The prince of the air waves
Had you picked up any number of newspapers in May you would have seen headlines such as “BLOODBATH: Scores dead, thousands wounded as Israel fires on Palestinians protesting over Trump’s new embassy” , “Mother’s agony as baby dies in Gaza gas horror” . You would have read, for example, that “The South African government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border…Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall [its embassador] with immediate effect until further notice” , You would have learned of the call by the UN secretary general for an “independent investigation” of the IDF for disproportionate casualties against peaceful civilians demonstrating for the right of Palestinians to return to their villages .
You would not have known, unless you went to sources other than the mass Media that “The Great March of Return”, billed as a peaceful protest, was anything but. Gazan terrorists, under the leadership of Hamas, planned, under cover of 10s of thousands of demonstrators, and bellowing smoke from burning tires, to storm the border fence with Israel, breach it and carry out massacres and abductions in nearby Israeli villages . They had firearms, knives and machetes, and had been given maps of neighboring villages. The protestors, who had been picked up and bused to the site, were promised money for participating, and more if wounded . They were incited by statements, like Yahya Sinwar’s, head of the Hamas military wing, “We will tear down the border and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies… and eat the livers of Israelis .” When Israeli snipers were able to contain the rioters from breaking into Israel, they added to their rocks and Molotov cocktails incendiary kites which they launched over the fence to burn thousands of dunams of forest and farm land, causing millions of shekels of damage . The only reason we now know that 52 of the 62 “demonstrators” killed on May 14 were terrorists is because Hamas official Salah Bardawil admitted so to answer the Gazans who were furious at being pushed towards the fence by Hamas while the terrorists stayed behind . The papers didn’t retract their “baby dies in Gaza gas horror”, although it was later admitted by medical authorities that the baby was born with a life-threatening heart condition .
You can expect that Israel will continue to be demonized and slandered by the mass Media, by world leaders and institutions because of the spiritual powers that deceive and guide them. That’s what scripture teaches us. Ephesians 6:12 explains “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” These evil spirits, under the leadership of Satan, exercise influence over the thoughts and attitudes of people without even their awareness. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers” (2 Cor. 4: 4). Eph. 2:2 elaborates further, “in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience”. “This world” is the world system: governments, media, educational and cultural institutions, philosophical and religious systems, etc. The “god of this world” is Satan. The “children of disobedience” is every member of the human race who has not been born of the Spirit of G-d, and walking in His truth.
Satan was once Lucifer, the most beautiful of G-d’s created order, until he became proud of his own beauty, wanted to be worshipped, and consequently deceived 1/3 of the heavenly host into rebelling against the Lord. Jesus tells us what Satan is like and what he wants. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies”. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (Jn 8:44, 10:10); “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18) Isaiah tells us why Satan fell from heaven: “ You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’. (Isaiah 14:12-14). G-d replies to Satan’s aspirations, “therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub”.(Ezek 28:16). There is an ongoing war between G-d and Satan, and man has been drawn into it. Satan hates G-d with a fierce passion, and wants to destroy the human race, whom G-d created in love, for His good purposes. G-d created the Jewish people to be a vehicle of blessing to the nations, and Satan, the Father of Lies, is at work to thwart G-d’s purposes, and rally the nations against them. That is why the whole world will lay siege against Israel according to Zechariah 12, and even after a thousand years of peace and prosperity, once Satan is released from the bottomless pit he deceives the nations into surrounding and attacking the Holy city of Jerusalem. He is very persuasive.
