha: Mattityahu (Matt.) 22:23-33; 41-46; Mark 12:18-27; 35-37; Luke 20:27-44; Acts 3:12-15; 5:27-32; 7:17-36; 22:12-16; 24:14-16: Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 11:23-26

This week’s Parsha brings up an interesting parallel. One, “There is nothing new under the sun” and two, something that I hope stimulates your curiosity and determination to “learn all you can.” That is that the idea of a Messiah, who is G-d and also “Son of G-d;” is not a foreign concept to Judaism for it is found in Jewish writings of long ago.

To further elaborate we will examine the following passage in this week’s Parsha. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says YHVH: ‘Israel is my first-born son. I have said to you, ‘Let My son go, that he may worship Me,’ yet you refuse to let him go. Now I will slay your first-born son.'”
(Sh’mot (Ex.) 4:22-23)

Similarly we read in Hoshea (Hosea) 11:1:

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.

Now if Israel is the first-born son of YHVH spoken of in these passages, then why did the writer Mattitiyahu (Matthew) apply this passage (Hoshea 11:1) to the Messiah?:

‘So he [Yosef] (Joseph)] got up, took the child [Yahshua] and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died. This happened in order to fulfill what YHVH had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Mt. 2:14-15)

Now why in the world does YHVH (may his name be blessed forever) identify Israel as His first-born son? Why does Mattityahu identify Messiah as His son? Who in Judaism is the first-born Son of YHWH? Why the apparent confusion? Is Mattityahu taking Hoshea 11:1 out of context?

The Zohar tells us that the “Son of Yah” is a figure called “Metatron” and the “Middle Pillar of the G-dhead.” Christianity assigns the middle pillar to Yahshua within their doctrine f the Trinity but we would refer to the G-dhead as the, “Compound Unity” (Echad).

The Middle Pillar [of the G-dhead] is Metatron, Who has accomplished peace above, According to the glorious state there. (Zohar, vol. 3. Ra’aya Mehaimna, p. 227, Amsterdam Edition)

Better is a neighbour that is near, than a brother far off. This neighbour is the Middle Pillar in the G-dhead,
which is the Son of Yah. (Zohar, vol. ii, Ra’aya Mehaimna ;p. 115, Amsterdam Edition)

Moreover the Zohar teaches that Metatron is not just the Son of Yah (G-d), but that he is “first begotten of all the creatures of G-d”:

“And Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house…” (Gen. 24:2) Who is this of whom it is said “his servant?” In what sense must this be understood? Who is this servant? R. Nehori answered: “It is in no other sense to be understood than expressed in the word “His servant,” His servant, the servant of G-d, the chief to His service. And who is he? Metatron, as said. He is appointed to glorify the bodies, which are in the grave.

This is the meaning of the words “Abraham said to His servant” that is to the servant of G-d. The servant is Metatron, the eldest of His [YHVH’s] House, who is the first-begotten of all creatures of G-d, who is the ruler of all He has; because G-d has committed to Him the government over all His hosts. (Zohar, Gen. ; Midrash HaNe’elam ; P. 126 Amsterdam Edition)

So in Judaism both Israel and “Metatron” are identified as the “first-born Son of YHVH”.

Who is this “Metatron” figure? According to the Zohar he is the “Way to the tree of life” and the only mediator between ELOHIM and man:

“To keep the way of the tree of life.” (Gen. 3:24) Who is the way to the tree of life? It is the great Metatron, for he is the way to that great tree, to that mighty tree of life. Thus it is written, “The Angel of G-d, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them.” (Ex. 14:19) And Metatron is called the Angel of G-d. Come and see, thus says R. Simeon. The holy One, blessed Be He, has prepared for Himself a Holy Temple above in the heavens, a holy city, a city in the heavens, and called it Jerusalem, the holy city. Every petition sent to the
King, must be through Metatron. Every message and petition from here below, must first go to Metatron, and from thence to the king. Metatron is the Mediator of all that comes from heaven down to the earth, or from the earth up to heaven. And because he is the mediator of all, it is written “And the Angel of G-d, which went before the camp of Israel, removed; that is, before Israel which is above.” (Ex. 14:19) This Angel of G-d is the same of whom it is written “And YHVH went before them…” (Ex. 13:21) to go by day and by night as the ancients have expounded it. Whoever will speak to me [says G-d] shall not be able to do so, till he has made it known to Metatron. Thus the holy One, blessed be He, on account of the great love to and mercy with which He has over the Assembly of Israel, commits her (the Assembly) to Metatron’s care. What shall I do for Him (Metatron)? I will commit my whole house into His hand, etc. Henceforth be you a Keeper as it is written “The Keeper of Israel” (Ps. 121:4) (Zohar; Vol. ii,, Exodus p. 51, Amsterdam Edition)

So when YHVH says in Sh’mot (Ex.) 4:22-23 and Hoshea 11:1 that Israel is his first-born son He must be speaking allegorically. He is comparing Israel to Metatron. And when Mattityahu quotes Hoshea 11:1 and applies this son ship to Messiah he is referring to the reality behind the allegory of Hosea 11:1 and Sh’mot 4:22-23. In effect Mattityahu is saying that Yahshua HaMashiach is the figure that later Rabbinic Judaism came to call “Metatron”. Therefore, the Torah in Sh’mot 4:22-23 is prompting us that there is an allegorical relationship between Israel and Messiah/Metatron.

So how is the Messiah allegorically like Israel?
· Both made a major impact on the world.

· Both were born through a biological miracle of their mother’s womb.

· Both were taken into Egypt to save their lives.

· Both are called up out of Egypt.

· Both have been despised and rejected by man.

· Rome attempted to execute each of them.

· Both are resurrected never to die again.

