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Special Notices to All Who Deny Two-Seedline, Part 15
Here we are going to continue our presentation of Clifton Emahiser’s series of Special Notices as we prepare to travel once again, this time to Ohio to assist Clifton upon his release from medical care. We hope to bring him back here to our home in Florida as it is increasingly difficult for him to survive on his own.
As we have presented this series of essays, we have done our best to stress the importance of having a proper interpretation of Scripture from our Christian Identity perspective. This is not a game or a joke. This is not something to be taken lightly. We cannot afford to go halfway to the truth and stop, as if halfway is good enough. We cannot afford to be wrong on the issue of the nature of our enemies, which are also the enemies of our God, or about what is happening to us in all of our Christian nations this very day, or on the question of the non-White so-called races. But for all the time that we have been writing and preaching about this, and I speak for Clifton as well as myself, we are hindered by men who claim to be Identity Christians like us, but who refuse to actually identify anything properly.
So we have criticized Ted Weiland, Stephen Jones and others who deny the truth of Two-Seedline, and we have added criticisms of Eli James, who claims to accept Two-Seedline, but muddies the waters with his rather ambiguous views on race. He makes himself no better than a Ted Weiland or a Stephen Jones because he refuses to admit that the other races, the goat nations, all have the same fate as the devil and his angels. So he makes a third category of so-called people, something which is not found in Scripture.
Let’s try explaining our position again from a slightly different perspective. In Revelation chapter 20, from verse 7, we read: “7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 each draw a very similar picture by which the intent of the vision in the Revelation may be even better understood, but we will wait to elucidate that one day in the future. The thousand years of Revelation 20:7 have also already passed, however we cannot make a full proof of that here, and we already have in our commentary on the Revelation.
We have another vision very similar to this which is described in Obadiah: “15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. 17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. 18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.”
Then we have a picture of the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew chapter 25: “31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” Then further on it says “41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels...” An honest examination of the parable reveals that the sheep are judged as to whether they did the will of God, but in the end they all go into the kingdom, while the goats are judged as to how they treated the sheep, and in the end they all go into the “fire prepared for the devil and his angels”.
One more parable also helps us to interpret these things, where in Matthew chapter 13 Christ had explained that “the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind (or every race): 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” However the wicked of the parable can only be those who are not justified by Yahweh God, and all of Israel is promised justification by God, as we read in Isaiah chapter 45 that “25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
Now we shall present one more citation from Joel chapter 2, and it is widely accepted that this also is an end time prophecy: “23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.” Yahweh had informed the children of Israel throughout the books of the prophets that they would be punished for their sin, after the manner which we read in Jeremiah chapter 30 where it says “11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”
So I would challenge Ted Weiland, Stephen Jones, and even Eli James to identify the parties which are represented by the allegories in all of these parables and prophecies, in a manner which is consistent with each and every one of them. For my part, I would assert that the only way to do so is to recognize that the remnant of White nations we see in the world today are the descendants of the children of Israel – something which we can certainly establish in history, while the Jews are the adversary, the Satan of the Revelation, and the other so-called races are employed by them in their war against Christ. We read this in Revelation chapter 12 where it describes the woman with the twelve stars – which are the tribes of Israel – and after she had fled into the wilderness, “15... the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.”
So if we properly correlate these passages, interpreting them all as prophecies for the last days, which they all certainly are, then we must make the following conclusions:
The Camp of the Saints, the sheep nations and the good fish of the parables of Matthew, the holy mountain of Yahweh described in Obadiah, all of these must be allegories for the children of Israel everywhere that they have been scattered.
The locust, the cankerworm, the caterpiller and the palmerworm are all allegories for non-Israelite peoples. These are the same as the heathen, or non-Israelite nations, which are described in Obadiah as feeding on Yahweh’s holy mountain. These are the “nations which are in the four quarters of the earth” which Satan gathers against the Camp of the Saints, and these are the goat nations and the bad fish of the parables found in the Gospel of Matthew. When it is all said and done, and these prophecies are all fulfilled, “they shall be as though they had not been.”
This Satan, or adversary, which gathers these goat nations against the Camp of the Saints are the same Edomites awaiting destruction in Obadiah, and the same dragon which opposed Christ from the beginning, which is also described in Revelation chapter 12. These are principally, but not exclusively, the Edomite Jews, who are truly of the house of Esau and who are destined to be stubble. Their Kenite ancestors and other relations, such as the Rephaim, are the “seed of the serpent” of Genesis 3:15, and their modern-day descendants are the Satan and serpent of Revelation 20:2. They can be traced in this manner throughout Scripture and history.
