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Bible verses that some have distorted
Jezebel was obviously judged by the Noahide law against idolatry and sentenced by the judgment of Elijah [sic.], and thrown down from a tower onto the pavement. Was she drugged first? And what is the significance of her name meaning chased /unmarried? Was that also a reference to idolatry and adultery?
Jezebel "the daughter of Ethbaal" (I Kings 16:31) was an idolatrous Phoenician woman who was taken as a wife by Ahab the king of Israel.

There was no court that convicted her or had her executed for her many sins. ELISHA prophecied about what would happen to her body when she would eventually die (II Kings 9:10).

She died by the command of Yehu, who told his faithful followers to push her out of the palace window she was leaning out of when he came to the city of Jezreel, after his forces defeated the army of Israel (under King Ahaziah). See II Kings 9:33.

The simple meaning of Jezebel's name is that it was a derivative of her father's name (Ethbaal), or that she considered herself a daughter of an idol by that name.
Visitor J.A. to the web site Wrote:I am curious about Zechariah 11:12-13. I need to understand the intent of the verses. I have been told that verses 12 and 13 refer to the story of "Judas." As always thank you for sharing the true intent of the word of G-d, the Torah.
Here is the translation from the Artscroll Tanach (Stone Edition), with the explanation provided by Rashi:

11:12. I said to [the Jewish people], "If it is proper in your eyes, give Me My fee, and if not, refrain." So they weighed out My fee; thirty silver coins.
Rashi: If you [the Jewish people] want Me to be your Shepherd, you must pay My fee, namely, you must righteously observe My laws. But, as the verse goes on, only thirty people were truly righteous.

11:13. G-d said to me, "Throw it to the [angelic] treasurer of the Precious Stronghold, which I have divested from them." So I threw it into the Temple of G-d, to the treasurer.
Rashi: [The Precious Stronghold is] the Temple. By throwing the deeds of these thirty righteous people into the Temple [in his prophetic vision], Zechariah symbolized that the Temple would be rebuilt because of their merits.
Visitor D.B. to the web site Wrote:I often have conversations on various Biblical topics with one of my professors. He asked me about two verses in Torah. The first is Genesis 1:26, "And G-d said, 'Let us make man in our image...' " He seemed to take that as evidence for polytheism. The second is Exodus 20:3, "You shall have no other gods before me." He wanted to know why G-d didn't just say, "There aren't any other gods," rather than the former statement, which might lead one to believe other gods exist.
(Based on Rashi.) Genesis 1:26 is not evidence for polytheism, although it is an opening which G-d provided for polytheists to be able to err in the sinful direction that they desire. The statement was said by G-d on the sixth day, after He created the angels on the second day. So G-d said this to the angels. The polytheists do not bother to read on to the VERY NEXT verse, Genesis 1:27, where it CLARIFIES that "G-d created man in his [man's] image, in the image of G-d He [SINGULAR] created him; male and female He [SINGULAR] created them." Thus any imagined hint of polytheism is dismissed.

Regarding Exodus 20:3 - the proper reading of the Hebrew is "There shall not be unto you the gods of others before Me." At that time (as it still is today), the whole world was rampant with idol worship (which the Torah refers to in Hebrew as "worship of false gods"). This commandment, which was said expressly for the Jews, warns that a Jew must not take upon himself the idols (i.e. "false gods") which others worship or believe in. Idols are correctly called false "gods," because the idolator himself makes the idol a "god" over him.
Marc (web site visitor) Wrote:What are the implications of the document of JASHER for the Jewish religion? Where can we find a published translation of this document?
It's hard to understand what is all the excitement these days about the "Book of Jasher," which is the Sefer HaYasher (Book of the Upright). It is a Hebrew classic that may have been written down before the destruction of the Second Holy Temple, but which was more probably compiled from known Jewish Biblical stories sometime between the 9th and 12th centuries C.E. in Spain or southern Italy. It was first published on the printing press in Naples in 1553 C.E., and was printed many times thereafter throughout Eastern Europe. Almost all the stories in Sefer HaYasher are known in nearly the same form from the Midrash, so it has no "new" implications of any kind for the Jewish religion. These stories have always been part of the Jewish religion. Maybe the reason that it gets so much press is because when it was introduced to Gentiles, most were not aware of the tradition of Jewish Midrashic stories about the persons and events that are dealt with so very briefly, or not at all, in the Torah. There are several modern printings of this book by Orthodox Jewish publishing companies, and they are greatly enjoyed by Jewish families. Here is one:
Visitor to the web site Wrote:I want to know more about this mystery of the seven books of Moses and the implications. I would like to know how I can get a copy of it.
This is no mystery, once you have been told the answer. It is simply that there is a traditional alternative way of dividing up the Torah of Moses, into 7 "books" instead of 5 books. The 7 "books" are as follows:
1) Book of Genesis, 2) Book of Exodus, 3) Book of Leviticus
4) Book of Numbers, verses 1:1 through 10:34
5) Book of Numbers, verses 10:35 through 10:36
6) Book of Numbers, versus 11:1 through end
7) Book of Deuteronomy
The two verses that make up all of "book" #5 of 7 in the above arrangement are set apart in all hand-written Torah scrolls by an upside-down letter "nun" before and after those two verses [like a set of square brackets]. The reason they are set apart is because G-d instructed Moses to insert them out of the chronological order of the stories in that section of the Book of Numbers, in order to separate between the preceding story of a rebellious behavior [rushing to leave Mt. Sinai], and the story of another rebellion which follows immediately [their complaining on the way]. So we find some positive verses inserted by
G-d so that two negative accounts do not follow one immediately after the other.

