Torah and New Testament Foundations-Understanding the Redemption-Part 1

This is a very Jewish topic and it is known as the “Two Redemption’s.” There are many references to the Exodus out of Egypt in any Jewish prayer book, even at the beginning of the Sabbath (Hertz Siddur, “Kiddush for Sabbath Evening”, p. 409). In a Passover Seder, there are 15 parts in a Haggadah. The longest part of a Passover meal is called “Maggid” which means the “telling” and it has 12 parts. It talks about the Exodus from Egypt, which you would expect. There is a teaching in Judaism that says you are to mention the Exodus daily in your prayers. This repetition is very important because the Exodus story is that essential to understanding the redemption.

In the Tanak, the “day of the Lord” is mentioned over and over again because there is an important message there. Whatever is mentioned over and over again in the Scriptures needs attention. So, in every service and in numerous prayers in the Synagogue, you will see the “departure” from Egypt mentioned over and over again. There are 69 distinct prayers that mention the Exodus in the siddur. The Two Redemption’s, also known as the “First and Second Redemption” are called the Egyptian and the Messianic Redemption, and we will refer to these terms many times throughout this teaching. There is an expression that is used when you finish a book of Torah, or you finish a study, at a Bar Mitzvah, and so on. It is used anytime strength is needed and it goes like this, “Chazak, Chazak, Venitchazek” and it means “Be strong, Be strong, let us be strengthened.” It can be found throughout the Scriptures. This term relates to the redemption (Deut 31.6; Josh 1.9).

There are two aspects to the exile, and two aspects to the redemption. Exile is “Galut” in Hebrew, or “Diaspora.” Exile is when Israel is not in its natural, physical state, living sovereignly in the land. On the other hand, exile is also when Israel is not in its natural, spiritual, moral state, maintaining the ways of their forefathers. Exile, therefore, relates not only to a physical separation, but also a spiritual separation from the ways of their fathers. In the same way, redemption is not only a return to the land physically, but it is also a spiritual redemption and return to the ways of their forefathers through “teshuvah” or repentance.

There is a concept called the “Galut Mentality” and this is where you could be in the land, but still have a “galut mentality” in your attitude towards God. Israel came out of the land with the same attitudes they had in the land of captivity. That is why the 40 years in the wilderness was necessary. They might have been out of the land, but the land was not out of them. They had a “slave mentality.” They are told to “take the land” so they send in twelve spies, but ten were afraid and brought back an evil report. Only Joshua and Caleb said it didn’t matter how big and strong the cities were and the people, the Lord was on the side of Israel. Joshua and Caleb had a “redemption mentality” but the others had a “galut mentality.” They were looking at the problem with the eyes of the world and in the “natural.”

Was the Lord “caught by surprise” that Israel did not go i to the land? No, he knew from the beginning of time what they were going to do. They stayed “in the wilderness” to die, except for Joshua and Caleb. Here is a sad statistic, out of the 600,000 men that left Egypt (Exo 12.37), only two went into Canaan. But they had a responsibility to teach the next generation to go into the land, and they did. They had to teach them to shake off the “galut mentality” and to believe in God, and put on the “redemption mentality.” They were to take the land and set up what the Lord wanted.

The “exile” spiritually began earlier than that when Jacob died and Israel began to assimilate into Egyptian culture, to the point they began to think like the Egyptians. Israel is the foundation of God’s throne in the world (Ezek 43.6-7; Jer 17.12). The existence of Israel expresses the beginning of the redemption and this concept was taught before Israel became a nation in 1948, but it includes Israel returning spiritually as well. Israel is seen today in the early stages of the second redemption physically (the first aspect we covered) but spiritually not so much right now (the second aspect). Until they do, they could not even hope to relate to the aspect as being the foundation of God’s throne on earth.

Redemption is going to be in two stages. In the synagogue prayers it is mentioned often. The Egyptian Redemption will parallel a greater Messianic Redemption. To understand the Messianic Redemption, we need to go back and understand the Egyptian Redemption, and the early stages of that redemption began in the 1800’s. This would be at the start of the “Zionist Movement.” Theodore Herzl is one of the fathers of the Zionist movement. He was a correspondent in Paris and he followed the Dreyfus Affair in 1894. There was an antisemitic situation in this incident and a French army officer named Alfred Dreyfus, who was Jewish, was convicted of spying for Germany, and he was sent to Devil’s Island. Herzl witnesses the mass rallies in Paris and the anti-semitism after the Dreyfus affair and Herzl realized that Jewish emancipation and assimilation was impossible, and that the Jews must leave Europe and create their own state. Herzl went to Britain. Dreyfus was eventually reinstated through the efforts of the great writer Emile Zola, who wrote stinging articles in favor of his innocence. A Hollywood movie was made about Emile Zola and it covers the Dreyfus incident. Dreyfus had the “galut mentality” thinking he could assimilate into French culture, and so did Herzl, until he saw all the anti-Jewish hatred in Paris.

The Zionist movement was secular, but they wanted a Jewish state. There is an eschatological term called the “Chevlai Shell Mashiach” which means the “Birth Pains of the Messiah.” It is out of much “pain” that Israel came to be born. The early pioneers had it rough, but they came because of “birth pains.” It was the Pogroms in Russia and anti-semitism in the world. They came because of the “birth pains” of the Holocaust in Europe. But, there is a pattern to all this, and we see the same thing in the Torah. The first wave that came involved the skilled laborers like carpenters and builders, and farmers who could work the ground. The next wave was the educated, like doctors and teachers. It was not a random panic, but something organized by God. Then World War I broke out, and many Jews lost their homes in Europe. It prompted another move. The people had the “galut mentality” and Jews thought they had found a home in Germany, but that proved disastrous. By 1917, we have what is called the Balfour Declaration. A brilliant chemist, who was Jewish named Chaim Weitzmann, developed a new explosive that allowed the British to have it, on the condition that the British government would work towards a Jewish state.

On November 2, 1917, the Balfour Declaration was passed and it stated that Britain would work towards a Jewish state. This was followed by the “White Papers” where Germany would “ransom” Jews to Britain and restrict Jews from going into the land. This was 1939, and the Nuremburg Laws stripped 500,000 German Jews of their citizenship. So many Jews were coming into the land that there had to be an agreement between the Jews and the Arabs.

Then we have the Holocaust. After World War II, the world was so horrified at what was done that a vote was taken in the UN and the Jews had their own state. But, that didn’t mean everything was easy. There have been many wars fought since then. Even today, there are terror attacks. T live in Israel is no easy task. There is a “birthing” process that is going on, and the “baby” is moving down the “birth canal” towards the Messianic redemption. So, we have stages to the redemption.

There are many key words that we need to know when studying the subject of the Two Redemptions. In the Shemoneh Esrai, the 18 Benedictions that were prayed in the Temple, and today by Jews every day, has in the first benediction the words “Redeemer, King, Helper, Saviour and Shield.” These are all terms for the Messiah. In Jewish thought, “redemption, saviour and redeemer” mean something different than in Replacement Theology Christianity. To understand the redemption, and thus the Gospels and Epistles, we must understand these terms in the way they were meant to be understood. We cannot understand these terms in the way that Replacement Theology Christianity has taught them, so we will pick up here in Part 2 and develop this out further.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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