Do We Love Our Children More Than We Hate Israelis?
Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once said, “Peace will come when the Arabs start to love their children more than they hate us.” As a Palestinian who truly loves his people, when I look around me and listen to what our media says about the situation of Palestinian children in Gaza Strip or the West Bank, I ask myself the same thing: Do we really love our children more than we hate Israel and the Jews?
In my opinion, we still do not love our children more that we hate Israel. Why? Because of the silent violence perpetuated against our children by our Palestinian leaders and our media. Yet, if Israel inflicted violence upon us, we would shout to the world that we do care about our children.
Violence against the Palestinian children is evident in each facet of Palestinian society. I have highlighted a few examples:
Children’s shows on Palestinian TV:
Growing up in Palestinian society, I was taught to hate Israel and the Jews. As I mentioned in “Palestinian Obstacles to Peace,“ that animosity permeates our textbooks, schools, mosques and media. Hatred against the Israelis and Jews is embedded everywhere in Palestinian Arabic media – even in children’s TV programs. When the news outlets tell the world about Israeli violence against Palestinian children, do they really care about Palestinian children – or do they care about attacking Israel? They will use any weapon or argument necessary to get to this end. When I listen to Palestinians’ speaking about “Israeli violence” against Palestinian children, I often ask myself why these people do not care about the violence that Hamas and other Palestinian groups commit against our children. What is it – if not violence against childhood – to teach little ones to kill others on the grounds of their ethnicity or religion?
Parents sacrifice their children for the sake of hating Israel:
A video recently emerged of a Palestinian father’s guiding his 3-year-old son toward Israeli soldiers, telling him to stone them and telling the Israeli soldiers to shoot him. This video shocked the world. Many asked how the father could have sent his child to his death. Of course the soldiers did not shoot at the child, but instead played with the innocent boy. But the mentality shown in this video is symptomatic of the deep culture of hatred.
Palestinians’ anti-Semitism is so deep that if we want to call somebody the worst name we can think of, we will call him or her a Jew. What can be done in the face of all of this hatred against the Jews – combined with the idea of the seeking liberation and becoming martyrs for Allah? Like many Palestinian parents, this father cared not about the life of his boy, but rather about giving Israel a bad image. Sadly, the idea of sacrificing our children to achieve our goals is not a new idea in the Palestinian society. Since becoming an adult, I often hear people in mosques and schools and at protests saying that we would offer all of our children to liberate Palestine, which – in the dictionary of the Palestinian people – means to destroy Israel.
Hamas summer camp:
I recently watched a video of a Hamas kids’ summer camp in Gaza, and my heart bled as I saw the Palestinian children learning how to use guns, how to fight and how to stab. They actually received almost the same training that the special forces themselves undergo.
Perhaps the Western media has started to recognize this issue during this past year, but the truth is, I remember being a 14-year-old in Gaza about eight years ago. And I too was willing to join a Fatah youth camp. This subject is by no means new in Palestinian society.
Despite all of the violence perpetrated against our children by terrorist organizations, the Palestinian activists have neither highlighted nor condemned those atrocities for the evil they truly are. Not one speaks out against the practice of teaching hatred to children.
In the end, all I can say is that Meir was correct. We do not love our children more than we hate Israelis, and we are such hypocrites that we will watch our children being sent to their deaths by Hamas’ incitement and stay silent – yet we will shout loudly when an Israeli soldier checks a bag owned by one of our children.
“Peace will come when the Arabs start to love their children more than they hate us.”
This article originally appeared on Philos Project, and reposted with permission.
Matt Hanna is a Palestinian who was born in the Gaza Strip in an Orthodox Christian family. He moved to the West Bank where he came to know Jesus, who changed his life. He is now a student of Biblical studies and he serves in different christian ministries that all focus on sharing the gospel with Muslims. He is also a peacemaker between Palestinians and Israelis and achieves this by promoting a positive conversation and image about the Jews in his Palestinian society. He also fights the antisemitic mindset that is prevalent throughout Palestine.
