To Be Or Not To Be...

…that’s the question. (Shakespeare) To have is not really that important. What one has, it can be taken away; what one is, he or she is not matter what.

When Jesus climbed up the Mount of the Beatitudes in the Galilee, a crowd of Jews took accommodations all the way down the mountainside to listen to a famous sermon, which became known in the realm of Literature as “The Sermon of the Mount.”

The People were more interested to hear what he had to say about their Faith than about themselves. They became more than satisfied to have both. Even surprised at the Rabbi of Galilee, where after all something good was indeed possible to come from.

The satisfaction reached the People as they saw their Faith, Judaism, being cofirmed down to the letter; even further down to the dot of the letter. Especially, as the Preacher would forward himself as an example of fulfilment before requiring that all the People were bound to adhere to all the injunctions of the Law. (Mat. 5:17-19)

Then, came the surprise, which made the People see what they were, and not only what they had. That was a way they had never looked at themselves as, which was about to change. “You are the salt of the earth” said Jesus. “You are the light of the world.” (Mat. 5:13,14)

If Jesus had said, you have the salt of the earth or you have the light of the world, Replacement Theology could be justified, because what one has, it can be taken away; but what one is, he or she is, no matter what. Jesus had just made impossible, not only a change of the elect, but also a transfer of the election.

Jesus was quite aware that the Almighty could never renounce Israel who had been betrothed to Him. Israel would be chastised, but it would be the chastisement of the jealous lover, longing to bring back the beloved to the fresh and pure joy of their first love.

Shakespeare was right: "To be or not to be, that’s the question.


I agree with this statement. What are you driving at in this post?


Ben Masada,
I appreciated reading your post here. I wonder two things from reading your ideas:

  1. When Isaiah wrote, 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    and when Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
    2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

couldn’t it be possible that He was saying, in effect, that you will be what you are but you can change through repentance? The change of heart is what would make a person the “light of the world”, it seems to me. The expression seems to me to be saying that a person who lives by the Sermon on the Mount teachings will be an example to everyone they meet.

  1. How familiar are you with the book of Hosea?

Thanks for your thoughts.

I agree with you Ben. Didn’t the ancient Israelites view Israel as the earth and salt attributed to the sea, being Gentiles?:shrug:

It appears to me that you are saying that the Jews were the elect and this status couldn’t be transferred to the Gentile believers. Is that your point?

To the understanding of the difference between to be and to have. That our relationship with God is not base on what we have but on what we are. Therefore, our place in the Council of God can never be taken from us or transferred to another people. That other people can join us but never replace us.

**Jesus did not quote Isaiah 61:1. He was a learnt Jew and he knew that it was Isaiah speaking about himself as the one taken by the Spirit of God to preach to Israel, the Ten Tribes about the approaching catastrophe of the war with Assyria. God in a vision asked him whom to send with that mission, and Isaiah volunteered himself to be the one. Then, in general, Isaiah 61;1 refers to the whole People of Israel who had been given as light unto the Gentiles. (Isa. 42:6) That quotation of Isaiah 61:1 was a later intepolation to document the Christ of Paul.

Regarding the book of Hosea, I am quite familiar. What would you like to talk about?**

**And that’s how Jesus himself viewed Israel, as you can see from Matthew 5:13. **

**Way to go Claire! As I can see, you did get the point of the thread. That’s exactly what I mean. But I must add that the Gentiles are welcome to join the Divine election according to Isaiah 56:1-8. **

Ben Masada,
I would be interested in your thoughts about Hosea 1:10, 2:18-23, and 3:4-5. I would also be interested in your thoughts about the tribe of Ephraim (descendants of the kingdom of Israel) in the “latter days”. (3:5)

Well Ben, its not like anyone doubts that the Jews are the people of God, we know this. But after the sacrifice of Christ all people were able to become the people of God. It does not mean the Jews are no longer the people of God, it means that all can be the people of God. And just as prophecy dictated they became the light to the Gentiles. But now all people can be the people of God, and just as the Jews are the children of Abraham now all people can be the spiritual children of Abraham.

**Listen TheQuestioner, it has never been different. The invitation is out to everyone to be part of the People of God. Since the day Isaiah wrote chapter 56, verses one to eight. Then, and only then, we all will be light unto the rest of the world, according to Isaiah 42:6. **

**That’s exactly what my point is. **

**Sorry, but I do not understand your analogy here. **

Most of this OP I agree without a problem, except with opposing “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world” with another word from Jesus’ mouth, “Whoever has will have more, while whoever has not will lose what he seems to have”. They are complementary, not opposing statements! And this will be all I’ll say on this thread. Shalom!

**Hosea 1:10 - The etimology, “as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered,” is a prohibition to make any census of the People. The People should not be counted. Man as an individual has freewill and master of his independence. But the People as a people belongs to God. David broke that law by ordering a census of the People and the whole Country suffered as a result of a plague. (II Sam. 24:10)

With regards to the expression, “You are not My people;” and then, “You are the sons of the Living God,” is a reference to the rejection of Israel the Ten Tribes as Tribes apart from Judah, and then, one with Judah as one nation under the Government of Judah.

Hosea 2:18-23 - That’s pretty much the same as above, with the plus for the New Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah as one People according to Jeremiah 31:31.

Hosea 3:4,5 - It’s a reference to the 70 years in exile in Babylon, which at they returned to the Land of Israel, thousands of the ancient Tribes joined to Judah in recognition again of David as it was prior to the split of the Tribes. Only from the Levites, two thirds joined back to Judah.

There was never only the Tribe of Ephraim. Ephraim had become the generic name for the whole Ten Tribes, because Ephraim, Joseph’s younger son had been granted the second birthright created for the moment by Jacob when this blessed Joseph’s sons and adopted them as his own for the effects of the Blessing of the Firstborn. **

I appreciated your perspective on these verses. Why would the words “latter days” in 3:5 refer only to the return from exile in Babylon? Why not much later in time in the history of the world?

I agree about the tribe of Ephraim being the generic name for the whole Ten Tribes. I think there is more to Hosea’s prophecy than just the immediate time frame of the exile and return. I think Hosea and Isaiah often prophesied about our day and time, or sometimes gave dual prophecies about their day and also our day. Have you thought about those possibilities?

Thanks for your thoughts.

**Hey! Not so fast! You cannot just hit and run. Jesus’ analogy of the one who has should have more versus the one who does not have, even what he has should be taken away, has nothing to do with to be or not to be of my thread. Jesus was referring to what one has and staying idle by not growing or producing more to increase what he has. Then, it’s only obvious that he will lose even what he has. It rather confirms my thread that what you have can be taken away. When you double and triple what you have, it’s an evidence that you have what it takes to be what you are. **

Maybe, but you should know better what Jesus meant in this enigmatic way, and it had nothing to do with this world, but with the Kingdom of God and the world to come. There. No hit and run here. Now, if you’ll excuse me… Shalom! And please be kind enough to let me go. I have just said what I have to say. Please and thank you…

Shalom Lapell, and God bless you too with a special blessing from Yerushalaim.

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