Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BSM #9: Psalm (18:3)

Day 9 of the 100 Days of Praise Challenge.

I will call upon the LORD, [who is worthy] to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (Psalm 18:3 KJV)

Here is the breakdown and translation:
[I will] call: qara
(1) TO CRY OUT, TO CALL passionately; onomatopoetic, used of beasts. It is used absolutely of any cry (whether of weeping or of joy), even when not articulate (i.e. the cry of beasts)

[upon the]LORD: Yahveh, the proper name of God

[who is worthy] to be praised: halal
(1) TO BE CLEAR, TO BE BRILLIANT, properly used of a clear sharp tone or sound [In Eastern nations, it refers to the sound of public rejoicing -- "ellellell ellellell! (to make ellell")]. (2) It is applied to brightness of light; (3) to make a show used of both external appearance and of grandiloquent words (also of proud, insolent); (4) to be foolish. In the sacred writings, the more anyone boasts, the more is he regarded as being foolish, just as on the other hand a modest person is looked upon as wise and pious. Pual: to be praised, celebrated, worthy to be praised. Closer look at halal here.

[so shall I be] saved: yasha'TO BE SPACIOUS, AMPLE, BROAD, fig. to be opulent. The signification of ample space is in Hebrew applied to liberty, deliverance from dangers and distresses (as on the other hand, narrowness of space is used of distresses and dangers) Niphal: (1) to be freed, preserved; (2) to be helped, to be safe, (also to conquer, i.e. saved; "conqueror" as Messiah bestowing salvation)

[from mine] enemies: 'oyebTO BE AN ADVERSARY TO ANYONE, TO PERSECTUTE HIM AS AN ENEMY, TO HATE (The original idea is of breathing, blowing, puffing as applied to anger and hatered; opposed to 'ahav in which the breathing after is from desire and passion); an adversary, enemy, foe.

I will passionately and clearly cry out to Yahveh with brilliant and eloquent words and much outward demonstration to the point of appearing foolish and shall be brought forth into spacious opulence, freed from, preserved and given safety from my adversary.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BSM #8: Psalm (13:6)

Day 8 of the 100 Days of Praise Challenge.

Today's entry is shorter and more straightforward than even yesterday's. In fact, the verse is made up of only three Hebrew words. Here's the KJV rendition, followed by the breakdown and my translation:

I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13:6 KJV)

[I will] sing: shiyr [Hebrew root]
TO SING (a) the song that is sung, also the person or thing celebrated in song, (b) to sing in anyone's honor, to celebrate in song, to sing of anyone [Ps. 13:6], (c) to sing concerning anyone, (d) to sing is sometimes used for to declaim with a loud voice.

[unto the] LORD: from Hebrew Yahveh (the proper name of God)

[because He hath] dealt bountifully [with me]: gamal [Hebrew root]
(1) TO GIVE, TO DO, TO SHEW to anyone (good or evil); (2) to do good to anyone (to do good to oneself) [Ps. 13:6] (116:7, 119:17, 142:8) ; (3) to repay to anyone good or evil; (4) to wean an infant; (5) to ripen fruit; become ripe. Note: The primary signification of "to produce warmth, to cherish" is applied (a) to ripening fruit, (b) to a weaned child, (c) to benefits conferred on anyone, and whith which as it were we cherish Him.

And here is my picture translation:
I will sing, proclaim with a loud voice and celebrate Yahveh with a song, because He has done good, nourished and bestowed benefits upon me!

Here is the image that corresponds with today's translation. Click to view larger.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BSM# 7: Psalm (9:11)

Day 7 of the 100 Days of Praise Challenge.

Today's entry is pretty short, sweet and straightforward.

Psalm 9:11 Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.

Sing praises, from the Hebrew root: zamar, meaning "TO PLUCK, TO PRUNE. In this reference, it has the added meaning (Piel) of (1) to sing (a rhythmically divided song) [celebrating someone]; (2) to play on a musical instrument (or to sing so accompanied); (3) a dance (which is also done to rhythmical numbers and is connected to singing.)"

dwelleth, from the Hebrew root: yatsab, simply means "(1) TO SIT, TO SIT DOWN; to be seated, sitting; (2) to remain, abide; (3) to dwell in, to inhabit."

declare, from the Hebrew root: nagad, means "TO BE IN FRONT, TO BE IN SIGHT, to be clear and manifest. Hiphil: Properly, to bring to light, hence, to shew, to tell; (2) empatically, to proclaim, to celebrate with praise,"

people, from the Hebrew: 'am is simply people spoken of collectively, as a nation, tribe, or humanity as a whole.

doings, from the Hebrew: 'aliylah refers to "a deed, work; in this reference used of the excellent deeds of God."

