Whatever Did Yeshua Mean When He Termed Herod a “Fox”?
In Luke 13.31-32 we have an incident in a classic text which speaks of unadulterated pure Jewish thoughtform.
As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, the historic Constantinian church has traditionally seen its roots entrenched in Hellenistic thought. Certainly, it has not failed historically to distance itself from both the people of the Book, and the world in which Yeshua lived. In so doing, the church has lurched haplessly away from the essential foundation of Jewish background material — a proper appreciation of which is vital to a precise understanding, and exact comprehension, of what the holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) intended to convey when He breathed words of life onto the first-century parchments
The tragedy is that even a great number of Messianic Jews (Jewish people who accept Yeshua as their promised Messiah) have adopted a Gentilised approach to their Faith, and have taken it upon themselves to question the role this lecturer has appropriated in sharpening the focus of Jewish thoughtform in relation to the Gospel. For, along with their Gentile peers who crowd and jostle for power and prestige on both church and mission boards, they fail to grasp the fundamental axiom that the Gospel without a foundation in Jewish thoughtform is a bastardised gospel — indeed, in truth, it is no “Gospel” at all!
This language is not too strong, although the spiritually squeamish may think it is. Satan, with his usual flair for Gentilising anything and everything about Our Lord Yeshua, has run loose for far too long extolling the virtues of “the right gospel” but necessarily attached to “the wrong Yeshua.” For those who have seen through the smokescreen of his not-so-subtle theological varieties he has utilised the reverse principle — substituting “the right Yeshua” for “the wrong Gospel.” But this Work of God in restoration of the first century Jewish thoughtform, which BRI is playing at this strategic point in cosmic-history, is an avenue — and a MIGHTY one — for enlightenment as God prepares to open the eyesight of the spiritually blind in regard to their salvation.
We read in Luke’s account that “some P’rushim [Pharisees] came up and cautioned Yeshu, ‘Get out of here urgently, as Herod seeks to kill you!’ Yeshu said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox: ‘You pay attention! Today and tomorrow I am driving out demons and healing people and on the third day I will reach my goal'” (Luke 13.31-32).
A disquieted Herod had been alerted to Yeshua’s popularity as expressed in crowd-gathering, order-threatening activity. Of course, the tyrant was not plotting to assassinate Yeshua for heresy or prophecy, but rather for sedition. Yeshua then refers to Herod as a “fox.” Was Herod sly and cunning like a fox? History informs us that while he most assuredly was cunning, he was brutally rapacious. So just what did Yeshua mean by his pointed assessment? In Jewish thoughtform two factors come immediately to mind.
- Firstly, a fox is a form of wild dog and a “dog” in the Torah is a euphemism for male (homosexual) temple prostitute. We can find references to the “price of a dog” in Deuteronomy 23.18. On this basis Yeshua is publicly marking the lust-engorged Herod — letting his listeners know precisely what he thought of him! In another statement Our Lord pointed out that Herod had a proclivity toward youngsters wearing “drag” in his reference to “little boys in effeminate clothing [lingerie]” being located in king’s palaces (Matthew 11.8 Gk).
- But secondly, and more importantly, a search of rabbinic literature reveals another more poignant intention: in rabbinic thought of the day, a “fox” was a nobody, a worthless demagogue, a stupid buffoon, an insignificant, puffed-up swell-headed braggart. In the language of today’s children Herod was a “penis head” or an “ultimate zero.” Nothing could describe Herod better than this. Not only so, but this concept of “fox” was rife in the days of Our Lord (according to Randall Buth of the Jerusalem School for Synoptic Research).
- There can be hardly any doubt that Yeshua was putting King Herod right back in his place. According to Yeshua, then, Herod had no power or authority to intervene in Messiah’s life and could in no way circumvent the Messiah’s intentions. Yeshua was working out a prearranged calendrical timetable for his ultimate betrayal, death and resurrection. There was a date the Lord Yeshua had with Destiny and no man — especially none so worthless, insignificant and perverse as Herod — could stand in the Mashiach’s way.
Without an appreciable consideration of the value of Jewish thoughtform the entire point of this incident could very well have been missed.