On Being Israel

Gold Star

It is a wonderful thing to be named Israel. The first time we find the word "Israel" in the Holy Scriptures is in the book of Genesis 32:28, where the Lord changed Jacob's name to Israel and blessed him there by the brook Jabbok. "And Jacob called the place Peniel ["face of G-d"]: for I have seen G-d face to face" (Genesis 32:29,30), as a prince sees the face of the king unhindered. 1 Philo, the Jewish philosopher who lived a little more than two-thousand years ago sagely interpreted the name "Israel" to mean: the "man [ish] who saw [raah] G-d [El]." Thus, Philo Judaeus said in his writings:

"Jacob is the supplanter, and Israel is he who sees G-d" - Philo, Mut. 81; Praem.44; Abr. 57; Conf. 56.

"The seer of G-d that is Israel" - Philo, Her. 78; Leg. Alleg. 186.

"Israel, [he] who has the clear vision of G-d" - Philo, Sac. 134.

"Accordingly He calls Israel His "firstborn" (Exodus 4:22), making it evident that he who sees G-d is the recipient of this honor" - Philo, Post. 63

"Israel (collectively)...the race that has eyes to see Him" - Philo, Mig. 54; Deus. 144; Cong. 51; Som. II. 173.

Our rabbinic tradition also said that "Israel is to be read Ish ra'ah 'El ["man who sees G-d"]." - Tanna debe Eliyyahu Rabbah p.138-139.

There is insight in these interpretations regarding the true meaning of "Israel," for in the Psalms we read: "Surely, G-d is good to Israel: to those who are pure [bar] of heart" - Psalm 73:1. He is good to them in that He enables them to see Him in all His ways, in all His deeds, in all His words, and in their love and regard for one another. Having seen G-d (Genesis 32:30), Jacob, newly named Israel, said to his brother Esau in their first reunion after twenty-one long years: "I see your face as one who sees the face 2 of G-d" - Genesis 33:10.

We learn a beautiful lesson in the book of Job where in the very last chapter after all the tribulations and sufferings which he had undergone, Job exclaims to the Lord: "I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear but now my eye sees You" - Job 42:5. Job saw Him in the end Whom he had only heard about in the beginning, because he needed first to be purified by his sufferings. We need to remember that when the Lord allows us to be humbled and tried in painful tribulations it is to do us good in the end. 3 And there is no greater good for us than to be fully in the Presence of G-d someday. Our forefathers knew concerning the Lord that: "In Your face [i.e., "Presence"] is fullness of joys" - Psalm 16:11. "For the beginning and end of happiness is to be able to see G-d" - Philo, Q. Exodus II. 51. But it is only in righteousness and holiness that we shall be able to see His face. Thus it is written: "I will behold Your face in righteousness" - Psalm 17:15. Truly, "the upright shall dwell before Your face;" and "the upright will behold His face" - Psalm 140:13; 11:7, Literal Translation.

The Holy Scriptures also teach us that we go from seeing to knowing, and from hearing to understanding, for we "see and know" 4 and we "hear and understand." It was after Jacob was purified by fourteen years of arduous labor that he was required to do by an exacting father-in-law (Genesis 29:18,20,27,30), and also after he had wrestled with G-d (Genesis 32:24,29-30), as he once did with his twin brother in the womb (Genesis 25:22), that Jacob finally received the vision of G-d and was given the name: Israel. Jacob as "Israel" not only saw but also knew G-d. This applies collectively to His people when they are referred to either as "Jacob" or "Israel" depending on their conduct and relationship with the Lord. Thus it is as "Israel" that His people are said to "know" the Lord:

          "Is there any other people who know You besides Israel?" - 2 Esdras 3:2.

"Israel shall know" - Hosea 9:7.

"All Israel knew [yada]" - 2 Samuel 3:37.

"Israel will cry to Me, 'my G-d we know You' " - Hosea 8:2.

"O Israel, happy are we, for the things that are pleasing to G-d are made known to us" - Baruch 4:4.

"Hear now [and understand], O heads of Jacob, and you princes of Israel: is it not for you to [see and] know judgment?" - Micah 3:1.

Thus, when the Lord remonstrates against His people called "Israel," He upbraids them for their lack of knowledge:

"The ox knows its owner...but Israel does not know" - Isaiah 1:3.