By saying “Israel is my first-born son”, ELOHIM is saying that by oppressing Israel, it is as if Pharaoh was oppressing the Son of Yah, the Messiah himself.

Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23

From the 70 people who originally came down to Egypt a whole nation developed. The reason they survived and prospered is that, although they were in exile, they were strong and unbending.

In the Halftarah, the prophet Yeshayahu compares the Jewish nation in exile to the roots of a tree. He tells the people that the tree can‘t survive without roots. Even though we can’t see the roots, they are there and give life to the tree. As long as the people maintain their Jewish roots, even in the de3pths of exile, G-d will support them.

B’rit Chadasha: Mattityahu (Matt.) 22:23-33; 41-46; Mark 12:18-27; 35-37; Luke 20:27-44; Acts 3:12-15; 5:27-32; 7:17-36; 22:12-16; 24:14-16: Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 11:23-26

This week we will examine Mattityahu 22:23-33

23 That same day, some Tzdukim came to him. They are the ones who say there is no such thing as resurrection, so they put to him a Sheila (question) 24 “Rabbi, Moshe said, ‘If a man dies childless, his brother must marry his widow and have children to preserve the man’s family line.’ 25 There were seven brothers. The first one married and then died; and since he had no children, he left his widow to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second brother, and the third, and finally to all seven. 27 After them all, the woman died. 28 Now in the Resurrection—of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all married her.”
29 Yahshua answered them, “The reason you go astray is that you are ignorant both of the Tanakh and of the power of G-d. 30 For in the Resurrection, neither men nor women will marry; rather, they will be like angels in heaven. 31 And as for whether the dead are resurrected, haven’t you read what G-d said to you, 32 ‘I am the G-d of Avraham, the G-d of Yitzchak and the G-d of Ya‘akov? He is G-d not of the dead but of the living!”
33 When the crowds heard how he taught, they were astounded; …

The question posed by the Tzdukim is based on the law of yibbun (“levirate marriage”), found in Deuteronomy 25:5–10 and elaborated in Talmud tractate Yevamot, wherein the brother of a man who dies without children is expected to marry his brother’s widow in order to maintain the family line (as the Tzdukim correctly state). The firstborn son of the new marriage would count as the dead man’s child for inheritance purposes. Should the yavam (brother-in-law) refuse to marry his brother’s widow, Deuteronomy 25:7–10 provides for a ceremony called chalitzah which both humiliates him and releases the widow from her obligation to marry him. The stories of Onan and Tamar (Genesis 38) and of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 4) are biblical examples of yibbun and chalitzah respectively. Curiously, rabbinic decrees over the centuries have reversed the Torah’s priorities; the Chief Rabbinate of Israel requires chalitzah and bans yibbun entirely.

In these passages Yahshua cites the Torah establishing the doctrine of resurrection because the Tzdukim accepted only the first five books (Pentateuch) as absolutely authoritative. This is why he cites Exodus 3:6 rather than the more obvious Scriptural refutations at Isaiah 26:19 (quoted below), Daniel 12:2 (especially) and Job 19:26. Compare the following extract from the Talmud:
“Minim [“sectarians”] asked Rabban Gamli’el: ‘How do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, will resurrect the dead?’ He answered them from the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, yet they did not accept it [as conclusive proof]. From the Torah, as it is written, ‘The L-rd said to Moshe, “Here, you will sleep with your fathers and rise up”’ (Deuteronomy 31:16). ‘But maybe,’ they said to him [by way of objection], ‘the verse reads, “and the people will rise up”’ [as in fact it does read]. From the Prophets, as it is written, ‘Your dead will live and arise with my dead body. Wake up, sing, you who dwell in the dust! for your dew is like the dew on herbs, and the earth will throw out the shades of its dead’ (Isaiah 26:19). ‘But maybe this refers to the dead whom Ezekiel resurrected?’ (Ezekiel 37). From the Writings, as it is written, ‘And the roof of your mouth, like the best wine of my beloved, that goes down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak’ (Song of Songs 7:9 [taken to refer to Israel]). ‘But maybe it means only that their lips will move ….’ [They did not accept his proof] until he cited this verse: ‘ … which Adonai swore to your fathers to give to them’ (Deuteronomy 11:21)—not to you, but to them [to your fathers, who are now dead]; hence resurrection is derived from the Torah….” (Sanhedrin 90b)
The passage gains interest from the fact that “minim” often means Messianic Jews, and Rabban Gamli’el is mentioned in the New Testament (Ac 5:34, Ac 22:3). Travers Herford suggests they did not reject the doctrine of resurrection but questioned its derivability from the Tanakh (Christianity in the Talmud, pp. 232–233). I think these minim were other sectarians and not Messianic Jews at all, for, Herford’s reasoning notwithstanding, there is no reason why Messianic Jews would object to deriving resurrection from the Scriptures.

There are several other passages in the same part of tractate Sanhedrin which derive resurrection from the Tanakh. One example: “Our rabbis taught: ‘It is written, “I kill, and I make alive” (Deuteronomy 32:39). I could understand: I kill one person and give life to a different one, as the world goes on [some die, others are born]. This is why Scripture says [immediately afterwards, in the same verse], “I wound, and I heal.” Just as the wounding and healing [clearly] refer to the same person, likewise putting to death and bringing to life refer to the same person. This refutes those who claim that resurrection is not implied by the Torah.’ ” (Sanhedrin 91b)


How long did it take for Pharaoh to realize that G-d was in charge of the world? Moshe told Pharaoh that G-d had revealed Himself to the Israel but that Pharaoh would also witness G-d’s power. The Hebrew word for “revealed” is nikrah, which has a numeric value of 355. The Hebrew word for year is shana, has the same numeric value. The ten plagues took a year, which is how long it took for Pharaoh to realize the power of G-d.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Davis (R. Milchamah b. David)