This Study of the Holy Bible is a compilation using the "Companion Bible" (which uses the A.V. of the 1611 King James Bible as its text), Dr. Strong's "Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible", excerpts from "Smith's Bible Dictionary", notes taken from the teaching of Pastor Arnold Murry of the Shepherd's Chapel & other sources which are named in the notes.
The purpose of this work is to gain a deeper meaning and better understanding of the Holy Scriptures of our heavenly Father.
Great care is taken not to change the context of God's written Word to us, and great respect is given to those faithful servants of God Whom He raised up to bring His Word forward.
I. ELOHIM. occurs 2,700 times. Its first occurrences connects it with creation, and gives it its essential meaning as the Creator. It indicates His relation to mankind as His creatures (see note on 2 Chron.18:31, where it stands in contrast with Yahaveh [Eng. Jehovah} as indicating covenant relationship). 'Elohim is God the Son, the living "Word" with creature form to create (John 1:1. Col.1:15-17. Rev.3:14); and later, with human form to redeem (John 1:14). "begotten of His Father before all worlds; born of His mother, in the world." In His creature form He appeared to the Patriarchs, a form not temporarily assumed.
II. YAHAVEH. While Elohim is God as the Creator of all things, Yahaveh is the same God in covenant relation to those whom He created (cp. 2 Chron.18:31). Yehovah means the Eternal, the Immutable One, He Who WAS, and IS, and IS TO COME. The Divine definition is given in Gen.21:33. He is especially, therefore, the God of Israel; and the God of those who are redeemed, and are thus now "in Christ". We can say "My God", but not "My Yahaveh", for Yahaveh is "My God". The name Yahaveh is combined with ten other words, which form what are known as the "Yahaveh Titles". They are as follows in the order in which they occur in the Hebrew Cannon. All are noted in the text when they occur.
1. Yahaveh-Yireh= Yahaveh will see, or provide. Gen.22:14.
2. Yahaveh-Ropheka= Yahaveh that heals you. Ex.15:26.
3. Yahaveh-Nissi= Yahaveh my banner. Ex.17:15.
4. Yahaveh-MeKaddishkem= Yahaveh that does sanctify you. Ex.31:13. Lev.20:8; 21:8; 22:32. Ezek.20:12.
5. Yahaveh-Shalom= Yahaveh send peace. Judg.6:24.
6. Yahaveh-ZeBa'oth= Yahaveh of hosts. 1 Sam.1:3, and frequently.
7. Yahaveh-Zidkenu= Yahaveh our righteousness. Jer.23:6; 33:16.
8. Yahaveh-Shammah= Yahaveh is there. Ezek.48:35.
9. Yahaveh-'Elyon= Yahaveh most high. Ps.7:17; 47:2; 97:9.
10. Yahaveh-Ro'i= Yahaveh my Shepherd. Ps.23:1.
III. YAH is Yahaveh in a special sense and relation. It is Yahaveh as having BECOME our Salvation (first occ. Ex.15:2). He Who IS, and WAS, and IS TO COME. It occurs 49 times (7x7= Spiritual perfection intensified).
IV. EL is essentially the Almighty, though the word is never so rendered (see below, "shaddai"). El is Elohim in all His strength and power. It is rendered "God" as Elohim is, bt El is God the Omnipotent. Elohim is God the Creator putting His omnipotence into operation. Eloah (see below) is God Who wills and orders all, and Who is to be the one object of the worship of His people. El is the God Who knows all (first occ. Gen.14:18-22) and see all (Gen.16:13) and that performs all things for His people (Ps.57:2); and in Whom all the Divine attributes are concentrated. It is sometimes transliterated in proper names such as Immanu-'el, Beth-'el, &c., where it is translated, as explained in notes.
V. ELOAH is Elohim, who is to be worshiped. Eloah is God in connection with His will rather than His power. The first occ. associates this name with worship (Deut.32:15,17). Hence it is the title used whenever the contrast (latent or expressed) is with false gods or idols. Eloah is essentially "the Living God" in contrast with inanimate idols. Eloah is rendered "God".
