God Sending His Son to Accomplish What the Torah Could Not, ישעיהו כט:יט-כד / Isaiah 29:19-24

46

Isaiah 29:19-24

In the last six verses of Chapter 29 Isaiah provides a hopeful expectation of God working in the lives of His people to bring them back and how the people should keep the faith because God Himself is faithful. We notice how in Isaiah 29:18 Isaiah says that God will cause the blind to see and the deaf to hear the words of the book. It is the Lord God Almighty who will make this change from within. Isaiah 29:19-24 speaks to how God is on the side of the helpless, and how He will empower the weak through his mercy and grace. We remember how the Word of God states that love and mercy are the signs of power and success in this life. The world on the other hand considers these things as unimportant. Paul wrote something in regard to these things according to 1 Corinthians 1:25.

1 Corinthians 1:18–25 
1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (KJV, 18 Ὁ λόγος γὰρ °ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ τοῖς °1μὲν ἀπολλυμένοις μωρία ἐστίν,* τοῖς δὲ σῳζομένοις °2ἡμῖν δύναμις θεοῦ ἐστιν. 19 γέγραπται γάρ ἀπολῶ τὴν σοφίαν τῶν σοφῶν* καὶ τὴν σύνεσιν τῶν συνετῶν ἀθετήσω.* 20 ποῦ σοφός; ποῦ γραμματεύς;* ποῦ συζητητὴς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου; οὐχὶ ἐμώρανεν ὁ θεὸς τὴν σοφίαν τοῦ κόσμου⸆; 21 ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἔγνω ὁ κόσμος διὰ τῆς σοφίας τὸν θεόν, εὐδόκησεν ὁ θεὸς διὰ τῆς μωρίας τοῦ κηρύγματος σῶσαι τοὺς πιστεύοντας·* 22 ἐπειδὴ °καὶ Ἰουδαῖοι σημεῖα αἰτοῦσιν καὶ Ἕλληνες σοφίαν ζητοῦσιν,* 23 ἡμεῖς δὲ κηρύσσομεν Χριστὸν ἐσταυρωμένον,* Ἰουδαίοις μὲν σκάνδαλον, ⸀ἔθνεσιν δὲ μωρίαν, 24 αὐτοῖς δὲ τοῖς κλητοῖς, Ἰουδαίοις τε καὶ Ἕλλησιν, ⸂Χριστὸν θεοῦ δύναμιν καὶ θεοῦ σοφίαν⸃· * 25 ὅτι τὸ μωρὸν τοῦ θεοῦ σοφώτερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐστὶν καὶ τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ θεοῦ ἰσχυρότερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων.*)

Paul speaks of the wisdom of God and of men, and of the world and how the world perceives the Scriptures as foolishness, whereas for the faithful it is the power of God! Paul concludes saying 25 ὅτι τὸ μωρὸν τοῦ θεοῦ σοφώτερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐστὶν καὶ τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ θεοῦ ἰσχυρότερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων, 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (KJV) This is what Isaiah is saying when he concludes this section of Chapter 29. The idea comes back to this topic of “successful living” and what does that mean and how does God define success. The key to understanding this is to understand what Paul means by τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ θεοῦ ἰσχυρότερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων “the weakness of God is stronger than men.” The word for weakness ἀσθενὲς is formed from the root σθένος, “strength” (see σθενόω in 1 Peter 5:10), with the privative alpha prefixed. This term conveys the sense “lack of strength” and is often applied to bodily weakness. In the LXX the verb ἀσθενέω occurs 75×, the adjective ἀσθενής about 20×, and the noun ἀσθένεια less than 10×. In addition, the compound ἀσθενόψυχος, lit. “weak of soul,” occurs once (4 Maccabees 15:5). Almost half of the occurrences of ἀσθενέω translate the Hebrew verb כשׁל which means “to stumble, stagger.” There is a semantic connection between “being weak” and “stumbling,” so the rendering is understandable (see 2 Chronicles 28:15, Tehillim / Psalms 31:10 (LXX 30:11)). In the Tanakh, the sense “physical weakness, sickness” is rare (Daniel 8:27, 2 Maccabees 9:21). The verb is applied to human weakness in general (Judges 16:7), to the social insignificance of Gideon’s family (Judges 6:15), and to the political frailty of Saul’s dynasty (2 Samuel 3:1). This word also describes the people who have rebelled against God and who therefore “will be weak” or will stumble and fall (see Jeremiah 6:21, 18:15, Hosea 4:5, 5:5, Nahum 2:5, 3:3). In the Psalms the same idea is applied sometimes to the ungodly (Tehillim / Psalms 9:3 (9:4) et al.), while on other occasions the word group expresses human poverty and wretchedness (Tehillim / Psalms 31:10 (30:11)). The NT usage of the verb ἀσθενέω occurs over 30×. The noun ἀσθένεια occurs 24×. The adjective ἀσθενής occurs 25×. The rare noun ἀσθένημα occurs once (Romans 15:1). In Acts the word is used almost exclusively in its literal sense with the meaning of bodily weakness or sickness (see Matthew 10:8, Acts 9:37). It can be applied also to the poor (Acts 20:35). Of special interest is the proverbial comment addressed to the sleepy disciples, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak ἀσθενής” (Mattew 26:41, Mark 14:38). In Paul’s usage we find in several passages the word group is used for illness (Galatians 4:13) or some other physical limitation (2 Corinthians 10:10). In Galatians 4:9 the elemental spirits of the world are described as ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχά (weak and miserable). 

In Romans 8:3 Paul draws in weakness into association with the Torah saying that God sending his Son has accomplished what the Torah, weakened by the flesh, could not do. Human moral weakness reveals a weakness in the Torah itself, namely, its inability to save (Hebrew 7:18). This is another proof text on how off Dispensationalism is in regard to man earning his salvation through obedience to the Torah! The weakness of the Torah to save, illustrates why salvation is based upon faith and the Torah being given to a people who already have faith and are already in a covenant relationship with God by faith! This is consistent with the Peshat in the historical narrative of the book of Shemot / Exodus on how God delivered a mixed multitude of people from Egypt and brought them to the mountain of Sinai and made a covenant with them by faith prior to giving them His holy word! In Romans 5:6 Paul equates those who are weak with the “ungodly” and the “sinners” (see also Hebrews 4:15 and 7:28). So here we read and understand why Paul argues that weakness is the context for God’s might and power. ( τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ θεοῦ ἰσχυρότερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων “the weakness of God is stronger than men.”) Paul is demonstrating a Torah concept that the Torah is something that is lived out with the help and empowering of God! We also note how God had demonstrated his power in weakness, where the example given is that of the death of the Messiah, how Yeshua submitted his life unto death, and then the power of God to raise him from the dead! These things reveal to us how it is through suffering that the faithful believers demonstrate the power of God and that His power is revealed in and through us (2 Corinthians 13:3-4). Note what Paul says specifically concerning these things:

2 Corinthians 13:3–9 
13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 13:6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. 13:7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 13:9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection. (KJV, 3 ⸀ἐπεὶ δοκιμὴν ζητεῖτε τοῦ ἐν ἐμοὶ λαλοῦντος Χριστοῦ*, ὃς εἰς ὑμᾶς οὐκ ἀσθενεῖ ἀλλὰ δυνατεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν*. 4 καὶ γὰρ ⸆ ἐσταυρώθη ἐξ ἀσθενείας, ἀλλὰ ζῇ ἐκ δυνάμεως θεοῦ*. καὶ γὰρ ἡμεῖς ἀσθενοῦμεν ⸀ἐν αὐτῷ, ἀλλὰ ⸁ζήσομεν ⸀1σὺν αὐτῷ ἐκ δυνάμεως θεοῦ ⸋εἰς ὑμᾶς⸌*. 5 Ἑαυτοὺς πειράζετε εἰ ἐστὲ ἐν τῇ πίστει, ἑαυτοὺς δοκιμάζετε·* ἢ οὐκ ἐπιγινώσκετε ἑαυτοὺς ὅτι ⸉Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς⸊ ἐν ὑμῖν⸆; εἰ μήτι ἀδόκιμοί ἐστε*. 6 ἐλπίζω δὲ ὅτι γνώσεσθε ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἐσμὲν ἀδόκιμοι. 7 ⸀εὐχόμεθα δὲ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν μὴ ποιῆσαι ὑμᾶς κακὸν μηδέν, οὐχ ἵνα ἡμεῖς δόκιμοι φανῶμεν, ἀλλʼ ἵνα ὑμεῖς τὸ καλὸν ποιῆτε, ἡμεῖς δὲ ὡς ἀδόκιμοι ὦμεν. 8 οὐ γὰρ δυνάμεθά τι κατὰ τῆς ἀληθείας ἀλλʼ ὑπὲρ τῆς ἀληθείας*. 9 χαίρομεν γὰρ ὅταν ἡμεῖς ἀσθενῶμεν, ὑμεῖς δὲ δυνατοὶ ἦτε· τοῦτο καὶ εὐχόμεθα, τὴν ὑμῶν κατάρτισιν*.)

