Isaiah’s three hags

Kad(d)ish refers to the prayers for the dead. But this meaning is only a derivative meaning of  kadish. The first meaning of kadish is “holy” (kadosh קָדוֹשׁ). “Kadosh”  is the second most important word in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible); the first is YHVH (Yahweh, Yehovah). What is the most significant attribute of God? Everlasting? All powerful? All merciful? All compassionate? All loving? All knowing? All present?  No, none of these. It’s God’s Holiness. All of God’s other attributes flow from his Holiness. The Bible is the sacred  history of God’s overarching will for man: “Be ye holy for I am Holy.” And that is what the Bible – the sacred history of God’s dealings with man – is all about : “I am the LORD your God; be holy, because I am holy.”

Holy” (Kadosh) only appears once in all  the 50 Chapters of Genesis: “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Kaddish: the holy and the dead). Holy in Greek is hagios. Most Jews of the Greek Empire 300 – 60 BCE used the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Their Hebrew was much better than the majority of modern non-Israeli Jews. There are two instances in the Bible where holy appears as “holy, holy, holy” – a trihagion. 
The first in Isaiah 6 and the second in Revelation 4.

In Isaiah 6, we read:

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-3, ESV).


16 thoughts on “Isaiah’s three hags

  1. Hi Raph,

    Just a minor quibble. The dates of the Greek Empire in my mind are from 332 B.C. to 160 B.C. Maybe it was a typo. I am certainly not current in my historical studies, but, as a point of reference, I have the Romans starting at 160 B. C.

    • Squeaky

      There may indeed have been Roamin’ in the gloamin in160 BC but the main force arrived under Pompey in 63 BC.

      Did you know that dates the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians 100 years later than our history books?

      In 434 BCE, the Kingdom of Judah tried to form an alliance with Egypt. The Jews thought, despite Jeremiah’s prophecies, that this would keep them safe. But instead, the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, marched on Judah. He pillaged Jerusalem and deported tens of thousands of Jews to his capital in Babylon; all the deportees were drawn from the upper classes, the wealthy, and craftsmen. Ordinary people were allowed to stay in Judah, and Nebuchadnezzar appointed a puppet king over Judah, Zedekiah.

      • Thanks for the correction. Yes, all the historical references for Biblical scholarship should revolve around the land of Israel. So Pompey’s foray would be right as the end of the Greek period.

        Oh boy! The dates at the Chabad site are in general disagreement with most everything I have ever read. This will need to be put on my research list (though it may be a couple of months before I can get to it). So much to study, so little time.

        • My old theology professor held to “When we shall see His face” that all knowledge will be evident to us. Paul said “we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes we will know fully.” So how do you equate those ideas with eternal study?

          I kind of hold to the idea of exerting myself to know Him better through study now to become more effective. This certainly is the greatest time ever (with internet and other tools) to advance understanding personally and in the community of faith.

      • As usual I don’t get it. What is the difference? Where is the reference to the name of the deceased? In which version? Or actually you are playing with the death? 🙂

            • Maria, no mention is made of rhe deceased or even death in the mourner’s Kaddish. As I said in my related article, which I linked in this article:

              The Kaddish as a mourner’s prayer is about death. The strange thing about this prayer is that death is not even mentioned in the prayer.

              There is nothing about the deceased in this prayer. Nothing about giving him/her rest. In what sense is the prayer for the deceased? The prayer is actually a prayer not only to God but for God, and for the deceased and for the living. Some rabbis say that the death of a single person creates a gap not only in the hearts of the living but in the heart of God.

              The rabbis say that the Kaddish echo’s Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15), and that those few words of trusting God for your eternal redemption summarises the whole Tanakh (Old Testament). But if one goes by the words of the Kaddish, it seems that it would be more accurate to say: “Though He slay him (my father, the deceased), yet will I trust Him (my God).”

              One doesn’t, however, only go by the words of a prayer, but by its intention. The intention of Kaddish is a call to God in the midst of sorrow of the death of a loved one. But it is also prayer of adoration, of thanksgiving for His mercy and for his promise to redeem Israel. The Kaddish, it is believed, guarantees the survival of the Jewish people and Judaism.


              • I understood perfectly this part 🙂
                What I don’t understandd is what Dan wrote in reference to your input. Didn’t Dan notice the lack of this reference? Why did he consider it not right? Is it because he didn’t read or never heard of it? Difficult to think since he is not so young to have ascaped any experience of the it

  2. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-3, ESV). The Lord of hosts is the pre-incarnate Messiah Yeshua. Isaiah 48:1-16 helps us see that the Lord of hosts created the heavens and the earth. Zechariah 12:10 also helps us see that the Lord of hosts is Messiah Yeshua. So both Isaiah 6:1-3 and Revelation 4 are about Messiah Yeshua. We read in Hebrews 13:8, “Yeshua Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever.” HSV Messiah Yeshua is holy, holy, holy and is immutable.

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