Functional Godhead

©by Menashe Dovid ben Avraham

Some of the deniers of the ‘Trinity’ amongst Messianic and Christian groups insist in the term ‘godhead’ rather than ‘Trinity’ for a plural unity of the ‘godhead’ and typically prefer to describe a necessary functional nature to the ‘godhead’. It is not readily clear amongst Messianic and Christian groups if the ‘godhead’ has always been a plural unity (made up of parts, persons and/or functions) or was an absolute unity (not made up of parts, functions, intrinsic duality or plurality but absolutely one1) that became a plural unity as a result of the necessary functional nature of the ‘godhead’ functioning (cf “I the LORD do not change” Mal 3:6). That is to say for example, just before and after creation, the “god” of necessity needed to be a ‘God’ and a ‘Spirit’, hence at creation we see the “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen 1:2b). By referring to the ‘God’ and the ‘Spirit’ it is possible to speak of two concepts in relationship to the ‘godhead’: essence (‘God’) and position (‘Spirit’ hovering over the waters), hence a plurality. If before creation, “god” was an infinite plural unity instead of an absolute infinite unity, then it is possible to say that the ‘godhead’ is composite i.e made up of from the necessary functional parts or persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit for example. A composite ‘godhead’ however, cannot be eternal, since there must have been a time when the separate parts (parts finite or infinite?) were joined together by a previous cause to make a unified (infinite?) whole. Now it stands to reason for God to be eternal, God has to have no previous cause and no beginning and also no end.

A typical position taken by ‘Jewish’ (?) Adventists is given below:

Adventism does not embrace a plurality of deities, rather a single Deity who has chosen different means of inter-personally communication and relating with His greatest creation, hence the term Persons. We must remember that man’s dimension is not G-d’s dimension. Depending on who you ask, man lives in 3 or 4 dimensions – Height, Width, Depth and “Time”. G-d resides in neither of these nor is He bound by them. It was not until His corporeal manifestation (Jesus), that He was “literally” able to walk with man (unlike the terms “and G-d walked with Enoch” which was not literal), “literally” speak face to face (unlike the term “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, ” which was not literal). It was not until that unexplainable mystery of godliness, that G-d was able to be pierced through and bare our iniquities. – Zech. 12:10 (from a ‘Jewish’ Adventist discussion board, Feb 2011) (Permission to quote the above quote from the Facebook page “Jewish Adventist Friendship Center” is granted by the owners of said Facebook page. The quote may be found in the second of the two links: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=61418912603&topic=31199 http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=61418912603&topic=31204, these links have been re-hashed from the original discussion thread (original feedback comments have been removed).

According to ‘Jewish’ Adventists, Zachariah 12 gives an example of the necessary functional nature of the ‘godhead’. The example insists on a physical/ divine ‘Messiah’ (Jesus) fulfilling the necessary role/ purpose of being pierced [2] and killed for people’s sins so as to bring about a substitutionary atonement. The argument for the necessary functional nature of the substitutionary atonement comes about as a result of a spiritual being (god) not having a physical body to be pierced. So the ‘godhead’ taking on a human form, which is described as a unique and ‘unexplainable mystery of godliness’, allows for this necessary functional nature of the ‘god head’. A problem with the use of Zechariah 12 is that contextually; Zechariah does not match up to Jesus and his crucifixion.

The 12th Chapter in the Book of Zechariah describes a war of nations against Jerusalem, in which Judeans fought on the side of the enemy for a while and, when they realized that G-d was with the people of Jerusalem, they “turned around” and joined the battle against the enemy, which led to the deliverance of Jerusalem and the restoration of its status. The victory will, however, be followed by grievous mourning over those who fell in the battle. The passage Zechariah 12:8-14, when read in the original Hebrew text, or in a correct translation thereof, clearly shows that the prophet could not possibly have spoken of Jesus. For example, the prophet makes the promise that Jerusalem and its inhabitants will be protected:

Zechariah 12:7, 8 — (7) And the Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the splendor of the House of David and the splendor of the inhabitants of Jerusalem should not overwhelm Judah. (8) On that day, the lord shall protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and it shall come to pass on that day that even the weakest among them shall be like David: and the House of David shall be as angels, like an angel of the Lord before them.

