Questions for Jacob Prasch
Mark Metternich Writes:
I am a Christian apologist deeply involved in studying the Yoma 39 passage and such. I have an important question to ask Jacob Prasch. , It is a question I cannot seem to get clear answers about.
What are the detailed meanings of not just the scarlet cord not turning white any more (we know what that means) but also details and significance of the references to the lot not coming up in the right hand, the bread being cursed and the fire having to be continuously stoked?
No one addresses these and they are very powerful testimonies!
God bless you.
Blessings in Yeshua Mark and thank you for your question. I am unable to elaborate in depth by e-mail but I can respond with the essentials.
I take it this is what you are referring to (from YOMA shloshim v’tesha – alef v’ beht) and that you are requesting a/the Messianic interpretation:
Our Rabbis taught, ‘During the forty years that Shimon HaTzaddik was Kohen Gadol the lot (for the scapegoat) always fell on the right side, from then on, sometimes on the right and sometimes on the left. The tongue of gold (a red string tied to the horns of the scapegoat) became white, from then on sometimes it became white and sometimes not. The western lamp remained lit (all night), from then on sometimes it remained lit and sometimes it went out. The fire on the alter burnt strong enough that the priests did not have to bring wood except for the two required portions of wood in order to perform the mitzvah. From then on at times it was strong and at times it was not, forcing the priests to bring wood the whole day long. There was a special blessing in the Omer offering; the two loaves of bread (for Shevous) and the (weekly) bread offerings so that any priest that received an olive’s worth was full. They would eat and leave over. From then on there was a curse in the omer, the two breads, and the bread offerings and the priests did not get even an olive so that the modest priests refused to partake of it.”
It is best to recall that portions of the Mishneh, Josephus, and the Pirque Avot enhance our understanding of Yoma 39 alef v’ beht, but I mention this only briefly.
As you are aware, both Daniel 9 and Yeshua in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24, Luke 21, etc.) predict prophetically that following the Messiah’s death and rejection the second temple would be destroyed. Thus counting from 70 AD/CE backward to the forty years stated in YOMA brings us to the time of Yeshua’s earthly ministry. A series of negative omens transpired (more are recorded in Josephus’ “Wars of The Jews” but we are only dealing with YOMA):
1st ‚ Of the two lots “For Adonai” and “For azazel,” it was regarded as divine favor if “For Adonai” came to the High Priest’s Right Hand. In Psalm 118:15 and Psalm 18:35 we read about the Lord giving salvation and victory by His Right Hand as in the Book of Acts – The Right Hand of Ha Shem is a metaphor for the Messiah Yeshua.
In statistical math by any probability theorem, with enough random selections (as in tossing a coin for heads or tails enough times) you will eventually get an even distribution. The calculated odds of getting 40 consecutive and uninterrupted “azazels” in the right hand are statistically nil says finite mathematicians; it just can’t happen by random selection. The probability is too statistically remote without an external causative. Moreover the Hebrew scriptures state that every decision of the lot is directed by divine providence (Proverbs 16:33). So scripture teaches (and even talmudic Judaism agrees) that if “Adonai” did not come to the Right Hand for forty years in a row, God caused it.
Thus there were forty years of God’s disfavor in a row between the ministry of Yeshua and the prophetically predicted destruction of the second temple as per Daniel chapter 9 (which the rabbinic literatures pronounces a curse on reading because “the time of the Messiah’s coming is foretold in it”; but again I only mention this in passing).
2nd ‚ The ‘Golden Tongue’ (Scarlet Cord) did not turn white – but you have a handle on the meaning of ‚ this already so I also mention it only briefly in passing
3rd ‚ ‚ ‚ The Western Menorah ( Lamp )would not illuminate. Psalm 119:105 ‘The Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet’ (as in Revelation chapter 1 etc.). The white tunic of the high priest from the Day of Atonement was in strips (see ref. Alfred Edershjeim), used as a wick for the giant golden lamp (that was hollow inside where its fuel – the “Shemen Zayit,” was kept as in a fuel tank and topped up on Simcha Torah. The Lamp again being a figure of the Word of God. Once Messiah was rejected, the Word of God no longer gave illumination to Israel, which directly relates to the corrupt priesthood in the post Hasmonean period as the high priests’ garments were defiled ‚ in God’s sight. The Levitical clergy could no longer properly teach the people after the time of Yeshua.
This also relates to your question about the wood; that is the fire being continually stoked. Normally fig, walnut, and/ or pine wood would be used. If the Menoreh went out it would need to be burning wood from the altar to reignite it. But because the altar sacrifices were no longer accepted by Ha Shem after Yeshua’s rejection, the lamp would not stay lit.
4th ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ The Omer rotted. This indirectly relates to the Seferit Ha Omer in the Spring (as in Lag B’Omer) in order to understand the meaning of the Omer as the ancient Hebrews understood it, which exactly matches the New Testament view.
The counting of the Omer from Pesach to Shavuoth (49 days) according to rabbinic history in HaSefer HaChinuk on the 6th of SDivan the Torah was given. The 49 days the manna fell had to do with waiting for the Torah, the mannah itself in some sense being figurative of the Word of God (the Christian version “Lehen Hokenu Tein Lanu Hayom – “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”). In both Testaments it has an ambiguous meaning of temporal and spiritual daily food.
In John 6 Yeshua, who is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14), that is logos become sarx in Greek or Dvar/ Mamra become Basar in Hebrew/ Aramaic; identifies Himself as the meaning of the Mannah that came down from heaven. It is a symbol of Him as the Word made flesh that must be eaten (believed). I cannot explain this now as it would take too long but it must not be confused with the cannibalistic misinterpretation of the Roman Catholic Eucharist.
The omer is a unit of measurement of the Manna. So to answer your question we must look to where in Torah the Omer rots. That is in Exodus 16, read in light of John 6.
In Exod. 16 when the omer (manna) is not eaten, it rots and is infected by worms and it stinks. Once the Messiah, ‘the Bread from Heaven’ in John 6, was rejected and not eaten, the Word of God was left by God to rot and be eaten by worms and turn to something stinking; the Talmud devoured the Torah and the false religion of the rabbis came instead. The sacrificial worship of God’s people were to be a pleasing aroma to Ha Shem according to Torah (Genesis 8:21, Exodus 29:18, Numbers 29:2). ‚ Once the Messiah was rejected and the temple was to be destroyed there would be no more sacrifices of any kind. Mitzvot were substituted by Rabbi Yochannan Ben Zakai at the Council of Yavne, etc. Instead of a soothing aroma, the false, unscriptural talmudic Judaism of the rabbis became a stinking offense to the anthropomorphic nostrils of God.
There is of course much more to these matters than time permits me to explain, but you have the concise version in reply to your question. I hope it assists your studies in Yeshua’s wonderful service. As you feel strongly about the importance of these matters (and we do not disagree) we will post your question and the reply on our website.