In this paper I would like to examine the Christian teaching that His Majesty King Yeshua was born of a virgin. In this study, I draw heavily from the lessons of my beloved teacher, Hakham Dr. Yoseph ben Haggai.
Since His Majesty King Yeshua is the living Torah, and because His Majesty obeyed the Torah, it follows that His Majesty would honor the Torah’s words and would not change them. His Majesty confirmed this position in:
Matityahu (Matthew) 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law (Torah), or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
This claim, of a virgin birth, makes it impossible, however, for Christians to insist that Yeshua was king of the Jews from a Biblical perspective. This is because tribal lineage is traced only through a person's father. This is clearly stated in Numbers 1:18.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 1:17 And Moses and Aaron took these men that are pointed out by name. 18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.
From the above passage we see that you are called a descendant of David because of a direct blood line through the father. Mashiach has to be a direct descendent of David through his father, and therefore, Yeshua is of the “house of David” (בית דוד), because of his father, as in the following passage:
Luqas (Luke) 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
Romans 1:1-4 Paul, a servant of Yeshua Mashiach, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Yeshua Mashiach our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
To put it another way:
Luqas (Luke) 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; 5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child.
2 Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 21:7 Howbeit HaShem would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.
With this a starting point, hopefully the reasons against a virgin birth will become more apparent.
Please note that in order to be a Jew by birth, your mother must be a Jew. Jewishness flows through the mother. However, in order to inherit a position or land, then your father must also be a Jew and then you will inherit his position and his land.
Shemot (Exodus) 1:15-17 “The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shifra and the other Puah, saying, ‘When you deliver the Hebrew women, look at the birth stool: if it is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.’ The midwives, fearing G-d, did not do as the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live.”
The significance of this story is that this is the first recorded instance of one of Judaism’s greatest contributions to civilization: The idea that there are moral limits to power. There are instructions that should not be obeyed. There are crimes against humanity that cannot be excused by the claim that “I was only obeying orders.”
They practiced their trade during a time where the very existence of the Jewish people was hanging by a delicate thread. Pharaoh’s astrologers had predicted that a Jewish male would rise amongst the Hebrews and overtake his throne. In a paranoid attempt to curtail the Jewish birth rate, he ordered all Jewish men into back-breaking slave labor. But when the Jews continued to multiply, Pharaoh, driven by evil and desperation, commanded Shifra and Puah to kill all newborn Jewish boys.
Chazal teach that Shifra and Puah (Heb. פּוּעָה ,שִׁפְרָה) are Yocheved and Miriam, mother and sister of Moshe (Moses). Rashi writes that Shifra is identified with Yocheved, the mother of Moses. The name refers to the fact that as a midwife, she beautified (meshapperet, מְשַׁפֶּרֶת) the children which she delivered; and Israel multiplied exceedingly (she-paru, שֶׁפָּרוּ) as a result of her actions; and that she performed deeds which were pleasing (shafru, שָׁפְרוּ) to G-d. Puah’s name comes from her special way of speaking and cooing to soothe crying babies.
Rashi, again quoting Sotah 11b, maintains that G-d rewarded the two women for their devotion by providing them not with actual houses, but rather with “dynasties.” Yocheved (Shifra), through her children Aaron and Moses, was to become the progenitor of two dynasties, the Priests and the Levites, while Miriam (Puah) was to become the forebear of King David.
Shemot (Exodus) 1:20-21 G‑d bestowed goodness upon the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very strong. It was because the midwives feared G-d, that He made houses for them.
You remember the midwives in Egypt we're commanded by pharaoh to kill the Jewish baby boys because he knew the Redeemer would be a male. As you know the midwives risked their lives disobeying pharaohs command and saving the Jewish boys. What was their reward? G-d rewarded them by giving them houses the Bible says. What does that mean? It means he gave them houses of distinguished leaders of Israel. Think about it what would happen if the women would have obeyed pharaoh and let the little baby girls live and kill the baby boys? These Jewish girls would grow up but who would they marry? There would be a severe lack of eligible Jewish men to marry; maybe these Jewish girls would be forced to marry non-Jews. Now, without Shifra and Puah, these couples would have children and the children would be Jewish because the mother is Jewish; however, what tribe with these children belong to? The answer is they would have no tribal affiliation because their birth fathers we're not associated with any tribe and were not Jewish. Since these midwives preserved tribal distinction by saving the Jewish boys they were rewarded that priests and Kings would come from them. Aaron and King David were the direct descendants of these two midwives!!
