Matthew 20.16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
So on the 10 th day following Rosh Ha-Shanah, there is one last chance to pray and repent for the years' sins.
All are judged on Rosh Ha-Shanah, and their verdict is sealed on the Day of Atonement [R. Meir, Talmud: Rosh Ha-shanah, 16a].
Even if nine hundred and ninety-nine argue against a man, and only one argues in his favor, he is saved [Talmud: Sabbath, 32a].
This latter precept links into the parable of the Good Shepherd,
which has yet to be discussed.
Thus, on the Day of Judgment all men are judged and the good are entered into the Book of Life and a New year begins, with the Feast of the New Year, Ras Ha-Shanah, ending with the Yom Kippur fasting and prayers.
The Wedding, first of the Jew and then of their Messiah, which we have yet to discuss, could take place in the spring or the fall; but since the Jews view the coming of the Messiah as the Redeemer who carries a New Covenant for all peoples, changing their stony hearts to flesh, etc., bringing all men into God's Covenant, the Redeemer has a Three-fold mission: 1) of redeeming the Jews first to their land, 2) marrying the Land to YHVH, and then 3) joining the nations with Israel to the Holy Land. As noted, reinstatement of the Jews to the Holy Land is viewed as being accompanied by the restoration of God's Holy Tent (or pavilion), called the Tabernacle, and also the Temple. For the Sign of the Redeemer Messiah is the Tabernacle, and this links to the idea of the Chupo (originally a Tent and now called the Bridal Canopy) in the Jewish Wedding Ceremony. In the Jewish Marriage Cycle, after the marriage is consecrated in the Betrothal Ceremony, the Groom returns to his own house (and village if applicable) to prepare for the final Wedding under the Chupo. This could take place the next day, as in modern times, or after several years. In the mean time, the Bride with her Marriage Contract awaits the return of the Groom to redeem her. And in that redemption phase the two meet under the Chupo and the Shekinah there joins them. The Wedding then becomes not only a consummation of the Marriage Contract but also a confirmation of the Glory of God (because God's Glory is through His Wisdom and study of the Torah leads to Wisdom).
The redemption of Israel, because of their exile, involves a reconfirmation of their Covenant with God and a New Covenant with the Gentile. The Shekinah, being the Glory of God, was the vehicle by means of which the Wisdom of the Torah and its prophets were delivered. Since it was a precept of Deuteronomy 30 that the Jews could not stray away from the Covenant without penalty of a Curse (which is exile from the land), it follows that the Redeemer of Israel must abide by that agreement, neither adding to nor taking away the words of the Covenant. But Jeremiah and Ezekiel did speak of putting a new heart in all men, including Jews, and this ultimately leads to a covenant under which Jew and Gentile alike can abide. For the scriptures speak of one language, one God, and one agreement for all men which will bring peace. This was termed the New Covenant. As a Groom returning to the Bride to redeem her and bring her back to His House, the New Covenant becomes a man, more precious than gold:
Isaiah 13.12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold..
A gold ring or something of value was the old way of sealing the Wedding portion of the marriage; and this, with regard to the Redeemer, becomes a clue as to what He is.
As noted earlier, Jesus could not deliver (nor intend to do so) the New Covenant, because the New Covenant is a thing which the Light of the Gentile brings at the time Israel is restored and redeemed to the Holy Land. The New Covenant is delivered to the Bride of the original Covenant and also to the Gentile. Thus He is called the Light of the Gentiles, where scripture says:
Isaiah 42.6 I the LORD have called thee in Righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the people, for a Light of the Gentiles.
42.7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sin in darkness out of the prison house.
49.8 Thus saith the LORD in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of Salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.
49.9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, go forth; to them that are in darkness, shew yourselves.
42.1 Behold my servant whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles..
Since this Groom brings Judgment to the Gentile, it follows that He must arrive before the Day of Judgment, Ras Ha- Shanah.. For His arrival is viewed as a Wedding, which involves a fast of both Bride and Groom. The most suitable Fast Day for that event would be Tishbah be-Av. This, because it involves the restoration of the Temple, releases the people from their mourning over the Temple and allows them sufficient time for preparation for the New Year.
Now in the allegory used by Jesus, we can see His Mind revolving around some of the basic ideas thus far mentioned, that He is off to a Wedding which in reality is the Wedding. This assumes that He has previously betroathed himself to the Bride and in the Wedding he will redeem his betroathed bride and her dowry. It also assumes that his servants belong to his house and not his father's house (for in the redemption of the Bride the Wedding takes place in His Father's House). Why do we know this? Because he told his servants to watch for Him, when He returns from the Wedding; and with regard to that watch He told them parables of judgment. When He recited these parables on judgment, as a Lord returning from a Wedding, which would involve an audit of His Estate-of how well his servants kept it-we have a full recognition that in the Second Coming He would be the Light of the Gentile, coming, as per the scriptures, from a far country [re: Isa. 30.27; Jer. 30.10, 31.18; Ez. 34.12]:
Psalm 102.16 When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
96.13 Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his Truth.
72.4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
72.7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
72.8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
72.11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.
102.15 So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
In the Betrothal the Groom returns to his Father's House, to prepare a place for His New Bride, but then He must come again to His Father-in-Law's house to redeem His Bride and bring her back to His Father's House for the Chupo Wedding Ceremony.
Thus, Jesus said, I go to the Father to prepare a place for you, that in My Father's House there are many mansions, etc.; but then I will come again, etc. [John 14.1-4], which is called His Second Coming, to which we add:
John 14.23..If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
14.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
14.28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again, unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
14.29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
We must belabor the point-for it is obvious that pastors these past two thousand years have spurned (through condemnation of the Jews and their Law) the very argument Jesus made above, which is based upon the Jewish Betrothal and Wedding Ceremony. If the Second Coming is for Judgment, as noted above, how could there be rejoicing (for the Day of Judgment is the most solemn occasion in Jewish life) except that a Wedding preceded it?
Every Groom and His party have a Second Coming, and this is called the Wedding. Where does He go for the Wedding? To the Bride's House, to redeem her to His Father's House. How does the Bride, the Queen, recognize Him, her King, when He comes? He is a man very well schooled in the Torah and its prophets. He knows the scriptures; more so, she chose Him because of His Knowledge of the Scriptures!
