Monday, May 27, 2013

Ye shall kindle no fire...


One of the most interesting and greatly misunderstood verses is the verse of Exodus 35:3. Let's take a look:

‎3 ‏לֹא־תְבַעֲר֣וּ אֵ֔שׁ בְּכֹ֖ל מֹשְׁבֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם בְּי֖וֹם הַשַּׁבָּֽת׃ פ
3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.

As you can see, most translation translate the expression "תבערו" (tevaaru) as "you shall kindle". However, this is a grossly incorrect translation due to the traditionalistic approaches when translating the text. In reality, what the text really says is this:

3 Do not eradicate fire in any of your dwellings on the day of rest.

As you can see, this particular verse uses double negative to relay the meaning of the text. Most likely, such translation has come to us from the Jewish tradition where it is forbidden to the Jews (orthodox Jews) to light the fire on the Shabbat. Talmudic roots, basically. However, comparative analysis of the text, particularly the verses Exodus 3:2-3, would instantly reveal what I have already stated above. Thus, the common translations of this verse are GROSSLY incorrect.

Correct translation of the word "תבערו" (tevaaru) can be found in Deuteronomy 13:5, 17:7, 17:12, 19:13, 19:19, 21:9, 21:21, 22:21, 22:22, 22:24.

The proposed translation can be justified by other verses of the Pentateuch, particularly Leviticus 24:2 and Leviticus 6:13. From these verses you can most certainly say that  both the Menorah and the Altar of Burnt Offering of the Tabernacle were to be lit constantly. This by itself already supports my translation and invalidates the traditional ones.

Also, the Day of Rest (Shabbat) is both the Holy Day and the holiday (Genesis 2:3). Even if you celebrate it on Sunday or Friday - does not matter. What matters is that the Day of Rest is the Day of the Lord. This day is the Day of Light, Day of Warmth, Day of Plenty (Exodus 25:30). God most certainly would not intend for us to go through any inconveniences being without a fire or light or food. Thus, the traditional translation is incorrect for this reason also.

So as you can see, it can be extremely difficult to translate the text as such occurrences are not uncommon in the Pentateuch and each such verse requires a very diligent investigation and careful review.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Applied Pentateuch (TriboElectric Series)

I would like to give you an example on how you can actually verify some of the Laws outlined in the Pentateuch. In fact, the topic I'm going to talk today is most likely familiar to everyone who reads my blog. I'm talking about TriboElectric effect, or namely when two materials with different electrostatic potential are rubbed (or put together) against one another, which of'course produces static electricity.

Verses of Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11 describe this effect. Let's take a look:
‎11 ‏לֹ֤א תִלְבַּשׁ֙ שַֽׁעַטְנֵ֔ז צֶ֥מֶר וּפִשְׁתִּ֖ים יַחְדָּֽו׃ ס
11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.
The word שעטנז "shatnets" here means a combination of the materials with the different electrostatic potential, which of'course results in a very unpleasant spark and jolt. I'm more that sure that all who read this have been shocked before. So if you ever wondered why - this is your answer. And so you can see that these Laws are still in effect very much ;)

Of'course, text does not speak about wool and linen. The words "צמר" (tsemer) and "פשתים" (fishtim) refer most likely to "positive" and "negative" charge potential. So, in my opinion, it is improper to translate it as "wool" and "linen". Text is most certainly not that primitive. In fact, I can't even find the right words here. I think English may not have an equivalent of these words. But I would need to look into this further.

Check out this table. You will find it informative. It will also show you that many modern (synthetic) materials also belong in either of these categories, so the more science advances, the harder it will be to figure out which one is which, and what can be mixed together and what can't be.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The "Urim" And The "Thummim"

Last, but very important detail of the High Priest Garments that I have not covered so far is the so-called the "Urim" and the "Thummim". This is one of the most complex and enigmatic verses of the description, and it is directly related to the terminology used to describe the Corner Boards of the Tent of the Tabernacle.

Let's take a look (Exodus 28:30):

‎30 ‏וְנָתַתָּ֞ אֶל־חֹ֣שֶׁן הַמִּשְׁפָּ֗ט אֶת־הָאוּרִים֙ וְאֶת־הַתֻּמִּ֔ים וְהָיוּ֙ עַל־לֵ֣ב אַהֲרֹ֔ן בְּבֹא֖וֹ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וְנָשָׂ֣א אַ֠הֲרֹן אֶת־מִשְׁפַּ֨ט בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֧ל עַל־לִבּ֛וֹ לִפְנֵ֥י יְהוָ֖ה תָּמִֽיד׃ ס 
30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.
You can always start with the Wikipedia article here. And see my NIP here. Then, you might want to check out the rest of the verses that speak about Urim and Thummim, namely Leviticus 8:8, Numbers 27:21, Deuteronomy 33:8.

Now, the first clue we can get from the verse of Exodus 26:24 (description of the corner boards). There is "תמים"(Thumim) instead of "התמים" (the Thumim). The word "Thumim" thus can be translated as perfect, flawless, twinned, coupled, perfect, complete, e.t.c. Still unclear, but at least we defined one word out of two.

The "Urim" however, is a more difficult matter, because it can mean both "the lights" and also figuratively "exaltion". I think the clue may lie in the verse of Ezra 2:63 or Nehemiah 7:65, where it implies that "Urim" and "Thummim" were, perhaps, a figurative attributes of the High Priest, namely "exaltation" and "perfection".

So, at this time, I would like to propose the following translation of the above verse of Exodus 28:30
"And you give to the breastplate of judgment the Exaltion and the Perfection; and they are upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually."
What do you think? 

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