"Are you such fools, you sons of Israel that without judgment [anakrinantes] or clear knowledge [epignontes] you have condemned a daughter of Israel?" - History of Susanna v.48, found in the Additions to the Book of Daniel, Greek [Septuagint] Text.

Knowing how Jacob and Job were both graced by the vision of G-d after being purified by their trials and sufferings, and being aware of the relationship between seeing and knowing, we can understand why it is written:

"What does he know, who has not been tried?" - Sirach 34:9, Latin Vulgate.

"He who has not been tried knows little" - Sirach 34:10, Greek Sinaiticus Text.

"Behold, happy is the man whom G-d corrects, therefore do not despise the punishment of the Almighty for...you shall know...you shall know...know that it is for your good" - Job 5:17,24,25,27.

"You have disciplined me and I was disciplined...surely after that, I turned back, I repented, and after that I was made to know [yada]" - Jeremiah 31:18-19.

"Ungodly men denying the knowledge of Thee were scourged by the strength of Thine arm...that they might see and know" - Wisdom 16:16,18.

Therefore, we also read in the Psalms: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I may learn" - Psalm 119:71. "Blessed is the man You discipline, O Lord, the man whom You teach from Your Law [Torah]" - Psalm 94:12. Because through the discipline of the Lord he is now ready to learn and know: "All that is revealed from the Law [Torah] for knowledge" - Zadokite Fragment [C D] 15:13, A. Dupont Sommer translation.

Only after he was disciplined and purified throughout the years by his sufferings and tribulations, and by the ordeal of his strenuous wrestling with the mysterious contender that night, did Jacob receive the name "Israel" from the Lord. Because Jacob was now able to "see and know" having gone through "an agonizing conflict...that he might know [gno]" - Wisdom 10:12. And that he might progress from being a servant into being "Israel His beloved": "son" - Baruch 3:36, Greek [Septuagint]. Did not the Lord say: "I am a Father to Israel"? - Jeremiah 31:9. We can now see the wisdom behind the Lord's declaration in the book of Isaiah: "Thus says the Lord who created you, O Jacob, and He that formed you, O Israel" - Isaiah 43:1. For it is out of the clay of Jacob that the Lord painfully formed Israel for Himself (the Greek [Septuagint] translation of Genesis 25:27 says of young "Jacob" that he "was an unformed [aplastos] man"). "The Holy One of Israel and his Former" (Isaiah 45:11), strenuously "formed" Jacob into Israel, in order that "this people [Israel] that I have formed for Myself, they shall declare My praise" - Isaiah 43:21. And Israel shall say to Him: "O Lord You are our Father, we are the clay and You our Potter, and we are all the work of Your hand" (Isaiah 64:8), that You "may be glorified" - Isaiah 60:21.

We should always remember that if it is as "Israel" that His people have vision and know, it is because we are given insight and knowledge of G-d in order to be able to glorify Him. Thus, the Lord says of "Israel":

O "Israel, in whom I will be glorified" - Isaiah 49:3.

"Praise Him all ye seed of Jacob, glorify and fear Him all ye seed of Israel" - Psalm 22:23, Literal Translation.

"The Lord has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel" - Isaiah 44:23.

When the people of G-d are called "Jacob," it is in their role as G-d's servant: "Jacob, My servant" - Isaiah 41:85, reminiscent of Jacob's twenty years servitude 6 to Laban.

Thus, we hear the term used quite frequently throughout the Holy Scriptures:

"O Jacob My servant...O Jacob My servant" - Isaiah 44:1,2.

"For the sake of My servant Jacob" - Isaiah 45:4.

"The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob" - Isaiah 48:20.

"Fear not, O Jacob My servant" - Jeremiah 30:10.

"But fear not, O Jacob My servant...fear not, O Jacob My servant" - Jeremiah 46:27,28.

"They shall dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob" - Ezekiel 28:25.

"They shall dwell in the land where your fathers dwelt that I gave to My servant Jacob" - Ezekiel 37:25.

"Our G-d...has found out all the way to understanding [epistemes], and has given it to Jacob His servant" - Baruch 3:35,36 Greek [Septuagint].

