“The passing under the Shepherd’s Rod”
Ezekiel 20:32-34 “And that dream ever haunting your mind, when you say, ‘We shall be like the other nations, like foreign tribes, As I live – I swear it, it is the Lord YHVH Who speaks – I am the One Who will reign over you. With a strong Hand and outstretched Arm … I will bring you out from the nations and gather you together from foreign countries amongst which you have been scattered … I mean to make you pass under My Rod and I will bring a few of you back. I will sort out the rebels who have rebelled against Me”
- Israel craved for assimilating with and identifying with the ‘other’ nations – but YHVH ‘jealously’ insists that they belong to Him (as one would insist of a Bride who belongs to you!)
- The “passing under the rod” is referred to in Leviticus 27:32 concerning the tithe of the Flock, as the shepherd counts the sheep passing under his rod, to tap every tenth sheep on the head as the tithe unto YHVH. Then the shepherd would gather them together and take them to the Temple in Jerusalem. A further cross-reference to this Scripture is Jer. 33:7 (speaking of Israel coming back into the Land and to Jerusalem). “I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem … (verse 11) and this Land, as they were before. YHVH declares it! … (verse 9) And Jerusalem shall be My theme of Joy, My Honour and My Boast before all the nations of the earth! …(verse 13) In all the towns of the highlands, of the lowlands, of the Negev, in the Land of Benjamin, in the districts round Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, once again the flocks shall pass under the Hand of Him Who counts them – YHVH declares it!”
- YHVH does the counting; He is the Shepherd Who gathers His exiled Flock back to His favored Land and City.
- As in Tithing of the flock, every tenth one is selected, nine go forth on their way. This confirms the Scriptural directive: “Narrow is the Gate – and many will not find it.”
- A new parameter for defining the True Messiah is introduced here: The One Who counts His flock – The Good Shepherd.
- Who is the True Shepherd?
Isaiah 40:9b-1 “Shout without fear, say to the towns of Judah: ‘Here is your God – Here is the Lord YHVH, coming with Power!’. His Arm subduing all things to Him … He is like a Shepherd, feeding His Flock, gathering lambs in His Arms, holding them against His Breast and gently leading those who are with young”
Ezekiel 34:11-13 ” For the Lord YHVH says this, ‘I am going to look after My Flock Myself … As a Shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep My sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered … I shall bring them out of the countries where they are; I shall gather them together from foreign countries and bring them back to their own Land. I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel … in every inhabited place in the Land. I shall feed them in good pasturage … I Myself will pasture My sheep. I Myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord YHVH Who speaks – I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong … I shall be a True Shepherd unto them.”
Jeremiah. 31:8 -10 “Listen, nations, to the Word of YHVH … ‘He Who scattered Israel gathers him. He guards him as a shepherd guards his flock.'”
Jeremiah 23:3 “The remnant of My Flock I Myself (YHVH, from the foregoing verse) will gather from all the countries where I have dispersed them and will bring them back to their pastures. They shall be fruitful and increase in numbers.”
There can be no doubt that YHVH Himself is the Shepherd, the Savior of Israel. Yet, the very next verse (Jer. 23:5,6) is a famous Messianic announcement, referring to the Coming of “a virtuous Branch – Who will reign as True King” of Israel. “In His Days Judah will be saved and Israel dwell in confidence.” This, no doubt, refers to His “Second Coming” “And this is the Name He will be called: ‘YHVH our Integrity'”
One certainly needs no theological degree to construe from these identifying markers, that the Messiah is YHVH Himself! But, let us check from the Brit HaChadasha (New Testament), what YAHU’SHUAH the Messiah testifies regarding Himself:
John 10:14 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My Own, and My Own know Me … (verse 16) And there will be only One Flock and One Shepherd.”
Note: If YHVH is the Good Shepherd, as we have conclusively proven from the Tanach above; if YAHU’SHUAH the Messiah claims to be the Good Shepherd, and if there will be ONE Shepherd only – then YAHU’SHUAH must be that Shepherd of the scattered sheep of Israel – YHVH God of Israel Himself!
John 10:11 “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd is One Who lays down His Life for His sheep … (verse) I lay down My Life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from Me … as it is in My Power to lay it down, so it is in My Power to take it up again.”
Note: The True Messiah has the Power over His Own Death! There is only One God Who has the Power over Life and Death.
Conclusion: The True Messiah is identified as being YHVH Himself, the Savior and Shepherd of Israel
We will now survey some controversial evidence of the True Messiah, from Jewish traditional literature Sources:
The Twelfth of the Principles of Faith of Judaism, reads as follows: ” I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah. Even though He may tarry, I will eagerly await his coming everyday.” Maimonides Commentary on the Mishnah/Sanhedrin
The Twelfth Principle of the Jewish faith states that a Jew must believe in Messiah, along with the regathering of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Rambam Mishnah Torah: The Rambam stated that, “Anyone who does not believe in Meshiach, or whoever does not look forward to His coming, denies not only the teachings of the other prophets but also those of the Torah and of Moshe our teacher.”
The re-gathering of the Tribes of Israel is one of the signs of the true Messiah in Judaism. According to Rambam: “The Messianic King will arise in the future and restore the Davidic Kingdom to its former state and original sovereignty. He will build the Sanctuary and gather the dispersed of Israel. All the laws will be reinstituted in His days as they were aforetimes, sacrifices will be offered, and the Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years will be observed fully as ordained by the Torah.”
Sanhedrin 110b; Bemidbar Rabba 16: 25: “The ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, exiled by the Assyrians before the destruction of the Temple and dispersed beyond the river ambation and the ‘Mountains of Darkness’ will also return.”
Rashi’s confirmation regarding Shiloh: In the blessing over Judah in Genesis 49:9-12, Jacob prophesied of a Coming One from Judah called Shiloh, and to Him would be the Gathering (obedience) of the peoples. The rabbis know that this is speaking of Messiah! Rashi wrote: “This (Shiloh) means the Messianic King, for the Kingdom is His ..”
Testimony of the Jewish High Priest in Messiah’s time – from the ‘New Testament’: John 11:51 “… It was as High Priest that Caiaphas made this Prophecy that Messiah was to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather together in unity the scattered children of God.”
Note: How Messiah is proclaimed as the One to bring about the re-gathering of the exiles of Israel, proclaimed in the Tanach to be YHVH Who would initiate this ‘by Himself’ personally.
Messiah’s Own Testimony regarding who these ‘scattered children of God’ are: Matthew 15:24, YAHU’SHUAH states, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” And He sent His disciples to the ‘Lost sheep of the House of Israel’ only (Matt. 10:5,6)
Therefore, YAHU’SHUAH the True Messiah is:
- The Shepherd of the 12 Tribes of Israel;
- He gathers them from the far corners of the earth where they have been scattered amongst the nations for their contempt of His Covenant;
- He will lead them back to the physical Land of Israel to resettle them;
- He will unite the scattered Tribes of Israel into One;
- He will renew His Eternal Covenant with them.