Haftarah, meaning Conclusion, is the name of the weekly reading from the Prophets. Each week synagogues use the appropriate reading from the Prophets to complement the Torah reading. This system developed around 170 BC when the Greek king of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes, decreed that the Torah could no longer be used and tried to destroy all copies. Each reading from the Prophets was chosen to complement the forbidden Torah passage for the week and each special service. The Haftarah, still read today, is listed in a footnote at the end of each Torah reading. Antiochus Epiphanes, nicknamed Epimanes, Madman, by the Jews, reigned from 175-164 BC when Israel revolted from Greek rule. See Hanukkah under Seasons elsewhere in Glossary.

Hallel means praise and refers to the Seder Haggadah. The Haggadah, which means Telling, refers to the script for the evening’s celebration. After the meal is eaten, the Hallel Psalms, 113-118 are sung. They are also sung in the home each Friday evening after the mini-Seder that welcomes the Sabbath.

Harlot, fornicator, immoral are common translations of the Greek word porneia. While this is the primary meaning of the word, it is used to speak of any idolatry, as in Hos. 1:2. See Jn. 8:41, Rev. 2:21. Another example is Rahab, not necessarily a harlot, but certainly an idolater in pre-Israeli Jericho.

The verses of Isa. 23:15-18 tie luxurious living to harlotry, with verse 18 putting wealth in its proper perspective. 15. And it will come to pass in that day, that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king; after the end of seventy years it will be Tyre as in the harlot’s song. 16. Take a lyre, go about the city, you harlot that has been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered. 17. And it will come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD* will visit Tyre, and she will turn to her hire, and will play the harlot with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. 18. And her merchandise and her hire will be holiness to the LORD*; it will not be treasured or laid up; for her merchandise will be for those who dwell before the LORD*, to eat sufficiently, and for fine clothing.

Jer. 3:9 says ..through the frivolity of her harlotry that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and with wood (idols). In the call to repentance of Jer. 4:3,4 some Jewish commentary says that Jews must circumcise their hearts, (Deut. 10:16; 30:6, Jer. 4:4; 9:25), becoming totally dedicated to God’s will, so sinful thoughts will not destroy the effectiveness of their salvation.

Harmony of the Gospels is very real, but as you read the Lord’s Prayer or the Beatitudes in both Matthew and Luke or parables in any of the Gospels, remember that Y’shua would have taught any given message more than once. He was teaching principles that did not require word-for-word repetition, so when you notice differences, make notes to see where and to whom each teaching was given. The Sermon on the Mount is a good example. In Matthew 5 Y’shua went up on a mountain to teach. In the parallel passage beginning with Lk. 6:17, Y’shua went down and stood on a flat place to teach, so we know that these are two distinct messages, not a differing report of the same message.

Heavenly Hosts is Tsvaot in Hebrew, as in 2 Ki. 6:17. This is the army commanded by the LORD* of Hosts. When the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek, the Septuagint, Tsvaot was translated by the Greek word Pantokrator. This translation of the Greek translates Pantokrator as Hosts because that is most likely the meaning to its Jewish authors. The Greek and Latin spelling of Tsvaot, Sabaoth, shows up twice in the New Testament, in Rom. 9:29 and Jcb. 5:4.

Heavens is always plural in Hebrew, with seven levels of heaven noted in Scripture. The names are: Dok, Rakia, Shechakim, Zevul, Maon, Machon, and Aravot.

Dok is Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain (Dok) and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in (Isa. 40:22[1]) Dok retires in the morning and comes out in the evening, and renews the work of creation daily. Dok is the entire universe, going beyond what we can see with telescopes.

Rakia is where God set them in the firmament (Rakia) of the heavens.
(Gen. 1:17) This is a reference to the stars, sun, moon, and planets: outer space where the various heavenly bodies move in their prescribed orbits and/or maintain relationships in constellations, solar systems, galaxies, etc. Rakia is the part of the heavens that can be seen with the naked eye.

