WEEK 17 : The Childhood of Yeshua
Luke 2:40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
Luke 2:40 (NKJV) Other versions ...
With this one statement the development of Yeshua from the age of four until the age of twelve is summarized by stating that physically He waxed strong; mentally He was filled with wisdom; and spiritually the grace of God was upon Him. The question is: what kind of an upbringing did Yeshua have? Although the Bible does not give that much information concerning Yeshua’s early years, the Mishnah gives the breaking down of the ages of development of a Jewish child. “At five years of age, aw child is put to the text of the Scripture; at age ten, to the Mishnah or traditions; at age thirteen, to the commandments (Bar Mitzvah); at age fifteen, for the study of Talmud; at age eighteen, for marriage; at age twenty, for pursuing a vocation; at the age of thirty, for entering into one’s full vigor, at the age of forty for understanding, at the age of fifty for counsel, at the age of sixty one attains old age, at the age of seventy for the hoary head, at the age of eighty for special strength, at the age of ninety for bending beneath the weight of old age, at the age of one hundred is though he was already dead and had passed away and ceased from the world” Pirke Avoth 5:21). Here we have in a nutshell the early life of any Jewish boy growing to manhood, including Yeshua.
Textbooks were simply not available during this period of time. So all learning was done by memorization. This will come into evidence later on in the way Yeshua taught His disciples, using what is called in the Hebrew “remez.” There were four types of Biblical exegesis used by the Rabbis: (1) “peshat” or literal meaning; (2) “remez” or alluding to; (3) “derash” or homiletical interpretation; and (4) “sod” or mystery. The combined term for these studies is pardes.
However, there is some other indications that we can go by that tells us something about the nature of His education. One thing we can refer to is the fact that He had a Jewish upbringing in a home with parents who were members of the believing Jewish remnant of that day. He lived in a spiritual home, a home where mother and father both were very much committed to God. He received a Jewish upbringing, learning much about the O.T. and the Jewish religion at that time.
We are also given some information in the O.T. concerning His education (Isaiah 50:4-9). In verse four we are told that the nature of the training of the humanity of Yeshua was the fact that, “Morning after morning,” in the early hours of the morning, God the Father would wake up God the Son and begin to instruct Him, to teach and train Him for the mission that He would have to conduct.
It is no accident that Luke will tells us later when Yeshua begins to move towards Jerusalem for the final time, when He knows He will be crucified, we are told that He will set His face like a flint in order to go to Jerusalem for the purpose of fulfilling His mission. Verse 7 is the basis for what Luke will later use as the motif of the “flint.”
THE BOOKS OF THE APOCRYPHA
1. I Esdras
2. II Esdras
5. The Rest of Esther
6. The Wisdom of Solomon
8. Baruch, With the Epistle of Jeremiah
9. The Song of the Three Holy Children
10. The History of Sysanna
11. Bel and the Dragon
12. The Prayer of Manassea
13. I Maccabees
14. II Maccabees
THE JEWISH MALE STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT Mishnah Pirke Avoth 5:21
1. Age five: one is ready for the study of Scripture.
2. Age ten: one is fit for the study of Mishnah.
3. Age thirteen: one is ready for the fulfillment of the commandments (Bar Mitzvah).
4. Age fifteen: one is ready for the study of Talmud.
5. Age eighteen: one is ready for marriage.
6. Age twenty: one is ready for pursuing a vocation.
7. Age thirty: one is ready to enter into his full vigor.
8. Age forty: one is ready for understanding.
9. Age fifty: one is ready to give counsel.
10. Age sixty: one had attained old age.
11. Age seventy: one is ready for the hoary (white) head.
12. Age eighty: one had attained spiritual strength.
13. Age ninety: one has the bending beneath the weight of old age.
14. Age one hundred: it is though he were already dead, and had passed away and ceased from the world.
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