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Best of Broadcast: The Hebrews in the Old Testament

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2023 3:48 pm

Best of Broadcast: The Hebrews in the Old Testament

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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December 28, 2023 3:48 pm

The Line of Fire Radio Broadcast for 12/28/23.

The Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown
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Dr. Stephen Davey

The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network.

This is Michael Brown. We are coming towards the end of this special period on the biblical calendar. The last of the major holy days of the fall season. In the later Jewish calendar, this becomes the new year. So Sukkot, which begins Friday night, so tomorrow night, and then lasts for a week, then there's an additional day at Elan. Sukkot Tabernacles.

We'll talk about what that symbolizes a little later in the broadcast. But welcome, welcome to Thoroughly Jewish Thursday on the Line of Fire. If you have a Jewish-related question for me, better still, if you're a Jewish person and you don't believe that Jesus, Yeshua, is our Messiah, give me a call. 866-348-7884.

866-34-TRUTH. So recently someone on YouTube made a very bizarre comment that the Moabites, the ancient Moabites, were Hebrews. So Ruth would have been a Hebrew before she joined the people of Israel. It's a bizarre comment without any biblical support and of course without any scholarly support. But because people seem to challenge it and what made me say that, how could I say that the Moabites were not Hebrews, I thought, well, it's a good question to look at what the Bible actually says. Using the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, the Old Testament as Christians would call it, what does the Bible tell us?

So here's what's really interesting. The first reference to Hebrew, not talking about a language, talking about a person, is Genesis chapter 14. Genesis chapter 14, there is the account of his cousin Lot is taken captive and there's a war between different kings, five kings against four kings, etc.

And Abram with his men goes and rescues Lot. Now it's interesting, in Genesis 14, it doesn't call Lot, who's the father of the Moabites, doesn't call Lot a Hebrew, right? But it does call Abraham, Abram at that time, a Hebrew in Genesis the 14th chapter, the 13th verse. So what does it actually mean, Abram the Hebrew?

It's unintroduced, it doesn't give us background information. So let me share with you what Professor Nachum Sarna said in his Genesis commentary. This is one of the best Jewish commentaries that's been written on the book of Genesis, came out in 1989, and reflects scholarship right up to this moment. He said, the origin and meaning of the term Ivri, which is Hebrew, is unknown, and its use here is a riddle.

Three suggestions are to be found in Genesis Rabbah 42 13. So this is Rabbinic Midrash, Rabbinic homiletical interpretation. One connects it with Avir, grandson of Noah, who is mentioned in Genesis 10 24 and 11 14. So a descendant of Avir would be an Ivri. Another derives it from Hebrew Avir, beyond, that is one from beyond the river Euphrates. And there are actually references in the Torah and the book of Joshua to the Israelite ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob coming from over the Euphrates.

The third is homiletical and alludes to Abram's religious non-conformism. All the world was on one side, Avir, and he on the other side. So there's a discussion, debate, even among the ancient Jewish sources, what did Hebrew originally mean? Now, some decades ago, as there was more discovery of ancient and recent literature, that scholars looked at a group called the Habiru or Apiru, and they were often on the outskirts of society, sort of a social class, often warring and things like that, and some people said, oh, those were the Hebrews, that they were among this group, the Habiru, Apiru, and that they were kind of the outsiders, and that's why they're referred to like this. But this is not widely accepted today that this is the origin of the term Hebrew in the Bible, and linguistically there's some difficulties with it as well. Plus, that was more of a social grouping, whereas Hebrew in the Bible is an ethnic grouping.

So, let's take a look at what Professor Gordon Wenham said in his Genesis commentary, again one of the standard commentaries used to this day. This is what he said about the Hebrew. It is quite striking that Abram should be termed the Hebrew here. This is not a term used by Israelites of themselves, but only by non-Israelites of Israelites. And he references Genesis 39, 14, and 41, 12, which we'll come to in a moment. So, who are the Hebrews in the Bible? Abram's called the Hebrew. Could it be a descendant of Avair?

