Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Behold, I will make
[07760] suwm
[03389] Y@ruwshalaim
a cup
[05592] caph
of trembling
[07478] ra`al
unto all the people
[05971] `am
round about,
[05439] cabiyb
when they shall be in the siege
[04692] matsowr
both against Judah
[03063] Y@huwdah
[and] against Jerusalem.
[03389] Y@ruwshalaim

Cup of trembling- caph (gate/door) ra'al (veils/trembling.)

Just as caph was translated as "cup", it's companion
ra'al is translated as "trembling" when it's literal
meaning is a woman's veils.

It's odd that this phrase was completely interpreted
for it's allegory, or point of view of the English
translator, when the linear meaning takes it to
another dimension. It's an over-simplification
to try to find a colloquial equivalent to this
profoundly deep original meaning.

Caph is only used to denote "cup" in this one
verse, and ra'ah is inferred to represent
"trembling" insofar as a woman's veils
would rustle in the wind or when she

HOWEVER, is this what the Holy Spirit
said that the prophet transcribed in his
literal pen? He begins the somber prediction
of the Apocolypse with the benediction of
God's true authority as the author of
creation, of the heavens and the one
who imparted the breath of life into
being.. This is quite literal. So the
second verse, while leading to prophecy
is quite literal as well.

Yet, the tradition with all prophetic works
which are part of the eschatology of God's
Plan is to expect purely symbolic language.
Which is fine, if the symbols are accurate...

Obviously I believe there is an over-simplification
and thus a disservice in the weak English
counterpart. While "cup of trembling" has
a resonance and conveys a poetic doom,
it has no bite for me.

The original words which encompass all the
awesome and fierce ceremonial gates which
led to the Holy of Holies, especially the
doors which led to the Mercy Seat which
only the High Priest had the authority to
enter and only after sufficient sacrificial
ceremonies and ablutions, are missing
in the English translation.

If we can embrace the Hebrew words in
context, then we are transported to an
even loftier meaning. While women of
this era wore veils for modesty, and while
these veils may have "trembled", the inner
sanctum and the temple itself was also
literally veiled back in the day when
Zechariah wrote this prophecy. So
caph and ra'ah, really stand for the
temple and the place where the High
Priest was ordained to stand. The veils
were the veils of the temple.

When Christ was crucified and released
from agony, the veils of the temple were
torn apart. This prophecy begins by
recalling this event.

Reading it in this light brings about a
more austere meaning to the last two
chapters. It is based on Christ's sacrifice
and the veils being torn which defined
the New Covenant, and it is through
Christ in Jerusalem which will determine
the fate of the world, and the fate of
every soul God created.

What is meant then by the following
"unto all people round about when
they shall be in the siege both against
Judah and Jerusalem?"

Judah back then was strictly the
designation for the royal family of
David's seed. In Zechariah's day, however,
there was no royal crown since it was
after the Hebrew nation's return from
Babylon when they no longer had
a king. Jerusalem was a city of David,
though, and synonymous with Judah.
It wouldn't be until the Maccabees,
and then Christ, when the glory
of the Judahs would be eternally
established. From that point after
Christ's ascension, Judah refers to
those followers who by adoption are
made brethren of Christ and children
of God through Christ's blood, which
is the blood of David, the blood of

The siege against Judah and Jerusalem
is happening right now, so this passage
has so much more meaning for us.
Jerusalem is part of a secular state, fought
over by those who reject Christ, both of
the Jewish heritage and Islamic faith.
The traditional orthodox Christianity
which remains is only a token, largely
traditional without much relevance, as
harsh as that may sound. It is a great
irony that true Christians , the true
remnant of Judah are the one group who
are nearly excluded entirely from Jerusalem,
and when they are there as visitors or
guests, they are tolerated but not
encouraged to feel Israel belongs to
them, too.

You can be a Buddhist or atheist Jew,
Islamic, Wiccan Jew, etc., as long as you
don't call yourself by Christ's name, you
can belong to Israel as a citizen.

It's like Jerusalem is being occupied or
under siege by everyone except those
who embraced the faith of the High
Priest of the Ages, our King, son of
King David, the promised Messiah.

I'm not sure what cup of trembling
really means, but, through the holy
gate where the High Priest entered
the Holiest place, Christ is surely that
gateway, from whose sacrifice of blood
caused the veil to be torn apart. He is
not veiled. He is clearly seen by our
generation, unlike Zechariah's, but,
Zech saw how through HIM was
Jerusalem established through the
ages, even though at the end times
Jerusalem and Judah is under seige.

This has so many more meanings....

