Jack Snyder

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Enigma: The Teacher of Righteousness

Shalom Chaverim (friends).  We hope all is well in Messiah with you and yours.

Get Your Mezuzah Blessed Off

Roots and Branches Group will meet this Erev Shabbat (Friday night) for our informal Nazorean worship service and scripture training.  On Sabbath (Saturay) 2:00 PM we will gather at Vista Gardens for the Blessing of Mezuzahs and Mikvot (immersion in water in the name of Yahshua Messiah).  For directions to Headquarters at Tabernacles Ministries in Vero Beach, check the website at this link.  If you need to bless the Almighty for the safety of your home and your Mezuzah, reply to this mail and we’ll get you directions.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Library

The last few days I have been reading from the library known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  There is still much mystery about the Scrolls themselves as well as the people of the Scrolls, whoever they were.  What we do know about them is that they were contemporaneous with both the Maccabees and with the Nazorean Assembly (so-called Jewish Christians).  My brother (Pete) and I have been studying these texts for many years; both of us ‘majored’ in them during our courses of study in higher education.  There is much these texts can teach us about our religious roots.

The Teacher of Righteousness, or Righteous Teacher

In this note, I want to show you some of the writings of the sect’s guiding light, known to us not by a name, but by a title – the Teacher of Righteousness (Moreh haZadik).  Only a very few scholars identify the Teacher with Yahshua our Messiah, though a very strong current in scholarship today identifies (and claims to have proved) that the Teacher is Yaakov haTzadik (James the Just), the brother of Yahshua Messiah and author of the New Testament book Epistle of James.

Who Is this Teacher?

I am sure you are a Bible reader, and probably know well many of the characters of the New Testament; so I have selected a few excerpts for you from the Dead Sea Scrolls book of Thanksgiving Psalms, written by the Teacher himself.  Read through them – they will all seem familiar – and check out the comments – maybe you can place the identity of the Teacher.  Remember as you go through, these are just a few lines of a huge assortment of texts.  Maybe you’ll catch the bug as we have.

From the Thanksgiving Psalms (Quotations based on Wise, Abegg, Cook, 1996)

(1) They did not respect me, even when You displayed your might through me.  Instead, they drove me out of my land as a bird from the nest. All my friends and acquaintances have been driven away from me; they consider me as a shattered pot.

We wonder exactly how the mighty of the Mighty One was displayed!  It seems like those whose hands are full of false miracles receive the respect, when the true prodigy is covered by a bushel.  I did a short musical production on this verse in 2007.  I think it’s pretty good.  You can listen to “Shattered Pot” in streaming audio at this link.

(2) You have appointed me as an object of shame and derision to the faithless, but a foundation of truth and understanding for the righteous.

(3) You have appointed me as a banner for the chosen of righteousness, and an informed mediator of wonderful mysteries, so as to test those of truth and lovers of correction.

The first sentence puts us in mind of Isaiah 53, the suffering servant, though this statement is in the first person, in the voice of a man of suffering and acquainted with grief.  The second statement is a surprise; indeed, these uplifting words are in the opposite mood of the first, an echo of Paul’s wisdom to Timothy, there being one eloha, and one mediator between elohim and humankind, the man, Yahshua Messiah, who gave his life a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5).

(4) I am as distressed as a woman about to bring forth her firstborn. Yea, children come to life through the breakers of death. She delivers a male child: through the pains of Sheol bursts forth a wonderful counselor, mighty el.

(5) You have appointed me as a father to the children of mercy and as a guardian to men of portent.

Here is the theme of Luke’s nativity, the male child carried over from wretched pains and the menace of sudden death to become known as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty El, Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6) over the children of Yahweh’s compassion (Psalms 25:6) as well as the band of prophetic disciples (ie, “men of portent”).

(6) From Sheol and Abaddon you have raised me up to an eternal height, so that I might walk about on a limitless plain, and know there is hope whom you created from the dust of the eternal counsel.

The man of portent Shimon Kefa (Simon Peter) preached that Elohim raised Him up, putting an end to the agony of death (Acts 2:24).  It was told by the Apostle Peter that the Messiah had descended into Tartarus (Sheol and Abaddon) to proclaim his victory and the hope that came out if it.

(7) You assigned my dwelling with many fishermen, they who spread their net in the surface of the water, and hunt for the children of injustice.

Wow!  With fishermen, the parable of the net, and “fishers of men.”  Now look at the next –

(8) I have become a sailor on a ship, when the seas stir up their waves and all their breakers come over me. My bowels are like a ship in a raging storm.

Now he tells about his life on the Sea of Galilee, in the grip of a gale, then speaking shalom.

(9) You have not cast my lot with the assembly of fraud, nor have you set my portion in the counsel of pretenders.

“Pretender” is a near perfect match for the word “hypocrite.” His destiny was to be outside – to be the “True Vine.”

(10) Those who prosecuted me are as chaff before the wind; my dominion is over them.

“His winnowing fork is His hand . . .”

(11) I give thanks to you, O Yahweh, for you have sustained me with your strength, even your Holy Spirit.  Upon the rock you have established my frame, and eternal foundations for my footing.  All my walls are tested walls that will not be shaken. You have appointed me as the holy counsel of the weary.  You have taught me your Covenant (Torah) and my tongue is one of your disciples.

We get a lot of James the Just (3:6) in this word – “my tongue is One of Your disciples.”  So where DID the Savior get all his wisdom (Mark 6:2)?

(12) You planted a stand, trees of life (for your esteem) at the secret spring, hidden among the waters so a shoot might grow into an eternal planting.  That its trunk might be open to the living water and become an eternal fountain.  On its leafy branch every wild animal of the forest will graze, and its trunk will become a gathering place to all who pass, and its branches roosts for all the birds.

  • Isaiah 11:1 There will spring forth a shoot out of Jesse’s; a Branch (netzer, as in ‘nazorean’) will grow out of his roots; and the spirit of Yahweh will rest on him . . . The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. If this was in fact referencing the Savior, then we can see a marvelous prediction that has come to pass in the last millennia.

(13) My bread has become strife, and my drink contention.

The bread and drink was the least of the teachings in the early days; is has become the greatest in our days.

So who do you think the Teacher might be?

In the Scriptures,

Jackson Snyder


September 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments