There are four levels of the interpretation of Scripture (PaRDeS)
- Parshat – Literal, simple plain intended meaning
- Remez – Alluded meaning “reading between the lines”
- D’rash – drawn out meaning (Midrash – “concept”)
- Sod – Hidden meaning
These four levels were used at the time of Yeshua and Paul. They are still used today.
The Parshat is the literal plain meaning of the scripture in its context. Under no conditions must this level be destroyed. If a “Remez”, “D’rash”, or “Sod” process is used that changes the context of the Parshat, it is taking a scripture out of its context.
Remez places an event, process, or scripture into something else and produces a different understanding. An example of Remez is Gematria– (word-number values). Another example would be Proverbs 20:10 – “Different weights, and different measures, both of them are alike an abomination to the Lord.” Matthew used this process when he quoted in Matthew 2:15. ".. Out of Egypt I called My Son."
When you read Hosea 11:1 where it was quoted, you will see that statement being applied to Israel. Matthew is using a Remez to show that the Messiah represents Israel. The Jewish anti-missionaries will use the Literal (Pashat) and you will apply the Remez. Both are correct. It is not a either/or, but both/and(different understanding)
Another example would be when the scripture says: "The kingdom of Heaven is like...“
The Kingdom of Heaven is Like…
- A King who wanted to settle accounts with His servants.
- A Farmer who scattered seed on the ground.
- A mustard seed.
- A man who planted good seed in his field.
- Leaven that a woman placed in a large amount of dough.
- Treasure a man found in a field.
- A Merchant who was searching for fine pearls.
- A fishing net thrown in the sea that gathers fish of every kind.
- A homeowner who brings out new and old treasures.
- A landowner who hired workers for his vineyard.
- A King who gave a great banquet.
- Ten Virgins who took their lamps to meet the Groom.
- An employer who gave talents to his servants to invest.
Problem:you cannot use this process to take a scripture to produce a doctrine that violates the scripture (New Israel). In history, this process is very misused by Origin which helped to produce the doctrines of the Constantine Church.
The D’rash is a drawn out meaning. Interpretative meaning. It can come from a Life Application of a Midrash(“concept”), or a sermon. An example can be seen in Matthew 18:18– Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” It is a concept concerning the decisions you make in your personal “walk with God” (called “halakha”)
The Sod (meaning “secret”) is hidden until it is made public through the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit). (You will love this example). Question: Where in scripture does it say that the "WORD" = "the Messiah"? – You will find it in John 1:1-2. It does not exist, in the Parshat sense, in the Tanakh. Jewish anti-missionaries will be quick to point this out. How can the WORD be a Person?
Answer: During the time of Yeshua, the Jewish people spoke 3 languages - Hebrew,Greek, and Aramaic (Aramaic is close to Hebrew and the main language of the common Jew).
With this in mind, let's look at the meanings of "WORD":
Devar (Hebrew) - A word given in action. (The Torah is the "action word of God").
- Logos- A general word of information.
- Rhama - A general word as it is applied to you.
Memra (Aramaic) - A Divine Person. (It used in the Aramaic Targumswhich are the Aramaic translations of the Torah and the Tanakh). When John wrote his verses in John 1:1-2 in Greek, he used the Greek word "Logos " and connected it to the "Word" used in creation (Hebrew) but he was applying the Aramaic understanding (Memra) to his verses.