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Hebrew Glossary - G



































(gab-BAI) n. Tax-collector; in modern usage, a treasurer of a synagogue. In the modern synagogue, a Gabbai is one of two people (gabbaim) standing on either side of the reading table while the Torah is read, who assist the reader and make sure that the Torah Service runs smoothly. It is their job to call people to the Torah for their aliyot and to cover the Torah scroll at the appropriate time.


(gav-ree-EL) n. Gabriel. Angel sent to Daniel, Zacharias, and Mary, the mother of Yeshua (Dan. 8:16; 9:21; Lk. 1:19, 26).


(gahd) n. Gad. One of the 12 tribes of Israel (Gen 30:11).


(gah-DOLE) adj. Great; large; n. (pl. gedolim) An individual in a generation who has risen to greatness in the knowledge of Torah or "Halachah," Jewish Law; that is, the application of Torah principles to practical problems.


(gah-LEEL) n. Galilee; Northern hill country of Israel.


(ga-LOOT) n. Galut. Exile. The dwelling of Jews outside the land of Israel. The Galut refers to the various expulsions of Jews from the ancestral homeland; over time, it came to express the broader notion of Jewish homelessness and state of being aliens; thus, colloquially, "to be in galut" means to live in the Diaspora and also to be in a state of physical and even spiritual alienation.

Gam Zu L'Tovah

(gam zoo le-toh-VAH) phr. "This too, is for the best" (גַּם זוּ לְטוֹבָה). From a story in the Talmud of a sage named Nachum, whose staunch faith in God led him to declare all of God's actions as being for the best. His name therefore became Nachum Ish Gam Zu, Nachum, the Man of 'Everything is for the Best.' (Note: gamzu is an abbreviation for the phrase.) Note that gam zu l'tovah does not imply that everything is the best, that is, that this is the best of all possible worlds, but rather that everything is for the best, even if that future good is hidden from us at the present time.

Gan Eden

(gahn AY-den) n. Delight; Pleasure; Luxury; Gan Eden is the Garden of Eden representing paradise.


(gan-NAHV) n. Ganav; Thief (Rev. 16:15).

Gaon / Gaonim

(ga-OWN / g'oh-NEEM) n. Gaon. Head of Babylonian academy; hence, Torah scholar; genius; glory; pride (Gaon is the title of the sages who lived during the post-Talmudic period (roughly 7th to 11th centuries). This period is thus known as the "Gaonic" period).

Gate to Heaven

(sha-ar hash-shah-MY-eem) n. The gate to heaven; Bet-El (Bethel); When Jacob awoke from his dream of the sullam (ladder) to heaven (Gen. 28), he was so awestruck that he called the place "the house of God" (bet Elohim) and the "Gate of Heaven" (sha'ar hashamayim). Yeshua (Jesus) referenced this ladder when he met Nathanael (John 1:51).
In this passage He makes explicit reference to Jacob's dream in Bet 'El. Just as Jacob saw the ladder (sullam) ascending to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending upon it, so Yeshua tells Nathanael that He is the very Ladder to God, the true sha'ar hashamayim - the Way into heaven (John 14:6). For more, see parashat Vayetzei.

Gates of Death

(sha-a-ray MAH-vet) The Gates of Death (Psalm 107:18)

Gates of Peace

(sha-a-ray shah-LOHM) Gates of Peace; a common name for many synagogues.

Zech 8:16

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace. (Zech. 8:16)

Gates of Righteousness

(sha-a-ray TZE-dek) n. Gates of Righteousness.

pitkhu-li sha'arei-tzedek, avo-vam odei Yah - Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. (Psalm 119:18).

Gates of Zion

(sha-a-ray tsee-YOHN) Gates of Zion; The Zion Gate (Hebrew: שער ציון‎, Sha'ar Zion) is one of eight gates built into the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem (also called David's Gate, sha'ar David).

Psalm 87:2

"The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob" (Psalm 87:2).