VI. ELYON - first occ. in Gen.14:18 with El, and is rendered "the most high (God)". It is El and Elohim, not as powerful Creator, but as "the possessor of heaven and earth". Hence the name is associated with Christ as the Son of the Highest (Luke 1:35). It is Elyon, as possessor of the earth, Who divides the nations "their inheritance". In Ps.83:18, He is "over all the earth". The title occurs 36 times (6x6, the human number intensified). Elyon is the Dispenser of God's blessings in the earth; the blessings proceeding from a Priest Who is King upon His throne (cp. Gen.14:18-22 with Zech.6:13; 14:9).
VII. SHADDAI is in every instance translated "Almighty". It is God (El), not as the source of strength, but of grace; not as Creator, but as giver. Shaddai is the All-bountiful. This title does not refer to His creative power, but His power to supply all the needs of His people. Its first occ. is in Gen.17:1, and is used to show Abraham that He Who called him out to walk alone before Him could supply all his needs. Even so it is the title used in 2 Cor.6:18,where we are called to "come out" in separation from the world. It is always used in connection with El (see above).
VIII. ADON is one of three titles (Adon, Adonai, and Adonim), all generally rendered "Lord"; but each has its own peculiar usage and association. They all denote headship in varios aspects. They have to do with God as "over-lord".
(1) ADON is the Lord and Ruler in the earth.
(2) ADONAI is the Lord in His relation to the earth; and as caring out His purposes of blessing in he earth. With this limitation it is almost equivalent to Yahaveh. Indeed, it was from an early date so used, by associating the vowel points of the word Yehovah with Adon, thus converting Adon into Adonai. A list of 134 passages where this was deliberately done is preserved and given in the Massorah (section 107-1150).
(3) ADONIM is the plural of Adon, never used of man. Adonim carries with it all that Adon does, but in a greater and higher degree; and more especially as owner and proprietor. An Adon may rule others who do not belong to him. Hence without the article it is often used of man. But Adonim is the Lord Who rules His own.
The three may be thus briefly distinguished:-
Adon is the Lord as overlord or ruler.
Adomim is the Lord as owner.
Adonai is the Lord as blesser.
A. GENESIS. The beginning. All produced by the Word of God (Gen.1:3). Israel as a "family" (Gen.15:1). B. EXODUS. History. Israel emerging from Families and Tribes to a Nation. Called "Hebrews" according to their "tongue". C. LEVITICUS. Worship. Yahaveh in the midst. He, Israel's God; and they, His People. B. NUMBERS. History. Israel, now a "Nation", numbered, and blessed, as such (Ch. 23,24). A. DEUTERONOMY. The end. All depending on the Word of Yahaveh. Israel regarded as "in the Land".
II. THE PROPHETS(Nebi'in).
(The Former Prophets [Zech.7:7])A. JOSHUA. "The Lord of all the earth" giving possession of the Land. Government under Priests. B. JUDGES. Israel forsaking and returning to God; losing and regaining their position in the Land. "No king". Bethlehem. Failure under Priests. C. SAMUEL. Man's king "rejected"; God's king (David)"established". D. KINGS. Decline and Fall under the kings. (The Latter Prophets)D. ISAIAH. Final blessing under God's king. C. JEREMIAH. Human kings "rejected". David's "righteous Branch" "raised up". B. EZEKIEL. God forsaking Israel, and returning in glory, to say for ever of His Land and City "Yahaveh-Shammah". A. MINOR PROPHETS. "The Lord of all the earth" giving restored possessions of the Land, and foretelling final and unending possessions.
A. PSALMS. Tehillim. "Praises". God's purposes and councils as to His doings in the future. B. PROVERBS. I.e., Rules: Words which govern or rule man's life. God's moral government set forth. C. JOB. "The end of the Lord" shown in Satan's death, and the saint's deliverance from tribulation.
III. THE PSALMS(Kethubim, Writings)
(The Five Megilloth)D. CANTICLES. Virtue rewarded. Read by Jesus at Passover; the Feast which commemorates deliverance from Pharaoh, the Israeli oppressor. E. RUTH. The stranger gathered in to hear of, and share in God's goodness in Redemption. Read at Pentecost, which commemorates God's goodness in the Land. F. LAMENTATIONS. "Alas!" The record of Israel's woes. Read at the Feast of the ninth of Abib. E. ECCLESIASTES. "The Preacher". The people collected to hear man's vanity. Read at the Feast of Tabernacles, which commemorated God's goodness in the wilderness. D. ESTER. Virtue rewarded. Read at the Feast of Purim, which commemorates the deliverance from Haman, "the Israeli enemy".
