In Apocryphal and Rabbinical Literature:
- While in the Book of Jubilees, xii. 22, the word of God is sent through the angel to Abraham,
- In other cases it becomes more and more a personified agency: "By the word of God exist His works" (Ecclus. [Sirach] xlii. 15);
- "The Holy One, blessed be He, created the world by the 'Ma'amar'" (Mek., Beshallaḥ, 10, with reference to Ps. xxxiii. 6).
- Quite frequent is the expression, especially in the liturgy, "Thou who hast made the universe with Thy word and ordained man through Thy wisdom to rule over the creatures made by Thee" (Wisdom ix. 1; comp. "Who by Thy words causest the evenings to bring darkness, who openest the gates of the sky by Thy wisdom"; . . . "who by His speech created the heavens, and by the breath of His mouth all their hosts"; through whose "words all things were created"; see Singer's "Daily Prayer-Book," pp. 96, 290, 292).
- So also in IV Esdras vi. 38 ("Lord, Thou spakest on the first day of Creation: 'Let there be heaven and earth,' and Thy word hath accomplished the work"). "Thy word, O Lord, healeth all things" (Wisdom xvi. 12); "Thy word preserveth them that put their trust in Thee" (l.c. xvi. 26).
- Especially strong is the personification of the word in Wisdom xviii. 15: "Thine Almighty Word leaped down from heaven out of Thy royal throne as a fierce man of war."
- The Mishnah, with reference to the ten passages in Genesis (ch. i.) beginning with "And God said," speaks of the ten "ma'amarot" (= "speeches") by which the world was created (Abot v. 1; comp. Gen. R. iv. 2: "The upper heavens are held in suspense by the creative Ma'amar"). Out of every speech ["dibbur"] which emanated from God an angel was created (Ḥag. 14a).
- "The Word ["dibbur"] called none but Moses" (Lev. R. i. 4, 5). "The Word ["dibbur"] went forth from the right hand of God and made a circuit around the camp of Israel" (Cant. R. i. 13).
The above is taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia:
In the Targum: Memra or Word
In the Targums, which are the Aramic versions of the Old Testament, the word memra is used in many instances of an appearance of God to men or God speaking to a man.
The memra, or Word, shared the nature of God and at the same time was a messenger from God.
For English translations of the Targum
In the Targum the Memra figures constantly as the manifestation of the divine power, or as God's messenger in place of God Himself, wherever the predicate is not in conformity with the dignity or the spirituality of the Deity.
The following is taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia:
- Instead of the Scriptural "You have not believed in the Lord," Targ. Deut. i. 32 has "You have not believed in the word of the Lord";
- Instead of "I shall require it [vengeance] from him," Targ. Deut. xviii. 19 has "My word shall require it."
- "The Memra," instead of "the Lord," is "the consuming fire" (Targ. Deut. ix. 3; comp. Targ. Isa. xxx. 27).
- The Memra "plagued the people" (Targ. Yer. to Ex. xxxii. 35).
- "The Memra smote him" (II Sam. vi. 7; comp. Targ. I Kings xviii. 24; Hos. xiii. 14; et al.).
- Not "God," but "the Memra," is met with in Targ. Ex. xix. 17 (Targ. Yer. "the Shekinah"; comp. Targ. Ex. xxv. 22: "I will order My Memra to be there"). "I will cover thee with My Memra," instead of "My hand" (Targ. Ex. xxxiii. 22).
- Instead of "My soul," "My Memra shall reject you" (Targ. Lev. xxvi. 30; comp. Isa. i. 14, xlii. 1; Jer. vi. 8; Ezek. xxiii. 18).
- "The voice of the Memra," instead of "God," is heard (Gen. iii. 8; Deut. iv. 33, 36; v. 21; Isa. vi. 8; et al.).
- Where Moses says, "I stood between the Lord and you" (Deut. v. 5), the Targum has, "between the Memra of the Lord and you"; and the "sign between Me and you" becomes a "sign between My Memra and you" (Ex. xxxi. 13, 17; comp. Lev. xxvi. 46; Gen. ix. 12; xvii. 2, 7, 10; Ezek. xx. 12).
10. Instead of God, the Memra comes to Abimelek (Gen. xx. 3), and to Balaam (Num. xxiii. 4). His Memra aids and accompanies Israel, performing wonders for them (Targ. Num. xxiii. 21; Deut. i. 30, xxxiii. 3; Targ. Isa. lxiii. 14; Jer. xxxi. 1; Hos. ix. 10 [comp. xi. 3, "the messenger-angel"]).