The Zion Gate (courtesy Wikipedia)

Gedaliah ben Achikam

(ge-dal-YA-hoo ben-a-khee-KAM) Gedaliah son of Achikam, a righteous leader of Israel during the days when Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, ruled over Judah. Gedaliah was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar as an administrator to help the Jewish people return to their homeland in Judah. However, certain zealots arose who opposed Gedaliah's subservience to the king -- and they murdered him.

God judged Israel for this by allowing them to flee to Egypt, only to be there slaughtered by Nebuchadnezzar's army. The Tzom Gedaliah (the Fast of Gedaliah) is a minor fast day that commemorates the loss of Jewish lives. It is performed on Tishri 3, right after Rosh Hashanah.

Gefen Emet

(ge-fen E-met) n. True Vine (John 15:1). See the Names of God.


(gay-heen-NOME) n. Gehenna (Jer. 32:35); Vision of Hell. The valley of Hinnom in Jerusalem was a location southwest of Jerusalem where children were burned as sacrifices to the "god" Molech. It later became a garbage dump with a continuous burning of trash. Therefore, it was used biblically to illustrate the abode of the damned in Christian and Jewish theology. Gehenna is mentioned in Mark 9:43ff and Matt. 10:28 as the place of punishment of unquenchable fire where both the body and soul of the wicked go after death. It is the future abode of Satan and his angels (Matt. 25:41).

In rabbinic literature, Gehenna is a place of restorative suffering, similar to the Catholic idea of purgatory. The preponderance of rabbinic thought seems to suggest that people are not tortured in hell forever; the longest that one can be there is said to be 12 months. Some Kabbalists consider Gehenna to be a "spiritual forge" where the soul is purified for its eventual re-ascent to Gan Eden [paradise], where all imperfections are purged.

Note: The Hebrew word "Sheol" (שְׁאוֹל) technically refers to a landfill (i.e., grave), and by extension, to the underworld (Hades) or the abode of the dead. Both the good and the evil go to Sheol before being appointed to another destination (Gen. 37:25; Num. 16:30).


(ge-lee-LAH) n. Gelilah: tying up and covering the Sefer Torah as an honor in the synagogue.


(ge-MAH-rah) n. (Aramaic) (also spelled Gemara); 2nd part of Talmud (amplification of Mishnah); Consists of sixty three Masechtot, or volumes, such as Berachot, Blessings, or Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court. Each Masechta contains, in addition to legal material, vast anecdotal material teaching moral or practical lessons of life.

After the Mishnah was published it was studied exhaustively by generations of rabbis in both Babylonia and Israel. Over the next three centuries additional commentaries on the Mishnah were compiled and put together as the Gemarah. Actually there are two different versions of the Gemara, one compiled by the scholars in Israel (c. 400 AD) and the other by the scholars of Babylonia (c. 500 AD). Together the Mishnah and the Gemara form the Talmud, but since there are two different Gemaras, there are two different Talmuds. The Mishnah with the Babylonian Gemara form the Talmud Bavli and the Mishnah with the Jerusalem Gemara form the Talmud Yerushalami (Jerusalem Talmud).  Since the Gemara functions as a commentary to the Mishnah, the orders of the Mishnah form a general framework for the Talmud as a whole (however not every Mishnah tractate has a corresponding Gemarah).


(gee-MAT-ree-ya') n. Gematria. Numeric equivalents of Hebrew letters. A method of Torah interpretation which involves assigning numercal values to words and names, and looking for correspondences between words or passages which have the same value. This method is used in mystical interpretations of the Scripture.

Gemilut Chasadim

(ge-mee-LOOT kha-sah-DEEM) n. pl. Practice of kindness; benevolence; acts of compassion to others.


(ne-dee-VOOT) n. Generosity; nedivut lev is the middah of having a generous heart. Nedavah is a donation.


(be-ray-SHEET) n. "In the beginning."  The 1st Torah portion of the Jewish Calendar: Gen 1:1-6:8; Haftarah: Isa 42:5-43:11.  For a summary of this portion of Scripture, click here. Bereshit also refers to the first book of the Torah, called Genesis.

