Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN. Matthew 26:64
Two Into One – Binyan av mishnaic ketuvim (“building a teaching principle based on two verses”) is reasoning from two verses to a larger principle. It happens all the time in the New Testament. In this verse, Yeshua takes part of a verse in Psalm 110:1 and inserts it into a verse from Daniel 7:13. Here are the two verses:
“The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’” Psalm 110:1
“I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven, one like a Son of Man was coming. And He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him.” Daniel 7:13
Notice the changes Yeshua makes. He alters the verse in the Psalms so that it reads “sitting at my right hand.” Then He combines it with Daniel’s vision so there is no doubt His application of Psalm 110 to Himself implies He is the Son of Man who is presented victoriously to the Ancient of Days. But the implication goes further. Yeshua suggests that He is the one “coming on the clouds,” a role ascribed to God alone. In this use of principle #4, Yeshua combines two verses to reach a larger conclusion. What is that conclusion? He is God!
Read the story again. Did you notice no one shouted, “That’s terrible exegesis!”? No one questioned His scholarship. They all knew exactly what He was doing, and it was proper procedure. It wasn’t the hermeneutics that made them furious. It was the conclusion.
Yeshua was a rabbi too. If we read His words from the perspective of a rabbi, we see more clearly how He handles Scripture, how He interprets the Word and what techniques He employs to draw out its meaning. Perhaps we need a course in rabbinic thought before we run around proclaiming the teachings of Jesus. Our approach is like using the dialogue from West Side Story as if it were the words of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
What do we learn today? We learn to be careful. Maybe all that Yeshua says isn’t quite as obvious as the translations make it seem. Maybe we need to pay a lot more attention to the culture before we start drawing conclusions about contemporary applications. Maybe there’s room for dialogue rather than dogma.
Topical Index: principle #4, Binyan av mishnaic ketuvim, Psalm 110:1, Daniel 7:13, Matthew 26:64, hermeneutics, interpretation