Is it that simple? Well, let's take a look in Genesis chapter 11, verses 16 and 17. When Avair had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg, and after he became the father of Peleg, Avair lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters. Now, if a Hebrew, and if Re, was simply a descendant of Avair, then there'd be tons of people called Hebrews, right, because he's the father of Peleg, the earth splits in Peleg's day in Genesis 11. Peleg actually means split division, and he has other sons and daughters, so there would be thousands, hundreds, tens of thousands of people, all different groups from all different backgrounds, called Hebrews, because they're descendants of Avair. But is that what we find in the Hebrew Bible? Is that, no, no, there's only one group of people ever referred to as Hebrews in the Hebrew Bible, only one group.

It is the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, specifically the Israelites. And before you had the term Israelite, that's how you would refer to one of them. That's why Abram is called a Hebrew in Genesis 14, 13, but Lot, a verse previously, is not called a Hebrew. Lot is the father of the Moabites, right? If the Moabites were Hebrews, Lot would have been, no, no, quite the contrary, Lot wasn't a Hebrew because he wasn't Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, one of their descendants. But don't take my word for it, let's let scripture speak for itself. How's that?

Alright, it doesn't take long to do that, you can do this on your own. Search it out in any translation you want, or if you can read the original Hebrew, anybody could do it. Dig for yourself, study it for yourself. So, these are the ones referred to as Hebrews in the Old Testament. Abram in Genesis 14, 13, but as I said, not Lot in 14, 12. Joseph is referred to as a Hebrew in Genesis 39, 14, 17, and 41, 12. He also makes reference to where he came from, where his forefathers were the land of the Hebrews in 40, 15. Joseph's brothers, so the sons of Jacob, the sons of Israel, are called Hebrews in Genesis 43, 32. And Jonah, in Jonah 1, 9, is referred to as a Hebrew. The Israelites enslaved in Egypt, they're called Hebrews.

Verse after verse, Exodus 1, 15, 1, 19, 2, 6, 2, 11, 2, 13, 3, 16, 5, 3, 7, 16, 9, 1, 9, 13, and 10, 3. So the Israelites are referred to as Hebrews over and over and over and over. And Yahweh is referred to as the God of the Hebrews. He wasn't the God of the Moanites or the Ammonites or the other ancient peoples, he was the God of the Israelites, the God of the Hebrews. And then the Israelites at war with the Philistines are called Hebrews. 1 Samuel 4, 6, 4, 9, 13, 3, 13, 7, 13, 19, 14, 11, 14, 21, and 29, 3. And then, this is where it gets really interesting, an Israelite slave, an Israelite slave was referred to as a Hebrew.

Exodus 21, 2, Deuteronomy 15, 12, Jeremiah 34, 9, and Jeremiah 34, 14. Okay, let's look at the verses themselves now where it references a Hebrew or an Israelite slave. So my simple point is the only ones called Hebrews in the Bible without exception.

It's either Abraham or one of his direct descendants through Isaac and Jacob, so Joseph and the other sons of Jacob, or the Israelites in Egypt, the Israelites fighting the Philistines. Jonah, those are the only ones called Hebrew, was an ancient Israelite, period. Were the Moanites Hebrews? No, of course not.

They were no more Hebrews than they were Americans, of course not. I'm just saying the Bible is clear. It's not to be disputed. You can get mad at me. You may have an ideology that differs.

You may have to stand for someone that is putting a bogus info on the web. I can't help that. I'm just going to stay with truth. The truth will set you free. The truth will set you free. The people who are unteachable and uncorrectable dig their heels in, and as the ship sinks, they still argue their point. The people who love God love truth.

Oh, okay, I stand corrected, and they move forward. So, let's look at the verses. Exodus 21, verse 2. If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years, but in the seventh year he shall go free without paying anything. Now remember, according to Deuteronomy 23, a Moabite or an Abenite could even be part of the congregation of Israel. Here, a Hebrew servant, that's a fellow Israelite.

You say, are you sure? Deuteronomy 15, 12. If any of your people, Hebrew men or women, fellow Israelites, sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. A foreign nation, someone could be enslaved beyond that. But fellow Israelite, only six years.

Then how about this? Jeremiah 34. Obviously, they could willingly stay longer, but this was the rule. Jeremiah 34. Everyone was to free their Hebrew slaves, both male and female.

No one was to hold a fellow Hebrew in bondage. The Hebrew is your kinsman, it's a fellow Judean. Every seventh year, each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. Ah, so a Hebrew is a fellow Israelite, and Yahweh is the God of the Hebrews. Let's listen to what Professor Jeffrey Teague said in his Deuteronomy commentary, one of the best commentaries on Deuteronomy used to this day. Fellow Hebrew, Deuteronomy 15, he's commenting. That is, Hebrew kinsman, literally brother. The law limits the amount of time one Israelite may control another. Only foreigners may be owned in perpetuity and passed on to heirs, Leviticus 25. So this is for the outsiders, for the other nations. But an Israelite?

