Author: Chaim

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Word Study: Beautiful

יפה
YAPAH
BEAUTIFUL

Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He hath made everything beautiful in His time.”

Beautiful in Hebrew is yapah. In its Semitic root it is a term used by a craftsman who carefully crafts various pieces of material to fit precisely together. It is used for building a palace using various combinations of building material that are cut or chiseled to fit precisely together or placing precious stones carefully in a settings which are made so the stone fits precisely into the settings to enhance the stone’s appearance. The results create a sense of intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to one’s mind, which is really what our English word beauty is all about.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 can read: “He has made everything to fit precisely together to create a sense of intense pleasure and satisfaction in its time.

Quick Word Study: Refuge שׁבג

QUICK WORD STUDY – REFUGE  שׁבג
Psalms 9:9 “The Lord will also be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”
Refuge in Hebrew is the word shagav. It means a high place, to be raised up, set in security, to make powerful, to strengthen, strong place. It has a built in commentary. Shagav is spelled Shin – God’s loving passion for us, Gimmel – God’s lovingkindness and Beth – our hearts. When the passion of God’s love and His lovingkindness fills our hearts, we will be lifted up away from our oppressors and trouble.
Shagav is sometimes used to picture a mother holding her baby in her arms When we become overwhelmed with oppression and trouble we climb up into God’s lap, rest in his powerful arms as he separates us from our torments and begins singing to us His song of comfort.

Word Study; Fellowship שׁותפ

QUICK WORD STUDY – FELLOWSHIP שׁותפ

Acts 2:42: “And they devoted themselves in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship.”

The disciples spoke Aramaic and the Aramaic word they used for fellowship is shauteph which is closely related to the Hebrew word asephah. It is an agricultural word used for the swarming of insects that would devour a crop. Insects swarm for protection. When the Nile River in the Middle East would overflow, it would kill off a single fire ant. However, in time of flood thousands of fire ants link themselves together to form a raft. By doing this they do would drown. That is why Luke used the word shauteph for fellowship as we swarm and link ourselves together with other believers so when the storms and floods of life come we are not swept away.

Quick Word Study: Pray פלל

QUICK WORD STUDY – PRAY פלל

II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked way, then will I hear from the heavens and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

The word prayer is palal. It is spell Pei which represents the mouth or speaking and two Lameds. Rabbis teach that the two Lameds are uplifted hands. We speak to God with uplifted hands. Your Lexicons will say it means supplication. We generally consider it as just talking to God. It is all that but the word palal in its Semitic origins means something more, it means a notch in a tent peg. A tent peg holds the tent down to the earth, but without that notch the tent will just slip away from the peg. When that tent attaches to the little notch in the peg it will stand against the storms. Prayer is that notch that attaches us to God so when the storms of life come we will not be blown away. When the people are called to pray they are called to wrap themselves around God.

Word Study: In The Beginning

QUICK WORD STUDY – IN THE BEGINNING

Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the earth.”
John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word.”
The three English words, in the beginning, are just one word for Hebrew and Aramaic, bere’shith in Hebrew and brasheeth in Aramaic. In the Hebrew and Aramaic text of Genesis God is totally free of the time/space dimension. This is why John starts his book off like the book of Genesis to show that Jesus is also free of the time/space dimension. In the Aramaic brasheeth as well as the Hebrew bere’shith does not mean beginning in the sense we understand it, as a starting point but to express the idea “before time was even considered.” John 1:1 could read from the Aramaic into English: “The Word always was.”

Word Study: Vipers ( Aramaic)

WORD STUDY – VIPERS (ARAMAIC)

Matthew 3:4,7-9: “ And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. (7)But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (8) Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: (9) And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

I have now spent ten years, an entire decade, devoting myself to the search for a heart of God. It is fully documented in the archives on my website. In all that time I have never discovered the hint of wrath, anger or vengeance in the heart of God. I have only found love, compassion and tears for the suffering and lost of this world. As a result of having spent a minimum of 3-4 hours or longer a day for the last 3,650 days studying God’s Word in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek with the intent of discovering God’s heart, I am now totally biased. I cannot read the Word of God any longer without seeing only God’s amazing love and grace.

So I now come to one of God’s beloved servants who is often portrayed as a wild, maniacal, doomsday prophet dressed in ill fitted clothes, subsisting on bugs and robbing bee’s nest of wild honey. He comes into town looking like some escaped patient from a behavior modification hospital shouting out that the end is near while mothers hide their children and local residents run in terror.

