Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jeremiah 23:6 - Our Righteousness

Lo, days are coming -- an affirmation of Jehovah, And I have raised to David a righteous shoot, And a king hath reigned and acted wisely, And done judgment and righteousness in the earth. In his days is Judah saved, and Israel dwelleth confidently, And this his name that Jehovah proclaimeth him, `Our Righteousness.' -- Young's Literal Translation

Jeremiah 23:5- Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and act wisely, and He shall do justice and righteousness in the earth.
Jeremiah 23:6 - In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. And this is His name by which He shall be called, Jehovah our Righteousness. -- .Green's Literal translation.
Many quote the above scripture to support the claim that Jesus is Jehovah. The claim is that Jesus is being called "Jehovah (Jehovah) in Jeremiah 23:6, thus Jesus must be Jehovah.
We have shown elsewhere that Jesus is the Son of the unipersonal God, he was sent by Jehovah, he spoke for Jehovah, etc.
See:
Jesus is Not Jehovah
But let us examine how Young renders Jeremiah 23:5,6:

Lo, days are coming -- an affirmation of Jehovah, And I have raised to David a righteous shoot, And a king hath reigned and acted wisely, And done judgment and righteousness in the earth. In his days is Judah saved, and Israel dwelleth confidently, And this his name that Jehovah proclaimeth him, `Our Righteousness.' -- Young's Literal Translation
We should note that verse 5 definitely tells us that it is Jehovah who raises to David a righteous shoot. This, in itself, should tell us that the "righteous shoot" of David is not Jehovh. In answer our trinitarian neighbors explain call up the spirit of human imagination so as to read into the scriptures that Jehovah is more than one person, thus one person of Jehovah raises another person of Jehovah as the "righteous shoot of David." They do not seem to realize that this explanation has to be added to the scriptures, since the Bible no where speaks of Jehovah as being more than one person.
Nevertheless, notice that Young renders the the expression: "this is the name that Jehovah proclaimeth him, 'Our Righteousness.'" This translation does away with any thought that Jesus is being called Jehovah.
Regarding Jeremiah 23:6, Paul S. L. Johnson states (Books of the Bible expanded to full name):

This trinitarian doctrine contradicts the fact that in the Bible God's Name, Jehovah, applies to the Father alone, and is never used as the personal name of the Son, who repeatedly in contrasted passages is shown not to be Jehovah; for He is in them distinguished from the Father, who by contrast is alone called Jehovah. In Isaiah 42:6-8, not only is the name Jehovah applied to the Supreme Being as His exclusive name; but as Jehovah he is shown not to be the Son, who is here represented as being called, held, kept, given by Jehovah, which is the Hebrew word used in the text always where we have the word LORD written entirely in capitals in the A. V., as is the case with the word LORD used in Isaiah 42:6-8. Jeremiah 23:6, when properly translated, markedly distinguishes between God as Jehovah exclusively, and Christ. Trinitarians have grossly mistranslated and miscapitalized this passage to read their trinitarianism into it, as they have done in other cases. The proper translation shows that Christ is not Jehovah: "This is the name which Jehovah shall call Him [Christ], Our Righteousness." Please compare this with 1 Corinthians 1:30. Thus He is Jehovah's appointed Savior for the world, not Jehovah Himself. See the literal translation of Dr. Young, who, though a trinitarian, translates it substantially as we do. While mistranslating Jeremiah 33:16, they have not miscapitalized it, and that because they doubtless feared the same kind of capitalization would suggest that the Church was also Jehovah, which their translation actually makes of her, if their procedure in Jeremiah 23:5,6, be allowed to rule as a parallel case. Here the proper translation is: This is the name that Jehovah shall her, Our Righteousness. The following are the violations of grammar committed in almost all trinitarian translations in rendering these two closely resembling passages: They have rendered an active verb, shall call, as a passive verb -- shall be called; they have made the subject of this active verb, Jehovah, an attributive object, hence one of its objects, and they have made the object of this verb, him, its subject, he shall be called; so greatly did their error on the trinity blind the translators to these elementary matters of Hebrew syntax. Rightly translated, the first passage proves that Jesus is not Jehovah, while the false translation of both passages makes Jesus and the Church, Jehovah, which on trinitarian principles would give us 144,003 in one! Rightly translated, how clearly Jeremiah 23:6 distinguishes between Jehovah and Christ, and Jeremiah 33:16 between Jehovah and the Church!
--- from "Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures",Vol. I - God, (by Paul S. L. Johnson) pages, 478,9.
Another suggested way of translating the Hebrew phrase is "Our righteousness of Jehovah".
The following is a quote from the book, The Lord Our God is One. We have expanded scriptural references to the full name of the Bible books.

