One of the questions I always had is, did the people, specifically the patriarchs of the faith, know about the Messiah? Did they maybe meet Him? In principle, it really blessed me personally to see how the patriarchs new more than we think. When we consider some ancient manuscripts we will gain some deeper perspective. It is important for truth seekers to open ourselves up to the truths that churchianity failed to tell us. So let’s start at the beginning.
DID YESHUA EXIST FROM THE BEGINNING?
Through scripture we all know that Yeshua (Jesus) was the Father’s Son and all things were created through Yeshua:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made
We can clearly see that Yeshua/The Word was present during the creation process. He was with the Father. But was Yeshua present and/or known to the early patriarchs? Here and there in the 66 book canon we see glimpses of Yeshua being present in the lives of the patriarchs, but it is not always clear cut and arguable.
That is why this category is called biblical exploration and we will have a look today if Adam, Noah and Enoch knew Yeshua. One resource we will be referring to quite often will be the Targums.
WHAT IS THE TARGUM?
So let me give a brief overview and what my understanding is of the Targums. Targum simply means translation. According to oneinmessiah.net, when the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity 450 years before the birth of Yeshua, they had adopted Aramaic as their native language. During the first and early second centuries A.D., Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament) were made. Some scholars and ancient text experts ascribes the first targum to be documented during the time of Ezra.
Targum fragments were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls clarifying that it pre-dated the times of Yeshua. I consider Targums as biblical commentary. The Targums are much closer to the original source than any other biblical commentary of our day. Even though I cannot say that I thoroughly studied the Targums, but it will surely give us better understanding of ambiguous biblical texts.
Something that is unique to the Targums, compared to the Masoretic text, is the frequency of the phrase “the Word of the Lord”. Usually in the Torah (first 5 books) the phrase ‘The Word of the Lord’ appears 11 times, but in the Targum it appears 217 times. "The Word of the Lord" is referring to Yeshua as we have already established. Yeshua was part of the creation process in Genesis 1. The Targum makes it crystal clear just in case you missed it;
Gen 1:27 (NKJV)
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Gen 1:27 (Targum)
And the Word of the Lord created man in His likeness, in the likeness of the presence of the Lord He created him, the male and his yoke-fellow He created them. In the image of the Lord He created him
DID ADAM AND EVE KNOW YESHUA?
Now let’s move on the first humans to be created, Adam and Eve. Did Adam and Eve know about Messiah?
Gen 3:8 (NKJV)
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Gen 3:8 (Targum)
And they heard the voice of the word of the Lord God walking in the garden in the repose of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from before the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
They knew Yeshua and they knew His voice. They were well acquainted with the Messiah. You would not recognise the voice of an individual who you did not converse with on a regular basis. I reckon most people could draw that from the Masoretic text, but the Targum just makes it crystal clear who this Character is. And in the following text we can establish that they even knew what the Son of man would do.
First Book Of Adam and Eve 3:1-2
GOD said to Adam, "I have ordained on this earth days and years, and thou and thy seed shall dwell and walk in it, until the days and years are fulfilled; when I shall send the Word that created thee, and against which thou hast transgressed, the Word that made thee come out of the garden and that raised thee when thou wast fallen Yea, the Word that will again save thee when the five days and a half are fulfilled."
This is later confirmed in the book of Revelation:
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
These texts make it evident that Yeshua would be slain for the sins of man(kind). Not only did Adam and Eve know Yeshua, they knew the sacrifice He would make. The second patriarch of note would be Enoch.
DID ENOCH KNOW YESHUA?
Now in the Masoretic text we only get a couple of verses on Enoch;
Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
However the Targums gives us some more detail (Hanok being Enoch in Hebrew):
Gen 5 (Targum)
And Jared lived after he had begotten Hanok eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died. And Hanok lived sixty-five years, and begat Methushelach. And Hanok worshipped in truth before the Lord after he had begotten Methushelach three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Hanok with the sojourners of the earth were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Hanok served in the truth before the Lord; and, behold, he was not with the sojourners of the earth; for he was withdrawn, and he ascended to the firmament by the Word before the Lord, and his name was called Metatron the Great Saphra.
Not only does the clear up where Enoch ascended to, but also shows by which means he got there - with Yeshua. The Word took Him up to the firmament and that is why He could write about the heavenly luminaries. We have now covered how Adam and Enoch walked with Yeshua. The next notable patriarch would be Noah.
DID NOAH KNOW YESHUA?
Gen 6 Targum
And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and all the imagery of the thought of his heart was only evil every day. And it repented the Lord in His Word that He had made man upon the earth; and He passed judgment upon them by His Word. [JERUSALEM. And there was repentance before the Lord in His Word that He had made man upon the earth...And He said, and judged in His heart.] ...And they coming entered, male and female, of all flesh unto him, as the Lord had instructed him; and the Word of the Lord covered over the door of the ark upon the face thereof.
Here we can see Yeshua is the one that executes judgement but also shelters and shuts His people inside the ark. Yeshua literally shut the ark's door. This is significant to NT believers in Messiah because Yeshua refers to Himself as the Door by which we enter to the Father.
Gen 9 Targum
And the bow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between the Word of the Lord and every living soul of all flesh that is upon the earth.