We are in this war between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, and we are told in Revelation chapter 20 that the Satan who gathers the nations against the Camp of the Saints is that same “dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan”, that was the subject of the original pronunciation of war in Genesis 3:15. If we do not properly identify the parties in this war, how can we be of any use to Yahweh our God as He executes His will upon us?
This interpretation is consistent with all of the Scripture as well as all of the history of our Adamic Israelite race, and it is consistent with the situation which we face in the world today. If we do not get it right then we will forever be blind leaders of the blind, just like the denominational Christian pastors who are marching so many our brethren straight into the ditch. We in Christian Israel Identity must rebuke, or even totally reject, men such as Ted Weiland, Stephen Jones, or Eli James, who to one degree or another dilute or obfuscate this message, since by doing so they are really only compromising with the devil. Therefore they are scattering, rather than gathering, and when we accept them we make ourselves parties to their error, becoming scatterers along with them.
With this we shall commence with our presentation of Clifton Emahiser’s
SPECIAL NOTICE TO ALL WHO DENY TWO SEEDLINE, #15
The main warning of these Special Notices is to reassert [that] we are at WAR. This WAR has been going on now for over 7000 years. The reason I must continue to remind you of this fact is because there are some who not only deny that this WAR exists, but deny who the primary players are supplying all of the funds, and those directing it. This WAR started in Genesis 3:15 and the opponents are the “seed” (children) of the serpent and the “seed” (children) of the woman. This is a WAR with no holds barred by either side. This is not a WAR where one is to pray for the enemy or try to convert him to “Christianity”! Had many of the “Jews” not been “the seed of the serpent” it wouldn’t have been necessary for our Messiah to have spoken in parables.
We are told unequivocally in Matthew 13:10-15 that He spoke in parables to them in order to prevent them from becoming converts. Shortly after this parable, He likened the “Jews” to “tares” and labeled them “the children of the wicked one.” In Matthew 13:38 the terms “seed” and “children” are used interchangeably as it says “seed are ... children.” If one will check the word “children”, #5207, in the NT Word Study (on Greek) by Spiros Zodhiates, page 1404, one will find that it means “(A) A male offspring ... (B) In a wider sense it means a descendant, pl. descendants, posterity ...” It might have been speaking figuratively had not the word “seed” been used interchangeably with “children.” In their quest to deny Two Seedline, the anti-seedliners deny this Greek meaning [of the words]. Further, the word “wicked”, #4190, in that same verse, according to Zodhiates, page 1198, is used with the definite article “ho”, and means: “... the evil one, Satan ...” By denying these Greek meanings, the anti-seedliners deny the very words of Messiah Himself!
Clifton is right, as is Spiros Zodhiates, that when the noun or adjective is used in conjunction with a definite article in Greek, it refers to a particular entity, and is therefore often capitalized to indicate that same thing in English. In grammar this is called a Substantive. For instance, the Greek word κύριος by itself is an adjective meaning having power or having authority over someone or something. But with the definite article, ὁ κύριος, it becomes a noun referring to a specific authority. So in the Bible the phrase ws used in that manner used to describe “the Lord”, Yahweh in the Old Testament Hebrew, or often either Yahweh or Yahshua Christ in the New Testament. So where in the New Testament we see a definite article used with the adjectives for adversity or wickedness, a particular Adversary or Wicked One is also being described. The “children of the wicked one” in Matthew are indeed the “seed of the serpent” of Genesis. Continuing with Clifton:
Additionally, the word “wicked”, #4190, is used with the definite article “ho” in Matt. 13:19; Eph. 6:16; 1 John 1:13, 14; 3:12; 5:18, and means “Satan” [in those places] also [or rather, we would say that it means to refer to the same Satanic entity]. Thus, in 1 John 3:12 where it says: “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one ...”, it means exactly what it says, [referring to] “Satan.” The book Synonyms of the New Testament by Richard Trench confirms what Zodhiates says about the word “wicked” (Greek #4190) on page 330: “Satan is emphatically ho poneros as the first author of all the mischief in the world.” In his Greek-English NT Lexicon, George Ricker Berry, [on] page 82 describes ho poneros as “... the wicked one. i.e., Satan...” W. E. Vine in his An Expository Dictionary of NT Words under “wicked” on Matthew 13:38 states: “... and in the following [verse just cited], where Satan is mentioned as ‘the (or that) evil one’ ...” (Don’t waste your time with Strong’s on this one.) Another way to verify [that] the “wicked” of Matthew 13:38 is speaking of Satan, is to go to Matthew 13:19 where the same Greek word #4190 is used saying: “... then cometh the wicked one...” Then compare the parallel passage in Luke 8:12 which says: “... then cometh the devil...” The conclusion then must be: the “seed” or “children” in Matthew 13:38 planted by the “wicked” one are the genetic offspring of Satan! This parenting of the tares is also spelled out in the Aramaic targums. [Clifton then adds a parenthetical note and says:] (I might add, if you listen to the anti-seedliners, they will argue the “wheat and tares” of Matthew 13 are just figurative or spiritual; the same position as the so-called “Jew-deo-unchristian” churches!)
