Genesis 42–46 Two Brothers and the Two Houses of Israel in End-Time Prophecy (Pt 2)

To read part one of this post, go to https://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2017/12/12/genesis-42-46/

Judah Approaches Joseph (Gen 44:18)

Judah came near to Joseph was willing to lay down his life for his younger brother (Gen 44:18–34). This is another prophetic picture of the future Messiah who would come to this earth in willingness to give his life as a ransom to save his brothers. The Scriptures call Yeshua the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev 5:5) who initiated the process in seeking to save his brothers who were spiritually lost (Rom 5:8; Luke 19:10; Matt 18:11; ), and who Yeshua referred to as the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 10:6; 15:24).

Joseph Had to Reveal Himself (Gen 45)

The brothers didn’t recognize Joseph because he resembled an Egyptian; he had to reveal himself to them. Today, Christians (the descendants of Joseph according to Gen 48:16, 18 and Rom 9:24–27 and the descendants of Abraham according Eph 2:11–19; Gal 3:7, 14, 28, 29), are revealing themselves to their brother Judah through several ways:

  • Through donating money to Jewish relief agencies.
  • Through Christian tourism of Israel.
  • Through Christian interfaith organizations (Bridges for Peace, Christians United for Israel, Christian Friends of Israel, etc.).
  • Through the Messianic Jewish Movement
  • Through the Messianic Israel Movement.
  • Through America’s (and Britain’s) military, political and economic support of the nation of Israel.

Two Messiahs in One Story

Judah and his brothers didn’t recognize Joseph; he had to reveal himself to them (Gen 45:1–4). They were “blinded” to Joseph’s identity. Most of Judah has spiritual blindness to this day (Rom 11:25). They are largely blind to Yeshua the Messiah, son of Joseph, and to the fact that Christians (many of whom are the descendants of Abraham through Joseph) are their long lost brothers. So in our story, Judah plays a dual role: that of spiritually blind Judah and that of the Messiah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. His former role is prophetically emblematic of the Jewish nation including the modern Jews who have been largely blind to their Messiah (the Son of Joseph), and in the latter role as Yeshua the Messiah who was willing to lay down his life to save his brothers.

Even as Judah was a prophetic antetype of the Jewish people and the Jewish Messiah, likewise Joseph also fulfilled an antetypical role of the Messiah. He too was the spiritual father of his people—Ephraim and Manasseh—the dominate tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who went into apostasy and become as “lost sheep” among the nations of the world (Hos 7:8; 8:8; Ezek 34:16 and numerous other scriptures). Therefore, Joseph prophetically represents the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and the Messiah who would come and seek out those sheep.

The Jewish sages have seen a prophetic picture of the coming Messiah Son of Joseph (Mashiach ben Yosef), the Suffering Servant in the story of Joseph. They have written about the Suffering Servant Messiah figure, who they felt would be a descendant of Ephraim and who would come to redeem the lost sheep or exiles of the house of Israel in preparation for a second Messiah to come. They refer to him as the Conquering King or the Messiah the Son of David (Mashiach ben David). Although I have found no instances where they also identify Judah with the coming Messiah, it is not hard to see some allusions to this in the interplay between Joseph and Judah. Let’s note what the sages write about Joseph as well as the descendants of his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Notice the striking similarities between modern Christians and those the Jewish sages viewed would be the followers of Messiah Son of Joseph?

What kind of blessing was this prediction that one day [Jacob’s] descendants—the Ten Tribes—would be scattered among the nations? R. Munk explains: while it is true that the dispersion was caused by the unfaithfulness and sinfulness of Ephraim’s descendants (Hos 7:8ff), Jacob’s blessing was not in vain for “they will return to God” and will have their share in the world to come ([Talmud] Sanhedrin 110b). And R. Eliezer adds: ‘Even the darkness in which the Ten Tribes were lost will one day become as radiant as the day’ (according to the version of Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 36). And in the perspective of history, did not these exiled children of the Patriarchs enlighten the nations among whom they were scattered? They did so by teaching their conquerors the fundamental ideas of the knowledge and love of God, ideals they had never forsaken. Hence they too have a messianic vocation and their Messiah the … Messiah son of Joseph (Succah 52a), also called Messiah son of Ephraim (Targum Yonasan on Exodus 40:11), will play an essential role in humanity’s redemption, for he will be the precursor of the … Messiah Son of David…. (emphasis added, note bolded part).

