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Featured Exegeting the Messianic Psalms.

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by John D. Brey, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    As for Me, I have long past anointed My king on Tziyon the mountain of My Sanctuary.

    The Hirsch Tehillim, 2:6.​

    The Sages tell us that when you find an exegetical problem in a passage of scripture, a tough nut to crack, don't give up; it's where the light is. ------Similarly, when a sage produces an exegetical faux pas, a highly questionable interpretation of the Hebrew text, dig in and dig deeper; it's where the light is.



    John
     
  2. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    In his commentary on the Psalms (as quoted above) Rabbi Hirsch translates נסך as "anointed"; as in "I have long past anointed My King on Tziyon." -

    Unfortunately, a quick search of the word (נסך) shows that of the twenty-four times it's used in the Tanakh, all but four, in the book of Isaiah, speak of "pouring out" נסך a "drink offering," pouring out a sacrifice. In Isaiah the word is used for pouring out the metal into a mold to make a "molten" god such that the word is always used for "pouring out."

    The word is never use for pouring out the oil of anointing. In fact, the first place it's used in scripture, Genesis 35:14, נסך is used for "pouring out" a drink offering; and immediately after that יצק is used for pouring the oil of anointing. Nowhere in scripture is the word נסך used for anything but "pouring out" something; and 99% of the time that something is a sacrifice, a drink offering.

    So why would Rabbi Hirsch interpret against the grain in this verse? What would it mean to his traditional understanding of the text if the verse read as literally interpreted from the Hebrew text: "I have poured out my King [Messiah] as a drink offering upon my holy hill of Zion"?

    This is the literal interpretation of the Hebrew text. And Rabbi Hirsch's interpretation can be said to be nothing less than an interpolation of his tradition over the text that it covers up. His interpolation distorts the true, literal, Hebrew text; which, the literal text, might do damage to Rabbi Hirsch's traditional understanding of King Messiah.



    John
     
    #2 John D. Brey, Jul 18, 2019
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  3. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Hi John,

    I have a Hirsch Tehillim, too. I'll check it out. Have you compared 2:6 with any other translations?
     
  4. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    In the Da'ath Sofrim on 2:6 ( Page 10 ) there is commentary on the word choice "Anointed". It matches your research but comes to a different conclusion.

    "The Hebrew word used here actually means to pour out a liquid, or a metal that has been liquefied the be poured into a mold. The implication is that God's anointed has been shaped to fit his role according to His desire, and is as strong and stable as molten metal which has solidified. If these are David's words, the implication would be that he had accepted God's rule firmly."

    I checked 4 translations, BTW, 3 of the 4 translate the word as "anointed". The outlier translated the word as "invested" which seems to be supported by Rashi.
     
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  5. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    He correctly understands it as being related to the roots of the following locations:
    Ex. 30:32
    Daniel 10:3
    2 Kings 4:2
    Ruth 3:3

    The word נסך doesn't mean "drink offering". It means something that is poured out, which in some contexts may refer to the drink offering. Since you can't pour out a person, that is obviously not the correct interpretation.

    The word נסך is also related to the word נסיך, which means "prince". The connection, similar to that of משח and משיח, appears to refer to someone who has been oiled to a position of power.

    Commentaries that refer to anointing and those that refer to crowning, are essentially saying the same thing.
     
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  6. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    . . . Absolutely. But as stated, the word נסך is used almost every time for a drink offering. The word means to "pour out." And it's never used for anointing.



    John
     
  7. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    . . . In the next verse God says "You are my Son.". . . . Can you think of a context where God's Son might be "poured out" נסך like an offering on a shrine or altar?




    John
     
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  8. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    . . . There's two exegetical issues here. First of all סוך could easily have been used instead of נסך if the idea was to anoint. And secondly the text says "I have poured out my King upon my holy hill." The King is the one being poured out and not the one being anointed. The holy hill is being anointed by what's being poured out on it.

    In another tradition King Messiah is said to be poured out on an altar or a shrine. Medieval paintings show cherubim catching the pouring out of KIng Messiah in bowls and vessels paralleling the catching of the pouring out of sacrifices in the Torah. In other words there's a very well-worn tradition for King Messiah being "poured out" such that since the word נסך is used almost exclusively for "pouring out," and since the very next verse speaks of the Son of God, there seems to be some exegetical bias being applied to the literal Hebrew text in the case of Rabbi Hirsch's interpretation?

    . . . I challenge you to show a place where the one being anointed is said to himself be "poured out" as the anointing. The Hebrew says the King is being poured out, not that he is having anything poured out on him. The King is the anointing not the anointed.




    John
     
    #8 John D. Brey, Jul 19, 2019
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  9. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    Of course it could have. A mark of the Psalms is the poetic language it employs. Just like here.