Here is my translation with the picture put back in:
Sing play and dance to a well composed melody to Yahveh, Who inhabits Zion; emphatically proclaim and celebrate his excellent works to all people!

Here is the image to correspond with today's reference and praise word. The concept was borrowed directly from rev65 and skstarkiller at Click on the image to view it at a larger size.

Friday, June 25, 2010

BSM #6: Psalm (5:11)

Day 4 of the 100 Days of Praise Challenge.

Psalms 5:11 [KJV] "But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee."

Here are the key words and their definitions from the Biblical Hebrew. (There's some really good stuff in this one!)

[let those that put their] trust: chacah [Hebrew]
TO FLEE, specially to take refuge, to flee somewhere for refuge (under the shadow, i.e. protection of someone), hence to trust in someone, especially God

[in thee] rejoice: samach [Hebrew]
TO REJOICE, TO BE GLAD The primary idea is of a joyful or cheerful countenance, but its use is more widely extended, and it is even used for louder expressions of joy, as of those who make merry with wine and who utter merry cries. There is often said to rejoice concerning Yahveh because of aid to be expected of Him, and because of His protection.

[let them] ever: 'owlam [Hebrew]
Eternity that existed before time, throughout time, and the eternity that exists after time.

shout for joy: ranan [Hebrew]
TO EMIT A TREMULOUS AND STRIDULOUS SOUND (ostrich). Specially used, (a) of the tremulous sound of a mast or tall pole shaken by the wind, hence also used of the sound of a torrent; (2) to vibrate the voice, hence (a) to shout for joy, to lift up joyful outcries (but not with an articulate voice) The word in this verse has the added meaning (Piel) of: to shout for joy, to celebrate with shouting.

Here is a Youtube video of ostrich chicks making the sound described above. It's amazing to think that God is okay with us getting so excited over Him that react in similar fashion.

[because thou] defendest [them]: cakak [Hebrew]
(1) TO WEAVE, TO INTERWEAVE, especially boughs to make a hedge or construct a booth, hence to hedge, to fence, to cover; (2) to protect, to cover over, properly used of boughs and trees; (3) to cover, to hide oneself. The use of this word in this verse has the added meaning (Hiphil) of: (1) to fence (round); (2) to cover, protect.

[let them also that] love: 'ahav [Hebrew]
(1) TO DESIRE, TO BREATHE AFTER anything (onomatopoeic in origin), to be inclined; (2) to love; (3) to delight in anything.

Note: 'ahav is an eager pursuit of anyone or anything stemming from an intense, passionate desire.

Fuller explanation of 'ahav

[thy] name: shem [Hebrew]
NAME, rank, authority , (a) fame, (b) good reputation, (c) memory (after death); (2) the celebrate name of God is the estimation of men concerning God, "for His name's sake" is as His name would lead one to expect, hence the glory of God, "those who love thy name" are those who delight in they praise, "my name shall be there" is to put his name any place, i.e. to fix His abode, often applied to the aid which God as present vouchsafes to men ("save us by thy name")

[be] joyful [in thee]: 'alats [Hebrew]
TO EXULT, TO REJOICE, TO BE JOYFUL; to rejoice in Yahveh.

Here is my translation with the picture added back in:

Let those who take refuge under Your protection rejoice with cheerful countenance and lift up uninhibited shouts of joy, let them for all eternities break forth with inarticulate and joyful outcries, because You interweave a protecting fence around them; let those pant after you, whose eager pursuit after You stemming from an ardent, passionate desire and who delight in Your authority rejoice with jubilation!