11. The Memra goes before Cyrus (Isa. xlv. 12).
12. The Lord swears by His Memra (Gen. xxi. 23, xxii. 16, xxiv. 3; Ex. xxxii. 13; Num. xiv. 30; Isa. xlv. 23; Ezek. xx. 5; et al.).
13. It is His Memra that repents (Targ. Gen. vi. 6, viii. 21; I Sam. xv. 11, 35).
14. Not His "hand," but His "Memra has laid the foundation of the earth" (Targ. Isa. xlviii. 13);
15. for His Memra's or Name's sake does He act (l.c. xlviii. 11; II Kings xix. 34).
16. Through the Memra God turns to His people (Targ. Lev. xxvi. 90; II Kings xiii. 23),
17. Memra’s becomes the shield of Abraham (Gen. xv. 1), and is with Moses (Ex. iii. 12; iv. 12, 15) and with Israel (Targ. Yer. to Num. x. 35, 36; Isa. lxiii. 14).
18. It is the Memra, not God Himself, against whom man offends (Ex. xvi. 8; Num. xiv. 5; I Kings viii. 50; II Kings xix. 28; Isa. i. 2, 16; xlv. 3, 20; Hos. v. 7, vi. 7;
19. Targ. Yer. to Lev. v. 21, vi. 2; Deut. v. 11); through His Memra Israel shall be justified (Targ. Isa. xlv. 25);
20. with the Memra Israel stands in communion (Targ. Josh. xxii. 24, 27);
21. in the Memra man puts his trust (Targ. Gen. xv. 6; Targ. Yer. to Ex. xiv. 31; Jer. xxxix. 18, xlix. 11).
Memra / Word is the Mediator
Like the Shekinah (comp. Targ. Num. xxiii. 21), the Memra is accordingly the manifestation of God.
Memra (the Word of the Lord) appears in these passages:
- "The Memra brings Israel nigh unto God and sits on His throne receiving the prayers of Israel" (Targ. Yer. to Deut. iv. 7).
- It shielded Noah from the flood (Targ. Yer. to Gen. vii. 16) and brought about the dispersion of the seventy nations (l.c. xi. 8);
- it is the guardian of Jacob (Gen. xxviii. 20-21, xxxv. 3) and of Israel (Targ. Yer. to Ex. xii. 23, 29);
- it works all the wonders in Egypt (l.c. xiii. 8, xiv. 25); hardens the heart of Pharaoh (l.c.xiii. 15); goes before Israel in the wilderness (Targ. Yer. to Ex. xx. 1); blesses Israel (Targ. Yer. to Num. xxiii. 8); battles for the people (Targ. Josh. iii. 7, x. 14, xxiii. 3).
- As in ruling over the destiny of man the Memra is the agent of God (Targ. Yer. to Num. xxvii. 16),
- so also is it in the creation of the earth (Isa. xlv. 12)
- and in the execution of justice (Targ. Yer. to Num. xxxiii. 4).
- So, in the future, shall the Memra be the comforter (Targ. Isa. lxvi. 13):
a) "My Shekinah I shall put among you, My Memra shall be unto you for a redeeming deity, and you shall be unto My Name a holy people" (Targ. Yer. to Lev. xxii. 12).
b) "My Memra shall be unto you like a good plowman who takes off the yoke from the shoulder of the oxen";
c) "the Memra will roar to gather the exiled" (Targ. Hos. xi. 5, 10).
d) The Memra is "the witness" (Targ. Yer. xxix. 23); it will be to Israel like a father (l.c. xxxi. 9) and "will rejoice over them to do them good" (l.c. xxxii. 41).
e) "In the Memra the redemption will be found" (Targ. Zech. xii. 5). "The holy Word" was the subject of the hymns of Job (Test. of Job, xii. 3, ed. Kohler).
For further studies, please read http://wisdomintorah.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Memra-of-YHVH.pdf
Addendum from Answering Judaism: Regarding the last link, In 1 Timothy 3:16 although God doesn't appear in the earliest manuscripts and says HE WHO, this would not detract from the Deity of Christ. 1 Timothy 3:16 is addressed in the article response to Tovia Singer which can be read here: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/response-to-tovia-singer-on-did-authors.html