The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1-11, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

WARNING: The text used for my commentary is my own paraphrase and must not be
considered “a translation” or authorative in any way. It is, in fact, simply my commentary.

Maps, when used, are from Created using BibleMapper 3.0.
Additional data from
Source of Dates Used

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

My short comments on the text are notated in “maroon pop-up text tipsMy comment is displayed like this.” which are accessed by “hovering” your mouse over the text or tapping your touch screen. [A few short comments look like this.] Longer comments are included in footnotes or links to other pages. Sometimes my paraphrase provides all the commentary needed to clarify the passage. I have added emphasis to some phrases simply to call them to your attention. Explanations of Greek and Hebrew words are from the NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries Copyright © 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved In order to get the most from these pages, please follow all the hyperlinks, nearly all of which will open in a new tab or window.

Introductory Notes and Comments
Bible Books Index  •  Global Notes  •  Biblical Numerology  •  Weights & Measures
Torah  •  Neviim  •  Kituvim  •  Apocrypha  •  Apostolic Writings

Approx reading time: 15 min.

Introduction to
My Paraphrase, Notes,
and Comments
on the Whole Bible

In This Article
Text Used
Another Paraphrase?
Destroyed Ethnicity
My Objective
Dates Used
Restoring the Sacred Name

• Comment on 3 July 2023

Old English Capital CCommentaries are great, but they are not a substitute for the Word. If you go to commentaries first, they may taint what God wants you to understand from His Word. You should read the Book and get to know the Divine Author. If you want to know what God is saying, read His Word, meditate upon it, and ask Him what He wants you to understand. As He is a very personal God, He may very well want you to understand something different than what He wants me (or some other commentator) to understand, just as He bestows different gifts to each of us. This commentary, like all commentaries, is a human project and subject to human error. After you have read the text of your own Bible, meditated upon it, asked God what He wants you personally to understand from the text, then by all means come back here and see some of the things he wanted me to understand.

[To Contents]

Text Used

Tanakh ScrollThe text I have used for my commentary is my own paraphrase[1] based primarily on The World Messianic Bible[2] (which is in the Public Domain) with constant reference to the original Hebrew and Greek texts, though I am in no way a language scholar. I have also leaned heavily upon the Online Bible Study Suite and the numerous additional translations available at the Bible Gateway site to develop my paraphrase.

I have paraphrased the text because my intent is to provide you with my understanding of (my comments on) the original writer’s idea and to clarify difficult ideas into modern terms. I also believe that to proprerly understand the intent of the Scrptures it is essential to view them from the ancient Hebrew world view, and that of the post-resurrection Messianic Jews of the early first century. That is, I believe that to correctly understand the Scriptures we must think like Yeshua’s Jewish talmidimdisciples thought in the early years after His Resurrection. Whenever I have done so, I have tried to ensure that the original text actually allows my rendering or paraphrase by comparing it with several other reliable modern translations.[3] It should not be considered in any way authoritative. I have also retained the Hebrew names of Jewish individuals and places because I believe an understanding of their ethnic identity is critical to a correct understanding of the Scriptures. I have also tried to keep my notes and comments conversational, as if you and I were seated together to discuss the text. While this may offend some as being “unscholarly,” I believe it will be more comfortable for the majority of readers. (See “Vocabulary Matters”)

I feel that I need to emphasize that my intent in this effort is not to present an accurate translation of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. For that I would refer you to other works, such as Robert Alter’s three-volume set The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary, in which he goes to great lengths to accurately preserve the flow and pace of the original Hebrew. My intent is to present the reader with what I consider the best meaning of the text in conversational English.

[To Contents]

Why Yet Another Paraphrase Version?

Something that has bothered me for a very long time about English translations of the Scriptures is that, as far as I know, the English Bible is the only body of “literature” that makes a concentrated effort to disguise the true ethnicity of the people involved by changing their names so they don’t sound quite so “Jewish.” When a book written in Spanish about a character named Juan Rodriguez is translated into English, the translator doesn’t translate the character’s name as John Rogers, because the author wants you to know he’s Hispanic. But when ambivalent (or sometimes openly antisemitic) English-speaking translators[4] render the Bible into English, all sorts of strange things happen.

This results in a total loss of who the characters are, how they live, and what they think. The entire history of the Israelites becomes not only Anglicized but also mythologized. All sorts of strange ideas and traditions creep into the text. This is especially so of the Apostolic Writingsthe so-called“New Testament”, resulting in terrible distortions of God’s message to mankind.

In Jewish thought,

A person’s Hebrew name is their life-force, and therefore has a tremendous impact on that person. The Kabbalists explain that when a child is born, a kind of spirit of prophecy rests on the parents, giving them foresight into what name they should give their child. This is because a name is intrinsically connected with the essence of the child, and is a critical component of the person’s makeup.[6]

For this reason, when a new name is introduced in the text, I usually provide the meaning of that name as a comment.