Genevat Da'at

(ge-nay-vat  DA-at) n. phr. גְּנֵבַת דַעַת - lit., "Theft of the mind," hence misrepresentation, fraud, or willful deception. When we withhold information or knowingly mislead others, we put a stumbling block before the blind, "steal their mind," and hence are in violation of the eighth commandment, "Thou Shalt Not Steal." Sometimes transliterated "geneivat da'at."


(ge-nee-ZAH) n. Genizah: repository for discarded sacred writings (usually a storeroom in a synagogue). A "cemetary" or repository for books, Torah scrolls, and other documents containing the Name of God which are too old or damaged to be used (documents containing the Name(s) of God are not to be destroyed)..

Ger / Gerim

(gair / gair-EEM) n. A convert to Judaism who performs the duties and enjoys the privileges of a Jew. Anyone who has accepted Judaism out of inner conviction and without ulterior motives is called ger tsedek (sincere, true proselyte). A partial proselyte (ger toshav) has not adopted Judaism in its entirety, but has agreed to observe the seven Noahide precepts given to the descendants of Noach: abstinence from idolatry, murder, theft, blasphemy, incest, eating the flesh of a living animal, and the duty of promoting justice. The process of Jewish conversion is called gerut.


(GE-resh / ger-SHAI-eem) n. The apostrophe character used to indicate that the Hebrew character is to be understood as a letter; the double apostrophe (quote mark) used in an abbreviation or in a non-standard manner, as in Gematria or abbreviated phrases. Click here for more information.


(get) n. Jewish divorce document. Jewish ritual divorce.


(gaht-she-may-NAH) n. Gethsemane. The garden where Jesus prayed and was apprehended by the Temple police (Matt. 26:36; Mk. 14:32).


(ge-ool-LAH) n. Redemption; ransom; freedom. Also refers to the 7th blessing in the Shemoneh Esreh.

Gezel Shenah

(GE-zel SHAY-nah) n. ("theft of sleep") -- a rule instituted by the rabbis to prevent needlessly waking others or depriving others of their needed rest. Stealing sleep from others damages them by making them less able to cope with stress, etc.


(ge-zay-RAH) n. ("edict," "fence") -- a rule instituted by the rabbis to prevent inadvertent violation of a mitzvah. For instance, it is a mitvah to refrain from work on the Sabbath, but it's a gezeirah to avoid even the handling of any work instruments on the Sabbath. Aspect of Jewish halakhah (mitzvot d'rabbanan).

Gezerah Merosh

(ge-zay-RAH me-ROHSH) n. Predestination, especially understood as divine "edicts" or "decrees" issued from Heaven.  In traditional Judaism, the heavenly decree can be altered by teshuvah (repentance), tefilah (prayer) and tzedakah (good deeds).


(geeb-BORE) adj. Mighty. El Gibbor is one of the Names of God. See the Names of God. As a noun, gibbor can refer to a mighty person or hero; as in "Who is the mighty person? The one who conquers his evil inclination!"


(geed-'ohn) n. Gideon, judge of Israel (Judges 6:11).

Gift of God

(mat-tat e-loh-HEEM) n. Gift of God (from natan); mattan Torah is the gift of Torah, but the greatest gift of God is the Person of His Son Yeshua the Mashiach. See Eccl. 3:13; 5:19; Jn. 4:10; Acts 8:20; Rom. 6:23; 1 Co. 7:7; Eph. 2:8; 2 Tim. 1:6, etc.


(geel-GOOL) n. "Cycle." Jewish Samsara.  Reincarnation. Recyling of the soul. The Gilgul neshamot is the recycling bin (guf) of souls. According to some forms of Kabbalistic mysticism, souls are seen to "cycle" through "lives" or "incarnations," being attached to different human bodies over time. Which body they associate with depends on their particular task in the physical world. The nefesh (soul) is always part of the gilgul process.


(GEE-mel) n. Gimmel. 3rd letter of the Hebrew alphabet having a sound of "g" as in girl. Originally represented by a pictograph meaning "foot," "camel," or "pride." Gematria = 3.