Let me give you a different picture of the man John the Baptist. Let’s start with his clothing. It was not the clothing of a carelessly dressed crazy man. His clothing was carefully chosen to convey a message. Clothing made of camel’s hair was the skin of the animal without the course, itchy, stingy, thorny hair of the camel removed. He wore this garment, which no normal person would wear, because it was visibly uncomfortable. He was showing his rebellion against the corrupt governmental and religious leaders who made their fortunes off the back of the common people causing them live in poverty and suffering as if they were living in clothing covered with camel’s hair. He ate locust and honey not because he was a wild man but because it was kosher (Leviticus 11:21-23) and to show he followed religious law. There is a small bird in the desert that flock together in such swarms that Bedouins call them locust and they are a food source for desert dwellers as they are easily caught. Alternatively, perhaps that is what John ate.

John the Baptist entered a town not as a mad man but as a champion of the people. As people would gather around to hear the revolutionary message of this radical out to free them from the tyranny of those oppressing them they would see that leather girdle or belt. Suddenly their hero takes on a whole new meaning for that leather belt is a symbol not seen for many, many years in the land of Israel. Mother’s would tell their children of the days long past of men who entered towns wearing a leather belt, men who spoke from the heart of God, who prophesied of a coming day when justice would be meted out and the faithful to God would enter a new golden age. That leather belt was the symbol of a true prophet of God.

There were many holy men and teachers wandering around the land, each giving their own little message. If someone were to accept this message and become a member of this new cult, they would be baptized by this teacher as an outward expression of their loyalty to this new teaching.
John’s message, however, was not cultic message, but a simply one. In the Aramaic it is the word tuwu which simply means to turn or return. In other words, if you have left you first love, your love for God then return to it. If you have never loved God, then turn to Him and learn of His love. If you were baptized by John it was a simply a declaration that you were committing your life to loving the YHWH Elohim, Lord God, both the feminine and masculine nature of God with all your heart, soul and might.

Deuteronomy 6:4, the very root and basis of Judaism, the Shema, “Hear O’ Israel the Lord thy God is one and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul and might.” When Jesus was baptized He was declaring to the world that this was the message for which He would devote His life.

When John was baptizing there were some Pharisees and Sadducees who attended the event. Pharisees were members of a religious order, like a Jesuit and Franciscan in the Catholic Church, some are priest and some are layman but all have committed their lives in a particular service to God following certain disciples of that religious order. Pharisees followed a strict observance of the Torah and teachings of the Oral Traditions. Sadducees were priest who maintained the Temple in Jerusalem. They held a high social status which was sustained by their priestly responsibilities. They performed or presided over the sacrifices during the feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. They were the religious politicians maintaining the administration of the state, serving with Pharisees on the Sanhedrin, collecting taxes, maintaining a temple guard, maintaining relationships with the Romans and serving as judges for domestic and civil violations. They did not believe in a heaven or hell, no afterlife, man has a free will to choose or reject good and evil and God commits no evil. They followed strict observance of Torah but rejected Oral Traditions.

These were not all bad men as often described. There is good and bad in any organization. Many Pharisees and Sadducees firmly believed they were helping mankind and they were doing a lot of good. But there was a corrupt element as well causing many to give a sweeping consensus that all were bad, just like saying all Democrats, liberals, leftist are bad or all Republican, conservative, right wing are bad. There are good, caring people on both sides.

So when John called the Pharisees and Sadducees a generation or children of vipers he was not condemning them but explaining their situation and hope. The word viper in the Aramaic is akidneh which is really a reference to a scorpion. When a male scorpion mates it quickly dies and when the young scorpion is born it tears the body of the mother so that the mother dies. As a result a baby scorpion is born into this world as an orphan without the guidance of a set of parents. John was simply declaring that the Pharisees and Sadducees were orphans. Your parent Abraham died giving you birth and you have long lost his guidance. However, your real parent is YHWH Elohim, the Lord God. Your salvation is not based upon your relationship with Abraham but with the YHWH Elohim, the Lord God, the feminine and masculine nature of God. John’s message was simply one word: “Tuwu.” Turn or return to your loving parent YHWH Elohim and you will no longer be orphans without any guidance.

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Word Study: Led By Spirit

WORD STUDY – LED BY THE SPIRIT

Matthew 4:1-2 “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.”

