The Tri-unity in the G-d Head
While the Tri-unity in the G-d Head is somewhat veiled in the Tanakh, it is nevertheless there for one who has eyes to see. In Yeshayah 48:16 it says”Come ye near unto Me, hear ye this; I have not spoken baseter(in secret) merosh (from the first); from the time that it takes place, there am I; and now Adonoi Hashem, and His Ruach(Hakodesh), hath sent Me (Moshiach, the eved Hashem; see Isaiah 42:1, see Hashem’s Kedusha HaMeshulleshet here).
Devarim 6:4, the Shema, “Shema Yisroel Adonoi Eloheinu Adonoi Echad.” Within Israel’s very statement of faith, penned by Moshe Avenu, is a hint of the Tri-unity. Not a proof, but a veiled hint. Contained, for all to see, within the words “our God,” is the actual grammatical linguistic meaning “our G-Ds”. This is not to say that there is more than One G-D. It is to say, there is a compound unity within the G-D Head.
Thus, in the Hebrew text the word Echad, can mean a compound unity.
In Bereshis 2:24, “Therefore shall an ish leave his av and his em, and shall cleave unto his isha: and they shall be basar echad.” Two people, echad(one) flesh, thus a compound unity.
Yechezkel 37:17, provides a very demonstrative example of the two sticks becoming one stick, as it reads”And join them one to another into Etz Echad; and they shall become achadim(one) in thine yad.”
There is a Hebrew word which means absolute one, it is Yachid, but Moshe didn’t use it in the Shema. If in describing the G-D Head, it was Moshe’s intention to teach absolute Oneness as opposed to His compound Oneness, Yachid would have been a far more accurate, or appropriate word to use. The great Rabbi Maimonides did chose to use it in his “Thirteen articles of Faith”, in place of Echad. However, it doesn’t change the inspired Davar that Moshe had straight from Ha Shem.
The obvious question would arise, if this profound truth is essential in understanding and knowing G-D, why did the Jewish Nation not gravitate toward a passion driven goal of arriving at the same place as the Brit HaDasha unveils? First, many things that are concealed in the Tanakh are revealed much clearer in the Brit HaDasha. Second, the historical setting of the nation, surrounded by Polytheistic peoples, needed first to grasp the truth about the fact that; there is but one G-D. The original intent was clearly to promote the true monotheistic faith, of the Bible.
Ultimately however, it’s imperative that one understands that, revelation is progressive. Moshe knew and transmitted far more about HaShem, and what was expected ceremonially, than did Avraham. The Naviim, knew far more about Messianic prophecy and the pre-written history of Israel, than did most of the Kings and Moshe. The Brit HaDasha continues Jewish history, and then reveals a mystery hidden from the Ancients, and Tzadikim: namely, the parenthetical period between the 69 th, and 70 th week of Daniel. The Brit HaDasha tells us that Yirmeyah’s covenant in Chapter 31:31, would go first to Israel, and then to the world, as Yeshayah 49:6 says”And He said, It is too small a thing that Thou shouldest be Eved to Me to raise up the Shivtei Ya’akov, and to bring back the Netzurei Yisroel (Preserved of Israel, the She’erit); I will also give Thee for Ohr Goyim, that Thou mayest be My Yeshuah (salvation) unto the Ketzeh ha’aretz.” This mystery time period most feel is in its’ 11 th hour, and the 70 th week of Daniel, the time of YA’AKOV’s trouble is almost here.
Thus since revelation is progressive, it was not the intention of G-D, to reveal a clear and precise knowledge of the Tri-Unity until its proper time. The Tri-Unity can never be fully understood, only accepted by faith, as is all spiritual truth. The overwhelming amount of evidence however, gives us a massive amount of scriptural data to study and consume.
The Zohar says: “Come and see the mystery of the word YHVH. There are three steps, one cannot be separated from the other. The Ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads, which are united into one, and that head is three exalted. The Ancient One is described as being three: because the other lights emanating from him are included in the three. But how can three names be one? Are they really one because we call them one? How three can be one, can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Babylonian Talmud, Zohar, Vol11 P.288 Vol1 p43. Hebrew edition.
Tragically, most of the Rabbinic community, has gone against the once-respected ancient rabbinical commentaries on the Tenachs’ biblical texts: which show and taught that the Messiah will be a man, and He also, more importantly, would be G-D in the flesh, or G-D incarnate.
