Scripture interprets itself – and Truth is thereby confirmed:
There is a generally accepted and commonly quoted English translation, even in Jewish publications of our theme text, which neither makes proper nor ethical sense. We are referring to the actual section which refers to “the Mechoqeck” and which defines, seemingly, its position or nature, viz.
Gen. 49:10 “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver
(Mechoqeck) from between his feet …”
There is an alternative rendering in English publications, of the Hebrew “mi’bein ruglaiv“, viz. “… from between (or amongst) his legs.”. The word “ruglaiv” can refer to both his two feet or legs. For obvious reasons, the Hebrew publications render the less coarse English alternative of “feet”.
Upon questioning the validity of this general translation, the following revealing alternative meaning was discovered – a meaning which makes far more sense and which, in fact, would confirm overall Truth in general. A meaning which also would give depth and correct guidance to especially the returning 10 Tribers. It would also be perfectly in line with the Mechoqeck theme that we have analyzed thusfar. Most of all, it gives credence to the very sole fundamental source of anti-Rabbinism – i.e. the Oral Torah, or Rabbinic interpretation of the Torah. The latter being the final obstruction in the way of re-awakening 10-Tribers and Hebraic Roots Restorers. While this may be the very reason why this alternative meaning would therefore be objected against and rejected by the opposers and rejecters of Oral Torah, it will also serve as the convincing factor to serious returning 10-Tribers who struggle so much with all the confusion caused by resistance against this very Key factor on YHVH’s List of Truth Secrets!
So, what are we referring to? What is the alternative, hidden meaning of “ruglaiv“?
In Hebrew, there is a word referring to “traditions, customs.” It has the same roots and the same spelling in Hebrew as our textual word under discussion. It is related to the same basic “regal” which, strangely has an English alternative: “regular”. Can you grasp the association already? – regular – habitual – customary – traditional. The same applies with the Hebrew alternatives of the same root format “r-g-l”. It refers to “(walking) according to traditions” as well as to physical feet and legs. Thus, our Hebrew word “ruglaiv” could refer to “his customs”, “his regular habits, traditions”. The Alternative word in Hebrew for “Traditional Jewish/Rabbinic religious Custom” is “Halacha” (lit. The Walk) – from the root “to walk”. The overall relationship is clear!
We therefore submit an alternative and, most likely, closer translation of the text as follows: “The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the Mechoqeck (Law Giver faculty) based on (or from amongst) his customs and traditional interpretations…”
Gen. 49:10 “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver
(Mechoqeck) from between his feet …”
Now that we realize that this text could refer to Judah’s Customs or traditions rather than ‘feet’ or ‘legs’, let us have a closer look at the immediately preceding Hebrew word “mi’bein“, for which we have suggested the meanings of “based on” or “from amongst.”
We have since come across amazing further evidence. But first, let us place this discussion in proper context.
This whole in-depth discussion of Gen. 49:10 and its explicit Divine Mandate of the Tribe of Judah as God’s Lawgiver (Mechoqeck) has become necessary as a result of the world-wide awakening of Bible students to a Love for the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. This again has lead Bible students and commentators to the discovery of age-old Prophecies in the Bible regarding the End Time awakening of the Lost Ten tribers in exile across the world, to their original Hebraic Roots (in fulfilment of the Dry Bones Prophecy of Ezek. 37.
This Prophecy concludes:
Ezek. 37:11-14, “Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel (the context of the Bible clearly defines between ‘Judah’ – the Southern Kingdom of the Jews – and ‘Israel’ -the Northern Kingdom of the 10 Tribes, today the contested area of Shomron, referred to by the world as “the Occupied Territories”). They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign YHVH says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13Then you, my people, will know that I am YHVH, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put My Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I YHVH, have spoken, and I have done it, declares YHVH’”
Clearly, the Divine Intention is expressed of a Return to and settling of the Original Bible Land. World-wide, there are today a multitude of such reawakening non-Jewish Bible students who are increasingly becoming aware of a crave to identify with and return to the Land. Generally though, these people, who are no doubt reawakening 10 Tribers according to the Main Prophetic Message of the Bible, are strongly opposed to the “authority of the Rabbis” of Judah. This is no different from the rebellion of their ancient forefathers against the Mechoqeck authority of Judah – a rebellion which in fact caused their Exile and cit-off from the Covenant of YHVH with His People.
From the international political side, there is the world-wide pressure on the State of Israel to relinquish their ownership of the Shomron to their declared enemies, the Arabs. The Shomron happens to be the Original Heart Land of the 10 Tribes after the allotment of the Tribal Territories by Joshua (long before the erection of Jewish Jerusalem even).
The process of any possible Return to and settlement of the Land by these re-awakened Ten Tribers thus become entangled with their recognition or not of Judah, who happens to be the national rulers of this highly contested piece of Land. The entire Final Scenario of the Redemption and the Establishment of the Kingdom therefore hinges on this recognition!
Hence the importance of a correct interpretation of Gen. 49:10 – NOT to diminish from the importance of all else.
Having established the context and the importance of Gen. 49:10’s true meaning, let us now continue with our study – looking at the meaning of “from amongst”.