[To Contents]

Destroyed Ethnicity

But even worse than the total distortion of the ethnicity and true beliefs of the people involved, the entire message of the Apostolic Writings has become corrupted and all sorts of strange myths, unbiblical traditions, and anachronisms have become accepted as “Gospel truth.”

Whether it has been done out of ignorance or done intentionally to follow the example of the de facto first Roman Pope, Constantine, to eradicate everything Jewish from both the Church and the Holy Scriptures, the result has been to divide the Body of Messiah and to destroy the unity for which Messiah so fervently prayed (John 17:21) and for which the Apostles gave their lives (Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 3:9-11). It has also led directly, I believe, to nearly 2,000 years of persecution of the Jews by “the Church.” If the original “Jewishness” of the Scriptures, especially the Apostolic Writings, had been retained, the Jewish Messiah Yeshua would never have become the Gentile God “Jesus Christ” (a false prophet according to the Torah’s requirements for a prophet, categorically and rightfully rejected by Torah-believing Jews of all ages) and the Jewish Sect called “The Way” would still be a part of Judaism and would never have become “the Church.” How difficult it would have been for followers of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua to have persecuted Yeshua’s relatives in the name of the Jewish Messiah!

[To Contents]

My Objective

My primary objective for this effort is to provide brief explanatory comments on the entire Biblical text as well. I believe that Dr. David Stern has done an excellent job of preserving the “Jewishness” of the people and the message of the original text in his translation of the Complete Jewish Bible, and that is the version that I personally use as the “jumping-off point” for most of my own Bible study and devotional reading. However, I cannot afford the copyright use fees the publisher charges to use the CJB as the text for a commentary, so I had to find an alternative.

The World Messianic Bible, formerly known as the Hebrew Names Version, is in the Public Domain, but I do not believe the translators have gone far enough in retaining the real “Jewishness” of the Sacred Text. So using the WMB as a starting point, I have attempted to render the text a bit more faithfully to what I believe was the “ethnic flavor” of the original, and to that paraphrase I am in the process of adding my notes and comments. My hope is that you, the reader, will be able to experience the Scriptures as if you were one of the intended recipients of the original text.

The division of the Tanakh and Apostolic Writings into chapters and verses was originally done by medieval Christians, and only later adopted by Jews; however, very early on (probably before the Second Temple Period) the Jews “divided” the Torah into weekly portions, or parashot, and referred to each section by the first or key word or words of the section, much as we now refer to sections by chapter and verse. I have included the Parashot identification in my version of the Torah, as well as providing an index to all 54 parashot.

I anticipate this effort will probably take the rest of my life to complete, as I have already well exceeded my allotted “threescore years and ten,” but I will work as quickly as priorities allow and keep this section of my website as current as I possibly can. My prayer is that you will find this rendering of God’s Word useful and, hopefully, insightful.

Shalom b'Mashiach!

[To Contents]

Dates Used
(Added Sunday, 19 April 2020)

Dates used in the commentary on the Tanakh are taken from The Chronological Bible by Edward Reese and Frank R. Klassen and The Narrated Bible In Chronological Order by F. LaGard Smith. Except where otherwise indicated, dates are Klassen’s. (K) indicates Klassen’s dates;  (R) indicates Reese’s dates; (S) indicates Smith’s dates; * indicates my extrapolation from the above dates. Dates used in the commentary on the Gospels and Acts are from The Chronological Gospels ©1969 by Michael John Rood.

[To Contents]

Restoring the Sacred Name
(Added 21 August 2022)

After wrestling with this issue for over two years, I have finally decided that if I am trying in my Commentary to restore the Hebrew “flavor” of the Scriptures for English speakers, it is totally proper that I restore to the English Bible the true Hebrew name of the Creator of the Universe. Therefore, whenever the Sacred Name יְהוָֹה (yud-heh-vav-heh) appears in the original text, I will render it in English as Yehovah. I actually finally arrived at this decision just this morning. A few days ago I discovered a function in the Microsoft Edge browser that will read the page aloud by using the keyboard combination Ctrl+Shift+U or by using the menu function described HERE. When I had it read to me Hebrews 30 that I had just posted, I found that it cannot read Hebrew words, so when it came to the Name of the Creator that I had written as יְהוָֹה (yud-heh-vav-heh) it simply skipped and went to the next word! Simply skipping over (ignoring) the Name of the Creator and Emperor of the Universe? Unacceptable! I discovered that anyone with limited vision or any limitation such as dyslexia who might be using the reader function would be cheated out of the experience that I am trying to provide English-speakers. This is the event that finally resolved the issue (for me), so going forward I will render the Sacred Name in both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings as Yehovah. If this causes an issue for you, then by all means, vocalize the Name however God directs you. Please read my article “Some Thoughts on the Sacred Name.”