And indeed, the parable of the wheat and the tares insists that the tares were planted very soon after the wheat. So we read in Matthew chapter 13: “24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.” This can only refer to the mingling of the races perpetrated by the serpent and the fallen angels in Genesis chapters 3 and 6, as both Kenites and Rephaim and other non-Adamic tribes along with them had survived the flood of Noah, which is evident in Genesis chapter 15. These, mingling with the Canaanites, eventually provided wives to Esau, and that is the origin of the Edomite Jews, as well as many of the Arabs and certain other modern so-called people.
The wheat and the tares cannot represent people with good ideas or bad ideas, or people with good doctrines and bad doctrines. At the time that Christ told His disciples to bring the Gospel to the nations, all of those nations had already had bad doctrines, as Paul informs us in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 that they had already been worshipping devils, and instead of the devil planting tares among the wheat, the apostles would have been planting spiritual “wheat” among the spiritual “tares”, so therefore the parable would make no sense whatsoever.
Christ tells us that the tares were sown after the wheat, so the bad had to follow the good, and not the other way around. The viable conclusion is that the parable of the wheat and the tares must refer back to the planting of the Adamic race in the Garden of Eden by Yahweh, who is also the Christ. The Adamic race must be the wheat, and the tares were sown by the serpent who deceived our first parents, resulting in the historic sowing of corruption amongst the members of their race. In this sense, Cain was the first tare, and then later the giants of Genesis chapter 6, and these are among the ancestors of the Edomite Jews, the Arabs, and many of the other partially-White so-called people of the world of today. Now Clifton continues under the subtitle:
ARAMAIC TARGUMS AND THEIR CONTEXT WITH GENESIS 4:1
As I promised in Special Notice #14, I will deal with the Aramaic Targums in greater detail. After years of research on the subject of Two Seedline doctrine, the Aramaic Targums seem to hold the missing ingredient to pull this passage into perspective. Ted R. Weiland, in his booklet Eve, Did She Or Didn’t She? had all this information in front of him, but he rejected it, claiming it was “Babylonian-influenced.” (page 96) This is one of the favorite ploys of the one seedliners (anti-seedliners) in their quest to reject one of the foundational truths of Scripture. Being there is evidence the “Jewish” Masoretic scribes manipulated the Hebrew text by hermeneutics with their Babylonian-cabalistic-mystical thought-system, we are left with the Aramaic Targums as an alternative witness. I will now use a very concise article about targums from the Collier’s Encyclopedia, 1980 edition, volume 4, page 127 under the topic “Bible”. Like many of the references I use, this quotation is informative, but I do not endorse it 100%:
“The Aramaic Targums. During the middle of the first millennium B.C., a Syrian language called Aramaic gradually became the dominant commercial and popular tongue throughout the Middle East. As the Jews [Judaeans] adopted this language, they forgot their Hebrew and could understand less and less of the scriptures read to them in the synagogue. Eventually, a translator was needed to render the text into Aramaic as it was read out in Hebrew. The translator was known as a torgeman and his translation as a targum.