No. The phrase Hebrew kinsman reminds one of special brotherly obligations toward fellow Israelites. Hebrew, Avri, is the oldest designation for Israelites who could not be called Israelites before the time of Israel, Jacob himself. So, before you had the man named Israel, and his descendants would be Israelites, how did you refer to them? Hebrew! Here in Deuteronomy, Hebrew clearly means simply Israelite. Fellow Hebrew means literally Hebrew kinsman. And in Jeremiah 34, 9, it is paraphrased as Judean kinsman. Case closed! Only the Israelites were Hebrews. End of subject.

There is no ambiguity in Scripture whatsoever. You go with the word or not, that's your choice, but the word is clear. We will be right back on the other side of the break. Here comes the music. 866-348-7884. This is Michael Ellison, founder of Tributa Wellness. I want you to hear an amazing testimony from my friend, James Robison, and most all of you will know of him. He and his wife, Betty, host the Life Today television program. Now, here is James. Let me tell you about a miracle I experienced. My friend, Michael Ellison, he and his wife are our 40-year-plus best friends.

Well, let me just say this to you. I had so much pain with what was called tennis elbow that I could hardly reach over and pick up the phone without pain, without it hurting me. I couldn't pick up something to drink, a glass of tea or anything.

It was very difficult to do anything without wearing a tight strap. And then Michael shared the Nopal cactus juice with me, Nopalaya. I began drinking about that much in the morning in a glass and that much later in the day. And in three months, I was a different person. I have now gone more than 10 years with no pain. Not better, well, I have no joint pain. I am telling you it did something to the inflammation in my body that was undeniable. Now, that's just my testimony. But that's been more than 10 years with no pain.

Matter of fact, if I miss, for some foolish reason, a few days, I can feel it creeping back that fast. So give it a try. See if it helps relieve your pain. I hope it does like it has mine because it worked for me.

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Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Let me encourage you to make an investment in your own body. Driving with one of our producers up to the office the other day, he commented that he's been thinking a lot more about his health because he realizes he's going to stand before God one day and God's going to ask him, what do you do with your body? We're accountable for our finances.

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I believe you'll experience great things as well. It'll be a Jewish-related question, 866-348-7884. 866-34-TRUTH. So I just came from Orlando, literally got off the plane and got straight up to the office from the airport. And while I was in Orlando, I was teaching for my dear friend Daniel Kolenda. They've got a new ministry school, Nations Bible College, and then they have their boot camp where they train evangelists to go preach in the streets, in the schools in Nigeria and other countries. So I got to speak to both of them together. I had the privilege of teaching at a number of fine schools, Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, a spiritual leadership school in Fort Worth, now Nations College in Orlando. And then once a year, Global Awakening Theological Seminary for Randy Clark in November, intensive week there, great joy.

The YWAM base in Kona now working with them, what a joy to pour into the next generation. But this trip had one little extra tiny little detail, but it was meaningful to me. At the hotel I stayed in, I stayed in room 1126. You say, what does that matter? Well, 1126? Romans 1126, and so all Israel shall be saved. A reality I live with every single day, a constant hope that fuels the fire of my faith, knowing it is written, knowing it will happen, knowing that there will be a massive turning of Jewish people around the world to Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah, knowing even now every day that there are more Jewish people coming to him, believing him than at any time in recorded history.

So it's wonderful to see this, it's wonderful to see God at work, and I know that final day will come as promised. So just to have that room, and hey, I stayed at a hotel recently, I was in room 777 when I was in Jerusalem. That was better than when I stayed in room 666 in London, yeah. Anyway, it's just a room, but these little things, I don't mean it was a message for me. I don't need a message, the Word says so. Staying in room 1126 does not confirm that the Bible's true. I don't need confirmation, the Word is true, the Word stands on its own. It's just like I wake up in the morning, I look at the clock, and then, oh, this, it's like a scripture. Whenever I see numbers, there are scriptures, references, and things like that, so it just brought a smile to my face. Okay, with that, let us go over to Brian in Indiana. Welcome to the Line of Fire.