A glance at the history of the Jewish people will demonstrate how zealously Satan manufactures the most outlandish lies and calumnies against them. This is not to say that Jewish people do no wrong, but that there is a spiritual conspiracy at work to demonize them and inculcate people with ferocious, irrational hatred towards them. Here are some examples from the Bible. Pharaoh says of the Children of Israel, who were such a blessing to Egypt “if war breaks out, they [will] join our enemies and fight against us.” (Exod. 1:10); although Israel was careful to conquer only the land of Canaan, the Moabites warned ““This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” (Num. 22:4); Israel conquered none of the Land of Ammon, yet their king made war against Israel, claiming “Israel on coming up from Egypt took away my land” (Judges 11:13); Although Cyrus, king of Persia, ordered the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, the enemies of Israel wrote letters of complaint to Persia, and also slandered Nehemiah, saying “It is reported among the nations … that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king.” (Neh. 6:6); because Mordechai would not bow to Haman he plotted to annihilate all of the Jews, and approached the King with these words – “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom…they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed” (Es. 3:8); during Yeshua’s ministry He was accused of being “a winebibber and friend of publicans”, a “blasphemer”, and “it is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” (Matt. 12:24)’
We know that the early believers in Yeshua were accused of atheism and cannibalism by the Romans , and that the Emperor Nero viciously persecuted them under the false charge of burning Rome. Greco-Roman society often harbored anti-Semitic views, referencing their “base origin, misanthropy, superstition, impiety and sacrilege, and rebellious conspiracy nature ”. The ancient Greeks believed that the Jews annually sacrificed a Greek, or other foreigner, to their G-d, and “tasted his flesh ”. The Church itself was used by Satan to slander the Jews. John Chrysostom, one of the early Church fathers, wrote “The synagogue is not only a whorehouse and a theatre; it is also a den of thieves and a haunt of wild animals… if a person call it a brothel today, or a criminal’s hangout, or a resort of demons, or a Citadel of the Devil…he would speak more kindly than the place deserves .”
Jews were later charged by the Church of sacrificing Christian children to use their blood in preparing the Passover Matzoh  (Blood Libel), stabbing or mistreating the transubstantiated body of Jesus used in the Eucharist service (Host Desecration ), poisoning wells to spread the Black Plague, and deicide. Even the great reformer, Martin Luther, turned on the Jews calling them ‘these poisonous envenomed worms’ and advocated burning their schools and synagogues as well as confiscating their property and money .
In modern times many patently absurd characterizations and slanders were directed against them from secular sources. After the 1905 Revolution in Russia the Czarist secret police began circulating “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”. This booklet, purported to be the minutes of a secret international meeting of Jewish leaders to take over the world, was found to be a forgery, but never-the-less was used by the Czarists as well as the Nazis to justify murdering Jews .They have been accused of working for Germany to defeat France, and of also causing the defeat of Germany. They have been stigmatized in Capitalist societies as being Bolsheviks and Communists, while accused by Communists of being Capitalists, and accused by others of controlling the world banking system. Antisemitism in the Arab world has both denied that there was a holocaust, and at the same time characterized the Jewish state as being Nazis [19,20]. They have appropriated the history of the Jewish people for themselves. The holocaust is replaced by the Nakba, the genocide carried out by the Nazis has been repackaged as directed against the Palestinians, the Jewish Right of Return to Israel has become the Palestinian Right of Return, the racism perpetrated against the Jews throughout history has been changed to Israel as an apartheid state. On June 8 they are reported to be preparing to march to the border “wearing clothing made to resemble uniforms worn by prisoners in concentration camps in the Holocaust” , and attempt to cross over, as if breaking out of the death camps.
Satan has deceived the whole world in his efforts to isolate and annihilate G-d’s covenant people. Only when He is consigned to Hell will the people see Satan and his lies for what they really are. In Isa. 14:12-16 “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof…?”. As Paul urges in Romans 12:2 ,” be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. We must not rely on the Media and public opinion for our world view, but rather renew our minds by seeing through the lens of Holy Scripture, which will dispel the lies of the enemy.
- Daily Mail Australia, May 14, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/DailyMailAust/posts/217506789272826
- Sunday Express, U.K., May 16, 2018, https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/960462/israel-gaza-killing-mother-dead-daughter )
- City Press, May15, 2018, https://city-press.news24.com/News/sa-recalls-ambassador-as-israeli-troops-kill-dozens-of-palestinians-20180515
- Times of Israel, March 31, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-chief-calls-for-independent-investigation-of-gaza-deaths/
- The recent violence in Gaza, AIPAC Memo May 16, 2018, https://www.aipac.org/-/…/aipac…memos/2018/the-recent-violence-in-gaza.p..