Interrupting Clifton’s citation, we should make a note of something that Clifton himself elucidates later in his writings, in part 17 of his original series. The need for targums is first recorded in Nehemiah chapter 8 where it says: “8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” Here was the original use of targums, to interpret Scripture because the original form of the Hebrew in which they were written was no longer the colloquial form of the language which they commonly understood. This is true in spite of the fact that the writers of the New Testament had continued to call it Hebrew. Now to return to Clifton’s citation from Collier’s Encyclopedia:
“In time the Aramaic targum became standardized, and finally it was written down. The earliest written targum we have is a manuscript of the Book of Job discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. It was written about the first century B.C., but most of the other surviving targums were composed later, among the Aramaic-speaking Jews [Judaeans] of Babylon. The Aramaic targums generally paraphrase rather than translate literally. They bring in much explanatory material and homily [sermonizing] reflecting the thought of the time. Many Hebrew [Jewish] Bibles of today still carry the Aramaic targum side by side with the Hebrew text.
There are several extant Targums which are known from ancient times that certainly seem to predate the Talmud, and therefore they are not necessarily Talmudic. Neither can it be certain that they are Jewish in the modern sense of the word, but rather they may actually be Judaean, and it is unknown whether their origins are with true Judaeans or Edomite Judaeans [today’s Jews]. Anyone who purports to know these things is not telling the truth. The Targum Jonathan is esteemed to date as early as the 2nd century AD. There are claims that the Targum Onkelos predates that, and is perhaps as old as the 1st century. Here I am going to quote from an article by Bruce Metzger, a prominent Presbyterian scholar who is evidently not Jewish in spite of his name, where he wrote the following in an article on the Targums:
At first the oral Targum was a simple paraphrase in Aramaic, but eventually it became more elaborate and incorporated explanatory details inserted here and there into the translation of the Hebrew text. To make the rendering more authoritative as an interpretation, it was finally reduced to writing. Two officially sanctioned Targums, produced first in Palestine and later revised in Babylonia, are the Targum of Onkelos on the Pentateuch and the Targum of Jonathan on the Prophets, both of which were in use in the third century of the Christian era.
During the same period the Targum tradition continued to flourish in Palestine. In addition to fragments and citations that have been collected, the Palestinian Targum to the Pentateuch is found, primarily, in three forms. The two that have been the most studied are the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum and the Fragmentary Targum, which contains renderings of only approximately 850 biblical verses, phrases, or words. In the mid-20th century a neglected manuscript in the Vatican library, identified as Neofiti 1, was discovered to be a nearly complete copy of the Palestinian Targum to the Pentateuch. Though copied in the 16th century, its text has the distinction of being the earliest form of the Palestinian Targum. It is somewhat less paraphrastic than Pseudo-Jonathan in that its explanatory additions are fewer in number and more terse in expression. The wide divergences among these Targums clearly indicate that they are "unofficial," in that their text was never fixed. There are no reliable data as to who the authors and compilers were, under what circumstances and for what specific purposes they labored, and how literary transmission was achieved.
And while we may not entirely trust Metzger, we nevertheless feel that this information is fairly accurate. As for the Dead Sea Scrolls, we are confident that they date to the Roman period of Judaea, no earlier than 60 BC and no later than 65 AD, and probably to the later half of that period. We gave our proofs for this in an article and podcast at Christogenea titled What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?, which was written in May of 2012. Once again returning to Clifton’s citation from Collier’s Encyclopedia, where it discusses the Septuagint, which is technically also a targum, a much earlier:
“The Septuagint, or Greek Version. The Greek version of the Old Testament began as a targum for Jews [Judaeans] living in Greek-speaking areas of the Middle East. [Collier’s underestimates the use of Greek in Palestine, where public inscriptions and inscriptions on coins were commonly made in Greek - WRF] There were probably isolated Greek translations of the Hebrew scriptures in circulation before the third century B.C. According to tradition, dissatisfaction developed with the unofficial nature of these translations, and an official version was prepared by a committee of 70 or 72 eminent scholars for the library of King Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.) in Alexandria. This translation came to be known as the ‘Version of the Seventy’ — in Latin, the Septuagint. More probably, the Septuagint represents a revised collation of the informal oral synagogue translations into the Greek.
“Jews [Judaeans] at first welcomed the Septuagint. With the rise of Christianity, however, it became primarily associated with the Christian Church. The Jews [Judaeans, or at this time, Edomite-Jews] repudiated it and prepared other Greek translations. Most of the quotations of the Old Testament that appear in the New Testament have been made from the Septuagint ... [underlining mine (Clifton’s)]
Continuing to quote from Collier’s Encyclopedia:
“THE HEBREW TEXT AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM:
“All original manuscripts of the Old Testament are at present lost. We possess only late copies in Hebrew or in various ancient versions. The Hebrew texts are the product of generations of scribes and are sometimes quite altered and corrupted. Since many errors have crept into the manuscripts, the task of Old Testament textual criticism is to recover, as nearly as possible, the words that were written in the earliest stage of literary preservation.