It's an example of how the ostensibly most
straightforward verse in Zechariah is
deceptive and why the Hebrew is the
key to truly getting the most out of
the prophecies...

So why don't I just use other translations,
not just the King James? Sometimes I
do, at least compare, but for me, why
bother when I can go to the Hebrew,
and then compare the exact Hebrew
words with the same words in other
harmonious passages and usages?
King James may have flaws in translation,
but, here's what it has perfect: It is nearly
perfect in syntax to the original Masoretic(sp)
texts when compared to the most ancient
scripts. Even if subsequent English
tradition was to oddly change the
temple word for gate/door/ceremonial
basin (caph) into cup, merely because
of the basin's capacity to hold liquid,
and ra'ah's original meaning as veil
to create an illusion of trembling,
at least I can go back to study the original
words from the King James syntax and
from there I can retranslate back to
the spirit of the Hebrew language,
culture and ceremony.

Here's a paradox with the English translations
which blows my mind. Even though the word
caph is never used as a literal cup anywhere
else, every last English translation has taken
that illusion and translated it into something
entirely different than what Zechariah would
have been referring to in this passage, since
the exact Hebrew words for caph and ra'ah
are not cup of trembling, but, holy gate and
veil. These obviously give different meanings
to the subsequent message of how Judah
and Jerusalem in the last days are under

IF Jerusalem and Judah were a cup of
trembling, why then would the infidels
succeed in occupying it, holding it captive
under seige?

Zechariah was certainly familiar with
Jerusalem of his day being under seige
since the history of Jerusalem usually
went from one siege to the next. Hence
the beasts in Daniel! But in the last days
after Christ, although under siege, through
HIM will judgment be issued forth.

THIS is what the chapter is about, and it
is subtle, but, right now, though under
siege by infidels and non-believers, the
Jews and Islamics of Jerusalem aren't
"trembling." However, through the holy
gates and beyond the veil of faith, which
their eyes have not yet been opened to see,
Christ reigns and rules, symbolically
represented in the now defunct inner
sanctum. Yet, through this gate, invisible
but still viable, will judgment be meted.

Maybe the nations will tremble and maybe
the cups of wrath are part of the prophetic
vision, but, these are in addition to Christ
being the message of verse 2, which read
from all English translations, has a totally
different meaning.

To illuminate this paradox in mistranslation,
here are literally all English translations for
the verse for comparison: (NONE of them
have the image of Christ being the gateway
to the veiled figure of judgment in Jerusalem
at the times described by the prophets):

Available Translations and Versions for Zec 12:2
KJV - Zec 12:2 - Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling '
unto all the people round about, when they shall
be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem.

King James Version 1611, 1769

NKJV - Zec 12:2 -"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of
drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples,
when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.

New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

NLT - Zec 12:2 -I will make Jerusalem and Judah like an intoxicating
drink to all the nearby nations that send their armies
to besiege Jerusalem.

New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

NIV - Zec 12:2 -

“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends

all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah

will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.

New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society

ESV - Zec 12:2 -

“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup

of staggering to all the surrounding peoples.

The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version © 2001 Crossway Bibles

RVR - Zec 12:2 -He aquí yo pongo a Jerusalén por copa que hará
temblar a todos los pueblos de alrededor contra
Judá, en el sitio contra Jerusalén.

Reina-Valera copyright © 1960 Sociedades Bíblicas en América Latina; copyright © renewed 1988 United Bible Societies.

NASB - Zec 12:2 -"Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup
that causes reeling to all the peoples around;
and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it
will also be against Judah.

New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

RSV - Zec 12:2 -"Lo, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of
reeling to all the peoples round about; it will
be against Judah also in the siege against Jerusalem.

Revised Standard Version © 1947, 1952.

ASV - Zec 12:2 -behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of
reeling unto all the peoples round about,
and upon Judah also shall it be in the siege
against Jerusalem.

American Standard Version 1901 Info

Young - Zec 12:2 -Lo, I am making Jerusalem a cup of reeling
To all the peoples round about, And also against
Judah it is, In the siege against Jerusalem.

Robert Young Literal Translation 1862, 1887, 1898 Info

Darby - Zec 12:2 -Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of
bewilderment unto all the peoples round
about, and also against Judah shall it be
in the siege against Jerusalem.

J.N.Darby Translation 1890 Info

Webster - Zec 12:2 -Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling
to all the people around, when they shall be in the
siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem.

Noah Webster Version 1833 Info

HNV - Zec 12:2 -"Behold, I will make Yerushalayim a cup of reeling
to all the surrounding peoples, and on Yehudah
also will it be in the siege against Yerushalayim.