Shifra and Puah preserved the importance of the MALE line. They saved the males, and therefore preserved the tribes, and were rewarded mida-keneged-mida. I think the best way to explain it is to ask the question: What if the midwives would have obeyed Pharaoh? The baby girls would survive, but who would they marry? Goyim. The children would still be Jewish, but they would have no Tribal affiliation. This shows the requirement for ben Yosef to have a physical male father, not some ethereal spirit.
Thus we understand that Shifra and Puah merited ‘houses’ because they preserved the male babies and insured that the females would marry kosher males and preserve tribal identities, then how much more must Mary have Joseph for a husband and for Joseph to be the father of Yeshua – in order to preserve Yeshua’s identity with the Tribe of Yehuda, to be The Son of David, The Mashiach ben Yosef.
Some have said that since His Majesty is His “only begotten son”, therefore they say he must be divine, He must be HaShem (yod-hay-vav-hay) or a manifestation of HaShem. To address this issue, lets examine what Moses said about this:
From the above pasuk we learn that HaShem called Israel His son, His firstborn son. Now, since Israel is His firstborn son, we learn that being a firstborn son of HaShem does not make one divine and does not in any way enable one to be called G-d, as Christians use this term, nor indeed can Israel be called HaShem. Now we know that being the Son of HaShem does not make one divine.
Now, the Prophets have written about this son called Israel:
Hosea 11:1 When Israel [was] a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Here again the Prophet declares that Israel is HaShem’s son. Further, HaShem declares that when Israel was just a child He called him out of Mitzrayim, Egypt. This theme will be picked up in the Nazarean Codicil:
Matityahu (Matthew) 2:13-15 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
What makes the above passage so interesting is that we have suddenly connected Yeshua with Israel, the firstborn son of HaShem. This pasuk indicates that His Majesty is connected with Israel, the firstborn son of HaShem. To be more precise, Hoshea and Matityahu have effectively told us that: Yeshua = Israel. In some way they are the same entity. Think about the implications of that.
The implications of this substitution are quite profound! For example, the Jewish Sages teach us that the sacrifice of Yitzhak, and therefore his son Israel, by Avraham, on Mount Moriah, serves as an atonement for all the Jews (see MERIT). So, whenever we see an only begotten son, we can substitute either Israel or His Majesty King Yeshua. I have written more about this in a study titled: Merit.
Many Christians claim that His Majesty is HaShem (see also the study titled: Conundrum). They see His Majesty as part of a trinity. His Majesty worked rather diligently to dispel this idea. His Majesty suggested that being the son of G-d did not make him divine:
Yochanan (John) 10:30-36 I and [my] Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Yeshua answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself G-d. Yeshua answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are G-ds? If he called them G-ds, unto whom the word of G-d came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of G-d?
Tehillim (Psalms) 82:6 I have said, Ye [are] G-ds; and all of you [are] children of the most High.
So, some of HaShem’s firstborn sons are also called G-ds, therefore it should come as no surprise that His Majesty was also called the Son of G-d. As an aside, Adam was also called “the Son of God” in:
For those not familiar with Rabbinic literature, the phrase “Son of G-d” is a title for the judges of Israel, those who administer justice in the Batae Din (courts) of Israel. So surely the one who will rule with a rod of iron will be called the Son of G-d as surely as those who rule and reign (judges) with Him will be called Sons of G-d.