Although Jacob had already been named "Israel" by the Lord [Genesis 32:28], it was as "Jacob and all his offspring with him" (Genesis 46:6), that His people entered Egypt to settle there as guests of Joseph's Pharaoh. We find the same phrase in Exodus 1:1 where it is written "these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob each with his own household." Because in coming to Egypt they were going to be subjected to servitude there, for the major part of the four hundred and twenty years (Exodus 12:40) of slavery in Egypt. Thus, even in those indirect texts we find the name Jacob associated with servitude.

It was only after the tribulations and sufferings that His people underwent in the land of Egypt, that they were collectively named "Israel" by the Lord. For when the Lord was to set His people free from the yoke of their captivity, He told Moses to say to Pharaoh: "Israel is My son, My firstborn...let My son [i.e., His people Israel] go" - Exodus 4:22. His people were now: "Israel, whom You have named Your firstborn" - Sirach 36:12[11], Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and Latin Vulgate Texts. And we can see that just as Jacob's name was associated with servitude, Israel's name is affiliated with freedom and sonship. Thus, if Jacob as "Jacob" is a servant then as "Israel" he is a prince,7 and being the son and firstborn of the King - to Israel belongs the inheritance. 8

However, because a father relies on service from his sons, Israel His "son" is sometimes called to serve Him:

"Thus says the Lord: 'Israel is My son, My firstborn...let My son go that he may serve Me' " - Exodus 4:22,23.

But "is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave?" - Jeremiah 2:14. No, he is really a son: "Israel, His beloved" - Baruch 3:36, Greek [Septuagint]. "I am a Father to Israel," says the Lord - Jeremiah 31:9. And did not the Lord command children to honor their father and mother? 9 Indeed, "a son honors his father" - Malachi 1:6. Therefore, it is from His son Israel that G-d is to be honored and glorified.

What "holiness" is to the house of Aaron, the Levitic priesthood (see Exodus 28:36; 39:30; 2 Chronicles 31:17-18); "perfection" and "Truth" are to the house of Israel. Guileful Jacob reformed and perfected, becomes truthful Israel. Thus, we find written in the Dead Sea Scrolls:

"For the holiness of Aaron [the priesthood] and for the house of Truth in Israel" - 1QS [Community Rule] 5:6, Dead Sea Scrolls.

"It is the house of perfection [tamim] and Truth [emeth] in Israel" - 1QS [Community Rule] 8:9, Dead Sea Scrolls.

"Who among the gods is like Thee, O Adonai, and who is like Thy Truth?" - 1QH [Hymns Scroll] 7:28, Dead Sea Scrolls.
True Israel, Thy son!

For "Israel is a name for perfection, because the name expresses the vision of G-d, and what among all the blessings which virtues give can be more perfect than the vision of G-d?" - Philo, Ebr. 82-83.

But there is no vision of G-d without purification, and no purification without suffering. "O house of Jacob who are [now] called by the name of Israel...I have refined you...I have chosen you [O Israel] in the furnace of affliction" - Isaiah 48:1,10. And whom the Lord chooses, He accepts, but only after He has tried the chosen and found them to be true. Our ancestors knew that "Jacob was perfected [into "Israel"] as the result of discipline" - Philo, De Agric. 42.

The Lord chose, perfected and accepted Jacob whom He then named "Israel," after He had proven him in tribulation. For as "gold is tried in the fire...acceptable men [have been tried] in the furnace of adversity" - Sirach 2:5 [see Isaiah 48:10]. Jacob purged and purified, became Israel graced with the vision of G-d as Job was at the end of his sufferings. And as the Lord called Abram to be Abraham His "friend," 10 He called Jacob, His servant, to be Israel His chosen and beloved "son":

"Hear, O Jacob, My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen...you, Jeshurun 11 (affectionate name for "Israel" His "beloved") whom I have chosen" - Isaiah 44:1,2.

"Thus says the Lord G-d...I chose Israel" - Ezekiel 20:5.

"Israel is My son" - Exodus 6:22.

"Israel, in whom I will be glorified" - Isaiah 49:3; 44:23.