Before continuing, we must note that Flavius Josephus clearly had a Hebrew copy which contained some notable differences with the later Masoretic Text, and some of those differences justify the text of the Septuagint where it differs from the Masoretic Text. The same can be said for the copies of books of Scripture found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. But this is not consistent among the differences between the manuscripts, as the Dead Sea Scrolls often also support readings found in the Masoretic Text which differ from the Septuagint. Continuing once more with Clifton’s citation of Collier’s Encyclopedia:
“Texts of the Sopherim [scribes]. For several centuries the text of the Old Testament books seems to have remained relatively fluid. The scribes of the early period (c. 500 B.C. to A.D. 100), known as the Early Sopherim, altered the text in many ways, through mistakes of hearing, reading, or writing. Words were misspelled; divisions between words were wrongly made; words, lines, or entire passages were omitted, repeated, or transposed; obscure and offensive words were ‘corrected’; editorial introductions and conclusions were added; double readings were recorded; and marginal notes were later mistaken for parts of the original text and inserted in the wrong spots. All these factors led to highly varied texts ...” [underlining mine]
From this, we can see that the Septuagint was considered a targum. Today, many swear by the KJV targum or the RSV targum. “Targum” simply means a translation. Also, we gather that most of the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament were taken from the Septuagint targum. By his own personally invented criteria, if targums are “Babylonian-influenced”, as Ted R. Weiland claims, we are going to have to refute all these Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament of our present Bibles. Many today make the claim that some of our Bibles are “God-breathed” and without error. This is entirely true of the original manuscripts, but can hardly apply to later corrupted translations or copies. Can we claim that our translations (targums) are fully “God-breathed”?
Neither can we claim that the Masoretic Text is fully inspired, especially since the prophet Jeremiah had written “How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.” We see in Jeremiah 8:8 that by 586 BC, the prophet is informing us . There are a few obvious corruptions in the Masoretic editions of the Torah. It may not be entirely coincidental, that these words appear in Jeremiah 8:8, and we read of the need for targums in Nehemiah 8:8, although I am not one to be superstitious in regard to numbers. Clifton now continues under the subtitle:
COULD MESSIAH HAVE QUOTED FROM A TARGUM?
[Clifton responds to the article from Collier’s:] From the Collier’s Encyclopedia comment above, it might appear that targums were not committed to writing until the “Jews” [Judaeans] returned to Babylon, after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. [The testimony from Bruce Metzger asserted that the targums certainly did originate in Palestine, and we would agree with that.] Notice that Collier’s says: “surviving targums.” We will now make a case that our Savior, when He quoted Isaiah 61:1 found in Luke 4:16-23 was in all likelihood reading from a targum. This passage says:
“16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written. 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
[Clifton remarks on this Scripture and says:] If one will consult various commentaries like Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary On The Whole Bible or Matthew Poole’s A Commentary On The Holy Bible it will indicate that this passage is taken from the Septuagint. If you will read that passage again, you will notice that everyone in that synagogue without exception, understood every word the Redeemer was saying. So, whatever the language might have been, we are informed in Matthew 26:73 that there was a noticeable difference in accent [or in dialect] between Jerusalem and Galilee.
George M. Lamsa’s Gospel Light, [in the] introduction [says on] page xxvi: “... The Old Testament translation known as the Septuagint, was made into Greek by Jews [Judaeans] for Jews [Judaeans] who understood neither Aramaic nor Hebrew. This Greek text of the Scriptures was not used in Palestine where it would not have been understood and where the original texts are in common use. [This is a stretch, where Lamsa imagines that 1st century Judaeans understood neither Aramaic nor Hebrew.] It is worth mentioning that the Greek Septuagint was not accepted or used by Eastern Christians. This is so today. The Eastern Version of the Old Testament is the authorized text of Nestorians, Chaldean Roman Catholics, Jacobites and other Christian groups and in its antiquity and originality are strongly supported by all of them regardless of the theological differences. The Septuagint was rejected partly because it contained the books of the Apocrypha which were not included in the Jewish Canon. This question was debated at the Jewish Council of Jamnia in 90 A.D. and settled in favor of the Palestinian decision. It was only after St. Jerome made the Latin Vulgate in the fourth century A.D. that the Apocrypha was accepted as canonical by the Roman Catholic Church.”