(PAY-ah) n. The commandment to leave grain at the edge of a field so that it can be harvested by the poor (Lev. 19:9). Every farmer was required to put aside a corner of his field (pe'at sadekha) for poor people to glean from the harvest. This mitzvah is called peia. Generally a farmer would leave 1/50th of his crops as peia for the poor. Other commandments for farmers include leket - leaving stalks for the poor and shikchah - leaving harvested bundles for the poor that were accidentally left behind during the harvest.


(ka-VOHD) n. Kavod; honor; wealth. The shoresh (root) with its derivatives occurs 376 times in the Tanakh.

Goal of the Torah

(takh-LEET) n. Aim, purpose, end; as in, "One of the "tachlitot" (pl.) of studying Torah is to reveal the need for the Mashiach. Romans 10:4 says, "For Mashiach is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes":


(e-loh-HEEM) n. God; gods. The plural form of El, meaning "Strong One." The Name Elohim occurs 2,570 times in the Tanakh. See Isa. 54:5; Jer. 32:27; Gen. 1:1; Isa. 45:18; Deut. 5:23; etc. Occurs 2,570 times in the Tanakh. This is the first name of God in Tanakh. See the Hebrew Names of God.

(God) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

(ha-AHV ve-ha-BEN ve-ROO-akh hak-koh-DESH) n. The Name of One (echad) God as given in the "trinitarian" baptismal formula in the Great Commission as given in Matthew 28:19. The Christian (or Messianic Jew) has the God-given responsibility to "make talmidim" - i.e., make disciples of the doctrine of the Mashiach. This includes the ritual of "tevilah" - baptism, which is prefigured in the Jewish mikveh rituals. It is not, therefore, to be associated (as is done in so-called "Covenant Theology") with the Jewish ritual of circumcision. See the Hebrew Names of God.

God Forbid!

(ra-kha-mah-na' leets-LAHN) phr. Aramaic.  Rachamana litzlan! "God forbid!"

God Our Father

(e-loh-HEEM ah-VEE-noo) n. phr. "God our Father" (John 8:42).


(goh-AYL) n. Redeemer; Kinsman redeemer, i.e., to do the part of a kinsman and redeem his kin from difficulty or danger. The root is used in four basic situations covering the things a tzaddik would do for his kinsman:

  1. Repurchase a field which was sold in time of need (Lev 25:25) or free a slave who sold himself in time of poverty (Lev 25:48). Such purchase and restitution was the duty of the next of kin. This is called redemption of the poor (the best example is found in the book of Ruth, where the near kinsman was willing to redeem the field for Naomi, but not marry Ruth based on the levirate marriage laws. Boaz then stepped in as a picture of Yeshua).
  2. Redeem property dedicated to the Lord (Lev 27:11).
  3. Function as the "avenger of blood" for a murdered man (cf. Num. 35:12). Apparently the idea is that the next of kin must effect the payment of life for life. As a slave is redeemed by payment, so the lost life of the relative must be paid for by the equivalent life of the murderer.
  4. God is Israel's Redeemer who will vindicate His people (Isa. 59:20). The Father is "near kin" or owner of Israel in the use of this word. The idea of judgment on Israel's oppressors as a ransom is implied (Isaiah 43:1-3). God, as it were, redeems his sons from a bondage and slavery. This idea of vindication finds expression in Job 19:25:

    Job 19:25
    va-ani yadati goeli chai, ve-acharon al-afar yakum

    For I know that my Vindicator lives, and in the end He will stand upon the earth.

Other terms connoting redemption are moshia (yasha), pada, etc.  The verb palat is used (mostly in the Psalms) to express the idea of being rescued from trouble (see the Names of God pages for more information).

Golden Rule

(ve-a-HAV-ta et a-doh-NIGH e-lo-HAY-kha) phr. You shall love the LORD your God; the very first mitzvah; the "golden rule" of the mitvot.  Love for the LORD is the basis for all other commandments. This phrase comes from the Shema (Deut. 6:5).


(GO-lem) n. Embryo (psalm 139:16); also: a robot; automaton.