Just as a judge is not HaShem, they are not divine, surely, we can see that His Majesty is not HaShem, He is not divine, because He is the Son of G-d. Son of G-d is a title for a Judge of Israel. With this background, lets begin examining the detailed accounts, in the Nazarean Codicil, of His Majesty’s birth:
Matityahu (Matthew) 1:18-25 Now the birth of Yeshua Mashiach was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just [man], and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name YESHUA: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, G-d with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Yeshua.
Let’s see how the Greek word, translated “they came together” is defined by Strong’s and used elsewhere in the Nazarean Codicil:
4905 sunerchomai, soon-er'-khom-ahee; from 4862 and 2064; to convene, depart in company with, associate with, or (spec.) cohabit (conjugally):- accompany, assemble (with), come (together), come (company, go) with, resort.
This term, sunerchomai, is used in 32 verses. Let’s look at them so that we can begin to understand the contextual use of the word.
Marqos (Mark) 3:20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
Luqas (Luke) 5:15 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
II Luqas (Acts) 9:39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
II Luqas (Acts) 10:23 Then called he them in, and lodged [them]. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
II Luqas (Acts) 10:27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
II Luqas (Acts) 11:12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:
II Luqas (Acts) 15:38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
II Luqas (Acts) 21:16 There went with us also [certain] of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.
II Luqas (Acts) 21:22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
II Luqas (Acts) 25:17 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.
II Luqas (Acts) 28:17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men [and] brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare [unto you] I praise [you] not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
1 Corinthians 11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in [those that are] unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
Now that we have examined all of the places where sunerchomai is used, we can see that the usage of the word sunerchomai seems to be a general “coming together” for a meeting or for a meal. It is only used once, out of the thirty-two times, to suggest sexual union. This word sunerchomai can NOT, therefore, be used to prove that Miriam and Yoseph had not previously had relations. In fact, the most common usage would suggest that that Miriam was found to be with child before they began to live together in the same house, or came together for the chuppah (wedding canopy).
So, let’s retranslate a bit:
Midrash Rabbah - Genesis LXXXV:9 AND HE SAID: WHAT PLEDGE SHALL I GIVE THEE? AND SHE SAID: THY SIGNET AND THY CORD, AND THY STAFF THAT IS IN THY HAND (XXXVIII, 18). R. Hunia said: A holy spirit was enkindled within her. THY SIGNET alludes to royalty, as in the verse, Though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon My right hand, etc. (Jer. XXII, 24); AND THY CORD (PETHIL - EKA) alludes to the Sanhedrin, as in the verse, And that they put with the fringe of each corner a thread (pethil) of blue, etc. (Num. XV, 38) AND THY STAFF alludes to the royal Messiah, as in the verse, The staff of thy strength the Lord will send out of Zion (Ps. CX, 2). AND HE GAVE THEM TO HER... AND SHE CONCEIVED BY HIM-men mighty like himself and righteous like himself. AND JUDAH SENT THE KID OF THE GOATS (XXXVIII, 20). R. Judah b. Nahman quoted in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: Laughing in His habitable earth, laughing always before him (Prov.VIII, 31, 30). The Torah laughs at men. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Judah: ' Thou didst deceive thy father with a kid of goats; by thy life! Tamar will deceive thee with a kid of goats.’
One of the things that makes this passage so interesting is that Tamar, too, is founding the Messianic line directly through Yehudah!
Luqas 1:26-35 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from G-d unto city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name [was] Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women. And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with G-d. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth son, and shalt call his name Yeshua. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: an the Lord G-d shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of G-d.
To answer this question, we need to examine the Greek word parthenos which is translated virgin. Strong’s gives the following definition:
3933 parthenos, par-then'-os; of unknown or.; a maiden; by impl. an unmarried daughter:-virgin.
Strong’s says that this word means a maiden (“virgin” is how the KJV translates this word, but that is not the meaning). Now Matityahu gives us an additional clue by quoting from the Prophets:
Matityahu is quoting Isaiah:
Isaiah 7:13-14 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my G-d also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
The Hebrew word for Virgin is:
5959 `almah, al-maw'; fem. of 5958; a lass (as veiled or private):-damsel, maid, virgin.