There are many remarkable proof-texts for this in our own Hebrew scriptures, for those who have eyes to see.
Tehillim 45:6-7 says”Thy kisse (throne),O Eloshim, is olam va’ed: the shevet (scepter) of Thy Malchut is a shevet of uprightness. Thou lovest tzedek, and hatest resha: therefore Elohim, Eloheicha, hath anointed Thee with shemen sasson (the oil of gladness) above Thy chaverim.”
We find Rabbi Levy in his Targum. Worterb. Vol. i. p. 390a.: giving us ancient Rabbinical insight into this marvelous verse. “Thy throne from God in heaven,….is for ever and ever’(for world without end.’a rule of righteousness is the rule of Thy kingdom, O Thou King Messiah! Edersheim, The Life and Times of Yeshua the Missiah p.151.
Rabbi Levy had eyes to see.
Of course modern Rabbis disagree with this interpretation of the Tehillim, but only if they suspect one is trying to talk about there being a Tri-unity. On the subway in Brooklyn I asked an amiable and honest Orthodox man, after he was finished Davening, if he could confirm for me that’s what the text said. He said yes, and pondered it for a long time. Then he asked me why am I studying this passage and I said, because it looks like there are two Person’s in the G-D Head here, and that at least one ancient Rabbi that I had read, indicating there are probubly more, thought this was the Messiah. He smiled and said he was going to the Yeshiva and he would discuss it with the men there.
Yirmeyah 23:6”In his days Yehudah shall be saved, and Yisroel shall dwell safely: and this is Shmo whereby he shall be called Adonoi Tzidkeinu. We have an ancient Rabbinic commentary on this parasha from Hebraica, A Quarterly Journal in the Interests of Semitic Study, Vol.111,p.176. “What is the name of the King Messiah? Rabbi Abba, son of Kahana, said Jehovah; for it is written, “This is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness.”
In the Brit HaDasha it says in MOSHIACH’S LETTER TO THE MA’AMINIM HAMESHICHIYIM FROM AMONG THE YEHUDIM 1:8 “And Hashem says to HaBen, KISAHCHA ELOHIM OLAM VAED SHEVET MISHOR SHEVET MALKHUTECHA ( Your throne, O G-D, will endure for ever and ever, and the scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom’-Tehillim 45:7.”
One modern rabbinic refutation claims, “If the king is called ‘The Lord our righteousness,’ it would seem that he must be divine. The trouble is that this is a mistranslation.” It is obvious, that this claim of mistranslation is a dishonest one, for anyone who knows Hebrew.
The Tri-unity is critical and must be accepted in order to come into a right relationship with Israel’s Messiah. The Tenach taught that He would be Divine, a unique creation in all of history, and that the Shekinah would Tabernacle within His corporeal housing.
Yeshayah 9:5(6) “For unto us a yeled is born, unto us ben is given; and the misrah (dominion) shall be upon his shoulder; and shmo shall be called Peleh (Wonderful), Yoetz (Counsellor), El Gibbor (Mighty G-D), Avi Ad (Everlasting Father), Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace). 6(7)” Of the increase of his misrah and shalom there shall be no ketz (end), upon the Kisse Covid, and upon his dingdom, to strengthen it, and to support it with mishpat and with tzedakah from henceforth even ad olam (forever). The Kinat Hashem Tzva’os will fulfill this.
Targum Jonathan: “For to us a SON is born, to us a Son is given: and He shall receive the Law upon HIM to keep it; and HIS name is called from of Old, Wonderful, Counselor, ELOHA, THE MIGHTY, Abiding to Eternity, THE MESSIAH, because peace shall be multiplied on us in HIS days.”
One modern translation, the NJPSV, totally eviscerates the Navi’s pronouncement by rendering it, “The Mighty God is planning grace; The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler”… One of the larger problems among many with this rendering is that, this would be the first time in recorded history of the translation and interpretation of this parasha in Isaiah, that anyone has ever adopted this rendering. One widely renowned Hebrew scholar makes note in saying: ”From the viewpoint of Jewish tradition, that would be almost unfathomable, since traditional Jews believe that the ancient rabbis were far closer to the original meaning of the biblical text, passing down their traditions and interpretations to the later generations who were more removed from the original. How then could a traditional Jew believe that the Targum was wrong, the Talmud was wrong, the medieval commentaries were wrong, all other Jewish interpreters and translators were wrong, while a translation composed in the last third of the twentieth century was right?”