Shechakim is from Though He had commanded the skies (Shechakim) from above and opened the doors of heaven, and had rained down manna on them to eat and had given them of the grain of heaven. (Ps. 78:23,24) This is where the millstones are located that grind manna for the righteous. His Word is still miraculously feeding us. Shechakim is the atmosphere.

Zevul is the location for I have surely built you a house of habitation (Zevul), a place for you to dwell in forever. (I Ki. 8:13) This is the location of celestial Jerusalem and the Temple with the heavenly altar where Michael offers a sacrifice. How do we know that Zevul is this place? Because, Look down from heaven and behold from the habitation (Zevul) of Your holiness and Your glory. (Isa. 63:15)

Maon is where the LORD* will command His loving kindness in the daytime and in the night His song will be with me. (Ps. 42:9) This is where His ministering angels stay, singing in the night. We know that this is heaven because of Look down from Your Holy Habitation (Maon) from heaven. (Deut. 26:15)

Machon is the location of the storehouses of snow, rain, hail, whirlwinds, storms, etc. The LORD* will open unto you His good treasure.. (Deut. 28:12) We know that this is heaven because ..then hear in heaven Your dwelling place (Machon).. (I Ki. 8:39)    

Aravot is that in which are righteousness, judgment, and charity, the storehouses of life, of peace and of blessing, the spirits of the righteous, with which the LORD* will hereafter revive the dead. Those living here include the Ophannim, Seraphim, holy Chayyot, the ministering angels, the Throne of Glory, and the King of the Universe. Extol Him Who rides upon the clouds (Aravot), by His name, Yah! (Ps. 68:5) The storehouse of life contains the force of life for all those yet to be born because when God finished creation (Gen. 2:1) He had made everything that would ever be – including your descendants. The spirits of the righteous are the dead who are sleeping with their fathers.

Notice that the first three represent the universe, the visible night sky and sun, and the atmosphere. These are natural, physical things even when beyond the range of telescopes.

Each of the other four levels is both physical and spiritual. Three levels are translated Habitation, but that is not the clue we need. Three levels are populated: Zevul, with the celestial Jerusalem; Maon, with bands of ministering angels; and Aravot, with various heavenly beings, the Throne, and the spirits of the saints. That is probably the level Paul referred to, the third of the populated levels, in
2 Cor. 12:2.

Hebraism is the term used for Hebrew grammar and vocabulary that show up in the Greek text. It is interesting that the writings of Luke contain the most Hebraisms in the New Testament. One of the Hebraisms he used is to speak of going “from Judea to Caesarea.” He is the only New Testament author to write of going from Judea to Caesarea, and that at a time when Caesarea was the capital of Judea. The Rabbis considered it profane to think of any city other than Jerusalem as the capital and any alien government was also profane. Only rabbis used the expression “from Judea to Caesarea.”

Hellenists. There are several references to Hellenists in the New Testament so it is important to understand who they are. The Hellenists of Israel came into being shortly after Alexander the Great overran Israel on his way to Egypt in 332 BC. He was not a ruthless dictator in the countries he conquered but gave each country a great deal of autonomy. What he wanted was taxes and trade, so he had to leave only a relatively small number of troops to maintain the country’s allegiance. Each country had religious freedom, so Israel might not have been greatly affected except that many of its citizens were taken with Greek culture. They liked the affluence, the theater, the games – various aspects of Greek life that were introduced to Israel by the new society.

Those most affected by this were the rich and the powerful. They started to speak Greek instead of Hebrew and to go to the Greek theater and games instead of synagogue or the Temple. They came to be called “Tsadeek” which means Righteous. The Greek spelling of Tsadeek is Sadducee when written in English letters. These people were the Hellenists, only nominally Jewish although they viewed themselves as righteous. In this century people who acted as they did with their conquerors were called collaborators. The High Priests came from the Hellenists and in Y’shua’s day were appointed by the Romans. Valerius Gratus, who preceded Pontius Pilate as procurator, was the first to appoint the High Priest, thus beginning the corrupt practice of political, bribed appointments. The governor, Quirinius (Lk. 2:2) had to approve as well. The Sadducees were very strict in enforcing laws, while the Pharisees were more merciful.