We are told that in Jeremiah 23:5,6, our Lord Jesus is called Jehovah, for that prophecy respecting Messiah reads, "And this is the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jehovah-Tsidkenu)."

They fail to point out, however, that in Jeremiah 33:16 the church, pictured by Jerusalem, is called by the same name: "and this is his name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness (Jehovah-Tsidkenu)."

Certainly the church is not a part of or persons of Jehovah. To bolster their prejudice, the translators had the words printed in capitals in the first instance, but tucked it away with small letters in the second. Jehovah-Tsidkenu could more properly be translated, "Our Righteousness of Jehovah" —a fitting title for our Lord Jesus, who in execution of the Father’s will has become the source of justification for believers in his name. The title is appropriate also for the church, to whom is committed the ministry of reconciliation, the great commission of bringing sinners back into harmony with God. —- 2 Corinthians 5:20; Revelation 22:17*

*For other examples of the use of Jehovah in a compound word, see Genesis 22:14; Exodus 17:15; Judges 6:23.24.
Notwithstanding, even if we allow for the translation as it appears in the World English Bible translation: "Yahweh our righteousness," or as it appears in the New Revised Standard Version: "The Lord is our righteousness", it does not follow that this means that Jesus is Jehovah, it would only mean that this is a title given to him, similar to the titles given in Genesis 22:14, Exodus 17:15, and Judges 6:23,24. The title given to the altar by Moses, "Jehovah our Banner", does not mean that the altar is Jehovah. (Exodus 17:15) Nor does the title given to the altar by Gideon, "Jehovah is peace", mean that that altar was Jehovah. Nor should we think that the title given to the seed of David in Jeremiah 23:6 would mean that the promised one was actually Jehovah himself. We need to remember that the same title is given to Jerusalem (antitypically the church). (Jeremiah 23:16) If it means that Jesus is Jehovah, then it would also mean that the church (Jerusalem) is Jehovah. In truth, there is nothing in Jeremiah 23:16 that shows that Jesus is Jehovah.
Objection

In Samson Levey's The Messiah, An Aramaic Interpretation, in giving rabbinic parallels to the targum on Jer 23:1-8, we read (page 70):

'What is the name of the King Messiah? R. Abba b. Kahana said: His name is "the Lord"; as it is stated. And this is the name whereby he shall be called. The Lord is our righteousness (Jer 23:6)' Lamentations Rabbah 1:51.
Isn't this proof that this scripture means that Jesus is Jehovah?

Actually, no, for this is only someone's opinion. We should not place our trust in Jewish tradition, which is often wrong. -- Matthew 12:1-8; 15:2-20; Mark 7:3-9; Luke 6:1-11; Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 1:4; 4:7; Titus 1:14; 1 Peter 1:16,18.

We do not have a copy of the "Lamentation Rabba", or "Lamentations Rabbah" so that we are not fully able to evaluate what is said there, but the online nationmater.com encyclopedia, under "Midrash", states concerning this: "Eicha Rabba, Lamentations Rabbah (seventh century) Lamentations Rabbah has been transmitted in two versions. One edition is represented by the 1st printed edition, 1519 Pesaro; the other is the Buber edition, based on manuscript J.I.4 from the Biblioteca Casanata in Rome. This latter version (i.e. Buber) is quoted by the Shulkhan Arukh, as well as medieval Jewish authorities. It was probably redacted sometime in the 5th century."
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Midrash also online at:
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Midrash
At any rate, this Jewish literature is not the source for a basis of how Jeremiah 23:6 should be viewed. The scriptures themselves gives us the proper viewpoint when taken as a whole, as demonstrated above.

2 comments:

  1. This should answer both questions: (From Rev.Young's Lit. Trans.)
    1Co 15:24 "then -- the end, when he (Jesus) may deliver up the reign to God, even the Father, when he may have made useless all rule, and all authority and power --
    1Co 15:25 for it behooves him (Jesus) to reign till he may have put all the enemies under his feet --
    1Co 15:26 the last enemy is done away -- death;
    1Co 15:27 for all things He (the Father) did put under his (Jesus) feet, and, when one may say that all things have been subjected, it is evident that He (the Father) is excepted who did subject the all things to him (Jesus),
    1Co 15:28 and when the all things may be subjected to Him (the Father), then the Son also himself shall be subject to Him (the Father), who did subject to him (Jesus) the all things, that God (the Father) may be the all in all." Apostle Paul is writing very plainly.

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    Replies
    1. I am not sure what is meant to say in connection with Jeremiah 23:6.

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