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In Judaism, today is considered to be a fast day commemorating the completion of the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture, otherwise called the Septuagint. The original purpose of the Septuagint was to meet the needs of those Greek speaking Jews who lived throughout the world at that time. It is recorded in the gospel of John that some of these Greek Jews were in Jerusalem during the days of the Messiah.

Though viewed by most as a great accomplishment, there were some rabbis who viewed the Septuagint as a tragedy. These dissenters saw it as an indication of the growing ignorance of Jewish people in regard to the Hebrew Scriptures and decline of their set apart culture. They considered it as a bridge to the Gentile masses who would further drain the Jewish world of its strength. Up until that time Judaism had tended to attract only the intellectual elite because, for the masses, the Hebrew language was too difficult to learn and thus presented a great impediment to accessing the Scriptures. For all practical purposes, this language barrier was an insurmountable obstacle for many people throughout the nations, something these rabbis saw as a benefit to their worldview. These rabbis felt the Septuagint would be used by Christians to dilute Judaism and its unique perspective of the Bible and also to target Jews for conversion. 

History seems to bear out that the Septuagint was, indeed, instrumental in bringing the Scriptures to the world’s masses, which is a good thing. It’s also clear that by translating the Scripture into Greek and then into Latin and many other languages, a linguistic distance from the original Hebrew understanding was created, allowing for mistaken conclusions and misinterpretations. In other words. while these different translations did a service by providing the Word of God to the nations of the world, over time the Hebraic context was lost. Unfortunately, this problem was compounded over the centuries. 

Yet, the Creator was not taken by surprise in all of this; He knew this would occur. Perhaps that is why, from beginning to end of the Scriptures, whether in Hebrew, Greek or English, we see God continually speaks of restoration:

“The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will exalt the law and make it honorable. But this is a people robbed and plundered; all of them are snared in holes and they are hidden in prison houses; they are for prey, and no one delivers; for plunder, and no one says, ‘Restore!’ “Who among you will give ear to this? Who will listen and hear for the time to come?” (Isaiah 42:21-23)

The phrase, “time to come,” implies the last days. He’s saying, “Who in the last days will hear the call to restore things back to what they used to be?” In the New Testament, Peter reaffirms that God had time and again spoken of a day when all things would be restored. 

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus the Messiah, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21)

Restoration is what the Creator has been speaking to all of His people, through His Prophets, since the beginning of the world. 

It is our tendency to look back on the mistakes of the past and wish they could have been avoided. It would have been better, perhaps, if believers had always held onto the Hebrew context of Scripture. But God knew what would occur and predetermined there would come a season, in the last days, when He would begin to restore those things that have lost and forgotten. So rather than focusing on what we think should have or could have been, we need to focus on the fact that He is calling this generation to speak out on behalf of the restoration of all things. The same concept is true for our personal lives. Rather than focusing on our past failures, let us focus on the fact that He wishes to restore to us that which we thought had been lost; to restore the years that the locust has devoured.

Therefore, within the parameters of gentleness, meekness, kindness, long-suffering and patience, let us go about lives with the notion that we have heard God’s heart and will declare in these last days, “Restore!”

Shalom.

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