Translations conceal the Truth
Let us analyse the Scriptures for revelationary light on our topic – ‘The Return of the Captivity of 10-Israel” – Shav Shevoet Am Yisrael.
Amos 9:8 b, “‘Yet, I am not going to destroy the House of Jacob (12 tribes of Israel) completely,’ it is YHVH Who speaks, ‘For now I will issue orders and shake the House of Israel (10 tribes in exile or ‘captivity’) among all the nations (as in retaining the refined or precious in a sifting process)… (verse 12) That day I will re-erect the fallen Tabernacle of David (‘fallen’ when the kingdom of David was split into two and one part, the 10, sent into captivity, ‘away from ‘YHVH”), restore it’s ruins and rebuild it as it was in the days of old … It is YHVH Who speaks and He will carry this out.”
The question now arises: How and when is He going to restore “The Tabernacle of David”, the kingdom of David?
These questions are answered by the next verse in our quoted portion of Scripture. But, it is at this point that we now come to the realisation of how Truth has been covered under the mountains of rubble of wrong and concealing translations! We shall quote various translations of this particular text, in order to point out the vagueness transmitted by translations of this important Scripture. We shall then consider the original Hebrew, and discover an amazing revelationary Truth.
Amos 9:14 “I mean to restore the fortunes of My People Israel” (10-Israel, as established in verse 9) – as it appears in the Jerusalem Bible and Sterns Complete Jewish Bible. Here are a few more versions of the same text:
- Rotherham: “And I will bring back the captivity of My People Israel”.
- KJV “And I will bring again the captivity of My People Israel”
- Afrikaans “And I will change the lot of My People Israel.” (direct translation)
- Hebrew Version “And I will bring again the captivity of My People Israel”
- New World (JW) “And I will gather back the captive ones of My People Israel”
Let us look at the original Hebrew version of this text as it appears in Torah Scrolls in synagogues across the globe:
V’Shavti (And I shall Return) et Shavoet (the captivity) Ami Yisrael (of my nation Israel)
(which is the Heading of this study).
Admittedly, this is not an easy sentence to translate, hence the variations in different translations. In such difficult linguistic situations, the solution is to find and refer to other Scriptures where the same words or phrases are used. In comparing such usages then, especially with regard to the context in which it is used, one can reach conclusive conclusions.
The Jerusalem Bible, in a foot note to Ps. 14:7 where the same phrase is used, gives the following alternate meanings: “Return from exile, re-establishing, restoring, changing the fortune” – derived from its usage in Ps 85:1; 126:1; Amos 9:14; Hosea 6:11; Jeremiah 29:14; Ezek. 16:53; Deuteronomy 30:3.
‘Shavti’ (or the root ‘shav‘) also has the meaning of ‘Returning’, ‘repenting’ – as in Teshuvah (Repentance).
Deut. 30:3 presents us with the revelationary solution to our subject Hebrew phrase: “Shav et Shevoet” and its time setting. This is the exact phrase used in the original Hebrew of this text. It is important to note the emphatic context of not only this chapter 30, but of the whole section of Scripture, from chapter 27 to 30. This is one of the most clear and explicit sections, which in prophetic spirit, outlines the Blessings and the Curses that would befall the nation of Israel for observing or disobeying the Torah. And then we read in the concluding chapter:
Deuteronomy 30:1 “And when all these words come true for you, the Blessing and the Curse I have set before you; if you meditate on them in your heart wherever among the nations YHVH your God drives you; if you Return (Shav) to YHVH your God, if you obey His Voice with all your heart and soul in everything I enjoin on you today (i.e. the Laws, Statutes, Precepts and Commandments of YHVH), then YHVH your God will bring back your captives (‘shav et Shevoet’); He will have pity on you and gather you once again (Shav) out of all the nations where YHVH your God has scattered you. Had you wandered to the ends of the Heavens, YHVH your God will gather you even from there! He would come there to reclaim you and bring you back to the Land your fathers possessed … prospering there and increasing even more than your fathers.”