Because every father of the Bride desires in the Groom the best Knowledge and Wisdom in the Torah and the scriptures, it has been a tradition to greet the Groom with a party who tests him in the Talmud, etc. We can see this carried into the Scriptures, as also, the Messiah carries a Wisdom (because the Shekinah speaks through Him) which makes the wise men put their hands over their mouths (Isaiah 29.14, 30.28; see other references displayed in Hidden Pavilions as in the Zohar above). The Grooms' suitability for the Bride is thus determined not on how comely he appears, but rather in his knowledge of the Torah, etc.; and thus the greater the knowledge the higher the price of the mohar. The greatest price of the Messianic Betrothal would be with the Affliction of the Messiah. This ties into the thesis of the Afflicted Soul (Isaiah 58.4-10) which we have discussed adequately before. The price of the sacrifice of the Afflicted Soul is mentioned at Zechariah 11, which is 30 shekels, which is the price of redeeming a servant. In the relationship between Israel and God, Israel is also referred to as God's servant. So as it turns out the price of Christ's blood money was 30 shekels; and this was paid at the time He left our Father's House to redeem Israel and, through Israel, all of mankind. For:
Matthew 18.11 ..the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
18.14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
John 3.17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.
Here we can see how Jesus' perception of Himself graduated from the simple mission of searching out the Lost Sheep of Israel to searching out the Lost sheep of all the world and redeeming them to His Father's House. Where is His Father's House? In the Center of His Kingdom, which is Jerusalem; for:
Isaiah 66.1 Thus saith the LORD, the heaven is my throne; and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?
56.6..the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
56.7 Even them will I bring to my Holy Mountain, and make them joyful in my House of Prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine House shall be called an House of prayer for all people.
On Tishbah be-Av, the 9th of Av, which is a day of mourning and prayer over the destruction of the Temple, certain scriptures are read, and among them are Isaiah 55.6 through 56.7. Thus, on this day they bring into remembrance God's Promise on the Redemption to place His House of Prayer for all people in Jerusalem; and this is yet another reason we selected Tishbah be- Av as the day of the Messianic Betrothal and Wedding. Because we have seen Jesus explain above: how the Father is greater than He, and that the words which He spoke were not His but His Father's, it follows that-as He pointed out beforehand that ye may know His Father sent Him- His Second Coming will call into remembrance these words foremost among many.
Since we are sifting through the precepts on redemption, we also note that with regard to God's redemption of the Children of Israel out of Egypt it was done without price, except that they were required to prepare a paschal lamb the night before and mark the lintel and jam of their doors with its blood, to separate a House of Israel from a House of the Egyptians; they were also asked to bake unleavened bread. From the night of the Passover until now they celebrate that feast in memory of how God had redeemed the Children of Israel out of Egypt. That they are redeemed without money to the Holy Land comes from:
Isaiah 52. 1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the Holy City: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
52.2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
52.3 ..Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.
52.5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? They that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.
52.6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.
52.7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
52.8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.
52.9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem...
The Messiah inherits the desolate heritage, when the LORD brings again Zion. What was redemption to the Children of Israel was, of course, judgment to the Egyptians, because of their Pharaoh's hardened heart; and thus, in this Last Day, with the redemption of Israel back to the Holy Land, comes the Judgment of the Gentile. This we have listed in several places as pertaining to the Light of the Gentile of Isaiah 42, 49, and 63; the latter of which we quoted in our December 31, 1994 letter.
We noted in our December 31, 1994 letter, how in Adam and Eve and Enoch 47.8, Satan explains that he was not informed on the Day of Redemption agreed upon by Adam and GOD. Not knowing that day, Satan concluded that he would have to unrelentingly wage war, day after day, against the seed of Adam. For he was jealous of Adam, that GOD had made a covenant with Adam and not himself. So he vowed to kill Adam:
Adam and Eve, 47.7 But Satan, the hater of all good, thought within himself; Whereas God has promised salvation to Adam by covenant, and that he would deliver him out of all the hardships that have befallen him-but has not promised me by covenant, and will not deliver me out of my hardships; nay, since He has promised him that He should make him and his seed dwell in the Kingdom in which I once was-I will kill Adam.
47.8 The earth shall be rid of him; and shall be left to me alone; so that when he is dead he may not have any seed left to inherit the kingdom that shall remain my own realm; God will then be in want of me, and He will restore me to it with my hosts [Re: Hidden Pavilions, p. 160].
A foundation of the Holy Scriptures is that the Wicked shall be caught in their own confusion: the same snares they lay for others. This follows the idea on Leviathan, who is King of the Children of Pride and, simply put, you can always count on the Children of Pride to not consider the ways of the LORD. We recalled in an earlier work, for instance, the Song of the Pearl, how a young prince was sent by the King and Queen of Lebanon to redeem the Pearl from the deep of Egypt, which was guarded by a dragon. At first He dressed and behaved like the Egyptian so He would not be recognized; then, having been reminded by His Father to stop dallying around, He went out to the dragon, confused it with some words of Scripture, by showing His Robe, which was like a mirror, and dove into the sea and recovered the Pearl of Great Price.
This is a process used frequently within the Scriptures and by the rabbis. When the Son of Man is sent by His Father He knows the Day of Redemption and what He is to do and how He will do it. In a sense He will descend into Egypt to recover the Pearl and in the process He will set all the nations into confusion [re: Psalm 2: Why do the Heathen rage and imagine a vain thing?]. In fact He will provoke jealousy:
Isaiah 30.27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden therefor is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire.
30.28 And His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
42.13 The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: He shall cry, yea, roar: He shall prevail against His enemies.
Now an Egyptian was called a Mitzer and in times of persecution in the Middle Ages that name was often substituted for Nitzer, meaning Nasorean, a play on words the rabbis used so to confuse evil spirits or daemons. The actual word, N'tzr, could also mean a Nazarite or Branch. Other things were used at the Betrothal and the Wedding Ceremonies to confuse evil spirits (we speak of men like Torquemada, Hitler, Reagan, and their hoods), such as garlic and strong smelling incense and smoke. Also, before the final Wedding Ceremony both the Bride and Groom were immersed in water (the precursor of Baptism) not only to cleanse themselves but also to signify that they were covering themselves with the water of the Holy Spirit. They also believed that evil spirits could not walk on water.
The testimony of Jesus walking on water signifies that He was not an evil spirit, though many in the synagogues and the Sanhedrim thought Him to be so, to which He replied that a House divided against itself cannot stand, meaning, of course, that His work has been against the devil and the devil cannot be divided against himself (which has been our argument concerning the present fall of America). President Lincoln used this truth to keep the American Union together; but since his days the recitation of scripture to keep men united in one spirit has fallen into desuetude.
This brings us back to the idea of redemption, because the redeemer, according to modern Jewish thought noted above, will purge the Jews of their impurities; and this will ultimately be seen as the epiphany of God's Truth in restoring the Tabernacle and Templeand through this all men will come to have a better appreciation of what is meant by this: the Word of the Lord [sic. who is faithful and true as in Rev. 19].