It is a very special thing to be "Israel," and be chosen to be a holy people unto G-d:

"Hear therefore, O Israel...you are a holy people unto the Lord your G-d, your G-d has chosen you to be a special people for Himself, above all people who are upon the face of the earth" - Deuteronomy 6:3; 7:6.

"You [Israel] are the children of the Lord your G-d...for you are a holy people unto the Lord your G-d, and the Lord has chosen you to be a special people for Himself, above all the nations that are upon the face of the earth" - Deuteronomy 14:1,2.

We know from the Holy Scriptures that "the man whom the Lord does choose, he shall be holy" - Numbers 16:7. Because "whom He has chosen He will cause to come near to Him" - Numbers 16:5. But G-d is holy, and no one shall come near the Lord G-d unless he has first been made holy. We should not forget that 'the Lord purifies every man who is holy' (Psalms of Solomon 13:10), to bring that holy one even closer to Himself. In the days when the Dead Sea Scrolls were written His people knew that "the purification of the men of holiness" was towards making them into "men of perfect holiness" - 1QS [Community Rule] 8:17,20, Dead Sea Scrolls.

Israel was chosen to be "Israel Your holy one" - Addition to Daniel 3:12 Greek [Septuagint]. And in those days "Israel was holiness unto the Lord" (Jeremiah 2:3), "cleansed...of sin for the sake of your glory that he might be made holy for you and that he may be joined with Yours sons of Truth and...be raised from the dust to [the knowledge of] Your secret of Truth" - 1QH [Hymns Scroll] 11:10,11,12, Dead Sea Scrolls. Because "G-d is Truth" and "Truth is the name of G-d" 12 - Horeb, Mitzvoth V.482; Zohar I 26-36; Sanhedrin I.18, Jerusalem Talmud. And the Lord G-d is glorified by the Truth. "Praise Him all ye seed of Jacob, glorify and fear Him all ye seed of Israel" (Psalm 22:23) because "Truth [is] in Israel" - 1QS [Community Rule] 8:9, Dead Sea Scrolls.

But it is the holy who are able to bring forth the Truth in them to His glory. And it is because He expects holiness from Israel that the Lord makes Himself known to them as "the Lord the Holy One of Israel."13 To "Israel," the Lord is "his [Israel's] Holy One" - Isaiah 49:7. And "Israel...will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in Truth" (Isaiah 10:20), for it is promised that "Israel...shall glory in the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 41:14,16) with truthful praise!

However, to be able to glorify the Holy One of Israel in Truth, one must be righteous and holy, because Truth is the reward given to the righteous for the glory of G-d:

"To him who sows righteousness: a reward of Truth [emeth]" - Proverbs 11:18, Literal Translation.

"You will give [nathan] them [the righteous] their wages [peullah as in Leviticus 19:13] in Truth [emeth]" - Isaiah 61:8.

"You will reward the righteous with lovingkindness and Truth" - Targum of the Amidah [Eighteen Benedictions].

They knew then, that it is the righteous and holy who are given "an abundant portion of the knowledge of Your Truth" - 1QH [Hymns Scroll] 10:28,29, Dead Sea Scrolls. This was also known as "man's inheritance in Truth" - 1QS [Community Rule] 4:24, DSS. But this inheritance is "for the sons of Your good pleasure...You have made known to them Your secret of Truth [emeth], and given them understanding of Your marvelous mysteries" - 1QH [Hymns Scroll] 11:9,10, Dead Sea Scrolls.

Those who are righteous and true, labor to bring forth Truth from their hearts, for they see that the wicked "travail with iniquity and conceive mischief, and bring forth lies": "conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood" [offspring of their wickedness] - Psalm 7:14[15]; Isaiah 59:13. From ancient times the prophets knew that Truth is the inheritance of Israel. And Jeremiah rejoiced when he saw the coming days when the Truth would be exalted and made manifest in Israel. Thus, he cried to the Lord: "O Lord, my strength and my fortress...the [pagan] nations shall come to You from the ends of the earth and shall say: 'our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, emptiness and things of no profit' " (Jeremiah 16:19), but in Israel is the inheritance of the Lord's glorious Truth. And that inheritance is in the righteous and holy. For "he who speaks [puach = "to breathe forth" from within] the Truth [emeth] declares [nagad 14 = "to make known"] righteousness [tzedek]" - Proverbs 12:17. Because "he who walks in uprightness and works righteousness...speaks the Truth from his heart" - Psalm 15:2. Indeed, "the offspring of a perfected soul are perfect 15 words and deeds" - Philo, Q.Gen.III.32.

