What I love about Bible studies is you start on one thing and find yourself somewhere else and it is a great study too. This one started out as a study on light and ended looking at the word Esher, that means happy. (It will explain itself when I do the blog about light.) In my Strong’s Concordance for the King James Version that has definitions from W.E. Vine adapted into the entries I found this and thought it was to good to pass up. (Strong’s #835)
Esher and the name Asher (son of Jacob) both come from the same root word and it can be translated blessed or happy. Most of the occurrences of Esher in scripture are in poems such as Psalms or Proverbs. Vine observes that the “prosperity” or “happiness” comes when a superior, usually God, has bestowed His favor on you such as in Deuteronomy 33:29. But he notes that according to Eliphaz Job was blessed and should have been happy not because everything was going good but because God favored Job (Job 5: 17-18). OUCH that runs against the modern thought process.
Vine’s final thought is that it is appropriate to translate Esher as “happy” but for modern readers it “does not always convey its emphasis” to us. Many modern translations do use blessed more than happy.
Well now that January is over how did you do on your Bible study?
I did start studying “blessed” but I realize that is going to be on going. I got the definitions copied on to a word doc and as I read through Proverbs I looked up the word blessed as I found it in my daily reading. My big take away so far has been Proverbs 11:11 which says that we are to speak a blessing to our city.
I started on my second task which was to put together 1 + 2 Samuel with 1 Chronicles. The first place they really run together is 1 Samuel 31 and 1 Chronicles 10, which is the story of King Saul. (see Lord My/Your God and Why Hide a Grandson There) This of course started a side study on where is Mount Gilboa? I found this on-line http://www.bible-history.com/geography/ancient-israel/mount-gilboa.html and there were several good websites that talked about Mount Gilboa. Finding some of my old notes I still look at Saul as someone who had the call of God but not His presence. He also never brought the Ark of the Covenant to him, which is one of the first things David did. I also realize that even though he did it wrong Saul was still trying to find God, it is a shame that he did it his own way.
Well even though I really did not meet my goal I did study some of my plan. Keep working your plan because at least you are studying.