We must take into account that Lamsa is biased somewhat toward the Aramaic, as that was the language of his native origin. [About that Clifton is entirely correct. The Greek was used in Palestine, and the apostles and Christ all spoke Greek as a second language, if not a first. Both Justin Martyr and Theophilus of Antioch wrote in Greek.] It would appear the Almighty used the language barrier between the Aramaic and Greek to separate the Gospel message away from the non-Israelite “Jews” toward the “lost sheep of the House of Israel.” The “Jews” continue to this very day to use Aramaic targums, while Greek was used as a vehicle to spread the Gospel to the true Israelite peoples. But, that is no reason we should reject Aramaic targums as a viable witness. Also, just because the “Jews” rejected the books of the Apocrypha, is no reason we should reject them too. It is obvious, if we should take time to study them, why they would reject them. I could point out several passages, but that is not the topic before us.
Rather, I would assert that the Edomites also knew Greek, and rejected it in favor of upholding their pretense as Judaeans. I would also caution that not all of the books of the Apocrypha can be esteemed with equal merit. Some are certainly valuable to Christians, and others should be dismissed as fictions. Those which should be accepted, however, often do contain statements which would be highly unfavorable to the Jews. Clifton now continues under the subtitle:
STRINGENT RULES FOR TARGUMS
The Encyclopedia Britannica, Ninth Edition (1894), volume 23, page 68: “Former Use of the Targum in Public.— The following rules had to be observed in reading of the Scriptures at the synagogal service: I. As regards the Law (Pentateuch). (1) The private person called to the Law (which chiefly contains halakhic matter) read one verse of it, which the official methurgeman or turgeman (translator) immediately paraphrased; (2) whilst the reader of the law was not allowed to take his eye off the written scroll, the methurgeman was forbidden, not merely to read out of a written Targum, but even to look into the sacred text: (3) each of these had to wait till the other had quite finished the reading and translation respectively; (4) one was not allowed to raise his voice in a louder key than the other; (5) a certain number of passages, although allowed to be read, were not allowed to be translated; these were: (a) such as might reflect unfavorably on a father of a tribe, or on an eminent teacher ... (b) such as might encourage the ignorant to think that there was some truth in idolatry; (c) such as might offend decency ...; (d) such as were fixed by the Lord Himself to be read in Hebrew only (as sacerdotal benediction, Num. 6:24-26); (6) the translator was neither allowed to give a literal translation nor to add anything that had no foundation in the Divine word; he had to give the spirit of the letter.
We may conjecture that these instructions seem to be based on Jewish superstitions in relation to Scripture rather than on Scripture itself.
“II. As regards the Prophets. (1) The person called to read the Prophets (which chiefly contain agadic matter) might read three verses, of which the translator, who might be the reader himself, sought to render the meaning to the best of his ability; (2) the translator was allowed both to read out of a Targum volume and to look also into the book containing the prophetic texts; (3) if the reader and the translator were two different persons they observed the third rule given above for the case of reading the Law; (4) here also certain passages were not allowed to be translated: (a) such as reflected on great men of the Israelite nation; (b) such as offend decency; (5) any one sufficiently intelligent might read, and of course paraphrase the portion from the Prophets...”
[Now Clifton says in response to this that:] This brings us to a very crucial and vitally important cornerstone of all Scripture. The following passages from Aramaic targums were cited by a Scott Stinson in an article entitled “The Serpent and Eve” in The Vision, July 1998, vol. 2, #8, pages 28-29:
Targum of Jonathan to Genesis 4:1: “And Adam knew his wife Eve, who was pregnant by the Angel Sammael, and she conceived and bare Cain; and he was like the heavenly beings, and not like earthly beings, and she said, I have acquired a man, the Angel of the Lord.”
Palestinian Targum to Genesis 4:1: “And Adam knew his wife Eve, who had desired the Angel; and she conceived, and bare Cain; and she said, I have acquired a man, the angel of the Lord ...”
[Then continuing his citation from Stinson, where I would have stopped short, Clifton writes:] In another Rabbinic work: Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, 21: “And she saw that his likeness was not of earthly beings, but of the heavenly beings, and she prophesied and said: I have gotten a man from the Lord.”