Whether we speak of the fulfillment of the LORD's Wedding Feast, which we have been arguing for, or a Jewish Marriage, all of the scriptures tell us that implicit in every Jewish Wedding is the idea that all marriages are made in heaven. This idea, together with the above, was tied together in a string of pearls Jesus offered, to wit:
Matthew 10.25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
10.26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known [sic. for the LORD knows all things; ed. note]
10.27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house tops.
10.28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
10.29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
10.30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
10.31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
10.32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
10.32 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Within the bounds of the Jewish marriage was the problem of denial. If a party to a Marriage denied the other without just cause, he could be cut-off from the community. If one were cut-off from the community, as in the practice of the Catholic excommunication, certain procedures had to be followed for cleansing and redemption; otherwise a soul would be condemned to hell.
The Jewish people, though considered ritually impure because of the desolation of their Temple Mount and the diaspora--nevertheless believe that God's Shekinah is always present in every Wedding. The scriptures we have shown in other works, of course, declare that though God will scatter them to the nations He will not abandon them completely and will redeem the scattered remnant back to the land He had promised to their father Abraham. With this in the background, at the Wedding Ceremony under the Chupo, because the Shekinah is a feminine word, it sometimes is referred to as the Bride; and through the Wedding of every Israeli there are two confirmations taking place: 1) the Groom with the redemption of his Bride and 2) the Groom Israel with His Bride the Shekinah (and the Torah). Since the Shekinah had a pavilion called the Tabernacle covering its residence (which was atop the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant), it follows that in the marriage being confirmed between the Jewish Bride and Groom they should stand under a pavilion (Tabernacle, Tent) during the final Wedding Ceremony; and this pavilion is called a Chupo, as mentioned before.
Originally the pavilion, or Bridal Canopy, called a Chupo, was a small tent, into which the Groom and Bride would enter to consummate their marriage after the exchange of a gold ring which contained no stones. The gold ring was placed on the Bride's right index finger after a week of festivities called the royal week (which would end on the Sabbath); and, as noted, the two would have crowns placed on their heads and be arrayed in their most festive attire, the Bride being heavily veiled until after she emerged from the Chupo. The Chupo in later times became a small canopy held up by four poles, which, folded, still rests against the walls of synagogues; and the poles were held up by four attendants of the groom; but because the groom's party might be quite numerous each pole would often be held by three men. The Chupo, of course, is modeled after the Veil of the Sanctuary -a veil over four pillars-first placed in the Tabernacle and then later moved by King Solomon into the Temple which he built upon Zion.
The Jewish Wedding requires a quorum of ten men, which is the minimum requirement for all assemblies of Israel. We addressed this in our earlier works, how, for instance, that had God's Two Witnesses found ten righteous men in Sodom, Sodom might have been saved. The tradition of a quorum of ten men in every assembly of the Children of Israel--to thwart the wrath sent upon Sodom--was a foundation in the Dead Sea Scrolls (which verify to us men of today how the men of Jesus' day viewed the matter) and carries forward through the Jewish Wedding Ceremony. In the scriptures relating to the Messiah and Redeemer of Israel (every Jewish Groom could be the Messiah) we see again, as in the Jewish Marriage Ceremony, a reception committee of ten men:
Zechariah 8.22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord of Hosts. In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
The Ten Men come from all nations (because Israel is scattered to all nations). This applies to that period mentioned in Daniel 12.7 which is paraphrased by Zechariah:
Zech. 8.2 Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.
8.3 Thus saith the Lord: I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a City of Truth; and the mountain of the Lord of Hosts the Holy Mountain.
8.5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
8.6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts?
8.8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.
8.9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundations of the House of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the Temple might be built.
8.13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and the house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.
For earlier the prophet told us:
Zech. 6.12..Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and He shall grow up out of his place, and He shall build the Temple of the LORD:
6.13 Even He shall build the Temple of the LORD; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both..
6.15 And they that are far off shall come and build in the Temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you...
The original Temple built by Solomon, as noted in Hidden Pavilions, was double the size of the Tabernacle; and the Ark of the Covenant with its Mercy Seat were moved into the Temple Sanctuary, which was within a heavily laden Veil held up by four pillars (which was originally in the Tabernacle, as said). Recognizing that the Shekinah is also viewed as the Bride of Israel (as is also the Torah), it follows that what covered the Shekinah would apply to the Bride and Groom at the Wedding. Thus we have the Chupo. But instead of the Redeemer Messiah and his troop being wedded under the canopy of the Chupo, it follows that since the Redeemer is to confirm God's Truth [sic. to make Jerusalem, a City of Truth], and restore the LORD's residence to Jerusalem, then comes too the Pavilion which covers the Shekinah, since He paradoxically brings the Shekinah with Him (though it also resides between each married couple!). There is only one way for Him to do this, and this is by means of bringing the design of the Tabernacle with Him: that it would be that Covering under which the final Wedding would be carried. To imagine the completion of that event mentioned in Zechariah above (which we must assume Jesus was off to) without restoration of the Tabernacle is impossible for a Jew, since He not only is reminded of it in Scripture but in the Jewish Wedding Ceremony. For we have in scripture:
Psalm 19.4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun,
19.5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his pavilion [Tabernacle], and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
Every Jewish Groom enters his pavilion with his bride; and, thus, we can see David carrying forth the image to the Messiah, who also must enter His Pavilion in which it is said:
Psalm 27.4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in His temple.
27.5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His Tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.
Now the design of the Tabernacle came from the Cloud of God [Shekinah] atop Mt. Sinai, and some of the instructions were:
[to Moses] Exodus 26.30 And thou shalt rear up the Tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.
The Tabernacle, being a repository for the Ark of the Covenant and thus a residence of the Shekinah, was the Sign of Israel's confirmation. Israel had been delivered God's conditions, or Covenant, and this is their response (which we mentioned many times before):
Exodus 24.3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.
24.7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do.
After this agreement was made, Moses was called up to the Mount and given the Ten Commandments:
Exodus 24.15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.
24.16 And the Glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
24.17 And the sight of the Glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
24.18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
Thus, coupled with the vision of the Glory of God, is a devouring fire; and this we have applied in our earlier works as pertaining to the Judgment of Israel as the Spirit of Burning:
Isaiah 4.2 In that day shall the Branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
4.3 And it shall come to pass that He that is left in Zion, and He that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called Holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.
4.4 When the LORD shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of Judgment, and by the Spirit of Burning.
4.5 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense.
4.6 And there shall be a Tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and rain.
And as pertaining to the Judgment of the Gentile:
Psalm 97.3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.
Zephaniah 2.8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the Kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
Joel 2.1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my Holy Mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand:
2.2 A Day of Darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong: there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
2.3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth; the land is as the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
2.4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen so shall they run.
2.6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.