- Times of Israel, Hamas pays families of Gazans killed in border clashes with Israel, April5, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-will-reportedly-pay-families-of-gazans-killed-in-israel-clashes/
- Arutz Sheva, April 11, 2018, Is Israeli winning the battle but losing the war, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/2197
- Ha’aretz , May 29, 2018
- National review, May 16, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/gaza-protests-50-hamas-terrorists-killed-israel-border/
- Arutz Sheva, May 27, 2018, Gaza Baby likely died of pre-existing heart condition, not tear gas, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/246525
- Why Early Christians were despised, https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1-300/why-early-christians-were-despised-11629610.html
- The Jews in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, Arieh Kasher, J.C.B. Mohr Tuningen, 1985, p. 327
- The Image of the Jews in Greek Literature, Bezalel Bar Kochvah, University of California Press, 2016, The Hasmonean Period, p. 266
- John Chrysostom, Against the Jews. Homily 1
- Encyclopedia Brittanica, Blood libel, https://www.britannica.com/topic/blood-libel
- Wikipedia, Host desecration, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_desecration
- Wikipedia: “On the Jews and their Lies”
- Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-ldquo-protocols-of-the-elders-of-zion-rdquo
- Arutz Sheva, April 17, 2015 , Why does the Muslim World deny the Holocaust?, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/194186
- Arutz Sheva, Nov. 10, 2013, The continuing Nazi influence on Arabs Attitudes, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/14090
- Jerusalem Post, June 8, 2018, Report: Gazans to dress like concentration camp prisoners in protest, https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Report-Gazans-to-dress-like-concentration-camp-prisoners-in-protest-559441
Reuven Glasser served as a cantor and leader in Messianic Jewish congregations in the United States before making aliyah to Israel in 2010. He currently resides in the Jerusalem area with his family where he works in the medical field. He has a passion for Messiah, Israel, and the Jewish people.
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Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore
The North Korean regime has been one of the most brutal of our generation. The worst brutality has been focused on the suffering evangelical Christian community. The potential for change is enormous, as well as the potential for deception.
Here are a few scriptural guidelines for prayer (without any particular political assumptions):
- God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven – Matthew 6:10
- Righteousness and justice to flow down – Amos 5:24
- Trump and Kim to be directed by God’s hand – Proverbs 21:1
- Demonic deception to be uncovered – II Corinthians 2:11
- Punishment to be meted out to criminal and cruel agents – Romans 13:4
- Persecuted Christians and all innocent people to be set free – Exodus 5:1
- Unjust leaders to be removed and just leaders to be raised up – Daniel 4:17
- Christians in North and South Korea to be united – John 17:21
- Right thinking and decisions for Trump – II Corinthians 10:4-5
- Ending the worship of the Kim family as demi-gods – Exodus 20:2
- Opening heavens and releasing angelic armies – Revelation 19:11-14
- World mission and evangelism to come out of Korea – I Timothy 2:4
- International community moved closer to true peace – Isaiah 2:1-4
This is an urgent moment of intercession for all who desire righteousness. Let’s pray now, pray hard (James 5:17), pray in agreement (Matthew 18:19), and pray with authority (Ephesians 2:6).
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, June 10, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Asher Intrater is the founder and apostolic leader of Revive Israel Ministries, and oversees Ahavat Yeshua Congregation in Jerusalem, and Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv. Asher was one of the founders of Tikkun International with Dan Juster and Eitan Shishkoff, and serves on the board of the Messianic Alliance of Israel and Aglow International.
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Commentary on Parashat Shelach (Send Forth)
In our reading we once again see Israel’s lack of faith and trust in God. Chapter 13 and 14 speak of God’s instruction to Israel to tour (or scout) and walk the Land that God has allotted to the Children of Israel. All they need to do is to see that which God has already given to them, trust that He will provide everything they need in order to inherit that Land, and obey Him. However, as the story tells, 10 out of the 12 scouts were looking at the situation from a worldly point of view rather than God’s. And they were terrified!
