Kiss the Son

James Scott Trimm

In Psalm 2 we read:

The kings of the earth stand up,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against YHWH, and against His Messiah:…
I will tell of the decree:
YHWH said to me: “You are My Son,”
This day have I begotten you….
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry…
(Ps. 2:2, 7, 12)

Now in his deceptive anti-Missionary tape set titled (wrongly) “Lets Get Biblical” Tovia Singer refers to Psalm 2:12 saying “The word BAR in Hebrew does not quite mean ‘son’.”

Tovia goes on to say:

“What we do is we look at all the other places where the word BAR exists and what I did for you is I did you a favor. I showed you every single place where the word BAR appears in the Book of Psalms and you will notice that isn’t it odd that the King James Bible everywhere that the word appears in all its forms is always translated cleanliness or purity? Why if that word truly means son or sonship why isn’t it translated that way in other places?”

Notice here that Singer plays a shell game. He starts out suggesting “we look at all the other places where the word BAR exists” then he leads you to believe that he has done this for you, but he has played a switch on you for what he actually has done instead is “showed you every single place where the word BAR appears in the Book of Psalms”. Then he switches back claiming to have shown that “everywhere that the word appears in all its forms is always translated cleanliness or purity”. And then poses the question “Why if that word truly means son or sonship why isn’t it translated that way in other places?”.

So he begins by telling you that we need to look at EVERY passage where the word appears, he then shows you ONLY the passages where the word appears in Psalms, then he CLAIMS to have proven that BAR is always translated “cleanliness or purity” and never as “son”.

The reason for this deception is that Singer knows full well that if we were to enlarge the search by even looking at the neighboring book of Proverbs we would find Proverbs 31:2 where we read:

“What, my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?”
(Proverbs 31:2 Jewish Publication Society version)

Every translation I have ever seen, be it Jewish, Christian or Secular renders BAR as “son” in this verse. So now you see why Singer plays the shell game. He has to tell you that he is showing you “all the other places where the word BAR exists” while he really only looks at the book of Psalms, and then he pretends to have shown you “everywhere where the word appears” for the sole purpose of deceiving you, because he cannot honestly look at all of the passages, or even to the neighboring book of Proverbs or you could plainly see that the word BAR can be and is translated from Hebrew as “son”, even in Jewish sources.

In fact Jewish sources attest to “son” as a meaning of BAR in Hebrew even though Singer claims “The word BAR in Hebrew does not quite mean ‘son’.” In the Student’s Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary to the Old Testament by Alexander Harkavy published by the Hebrew Publishing Company in 1914 (and currently available in reprint in our bookstore at we read “In Heb. BAR [as Aramaic for "son"] occurs only in poetry Pr. 31,2.”
(p. 68 column 8). The reader may notice that Psalms is also poetry, so Singer is plain wrong when he declares “The word BAR in Hebrew does not quite mean ‘son’.”.

In fact the tenth century Jewish scholar Abraham Ibn ‘Ezra writes in his commentary on this very passage:

“Serve YHWH” (Ps. 2:7) refers to YHWH’ and “kiss the son (BAR)” (Ps. 2:12) refers to His Messiah; and behold the presence of BAR, is like that of “What, my son (BAR)…”
(Prov. 31:2)”

Notice Ibn ‘Ezra not only understands BAR here to mean “son” but identifies this “son:” as the Messiah!

BAR in Psalm 2:12 is also understood to mean “son” in the Zohar:

We may also translate, “he who withholds blessings from the Son”, whom the Father and Mother have crowned and blessed with many blessings, and concerning whom they commanded, “Kiss the son lest he be angry” (Ps. II, 12), since he is invested both with judgement (gevurah) and with mercy (chesed).
(Zohar 3:191b)

This “son” referenced in the Zohar is the Middle Pillar of the Godhead which the Zohar identifies as “The Son of Yah”. The Zohar describes the three pillars of the Godhead as follows:

Then Elohim said, “Let thee be light; and there was light.
And Elohim saw that the light was good…
Why, it may be asked, was it necessary to repeat the word “light” in this verse? The answer is that the first “light” refers to the primordial light which is of the Right Hand, and it is destined for the “end of days”; while the second “light” refers to the Left Hand, which issues from the Right.
The next words, “And God saw the light that it was good” (Gen. 1:4), refer to the pillar which, standing midway between them, unites both sides, and therefore when the unity of the three, right, left, and middle, was complete, “it was good”, since there could be no completion until the third had appeared to remove the strife between Right and Left, as it is written, “And God separated between the light and between the darkness.”…
This is the Middle Pillar: Ki Tov (that it was good) threw light above and below and on all other sides, in virtue of YHWH, the name which embraces all sides.
(Zohar 1:16b)

The right and left pillars are assigned as Mother and Father, the middle pillar, which balances the feminine and masculine characteristics from the male and female sides, is identified in the Zohar as “the Son of Yah”. The Zohar says:

Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off.
This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the Godhead, which is the Son of Yah.
(Zohar 2:115)

In another Passage the Zohar has:

The Holy One, blessed be He, has a son, whose glory (tifret) shines from one end of the world to another. He is a great and mighty tree, whose head reaches heaven, and whose roots are set in the holy ground, and his name is “Mispar” and his place is in the uppermost heaven… as it is written, “The heavens declare (me-SaPRim) the glory (tifret) of God” (Ps. 19:1). Were it not for this “Mispar” there would be neither hosts nor offspring in any of the worlds.
(Zohar 2:105a)

This is intended to point the reader back to a familiar passage from the Bahir:

Why are they called Sephirot?
Because it is written (Psalm 19:2),
“The heavens declare (me-SaPRim) the glory (tifret) of God.”
(Bahir 125)

Tovia Singer’s argument is deceptive and dishonest. When the Psalm says “Kiss the Son (BAR), lest he be angry…” (Ps. 2:12) the word BAR definitely means “son”. Moreover the “son” in this verse refers to the Messiah and to the figure called in the Zohar “the Son of Yah” who is the “Middle Pillar” of the Godhead.


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