16 And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick¹, and write upon it, ‘For Yehūdah and for the sons of Yisra’ēl, his companion.² And take one stick, and write upon it, for Yōsēf (the stick of E̕phrai̱m) and all the house of Yisra’ēl, his companion. 17 And make approach them, one unto |
18 And as that they will say unto you, the sons of your people, saying, ‘Will you not make declared to us what these |
20 And the sticks will have been, when you will write on them, in your hand, before their eyes. 21 And say unto them, ‘Thus has said A̕dōnai Yăhwēh, Behold I |
25 And they will dwell upon the land, which I have given to my servant, to Ya‘aqōv̱, which their fathers had dwelled in it. And they will dwell upon it, they and their sons, and the sons of their sons, onward time immemorial, and Daυid my servant |
28 Then the nations will have known that I
37:16¹ ^עֵץ ē̒ts = tree, branch, stick of wood.
37:16² ^The noun reading in the MT: חֲבֵרוֹ ḥav̱ērō means “his joiner,” i.e. the one who joins Yehūdah. This is derived from the verb root לַחֲבֹר laḥav̱ōr, “to join, to unite, to connect.” The reference then is to descendants of the Northern Kingdom who count themselves as Yehūdi̱m, i.e. Jews.
37:17‡ ^They will say that this all happened during the Persian dominion between the Babylonian Exile, and the rise of the Greek dominon, so as to deny Gen. 48:19, where it says E̕phrai̱m would become the “fullness of the nations” מְלֹא הַגּוֹיִם melō’ haggōyim, which Paul renders: τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν in Rom. 11:25, “until the fulness of the nations should enter in.” The fullness of the nations enters into Yisra’ēl through Mĕssiah, to become fellow citizens.
If they deny, and if they say that this prophecy was fullfilled in the Persian Period, then ask them if those sons of Yisra’ēl, from the Northern Kingdom, who rejoined them then, are Jews? If they say no, then they have allowed the non-Jew to enter the nation. If they say yes, then ask them who are those of the house of Yisra’ēl, who are not companions of Yehūdah, but companions of Yōsēf, in the hand of E̕phrai̱m?
A Jewish person is by definition a companion of the tribe of Yehūdah, because some few from the Northern Kingdom resettled in Judea, and these became companions of the Yehūdi̱m. The word companion means “joined with” in Hebrew. Therefore Paul, from the tribe of Bi̱nyami̱n identified himself as a Jew. The only sons of Yisra’ēl returning with Yehūdah after the Babylonian exile were those already joined to that tribe.
37:19¹ ^See note 37:16². This refers to the tribes which are joined to the stick of Yōsēf, which
37:23¹ ^Read with the LXX: τῶν ἀνομιῶν αὐτῶν מְשׁוּבַתֵיהֶם meshūv̱atēihem. See BDB. Two letters switched places, and the MT reading does not make sense. No one needs be saved from their dwellings.
37:26¹ ^And unexplained gender disagreement here. The verb pronoun is 3ms, and what it refers to is 3fs.