WORD STUDY – LEAP OVER A WALL – עך
II Samuel 22:30: For by thee I have run through a troop; by my God have I leaped over a wall.”
The Talmud instructs that we are never to lose the literal interpretation of a verse. Although Jewish tradition teaches that there are 70 faces to Torah and we can draw many different meanings from a specific verse, we must recognize and never loose the literal meaning of a verse. Whatever our interpretation of a verse, it must always square with the literal meaning of that verse.
Well, I have to admit, sometimes it can get very challenging to cling to the literal meaning of a verse. This is one such verse. First by God we can run through a troop.
The word run here is arus which could come from the root rasas which means to oppress or it could come from the root word rus which as the idea of assaulting. The word troop comes from the root word gadad, which has in its Semitic root the idea of a cutting machine (a troop is cut out of a larger force). So by my God I will pass through a cutting machine or an assaulting force and leap a wall. Say you are being chased by a group of terrorist and you come up against an 10 foot high wall, well according to II Samuel 22:30, if we take it literally, means we can leap over that wall and the terrorist won’t touch us. That is cool, I just hope I never have a group of terrorist chase after me to try it out.
Most of us are not what we call athletic and thus leaping over walls are not a part of our daily routine, particularly if we have just been through a cutting machine.
The words By my God is be’lohai. You have the Beth in front of the word which is the proposition in or on. The suffix is a the pronoun my. Hence in or on my God I have leaped over a wall. The word leap is dalak which means to leap, skip or jump. It is in a Piel form so this is a mighty leap. After passing through a cutting machine we can take a mighty leap over a wall. Neat trick. The word wall is sur which also means, one who has dominion over you, or one who lies in wait and of course as a noun it means a wall.
Now I can really relate to this spiritually and emotionally. I have been through an emotional cutting machine and still able to leap over the enemy who tries to exercise dominion over me, all by My God. I have been able to pass through a spiritual cutting machine and my faith remains in tack and I can leap the wall separating me from the presence of God by my God. But, of course, that is not a literal interpretation of that verse is it?
I am haunted by the fact that there is a literal interpretation to this verse as well. Can it be that God will allow us to physically be beaten up and then give us the power to leap a wall? That is the literal meaning.
Maybe there is. I was reading the story of the Chinese Christian Brother Yun in the book “The Heavenly Man.” He had been taken by the police, and beaten until he was bloody. He was able to make an escape and managed to walk past the guards until he came to the prison wall which was 10’ high. He explained what happened next:
First I pulled myself up onto the wall as high as I could manage. I looked
`over the top and saw that on the other side was a ten-feet-wide open
As I hung grimly onto the side of the wall, all of a sudden I felt as if
somebody hoisted me up and threw me over! I jumped so far that I
even cleared the septic tank! A Scripture came to mind,….”
I don’t need to tell you that what that Scripture verse was.
Here is another story that was verified by eyewitnesses. During the Holocaust an elderly rabbi and a young agnostic Jew struck up a friendship in a concentration camp. The young Jew declared he could not believe in a God who would allow such things to happen as this concentration camp. They were both very weak and ill from the poor rations and hard labor. The rabbi kept trying to encourage the young man to trust in God but the young man only shook his head and said it was impossible.
Two o’clock one morning the guards entered the barracks and forced every one out to run to the end of the camp where they stopped in front of a large trench. They knew what that meant. The commandant said that only those who were strong enough to work could live and the way it would be tested would be that they had to jump over that trench. If they made it to the other side they would live, if they fell into the pit, “Rat, tat, tat.” The commandant laughingly imitated a machine gun.
The young man turned to the rabbi and said: “It is no use Rabbi, you are too old to make the leap and I am just too weak and sickly, let’s just fall in the ditch and end it all.” But the rabbi said: “If God wants us to live we will live. My young friend, promise me you will try your best to leap over the trench.” The young man said that for the rabbi’s sake he would try. It was now their turn and the rabbi closed his eyes and calmly said: “We will jump now.” They did and they made it. The young man in amazement asked: “Rabbi, how in your elderly years were you able to make that jump?” The rabbi replied. “God helped me.” Then the rabbi turned to the young man and said: “But you, my young friend, you don’t even believe in God and you are so weak, how did you make it?”
The young man sheepishly replied: “I held onto you.”
So, my friends, if you find yourself up against a wall, either real, figuratively and spiritually, just remember II Samuel 22:30 and make that mighty leap. If you don’t have enough faith to make that leap, then hang on to someone who does.