“Thus says יהוה Tzeva’ot, ‘In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the kanaf of him that is a Yehudi, saying, ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that Elohim is with you.'”
What is a Yehudi? Well, the simple, quickest, linguistic answer is “A Jew.” BUT, the BIBLICAL answer is more precise. “For it is not the one who is outwardly a Yehudi who is the real Yehudi; neither is circumcision that which is seen in the flesh. But a real Yehudi is one who is inwardly so, and circumcision is of the heart, spiritually and not literally; whose praise is not from men but from Elohim.” Bear in mind that Sha’ul’s audience in that letter was Jewish AND Gentile. He was writing to a single congregation made up of both peoples. This definition does not rob the natural Jews of their earthly identity. But, it identifies the people of His Kingdom as inwardly ‘circumcised of heart,’ the teaching of the Torah in D’varim Chapter 10 and other places, which is there defined as obedience to the Torah. Since most people read this letter [and all of Sha’ul’s writings] with preconceptions, they cannot see that this is actually what Sha’ul is trying to get across to them all, delicately and precisely. But, I digress.
So, the prophecy in Zekhar-Yah chapter 8, above, concerning the 10:1 ratio of gentiles to Jews, how does it apply? How is it fulfilled? Was Elohim speaking only ‘genetically?’ Yes AND no!
Most people do not realize that when one truly confesses Messiah Yeshua, an inner change occurs…an organic event. One is ‘transformed’ from ‘death’ to ‘life.’ One is ‘born’ into the family of the Creator. That family is JEWISH. Yeshua is the ULTIMATE KING of the JEWS! When one does teshuvah [returns to Torah through faith in Messiah, ‘repents’] something very powerful and very ‘spirit’ happens: NEW LIFE. This is elsewhere referred to as “adoption” AND as ‘grafted in’. Both of those are ‘unions’, where a vessel leaves its ‘natural’ estate and joins a new and different estate. The wild olive branch becomes unified with the cultivated olive tree of ISRAEL. The orphaned, ‘lost’ child becomes a TRUE SON of the King of ISRAEL: YESHUA the Messiah: whose Jewish pedigree is MORE DOCUMENTED THAN ANY OTHER JEW! [See Matti 1 and Luka 2, Yokhanan 19:19]
It is about being IN the Kingdom of Messiah. That “kingdom” is “Yehudah,” known in Messiah’s day as “Judea”. That is where we get our word for “Jew.” But, as a historian, I inform the uninformed, or worse, misled reader that the “Judea” of the first century was made up of ALL TWELVE TRIBES! There is NO SUCH THING as a SECOND “house” in HIS KINGDOM. “Is Messiah DIVIDED?” The peshat, obvious answer is: NO! The scriptures show us that after the northern ‘kingdom’ was scattered and destroyed, the REMNANT was called to Join JUDEA, and THEY DID. This is why we see OTHER TRIBES named among the Jews in the Brit Khadashah: Naftali, Binyamin, Asher…. and this is why both Kefa and Ya’akov write to ALL TWELVE TRIBES, when writing to the congregations. They were not lying dormant as Brits and Danes, to be ‘revealed’ today. That is a LIE. THERE IS ONE KINGDOM, and ONE HOUSE. And it is JEWISH.
A true Yehudi is one who has a heart like the quintessential KING of Yisra’el: David. David, of course, is a foreshadowing of Messiah Yeshua, who was perfect in all His ways, meaning He was perfectly Torah observant. The KINGDOM of Yisra’el was UNDIVIDED during David’s tenure. And it is UNDIVIDED NOW.
So, who is the “Yehudi” whose ‘kanaf’ ten ‘gentiles’ will grasp? And what does that mean?
A ‘kanaf’ is a wing, a hem, or a ‘corner.’ We are told to fasten a ‘fringe’/’bloom’ on the corner/wing/hem of our garment, on the four ‘corners’/wings/hems of our garments, so that we will REMEMBER the “Mitzvot יהוה “, the One who is speaking in our focal verses at the top of this post, Zekh 8:23. This is also the ‘wing’ in the verses, ‘But unto you that fear My Name shall Shemesh Tzedaka [a Sun of Righteousness] arise with healing in his k’naf [wing/hem/corner]; and you shall go forth, and gambol as calves of the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I do make, says יהוה Tzeva’ot.” Remember the Torah of Moshe My servant, which I commanded unto him in Khorev for all Yisra’el, even statutes and ordinances. Behold, I will send you Eli- Yahu HaNavi, before the coming of Yom יהוה HaGadol V’HaNorah. [The Great and Dreaded Day of יהוה ] And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the land with utter destruction.”
I wish I had time to expound all of this, how the ‘kanaf’ is linked to obedience, and how in the ‘end times’, which we have lived in for 2000 years, the true people of Elohim, regardless of DNA, are made up of Jews AND Gentiles, and UNIFIED in the very CORE of their being. So, people from every language today, in a bout a 10:1 ratio, are indeed taking hold of the kanaf of a Yehudi, and saying, ‘we will go with you.’ I had that happen very literally one time, when a man grabbed my tzit-tzit and said, “What is this?” And I was able to tell him about the Kingdom.
What set me on course to write this was that I was reminded this week of those who ridicule Messianic believers, and they are usually people who say they believe in the Messiah of Israel, but MOCK us who simply ACTUALLY follow the mantra, “WHAT WOULD YESHUA DO?” Yeshua kept the Sabbath and the feasts, as is abundantly clear in all the gospels. Yet most people ‘say’ they follow Him, but ‘do’ otherwise. And, they mock us who do what He did. I ‘heard’ such mocking this week. And it reminded me of one time our congregation was ‘challenged’ by a self-proclaimed ‘minister,’ saying, “How many ‘real Jews’ are in your congregation?” As if to say we are a bunch of pretenders. I wish now that I had responded, “EVERY LAST ONE OF US! ACCORDING TO ROMANS 2:29” What does it matter what our DNA is? [The fact is, we actually have about a 10:1 ratio of Jews to Gentiles!] Also, this week we were ‘rated’ by a former congregant who has blasphemed the blood of Yeshua and put false accusations against us. It is no surprise, that’s what people do when they do not ‘know’ the Body of Messiah.
Our congregation is starting to ‘see’ this phenomenon of the Kanaf lived out, where gentiles AND Jews are coming up to us, unsolicited, and saying, ‘what is this, where are you guys?’ Abba is ‘connecting’ us to people of ALL ‘languages’. Last night, I spoke in Hebrew in our Torah study, and several people, who do not yet speak Hebrew, ‘heard’ and interpreted the verse I spoke! This week alone, several congregants have been approached because of their Tzit-Tziyot [the ‘blossom’ on their ‘kanaf’] and/or Sabbath observance. [Abba said the Sabbath would be a SIGN forever!] And that is becoming the primary way our congregation is ‘growing.’ BLOSSOMING. All of our congregants who are walking out their Emunah [firm trust/faith] in the Footsteps of Messiah [1 Jo 2:6] will have many people come to them to learn of Elohim! To learn to FEAR His Name! To live out the WAY He said to live, the way HE lived. NO ONE is more Jewish than a person who LIVES AS YESHUA LIVED, in spite of the fact that the religious [Jews and Gentiles, and certainly false ‘jews’] will persecute and mock him.
Go ahead! ASK me about my Tzit-Tzit!