2.10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
2.11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his Word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
2.30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
No one was with Moses on the Mount when the Tabernacle and the Commandments were given, when God covered Moses by His Hand; however the Messiah would have to know those instructions which were given on the mount; and the proof of the design, as it were, in which He Himself is Hidden, is revealed when the Tabernacle is raised-to the revealed design and also the time, place, and circumstance. Thus, with the Second Coming comes the Tabernacle and the Holy Fire of God. For the Shekinah was seen as a cloud by day and a fire by night, and this led the Jews in the desert not only for forty years but, as the fire of the Torah, through all their generations, to wit:
The Torah has been likened to a sword [Gen. 3.24], to a fire [Deut. 33.2] and to water [Isa. 55.1]. As a sword may shield or slay, as water may satisfy or drown, and as fire may sustain or destroy, so Torah may spell life or retribution [Yalkut Shimoni, # 951].
When Jesus prepared to go to the Father to prepare a place
for you-which in Wedding terms must include the Tabernacle and
the Temple, as noted above- He changed the Paschal feast, substituting
to His disciples, the Wine and Bread of the feast to His blood
and body which are shed for them, that they would have everlasting
life; for He said that He was, as in the food delivered to the
Children of the Exodus, manna from Heaven. Then He went away so
to come again.
In pursuing this paradox with The Old Man of the Sea, I would often (to protect our correspondence from the weather) put these books in plastic rice bags. The rice bags were used when I had emptied them from feeding the wild ducks which frequent my place in the Marina. I told The Old Man of the Sea that the ducks know that what is in the rice bags is food from Mel West upon which they can rely. So I [presumptuously, I admit but with good reason] asked The Old Man of the Sea:
How it is that the ducks can recognize the manna which comes to them through my rice bags but you do not? [for I bag scriptures that are life..]
Now I know that the ducks, who are often waiting for me to
wake up or return to my boat (and let me know of their impatience
by their squawking), do not love me but love the food! This is
the message Jesus was trying to get across to His Disciples (that
you would believe in the Word for the Word's sake).
For the Word's Sake (or, as YHVH would put it, My Name's sake), He must come again to the Wedding Ceremony under the Chupo, which in His case is the Veil and Four Pillars covering the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle; and, referring to how the Bride will recognize Him when He comes, it follows that the answer to that is in the the troop which accompanies Him, and, as said before, His Wisdom, the proof of which ultimately is in the Tabernacle and its Shekinah. You will see the Shekinah in all of its glory, say the scriptures, as we listed above.
What Nehemiah has consecrated cannot be undone. To the Jews, as it was with Moses, one must remove one's shoes on consecrated ground (as at the Dome of the Rock).
In the Jewish Betrothal the Bride is delivered a Wedding Contract, as said before. In the concluding Wedding service this is confirmed by benedictions. In the Mishnah, Kedusha, meaning sanctification, is the name given to the third of eighteen benedictions. The Kekdushot appear in various forms in the liturgy, feasts, and wedding rites. In the Wedding (Nissuin ) seven benedictions conclude the service. The gold ring is given and the wine glass of the Bride and Groom is broken, followed by the sounds of broken glass from the others in attendance. Broken glass was also heard the Eve of the Broken Glass in Germany (November 9,10 1938) which gives further thought to Tishba-be-Av. Now here is how the Kedusha applies to the redemption of Israel:
Ezekiel 36.23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
37.28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forevermore.
This again illustrates how the Wedding of the Second Coming cannot occur without the Kedusha of the sanctuary. The Sanctuary is that of the Tabernacle, including the Veil and Four Pillars covering the Ark of the Covenant, which was later moved to the Temple.
That the Messianic Marriage is to that which was consecrated
We noted earlier that Nehemiah consecrated [sanctified] the site of the Temple. It is the land which is consecrated; and since the Temple Mount is the heart of Jerusalem, Jerusalem itself is consecrated; and since Jerusalem is at the heart of the Holy Land--the land originally promised to Abraham-- it also is consecrated. This brings us to Isaiah 62.2,4, as pertaining to whom the Bride is which is married: for it is the Holy Land which is Married under the covering of the Tabernacle upon Zion, as noted before:
Isaiah 62.2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a New Name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.
62.3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
62.4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
In Philistia Triumph Thou because of me we show that the Holy Land has been given the wrong name and how the Tabernacle becomes the vehicle of the Wedding Ceremony for all nations, who enter under its canopy; and the Temple becomes the place of communion, which is called The House of Prayer for all people. We pointed out that whilst the Tabernacle is entered but once (to offer his/her vow and Wedding band), as one can only be Wedded once, the House of Prayer for all people should be entered for regular communion and celebration of the Sabbath and feast days. We modified the rule of the Temple somewhat by forbidding priests and pastors to function as intermediaries there on the thesis that the Glory of God will be King and High Priest. Since the only sacrifice for the Temple is a song of praise and a righteous heart, there is no need for priests or pastors on the mount.
Jesus added to the Wedding parable the idea of the Ten Virgins waiting for the groom with their candles lit. This relates to the standard practice in the Jewish Wedding Ceremony, where the Groom's company is with much noise: with timbrels and singing and great joy, patterned after that moment when David brought the Ark of the Covenant to the Temple Mount, dancing himself and singing, with many sounds of timbrels and other musical instruments:
II Samuel 6.14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
6.15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
6.16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
6.17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the Tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD
The Groom then and now, as he comes to redeem his Betrothed, wears a white linen ephod ( called a kittel --the same which he wears on the Day of Atonement), there is music and much rejoicing in the street, and everyone goes to their windows, and coins are tossed into the streets by the Groom's party. During both the Betrothal and the Wedding both the Groom and Bride fast, whilst everyone else feasts. How Jesus applied this is as follows:
Matthew 9.14 Then came to him the disciples of John saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
9.15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
So as the Groom approaches, the fast of the children of the Bridal Chamber ends, and everyone goes to their windows. Thus:
Isaiah 60.1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
60.2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
60.3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
60.4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
60.5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
60.6..they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.
60.7..they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
60.8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
60.9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarsish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
60.10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee.
60.11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually..
54.4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
54.5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.
54.6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
54.7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
54.8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
54.10..my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee..
54.17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
55.1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price...
As everyone goes as doves to their windows to watch the Groom approaching, he is greeted by Ten Virgins holding lit candles. Today the parents escort the Groom and Bride down the aisle, carrying lighted candles. According to Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Himelstein, [The Jewish Primer, Facts on File, NY, 1990], we are told that at the time of the giving of the Torah there was lightning, and the lit candles thus are a reminder of the earlier "wedding" [Thus, the Ten Virgins with their candles lit are a reminder of the covenant the Children of Israel agreed to, as shown above]. The Ten Virgins and the Groom's company then return with the Bride to His Father's House, where they enter the chamber of the Chupo and under it the Groom and the Bride are joined. The joining of them involves the placement of a simple gold band and a recital (formerly made by any witness but now normally by a rabbi). We should note that during the Wedding the Torah is read and readers, called ba'al kriyah-being any member of the congregation- are called forth to read their portion, called an Aliyah, of the Torah. When Jesus read Isaiah 61.1-3 (concluding with the words, this day this scripture is fulfilled [Luke 4.18-21]), for instance, He was functioning in that capacity.
