To my mind, the message of Jesus’ crucifixion is, “your own wisdom will not save you [God will]”. And therefore, “God” is not YHWH (our own wisdom).Ervin Welsh
The idea behind the name
The name Jesus comes (in part) from Hebrew “Yeshua” which means “He will save”.
It’s a truncated form of the Hebrew name “Yehoshua” (English Joshua) which means: “The LORD is salvation” i.e. “YHWH is salvation”.
In Matthew 1:20-21 (KJV), as Joseph (Mary’s husband-to-be) considered not marrying Mary (Jesus’ mother-to-be), because she was “found with child of the Holy Ghost”, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, “fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:22-23 (KJV) continues, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
If God is YHWH, then “God with us” would be “YHWH with us” i.e. YHWH incarnate. “YHWH is He” is the meaning of Jehu, an old testament King of Israel. Said king was anointed by the prophet Elisha (whose name means “God is salvation” i.e. “[YHWH] is salvation”).
Comparing the value of these names, we’d find that Elisha is to Jehu, what Jesus is to Emmanuel. It might be said that Jehu was a different person to Elisha, whereas Emmanuel was just another name by which they’d call Jesus (thus one person). I won’t discuss that here except to say I believe while the old and new testament should be read as a continuous story, the old testament also stands by itself — the new testament having been appended to it.
What I will propose here, considering the question being investigated, is, we consider the possibility that biblical prophets were messages not messengers. If that’s the case, then Elisha — the messengers that professed “[YHWH] is salvation”, “ceremonially confer[ed] divine or holy office [or status] upon” Jehu — the wisdom they themselves possessed. Consider the passage leading up to Jehu’s anointing as king:
1) Now Elisha the prophet summoned one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak under your belt, take this flask of oil, and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2) When you arrive, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go in, get him away from his companions, and take him to an inner room. 3) Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and declare, ‘This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run. Do not delay!”
4) So the young prophet went to Ramoth-gilead, 5) and when he arrived, the army commanders were sitting there. “I have a message for you, commander,” he said.
“For which of us?” asked Jehu.
“For you, commander,” he replied.
6) So Jehu got up and went into the house, where the young prophet poured the oil on his head and declared, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the LORD’s people Israel.2 Kings 9:1-6, BSB
In other words, those who saw wisdom-had as salvation, chose said wisdom to dictate (rule) their ways. This is the understanding I’ve come to where:
- Jehu is “YHWH” and YHWH means wisdom.
- “with” means anointed (as in: God anointed us)
- i.e. possessing (something) as a feature or accompanyment
- who possessed wisdom was “us” i.e. the children (sons) of the prophets (Elisha being a prophet himself) thus the proponents of Elisha’s message.
- “Rule[d]” is the etymological root of the word right as in “right and wrong” (i.e. morality).
- The definition of moral is, “Concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.”
I believe this and more suggests the entire concept of morality and of exactly what is “right and wrong” in the sight of God began here — well-intentioned but inevitably flawed. Bear in mind that the idea of making anyone/thing king, was not the way in Israel previously and was explicitly warned against, (1 Samuel 8, KJV) thus there was no ruler (i.e. no man-made morality, just God-given liberty).
James 1:25 reads, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (KJV) The words “law of liberty” is an oxymoron, considering law (definitionally) is constraining and liberty is what law constrains. Perfect, perhaps is meant to add to the oxymoronic nature, conveying the confidence of the speaker.
That this verse appears in the book of James is extremely important in my eyes too, considering the names James and Jacob share an origin, and Jacob is said to mean “He deceives”. I venture to say He deceives [himself]. Perhaps “He” is Jehu of which we spoke, thus, he who is wise in his own eyes, deceives himself…
But this is not among that which I have not sufficiently thought through, and the jury is still out on exactly what messages are Mammon and what are of God (unfathomable) in the bible, this considering the bible speaks of the serpent as subtil. Indeed, the bible takes many subtil turns.
Crucifying an idea
Messages are conveyed by messengers, so those fashioned to carry the message “[YHWH] will save” in the new testament (i.e. Jesus), rebelled, thus why Jesus was given the punishment (crucifixion) more or less reserved for rebels (or “thieves” and “murderers” as our translations call them). (Mark 15:6 & 15:27, KJV) The message they (“Jesus” etc.) conveyed instead, was one of true wisdom, thus a healing message which explains Jesus’ miracles.
Jesus allowed himself to be crucified; and was crucified on a cross. Can this symbolically mean YHWH (one’s wisdom) brought them (the rebels) to a cross (roads) and they (“Jesus” etc.) chose faith (The Father’s way) instead of their own (“wisdom”)?
Faith in one’s own wisdom (i.e. “confidence”) is the definition of Mammon. (Matthew 6:24, KJV) Jesus conveyed that “The Father” is in heaven, saying, “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9, KJV) This suggests to me that the rebellion was against earthly “fathers”, in favour of the heavenly one. This bearing in mind “Jesus” (which was intended to be the message that one’s wisdom will save us) called himself (and Immanuel by extension) “The Son of Man” i.e. the idea of earthly fathers (leaders).
To my mind, the message of Jesus’ crucifixion would then be, “your own wisdom will not save you [God will]”. And therefore, “God” is not YHWH (our own wisdom). Instead, knowing that we do not know God as we think we do (so much so to put a name i.e. an essence, to him/her/it/them) is true wisdom. This view, however, noting that YHWH was in ancient times and is till this day, a concept not fully grasped or rather one about which there are were different opinions, thus Jesus’ saying, “Ye worship ye know not what…” (John 4:22, KJV)
The message of choosing God (the unfathomable) over one’s own wisdom, appears to be what’s being conveyed nonetheless. What I believe that quote from John means is that we worship an idea of God we believe (i.e. are “confident”) is true, but are blinded to the fact we deceive ourselves, and do so owing to our desires which devour us and conceal the truth.
… but this is just my opinion. ~ Ervin Welsh