The historical record testifies that, less than 40 years after Jesus died, Jerusalem was torched and destroyed by the Romans, and its people were expelled and exiled. So, this is yet another prophecy that Jesus did not fulfill. The prophet also foretells the destruction of those nations that attacked Jerusalem:

Zechariah 12:9 — And it shall come to pass on that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that have come upon Jerusalem.

However, according to the historical record, none of these nations were destroyed in the days of Jesus. This, too, remains a prophecy not yet fulfilled.

Moreover, another problem is the Torah specifically forbidding human sacrifice. The nature of the necessary substitutionary divine/ human atonement (Jesus) says by the New Testament:

Romans 8:3(KJV) – For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [See also 1 Tm 3:1-6; 1 Jo 4:2.]

18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 1 Peter 3:18 (New International Version)

Characterizing the death of Jesus on the cross as any kind of sacrifice would render it to be a human sacrifice and a clear violation of Torah. Heathen Semitic worship was cruel, often requiring human victims. In absolute contrast, the Torah forbids human sacrifice:

Leviticus 18:21 – And you shall not give any of your offspring to pass through the fire for Molech, and shall not profane the name of your G-d; I am the L-rd. [See also Deut 18:10, Jer 7:31, Ezek 23:37-39.]

Deuteronomy 24:16 – Fathers shall not be put to death because of children, nor shall children be put to death for fathers; each person shall be put to death for his own sin. [See also Exod 32:31-33; Num 35:33.]

2 Kings 14:6 – And the sons of the assassins he did not execute, as it is written in the book of the Torah of Moses, which the L-rd commanded saying: “Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor shall sons be put to death for fathers, but each man shall be put to death for his own sin.” [See also Jer 31:29{30 in Christian Bibles}; Ezek 18:4, 20; Ps 49:7-8.]

Analyzing the necessary functional nature of the ‘godhead’ further, is an example using a typology. The typology used by Messianics and Christians, attempts to create a correlation between the “Binding of Isaac” (Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac) and God’s sacrifice of Jesus. Unfortunately the correlation breaks down practically before it ever begins. The typology says that God sacrificed His own son just as Abraham would have sacrificed his own son, had God allowed the act to be completed. However, Abraham was sacrificing his son to God, which showed Abraham loved God more than he loved his son Isaac, something that even God acknowledges in the text:

“He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” (Gen 22:2)

So who did God sacrifice Jesus to? Did God sacrifice Jesus to mankind in order to show mankind that He loved mankind more than he loved Jesus? Is mankind God’s god? God needs mankind’s approval in order to be God? Does this make sense?

A puzzling feature of the binding of Issac is the opening statement that God tested Abraham, as if the purpose were to provide God with information about Abraham’s trust He did not previously possess. Nachmanides (also known as the Ramban, a 13th century Spanish rabbi), states that God did indeed know beforehand how Abraham would behave but, from Abraham’s point of view, the test was real since he had to be rewarded not only for his potential willingness to obey the divine command but for actually complying with it. The implications of the binding of Issac are that, despite what appears to be a contradiction, divine foreknowledge is compatible with human free will.

Another puzzling feature of the binding of Issac are the previous statements of the Jewish scriptures which forbid human sacrifice. According to a mistaken understanding of Gen 26:5; Abraham was aware of “and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” and so one might ask why didn’t Abraham just turn around and say to God that the Torah forbids human sacrifice? Rashi on Gen 26:5 points to “Abraham obeyed My voice”, which refers to the test (binding of Issac) Hashem gave to Abraham, since the test was a direct command from Hashem, as opposed to laws of the Torah, which were not directly commanded to Abraham but Abraham followed the laws of the Torah anyway.

