“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’” Zechariah 8:23 NASB
The garment – I suppose the first thing to ask about this verse is, “When?” When will the nations come to the Jews and grab hold of them, asking to go with them? God tells Zechariah that this will happen, but it’s hard to imagine. Unless, of course, we know something else about this verse. Unless we know what a kanaph is. Kanaph is associated with the “wings” of a garment, the outer edges or corners of a cover. But it is also the word for the wings of a bird, the wings of cherubim and other heavenly beings, and metaphorically, God’s protective covering. Now perhaps we have a bit more insight on Yeshua’s comment about gathering Jerusalem under His wings.
Once we realize that there are significant allusions to heavenly protection in kanaph, we can ask, “What exactly are the ‘wings’ of a garment?” Our English translations simply gloss the word as “garment,” but kanaph is only about a specific part of the garment – that part that is attached to the corners. That means kanaph is tzitzit, the ritual knotted fringe worn on the edges of the tallit, the prayer shawl, that represent the Torah. These are the “corners” that the woman grabbed when she desired healing in the “wings” of Yeshua (Matthew 9). Zechariah’s word from YHWH doesn’t say that the men of the goyim (the Gentile nations) will simply rush to the Jews. YHWH says that the day is coming when the goyim will grasp the Torah and desire to live like righteous Jews. Why will they do this? Because they will see that God is with them.
It is my observation that all over the world men and women are discovering the life of Torah obedience. I do not believe this is an accident, nor do I believe it is being driven by some global movement or organization. I believe that God is gathering – and in the process, those who have been acquainted with His word are looking deeper, asking for more, desiring His presence. They are finding these things in the most unlikely of places, as far as the official “Church” is concerned. They are finding themselves attracted to the Jews, and in particular, to the sense of godliness among those who share an elected history with YHWH. I also believe that until the “Church” recognizes its tragic and idolatrous rejection of the unwavering and essential relationship between YHWH and Israel, it will remain a part of the problem rather than the solution. The Church in its commitment to replacement theology and its perspective on the abolition of the “Law,” does not realize that it needs to return to the God of Israel. Instead of advocating conversion of Jews to Christianity, Christians must become truly grafted into the commonwealth of Israel, not the Judaism of the 21st century but the Jewish faith of the 1st century, the faith of Yeshua HaMashiach.
Then we too will know the protection of His wings.
Topical Index: kanaph, wings, garment, tzitzit, Torah, Zechariah 8:23