Paul recognizes that weakness is the power of God, and He speaks of our examining ourselves to see whether we are reprobate or not, meaning whether our lives measure up to God’s word or not. This is why Paul regards his own weakness as a mark of discipleship and fellowship in the Messiah’s sufferings (1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 4:10). These things describe how the power of God is at work in weakness and amid suffering. This then is why Paul would rather boast about his weaknesses (2 Corinthians 11:29-30, 12:5, 12:9-10, 13:9), for God’s “power is made perfect in weakness.” (Romans 12:9) We note again how Isaiah is describing these things from the sense of the inability of man and of the Lord God working in the lives of His people. More specifically, the God of Israel is on the side of the helpless, and how He will empower the weak through his mercy and grace. These things reveal to us how the Word of God states that love and mercy are the signs of power and success in this life. These concepts such as walking humble before men and God, living a life of repentance, seeking God’s help in our lives by His indwelling Spirit, and being merciful and forgiving just as He has been merciful and forgiving to us, these things are considered weak according to the world’s standards. All of these things are exactly what God is looking for in His people, and these things reveal the power of God in our lives! It is in fact the Lord God Almighty our Father in heaven who does these things, and this is how Isaiah concludes this chapter saying in Isaiah 29:24, כד   וְיָדְעוּ תֹעֵי-רוּחַ בִּינָה וְרוֹגְנִים יִלְמְדוּ-לֶקַח “They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, And they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” This is the Lord working to draw men back to truth, justice, righteousness, and holiness. It is human frailty that leads to war, and it is the strength of God that leads to peace!

Isaiah continues to say the following according to Isaiah 29:19.

ספר ישעיה פרק כט
יט   וְיָסְפוּ עֲנָוִים בַּיהֹוָה שִֹמְחָה וְאֶבְיוֹנֵי אָדָם בִּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל יָגִילוּ: 

Isaiah 29:19 states, “The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, And the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (וְיָסְפוּ עֲנָוִים בַּיהֹוָה שִֹמְחָה וְאֶבְיוֹנֵי אָדָם בִּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל יָגִילוּ)” This verse follows the thought from Isaiah 29:18, “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. (וְשָׁמְעוּ בַיּוֹם-הַהוּא הַחֵרְשִׁים דִּבְרֵי-סֵפֶר וּמֵאֹפֶל וּמֵחֹשֶׁךְ עֵינֵי עִוְרִים תִּרְאֶינָה)” We note again how the Lord is on the side of the helpless, as Isaiah speaks of those who are עֲנָוִים meek and the וְאֶבְיוֹנֵי אָדָם the poor of men. The Hebrew text is significant here, specifically in the use of the preposition ב here with HaShem and the Holy One of Israel (בִּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל). The preposition ב  here means “in” and so what we see taking place is that the עֲנָוִים “meek” and the וְאֶבְיוֹנֵי אָדָם “the poor of men” will find their joy and rejoicing “in” the Lord! This reveals to us how we need the Lord God of Israel to be happy, to have peace, and to find satisfaction in life. The concepts of joy and rejoicing draw in a future expectation of deliverance that is found in the new praise to HaShem and people will seek His presence in their lives. This joy is exemplified in the moedim (appointed times) that are celebrated year by year found in the Torah. These are the annual feasts which remember the past and look forward to the future in expectation of the power of God in the lives of His people! These things lead us to the future expectation of victory as all of these are rolled into the final expectation of our  rejoice in him forevermore as we read according to Revelation 22:1-5. A text comparison of Isaiah 29:19 reveals the following:

The LXX is consistent with the Masoretic text (MSS) speaking of the poor who will rejoice and cheer because of the Lord and what He has done! The TgJ translates this text in the following way: וְיֹוסְפוּן מְקַבְלֵי עוּלבָן בְמֵימְרָא דַיוי חַדוָא וְחַשִיכֵי בְנֵי אְנָשָא בְמֵימַר קַדִישָא דְיִשרָאֵל יְבוּעוּן׃ “19 And those that have suffered affliction on account of the WORD of the Lord shall increase their joy, and the poor of the sons of men shall rejoice in the WORD of the holy One of Israel.” (TgJ) The rabbinic expansion on Isaiah 29:19 states וְיֹוסְפוּן מְקַבְלֵי עוּלבָן בְמֵימְרָא דַיוי “And those that have suffered affliction on account of the WORD of the Lord.” This is a significant observation as again we find the preposition ב juxtaposed to the מֵימְרָא (memra) meaning “word.” We note this is significant since one is being afflicted because of the Word of God. The Aramaic Targum uses the מֵימְרָא (memra) throughout the creation account, demonstrating how it is via the מֵימְרָא (memra) that God created all things. This is also significant since the מֵימְרָא (memra) also is said to have come down and tabernacled with men according to John 1:1-18. This is who Yeshua is, the מֵימְרָא (memra) of God dwelling in a body. When we couple this rabbinic concept with Isaiah 29:19, we see how there is great rejoicing in the Word of the Lord, in the redemption that God has provided in Yeshua, and in our Father in heaven and His mighty power to do these things! All of these things are a remez, a hint to what has taken place in Yeshua the Messiah from the NT perspective. We also note the consistency or continuity of these concepts as they are found in the NT text and how important it is to rejoice in the Lord and in His deliverer Yeshua! 

Isaiah continues to say the following according to Isaiah 29:20-21.

ספר ישעיה פרק כט
כ   כִּי-אָפֵס עָרִיץ וְכָלָה לֵץ וְנִכְרְתוּ כָּל-שֹׁקְדֵי אָוֶן: כא   מַחֲטִיאֵי אָדָם בְּדָבָר וְלַמּוֹכִיחַ בַּשַּׁעַר יְקֹשׁוּן וַיַּטּוּ בַתֹּהוּ צַדִּיק:       

Isaiah 29:20 states, “For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, And all that watch for iniquity are cut off: (כִּי-אָפֵס עָרִיץ וְכָלָה לֵץ וְנִכְרְתוּ כָּל-שֹׁקְדֵי אָוֶן)” Isaiah 29:21 “That make a man an offender for a word, And lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, And turn aside the just for a thing of nought. (מַחֲטִיאֵי אָדָם בְּדָבָר וְלַמּוֹכִיחַ בַּשַּׁעַר יְקֹשׁוּן וַיַּטּוּ בַתֹּהוּ צַדִּיק)” These verses also continue from Isaiah 29:18-19. The language again here אָפֵ֥ס עָרִ֖יץ “the ruthless one or tyrant will cease” and וְכָ֣לָה לֵ֑ץ “the mocker will be consumed” and וְנִכְרְת֖וּ כָּל־שֹׁ֥קְדֵי אָֽוֶן “cut off all that watch sin” each of these verbs אָפֵ֥ס (cease), כָ֣לָה (consumed), and נִכְרְת֖וּ (being cut off) speaks to what God will do the the mighty who do not humble themselves, the Lord God will humble them. This is the reversal of what these types of men do to the people, they oppress the helpless, and so the Lord will oppress them and to the extent of ceasing, being consumed, and being cut off! These are statements of annihilation, of the utter destruction of the wicked. We note the Torah perspective, how those who live in such a way will be cut off, and their family line will not be long but will be cut short. See how the psalmist interprets these things according to Tehillim / Psalms 1, 92:6, 101:7-8, and 109:6-14. Isaiah had said that the ruthless oppress and are heavy upon the weak to squeeze whatever they can from them according to Isaiah 13:11, 25:3-4, 29:5, and Isaiah 49:25. The scoffer we are told is the one who mocks truth, justice, and delights in himself to serve himself at the cost of others.  A text comparison reveals the following in the LXX, Masoretic text, and TgJ. 