Yet another aspect of the binding of Issac, is the Talmud’s reference to Jeremiah. The Talmud (Ta’anit 4a)3 quotes Jeremiah 19:5 (see also Jer 32:35), in which God is reported as saying of child-sacrifice ‘which I have not commanded, nor spoken, nor did it enter My mind’. The Talmud links each of the three expressions, ‘not commanded’, ‘nor spoken’ and ‘nor did it enter My mind’ to a different biblical episode involving or apparently involving child-sacrifice, and explicitly applies the third phrase to ‘Isaac, son of Abraham’. Rashi (ad loc., s.v. ukhetiv asher lo tziviti) explains: ‘That is to say, even though I commanded him, it never entered my mind that he should slaughter his son’. In this passage, then, the Talmud explicitly morally neutralizes God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.


1. If, however, you have a desire to rise to a higher state, viz., that of reflection, and truly to hold the conviction that God is One and possesses true unity, without admitting plurality or divisibility in any sense whatever, you must understand that God has no essential attribute in any form or in any sense whatever, and that the rejection of corporeality implies the rejection of essential attributes. (The guide for the perplexed, Friedlander translation, http://www.teachittome.com/seforim2/seforim/the_guide_for_the_perplexed.pdf) Page 153

His existence is always absolute, and has never been a new element or an accident in Him. Consequently God exists without possessing the attribute of existence. Similarly He lives, without possessing the attribute of life; knows, without possessing the attribute of knowledge; is omnipotent without possessing the attribute of omnipotence; is wise, without possessing the attribute of wisdom: all this reduces itself to one and the same entity; there is no plurality in Him. (Ibid Page 169)

210 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. (Zech 12:10 JPS version)

10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn. (Zech 12:10 KJV version)

3. And it is further written, Which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it to my mind. [11]‘Which I commanded not’: This refers to the sacrifice of the son of Mesha, the king of Moab, as it is said, Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead and offered him for a burnt-offering. [12]‘Nor spake it’; This refers to the daughter of Jephtha. ‘Neither came it to my mind’: This refers to the sacrifice of Isaac, the son of Abraham. (Talmud, Ta’anit 4a), ([11] Jer. XIX, 5., [12] II Kings III, 27.)

16 thoughts on “Godhead

  1. Menashe,

    If you wish to contend with Messianic Doctrine, then first establish what their beliefs are by citing written texts and providing proper references. It is then, your message will become more credible and convincing to Messianic Jews that your presentations are not with harmful intent.

    At the present moment, it appears as if you’re grouping Messianic Jews and Christians as if they were one and the same, when Messianic Jews do not see themselves as part of the Christian movement; instead, Messianic Jews see themselves as part of a very Jewish Movement that express faith in Israel’s Messiah. By providing adequate references, it would demonstrate that you do not hold a bias against Messianic Jews, and the message would become more appealing and interesting. Also, it will give room for discussion.

    Just as well, it is important to identify which class of Messianic Jews believe what. Among Ashkenazic Messianic Movements, the Trinity Dogma is more commonly accepted. Unlike the Ashkenazic Messianic Movement, the Sephardic Messianic Community reject all notions of a Triune G-dhead. Why does this difference exist among the same movement? Is it because the two cultures developed differently? Could it be that language have a major impact with how Messianic Jews perceive Hashem?

    Lastly, if you want your thoughts to come off as being objective, it’s important that with comparisons between groups, you also provide contrasts. For example, your blog does make some comparisons between Messianic Jews and Christianity; however, this is too vague and contrasts were not provided. Also, you didn’t provide a comparison and contrast to how the Messianic Jewish Movement is in relationship to the current Jewish movements. Christianity has all sorts of subgroups, from Catholics to Baptists, Pentecostals, or Mormons. It is apparent that not all Christian Movements believe in the same things. It would be wrong of me to claim that Orthodox Jews, Reform Jews, Conservative Jews, and Messianic Jews to be all of the same Jewish Movement when you know that this is not the case.