Photo Credit

Thursday, June 24, 2010

BSM #5: 2 Chronicles (20:21)

I became intrigued by the 100 Days of Praise Challenge, issued by W2WSoul after reading a related challenge at Inspiks. Instituting a higher degree of praise into your life should be the goal of every believer, and W2WSoul has provided a great outline for anyone who has the desire, but may have struggled with putting it into action.

I can't promise that I will make a post for the entire 100 Days of Praise challenge due to the amount of effort it takes to work my way through a translation (and the effort required to convey that through graphic design as well). I will do my best to keep up either textually or graphically (maybe sometimes both), but regardless, I will follow the challenge through personal devotions, which I encourage anyone reading this to do as well. You can download the list of verses at the first link above.

I did something similar in a weekly Bible Study over several months where we studied every Hebrew word that was translated into English as "praise." I got a lot out of that exercise and am looking forward to discovering what this challenge reveals as well.

Day 3 Reference:And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy [endureth] for ever. (2 Chronicles 20:21)

Here are some of the key words followed by my translation:
singers, from the Hebrew root shiyr, meaning "TO SING." In this reference, it is found in the Polel binyan (similar to tenses in English) which further specifies, "to celebrate someone with song."

praise (first occurrence), from the Hebrew root halal. Full meaning here.

beauty, from the Hebrew root hadarah, meaning "adornments, such as worn at festivals
(Note: 4 of the 5 occurences of this Hebrew word in Scripture are in reference to Holiness. The other references are: 1 Chron. 16:29, Ps. 29:2, Ps. 96:9, Pr. 14:28)

holiness, from the Hebrew root qodesh, meaning "(1) holiness; (2) what is consecrated to God; (3) sanctuary (tabernacle, temple, innermost part of one's body--the place dedicated and consecrated to Yahveh.)

praise (second occurrence), from the Hebrew root yadah, meaning TO THROW, TO CAST (as stones). In this reference, it is in the Hiphil binyan which further specifies: (1) to profess, to confess. Properly, to show or point out with the hand extended (from the idea of the hand being cast forth, i.e. extended); (2) to give thanks, to praise, to celebrate, since thanksgiving and praise naturally follow the acknowledgment or confession of benefits received.

mercy, from the Hebrew root chesed, meaning [Properly] desire, ardour, whence (1) in a good sense, zeal towards anyone, love, kindness, specially (a) of men toward men: beningity, benevolence (as shown in mutual benefits), mercy, pity (when referring to those in misfortune), (b) piety of men towards God, (c) the grace, favor, mercy of God towards men.

[Note: chesed is best described as "An eager pursuit of someone stemming from an intense, passionate desire for them."]

[endureth] forever, from the Hebrew root 'owlam, meaning [Properly] what is hidden, specially hidden time, long (the beginning of which is either uncertain or undefined); eternity, perpetuity.

[Note: 'owlam refers to the eternity that existed before time was established, the length that time exists, and the eternity that exists after time has ceased.]

[Additional Notes: I added Yahoshofat into my translation even though his name wasn't in the verse because the thought continues from the previous verse, where he is named. In Hebrew, his name translates as "Yahveh has judged" (Yahveh has pled his cause). Another intersting note from the story is the name of the valley in which God provided the victory--Berachah, which means, "blessing, benediction."]

[Yahoshafat] held counsel with those gathered and decreed to establish singers to celebrate Yahveh; to clearly and brilliantly, with grandly eloquent words and outward rejoicing to the point of appearing foolish to adorn themselves with consecration, to go forth before the face of the army and bear forth, professing and confessing, celebrating and praising Yahveh with hands extended because His eager pursuit stemming from His intense, passionate desire for us existed in the eternity before time began, exists throughout time, and will forever exist after time has ceased!

Here is the image that accompanies this translation. Click to view larger size.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BSM #4: The 46th Psalm

Psalm 46 is pretty well-known among David's writings, most notably the first verse and the first portion of verse ten. Here is the King James Version rendering:

(1) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (2) Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; (3) Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. (4) There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. (5) God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. (6) The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. (7) The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. (8) Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. (9) He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. (10) Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (11) The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Looking at it from it's original language of Biblical Hebrew brings out even more beauty. It clarifies the possible confusion regarding fear in the second verse. It brings out a very intimate picture in verses 4-5 (which near a "turn-your-face-red" level of clarity in Hebrew), and sheds a great amount of light on what God means when He tells us to "Be still" in verse 10. Here is an overview of a few of the important words from the chapter.