The Family of Israel Is Finally Reunited/Regathered (Gen 46:1–7)

These verses recount the move of Jacob and his family to Egypt where they were reunited with Joseph and his family. This event prophetically foreshadows a time in the future that the Jewish sages call the final redemption, which is to occur at the coming of Messiah Son of David as he comes to establish the Messianic Era (Millennium). The sages teach that an aspect of that final redemption includes the reunification of the two houses of Israel into one kingdom under Messiah Son of David, which is prophesied in Ezekiel 37:15–28. Interestingly, from antiquity, the Jewish sages have chosen Ezekiel’s prophecy as the corresponding scripture passage from the biblical prophets (called the Haftorah) which, in their understanding, best correlates to the Torah portion (parashah) that includes Genesis 46. These sages understood that the events recorded here in the lives of the patriarchs are indications of future events that would occur in the lives of their descendants.

The final redemption or regathering and then the reuniting of Judah and Ephraim at Messiah’s return is mentioned numerous times in the Scriptures (e.g., Hos 5:15–6:4; 1:11; Acts 3:21; Ezek 37:25). This will be a supernatural work of the Spirit of Elohim (Ezek 36:19–32).

Life in the Land of Goshen (Gen 46:34)

After the reunification of the divided family, the Israelites settled in Goshen, which was in the Nile River delta area and was, and to this day is, the prime farm land of Egypt. It was a veritable promised land compared to the arid regions of Canaan.

Prophetically, could Israel’s settling in Goshen after being reconciled and reunited be a spiritual shadow picture of the Millennium? I believe so.

The Jewish sages have long taught that history for the people of Israel is continually repeating itself in cyclical patterns as YHVH accomplishes his purposes among his people over and over again. He is continually endeavoring to reveal his plan of redemption and reconciliation to those who have eyes to see. He is continually reaching out the loving hand of redemption to the next generations of Israelites. This cycle, like a wheel that keeps turning around and around, will turn one more time in the last days in what the sages refer to as the final regathering of the exiles or the final redemption of Israel. This will involve not only the resurrection of the dead, but the reuniting of the divided kingdom of Israel, the regathering of the Israelite scattered exiles back to the land of Israel, and the coming of the Messiah who will set up his reign over this earth called the Messianic Era. This is even better known in Christians circles as the Millennium. The Jewish sages have taught this for thousands of years—and still teach it—because they had read and believed what the biblical prophets have written in this regard.

Conclusion

I believe that the story of the reuniting of Joseph with his brothers a prophetic antetype speaking to the future reunification and redemption of the two houses of Israel with the Messiah as the initiator and focal point of this redemptive process. This process began to occur at the first coming of Yeshua and will culminate at his second coming and it involves the regathering of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This process will climax at the end of the age where the children of Israel will be regathered and reunited to worship YHVH in spirit and in truth (John 4:23) under the rulership of King Yeshua the Messiah, Son of Joseph/David (Ezek 37:15–28) during the one-thousand-year-long Millennium.

 

Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin in End Times Prophecy

Here are a few of my thoughts on who Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin represent in end times Bible prophecy.

In studying the Jewish sages of old, I am amazed at how prescient they were about end time events. They gained this understanding often as they studied the lives of notable biblical characters.The sages had the strong sense that history would repeat itself— often again and again for the people of Elohim. This they observed in the cyclical patterns of Israel’s own history where YHVH gave them the truth, they remained faithful to it for a while, and turned from it, were punished and then returned to Elohim only to have the cycle repeat itself again and again.

As I have studied their method of predicting the future based on past events in Israel’s history, this has led me to some of my own speculations, which I present to you below.

Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh Antetypical of Christianity

Joseph’s wife was the daughter of an Egyptian priest. Jospeh married into the religious system of Egypt. He is a picture of Christian church, which has married itself to Babylon by syncretizing itself with certain pagan traditions and belief systems. Joseph is a picture of the end time lukewarm church. Ephraim and Manasseh were products of the union of Joseph (an Israelite) and Potifera (an Egyptian). Though they were Israelite, they were genetically a mixture of both Israelite and Egyptian blood. In fact, they resembled Egypt so much that Jacob, when blessing them, didn’t even recognize who they were. They were strangers to him. Though they were spiritual mulattos, their spiritual destiny was to identify wholly with their Israelite heritage, which would necessitate their renunciation of their Egyptian ties. In the end times, YHVH is calling Christians to renounce the pagan ties they have through their association with the harlot church system and to come completely out of spiritual system of Babylon, which is a mixture of biblical truth with pagan traditions and traditions of men the make of non-effect the word of Elohim.

Benjamin Is Antetypical of the End-Time Bride of Yeshua

Benjamin was the “son of my [Jacob’s] right hand.” He was Jacob’s youngest and most beloved son (after Joseph’s departure). Judah was willing to lay down his life for his youngest brother. Because of the love Judah had for Benjamin, the descendants of both tribes never separated, and the tribe of Benjamin stayed permanently identified with the tribe of Judah. Even Paul, the Jew and an apostle to the Gentiles, was from the tribe of Benjamin.

In the end times, Christians are like Joseph and his two sons. Most Christians take after Manasseh, which means “forgetful” in that they have forgotten the Torah. Those Christians who love Yeshua and keep his (Torah) commandments take after Ephraim, which means “doubly fruitful” in that they have both Yeshua and the Torah. Judah is both a picture of the Jews and of Messiah Yeshua, while Benjamin could also be a picture of the remnant of Torah-keeping believers who have permanently attached themselves to their Hebrew roots, to the Torah, to Yeshua and who have no involvement with the spiritual Babylon.

Joseph Is a Type of the American Government

Joseph became ruler of Egypt. In the end times, America, which is the largest Christian nation and hence contains the largest number of Joseph’s descendants (through Ephraim), is the leader of spiritual Babylon. In Egypt there were seven years of plenty, then seven years of famine. Egypt was the greatest nation of the world at the time. When the world (and Egypt) fell on hard times economically due to famine, Joseph turned Egypt into a socialistic state. This he accomplished through the Egyptian government’s purchase of all the means of production, the land and by indebting the world to it and by turning its own people into serfs working for the government. Is this same scenario happening in America? We have had our years of prosperity, and now we are entering into seven lean years where the government’s answer to these problems is to socialize this nation at a rapidly expanding rate including the nationalizing, in part, of more and more of the private business sector.

 

Genesis 42–46 Two Brothers and the Two Houses of Israel in End-Time Prophecy (Pt 1)

Biblical Types and Antetypes

A major key to understanding biblical prophecy is to recognize the relationship between antetypes and types in the Scriptures. This means that an event or a series of events occurred once, was recorded in the Scriptures, and then at a later time a similitude of the event repeats itself, but with different characters and scene.

An antetype is a type or pattern of something that occurs before the actual event occurs (sometimes incorrectly referred to as an antitype, which means opposite rather than before). In other words, the first event predicts or points prophetically to the future event. This is a way for the Creator to give clues and hints about future events that will come to pass. Those who are ardent students of his Word and those “who have (spiritual) ears to hear” will pick up on these clues and be able to have a sense of what the Creator is going to do at some future date. In this way, those who diligently seek him are rewarded with understanding or “inside information” about what he is planning to do in the future. At the same time, his divine plans and purposes will be obscured from those who don’t have a diligent heart to seek him and his truth, and who could possibly misuse the truth, if they were to discover it, for selfish purposes if they were to learn it.

Similarly, the Gospels record that Yeshua explained deep spiritual truths via parables not to make the meaning clear to the general public, but rather to obscure it. His teachings were meant to be understood only by those whom he had called that they might know the mysteries or secrets of the kingdom of Elohim (Matt 13:10–11; Luke 8:9–10).