    Also, you failed to provide an academic approach that best explains why triune theologies exist among so many different cultures! It would have been interesting if you provided scholarly grounds demonstrating the manner by which triune deities are prevelant among polytheistic cultures all with the interest of preserving the integrity of the family nucleus, as in a sociological approach.

    You do make some interesting points, but this approach would not convince many Messianic Jews that tend to have a collegiate education. Thanks for posting, though. It makes me understand where you’re coming from.


  2. It’s okay, Manashe: Yeshua HaMashiach knows your heart – many deny Him, just like you do, but He is not mocked. No worries, everyone will see the One whom they have pierced, and will mourn, as if for an only Son. There hasn’t been a mishkan nor temple for almost two thousand years, so there hasn’t been any Torah prescribed atonement for the Jews all this time – so, where are you and all the deniers of Yeshua’s sacrifice with G-d now, since you haven’t (and are not able) to follow the atonement sacrifices prescribed in the Torah?Ponder that in your heart, and pray that G-d will enlighten you. Do not use your intellect nor your stony heart – ask for a teachable, fleshly heart from Adonai Elohim, and may the Ruach HaKodesh guide you in all of His truth. Shalom in Yeshua HaMashiach – hu Adonai!


    • Repentance has always made the way for forgiveness regardless of the blood of animals. In any case the blood of animals atone only for unintentional sins (see Lev 4 and Number 15). Praying for G-d’s enlightenment in the face of the plain meaning/ context of scripture is a common defence used by Mormons BTW. I does not wash with me.

      Zechariah 12:7, 8 — (7) And the Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the splendor of the House of David and the splendor of the inhabitants of Jerusalem should not overwhelm Judah. (8) On that day, the lord shall protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and it shall come to pass on that day that even the weakest among them shall be like David: and the House of David shall be as angels, like an angel of the Lord before them.

      The historical record testifies that, less than 40 years after Jesus died, Jerusalem was torched and destroyed by the Romans, and its people were expelled and exiled. So, this is yet another prophecy that Jesus did not fulfill. The prophet also foretells the destruction of those nations that attacked Jerusalem.


  3. I am not Mormon. I am a gentile who believes in the G-d of Avraham, the G-d of Yitzak, and the G-d of Yaacov, and I believe that He has a Son, as is written in Psalms 2 & in Proverbs 30:4. You use G-d’s Torah selectively to deny His plan of salvation – if repentance is (and has always been the way) to forgiveness for both intentional and unintentional sins (which I agree with, but only through the Messiah), why was there ever a need for those sacrifices stated in Leviticus 4 & Numbers 15? Did G-d institute those in only for effect? Is the Torah done away with now? As for praying for enlightenment in the Spirit, it is not a man-made, Mormon teaching – it is in the Torah (please read Psalm 119, as there are many references to praying for G-d’s help to be given wisdom and understanding of His Torah). Your references to the Judean exile after the destruction of Jerusalem are self serving – you think that all of those prophesies are supposed to happen all at once, and you offer it as proof that Yeshua could not have been the Messiah based on that supposed “fact” that He did not accomplish all of those prophesies at the time He was here on Earth, which is a conclusion without a valid premise to stand on. Where does it say in the Torah that He (the Messiah) would accomplish all of those all at once? Have all the prophesies in the Tanak been accomplished yet, and we are almost 6,000 years into the creation already, by your own calendar? Please site Torah passages to support your claim that G-d planned to do all of those prophesies which you claim were supposed to have been accomplished by the Messiah all at once. Also, is G-d the G-d of Israel only? Is He not G-d of all who would believe in Him – both Jew and gentile alike? That is arrogance of the highest order. You want to exclude everybody who wants to believe in His salvation, His Yeshua, but you yourselves are unrepentant in your denial of His Son, in whom He has offered forgiveness and salvation to you, to all Jews, and to all mankind, and you teach others to do so as well. Furthermore, Yeshua taught the Torah in amazing ways and performed many miracles that no ordinary human being could have done, but you want other proofs as well. G-d’s undeniable works are not enough for you. Last but not least, don’t tell me that Isaiah 53 refers to Israel – it is plain, even to simple folks like me – that it does not, and Yeshua fits the description of the One whom Isaiah describes. My Messiah did come 2,000 years ago, but you’d rather spend your time and energy in finding ways to deny Him, notwithstanding that there is enough in the Torah and in the Tanak to prove that Yeshua is the Messiah – you simply refuse to see. So be it. He spoke the Truth, but the hearts of the people have been waxed gross. Sorry, neither do your arguments wash with the G-d, in whom you profess to believe in. Nothing is impossible with G-d. When is your messiah coming and what is he going to do for you and those of the same heart as you? Yeshua HaMashiach – hu Adonai!