Who reads the concluding Aliyah at a Sabbath or feast, is called a maftir --meaning the one who concludes the reading. In a Wedding this reading occurs as follows:
· First Benediction:
You who come are blessed in the name of the Lord.
May He who is supreme in might, blessing and glory bless this bridegroom and this bride.
·Then a cup of wine is filled and held by the officiant who recites:
Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe who creates the fruit of the vine.
Praised are You, Lord our God, king of the universe whose mitzvot (meaning commandments) add holiness to our lives, who commanded us concerning forbidden marriages, who forbade us those to whom we are not married, and permitted us those married to us by means of the bridal canopy and the wedding ceremony. Praised are You Lord, who sanctifies His people Israel through the wedding ceremony beneath the bridal canopy.
·The first cup of wine is presented first to the Groom and then to the Bride. The Groom then places the ring on the right forefinger of his Bride and says:
By this ring you are consecrated to me as my wife in accordance with the law of Moses and the people of Israel.
Then the second cup of wine is brought by the officiant or others of the assembly, who recite:
Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe who creates the fruit of the vine.
Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe who created all things for His glory.
Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of mortals.
Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe who created man and woman in His image, fashioning woman in the likeness of man, preparing for man a mate, that together they perpetuate life. Praised are You, Lord, Creator of mortals.
May Zion, once barren, rejoice as her children are gathered to her in joy. Praised are You, Lord who causes Zion to rejoice in her children.
Grant joy to these loving companions, as You did for the first creatures in the Garden of Eden. Praised are You, Lord, our God, who grants joy to bride and groom.
Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe who created joy and gladness, bride and groom, pleasure, song and happiness, love and harmony, peace and companions. Lord our God, may there always be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem voices of joy and gladness, voices of bride and groom, the jubilant voices of those joined in marriage under the bridal canopy, the voices of young people feasting and singing. Praised are You, Lord who causes the groom and bride to rejoice.
In early Biblical times the Wedding was consummated through intercourse within the Chupo [tent]; but there were other options of consummating the marriage, the favorite of which was the exchange of the gold ring, and to accompany this trend the Chupo was turned from a tent into a canopy.
As the Groom approaches the Bride's home, as said, there is much noise and rejoicing in the town, and when he takes possession of the Bride and returns home the noisy procession continues with him and increases as he reaches his father's house, where the Bride and Groom will live until they acquire means to move into their own house.
Since the Bride is Many as well as the Holy Land, whom we have called Beulah, and the Groom's Second Coming for the Bride is easily perceived because of the procession, it should not be too difficult for the Messiah's servants at home to discern that He has returned with His Bride. And since the Bride also can be the Torah and the Shekinah, those things too are confirmed, which tells us that the Redeemer of Zion returning to His House would be unrecognizable if He at least did not uphold these precepts out of many which we have reviewed.
As noted before, the Gate to our House is closed to our company, and we wait before the Golden Gate for the Watchmen to open it, which should be done immediately in our estimation.
You, Sir, have indicated by your letter that you apparently do not know that, though Christ may come at any moment, He should come at the most auspicious occasion. Here again there are considerations which affect the Wedding party; so these should be discussed as well.
Auspicious Wedding Days
There are auspicious days upon which a Wedding may take place. Wednesdays used to be the bes in Jesus' time; however, based upon the Gospel [John 2.1] the Wedding at Cana which Jesus attended was on a Tuesday: an auspicious day; for it was on the third day of the week. We are told that the priests approached John the Baptist (among whom Jesus was also standing) at Bethabara (after the Sabbath, which would have to have been on a Sunday); then the next day John the Baptist baptized Jesus, calling Him the Lamb of God; and Jesus with his friends went to Bethsaida and saw Philip; and then the next day proceeded to nearby Cana where He, his mother, and his brothers had been called to a Wedding. Since Weddings usually took a week, often ending on a Sabbath (for the Sabbath is also called by the name of Bride), Jesus made an unusual reply to His mother when she noted that:
John 2.2..they have no wine.
Jesus said unto her:
John 2.4 Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.
2.5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
Jesus ordered that the waterpots used for purifying the Jews, as they came each day to the Wedding, be turned into wine. That His mother complained to Jesus that they ran out of wine indicates that Jesus and his mother were of the Groom's party, and the governor (officiant) of the feast complained to the Groom that he had held back the good wine until now. Since guests called to a Wedding choose their own days in which to attend, it follows that the earlier guests had been served more inferior wine to that offered by Jesus. On the Sabbath preceding, the Wedding festivities took place at the home of the Bride's father. This was called the First Sabbath of the Wedding.
A feast is arranged in the Bride's father's home, and when it was over the father blessed the Bride, and the Bridal procession, carrying the Bride in a litter, set forth into the streets of the town, heading to the house of the Groom's father, where the Bride and Groom would be joined under the Chupo. The festivity from the Bride's father's house to the Groom's father's house was accompanied by music, dancing, and wine flowing in abundance. In honor of the Bride and Groom a wine cask was carried before them; and nuts, parched corn, and other sweetmeats were scattered in their path. Then as now there were brotherhoods who attended both Betrothal and Wedding feasts. The Bridal Canopy banquet lasted until midnight, and the merriment continued for seven days. On each day the Wedding benediction was repeated for new visitors who had not previously attended the Wedding festivities. After this, on the eighth day of the Wedding festivities, a post-wedding feast took place on the Sabbath following the Wedding, and this is called the Second Sabbath of the wedding [see The Lifetime of the Jew, pp. 155-157; ed. note].
The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus joined His mother at the feast; so his attendance may not have been in the first day of the feast but in the latter day. Since each day involves benedictions, where one is called to give his aliyah, or a benediction, and the fact that Jesus's mother had come to Him suggests that the Wedding had moved to the Groom's house and He was connected with the Groom; perhaps as the one selected to give the concluding benediction which would have been accompanied by the breaking of the wine-glasses. If we back-track on this story, since the narrator tells us it was the third day of his narrative, and the priests from Jerusalem could not have confronted John the Baptist on the Sabbath, but rather on Sunday, it tells us that by Tuesday Jesus had arrived at the Wedding in Cana which had by then run out of wine. Tuesday is the preferred day for the Chupo Wedding. Wednesday represents a break in the week, when the Torah is least likely to be read; so Wednesday was once encouraged for a Wedding day, because it would be a day of joy, of Torah reading, when the Torah might not otherwise have been heard. But then, for some reason (probably through introduced Roman superstitions), Wednesday became a day of bad luck for the Bride and Groom; and Wedding Ceremonies were shifted to Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Monday Jesus may have attended the feast at the Bride's father's house (in Bethsaida, at or near Philip's house?), and the day before, Sunday, He probably was baptized.