    No, "And I have poured [anointing oil upon] my king upon My holy mountain". One does not pour people. People are not liquids. Actually, since people are solids, יצק would have been more appropriate.

    Being well-worn is not the deciding factor in determining if something is correct.

    It's your interpretation that's biased, by interpreting this passage as referring to your god. This chapter is a poem about the events of 2 Sam. 5. It's not a prophecy and it's definitely not about your god.

    I challenge you to show a place where a person is said to be poured. The biggest proof that my interpretation is correct is that your's isn't rational.
    The way one is anointed, is by pouring oil on the head. Obviously, if the king was poured the intent is [with oil].
     
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  10. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    I want to focus on two words which I think summarize the theme and purpose of this thread: "True" and "Literal". You are trying to show that the "true and literal" translation as you have translated it for yourself indicates that King Messiah as defined by Judaism is false?

    OK.

    But I think that if we dive deeper and deeper into the concept of King Messiah as you choose to define it, it will require more than 1 non-literal leaps of faith in order to make the Hebrew text match your definition.

    My vote? There's nothing wrong with you making a choice to define the Messiah as it makes sense to you. But I think that an attempt to criticize other people's definition based on it being not-true and not-literal will become contradictory.

    That said, I personally appreciated reading this thread, because it inspired me to pull the books off the shelf and review the text for myself. I thank you.

    Sincerely,
     
  11. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    . . . I agree it's poetic language. So why change it? It says the King is being poured out. It might just be a poetic way to say he's being anointed but then it would seem to be a crime to erase the poetry and interpret it without the poetic language.

    It's profane to present an interpretation that erases the intent of the author and present that "interpretation" as a mere translation of the actual text. The text poetically, or otherwise, says, the King is "poured out." That's what any translation should say.

    Rabbi Hirsch can then use his commentary to point out that the literal meaning is merely poetic license for the King being anointed. . . But he doesn't do that. He presents his commentary as the literal translation of the actual Hebrew text. He insinuates that the actual Hebrew text should be interpreted to say something it doesn't say, even if he thinks it means it. . . Rabbi Hirsch seems to be confusing literal translation of the text with commentary. They're not interchangeable. Trying to place commentary into the actual, literal, text, is extremely problematic.

    I love Rabbi Hirsch and I know he would never do such a thing unless there was a good reason for it. He's protecting something very important; so important that he's willing to cross a very serious line in order to protect it.



    John
     
    #11 John D. Brey, Jul 19, 2019
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  12. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    . . . And yet the same poet, after beginning with "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Says . . . with that cry as intro . . . "I am poured out like water . . . my heart has turned to molten wax" (Psalms 22:14).

    And in another messianic passage, par excellent, Isaiah 53, we read, " . . . the Lord makes his life a guilt offering . . . he poured out his life unto death."

    So it looks like there's a precedent in the Tanakh for a person being poured out like liquid be it poetic or not. Why then would a serious exegete interpolate his own commentary on meaning over the literal interpretation of the Word of God?

    Would it be such a stretch to connect Psalms 2:6 to Psalms 22:14, and Isaiah 53:10-12? Is Rabbi Hirsch frightened to have Psalm chapter 2 interpreted along with chapter 22, and Isaiah 53, as a messianic psalm?



    John
     
    #12 John D. Brey, Jul 19, 2019
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  13. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    Truth is not something exegesis can deal with. Exegesis can only deal with literal translations versus commentary or interpolations. A literal translation of each word is as true as a translation can get so far as exegesis is concerned. It's for the interpreter or commentator to point out idioms, brachylogy, or what he thinks the author "means." A translation is not the place for commentary and interpretation so far as serious biblical scholarship is concerned.

    Case in point. Tumah says:

    It's your interpretation that's biased, by interpreting this passage as referring to your god. This chapter is a poem about the events of 2 Sam. 5. It's not a prophecy and it's definitely not about your god.​

    He claims my exegesis is biased because he assumes I'm trying to read something into the text that's not there: a sacrificial savior sort of Messiah who is being poured out unto death. But it's patently obvious that even if I were trying to read that into the text, Tumah would want to deny it's there because of his own traditional belief. Ergo, the question becomes, who is interpolating and who is exegeting? Whose translation is positing a word-for-word, literal, translation, and who is reading what their tradition thinks it must be saying into the actual Hebrew words?

    The literal Hebrew texts speaks of the King [Messiah] being poured out. No serious Hebrew reader can deny that. Yes it might be poetic license for the King being anointed. But that requires speculation and interpretation/commentary. The actual Hebrew text speaks only of King Messiah being "poured out" נסך, such that it's simple-minded and unfair to interpolate the literal text to support a traditional supposition and then turn around and claim that reading the text literally is biased because it supports an opposing tradition.