"The Lord is the G-d of Truth [emeth]" - Jeremiah 10:10, Literal Translation. And from the "Lord G-d of Truth" (Psalm 31:5[6], come all His words of Truth, given to Israel His people, to guide and lead them to the Truth. But above all to make them true. "The Lord who created...Jacob, and...who formed Israel," rightly called "Jacob My servant...and Israel My chosen one" - Isaiah 43:1; 45:4. "Israel whom I [the Lord] have chosen" (Isaiah 44:1) and "formed" to be "Israel...My son" - Exodus 4:22. It is because Israel is the son of "the Lord G-d of Truth" that Israel is chosen to be a child of Truth.

Was it not said that the Lord was to receive "praise" from "Jacob" and "glory" from "Israel"? (Psalm 22:23), see also Isaiah 49:3; 44:23. We can see the wisdom of G-d in that long ago we perished as a kingdom called Judah [Judea], 16 also known as "the house of Jacob." 17 And that twenty centuries later - after the greatest of tribulations - we emerged as the nation Israel. 18 May it please the Blessed and Most Holy One to receive from true Israel what he shall find resting upon his inheritance in the Truth - the glory of G-d.

O Lord, "You are Truth"
"And all Your chosen ones are Truth."
19

"Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens.
And may Thy glory be over all the earth!"
20

Gold Star



 

References

1 Job 31:37

2 "Face of G-d." In the book of Genesis (25:22) we read that the distraught Rebecca, wife of Isaac, inquired of the Lord why the twins (Esau and Jacob) were struggling with one another in her womb. She was told that it was a sign that in reality "two nations" and "two peoples" were in her womb who would in the future contend against each other (Edomites and Israelites), and that one would prevail over the other (Genesis 25:23). Esau came out first from Rebecca's womb, and Jacob immediately after, still holding fast the "heel" [aqab] of Esau his twin brother. Thus, the second-born was named Jacob [Ya'aqob in Hebrew = "heel catcher" or "supplanter"].

While still a young man Jacob had "fled from the face of his brother" (Genesis 35:7,1) because Esau had threatened to kill him, being angered by Jacob's opportunism (Genesis 25:29) and guile (Genesis 27:35-36). After many years of separation when Jacob heard that Esau with a contingent of four hundred men was coming to see him, "Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed" (Genesis 32:7). In the very night before their encounter, G-d appeared (Hosea 12:3-4 [5-6]) to Jacob in the form of a "man" [ish, see also the term "the Lord is a man [ish] of war" - Exodus 15:3], who "wrestled...with him until the breaking of the day" (Genesis 32:24). And in the light of that dawn, Jacob-Israel saw the face of G-d (Genesis 32:30), and he recognized it again when he saw the face of his brother Esau. For when G-d appeared to Jacob as a man and wrestled with him, G-d took upon Himself the features of the face of Esau whom Jacob had not seen for such a long time. We can understand why Jacob-Israel cried out when he saw the face of his brother Esau: "I have seen your face as seeing the face of G-d" (Genesis 33:10), and why "Jacob called the name of the place (where G-d appeared to him) Peniel [= "the face of G-d"], for I have seen G-d face to face, and my life is preserved" - Genesis 32:30.

Regarding "wrestling" with G-d, King David, many years after, had a great insight concerning the Lord when he said:

"With the purified [barar = lit. "purified" here] You will show Yourself pure [barar i.e. "clearly"],
And with the devious [iqqesh] You will wrestle [pathal = "to wrestle" as in Genesis 30:8]" - 2 Samuel 22:27; Psalm 18:26 [27].

G-d "wrestled" with the formerly "devious" [iqqesh] Jacob to form and purify him. And in wrestling with Jacob all night long, G-d strengthened him, and dispelled his fear of Esau. Yes, "the Mighty One of Jacob" enabled him as purified "Israel" to see G-d, just as Job was able to see the Lord face to face after all his tribulations.

"Surely G-d is good to Israel: to those who are pure [bar] of heart!" - Psalm 73:1.

