Talmidi Religious Writings
sifra dišúa‘ nebiya
ha-séifer y’shúa‘ ha-n’vi
(THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET YESHUA‘)
If you ever have any questions about what you read, or if you profoundly disagree with my translation, please email me at email@example.com
The Exhortations is our equivalent of the New Testament, but does not have any scriptural authority; the only scriptural authority for Talmidis is the Galilean canon of the Hebrew Bible; therefore you do not have to agree with the contents of The Exhortations in order to call oneself a Talmidi.
(These writings below are the de-Christianised, de-Paullised, de-Gnosticised and re-Judaised sayings of Yeshua` of Nazareth; they have also had anything which is historically, culturally or factually incorrect either removed or amended. The reconstructions are based on many years of personal research and study, and much prayer.
They have not come from a newly discovered gospel or ancient text. If I were to base what appears below only on the evidence of ancient manuscripts, then all I would end up with would be the existing gospels of the New Testament, because that is the vast majority of what we have; the writings of the ancient Jewish Followers of Yeshua` have not survived to base my work on (there is not much left of the ‘Ebionite Gospel’ to go on), and so they have had to be reconstructed.
I have used my knowledge of Jewish Aramaic and biblical Hebrew, of ancient Jewish customs and traditions, of the history and politics of the time, to assist me in recreating a literary work that is closer to something that a Jewish Follower of Yeshua` might have written – closer than anything that we have had to live with in the New Testament gospels for the last 2,000 years.
Please also note that these writings are not intended to prove anything; they exist solely to enable Talmidis to gain spiritual inspiration from the Jewish teachings of Yeshua`, without having to run the gauntlet of Paullist Christian dogma in the New Testament.
The table of sources is at the end of this webpage; any material that does not come from ancient sources should be considered explanatory midrash – additional material inserted to help the reader to understand the context or meaning of a saying (the best examples of this are passages 7, and 138:8-19). Any midrash is therefore secondary and supportive (almost like in-text footnotes), and is not meant to be considered a statement of historical fact.
1. 1In the fifteenth year of the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, Herod Antipas being the tetrarch of the Galilee; 2and in the eleventh year of the High Priest Yosef Qayafas, Pontius Pilatus being the new prefect of Judea, 3the Message of the Most High came to Yeshua`, son of Yosef the craftsman of Nazareth. 4He obeyed the Message of God, and spoke to the people of the Galilee and Judea about the good news of the kingdom of God, 5and he exhorted them to walk in the righteousness of God’s paths, and away from the paths of destruction.
2. 1Yeshua` said, ‘To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It’s like a great wedding feast a certain king ordered to be prepared. And when it was ready, he sent his servants to call the wedding guests to the feast. But they didn’t wish to come.
2So he sent his servants back, saying, “Tell those who’ve been invited that I’ve prepared my table for them; my oxen and fattened livestock have been butchered, and everything’s ready. Come to the feast.”
3‘So his servants went and did as the king had commanded them. They went to the first and said, “Come, my master invites you.” 4But this one said, “I’ve got claims against some merchants. They’re coming to me this evening, and I must go to give them my orders. I ask to be excused from the feast.”
5‘So the servants went to a second, and said to him, “Come, my master’s invited you.” 6But this one said, “I’ve just bought a house, and I’m required for the day. I won’t have any spare time.”
7‘So the servants went to a third, and said to him, “Come, my master invites you.” 8But this one said, “I’ve leased out a farm, and I’m on my way to collect the rent. I won’t be able to come. I ask to be excused.” And so it was with all the others.
9‘So the servants returned to their lord the king, and said, “Those whom you invited asked to be excused.” 10And the king said to them, “Go then to the street corners, and invite anyone you find, so that they might come instead.”
11‘So the servants went to the street corners, and called to all to come – the poor and the lowly, the blind and the lame – and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
12‘Believe me I tell you, the rich and the wealthy are too busy for the kingdom of God.’
3. 1Yeshua` taught his followers and said to them,
2‘Blessed are the humble in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are the meek, because they shall inherit the Land.
3Blessed are they who mourn, because they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they who weep, because they shall laugh.
4Blessed are the merciful, because they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, because they shall be shown
into the presence of God.
5Blessed are they who hunger, because they shall be well fed.
Blessed are they who thirst, because they shall be satisfied.
6Blessed are they who create peace, because they
shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for striving after justice,
because theirs is the kingdom of God.
7Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you,
and say all kinds of evil things against you,
just because you’re my followers.
8Rejoice! Dance for joy! Because remember, your reward in heaven is great;
because in the same way they persecuted the Prophets
who came before us.’
4. 1An excited voice called out, and a woman from the crowd said to Yeshua`, ‘How fortunate the womb that bore you, and the breasts that nursed you!’
2But he said to her, ‘Rather, fortunate are those who hear the message of God, and take care to carry it out! 3Because the terrible day will come when you’ll cry out, “How fortunate the womb that never conceived, and the breasts that never gave milk!”’
5. 1Yeshua` went about the Galilee, warning his fellow countrymen and women of the terrible destruction to come, just as the Message of God had instructed him to do. 2And from that time on, he began to speak out publicly, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingship of God is fast approaching!’
3But a woman came up to Yeshua` and said, ‘Why do you prophesy these things? Show us a sign that what you say is true!’
4So Yeshua` said to her, ‘When it’s evening, you say, “It’ll be fair weather, because the sky’s red.” And in the morning, “It’ll be stormy today, because the sky’s red and overcast.” 5You know how to interpret the signs in the sky, but you can’t interpret the signs of the times!’
6. 1A man shouted out to Yeshua`, saying, ‘How will we know what you say is true? Give us a sign from the heavens!’ 2So Yeshua` said to the people, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, “A shower’s coming,” and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There’ll be a scorching heat,” and so it happens. 3How is it you know how to read the signs of the earth and the sky, yet you can’t read the signs of our times?’
7. 1There was a young man whose father was a Zealot. He had been part of a feared band around the Galilee, which fought to speed the coming of the kingdom of the son of David everywhere they went. 2But his father had been killed that very morning while leading an attack upon the Romans. 3While still in his grief and anger, his father’s companions tried to persuade him to take his father’s place among them, threatening to end his life if he did not. 4His family feared for him, so this young man came to Yeshua` for counsel.
5After learning of his situation, Yeshua` advised the young man to abandon his father’s violent quest to bring about the kingdom of David, and said, 6‘Follow me, and proclaim the kingdom of God everywhere you go.’
7After some thought, the young man said, ‘Master, I’ll follow you, but first let me go and bury my father.’
8Yeshua` was sorrowful that the young man had lost his father, but also feared that the man’s life was in danger. So he spoke firmly of the Zealots and said, 9‘Leave the Dead to bury their own dead!’ Then he consoled the man over the memory of his father.
10However, when the Zealots came to hear of what Yeshua` had done to save the young man from them, 11they began to despise him, and plotted against him, so that they might seize him by stealth and kill him.
12But in the Galilee the people revered him as a prophet. 13The Zealots tried to have one of their daggermen secretly assassinate him, 14but Yeshua` had already been staying away from large cities and big crowds, for fear of Antipas’s men and the Herodians. 15So therefore in the Galilee, there was nothing they could do to make him suffer the same fate as the Immerser. 16However, whenever Yeshua` travelled to Jerusalem for the appointed Festivals, the Zealots spread false stories that he was the Son of David, so that the Romans might hear of it, and thereby arrest him and crucify him.
Notes: The longer midrash in this passage is intended to explain the theory that the people during Yeshua’s lifetime who proclaimed him messiah were actually the Zealots, who only did so in order for the Romans to get wind of the rumour, so that they would arrest him and crucify him (the Zealots were aware that Romans understood all messianic claimants to be rebels against the occupying Roman authorities). The Zealots could not kill Yeshua themselves, because many ordinary Galileans respected Yeshua, and viewed him as a prophet; the Zealots realised that killing him themselves would turn the public against them. So they decided to have the Romans kill Yeshua instead, by spreading false rumours that he was the messiah. It is my contention therefore that Yeshua did not want to be seen as a messiah, only as a prophet – which is how many ordinary people understood his ministry in those early days.
8. 1When Yeshua` saw how the hearts of the Zealots and of certain Torah scholars were stubborn, and how religious fakers and hypocrites, the rich and the greedy refused to turn from their destructive ways, and thereby caused suffering to others, 2Yeshua` recalled the prophecies of Malachi – of how God’s Glory would cleanse the Land – so he cried out , ‘Would that I could bring fire to this land! Would that it were already burning!’
9. 1People said to Yeshua`, ‘See how the people follow you and marvel, saying, “You are the messiah.” 2But Yeshua` raised his eyes to heaven in frustration and said, ‘O Heavenly Father, there are many who clamour around the drinking trough, but there’s no water in the cistern.’
Notes: I’m aware that this saying, which comes from the Gospel of Thomas, is understood in a completely different way by Gnostics. However, without Gnostic theology, my take on the saying is that Yeshua was trying to vent his frustration – that those who claimed he was the messiah were barking up the wrong tree.
10. 1People were saying to Yeshua`, ‘The followers of Yochanan and the followers of the Pharisees are more virtuous than your followers, because they fast often, and yours don’t.’
2So Yeshua` said to them, ‘Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, when their Bridegroom’s with them? 3But believe me I tell you, the days will come when the bridechamber is taken from them, and then the children will fast!’ In this, he was speaking of God as Israel’s bridegroom, and the Temple as our bridechamber; he prophesied that one day soon, the Temple will be taken from us, and then the wedding guests – the Jewish people – will fast.
11. 1Yeshua` was speaking to the people about false teachers and their teachings, ones who would lead people away from the kingdom of God, 2when two of Yochanan’s emissaries approached him and said, ‘Teacher, then what do you say of our Master, Yochanan?’
3Now, they had spoken like this to him, because it was not widely known that Yeshua` had once been a Nazorayyan – a follower of the Immerser.
4So Yeshua` considered carefully, and answered them, saying, ‘How fortunate is he who isn’t scandalised by my words! Because his eyes see, and his ears hear.’
12. 1Yeshua` began to speak to the crowds about Yochanan. ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed agitated by the wind? Well, if the wind be strong enough, the reed will be broken by it! 2Then what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fancy clothes? Well, those who wear fancy clothes live in royal courts! 3So what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than just a prophet. This is the one of whom it was written, “Behold, I will send the prophet Eliyahu to you before the great and terrible day of our God comes.” 4Believe me I tell you, among those born of women, no one alive today is greater than Yochanan! And if you are willing to accept it, Yochanan was himself the Eliyahu who was prophesied to come. Anyone who has ears to hear, let him hear!’
5Now when Yochanan’s two emissaries heard Yeshua` speak this way, saying much more besides; 6and when they heard him speaking words which God Most High had given to both Yeshua` and their master to say, 7they became convinced that Yeshua` was indeed the prophet whom God had told Yochanan to expect – the one whom God would call and send after him – and that they need not look for anyone else. 8So they returned to their master, and told him the good news.
13. 1Now there were many scholars who spoke of new ways of piety, inventing new laws and false teachings that God never gave us; but Yeshua` spoke to his followers of the Teaching given to our ancestors at Sinai and said, 2‘No one sews a piece of new, unshrunk cloth onto an old garment. 3If he does, the new patch will pull away from it – the new from the old – and a worse tear will eventually result.’
14. 1Yeshua` said, ‘No one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the old skins; then the wine will be lost and the skins will be ruined. 2And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, because he says, “The old wine is good enough”.’
Notes: These two passages are prime examples of how Yeshua did not see his ministry as instituting a new religion or a new philosophy, but rather that he was trying to restore the original ideals of the Israelite faith.
15. 1Yeshua` urgently tried to dissuade his fellow Galileans from joining the Zealots, and said to the people, ‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, 2and no city divided against itself will remain standing.’
16. 1There were some who believed themselves to be virtuous in the eyes of God, yet despised others. 2So Yeshua` told them this parable, saying, ‘Two men went up into the Temple to pray, one a Torah scholar and the other a tax collector. 3The Torah scholar stood and prayed like this in his heart and said, “O God, I thank you that I’m not like other people – thieving, unjust, adulterous, or even like this tax collector. 4I fast twice a week, and I give tithes of everything I get.”
5But the tax collector stood at a distance, and wouldn’t even lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his chest, saying, “O God, have mercy on me, a sinner!” 6I tell you, this man rather than the other, went home cleared before God.’
17. 1There were some who were hypocrites, and judged others without examining their own actions first. 2And Yeshua` said to them, ‘Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, but don’t notice the plank in your own eye? 3Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take out the splinter from your eye,” when you yourself do nothing to get rid of the plank in your own eye? 4You hypocrite! First get rid of the plank from your own eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take out the splinter from your brother’s eye!’
18. 1There was a certain man who was vain and exalted himself, and exclaimed with pride that he worked for the kingdom of God, comparing himself to salt.
2But Yeshua` cautioned him and said, ‘Salt is good, but if the salt’s lost its usefulness, how will its usefulness be restored? 3Then it’s not fit for anything – neither the soil nor the dung heap – and people throw it away and trample it underfoot.
4If you have ears to hear, then hear!’
19. 1Yeshua said, ‘Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, 2and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.’
20. 1People enquired of Yeshua` and said, ‘When will the kingdom come?’ 2But Yeshua` answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God won’t come by watching and waiting for it. Nor will it be a matter of people saying, “Here it is!” or “There it is!” 3Because the kingdom of God is already within you.’
21. 1Yeshua` said, ‘If people say to you, “Look, the kingdom of God is in the sky,” then the birds will have gotten there before you. 2If they say, “It’s in the sea,” then the fish will have gotten there before you. 3Rather, the kingdom of God is within you, and all around you.’
22. 1Yeshua` said, ‘The kingdom of God is like a hoard of money hidden in a field. While ploughing, a man found it. 2He immediately covered it up again, and then in his joy goes and sells every last possession he has in order to buy that field.’
23. 1Yeshua` said, ‘The kingdom of God is like a pearl of great value, which a merchant found while examining a consignment of goods. 2So he went and sold everything he owned, and then came back and bought the whole consignment. 3But that merchant was shrewd; he sold the consignment, while keeping the one pearl for himself.’
24. 1There was a sectary who was speaking to the people about the kingdom of David, saying, 2‘When the Messiah comes, the House of Israel shall grow like a mighty cedar planted on a high mountain, and the nations of the earth shall pay homage to us, and we shall dwell like eagles in its branches.’
3But Yeshua` said, ‘To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 4‘It’s like the tiny mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. 5Eventually it grew and became a bush, and little birds sheltered under its branches.’
