Old Testament Summary Lesson 15: “Look To God And Live”
- True Concept of God–Revelation, Lost: For Judaism, “looking to God” and “revelation” are almost figurative and in modern times have become unexplainable. “There is no specific term corresponding to “revelation” . . . appearances are described by a series of anthropomorphic (i.e., human) expressions and concrete images . . . Thus, various phrases are used when describing appearances of the Divine, for example kavod (“glory”) or shekhinah (. . . “Divine Presence”) or davar (“word” of God).” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Joseph and Judah Bring a Good Report: When Moses sent the spies into the land of Canaan, only two came back with a good report and evidence of a fruitful land. They were Caleb, of the tribe of Judah and Joshua, of the tribe of Joseph. In Israel today, the Israeli government uses the symbol of Caleb and Joshua carrying a huge clump of grapes between them and their “good report” as the official seal of the Ministry of Tourism.
- Symbol of Serpent: It is significant that Caleb and Joshua were the only original emigrants from Egypt allowed into the promised land. They maintained their faith throughout the wilderness journey. That journey introduced symbols (like the serpent) to maintain faith in the Lord. “The Mishnah states that the copper serpent (nahash nehoshet in Hebrew) was not the power which cured the people. Rather it was when the people finally turned their eyes upward toward Heaven and listened to the will of God that they were cured” Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Archaeological Discoveries: “. . . many seals from biblical times have actually been uncovered by archaeologists.” “Jewish seals were distinguished from others by their inscriptions in Hebrew and the absence of the human figure.” “Sometimes seals . . . bore emblems with . . . a serpent on it, since the Hebrew word for snake was numerically equivalent to the word for Messiah.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)