In both the Tanakh and the Second Writings there are numerous passages that refer to redemption, redeeming, Redeemer, salvation, deliverance and Savior. To many, these are the same concepts that simply expressed through different words. A closer study of the Hebrew text presents something far different that has a direct impact on what many believe concerning the promise of salvation. There is a possibility that such a misunderstanding could have dire effects not only on the rewards one receives in the Olam Haba, but on their salvation as well. The goal of this study is to develop a tool that will help teach others the difference between redemption and salvation so that them can make an informed decision concerning what they believe and how they approach the world to come.
We’ll begin with passages that contain the word redeem or redeemed and there are many such passages. An example of them are:
• Sh’mot 6:6 “Say, therefore, to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘I am יהוה, and I shall bring you out from under the burdens of the Mitsrites, and shall deliver you from their enslaving, and shall redeem גָאַלְתִי you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments,”
• D’varim 15:15 “And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Mitsrayim, and יהוה your Elohim redeemed you. וַיִפדְּךָ Therefore I am commanding you this word today.”
• Iyov 5:20 “In scarcity of food He shall redeem פּדְךָ you from death, and in battle from the power of the sword.”
• T’hillim 49:15 But Elohim does redeem יִפְדֶה my being From the power of the grave, For He does receive me. Selah.
• T’hillim 107:2 Let the redeemed גְאוּלֵי of יהוה say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,
Two different Hebrew words are translated as redeemed in these passages. In Sh’mot 6 and T’hillim 107 the English word for redeem is taken from the Hebrew shoresh גָאַל ga’al while in D’varim 15, Iyov 5 and T’hillim 49 it is translated from the shoresh פּדה padah. Keep in mind that this is only five of the many passages that use the English words redeem or redeemed.
Ga’al גָאַל means to gain or regain possession of something in exchange for payment. In B’reshith 48.16 Ya’akov referred to the Messenger “who has redeemed me הגּאֵל from all evil - bless the youths!”
In Yeshayahu 59.2-3 the Navi wrote, “2But your crookednesses have separated you from your Elohim. And your sins have hidden His face from you, from hearing. 3For your hands have been defiled נגֹאֲלוּ with blood, and your fingers with crookedness; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters unrighteousness.” In this passage the English word defiled is also translated from ga’al, but in this instance it refers to something that has been polluted requiring cleansing.
The shoresh פּדה padah refers to the act of redeeming something or someone by clearing a debt. Probably the most well-known use of padah is in the redemption of the firstborn described in Sh’mot 13.13-15 and 30.13-15. The firstborn of every male in Isra’el is to be redeemed with a half-shekel of the Temple.
One example of being redeemed is found in Sh’mot chapter twenty-one. Moshe addresses the case of a man who has sold his daughter as a female servant. A female servant is to be treated differently than a male servant. For instance, if a man purchased a female servant and became engaged to her but he was then displeased with her, “then he shall let her be ransomed. He shall have no authority to sell her to a foreign people because of him deceiving her.” The word ransomed, הֶפְדָּהּ hef’dah, is from the shoresh פּדה padah, meaning to redeem. The idea being that if the daughter who had been sold as a servant was somehow not pleasing to her master she could not be sold to a foreigner, but had to be redeemed by paying the redemption price.
In Sefer Iyov as Elihu tires to comfort Iyov amid his sufferings, he described a man who was being chastised by Y-H-V-H. In this case the man was drawing “near the pit, and his life to the destroyers. If there is a messenger for him, a mediator, one among a thousand, to show man His straightness, then He (Y-H-V-H) shows favor in him and says, ‘Release him from going down to the pit, I have found an atonement.” The phrase release him, פְּדַעֵהוּ p’da’e’hu, is from the same shoresh פּדע padah, meaning to redeem or to deliver. In this case, an atonement has been made on behalf of the man and he has been redeemed from going down into the pit - his debt had been paid by someone else. See the foreshadowing of the Messiah in these passages?
In the context of our study we can establish from the words ga’al and padah that redeeming someone refers to regaining possession of someone who has been defiled through some type of pollution or uncleanness. That redemption requires that someone pay the cost of redeeming whatever or whoever is being redeemed.
In T’hillim 49 Melek Da’vid wrote, “7A brother does not redeem anyone at all, Neither give to Elohim a ransom for him; 8For the redemption of their lives is costly, And it shall cease forever; 9That he should still live forever, And not see the Pit. 10For he sees wise men die, The foolish and the ignorant both perish, And shall leave their wealth to others.”
