Come explore the calling of Israel, and understand the role of non-Jewish believers in God’s redemptive plan of salvation. Rabbi Brian will endeavor to differentiate between the various “branches” in Israel’s Olive Tree, as unity and diversity is discussed in relation to Romans 11, to reveal their Divine destinies. We will discuss how outreach to the Jew first can remain the focus of Messianic Judaism, without ignoring the purpose and engrafting of Gentiles into the Abraham’s Family Tree; therefore allowing each individual calling of the two groups to remain intact as the “Commonwealth of Israel”.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. CSB
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile. CJB
Romans 9:4 the people of Isra’el! They were made God’s children [adoption: sonship] the Sh’khinah [glory] has been with them, the covenants are theirs, likewise the giving of the Torah, the Temple service and the promises; 5 the Patriarchs are theirs; and from them, as far as his physical descent is concerned, came the Messiah, who is over all. Praised be Adonai for ever! Amen. CJB
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles [Goyim: Non-Jews] in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands– 12 that at that time you were without [Messiah], being aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in [Messiah Yeshua] you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of [Messiah]. NKJV
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore, remember your former state: you Gentiles by birth – called the Uncircumcised by those who, merely because of an operation on their flesh, are called the Circumcised – 12 at that time had no Messiah. You were estranged from the national life of Isra’el. You were foreigners to the covenants embodying God’s promise. You were in this world without hope and without God. 13 But now, you who were once far off have been brought near through the shedding of the Messiah’s blood. CJB
This passage from Rav Shaul [Apostle Paul] explain the former condition of Gentiles [Goyim: Non-Jews] and their pagan lifestyles. The Jewish Community had built a “fence” around the Torah and Covenants our God’s Chosen People and Nation, Israel, to avoid adopting their idolatrous practices. Shaul rehearses this in Ephesians 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. NKJV
com•mon•wealth – archaic : COMMONWEAL 1: a nation, state, or other political unit: as a: one founded on law and united by compact [covenant] or tacit agreement of the people for the common good b: one in which supreme authority is vested in the people c: REPUBLIC 2 capitalized a: the English state from the death of Charles I in 1649 to the Restoration in 1660 b: PROTECTORATE 3: a state of the United States —used officially of Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia 4 capitalized : a federal union of constituent states —used officially of Australia 5 often capitalized : an association of self-governing autonomous states more or less loosely associated in a common allegiance (as to the British crown) 6 often capitalized : a political unit having local autonomy but voluntarily united with the United States —used officially of Puerto Rico and of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Strong’s Greek Dictionary: NT #4174 politeia (pol-ee-ti’-ah); from NT #4177 (“polity”); citizenship; concretely, a community: KJV – commonwealth, freedom.
NT #4177: polites (pol-ee’-tace); from NT #4172; a townsman: KJV – citizen.
NT #4172 polis (pol’-is); probably from the same as NT:4171, or perhaps from NT #4183; a town (properly, with walls, of greater or less size): KJV – city.
Romans 11:1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? 4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. NKJV
Seventeen hundreds years of “Replacement Theology” has defrauded true believers of their spiritual heritage and obligation to the fulfillment of the covenant promised to Abraham, and many descendents.
Has God cast away His people that He foreknew? Absolutely not! HaShem’s covenant promise to Abraham was established upon grace, through faith, and is everlasting:
BERESHIT/ Genesis 17:1 When Avram was 99 years old ADONAI appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. 2 I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly.” 3 Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him: 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations [Goyim: Gentiles]. 6 I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you. 7 “I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena’an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.” CJB
BERESHIT/ Genesis 12:6 Gen 12:1 Now Adonai said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed [niv’r’chu]” CJB
Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary #1288
barakh (baw-rakh’); a primitive root; to kneel [bend the knee] by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason): KJV – X abundantly, X altogether, X at all, blaspheme, bless, congratulate, curse, X greatly, X indeed, kneel (down), praise, salute, X still, thank.
• berekh (beh-rekh’); knee
Quote from Rabbi Moshe Yoseph Koniuchowsky of YourArmsToIsrael.org: [Nazarene Israelites]
“In five places in the Talmud and other rabbinic literature nivrechu is translated as “grafted” or “intermingled.” In the orthodox Jewish Art Scroll Tanach Series, Volume 1 p. 432 it is written: “There is an opinion shared by Rashbam, Chizkuni, Da’as Zekeinum and quoted by Tur:
That the verb “nivrechu” in Genesis 12:3 is related to the root “barak” (bet-resh-kaf) as in the Mishnaic term “mavreek” meaning to “intermingle” or “graft.”” Hebrew word “nivrechu” is the niphal conjugation of the root word “barak.”
Literally it can read: “and in you all nations will be born through mixing.” The Art Scroll series agrees. In five places, this word is translated “mixed” or “grafted” by the rabbis (Keliam 7:1, Sotah 43A). The Hebrew for “blessed” is predominantly “yivrechu” not “nivrechu” using the first letter “yud” [y] rather than the “nun” [n] . ”
The basis of this understanding is generally attributed to certain Jewish sages. We were able to validate the existence of one such statement attributed to Rashbam, who was, however, a rabbi known to have engendered controversy by his unorthodox views.