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The Original Language of the New Testament
The entire original text of the document we have come to know as the New Testament was written by Christ-following Jews (in the ancient sense of the word) in a language that can be best described, not simply as Koine (or Common) Greek, but as “Koine Judeo-Greek.”
First of all what is Koine Greek? Koine Greek (which is different from Classical Greek) was the common multi-regional form of Greek spoken and written during Hellenistic and Roman antiquity. However, I do not think that the kind of Greek we see in the New Testament can be best described ONLY as Koine Greek. There is another component to this Koine Greek and that is its significant Jewish and Hebrew connection. I prefer to call it “Judeo-Greek” (or Judeo Koine Greek).
What is Judeo-Greek? Well… Judeo Greek, like the well-known Judeo-German (Yiddish), Judeo-Spanish (Ladino), and the less familiar Judeo-Farsi, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Italian, and Judean-Georgian languages, is simply a form of Greek used by Jews to communicate. This language retained many words, phrases, grammatical structures, and patterns of thought characteristic of the Hebrew language.
So is Judeo-Greek really Greek? Yes, it is, but it is Greek that inherited the patterns of Semitic thought and expression. In this way, it is different from the types of Greek used by other people groups.
So I disagree that the New Testament was first written in Hebrew and then translated into Greek.
Instead, I think it was written in Greek by people who thought Jewishly, and what is perhaps more important, multi-lingually. You see… the speakers of a variety of languages manage to also think in a variety of languages. When they do speak, however, they always import into one language something that comes from another. It is never a question of “if,” but only of “how much.”
We must remember that the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek by leading Jewish scholars of the day. Legend has it that the 70 individual Jewish sages made separate translations of the Hebrew Bible and when they were completed, all of it matched perfectly. As I said, “it is a legend.” The number 70 is likely symbolic of the 70 nations of the world in ancient Judaism. This translation was not only meant for Greek-speaking Jews, but also for non-Jews so that they too could have access to the Hebrew Bible. You can imagine how many Hebraic words, phrases, and patterns of thought are present on every page of the Septuagint. So, other than the authors of the New Testament thinking Jewishly and Hebraically, we also have the main source of their Old Testament quotations coming from another Jewish-authored document – the Septuagint. So is it surprising that the New Testament is full of Hebraic forms expressed in Greek?!
As a side note, the use of the Septuagint by New Testament writers is actually a very exciting concept. The Jewish text of the Hebrew Bible used today is the Masoretic Text (MT for short). When the Dead Sea Scrolls were finally examined, it turned out that there was not one, but three different families of Biblical traditions in the time of Jesus. One of them closely matched the Masoretic text, one closely matched the Septuagint, and one seems to have connections with the Samaritan Torah. Among other things, this of course shows that the Septuagint quoted by the New Testament has great value, since it was based upon a Hebrew text that was at least as old as the original base text of the later Masoretic Text (MT).
This article originally appeared on Israel Study Center and reposted with permission.
One of Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg's greatest passions is building of bridges of trust, respect and understanding between Christians and Jews, overcoming centuries of difficult, but almost always joined history. He strongly believes that both Hebrew Bible and the New Testament scriptures have much to teach both communities. Outside of his expertise in the ancient languages (Biblical Hebrew, Koine Greek, Syriac and Old Church Slovanic), he has a command of three other modern languages (English, Russian and Hebrew).