Now, admittedly it is a fair question to ask how a prophecy delivered about a child to be born in the eighth century B.C.E., could ever be applied to the Messiah. The answer is that many Messianic prophecies have both a near and far fulfillment. The traditional Jewish sources interpret this passage Messianically. It should be recognized that every prophecy regarding a Davidic King is a potential Messianic prophecy. Many of the Ancients knew this, they had eyes to see.
Rabbi Tzvi Nassi- lecturer of Hebrew at Oxford University pens this amazing statement, in his book “The Great Mystery or How can Three be One?” …”our sages of blessed memory, long before the Christian Era, held that there was a plurality in the Godhead. Indeed, this teaching was held for yet 100 years after the destruction of the second temple, and, as it was contained and declared in the Holy Scriptures, it was also set forth in our most ancient books…”.
THE MEMRA- A much overlooked concept, and long held theological concept in Rabbinics’ is the concept of the Memra.
Tehillim 33:6 says” By the Devar Hashem were shomayim made; and all the tz’va(host) of them by the ruach (breath) of His mouth.” Ha Davar was spoken, and creation came forth. The will of the LORD was spoken, and creation came forth. G-D’s mind was SPOKEN, and thought became matter. And G-D said, over and over in Bereshit, the Tehillim, the Naviim, the WORD, the ancients believed was a Divine being.
The Ancient rabbis elaborated and extended the concept to such a degree that it really is a small step, if a step at all, to go into the reality of the Tri-Unity. The scriptures present G-D as untouchable, thus it was believed there needed to be provided in the heavenlies some kind of link between G-D and His creation. Such a concept, evolved not from a vacuum, but from the obvious, and this concept was “the Word” called memra’: in Aramaic (from the Hebrew and Aramaic root, “to say”(mr), the root used throughout the creation account in Genesis 1, when G-D said, and thought and will became a material reality.
This Memra concept is found literally hundreds of times in the Aramaic Targums. These targums, the translations and paraphrases of the Hebrew Scriptures that were read in the synagogues before, during, and after the time of Yeshua. It is explained that these targums arose because, in some locations, many of the Jewish people no longer understood Hebrew. Instead, they grew up speaking and reading Aramaic, so they could follow the public reading of the Scripture only with Aramaic translation.
One Hebrew Scholar says” To use Genesis 3:8 as an example, most of the people who were listening to the public reading of the Scriptures would not have understood the Hebrew, which said, “And they heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden.” Rather, they would have understood the Targum, which said, “And they heard the sound of the Word of the LORD G-D walking in the midst of the garden.” To speak of the LORD walking in the garden seemed too familiar, too down to eatth. So the Targum made an adjustment: It was not the Lord who was walking in the garden, it was the Memra’ (Word) of the Lord! THE WORD WAS NOT JUST AN ‘IT’, THIS WORD WAS A HIM.
In the following verses the Hebrew text is followed immediately by the translation from the Aramaic Targum. Keep in mind when reading them, that these Targums were the official translations used in the synagogues. Therefore, the Targums took on great significance in the religious life of the people, just as English versions of the Bible take on great significance for English speakers today. Here are several examples.
Genesis 1:27 G-D created man. (Targum Pseudo-Jonathan) The word of the Lord created man.
Genesis 6:6-7 And it repented the Lord that he made man on the earth. Targum-And it repented the Lord through his Word that he made man on the earth.
Genesis 9:12 And God said, “This is the sign that I set for the covenant between me and you.” Targum-And the Lord said, “This is the sign that I set for the covenant between my Word and you.”
Genesis 15:6 And Abraham believed in the Lord. Targum-And Abraham believed in the Word of the Lord.
These examples are replete throughout the entire Torah, and into Joshua, Judges, and Isaiah.
Risto Santala, a Finnish scholar fluent in Hebrew and Rabbinic sources, summarizes the combined evidence from the Targums:”THE LORD’S MEMRA WILL BE MY G-D’ I will save them through their G-D, the LORD;s Memra’Abraham was justified through the Memra; the Memra gave Israel the Law; Moses prayed to the Memra; Israel was justified through the Memra’s instrumentality and the Memra even created the world.”