A man cannot redeem anyone, only the Father could supply the cost of our redemption. In verse eight the Hebrew text uses the word חָדַל chadal that means to cease, or refrain. This suggests that the process of redemption will one day cease forever, but we know that salvation/deliverance is eternal.
Based on the shoresh גָאַל ga’al, the Tanakh makes several references to our Redeemer. Among these references are:
• Yeshayahu 43:14 Thus said יהוה, your Redeemer גאַלְכֶם, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “For your sake I shall send to Baḇel, and bring them all down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, who rejoice in their ships.
• Yeshayahu 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer גֹאֲלוּ Y-H-V-H of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.’
• Yeshayahu 47:4 Our Redeemer גֹּאֲלֵנוּ, Y-H-V-H of hosts is His Name, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl.
• Yeshayahu 48:17 Thus said יהוה, your Redeemer גֹאַלְךְ, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “I am יהוה your Elohim, teaching you what is best, leading you by the way you should go.
Based on the shoresh ga’al, we understand that our Redeemer is one who has paid a price to regain possession of us. This was necessary because we had become polluted with the things of this world - sin - and needed cleansing. This passage also establishes that the Redeemer will teach and lead us in THE WAY we should go.
From Redemption and Redeemer, let’s turn our attention to Salvation/Deliverance.
Interestingly enough, if you search The Scriptures translation of the Bible you will not find the word salvation. The Institute of Scriptural Research translates the English word salvation as deliverance, from the Hebrew ישוּעה. Y’shua is from the shoresh ישע which means to grant essence of existence, granting vigorous existence, being saved from something that threatens one’s existence, or preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin or loss.
Some examples we find of the use ישוּעה are:
• In B’reshith 49.18, while blessings his sons, Ya’akov declared, “I have waited for Your deliverance, O Y-H-V-H!” [Your deliverance is ישׁוּעָתִךָ].
• Sh’mot 14:13 “And Moshe said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the deliverance ישׁוּעָה of יהוה, which He does for you today.’”
• Sh’mot 15:2 “Yah is my strength and song, and He has become my deliverance שׁוּעָה. He is my Ěl, and I praise Him – Elohim of my father, and I exalt Him.
• 1 Chronicles 16:23 “Sing to יהוה, all the earth; Proclaim His deliverance יְשׁוּעָתוֹ from day to day.”
• Iyov 13:16 He also is my deliverance ישׁוּעָה, for a defiled one does not come before Him. A defiled person does not come before Y’shua, our deliverance. Sin, any sin, defiles a person.
• T’hillim 37:39 But the deliverance of the righteous is from יהוה, Their strength in time of distress.
• T’hillim 119:155 Deliverance is far from the wrong ones, For they have not sought Your laws.
• Mishle 21:31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But the deliverance is of יהוה.
• Philippians 2:12 So that, my beloved, as you always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much rather in my absence – work out your own deliverance with fear and trembling,
Once again, deliverance and salvation are interchangeable, being translated from the same word in the Hebrew text. Salvation/deliverance suggests being delivered from something that threatens our very existence as His people and granting us a vigorous existence. It is often used in terms of deliverance from an immediate, perceived threat, such as Pharaoh and his army at the Sea of Reeds or the anti-Messiah and his armies at the end of this age. The Navi Yirmeyahu wrote, “O Expectation of Isra’el, its Savior in time of distress, why should You be like a stranger in the land, or like a traveller who turns aside to lodge?”
In T’hillim 18.48 Melek David wrote, “My Deliverer from my enemies, You lift me up above those who rise against me; You deliver me from the man of violence.” As we can see, deliverance/salvation is often a physical act, not just a spiritual one.
Based on the shoresh for salvation/deliverance ישע, Scriptures presents the Savior that will one day deliver Isra’el. Among the passages relating to the Savior of Isra’el are:
• 2 Sh’muel 22:3 “My Elohim is my rock, I take refuge in Him, My shield and the horn of my deliverance יִשְׁעִי, My high tower and my refuge. My Savior תֹשִׁעֵנִי , You save me from violence.”
• T’hillim 106:21 “They forgot Ěl their Savior מוֹשִׁיעָם , The Doer of great deeds in Mitsrayim” In this passage “Savior” is from the Hebrew Moshi’am, from the shoresh Mo’shia מוֹשִׁיעַ the Messiah. “They” forgot the Messiah; Jews and Christians have forgotten what was written concerning the Messiah. This has led Jews to reject Him and Christians to redefine Him.