3 Deuteronomy 8:16

4 "See and know": In the Holy Scriptures and in the other Jewish writings we frequently run across the relationship between seeing and knowing, and hearing and understanding:

Seeing and knowing:

"To you it was made seen [raah] that you may know" - Deuteronomy 4:35, Literal Translation.

"See now and know" - Jeremiah 5:1.

"G-d saw [raah] the children of Israel, and G-d knew [yada] them" - Exodus 2:25.

"That he may see and know" - Judith 14:5 [Septuagint].

"The Most High will say against the nations, 'See and know those whom you have denied' " - 2 Esdras 7:37, Syriac Text.

"You, O Lord know me [for] You have seen me " - Jeremiah 12:3.

Hearing and understanding:

"My ear has heard and understood it" - Job 13:1.

"Give, therefore Your servant a heart that hears [shama']...so that I may understand [bin]" - 1 Kings 3:9.

"All who could hear with understanding" - Nehemiah 8:2.

"Hear me, you men of understanding" - Job 34:10.

"Hear me, my son, and learn understanding" - Sirach 16:24.

"If you love to hear, you shall receive understanding" - Sirach 6:33, Greek (Cursives 248,253), Syriac and Old Latin Texts.

"Do not say that a thing which cannot be heard will be understood" - Pirke Aboth [Mishnah] 2:5.

We know why the Lord said to a rebellious people: "You hear indeed, but do not understand [bin], and you see indeed but you do not know [yada]" - Isaiah 6:9.

"I have seen what I did not know, and heard what I did not understand" - 2 Esdras 10:35.

5 Isaiah 41:8. In the ancient Greek [Septuagint] Texts which were translations of the Hebrew Text, and in the old Syriac and Latin Vulgate Texts, Isaiah 41:8 is written:

"But you Israel, are My servant Jacob, and ["you Israel"], he whom I have chosen" - Isaiah 41:8, Greek, Syriac, and Latin Vulgate.

For we know that "Jacob" and "Israel" are one and the same person but only after the long years of purification and his "wrestling" with G-d did Jacob receive the name "Israel." Jacob as "Jacob" is in the "servant" stage but after his purification he receives a new name, the princely name "Israel" and becoming then: "Israel whom I (the Lord) have chosen;" "Israel My chosen one" (Isaiah 44:1; 45:4). Jacob purified becomes "Israel, Your holy one" - Additions to Daniel 3:12 Greek [Septuagint]; ibid. 3:35, Latin Vulgate. And because he was "formed" by the hand of G-d through his sufferings, the Lord says of "Jacob" who is now "Israel" that he is "Israel...My son, My firstborn" (Exodus 4:22) and as such he is "Israel His beloved" - Baruch 3:36 [37]b Greek [Septuagint], and Latin Vulgate. But both as "Jacob His servant" (Baruch 3:36 [37]a), and Israel His firstborn son, Jacob-Israel is called to serve Him. For "thus says the Lord...remember these things, O Jacob and Israel, for you [singular] are My servant" - Isaiah 44:21.

6 Genesis 30:29; 31:6-7, 41.

7 Micah 3:1,9; Numbers 1:44; 7:2,84; 10:4; 16:2; 17:6; 36:1; Joshua 22:14,30; 1 Chronicles 22:17; 23:2; 27:22; 28:1; 2 Chronicles 12:6, 21:4; Ezekiel 19:1; 22:6.

8 Deuteronomy 1:38; Numbers 32:18; Joshua 14:1; Jeremiah 12:14.

9 Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16.

10 "Abraham Thy friend" - 2 Chronicles 20:7.
"Abraham My friend" - Isaiah 41:8.
"Abraham...being proved by many tribulations, was made the friend of G-d" - Judith 8:22, Latin Vulgate Text.