[Clifton then says:] It would appear from those references that the problem with Genesis 4:1 is an omission of some of the words of the Hebrew text. I will now quote Genesis 4:1 from the King James Version and I will add the potentially needed words in italics from the Targum of Jonathan so it will make some sense:
“And Adam knew his wife Eve, who was pregnant by Sammael, and she conceived and bare Cain, and he was like the heavenly beings, and not like earthly beings, and she said, I have gotten a man from the angel of the Lord.”
Once we become aware there is a discrepancy both in the Masoretic and Septuagint texts as opposed to the Aramaic targums on Genesis 4:1, certain comments by various Biblical scholars start to make sense. Many of the best Hebrew scholars confirm there is a problem with Genesis 4:1! The Interpreter’s Bible, a twelve volume collaborative work of 36 “consulting editors” plus 124 other “contributors” makes the following observation on this verse, vol. 1, page 517:
“Cain seems originally to have been the ancestor of the Kenites ... The meaning of the name is ‘metalworker’ or ‘smith’; here, however, it is represented as a derivation of a word meaning ‘acquire’, ‘get’ — one of the popular etymologies frequent in Genesis — hence the mother’s words I have gotten a man. « From the Lord (KJV) is a rendering, following the LXX and Vulg., of ’eth Yahweh, which is literally, ‘with Yahweh’, and so unintelligible here (the help of [RSV] is not in the Hebrew). It seems probable that ’eth should be ’oth — so, ‘the mark of Yahweh’ — and that the words are a gloss ...” [emphasis mine]
This last remark is how the editors of The Interpreter’s Bible would atone for the discrepancies of Genesis 4:1. But this is precisely why we should not readily dismiss the differences in Genesis 4:1 found in the Aramaic Targums. While I value the commentaries on these verses found in the Targums a little differently than Clifton does, it is clear that they are of some value. As it is presented in the various Targums, it is demonstrated that early interpreters had an understanding of Genesis 4:1 which is not presented in the surviving texts. However as Clifton has shown from The Interpreter’s Bible, the surviving text is unreliable. We have previously shown that according to the many different readings of the verse which are found in Origen’s Hexapla, that assessment is correct, that the verse is “so unintelligible” that it can hardly be properly translated. And if Genesis 4:1 is the only witness that can be used to claim that Adam was the father of Cain, that witness is hardly reliable, and the claim can not stand. Now continuing with Clifton:
Another scholar: Clarke’s Commentary, volume 1, page 58, suggests a contextual problem with Genesis 4:1 as opposed to 1 John 3:12, and being aware the meaning of the Greek word “wicked” in this instance means “Satan” [he] says the following:
“... Unless she had been under Divine inspiration she could not have called her son (even supposing him to be the promised seed) Jehovah; and that she was not under such an influence her mistake sufficiently proves, for Cain, so far [remote] from being the Messiah, was of the wicked one; I John 3:12 ...”
To show you that Aramaic was one of the languages spoken for that geographic area at the time of our Messiah, I will now quote from The World Book Encyclopedia, © 1981, volume 1, page 551: “ARAMAIC ... is an ancient Semitic language that was spoken throughout the Near East from about 700 B.C. to A.D. 700. Jesus spoke an Aramaic dialect. It was the popular tongue of Palestine at the time He lived. The books of Ezra and Daniel were written partly in the western dialect of Aramaic. Arabic finally took the place of Aramaic, except in a few isolated villages.”
We would assert that Arabic took the place of Aramaic because in the Islamic conquests Arabs overran the Syrians and other Whites who lived in the Middle and Near East. Continuing with Clifton:
Let’s now observe from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, page 167, how some scholars believe some passages in the New Testament are influenced by targums:
“Some New Testament writers indicate knowledge of targumic interpretations in their quotations from the Old Testament. For example, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’ (Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30) is a quotation from Deuteronomy 32:35; but it conforms neither to the Hebrew text nor to the Greek text of the Septuagint. This particular phrase comes from the Targum. Again, the words of Ephesians 4:8, ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men,’ are taken from Psalm 68:18. But the Hebrew and Septuagint texts speak of the receiving of gifts. Only the Targum on this text mentions the giving of gifts.” [With this Clifton concludes that:] If there were no targums in written form at that time, how could the New Testament writers have quoted from them?