• Yeshayahu 19:20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness to יהוה of hosts in the land of Mitsrayim. When they cry to יהוה because of the oppressors, He sends them a Savior מוֹשִיעַ and an Elohim, and shall deliver them.
• Yeshayahu 43:11 “I, I am יהוה, and besides Me there is no savior מוֹשִׁיעַ”
Based on the shoresh for salvation/deliverance, we learn that we are delivered through a Savior/Deliverer from conditions (sin), circumstances (end-time events) or people (the anti-Messiah). These are things that threaten our very existence or survival. This Deliverer is the Moshia, the Messiah of Isra’el. (According to Yeshayahu 19.20, either the Moshia is both Messiah and Elohim or He is sending both the Messiah and our Elohim.)
Based on what we’ve studied so far we know that we need to be redeemed from sins we have committed because they have polluted, or defiled, us. This defilement requires that we be cleansed. Since man cannot redeem himself or his brother, it requires another Redeemer that only the Father can provide. Based on the passage from T’hillim, it appears that the opportunity for redemption will one day cease forever, but we know that salvation is eternal.
We have also learned that the Redeemer will redeem us from our past sins and He will cleanse us. He will deliver us from the hands of our adversaries and death and give us a vigorous existence. He will teach us how to live and THE WAY we should go.
This is the purpose of the Messiah. In His first sojourn among us, as Messiah ben Yoseph, He paid the redemption price that atoned for our sins. He also taught us THE WAY and how we are to guard the commandments of our Father.
When He returns as Messiah ben David, He will return as our Deliverer, or Savior. At that time He will deliver us from our adversaries and the wrath to come that will destroy the wicked.
This presents an interesting question. Since our redemption and deliverance through the Messiah is accomplished in two (possibly three) steps, or two sojourns among us, could it be that our redemption and deliverance/salvation is also a two-step process?
In considering this possibility we must also ask a very difficult question; one that challenges traditional thought: “Is salvation open to everyone?” In response to this question we must consider what Y-H-V-H teaches in the Tanakh.
• The Navi Yeshayahu wrote, “‘And the Redeemer shall come to Tsiyon, and to those turning from transgression in Ya’akov,’ declares Y-H-V-H.” The Redeemer is coming to Tsiyon to people who meet two requirements:
• they are turning from transgression
• they are “in Ya’akov” - the House of Isra’el.
• Yeshayahu 63.8: “And He said, ‘They are My people, children who do not act falsely.’ And He became their Savior.”
• In Iyov 13.16; “He is also my deliverance ישׁוּעָה, for a defiled one חַנֵף does not come before Him.”
• T’hillim 37.39, “But the deliverance תְשׁוּעַת of the righteous צַדִּקִים is from Y-H-V-H, their strength in time of distress.”
• T’hillim 85.9, “His deliverance יִשְׁעוֹ is near to those who fear Him, for esteem to dwell in our land.”
• T’hillim 119.155: “Deliverance יְשׁוּעַה [y’shuah] is far from the wrong one, for they have not sought Your laws.”
From these passages it is clear that deliverance, often translated in the Second Writings as salvation, is for:
• to those turning from transgression
• who are His children, the House of Isra’el
• who do not act falsely
• for the righteous
• for those who are near to Him
Deliverance is not for:
• a defiled one, a lawless, or godless, man
• a wrong one
Redemption, on the other hand, is open and offered to all who accept the Messiah and guard the commandments, thereby joining themselves to Torah and the House of Ya’akov, Isra’el. In T’hillim 107.2 we read, “Let the redeemed of Y-H-V-H say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary.” The Navi Yeshayahu wrote of a highway called “The Way of Set-apartness” and the “the redeem shall walk there” and that “the ransomed of Y-H-V-H shall return and enter Tsiyon with singing.”
Based on the Tanakh we can establish that a person must first be redeemed before he can inherit salvation and eternal life in the Olam Haba. This explains why Rabbi Sha’ul wrote to the believers in Philippi that they must “work out their own deliverance (salvation) with fear and trembling”. They had been redeemed through the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah, now they had to learn to guard the commandments, live them and teach them to others. In doing so, they were working out their salvation with fear and trembling. They respected the importance Y-H-V-H places on proclaiming the Messiah and teaching people to guard the commandments and they feared Y-H-V-H’s judgment if they didn’t. They realized that at the end of this age, when we receive that final deliverance/salvation we long for, the rewards we receive and our standing in our Father’s kingdom will be contingent upon how we lived after we were redeemed.