The TgJ agrees with the MSS saying, “20 For the oppressor is come to an end, and the plunderer is made to cease, and all that rose up early to act violently have come to an end; 21 All that declare the sons of men guilty on account of their words. The court of justice that is in the gate seeks to ensnare him, who reproves them with the words of the law. They turn aside the just by false judgment.” (TgJ) The LXX on the other hand expands upon the MSS and provides additional narrative to explain what is taking place here in Isaiah 29:20-21 and writes, 20 ἐξέλιπεν ἄνομος, καὶ ἀπώλετο ὑπερήφανος, καὶ ἐξωλεθρεύθησαν οἱ ἀνομοῦντες ἐπὶ κακίᾳ 21 καὶ οἱ ποιοῦντες ἁμαρτεῖν ἀνθρώπους ἐν λόγῳ, πάντας δὲ τοὺς ἐλέγχοντας ἐν πύλαις πρόσκομμα θήσουσιν καὶ ἐπλαγίασαν ἐν ἀδίκοις δίκαιον. 20 A lawless person has come to an end and an arrogant person has perished, and those acting lawlessly in vice have been utterly destroyed, 21 even those who make people sin in word. And they will set up an obstacle for all those who reprove in the gates because they have turned the righteous aside unjustly. (LES) The LXX uses the word ἄνομος to indicate the kind of people these are “lawless” and how the Lord God will bring such persons to an end. We see how the arrogant are coupled to those who act lawlessly, both of which will be destroyed. Isaiah 29:21 states καὶ οἱ ποιοῦντες ἁμαρτεῖν ἀνθρώπους ἐν λόγῳ “even those who make people sin in word” suggest that there is bribery taking place, or coercion with money or some other form, leading to sin by word where one speaks a lie as opposed to speaking the truth. We note today how many lie in politics to get into office and then continue lying to make tremendous amounts of money on the backs of American taxpayers today! These truths are relevant for us today, and if someone is found to be living his or her life like this, rest assured that God will bring such people down as Isaiah said “to the dust of the earth” in Isaiah 29:4, see the study here https://www.matsati.com/index.php/doing-something-out-of-ritual-as-opposed-to-a-connection-to-faith-isaiah-29-1-6/. These are those who watch to do evil, those who have political and judicial authority over others. Remember also that this is not restricted to political offices, but even at the layman level, in one’s family, or among friends, does one function pridefully or lords over family members or others? These things apply to all men, women, and children, regardless of nation, language, or ethnicity. We note how false testimony is designed to make an innocent person appear guilty. This is the meaning of καὶ οἱ ποιοῦντες ἁμαρτεῖν ἀνθρώπους ἐν λόγῳ “even those who make people sin in word.” These things are analogous to placing spin on words in order to get one’s way, or to make one appear unrighteous, or to supplicat someone or a group of people such as in the woke ideologies and LGBTQ ideologies for the sake of appeasement, speaking untruths to get financial compensation such as in the C19 payouts to schools and hospitals, and local-state governments, etc, there are many more examples that may be used to illustrate these things. The point is to those who give false testimony to make the righteous look guilty or unrighteous. 

Isaiah continues according to Isaiah 29:22-24 to sum up his entire commentary on Chapters 28 and 29. He draws in the patriarchs and points to the people of the future and looks to a time when the holiness of God is the thought of everyone’s mind because they have received Him as their God and Lord over all because of His great deliverance. (see Ezekiel 36:22-23). Isaiah says the following according to Isaiah 29:22-23.

ספר ישעיה פרק כט
כב   לָכֵן כֹּה-אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֶל-בֵּית יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר פָּדָה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם לֹא-עַתָּה יֵבוֹשׁ יַעֲקֹב וְלֹא עַתָּה פָּנָיו יֶחֱוָרוּ: כג   כִּי בִרְאֹתוֹ יְלָדָיו מַעֲשֵֹה יָדַי בְּקִרְבּוֹ יַקְדִּישׁוּ שְׁמִי וְהִקְדִּישׁוּ אֶת-קְדוֹשׁ יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת-אֱלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל יַעֲרִיצוּ: כד   וְיָדְעוּ תֹעֵי-רוּחַ בִּינָה וְרוֹגְנִים יִלְמְדוּ-לֶקַח

Isaiah 29:22 states, “Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, (לָכֵן כֹּה-אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֶל-בֵּית יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר פָּדָה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם) Jacob shall not now be ashamed, Neither shall his face now wax pale. (לֹא-עַתָּה יֵבוֹשׁ יַעֲקֹב וְלֹא עַתָּה פָּנָיו יֶחֱוָרוּ)” Isaiah 29:23 “But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, (כִּי בִרְאֹתוֹ יְלָדָיו מַעֲשֵֹה יָדַי בְּקִרְבּוֹ) They shall sanctify my name, And sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, And shall fear the God of Israel. (יַקְדִּישׁוּ שְׁמִי וְהִקְדִּישׁוּ אֶת-קְדוֹשׁ יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת-אֱלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל יַעֲרִיצוּ)” Isaiah 29:24 “They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, And they that murmured shall learn doctrine. (וְיָדְעוּ תֹעֵי-רוּחַ בִּינָה וְרוֹגְנִים יִלְמְדוּ-לֶקַח)” These verses reveal to us the importance of observing what God is doing in our lives each day, the purpose of which is to sanctify the name of God, the Holy One of Jacob and Fear Him! In Isaiah 29:22, it is interesting that Isaiah speaks of פָּדָה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם “who redeemed Abraham” using the word פָּדָה. Performing a lexical search for this word turns up the following results.

We note the Hebrew mapping of this word פָּדָה in the Septuagint. The word פָּדָה maps to the following Greek words according to the LXX.

ἀλλάξει = change (verb, future, active, indicative, third person, singular)

λύτροις = paid, ransom, atonement (noun, dative, plural, neuter)

ἐλυτρώσατο = receipt of ransom, redeem, price paid (verb, aorist, middle, indicative, third person, singular) 

σῶσον = save, keep (verb, aorist, active, imperative, second person, singular)

ἀφώρισεν = mark off, divide or separate from (verb, aorist, active, indicative, third person, singular)

The point for us is to try and understand what is meant by the phrase פָּדָה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם “who redeemed Abraham” since we are not given in the Torah narrative that Abraham had a redeemer. The Hebrew to Greek mapping reveals some things concerning what is meant, ἀλλάξει = change,” “σῶσον = save, keep,” and ἀφώρισεν = mark off, divide or separate from.” The usage of these Greek words provide us with a slightly broader understanding on what it means that God redeemed Abraham. According to Parashat Lech Lecha, God called Abraham from his land and from his people, to go to a place God would show him. This was the way that God had changed him, taking him from a land of idolatry to a land destined for monotheism. The Lord God had marked him off, divided or separated him from this, and so we get this idea of redemption. This is the concept of being changed from within, something that God does by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through faith in Yeshua! The Lord God our Father in heaven separates us from the world, He changes us from the inside out so that we turn from our old ways to new ways, to the ways of God according to the Scriptures! This is what it means  when Isaiah speaks of פָּדָה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם “redeemed Abraham” and how we are to be the children of Abraham by faith the Lord God will redeem us in this way. 

When we read the first half of Isaiah 29:22, Isaiah says לָכֵן כֹּה-אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֶל-בֵּית יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר פָּדָה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם “Thus says the Lord to the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham.” This makes it sound as if it was Jacob who was the redeemer of Abraham, which is obviously impossible. The point here is Isaiah is speaking about יְהֹוָה אֶל-בֵּית יַעֲקֹב “the God of the house of Jacob” and not “Jacob” specifically. It is our English speaking minds that make it slightly difficult to understand by this rendering of the text. Note how the LXX translates this verse in the text comparison on Isaiah 29:22-23.