For thousands of years, the prophets of the Bible, as well as biblical students, scholars and sages have understood the concept of antetypes and types and it has helped them to understand Bible prophecy and future events.

Biblical antetypes are identified in three ways. First, the Scriptures themselves identify events as being ante­typical. Examples would be:

  • The life of Moses pointed to Yeshua (Deut 18:15–19; Heb 3:3–6).
  • The serpent on the pole pointed to Yeshua’s crucifixion (John 3:14).
  • The rock from which the Israelites drank prefigures Yeshua (1 Cor 10:4).
  • The manna the Israelites ate prefigures the Word of Elohim or flesh of Yeshua (John 6:32, 48–51).
  • Aaron as the high priest was antetypical of Yeshua’s high priesthood (Heb 5, 7 and 8).
  • The sacrificial system pointed to Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross (Heb 9 and 10).
  • Jonah in the whale is a prophetic picture of Yeshua’s death and resurrection (Matt 12:40).
  • Melchizedek was an antetype of Yeshua (Heb 7).
  • The first exodus (or redemption of Israel out of Egypt) was prototypical of a second exodus or redemption of Israel out of the world in the end times (Isa 11:11; Jer 23:7–8).

The Jewish sages from antiquity have also identified antetypes. Examples would be: Continue reading

 

Genesis 42–46 Two Brothers and the Two Houses of Israel in End-Time Prophecy

Biblical Types and Antetypes

A major key to understanding biblical prophecy is to recognize the relationship between antetypes and types in the Scriptures. This means that an event or a series of events occurred once, was recorded in the Scriptures, and then at a later time a similitude of the event repeats itself, but with different characters and scene.

An antetype is a type or pattern of something that occurs before the actual event occurs (sometimes incorrectly referred to as an antitype, which means opposite rather than before). In other words, the first event predicts or points prophetically to the future event. This is a way for the Creator to give clues and hints about future events that will come to pass. Those who are ardent students of his Word and those “who have (spiritual) ears to hear” will pick up on these clues and be able to have a sense of what the Creator is going to do at some future date. In this way, those who diligently seek him are rewarded with understanding or “inside information” about what he is planning to do in the future. At the same time, his divine plans and purposes will be obscured from those who don’t have a diligent heart to seek him and his truth, and who could possibly misuse the truth, if they were to discover it, for selfish purposes if they were to learn it.

Similarly, the Gospels record that Yeshua explained deep spiritual truths via parables not to make the meaning clear to the general public, but rather to obscure it. His teachings were Continue reading

 

Yeshua is more than a carpenter!

Matthew 13:55, Carpenter’s son. Yeshua was physically and spiritually a carpenter or housebuilder (Pss 104:3; 127:1; Heb 3:1–6).

two-sticks-prophecy

He still works with wood in that he’s joining the two sticks of the two houses of Israel together (Ezek 37:19). Men are like trees or sticks that Yeshua is putting together (Mark 8:23–24) into one house, or one tree—the olive tree of Israel (Ezek 37:19 cp. Rom 11:16–18; Jer 11:16; Hos 14:6).

At his second coming, Yeshua will permanently bind or graft the two houses together legally as he finalizes the new covenant, which he initiated at his last supper (Matt 26:28 cp. Heb 8:8, 13 and Jer 31:31, 33).

 

The Prophetic Implications of Divorce in Light of the Two Houses of Israel

The teaching that follows is a prophetic view of divorce (and remarriage) as presented in the Scriptures, nothing more or less. The reader may be thinking at this moment that the author in presenting this teaching is really “going out on a limb.” Perhaps so, but keep in mind that there are those who go out on a certain “limb” that is weak only to have it break off from under them, and then there are others who venture out on a different “limb” and what they say later proves to be accurate. The former are discredited, while the later are considered prophetic forerunners as they are helping to move the open-minded into the deeper areas of spiritual and Scriptural truth and into the deeper waters of the heart of YHVH Elohim. We will leave the reader to decide which this teaching is.

