Prophecy is a communication direct from G-d through a prophet to the people of his or her generation. The message may or may not contain visions of future events. The message may have importance to future generations (us), and those were written down for posterity in the Torah (the prophecies of Moses) and Nevi'im (Prophets) in the T'nach.
Prophecy is always based on the plain meaning of the text -- not on hints or "shadows." Consider the famous chapter of Y'shayahu / Isaiah 7. it does not speak about virgins giving birth, and the woman (and her child) are incidental to the actual prohecy which was for the then living king, אָחָז / Ahaz.
Y'shayahu / Isaiah 7 begins "And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, marched on Jerusalem to wage war against it, and he could not wage war against it."
G-d tells Isaiah (prophecy! direct communication of G-d to Isaiah) to go to King Ahaz and tell him: "Feel secure and calm yourself, do not fear, and let your heart not be faint because of these two smoking stubs of firebrands, because of the raging anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah." (verse 4).
So the prophecy is for King Ahaz, the prophet is Isaiah. The message is "don't be afraid of the two kings (Rezin and Pekah)."
Prophecy is never based on hints, or shadows or vague possibilities. Judaism is replete with stories and "tall tales" -- but those are not literal and are not meant to be taken literally. A principle of the Talmud that Rashi quotes several times states that אֵין מִקְרָא יוֹצֵא מִידֵי פְשׁוּטוֹ -- in English this would be "A verse cannot depart from its plain meaning." (Treatise Shabbat 63a, Treatise Y'vamot 11b, 24a; quoted by Rashi at B'réshıt / Genesis 15:10, 37:19, and Sh'mot / Exodus 12:2).
Likewise the concept of "dual fulfillment" is totally non-biblical.
Missionaries often reference midrashim (stories meant to make a moral point) as if they were prophetic -- either from ignorance or malice.
Thus a "secondary message" that is not clear (requires drash, aka "types and shadows" let alone "dual prophecy") violates the very concept of prophecy itself. Even a "first message" which came directly from G-d (required to be prophecy) that was unclear or required interpreting hints (remez) or inferring something that isn't clearly there (drash) doesn't fit the definition of prophecy.
For those reading this who do not know the terms p'shat, drash and sod, these terms relate to the various levels the Jewish bible is read, PaRDeS:
* P'shat (פְּשָׁט) - the "plain" ("simple") meaning of a passage (prophecy is always based on 'pshat)
* Remez (רֶמֶז) - "hints" implied in the text but not explicit
* Drash (דְּרַשׁ) - which is a deeper or even midrashic meaning -- often inferred from other scripture
* Sod (סוֹד) - "secret" ("mystery") meanings
On top of all that prophecy is never hidden.
The Jewish bible itself never once gives an example of a prophecy being "dual" or being "hidden."
Thus the Christian concept of changing the meanings long after the fact are simply not supported in the Jewish bible.
The real meaning of any biblical passage is the p'shat (plain meaning). Everything else is a kind of midrash, -- a story which is not literal, but is meant to teach some supplementary message.
The Rambam wrote: "I maintain that it is not proper for a person to stroll in the Pardes unless he has filled his belly with bread and meat. "Bread and meat" refer to the knowledge of what is permitted and what is forbidden, and similar matters concerning other mitzvot. Even though the Sages referred to these as "a small matter" - for our Sages said: "'A great matter,’ this refers to Ma'aseh Merkavah ("Maaseh Merkavah" and "Maaseh Bereishit," are the mystical study of the Creator and His Creation). `A small matter,’ this refers to the debates of Abbaye and Ravva" - nevertheless, it is fitting for them to be given precedence, because they settle a person's mind." Yesodei haTorah, chapter 4.
Missionaries will dabble quoting sages speaking of drash or remez -- as if they are literal. They are doing so out of ignorance -- and as the Rambam continued to state "strolling in the PaRDeS (orchard) is restricted to accomplished Torah scholars who are already well founded in the literal understanding of the Torah (p'shat)...He stated:
"The Sages of the early generations commanded that these matters should not be expounded upon in public." Yesodei haTorah, chapter 4.
The Orthodox Union puts it well:
"Some authorities maintain that there should be a general limit on the study of kabbalah and other esoteric subjects. Rabbi Shlomo Luria, the Maharshal (d. 1573) complains (Shu”t 98 ) about ignoramuses learning kabbalah.
"The Rema equates the substance of philosophy and kabbalah and penned a lengthy essay (Torat Ha’olah, part 3, ch. 4) and a long response (Shu”t 7) on the topic of studying them. He displays intimate familiarity with kabbalah, and explains that he personally only studies such matters on Shabbat, yom tov and Chol HaMoed, and uses the rest of his time to study Mishnah, Talmud, halachah and the relevant commentaries. (Similarly, the Sanzer Rav, Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, states that the essence of life is to study the main parts of Torah all day, and that he involves himself with kabbalah when other people are in their beds and he is fighting off sleep [Divrei Chaim 2, YD 47]).
"The Maharshal derives his knowledge of philosophy only from Jewish sources such as Rambam. The Rema bemoans the lack of true kabbalists and that instead “every bore who knows not his right from his left and cannot learn parashah with Rashi, jumps to learn kabbalah."
Prophecy is NEVER based on drash, still less from rĕmĕz or sod. Prophecy is only based on a text’s p'shat (actual meaning)—never on d'rash (sermons derived from, or based on, it). The Talmud tells us: "A verse cannot depart from its plain meaning." Shabbat 63a, Y'vamot 11b, and Y'vamot 24a. Rashi, the 11th century Torah commentator, quotes this at B'reshit / Genesis 15:10, 37:19 and Sh'mot / Exodus 12:2).
