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Thread: Artaxerxes was a Jew?

  1. #1
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    Bible Artaxerxes was a Jew?

    I heard somewhere that King Artaxerxes of Persia who issued the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was a Jew, and that his mother was Queen Ester from the Bible. Is this true? Does anyone have more info on this?
    The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Joel 3:16

  2. #2
    Pat Hood Guest

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    Artaxerxexes I, Longimanus (464-424 B.C.) was the Persian king who allowed Jerusalem to be rebuilt.

    Ahasuerus or Xerxes I (485-465 B.C.) was a King of Persia and the husband of Esther, the Jewess.

  3. #3
    Pat Hood Guest

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    Ahasuerus or Xerxes I was king of Persia (486-465 B.C.) and the husband of Esther the Jewess.

    Artaxerxes I, Longimanus was king of Persia (464-424 B.C.) in whose court Ezra and were Nehemia were officials,
    Last edited by Pat Hood; February 25th, 2010 at 11:15 PM. Reason: delete

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    But was he a Jew tho? And it was true that he was Esters son?
    The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Joel 3:16

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    The original question here is about Darius, but I have highlighted the Xerxes info. That seems to be the consensus, that it's pretty much an unknown whether his mother was Esther. And Biblically, Jewishness is conferred through the father, so either way, the son Artaxerxes/Xerxes was not Jewish.

    Was Darius Queen Esther’s Son?
    Q. I just read an article in the Jerusalem Post that quotes a 13th century Rabbi saying that Esther’s son was named Darius.

    I am not real familiar with the exact period of time that Ester lived and affected the life of the Persian King but I believe it was during the time of the Babylonian exile. Is it possible that this Darius is the same king that gave the order to rebuild the Temple?

    A. If Esther had a son named Darius, as Jewish tradition suggests, he would not have been the same Darius, called Darius the Mede, who helped the Persian King Cyrus conquer Babylon and free the Jews in 535BC to rebuild their Temple. According to Ezra 6:15, the Temple was completed in 516BC.

    The Book of Esther tells of events that took place just prior to the very first Feast of Purim, which Esther 8:12 places on March 7, 473 BC, 43 years after the Temple was completed. The Persian King she married was Xerxes I, who reigned from 485 to 465 BC. He was the son of Darius the Mede.

    The Persian King who gave Nehemiah permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city walls in 445 BC was Artaxerxes Longimonus. (Nehemiah 2:1) He reigned from 465 to 424BC and was the son of Xerxes I, but it’s not clear if Esther was his mother.


    http://www.gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-...n-esthers-son/

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    Biblically, Jewishness is conferred through the father

    Could you give the scripture references for this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obadiah View Post
    Biblically, Jewishness is conferred through the father

    Could you give the scripture references for this?
    Ah, the "Who is a Jew?" issue redux.

    The forefathers of the Jewish faith are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not their wives as foremothers. Numbers 1:2 tells the Jewish people how to count themselves:

    2Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls;

    Verse 4: 4And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers.

    Verse 16: 16These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel.

    Verse 18: 18And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.

    And on and on, every tribe accounted for by the "house of their fathers". Tribal lineage was by the house of their fathers.

    As for matrilineal Jewish descent, the prohibition of taking foreign wives (see Deuteronomy 7:3-4) made this a relatively non-issue at least for a while, or it was supposed to. We know that rabbinic thought changed and at some point Jewishness was thought to be conferred by a Jewish mother only. A child of a Jewish mother and a Gentile father became legally Jewish, while the child of a Gentile mother and a Jewish father was/is legally a Gentile.

    This may be of some interest for the information provided and not necessarily the personal bent:

    http://www.interfaithfamily.com/news..._Descent.shtml -

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    iSong:

    Thanks for the link. It was a great article.

    Wilheim does a very good job showing that the rabbinic take on the material in Deuteronomy 7 is after the fact. That's not of much practical benefit for him, since the Orthodox won't recognize him as Jewish, anyway. But presumably it's a blessing in his own life.