6And Yeshua`’s followers laughed.
25. 1Yeshua`s followers said to him, ‘How will the kingdom of God be fulfilled?’ 2So Yeshua` said to them, ‘The kingdom of God is like a little yeast that a woman took and hid in three sata of flour. 3Eventually all the flour was leavened.’
Notes: a seah (plural sata) is about 7.6 litres, the equivalent of about 7 US dry quarts
26. 1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. 2As he scattered the seed, some fell by the path, and little birds came and devoured them.
3‘Other seed fell on rocky ground where there wasn’t much soil. And they grew quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered away because they didn’t have much root.
4‘And other seed fell among thorns, and as they grew, the thorns choked them.
5‘Still other seed fell on good soil, where it yielded a good crop, 6producing thirty, sixty, even a hundred times what was sown.
7Anyone who has ears to hear, let him hear!’
27. 1A poor man came to Yeshua` and spoke to him of his new understanding of the kingdom of God.
2And Yeshua` declared to him and said, ‘Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear! 3Believe me I tell you, many sages and kings have longed to see what you see, but couldn’t see it, and hear what you hear, but couldn’t hear it!’
28. 1There was a Zealot who proclaimed that tax collectors and others who worked with the Romans had cut themselves off from God’s people, 2and that God would never forgive them for what they had done. 3So Yeshua` tried to reason with him, but the Zealot said, 4‘We have kept God’s covenant, but they have broken it; why should they ever be forgiven?’
5So Yeshua` said, ‘There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, 6“Father, give me the share of the property that will come to me.” 7And so the father divided his resources between them.
8Not long after that, the younger son gathered together everything he had, and took himself off to a country far away, and there he squandered his property in riotous living.
9And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be without. 10So he went and hired himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 11And he would gladly have fed on the carob husks that the pigs ate, because no one gave him anything.
12So he came to his senses and he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have enough food and more to spare, and here I am starving to death! 13I’ll get up and go back to my father and I’ll say to him, 14‘Father, I’ve sinned against God and shamed you; I’m no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants’.”
15So he got up and returned to his father. 16But while he was still at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion on him, 17so he ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him.
18And the son said, “Father, I’ve sinned against God and shamed you; I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.”
19But the father said to his servants, “Quick, bring the best tunic, and put it on him; and put a gold ring on his hand, and sandals on his feet; 20and bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 21because this son of mine was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” And they began to celebrate.
22Now his elder son had been out in the fields; and as he came closer and approached the house, he heard the sounds of music and dancing. 23So he called one of the servant boys and asked what this meant. 24And the servant boy said to him, “Your brother’s come back, and your father’s killed the fattened calf, because he’s got him back safe and sound.”
25But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and tried to reason with him, but he answered his father, saying, 26“Look, all these years I’ve served you, and I never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never even gave me so much as a kid-goat, so that I could celebrate with my friends. 27But when this son of yours returns, who’s squandered your resources on prostitutes, you go and kill the fattened calf for him!”
28So his father said to him, “My son, you’re always with me, and all that’s mine is yours. 29But it was right to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead, and now he’s alive; he was lost, and now he’s found.”’’
29. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Suppose a woman has ten silver denarii, and loses one. 2Doesn’t she light a lamp and sweep the whole house, and search meticulously until she finds it? 3And when she’s found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, 4“Rejoice with me, because I’ve found the coin that I’d lost.” 5In the same way, I tell you, there’s rejoicing in heaven even over one sinner who returns to God’s ways.’
30. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Suppose a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray; doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillside, and go in search of the one that went astray? 2And when he finds it, he lays it across his shoulders, and believe me I tell you, he rejoices over it more than the other ninety-nine that never went astray.’
31. 1Yeshua` said, ‘There was a landlord who wished to settle his accounts with his servants. 2When he began his calculations, one servant was brought to him who owed him ten thousand kikkarin of gold, and as he didn’t have the means to pay, his master ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all that he had, so that he could recover his money. 3So the servant fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, “Master, have patience with me, and I’ll repay you everything.” 4And out of pity for him, his master released him and forgave him the debt.
5But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred denarii. 6Seizing him by the throat, he began to choke him and said, “Pay me what you owe me.” 7So his fellow servant fell down on his face and begged him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I’ll pay you.” 8The first servant refused, and had him put in prison until such time as the debt would’ve been paid off.
9When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were horrified, and they went to report to their master everything that had happened. 10So his master summoned him and said, “You wicked servant! I forgave you your whole debt because you pleaded with me. 11Shouldn’t you then have shown mercy to your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?”
12And in anger, his master delivered him over to the jailers, and had him put in prison until such time as his debt would’ve been paid off.’
(Note: kikkar is the Aramaic word for ‘talent’, plural: kikkarin. It was a weight used to measure gold or silver, the equivalent of about 33 kgs. In today’s money, just one talent of gold would now be worth about £1,280,000 / US $1,557,750. However, the parable mentions 10,000 talents; the whole point of the figure mentioned, is that the amount the ungrateful servant owes is such an impossibly large amount, that he could never have hoped to work it off or pay it off in his lifetime. Comparing that to what the second servant owed to him, 100 silver denarii – an amount that could easily be paid off with the equivalent of just 4 month’s wages – it infinitely magnifies the level of ungratefulness of the first servant, and just how much his landlord originally forgave him of).
32. 1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘If you’ve got money, don’t lend it at interest. 2Better still, give it to someone from whom you won’t get anything back at all.’
33. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Give to anyone who asks you for something on loan; don’t turn away someone who wishes to borrow from you.’
34. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Be merciful, just as your heavenly Father is merciful. 2For doesn’t God who made the sun, cause it to rise on both the wicked and the good? 3Doesn’t God send the rain, which God has made, to fall upon the unrighteous as well as the righteous? 4So, just as God is kind to both the good as well as the ungrateful, do the same, so that you may be called the children of the Most High.’
35. 1Yeshua` said, ‘When you stand praying, forgive anything you have against anyone, so that your heavenly Father may also forgive you your sins. 2For if you forgive others their offences, how much more so will your heavenly Father forgive you! 3But if you don’t forgive others their offences, how can you expect your heavenly Father to forgive you?’
36. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Ask, and it’ll be given to you; look, and you’ll find; knock, and it’ll be opened to you. 2Because everyone who asks receives, and whoever looks finds, and to whomever knocks it’ll be opened.’
37. 1Yeshua` said, ‘What father among you, when his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone? 2Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 3If you then, who are imperfect, know how to give good things to your children, how much more so will your Father in heaven, who is perfect, give you good things when His children ask Him!’
38. 1Yeshua` taught his followers to be persistent in prayer, and not to be discouraged, so he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, 2“Friend, lend me three loaves; because a friend of mine’s arrived from a long journey, and I’ve got nothing to offer him.” 3And from inside his friend replies, “Don’t bother me; the door’s locked now, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.” 4Believe me I tell you, although he won’t get up and give him anything because he’s his friend, still because of the man’s bold persistence he’ll get up and give him whatever he needs.’
39. 1Yeshua` told his followers this parable, so that they would always pray and not lose heart. 2He said to them, ‘There was this city where there was a judge, who neither revered God nor had any regard for other people. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my adversary!” 4For a while he refused, but afterwards he said to himself, 5“Even though I don’t fear God, and I don’t really care about other people, but because this widow keeps bothering me, I’ll grant her a favourable decision, or she’ll keep coming back until she wears me out!”
6So if an unjust judge will grant justice to someone who returns again and again to plead with him, how much more so will your heavenly Father grant justice to His children, who cry out to Him day and night!’
40. 1Yeshua` was praying in a certain place while some of his followers kept watch; and when he paused, one of his followers said to him, 2‘Master, teach us how to pray, in the same way that Yochanan taught his followers.’
3And so he said to them, ‘When you pray each morning, say, 4“Our Father, who is in heaven, may Your Name be sanctified! May Your kingdom be fulfilled; may Your will be realised, just as it is in heaven, so also upon the earth.
5“Our bread, which is from the earth, give us day by day; and forgive us our sins, just as we should forgive our debtors; and don’t bring us to trial, rather deliver us from evil.”’
41. 1Each day, God sees the labours and worries of God’s people; God is mindful of us and has compassion on us. 2So God called upon Yeshua` to say to God’s people, ‘Believe me I tell you, don’t worry about your life, about what you’ll eat or drink, or about your body, about what you’ll wear. 3Isn’t life more than just food and drink, and the body more than just clothes?’
42. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Look at the birds of the sky; they neither sow nor reap, nor gather their grain into granaries, and yet our heavenly Father feeds them. 2How much more therefore will God feed you – for you are worth far more than the birds!’
43. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to their lifespan? 2If you aren’t able to do as small a thing as that, why be anxious about greater things?’
44. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Why worry about clothes? Look at the wild flowers, how they clothe the grass. 2The grass neither cards nor spins, yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed up like that! 3So if that’s how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more so will God clothe you!’
45. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t be anxious, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 2Because even the Gentiles go searching for all these things as well, and yet your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
3Rather, search for the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and you’ll see, all these things will be provided for you as well.’
46. 1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘Aren’t two sparrows sold for just one assarion? 2And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without God knowing about it! 3Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 4So don’t be afraid – you’re worth more than many sparrows!’
47. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. 2Let each day’s trouble be enough for that day.’
48. 1Yeshua` said, ‘No servant can serve two masters; because they’ll either hate the first and love the second, or they’ll be devoted to the first and despise the second. 2In the same way, you can’t serve both God and wealth.’
49. 1Yeshua told this parable, saying, ‘The estate of a certain rich man produced a plentiful crop. 2He said to himself, “I sow, I plant and reap, and as a result I want for nothing. 3But what shall I do, because I haven’t anywhere to gather all of my produce in one place?”
4‘So he thought to himself and said, “This is what I’ll do: I’ll pull down my storehouses, and I’ll build bigger ones! I’ll gather up all my wheat and goods there, 5and I’ll say to myself, ‘Self, you’ve got enough laid by for many years. Take it easy – eat, drink and enjoy yourself!’’”
6Such were his intentions, but that very same night he died. 7Of what service was his wealth to him then?’
50. 1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘How hard it is for the rich to find the kingdom of God! 2It’d be easier to thread a rafter through the eye of a needle, than it’d be to bring a rich person into the kingdom of God!’
(Note: In most translations, the central line is translated as ‘It is easier to thread a camel through the eye of a needle’ (Aramaic: gamla). However, the Aramaic word for ‘rafter’ or ‘beam’, g’mala, is written with the exact same letters [gml’ – there are no vowels in Aramaic, just as with Hebrew]. The exaggerated analogy makes better sense with ‘rafter’ than with ‘camel’. Normally you thread a yarn through a needle, not something as big as a rafter; ‘camel’ makes no sense in this context. The author of the Gospel of Mark saw the Aramaic word gml’, and read it as ‘camel’, and so it was translated into Greek, and the error was thereafter copied by Matthew and Luke).
51. 1Yeshua` saw how a great many people were taken with the ways of the Zealots, and how quickly they listened to them. 2So Yeshua` spoke to the people, saying, ‘Strive to enter by the narrow gate; because the gate that leads to destruction is wide, and the road is spacious, and those who enter by it are many. 3But the gate that leads to life is narrow, and the road is tight, and those who enter by it are few.’
52. 1Yeshua` saw how many people were following sectaries who spoke out of the vanities of their own hearts, and not out of any reverence for God, 2so Yeshua` spoke to the people, saying, ‘Each tree is known by its fruit. 3A bad tree can’t bear good fruit, any more than a good tree can bear bad fruit. 4Are figs gathered from thistles? Or grapes picked from a thorn-bush? 5Beware therefore, because by their fruits you’ll know them; 6and every tree that doesn’t bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’
(Notes: The sense of verse 3 is, ‘A tree that bears poisonous fruit (ie fruit that is not used for food) cannot yield edible fruit, and a tree that produces edible fruit cannot produce poisonous fruit.’
The ‘fire’ mentioned at the end, is not the fire of hell, as Christians think, but rather the fire of God’s Glory, which Malachi (3:2) prophesied would come on the ‘Day of YHVH’ (the day of tribulation) to cleanse the Land of wickedness. Compare also Nahum 1:6, Amos 2:5, 5:6, Hosea 8:14
53. 1Now, there was a certain sectary – a hateful man – who despised what Yeshua` taught, so he called down all kinds of calamities upon him, saying that the wrath of God would strike him dead. 2So Yeshua` responded and said to him, ‘The good person out of the storehouse of good in their heart brings forth good, and the evil person out of the storehouse of evil in their heart brings forth evil; 3because from the abundance of plenty in the heart, so the mouth speaks.’
54. 1Now there were some sectaries who would come to Jerusalem and take advantage of the fears of the people, and the anxiety they had for the days to come.
2And they would stand in the courts of the Temple at festival times, speaking of the end of days – that many would die, and people could only be saved if they became their followers. 3But they were false prophets, who said these things only to gain a following – not to save the lives of the people of Judea, nor out of any love for our people.
4So Yeshua` turned to one of his own followers and quoted a proverb, saying, ‘Wherever lies the carcass, there will the vultures gather.’
55. 1Now there were many who performed acts of piety only so that others would praise and exalt them; also, so that they could fool others into thinking they were faithful to God.
2So Yeshua` spoke to his followers, saying, ‘Beware of religious phonies, who only do their deeds in order to be seen by others. 3For they make their tefillin broad and their tsitsit long, and they love to take the places of honour at banquets and the best seats in the synagogue. 4They love to be greeted with their titles in the market place, and acknowledged when they go up to the Temple; 5and there, they make their prayers lengthy and their words loud, so that others might hear them and pay due honour to them.
6But when you do your deeds, expect no reward or salutation, and your heavenly Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7‘For is there any king, having servants out ploughing or tending sheep, who will then say to them when they come in from the fields, “Come in at once and sit down – eat, drink and have your fill”? 8Rather, will that king not say to them, “Prepare something for me to eat, then dress yourselves properly and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterwards, you may go and have something to eat and drink”? 9He doesn’t thank any of his servants, because they’ve simply done the things they were commanded to do. 10So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded of you, say, “We are but faithful and obedient servants; we have simply done what was our duty to do.”’
56. 1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘When you fast, don’t look sombre like religious phonies do, because they put ash on their head and dirty their face, in order to show others that they’re fasting, and so gain their respect. 2Believe me I tell you, that’s all the reward they’re going to get!