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Parables of the Hidden Treasure and of the Pearl
Mt 13:44-45 Yeshua’s explanation of the field, the good seed, the tares, the enemy, the harvest, the reapers; “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
After speaking to the multitude, Jesus explains to His disciples the meaning of the parable of the tares, and then begins to speak the final three parables to His disciples only. Let us remember that the first parable of the sower is key to the others (Mk 4:13), and that Jesus – the Teacher, the Rabbi (Mt 23:8-10)—is building upon what He has been speaking to everyone as He continues to teach us about God’s Kingdom. He is not teaching randomly, but purposefully and systematically. The first parables indicate that the reality which the Lord is presenting remains until the harvest at the end of the age: there will be no “millennial kingdom” in the world without the actual literal physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I think it is fair to say that these parables of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, with the Beatitudes and the Lord Yeshua’s evaluation of the seven churches in the Revelation, together give a foundation and a structure by which we should live our life as believers, guarding our hearts in the fear of God as we look forward to the full redemption.
Just as YHVH God gave Moses and Israel the true record of things previously unknown — such as the creation; unbelief and disobedience and their consequences; the flood; the covenant with and through Abraham – so here, Jesus is revealing to the Church the truth of the present evil age within God’s created order, and the hope of redemption by the sovereignty of God. “Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous people desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Mt 13:16-17)
The parable of the hidden treasure:
According to the pattern of the parables, it becomes clear that neither the hidden treasure nor the pearl of great price is the Messiah/Christ, just as the mustard tree is not the Church nor is the leaven the gospel.
Jesus already explained to His disciples that the “field” is the world, and the “man” is Him, the Son of Man. Is Christ hidden in the world? Yeshua says that He is hidden in Heaven! (Jn 16:10) We are not told to buy the world, but to give it up for something even better! (Lk 18:22-30) We can not buy salvation, but it is a free gift! (Rom 6:23; Is 55:1; Rev 22:17) We do not buy Messiah, but He has purchased us! (1Cor 6:19-20) Do we again hide Jesus when we ‘find’ Him? No, but we proclaim Him to all! (Mt 28:18-20)
Who/What is the “treasure hidden in the field/world”? I think it could be said to be a someone/something which God looked for and found favor with. The whole Earth belongs to YHVH, but the devil deceived Eve and Adam disobeyed the Word of God, and gave their authority over God’s Earth to Satan. As time went on, evil increased until at the Tower of Babel God confused the languages and separated man both from Himself and from each language-nation group. Then YHVH God found a man through whom He promised blessings for him, for his descendants, and for all the families of the Earth. He found Abram/Abraham, and through Isaac and Jacob, God created a nation – Israel. God calls Israel to be His special treasure above all peoples, because the whole Earth is YHVH’s. (Ex 19:5; Ps 135:4) The Earth is YHVH’s both through creation and through redemption. (Gen 14:19; Heb 9:23-26) We can say that the Earth belongs to Jesus/Yeshua, the Heir of all things which are the Father’s. (Jn 16:14-15; Ps 2:7-8)
In creating Israel (Is 43:15) YHVH God hid a treasure/a people in the world, and Messiah, in order to have them, bought the whole field – which includes the treasure — with His blood. He “sold all that He has” to buy that field, and gave up, as it were, many other people whom He loves in order to have His treasure. (Gen 17:18-20 – Ishmael; Is 43:3-4 – Egypt, Ethiopia, Seba) Israel is still ‘hidden’ in the world among the Gentile nations: many (most?) people do not recognize the special qualities which God has given to Israel already, and what He has destined them for, even as the Lord continues His marvelous plan to bring glory to His Holy Name and to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This will be so until the time of redemption and the restoration of all things.(Acts 3:20-21; Eph 1:14) This will be when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. (Rom 11:25) Then will the joy of this Wise Investor be full as He rejoices over His people with gladness in His love. (Zeph 3:17; Is 44:23) Praise God, who sees the end from the beginning – and He will be satisfied with His purchased possession, when ‘all Israel’ is saved and is forever restored in love and holiness to the Father and to the Son! (Is 53:11a)
The parable of the Pearl of great price:
The Church — purchased redemption (1Cor 6:20); Yeshua’s inheritance, praise to His glory (Eph 1:3-22) called out from every nation, including from His treasure Israel (Rom 1:16-17; 1Cor 10:32)
–even ‘sold/leased Israel’[into dispersion and a ‘curse’ under Gentiles] for the pearl (Mt 21:41-43)
–sold the whole habitable world (tevel), including the field with the Treasure, to buy the pearl: Kingdom of God not of this present world (olam) order
–The Bride, the Body of Messiah, Who is the Head (Eph 5:25-32; Rev 21:1-5,9-14)
–a city is made up of people
–both the names of the tribes of Israel and the names of the of the Israeli Jewish apostles – the first-fruits of the Church – are memorialized forever in the New Jerusalem
–very personal and individual, while also being a corporate body/bride, in our relationship with God in Christ. (This is different from the merely Jewish understanding of a corporate identity only.)