    What he really doesn't address, though, is Ezra 10. He refers to it, but skirts the implications of the passage. That text addresses intermarriage between Jewish men and nonJewish women. When the men are commanded to divorce their wives, they are also commanded to send the children off with their nonJewish mothers. How could God command Jewish men to send Jewish children off with nonJewish women to be raised as pagans and not as Jews?

    As to the texts you cited about "...your fathers" -- the rabbinic teaching of matrilineal descent has no issue with tribal identification and inheritance rights being patrilineal. The only thing that's matrilineal is Jewishness.

    This is a subject I wouldn't expect to find addressed in the Pentateuch in the first place. (The rabbinic appeal to Deuteronomy 7 stems from their need to ground everything in Moses.) There is no 'Judaism' as such at that time. 'Jewishness' -- the state of being a member of the religious body that is the Jewish people -- doesn't actually arise until at least the time of the exile. In fact, it's quite possible that references to "Jews" and such in Esther are still political/national ('Judean' rather than 'Jewish' as we would think of it). The earliest record I'm familiar with of 'Jew' or 'Jewish' or 'Judaism' as a religious designation is in 2 Maccabees 6:6, "A man could not keep the sabbath or celebrate the traditional feasts, nor even admit that he was a Jew" (here it can't mean 'Judean'). There really isn't an issue of "Who is a Jew?" until at least the exile.

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    Obadiah - Very interesting post, thank you for that.

    Agreeing with you on most if not all of what you said. Yet for the Jewish people at least, these issues are very important and are still argued about to this day.

    One thing that remains pretty clear is that in the Torah, though not specifically spelled out, it is implied that belonging to the people of Israel (or whatever name we use) is patrilineally conferred, and not just the membership to the various tribes. The rabbis in the extra-Biblical sources began the change to matrilineal descent, apparently for a few reasons. I guess it depends on whether or not one feels the Talmud/Oral Law are truly incumbent on people or not. The Orthodox do and they wield the political power, at least in Israel, where the issue has been forefront in terms of granting Aliyah.

    Below is another pretty good article (concise ) that mentions Biblical instances touching on Jewish descent. It, and so many others I've come across, take it for granted that in the early history of the Jewish people, Jewish status itself was patrilineal. How, why and when it changed to matrilineal is another issue. (Brings up some interesting questions, to be sure, but God knows who are Jews and who are Gentiles. In this time, for believers in Jesus, I don't think it really matters as we are "one new man" in Him.)

    The links after the article are good too, go into more detail. This is interesting to me because it mentions Ruth, the born-Gentile ancestor of Jesus.

    http://wapedia.mobi/en/Matrilineality_in_Judaism -

    "5. The historical debate

    The law of descent as currently accepted by Orthodox Judaism appears to be an exception to a generally patrilineal system of family law. For example, laws of inheritance and the descent of the monarchy follow the father. A Jew also belongs to the tribe of his or her father, so a Kohen or Levi must be the son of a Kohen or Levi. The child of a mixed Sephardi-Ashkenazi marriage generally adopts the communal identity of the father.

    For this reason, many scholars suggest that the original rule of Jewish descent must have been patrilineal, and that it was changed around the time of Ezra, or even later, at the time of Yavneh, possibly under the influence of Roman law. There are several instances in the Bible where Israelite men marry Gentile women without direct mention of the women converting. For example, many of the Israelite kings married foreign princesses, and this does not seem to have prevented the children of these marriages succeeding to the throne. An example is Rehoboam, who was the son of Solomon by the Ammonite princess Naamah. Another example is the Book of Ruth, which seems to claim such ancestry for King David himself.

    The Orthodox answer is that both Ruth and Naamah were converts to Judaism: the Talmud [10] derives the laws of proselytes from the exchange between Naomi and Ruth.

    Historians, however, believe that the very notion of conversion with a mikvah is postbiblical. It must also be pointed out that, even if Ruth never became Jewish, this would not affect the Jewishness of King David on either a pure patrilineal or a pure matrilineal rule, as Ruth was King David's paternal great-grandmother."

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    iSong:

    Thanks for another good link.