3Rather, when you fast, put oil on your head, and wash your face, so that it won’t be obvious to others that you’re fasting, but only to your heavenly Father, who sees what’s hidden; 4and your heavenly Father, who sees what’s done in secret, will reward you.’
57. 1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘When you pray, don’t be like religious phonies, who love to pray rocking in synagogues and on street corners, only so that they’ll be seen by others, and so gain their respect. 2Believe me I tell you, that’s all the reward they’re going to get!
3But when you pray, go into your innermost room and shut the door; then pray to your Father who’s in secret places; 4and your heavenly Father who sees what’s done in secret will reward you.’
58. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t be like religious phonies, who love to have memorials to their gifts in synagogues, and their charity made known to everyone in the street in order to gain their respect. 2Believe me I tell you, that’s all the reward they’re going to get!
3But when you give alms, don’t make a fanfare about it. Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand’s doing, so that your almsgiving may be in secret; 4and your heavenly Father who sees in secret will reward you.’
59. 1Now, there were some Torah scholars, Pharisees from the school of Shammai. 2They would teach at great length about tithes and ritual cleanliness, as if these were the only paths to true righteousness, yet their manner of righteousness gave no honour to justice and mercy. 3And they would take money from people to renovate the tombs of the prophets, even from widows and the poor.
4So Yeshua` spoke to them and said, ‘Shame on you scholars, you phonies! You observe the lighter commandments of Torah, and give exact tithes of your mint and dill and cumin; 5yet you neglect the heavier commandments of Torah, which are justice and mercy! These are the things you need to observe, without neglecting the former. 6Blind guides! You strain to swallow a gnat, yet you swallow a camel with ease!
7Shame on you scholars, you fraudsters! 8Because you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you’re full of greed and self-indulgence! 9Blind scholars! First cleanse what is inside, and then the outside will be clean as well!
10Shame on you scholars, you swindlers! You take money to adorn the tombs of the prophets, saying, “We wouldn’t have murdered the prophets like our ancestors did.” 11False witnesses! Because you testify against yourselves by saying you’re the sons of murderers!’
60. 1Yeshua` debated what is permitted on the Sabbath with scholars from the school of Shammai, who are harsh in their teaching, and permit not even the smallest deed.
2But Yeshua` reminded them of a pearl from the Torah. ‘Haven’t you read what it says in the Torah? 3Because if one of your colleagues has a donkey or a farm animal that’s fallen into a pit, won’t you help him immediately to lift it out, even on the Sabbath?’
61. 1Yeshua` once said to the scholars of the school of Shammai, 2‘The Sabbath was created for human beings, not human beings for the Sabbath.’
3For it so happened one Sabbath, that he was passing through fields of grain near Jerusalem; he was among the crowds returning to a nearby village, on their way from the afternoon services in the Temple. 4And as his followers made their way along the edges of the fields, they picked heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands and ate the ripe grain – for they were hungry.
5Now, there were some Shammaite scholars with them in the crowds, and they said to Yeshua`, ‘Look at them! Why are your followers doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?’
6So he responded and said to them, ‘Haven’t you ever read what David had to do when he was in need? 7How he asked Achimelekh ben Abiathar for provisions, and how Achimelekh entered the house of God, and took the consecrated shewbread – which isn’t lawful for anyone to eat except the priests alone – and gave it to David for him and his men to eat?
8Or haven’t you read in Torah, that on the Sabbath the priests in the Temple break the Sabbath, and yet they’re still held guiltless?’
62. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Humanity has dominion even over the Sabbath.’
63. 1Now, Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘Off you go! See, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves! So I tell you therefore, be as cunning as snakes, and as innocent as doves.
2Don’t take anything for the journey, neither staff nor side-bag; 3take no gold or silver or copper in your belts, nor food in your bag; 4take no spare sandals or extra tunics with you; and don’t stop to greet anyone along the way.
5Go nowhere among the Gentiles, nor enter any town of the Samaritans, rather hurry to the lost sheep of Israel.
6Whatever town or village you enter, find out who is willing to receive you there, and stay with them until you leave.
7Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace be upon this house!” 8And if a friendly person is there, your blessing of peace will remain on that household; but if not, withdraw your blessing and move on.
9Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide – 10for “The worker deserves his bread”! Don’t go from house to house.
11Whenever you enter a town and they accept you, eat whatever’s set before you.
12And preach the good news as you go, saying, “The kingship of God is fast approaching! Repent therefore and have faith in the good news of the Kingdom of God!” 13And minister to the sick, bring the Dead back to the way of life, and tend to those with skin diseases. 14You received from me without paying, therefore give without pay.
15But whenever you enter a town and they don’t accept you, or listen to your message, leave that place and shake the dust from your feet in witness against them, saying, 16“I shake off the dust of your city that clings like ashes to the soles of my feet! Realise before it’s too late that the kingship of God is fast approaching!” 17Believe me I tell you, the words spoken against Sodom would’ve been more bearable for the people of Sodom, than your words will be on that Day for the people of that town.’
64. 1Now there was a young man who had relatives and kin in many towns and villages of the Galilee; he fully expected that he could comfortably stay at any of their homes wherever he went following Yeshua`. 2So as the emissaries were going along the road one day, he approached Yeshua` and proclaimed to him, ‘Teacher, I’ll follow you wherever you go!’
3But Yeshua` said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but this son of man has nowhere to lay his head.’
65. 1Some of Yeshua`’s emissaries said to him, ‘Shall your teaching be like that of the Essenes, who conceal some words, and reveal others, but only to the elect?’
2So Yeshua` answered them, saying, ‘Whatever I tell you privately in the darkness, go say openly in the daylight. 3And whatever you hear whispered in your ear in private rooms, go proclaim publicly upon the housetops!’
66. 1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘Nothing’s so covered up that it won’t be revealed, or so hidden that it won’t be made known.
2If you have ears to hear, then hear!’
67. 1Yeshua` spoke to his followers of the Zealots and said, ‘Don’t fear those who kill the body, because after that there’s nothing more they can do. 2Rather, fear that which can destroy the soul within the body.’
68. 1A Zealot came up to Yeshua` with some of his colleagues, and said to him, ‘You say that we are dead, so tell us, what shall we do to live?’
2So Yeshua` said to him, ‘What are the two greatest commandments?’
3And the Zealot answered and said, ‘“You shall love the Holy One your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.” 4And the second is: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
5And Yeshua` said to him, ‘You have answered correctly. Do these things, and you shall live.’
6But the Zealot, not wishing to appear defeated in front of his friends, said, 7‘So who is my neighbour? The Gentiles? The Samaritans?’ And the colleagues of the Zealot laughed with him.
8So Yeshua` took him up on this and said, ‘There was this man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him and beat him up, then went away, leaving him half-dead.
9Now, by chance this priest was going down that very same road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 10So also a Levite, when he came upon the place, saw him, and passed by on the other side.
11But this Samaritan man, as he was going along, came upon him. And when he saw him he was filled with pity. 12So he went up to him, and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and strong wine. 13Then he placed him on his own animal, and took him to a travellers’ lodge and cared for him.
14The following day he took out two denarii and gave them to the lodgekeeper and said, “Look after him, and whatever extra you spend on him, I’ll reimburse you upon my return.”
15Now, which of these three was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’
16And the Zealot said, ‘The one who showed pity towards him.’
17So Yeshua` said, ‘Then go, and do the same.’
69. 1Yeshua` said, ‘To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It’s like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers to work in his vineyard. 2Agreeing to pay the labourers one denarius for the day, he sent them out into his vineyard.
3‘Now, going out at about the third hour, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, so he said to them, “You go into the vineyard as well, and I’ll pay you a fair wage.” And so they went.
4‘And again, going out at about the sixth hour and the ninth hour he did the same. And about the eleventh hour, he went out and found still others standing around. 5So he says to them, “Why have you been standing here idle the whole day?”
6‘And they say to him, “Because no one’s hired us.”
7‘He says to them, “You go into the vineyard as well.”
8‘So evening comes, and the owner of the vineyard says to his foreman, “Call the labourers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last and ending with the first.”
9‘And when those hired at about the eleventh hour came forward, they received one denarius each. 10Now, when the first ones hired came forward, they thought they would receive more, but they themselves also received one denarius each.
11‘On receiving it, they grumbled against the landowner saying, “These ones who were hired last laboured only one hour, yet you’ve made them equal to us – we who have borne the greater burden of the day and the scorching heat.”
12‘So he answered one of them, saying, “My friend, I do you no wrong; didn’t you agree with me to work for one denarius? 13Take what’s yours and go – it’s my desire to give this last man the same as I have also given you. 14Is it unlawful for me to do what I wish with what’s mine? Or are you envious because I’m generous?” ’
70. 1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘You’ve heard it said by the Essenes, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy”. 2But I say to you, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be called, ‘the children of the Most High’.
3‘For if you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Because even tax collectors do the same!
4‘And if you do good only to those who do good to you, what more are you doing than others? Don’t even Gentiles do the same?
5‘And if you give to those from whom you hope to receive, what reward are you expecting? Even moneylenders give to others to receive as much again!
6‘So I tell you, do good, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great; you’ll be children of the Most High, because God is kind even to the ungrateful and the selfish; 7therefore be merciful, just as your heavenly Father is merciful.’
71. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t fret over evil, nor seek to get even when you’re wronged. 2Instead, if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, present them with your left cheek as well! If someone sues you, and demands your mantle, give them your tunic as well! 3And if anyone conscripts you to go one mile, go with them two miles!’
72. 1There was a Zealot who was secretly going about among the people, saying, ‘Whoever loses their life in the struggle against the Romans, theirs is the whole Land to possess in the world to come! They will save their soul and be granted eternal life!’
2But Yeshua` said, ‘Whoever wishes to save their soul in this way only loses it. 3But whoever loses their life for the sake of God’s Message and the kingdom of God, they will have eternal life. 4For what does it profit anyone if they gain the whole world, yet suffer the loss of their own soul? 5What can any person possibly give in exchange for their own soul?’
73. 1Yeshua` said, ‘The lamp of the body is the eye. So if you’ve got a good eye, your whole body’s full of light, and your good eye becomes a source of light to everyone around you. 2But if you’ve got a bad eye, your whole body’s full of darkness, and your bad eye spreads only darkness around you. So therefore, if the lamp within you is darkness, then how great is the darkness around you!’
(Note: ‘to have a good eye’ in Aramaic means to be generous, and ‘to have a bad eye’ means to be selfish. The lamp represents the soul within a person).
74. 1Yeshua` exhorted his followers, saying, ‘Be a light for the world! For no one lights a lamp and covers it with a basket, or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that it gives light to the whole house. 2And when someone enters the house, they’ll see that light. 3In the same way, let your light so shine before others, that they see that light, and glorify your heavenly Father.’
75. 1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘A city set on a hill can’t be hidden, 2nor being fortified can it fall.’
76. 1Now there was an elder who held himself to be a righteous man and blessed of God, but condemned those who did not match him in piety or righteousness, having only words of sneering disdain for them.
2But Yeshua` said to him, ‘Those who reckon themselves first will be last, and those whom others reckon last, will be first in the kingdom of God.’
77. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Be conciliatory towards your adversary, and make the effort to settle matters with him quickly while you’re on the way to court. 2Or else your adversary will hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer of the court, and you’ll be thrown into prison. 3Believe me I tell you, there’s no way you’re getting out of there until you’ve paid back the very last prutah.’
78. 1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘What do you think? 2There was this rich man whose money-manager had been accused of squandering his master’s property. 3So he called him in and said to him, “What’s this I hear about you? Give me a full account of your management, because you’re no longer going to manage my money!”
4‘So the money-manager said to himself, “What am I going to do? My master’s taking my position away from me. I’m not strong enough to dig ditches, and I’m too ashamed to beg. 5I know what I’ll do! I know how I can get people to open their homes to me when I’m out of my job!”
6‘So he called in each of his master’s debtors. He said to the first, “How much do you owe my master?”
7‘He replied, “One hundred baath of oil.”
8‘So he said to him, “Take your invoice, and sit down quickly and write fifty.”
9‘Then he said to another, “And how much do you owe?”
10‘This one said, “One hundred kor of wheat.”
11‘So he said to him, “Take your invoice, and write eighty.”
12The emissaries were surprised, and laughed at this story.
13So Yeshua` said, ‘The rich man just had to hand it to the money-manager for his shrewdness! 14People with their heads in the affairs of this world are certainly shrewder in dealing with this generation than the sons and daughters of righteousness. But does this have to be so?’
15His emissaries were puzzled, and said to him, ‘Master, we don’t understand.’
16So Yeshua` said to them, ‘The money-manager wrote off some of the debts of his master’s debtors, so securing for himself a place in their homes. 17But how much more will your heavenly Father welcome you into His eternal home, if you write off all the sins of those who have wronged you!’
79. 1There was a Galilean nobleman – one of Antipas’s loyalists – standing nearby once when Yeshua` was teaching. And he said to him, ‘Why should we listen to you? 2Before the coming of the kingdom of the Holy One, blessed be He, He’ll send forth His prophet Eliyahu to restore the Covenant, and we’ll listen to his words, and obey his teaching, not yours!’
3But Yeshua` told him that his own words were witness against him. And he said to him, ‘You’re right, in that Eliyahu comes to restore the Covenant. 4But Eliyahu has already come – Yochanan the Immerser – but you didn’t acknowledge him. Instead you did all kinds of evil things against him – 5and believe me I tell you, among those born of women, no one in this generation has been greater than Yochanan!’
6 Then he told him a parable, saying, 7‘There was a certain landowner who planted a choice vineyard on fertile soil. He erected a wall around it, carved out a pit for treading grapes, and built a watchtower to guard it. 8Then he rented it out to some tenant-farmers so that they would work it, and he would collect the crop from them in due season. After that he went on a long journey to a country far away.
9‘As harvest time drew near, he sent some of his servants to the tenants, so that they might report on the progress of the crop. 10But knowing that they had overseen a bad vintage, the tenants seized those servants. They beat up one, killed a second, and threw rocks at a third.
11‘So the landowner again sent servants to his vineyard, many more than the first time, but the tenants did the same shameful things to them as well.
12‘Then the owner sent his son to them, saying, “Perhaps they’ll show respect to my son.”
13‘But when the tenants saw the son coming, they said to themselves, “This is the heir to the vineyard. Come, let’s kill him; then the inheritance of this land will be ours, since his father is far away in another country.” 14So they seized the son and killed him, and then threw his body out of the vineyard.