"A Song upon Alamoth", often interpreted as a musical notation that the psalm should be sung in the soprano key. This doesn't line up with the Biblical Hebrew usage and understanding the correct meaning puts the psalm in perspective. Alamoth literally means, "upon the virgins", i.e. the psalms is intended for the virgins in Israel regarding their divine husband, Yahveh the Creator of the universe. It was intended to provide encouragement to the virgins to whom it was sung by the descendants of Korah (Levite singers of David's time)

Verse 1
"very present help" is from three Hebrew words: medod (very) means "with great strength or force, to a great degree." matsah (present) means, "to come, to arrive at anything, to find a person or thing." ezrah (help) comes from a root for girding, completely surrounding and hence defending someone. So when you construct the phrase, we understand that God is a hasty and powerful defender Who comes to us at the time of our need. He approaches us at our level, perhaps best demonstrated by taking on the form of the Messiah.

Verse 2
"will we not fear" can be confusing in modern English. It helps to understand how "fear" is being used. Yare is usually translated into English as "fear" from the sense of trembling; however, in this sense it is not shaking from terror, but the trembling in anticipation of being in God's presence (as two lovers tremble in each other's presence on their wedding night, from the Hebrew) The verse is stating that even though the earth falls apart around us, our respect, reverence, awe and overwhelming joy of being in Yahveh's presence will not abate. He is surrounding us, protecting us providing exactly what we need at the point of our need, therefore we will tremble in His presence.

Verses 4-5 are a somewhat explicit picture of the intimacy between Yahveh and His bride. Because Hebrew often utilizes idiom, passages of Scripture were often translated into English literally and the meaning has shifted. The river of Psalm 46 (and referred to by Yeshua on more than one occasion) and the intense joy that accompanies it are a beautiful picture of God and His bride.

"help her right early" in verse 5 comes from three Hebrew words: azar (help) is coming to someone at the point of the need. boqer (early) is a picture of the morning, when the sun first breaks over the horizon and creation is exposed to the brilliance of the sun for the first moment of the day. panah (right) conveys the picture of God reaching towards us and pulling our face toward Him. It is the beauty of the first moment of the new day, when among the brilliance of the sun, our passionate husband gently strokes our face and with his hand on our cheek, slowly turns our face until we are gazing upon His loving countenance!

Verse 7
[Yahveh of hosts is] "with us" is from the Hebrew immanu, as in Immanuel (God with us), which means "in communion with, shut in together." The western view of Christianity is that it wasn't until Yeshua (Jesus) came that God walked among us, but this verse shows different. The Hebrews understood that God was physically present among them in communion, and this belief preceded the advent of Messiah by thousands of years.

Verse 8
halak khazah (Come and behold) are very vivid in Hebrew. To halak is to live or follow a manner of life, to follow in one's footsteps, also spoken of as one's mode of worship. To khazah is to "see God", sometimes used of beholding His divine presence, other times used metaphorically of those enjoying His favor. It is to bask in His divine presence. When the two words are used together, it is to abide in a hand in hand relationship, abiding in the presence of Yahveh His majesties!

Verse 10
"Be still and know" is an amazing exhortation, but even more beautiful in Hebrew. raphah [root], translated as "be still" means to cast down, to let [your hands] fall. It conveys the picture of hay in the fire, sinking down as the heat devours it. It is to cease, desist, lay off from doing anything. yadah [root], translated as "know" is an in depth knowledge from sight, sound, touch, experience. It's not a one time event, but rather knowledge acquired over a long period of spending time with someone (i.e. the halak in verse 8).

