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Accursed of God

Accursed of God FFOZ

Within Judaism, Yeshua of Nazareth has been often known by the name Talui, or haTalui, which literally translated means “the Hanged One,” or contextually, “the Crucified One.”

As the Jewish people struggled under the polemics and persecutions of the church, the Talui moniker provided an inside joke. Who is Yeshua? He is Talui, the Crucified One. And what does the Torah say? “Talui is accursed of God.” Deuteronomy 21:23 says, “He who is hanged is accursed of God.” This passage explains why the name Talui, the Hung One, became a common title for Yeshua among the Jewish people. In old anti-Christian writings, the pejorative is sometimes combined with other unflattering descriptions, but in general, Talui, refers to Yeshua, the crucified one. The title comes from the Torah: “He who is hanged (talui) is accursed of God” (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). Anti-missionaries still invoke the passage today. This joke goes all the way back to the earliest years of the Yeshua movement. As the apostles proclaimed “Christ crucified” within the Jewish community, the early detractors who resisted their message probably responded with this passage: “Talui is accursed of God. The Crucified One is accursed of God.” Opponents of the early believers used the passage to argue that Yeshua could not be the Messiah, just as anti-missionaries do today. They probably said, “You see, He could not be Messiah because He was hung on a tree, and everyone hung on a tree is accursed of God. Surely the real Messiah is not accursed of God.” The most learned and most vicious anti-missionary the believers ever faced was Paul of Tarsus. Paul knew this passage. He used it in his debates against the early believers, in contempt of Yeshua haTalui, the Crucified One. Reflecting on this matter, Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus is accursed’; and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). He also brought it up in the book of Galatians. In Galatians 3, Paul returned to his old anti-Yeshua, Talui-polemic and cited Deuteronomy 21:22-23 in reference to Yeshua again. That passage was always popular with the anti-Yeshua crowd, but in Galatians 3, Paul put a new spin on it:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, [in Deuteronomy 21:23] “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14)


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