Jesus' answer to His mother regarding the depletion of the wine poses an interesting situation. We know He was not the Officiant (governor) of the Wedding at Cana, so the only business He might have with the wine should be to offer his family's portion when He is called to offer His Aliyah. But then, when His mother told the servants to do what He tells you to do, this adds the perspective that Jesus had a strong, commanding personality (which is shown throughout the gospels and the Gospel of Thomas) and had by then established His authority as a rabbi and, to His mother and family, a magi or miracle worker of sorts, or the Messiah as suggested by the early recensions of the Gospel of John--in which event as Messiah He would be the bridegroom of Israel whose day had not yet come. A more practical meaning, considering the fact that the Jewish sages (amora-im) mastered double entendres, all Jewish men were expected to marry by their late twenties, and Jesus was past that time and due for marriage. For:
The first commandment in the Torah is considered to be fruitful and multiply and one who fails to marry is considered to have neglected one of the most fundamental of Jewish laws. In fact, the Sages tell us, when a person comes up for judgment after his death, he will be asked: "Did you get married?" "Did you raise a family?"..Thus we are told, " A man who does not have a wife is not a proper man," and "A man who has no wife lives without joy, without blessing and without goodness" [Yevamot 62b from The Jewish Primer by Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Himelstein, p. 151,152];
Forty days before the creation of a child, a Voice proclaims in heaven: So-and-so's daughter for so-and-so's son! [Rab. Talmud: Sota 2a; Samuel, Talmud: Moed Katan, 18b]
Christ's time as Groom had not yet come no matter how you examine His answer. But now His time has come for the many reasons we have indicated.
After the Chupo Ceremony, Jesus, his mother and his brethren and his disciples went down to Capernaum and they continued there not many days, for the Jews' Passover was at hand [John 2.12,13]. One cannot travel on the Sabbath before the Passover; and it was custom to arrive six days before Passover to make arrangements for the Passover (see John 12.1). We mentioned this before, how John, standing behind Jesus in line for Baptism by John the Baptist, addressed Jesus as rabbi. Obviously at that moment Jesus already had his own flock of disciples, and John and Andrew joined him there at Betharbara, and then led him up to their home at Bethsaida, not far from Nazareth and Cana.
It is probable that Jesus and his disciples (His mother, Salome, and His Aunt Mary were usually in His troop when he descended out of Galilee) went to Jerusalem the Thursday following the Wedding Feast. He would have stayed at his Aunt Martha's and Uncle Lazarus' house in Bethany (unless His Aunt Mary had a house in Jerusalem-which may have been the house of the Last Supper). We have suggested that John and James, the sons of Zebedee, may have been the sons of Jesus' Aunt Mary, who married Joseph the Carpenter's brother, Cleopas-perhaps being a divorcee of Zebedee- and she was rich and shared a large house in Bethany with her sister Martha and brother Lazarus. In any event, the Wedding in Cana, anticipating the Jewish Passover, would have been concluded the week before Passover week began, allowing the participants time to go home, rest, and then proceed to Jerusalem for Passover week; and, particularly in this wedding party's case, it would have provided adequate time for those who lived in or near Jerusalem, such as in Bethany, to return to their house a full week before Passover to rid the house of all traces of hametz, which are leavened products.
By tradition every nook and cranny of a
house must be searched, and the smallest crumbs are swept up with
a feather and spoon to make sure there are no leavened products
in a house on Passover. Since the unleavened bread was baked the
night before Passover, the searches for hametz are carried out
that week before at night with lamps. It took a full week to accomplish
this hametz search before Passover Week began.
Now the morning before Passover it is custom for all male firstborn to fast to commemorate the fact that all male Egyptian firstborn were killed by God, whilst saving the Jewish ones. The fast of the first-born could only be broken by a reading of the Talmud, which would bring on rejoicing, and because of the rejoicing the firstborn were allowed to break their fast (usually by noon).
The first and last days of Passover were Holy Days, like the Sabbath, where no work could be done. So the Passover Seder had to be prepared the day before. The days between the first and the last of Passover Week are called hol ha-mo'ed, during which period there are restrictions on work and travel.
[which is now passed; ed. note]
Knowing the above, that Christ's time had not yet come as a Groom (for he had gone off to make a place for you [sic. a Chupo], and allowing time for travel to the Messianic Wedding, and avoiding other Feast Days, particularly Passover, we tend to lean towards combining His Day with a like Feast which will not conflict Joy for Joy. For:
A Wedding may not be held in a festival week, because we must not mix one joy with another [Hanina, Hoshaia, Samuel. Talmud: Moed Katan, 8b].
The only counterpart to a Wedding Feast which is not one of Joy is that of Tishah be-Av (9 th of Av). Since the 9th of Av is a Mourning it corresponds to the Bridal party's approach to a Wedding, which is in mourning. Recognizing that the best day for a Wedding is Tuesday or a Thursday, and seeing that the year 1998 would be the joyful 50 th anniversary of Israel's redemption to the Holy Land, keeping the opinion that we ought not to mix that joy with the joy of Wedding the Land [Beulah ], we searched the calendar for another year which would accommodate the Wedding on the Feast of Tishbah be-Av. It so happens that Tuesday, the 9 th of Av (August 12) 1997 accommodates this desire. This fits well for the Messianic Wedding, for it allows plenty of time for preparation before the Day of Atonement, which is a Day of Joy. If the Messianic Wedding were held the following year, in 1998, it would fall on a Sabbath, leaving the next day as a fast. It is not good to heap one fast upon another (for a Bride and Groom) and, thus, 1997 seems to be a good year for the selection. The 9th of Av 1999 falls on a Thursday, two days before Va-Ethannan. The same holds for the year 2000.
Keeping in mind that the Children of Israel's 70 th Jubilee since being redeemed from Egypt, and Israel's 50 th anniversary from being redeemed to the Holy Land, and the state of Israel's First Jubilee all converge in 1998, we think it would be sublime to allow a bit of joy in a Messianic Feast in 1997 before that momentous occasion. It would save on wine glasses and unnecessarily spilled wine which need not be broken for the following years' marriages.
As noted earlier, the Marriage of a Jew (and we are speaking of the Marriage of the Messiah, a Jew) involves mourning of the Bride's company, to which we have:
Zech. 12.10 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.
12.11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
12.12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the House of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the House of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
12.13 the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;
12.14 All the families that remain, every family apart..
12.15 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the House of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness...
12.4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive..