11 Jeshurun: a term of endearment used by the Lord for "Israel" (see Deuteronomy 32:15; 33:5,26; Isaiah 44:2). It is a Hebrew word related to yashar which means "upright." Jeshurun would express the diminutive of yashar i.e.," "Israel" as the Lord's "little upright one." Thus, the Greek [Septuagint] translation of the Hebrew bible rendered it egapemenos = "beloved one" or "darling." The later redactors (Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion) of the Septuagint rendered it euthos or euthatatos which mean "straight" or "upright." The Targums and the Peshitta (Syriac) render Jeshurun: "Israel" (see also Midrash Genesis Rabbah 77.1; Midrash Tehillim [Psalms] 1.2, and Rashi and Ibn Ezra ad loc.). We may say that Jeshurun is an endearing term for Israel under it's ideal character of being an upright "kingdom of priests and a holy nation" - Exodus 19:6, see also Deuteronomy 14:2.

12 "Truth is the name of G-d," therefore "the seal of G-d is Truth" - Shabbath 55a; Yoma 69b; Sanhedrin 64a, Babylonian Talmud. And the words of G-d are Truth:

"All Thy commandments are Truth [emeth]" - Psalm 119:151.

"Your Torah is Truth" - Psalm 119:142; Malachi 2:6.

"Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and Truth" - Isaiah 25:1.

"Thy sum of Thy word is Truth" - Psalm 119:160.

13 "The Lord, the Holy One of Israel." For the term see: 1 Kings 19:22; Psalms 71:22; 78:41; 89:18[19]; Isaiah 1:4; 5:19,24; 10:20; 12:6; 17:7; 29:19,23; 30:11,12,15; 31:1; 37:23; 40:25; 41:14,16,20; 43:3,14,15; 45:11; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7; 54:5; 55:5; 60:9,14; Jeremiah 50:29; 51:5; Ezekiel 39:7.

14 Nagad: to be able to "declare" [nagad] is to have the capacity to show things so clearly as to be able to make others "know":

"Declare [nagad] if you know" - Job 38:4.

"Declare [nagad] if you know it all" - Job 38:14.

"Who has declared [nagad] from the very first that we may know?" - Isaiah 41:26.

"I have declared [nagad] the very first things from the beginning...because I have knowledge [daath]" - Isaiah 48:3,4.

"Gird up your loins like a man, for I will demand of you that you make Me know [yada] - Job 38:3.
"Gird up your loins like a man, I will demand of you that you declare [nagad] to Me" - Job 40:7.

15 "Perfect words": What are "perfect words?" We learn that because "the totality [rishon = "head," "sum"] of His Word is Truth [emeth]" as it says in Psalm 119:160, then "the perfection [telos] of the Word is Truth" - Philo, L.A. III.45.

16 Judah [Judea] was named after Jacob and Leah's fourth son which she named "Judah [yehudah]," a name "which signifies 'praise the Lord' " - Genesis 29:35; Testament of Judah 1:3-4; Midrash Tehillim 90, 387; Pekista R. Kahana 32, 198a, see also Tanchumah Wa-Yehi 10; Targumin [Genesis] 49:8-12; Midrash ha Gaddol I,735-739; Yelammedenu 35 (in Jellinek's, Beth haMidrash V1.84).

17 "The House of Jacob" is a term used for the kingdom of Judah: "What shall I do to you O Jacob?: you Judah..." - 2 Esdras 1:24. "Jacob" = "Judah" in Isaiah 2:5; 8:17; 10:20, compare Isaiah 27:6 and 37:31:

"He [the Lord] shall cause them that come out of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit" - Isaiah 27:6.
"The remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward" - Isaiah 37:31.

What is this "fruit" from the planting and rooting of "Jacob" that shall spring forth and "blossom and bud forth and fill the face of the world" as "Israel?" - Isaiah 27:6.

It is the planting of the Lord and the work of His hands towards the bearing of fruit from that seed by which He shall "be glorified" - Isaiah 60:21.

For it is written that "in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be made righteous [tzadak] and shall glory" in the Lord - Isaiah 45:25.

"The suffering of Jacob" (2 Esdras 5:35) served to purify and form him into being holy and true Israel. For the Lord is glorified by the Truth in Israel.

18 Israel. It is good to know that both as the former kingdom called Judah [Jacob], and now as the nation named Israel, we have borne the name of the Lord G-d. And if as Israel we now stand before G-d the Lord, it is because we should strive to see and give Him all the glory.

19 1QH [Hymns Scroll] 4:40; 14:15, Dead Sea Scrolls.

20 Psalms 108:5[6]; 57:5[6], 11[12].

        

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