    Cohen's perspective (cited in the article) is quite interesting. His thesis certainly merits discussion.

    As to the status of Ruth, I don't think it's merely Talmudic that she became Jewish. When she says, "your people will be my people and your God will be my God," that sounds pretty strong to me. As to Rehoboam's mother Naamah, the text doesn't really say anything, so any point based on her status is guesswork.

    I agree with "historians" (anonymous and generic though the citation may be) that there was likely no formal religious conversion procedure in Ruth's time. As I said above, I don't think there's really attestation of Judaism as a religion prior to at least the exile. In ancient times, one did not identify oneself as a practitioner of a particular faith ("I'm a Jew" or "I'm a Hindu" or whatever). In the ancient near east, one simply specified the name of the god he worshipped (as Jonah 1:9). The idea of "a religion" would have been foreign; thus, the idea of converting from one "religion" to another would not have been recognized, either.

    Perhaps the most interesting text for this question is Leviticus 24:10, which identifies an individual as "the son of an Israelite woman, and he was also the son of an Egyptian man." It's not clear to me what this person's status was. It seems the most natural reading that he occupied a position somewhere between being an Israelite (a Jew in our parlance) and a non-Israelite (a Gentile to us). If anything, though, I'd tend to take this passage as recognizing him as being a Jew, because in the aftermath of the incident, God gives Moses a new mitzvah: "Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin" (v.15). If this guy was considered an Egyptian by patrilineal descent, the God of Israel would not be his God.

    Further, I don't think any of the material you've cited offers a plausible explanation of Ezra 10 from a patrilineal perspective.

  11. #11
    Pat Hood Guest

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    Then there's another thing - wasn't Esther the second wife of Xerxes I after Queen Vashti refused to obey the king and that her place was to be taken by one more pleasing to the king ? So his lineage may have had nothing to do with Esther at all.

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    This topic is still on my "to do" list - thanks for your patience. Yet I don't know how much more I can say that according to the Bible until about the time of Ezra as was mentioned above when human convention changed the custom, Jewish identity itself, not just tribal affiliation, was conferred through the father.

    As a backdrop, what some may not realize - and I emphasize this again - is that the question of "Who is a Jew?" is still debated to this day and that Judaism is not a monolith of singular beliefs. One has merely to look at the Talmud. What may seem to Christians to be clear Biblical statements are debated endlessly and often there are two opposite holdings for the same statement. It has always been so among the Jewish people.

    But what we want to know is what the Bible alone says, not how the various factions of Judaism have interpreted them throughout history.

    I found a very good article that I cannot post here for various reasons, but it goes through the OT and shows all the instances where Jewishness is conferred patrilineally. I like it for it's conciseness.

    In the meantime, and trying to avoid having to write out my own treatise, do you trust a Jewish believer and scholar on things Jewish and Christian? Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum has this to say about the lineage of Messiah Jesus - interesting in its own right, but once again, says that Jewishness in the OT times was given through the father. Please read:

    The Genealogy of the Messiah by Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
    November 1, 1987

    In 1982, Reader's Digest decided to make the Bible easier to read. Translators, paraphrasers and a variety of religious entrepreneurs have been providing more and more modern versions of the Bible to keep pace with our rapidly deteriorating use of the English language. Reader's Digest went one step further, condensing the Bible—excising what they considered "extraneous"—providing an abridged version called The Reader's Digest Bible.

    Among the passages deemed "unnecessary" were the many genealogies. Yet, the frequency with which genealogies appear in the Scriptures is evidence of their importance. Genealogies established one's Jewishness, one's tribal identity, one's right to the priesthood and one's right to kingship.

    From all the genealogies in the Hebrew Scriptures, two observations become apparent. With very rare exceptions, only the male line is traced and only men's names appear. The descendancy of women is not given and their names are only mentioned in passing. Since biblically it was the father who determined both national and tribal identity, it was reasoned that only his line was necessary.