[To Contents]

3 July 2023

While watching a podcast video just now on the top 5 mistakes people make when “witnessing for Christ,” the speaker quoted the English Standard Version of Matthew 1:21: “‘She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’” I fully understand the speaker’s intent, but the sentence just doesn’t make any sense in either modern English or Koine Greek, which some people actually believe the angel was speaking to Yosef, who was to become Yeshua’s “step-father.” The sentence only makes sense in the original Hebrew language the angel was speaking: “‘She will give birth to a Son and you are to name Him ‘Salvation’ because He will “save” [i.e. be the salvation for] His people from their sins’” [my translation]. This is one of the major reasons that I chose to use my own paraphrase of the Scriptures for this commentary.

[To Contents]

  1. Please do not use my paraphrase as your primary Bible study tool. When studying the Scriptures to find out what God said, how He said it, and what you should do about it — rather than reading for meditation, enjoyment, or history — I would urge you to be very careful about the use of any but an “essentially literal” or “formal equivalence” translation (such as the New American Standard Bible, the Holman Christian Standard Bible, the English Standard Version, or the New Living Translation) that seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer. As such, the emphasis of these translations is on “word-for-word” correspondence, at the same time taking into account differences of grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. Thus they seek to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original. David Stern’s Complete Jewish Bible provides (as far as I am concerned) the best ancient Hebrew worldview translation of both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings and is the only translation that I am aware of that provides an accurate ethnic context of the Scriptures.

In contrast to the “essentially literal” philosophy, some Bible versions have followed a “thought-for-thought” rather than “word-for-word" translation philosophy, emphasizing “dynamic equivalence” rather than the “essentially literal” meaning of the original. A “thought-for-thought” translation (or paraphrase like mine) is of necessity more inclined to reflect the interpretive opinions of the translator and the influences of contemporary culture. If you choose to use my version for serious study, please do so with a “dynamic equivalence” version open beside you.

If you are going to be a serious student of the Bible you will need at least these minimum tools:

  • two or three “dynamic equivalence” Bible versions (to give you different ways verses have been translated)
  • an exhaustive concordance (for looking up verses to parse)
  • good Hebrew and Greek dictionaries or lexicons (a concordance will only show you the various ways a word has been translated; it will not give you the definition) [BACK]

 2. The World Messianic Bible is a Messianic version of the World English Bible, both of which are in the Public Domain. It is free to download in numerous formats including epub3, PDF, HTML, MSWord or LibreOffice, and more. The Deuterocanonical books are available in this version. Two MP3 audio versions are also available for free download.
Facts about the World English Bible:

  • Full name: World English Bible
  • Abbreviation: WEB
  • Complete Bible published: first draft in 1997, completed in 2020
  • Authorship: Michael Paul Johnson (editor-in-chief and main translator)
  • Derived from: American Standard Version 1901
  • Textual basis:
    Byzantine Majority Text by Robinson and Pierpont 1991.
       OT: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (with some Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls influence).
  • Translation type: Formal equivalence
  • Publisher:
  • Copyright: Public domain (copyright waived)
  • Website: [BACK]

 3. I strongly suggest you check out the valuable study tools on the BibleHub website. [BACK]

 4. Note that the vast majority of English Bible translators are gentile Christians who have little, if any, sensitivity toward the Hebrew character of the Sacred Text. This is not (in most cases) due to any overt animosity, but rather simply to a lack of proper understanding in that their academic training has been deeply rooted in Replacement Theology. [BACK]

 5. In an apparent effort to flatter the king who commissioned the 1611 English translation of the Bible, the “translators” arbitrarily changed the name of Messiah’s half-brother from Ya'akov to “James” (they rendered exactly the same name as “Jacob” in the “Old Testament”), apparently so the monarch could see his name in the Scriptures. The question needs to be asked, can we trust the accuracy of a translation in which the “translators” (who were not at all proficient in the Hebrew language) were specifically instructed to consider the traditions of the apostate Church of England of higher priority than accuracy of translation, and who place political favor above textual accuracy? And it begs the question, why haven’t more recent translators corrected this situation? Please see “Some of the Reasons I do not Trust the King James Translation.” [BACK]

6. Shlomo Chaim Kesselman, “Name Changes in the Bible (Torah),”, accessed 06/13/23.[BACK]

Page revised on Sunday, 19 April 2020
Page revised on Sunday, 21 August 2022
Page revosed on Tuesday, 13 June 2023
Comment added on Monday, 03 July 2023
Revised on Sunday, 27 August 2023

Page last updated on Monday, 02 October 2023 12:31 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

Blue Letter Bible Search Tool

Range Options:

e.g. Gen;Psa-Mal;Rom 3-9