The LXX translates this saying, 22 διὰ τοῦτο τάδε λέγει κύριος ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον Ιακωβ, ὃν ἀφώρισεν ἐξ Αβρααμ Οὐ νῦν αἰσχυνθήσεται Ιακωβ οὐδὲ νῦν τὸ πρόσωπον μεταβαλεῖ Ισραηλ, 23 ἀλλʼ ὅταν ἴδωσιν τὰ τέκνα αὐτῶν τὰ ἔργα μου, διʼ ἐμὲ ἁγιάσουσιν τὸ ὄνομά μου καὶ ἁγιάσουσιν τὸν ἅγιον Ιακωβ καὶ τὸν θεὸν τοῦ Ισραηλ φοβηθήσονται. 22 Because of this, this is what the Lord says about the house of Jacob, which he set apart from Abraham: “Not now will Jacob be ashamed, and not now will his face change. 23 Rather, when their children see my deeds, they will sanctify my name because of me, and they will sanctify the holy one of Jacob, and they will fear the God of Israel.” (LES) The LXX uses the word ἀφώρισεν = “mark off, divide or separate from” (verb, aorist, active, indicative, third person, singular) to translate פָּדָה and states that the Lord God set Abraham apart. The point is that when we are set apart, we recognize what God is doing in our lives and glorify His name! (Isaiah 29:23) The TgJ translates saying, “22 Therefore thus hath the Lord said, who hath redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: They of the house of Jacob shall not henceforth be confounded, neither shall their faces henceforth look dismayed. 23 But when they of the house of Jacob shall see the mighty deeds which I shall do for their children, the kindness which I have promised Abraham, and his posterity after him in their own land, they shall sanctify my name among them; they shall say, Holy is the holy One of Jacob; and concerning the God of Israel they shall say, He is mighty.” (TgJ) The TgJ writes that God redeemed Abraham for the house of Jacob, the Lord set him apart so that Israel could be born. This concept of shame reiterates one of the common conclusions of Isaiah in his book, meaning that the people will at one point place their entire trust in the God of Israel and not in other places. 

Isaiah concludes chapter 29 saying, “They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, And they that murmured shall learn doctrine. (וְיָדְעוּ תֹעֵי-רוּחַ בִּינָה וְרוֹגְנִים יִלְמְדוּ-לֶקַח)” (Isaiah 29:24) We note here how deliverance is found in the Lord God bringing His people into understanding, and turning from their error. This understanding comes from knowing what God’s word says and believing! Just as what we read in the Exodus, how the giving of the Torah followed the actual Exodus events which provide us with the theme from the entire bible, that faith comes first, we are saved by faith, we believe and it is credited as righteousness, etc. The giving of the Torah was not meant for man to earn his salvation before God. This is why Paul writes in the NT account that God saves by His Grace and nothing else! These things reveal how people come to know the God of Israel through the demonstration of His holiness in the lives of His people! We also see how man’s response is to sanctify the name of God. We note what God says through Ezekiel according to Ezekiel 36:19-24.

ספר יחזקאל פרק לו
יט   וָאָפִיץ אֹתָם בַּגּוֹיִם וַיִּזָּרוּ בָּאֲרָצוֹת כְּדַרְכָּם וְכַעֲלִילוֹתָם שְׁפַטְתִּים: כ   וַיָּבוֹא אֶל-הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר-בָּאוּ שָׁם וַיְחַלְּלוּ אֶת-שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי בֶּאֱמֹר לָהֶם עַם-יְהֹוָה אֵלֶּה וּמֵאַרְצוֹ יָצָאוּ: כא   וָאֶחְמֹל עַל-שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי אֲשֶׁר חִלְּלוּהוּ בֵּית יִשְֹרָאֵל בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר-בָּאוּ שָׁמָּה:       כב   לָכֵן אֱמֹר לְבֵית-יִשְֹרָאֵל כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה לֹא לְמַעַנְכֶם אֲנִי עֹשֶֹה בֵּית יִשְֹרָאֵל כִּי אִם-לְשֵׁם-קָדְשִׁי אֲשֶׁר חִלַּלְתֶּם בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר-בָּאתֶם שָׁם: כג   וְקִדַּשְׁתִּי אֶת-שְׁמִי הַגָּדוֹל הַמְחֻלָּל בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר חִלַּלְתֶּם בְּתוֹכָם וְיָדְעוּ הַגּוֹיִם כִּי-אֲנִי יְהֹוָה נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה בְּהִקָּדְשִׁי בָכֶם לְעֵינֵיהֶם: כד   וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם מִן-הַגּוֹיִם וְקִבַּצְתִּי אֶתְכֶם מִכָּל-הָאֲרָצוֹת וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם אֶל-אַדְמַתְכֶם: 

Ezekiel 36:19–24 
36:19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. 36:20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. 36:21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. 36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 36:23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. (KJV)

What we see here is how since the people did not sanctify the name of God, the Lord God Almighty took it upon Himself to sanctify His name for the sake of His own Name! The Lord God is faithful to His people for the sake of His Name among the nations. To sanctify the name is to declare that He truly is God, and then to walk in His holy ways. The victory is the Lord’s. If we consider the scientific perspective, the second law of thermodynamics reveals to us how the world is running down, and incapable of saving itself. We need an external force, the prime mover, the Creator God, the God of Iife in order to be saved! We also note that death brings tamei, impurity, uncleanness, and unholiness. This is why we need the living God, the one who created all things in order to be saved from death, impurity, uncleanness, and unholiness. We need the Lord’s help to bring us up out of unholiness and into the holiness of God! We need someone to show us the way, and this was the point of God sending His Son Yeshua to die for our sins, to show us the way, now to walk in God’s holy ways, and how to give our lives to the Lord! All of these things coupled together speak to why we need the Messiah of God, and why we need a redeemer in this life!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Targum Jonathan is an Aramaic and Rabbinic translation of the book of Isaiah and therefore is a valuable resource for the study of the book of Isaiah.

תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק כט:יט-כד
יט   וְיֹוסְפוּן מְקַבְלֵי עוּלבָן בְמֵימְרָא דַיוי חַדוָא וְחַשִיכֵי בְנֵי אְנָשָא בְמֵימַר קַדִישָא דְיִשרָאֵל יְבוּעוּן׃ כ   אְרֵי סָף מָעִיקָא וְאִשתֵיצִי בָזְזָא וְסָפוּ כָל דַהְוֹו מְשַחְרִין לְמֵינַס׃ כא   מְחַיְיבִין בְנֵי אְנָשָא בְמִלֵיהֹון וְלִדמֹוכַח לְהֹון בֵית דִינָא פִתגָמֵי אֹורָיתָא בָעַן לֵיה תַקלָא וְאַסטִיאוּ בִשקַר דִין זַכָאיִן׃ כב   בְכֵין כִדנָן אְמַר יוי עַל בֵית יַעְקֹב דִפרַק יָת אַברָהָם לָא מִכְעַן יִבַהתוּן דְבֵית יַעְקֹב וְלָא מִכְעַן אַפֵיהֹון יִשתַנְיָן׃ כג   אְרֵי בְמִחזֹוהִי גְבוּרָן דְאַעבֵיד לִבנֹוהִי טָבוָת אַברָהָם לְזַרעֵיה בָתְרֹוהִי עַל אְרַעהֹון בֵינֵיהֹון יְקַדְשוּן שְמִי וְיֵימְרוּן קַדִיש קַדִישָא דְיַעְקֹב וְעַל אְלָהָא דְיִשרָאֵל יֵימְרוּן תַקִיף׃ כד   וְיִדְעוּן דְלָא אֵילַפוּ רוּחַ דְסוּכלְתָנוּ וְדַהְוֹו אָמְרִין לֵית כָל אִלֵין יְקַבְלוּן אוּלפָן׃

Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 29:19-24
29:19 And those that have suffered affliction on account of the WORD of the Lord shall increase their joy, and the poor of the sons of men shall rejoice in the WORD of the holy One of Israel. 29:20 For the oppressor is come to an end, and the plunderer is made to cease, and all that rose up early to act violently have come to an end; 29:21 All that declare the sons of men guilty on account of their words. The court of justice that is in the gate seeks to ensnare him, who reproves them with the words of the law. They turn aside the just by false judgment. 29:22 Therefore thus hath the Lord said, who hath redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: They of the house of Jacob shall not henceforth be confounded, neither shall their faces henceforth look dismayed. 29:23 But when they of the house of Jacob shall see the mighty deeds which I shall do for their children, the kindness which I have promised Abraham, and his posterity after him in their own land, they shall sanctify my name among them; they shall say, Holy is the holy One of Jacob; and concerning the God of Israel they shall say, He is mighty. 29:24 And they who were not taught by the spirit of understanding shall have knowledge; and they who said, All these things are nothing, shall receive instruction. (TgJ)

The TgJ states here in Isaiah 29:19, יט   וְיֹוסְפוּן מְקַבְלֵי עוּלבָן בְמֵימְרָא דַיוי חַדוָא וְחַשִיכֵי בְנֵי אְנָשָא בְמֵימַר קַדִישָא דְיִשרָאֵל יְבוּעוּן׃ 29:19 And those that have suffered affliction on account of the WORD of the Lord shall increase their joy, and the poor of the sons of men shall rejoice in the WORD of the holy One of Israel. (TgJ) The rabbis translate how the people shall rejoice in the Word of the Lord. This means that they will be either reading, hearing, or being taught the Word of God. The Aramaic translation also speaks to those who suffer for the sake of the Word of God. Rashi on Isaiah 29,19 Part 1 states ענוים. סבלנים שסבלו עולו של הקב”ה וגזרותיו: And those who suffered The suffering ones, who bore the yoke of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His decrees.” The question for us is what does it mean to suffer and bear the yoke of the Holy One of Israel? The yoke is a reference to genuine hard work. When one bears the yoke of God, as the rabbis describe bearing the yoke of the Word of God, this means that one has genuineness in his faith to work hard to listen and obey. This is a very important concept in the life of God’s people. Yeshua spoke of the yoke according to Matthew 11:29-30.

Matthew 11:27–30 
11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (KJV, *27 Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός °μου, ✽ καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐπιγινώσκει ⸂τὸν υἱὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ, οὐδὲ τὸν πατέρα τις ἐπιγινώσκει εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς⸃ καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν βούληται ὁ υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψαι. *28 Δεῦτε πρός με πάντες οἱ κοπιῶντες καὶ πεφορτισμένοι,* κἀγὼ ἀναπαύσω ὑμᾶς. 29 ἄρατε τὸν ζυγόν μου ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς καὶ μάθετε ⸋ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ⸌, ὅτι πραΰς εἰμι καὶ ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ, καὶ εὑρήσετε ἀνάπαυσιν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν· 30 ὁ γὰρ ζυγός μου χρηστὸς καὶ τὸ φορτίον μου ἐλαφρόν ἐστιν.)

Yeshua here speaks of the authority that has been given him to reveal to us our Father God in heaven. He speaks of being heavily laden with labor, and to come to Him since his yoke is easy and he will give us rest. This concept of the yoke is a symbol of discipline, discipleship, and walking with God. The yoke of bondage on the other hand is a symbol of oppression. We note that the Torah is not what is being spoken of here in regard to oppression or bondage. Some theologians teach that the Law of God is bondage and oppression. The concept here in being yoked with God is that we are walking with God, that we strive for the righteousness of God, we struggle with sin, we do not cozy up alongside sin. We consider the example of the donkey and the bull. Each of these animals have different behaviors. Classically we note that the donkey can be rebellious, refusing to move, while the bull does not experience such things. So, the idea is that one does not yoke a donkey and a bull together as they would work against each other as opposed to working together to perform the necessary work. These concepts follow through from our bearing the yoke of God. For those who choose to sin and are unrepentant, we had discussed before how this is synonymous to walking a different path than the path that God walks upon. So essentially, the one who rejects God’s Torah, rejects God’s son, and walks a life of unrepentant sin, walks in his own ways and chooses to walk away from the God of Israel and His holy ways. This concept of the easy and light burden of the yoke of Yeshua, is found in the presence of God in our lives who is the enabler. He places in our hearts peace and a desire to live for Him! We note Paul wrote not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever (see 2 Corinthians 6:14) in regard to marriage, the reasoning follows from similar logic, as the unbeliever will walk a path that is not the path of God, so two people in this world walking two different paths, they are not walking together, and there is no unity, and the marriage is broken. The end result is misery. The Jewish commentaries speak to these things in the following way.

Nefesh HaChayim, An Introduction by the Author’s Son 14
Additionally, among the ways of genuine humility are to genuinely despise and be repulsed by anything that has to do with the physical, to the point that they are considered as being nothingness and void, and not to experience any pleasure or attachment. And also to regard highly only God’s ways, so that their heart/minds would be open to Torah and service and holiness, so that they would rejoice only in God and so that they would prepare their heart/ minds to be a pleasant dwelling place for Him (blessed be His name), as is written (Yeshayahu 29:19): “The meek will increase their joy in God-YHV”H”, and per the verse that is often upon our lips when we stand in prayer saying: “And to those who curse me, may my soul-Neffesh be silent, and may my soul-Neffesh be like dust to all.” And further on: “Make my heart/mind receptive to your Torah and then my soul-Neffesh will pursue your commandments”. So too, anyone who knew my honored father the genius (OBM) can testify and tell of his great humility, that he would be offended rather than be offending, and was lowly in spirit before everyone. And regarding physical pleasures—he would be careful to absolutely minimize them, and he set about his ways without feeling pleasure. And even when old age arrived and he was afflicted with afflictions-of-love21Heb.: yee-soo-rei ah-ha-va in his property and his soul-Neffesh, he accepted them with joy and a jubilant expression, without expressing sighs (as our sages state [Berakhot 62a] about those who accept afflictions in silence), and he was in a happy frame of mind all those years when he accepted afflictions. And that righteous man only regretted that he had to support his physical needs responding to his illness. And behind closed doors his eyes would drop tears (and my eyes witnessed this, not a stranger). And even though his heart/mind was pained over it, he happily accepted his affliction that allowed him to minimize his perception of physical pleasure, to the extent that he paid no mind to pleasure or wounds22Heb.: l’oh-neg v’lo l’neh-ga—Reb Itzele expresses these opposing physical states using two words spelled with the same three letters: ayin, nun and-gimmel..

The introduction to Nefesh HaChayim writes concerning genuine humility and to not be people who seek pleasure and attachment to this world. The commentator speaks of one having a heart and mind open to the Torah, service, and holiness so that one would be able to rejoice in the God of Israel. In addition, we are to prepare the heart and mind to be a pleasant dwelling place for Him. This is a very interesting conclusion to humility, as it speaks to God’s indwelling presence via his Holy Spirit. These things are remarkably consistent with the NT interpretation of these things! We note what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

1 Corinthians 6:19–20
6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (KJV, 19 ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ⸂τὸ σῶμα⸃ ὑμῶν ναὸς τοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν ⸉ἁγίου πνεύματός⸊ ἐστιν οὗ ἔχετε ἀπὸ θεοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἐστὲ ἑαυτῶν;* 20 ἠγοράσθητε γὰρ τιμῆς· δοξάσατε ⸀δὴ τὸν θεὸν ἐν τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν⸆.*)

Paul writes that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit of God which makes our bodies quite unique and special. For example, anything that contains God’s presence is deemed holy. Also, since the body receives the presence of God via His Holy spirit, we are to reflect His nature. This is why Paul wrote instructing the Corinthians to flee from sexual immorality. Because sexual sin is a sin against the body and against God. So, Paul wrote to honor and glorify God in the body and in the spirit. We note the Greek text NA28 states specifically 20 ἠγοράσθητε γὰρ τιμῆς· δοξάσατε ⸀δὴ τὸν θεὸν ἐν τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν⸆.* while the Textus Receptus states, 20 ηγορασθητε γαρ τιμης δοξασατε δη τον θεον εν τω σωματι υμων και εν τω πνευματι υμων ατινα εστιν του θεου. The KJV follows the Textus Receptus, and the difference between these texts is to glorify God in the σωματι (body) and the πνευματι (spirit). The NA28 writes we are to glorify God in our bodies and does not mention the spirit. The Textus Receptus, though an older text, appears to be more consistent with the Jewish concepts of Neshamah, Nefesh, and Ruach in relation to our being created b’tzelem elohim (in the image of God) our service to God (via the Nefesh and Ruach) and walking in the Ruach (the spirit) we are living for the Lord. God our Father created both our body and our spirit and so He makes our bodies the very Temple of God, and likewise we are to live as if we are the dwelling place of God. Note how these are significant concepts the rabbinic literature and Paul draw out for us!  The Midrash Kohelet writes the following concerning these things.