    In addition, only one line is traced from the beginning to the end of the biblical history, the line of King David. The Scriptures reveal every name before David (Adam to David) and every name after David (David to Zerubbabel). Since the Messiah was to be of the house of David, this can also be labeled as the messianic line. In fact, the genealogies limit more and more the human origin of the Messiah. As the Seed of the woman, Messiah had to come out of humanity. As the Seed of Abraham, Messiah had to come from the nation of Israel. As the Seed of Judah, he had to be of the tribe of Judah. As the Seed of David, he had to be of the family of David.

    The Jewish Scriptures as Background to the New Covenant

    The pattern of genealogy in the Hebrew Scriptures is followed by the New Testament pattern where two genealogies are found: Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38. Of the four gospel accounts, only those two deal with the birth and early life of Jesus. Both Mark and John begin their accounts with Jesus as an adult, so it is natural that only Matthew and Luke would have a genealogy. While they both provide an account of the birth and early life of Jesus, each tells the story from a different perspective.

    In Matthew, Joseph plays an active role, but Miriam (Mary) plays a passive role. Matthew records angels appearing to Joseph, but there is no record of angels appearing to Miriam. Matthew records Joseph's thoughts but nothing is recorded about Miriam's thoughts. On the other hand, Luke's Gospel tells the same story from Miriam's perspective. From the context of each Gospel, it should be very evident that the genealogy of Matthew is that of Joseph, and the genealogy of Luke is that of Miriam.

    The question then raised is: Why do we need two genealogies, especially since Y'shua (Jesus) was not the real son of Joseph? A popular and common answer is: Matthew's Gospel gives the royal line, whereas Luke's Gospel gives the real line. From this concept, another theory arises. Since seemingly Joseph was the heir apparent to David's throne, and Jesus was the adopted son of Joseph, Jesus could claim the right to David's throne. On the other hand, Luke's Gospel gives the real line, showing that Y'shua himself was a descendant of David. Through Miriam, he was a member of the house of David, but he could claim the right to sit on David's throne through Joseph, the heir apparent. Actually the exact opposite is true.

    Kingship

    To understand the need for these two genealogies, it is important to understand the two requirements for kingship in the Hebrew Scriptures. These were developed after the division of the kingdom after the death of Solomon.…

    One was applicable to the southern Kingdom of Judah, with its capital in Jerusalem, while the other was applicable to the northern Kingdom of Israel, with its capital in Samaria. The requirement for the throne of Judah was Davidic descendancy. No one was allowed to sit on David's throne unless he was a member of the house of David. So when there was a conspiracy to do away with the house of David (Isaiah 7:5-6), God warned that any such conspiracy was doomed to failure (Isaiah 8:9-15).

    The requirement for the throne of Israel was prophetic sanction or divine appointment. Anyone who attempted to rule on Samaria's throne without prophetic sanction was assassinated (1 Kings 11:26-39; 15:28-30; 16:1-4, 11-15; 21:21-29; 11 Kings 9:6-10; 10:29-31; 14 8-12).

    With the background of these two biblical requirements for kingship and what is stated in the two New Testament genealogies, the question of Jesus' right to the throne of David can be resolved.

    Matthew's Genealogy

    In his genealogy, Matthew breaks with Jewish tradition and custom. He mentions the names of four women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba (who is the one to whom the pronoun "her" in verse six refers). It was contrary to Jewish practice to name women in a genealogy. The Talmud states, "A mother's family is not to be called a family." Even the few women Luke does mention were not the most prominent women in the genealogy of Y'shua. He could have mentioned Sarah, but did not. However, Matthew has a reason for naming these four and no others.

    First, they were all Gentiles. This is obvious with Tamar, Rahab and Ruth. It was probably true of Bathsheba, since her first husband, Uriah, was a Hittite. Here Matthew hints at something he makes clear later: that while the main purpose of the coming of Jesus was to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel, the Gentiles would also benefit from his coming. Second, three of these women were guilty of sexual sins. Bathsheba was guilty of adultery, Rahab was guilty of prostitution and Tamar was guilty of incest. Again, Matthew only hints at a point he later clarifies: that the purpose of the Messiah's coming was to save sinners. While this fits into the format of Old Testament genealogy, it is not Matthew's main point.