Opposing the Hellenists were the Hasidim, or Pious, also referred to as Lifrot, meaning Broke Away. These included the top students in the yeshivas (schools) who were also known as rabbis. The Hasidim later became known as Parush, meaning self-denying, dissident, seceder, seclusive, sanctimonious. The Greek spelling of Parush is Pharisee when written with English letters. The division and animosity between Pharisees and Sadducees was strong, even though both were represented on the Sanhedrin. How close to the surface this animosity was can be seen in Acts 23:6-10. As a point of information, the present group of Hasidim is not related to the ancient, but rose in Eastern Europe in the 18th century.

The Greek successors to Alexander became very oppressive and in 168 BC desecrated the Temple and forbade the reading of the Torah and the honoring of the Sabbath. Some Pious under the leadership of a priestly family, named Hasmonea, who had remained loyal to Judaism, rebelled and won. See Hanukkah under Seasons elsewhere in Glossary. However in just a few years they were again under Greek Seleucid domination until 64 BC when Rome took over at the invitation of Herod Hyrcanus II. Although they were descendants of Aaron they continued to rule and never appointed someone from another tribe to be king. Eventually the Hasmoneans became corrupt and compromised, said by some rabbis to be the result of their not being from the tribe of Judah. This is because Jacob said to Judah in Gen. 49:10 The.. scepter will not depart from between his (Judah’s) feet.. meaning that the scepter, the sign of kingship, would always belong to the tribe of Judah.

Herod the Great was a son of the Hasmonean prince Hyrcanus II, also called Antipater, who was military governor of Idumea (Edom). Herod was so extraordinarily successful at courting Roman favor that he was the first to be called “King of the Jews” and his descendants became the puppet rulers for Rome throughout the 1st century. Herod the Great reigned from 37 BC – 4 BC.

Since the Sadducees were Hellenists, they are referred to frequently in the New Testament. The Hellenists are also seen in Acts 6:1; 9:29; 11:20, and 21:37. This puts into perspective Jn. 11:50 when Caiaphas said and you do not consider that it profits you that one man should die on behalf of the people so then the whole nation would not be lost. The coming of Messiah would have totally destroyed the world of the Hellenist rulers in Israel. Remember that Pontius Pilate and Quirinius appointed Annas and Caiaphas as High Priests and they only appointed politically powerful Hellenists.

The friction between the Hellenists and the Pharisees ran deep and can even be seen in the fledgling church in Acts 6:1-6, when the Hellenists complained that the congregational leaders were overlooking the needs of the Hellenists.

The Hanukkah feast celebrates the victory of the Parush over the Greek forces that were backed by the Hellenists. This was a victory for those who chose to align themselves with the teachings of God over those who aligned themselves with appeasement and tolerance of pagan beliefs. That parallels today’s spiritual battle in the US and the world of those loyal to God’s teachings vs. those who tolerate all manner of evil, accepting homosexuality as another “life-style” and abortion as “choice.” They encourage teaching occult and false religions in our public schools, but forbid the teaching and practice of Christianity, all in the name of “multiculturalism.” This battle will not be won with the weapons of war, but will be won in the hearts of Americans as revival takes root.

Hesed is a Hebrew word that defies translation. Hesed is love, mercy, favor, grace, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, patience, and more rolled into one. It is used many times in Scripture. So you can always recognize when Hesed is the word, in this book Hesed is always translated Loving Kindness. Sometimes that makes for awkward reading, but now you have a better idea of what is meant by the phrase Loving Kindness.

The Hebrew words meaning compassion, grace, love, and mercy are:

Compassion, Pity: Rahamim

Compassionate: Rahum, Rahaman

         Grace: Hen, Hanun

         Gracious: Rav-Hesed, Hanun

         Love: Ahavah, Ohev

         Loving Kindness: Hesed

         Mercy: Rahamanoot

Ts’dakah is placed here in Glossary because of the expression “loving kindness.” Ts’dakah is almost always translated “acts of loving kindness” in this Bible. Most translations have Ts’dakah as “righteousness” but that is really too weak because righteousness means to do what is right, to be just – which God requires. The word Tsedek is a masculine noun meaning righteousness. Ts’dakah is a feminine noun meaning to do more than is required, such as to do more than just the minimum for someone who is hurting; to truly love your neighbor as yourself. The term is also applied to giving beyond the tithe to charities. Therefore Ts’dakah is translated “acts of loving kindness.” Ts’dakah is to be done in love, cheerfully, with no thought of a reward.