As I wrote in last year’s blog, Parashat Shelach (Send Forth), the reality is that Moses’s instruction to the messengers set them up for failure. There is no doubt that Moses was a great man who spoke with God Almighty and had an incredible call on his life. However, as we see numerous times in the Scriptures, Moses was fully human. His responsibility was to point to someone greater than he; it was not to be great himself. The writer to the Hebrews recognized this when he wrote:
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Yeshua, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Messiah was faithfulas a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
Just like Israel, Moses, and the twelve scouts, each of us has a choice to trust God and His promises, or not. It really is that simple.
Numbers 14:26–34 speaks of God’s judgment against Israel, against those who did not believe, with the exception of Caleb Ben of Jephunneh and Yehoshua (Joshua) Ben Nun.
And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; your corpses shall fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. Your children, however, whom you said would become a prey — I will bring them in, and they shall know the land which you have rejected. But as for you, your corpses shall fall in this wilderness. And your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they shall suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness. According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you shall know My opposition.’”
I often hear well-meaning followers of the Messiah criticizing Israel’s lack of faith and their continuous disobedience throughout their time in the wilderness. However, they are missing a key message found in Israel’s story that is relevant for all of us today, Jew and Gentile alike. These stories were told in order for us to not repeat the same mistakes! The language in Numbers 14:26–34 is very similar to what is written in Hebrews 3:12–19:
Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Messiah, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end; while it is said, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME. For who provoked Himwhen they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt ledby Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
Israel’s journey in the wilderness is a real warning for us to not harden our hearts to the Lord. We would be wise to heed this warning not just to avoid the consequences, but more importantly, to live an abundantly blessed life walking with Him!
Which do you choose?
This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel and is reposted with permission.
Moran is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope for Israel, which is a service and resource-providing ministry that aims to bring the hope of the Messiah back to Israel. It is also a resource center for current and timely news updates concerning Israel that provides daily prayer alerts, Bible teachings, and weekly blogs in order to help believers across the world understand what God is doing in the Land, how to pray for Israel and filter everything through the Word of God.
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7 truths for overcoming fear of the End Times (Part 2)
Read part 1 HERE!
5) Supernatural Protection and Provision
We see the Jewish people’s Exodus out of Egypt as a prophetic pattern for the end times (Micah 7:15). While the Egyptians were being struck with flies, boils, darkness… the Jewish people were set apart and protected in Goshen (Ex 8:22-23; 9:4; 8:11; 10:21-23). God’s end time judgements are for removing evil from the planet, not wiping out the saints.
Not only did God set apart and protect His people in Goshen, but also supernaturally provided water, manna and quail for forty years in the wilderness. During a drought God provided Elijah with food by a raven (1 Kings 17). Yeshua multiplied food and fed thousands (Matt 14:13-21). This provision pattern will continue through the end times (Heb 13:8).
6) Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
When difficulty increases so does supernatural anointing and guidance. “It shall come to pass in the Last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh…”(Acts 2:17-21). This outpouring will come when major signs and wonders are seen right before the great and awesome day of the Lord. This means we can expect a massive increase in anointing, prophecy, dreams and visions during the tribulation. God will be prophetically showing us what He is about to do (Amos 3:7), and how we should respond. He cares about the small details of our lives and knows what we need (Matt 6:8).
7) Beauty of Yeshua
Along with increased pressures and the Holy Spirit being poured out, there will be an ever-increasing revealing of the beauty of Yeshua. Concerning the end times, Isaiah 4:2 says, “…the Branch of the Lord [Yeshua] shall be beautiful and glorious.”Haggai 2:7 calls Yeshua the “Desire of all nations.” As we continue to seek and behold Yeshua, the Holy Spirit will progressively reveal His beauty and glory to our hearts in unprecedented ways. This will lead to profound fascination, awe, longing and unshakable dedication to Him. The love and affection for Him in the heart of His bride will be stronger than death (Song of S. 8:6). We will not be afraid to die because we know that immediately after death we will be without pain and sorrow in His glorious presence forever!
