"Epignosis"

 

SHMAMUSIC News Flash 

Welcome to the News Flash, a monthly update to keep news of SHMAmusic and those Yahweh brings around us. There will also be a monthly Bible study that we pray will be helpful and informative. We believe Scripture will prove itself with a witness of other Scripture, outside sources are good but…If your interpretation is different than the volume of the Word, you/we should go back and be OK with possibly being wrong. 

This month’s study focus is: Epignosis.  Why? Dan and I love to read the Word and look for clues or anomalies. We were wondering why so many people use the term “My people perish for a lack of knowledge” and stop right there. Maybe they are trying to fit scripture to clarify their own point, a very dangerous practice. As we discussed this term it became clear to us that it is often taken out of context. In this study I am convinced Yahweh is trying to help us know He is not excited to punish nor is He rash in His decisions.as you will soon see. Hosea is a book of great judgement and this word epignosis is used 3 out of the 5 times in this book. As a fair and righteous judge, He weighs and measures each situation and heart involved. The usage of this word “epignosis” in these specific passages, instead of knowledge we believe will help you understand the ways of a Beautiful God that spares us at all costs, until we have proven we need fair correction and punishment. 

  • Used 5 times in the Septuagint, Old Testament, multiple times in the New Testament. 
  • Strongs concordance #1922, You will not find the Strongs listings any different than if you just look up “knowledge”. 
  • A Greek word; that seems more specific or to be a commentary on the Hebrew word of its day 
  • A word of great significance and often abused or misunderstood. 

It is this author’s opinion that the word epignosis is a Greek description of the kind of knowledge spoken of in the first commandment or Deuteronomy 6:5.  “A knowledge of Yahweh that confirms that I love Him with my mind, heart and soul and because of this I live out that love” (the authors definition). 

Definition: 

 epi: a prefix occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “upon,” “on,” “over,” near, “before,” “after”, (from Dictionary.com) 

Gnosis (when we looked this up, we got a multitude of variations, but the general definition is: Merriam-Webster, literally, knowledge, Greek. 

Extra information leads to the knowledge being of a spiritual nature. 

  

  • Old Testament Scriptures in which Epignosis is used, are from the Septuagint. When this form of the word knowledge/epignosis is used in the Hebrew the word is not much different in the spelling than just ‘knowledge’, yet in the Greek, the word is very distinct. We will be looking at epignosis with the rule of first mention, this is very helpful to see how Yahweh uses form and function in the fullness of understanding His Word. We believe He has purpose as to when, where and why He uses a word. 

He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tsor, a bronze worker. And he was filled with wisdom and understanding/epignosis and skill in working with all kinds of bronze work. So, he came to Sovereign Shelomoh and did all his work.  1 Kings 7:14 

  • Is it possible that this man was shown the mastery of bronze work from his father who had intimate knowledge and love of the trade? 
  • Is it possible that he had to work hard to support his mother in widowhood? 
  • Is it possible that this man knew so well his trade that he felt worthy of the job to serve the King?  He must have loved the king to submit himself and his craft, or felt it was a worthy cause. The King knew of him and sent for him. 

Whatever the background there is no correction or remarks of this man’s behavior other than good mention, before or after this text. Can we take away from this text an example of what the word epignosis looks like when used? And is there instruction as to how we can get there? I submit to you there is! Is it possible our physical example of ‘epignosis’ is living out his purpose and joy? Our physical example should be Jesus/Yeshua: how He himself loved the Father, with all of His heart, with all of His Soul, with all of His might. 

Then you would understand the fear of Yehovah, and find the knowledge/epignosis of Elohim. Proverbs 2:5 

Proverbs is a book of instruction, as from a parent to a child, so are the lessons of the Torah. They are lessons from our Yahweh to His children, Jew or Gentile. The verse that contains the word ‘epignosis’ is verse 5, but to get the context let’s look at how God instructs us to know Him with our heart, soul and might in Proverbs. But we will start in the first five verses of Proverbs 2:1-5 to learn how. 