--------------- Dictionary Trace ------------
5958 `elem, eh'-lem; from 5956; prop. something kept out of sight [comp. 5959], i.e. a lad:-young man, stripling. ^ `olam. See 5769.
Again, Strong’s indicates that this word merely means a young woman, a maid, a damsel. An Almah is a girl between the ages of 12 and 16. Miriam was about 14 years old when she conceived His Majesty King Yeshua. The verse should be translated as:
What makes this verse so interesting as proof that His Majesty was not born of a virgin, is that if He was, then so also was there ANOTHER virgin who bore a son in the days of King Ahaz, according to Isaiah 7! It is worthwhile to read this whole passage to see that this prophecy was clearly fulfilled in the days of King Ahaz. This means, that if there was a virgin birth in the days of King Ahaz, then there is a possibility that His Majesty could have had a virgin birth. However, the Sages understand that it was a young woman who bore a son, not a virgin.
Keep in mind that His Majesty King Yeshua did not fulfill Yeshayahu 7:15-16. One implication of this is that we must remember that Matityahu is written at the Midrashic level. This means that the reference, in Matityahu, to Yeshayahu 7:13-14, should be understood in a parabolic manner.
Suffice it to say, this prophecy clearly shows that a young woman, not a virgin, is to bear a child in the days of King Ahaz and also, a young woman, not a virgin, is to bear His Majesty King Yeshua. By implication, if one says that His Majesty is divine because He was born of a virgin, then we would have to say that the son born in the days of King Ahaz was also divine. This clearly was not the case.
An attempt was made by the early Christians to justify the virgin birth story by referring to Isaiah 7:14. The word employed in the Septuagint was parthenos. But a reference to the original Hebrew yields the word almah. Both parthenos and almah did not necessarily mean a virgin as we understand it, a woman who had never had intercourse. In Greek it could mean youth, the state of unmarriage, or even a person who is first married. In Hebrew, it could mean beside the usual meaning, an immature girl who could not conceive because she had not yet started to menstruate (Now that’s an interesting thought).
The idea of a virgin as a premenstrual girl allows her to have children and still be a young woman. If she were to conceive from her very first ovulation, she would not have menstruated but would be a mother and still not a virgin. If she conceived at the first ovulation after the birth, she could not be a virgin mother of two children of different ages. Since Jewish girls often married before menstruation, in Joel 1:8 an almah's husband is mentioned, mothers who had not menstruated, were not unusual. Now Mary was described as betrothed to Joseph implying that she was a minor under the age of twelve and a half. After that age she could become his wife. Thus Mary could have given birth. If she did, the truth was misunderstood in the Gentile world of the Roman Empire.
When the translators of the Septuagint were translating the Hebrew writings into the Greek Septuagint, they converted the Hebrew word almah as the Greek equivalent of our English word for young woman. Almah appears nine other times in the Tanach (Old Testament); in each case it means young woman. When the scriptures referred to a virgin (and they do so over 50 times) they always used the Hebrew word bethulah. So, Isaiah appears to have referred to a young woman becoming pregnant.
Some English translators are accurate to the original Hebrew:
Revised English Bible: "...a young woman is with child..."
Revised Standard Version: "...a young woman shall conceive..."
James Moffatt Translation: "...a young woman with child..."
New Revised Standard Version: "...the young woman is with child..."
Aside from this, the Torah does, in fact, have an explicit word for virgin (bethulah), which is always used where the context requires virginity. The fact that Yeshayahu (Isaiah) did not use the word bethulah lends credence to the understanding that he did NOT intend to convey that a virgin birth was involved.
Solomon uses this same word to speak of the way of a man and a maid:
Mishlei (Proverbs) 30:18-19 There be three [things which] are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
What connect the four items in our passage above, is that they all leave no trace of their passage. Now if the maid had been a virgin she would have left a trace of blood. This verse implies that this maid is no virgin!
No virgin birth is insinuated or intimated in Yeshayahu 7:13-14! If it was, then there must have been a virgin birth in the days of King Ahaz. Now what would that do for the proponents of a virgin birth? At most, all we can read into this text from a Midrashic perspective is that the precedent is, as the Abarbanel points out, a young (adolescent) woman of the Royal Family or, one who married into the Royal Family, will give birth to a son to show that HaShem is with us (the Jews)!