Lord help us to not ignore the seriousness of the days ahead. Help us to be sober, humble and diligent as we search your word and heart concerning the future. Amen.
There are more truths we could add like:
- the power of God’s word to keep us from deception (John 8:31-32),
- the glory of God shining on His people when deep darkness is on the earth (Is 60:1-2)
- we are God’s sheep and no one is able to snatch us out of His hand (John 10:27-30)
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, June 6, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Cody served on staff with YWAM for four years before moving to Israel. He joined Revive Israel's staff in 2013. He and his wife, Liat, help lead the youth group at Ahavat Yeshua Congregation and work together in Revive Israel’s international department. They have a passion to see the word of the Lord go out from Jerusalem through media and by going out to the nations themselves.
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The name of God
The name of God in the Jewish Scriptures is a notorious mystery. People often pronounce the four Hebrew letters (YHWH) as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah”, but the truth is that we don’t really know how to say it. In most Bibles that word is translated as “the LORD”, and similarly when reading it in Hebrew, we always say “Adonai” instead, which means Lord. We don’t even try to pronounce it. However, close examination of those four letters is an enlightening exercise which relates wonderfully to the Messiah.
In Genesis 1, the Hebrew word for God is “Elohim”, which is the general term for god or gods and is also, rather interestingly, a plural word. In Genesis 1 Elohim is referred to as “him” (male singular) but speaks in plural (“Let us make man in our image”). However, in Genesis 2, the four lettered name of God, YHWH, first appears, and God is mostly referred to by this unique name from there on in.
God’s name is holy
Jewish people, by and large, prefer to avoid using any name of God, often writing the word God like this: “G-d” so that it is not written in its entirety. Many call God “haShem”, which means “the name”, or other similar designations. “Baruch haShem!” (which means “Blessed be the Name!” or “Blessed be the Lord!)” is a phrase one hears multiple times a day in Israel. So precious are those four letters that we even change the dates that contain two of those four holy letters in a row – the 15th and 16th of every month deviate from the normal pattern in order to respect the four-lettered name of God. Similarly, there is a tradition to avoid writing down the name of God to avoid the sacrilege of it ever being thrown away, erased or destroyed.
His name is holy.
“Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His Name?’ What should I say to them?”
“God answered Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” Then He said, “You are to say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM’ has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses: “You are to say to the sons of Israel, Adonai (YHWH) the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My Name forever, and the Name by which I should be remembered from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3:13-15)
I AM WHO I AM? As much as that might have been bewildering to Moses, God insists that he cannot be categorized – he just IS.
God laughs at us all arguing about whether he exists or not – he is the very definition of existence!
Opening the treasure box of Hebrew grammar
The interesting thing with verbs in the Biblical Hebrew is that they are often written in what looks like future tense to us today, but are rendered as past tense. And the other way around! Prophecy is often expressed in what looks like the past tense to modern Hebrew speakers, yet it is talking about things to come. Time and tense are not straightforward, which is appropriate because the author of the Biblical text lives outside time. He can give prophecy about future events as if they had already happened, and he can describe events in narration that actually point to future events to come – as in the stories of Joseph and the Exodus for example.
I’ll tell you something else funny about Hebrew – the verb “to be” only exists in past and future, but not in the present tense.
In Hebrew, we don’t say “I am hungry”, we just say “I hungry”. We don’t say “that table isbig”, we say “that table big”. We can say “I was hungry”, or “I will be hungry”, but not “I amhungry”.
There is no “is” or “am” in Hebrew. Why?
Perhaps because in the Hebrew language, the language of the Bible, the present tense of the verb to be is reserved for use by God alone.
Only God can say “I AM”.
And perhaps that helps us understand some of the mystery of the Tetragrammaton, YHWH.