The Second Writings
While this may appear to be just a case of semantics, this is an important concept to understand, especially in regards to the Second Writings. Keeping in mind that the Messiah’s talmidim wrote to those who had already accepted Y’hoshua as Messiah - and were therefore among the redeemed, consider these passages:
• Romans 13.11: “And do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for us to wake up from sleep, for now our deliverance (salvation) is nearer than when we did believe.” If they had already obtained salvation, why say it was nearer than they had thought?
• 2nd Corinthians 6.2-3: 2For He says, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in a day of deliverance I have helped you.” See, now is the well-accepted time, see, now is a day of deliverance – 3giving no cause of stumbling in whatever, so that the service is not blamed.” This passage quotes Yeshayahu 49.8; “Thus said יהוה, ‘In a favourable time I shall answer You, and in the day of deliverance I shall help You – and I guard You and give You for a covenant of the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the ruined inheritances,’” The deliverance Sha’ul was referring to comes at the end of this age, so it was important that no “cause of stumbling” be found among them so they would be blameless on that day.
• 1Thess. 5.8: But we who are of the day should be sober, putting on the breastplate of belief and love, and as a helmet the expectation of deliverance. Once again, Sha’ul is writing to those who had already accepted Messiah, concerning the “expectation of deliverance” they had when the Messiah returned.
• 2Tim. 2.10: So I endure through it all for the sake of the chosen, so that they too obtain deliverance which is in Messiah יהושע with everlasting esteem. Sha’ul was referring to the hardships he had suffered in proclaiming the truth and teaching people to guard the commandments. He had willingly endured all the hardships, for the sake of the chosen, to that the too obtain deliverance which is in Messiah. Why the chosen: Why not the lost among the Jews and Gentiles? There is a great deliverance and reward for those “who endure to the end” - the Redeemed. (the Remnant?)
• Ivrim 1.14: Are they not all serving spirits (Y-H-V-H’s Messengers) sent out to attend those who are about to inherit deliverance? Again, the redeemed of Y-H-V-H are to inherit deliverance/salvation.
• Ivrim 5.9: And having been perfected, He became the Causer of everlasting deliverance to all those obeying Him. This passage makes it clear that “everlasting deliverance/salvation” belongs to “all those obeying Him”, not those just believing in Him - those who have been redeemed through faith in Him.
• 1 Kepha 1.3-5: 3Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, who according to His great compassion has caused us to be born again to a living expectation through the resurrection of יהושע Messiah from the dead, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in the heavens for you, 5who are protected by the power of Elohim through belief, for a deliverance ready to be revealed in the last time”. Once again, those who have been “born again” are awaiting “a deliverance ready to be revealed in the last time.” We have been redeemed, but our final salvation will not be accomplished until the final judgment. In verse nine Kepha references, “obtaining the goal of your belief: a deliverance of lives.”
• 1Kepha 2.2 (NASB) “like newborn babies, long for the pure 2milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,” How can one “grow in respect to salvation” other than through obedience to His commandments?
When read in their Hebraic context, these and other passages from the Second Writings clearly teach that salvation/deliverance, is for the redeemed of Y-H-V-H at the end of this age. Unless one is first redeemed, they cannot obtain salvation. To do so would be to try to obtain salvation through some other means not given in Y-H-V-H’s Word. The Messiah warned of this when He said, “he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.”
The Messiah also warned, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens.” Not everyone who claims to be redeemed will be saved.
Understanding the difference and the relationship between redemption and salvation enhances our understanding of the moedim as well.
• Passover: The Messiah was crucified on Passover, offering His blood as our atoning sacrifice for our sins. Through our acceptance of the Messiah, we are redeemed, joining ourselves to the people of Isra’el and Torah.
• Chag Matzot: The Messiah is buried in a borrowed tomb and remained there for three nights and three days. We must also “die with Him” if we expect to be resurrected as He was.
We must die to self just as the Messiah did. If you are not willing to die spiritually with Him, you will die physically and eternally at the end of this age.
• HaBikkurim of the Barley Harvest: The Messiah was resurrected, being the First Fruits from the Dead. Once redeemed and dead to self, we receive this same promise of salvation. “For Elohim so loved the world that He gave His only brought-forth Son, so that everyone who believes in Him SHOULD not perish but possess everlasting life.” Through His sacrifice, death and resurrection, REDEMPTION is offered to all who are willing to t’shuvah, accept His sacrifice and guard His commandments but, “He who believes in the Son possesses everlasting life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of Elohim remains on him.”
The Messiah had already taught “...if you wish to enter into life, guard the commands”. After being redeemed, we must “work out our deliverance/salvation with fear and trembling” and the next feast teaches us how to accomplish this.