Jews object to premarital sex, but it isn't actually prohibited. Doing so is considered immoral and immature, but not a sin. Since sex is supposed to be a tool to get closer to your spouse, doing it just for the pleasure is contrary to its purpose, not to say one may not just have sex for the pleasure (with your spouse).
The written Torah never forbids sex outside the context of marriage, with the exception of adultery and incest. On the contrary, the Torah seems to assume that it is a natural part of life. For example, when Judah sleeps with his daughter‑in‑law Tamar, mistaking her for a prostitute, he is never condemned for the sexual act, only for avoiding his levirate responsibilities. Similarly, when King David in his old age is unable to keep warm, a young virgin, Abishag the Shunammite, is brought to share his bed and wait on him. The Bible is natural and unembarrassed about the sexual activities of its major personalities. Although adultery and incest are explicitly forbidden, fornication is not.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:18 There shall not be a promiscuous woman…and there shall not be a promiscuous man…
If a sexual act is completely consensual between an unmarried man and woman, it is not a crime and there is no fine, but it is still not permitted because of the above mitzva.
The Ramban understands this mitzva differently. He says that relations between unmarried people are not inherently prohibited by the Torah, only relations between two people who would not be permitted to marry under Jewish law. Therefore, he says that this verse prohibits promiscuity because a promiscuous person does not tend to examine whether a potential partner is someone fit for them to marry. This position is supported by the Talmudic definition of promiscuity as relations between two people who are unfit to wed.
Shemot (Exodus) 22:15-16 When a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall surely make her his wife by payment of the bride-price. If her father refuses to give her to him (in marriage), he must still weigh out silver in accordance with the bride price of virgins.
a) Sexual relations should be for marital purposes – i.e., to establish or maintain a marriage;
b) An unbetrothed, unmarried woman who has a sexual relationship before marriage (and the man who has sexual relationships with her) are not in violation of a severe prohibition on the level of adultery and other major sexual violations listed in Leviticus 18:6-23; it is a violation of the sanctity expected of sexual relations within marriage which can best be corrected after the fact by formalizing a marriage between the parties.
Since sexual intercourse is one of the three ways by which a man can legally sanctify a marriage, the intention of the parties to the act is crucial. Sexual intercourse outside of marriage with no intent to sanctify a marriage is defined aszenut – fornication. According to Rabbinic sources, HaShem hates zenut. However, since intention cannot be easily discerned by anyone other than HaShem, the Rabbis of the Talmud operate under the presumption that a person does not have intercourse for the purpose of zenut, but rather has marital intentions. Thus a single woman who is known to have engaged in sexual intercourse with a single man to whom she was not married is presumed not to have engaged in an act of zenut, unless there is decisive contextual evidence to the contrary.
Irrespective of intention, a more severe prohibition most likely applies to almost all cases of premarital sex these days. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:19 and 20:18 forbid intercourse with a menstruant woman, stipulating a severe penalty. Talmudic law considers the severe penalty to apply even to an act of intercourse which occurs long after the cessation of the menstrual flow so long as the woman has not immersed herself fully in a mikveh or natural body of water for purification. Since unmarried women generally do not immerse themselves seven days after their menstrual periods as mitzvah-observant married women do, it must be presumed that any act of premarital sex will violate this severe prohibition.
Maimonides (Rambam) in his list of the 613 commandments, says that number 170 is that the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) must not have sexual relations with a widow even outside of marriage. Now it doesn't make sense to specify "even outside of marriage" unless he would have otherwise been permitted to do so had he not been the Kohen Gadol.