This prophesied Return is clearly a physical ‘national religious’ repatriation, a regathering of the exiles to their original Homeland and ‘statehood’ – thus requiring a masse ‘immigration’ in order to ‘bring them back to the Land their fathers possessed … to prosper there and increase even more than their fathers.”
Immigration to any country on earth requires compliance with the specific national requirements of the host country and acceptance of the laws and customs by the qualifying immigrants. The strange thing is that when it comes to fulfilment of the Divine Intention of ‘Repatriation of the estranged exiles’ back to Israel, then those who are exposed to it (the re-identifying Hebraic Roots restorers and professing ‘Messianic Israelites’) generally refuse to adopt and become intrinsically part of Israel and its Jewish nation, culture and religion. They want to immigrate but remain identified as non-Jews!
The common objection would be that “immigration to a country does not require change of one’s religion or adoption of the host country’s national religion.” Even a shallow observation of this particular repatriation exercise though, will tell us that in this case the very purpose of the repatriation has a ‘religious’ reason, more so because it is Divinely purposed by the very One Who claims to be the ‘God of Israel’. Scripture is clear that He Who guided ancient 12-Israel to His ‘Religious System’, which was patterned on the actual Heavenly System; He Who exiled His Own nation because they followed pagan practises – He would purpose to repatriate them from their unholy status to Return to His very Own ‘System’ – the Original True Faith as declared in the Bible. Would that repatriation then not also include the very religion of that country – in this case Israel and its ‘Jewish’ religion?
Notwithstanding the inconsistency in various translations of the Hebrew phrase ‘Shav et Shevoet’, it is clear from the context of our reading portion in the Book of Deuteronomy, that the correct translation of this verse should be “bring back the captives” i.e. repatriation of the re-identified nationhood.
Our key Scripture for placing the time element on this ‘Return’ and for identifying the subject characters to whom it applies, is Amos 9:8 referred to above. Let us read it again with this clear directive, given in Deut. 30, in mind.
Amos 9:8 b, “‘Yet, I am not going to destroy the House of Jacob completely,’ it is YHVH Who speaks, ‘For now I will issue orders and shake the House of Israel among all the nations … (verse 12) That day I will re-erect the fallen Tabernacle of David (the 12-tribed House of Israel with its ‘Jewish’ religious System), restore it’s ruins and rebuild it as it was in the days of old … It is YHVH Who speaks and He will carry this out … (verse 14) And I will Return the captives (Shav et Shevoet) of My People Israel. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. I will plant them in their own country, never to be rooted up again!”
This Return clearly refers to 10-Israel – and they are still in exile at this time of writing (originally Sept. 2002; still relevant 2012). However, there has been a great awakening amongst serious students of the Bible in the final decade of the 6th millennium – the 90’s. In a loosely knit, mainly unassimilated movement which has become known as the Hebraic Roots Restoration Movement, millions of dedicated Bible students from all faiths have been restoring that which they have been discovering in their search after Truth. In so doing they are taking one after the other tenet of the Jewish Faith upon themselves – the Sabbath, the ‘Jewish’ Feasts, Torah (Law) observance – in short, a Return to the Original Covenant of YHVH with Israel. Many of them are experiencing the spiritual urge and are seeking a way of emigrating to Israel in order to assist Judah in the reclaiming of the Promised Land. There is a general preparedness to lay down their lives in the battle (which Judah currently has to face alone) – an inspired “patriotism to Zion”, a land which many of them have never even seen yet! This spiritual urge to want to emigrate to Israel and assist Judah in reclaiming the Land, can not be anything but the fulfilment of the Prophecies of Shav et Shevoet Am Yisrael – the Turning of the Captivity of 10-Israel.
Paradoxically, most of these Torah observing Hebraic Roots Restorers still object to and discard the logical resolve of this Restoration Movement – namely, conversion to Orthodox Halachic Judaism!