15‘But when the owner of the vineyard himself comes, what do you think he’ll do to those tenants? He’ll look for a good crop, but seeing only bloodshed on his land, he’ll have the tenants seized; some he’ll put to death, and others he’ll cast out. 16Then he’ll pull down the wall, and the land will be trampled down by wild animals. 17It’ll become a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and foreigners will live there.’
80. 1In Jerusalem, a priest who belonged to the party of the Sadducees said to Yeshua`, ‘Your words are adding to the Torah of Moses! You do the same as the Pharisees with their Traditions of the Elders. But we observe the Torah and keep it faithfully, since we have never added to it.’
2So Yeshua` responded and told him that this was true – that they had never added to the Torah. But he also said that neither had they gained anything.
3‘It’s like when a rich landowner prepared to go on a long journey. He called three of his servants, and entrusted to them his gold – to each one an amount according to his own ability. 4To the first he gave five kikkarin, to the second, two kikkarin, and to the last, he gave just one kikkar. Then he went away.
5After a long while, the rich landowner returned, and commanded that those servants, to whom he had entrusted his money, be brought to him to settle accounts with them.
6The first came to him and said, “Master, you entrusted me with five kikkarin; so I traded with them and look, I’ve made five kikkarin more!”
7‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Because you’ve been faithful in a little matter, I’ll set you over much – I shall give you authority over all my estates!”
8‘So the second servant also came forward, and said, “Master, you entrusted me with two kikkarin; see, I’ve made two kikkarin more!”
9‘So his master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant! And you shall be in charge of selling all my produce.”
10‘But the third servant came forward and said, “I know you to be an austere man; you reap what you didn’t sow, and withdraw what you didn’t deposit. 11So I went and buried the kikkar you gave me in the ground to keep it safe. Here, have what’s yours.”
12‘But his master answered him, saying, “You wicked and lazy servant! So, you knew that I was an austere man, reaping what I didn’t sow, and withdrawing what I didn’t deposit? 13Then you should’ve invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would’ve collected it with interest!”
14‘Then he said to those standing nearby, “Take the kikkar from him, and give it to him who has ten.
15‘ “Be gone from here, you lazy and spiteful servant!” ’
(Note: kikkar is the Aramaic word for ‘talent’, plural: kikkarin. It was a weight of gold or silver, the equivalent of about 33 kgs. In today’s money, just one talent of gold would now be worth about £1,280,000 / US $1,557,750 as at 5th August 2019. In practical terms, it would have taken an average labourer 15 years to earn one talent).
81. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Believe me I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from those who don’t have, even what little they do have will be taken away from them.’
82. 1Now the Zealots were always seeking a way of entrapping Yeshua`, since he was respected by scribes and the people alike, and had called many from the way of the Dead to the way of the living. 2So they devised a ploy for shaming him in the presence of the people, in the hope of turning them against him.
3And they said to him, ‘Teacher, we know that you speak the truth, and defer to no one; for you don’t show partiality to anyone, but teach the Way of God truthfully. 4So tell us, is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’
5But Yeshua` detected their ruse and said, ‘You tricksters! Show me a denarius.’ When they brought him one, he said to them, ‘Whose image and inscription is this?’
6They said, ‘Caesar’s.’
7So he said to them, ‘Then give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’
8And they were unable to catch him out in the presence of the people; and being amazed by his answer they fell silent and went away.
83. 1A man called out to Yeshua`, saying, ‘If those who oppress our land take all our people into exile, who will be left to cry out to God for justice? How will God judge our oppressors, when His battalions have been cast out?’
2So Yeshua` answered him and said to the people around him, ‘The Kingship of God will be like a man who scattered seed upon the ground. He goes to bed by night, and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows, ’though he himself doesn’t know how.
3‘The soil produces crops all by itself; first the blade, then the ear, then the mature grain in the ear.
4‘But as soon as the grain’s ripe, he immediately puts the sickle to it, because the harvest time has come.’
84. 1A man spoke to Yeshua` and said to him, ‘Why do you urge us in this way? Why do you frighten people so? This Day of which you speak is still a way off, and there’s still time to prepare.’
2But Yeshua` said to him, ‘The coming of God’s kingship is like a woman carrying a jar full of coarse flour. 3While she was walking along a road far away from home, the handle of the jar broke, and the flour began spilling behind her along the road. She was unaware of it – she had noticed no accident. 4But when she reached her house, she put the jar down, and discovered that it was empty.’
85. 1In the days when Claudius was Emperor of Rome, and Agrippa the King in Judea, the Followers of the teachings of Yeshua` son of Yosef came together to remember his words; to compile them so that they might be used to teach others.
2So the elders commissioned a scribe, a man of learning, who gathered together all the known sayings of the Prophet Yeshua`. 3He translated them all from the daily language of Aramaic in which they had been given to us, into Hebrew, the language of the Prophets, and set them down in a scroll. 4Thereafter, this scroll was called, ‘The Scroll of the Preaching of Yeshua`’, 5and a copy was given by the Jerusalem Council of Elders to every teacher authorised to teach the Way to others, as proof that their words were the genuine words of the Master.
(Note: each new ‘Scroll’ is like the start of a new gospel, and so starts over again at the beginning of Yeshua`’s ministry. The midrash of verses 2-5 summarises what scholars have surmised about the origins of the Q1 layer of the Q-Gospel – the proto-Sayings gospel that Matthew and Luke used to write their gospel versions. I suspect that by the time the Sayings gospel reached them, it had already been amended by Gentile Christians, and was already at a Q2 stage. The Scroll of the Preaching therefore represents the earliest, Jewish Q1 version).
86. 1Now, Yeshua` was passing along the northern shore of Lake Gennesaret at Beth Tsayadah, for he was seeking out followers there, from amongst those who had known him since the days when he followed Yochanan the Immerser. 2He caught sight of Shim`on and his brother Andreas casting a net into the lake from their small boat – for they were fishermen. 3So Yeshua` called out to them, saying, ‘Follow me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.’ 4And immediately they left their nets and went off to follow him.
5As he went a little further, he found Ya`qob son of Zavdi, and Yo`anan his brother, who were in a large boat mending their father’s nets. 6Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zavdi in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
7Thereafter, Yeshua` and his followers went quietly about the villages of the Galilee, being wary of Antipas and his men. 8They taught the good news of the Kingdom of God in the synagogues on the Sabbath, calling for a national repentance, 9so that the many would be sheltered in the coming tribulation, and the greater part of the Jewish people in the Galilee and Judea be saved. 10They ministered to the sick, the disabled and the dying; they tended to the poor, the widowed and the fatherless; and they sought out the lost sheep of Israel.
87. 1Yeshua` went out one day along the Lake at Kfar Nachum, and a crowd began to form around him near the customs house. Fearing that this could draw unwanted attention from Antipas’s men, he sat them down and taught them, preaching to them the good news of the Kingdom of God. 2As he was speaking, he noticed Matthiyah son of Alfai sitting at the customs house, listening to him. So he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ At this, Matthiyah left his post and followed him.
3And it so happened that evening, as he was reclining at dinner in Matthiyah’s house, that several tax collectors and prostitutes were also reclining with Yeshua` and his followers – for there were many different people who followed him. 4However, when the Zealots heard that he was eating with collaborators, they grew angry and said to his followers, ‘Why does your Master eat with collaborators, like tax collectors and prostitutes?’ 5When Yeshua` heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are strong and healthy don’t need a physician, rather those who are sick; I’m not here to call virtuous people, but sinners.’
88. 1Now, during those days he used to go up on high ground to pray; and on one particular occasion he spent the whole night there in prayer to God. 2And when daylight came, he selected from among his followers those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 3So he appointed twelve followers who had been with him from the first, whom he chose to name as Emissaries – to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim God’s Message.
4And these are the names of the twelve he appointed: Shim`on son of Yonah, to whom he gave the name, ‘the Rock’, and his brother Andreas; 5Ya`qob son of Zavdi and Yo`anan his brother, to whom he gave the name, ‘the Sons of Thunder’; 6Filippos of Beth Tsayada, and Netane’el son of Talmai of Qana; the tax collector Matthiyah son of `Alfai, and Yudah called ‘the Twin’; Ya`qob son of `Alfai, and Yudah son of Ya`qob, called Taddai; 7Shim`on the former Zealot, and the daggerman Yudah son of Shim`on of Qeriot, who betrayed Yeshua`.
8And he sent them out in pairs to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God; they called for repentance, so that many would be spared in the tribulation to come, and the lives of many Jewish people be saved.
89. 1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘Whoever hears you, hears me, and whoever hears me hears the One who sent me. 2Because it is as they say, “Whoever receives the emissary, it is as if they were receiving the Master himself.”’’
90. 1Then Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘He who welcomes a prophet because he’s a prophet shall receive the measure of a prophet’s reward; 2and he who welcomes a righteous man because he’s a righteous man shall receive the measure of a righteous man’s reward; 3and whoever gives a cup of cool water to even the least of my brothers, simply because he’s one of my followers, 4believe me I tell you, that person shall certainly not want for a reward!’
91. 1Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘Don’t give the Ring to dogs, in case they grind it with their teeth, and turn to tear you to shreds.
2‘Nor throw down pearls to pigs, in case they trample them underfoot, or cast them on the dung-heap.’
(Note: ‘the Ring’ is the Torah, and ‘pearls’ are the commandments of Torah. For Yeshua`, his message was so urgent, that he was basically instructing his apostles (’emissaries’) not to be held up in debating Torah with people who just like to argue (‘dogs’), or waste time arguing over the finer points of the commandments with people who corrupt and abuse them anyway (‘pigs’).
92. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice, is like a wise person who built a house, digging down deep and laying its foundation in the rock. 2And the heavy rains came down, the flash-rivers struck, and the winds blew and beat against that house; but it didn’t fall, because it had been founded on solid rock.
3‘But everyone who hears my words and ignores them, is like a foolish person who built their house on sand without any foundation. 4The heavy rains came down, the flash-rivers struck, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell down with an almighty crash!’
93. 1Seeing the people around him as he went through the towns and villages of the Galilee, preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom and ministering to the sick, he felt deeply for them, because they were disheartened and troubled. 2So Yeshua` said to his emissaries, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; 3pray therefore that the One in charge of the harvest will rush out labourers into the harvest.’
4Thereafter, many more of his followers came forward. So he appointed seventy others from among them, and sent them out in pairs as emissaries, 5to prepare the way ahead of him in the towns and villages he intended to visit.
94. 1A woman called to Yeshua`, saying, ‘Master, how much greater is your teaching than that of Yochanan!’
2But Yeshua` responded to her, saying, ‘Is a servant above his master? In the same way, a disciple isn’t greater than his master. It’s enough for a disciple to be like his master, and for a servant to be like the one whom he serves.’
95. 1Someone said to Yeshua` out of the crowd, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide our family inheritance with me!’
2But Yeshua` said to him, ‘Look Mister, who appointed me as judge or arbiter over you?’
96. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Be on your guard against every form of greed, for a person’s life isn’t rated by the abundance of their possessions.’
97. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Treat others in the same way as you would want them to treat you; 2because this is the whole of the Torah and The Prophets.’
98. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged; because in the same way that you judge others, you’ll be judged, 2and whatever standard of measure you use will be the same that’s measured back to you.’
99. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned; forgive, and you’ll be forgiven; 2give, and the same will be given to you – a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap.’
100. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Don’t build up storehouses, nor put away treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and rust eat away, and thieves dig through and steal.
2‘Rather, build up storehouses and put away treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor rust can eat away, nor thieves dig through and steal.’
101. 1Yeshua` said, ‘What you treasure is also a good indication of where your heart lies.’
102. 1Yeshua` spoke to all his emissaries and said to them, ‘Sell your possessions, and give alms, and provide yourselves with money-pouches that don’t grow old, 2and a treasure in heaven that doesn’t depreciate.’
103. 1Yeshua` said to the people, ‘Believe me I tell you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed, yet had no doubt, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there!” and it would move. 2Or you could say to this fig tree, “Uproot yourself and plant yourself in the sea!” and it would obey you. 3Nothing would be impossible for you!’
104. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Whoever isn’t against us is for us. 2For the one who doesn’t scatter the flock, helps us to gather it in.’
105. 1A certain man came up to Yeshua` and said to him, ‘Master, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I have to forgive him? As much as seven times?’
2So Yeshua` said to him, ‘I wouldn’t even say as much as seven times, but up to seventy times seven!’
106. 1Now there were many who paid only lip-service to Yeshua`’s teaching, just to raise their standing in the eyes of the people. 2While claiming to be his most loyal followers, they did the opposite of what Yeshua` taught; 3they judged and condemned, and cast burning words at others while expecting undying respect for themselves; 4they heaped debt upon the shoulders of the poor, and gathered up riches for themselves while ignoring the cries of those in need; 5and they poured scorn on the sick as having received their suffering as a judgment from God.
6But Yeshua` perceived their true hearts, and said to them, ‘Why do you call me “Master”, and yet do nothing that I say?’
107. 1There were many religious fakers – even among his own followers – who made a public display of their piety before others. 2They would make declarations in God’s Name, only to pretend to others that they were faithful to God’s ways, while having only hatred, judgment and condemnation for others in their heart. 3They had no love even for their neighbour, and only did good to others in the hope of a return for themselves; 4and they did not act justly or mercifully, and had no humility before God.
5So Yeshua` said, ‘Not everyone who calls out to me, saying “Master! Master!” will find the kingdom of God; but rather those who do the will of their heavenly Father.’
108. 1Yeshua` said, ‘When they die, God will gather together all the religious phonies. 2And on that day, they’ll say, “Adonai! Adonai! Did we not prophesy in your Name? Did we not do many mighty deeds in your Name?”
3‘And God will say to them, “I had nothing to do with what you said or did! Get away from me, you evildoers!’
109. 1In the days when Yeshua` was in Kfar Nachum, a Roman centurion came forward and said to him, ‘Teacher, I have in my house a Jewish servant, who is very dear to me. 2But he’s very sick and in terrible distress. Will you come and heal him?’ But Yeshua` hesitated and said nothing to him, only turning his face to look at the ground.
3So the elders of that place at once said to him, ‘He is worthy to have you do this for him, because he loves our people, and has even given money for our synagogue!’
4Then the centurion said, ‘Teacher, I am a man under authority, with many soldiers under me. And I say to one, “Go!” and he goes. And to another, “Come!” and he comes. And to my slave, “Do this!” and he does it. 5So likewise, I can command nine other men of my household, who are of different nations, to come forward and take hold of the hem of your mantle with me; so come with me Teacher, because I have heard that God is with you.’