    Matthew's genealogy also breaks with tradition in that he skips names. He traces the line of Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, by going back into history and working toward his own time. He starts tracing the line with Abraham (verse 2) and continues to David (verse 6). Out of David's many sons, Solomon is chosen (verse 6), and the line is then traced to King Jeconiah (verse 11), one of the last kings before the Babylonian captivity. From Jeconiah (verse 12), the line is traced to Joseph (verse 16). Joseph was a direct descendant of David through Solomon, but also through Jeconiah. The "Jeconiah link" is significant in Matthew's genealogy because of the special curse pronounced on Jeconiah in Jeremiah 22:24-30:

    As I live," declares the LORD,
    "even though Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim
    king of Judah were a signet ring on my right
    hand, yet I would pull you off…
    "Is this man Jeconiah a despised, shattered jar?
    Or is he an undesirable vessel?
    Why have he and his descendants been hurled out
    and cast into a land that they had not known?
    "O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD!!
    "Thus says the LORD, 'Write this man [Jeconiah] down childless,
    A man who will not prosper in his days;
    For no man of his descendants will prosper
    Sitting on the throne of David, Or ruling again in Judah.'
    No descendant of Jeconiah would have the right to the throne of David. Until Jeremiah, the first requirement for messianic lineage was to be of the house of David. With Jeremiah, it was limited still further. Now one had to be not only of the house of David, but apart from Jeconiah.

    According to Matthew's genealogy, Joseph had the blood of Jeconiah in his veins. He was not qualified to sit on David's throne. He was not the heir apparent. This would also mean that no real son of Joseph would have the right to claim the throne of David. Therefore if Jesus were the real son of Joseph, he would have been disqualified from sitting on David's throne. Neither could he claim the right to David's throne by virtue of his adoption by Joseph, since Joseph was not the heir apparent.

    The purpose of Matthew's genealogy, then, is to show why Y'shua could not be king if he were really Joseph's son. The purpose was not to show the royal line. For this reason, Matthew starts his Gospel with the genealogy, presents the Jeconiah problem, and then proceeds with the account of the virgin birth which, from Matthew's viewpoint, is the solution to the Jeconiah problem. In summary, Matthew deduces that if Jesus were really Joseph's son, he could not claim to sit on David's throne because of the Jeconiah curse; but Jesus was not Joseph's son, for he was born of the virgin Miriam (Matthew 1:18-25).

    Luke's Genealogy

    Unlike Matthew, Luke follows strict Jewish procedure and custom in that he omits no names and mentions no women. However, if by Jewish custom one could not mention the name of a woman, but wished to trace her line, how would one do so? He would use the name of her husband. (Possible Old Testament precedents for this practice are Ezra 2:61 and Nehemiah 7:63.) That would raise a second question: If someone studied a genealogy, how would he know whether the genealogy were that of the husband or that of the wife, since in either case the husband's name would be used? The answer is not difficult; the problem lies with the English language.

    In English it is not good grammar to use a definite article ("the") before a proper name ("the" Matthew, "the" Luke, "the" Miriam): however, it is quite permissible in Greek grammar. In the Greek text of Luke's genealogy, every single name mentioned has the Greek definite article "the" with one exception: the name of Joseph (Luke 3:23). Someone reading the original would understand by the missing definite article from Joseph's name that this was not really Joseph's genealogy, but his wife Miriam's.

    Furthermore, although many translations of Luke 3:23 read: "…being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli…," because of the missing Greek definite article before the name of Joseph, that same verse could be translated as follows: "Being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph the son of Heli…".1 In other words, the final parenthesis could be expanded so that the verse reads that although Y'shua was "supposed" or assumed to be the descendant of Joseph, he was really the descendant of Heli. Heli was the father of Miriam. The absence of Miriam's name is quite in keeping with the Jewish practices on genealogies. The Jerusalem Talmud recognized this genealogy to be that of Miriam and not Joseph and refers to Miriam as the daughter of Heli (Hagigah 2:4).