Holy Spirit: In Hebrew, the Holy Spirit is feminine; in Greek the Holy Spirit is neuter; in Latin the Holy Spirit is masculine. Since the first English translations were made from Latin, by tradition we still call the Holy Spirit Him, not Her, which would have been the case had our early translations been made from Hebrew

Honey  in ancient Israel is assumed to be date honey, which is actually a syrup. Date honey, commonly available in the Middle East, is very good to use just as we frequently use bee honey in the US. Evidence abounds of date trees in ancient Israel, but there has been little evidence of bee honey. We know there were bees in ancient Israel because bee honey is mentioned in Jdg. 14:8 and 1 Sam. 14:25ff, and bees are mentioned in Ps. 118:12, but there has been no sign of a bee-keeping industry. Archeologists have found the first ancient apiary (domestic bee hives), in the Near East. It was in Rehov, a city of the Jordan Valley, about half way from the Dead Sea to the lake of Galilee, so there might have been such an industry. An indication that there was not a bee-keeping industry is the widespread use of olive oil lamps, not candles, which in Bible times were made with beeswax. In order to call Israel “The land of milk and honey,” referring to bee honey, there would have to have been a major bee-keeping industry, which may have been although there is little evidence. For the moment though honey is still considered to be date honey.

Hosanna is the English spelling of Hoshea-na, meaning Deliver Us Now! This comes from the same Hebrew root as Y’shua, the Hebrew name of Y’shua. The ending, “na,” is something we do not have a translation for in English, a demanding “NOW!” that is not rude or impertinent. It is properly translated “Please!” or “I pray you!” or “Behold!” The greeting and waving of palm fronds and branches were traditionally done on the sixth day of the Feast of Sukkot, welcoming the reigning Messiah to assume the throne in Jerusalem. All those shouting “Hoshea-na!” knew this and believed Y’shua was the Messiah Who had come to claim His throne, then and there. See Matt. 21:8,9, Mk. 11:8,9, Lk. 19:37,38, Jn. 12:12,13.

Humble when used collectively, refers to a group. The Hebrew Scriptures frequently use Humble to indicate the faithful minority remaining Godly through all their trials, not giving in to the temptations of the world. This remnant is referred to in 1 Ki. 19:18 when God spoke of the 7,000 who had not bowed a knee to Baal. There are about two dozen verses referring to the remnant, but they are hidden in most English translations because the Hebrew word, Anav, is translated by different English words, such as poor, meek, or lowly, in addition to humble. Some of the verses where anav refers to the remnant are: The humble also will increase their joy in the LORD*, and the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel, Isa. 29:19. The Spirit of the Lord, the LORD*, is upon me, because the LORD* has anointed me to preach good tidings to the humble. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and opening of eyes for those who are bound, Isa. 61:1. Seek the LORD*, all you humble of the earth who have worked His judgment! Seek righteousness! Seek humility! It may be you will be hidden on the Day of the LORD’s* anger, Zph. 2:3. He will guide the humble in judgment and He will teach the humble His Way, Ps. 25:9. But the humble will inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5) and will delight themselves in the abundance of Shalom, Ps. 37:11. When God rose to judgment, to save all the humble of the earth. Selah, Ps. 76:10. Surely He scorns the scorners, but He gives grace to the humble, Pro. 3:34.

In past years humble and meek may have been synonyms, but in modern English humble denotes a lack of pride but not a lack of confidence, while meek speaks of low self-esteem and lacking confidence.

[1]        Dok, pronounced like coke, is the word used in Isa. 40:22, but the Talmud uses a synonym, Vilon.


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