Rabbi Yehuda Shaviv of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, reiterates Rashbam’s position with a different emphasis, “According to Rashbam (Rabbi Sh’muel be Meir: on the parallel verse, 28:14) the meaning that comes to mind is ‘to graft’ a branch, and the connotation is ‘to bless by combining’, in other words the families of the earth will intermingle with your family.”
Notably, Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra, “one of the most distinguished Jewish men of letters and writers of the middle ages” , takes exception to Rashbam’s view, citing in his Shitta Aheret to Genesis, “A great scholar wrote in his book that ‘they shall bless themselves by you’ means ‘to graft’ other nations onto your stock.
In other words, the concept of Abraham blessing the nations [Goyim: Gentiles], is related to grafting, not that the Hebrew root, barakh means “to graft”.
Hebrew is a root based language. Every verb is based on a 3 or 4 consonant root (שורש, shoresh – “root”). These letters form a skeleton around which vowels are placed to form a complete word.
The seven “building blocks” or branches of conjugation, for the Hebrew verbs are called “Binyanim”, for the word “Ben” [a son; who builds the house]. Here is a example of the seven verb tenses, with the verb “le’echol”, “to eat”:
The blessing in Gen. 12:3 using the “niphal” tense [example #5], which is usually passive and mild [“be blessed”], but based on context, can sometimes be reflexive. The blessing restated in Gen. 22:18, on Mount Moriah [where Abraham is commanded to offer up Isaac], is in the “hit’pael” tense [example #4], which is always reflexive [subject acts upon itself: “bless themselves”]. Artscroll properly translates these verses saying:
BERESHIT/ Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you [nivrechu]” Artscroll / Mesorah Heritage Foundation
BERESHIT/ Genesis 22:18 And all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your offspring [hit’bar’chu] because you have listened to my voice.” Artscroll / Mesorah Heritage Foundation
Rambam words it this way:
Artscroll Comentary on Genesis 12:3 [Rambam – Maimonides]: You [Abraham] shall be the standard by which people will bless themselves.
Gentiles [Non-Jews] have been grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and David are the roots, while Yeshua is the “True Branch” [Messianic Title].
Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. NKJV
Rav. Shaul taught that only some of the branches were unfaithful, and therefore cut off to maintain the life and growth of the tree. This has allowed “wild olive branches” [Gentile: Non-Jews], to be engrafted into the “Commonwealth of Israel”, and its rich root system. This process of grafted in other branches helps the stimulated new growth in the already existing tree, without “replacing” Israel’s original covenant of promise.
Jew and Gentile must retain their individual ethnic identity for this promise to be fulfilled [1 Cor. 7:17-20]. Each fulfill their specific role to maintain the life of the tree. Gentiles don’t become Jews to enter into this covenant, or Messiah died in vain. Just as Yeshua died between two thieves, both in need of a Savior, so is He Lord to all that call upon Him, both Jew and Gentile. Like a Menorah that has six branches [6 being the number of man and his creation], they are divided up in two groups. Three of the right side [3 is a perfect unity: 3rd day of creation – “be gathered together in one place…”] represent the faithful of Israel [Jewish People], while the three one the left side while the three one the left side represent engrafted Gentile believe who are unified with Israel through Messiah Yeshua. Through this experience God’s promise to Abraham comes to pass, to make his descendents a blessed nation [Israel] and make him the “father of many nations [Goyim – Gentiles / Non-Jews].
Jew & Gentle: Individual Callings
1 Cor. 7:17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches [congregations]. 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. NKJV
Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country [Lech-lecha], From your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed .” 4. If we bless Abraham’s descendants, we will be blessed, if we curse [disregard] them, we will be cursed. NKJV
Ends of the Earth
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” NKJV
OVADYAH / Obadiah 1:19 The South shall possess the mountains of Esau, and the Lowland shall possess Philistia. They shall possess the fields of Ephraim [Northern 10 tribes of Israel] and the fields of Samaria. Benjamin shall possess Gilead. 20 And the captives of this host of the children of Israel shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath. The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad [Spain: Spanish Jews] shall possess the cities of the South [Negev]. 21 Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion [2 Samuel 5:6-7: Jerusalem] to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s. NKJV
• Ashkenazim – Central & Eastern European Jews
• Sephardim – Spanish Jews
• Italkim – “Bene Roma”: Italian Jews
• Mizrachim– Middle Eastern Jews
• Yemenim – Yemenite Jews
• “Falashim” [strangers]: Beta Israel – Ethiopian Jews
• Bene Israel – Pakastani Jews
• Bnei Menashe – Tribe of Manasseh
• Efrayim – 10 Northern tribes of Israel
To the Jew First…
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ [Messiah], for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek [Gentile: Goyim] NKJV
Romans 15:22 I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of [Messiah]. 27 They were pleased to do it, but the fact is that they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared with the Jews in spiritual matters, then the Gentiles clearly have a duty to help the Jews in material matters. CJB
Romans 11:24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins”.NKJV
Gentiles nations should not be forced to be circumcised, as a form of ritual conversion to Judaism, to become “Jews”, or be saved. Instead, Gentiles should bless Abraham, and his descendants, Israel, and bless themselves, as they walk in “Derekh HaShem” [the Way of the Lord], are circumcised in their hearts, and practice the active, obedient faith of Abraham, which requires learning to study and apply the Torah, Prophets, Writings, and the Apostalic Scriptures as they follow the footsteps of Messiah Yeshua! Amen!