For the record, let it be stated at the outset that this teaching neither condones nor condemns divorce. This is the position of Scripture, by the way. It is not YHVH’s perfect will for divorce to occur, but sometimes reality dictates otherwise. Furthermore, in this paper we  shall see that Scripture never presents divorce as a positive occurrence, but as something that is regrettable. Additionally, nothing in this paper should be viewed as advocating divorce. And finally, for the record, the author is happily married to his first and only wife and his best friend and partner in life. Divorce is not even a word in his marital vocabulary, by the grace of YHVH.

Yeshua Teaches on Divorce

While on this earth, Yeshua taught on many subjects pertaining to all areas of human existence—136 in all. He taught on everything from angels to worship, from money to taxes, sexuality to celibacy, fasting to food, joy to sorrow and yes, on the subject of divorce, as well. In Matthew 19:1-12 we read,

“And it came to pass, that when Yeshua had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan; and great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?’ And he answered and said unto them, ‘Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore Elohim hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’ They say unto him, ‘Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?’ He saith unto them, ‘Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.’ His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, ‘All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.’”

The prophet Malachi says that YHVH hates putting away, a Hebraism for divorce (Mal. 2:16). Yet Yeshua says above that in the Torah (the Books of the Law) divorce was permitted if one of the parties had a hardened heart resulting in irreconcilable differences. Adultery was cause for divorce if the offending party refused to repent, but Yeshua, by implication, does not seem to limit divorce for reason of adultery only.

YHVH’s Marriage to Israel: An Historical Overview

YHVH Marries the Nation of Israel

The Hebrew Scriptures are the history of YHVH choosing a spiritual virgin bride from among the nations of the world, preparing that bride for marriage and then entering into a spiritual, marital and covenantal relationship with that bride. That bride was the nation of Israel whom YHVH married at Mount Sinai. The Torah-law was the marriage agreement (See my teaching where the Jewish wedding is outlined historically and prophetically in a biblical context available on our web site and entitled, The Bible: A Love Story—The Story of Two Lovers—How YHVH’s Set-apart Feast Days Are the Outline of that Love Story: A Plan of Redemption). Ezekiel describes the marriage between YHVH and Israel succinctly as follows:

“And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt [kanaph which is the corner of a talit] over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I swore unto thee, and entered into a covenant [i.e., a marriage covenant or ketubah] with thee, saith the YHVH Elohim, and thou becamest mine” (Ezek. 16:6-8; read verses 1-43 for context).

One Nation (Wife) Becomes Two Nations or Houses

Now at the foot of Mount Sinai YHVH married one (spiritual) woman comprised of several million Israelites who were descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob comprising of 12 tribes. Those 12 tribes remained as a single national entity for 500 years until the death of King David’s son, Solomon. When Solomon’s son Rehoboam became king over the nation of Israel the northern ten tribes of Israel revolted against Rehoboam and under the leadership of Jeroboam seceded from Israel and formed a separate nation whose capital was Samaria. In countless places Scripture refers to this nation as the House of Israel, or Ephraim, named after the largest and most prominent tribe of the Northern Kingdom.

Those Israelite tribes which remained loyal to Rehoboam were named the house of Judah after the most prominent tribe of the Southern Kingdom.

Whereas YHVH had married the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai, 500 years later that nation split into two. It was still the nation of Israel, but it was like a woman with a split personality who acts like two people. Indeed… (to continue reading this article, go to http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/divorce.pdf)

 

An Amazing End Times Prophecy in Hosea 5 and 6

Two Sticks Prophecy

Hosea 5:15–6:3, I will go and return to my place. This passage is a clear prophecy concerning the resurrection of the righteous dead of which Messiah Yeshua is the first to raise.

Verse two contains a Hebrew parallelism, which is a Hebraic literary device where the same thought is expressed differently back-to-back. The word revive is the Hebrew word chayah and is the basic Hebrew root verb meaning “to live or to have life.” The word raise up is the Hebrew word quwm meaning “to rise, arise, stand, stand up.” According to The TWOT, the basic meaning of this word “denotes rising up from a prostrate position (e.g. Josh 3:16).”