• Shavu’ot: On Shavu’ot the Messiah fulfilled His promise and sent the Ruach of Elohim to enable us and to “bring to remembrance all that He had taught us.” Tradition teaches that Y-H-V-H gave the Torah from Mount Sinai almost 1500 years earlier on Shavu’ot. Torah teaches us how to “enter into life” by teaching us what sin and thereby enabling us to “walk blameless” before Him by guarding His commands.
• Yom Teruah: The long summer months between Shavu’ot and Yom Teruah represents the time in our life when we are to be learning, guarding and teaching the Torah and proclaiming the truth of the Messiah. When the “summer time” is over and the final shofar is sounded, the Messiah will return to gather in His people, the elect chosen ones, from the four corners of the earth. It is a call to our final judgment on Yom Kippur.
• Yom Kippur: Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. It represents the day when the redeemed will stand before the Messiah to receive our eternal salvation/deliverance, and be judged for our rewards and our standing in our Father’s Kingdom, based on how we kept His commandments, even the least of them, and taught them to others. According to the Messiah, if on that day our righteousness - our right-standing before Y-H-V-H based on the commandments of His Torah - is not judged greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees, “you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens.”
• Sukkot: For those whose right-standing with Y-H-V-H has been accepted and established, we will enter the Millennial Kingdom and rule and reign with Him for a thousand years in the land of our inheritance.
The chronology of the moedim mirror the departure from Mitsrayim, the journey to Mount Sinai and the events that followed. It also reflects our lives as the redeemed of Y-H-V-H.
• We have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
• We must participate in His sacrifice, which we do symbolically by eating the Passover meal.
• We must be “born again” with Him, symbolized by His resurrection on HaBikkurim. Accomplishing this successfully redeems us from our old lives and brings us into Isra’el and Torah as we receive the promise of salvation and eternal life.
• The next step in our lives is to learn to guard the commandments and teach them to others, which the Ruach of Elohim enables us to do. (Shavu’ot)
• From this point on we must learn to live Torah, just as the Messiah lived it as we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” If you don’t or if you refuse to obey the Messiah, you will not see the eternal life that salvation brings with it. Instead the wrath of Elohim remains on you as you enter the Olam Haba - or not!
• When the Messiah returns, those who have had the testimony of the Messiah and who have guarded the commandments of Torah will receive our rewards and enter not only into the Olam HaBa, but into Isra’el where we will rule and reign with Him for a thousand years - and more.
Once redeemed, we must learn continually work out our salvation until He returns. The concept of “once saved, always saved” is true, but it overlooks the fact that one must first be redeemed and walk out his salvation before he can reach the point of that final salvation from the Messiah after His return on Yom Kippur.
Redemption and salvation are two different terms and two different objectives in our lives, but they serve to accomplish a single purpose: to give us eternal life with our Messiah and our Father. Only then is salvation ours for eternity.
The Navi Yeshayahu wrote, “Thus said יהוה, “Guard right-ruling, and do righteousness, for near is My deliverance to come, and My righteousness to be revealed.”
When Messiah returns and rebuilds the Temple, the city and the Land, we are told, “3Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the weak knees. 4Say to those with anxious heart, “Be strong, do not fear! See, your Elohim comes with vengeance, with the recompense of Elohim. He is coming to save you.” 5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf be opened. 6Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing, because waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. 7And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water – in the home for jackals, where each lay, grass with reeds and rushes. 8And there shall be a highway, and a way, and it shall be called “The Way of Set-apartness.” The unclean does not pass over it, but it is for those who walk the way, and no fools wander on it. 9No lion is there, nor any ravenous beast go up on it, it is not found there. But the redeemed shall walk there. 10And the ransomed of יהוה shall return and enter Tsiyon with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
This is the salvation and inheritance that awaits the Redeemed of Y-H-V-H when the Messiah returns.
Even so, come quickly Messiah Y’hoshua.
Chazak! Chazak! V’nitchazeik!
 Sh’mot 21.8
 see V’yikra chapter 27
 The Book of Iyov (Job)
 Yirmeyahu 14.8
 Yeshayahu 59.20
 Chanef (decieve) refers to a “godless man”
 Yeshayahu 35.8-9
 Philippians 2.12
 Yochanan 10.1
 Mattityahu 7.21
 Yochanan 3.16
 Yochanan 3.36
 Mattityahu 19.17b
 Yochanan 14.26
 Mattityahu 5.20
 Yeshayahu 56.1
 Yeshayahu 35.3-10