Kohelet Rabbah 7:2:1
טוֹב לָלֶכֶת אֶל בֵּית אֵבֶל מִלֶּכֶת אֶל בֵּית מִשְׁתֶּה, לָמָּה שֶׁלֵּב חֲכָמִים בְּבֵית אֵבֶל, שֶׁכָּל מִי שֶׁמִּתְאַבֵּל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְשַׂמְּחוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה כט, יט): וְיָסְפוּ עֲנָוִים בַּה’ שִׂמְחָה. דָּבָר אַחֵר, טוֹב לָלֶכֶת אֶל בֵּית אֵבֶל מִלֶּכֶת אֶל בֵּית מִשְׁתֶּה, מוּטָב לָלֶכֶת לְמִדָּה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ פֵּרָעוֹן, מִמִּדָּה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ פֵּרָעוֹן. מוּטָב לֵילֵךְ בְּמִדָּה נוֹהֶגֶת בַּחַיִּים וּבַמֵּתִים, מִמִּדָּה שֶׁאֵינָה נוֹהֶגֶת אֶלָּא בַּחַיִּים. מוּטָב לֵילֵךְ בְּמִדָּה נוֹהֶגֶת בָּעֲשִׁירִים וּבָעֲנִיִּים, מִמִּדָּה שֶׁאֵינָה נוֹהֶגֶת אֶלָּא בָּעֲשִׁירִים. מוּטָב לֵילֵךְ בְּמִדָּה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ פִּיּוּס, מִמִּדָּה שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ פִּיּוּס. “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting; for that is the end of all men, and the living will take it to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting.” Why? It is because “the heart of the wise is in a house of mourning” (Ecclesiastes 7:4), as anyone who mourns, the Holy One blessed be He brings him joy, as it is stated: “The humble will increase their joy in the Lord” (Isaiah 29:19). Another matter, “it is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting” – it is better to adopt a mode of conduct for which there is a recompense, than a mode of conduct for which there is no recompense.27 Just as one pays respects to the dead, others will pay their respects to him when he dies. But regarding feasting, it is not clear that he who attends a feast will himself conduct a feast. It is better to adopt a mode of conduct that serves the living and the dead, than a mode of conduct that serves only the living. It is better to adopt a mode of conduct that serves both the wealthy and the poor, than a mode of conduct that serves only the wealthy. It is better to adopt a mode of conduct that involves consolation, than a mode of conduct that does not involve consolation.

The concepts that the Midrash are drawing out for us is to the dangers of great wealth, and how wealth has the capacity to draw one away from holiness and righteousness. Wealth also has the capacity to push one over to pride and arrogance both of which stand in opposition to humility which is the tell-tale-sign of the faithful. When we study this concept of the indwelling presence of God, we note that the Scriptures do not use words such as “home / house / residence” but chooses to refer to our bodies as a ναὸς (Temple) for the ἁγίου πνεύματός (Holy Spirit). The imagery of ναὸς (Temple) draws in the idea of the Spirit’s dwelling and conveys the idea that our bodies are to be a sacred space for the Lord where His Spirit lives and dwells. As a result, we are to behave, think, speak, and live our lives as such. This is what it means in the Midrash which states “it is better to adopt a mode of conduct for which there is a recompense, than a mode of conduct for which there is no recompense.” We live as serving God, and not as only desiring wanton pleasures of this world illustrated in the Midrash as the differences of serving the living and the dead, we don’t serve in feasting but in mourning. These things speak to the proper perspective, or Kavanah (intention) which is what Paul is suggesting as our being the Temple of God, the dwelling place of his presence. If our bodies are the dwelling place of God, then our eyes, our ears, and our actions become critically important in our service to God. Paul wrote because God’s Spirit dwells within, it is possible to grieve the Holy Spirit of God through our actions and our thoughts (see Ephesians 4:30). This is why Paul wrote,  “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32) The indwelling Spirit of God helps us to overcome sin and so when we live by the Spirit, we will no longer gratify the sinful desires. (Galatians 5:16) On a side note regarding these things, it is interesting while reading the Hebrew bible through the book of Ezra. In the book of Ezra there is someone named יֵשׁ֨וּעַ בֶּן־יֽוֹצָדָ֜ק Yeshua son of Josadak. 

ספר עזרא פרל ג:ב
וַיָּקָם֩ יֵשׁ֨וּעַ בֶּן־יֽוֹצָדָ֜ק וְאֶחָ֣יו הַכֹּהֲנִ֗ים וּזְרֻבָּבֶ֤ל בֶּן־שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל֙ וְאֶחָ֔יו וַיִּבְנ֕וּ אֶת־מִזְבַּח אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לְהַעֲל֤וֹת עָלָיו֙ עֹל֔וֹת כַּכָּת֕וּב בְּתוֹרַ֖ת מֹשֶׁה אִישׁ־הָאֱלֹהִֽים׃

Ezra 3:2 
3:2 Then stood up Yeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. (KJV)

We note a few things about Yeshua mentioned in the book of Ezra. This man Yeshua, his name appears frequently. He is also involved in helping to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem as a priest of God, just as we see here his helping to build the altar and offer sacrifices to the God of Israel as written in the Torah of Moshe. We note again, Yeshua’s part here in Ezra is to build the temple of God in Jerusalem. Isn’t that a fascinating parallel to Yeshua of Nazareth in the NT? The reason this is significant is because this reminds us of who Yeshua is, that in and through Yeshua we become the dwelling place of God by faith receiving the Holy Spirit of God. Our bodies become the temple of God. Yeshua helps build that temple! Another interesting point here is that Yeshua is a Jewish name and not a Christian invention which is a claim of the anti-missionaries in their attempts to discredit the NT. These things reveal to us how important it is that we read our bibles, especially in Hebrew as these things jump out at us right out of the Hebrew text! When we know what the Scriptures say, it is quite easy to break the anti-missionary claims such as this!

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to the TgJ, כ   אְרֵי סָף מָעִיקָא וְאִשתֵיצִי בָזְזָא וְסָפוּ כָל דַהְוֹו מְשַחְרִין לְמֵינַס׃ 29:20 For the oppressor is come to an end, and the plunderer is made to cease, and all that rose up early to act violently have come to an end; כא   מְחַיְיבִין בְנֵי אְנָשָא בְמִלֵיהֹון וְלִדמֹוכַח לְהֹון בֵית דִינָא פִתגָמֵי אֹורָיתָא בָעַן לֵיה תַקלָא וְאַסטִיאוּ בִשקַר דִין זַכָאיִן׃  29:21 All that declare the sons of men guilty on account of their words. The court of justice that is in the gate seeks to ensnare him, who reproves them with the words of the law. They turn aside the just by false judgment. (TgJ) Isaiah here speaks of the Lord God Almighty ending the oppressor, and specifically of those who offer false judgment in the court of law which sits at the gate of the city. The next two commentaries speak of tradition, of not having faith in the sages, and of suffering insult for those who chose to live their lives according to God’s commands.