After this-as with all Wedding parties-there will be great rejoicing when they see the Groom coming with his troop.
Now there are other dates which the Betrothal (called the kidushin --meaning "sanctifications" or erusin--as noted before) of the nations may be accomplished, but we should keep in mind that during Jesus' and Talmudic times often there was a year which separated the kidushin from the Wedding (Nissuin). As noted in another work and as above, 1997/1998 is a period which represents the Children of Israel's 70th Jubilee since being redeemed out of Egypt (being figured on the 360 day calendar from 1491 B.C.-- trusting in Solomon's statement that the Temple was begun 480 years [re: I Kings 6.1] after Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt).
The Sages of the Talmud do not approve of mixing the joy of one festival with another. They, however, did expect the Messiah to come in Nissan, the 20th of Shevat, and the 9th of Av, as well as Yom Kippur/ Ras Ha-Shanah. Spring and Fall are best, as said, and so to avoid conflicting joys we thought the 9th of Av would be best, and it should be before 1998, the 70th Jubilee which, as said, also happens to be the state of Israel's 50th anniversary and First Jubilee year after Independence in 1948. Thus, we concluded that 1997, the 9th of Av, which is on a Tuesday, is better for the betrothal than if it were delayed to 1998 the 9th of Av, which would be on a Sabbath. All things considered, we propose the Betrothal Ceremony on Tuesday the 9th of Av, 1997, and the Wedding Ceremony (raising of the Bridal Canopy which, in the Messianic Wedding would be the Tabernacle) in 1998 the 9th of Av, which is a Sabbath. It is acceptable to have a Wedding on a Sabbath. In fact, Weddings are so highly revered that all other processions, even funeral processions, on the roads are required to stop and let them pass (of course on the Sabbath 1998 the roads should be at rest). Even King Agrippa was said to have stopped his entourage to allow a Wedding to pass. Also, though other work is forbidden on the Sabbath, the work of negotiating or conducting a Wedding on the Sabbath is permitted and even encouraged!: because the Sabbath is also approached by a Jew as a Groom approaches his Bride. So there is a lot of symbolism involved in Saturday, the 9th of Av 1998, for a Wedding and the Betrothal on Tuesday, the 9th of Av in 1997. This includes the precept that God rested on the Seventh day, which is the Sabbath; and the Sabbath 1998 is about the seventh day since Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden (which was 4004 B.C. or thereabouts). Also we must keep in mind that the mourning portion (Betrothal) of the Marriage Ceremony cannot be on the Sabbath (though, as said before, the Sabbath is permissible for the Wedding):
No mourning rites on the Sabbath [Samuel, Talmud: Moed Katan, 24a].
Jesus, of course, viewed himself as setting off to make the arrangements for the Betrothal and Wedding, as noted in our December 31, 1994 letter [re: Luke 12.36]; and you were told that you would know these things had been set when you see His Second Coming.
Part and parcel to the Betrothal Ceremony is the comforting of the mourners, where one will see a line of mourners (often hired) before the Bride and another line of women comforting them. With this we have:
Matthew 5.4 Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
As seen above, the scriptures intend to comfort those who mourn in the Last Days, and one of the names of the Messiah (see Isaiah 9.6) is Menahem [meaning Comforter-see Hidden Pavilions pp. 611, 612].
Jesus recognized this because He referred to Himself as the Comforter whom He also called the Spirit of Truth (John 14.15). The objective of the Betrothal, we hope your Bishop will agree, will be to comfort all of them who mourn; and this, as seen above, should not be done on a Sabbath. Tuesday is better; and we have no doubts by measure of all the things Jesus said to you that, as applying to John 14.2--Where I am you shall be also--His disciples will be comforting all who mourn around Him on this auspicious date.
Now this should be a happy occasion, since a week later, the 15th of Av, we should note, is the traditional anniversary of the reconciliation between the tribe of Benjamin and the other tribes! [Re: Judges 21]; and it is said that there is no happier day than the fifteenth of Av or the Day of Atonement, when the sons of Jerusalem used to go out dressed in white garments which were borrowed, so as not to put to shame anybody who did not possess his own. The groom, as noted, enters the Chupo in a white garment. Thus, with the Messianic Marriage Ceremony begun on the 9th of Av everyone participating can wear white linen and need not change his/her dress for the following week's festivities, which should save on laundry bills.
It is also well to remember: When a man's first wife dies during his lifetime, it is as though the Temple had been destroyed in his lifetime. When a man's wife dies in his lifetime the world becomes dark for him [Sahn ].
We have seen above a discussion how Israel is also considered the Widow of the LORD. In the Second Coming, of course, the mourning of the Widow is over for obvious reasons. That the Betrothal Ceremony is called forth now is also indicated by the following:
Isaiah 33.9 The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.
33.10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.
We believe that the above scriptures have been satisfied. Who would believe the report of the matter, however: that though Israel appears to have been God's Widow, because her Groom must come, as above, it is clear that she never was a Widow after all. Thus, we hope to turn a day (the 9th of AV)--which is noted for its mourning, as in a Betrothal--into a day of festivity and joy. It is suitable that it be done before Ras Ha-Shanah, the Day of Judgment, which is, as said, the most solemn day in the Jewish year.
A Wedding is a New Beginning for a Jewish Couple, which is why it was acceptable to hold a Wedding when the Bride and Groom celebrate their bar Mitzvah-meaning son of the commandments; young girls are given bat Mitzvahs-which is when young boys and girls become adults and servants under the Law of Moses. The prophets viewed the Children of Israel of the diaspora as Children and the Messiah approaches them thusly:
Isaiah 28. 9 Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
28.10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little:
28.11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people.
28.12 To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
which is what we have been doing with you and others (as seen in Hidden Pavilions, Philistia Triumph thou because of me, etc.).
Now negotiations for all Jewish Weddings were carried out by an intermediary, and we hope that our Great Troop can be trusted to this extent, that the day which we have outlined and the circumstances for the Betrothal and Wedding--to complete Jesus' view of the matter, as well as the Jews (who have always considered themselves married to God because of the covenant negotiated between them and Moses below Mt. Sinai)-are the most favorable terms which could be agreed upon.
The lit candles of the Wedding, which are carried by the Ten Virgins, are a reminder of the earlier wedding, because when YHVH delivered the Torah to Moses there was much thunder and lightening. Such terrible acts of nature might be mitigated by the Joy of God's Bride-for again we call forth a time of joy where we hope to wipe some tears of mourning away.
For this the Bride's family will have to arrange for the Unterfuerers, Klezmorim, and the Badchon. The Klezmorim are the musicians; you may know of some who could complement the occasion. The Badchon have the double task to evoke laughter from the guests and tears from the bride and groom.