I received an email which reads: “If you read Genesis 15 carefully from the Jewish perspective, you will notice the reference to Jesus.”
A link was provided FROM the website with the article. The article was complete nonsense, and "no" I will not provide a link as that was most likely the desire of the author (to receive visitors at my expense).
B’reshit / Genesis 15 has nothing to do with Jesus and only someone with Jesus blinders on would “see” him in it. This chapter, part of Parsha Lech Lecha / לֶךְ-לְךָ פָּרָשָׁה.
It begins with Abram having a vision -- he is concerned because he has no children to inherit from him. G-d tells Abram that he will have a son and through that son will have many descendants...the Jewish people. G-d tells Abram to get various kosher animals, which Abram does -- and Abram sacrifices them.
The article makes a “big deal” out of verse 15:10 where Abram takes the animals G-d asked him to get and cuts them in half. To the author this means it all about blood (not about the “halves” which is really the point). He says Abraham split the animals even though G-d didn’t say to do so.
This is a mistake -- G-d and Abraham now have a contract -- G-d's promise to Abraham, and this promise is sealed as contracts were created in ancient times.
The author, apparently ignorant of both Hebrew and ancient history, has jumped to an erroneous conclusion.
It is not all about blood (as the author assumes) -- it is about dividing something in half to form a contract or covenant. The Hebrew term for establishing a covenant / contract / treaty between two entities is known as "כריתת ברית" / kritat brit.
It translates to "dividing a contract."
Dividing -- as in cutting in half -- which is what Abram DOES.
In the Hebrew language, the verb that is used for "making" a b'rit is כרת, which literally means "to cut". In English you "make" or "sign" an agreement or a treaty - in Hebrew you "cut" one. In cutting the animals in half Abraham was creating a covenant with G-d.
Now do you see why Abram did what he did – taking the animals G-d had designated and using them to create a pact / treaty / covenant with G-d?
By cutting the animals in half Abram is formalizing the treaty with G-d via the symbolism of cutting or tearing an object in halves where each party keeping one half.
BTW – this all happened in a vision – none of it happened in reality – which your research source also seems to ignore. Read the very first line of the chapter: “God's word came to Abram in a vision…”
G‑d seals the Covenant Between the Parts / ברית בין הבתרים / Brit Bein HaBetarim which is actually the point of this chapter (chapters being a Christian invention, Jews read the Torah in parshot -- sections designated by spacing between passages in the Torah).
In this chapter Abram (later Abraham) is told that the he will have many descendants who will become the Jewish people. The exile and persecution is told, and אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל / Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel) is given by G-d as the eternal heritage of the Jews.
Why did G-d choose Abram for this covenant?
Go back a few chapters and read for context. In the end of chapter 13 Abram settled on the plains of Mamre. Soon after war came. A group of five kings went to war against a group of four kings (chapter 14). Lot, Abram's nephew, was captured in this war by the second group. Abram took 318 men and went to save his nephew, which he did.
Abram's victory was nothing short of a miracle, and he was concerned that G-d had performed a miracle for him for his past observance of Him -- and that now that might have "evened the score" -- meaning G-d would no longer be there for Abram.
In this vision G-d promises Abram that He is still His G-d and the covenant "seals" the agreement. G‑d reaffirms His promises to Abraham and Abraham confirms the covenant with the sacrifices..
I suppose the email's author equates Jesus with this chapter because of blood, G-d's word being mentioned (the very first sentence speaks of G-d’s “word” coming to Abram in a vision) and even odder -- a fiery torch also being mentioned.
The simple use of the word "word" somehow translates to the missionary as Jesus as John 1’s the word as flesh. It is an impossible notion in Hebrew and incomprehensible to the Jewish mind because the Hebrew word דָּבָר davar (word) is the closest thing that Hebrew has to a neuter noun and actually means a "thing", i.e. an inanimate object.
The "word of G-d" (and Jesus as the word) is just a repackaging of a pagan Greek concept of the λόγος / lōgos, the "personified word."
Whoever wrote your reference is unaware of Hebrew and made up a story to fit Jesus into a passage that has nothing to do with anyone other than G-d and Abram.
Then the author of the email and website somehow relates Jesus to being a “torch” and the passage speaks of a torch – so this HAS to be about Jesus s/he proclaims!
This person literally references John 1:4-5 about the word being flesh and “the light shines in the darkness.”
To this person light = flaming torch in B’reshit / Genesis 15.
I kid you not.
It gets even more ridiculous. On the website s/he writes: “As Abram stood in front of the pool of blood trembling in fear, Jesus told him in Genesis 15:13-16 that while trials await him and his kids.”
So blood, torch = word as flesh (also non-biblical) = light = Jesus and now Jesus (who needless to say is not in the passage) is now there talking to Abram.
The insanity is mind boggling.
The whole nonsense of a torch being Jesus as the word is flesh and somehow a torch is reaching to an unbelievably ridiculous extreme.
The footnote of this verse from the Artscroll Stone Edition translation says: “The furnace and fire symbolized that eh Divine Presence was there to seal the covenant, and the smoking furnace also symbolized Gehinnom, , into which the Four Monarchies would descend (Rashi). Alternatively, they symbolized the intense darkness and the fire that would be present at the Revelation at Sinai.” (Sh’mot / Exodus 19:18) (Moreh N'vuchim, "The Guide for the Perplexed," the Rambam).
Sophiee Saguy has been countering false missionary claims about Judaism and the T'nach (Jewish bible) for nearly twenty years. You may find her on FaceBook and at the Messiah Truth forum.