Hey, Dr. Brown, glad to be on again, appreciate it. I had a quick question, so I'm a Messianic Jew, so of course I believe that physical Israel still has right to the land of Israel, but I know there are people into replacement theology, and I've met a few, I think John Piper maybe is into that. What verses do they use to end up with the belief that physical Israel no longer has the right to the land and the church replaces Israel? And then my second piggybacking off of that, has there ever been, probably not, but has there ever been a Messianic Jew who believed in replacement theology? Yeah, the second question is, yeah, there are plenty of Jewish believers through the years that bought into a larger church theology, that the church was the new Israel, and they saw themselves as converts to Christianity and things like that, so sure, that's existed over the centuries, and especially before the restoration of the Jewish people back to the land, it was easier to believe in things like that. But the argument would basically be that Israel had a purpose, and Israel's purpose was to bring the Messiah into the world and prepare the world for that, and then for the Jewish people to bring that message to the nations, and now everything is fulfilled in Jesus, so He becomes the culmination of the promises, and just as He's the true vine, Israel was the vine in Isaiah 5, but He's the true vine in John 15, or Paul could say about the believers in Philippi in Philippians 3, we are the circumcision, so the spiritual believers, they become Israel, Galatians 6, 16 would be taken, Israel of God would be taken to mean the church, all believers, Romans 9, 6, not all, Israel is Israel, they would turn that kind of upside down, instead of saying there's an Israel within Israel, to say that Israel is now a spiritual entity, and that just as there's a spiritual fulfillment to the promises, now instead of a physical land, there's a spiritual fulfillment. So my response to that, of course, is that's like telling, think of Jewish refugees after the Holocaust, and telling them, well actually Jesus is your promised land, that would be like telling a starving person that Jesus is the bread of life. But in my book, Our Hands Are Staying with Blood, in the chapters that I deal with replacement theology, I do get into the arguments and then seek to refute them there, so Our Hands Are Staying with Blood, you'll find three relevant chapters that deal with, hey I appreciate the call, 866-348-7884, so Terry, not anonymous, but in an unknown location, welcome to the Line of Fire. Hey Michael Brown, how are you doing?

Doing very well, thank you. Yes, yes, so today is, I'm going to be, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the Quran, I think it's in reference to, and I know it's like Jewish, I think Thursday is correct, I'm not sure, but according to the Tanakh, if I'm going to compare, I think one of the things that, I hear a lot of debate going on between some Jews and a lot of Muslims, but I think the main point for me is really getting down to where it really hits home. And I think one of the things when I started reading the Quran and also started going back to the Tanakh, which we call the Old Testament, when I started reading it, I find it something very, very strange. And you know, the Quran states that the Messiah never died. In this case, Isaiah 53 cannot. Right, it doesn't refer to, yeah, I mean it's saying that Jesus was not crucified, that someone else took his place, but that he wasn't actually crucified, yeah. Yeah, yes, okay, so he wasn't crucified, correct?

Yeah, according to the Quran. Okay, okay, so he was never crucified. And in other words, what I'm saying to this, is if you get to the Tanakh, Isaiah 53 cannot possibly refer to the Jesus in the Quran, because it seems to contradict itself. So I always ask people, is where does it say that Jesus will be crucified because we need at least something that gives a hint trace of crucifixion, according to the Tanakh, and where does it state that it's not mentioned anywhere in any of the texts, because it seems to contradict. We know that Jesus died. Just to jump in, number one, crucifixion did not exist as a method of punishment in Old Testament times, for the most part, be very, very late in the Old Testament period. Number two, Isaiah 53 clearly speaks of a violent, bloody death. So that could well apply to crucifixion. And Psalm 22, which is the psalm of the righteous sufferer delivered from death, gives what would be a very prophetic picture of being publicly exposed and mocked, counting all your bones, being stretched out, and based on best Hebrew readings, I would argue that it says that they dug through my hands and my feet. So you'd even have a vivid prediction there. And of course, Muslims don't accept the authority of the Bible, so it's a whole other issue. And we have the testimony of eyewitnesses to the crucifixion in the New Testament.

That's really the greater weight than all of it. But anyway, just jumping in for a time, because we had a break, but we'll be back with more calls on the other side of the break. Stay right here.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-02 19:17:46 / 2024-01-02 19:27:34 / 10

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