C. DANIEL. "God's judgment". Here are shown the final defeat of Antichrist (=Satan), and all the deliverance out of "the Great Tribulation". B. EZRA-NEHEMIAH. Men who governed and ruled God's People in the resettlement of the Land. A. CHRONICLES. Dibrae hayyamin. "Words of the Days"; or God's purposes and councils as to Israel's dongs in the past, and until the time of the end.
The word Massorah is from the root masar, to deliver something in the hand of another, so as to commit it to his trust. Hence the name is given to the small writing referred to, because it contains information necessary to those into whose trust the Sacred Text was committed,so that they might transcribe it, and hand it down correctly.
The Text itself had been fixed before the Massorites were put in charge of it. This had been the work of the Sopherim (from sophar, to count, or number). Their work under Ezra and Nehemiah, was to set the Text in order after the return from Babylon; and we read of it in Neh.8:8. The Talmud explains that "the book" meant to original Text; "distinctly" means explaining it by the Chaldee paraphrase; "gave the sense" means the division of the words, &c., according to the sense; and "caused them to understand the reading" means to give the traditional pronunciation of the words (which were without vowel points)(Cp. Ezra 7:6,11). The men of "the Great Synagogue" completed the work. This work lasted about 110 years, from Nehemiah to Simon the first, 410-300 B.C.
The Sopherim were the authorized revisers of the Sacred Text; and, their work being completed, the Massorites were the authorized custodians of it. Their work was to preserve it. The Massorah is called "A Fence to the Scriptures", because it locked all words and letters in their places. It does not contain notes or comments as such, but facts and phenomena. It records the number of times the several letters occur in the various books of the Bible; the number of words, and the middle word; the number of verses, and the middle verse; the number of expressions and combination of words, &c. All this, not from a perverted ingenuity, but for the set purpose of safeguarding the Sacred Text, and preventing the loss or misplacement of a single letter or word.
This Massorah is not contained in the margins of any one Manuscript. No Manuscript contains the whole, or even the same part. It is spread over many Manuscripts, and Dr. C.D.Ginsburg has been the first and only scholar who has set himself to collect and collate the whole, copying it from every available Manuscript in the libraries of many countries. He has published in three large folio volumes, and only a small number of copies has been printed. (Pastor Arnold Murray of the Shepherd's Chapel has been allowed to receive and own a copy). These are obtainable only by the original subscribers. Dr. Bullinger (of which the greater part of this Biblical study I am preparing is taken from) was the only Christian Scholar that Dr. Ginsburg thought worthy enough and allowed him to proof-read the Massorah. (Do do think we have very many Christian scholars today that could read the Massorah?)
When the Hebrew Text was printed, only the large type in the columns was regarded, and the small type of the Massorah was left, unheeded, in Manuscripts from which the Sacred Text was taken.
When translators came to the printed Hebrew Text, they were necessarily destitute of the information contained in the Massorah; so that the Revisers as well as the Translators of the Authorized Version carried out their work without any idea of the treasures contained in the Massorah; and therefore, without giving a hint of it to their readers.
This is the first time (i.e.in the Companion Bible in which part of this study is taken from) that an edition of the A.V. has been given containing any of these treasures of the Massorah, that affect so seriously the understanding of the Text. A vast number of Massoretic notes concern only the orthography, and matters that pertain to the Concordance. But many of those which affect the sense, or throw any additional light on the Sacred Text, are noted in the margin of the Companion Bible (and in the notes in this particular study).
Some of the important lists of words which are contained in the Massorah are also given, namely, those that have the "extraordinary points"; the "18 emendations" of the Sopherim; the 134 passages were they substituted Adonai for Yahaveh; and the Various Readings called Severin. Other words of importance are preserved in the notes.
Readers of the Companion Bible are put in possession of information denied to former generations of translators, commentators, critics, and general Bible students.
For further information on the Massorah see Dr. Ginsburg's "Introduction to the Hebrew Bible", of which only a limited edition was printed; also a small pamphlet on the Massorah published by the King's Printers.