To put it in more context, rules 169-175 of Maimonides' list are worth mentioning:
# 169 - The Kohen Gadol must not marry a widow.
# 171 - The Kohen Gadol must marry a virgin maiden.
# 173 - A Kohen must not marry a zonah
# 174 - A Kohen must not marry a chalalah
# 175 - Not to make pleasurable (sexual) contact with any forbidden woman
Now what's a Zonah (#173) it's a woman who has had a forbidden sexual relationship. It doesn't mean a prostitute (which is a common and poor translation), it means someone who has had sex with certain people she is not allowed to have sex with.
Now what's a Chalalah, literally it means a 'desecrated person', it's defined as someone who was the child of someone who violated #'s 169-172, or who was the violator themselves.
#175 clearly specifies the prohibition of sexual contact with any forbidden woman. Forbidden for what? Forbidden to marry, but anyone who you may marry is permitted.
Similarly, while "Mamzer" is generally translated as "bastard", that's a rather poor translation. In English, a 'bastard' is someone born from two parents who weren't married, yet that person is not a mamzer as long as the parents were permitted to be married (i.e. it wasn't adultery and thus that person was not allowed to get married to them). Notice how two unmarried parents (i.e. premarital or no-marital sex) can have a child with no negative connotations attached to it, unlike children that become chalalahs and mamzers.
To summarize, the accepted position in Judaism by Hakhamim of all movements is that sex outside marriage is forbidden. However, as we have seen, this position is not without controversy. The Torah never explicitly forbids non-marital sex. In fact, it permits the taking of a concubine, a woman who has an exclusive relationship with a man without kiddushin or Ketubah, the basic necessities of marriage. In other words, it is parallel to our modern living together without benefit of clergy. Eventually concubinage fell out of usage in the Jewish community.
Hakham Shaul speaks of His Majesty as though he has an earthly father:
Romans 1:1-3 I Paul, a servant of Yeshua Mashiach, called to be an apostle and separated onto the gospel of G-d...concerning his Son Yeshua Mashiach our Lord, which was made of the seed (sperma – male sperm) of David according to the flesh.
Sperm is the father’s contribution to a child. If Yeshua was the sperma of David, then he had a father from the descendants of David who contributed sperm to the birth of Yeshua. Luqas also describes Joseph as the father of His Majesty:
Now, while Jewish descent is confirmed through the mother's ancestry, tribal lineage goes through the father's, as it is written:
Bamidbar (Numbers) 1:18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first [day] of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.
If His Majesty King Yeshua had no human Jewish father, then he had a great supernatural Father but was himself of no tribe and hence cannot have been Mashiach! One might accuse me of nitpicking, since descent from HaShem is far better than descent from Judah; but HaShem's word, the Torah, said that Mashiach would be of the tribe of Yehudah (Judah), and I cannot argue with HaShem's word. Some have tried to resolve this problem by saying that since Joseph was Yeshua's adopted father, Yeshua's tribe would be reckoned by Joseph's ancestry; but there is no scriptural precedent for reckoning tribal membership in this fashion.
Moshe Rabbenu, Moses our teacher, was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, yet he remained a Levite and a Jew. He did not become an Egyptian. He did not inherit a tribe from his adopted parents, but rather he inherited his tribe from his biological father.
In Jewish law, parents who adopt a child are merely caretakers, not true parents. If the parents are Jews and the child is a Gentile, he would still have to convert after bar mitzva age, in order to become a Jew.
HaShem is the only one who can adopt and by a miracle make a child who was not his own, his very own by means of teshuva (normally translated repentance), returning, and by conversion. This miraculous power is not given to any human being. Further, Hakham Shaul in the Nazarean Codicil makes it vary clear in Romans that the power and prerogative of "ADOPTION" is exclusively the domain of Israel:
Romans 9:3-5 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Mashiach for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom belongs the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service [of G-d], and the promises; Whose [are] the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Mashiach [came], who is over all, G-d blessed for ever. Amen.
When a convert is adopted into Israel, it is by means of brit mila, tevilah, and Bet Din (circumcision, immersion, and a Jewish court). This means that Gentiles do not adopt Israel, but rather Israel adopts Gentiles. This is a very important point.