Vs. 1:  My son, if you accept my words, and treasure up my commands with you, Prov 2:1 

We are asked to do 2 things: accept and treasure up, wise families accept their paychecks and then they save up their money in order to spend it wisely on Gods direction and needs of the family and save the rest for the right moments to spend well. Being mindful and “not casting pearls to swine” 

Vs. 2:  So that you make your ear attend to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding Prov 2:2 

Take notice of the word “make”, that is our job. Don’t think people didn’t have the same issues with focus and an occasional “squirrel”. It’s what we do with it! 
“incline” carries the same responsibility level, but what does it take to understand something. Did you know you can hear something without listening? Have you ever been somewhere and heard a child say mommy 30 times, and wonder why the mother has not responded? It is the same way with us. We read these scriptures over and over just like words on a page, yet if you were to stop and actually chew the spiritual food awhile, and like a good chef try to taste ALL the different flavors, I believe you would learn to incline yourself to get the most out of the Living, Breathing thing called the Word of God. James 1:22 “And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (you are encouraged to read all of this passage) 

Vs. 3:   For if you cry for discernment, lift up your voice for understanding, Prov 2:3 

This is not the type of crying you think of when you are hurt or mad, it is the type of cry that is an intense asking.  Think of the story above from the vantage point of the child now. The child puts himself on autopilot and taps the leg of the parent and while looking around continues to say mommy 30 times, all the while the parent is busy with their mind somewhere else. Does the child need something? Yes, they do, but the parent finds the behavior annoying and does not pay attention. But, let’s look at a child who uses manners and says, “Excuse me”. Even a three-year-old can be taught to use this term and how it is used by proper parenting. 

Lift up your voice, carries a responsibility with it, you must speak upwards. Who is upwards on the throne, or courtroom…God Himself. You must move your speech to Him and not just out to the great beyond, to some cosmic being whom some say is just everywhere. He has a throne, He has a locality, He has an order and system that is upheld by Him and you are the creation that must learn how to connect in His system and not your own. Just like asking your 3-year-old to speak the way they should in order for you to listen. 

 1 Cor. 2:13-14 “which we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Set-apart Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual matters with spiritual matters. But the natural man does not receive the matters of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him, and he is unable to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 

Vs.4:  If you would seek for her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures, Prov 2:4 

Do you ever wonder to what lengths a person will go to get a gemstone of any type? If you were to do a search on how precious metals and gems are fought over, I believe we can see a direct parallel to this scripture and what Yahweh is asking of us. From the vantage point of the miner they see a monetary and power structure to its value. So, they will forsake family, job, security and anything that may stand in their way, called “the fever”. There are the few miners that mine for the love of the trade; they have done well for their families and sometimes secured financial gains. From the vantage point of the buyer, they want the bling and not the work and are happy to pay and even, not care from whence the treasure comes. Let us not forget the vantage point of the robber, he steals the treasure, with no work and no money compensation, sometimes even killing the owner of the property. 

I believe God is challenging each one of us to look at which one of the four are we. Let it be said of me that I am willing to work hard, not forsake the things He has given me to be responsible for and then to give all to find His Treasures! 

(Find this book and you will not be sorry: “Hidden Treasures in the Biblical Text”, by Chuck Missler, Koinonia House) 

                                            

Before we go on to the passage in question, lets overview: 

My Job Yahwehs job
Accept gives wisdom
Treasure up treasures up stability
Make my ear to attend He is a shield
Incline my heart  
lift up my voice  
Seek  
Search  
Cry for  

 

Verse 5 is the sum 

For a musician you would call this a “crescendo”.( < ) to start quiet and begins to increase volume as the information builds. Now we are at the peak of loudness…verse 5. IF you do all these things, THEN, I do My part…Badabing! We have epignosis!!!! The knowledge that comes with head, heart and do, all with ME your Creator, your Provider, your Teacher (Rabbi), your Comforter, the One who lights your pathway home.  Wow!!!! It would be to your benefit as a good reader and Berean to finish reading the rest of Proverbs chapter 2 to help you stay in context. 

Now we will head into Hosea, where the last three times ‘epignosis’ is mentioned in the Old Testament. Proverbs is instruction and consequence; in Hosea we see the physical example of this word. Because His people did not heed the instruction of how the Creator requires to be loved, now we see the consequence. 

My belief as I read through the extenuating circumstances around this word “epignosis” is that there is great historical significance to this “case” God has against the “inhabitants of the land” as He is talking to His people. Think of it as you talk to your children, you already know the people your child is hanging around with are trouble, so you tell your child, “I have a case against them”. They don’t obey authority, they don’t care about responsibility, and if you continue playing with them you could end up just like them. This is what is happening here. As I look at this in this light, I also see what great lengths our God goes to warn His people. He has now ordered a prophet to give a real-life example to the people as to what their behavior is doing to others. 

