Thursday, October 30, 2014

Something for fans of the Baal Haturim

Here is a mike-dropping midrash from the early church fathers regarding Abraham's 318 servants.

Now, of course, we Torah true Jews who embrace one midrash to the exclusion of all others know that Abraham had just one servant, named Eliezer, and that this is indicated via gematriah. But as soon as I give you the boring background I will tell you what the early Christians found hidden in the number 318

*Boring Background*
  • In Greek, which also has a gematriah system, the letter tau, which looks like a T has a value of 300. 
  • The letter eta is eight, and the letter iota is ten.
  • Eta and iota are the first two letters of Jesus's name and a tau is shaped like a cross.
Now, listen to this first century drasha given in the Epistle of Barnabas:
For [the Scripture] saith, "And Abraham circumcised ten, and eight, and three hundred men of his household." What, then, was the knowledge given to him in this? Learn the eighteen first, and then the three hundred. The ten and the eight are thus denoted - Ten by I, and Eight by H. You have [the initials of the, name of] Jesus. And because the cross was to express the grace [of our redemption] by the letter T, he says also, "Three Hundred." He signifies, therefore, Jesus by two letters, and the cross by one. (Epistle of Barnabas 9.8)

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