By Christine Darg
“After the LORD takes us to Himself,” speaking of the Rapture, wrote the Society for Distributing Hebrew Scriptures in a recent editorial, “that fact alone will speak to the Jewish people plus many others. And according to Revelation 7: 3-8, there will be 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel who will be sealed servants of our God …to preserve them through the Great Tribulation period.”
Indeed, some evangelicals believe that the 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 sudden translation to Heaven of evangelical believers, which is our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), will lend great validity of the resurrection of Jesus, especially to the Jewish world. One such evangelical is prolific author John David Pitcher Jr., MD, a retired orthopedic surgeon who spends much of his waking hours on his monumental discovery of the apostle Paul’s commentary (in Judaism called a midrash) in the New Testament of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Dr. Pitcher has discovered that the Apostle Paul wrote a commentary, or midrash, on the first six books of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Hexateuch, using the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures called the Septuagint as a template. Dr. Pitcher has termed his scholarly discovery, “The Oldest Midrash. The Identity of the Messiah,” and one of his latest books available on Amazon in print or electronically focuses on Paul’s madras of Leviticus in the Book of Romans. The title on Leviticus/Romans that I’m reviewing presently is called “The Rescue of the Righteous in the Day of Judgment.” And I don’t think any sensible believer can deny, based on the prophetic signs all around us, that Judgment Day is nigh.
This book is a part of Dr. Pitcher’s ongoing discoveries and it gives the reader a flavor of the undercurrent of the surface reading of the Book of Romans. Dr. Pitcher says that Paul’s carefully chosen words bring to the surface reading of the text great Gospel truths encoded through the primary meanings of the usage of Biblical words in the Septuagint. He has artfully used enlarged colored type to amplify key thoughts from the well-educated mind of the apostle Paul.
Because, according to Dr. Pitcher, Paul’s letter to the Romans was a midrash or commentary on the Book of Leviticus, Paul used at least 469 words from Leviticus in sectional order in 43 sections out of the more than 7,000 words.
In Judaism, a surface reading is called a Peshat. The words that have their first use in the Hebrew Scripture comprise a Derash, or sermon, (homily), giving the contextual meaning of the words that Paul deliberately chose.
The takeaway of the Derash conceived by Dr. Pitcher’s careful studies and analysis is that the Good News of the Messiah will be transferred from the former Gentiles who have received the Messiah back to the children of Israel after the rescue of the righteous, commonly known as the Rapture. In other words, the Gospel baton will be handed back to the Jews.
The cover drawing of the book is a depiction of Abraham’s nephew Lot when captured by the five kings in Genesis 14. Maimonides, a medieval Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars, stated that there is no greater duty than the redemption of captives, and in Jewish tradition it was the Word of God that went before Abraham to rescue Lot. In other words, Dr. Pitcher says, it was the pre-incarnate Messiah who fought the battle and won the day. The redemption of captives, the great Mitzvah, or Mitzvah Rabbah, is fulfilled in Yeshua the Messiah, and He will be recognized at the event of the Rapture as the redeemer of mankind.
The Derash (Hebraic style sermon) that Dr. Pitcher reads from the Apostle Paul’s scholarship reveals the nature of the end times surrounding the return of Yeshua the Messiah for both rescue and judgment.
Dr. Pitcher describes similar, which he dubs “semblative” words, as shared words between Romans and Leviticus of the Septuagint (the Source Text). He describes an anchor point as the presence of a quotation, phrase or uncommon words or name occurring both in the epistles and in the Hexateuch.
I commend and recommend Dr. Pitcher’s books and discoveries for those who are on the tip of the spear concerning the End Times and the Rapture. You will be mightily encouraged!
Below is a typical colourful page from the book: This one is from the chapter entitled, “Messiah Will Bring Peace between Lion and Lamb”/ Derash (homily) of Romans 15: 23-22 Midrash of Leviticus 25: 2-26:17