13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;

16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.     Matthew 4/13-17 Holy Bible KJV.

 

23For if there were to be any break of day for that [land] which is in straits, only the former [king] would have brought abasement to the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali—while the later one would have brought honor to the Way of the Sea, the other side of the Jordan, and Galilee of the Nations.     Isaiah 8/23 JPS Tanakh 1985.

 

1The people that walked in darkness
Have seen a brilliant light;
On those who dwelt in a land of gloom
Light has dawned.

2You have magnified that nation,
Have given it great joy;
They have rejoiced before You
As they rejoice at reaping time,
As they exult
When dividing spoil.

3For the yoke that they bore
And the stick on their back—
The rod of their taskmaster—
You have broken as on the day of Midian.

4Truly, all the boots put on to stamp with
And all the garments donned in infamy
Have been fed to the flames,
Devoured by fire.

5For a child has been born to us,
A son has been given us.
And authority has settled on his shoulders.
He has been named
“The Mighty God is planning grace;
The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler”—      Isaiah 9/1-5 Tanakh JPS 1985.

 

“In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria captured Samaria. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, at the [River] Habor, at the River Gozen, and in the towns of Media.”     2Kings 17/6 Tanakh JPS 1985.

 

“The king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the towns of Samaria in place of the Israelites; they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its towns.     2Kings 17/24-35 Tanakh JPS 1985.

 

Commentary:

The Book of Matthew says:

“And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

This is what the Book of Esaias (Isaiah) says:

“For if there were to be any break of day for that [land] which is in straits, only the former [king] would have brought abasement to the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali—while the later one would have brought honor to the Way of the Sea, the other side of the Jordan, and Galilee of the Nations.”

That ends chapter 8 and then chapter 9 begins:

“The people that walked in darkness Have seen a brilliant light; On those who dwelt in a land of gloom Light has dawned.”

This is not a prophecy to be fulfilled. This is a statement in the last verse of chapter 8 concerning the deportment and exile of the people of the northern Kingdom of Samaria (Israel) and a reference to the importing of non-Jews to the Galilee.

“In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria captured Samaria. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, at the [River] Habor, at the River Gozen, and in the towns of Media.”

“The king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the towns of Samaria in place of the Israelites; they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its towns.”

The Isaiah 9/1 verse is an exhalation of the birth of King Hezekiah of Judah in the southern Kingdom. The Assyrians were now threatening Judah which is why there was great exaltation of the birth of Hezekiah.

This is not a prophecy of Jesus dwelling in Capernaum and that a great light has been seen by the people living there with Jesus beginning the preaching of repentance. Jesus has nothing to do with these verses.

It is about Kingdoms and Kings, deporting the Jewish people and importing gentiles, and the hope that the new born heir to the throne in Judah would be a great King graced by G-d to lead Judah as a peaceful ruler in dangerous times.

One verse is about the northern Kingdom and the next in a new chapter is about the southern Kingdom. The verses have nothing to do with one another or with Jesus. Verses of the Jewish Bible lifted out and made a part of the Gospel of Matthew with the words “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet”.

The story of Jesus has nothing to do with the Jewish Bible. The writer of Matthew tells his readers a prophecy has been fulfilled by Jesus and combines two verses changing their meaning and context and includes an act of Jesus to make it seem as though Jesus was in the prophecy. That the prophecy of Isaiah includes Jesus preaching repentance.

From the days of the writings of the New Testament through the Middle ages the world was illiterate for the most part and very few people had access to the Jewish Bible or could read the Greek translation of it later translated to English.

No one could examine the veracity of the unknown writers of the Gospels and determine if a prophecy was really fulfilled and relied on religious leaders assertions that they were written by divine inspiration.

There is nothing divine about this passage in the Book of Matthew. It is intentionally written to mislead the reader.

Today there are new complete translations of the Hebrew of the Jewish Bible into English that are far superior to the Hebrew to Greek to English translations that make the Christian Old Testament much easier to read and comprehend.

All Christians have the ability today to see that the story of Jesus has nothing to do with the Jewish Bible. That the “prophecy fulfilled” verses of the New Testament are misleading and not true.

In Isaiah 51 G-d removes His wrath from the Jewish people and places it on those who tormented them, that told them to get on the ground and walked over them.

In Isaiah 53 G-d describes His righteous servant who makes the many righteous by his knowledge.

And I am that man.

220px-JPS_Tanakh

After World War II, the Jewish Publication Society began to consider a new edition of the Bible and the concept of a completely new translation gradually took hold and the task was begun in 1955.

Harry M. Orlinsky, Professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (New York) was editor-in-chief along with H. L. Ginsberg, Professor of the Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Ephraim A. Speiser, Professor of Semitic and Oriental Languages at the University of Pennsylvania, as fellow editors.

Associated with them were three rabbis: Max Arzt, Bernard J. Bamberger, and Harry Freedman, representing the Conservative, Reform, and Orthodox branches of organized Jewish religious life.

Copyright @ 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society.

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