6Upon hearing this, Yeshua` was cut to the heart, and marvelled at him. 7Then, turning to his followers he said, ‘Believe me I tell you, not even in all the House of Israel have I found such great faith!’
8Then, turning back to the centurion he said, ‘I’ll come with you.’
110. 1When Yeshua` was in Jerusalem for the Festival, he saw how some of the chief priests, who were of the party of the Sadducees, were taking advantage of the people, and even of the ordinary priests who served God faithfully in the Temple.
2So Yeshua` said, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master has set over his household to give them their portions of food at the proper time? 3How fortunate is that steward, because when his master comes, he’ll find him doing what he was given to do. 4Believe me I tell you, he’ll put him in charge of all his possessions!
5‘But if that steward says to himself, “My master’s delayed in coming”, and begins to beat and abuse the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and get drunk, 6the master of that household will come on a day when he doesn’t expect him, and at an hour he’s unaware of, and will punish him severely, and cast him into the outer darkness. 7He’ll assign him a place with the other men of deception, where there’ll be weeping and a gnashing of teeth!’
Notes: The ‘outer darkness’ is not hell – the idea of a fiery hell is a pagan belief. The outer darkness is a very old Israelite belief; it was a place where human souls went to be purified of their unrepented sins before entering heaven. Yeshua’s saying about debtors being put in prison is a reflection of this belief: ‘Believe me I tell you, you won’t get out of there until you’ve paid the very last prutah’ (Mt 5:26). In the Hebrew Bible, the term used there for the outer darkness is Azza Zeil – a proto-Semitic term which means, ‘Fortress of Shadow’. The symbolism of the two goats on Yom ha-kippurim reveals this belief – the goat that was sent into the wilderness represents the sins of the soul which have been removed from the soul, and were being sent to remain in the outer darkness, and the goat that was offered up to God represented the purified soul that then went on to God. The Testament of Levi in ‘The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs’ describe the outer darkness as an unpleasant place where souls had to experience for themselves all the wrongs they had committed against others in life – experience them as if they were committing their own sins against themselves. Once they felt true remorse for the wicked things they had done, then they would move on to heaven, to sit at God’s left. The righteous, in contrast, would sit at God’s right.
111. 1Now, the various parties of the Zealots believed that the kingdom of God could be fulfilled by violent acts. 2However, in the Galilee Yeshua` had persuaded many to turn away from the way of the Dead, and brought them back to the way of life – 3to abandon the violence they used to bring about the kingdom of David, and work instead for the Kingdom of God.
4So when Yeshua` came into Judea and encountered them there, he spread his message to them as well, 5and said to them, ‘You justify what you’re doing in the eyes of human beings, but God knows what’s in your heart. 6What you do may be considered by some to be a noble thing, but it’s an abomination in the sight of God.
7‘The Torah and The Prophets speak about Yochanan; and from the days of Yochanan, right to this very moment, the good news of the kingdom of God is being proclaimed, but men of violence try to gain the kingdom of God by violence.’
8From that day forward, the Zealots in Judea also hated him, and sought out a way to have him killed – again, not openly, for many of the people held him to be a prophet. 9So, like their compatriots in the Galilee, they spread about the false rumour that he was claiming to be a Son of David – the messiah – 10so that the Romans would arrest him and execute him. 11To this end, they gained the employ of one of Yeshua`’s own emissaries – Yudah son of Shim`on, who eventually betrayed him to the Romans. 12They convinced him that Yeshua` was not the man he once thought him to be, and that he was in fact an enemy of Israel, who worked against the kingdom of David.
112. 1Yeshua` continued to speak of the Zealots and their men of violence, saying, 2‘Many will come from the east and the west to recline at the table with Avraham, Yitzchaq and Ya`aqov, when the kingdom of God is fulfilled, 3but the sons of the messianic kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there’ll be weeping and a gnashing of teeth!’
Note: the table being referred to here is God’s wedding banquet table. In ancient Jewish folk belief, it was believed that at the end of time, there would be a marriage feast for God and Israel, and the righteous among the nations would be invited as guests.
For an explanation of what the outer darkness is, see the note after passage 110.
113. 1Now the Pharisees have told God and the people that there are no more prophets; furthermore, they have decreed to God under what conditions they will accept a prophet like Eliyahu. 2On one occasion, Yeshua` was trying to convince some of their scholars that Yochanan was indeed the promised prophet like Eliyahu, so they said to Yeshua`, 3‘Who are you, that we should accept what you say? Show us a sign from heaven, so that we might believe you.’
4But Yeshua` castigated them for demanding that God send His messengers only on their terms, and he said to them, 5‘You’re like children who sit in the marketplace and call out to others, saying, “We played the flute for you, but you wouldn’t dance; we sang a dirge, but you wouldn’t weep.”
6‘Look, Yochanan the Immerser came among you, neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, “He’s possessed!” 7This son of man comes among you, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”
8‘But believe me I tell you, wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’
114. 1Now, there was a man who went among the people in the Galilee, expelling supposed demons, and performing exorcisms in the name of Solomon, but doing little else. 2Yet all the people respected him, and held him in awe. 3And when he had finished, he would pronounce the man or woman clean.
4But Yeshua` rebuked him angrily and said, ‘When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through waterless places in search of a resting-place. 5When it doesn’t find any, it then says, “I’ll return to the home I left”. It then returns and finds it vacant, swept and refurbished. 6Next, it goes out and brings back with it seven other spirits even more vile than itself, who enter and settle in there. 7So that person ends up being worse off than when they started!’
8In this way, Yeshua` demonstrated that the man’s actions defeated themselves, and such people only revelled in their own importance, and did not proclaim the kingdom of God. 9For if the person upon whom they laid their hands did not change heart, then the evil of their soul would return.
115. 1Now the party of the Pharisees have their Traditions, where they add their own man-made commandments to the Torah of Moses, and claim that their interpretations were given to Moses himself! 2They make decisions and pronouncements that are difficult to follow, and do nothing to resolve the problems they have caused.
3So when he heard them expounding their man-made commandments among the Temple porticoes in Jerusalem, Yeshua` said to them, ‘Shame on you, you men of deception! You tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but you yourselves are not willing to lift a finger to help!’
116. 1Yeshua` spoke to the Pharisees in Jerusalem of their Traditions, and said, ‘Shame on you, you men of deception! Because you have shut the door of God’s kingdom in people’s faces, and taken away the key of knowledge. 2And you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who are trying to enter to go in!’
117. 1Yeshua` again spoke to the Pharisees of their Traditions, saying, ‘Shame on you, you men of deception! You’re like a dog sleeping in the feeding-trough of an ox; 2because neither does the dog eat the hay, nor does it let the oxen do so either.’
118. 1The Pharisees and their Torah scholars asked Yeshua`, ‘Why do your followers not do things according to the Traditions of the Elders?’ 2They break the commandments of our rabbis by not washing their hands in the prescribed manner before eating! They are defiling their food!
3So he said to them, ‘Well did the Prophet Isaiah prophesy of you men of deception, as it is written:
4“These people have approached Me with their mouths, and honoured Me with their lips, but have kept their hearts far from Me; their worship of Me has been a human commandment they have learned by rote.”
5‘It is you who have abandoned the commandments of God, and instead hold fast to the traditions of men.’
6Yeshua` said further to the Pharisees, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandments of God, in order to keep your Traditions! 7For it’s written in the Torah given to Moses, “Honour your father and your mother”; note that it’s also written, “Whoever speaks with contempt to their father or their mother, they shall be put to death.” 8But you say, “If someone tells their father or their mother, ‘Whatever would have come from me to benefit you has already been set aside as an offering promised to God’, then they need not honour their parents.” 9So for the sake of your Traditions, you have in fact nullified the commandment of God! And you do many similar things to that!’
119. 1Yeshua`’s followers spoke to Yeshua` and said, ‘Master, don’t you realise that the Pharisees are offended by what you say against their Traditions?’
2But Yeshua` said, ‘Every vine which our heavenly Father hasn’t planted will be dug up by the roots. Leave them alone; they are but blind guides.’
120. 1Yeshua` said, ‘If a blind man guides a blind man, they’ll both fall into a pit.’
121. 1Yeshua` spoke to the Torah scholars of the Pharisees and said to them, ‘Shame on you, blind guides! Because you say, “If anyone swears an oath by the Temple, it’s invalid, but if anyone swears an oath by the gold of the Temple, they’re bound by their oath.” 2Blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the Temple that makes the gold sacred? 3Again you say, “If anyone swears an oath by the altar, it’s invalid, but if anyone swears by the offering upon the altar, they’re bound by their oath.” 4Blind men! Which is greater: the offering, or the altar that makes the offering sacred?
5‘Therefore I tell you, don’t swear oaths at all, neither by heaven, because it’s God’s throne; nor by the earth, because it’s God’s footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it’s the city of God, our Great King. 6And don’t swear by your head, since you can’t make even one hair white or black. 7Simply let your “Yes” mean “Yes”, and your “No” mean “No”. Anything else comes from evil.’
122. 1Whenever the Pharisees and their Torah scholars heard Yeshua` speak against their Traditions, they would be angered and say, ‘In speaking against our Traditions, you speak against the Torah of Moses itself!’
2But Yeshua` said, ‘No, don’t think that I’m here to nullify the Torah; I’m not here to nullify it but to restore it.’
3‘Believe me I tell you, it’s easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one yodh or tittle of the Torah to become void.’
123. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Whoever annuls one of the least of the commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of God. 2But whoever observes them, and teaches them to others, shall be called great in the kingdom of God.
3‘For I tell you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and their Torah scholars, you’ll never find the kingdom of God.’
Note: It is not enough to merely do Torah (i.e. observe literally the commandments, and no more); one must also observe the spirit of the commandments, and take to heart their intent.
124. 1Yeshua` said, ‘The commandment was given to our ancestors, “You shall not commit murder”; and whoever commits murder will be liable to judgement. 2But let me just say to you, that everyone who’s angry with their neighbour shall be liable to judgement – 3whoever says to their neighbour, “Worthless moron!” shall be answerable to the Great Council, and whoever says, “Fool!” shall be cast into the outer darkness!’
Notes: In these verses, Yeshua was using what is known as ‘exaggerated metaphor’ – something that is characteristic of Yeshua’s style of speaking. He does not mean that anyone who insults someone else will literally be hauled up before the Sanhedrin, he simply means that angry, hateful or violent language is something that should be taken seriously, because it reflects the content of your soul. To inflict violent language upon someone is here being compared to murder, because of the damage it causes to its victims.
For an explanation of what the outer darkness is, see the note after passage 110.
125. 1Yeshua` said, ‘If you’re about to make your sin-offering in the Temple, and there you remember that your brother has some disagreement with you, leave your offering there with the priest. 2Then go and first make peace with your brother, and only then come back and present your sin-offering.’
126. 1Yeshua` said, ‘If your brother sins against you, then go and point out his fault privately; if he listens to you, then you’ve won back your brother. And when he apologises, you must forgive him.
127. 1Some Pharisees approached Yeshua` to test him. They questioned him, saying, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce a wife for any reason?’
2So he answered them, saying, ‘What did Moses command us?’
3And they said, ‘When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it so happens that she displeases him because he has found some indecent thing in her,’ then when a man divorces his wife, ‘he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand and sends her from his house.’ 4Now they said this, because they taught that the “indecent thing” of which the Torah of Moses speaks, could mean anything the husband so wished – that a man could dismiss his wife if he found anything trivial in her that displeased him.
5But Yeshua` said to them, ‘It’s because of the hardness of men’s hearts that Moses wrote of this commandment.’ 6He said this, because according to our law, a man can divorce a woman, but a woman has no say in the matter.
7Then he said, ‘Therefore let me tell you this: except for marital unfaithfulness, whoever divorces his wife in order to marry another woman commits adultery; 8and any woman who marries a man who has divorced in this way also commits adultery.
9‘For haven’t you read that from the beginning, “God made them male and female”, 10and that a man leaves his parents and joins with his wife, and the two become one flesh?’
11He spoke these words to them, to show them that woman is not a lesser creation, nor is a woman a mere appendage of a man. 12A wife is not chattle to be taken up, and then thrown away when spent. 13Therefore, no man should enter marriage lightly, as something to be torn apart on a whim.
14So he concluded, ‘For what God has joined and blessed, let no one cast so lightly aside.’
Note: This saying is not forbidding divorce altogether. It is forbidding the Pharisaic interpretation that ‘for any reason’ means that a wife can very easily be divorced for the most trivial and petty of reasons. Some were abusing this laxity by divorcing simply in order to marry another woman he happens to fancy at the time. The saying forbids going through a divorce for the express purpose of marrying a woman he fancies. This saying does not therefore forbid divorces where the marriage has irreparably broken down, and where no third party is involved.
The second point to make is regarding verse 127:8. Mt 19:9 says, ” and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery”; Lk 16:18 says, “whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery;” and Mk 10:12 says, “if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” The saying in Mt & Lk seems to be unjustly condemning the woman who has been abandoned by her husband. However, the earlier verse from Mk might be preserving the original intent of the teaching – to condemn the woman whom the divorced man had been intending to marry; if she divorces her husband (which is actually not possible in rabbinic law) in order to marry the man who has divorced his wife, then she commits adultery as well. Rather than condemning the abandoned woman, I believe that this saying was originally intended to condemn the two partners to the illicit extra-marital affair. I have always been uncomfortable with the saying as it is recorded in the gospels; having the wording the other way round makes much more sense, and is also more just to the innocent parties involved. I suspect that the gospel version was written in the way that it was, in order to accord with Paul’s teaching (1 Cor 7:10-12) ie that Yeshua’s saying was changed to accord with Paul’s teaching.
128. 1Now, while some Torah scholars of various sectaries were gathered together under the porticoes of the Temple, 2they were discussing the many deeds that their messiah was prophesied to fulfil, and Yeshua` was listening to them. 3In accordance with the teachings of their elders, in order to prove his argument, one of them pointed out a portion in the scroll of the Psalms, a psalm of David. 4So in astonishment, Yeshua` asked them this question: ‘What do you think about this “messiah”? Whose son is he?’
5So they said to him, ‘The son of David.’
6So Yeshua` responded to them and said, ‘How is it then that David calls him “lord”, saying, “The Holy One said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? 7If David here calls him “lord”, how then can this be his son?’
8Yeshua` then went on to explain – quietly, for fear of Roman spies in the crowd – 9that the one whom God will seat on the throne of the kingdom of Israel, that one will be the son of David – just as God promised through the Prophets. 10But this psalm was not speaking of him. Rather it spoke of someone who had lived before David’s time; the psalm did not therefore refer to any messiah.
130. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Listen! If anyone says to you, “Look, here’s the messiah!” or “Look, there he is!” don’t go off after him or pursue him. 2Because messiahs and false prophets will arise and lead astray many to their deaths. 3So if people say to you, “Look – he’s out in the wilderness!” don’t go out there. Or if they say, “Look – he’s in the innermost rooms!” don’t believe it.’ 4For messiahs and false prophets don’t proclaim the kingdom of God, only themselves.’
2You alone are the God who works wonders,
and shows Your strength to the nations.
3You alone the God who will save us –
Your people, the children of Ya`aqov.
4Your thunder rumbled like wheels;
The waters, they saw You, O God;
5The waters of the heavens, they trembled,
And the waters of the deep, they quaked.
6Your lightning struck in the east,
and lit up the sky in the west.
7You saved Your people w ith mighty deeds,
And led Your children as a flock.
8So shall it be on the day of our God
– the great and terrible day.
132. 1A woman called out to Yeshua` from the crowd, saying, ‘When will the Day of the Holy One come? When precisely are the last days?’
2But Yeshua` answered her, saying, ‘Look, no one knows the day or the hour, only God. 3Let me tell you this: if the owner of the house had known at what time the thief was coming, they would’ve kept watch and wouldn’t have let their house be broken into, would they!’
133. 1One time, Yeshua` was standing on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem to pray with his followers. And he turned his face to the Holy City, and being given a terrible vision from God, he wept.
2‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets, and stone those who are sent to you! 3How often I’ve longed to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me!
4‘Behold, the House of our God lies abandoned! Abominations of desolation are set up where they ought not to be.’
5Then one of his followers said, ‘But Master behold – such magnificent buildings! And what mighty stones!’
6So Yeshua said to him, ‘The day will come, when not one stone will be left standing upon another; every stone will be cast down.’
134. 1Yeshua` saw how those who claimed to follow the ways of God, were instead ignoring the poor and the sick, hurrying by or refusing them help and condemning them.
2So God called Yeshua` to go and stand in the Temple courts. And he spoke the Message of God, saying, 3‘When the Kingdom of God comes in glory, along with all God’s angels, God will pass judgment from the throne of God’s glory. Then all the sons and daughters of Israel will be gathered together before God, and God will separate them from each other, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. God will put the sheep on God’s right and the goats on the left.
4Then God will say to those on God’s right, “Come, you who are blessed, take up your inheritance – the kingdom which has been prepared for you since the creation of the world. 5Because I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you looked after me; I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
6‘Then the righteous will respond to God and say, “Adonai, when did we see You hungry or thirsty? When did we see You a stranger, or needing clothes? And when did we see You sick or in prison?”
7And God will reply and say to them, “Believe me I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these My children, you did for Me.”
8‘Then God will say to those on his left, “Get away from me, you wicked! Because I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you didn’t invite me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and you didn’t look after me; in prison, and you didn’t come to visit Me.”
9‘And they too will respond, saying, “Adonai, when did we see you hungry and not feed you, or thirsty and give you nothing to drink, or a stranger and not invite you in, or naked and not clothe you, or sick and not look after you, or in prison, and not visit you?”
10And God will reply to them and say, “Whatever you refused to do for one of the least of these – My children – you refused to do for Me.”
11’‘Get away from Me, you wicked! I never knew you!’
12‘And these will be cast into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and a gnashing of teeth! Anyone who has ears to hear, let him hear!’
Notes: for an explanation of what the outer darkness is, see the note after passage 110.
135. 1In the days of Ya`aqov the Pious, while Antonius Felix was governor of Judea, the Followers of the teachings of the prophet Yeshua` would gather together, 2and stories were told to explain his teachings and ministry. 3For at that time, those who had been beguiled by the words of the Deceiver were spreading false tales about the Master – 4even taking copies of our scrolls of teaching, and inserting into them their own beliefs and doctrines.
(Note: each new ‘Scroll’ is like the start of a new gospel, and so starts over again at the beginning of Yeshua`’s ministry. The midrash of verses 135:2-4 postulates that the Q1 Gospel was being appropriated and amended by Paullist/Petrine Nazarenes, and was already at a Q2 stage. The Scroll of the Preaching therefore represents the earliest, Jewish Q1 version. ‘The Deceiver’ mentioned in verse 3 is Paul of Tarsus, which is how the earliest Jewish Followers of Yeshua` referred to him).
136. 1Shortly after he received his calling to be a prophet, the Holy One our God made Yeshua` travel a long way into the wilderness to fast for forty days – to test him by hardships to learn what was in his heart. 2God subjected him to the hardship of hunger, to humble him and to see if Yeshua` would keep God’s commandments. 3In his hunger, he lay down and fell asleep.
4And he dreamed a dream. He dreamed that the Accuser was sent to examine him. Coming up to Yeshua` he said, ‘If you’re a prophet of the Most High, then speak, that these stones may become loaves of bread.’
5But Yeshua` answered him, ‘No, because it’s written in the Torah, “People are not kept alive with bread alone; they are kept alive with everything that is produced at the command of YHVH.”
6And in his dream, the Accuser took him to the Holy City, and set him on the highest pinnacle of the Temple, and said to him, 7‘If you’re a Prophet of the Most High, throw yourself down from here, since it’s written in The Psalms,
8“For God will order His angels to watch you wherever you go.
They will carry you upon their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot on a single stone.”
9But Yeshua` answered him and said, ‘It’s written in the Torah, “You shall not put YHVH your God to the test.” ’
10And in his dream, the Accuser took him up to a very high mountain, and in an instant showed him all the kingdoms of the known world, and their splendour. 11And he said to Yeshua`, ‘All these things I’ll give you, if you’ll fall down and worship me.’
12But Yeshua` answered, ‘It’s written in the Torah, “You shall revere YHVH your God alone, and you shall serve only Him.” ’
13With that the Accuser left him, and Yeshua` awoke from his dream.
(Note: In this version, the encounter with ‘the Accuser’ is a dream; when Yeshua ` is shown all the kingdoms of the world, Luke adds that this happens ‘in an instant’. This would therefore suggest that this was all a dream or a vision, not a real-time event.
In Jewish folklore, ‘the Accuser’ was like a ‘counsel for the prosecution, not a demon or devil; it has only become the Devil in Christian belief. Talmidi theology does not accept the existence of ‘the Accuser’, since it probably came into Judaism from Zoroastrian theology, which has a similar figure. However, as a dream, anything can happen.
The whole point of the story is that Yeshua` is being tested to see if he is a worthy prophet – to ensure that he will not turn away from his calling when times get tough).
137. 1One day, while Yeshua` was teaching among the Temple porticoes, some of the Sadducean chief priests came up to him and said, ‘By what authority are you teaching these things? And who gave you this authority?’
2So Yeshua` answered them, saying, ‘I’ll ask you a question as well, and if you can answer me, then I’ll tell you by what authority I teach these things. 3Now, was the ritual immersion practised by Yochanan from God, or from human beings?’
4So they discussed it with one another, saying, ‘If we say, “From God,” he’ll say to us, “Then why didn’t you believe him?” 5And if we say, “From human beings,” then the people around us will throw rocks at us, because they’re all convinced that Yochanan was a prophet.’ 6So they answered, ‘We don’t know.’
7And he said to them, ‘Then neither will I tell you by what authority I teach, or who gave me this authority.’
138. 1As they were going along the market street in Jerusalem, one of Yeshua`’s followers saw a blind man sat there in rags, begging on a busy corner. Pointing him out, he said to Yeshua`, ‘Master, I know that man; he’s been blind since the time of his birth. 2Surely it was the sin of his parents that caused God to punish him like this.’
3But Yeshua` said, ‘No.’
4So this follower persisted and said, ‘But Master, then surely he’s being made to suffer because of his own sin!’
5But Yeshua` said, ‘No. Neither this man’s sin, nor his parents’ sin caused him to be blind.’
6Then Yeshua` spoke to the rest of his followers and said, ‘You won’t find the kingdom of God in questions such as these; for the acts of God are manifested in the way we respond to the blind, the mute, the sick and the disabled. 7Pay heed therefore to the words that are written in The Prophets: “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”’’
8Then Yeshua` went over to the blind man and gave him alms out of the common purse, and ministered to him.
9Now in the same way, those with epilepsy and illnesses of the mind were also held in low regard by certain types of people. 10They were denounced as being possessed by demons, but Yeshua` would make them and their families understand that they were not possessed, and that God had not cursed them. 11For the true sickness was in the path that certain people walked – those who claimed to follow God, but manifested only the scorn and disdain within them for those less fortunate than themselves. 12Such people held a cruel rod over the minds of the sick and the afflicted – a power which was not from God, but rather from the evil in men’s hearts.
13So, everywhere they went in towns, villages and synagogues, Yeshua` and his emissaries anointed the sick and tended to them, and ministered to the infirm and the lame. 14For dishonest teachers were telling the blind, the mute, the disabled and those suffering from skin diseases that their afflictions were punishments from God, 15but Yeshua` healed their hearts and souls, and told them that in their times of sickness, their heavenly Father was closest to them; and that God’s ministering angels ministered also to them.
16So he tended their afflictions, and laid hands on them; for healers would often demand high prices for their services – prices that the poor could ill-afford to pay. 17They would take vainglory in their arts, extolling only themselves and their secret practices. 18But Yeshua` and his followers gave comfort to the sick for their afflictions without charge; they soothed their ailments, gave salve for their pains, raised their spirits, 19and restored their lost hearts to their rightful places of honour in the kingdom of God, in the loving compassion of God their heavenly Father – the Great Healer.
Note: the last few verses (9-19), while not directly from any of the gospels, are meant to act as a summary and commentary on Yeshua’s ministry of healing.
139. 1Now the Zealots hated Yeshua`, since he opposed their violent methods, and was constantly saying that they were already dead before God. 2So at every turn they sought ways to shame him in the eyes of the people, but did not kill him themselves, since the people considered him to be a prophet.
3Now on one particular occasion, Yeshua` had been teaching among the Temple porticoes from early morning. 4However, when the afternoon came, he decided to leave and head towards the Mount of Olives. 5He had just left the Temple Mount, and was about to enter the Kidron Valley by himself, when he was confronted by a group of Zealots and their supporters; 6for they were on their way to find him, bringing with them a woman who had been caught in adultery. They set her in front of them all, and one of them said to him, 7‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. Now, the Torah of Moses commands us to stone such a woman. But what do you say about her?’
8Yeshua` simply crouched down and wrote with his finger in the dust. But they kept on asking him, 9so he straightened up, and picking up a stone in his right hand, said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among us be the first to throw a stone at her.’
10When the people around him heard this, they began to drift away, the older ones first, one by one, until Yeshua` was left alone with the woman before him.
11Then Yeshua` approached the woman and said to her, ‘Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?’
12She said, ‘No one, Master.’
13So, dropping the stone from his grasp, Yeshua` said to her, 14‘Then neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin this sin no more.’
140. 1Now one of the merchants of Kfar Nachum who admired Yeshua` – a jar-merchant by trade called Shim`on – invited him to have dinner with him. Upon entering his home, Yeshua` went over to recline on one of the dining couches.
2Now there was a particular woman in the town, a prostitute, who had become aware that he was taking dinner in the house of the jar-merchant. 3So she pushed her way in, bringing with her an alabaster flask of ointment – very expensive, pure nard. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping uncontrollably. 4Her tears wet his feet, and she wiped them dry with her hair, and kissed his feet. Then she broke open the flask of nard, and soothed his feet with the ointment.
5Now when Shim`on saw this he was puzzled, and said, ‘If you were a prophet, you would know who this is, and what kind of a woman is touching you, seeing how she’s a sinner.’
6And Yeshua` answered him, ‘Shim`on, I’ve got something to say.’
7‘Yes Teacher,’ he said. ‘Go ahead.’
8‘This moneylender had two debtors; one owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Since neither one of them could pay up, he kindly wrote off both debts. Now, which one of them will love him more?’
9Shim`on answered, ‘I suppose, the one who was forgiven of more.’
10And Yeshua` said, ‘Your deduction is correct!’ Then, turning to the woman he said to Shim`on, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house, and you gave me no water to wash my feet; but this woman’s wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them dry with her hair. 11You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the moment she arrived, she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet; 12you didn’t anoint my head with oil, but this woman’s anointed my feet with nard. 13Because of this, I tell you it’s obvious that her sins, which are many, have been forgiven by God, as this outpouring of love shows. But the one who’s forgiven of little, shows little love to others.’
14And he said to her, ‘Your sins have been forgiven by God.’
15But the other guests reclining at dinner with him began to mutter amongst themselves, saying, ‘How can he say that? Doesn’t he know what she’s done, and who she’s been with! Heaven would never forgive such a woman!’
16But Yeshua` said to the woman, ‘Your repentance has redeemed you; go in peace.’
17Soon afterward he went on to travel through the towns and villages of the Galilee, preaching and bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God.
18Now, the twelve Emissaries travelled with him wherever he went. 19In addition, a number of pious women followed him, but travelled in a separate group, which included certain women who had been healed of fits and various other maladies: 20Miryam, called the Magdalene, whom Yeshua` had cured of terrifying fits, along with Yo`annah, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and also Shoshanah. 21There were also many other women in various towns, who would provide for them out of their own means.
(Notes: the gospels say, ‘Simon the leper’. However, this is most likely a misreading of Aramaic. In Aramaic, ‘leper’ is garba, but ‘jar-merchant’ is garraba (like Hebrew, Aramaic has no vowels, so the meaning of the word can be changed according to what vowels you say the word with).
Verses 18-21: This additional midrash (based on Lk 8:1-3 & Mk 15:41) is intended to remember the women who travelled with Yeshua. I suspect that they could not travel in mixed company with the apostles (’emissaries’), due to the social sensibilities of the time – the men could have been accused of having loose morals, and the women could have been accused of living like prostitutes. This is the probable reason why, in my humble opinion, I think Yeshua could not risk appointing female apostles – for fear of what his opponents might have said about both his male and female followers.
It is also worth saying that for these reasons, I think that his female followers always travelled in a separate group. Considering the way in which a number of female followers are always mentioned together in the gospels (eg Mk 15:40), I think that his female followers travelled together; if they didn’t know one another when they started out, they certainly were familiar with one another by the end of Yeshua’s ministry.
141. 1Yeshua` was invited to dinner at the house of the chief elder of a synagogue in the Galilee, who thought he could increase his standing with the people by inviting Yeshua` into his home.