When we look at the original Hebrew text which in English says, “I AM WHO I AM”, it looks (to the modern Hebrew reader) as if it’s in the future tense: “I will be that which I will be” (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה). However, in Biblical Hebrew, such a phrase would usually render it the opposite: “I was that which I was”, in past tense. And yet it’s translated into present tense! Getting confused? The interplay between the tenses of the verb to be is illustrative of the fact that our God is, was, and always will be.
Moreover, the very letters of the four-letter name of God (יהוה), contain the Hebrew for he was, he is, and he will be! This is a fact that has, unsurprisingly, been noted by rabbis of the past.
It’s interesting to see how the phrase, “I am who I am” (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה), was also translated into present tense in the “Targum Yonatan” text, an early rabbinic translation of the Bible into Aramaic by Jonathan ben Uzziel, a pupil of Hillel and doctor of the Law at Jerusalem in the time of King Herod.
He translated it into Aramaic as “אֲנָא הוּא”, which in modern Hebrew (Ani Hu – אני הוא) literally means “I He”. This is as close as you can get in Hebrew to “I AM” – the first person, present tense of the verb to be.
God says the Hebrew word “אֶהְיֶה”, or “I He” three times. Ehyeh asher ehyeh (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה) “I will be that which I will be” or “I am that I am” repeats the word twice, and God also says it a third time:
“God answered Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” Then He said, “You are to say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM’ has sent me to you.”
In rabbinic interpretation, it makes sense that the three times the word appears reflects the three tenses, past, present and future.
- He was
- He is
- He forever shall be
In Exodus Rabba, Rabbi Isaac taught:
“God said to Moses: ‘Tell them that I am now what I always was and always will be’; for this reason is the word ehyeh written three times” 
I AM – Three times?
It is interesting that just as in the Shema, the name of the Lord features three times. Perhaps it’s not only about past present and future, but points to the threefold nature of God:
- The Father
- Son – God incarnate, the Messiah
- The Holy Spirit
Impossible? But the evidence is in the Jewish Scriptures themselves. At one point YHWH turns up in person to visit Abraham, a fact that causes great consternation among those who are adamant that God cannot become flesh. Well. He did, right there in Genesis 18. It says so repeatedly. Also, Jeremiah 23:6 says that YHWH will be the name of the Messiah.
You know what else? The phrase used in Targum Yonatan as the best way to help Jewish people relate to the unusual turn of phrase God declared from the burning bush (“Ani Hu” / “I He”) crops up later in the New Testament. Quite a lot.
You know who else uses that term, “Ani Hu” (I am)?
In John 4, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman, and they had a conversation about God, truth, and worship. She said to Yeshua, not knowing who he really was,
“I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called the Anointed One.) When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”
Do you know what he said in response to her?
“I, the One speaking to you, “ani Hu” (אני הוא) I am.”
In chapter 8, Yeshua had got caught up in a controversy with the religious leaders. Frustrated and confused, they demanded to know,
“Who are you?”
Yeshua replied, “What have I been telling you from the beginning?”
…“Abraham and the prophets died. Yet You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste death.’ You are not greater than our father Abraham who died, are You? The prophets also died! Who do You make Yourself out to be?”
…Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, before Abraham was, I AM!”
 וַאֲמַר יְיָ לְמשֶׁה דֵין דְאָמַר וַהֲוָה עַלְמָא אָמַר וַהֲוָה כּוּלָא וַאֲמַר כִּדְנָא תֵּימַר לִבְנֵי יִשְרָאֵל אֲנָא הוּא דְהַוֵינָא וְעָתִיד לְמֶהֱוֵי שַׁדְרַנִי לְוַותְכוֹן (Targum Yonatan Ex 3:14, Aramaic)
 Exodus Rabba, 3:14
This article originally appeared on One For Israel and is reposted with permission.
ONE FOR ISRAEL strives to be the leading organization in sharing the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah with Israeli Jews and Arabs in the Hebrew language. Our staff is comprised of both Jewish and Arab Israelis, with the shared belief that true peace in the Middle East can only come into existence under Yeshua.