Today begins the first day of the week that we call a day of rest. When watering the new trees of our acre garden, I heard a word. ‘When you planted your trees, you didn’t know how they would grow into full-size, you could only guess how to position them. Every tree has its own DNA which is the individual print of its designed growth.’
Interesting thoughts like this make me think of even the ‘building a tree-house in your heart’ article (March 23) where I used one of my favorite parables of Yeshua to describe using his method for doing such a thing. Oh, it was not very highly thought of — my article, that is. But Yeshua’s parable is renowned. So I reviewed it in my mind . . .
‘The ground provided by the Royal Gardener, the vine planted in the ground, the branches of the vine, and the fruit produced by the branches in the form of beautiful seed-bearing flowers and leaves. So we can accept that the big picture is what we don’t see (2 Corinthians 4:18). The force that provided all of the elements we can see, was designed into the minute DNA of a seed.’
THE TREE DNA HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PRUNING
People trees, by Pooktre
“Tree shaping is the practice of changing living trees and other woody plants into man made shapes for art and useful structures. There are a few different methods  of shaping a tree. There is a gradual method and there is an instant method, the gradual method slowly guides the growing tip along predetermined path ways over time where as the instant method bends and weaves saplings 2 to 3 m (6.6 to 9.8 ft) long into a shape that becomes more rigid as they thicken up. Most artists use grafting of living trunks, branches, and roots, for art or functional structures and there are plans to grow “living houses” with the branches of trees knitting together to give a solid, weatherproof exterior combined with an interior application of straw and clay to provide a stucco-like inner surface. Tree shaping has been practised for at least several hundred years, the oldest known examples being the living root bridges built and maintained by the Khasi people of Meghalaya, India using the roots of the rubber tree (Ficus elastica)”
We are talking about this seed planted in the human heart. And it is done by the Royal Gardener. So, all things being equal like the original seed DNA, and the soil of the heart being good ground — not hard, or stony, or thorny — then the only thing needed is pruning over the life of the tree. But, all things are not equal, are they.
THIS CONCEPT CAN WORK FOR THE BIGGEST PICTURE
The tree we can plant here, in our heart, is that with the DNA of three branches off the trunk of Noah. His children, Ham, Shem, and Japheth grew into branches, that each grew, four, five, and seven more branches respectively. So the families of the whole world have to be found on this sixteen branch tree. Can we imagine what the DNA looked like?
This T and O map, from the first printed version of Isidoor’s Etymologiae, identifies the three known continents as populated by descendants of Sem (Shem), Iafeth (Japheth) and Cham (Ham).
[Wikipedia: Latin: “The ends of The Great Inland Sea Continents; (East) Asia, Shem; (North) Europa, Yafeth; (South) Africa, Cham.”] Printed in 1472, Guntherus Zainer, British Library, 1st printing.
THE BIBLE HAS MORE CLUES ABOUT THE FIRST FAMILY (OF NOAH)
This is not taught in our schools today, but in this simple diagram, we can see the whole DNA of world populations, and we can study this and remember it. We came from such simple beginnings. Each branch has a name and a location. I have ordered this with the fewest branches first: Four branches of Ham are:
Genesis 10:6, (CJB) The sons of Ham were Kush, Mitzrayim, Put and Kena‘an. (The youngest branches)
Genesis 10:22 (CJB) The sons of Shem were ‘Elam, Ashur, Arpakhshad, Lud and Aram. (The oldest branches)
Genesis 10:2 (CJB) The sons of Yefet were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Yavan, Tuval, Meshekh and Tiras.
Now we have the grandchildren of Noach (Noah) that started the world populating with their children. And without much further study, we can locate them having moved from the central location of Babylon, but remember the ground in humanity was Noach (rest), who found favor with God.
THE RECORD OF THE FIRST FAMILY ON THE EARTH
Bible map showing location of Noah’s grandchildren
MY SIMPLE DRAWING OF THE FAMILY TREE HELPS TO SHOW THIS
The first family from which all children of God came
SEARCH FOR CLUES OF POSSIBLE EARLY FAMILY DYSFUNCTION
My inquiring mind likes to consider the meaning of these names: Noah, rest; Shem, name (renown); Japheth, wide spreading; and Ham, hot. Shem’s son’s: Aram, high, exalted; Lud, or Luz, turn, twist (also linked to Ham’s son Mitzrayim); Asshur, a step; Elam, hidden; Arpakshad, nurturing; Gomer, completion; Magog, region of Gog (mountain); Madai, middle; Tuval, to bring, carry, lead, conduct; Yavan, mud-man; Meshekh, tall, Tiras, desire; Kush, full of darkness; Mitzrayim, Egypt; Kena’an, low; and Put, foreign archers.
Names have personal influence. Imagine Low looking up to High, or High looking down on Low? Can we pick up any dysfunctional clues here? Also, how Middle meets Mudman and they find Hidden and make friends with Full of darkness. From Rest came Name, Widespreading, and Hot; So can we get by this, and look for the bad DNA genes? (The enemy DNA was in the wife of one son; but which one? Name, Widespreading, or Hot . . . we can guess.)
THE COMMON (INFORMATION) DENOMINATOR
My study of one of the best resources I have, has informed me that my recent reply to an honest question of, ‘What did I think of the Jewish Bible changing all the time?’ This was in reply to my more recent post about the prophecy message concerning the destruction of Elam (Hidden), modern-day Iran. So I glibly explained the Oral Torah, Talmud, and that the gifts of prophecy today are limited to Messianic Rabbis — “That the Jews have no clue.” I said. Ignorance is a common characteristic of most every family.