    • 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’” Ex 4

      The only son G-d has is Israel. Mormons when confronted with the plain truth of scripture resort to saying well ‘just believe’ as you are doing now.


  4. “Psalm 2, verse 15 – Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish on your way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” – You mean we will be blessed if we put our trust in Israel? Isn’t it that we are supposed to put our trust only in G-d, and no one and nothing else, as many passages in the Tanak teach? Lols. Yes, Manashe, keep on believing that – Israel is the ‘only’ firstborn son of G-d. No worries. It’s not anyone else’s problem anymore, but yours, because you even twist the plain truth of G-d’s Torah to justify your man-made, man taught, self-justifying beliefs. That’s aside form the fact that you ignored what I just told you that I am NOT Mormon. If you cannot even understand that, then how can you claim to understand G-d’s words? I will not waste any more time here – I have just confirmed that you have the spirit of the Anti-Messiah in you, as Yeshua HaMashiach described. You think you can get through Avinu Shebashamayim without going through the Son – so be it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work with G-d.


    • Here you show your ignorance WRT psalm 2: נַשְּׁקוּ-בַר, the Hebrew for son is בן not בר you obviously do not have clue what you are talking about and it shows further shows that you have man-made, man taught, self-justifying beliefs of Christianity. You are an idol worshipper.


  5. Lols. Am I making you angry, Manashe? So, you’re telling me that the Hebrew passage should have been translated as, “… Kiss you purity…?” So, the “he” referred to in Psalm 2:12 is “purity”, who’s wrath we should fear from being kindled, lest we be destroyed by it along the way? Does that make sense to you? And here I was, believing somewhat that you were a sensible, mature and intelligent man, who will accept what is plainly being communicated to you by the Tanak, instead of quibbling over inanities. You mean, all of those translators and experts got it all wrong, because they couldn’t understand Hebrew as well as you? You know the language, true, and I am just some poor, uneducated slob – that I have no understanding that, “ben” is “son” and that “bar” translates to “purity” (except in Aramaic, wherein “bar” also translates as “son”). Let me ask you – are you really telling me what it ACTUALLY means – I mean, not just the word “bar” and the it’s difference to “”ben”, but the meaning of the whole verse? I think you know what it REALLY means, but you’re quibbling, because the passage’s actual and widely accepted meaning (to pay homage to the Messiah, Who is the Son of G-d, whom He will install in Zion as King), tears down everything you believe in. Truly, the Stone that the builders have rejected has become the Capstone, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Sorry, Manashe, no dice. Read Isaiah 52 to 53 again, and tell everyone reading your blog posts to whom you think the prophet Isaiah was referring to. Oh yes, Israel, who was marred beyond human likeness; Israel, on whom all the iniquities of mankind were laid upon; Israel, who was pierced through for my transgressions; and by Israel’s stripes we are healed. Never did Israel do those things for anyone, nor can it do those from anyone. I love Israel, because G-d told me in the Tanak to love it, but only G-d does that for me and for everyone who believes in Him. As for me, I proclaim to you that I worship the Messiah, the Son of the Living G-d, whom you deny, which Psalm 2 clearly says to pay homage to with reverence and fear. Be careful what you call an idol, lest you provoke G-d. Calling the King whom He will install over Zion an “idol”, as referenced in Psalm 2 can be very harmful to your soul, you know. As for you, your idol is your supposed wisdom (which is nothing compared to G-d’s wisdom) and your unyielding belief in your intellect (which He will frustrate).