Likutei Moharan 57,9 Part 3
הַיְנוּ, כְּשֶׁאֵין אֱמוּנוֹת חֲכָמִים, וְאֵין שׁוֹמֵעַ לָהֶם, בִּבְחִינַת (ישעיהו כ״ט:כ״א): וְלַמּוֹכִיחַ בַּשַּׁעַר יְקֹשׁוּן; עַל־יְדֵי־זֶה בָּאִים לְחֹלִי עַד אֵין מַרְפֵּא כַּנַּ”ל, בִּבְחִינַת (תהילים ק״ז:י״ח): וַיַּגִּיעוּ עַד שַׁעֲרֵי מָוֶת. אֲבָל כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם אֱמוּנָה, אֲזַי נִפְתָּחִים לָהֶם שַׁעֲרֵי הַקְּדֻשָּׁה, בִּבְחִינַת (ישעיהו כ״ו:ב׳): פִּתְחוּ שְׁעָרִים וְכוּ’ שׁוֹמֵר אֱמוּנִים. וּכְשֶׁזֶּה קָם זֶה נוֹפֵל, וְאָז נוֹפֵל שַׁעַר אֲרָם פַּעַם אַחַת: 
That is, when there is no faith in the sages and no one listens to them—in the aspect of “laying a snare for the rebuker at the gate” (Isaiah 29:21)—because of this they take ill, until they have no cure, in the aspect of “they reached the gates of death” (Psalms 107:18). But when they have faith, then the gates of holiness open up for them, in the aspect of “Open the gates… he that keeps faith” (Isaiah 26:2). And when one rises, the other falls. Thus the gate of Aram falls one time.

Here the commentary speaks of keeping the faith in regards to tradition by the references to not having faith in the sages. Traditions can be an important thing if they are the correct traditions! This is one of the reasons that the Torah so frequently repeats the importance of the Shalosh Regalim (and all of the Moedim). The reason is for the purpose of remembering what God has done, and the glory and power of His works. These things are exemplified in the Exodus during Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles) each of these speak to the power of God and mighty deliverance (Pesach) and to the giving of God’s Holy Word to a covenant people (Shavuot) and that how the people dwelled in tents (Sukkot) during the wilderness journey. These things are important since it was the Lord God who sustained the people in the wilderness with water and food every day. These things remind us that man does not live by bread alone! The daily miracles that God performed however would come to an end when they entered the Holy Land of Israel, and so we are reminded to remember the three festivals (Shalosh Regalim). These things remind us of the power of God in our lives, and of who we are as God’s people! These things remind us of what we should never forget, and are consistent with the idea of the Spirit’s indwelling (the presence of God) and the sacredness of our lives emphasizing again who we are, how  we are to behave, think, and speak, and how we should to live our lives bringing glory to God in heaven!.

Sefer Chasidim 40,1
“May, but for Thy sake are we killed all the day” (Ps. 44:23). These are people who suffer insult and shame because of the commandments. For when one tells a person it is foolish to fulfill the commandments of fringes and phylacteries and the like, his blood spills as water because of the shame. Scripture regards this as if he had been murdered because of it. One who shames another is regarded as a murderer1Baba Metzia 58b. and it (sin) withholds him from performing a meritorious deed. This is what Scripture has said, “That make a man an offender by words” (Isa. 29:21) and it has been said, “Because for Thy sake I have borne reproach” (Ps. 69:8). “Still greater is the effect of shame,” our sages have said, “in the case of one who commits a sin and is put to shame by it, he is pardoned for all his transgressions.”2Berakoth 12b. For it is said, “That thou mayest remember and be confounded and never open thy mouth anymore because of thy shame when I have forgiven thee all that thou hast done, saith the Lord, God” (Ezek. 16:63).

Sefer Chasidim speaks to God’s people suffering insult or shame because of God’s commandments. The example of the fringes (tzitzit) and Tefillin are provided which are commanded to be warn, and those who make fun of someone who obeys these commands. Note this can refer to all of God’s commands as a generalization, since the tzitzit are meant to remind us of all of God’s commands! It is interesting how the rabbis conclude that the one who shames another person over the Torah commands is regarded as a murderer (Talmud Baba Metzia 58b). The rabbis take this interpretation from Isaiah 29:21, ; כא   מְחַיְיבִין בְנֵי אְנָשָא בְמִלֵיהֹון וְלִדמֹוכַח לְהֹון בֵית דִינָא פִתגָמֵי אֹורָיתָא בָעַן לֵיה תַקלָא וְאַסטִיאוּ בִשקַר דִין זַכָאיִן׃  29:21 All that declare the sons of men guilty on account of their words. The court of justice that is in the gate seeks to ensnare him, who reproves them with the words of the law. They turn aside the just by false judgment. (TgJ) The idea here is one’s words turning another person from the way of God or causing one to sin. According to Rambam, the prohibition against humiliating others in his listing of the mitzvot (Sefer HaMitzvot, lo ta’aseh 303). He cites the verse obligating a person to rebuke his fellow, which concludes with the words “and you shall not bear upon him a sin.” The Chazal (Erchin 16b) understands this to mean that one must be wary of publicly humiliating others, even if they are deserving of rebuke. (This information on Rambam was compiled by Dvar Torah) The Chazal also teaches that a person should rather throw himself into a burning furnace then cause someone public shame (Berachos 43b), as derived from the conduct of Tamar. According to Tosafos (Sotah 10b), the Talmudic teaching is taken literally: “A person must actually give up his life rather than publicly shame his fellow.” Tosafos questions why the scenario of public humiliation does not appear together with the other circumstances that require a person to sacrifice his life. The Gemara (Pesachim 25a-b) teaches that there are three sins which one may not violate under any conditions, even to save one’s life, namely, idol worship, forbidden marital relations, and murder. Thus, if one is ordered to take somebody else’s life under threat of death, it remains forbidden to carry out the murder. The Rambam (Hilchos Yesodei Ha-Torah 5:2) and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah 157:1) rule accordingly. If one must also give up one’s life rather than embarrass someone in public, why is this requirement not mentioned together with the requirement to give up one’s life rather than violate the three cardinal transgressions? If we consider Sefer Chasidim interpretation that shaming is analogous to murder, then shaming is also one of the forbidden sins according to the Scriptures. These things remind us of the importance of guarding our lips by what we say since our words can have devastating effects upon a person.

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to the TgJ, כב   בְכֵין כִדנָן אְמַר יוי עַל בֵית יַעְקֹב דִפרַק יָת אַברָהָם לָא מִכְעַן יִבַהתוּן דְבֵית יַעְקֹב וְלָא מִכְעַן אַפֵיהֹון יִשתַנְיָן׃  29:22 Therefore thus hath the Lord said, who hath redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: They of the house of Jacob shall not henceforth be confounded, neither shall their faces henceforth look dismayed. (TgJ) The question of who redeemed Abraham is asked by Rashi in his commentary.

Rashi on Isaiah 29,22 Part 1
אשר פדה את אברהם. מאור כשדי’: Who redeemed Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees.
לא עתה יבוש יעקב. מאביו: Now Jacob shall not be ashamed of his father.
ולא עתה פניו יחורו. מאבי אביו שאין נמצא פסול במטתו ומטתו שלימה: and now his face shall not pale because of his father’s father, for no imperfection has been found in his bed, and his bed is perfect.

Rashi is a little cryptic concerning who redeemed Abraham. We also note a few parallels between Jacob and Abraham. Jacob in his story from the Torah we read he went to Chaldees to flee from Esau and lived there for many years. Then the Lord called him back to Haeretz Israel. We also note that Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, and likewise Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Abraham had a son Isaac in his old age, and Jacob also had a son in his old age, but not quite in the same manner as Abraham. So, these things reveal to us how the Lord God redeemed these men, Abraham and Jacob both physically (through children) and spiritually (through name change). The conclusion is that the Lord God Almighty redeemed Abraham and Israel because of His covenant relationship. We also note that redemption (ie the kinsman redeemer) is a central part of the Abrahamic covenant when we consider these things.