    Also in contrast to Matthew, Luke begins his genealogy with his own time and goes back into history all the way to Adam. It comes to the family of David in versees 31-32. However, the son of David involved in this genealogy is not Solomon but Nathan. So, like Joseph, Miriam was a member of the house of David. But unlike Joseph, she came from David's son, Nathan, not Solomon. Miriam was a member of the house of David apart from Jeconiah. Since Jesus was Miriam's son, he too was a member of the house of David, apart from Jeconiah.

    In this way Jesus fulfilled the biblical requirement for kingship. Since Luke's genealogy did not include Jeconiah's line, he began his Gospel with the virgin birth, and only later, in describing Y'shua's public ministry, recorded his genealogy.

    However, Jesus was not the only member of the house of David apart from Jeconiah. There were a number of other descendants who could claim equality with Y'shua to the throne of David, for they too did not have Jeconiah's blood in their veins. Why Jesus and not one of the others? At this point the second biblical requirement for kingship, that of divine appointment, comes into the picture. Of all the members of the house of David apart from Jeconiah, only one received divine appointment. Luke 1:30-33 states:

    And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Miriam; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Y'shua. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.'
    On what grounds then could Jesus claim the throne of David? He was a member of the house of David apart from Jeconiah. He alone received divine appointment to that throne: "The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David."

    While Matthew's genealogy showed why Y'shua could not be king if he really were Joseph's son, Luke's genealogy shows why Y'shua could be king. When he returns, he will be king.

    Two things may be noted by way of conclusion. First, many rabbinic objections to the messiahship of Jesus are based on his genealogy. The argument goes, "Since Jesus was not a descendant of David through his father, he cannot be Messiah and King." But the Messiah was supposed to be different. As early as Genesis 3:15, it was proposed that the Messiah would be reckoned after the "seed of the woman," although this went contrary to the biblical norm. The necessity for this exception to the rule became apparent when Isaiah 7:14 prophesied that the Messiah would be born of a virgin: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel." Whereas all others receive their humanity from both father and mother, the Messiah would receive his humanity entirely from his mother. Whereas Jewish nationality and tribal identity were normally determined by the father, with the Messiah it would be different. Since he was to have no human father, his nationality and his tribal identity would come entirely from his mother. True, this is contrary to the norm, but so is a virgin birth. With the Messiah, things would be different.

    In addition, these genealogies present a fourfold portrait of the messianic person through four titles. In Matthew 1:1 he is called the Son of David and the Son of Abraham. In Luke 3:38 he is called the Son of Adam and the Son of God. As the Son of David, it means that Jesus is king. As the Son of Abraham, it means that Jesus is a Jew. As the Son of Adam, it means that Jesus is a man. As the Son of God, it means that Jesus is God. This fourfold portrait of the messianic person as presented by the genealogies is that of the Jewish God-Man King. Could the Messiah be anyone less?

    Endnote 1A.T. Robertson, A Harmony of the Gospels.


    http://jewsforjesus.org/publications.../5_6/genealogy

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    This topic is still on my "to do" list - thanks for your patience.

    You're most welcome. I'm all too familiar with the tyranny of the to-do list.

    Yet I don't know how much more I can say that according to the Bible until about the time of Ezra as was mentioned above when human convention changed the custom, Jewish identity itself, not just tribal affiliation, was conferred through the father.

    Human custom? Do you believe Ezra was acting on his own initiative, contrary to God's will? While the idea of divorcing their Gentile wives was initially proposed by one of the repentant intermarriers (10:2-3), Ezra makes it entirely clear that it was, in fact, God's will: "Now make confession to HaShem God of your fathers, and do His will by separating yourselves from… the foreign women" (10:11). This of necessity includes "the children born of them" in v.3; otherwise, the text would indicate a correction. There's just no way to maintain that the actions directed by Ezra represented anything other than God's desire. Just God told Moses "the daughters of Zelophehad have a good idea," so is the case here.

    I found a very good article that I cannot post here for various reasons, but it goes through the OT and shows all the instances where Jewishness is conferred patrilineally. I like it for it's conciseness.