As for the Hidden Treasure, which is Israel, so for the Pearl of Great Price, which is the Church: God sees the end from the beginning, and has invested everything – including His reputation – to not only show His love for us while others may not esteem us, but to have us with Him forever.
This is part six in a seven-part series of articles on the parables in Matthew 13.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, November 20, 2010, and reposted with permission.
Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.
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Commentary on the Parasha and Haftara – Ki Tavo
This Shabbat the reading in the Synagogues, Ki Tavo, will be from Deuteronomy 26-29, and the Haftara reading from the Prophets is Isaiah chapter 60. This chapter in Isaiah in fact is my very favorite text in the Bible. It starts with this very grandiose opening:
“Rise up, shine forth, for your light has come,The glory of THE LORD has dawned over you! Though darkness covers the earth and deep gloom the nations, THE LORD shines over you like the dawn, his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light,and kings to the radiance of your dawn.”
For me this text embeds in it the whole END TIME (Eschatology) essences of the Bible. All through a history of more than 3800 years the Abrahamic family, Israel and his children have forever been under the shadow of war, persecution, darkness, and the hate of the Nations. There is always someone who wants to destroy God’s chosen people. There has always been some enemy of God and enemy of Israel who wanted to stop the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people. As the promised child Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah at the sunset of their lives his half brother tried to destroy him by sexually abusing him. (I realize that most of the readers don’t understand this. For this reason I must explain it although I don’t really like to explain this sordid affair.)
“And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing (metzahek). (the same word in Genesis 26:8 is translated “showing endearment” – having sex with his wife.) Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” – Gen. 21:9-10
״Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment (metzahek) to Rebekah his wife.״ – Gen. 26:8
Some Jewish Rabbinical commentary use the word “fondling” (metzahek) in this place. As Sara was a righteous woman, she would not have insisted that Abraham just cast out a poor Egyptian servant and her young son into the scorching desert out of pure prejudice or racist motives. In fact it was Sara who gave Hagar to Abraham to give him a son and Ishmael was born. Sara raised Ishmael as Abraham’s son, why would she suddenly want to cast him out of Abraham’s camp. Ishmael was wanting to “play with Isaac’s body” just like Isaac was “playing” with Rebecca his wife when Abimelech looked through the window and saw that Rebecca was not Isaac’s sister but his wife.
If you think that this is far-fetched look at Gen. 39:14. Potiphar’s wife complained falsely about Joseph and said: “she called to the men (servants) of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock (metzahek) us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice.” If you have any doubt that this is the right interpretation read the story of Joseph in Potiphar’s house and the relationship that his wife wanted to have with Joseph and it will make it clear also from Genesis 39:17 where the same word in Hebrew is used that the meaning of this word in this form is not Scoff or “Mock” but it is to have sex. Ishmael until this very day is working hard to deny the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. This is actually the main reason for the war of the Arabs against Israel and it is nothing new and the issue is not really the land. In fact, the land is only the excuse and not the cause. The real cause is that our enemies just don’t want us to exist because of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – promises that are confirmed in all the prophets and wonderfully so in Isaiah chapter 60.