Good Eye

(a-yeen toh-VAH) n. The "good eye" (Matt. 6:22). Metaphorically - the spiritual choice to see things as good rather than evil; the eye of the heart or trust...  Ayin tovah sees the best in others - including God - and trusts that "all things work for the good" (Rom. 8:28).

The heart looks through the eye.... The good eye (i.e., ayin tovah: עַיִן טוֹבָה) - sometimes called the "beautiful eye" (עין יפה) - refuses to think evil about others (it "does not impute the bad" - οὐ λογίζεται τὸ κακόν - in 1 Cor. 13:5), but it rejoices in the truth – even if such truth is found only in the hope of a future good (1 Cor. 13:7). The good eye is the instrument of a giving heart that looks upon the needs and pains of others with genuine compassion. The "evil eye" (i.e., ayin hara: עַיִן רָעָה), on the other hand, is cynical, jaded, envious, and unsympathetic to other people and their struggles... Using a good eye takes from the treasure within the heart and gives it out freely to others: "The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil" (Matt. 12:35). There never is a risk that love may be given away without warrant from heaven. In the future judgment to come, I'd rather be found guilty of "casting pearls before swine" than to be found guilty of withholding love from others...

A person with a "good eye" looks at things from the perspective of love. Ayin hatovah looks at circumstances -- and especially at other people -- and finds something beautiful.... "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully" (2 Cor. 9:6). As we give, so we are given...

Good Heart

(layv TOHV) n. The word lev means "heart" and the word tov means "good," so the middah lev tov simply means (the quality of having) a "good heart." A synonym for a good person or mensch.

Good Qualities

(meed-DOHT toh-VAH / meed-DOHT toh-VOHT) n. Good qualities; virtues; a baal middot tovot is a "master of good virtues," i.e., a mensch. Middot ra'ot are evil qualities.

Gospel - Good News

(be-so-RAHT hag-ge-'ool-LAH) n. Good News of Redemption. Gospels. The four portraits of the Messiah of Israel as given by His messengers. Besorah means "good news" and Ge'ulah means "redemption."


(re-khee-LOOT) n. Gossip, spreading rumors or stories about others. Based on the commandment, lo telekh rakhil b'amekha "You shall not be a talebearer among your people" (Lev. 19:6). Similar to lashon hara, saying something bad about another person even if it happens to be true.

Goy / Goyim

(goy / goy-EEM) n. Gentile(s), non-Jews. The plural form goyim is used in the Hebrew Bible for "nations" in general. Later this term came to mean all other nations (besides Israel), and thence to individuals outside the fold of Israel.


(SA-bah) n. Grandfather. (Savta is grandmother.)


(SAV-tah) n. Grandmother. (Sabba is grandfather.)

Gratitude (hakarat tovah)

(hak-kah-rat toh-VAH) n. הַכָּרַת טוֹבָה "Good recognition"; or "recognizing goodness"; i.e., gratitude; (also spelled hakarat hatov: הַכָּרַת הַטוֹב). Cultivating gratitude means learning to look at things with the "good eye," by choosing to see good in all circumstances. Ingratitude comes from a sense of entitlement, or the impression that good things should to you apart from any merit or need of your own. Instead of focusing on what you lack, and thereby seeing with an eye of fear, make the decision to trust that God is taking care of all your needs. Ask the LORD to open your eyes to His goodness.

We must be careful to practice gratitude, especially before God. Taking God's blessings for granted, or assuming that you are entitled to better or more, is to "forget" the Source of your sustenance. Though we all want God's blessing and help, we must be careful when such blessing is bestowed to us, since that can lead to the illusion that we don't really need God. To live without conscious awareness of the presence of God is horrible.

Gratitude (hoda'ah)

(hoh-dah-AH) n. Gratitude; thankfulness; appreciation; praise; worship. Life is a gift from heaven.  Think of seven blessings in your life to create your own personal "menorah of thankfulness."

Great Assembly

(ke-NES-set ha-ge-doh-LAH) n. The "Great Knesset" or Sanhedrin. The Anshei Knesset HaGedolah (אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה, "The Men of the Great Assembly") are noted in the Mishnah (Ab. i. 1) as those who occupied a place in the chain of authority between the last of the Jewish Prophets (Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) and the earliest named sages of Jewish tradition. Ezra the Scribe is thought to be the founder of the Great Assembly.