Ouch! That was a most inappropriate response, especially since my own conscience was alerted. I had no idea what I was saying. I got no ‘like’ for that. In fact, I was awarded Religious Retard status on Twitter. (That hurt). So I began to go back into the annals of Jewish homiletics. I found “where there are two Jews, there are three opinions” helpful. I have so much to learn about my ancestor’s community.
THE TANAKH IS STILL A LIVING DOCUMENT
The Jewish Old Covenant is still a living document. Interpreting it, called midrash, is proof — like facebook with God among the Jewish communities. There are two approaches to Jewish biblical interpretation: Derash (Homiletical), or the Peshat (Contextual). This dual-view of Scriptural interpretation has deep roots in classical midrash. (The really gloriouslly productive period of distant past.)
THE DERASH APPROACH
The Yalkut Shimoni states, that if two verses seem to say the same thing, there must be some difference. God never wastes words.
Psalms 62:12 (CJB), 11 “God has spoken once, I have heard it twice; strength belongs to God.” Same verse in the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB), 11 “Once God has spoken, twice have I heard this: strength belongs to God,” (numbering of Jewish chapter and verse is different comparing Christian texts.) The point? Not everyone understands this.
Jeremiah 23:29 (NJB) “Is my word not like fire, Yahweh demands, is it not like a hammer shattering a rock?” (“Isn’t my word like fire,” asks Adonai, “like a hammer shattering rocks?” [CJB]) “Is not my word like fire [that consumes all that cannot endure the test]? says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks in pieces the rock [of most stubborn resistance]?” (AMP)
“Jeremiah had been speaking of prophetic revelation, which he likened to the blow of a hammer. The rabbis transfer the verse’s contextual reference from the experience of revelation, to the substance of revelation.” Says Professor Ed Greenstein, Associate Professor of Bible, at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
“The multiplicity of the Bible’s signification not only inheres in the nature of the text but also results from divergent methods or dimensions of reading it.”
“The techniques of midrashic interpretation were adapted from ancient procedures of dream interpretation. Sacred texts, like dreams, are symbolic. Their meaning stems not only from their gist but also from peculiarities of their style, vocabulary, and spelling as well. In order to draw out the full richness of the Bible, each element of the text must be ‘Juiced’ for significance by very close analysis.”
THE PESHAT APPROACH
“After the rise of Islam in the seventh century, another mode of interpreting Scripture emerged and for several centuries overshadowed derash in biblical exegesis. This approach, that of peshat, sought to understand the biblical text within the parameters of its historical, literary, and linguistic context.
Historical context must require that interpretation must read the text in terms of ancient Israel and the biblical story as a whole . . . Most secondary literature on Jewish exegesis defines peshat as the “simple,” “plain,” or “literal” approach, but these terms are misleading. The historical meaning of the biblical text may actually be complex and figurative, neither simple or straightforward.”
THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO LANGUAGE
“A second prerequisite to the peshat method is a scientific approach to language. Jews in Arab lands had the potential to become comparative Semitic linguists. A learned Jew would know his native Arabic, biblical Hebrew,, the Hebrew of the rabbinic literature, and Aramaic, four semantic languages . . . In addition,
Arab grammarians had developed a systematic method for analyzing the style and structure of classic Arabic, the language of the Koran. This enabled them not only to interpret the Koran, but also to compose new works in the strict standards of the classical idiom.” (taken from Back to the Sources, Chapter Four, Medieval Bible Commentaries, Simon and Schuster, page 215-222, 1984, used with permission.)
These quotes describe the classically educated leaders of the Israeli and Arabic faiths at the historic window of the Dark Ages. The Medieval era was not without inspiration for classic Jewish source creation. I did not mention the rabbinical examples, because they only reflected the points made by this scholarly author.
Where this article needs to conclude is by summary and future-faith prayer. How can the children of God be assimilated into a common race and heritage, for the purpose of reclaiming lasting peace for our human community? Are we willing to learn the truth, and pray for the peace for Jerusalem, and ask for help?
THEN SOLVE FOR PEACE BY ENTERING INTO REST (NOACH)
The DNA of our family tree has not changed. It has some bad genes, but the good news is that God has made some provisions to cover them. When the fullness of time comes to pass, and the day of judgment is at hand, push comes to shove . . . if you hear God’s voice, like Noach did, then you can enter into His rest, but that requires preparation of your heart — just like the soil of your garden needs softening, soften your heart . . .
Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 4:1-11, (CJB) “Therefore, let us be terrified of the possibility that, even though the promise of entering his rest remains, any one of you might be judged to have fallen short of it; 2 for Good News has also been proclaimed to us, just as it was to them. But the message they heard didn’t do them any good, because those who heard it did not combine it with trust. 3 For it is we who have trusted who enter the rest.
“It is just as he said,
“And in my anger, I swore
that they would not enter my rest.”[Psalm 95:11]
“He swore this even though his works have been in existence since the founding of the universe. 4 For there is a place where it is said, concerning the seventh day
“And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”[Genesis 2:2]
5 “And once more, our present text says,
“They will not enter my rest.”[Psalm 95:11]
6 “Therefore, since it still remains for some to enter it, and those who received the Good News earlier did not enter, 7 he again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David, so long afterwards, in the text already given
“Today, if you hear God’s voice, don’t harden your hearts.”[Psalm 95:7,8]
8 “For if Y’hoshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later of another “day.”
9 “So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people. 10 For the one who has entered God’s rest has also rested from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Therefore, let us do our best to enter that rest; so that no one will fall short because of the same kind of disobedience.”
Our families can be healed, if we all agree to learn the truth, pray for help, enter into rest, and obey his word.
Frank and I wish you all the very best,
Charles, editor, Facebook:
Frank Ketoret, Author, @wordlifejournal