I got a bit carried away with this issue. My point is that through the ages even from the beginning of God’s choice of Abraham and His seed through Isaac, Jacob, and the children of Israel, there is an attempt by the enemy to stop the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and to all of Abraham’s children, those in the flesh and those in the spirit.
So, Isaiah chapter 60 starts with this great proclamation of God, “Rise up, shine forth, for your light has come,The glory of THE LORD has dawned over you! Though darkness covers the earth and deep gloom the nations, THE LORD shines over you like the dawn, his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the radiance of your dawn.”
I am in Japan now and this is the last station of this teaching journey in Asia. I am traveling with two young men from our congregation in Jerusalem, Reuven and Teruto. Reuven is Jewish and Teruto is Japanese. Both of them are students in the Hebrew University, and both of them are active in our congregation in Jerusalem. We have been almost a month on the road. We started in Korea, and continued to Hong Kong, China, and now Japan. We are teaching two seminars one on the highlights of the book of Leviticus (an important book in the Bible that only very few Christians study and try to understand) and also the story of King David and more specific answering the question why God loved David so much in spite of David’s sins. What we have seen in Asia is simply a partial fulfillment or the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promises in Isaiah chapter 60. This is one reason why I am so excited about this chapter.
“The Gentiles shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.” – Isaiah 60:3-5
How are these things going to happen? Who is the ONE who is going to bridge the gap of understanding and the chasm of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate that is promulgated throughout the world from B.D.S. and from the United Nations, and even from the present White House. There is only one human bridge that spans this great chasm of some of the nations against Israel and the Jewish people – Yeshua the Messiah. He is the only Jew who has and continues to bridge this gap and connect Jews with non-Jews with the bond of love that was revealed to the World both in His teaching and in His death, burial and resurrection.
Just one more thing: If you want to know what The Apostle Paul meant when he commanded the non-Jews in the Church to provoke Israel to Jealousy in Romans chapter 11, read Isaiah chapter 60, you will get a revelation of what Paul intended for the church to do and also how to do it. This is the only way that the church can fulfill Paul’s command in Romans 11, and it is the only way to partner with God in fulfilling the wonderful promises that He made to all of us in Israel chapter 60. Of course when you read this chapter, and please do read it, you will see that there is some indemnity for those of the nations that refuse to comply and be obedient to God’s expectations as they are lined up in Isaiah in general and in chapter 60 specifically. Please pray that we who are alive today see these promises of Isaiah and the other prophets will be fulfilled soon and in our own eyes we shall behold His Glory.
This article originally appeared as a part of the Jerusalem Prayer List by Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry, September 22, 2016, and reposted with permission.
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WATCH: A Few Words for President Obama Regarding Israel
I am really grateful for social media. When President Obama uttered these ridiculous and historically inaccurate words, I was able to quickly go to Facebook and challenge them. By morning the video had been seen over 2,600 times and shared over 100 times. Still, that is nowhere near the reach that the President has, but we do what we can.
I have studied the Israeli Palestinian conflict intensely since 1989 and the fact is that there is no such thing as Palestinian lands. Secondly, the only reason Israel controls the West Bank is because of the aggressive and belligerent actions of the surrounding nations. Had Jordan not attacked Israel during the Six-Day-War, we would never have taken the Old City of Jerusalem or the West Bank. And now that we have it as a buffer zone against our enemies why in the world would we give it back?
Click below to watch the video.
This article originally appeared on Messiah’s Mandate, September 21, 2016, and reposted with permission.
Ron and wife Elana make their home in Tel Aviv. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua—the Glory of Yeshua—a Tel Aviv-based, Hebrew-speaking Messianic congregation. Ron is a published author with Destiny Image Publishers, having written books like “Identity Theft”, “Leave Me Alone, I’m Jewish” and “The Jerusalem Secret”. Ron is a sought-out conference speaker and shares passionately about the Jewish Roots of the New Testament and God’s broken heart for His ancient people Israel.