Recently, in searching for a Torah Command for the need and necessity “to settle the Land”, our attention was focussed on the following Scripture:
Joshua 22:19. (The historic time setting for this statement was in the time of the Tabernacle erected in Shiloh, and the Tribes having been allotted their areas, taking possession of it).
“… if the land of your possession is unclean, then cross over to the land of the possession of YHVH, where His Tabernacle stands, and take possession among us; but do not rebel against YHVH, nor rebel against us, by building yourselves an altar besides the altar of YHVH our God.”
If we read the entire chapter in context, then it is clear that the issue was about Identity and the settling of the Land. Because some of the Tribes lived East of the Jordan, they were concerned about retaining their identity with the nation of the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They therefore built an altar across the Jordan river “as a witness” between them and the nation in Shiloh, that they were intricately ONE nation, which the people from Shiloh interpreted as a break away from centralized and pure Torah worship. It almost caused a war between them.
Joshua’s reprimand to them should be a wake-up Call to re-awakening 10-Israel today: “Take possession of the Land from amongst us – do not rebel against HaShem and against His appointed guardians of Torah (Mechoqeck) and do not build yourself an alternative religion to the established Faith of HaShem.”
Here we have that concept of “from amongst” again. While the Hebrew word “mi-bein” (as used in Gen. 49:10) conveys the same meaning, Joshua uses the word “b’tocheinu“.
When we trace the meaning of “b’tocheinu“, we discover an amazing concept, represented by both words in Hebrew: the concept of “being intrinsically part of.” It becomes even more amazing when we find that the English words used for both concepts intertwine! Modern concepts have aroused the need for new Hebrew words to be created – and all these Hebrew and English words intertwine in the effort to give proper meanings. And the common link between the two words, both in Hebrew and in the English equivalents, define “intricate and intimate UNITY”.
Let us explain:
“b’tocheinu“ is the word used in Genesis 1 for “the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden.”
In Hebrew it is used for “dwelling amidst my own people”.
And then there is a host of modern concepts listed in the Hebrew dictionary which are linked to the root of this word, like intra-cellular, intravenous (injecting food, medicine directly into the blood – life-stream), intra-state, intra-national, etc (all denoting “intricate unity”).
“bein” similarly, is used for words like international, inter-oceanic, inter-personal, interplanetary. inter-state, inter-marriage, intermediary, inter-denominational.
Note the concept of total interlocking, binding, linking or uniting together across barriers as one, interconnecting them, the urge for unity underlying all these words.
So, Joshua pleads here for intrinsically intimate association between contending sectors of the nation, in order to settle the Promised Land It is this intimate relationship which seems so impossible to nurture between the two divided Houses of Israel today, much because of the opposing by 10-Israel of the concept which they abhor, i.e. to become intrinsically ONE with Judah.
Yet, ironically, these opposers of such intimate UNITY between the two Houses all have the same zeal and urge:
– to want to be one with Judah, but on their own conditions; according to their own likes and wishes which they want to base Torah on; according to their own interpretation, not Judah’s. Just like ancient 10-Israel!
Is this not what Joshua referred to and counseled against, viz. “building their altar beside the altar of HaShem our God, rebelling (like ancient 10-Israel) against HaShem, rebelling against (Joshua and Co.) Israel’s appointed leadership?”
This division has been evident for the last 2800 years between the two Houses of Israel – so much so, that the Shechinah (Visible Presence) of HaShem has departed from us.
The Return of the Shechinah awaits our Reconciliation! If God ‘departed’ because of strife and rebellion against His Directives, then surely, He would NOT return amongst these same conditions?
Surely, the onus is on US, the contending parties in this Divide
What an awesome responsibility! What a glorious achievement if we can bring it about!
Fine tuning our definition:
So, let us venture an alternative, and hopefully the inspired and correct translation of this phrase in Gen. 49:10:
“The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the Mechoqeck (Law Giver faculty) (which should be) intricately part of, or based on, his customs and traditional interpretations …which means, Rabbinic Oral Torah … until Shiloh comes …”
Reasoning from the common attack by opposers, that this refers to “Rabbinic man-made or self-made traditions,”, this interpretation will fall also. However, a few moment’s contemplation on where these “Rabbinic traditions” really originate from, will give the lightning flash of Tuth: viz. that it stems from a 3500-year faithful conglomeration of interpretations for Bible injunctions, many of which are NOT defined in the Bible at all. It comes from the time of Moses. It includes the deliberations of men who dedicated their lives to faithful examination, thought and discussion with equally dedicated thinkers throughout more than 3 millennia. Can you think of any other academic faculty that can make such claims?
Can we … shall we, merely discard these interpretations and guidelines with one foul swoop from the able, as most anti-Rabbinists do?
Gen. 49:10 “The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver(Mechoqeck) from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the obedience of the people (the nations) be.”
Summarising our findings from this study, it would be reasonable to suggest a descriptive paraphrased alternate for this text as follows:
“The rule and the tribal Identity shall not depart from Judah, nor his judicial and educational authority (Mechoqeck) based on his customs and traditional interpretations, until One like the Son of Man (representing the ove rcomers in the reconciled and re-united 12 Tribes of Israel) comes; and unto him (ultimate qualifying re-united 12-Israelites in the Likeness of God) shall the obedience of the nations be.”
What a Calling!!!! What a Great designation to miss out on if we fail!