2When he arrived, he noticed how a number of guests were choosing the places of honour.
3So he said to them, ‘When you’re invited by anyone to a wedding-feast, don’t go and recline in the place of honour, in case someone more important than you has been invited. 4Because the one who invited you both will come up to you and say, “Give your place up to this person,” and then humiliated, you’ll have to make your way down to take the lowest place. 5Instead, when you’re invited anywhere, go and recline in the lowest place, so that the one who invited you will come and say to you, “My friend, go up higher.” Then you’ll be honoured in the presence of all who are dining with you.’
6Then turning to his host, he went on to say, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t call your friends, or your brothers or sisters, or your relatives, or any of your rich neighbours, because they might invite you in return, and you’ll be repaid. 7Instead, when you throw a dinner party, invite the poor, the maimed, the disabled and the blind. And you’ll be blessed, because they don’t have anything to repay you with. 8Believe me I tell you, you’ll be repaid abundantly in heaven.’
142. 1One day, Yeshua` was standing opposite the Temple treasury amongst his followers. 2He watched how the people around him dropped money down the trumpets of the thirteen donation chests, each one set apart for a different fund.
3Now, many rich people threw in large sums, but then a poor widow came, and put in two small prutah coins; he was cut to the heart.
4So calling the attention of his followers, he said to them, ‘Believe me I tell you, that poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury combined! 5Because they all contributed out of the surplus of their wealth; but she out of her poverty, has put in everything she possessed – all she had to live on.’
143. 1An elder of the sectaries said to Yeshua`, ‘My followers are rich beyond measure, because they have my teaching, and they’ll sit like kings on thrones and judge over all Israel! 2But your followers dwell in poverty, because your teaching is barren, and your followers have nothing – they are no more than ignorant peasants!’
3But Yeshua` said, ‘Those who follow this son of man are like children who work as tenant farmers in a field that isn’t theirs. 4And one day, the owners of the field will come, and they’ll say to them, “Give us our field back”. And the children will give them back their field.
5‘Then the landowners will say to them, “Give us back the seed we gave you, and the tools we gave you to work our field with.” And the children will give them back their seed, and the tools that were loaned to them.
6‘Then the landowners will say to them, “Give us the mantles we gave you, and the tunics we gave you too.”
7‘And in their presence, the children will hand over their mantles, and their tunics as well.
8‘Then the landowners will say to them, “Now what have you got left? You’ve got nothing – you’re just ignorant peasants!”
9‘But the children will answer, “No, we’re children of the Land, and the kingdom of God is ours. It wasn’t yours to give, and it’s not yours to take back.”
144. 1Yeshua` was debating with some Pharisees in the Temple porticoes. Now the Pharisees believe that the gift of prophecy was closed off by Heaven, and that after Malakhi, there are no more prophets.
2So he said to them, ‘Yochanan came to you as a prophet to show you the paths of righteousness, but you wouldn’t believe him. 3Yet the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him, and flocked to him to be immersed by him. 4And even when you saw that, you still didn’t change heart and believe him! 5Believe me I tell you, tax-collectors and prostitutes will come before you in the kingdom of God!’
145. 1Now in Jerusalem, the Pharisees debated with Yeshua` among the Temple porticoes; and they pressed him for a sign from Heaven, because they would not accept his calling as a prophet without one. 2But Yeshua` sighed deeply, knowing that because of what the stories in their Traditions said, neither would they accept him as a prophet even if they were given a sign from Heaven.
3So he said to them, ‘Why do people these days insist on a sign? Well, let me tell you, you’re not going to get one any time soon!’
4Because just as Jonah was sent to the Ninevites, so also this son of man has been sent to this generation. 5When the Ninevites were told of the imminent disaster facing them, they repented at the preaching of Jonah; believe me I tell you, this generation stands condemned, because a disaster even greater than theirs is upon us, and it doesn’t repent!
6The Queen of Sheba came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom and judgment of Solomon, and her spirit was overwhelmed. Believe me I tell you, this generation stands condemned, because a judgment even greater than that is upon us, and yet its spirit is unmoved!’
7And with that, he left them.
146. 1Yeshua` was speaking to his followers in Kfar Nachum, when a man came up to him in great distress. He presented his son to him and said, ‘This, my son, is stubborn and rebellious! I say to him, “Do this!” and he does something else. I say, “Come this way!” and he goes off the other way. Now, I have said to him, “You must not join with the Zealots!” Yet he proceeds to join them! Master, what shall I do?’
2So Yeshua` turned to the man’s son. He reminded him that Torah commanded such a rebellious son be taken out and stoned to death, 3but then he said, ‘Tell me what you think of this: a man had two sons. Approaching the first he said, “My son, go and work in the vineyard today.”
4‘He replied, “I’ll go my lord,” but didn’t go.
5‘So he approached the second one and said the same thing.
‘And he replied, “I won’t.” But later he had a change of heart and did go.
6‘Now, which one of the two carried out their father’s will?’
The young man answered, ‘The second.’
7So Yeshua` gave him a wry smile and said to him, ‘Then go, and do the same.’
147. 1The people of one village in the Galilee had heard that a prophet was coming to stay with them, so when Yeshua` arrived they brought their children out to him. 2They asked him to bless them – to lay his hands upon them and pray for them, as is our custom when we are visited by a man of God. However, when his followers saw this, they scolded them.
3When Yeshua` realised what his followers were doing, he became indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and don’t try to stop them; because the kingdom of God belongs to ones such as these.
4‘Believe me I tell you, unless you turn around and become like children, you’ll never find the Kingdom of God.’
5And so he laid his hands on them, and took them in his arms and blessed them.
148. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Whoever humbles themselves like a child will be the greatest in the kingdom of God.’
149. 1Yeshua` said to his followers, ‘You know how the rulers of the Gentiles lord their authority over them, and how their great leaders control and dominate them.
2‘But this isn’t how it is to be among you. Rather, whoever wishes to become great among you must be your attendant, 3and whoever wishes to be first among you must be servant to all – 4just as this son of man wasn’t called by God to be served, but to serve.’
150. 1Yeshua` said, ‘The one who’s honest with a little, can be trusted with much. 2But the one who’s dishonest with a little, can’t be trusted with greater things.’
151. 1Now it so happened in those days, for the first time since he received the Message of God, that Yeshua` returned to Nazareth, his home village. He was accompanied there by many of his followers. 2And when the Sabbath arrived, he was invited to deliver a word of exhortation after reading from The Prophets. 3Thereupon he preached to his neighbours the good news of the Kingdom of God, yet many who heard him were surprised.
4For his family were very poor, and his mother a widow. His family and lineage were no different from any other in the village, and his neighbours all knew him. So the women at the back began to gossip.
5‘What’s he on about?’ one said. ‘Who does he think he is?’
6‘Isn’t he just a day labourer?’ remarked another. ‘Where’s he getting all these big ideas from?’
‘He’s the son of that Mary woman,’ someone scoffed.
7Agreeing with her, another said, ‘Yes, and his brothers are no more than farmhands and fishermen, just like the rest of our menfolk.’
8Looking around, another saw his sisters and mocked, ‘Look, even his sisters honour us with their presence!’
9Many more of his former neighbours likewise became annoyed with him, and accused him of getting ideas above his station – a peasant, and the son of peasants.
10Hearing their gossip, Yeshua` was disappointed, for he had hoped that the message God gave him would gladden them; 11for everywhere he had gone in the Galilee, people readily accepted him as a prophet – only in his home village could he not expect the same honour.
12However, it was God’s will that these things should happen, so that those of his followers who were not native to Nazareth would see that Yeshua` was but a man like them, 13and that the words he spoke were not his own, but of heavenly origin – that his words were not the work of human cleverness or study, but rather of divine gift and provenance.
14Later that day, Yeshua` was invited to eat at the house of one of his followers who lived in Nazareth. But the news of his exhortation at the synagogue that morning had spread to everyone in the village. 15A crowd gathered around the small house, so that he and his followers were not even able to enjoy a Sabbath meal together.
16Now, his sisters had hurried home to tell Yeshua`’s mother what had happened. Much embarrassed, she summoned those of his brothers who were in Nazareth to help her deal with the situation. 17They all rushed to the house where Yeshua` and his followers were, but they couldn’t get near him because of the crowd. So they passed word through the crowd that Yeshua` was to come out at once, as he was embarrassing his family.
18When word got through the crowd to Yeshua`, that his mother and brothers were outside looking to speak with him, he called to mind what had happened earlier that day. 19So he said, ‘Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?’ 20And he stretched out a hand to his followers and said, ‘Here are my mother and brothers! 21Because whoever does the will of our heavenly Father, they are my mother, and my brother, and my sister.’
152. 1God led Yeshua` to see how God’s people were working hard in the fields, labouring to reap and to gather up; and to see the porters at the customs post on the shores of Lake Gennesaret, bent double with their loads.
2Abounding in compassion for His people, God instructed Yeshua` to speak to His people of the Wisdom of the Message he had been given to deliver. 3And indeed, Yeshua` saw how their current masters spoke words that were unkind, and gave orders that were harsh, 4but if they followed his teaching, his words to them would be gentle, and his orders mild.
4So, inspired by the people in the marketplace as they called out to attract buyers for their wares, Yeshua` went and stood by the customs post. 5He called to the people around him to rest a while and listen to his words, saying, ‘Hey! All you who are weary and heavily burdened, come to me, and I’ll give you rest for your souls! 6Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’
153. 1On another day, Yeshua` taught his followers, saying, ‘When you pray, don’t babble and repeat your prayers over and over like Gentiles do, for they think that their prayers will be answered because of their many words and repetitions. 2Don’t be like them, for your heavenly Father knows what you need even before you ask.’
154. 1Yeshua` warned people to watch their tongue when speaking of others, since there were some from whose lips hatred and spite raced like an untamed fire. 2He said to the people, ‘Beware your tongue, of what you say, because the day will come when you’ll have to give an account for all the heartless words you’ve spoken; 3because as the saying goes, “By your words you shall be acquitted, and by your words you shall be convicted.”’’
4And so he said, ‘It isn’t what goes into the mouth that defiles someone, rather it’s what comes out of their mouth – that’s what defiles them.’
155. 1Yeshua` said, ‘In the kingdom of God, a man must be like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea, and then hauled it up from the sea full of fish. 2In the net there were many small fish, but among them the wise fisherman found a nice big fish. 3So he threw all the small fish back into the sea, and chose the big fish without any problem. 4Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.’
156. 1A certain scribe – a Pharisee by training – who had decided to accept Yeshua`’s teaching, asked him, ‘Master, now that I follow your teaching, will I have to abandon everything I’ve learned before?’
2So Yeshua` said to him, ‘Every scribe who becomes a citizen of the kingdom of God, is like someone who is the owner of a house, who brings out of their storehouse treasures new as well as old.’
157. 1A rich man came up to Yeshua` and said, ‘Many times you have said that the lame, the crippled and the blind will find the kingdom of God, and the rich and the wealthy will be cast into the outer darkness. 2But surely you know that it’s written, “No one who is blind, lame or disfigured, or has a crippled foot or hand may enter behind the curtain, or approach the altar, because to do so will profane the sacred places of the Temple.” 3Surely if they cannot even enter the holiest places of the Temple, then how can they deserve the kingdom of God more than we who have great wealth? 4My wealth has caused me no sin! I have my wealth, because I have two hands, two feet and two eyes. They – the maimed, the crippled and the blind – have nothing worth the kingdom of God!’
5At this, Yeshua` became very angry indeed, and said to him, ‘If it’s your hand that’s caused you to sin, then cut it off! Because it’s better to enter the kingdom of God maimed, than with two hands be cast into the outer darkness!
6‘And if it’s your foot that’s caused you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! Because it’s better to enter the kingdom of God lame, than with two feet be cast into the outer darkness!
7‘And if it’s your eyes that have caused you to sin, pluck them out! Because it’s better to enter the kingdom of God blind, than with two eyes be cast into the outer darkness!’
Notes: for an explanation of what the outer darkness is, see the note after passage 110.
158. 1Now it so happened once that Yeshua` entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2And there was a man there named Zakkai; he was a senior tax collector and was very rich. 3He was trying to see which man Yeshua` was, but because of the crowd he could not, since he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycomorus fig tree to catch sight of him, because Yeshua` was about to pass that way.
5When Yeshua` came to that place, looking up he noticed Zakkai and said to him, ‘Hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ 6So he hurried down and joyfully welcomed him to his house. 7But some Zealots among the crowd saw this and began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to stay with a collaborator.’
8Zakkai, however, stood his ground and said to Yeshua`, ‘Master, look – half of my possessions I will give to the poor; and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I will pay them back four times as much.’ 9Then Yeshua` said to him, ‘Believe me I tell you, today salvation has come to this man’s house; for he too is a son of Israel.’
159. 1A Torah scholar said to Yeshua`, ‘Isn’t it written in the Torah, “A man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, so that they become one flesh.” 2If it’s written thus, then all men must take a wife. If this is so, then why aren’t you married? It’s not good for man to be alone.’
3And Yeshua` said, ‘This teaching doesn’t apply to everyone; only those to whom it’s relevant. 4For there are some who don’t marry, because they’ve been that way from the time they were born; 5and there are some single people whose right to marry has been taken away from them by human beings; 6and there are some who’ve taken the decision to stay single for the sake of the kingdom of God.
7‘So only those who are in a position to accept that teaching should accept it.’
160. 1Now there were some elders and Torah scholars of the Pharisees who were debating how far to go when ritually washing the hands before eating a meal, 2because they were concerned that if one did not wash the hands in the correct way, then one’s food would be ritually defiled, and by eating it, one would also be defiled.
3Some said, ‘It’s enough to wash only the fingers;’ others, ‘One must wash past the wrists;’ yet others, ‘Wash up to the elbows;’ and still others, ‘It’s not enough unless one washes up to one’s shoulders.’ 4Each one believed that the others’ way would defile their food, and so defile the person.
5But Yeshua` said, ‘It’s not what goes into a person that defiles them, but what comes out of their heart. 6Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes not into the heart, but into the stomach and passes out of the body? 7But the impure things that come out of a person come from the heart, and these things defile you – acts of murder and adultery, false witness and theft, greed, malice, deceit, envy, arrogance and blasphemy.
8‘All these evils that come from inside are what make a person unclean; not washing your hands in a certain way won’t ritually defile your food or make a person ritually unclean.’