    John
     
    #13 John D. Brey, Jul 19, 2019
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  14. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    For me ( and this is just my own amateur opinion ), it's important to consider that Rabbi Hirsch is in the majority translating the word as Anointed. So, it doesn't seem to be a matter of being frightened ( see below ), it's conventional.

    My opinion? It doesn't seem like a cover-up or a conspiracy at all. There is plenty of Messianic imagery and prophecy in the Tanach. If there was a large scale cover-up intended or attempted, seems like it was a complete failure. There is so much Messianic imagery and prophecy in the Tanach. Why would someone ( or some people ) bother with something so small like the English translation of a single word in a psalm when there are so many other verses where the Messianic elements are left intact? What is the motive for something small like this?
     
  15. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    . . . I'm game. Let's move from verse six to verse seven:

    Therefore I wish to recount it until it becomes a law: God has spoken to me: You are My Son; I have this day begotten you.

    The Hirsch Tehillim, 2:7.​

    Messiah, who, in a literal, true, translation of the Hebrew of Psalms 2:6 is said to be "poured out" on the mountain of God, perhaps signifying a sacrificial death, you know, being poured out like a drink offering, in the very next verse, after his sacrificial death, says that God spoke to him from the grave, perhaps as he rises from the grave, calling him, King Messiah, His, God's, get this, very Son. And proclaiming, victoriously, that through death (being "poured out") King Messiah has become God's very Son.

    Therefore I will give him a portion among the great and he will divide the spoils with the strong because he poured out his life . . . as a drink offering . . . unto death and was numbered with the transgressors . . .

    Isaiah 53:12, 10.​

    In the New Testament book of Acts we read:

    We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:

    "You are my Son; today I have become your Father."
    The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words:

    "I will give you the holy sure blessings promised to David."
    So it is stated elsewhere:

    "You will not let your Holy One see decay."
    For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised form the dead did not see decay.

    Acts 13:32-37.
    If Psalms 2:6 is translated correctly, saying King Messiah is "poured out" (unto death on the mount of God, as a drink offering, permitting blood to be placed on the altar, BT Zeb. 44a) then Psalms 2:7, the very next verse, is the victorious proclamation that rings and rings true throughout the Gospels and Apostolic Writings. Romans 1:4, for instance, is clear, that Jesus' human nature is as the son of David, while his divine nature is born not at his natural birth, but precisely when he's "poured out" and resurrected:

    Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God---the gospel he promised before hand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.​

    Psalm 2:6-7 lends itself to the Gospels, though it must be returned to the Tanakh, if the Hebrew text isn't interpolated in a manner seemingly designed to protect the Jewish tradition from her own holy writ.

    As I noted to Tumah, Rabbi Hirsch, whom I consider my mentor, is too great a man to do what he does when he interpolates by placing commentary on top of the literal text. No serious Jewish scholar does that unless what is being hidden by the cover-up is worth the crime. Which is to say, as they sometimes say, Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. In this case the crime is worth the time if you're a traditional Jew violently opposed to what the literal text says if it's merely translated and not interpreted and interpolated.



    John
     
    #15 John D. Brey, Jul 19, 2019
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  16. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    . . . It's interesting that an "amateur" has The Hirsch Tehillim. The Hirsch Tehillim is a gem. As is Rabbi Hirsch's Chumash, which I once possessed until it grew into a Chia-Pet with sticky-notes growing to the high heavens, and eventually dying of ink and Sharpy-dye poisoning. I had to purchase a new set but the damn thing shows the same dammed growth and death patterns as the first.

    The Hirsch Chumash is the greatest exegetical tool I have ever owned. And Rabbi Hirsch is my dearest and most personal mentor.

    Nevertheless, you seem mistaken in that there is no word for "anointed" in Psalm 2:6. And the word "poured out" נסך is never used in the scripture, ever, for an anointing. Therefore, any anointing in Psalm 2:6 is interpretive and not literally true to the Hebrew text.

    Unfortunately, נסך is never used in an idiomatic way for anointing either. And worse, there's a perfectly good root word סוך that could have been used if "anointing" were in the cards.

    It's Tumah, and Rabbi Hirsch, with many of their tradition, who, are, bless their wonderful hearts, interpolating to support their tradition concerning a text that in its literal translation is the foundation for the entire New Testament. Surely you can forgive them for their shenanigans concerning some of the most dangerous verses in the entire Bible? I can. I get it. . . And I fear going forward in this examination since, so to say, the worst is yet to come.