How much deeper now, and potent as addressing the Jewish world, does Yochanan 1:1 become.” Bereshis (in the beginning) was the Dvar Hashem(Yeshayah 55:11; Bereshis1:1), and the Dvar Hashem was agav(along with) Hashem(Mishle 8:30; 30-4), and the Dvar Hashem was nothing less, by nature, than Elohim! (Psa 56:11(10); yn 17:5; rev. 19:13).”
Based on this concept of the Memra from the Tenach, the Rabbinic community came up with several concepts of this word: and within the Sovereign providence of G-D, all of them are answered or addressed within the First Chapter of Yochanan.
The first was that’SOMETIMES THE MEMRA WAS DISTINCT FROM G-D, BUT OTHER TIMES THE MEMRA WAS THE SAME AS G-D”. The rabbis thought of both statements as being true, but never tried to bring together the paradox of the concept. Of course in Yochanan 1:1 the answer is profoundly and clearly stated as to how this could be.
Yochanan was not a greek philosopher. He wrote in greek, but needed a word to address a Hebrew concept, because he was writing to a Jewish world, and was a Jewish fisherman. So Yochanan took this concept of the Memra, and used the Greek word Logos, as the closest equivalent to express the idea of the WORD (memra) taking on corporeality
The second concept the Rabbis had was that the Memra was the agent of creation. Whenever G-d did anything in creation He did so by His Memra i.e. by His Word.
Yochanan 1:3 says” All things through him came to be, and without him came to be not one thing which came into being.(Ps 33:6,9 Prov 30:4). Yochanans’ logos just happens to be the agent of creation.
Another belief the Rabbis had was that the Memra was the means by which G-D becomes visible, sometimes referred to as theophanies. The Rabbinic term-Shekinah-often was connected with G-D’s glory, and frequently coupled together.
Yochanan 1:14 says”And the Dvar Hashem took on gufaniyut (corporeality) and made his sukkah, his Mishkan(Tabernacle) among us (Yeshayah 7:14), and we (shluchim, 1y 1:1-2) gazed upon his Kavod (SHEMOT 33:18; 40;34; YESHAYAH 60:12), the Shechinah of Ben Yachid from Elohim HaAv, full of Hashem’s Chesed v’Emes.”
NOW, the Memra no longer is an unapproachable light, or a fire that connot be touched, but now the Memra, Shekinah is housed in a corporeal tent, Tabernacle. Sound familiar!
Rabbi Fructenbaum sheds light on an interesting etymological root here. The word for Tabernacle in Yochanan 1:14 is not the normal greek word used for dwelling. He uses a Hebrew word that was Hellenized by the greeks when Alexander the great conquered the world. When the greeks came into contact with the Jewish world, the Jewish language, and Jewish culture, they became enamored with the word Shekinah. They appreciated what it conveyed, and wanted to incorporate it into the greek language.
Greek Mythology believed that gods’ and goddesses, came down occasionally from Mt. Olympus and intermingled with human society, so they wanted to be able to use the concept of the word Shekinah, but in the greek language.
They had a problem however in that the greek language does not have an soft s sound. It only has a hard s sound. In English we need two letters ‘sh’ to produce the soft sound. In German one needs three letters to produce this sound: but in Hebrew we need only one character, the Shin, to produce the needed sound.
So the greeks took the word Shekinah, and transliterated it into Skene- but Skene doesn’t mean to dwell, it means to Tabernacle, literally to “pitch ones tent”. This obviously is a fascinating study, because the Hebrew word Mishkan, (tabernacle in English), has the same root as Shekinah: i.e. Mishkan, to pitch ones tent, to tabernacle, has the same root as Shekinah.
So for several centuries the Shekinah took up residence in the Mishkan, and tabernacled with Israel. BUT NOW, AFTER 6 CENTURIES, THE SHEKINAH HAS RETURNED, BUT NOT AS A LIGHT, OR AS A FIRE, NOT HOUSED IN A TENT, BUT IN FLESH.
Yeshua’s Shekinah was veiled so that when the Jewish people looked upon Him He looked no different than any other Jew of the 1 st century. There was only one time when He allowed the Shekina glory to come through and that was at the transfiguration when the veil was removed, and His face and clothing shone as a brilliant light, as the Brightness of the Sun.
Yochanan writes as an eyewitness we beheld His glory, at the Mt of transfiguration.
So just as in Rabbinic theology G-d took on visible form, by means of the Shekinah Glory, now Yochanans logos takes on visible form, i.e. the ancient rabbinic memra took on visible form: IT WAS YESHUA! Do you have eyes to see?