Hebrew Names Version 2000 Info

I hate to sound like I'm usurping the
collective wisdom of hundreds of years
of translations, but, they all derive their
text from one allegory, but, the literal
Hebrew words do not support this
metaphor of a cup of trembling, drunkeness,
or reeling. I'm at a loss to understand how
it became so mistranslated... It scares me
actually, kind of like how Christmas tress
and mistletoe and kids getting $1000 worth
of indulgent toys scares the HELL out of

Don't we take this seriously? We need
to really buckle down and respect the
word of God down to the original jots.
We have to seek their meaning in
earnest, not just accept that the church
fathers, the ones who changed the sabbath
day and renamed it, or invented Christian
names for pagan ceremonies and traditions,
are leading us to the Highway of the King.

We have to abandon the church today.
We need to go to HIM and let the Holy
Spirit guide us now for all our leaders
are corrupt, just like some of the English
translations can't be trusted for every
verse without checking back to the original

Generally, even with mistranslations, it's
the spirit of the word, not the literal and
customary words which edify our souls.
We can still derive tons of meaning of
God through the Word, as long as we
have Christ in the center of all we see.
We don't have to struggle with the Hebrew
and Greek to be saved. We don't even have
to read the Bible. But, the point is, we
have to constantly ask questions and not
take anything for granted...

People have trusted that verse 2 literally
says 'cup of trembling" and it has little
effect on the overall appreciation of the
prophecy which follows. But, these little
things are red lights to me, not to take
the church fathers' words, but, to search
for the original language, and even more
importantly the original PURPOSE and
the original religion, for nothing else

We can't be complacent anymore. Just
because Tammy Faye Baker, bless her
soul, wore layers of makeup doesn't mean
she was meant to be emulated. She was
a frail being, like we all are. I would hate
for some vulnerable young Christian to
see me and start smoking because I am
weak. You know? We have to be accountable
for ourselves, not look to men to provide
us with the meat and potatoes of salvation.

Only Christ can be relied on. We need to
develop a personal relationship with him
and only then will we be guaranteed safe
passage. Maybe I get one passage right,
but the whole meaning wrong, so no one
should just accept my words either, unless
the Holy Spirit speaks to them through
those things I see, and that's how I get
fed. Some Christians, and even sometimes,
non-Christians provide me with the sustenance
of the soul. Not only professed Christians are
wise. God speaks to us through everything,
through nature, through the sun and wind,
the moon and night sky.

David heard God's song through the natural
world, and saw God as he watched a bird
gather his chicks to him. Christ reiterated
that lovely metaphor. We can learn so much
about God from nature, in every way, yet
not to worship birds or bees...

Only God can teach us, but, he speaks through
many voices. Maybe I'm led to scour the Hebrew
language for these clues because they rekindle
my passion for prophetic verses. Still, I love
and actually adore the language in King James.
It is origianl Shakespeare, quite literally, in
fact, and it explains why Shakespeare, next
to the Bible, itself, is probably the greatest
literature of the ages.

There was certainly a blessing on the King
James commission, and I don't ever want to
demean that. However, we are rewarded by
little treasures when we hunt for deeper things.

Maybe I don't make sense, or I'm deceiving
myself. Maybe I think I'm smarter than I
am. I hope not. I get so excited by the words
both in the English, Hebrew and Greek.. even
the Latin is mystically beautiful to me.
I love God's word, sometimes too much and
I have to put it down since it becomes more
important than the Spirit itself and of
God's grace and commission of mercy.

We don't need to recite biblical passages
to be saved, or even know the literal words
of any biblical books. We only need to recognize
God's plan, and if we naturally embrace Christ,
then we don't need it explained to us.

In a way, the lofty words I pour my soul into,
are meant for those stubborn souls like me,
who need those many examples and instructive
passages in order to sustain my faith. I envy
those who are like children, with simple
innocence, who embrace Him without any
doubts or wavering faith...

You don't need the words of the Bible when
you have faith. I sometimes pray the Lord
forgives me for my obsession with these
words, if that makes sense.

The only reason I made a big deal out of this
is because it really astounds me when I find
these breaches in translation, or interpretation
of faith. Yet, the church, even the most fundamentalist
denominations have such grievous breaches,
Christmas being the biggest and most terrifying
error for me. I don't know how anyone who
commits this pagan harlotry, mixing the
forbidden and profane with the holy and true,
will escape damnation. To think that they teach
their children this error is even more sickening.

What a world. What a shame.

I guess I should go to sleep and dream of a day
when I can see my own sins as clearly as I
see others' damnation. It worries me that
it doesn't seem to worry most Christians
when I see it as almost like a symbolic mark
of the beast....

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