The Great Assembly (which included Mordecai (of the Esther story), Daniel, Nehemiah, Zechariah, and Zerubabel, among other notables) is also said to have instituted other traditional practices such as the recitation of Kiddush (on Shabbat); the idea that prayer should occur three times a day; the structure of the Amidah prayer; the recitation of various blessings before eating, and so on.

Great Commandments

Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." (Matt. 22:36-40)

(ve-a-HAV-ta et a-doh-NIGH e-lo-HAY-kha) phr. You shall love the LORD your God; the very first mitzvah; the "golden rule" of the mitvot.  Love for the LORD is the basis for all other commandments. This phrase comes from the Shema (Deut. 6:5).

(ve-a-HAV-ta le-ray-a-kha kah-moh-kha) phr. You shall love your neighbor as yourself; the second great mitzvah; the "silver rule" of the mitvot. Love for others is the basis for all other commandments. This phrase comes from the Shema (Lev. 19:18).

(ve-a-hav-tem et-hag-GAYR) ph. You shall love the stranger (gerim).

Great Sabbath

(shab-BAHT hag-gah-DOHL) n. Shabbat Hagadol; "The Great Sabbath"; Sabbath preceding Pesach. Called "great" (gadol) because it began the story of the passage of the Jews from slavery into freedom, and it was the Shabbat when the Jews of Egypt sprinkled lamb's blood on doorposts to prevent the Angel of Death from stopping by their households during the last plague.

It was in Egypt that Israel celebrated the very first Shabbat Ha-Gadol on the tenth of Nissan, five days before their redemption. On that day, the Children of Israel were given their first commandment which applied only to that Shabbat, but not to future generations: On the tenth day of this month [Nissan]... each man should take a lamb for the household, a lamb for each home (Exodus 12:3).

Great Sanhedrin

(san-HED-reen ge-doh-LAH) n. The "Great Sanhdrin" (סַנְהֶדְרִין גְדוֹלָה) was comprised of 71 judges (corresponding to the 70 elders who helped Moses judge the people) who convened at the Tabernacle (Temple) to decide the most important or difficult cases (Num. 11:16). This was the "Supreme Court" of Israel. The Sanhedrin sat in session only while the offerings and rituals of at the altar were being performed. The head of the Sanhedrin Gedolah was the Nasi, or "president," who served the role of Moses. Of the 70 judges, the most qualified was chosen to serve as the Nasi's assistant, called Av Bet Din ("father of the court"). The 69 other judges (three sets of 23) were seated in order of age, the older judges sitting closer to the center of the chamber where the Nasi presided. Seats were arranged in the shape of an arc so that everyone could see one another as cases were discussed. Most of the Great Sanhedrin were composed of priests and Levites who served at the Sanctuary and were given priority over other Israelites (see Deut. 17:9), though after the Macabees, the Pharisees assumed more control of the high court.

The Great Sanhedrin was responsible for appointing the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) and for the establishment of lesser courts of 23 judges (Sanhedrin Ketanah: סַנְהֶדְרִין קְטָאנָה). Later they were responsible for validating the appointment of a king of Israel. In criminal matters they decided cases of a city given over to idolatry, the status of false prophets, "rebellious elders" (zaken mamre), the guilt or innocence of unfaithful spouses (sotah), and proceedings in connection with the discovery of a corpse. No non-mandatory wars could be waged without their authorization. In religious matters they settled disputes of ritual and decided the time of the festivals through the official proclamation of the "new moon."

The Anshei Knesset HaGedolah (אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה, "The Men of the Great Assembly"), as noted in the Mishnah (Ab. i. 1), were those who occupied a place in the chain of authority between the last of the Jewish Prophets (Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) and the earliest named sages of Jewish tradition. Ezra the Scribe is thought to be the founder of the Great Assembly. The Great Sanhedrin served as a continuation of the function of the Council of the Elders, and served as the highest court of ancient Israel (from about the third century BC until the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, in fulfillment of Yeshua's prophecy). Since there is no Temple today, a Sanhedrin cannot be convened.