YHVH is speaking here in the broader context of this passage concerning his Messianic role as the lion of Judah (Rev 5:5). After presenting himself as such to both houses of Israel (Ephraim [i.e., the Christians] and Judah [i.e., the Jews]) at his first coming, verse 14 states that Messiah would “go away … and none shall rescue him.”

Then in verse 15 we read that, “I [Messiah speaking] will go and return to my place till they [Ephraim/the Christians and Judah/the non-believing Jews] acknowledge their offense and seek my face ….” (This refers to Yeshua’s absence from the earth between his first and second comings.) What is their offense? Isaiah 8:14 states that that which offends both houses of Israel is “the stone of stumbling and … rock of offence.” Who is this Rock of offense? Verses 8 and 10b identifies it as Immanuel (El with us), which is one of the Continue reading

 

Prophecies Concerning the Jews and Christians; the Formation of the NT

Isaiah 8:14–16, In the following several verses we see an amazing prophecy concerning the two houses of Israel who, generically speaking, have become the modern church and the rabbinic Jews.

Here Isaiah prophesies about the canonization of the Bible into two subdivision—the Torah (or loosely speaking, the Old Testament) and the Testimony (the New Testament). He also predicts that each of these two religious groups (the Jew and he Christians) would spiritually stumble over or have a problem with the identity of the Messiah, who is the Stone of Stumbling and the Rock of Offense. In general, as we shall see, the Christians struggle with the pro-Torah message of the Old Testament (or Word of Elohim), and the Jews reject the message of the New Testament (or Testimony of Yeshua) about the Messiahship of Yeshua.

Isaiah 8:14, Stone of stumbling. Both houses of Israel (Ephraim and Judah; i.e., the Christian [see notes at Gen 48:14,16] 48: and the Jews) have stumbled over the stone of stumbling, who later on is identified as Yeshua, the Messiah (1 Pet 2:4–8; Rom 9:32–33; 1 Cor 1:23). The non-believing Jews stumbling over the Messiahship of Yeshua who is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim incarnate (John 1:1,14), while the Christians stumble over the Written Torah, which they claim was abolished and is minimally relevant to them.

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This stone of stumbling is an obvious reference to Yeshua who is a stone of stumbling to both houses of Israel (i.e., the non-believing Jews and the Christians.) The Christians stumble over or reject (at least, in part) Yeshua who is the Written Torah-Word of Elohim (John 1:1). The non-believing Jews, on the other hand, reject Yeshua, the Living Torah-Word of Elohim who came in flesh form (John 1:14).

Isaiah 8:16, 20 Bind up the testimony…my disciples. Heb. testimony means “confirmation, attestation.” This appears to be a prophecy concerning Yeshua’s disciples, whom he commissioned to “seal the Torah” (loosely speaking, the Old Testament or OT) and add to it the Testimony about him (the New Testament or NT).

Here Isaiah is prophesying the canonization of the NT by the disciples of Yeshua (who are mentioned in verse 13). Did you know that the NT’s name for the NT isn’t the NT, but the Testimony of Yeshua—a name that John who finalized the NT canon gave it when he was writing the Book of Revelation? There, he calls the OT or Tanakh the “Word of Elohim” and the NT “the Testimony of Yeshua” (see Rev 1:2, 9; 6:9; 12:17; 14:12; 20:4).

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What do the words bind and seal signify? The Hebrew for the word bind means “to close.” The word seal means practically the same: “to cap off, to enclose.” This is exactly what the apostles did with the message which Yeshua the Stone and Rock of Isaiah 8:14 gave them. They were to complete it. Bind it up. Close it shut. The authority to perform such an important job may have been reflected in Messiah’s teaching that the apostles had power to ‘bind on earth’ (Matthew 16:19). The word to bind has the significance of authorization or giving judgment, just as the word unbind means “not to receive or not accept. …” In a word, the apostles felt that they had authority, even from the Old Testament, to bind, seal, authorize and canonize the Law and Testimony of Messiah. This meant to put the teachings of Messiah in a book, just like the Old Testament was given to the early Jews (Restoring the Original Bible, by Ernest Martin, pp. 298–299). (For more on this subject, see notes at John 16:12–15; Rom 16:25–26 and Mark 3:16–17.)