This is a sketch of the terms we would offer, and to better appreciate them you might wish to read The Lifetime of a Jew by Hayym Schauss, which contains a wonderful background on the Jewish Marriage customs. Some of the expectations and songs sung in ancient weddings are continued in the Song of Songs in the Bible, he points out, which you might read also, together with many other works existing on the subject.
The Good Shepherd
Finally we return to the precept Jesus used frequently to describe His relationship with His Disciples, which is as a Lord or Master to his servants, which refers to the latter part of that passage introduced at Luke 12.36 and continues in other parables of the Lord returning and auditing his estate, etc. In those parables, again, there is the mind of a Jew who has gone off to a far country to redeem his Betrothed Bride. He leaves his servants in charge of the estate whilst he is gone (for he could be gone for some time; even two years; see Hosea 6.1,2). When He returns He expects His servants to open the gate of His Estate. A book, Back to the Sources-Reading the Classic Jewish Texts, edited by Barry W. Holtz, Summit Books, NY 1984, p 87, establishes a good perspective on this:
God as a Covenant Partner
The Torah conceives of Israel as God's slaves or, more properly, vassals. In order to free the Hebrews from their Egyptian bondage, the Lord has Moses command Pharaoh: "Release my people that they may serve me in the wilderness!" The Hebrew verb for "to serve" or "worship" (avad) also lies at the base of the word for "slave" (eved). The word for slave also denotes "vassal," and the Torah models the God-Israel relationship on that of a mighty king and his vassals. The over-lord furnishes sustenance and protection, the vassals owe exclusive devotion-worship of one God; and acts of fealty-observance of the commandments. In fact, as modern scholars have long noted, the covenant between the Lord and the Israelites hews to the pattern of an ancient Near Eastern vassal treaty. Such a treaty is imposed after an over-lord conquers or performs some great favor for lesser kings. He then commits them to provisions of allegiance; they must, for example, come to his aid in war. After spelling out the vassal's obligations, the over-lord invokes "the great gods of heaven and earth" to pronounce blessings for loyalty and curses for betrayal...
We addressed this in an earlier work, where in the cases of King Nebuchednezzar or the Egyptian Pharaoh, Neco, they made vassals of the Jewish Kings, Eliakim and Mattaniah, whose names were changed when they bowed under the yoke of their conquerors. Simply put, under the old traditions, when a king was brought under vassalage, he was given a New Name. Isaiah 62.2,4 contemplates this kind of Covenant with the Children of Israel when they are restored to the Holy Land (which is now); and, thus, we have addressed all of them living in the Holy Land at this writing as Holy and the Children of Israel as Hephzibah (I am delighted in her) and the Holy Land as Beulah (married).
As noted in our argument concerning the Golden Gate the recognition of this proposal by the LORD's vassals may take some time, but we argue that they may anytime send out wise men to reason with our Great Troop to see if we are sincere or can come up with bands.
Whilst there should be great cause for rejoicing in 1997/1998, we suspect that because of the doubters, however, the City of Our Righteousness will be left in mourning for some time to come. For it seems that men do not come to reason willingly- preferring the plea of the rod to the voice of the bridegroom (who, as said, is one of many in our Great Troop ).
We showed in our many scriptural references (which Jesus also knew) that the time is when Israel is gathered out of all the nations whither they had been scattered. That was officially May 14, 1948. If you love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, then we should think that you would not want that event [of the Wedding Festivities] to pass into the next generation; for then it will be established that no wise man could be found to respond favorably to our Marriage Proposal and plea. The windows of Heaven would thunder over this.
We wrote On the Breakage of the Holy Catholic Church, thinking that a greeting of our troop by your congregation may not be feasible.
Holiness is the LORD's --because we know:
Zech. 2.11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people..
Isaiah 28.5 In that day, shall the Lord of Hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His People.
Isaiah 4.2 In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel;
Isaiah 4.3 ..it shall come to pass that He that is left in Zion, and He that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called Holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.
It is evident, therefore, that the LORD contemplated a wonderful Wedding to all the nations in the LORD's Day.
Here we can show that the separation of Abraham's seed-unto the LORD-apart from mankind is only until the Day of Redemption (restoration). S. R. Hirsch, one of the early Zionists and founders of the new state of Israel, said:
Hirsch, On the Dangers of Judaism, It is the very same Rabbis, so often disparaged for their alleged particularism, who point out that when the prophets and poets predict a glorious new day for humanity they say nothing about priests, Levites, and Israelites, but speak only of the righteous, the just, and the honest, and so the righteous, the just, and the honest of all peoples are included in the most glorious blessing. And in the darkest hours when the frenzied mob destroyed the Jewish synagogues and tore up the Jewish books, the persecuted, derided Jew was always turned to his God and consoled himself by looking forward to the time when even this frenzy would disappear and the name of the one and only God would have implanted justice, truth, and peace in every human breast.
It is not hard to convince the Israelis that their redemption will involve an implantation of holiness in all nations and that that day is about overdue.
That you may know, is the problem at hand.
We have said before that it has been understood among the Children of Abraham that a Shepherd is a King. This all began, in fact, when Abraham, an Aramean gone astray, was drawn into the Holy Land. Then he sent his sons back into His Father's land to claim a Bride. Jacob, for instance, in claiming his Bride, worked for her father, Laban, and was told (as a means of earning the mohar) that he could take the blemished sheep of his flock. So Jacob separated out of Laban's flock the spotted sheep; and, after earning his inheritance and Brides, he returned to Abraham, His Father, not only with Laban's daughters but a greater flock than his father-in-law's flock.
Likewise was it with Jesus, when He got the 1 in 100-the lost, the forgotten, the blemished-all to Himself.
This follows the instruction to Abraham: Quara ba-shem [Gen. 12.8]--In my name call men together..
Why would Christ change? Hoping you see His Bride and a need to sanctify Her now--for the sake of our Heirs-- and wondering on what more auspicious day you and your Bishop could desire the Marriage, I remain, as always,
Please send me back to the acceptable_day.html
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Please send me over to check out On the Breakage of the Holy Catholic Church.html
Please send me over to check out Immoral Coercion.html.
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Please send me over to check out Liberating the Poor.html.
Please send me over to check out Light of the Gentile's Day.html:
a collection of scriptures which identify what the Messiah, Light of the Gentile, looks like and must do,
and what his day is like, when Israel is restored to the map again.
Please send me over to check out a related page, The Miracle of Zer Anpin.html.
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Please send me over to check out a related page: Opening to the Divine.html, teachings of Jesus on the
Keys of Knowledge:
how the Keys of Knowledge and the Keys to the Kingdom are one and the same.
Please send me over to check out Philistia Triumph Thou because of me.html, a related page.
Please send me over to check out related precepts
from the Upanishads, Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Buddha: The Tapestry of One.html.
Please send me over to check out The String of Pearls.
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