    Please feel free to PM me a link.

    In the meantime, and trying to avoid having to write out my own treatise, do you trust a Jewish believer and scholar on things Jewish and Christian?

    Do I trust a Messianic Jew on such issues? Yes, in the sense that I don't doubt his (or your) sincerity. But, not in the sense that I would accept anything he says simply by virtue of his being Jewish. In fact, over the years I've encountered so many questionable claims -- the Trinity in the Zohar, no less -- made by Jewish believers in Jesus that I've coined the term "Messianic Wishful Thinking" to describe them.

    Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum has this to say about the lineage of Messiah Jesus - interesting in its own right, but once again, says that Jewishness in the OT times was given through the father. Please read:

    I've read. And I'm amazed at just how much of what Fruchtenbaum says in this article that's off base.

    From all the genealogies in the Hebrew Scriptures, two observations become apparent. With very rare exceptions, only the male line is traced and only men's names appear. The descendancy of women is not given and their names are only mentioned in passing. Since biblically it was the father who determined both national and tribal identity, it was reasoned that only his line was necessary.

    Here, he simply makes the claim without in any way substantiating it. Making something boldfaced and underlined doesn't prove the point.

    The requirement for the throne of Judah was Davidic descendancy. No one was allowed to sit on David's throne unless he was a member of the house of David. So when there was a conspiracy to do away with the house of David (Isaiah 7:5-6), God warned that any such conspiracy was doomed to failure (Isaiah 8:9-15).

    Fruchtenbaum certainly sees a lot in those two Isaiah passages that isn't in the text. Rezin wasn't launching a conspiracy to annihilate the Davidic line in 7; he was simply attempting to colonize Judah. And the prophetic response in 8 addresses specifically the conspiracy of Aram and Israel against Judah; there's no declaration that "any such conspiracy was doomed to failure" -- merely that this particular one was. Not that I believe God would allow David's descendants to be wiped out; that would be contrary to His promises to David. But let's let the text speak for itself rather than reading into it.

    The requirement for the throne of Israel was prophetic sanction or divine appointment. Anyone who attempted to rule on Samaria's throne without prophetic sanction was assassinated (1 Kings 11:26-39; 15:28-30; 16:1-4, 11-15; 21:21-29; 11 Kings 9:6-10; 10:29-31; 14 8-12).

    I'd have to check this out, as there's no text that actually makes this point. The text normally attributes the violent deaths of the northern kings to their sins, not to a lack of prophetic sanction. But it's an interesting idea.

    First, they were all Gentiles. This is obvious with Tamar, Rahab and Ruth. It was probably true of Bathsheba, since her first husband, Uriah, was a Hittite. Here Matthew hints at something he makes clear later: that while the main purpose of the coming of Jesus was to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel, the Gentiles would also benefit from his coming.

    Fruchtenbaum's point -- that the inclusion of Gentiles in the genealogy hints at the universality of the gospel -- is true and lovely. But it in no way substantiates patrilineality. First, it's inappropriate to refer to Tamar as a "Gentile." At that time, Israel wasn't a nation; it was a family. The only way for Jacob's sons to marry a "Jewish" wife would be to commit incest with their sister. It's just not meaningful to speak of "Jews and Gentiles" at this point. Second, Rahab clearly joins herself to the people of Israel. She abandons her paganism and embraces the true and living God (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25). There was presumably no conversion ritual at that time, but (speaking anachronistically) Rahab became a Jewess. Third, Ruth also joins the Jewish people ("your people are my people, your God is my God") as I pointed out earlier on this thread. Fourth, there's no evidence Bathsheba was a Gentile. Uriah was a Hittite who, at the very least, was living in Israel. It's at least as likely, if not moreso, that he would marry an Israelite wife than that he would have brought a Hittite wife with him. Since Uriah's name means "HaShem is my light," I think it's reasonable to assume that he was a believer in the living and true God also. Matthew's examples of Gentile women are all examples of Gentile women who became part of Israel, not pagan women.

