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A Great Light

Matthew 4:12-17

12 When Yeshua heard that Yochanan had been put in prison, he returned to the Galil (Galilee); 13 but he left Natzeret (Nazareth) and came to live in K’far-Nachum (Capernaum), a lake shore town near the boundary between Z’vulun (Zebulun) and Naftali (Naphtali). 14 This happened in order to fulfill what Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) the prophet had said,

15 “Land of Z’vulun and land of Naftali, toward the lake, beyond the Yarden, Galil-of-the-Goyim 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; upon those living in the region, in the shadow of death, light has dawned.”

17 From that time on, Yeshua began proclaiming, “Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”

The prophecy above is from Isaiah 8/9. The CJB has the verse as at the last one in chapter 8. Other versions place it in chapter 9 at the beginning. Another prophecy fulfilled and we are only in chapter 4!

In order to fully understand the boundaries mentioned, one must look at where the different tribes settled when they were given the land. Todd and I taught about this on Israel Experience Trips. Nazareth and Capernaum were located in the territories of Zebulun and Naphtali.

Where did Jesus come from? Nazareth.

What city did He make His home town once He left Nazareth? Capernaum.

For those who chose to read the prophets and believe, they understood that Jesus was the Great Light they had been told about. Those living in those regions, whether Jew or Gentile, were now given the opportunity recognize WHO Jesus was and as He began to teach many began to follow.

There is a huge study that can be done about the different tribes and where they lived. Another major one that we teach about is the tribe of Dan. Some people really enjoy this aspect and understanding, others wonder why it is significant.

As I have begun to follow the Hebraic understanding of our Scriptures, I realize there are layers and layers to pull back. So much to continue to learn. I shared with a friend the other day that it just keeps going deeper. It is like a well that never runs dry.

I don't want to leave today without reminding us of the last line in this section. These are Words that Jesus spoke:

“Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”

We can study and gain knowledge, but without understanding the basics of what Jesus taught and truly having a relationship with God, the rest just puffs us up and does not bring freedom. Without remembering that we are to turn from our sin, we miss the mark and become like the Pharisees and Sadducees; religious leaders following traditions of men instead of the LIFE giving Torah teachings from Adonai.

I encourage you to study and go deep, but never forget the JOY of the relationship with God.

Shabbat Shalom,


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