161. 1One morning, Yeshua` sat with his followers in the market street of Jerusalem on the busiest day of the week. 2There he saw the Torah scholars of the Pharisees being greeted by their followers, and how they loved the honour of being hailed as ‘Rabbi’ or ‘Father’ or ‘Guide’.
3So Yeshua` stood up and spoke to the crowds and to his followers, saying, 4‘The Pharisees and their Torah scholars have seated themselves on Moses’s seat. 5Because of this I say to you, whatever Moses says, do and observe, but according to their interpretations do not do, for they make pronouncements, but do not do Torah.
6‘Because they make all their interpretations only to be seen by others, for they love to be greeted in the marketplace and have you call them ‘Rabbi’ or ‘Father’ or ‘Guide’.
7‘But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi’, for you have but one Teacher among you – Moses – and you’re all brothers and sisters. 8And don’t call anyone ‘Father’ on earth, for you have but one Father – the One in Heaven. 9Nor are you to be called ‘Guide’, for you have but one guide – Torah.”
162. 1Now whenever Yeshua` spoke of the coming tribulation, he would speak in parables, since he could not speak openly, for fear of Roman spies and Antipas’s men. 2However, when he was alone with his emissaries, he would speak plainly, so that they would understand him.
3On one occasion, while he was sitting on the Mount of Olives praying, with his emissaries nearby, 4Yeshua` was given a most terrible vision of the suffering and destruction to come on the Day of YHVH. 5So he called for his emissaries and spoke to them. He warned them plainly of the signs in the last days before the destruction of Jerusalem, saying, 6‘You’ll hear of conflicts and disturbances, hardship and famine; don’t be alarmed, for these things will take place first – it’s the trembling of heaven and earth. The end won’t come all at once; it’s all but the beginning of the birth pangs.
7‘But when you see Jerusalem surrounded first by armies of Idumeans, then know that its desolation is near. 8Then let those who are in Judea flee to the hills, and let those who are within the city depart at once. 9Let not those who are on their housetops go down and enter their houses to get anything, and let not those who are in the fields return home to fetch even their mantles.
10‘Pity all those pregnant and nursing mothers in those days! Pray that their flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath!
11‘In those days, there will be such tribulation as has not been seen since the creation of the world!
12‘Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his son; children will rise against their parents, and have them put to death. 13Sons will be set against their fathers, and daughters against their mothers. A man’s enemies will be members of his own household.
14‘But when you see abominations of desolation standing in the Holy Place – there, where they have no right to be – then you will know that the end is almost upon you.
15‘How right are the Dead when they say, “Do not think that we have come to bring peace to the Land. We did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
16‘Before long, the Romans will build ramparts against the city walls, and encircle her and close in on her from every side. 17Those who didn’t seize the chance for escape will be crushed into the ground, and their children with them. Our enemies won’t leave a single stone in place.
18‘For the sake of the righteous, those days will be cut short, because if they hadn’t been, no one among us would be left alive!
19‘For thus will the House of Israel fall by the sword and be taken into exile; they will be led captive among all the nations, to mourn and weep for generations.
20‘Jerusalem will be ruled and downtrodden by the Gentiles, until the days of their rule are brought to an end, and the captives return.’
163. 1While he was in Jerusalem, Yeshua` spoke to certain scholars secretly in Hebrew about the signs of the last days, and gave them a saying in Hebrew with these words: ‘Learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs become tender and put forth leaves, you will know that summer’s near; 2so also when you see all these things coming to pass, you will know that the end is near. 3Believe me I tell you, this generation won’t pass away until all these things have taken place.
4‘But concerning that day or hour, no one knows – not this son of man, nor even the angels in heaven; only our heavenly Father.’
164. 1Yeshua` said, ‘Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the last days before the coming of God’s kingship. 2For that’s how they were in the last days before the flood – eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, right up until the day Noah entered the ark; 3and they were all blissfully unaware until the flood came and took them all away.
4So it will be in the last days before the coming of God’s kingship. 5At that time, there’ll be two men out in the fields; one will be taken, and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain with a hand-mill; one will be taken, and the other left. 6Therefore be watchful, because you don’t know when the day of God’s kingship is coming.’
165. 1Yeshua` spoke to the people of Judea who had refused to heed his warnings about the terrible catastrophe to come, and said to them, 2‘‘Calamity awaits you, O Jericho! Calamity awaits you, O Hevron! For if the powerful message that was proclaimed in you had been proclaimed in Joppa and Caesarea, they would’ve repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes! 3Therefore I say to you, it’ll be more bearable for Joppa and Caesarea on the day of God’s kingship than for you! 4And you, O Jerusalem, which was exalted to the heavens, you shall be cast down to She’ol!’
166. 1Yeshua` spoke against the wicked – those who oppressed the poor in God’s Name, and the religious phonies who did many corrupt and evil things in God’s Name; and he said, 2‘Believe me I tell you, anyone who sins against human beings can be forgiven, along with any curses they might utter, 3but whoever blasphemes against the holiness of God can never be forgiven – neither in this world, nor in the world to come.
4‘Anyone who has ears to hear, let him hear!’
167. 1Yeshua` told a parable and said, ‘The coming of God’s kingship is like a man who had sown good quality seed in his fields, 2but while everyone slept, an east wind came and scattered darnel seed in amongst the wheat as it passed by.
3So when the wheat sprouted and formed heads, the darnel grass also appeared. 4So the labourers of the landowner approached him and said, “My lord, didn’t you sow good quality seed in your fields? Then where did the darnel grass come from?”
5So the landowner said to them, “A rival must have done this!”
So the labourers asked him, “Then, do you want us to go round and pull them all up?”
6But the landowner said, “No, just in case you pull up wheat by mistake while you’re gathering up the darnel grass. Leave them both together to grow until harvest; 7then it’ll be easier to tell them apart. 8At harvest time I’ll say to the reapers, ‘First gather up the darnel grass, and tie them into bundles to be burned; then gather up the wheat into my storehouse.
9‘Anyone who has ears to hear, let him hear!’
168. 1Yeshua` said, ‘The coming of God’s kingship will be like ten young women who, having collected their oil-lamps, prepared to go out and meet the bridegroom’s procession. 2Five of these professional wedding-revellers were foolish, and five of the women were wise. 3Those who were foolish had picked up their oil-lamps, but hadn’t gotten any oil to go with them. 4However, the wise ones had brought along oil in their flasks for their oil-lamps.
5Now when the bridegroom was delayed in his coming, they all nodded off and fell asleep. 6But in the middle of the night, a cry went out: “Hey everyone! The bridegroom’s procession is coming! Come out all of you and join him!”
7Then all those young women got up and trimmed their oil-lamps. 8Now the foolish ones said to the wise ones, “Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.”
9However, the wise ones responded to them by saying, “No; if we do, there would never be enough for both us and you; it’s best if you make your way to an oil-seller, and buy some oil for yourselves.”
10However, while they were away buying oil, the bridegroom’s procession arrived, and those who were ready went along with him into the marriage feast, and the door was shut behind them.
11A while later, the remaining young women also arrived and said, “My lord, my lord! Open up for us!”
12But he responded to them by saying, “Believe me, I have no idea who you are!”
13Repent now therefore while you can, and be prepared, for you do not know the day or the hour when God’s kingship will come – 14when the righteous and the penitent will be called to God’s wedding feast, while the wicked and the unrepentant are shut outside in the outer darkness!’
Notes: for an explanation of what the outer darkness is, see the note after passage 110.
169. 1Yeshua` told the people this parable, saying, ‘The day when the kingship of God comes will be like a large dragnet, which was cast into the Lake, and gathered up all kinds of things. 2When it was completely full, it was hauled up onto the shore. Then the men took their places and sat down. They sorted the good things into baskets, but the bad things they threw out.
3‘That’s how it’ll be when this present age is completed: God will send out God’s angels, and they’ll separate out the wicked from amongst the righteous, and will cast the wicked into the outer darkness, where there’ll be weeping and a gnashing of teeth!
4‘Anyone who has ears to hear, let him hear!’
Notes: for an explanation of what the outer darkness is, see the note after passage 110.
170. 1Yeshua` spoke further to the people, saying, 2‘Believe me I tell you, there are some standing here who won’t taste death before they witness the powerful coming of God’s kingship! 3Be on guard therefore, and remain watchful, since you don’t know when that day or hour will come!
4‘Listen! It’s like when a man is going away: Having left his house and put his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, he enjoins the gatekeeper to remain watchful.
5‘So remain watchful therefore, and be dressed and ready for service, with your lamps burning, 6because you don’t know when the master of the house will come back – whether it’ll be in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn. 7Because if he comes suddenly, don’t let him catch you sleeping!
8‘How fortunate will be those servants whom the master finds watchful and alert when he comes back; 9believe me, I tell you, he’ll wrap a serving-cloth around his waist, have them all recline on dining-couches, and he’ll come up and wait on them himself! 10How fortunate will be those servants then, whether their master comes at the second watch, or the third watch, and finds them all watchful like that!
11‘What I say to you then, I say to everyone: Be watchful!’
171. 1A certain young magistrate came forward to speak to Yeshua` and said, ‘Teacher, which of your good words must I follow in order to inherit my share of life in the world to come?’
2But Yeshua` said to him, ‘Why do you call my words good? There is but One alone whose word is good – God. 3So if you wish to follow the way of life, then keep His words: do not commit murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false testimony, honour your father and your mother, and love your neighbour as yourself.’
4But the young man said to him, ‘All these things I have observed from my youngest days. So what am I still missing?’
5And Yeshua` looked at him and felt sorry for him. So he said to him, ‘You’re missing one thing. If you wish to be perfect, then go, sell up whatever you have and give it over to the poor. That way you’ll have treasure in heaven. Then come back, and follow me.’
6When the young man heard these words his face fell, and he went away extremely sorrowful for, truth be told, he had a great number of possessions.
172. 1Some Sadducees (who say there is no afterlife), came to Yeshua` and questioned him, saying, 2‘Teacher, you are aware how Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife without any children, his brother must marry the widow in order to produce an heir for the brother who died. 3Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 4The same thing happened to the second and the third brother, right on down to the seventh, who also died without leaving any children. 5Last of all, the woman also died. 6Now then, in the afterlife, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them had been married to her?’
7Yeshua` said to them, ‘Your premise is mistaken, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God. 8For in the afterlife, people neither marry nor are given in marriage; they are like the angels in heaven.’
173. 1These then are the sayings of Yeshua` of Nazareth, servant and prophet of God, which God gave him to deliver to all the Assembly of Israel.
2What is more, remember this: Do not abandon your God, for YHVH will not abandon His people. 3And consider always, you who desire to follow the ways of the kingdom of God, that this is what is written in the Torah:
4‘You shall revere YHVH your God alone; and you shall serve only Him.’
5Remember also the words spoken by the Holy One through the prophet Isaiah,
6‘I, and I alone, am YHVH, and besides Me there is no other saviour.’ 7For the Holy One, blessed be He, will not give His glory to any other name.
© Shmu’eil ben Naftali
‘Sefer Yeshua`’(International Talmidi Version,
First edition published July 2000
If you have any comments or questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TABLE OF SOURCES
|S.Yesh passage no:||Mark||Matthew||Luke||Thomas||other sources|
|3||05.02-12||06.20-23||54.1, 68:1, 69:2|
|7:10-16||3:6, 11:18, 12:13, 14:1||22:15-16, 26:1-4||11:53-54, 19:47||Jn 11:53-54|
|11||11:2-3,11:15||7:19-20, 7:23, 10:23|
|12||11:2-3, 7-11a, 14-15||7:24-28||cf: Malachi 3:23|
|24||4:30-32||13:31-32||13:18-19||20:2-4||cf: Ezek 17:22-23, Ps 104:12, Ezek 31:6, Dan 4:12|
|36||7:7-8||11:9-10||2:1, 92:1, 94:1-2|
|55||12:38-39||6:1, 23:5-6, 6:4, 6||11:43, 20:46|
|58||06:01-04||6:1, 62:2 (cf)|
|59||23:23-31||11:39-42, 44, 47-48||22:4b, 89:1-2|
|63||6:8-11; cf 1.15||10:5-15; cf 11:23-24, 4.17||9:2-5, 10:3-12||14:4, 39:3|
|66||4:22-23||10:26||8:17, 12:2||5:2, 6:05-06|
|72||8:35-37||10:39, 16:25-26||9:24, 17:33|
|81||4:25||13:12, 25:29||8:18, 19:26|
|87||2:13-17||09:09-12, 13b||5:30-32||Mark Gospel Fragment 1224 5:2|
|88||3:13-14, 16-19; 6:7a, 6:12||10:02-04||06:12-16|
|103||11:23||17:20, 21:21||17:06||48:01, 106:02|
|104||9:40||12:30 (cf)||9:50, 11:23 (cf)|
|127||10:2-4, 6-9, 11||05:31-32a, 19:3-6, 7, 9||16:18a|
|131||24:27||17:24||cf Psalm 77:15-21|
|133||13:1-2, 14||23:37-38, 24:1-2, 15||13:34-35a, 21:5-6, 19:44b|
|138||John 9:1-3, Micah 6:8|
|145||8.11-12||16.1, 4; 12.38-42|
|147||10:13-16||18:3, 19:13-14||18:15-17||022:02 (cf)|
|149||10:42-44 cf 9:35b||20:25-27||22:25-26|
|151||6:1-4, 3:20-21, 31-35||13:54-57, 12:46-50||4:24, cf 4:16-17|
|152||11:28-30||090:01-02||cf: Sirach 6:18-31; also Isaiah 55:1|
|154||12:36-37; 15:11||Mt 12:37/ SY 154:3 may have been a known saying of the time|
|157||9:43, 45, 47||05:29-30, 18:08-09||Lev 21:18-21|
|159||10:07||19:5, 19:11-12, cf 19:10,||cf Gen 2:18, 24|
|160||7:15, 18-23 (cf 7:1, 4-5)||15:11, 17-20||14.5|
|161||23:1-3, 7-10||Shem Tov Matthew 23:2-3|
|162||13.4, 7, 8b, 12-19||10.34-36, 24.3, 6, 24.15-21||12.53, 17:31, 19:43-44, 21.7, 9, 20-24||16.1-3||cf Isaiah 21:2, Ezek 1:1, Dan 7:15, Micah 7:6, Daniel 9:27b, 11:31b, 12:11b|
|170||9:1, 13:33-37||16.28; cf 24:42, 25:13||9.27; 12:35, 12:37-38|
|173||cf: 2Kings 21:10, 1Samuel 12:22, Psalms 94:14; Deuteronomy 6:13; Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 42:8|