Here is my full translation of Psalm 46:

(1) (To the pure, chaste and faithful leader of music, for the children of Korah, a song for the virgins.) God is our refuge and strong protection, an exceedingly forcible and hasty aid Who hears and answers, coming to us when we are distressed. (2) Because of this, even in the earth's changes and the mountains tottering and shaking into the heart of the sea, will we not tremble and quiver in reverence and joy, venerating Him in admiration? (3) Though the waters hum and roar, boiling up and foaming, and the mountains shake and tremble from the swelling of the raging waves crashing against them; rest in silence. (4) In the city of Yahweh, His majesties, in the pure, perfect and sacred intimate place of the Most High, an everlasting, abundant river flows, whose streams cause boisterous and rejoicing expressions from a joyful countenance because of His aid and protection. (5) Yahweh, His majesties is in her midst (heart and mind), she will not totter or waver from her stable and unmoving foundation; Yahweh, His majesties will help and aid her, meeting her as His equal at the point of her need, and meet it completely, reaching out and turning her face toward His as He turns His face toward her, beholding and regarding each other, as the light of the morning breaks forth in brilliance. (6) The sound of the Gentiles hums and sighs. The kingdoms tottered, shook, and became unstable. He uttered His thundering, loud voice, and the earth dissolves, it perishes. (7) Yahweh, the captain of the Heavenly hosts is joined together in communion with us, God His majesties of Jacob is our lofty rock. Rest in silence (8) Live your manner of life to walk in a hand in hand relationship, stand before the face of, see and perceive the works produced by Yahweh, Who has utterly laid waste and brought to silence foundations [of His enemies] in the earth. (9) He forces fighting to cease to the extremity of earth; He breaks into pieces the bent bow and cuts off the spear, He swallows down and consumes the chariot in the bright splendor of His passion. (10) Let go, relax your hands from their efforts and know through seeing, perception, acquiring intimate knowledge and experience and touch, becoming acquainted with me over time that I am God, His majesties; I am lifted up, exalted as powerful and extolled with praises in the nations; I am lifted up, exalted as powerful and extolled with praises in earth. (11) Yahweh, the commander of innumerable Heavenly hosts is together with us; God His majesties of Jacob is our lofty fortress; rest in silence.

Here is a corresponding image to this chapter. Click on the image to view it at a larger size.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hebraic Concepts #8: 'Ahav

Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Have you ever wondered why God would command us to love Him? Is that even possible? Does the question arise in the back of your mind, "And what happens if I don't?"

A closer examination of the Hebrew word translated as "love" and a simple explanation of the Hebrew sentence structure dramatically changes the tone of this verse in a powerful and awe-inspiring way.

Firstly, the Hebrew counterpart of the word "love" in this verse is 'ahav. In ancient Hebrew, 'ahav wasn't really a word, it simply imitated the sound of heavy, passionate panting. This could be from extreme pursuit, from lovers in the act of passion, or from sighing, longing, breathing after someone (or something). The more intense the breathing was, the more intense the pursuit, passion or longing is understood to be. It is to desire, to breathe after, to love intensely, to delight in anyone or anything. It signifies the most intimate aspects of loving someone.

The picture is of a bride and groom in the marriage chamber of intimacy (typified by the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and temple), where the veil has been removed and where all restriction of access has been removed. This word was also used to describe very close and intimate friends (such as Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel 20:17 "And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul."), who were often called "lovers" after a Biblical sense. In this instance the meaning follows the example of the removal of the bride's veil, because intimate friends have opened their souls to one another, there are no secrets between them. It is also the word used to describe Abraham as being the friend of God (Genesis 15:6 Abraham believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Also see 2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, James 2:23)

And by now you may be wondering, "How am I supposed to generate that kind of love for God?"

Here is the great part about Deuteronomy 6:4-5. In verse 4 ("Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD."), the grammatical structure states a personal union between Israel and God. The verse is actually two statements and might be more clearly rendered into English as "Hear, understand and obey O Israel, Yahveh is YOUR God His majesties! Yahveh is echad (one)!"

The grammatical structure that begins verse 5 ("And thou shalt") is written in the future tense of Hebrew which refers to something yet to occur, or something that has already begun to occur and will continue on indefinitely.

God is saying that because Israel is in covenant with Him, they will be filled with 'ahav for him and once it starts it will continue on indefinitely. By extension, this refers to anyone who enters into the marriage covenant with God (Romans 11) by fully and completely trusting in Him. A beautiful example of this in action is recorded in the second chapter of Acts.

For more on this subject, see When God Tells Us That He Loves Us

Here is the image that goes with today's post. Disclaimer: The image may be considered explicit by some. Although there is no adult content, the meaning conveyed by the Hebrew word is somewhat explicit by nature. Use your own discretion.