    Ignorant, am I? This is from the person who couldn’t even understand that I am not Mormon, even if I told him plainly. Psalm 2 means what it means, no matter how you translate it – that’s what the spirit of the passage is. Don’t take the exceptions of the language to prove your theories (i.e. that the “-im” in Elohim is singular, as an exception, but the rule is that -im means the word is to be taken in the plural sense), and then “echad” as a rule is singular, because that’s it’s only meaning in Hebrew, right? No exceptions, right Manashe? Okay then, He who catches men in their craftiness will prove you wrong – not me, I am but an ignorant slob, who worships my Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach. Don’t even waste your time answering this, Manashe – I didn’t see your reply until now because I thought that it would be a waste of time (as it proved to be) but I guess one must try to talk sense to someone who is quarreling with His maker, and trying to justify himself with his worldly wisdom and understanding even to His own detriment. Fact is, you know the surface meaning of what Psalm 2 but you won’t admit what it REALLY means even to yourself, lest you pull your own tent by the tentpegs of your supposed wisdom and understanding. That is what is called a, “strong delusion.”

    You know that it says in Proverbs 30:
    ” 2 Surely I am more stupid than any man,
    And I do not have the understanding of a man.
    3 Neither have I learned wisdom,
    Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
    4 Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
    Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
    Who has wrapped the waters in [b]His garment?
    Who has established all the ends of the earth?
    What is His name or His son’s name?
    Surely you know!

    5 Every word of God is tested;
    He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
    6 Do not add to His words
    Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

    Israel did not ascend nor descend to and from heaven, so please enough of your “Israel is G-d’s firstborn son” nonsense. Please consider the above Scripture passages as friendly advice, not from me, but from Him whose Son you are denying. He is the Messiah. He is Yeshua, our Salvation – blessed be He. Go and put your faith in your rabbis, and your targums, and your mishnas and gemarras – perhaps they will save you, in the end. You won’t see me here anymore, Manashe, I’ve already wasted too much time on your quibbles. Stop denying the Messiah, and He will open your eyes and your heart to His truth, and He will be merciful to you. Goodbye and Shalom.


    • The phrase in question, נַשְּׁקוּ־בַר , consists of two components, נַשְּׁקוּ (nashQU) – a verb, and בַר (VAR) – a noun. The verb נַשְּׁקוּ is conjugated in the 2nd-person, plural, imperative, in the pi’EL stem (the active intensive verb form in Hebrew grammar) of the root verb נשׁק (NUN-SHIN-QOF), which appears on 35 occasions in the Hebrew Bible in different conjugations with several meanings, depending on the particular verb stem and the context within the respective passage. The most common contextual application of this verb is [to] kiss (e.g., Genesis 27:27), from which the noun נְשִׁיקָה (neshiQAH), a kiss, is derived (e.g., it appears in the plural form at Song of Songs 1:2). The other applications are: [to] unite (e.g., Psalms 85:11[10]; correctly translated in the KJV!), and to knock against or to touch (e.g., Ezekiel 3:13; correctly translated in the KJV!). In some cases, this verb is applied in the context of [to] arm oneself with a weapon (e.g., Psalms 78:9; correctly translated in the KJV!), from this context the noun נֶשֶׁק (NEsheq), arms/weapons, is derived (e.g., as at Job 39:21). The rendition of the term נַשְּׁקוּ at Psalms 2:12 as the 2ndperson, plural, imperative, kiss, in the KJV, and in most other Christian translations, becomes problematic when combined with the way in which the next term is translated in these Bibles.