Isaiah states according to the TgJ, כג   אְרֵי בְמִחזֹוהִי גְבוּרָן דְאַעבֵיד לִבנֹוהִי טָבוָת אַברָהָם לְזַרעֵיה בָתְרֹוהִי עַל אְרַעהֹון בֵינֵיהֹון יְקַדְשוּן שְמִי וְיֵימְרוּן קַדִיש קַדִישָא דְיַעְקֹב וְעַל אְלָהָא דְיִשרָאֵל יֵימְרוּן תַקִיף׃  29:23 But when they of the house of Jacob shall see the mighty deeds which I shall do for their children, the kindness which I have promised Abraham, and his posterity after him in their own land, they shall sanctify my name among them; they shall say, Holy is the holy One of Jacob; and concerning the God of Israel they shall say, He is mighty. כד   וְיִדְעוּן דְלָא אֵילַפוּ רוּחַ דְסוּכלְתָנוּ וְדַהְוֹו אָמְרִין לֵית כָל אִלֵין יְקַבְלוּן אוּלפָן׃ 29:24 And they who were not taught by the spirit of understanding shall have knowledge; and they who said, All these things are nothing, shall receive instruction. (TgJ) These last two verses speak of the redemption of God’s people, the drawing back and even instilling within the hearts of the people the desire to walk in God’s ways and learning to walk in God’s ways (application). The commentary Sefer HaMitzvot has the following to say concerning these things.

Sefer HaMitzvot, Positive Commandments 9:1
That is that He commanded us to sanctify His name. And that is His saying, “and I shall be sanctified in the midst of the Children of Israel” (Leviticus 22:32). And the content of this commandment is that we are commanded to publicize this true faith in the world, and that we not fear the injury of any aggressor. And even though an oppressor seeks to coerce us, we may not listen to him, but rather must give ourselves over to dying; and not deceive him to think that we have denied [God or His Torah] – even if we [regardless] believe in Him, may He be exalted, in our hearts. And this is the commandment of sanctifying [God’s] name, that the Jewish people is commanded as a whole – meaning, to allow ourselves to die at the hand of the coercer on account of our love for God, may He be exalted, and our faith in His unity. This is like that which was done by Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah at the time of the evil Nevuchadnetsar, when he commanded to bow down to an image and all of the masses bowed down to it, including the Jews; and there was no one there sanctifying the name of the Heavens. Rather all were afraid; and this was a great disgrace for all of Israel, since the commandment was lost from all of them. And this commandment (in such circumstances) is only commanded in such a large and public stand in which everyone is afraid. And this was a designated publicization of [God’s] unity which was designated by God through Yishayah – that the disgrace of Israel not be complete during this stand, but that young men would appear at that difficult time; and death would not scare them and they would allow their lives [to be taken], such that they would publicize the faith and sanctify [God’s] name among the masses. This is as He promised us when He said, “no more shall Yaakov be shamed, no longer his face grow pale. For when he – that is, his children – behold what My hands have wrought in his midst, they will sanctify My name, etc.” (Isaiah 29:22-23). And the language of the Sifra is, “On this condition did I bring you out of Egypt: On condition that you sanctify My name among the masses.” And in the Gemara (Sanhedrin 74b), they said, “Is a gentile (ben Noach) commanded about the sanctification of [God’s] name, or is he not commanded? Come and hear – the Children of Noach were commanded to observe seven commandments. And if you say like this, there would be eight.” Behold it has become clear to you that it is among the commandments that are obligatory for the Jews. And they brought His saying, “and I shall be sanctified in the midst of the Children of Israel,” as a proof for this commandment. And the regulations of this commandment have already been explained in the seventh chapter of Sanhedrin. (See Parashat Emor ; Mishneh Torah, Foundations of the Torah 5.)

Here the commentary speaks of how God has commanded His people to sanctify His name in their lives. This is accomplished in two ways, one is in our lives, which is something that others see, and second is in publicizing the true faith in all the world. We are not to be afraid and not to be worried about being oppressed due to our faith, that we must be willing to give ourselves over to dying in order to sanctify the name of God. There is a lot that can be said concerning giving ourselves over to death. Both Yeshua and Paul spoke of these things according to Matthew 16:24-26 and Romans 6:3-12.

Matthew 16:24–26 
16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (KJV, *24 Τότε ⸂ὁ Ἰησοῦς⸃ εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ· εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἐλθεῖν, ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι. 25 ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν θέλῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ σῶσαι ἀπολέσει αὐτήν·* ὃς δʼ ἂν ἀπολέσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ εὑρήσει αὐτήν. 26 τί γὰρ ⸀ὠφεληθήσεται ἄνθρωπος ἐὰν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον κερδήσῃ τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ζημιωθῇ;* ἢ τί δώσει ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ; *27 μέλλει γὰρ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεσθαι ἐν τῇ δόξῃ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀγγέλων αὐτοῦ,* καὶ τότε ἀποδώσει ἑκάστῳ κατὰ ⸂τὴν πρᾶξιν⸃ αὐτοῦ.*)

Romans 6:3–12 
6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. (KJV, 3 ἢ ἀγνοεῖτε ὅτι, ὅσοι ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς Χριστὸν* °Ἰησοῦν, εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθημεν*; 4 συνετάφημεν οὖν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τὸν θάνατον*, ἵνα ὥσπερ ἠγέρθη Χριστὸς ἐκ νεκρῶν διὰ τῆς δόξης τοῦ πατρός*, οὕτως καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς περιπατήσωμεν*. 5 εἰ γὰρ σύμφυτοι γεγόναμεν τῷ ὁμοιώματι τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ*, ⸀ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἐσόμεθα·* 6 ⸀τοῦτο γινώσκοντες ὅτι ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη*, ἵνα καταργηθῇ τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας, τοῦ μηκέτι δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ·* 7 ὁ γὰρ ἀποθανὼν δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας. 8 εἰ ⸀δὲ ἀπεθάνομεν σὺν Χριστῷ, πιστεύομεν ὅτι καὶ ⸁συζήσομεν ⸀1αὐτῷ*, 9 εἰδότες ὅτι Χριστὸς ἐγερθεὶς ἐκ νεκρῶν οὐκέτι ἀποθνῄσκει, θάνατος αὐτοῦ οὐκέτι κυριεύει*. 10 ὃ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν, τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἀπέθανεν ἐφάπαξ· ὃ δὲ ζῇ, ζῇ τῷ θεῷ*. 11 οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς λογίζεσθε ἑαυτοὺς ⸂[εἶναι] νεκροὺς μὲν⸃ τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ζῶντας δὲ τῷ θεῷ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ⸆. 12 Μὴ οὖν βασιλευέτω ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐν τῷ θνητῷ ὑμῶν σώματι εἰς τὸ ὑπακούειν ⸂ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις αὐτοῦ⸃)

We can see these rabbinic concepts here in relation to following in the footsteps of the Messiah and dying to sin. Yeshua spoke of taking up the cross in order to follow him. This means that one must give himself over to death and suffering, in order to qualify for following Yeshua. Paul speaks concerning sin, and the giving over of ourselves to death in regard to sin as a dead person does not sin. How we were baptized into the death of Messiah! Notice how all of these things when we examine them coupled with the rabbinic literature, they are very Torah based teachings and interpretations! The example provided is of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah at the time of the evil Nevuchadnetsar and their sanctifying the name of god and the outcome of doing this lead to the publicization of the Name of God and the public sanctification of God’s holy name to an entire nation. This is the kind of faith that we are called to have, and not be murmurs that oppose the truth. (See Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 29,24 Part 1 and 2) Previously in Isaiah 29:1-24, we read how the people complained and made grumbling words against the instruction of God by the mouth of the prophet. These are those who were unlearned in the Torah of God, and Isaiah states that they could not read the words of the book. We note today how those who shame others for obeying the Torah commands, they are those who are also unlearned in the Torah of God! This suggests that such people do not even know God or His Messiah Yeshua! What these words from the rabbis and the book of Isaiah are teaching us is that the only way to truly understand the word of God, His Torah and all of the Scriptures, is by the revelation of God our Father in heaven. These things are revealed to us via the Spirit of God in our lives. Without the indwelling presence of God in our lives, there is no understanding of God’s Word and especially in the application of His Word to our lives!

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Dr. Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher.Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!