Hosea chapter 1, is the set up for this. Hosea takes an adulteress for a wife and begins having children; all the while knowing that his life is paralleling that of God marrying His people and their continued adulteries force a formal divorce. {Suggested: Read the book of Hosea first to get the full context, then focus in on chapters 4-6.} Let’s continue now with our next sighting of ‘epignosis’. 

Hear the word of Yehovah, you children of Yisrael, for Yehovah has a case against the inhabitants of the land: “For there is no truth of loving-commitment or knowledge/(epignosis) of Elohim in the land. Hosea 4:1 

  • If epignosis is true to the definition we are proposing, then this author wishes to connect the case to breaking the first commandment. It is hard pressed not to see that His people would have known the first commandment since most of the readings at this time consisted of the Torah as the national way of life. Just after He expresses them breaking the first commandment, He continues with the other commandments they have been breaking. As you research look carefully for things like, who are the inhabitants, how long has this disobedience gone on before Yehovah has declared His case? Then look at your own life, have any of these things been happening in your home, by you, if so, repent and pray, He is forgiving. 
  • And Elohim spoke all these Words, saying, “I am Yehovah your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery. You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth, you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, Yehovah your Elohim am a jealous El, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-commitment to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands. You do not bring the Name of Yehovah your Elohim to naught, for Yehovah does not leave the one unpunished who brings His Name to naught.” Exodus 20:1-7 

“Swearing, and lying, and murdering, and stealing, and committing adultery have increased. And bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore, the land mourns, and everyone living there languishes, with the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea are taken away. However, let no one strive or reprove another, for your people are like those striving with a priest. And you shall stumble in the day, and the prophet shall also stumble with you in the night. And I shall make your mother perish” Hosea 4:2-5 

Further interest in this part of the scripture led me to see that God is talking about breaking His commandments. Let’s count; 

Swearing= making His name come to naught, possibly a continuation of the first commandment 
Lying= Ex. 20:16 “You do not bear false witness against your neighbor 
Murdering= Ex 20:13 “You do not murder” 
Stealing= Ex. 20:15 “You do not steal” 
Committing adultery= Ex. 20:14 “You do not commit adultery” 

“My people have perished for lack of knowledge /(epignosis), Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children. Hosea 4:6 

  • What is the position of priest? 

            A priest is in charge of the religious rights of his God. “And these having been prepared like this, the priests always went                into the first part of the Tent, accomplishing the services. Hebrews 9:6 

  • What was the priest designed to do before God? 

            The central theme of this duty is to follow the rules set up, by the god, is to prepare people for presentation before him.                  The difference with the Creator of the Universe and any other ‘god’, is that He blesses you in the process of your service,               with an assurance of eternity with Him. No other ‘god’ can prove this claim, and it is hard pressed to find in any of my                     research on priesthoods in other religions, being blessed with ‘anything other than monetary, sexual or promised god-                   hood status. Read Hebrews 9:6-28 

  • Something I want to bring to your attention, when you are reading these passages God begins with a case against the inhabitants, but He is speaking to the ‘Children of Yisrael”, but as the scripture progresses God seems to be talking to them as if they are a part of the inhabitants in the land. But what were they called to be?  In Exodus 19:6 He tells Moshe to say to the Children of Yisrael, “and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.”  So I am going to apply some logic here. What if our example of priesthood is the ‘Children of Yisrael” like the Levites were to the children coming out of Egypt, and now you have the Children of Yisrael inhabiting the land with the general population? Let’s look at a passage from Hebrews: 

“For if indeed He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the Torah, who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly, as Mosheh was warned when he was about to make the Tent. For He said, “See that you make all according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”     Hebrews 8:4-5 

  • As you read on you will find that God continues to define the difference between the divine Priesthood of Messiah and the position of the priesthood as disciples. The above scripture is to further our thoughts on who we are here, and why God is angry with how His people are not acting any different than the world. And certainly not able to teach others how to live a moral and holy life. I believe we must ask ourselves these hard questions everyday: Am I living moral and holy to make others desire to live better and victorious over sin, doubt and fear. 
  • Why is “priest” mentioned in Hosea 4:6, when the case is about the inhabitants of the land? Is it possible that we are His priests to represent Him to the world? I believe we can see our position clearly here, the example in the Old, the example in Jesus, and the example in Revelation. 

“Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death possesses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Rev. 20:6 

“And they sang a renewed song, saying “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals, because You were slain, and have redeemed us to Elohim by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and made us sovereigns and priests to our Elohim, and we shall reign upon the earth.” Rev 5:9-10 

“Yohanan, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Favour to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven Spirits that are before His throne, and from Yeshua Messiah, the trustworthy witness, the first-born from the dead, and ruler of the sovereigns of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us sovereigns and priests to His Elohim and Father, to Him be esteem and rule forever and ever. Amen  Rev 1:4-6 

For I delight in loving-commitment and not slaughtering, and in the knowledge (epignosis) of Elohim more than ascending offerings.  Hosea 6:6 

  • As this information is presented, I believe we begin to see a pattern of representation to the world as to how we act and live, and even accept our opportunities to serve. Which feels more like love: someone who freely gives of themselves or someone who gives a gift and expects a gift in return or gives because they feel they have to. How about someone who gives you some time and then you receive a call expecting compensation, in all these cases it was a false sacrifice. This is kind of the issue here but on a deeper level. Here is the Creator who gave all to create a place for us, a life for us and an eternal home for us and He is just asking us to serve Him with this way: “And you shall love Yehovah your Elohim with all your heart, and with all our being, and with all your might.“ Deuteronomy 6:5 

Closing statement: Only you and The Creator can know your heart, we as His people can help correct each other if we see our brother going astray, but remember He will see and know your heart if it is for Him or far from Him. He will not be mocked. Be real with Him, be holy to Him and love Him first. In this you will be different from the world and able to lift your brother up when he is down. If you are in the same place you will not be able to lift them to a better life. Practice priesthood! 

After this study I am convinced Deuteronomy 6:5 or the Shema is how we keep the first commandment. And why Jesus/Yeshua quotes it in the New Testiment; 

And concerning the dead, that they rise – have you not read in the book of Mosheh, at the bush, how Elohim spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the Elohim of Abraham, and the Elohim of Yitshaq/Issac, and the Elohim of Ya’aqob/Jacob? He is not the Elohim of the dead, but Elohim of the living. You, then, go greatly astray. And one of the scribes coming near hearing them reasoning together knowing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first command of all?” And Yeshua/Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commands ‘Hear O Yisrael, Yehovah our Elohim, Yehovah is one. And you shall love Yehovah your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being and with all your mind, and with all your strength, This is the first command.  Mark 12:26-30 

Let us ask ourselves how we ‘epignosis’/know Him every day. May the God of the Universe, the Creator, the God that delivered His people out of Egypt help us understand how to love Him, so that loving our neighbor is real and possible. Without your example Yeshua, we cannot begin to know how you could give us a position so great as priest to honor You. 

Author, Janine Handler-Wedekind 

Editor, Daniel Wedekind 

The Bible Version in this article is ISR; Institute for Scripture Research. 

I do not have a Bibliography, there were no commentaries or other authors to reference. We used scripture to scripture study, and asked the author and finisher of our faith. Although two special friends and colleagues proof read for any theological errors. Thank you to Edwin and Cari Farrar. 

January family feature 

Our prayer for you all this month is Psalm 90. 

“Yehovah, You have been our refuge in all generations. Before the mountains were born, or You had brought forth the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are El    Ps 90:1-2 

This month I would like to introduce Alex and Anda, true missionaries. They are not supported by a church or corporation. They go where they are called, and are joyous to serve a Mighty King in any circumstance. I met them two years ago when Yahweh directed me to go to Romania. This family had nothing and when I arrived, they offered me their best and the last of their food and water. Little did I know then that this would be a lifelong friendship and their biggest link to any spiritual, family and financial support that they receive. They have two sons, Joshua and Daniel, 7 and 5. Joshua has severe autism and Daniel still has not spoken. Anda finds comfort in Yeshua daily, for she has no family or friends to help raise the boys. Alex travels by foot or bicycle to the nearest job. Alex is also a street minister. He serves Yahweh by going into the byways and praying for people, healing or even casting out demons. Alex lives Mark 16:17-18 and it is write let us know and we will connect you! 

Author of the Month 

Although I have many favorite authors each month I would like to highlight just one. 

Michael S. Heiser is a scholar in the fields of biblical studies and the ancient Near East. He holds an MA and a PhD in Hebrew Bible and Semitic languages and an MA in ancient history. He blogs at DrMSH.com. 

  

Dr. Heiser has inspired me in many ways. Hs is not afraid of any topic. He may not agree. But he meets every topic by researching or at least listening to the information and assessing it then processing it with logic and wisdom. My favorite book so far of his is Unseen Realm. I am soon to start, The Portent and The Façade. If you love to study, I suggest subscribing to one of his sites called MIQLAT. You won’t be sorry.   Study well, live well.   Janine Handler- Wedekind

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