(Rashi on Shemot (Exodus) 24:6: in the basins Two basins, one for half the blood of the burnt offering and one for half the blood of the peace offering, [in order] to sprinkle them on the people. From here our Sages learned that our ancestors entered the covenant with circumcision, immersion [in a mikvah], and the sprinkling of the blood [of the sacrifice on the altar], for there is no sprinkling [of blood on a person] without immersion [preceding it].)
There is no scripture or even a hint of scripture which suggests that an adopted man can become king in Israel. This would be necessary to establish a precedent for His Majesty King Yeshua. There simply is no precedent for this. Let me remind you of the wisdom of His Majesty King Shlomo:
Scripture is clear that tribal membership is determined by the biological father's ancestry. (One might just as easily claim that the adopted son of a High Priest is qualified to succeed him as High Priest, even though High Priests must be of Aaron's lineage [Bamidbar 18].)
I noticed an interesting juxtaposition: The only two accounts of His Majesty’s birth are found in the only two books (Matityahu 1 and Luqas 3) which also contain a genealogy of His Majesty. It is almost as though the writer were anticipating the issue of a virgin birth and therefore went out of their way to use the genealogy to prove that it was NOT a virgin birth.
In the sod level book of Yochanan, we see a bit of a dichotomy. We see a heavenly origin and an earthly origin. Clearly His Majesty’s soul came down from HaShem while His body was assembled on earth by His parents. There are other verses which make sense ONLY if Joseph had fathered Yeshua:
Matityahu (Matthew) 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Matityahu (Matthew) 12:23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
Matityahu (Matthew) 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
Matityahu (Matthew) 20:31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, [thou] son of David.
Matityahu (Matthew) 21:9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
Matityahu (Matthew) 21:15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,
Matityahu (Matthew) 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Mashiach? whose son is he? They say unto him, [The son] of David.
Marqos (Mark) 10:48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, [Thou] son of David, have mercy on me.
Luqas (Luke) 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord G-d shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luqas (Luke) 3:31 Which was [the son] of Melea, which was [the son] of Menan, which was [the son] of Mattatha, which was [the son] of Nathan, which was [the son] of David,
Luqas (Luke) 18:39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, [Thou] son of David, have mercy on me.
Luqas (Luke) 1:26-37 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name [was] Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women. And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Yeshua. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Miriam askes a question, “How can this be, seeing that I know not a man (my husband)?” Miriam is asking how can she bear a son before her chuppah (wedding canopy). The answer: Have intercourse before the chuppah. Having intercourse before marriage is a valid Torah method for marrying a woman!
Now, before you get too riled up, there is a second possibility. Remember that an almah is a girl between the ages of 12 and 16. Now, not all girls of 12 years, have menstruated. Therefore, if Miriam was in this group, she may have been delaying the chupa for her menses to start. In this case, the Angel Gabriel is telling her to go to her chupa before menses This would have Miriam going to her chuppah before her menses, then cohabiting with Yoseph, after the chupa. Miriam’s surprise is now quite understandable. How can I possibly have a child, seeing that I have NOT had my menses, I have not had a chupa, and even if I lay with a man I can not possibly conceive! So, just as in Yeshayhu 7:13-14, Miriam will have her chupa, her man, and her son, and it will be a miracle.
There is also a third possible answer to Miriam’s question. If Yoseph was either divorced or widowed, and knew that he could not father children, then Miriam’s question would be: “How can this be, seeing that I know not a (fertile) man (my husband)?” The obvious connection with Bereshit 18 would be stunning:
Bereshit (Genesis) 18:11-12 Now Abraham and Sarah [were] old [and] well stricken in age; [and] it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
Note also how similar this is to Boaz:
Ruth 3:8-10 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. And he said, Who [art] thou? And she answered, I [am] Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou [art] a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed [be] thou of the HaShem, my daughter: [for] thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
1. The husband is said to be much older than the woman, and
2. Both produce son of the royal line, and
To sew this together, lets look at one more passage:
Matityahu 1:24-25 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Yeshua.
