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The Wisdom of Hebrew Words

The Wisdom of Hebrew Words

I love Hebrew words. I can’t count the number of times that learning a definition has deepened my understanding of not just one Bible passage, but many. Recently I’ve posted a couple examples to show you what I mean. In the article “Does God Forget Sins?” I explain how the words for “remember” and “forget” […]

Shema: To Hear is to Obey

Shema: To Hear is to Obey

Biblical Hebrew includes only about 8,000 words, far fewer than the 100,000 or more we have in English. Because Hebrew has so few words, each is like an over-stuffed suitcase, bulging with extra meanings that it must carry in order for the language to fully describe reality. Unpacking each word is a delightful exercise in […]

Orphans, in this Day and Age?

Orphans, in this Day and Age?

The word for “orphan” in the Bible also referred to children who were fatherless, because having a single parent was a terrible fate too. Nowadays we don’t have many orphans, but we have a lot of single parent families.

How Can God Forget Sins?

How Can God Forget Sins?

You have to admit, some Bible passages are real head- scratchers. For instance, in several places God says, “I will not remember your sins.” But how can God, in his infinite intellect, forget something? And what does he expect of us, since we pray, “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against […]

Hesed: Enduring, Eternal, Undeserved Love

Hesed: Enduring, Eternal, Undeserved Love

Hebrew has a word for life-long love that is richer and deeper than English has ever conceived of—hesed (HEH-sed). Based in a covenantal relationship, hesed is a steadfast, rock-solid faithfulness that endures to eternity: “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love (hesed) for you will not be shaken” […]

The Secrets God Keeps

The Secrets God Keeps

Why does the Bible begin with the second letter of the alphabet, not the first? To show that not all knowledge is accessible to man, but some is reserved for God himself.

Hesed: Love in the Long Term

Hesed: Love in the Long Term

Hebrew has a word for love that is richer and deeper than any English has ever conceived. Based in a covenantal relationship, hesed is a steadfast, rock-solid faithfulness that endures to eternity.

Hebraic Thinking is that of an Oral Culture

Hebraic Thinking is that of an Oral Culture

In Walter Ong’s classic book Orality and Literacy, he shares a fascinating theory about why our modern Western culture thinks so differently than the way the Bible does. Eastern thinking, like what you find in the Old Testament, is very concrete and image-oriented, and it uses stories and parables to explain rather than abstract logic. […]