“We must realise Shamoun’s views on the angel of the Lord would have been deemed heretical during the time of Jesus and indeed before the time of Jesus.” – Rabbi Yahya SnowGiven his trenchant ignorance regarding the Old Testament, I am sure others who are familiar with Yahya were just as surprised as I was to find out that he styles himself something of an authority on what Jewish people believed before and during the time of Christ. In this post I would like to return the favor and surprise Yahya by letting him know he is nothing of the sort. Since few people are likely to be taken in by Yahya’s rabbinic pretensions, I will be brief and will simply provide some relevant quotes from Jewish sources on Genesis 16, a passage I commented on in the first post.
The Septuagint (a Jewish translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek before the coming of Jesus): “And the angel of the Lord said to her, Agar, Sara’s maid, whence comest thou, and wither goest thou? and she said, I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sara. And the angel of the Lord said to her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said to her, I will surely multiply thy seed, and it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her, Behold thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ismael, for the Lord hath hearkened to thy humiliation. He shall be a wild man, his hands against all, and the hands of all against him, and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. And she called the name of the Lord God who spoke to her, Thou art God who seest me; for she said, For I have openly seen him that appeared to me. Therefore she called the well, The well of him whom I have openly seen; behold it is between Cades and Barad. And Agar bore a son to Abram; and Abram called the name of his son which Agar bore to him, Ismael. And Abram was eighty-six years old, when Agar bore Ismael to Abram.”
[n.b. How could the Jewish translators of the LXX produce such a translation when it clearly communicates an idea that is supposed to be the heretical innovation of a 21st Century Christian named Sam Shamoun?]
Targum of Onkelos: "And the Angel of the Lord found her at the fountain of water in the wilderness, at the fountain in the way of Hagra. And he said, Hagar handmaid of Sara, whence comest thou, and whither art thou going? And she said, From before Sara my mistress do I escape. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Return to thy mistress and be subject under her hand. And the Angel of the Lord said to her: Multiplying I will multiply thy sons, and they shall not be numbered for multitude. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Behold, thou hast conceived, and shalt give birth to a son, and thou shalt call his name Yishmael, because the Lord hath heard thy prayer. And he will be untameable by man, and he will be needy to every one, and also all men will be needy to him, and before the face of all his brethren will he dwell. And she prayed in the Name of the Lord who had spoken with her; and she said: Thou art Eloha, seeing all: for she said, I also have begun to see after that He hath been revealed to me. Therefore she called the name of the well, The well at which appeared the Angel of the Covenant: behold, it is between Rekam and Hagra. And Hagar bare to Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son whom Hagar bare Yishmael. And Abram was son of eighty and six years when Hagar bare Yishmael unto Abram."
Targum Pseudo-Johnathan: "And Abram said to Sara, Behold, thy handmaid is under thy authority: do to her what is right in thine eyes. And Sara afflicted her, and she escaped from before her. And the Angel of the Lord found her at the fountain of waters in the desert; at the fountain of waters which is in the way to Chagra. And He said, Hagar, handmaid of Sara, whence comest thou, and whither does thou go? And she said, From before Sara my mistress I have escaped. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Return to thy mistress, and be subject under her hand. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Multiplying I will multiply thy sons, and they shall not be numbered for multitude. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Behold, thou art with child, and thou wilt bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because thy affliction is revealed before the Lord. And he shall be like the wild ass among men: his hands shall take vengeance of his adversaries, and the hands of his adversaries be put forth to do him evil; and in the presence of all his brethren shall he be commingled, and shall dwell. And she gave thanks before the Lord whose Word spake to her, and thus said, Thou art He who livest and art eternal; who seest, but art not seen! · for she said, For, behold, here is revealed the glory of the Shekina of the Lord after a vision. Wherefore she called the well, The Well at which the Living and Eternal One was revealed; and, behold, it is situate between Rekam and Chalutsa. And Hagar bare Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son whom Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was the son of eighty-six years when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram."
Jerusalem Targum: "And Hagar gave thanks, and prayed in the Name of the Word of the Lord, who had been manifested to her, saying, Blessed be Thou, Eloha, the Living One of all Ages, who hast looked upon my affliction. For she said, Behold, Thou art manifested also unto me, even as Thou wast manifested to Sara my mistress."
[n.b. According to the above Targums, the Angel of the Lord is called “Lord”, “God”, “the Word of the Lord”, “the Shekinah of the Lord”, and “the Angel of the Covenant”; and the Angel is also distinguished from another person called God, for it is said that He “revealed” and “manifested” the Living and Eternal one, and also that Hagar prayed to God in “the name of the Lord who spoke to her” and in “the Name of the Word of the Lord”.]
In light of this, I think Yahya should stick to making pronouncements about Islam and stop pontificating on matters that are clearly beyond his competence.