By OvadYah Avrahami
DISCLAIMER – The author is co-founder of the KOL HATOR Vision Promotion through this Web Site. These views are the personal conclusions of the author based on the Written Hebrew Scriptures at our disposal and the Rabbinic sources quoted in the article and elsewhere on this Web Site.
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The Prophet Isaiah speaks about a “Stumbling Block and Rock of Offence” for the followers of the God of Creation:
Isaiah 8:14 “He will be a sanctuary, but for both Houses of Israel he will be a Stone they stumble over and a Rock of offense, and he will be a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
It is interesting to note the variance in wording between 50+ alternative Eng. translations
Purpose of this review
This overview is presented here by The KOL HATOR VISION in its endeavor to promote reconciliation between the two conflicting factions of the Family Nation of the God of Israel – His covenanted people. This friction has lasted now for some 2750 years, causing war, death, and hostility. It is our conviction that there cannot be a Final Redemption (Geulah) until these two striding factions have made peace with each other and reunited to serve the One True Creator God according to His Will (Torah).
Judaism today sees the ever-increasing Global tide of non-Jews (majorly Christians) who are turning to Torah principles and the faith of Judaism as a great risk for them, coming from ‘strangers who are usurping the Jews Torah’ for themselves. This may indeed not be the case. It is our conviction also that Divine Intention actually expects Judah (Judaism) to assist these souls into Torah observance in order for the Greatest Event at the Coming Climax of the Ages (the Geulah – Final Redemption) to come about.
Examining Isaiah 8 reference to ‘The Stumbling Block’
Who is this ‘Rock of Offence’?
We will quote the confirmation from the wider context of the Scripture portion itself:
Isa. 8, “13 The LORD of hosts [the Hebrew text uses His Sacred Name, i.e. God Himself], Him shall ye sanctify; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread … [and the text carries straight on into verse 14] …14 And He [God Himself] shall be for a sanctuary – but for a Stone of Stumbling and for a Rrock of Offence to both the Houses of Israel.”
The Hebrew text is even clearer on this: Yeshayahu 8,
The context of the entire chapter defines this event seemingly as part of Isaiah’s Prophetic warning to both Houses of their coming exile. Obviously, many reasons will be offered by Judah’s teachers as to how HaShem became a Rock of Offence and a Stumbling Stone for the Israelites to earn themselves exile from the Land, but we are examining here the Christian claim.
The Christian ‘Messianic’ claim.
We will review this claim in-depth here, for purposes of our endeavors to promote Reconciliation between Judah and re-awakening ‘Ephraim’ amongst the Christians. These two factions are made up of Jews (from the House of Judah) and the yet exiled House of Israel, 10 Tribes –unaware of their ancient Israel heritage and identity, being ‘lost’ amongst the Gentile nations, and most likely being part of the Christian Church from which many are now exiting in a masse Global Torah Revolution which is taking place with ever-growing intensity.
Why do we select these two groups here? Because of Christianity’s claims regarding a New Testament (N.T.) Messiah. Their claims ideally fit such a prospective personage judging from the great division between Judaism and Christianity in this regard. Christianity claims that Isaiah’s ch. 8 Prophecy regarding the Stumbling Stone and Rock of Offence refers directly to their Messiah and thus is a confirmation that he is “the Messiah whom Jews reject and are blinded for.”
Playing “Devils’ advocate”
I believe that dealing with this debate in this way, by assuming for the moment that the Christian claim is correct, should reveal to BOTH sides how ill-founded this Family Division between them really is. Such a realization and the revealing of the baseless division should assist in bringing awareness of and the actual formation of the much-needed Reconciliation required in order to bring about the Final Redemption and the Return of the Shechinah (Presence) of God amongst His People.
Thus, let us, for the moment then, assume that Christianity is correct in that the NT and its proposed Messiah did really fulfill Isaiah’s Prophecy. For sure, it is true that this NT Messiah has become a Stumbling Block and a Rock of Offence between Judaism and Christianity. But then, how has he become a Stumbling Block and Rock of Offence for NT believers who claim him as their beloved Messiah? He is indeed the main factor in the great division between Judaism and Christianity. But, the Scriptural statement that both sides are negatively affected by him raises great paradoxical issues which then prove both sides in error, which should be of great concern to all concerned, on both sides.
How do both sides err on this dividing topic?
Christianity has exalted him ABOVE the God of Creation by expecting Jews to worship “him (the son of God according to Christian theology) rather than his Father” …While indeed, Jews do worship “The Father, the Most High”. Christianity, generally and majorly, thus stumble across him by making him a false idol above the True God – a teaching for which the NT Messiah himself would have indeed reprimanded them for making him a false idol and thus a Rock of Offence to the Jews. In this way, Christianity breaks the first and most important Commandment (Exod. 20:1 – 5).
Judaism, on the other hand, stumbles across him by the idol definition that Christianity has given him and not realizing that Jews do not need him, for, by his own statement:
Matthew 15:24, “… he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (The Lost 10 Tribes, de-covenanted by God).
He also gave strict instructions to his followers NOT to go to the Jews with his message of the restoration of the House of 10-Israel (Matthew 10:6). He, therefore, poses NO THREAT to Jews and Judaism at all, for Jews ARE in Covenant with HaShem – while the House of Israel is divorced and de-covenanted by HaShem (Jer. 3) and in dire need of re-covenanting – which is the cause and mission, it seems, of the NT Personage.
Thus, if he did exist, then he should be an Ally of Judah, rather than a threat. Judah worships ‘The Father’, according to Who’s directives and wishes, Judah is obligated to assist the deceived and misled, stumbling 10 Tribers to worship the One True God together with them. Sadly then, if he did indeed come to re-covenant the Lost House of 10-Israel with the One True God of Israel, it would mean that Judaism stumbles across what they presume to be a Rock of Offence by not seeing him as an ally, but only as an enemy.
If then the “Christian NT Messiah” did indeed enter the Stage of History in order to draw back the Lost House of 10-Tribed Israel into re-covenanting with the One Only True God, then the two striding factions of the Family Nation of HaShem should seriously consider the following:
10-Israel / re-awakening Ephraim – should seriously re-consider Who their ‘Messiah” truly is – certainly NOT “the Son of the One Only True God of Israel Who knows no other God or Saviour”. And they should start adhering to what their NT Messiah reprimanded them to do, i.e to “Listen to the Scribes and the Pharisees who sit in Moses’s Seat and DO all they teach you …” (Matthew 23:2) and to worship the True God (the Father) only.
Judah (the Jews) – should stop fretting about an erroneous ‘offer’ made to them of ‘another God’ by Christians who do not fully know who and what they are worshipping. And Judah should wake up to the Divine Call to assist the exiles of Israel Home, which also is the Talmud Call for bringing Home the “Lost Child of Judah”(like the Anusim and millions of others who totally lost their maternal Jewish heritage linkage).
Judah, throughout history, has managed to conquer the greatest stumbling blocks on their way to return from exile and to re-erect Eretz Yisrael to Top-10 nation status in the World in just 70 years (1948 – 2018). They now need to overcome this greatest of Stumbling Blocks in the way to the Restoration of re-united 12-Tribed Yisrael – not by ‘worshipping another god’, but by resolving the Rock of Offense that Christianity has confronted them with, and come to regard it rather as their Ally to bring the Lost Children of Israel, from both Houses, Home and re-covenanted – and teach them to serve the Creator according to His Torah, of which He has mandated them to be His Mechoqeck (Lawgiver) until He returns to rule, through His elect who will serve as His Living Temple, over the nations in a Kingdom of Peace.