    John
     
  17. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    Great points and question. Yes. Messiah is part and parcel of both traditions being examined in this thread. . . It's the distinction that is dangerous beyond belief. Which is to say, as I've said many times, Rabbi Hirsch is my teacher and mentor. He is, in my opinion, one of the greatest Bible scholars of all time; a man of immeasurable courage, knowledge, and insight . . . most of all integrity.

    So it's not a little thing for Rabbi Hirsch to break every serious exegetical law to come up with his interpretive translation of Psalm 2:6. He does it because this little verse, and that little word, נסך, can open a hole in the dam that's been breached by Masoretic Malfeasance for hundreds of years, but which can break out into a flood if that tiny word in that little ole verse is ever allowed to pour out its Living truth.

    The issue is between two kinds of Messiahs. A traditional Jewish Messiah who is a man and nothing more, a Messiah who receives his commission and his whole anointing by the blood of his first birth, versus a Messiah who is born in the line of David, and qualifies for the traditional Messianic role, but who is poured out as a drink offering before ever ascending the Throne of David; but whom eye-witnesses claimed rose from the dead, at which point he became a different sort of Messiah; a messiah who haunts traditional Jewish thinking like a demonic idol for gross idolators.

    And his Cross is an idol. No way out of that. Such that his very death, and blood, as a drink offering, must cleanse the molten nature of the crucifix transforming idolatry itself into genuine worship. That's an enormous task requiring the most open-minded, literal, fear-less, examination of the holy writ of the Hebrew scriptures as they exist beneath protective interpolations passed off as translations; a task which, ironically, couldn't even begin if not for the help of Rabbi Hirsch without whose brilliance and guidance this undertaking would be both pointless (so to say) and impossible.




    John
     
    #17 John D. Brey, Jul 19, 2019
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  18. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    As even this thread shows to be the case, everything, literally heaven and earth, teeter on the concept of "anointing" in relationship to King Messiah in Psalms 2:6. The literal Hebrew has no place for "anointing" since not only could it have used the word סוך instead of נסך, but because it clearly speaks of the King as the anointing, the one being poured out (see Psalms 22:14; Isaiah 53:12), rather than the one having something poured out on him as the anointing.

    Since everything rests on whether the King is being anointed, or is the anointing, nothing could be more important to setting this examination on the right track than to point out the fact, which Rabbi Hirsch notes in his commentary on Psalms 2:7, that king David isn't entitled to the throne through inheritance (since he's not the firstborn son of Jesse).

    Why is that important? Because only if a king is ascending the throne apart from inheritance must he be anointed King. According to Mishneh Torah, Melachimn 1:12, it's only ever the case that a king is "anointed" if he doesn't inherit the throne from his father, or there's some other controversy concerning his right to the kingship.

    If Psalm 2:6 is speaking of Messiah, rather than David, then there would be no anointing since Messiah is prophesied to be a בכור and a פתר רחם such that he would not need, nor would he be, anointed. And since Psalms 2:7 says the King is God's Son, his firstborn, he would not need, nor would he be, anointed.

    Rabbi Hirsch's interpolation comes to its end, its bitter death, in the knowledge that if Psalms 2:6 and Psalms 2:7, are speaking of the same Personage, and Rabbi Hirsch is clear they are, then Psalms 2:6, can't be speaking of King Messiah being anointed since no Jewish king who inherits the throne is anointed king.

    Which kinda makes the problem explicit.

    If Psalms 2:6 isn't speaking of the King being anointed, and it can't be, since a firstborn in the line of David inherits the throne and can't be anointed, then the word נסך "poured out" must be speaking of the King, as is explicit in the literal Hebrew text, such that there's no traditional Jewish rendering outside of perhaps Isaiah 53:12, 10, " . . . he poured out his life . . . as a guilt offering," for why King Messiah would be being "poured out" on a mountain which Rabbi Hirsch interpolates, in the name of translation, as "God's Sanctuary" (i.e. the very place where drink offerings are poured out).



    John
     
  19. John D. Brey

    John D. Brey Well-Known Member

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    In another thread, i.e., while Exegeting the Messianic Psalms, I stumbled upon ground-zero concerning the Jewish/Christian debate on the identity of Messiah. In that other thread, I found myself blown away by how my beloved Jewish mentor, Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch, found it necessary to utterly distort Psalm 2:6 with a degree of sloppy and errant interpolation such as I've never seen in Rabbi Hirsch's otherwise able and careful exegetical hands (and I've read the lion's share of all Rabbi Hirsch's writings).

    In subsequent study I've come to see precisely why Rabbi Hirsch consciously or otherwise found it necessary to completely distort the clear, plain, Hebrew text, of Psalms 2:6; for in that one verse lies the key to understanding the intense and contrary relationship between the Jewish concept of God's Messiah, versus the Christian concept of God's Messiah.




    John
     
  20. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I would think he would have more trouble with v7.
     
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