    Bathsheba was guilty of adultery

    It's off-topic, but I can't let this one go. Bathsheba is not guilty of adultery! The sin in that instance was David's, not Bathsheba's.

    Joseph was a direct descendant of David through Solomon, but also through Jeconiah. The "Jeconiah link" is significant in Matthew's genealogy because of the special curse pronounced on Jeconiah in Jeremiah 22:24-30… No descendant of Jeconiah would have the right to the throne of David. Until Jeremiah, the first requirement for messianic lineage was to be of the house of David. With Jeremiah, it was limited still further. Now one had to be not only of the house of David, but apart from Jeconiah.

    This whole "curse of Jeconiah" idea just doesn't wash. It's off-topic here, but the gist of it is that Jeremiah's prophecy against Jeconiah -- it's actually an oracle against Jehoiakim that's transferred to his son Jeconiah -- has an immediate, local scope. It's not some sort of eschatalogical curse. It's just a punishment on Jeconiah.

    In English it is not good grammar to use a definite article ("the") before a proper name ("the" Matthew, "the" Luke, "the" Miriam): however, it is quite permissible in Greek grammar. In the Greek text of Luke's genealogy, every single name mentioned has the Greek definite article "the" with one exception: the name of Joseph (Luke 3:23). Someone reading the original would understand by the missing definite article from Joseph's name that this was not really Joseph's genealogy, but his wife Miriam's.

    I'd have to see some evidence for that. My guess is that there's no article before Joseph because it uses the phrase υιος ιωσηφ, 'son of Joseph,' and the articles before all the other names stand for the word son. Rather than Jesus son of Joseph son of Heli son of Mattat… it's Jesus son of Joseph the one of Heli the one of Mattat (I know that's actually longer in English but shorter in Greek). I'm quite skeptical of Fruchtenbaum's claim here.

    Furthermore, although many translations of Luke 3:23 read: "…being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli…," because of the missing Greek definite article before the name of Joseph, that same verse could be translated as follows: "Being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph the son of Heli…".1 In other words, the final parenthesis could be expanded so that the verse reads that although Y'shua was "supposed" or assumed to be the descendant of Joseph, he was really the descendant of Heli. Heli was the father of Miriam. The absence of Miriam's name is quite in keeping with the Jewish practices on genealogies. The Jerusalem Talmud recognized this genealogy to be that of Miriam and not Joseph and refers to Miriam as the daughter of Heli (Hagigah 2:4).

    Interesting possibility, but the absence of the definite article has no bearing on it.

    Why Jesus and not one of the others? At this point the second biblical requirement for kingship, that of divine appointment, comes into the picture.

    Well, Jesus certainly has divine appointment. But why the supposed basis for being king of the northern kingdom would have any relevance at all to who's qualified to occupy David's throne is not apparent. Jesus is the qualified one because God says He is. He doesn't need extra credentials to beat out some other Davidic descendant whose genealogy might get in the way.

    Two things may be noted by way of conclusion. First, many rabbinic objections to the messiahship of Jesus are based on his genealogy. The argument goes, "Since Jesus was not a descendant of David through his father, he cannot be Messiah and King." But the Messiah was supposed to be different. As early as Genesis 3:15, it was proposed that the Messiah would be reckoned after the "seed of the woman," although this went contrary to the biblical norm.

    There's nothing in Genesis 3:!5 about being 'reckoned' -- it's simply a promise that the Redeemer would be human like those He redeems.

    Whereas Jewish nationality and tribal identity were normally determined by the father, with the Messiah it would be different. Since he was to have no human father, his nationality and his tribal identity would come entirely from his mother. True, this is contrary to the norm, but so is a virgin birth. With the Messiah, things would be different.

    Well, Jesus' conception (not so much His birth) is certainly unique, no doubt about that. But to reason that because His conception is unique, everything else must also be unique, so therefore His Jewishness being derived from His mother must also be the opposite of everybody else's -- it's just flawed reasoning. Arguing that everybody else must derive Jewishness from his father because Jesus derived His from His mother is rather convoluted.

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