It seems instead that the New Testament writers were at least familiar with Aramaic copies of Old Testament Scripture, which may or may not have been related to the Targums that survive to us today. However the point is clear, that in many aspects the Aramaic Targums must to some degree represent valid Scripture, since they are in many ways similar to versions from which the apostles were quoting. Returning to Clifton:
Perhaps one of the more striking observations is made in a book entitled Introduction To The Old Testament by R. K. Harrison, pages 225 and 231. Here are two excerpts: “Quite aside from other considerations, there are numerous traces in the LXX of the influence of the Aramaic targums, making the problem of the agreements between the Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX one of considerable complexity ... it can be shown that many of the quotations in the New Testament writings were derived originally from an Aramaic source or sources, or perhaps even from oral translations, from memory, or from private translations ...”
With this evidence, we can see that the Septuagint was affected by Aramaic targums — the very same targums which Ted R. Weiland claims are “Babylonian-influenced.” If, then, the Aramaic targums are unreliable, then, too, is the Septuagint. Further, if the Septuagint is unreliable, so, too, are our present-day translations of the New Testament where they cite the Old Testament! In addition to this, there is a footnote at the end of chapter 42 of Job in the Septuagint which says this in part: “This is translated out of a book in the Syrian language ...” [Clifton then responds and says:} Some designate Aramaic as Syrian.] If this is true, according to Weiland’s criteria, that makes the book of Job also “Babylonian-influenced.” As a targum of Job written in Aramaic was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, is confirmation the footnote at the end of Job in the Septuagint is probably correct, although we must reject the statement from the same footnote implying that Job was an Edomite who took an Arabian woman.
We do not accept the appendix to Job as being canonical, and the appendix is not found among the surviving manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls copies of Job or the targum, so Clifton’s assessment in this regard is incorrect. Additionally, Aramaic is Syrian, the name Syrian being a variation from the same Hebrew word, Tsor, as Tyrian and belonging to Greek and Latin, while the original Aramaic speakers of Babylon and Damascus and other cities in the region were of the tribe of Aram, who was a close relation of Shem.
Now Clifton concludes under the subtitle:
THE NEED FOR A PARAPHRASE (TARGUM)
When written material is translated from one language into another, some things cannot be expressed well in the secondary vocabulary. Thus, for a comprehensive understanding of the original language, sometimes, an extensive paraphrase is required in the latter. This is particularly true when translating from Hebrew. In other words, without a paraphrase, much of the original meaning of the primary thought would be hopelessly lost. Therefore, it would have been impossible to translate the Hebrew into the Aramaic without paraphrasing to some degree. To have translated on a literal word for word basis would have left much of the meaning of the text wanting.
There is much more that could be presented concerning the Aramaic language in the Bible, but this will have to suffice for now. The subject is referred to as early as Genesis 31:46-47, where Jacob used a different name for a rock pile than Laban. Most think that Laban spoke in Aramaic and that Jacob spoke in Canaanite. As Laban had gone into paganism, I would rather believe he was the one that spoke in Canaanite and Jacob spoke in Aramaic. (I will cite evidence concerning this later.)
With this, I would conclude that it is preposterous to repudiate all evidence found in the Aramaic targums as being “Babylonian-influenced.” Where is the old admonition that we should “study to show ourselves approved”?
We will not comment on Clifton’s language evidence until we encounter it later in this series. But the truth is that the targums, or any other piece of literature that may have been preserved in the Talmud but which is not necessarily Talmudic in origin, cannot simply be discredited in such a flippant manner as Weiland discredits the Aramaic Targums.
And while, as we have previously attested, there are many things in the Aramaic Targums which we cannot accept, and which we even dislike, the targums on Genesis 4:1 do elucidate the fact that early translators knew there was something wrong with the verse as it now stands, and they attempted to fill in the blanks from their own traditional understanding. That being said, and the verse being demonstrably corrupt, we do not have to accept this only witness that Adam had fathered Cain, especially in light of all the evidence to the contrary.
One aspect of the Targums which we dislike is found in pseudo-Jonathan, which accounts for the presence of Og of Bashan by claiming that he hid himself on the roof of Noah’s ark. With that we may see that the global flood heresy is also quite old. So far as I remember, the writer of the targum did not account for the presence of the other Rephaim and Anakim in such a manner, and therefore he left them unexplained. So the Targums are far from perfect, but they do help to show how early interpreters filled in some of the obvious discrepancies in Scripture.