What does it mean when it says that Yoseph took Miriam as his wife? According to Jewish law, one “takes a wife” when he has provided a woman with food from his money, with clothes from his money, and with cohabitation. There is no other way. The chupa, wedding canopy, is merely sanctifying the union in a formal manner. It still must be executed with food, clothing, and sex. Therefore, I suggest that Yoseph took Miriam to the chupa, then to his bedroom. After this consummation, he had no more relations till after His Majesty King Yeshua was born.
The virgin birth story was inspired by the Tanach: Throughout the Tanach, we hear of unusual births: The Sages say that Sarah did not have a womb until she was ninety years old. The birth of Yitzchak was truly a miracle:
Bereshit (Genesis) 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she [had] no child.
Samson’s mother was barren and conceived only after an angelic visit:
Shoftim (Judges) 13:2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name [was] Manoah; and his wife [was] barren, and bare not. And the angel of HaShem appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou [art] barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
Elizabeth, the mother of Yochanan, was also barren. She, too, conceived after an angel visited her husband. Elizabeth was also advanced in years:
Luqas (Luke) 1:7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were [now] well stricken in years.
Yevamoth 34a Surely, no woman conceives from the first contact!
Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XLV:4 AND HE WENT IN UNTO HAGAR, AND SHE CONCEIVED (XVI, 4). R. Levi b. Haytha said: She became pregnant through the first intimacy. R. Eleazar said: A woman never conceives by the first intimacy.
I have already mentioned several ways that would make it hard for Joseph to understand how Miriam became pregnant on this first intimacy. His Majesty’s mother, Miriam, already set aside for Joseph, before the chupa, is found pregnant and Joseph finds out about it. He being a tzadik, decides to send her away secretly, to avoid having to turn her in to be stoned. Joseph could not, by Torah law, just put her away privately:
Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man's wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Mashiach was found in Sodom according to the Midrash. When Lot’s eldest daughter committed incest with her father, a son named Moab was the result. This daughter managed to turn the sin of incest into a mitzva! And from this mitzva we get a progenitor of the Mashiach.
Yehudah had a relationship with Tamar who was disguised as a prostitute. Recall that Tamar had previously married Er and Onan, the sons of Yehudah, who were killed for their sins. From Tamar came the ancestor of the Mashiach.
Ruth was a Moabite and a descendant of Lot. Further, the Torah specifically forbids a Moabite from entering the Congregation of Israel. It is only because of the oral law that we know that a Moabite female was allowed to enter the Congregation of Israel.
Now Boaz had an ancestor who’s name was Yehudah. So his genealogy is irregular.
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This study was written by
Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David
Comments may be submitted to:
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 This is Matthew’s Hebrew name.
 This is Luke’s Hebrew name.
 The Nazarean Codicil does not teach a virgin birth! Only ignorant Christians push such a ridiculous non-Jewish concept.
 Shiphrah (more commonly spelled "Shifra")
 Ibn Ezra
 Sotah 11b
 Exodus Rabbah 1:13
 Gentiles – all the Jewish males would have been killed.
 A more precise name for the New Testament which is neither new nor a testament.
 HaShem is the way pious Jews refer to the One who is called the yod-hay-vav-hay (YHVH).
 The New Testament
 Bereshit (Genesis) 38.
 Melachim alef (I Kings) 1:1‑4.
 Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Ishut 1:4, Hilchot Na'arah Betulah 2:17; Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 26:1, 177:5.
 For example, a prostitute is not likely to ask her client if he’s a kohen.
 Yevamot 61a
 Palestinian Talmud, Sanhedrin ch. 10, 28d; Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer, parashah 18, p. 335-6; Eichah Rabba 5
 Gittin 81b; Tosafot there, s.v. Beit Shammai.
 Opinion of the Sages in Yebamot 61b as opposed to the opinion of R. Elazar there.
 Shabbat 64b; Maimonides, Laws of Forbidden Intercourse 4:3; Shulhan Arukh YD 197:1.
 Sefer Hamitzvot ("Book of Commandments") by Maimonides.
 From Yevamot 46b, K'rithoth 9b
 Cf. Sotah 17a; Genesis Rabba 8.9