We can learn from this that if you feel that you have to criticize someone for more than one negative thing, you should always try to find something positive to say about him or her in between. As the Baal Shem Tov taught, making a positive statement about someone [and especially if you make positive statements only] will actually help to bring out the hidden good that lies within that person. This is one of the main things we learn from the "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" which make up the Five Books of the Torah of Moses.
Visitor P.B. to the web site Wrote:My question is about the text from the Prophet Jeremiah 31:30-34, which speaks of a "new" covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Many interpret this to mean that the Sinai Covenant will be (and has been) superseded (each according to their own interpretation, of course). I am wondering what is the traditional exegesis of this passage.

Please see our web page that explains these verses:
Joshua 10:13 states:
And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stayed,
until the people had avenged themselves on their enemies.
Is this not written in the Book of the Upright?[1]

2 Samuel 1:18 states:
To teach the Sons of Judah the use of the bow; behold it is written in the Book of the Upright. /David's lament for Jonathan immediately follows./[2]
The Septuagint translation renders sefer hayashar in both cases as 'Book of the Just'. The reference to the bow is here missing so that the text reads:

And he gave orders to teach it the sons of Iouda: behold it is written in the Book of the Just.
[source: Wikipedia]

[My comment/question follows]
In reference to the Book of Jasher, or the Book of the Upright, a footnote in the Stone Tankah associated with Deut 32:15 says, "The august title Jeshurun, from yud shin resh, upright, just, strait, describes Israel when it does not deviate from the high standards demanded by God -- but even Jeshurun is in danger if it succumbs to its desires" (R’ Hirsh).
According to Rabbi Ken Spiro of the Crash Course in Jewish History (in part 6 Judges, at time marker 6:30), Avoda Zara 25a calls the Book of Judges "Sefer Ha Yashar."

This would seem to be preferable, since the book by that name as you mention in your answer, is from the days of the Second Temple or so, and so wouldn't explain the reference from the Torah. [I do understand the difference between 'written' and 'compiled'].

Another suggestion I have heard is that the Book of the Just IS the Torah.

Is there any Biblical commentary that give any of the above understandings?

(01-09-2011, 05:31 PM)Director Michael Wrote: It's hard to understand what is all the excitement these days about the "Book of Jasher," which is the Sefer HaYasher (Book of the Upright). It is a Hebrew classic that may have been written down before the destruction of the Second Holy Temple, but which was more probably compiled from known Jewish Biblical stories sometime between the 9th and 12th centuries C.E. in Spain or southern Italy.
According to the classical Rabbinical explanations, when "Sefer Ha'Yashar" (Book of the Upright) is referenced in a verse in the Hebrew Bible, it is referring to something that is written in the 5 Books of Moses. I.e., in that context, "Sefer Ha'Yashar" means the 5 Books of Moses.

In Joshua 10:13, according to Radak, the verse refers to Exodus 34:10, in which G-d told Moses that He would act in an unprecedented manner for the benefit of the Jewish nation.

In II Samuel 1:18, the verse refers to Genesis 49:8, which alludes to Judah's prowess in archery.

As I explained above, long after the Hebrew Bible was finalized, a book of Midrashic-style Bible stories was compiled, and it was given the title "Sefer Ha'Yasher," which is obviously borrowed from those verses you cited in the Hebrew Bible. Thanks for your research!
I just received my copy of the Artscroll Tanach (Hebrew Bible) and I am thrilled by it and have had a hard time putting it down today. Most of the Bibles I've owned in my life were produced by Non-Jewish groups and of course contained mistranslation and their bias for the sake of supporting false teaching etc. This Artscroll edition of the Hebrew Bible is wonderful! Not only because it grants me access to G-d's holy Word correctly translated into my language but also because the quality of the book itself with its brief Rabbinical commentaries on selected verses and pages of background info is excellent. I highly recommend this edition to all Torah observant Noahides!

(09-28-2008, 02:50 PM)Director Michael Wrote: The answer to all three of your questions is "Yes." Please see Post #14 above:

"A Noahide may learn the p'shat [simple meaning] of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), and if once in a while the p'shat explanation happens to briefly mention a teaching from one of the other levels, it is not a problem."

A Noahide may read the Hebrew Bible, or any part of it, from a translation into a language he understands, and it should be a reliable translation by an Orthodox Jewish publishing company. To understand the correct "simple meaning" of the text, one may refer to the classic explanations by Rashi.

Or one may read an edition with a summary of straightforward explanations by several of the classic Rabbinical commentators, as is found for example in the Stone Edition volume of the complete Hebrew Bible, by Artscroll publishers:

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