      The Hebrew word בַּר [also בָּר ] occurs in the Hebrew Bible 22 times with two distinct meanings. Its most common application is as the noun grain (15x; e.g., Genesis 41:35,49); the other application is as the adjective pure or clean or choice [as in select, superior, top quality] (7x; e.g., Job 11:4). The correct translation of בַר at Psalms 2:12 is pure or clean, or purity or cleanliness, and it is even possible that King David used it here as a metaphor for the Torah (see the Targum Yonatan rendition below). The KJV and most other Christian translations render this as the Son, claiming that בַר , as an alternate form of בַּר , is the Aramaic word for son. However, this claim is invalidated by at least the following linguistic issues:

      No Aramaic words are used in the Book of Psalms. The Aramaic language was not the spoken vernacular until the time of the Babylonian exile, i.e., in the sixth century BCE, long after the Psalms were composed and recorded by King David and others.

      The Aramaic term בַּר is used in some of the Aramaic portions in the Hebrew Bible (but not in the Book of Psalms). However it is not the term for ‘son’, but for the possessive form, ‘son of …’, where the rest of this expression must be provided in the phrase itself. For example, in the Aramaic portion of the Book of Daniel appears the expression כְּבַר אֱנָשׁ (keVAR eNASH), ‘like a son of man’ (Daniel 7:13). In the very next chapter, after the languageswitches back to the Hebrew, appears the Hebrew equivalent [without the preposition ־ כְּ (ke-), like], בֶּן־אָדָם (BEN-aDAM), ‘son of man’. The Aramaic noun for son used in the Hebrew Bible is בְּ רָא (bRA), not בַּר . The Hebrew term for ‘son’, בֵּן (BEN), is used by King David in Psalms 2:7 in the inflected form בְּנִי , ‘my son’. Had he used the equivalent Aramaic word in Psalms 2:7, it would have been בְּרִי (bRI).

      Even if בַּר in Psalms 2:12 were Aramaic, and even if it meant ‘son’ (neither of which is the case here), the definite article ־ הַ (ha-), ‘the’, is missing from the phrase נַשְּׁקוּ־בַר , and the proper translation would then be ‘Kiss a son’, not ‘Kiss the son’.


  6. Interesting thoughts 😉
    When I read the bible, I would agree God is not pleased with human sacrifices nor animals sacrifices.

    Animal sacrifices were common practice of pagan religions as well.

    Jesus died a brutal death because of jealousy. The blood of righteous Abel was shed by his own brother Cain on account of Jealousy. Unjust human deaths is an ancient story that God allows.

    God did make Ezekiel bear the sins of people in symbol:
    Eze 4:6 And again, when thou hast accomplished these, thou shalt lie on thy right side, and shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah: forty days, each day for a year, have I appointed it unto thee.

    So for a righteous human to suffer for another is not new.

    Now the righteous men could see the true intentions of God:
    1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath YHWH as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of YHWH?

    Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

    David when he murdered knew no animal sacrifice could atone for sin, yet he received forgiveness. Is YHWH pleased with blood – animal or human?
    Psa 51:16 For thou delightest not in sacrifice; Else would I give it: Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering.
    Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

    Psa 50:13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats?

    “With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and
    what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6-8 ESV)

    If to LOVE YHWH is the most important command, then the meaning of sacrifice may have to do with love and trust. Blood seems to be the dearest thing we hold as the blood holds our life. So the symbol of blood or shedding of it then becomes the greatest sacrifice one can make. You may sacrifice a few dollars but to sacrifices one’s life is not easy.

    The brutal murder of a righteous man is not a new story:
    Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.’” But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD. Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had
    shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and avenge!” (2 Chronicles 24:20-22 ESV)

    The spirit of God took control of Zechariah and caused him to testify that resulted in an unjust death. His blood testifies that God was prepared to go to the extend to shed the blood of his dearly beloved and righteous servant to appeal to his people, before bringing judgments.

    The blood language speaks of appeal and love. The blood is not significant, the symbol it carries matters.


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