During the Second Temple period, the Great Sanhedrin was regarded as the final authority on Jewish law and any scholar who went against its decisions was put to death as a zaken mamre ("rebellious elder"). Note that the zaken mamre did not incur the death penalty unless he had been previously ordained by the Great Sanhedrin. His death was to be publicly executed and was intended to function as a warning not to rebel against the supreme court. The Great Sanhedrin lost its authority to inflict capital punishment around 30 AD, when the Imperial Roman government exercised legal hegemony over the region of Palestine and all capital cases were required to be submitted to the Roman proconsul for adjudication. After the Temple was destroyed in AD 70, so was the Great Sanhedrin. A Sanhedrin in Yavneh took over many of its functions, under the authority of Rabban Gamliel. The rabbis in the Sanhedrin served as judges and attracted students who came to learn their oral traditions and Pharisaical scriptural interpretations. From Yavneh, the Sanhedrin moved to different cities in the Galilee, eventually ending up in Tiberias. Various smaller Sanhedrins existed in the Diaspora until the abolishment of the rabbinic patriarchate around 425 A.D.

The Illegal Trial of Yeshua

The gospels record information about the "trial" of Yeshua before the Great Sanhedrin of the later Second Temple period which demonstrate that the court acted illegally under the terms of justice defined by the Torah and Jewish legal precedent.  Yeshua was (1) arrested illegally; (2) examined by Annas in a secret night proceeding; (3) the indictment against Him was false; (4) the Sanhedrin court illegally held its trial before sunrise; (5) the Sanhedrin illegally convened to try a capital offense on a day before an annual Sabbath; and (6) the trial concluded in just one day; (7) He was charged on the basis of invalid testimony (false witnesses); (8) He was convicted of blasphemy based on his own testimony, though this was legally insufficient; (9) He was not allowed to defend his statement that He was the indeed the Messiah, the Son of God; (10) the High Priest tore his clothes to prejudice his peers, though the Torah forbids this (Lev. 10:6); and (11) the initial charge of blasphemy was illegitimately switched to that of sedition against Rome.

Great Tribulation

(tsah-rah ge-doh-LAH) n. Great Tribulation (as opposed to general tribulation, or tzarot that comes from living in godly witness to an evil world).  The Great Tribulation is a future 7-year period of time when God will finish His discipline of Israel and finalize His judgment of the unbelieving world. This is referred to as Yom Adonai -- the "Day of the Lord" (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31, 3:14; 1 Thess. 5:2) or the Time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1; Zephaniah 1:15).  Daniel's 70th week is yet to take place (Dan. 9:24-27) which awaits prophetic fulfillment as Yom Teruah, the Day of the shofar blast that calls followers of Yeshua to appear before the Mashiach.

Greek Old Testament

(tar-GOOM ha-sheev-EEM) n. "Translation of the Seventy" (LXX) or "Septuagint." The most important ancient translation of the Tanakh is the Greek Septuagint, originally produced for Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt.  It is considered one of the greatest Jewish contributions to Hellenistic culture. Parts of it date from as early as the third and second centuries B.C.E. The title "Seventy" refers to the tradition that the translation was the work of 70 translators (or 72 in some traditions). Initially the Septuagint was widely used by Greek - speaking Jews, but its adoption by the Christians, who used it in preference to the Hebrew original, aroused hostility among the Jews, who ceased to use it after about 70 A.D. Philo and Josephus show a reliance on the Septuagint in their citations of Jewish scripture as does the New Testament. It should be noted that the Septuagint includes some books not found in the Hebrew Bible (i.e., the Apocrypal Books included in the Catholic Scriptures).

It is generally agreed that the original Hebrew text that was the basis of the Septuagint differed from ancestors of the Masoretic text, though fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls actually agree with the Septuagint rather than the Masoretic Text readings. In other words, there were different Hebrew sources for the Masoretic Text and the LXX. These issues notwithstanding, the text of the LXX is generally close to that of the Masoretic version.

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