This passage has always baffled me. What spirit led Jesus into the wilderness? Was it the Spirit of God, if so this passage seems to suggest the Spirit of God was no part and parcel to Jesus. Yet, Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit in Jesus was the Spirit of God. Ok, I am not a theologian so I will just have to admitt to myself that I am not properly trained to understand. However, my area of study is Biblical Languages and the language of Jesus and the first century Judea was Aramaic.

Reading this in the Aramaic I find the English words “up of” is really men in Aramaic which means “from.” The word led is ‘atadabar which comes from the root word debar which, like in Hebrew, means to speak or be led from the heart. Literally, this would read in the Aramaic: “Then Jesus was led from his heart from the Spirit.” This syntax would presume the use of the pronoun His. However, the Aleph at the end of the word for Spirit rauha is a definite article so in English we can only say: “from the Spirit” but the syntax literally puts this as: “from the His Spirit.” As this is the Spirit of God we can rightly say “From His Holy Spirit.”

Here is where this passage takes on a very important personal meaning for me and it could for you as well. It is a concept that we cannot understand until we actually experience it. We talk all the time of being led by the Spirit of God but how do we know we are being led by the Spirit of God? If your pastor says: “I feel led by the Lord to tell you that you will come into some real money before long.” We usually will not stop to question whether he is really being led. However, if he should say: “I feel led by the Lord to tell you to give your next pay check to the church.” Then we will pause to consider who is really leading whom.

Unless, we actually experience a time in our lives where we really have been led by the Holy Spirit, we cannot actually, fully understand it. Just like in the following verse where it says that Jesus fasted for forty days and then he got hungry. I mean if you don’t eat for forty days it stands to reason you will be hungry. However, if you have ever been on an extended fast, actually experienced not eating for even a couple weeks you will know that you are not hungry. When you break your fast you almost have to force yourself to eat. But you can only understand the reality of that if you go on an extended fast and manage to get through those first three or four days at which time your hunger will subside. You greatest fear on an extended fast is whether you will be able to eat again. It is then you understand what Jesus meant when He told the enemy that “Man shall not live by bread alone.” You actually crave the Word of God much more than food on an extended fast. That little phrase that says He was: suddenly hungry, I believe was put in Scripture for those who are so hungry for God that they went on an extended fast and it is to those that these words make perfect sense.

For the same reason the words that Jesus was led by His heart from the Holy Spirit will make perfect sense to those who have really been led by their hearts from the Holy Spirit. For those who experience it they will see the play on words here. The first play on words is the word led and wilderness. Wilderness is madabar and led is dabar or in the Aramaic mdbr and dbr. We are not only led or guided by the Spirit of God but the wilderness is also a guide. Medabar is a desolate, lonely, hazardous place. When you are told by your doctor that you have a serious illness, your boss lays you off, or your car breaks down and you can’t pay for repairs. All these experiences are like being in a wilderness. You feel alone, desolate, fearful of the hazards ahead. You cry out from your heart, debar, for your heart feels desolate, lonely and fearful of the hazards.

Thus, Jesus’s heart was feeling lonely and desolate such that he had to go to the wilderness to be with His Father that is what drove Him, not the Spirit. The Spirit was only the manifestation of His heart. My recent book: “Journey into Silence” tells of my experience of being called and led to spend time in silence. This leading was really a sense of desolation and loneliness in my heart, a deep yearning in my spirit, such that I had to retreat to a wilderness to be with my Heavenly Father.

So how do you know where to go? That is the second play on words. You are led by raucha, the Holy Spirit. Yet, that word rauch also means wind. That is the play on the two meanings of the word. In John 3:8: “The wind (raucha) bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit (raucha).” The play on words here is telling us that the Spirit of God is like the wind. You don’t know where it is coming from or where it is going but you are just going to let it carry you as you make a conscious decision to not resist it and you just go with the flow so to speak.

One of the most dangerous things in a desert is a wind storm. The worst thing you can do is not even try to resist it but to just let it just blow you away. The wind will cover all your tracks and whatever physical guides you left behind. It is a dangerous and scary thing to just let the wind guide you into what? That is so like being led by the Spirit of God, it is like just letting go, offering no resistance and letting the wind blow you wherever it wants.

Are you in a wilderness today? You don’t know what sign post to follow, you don’t know what trail will lead you home? The when the wind/Spirit of God captures your heart, just close your eyes and let it blow you to wherever the Spirit wants you to go, for it may lead through many toils, struggles and tears, but as you close your eyes picture you final destination which is in the presence of your Heavenly Father.

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