El-Shaddai

“I Am Who I Am” was God’s answer to Moses when he asked about what to call Him. In the footnotes in my NIV it says that, “Lord (Yahweh) sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for I Am (Exodus 3:14). Then in verse 15 He says that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (why not Israel) and then says that is how He wants to be remembered. “God” here is Elohim.  Now I do want to say that it depends on your concordance as to exactly how some of these names are listed; my Strong’s is slightly different than my NIV Concordance.

A generic name for god is “el.” So if you are reading and a name has “el” in it like Israel or Bethel you know it has something to do with a god or God. According to the Vine’s Dictionary in the ancient world it was thought that if you knew a deity’s name that would give you a special “in” with that deity. Nice to know that humanity has not changed much some people still think that they can manipulate God.

The verse that actually started this study was Exodus 6: 2+3. Moses is “pointing out” all of the trouble that the Children are having but God sees it as the opportunity He needs for their deliverance. In the verse He says that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew Me as God Almighty (El-Shaddai) but they did not know Me as Lord (Yahweh). Vine’s talks about how scholars relate this phrase (El-Shaddai) to the power of mountains. In Psalm 80 they also had a “God Almighty” but there it is Elohim Saba. So you may need to look for exactly which phrase it is that is being used and I can tell you that the translation you read may handle these phrases just a little different.

In researching I found this website which maybe helpful to you: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/El/el.html

So what name do you know God as or what name has He made Himself known to you? 

Psalm 80

I have been looking at the names that describe God so as I read Psalm 80 it’s three repeating verses caught my eye. The verses are #3,7 and 19; the verses add a name of God each time it repeats and part of my study was to look at body parts and it talks about the face of God.

The three names that are added are:

1. God – Elohim it means great or mighty one

2. Almighty – Saba focus on power to conquer or means commander of the army (host)

3. Lord – Yahweh implies a personal covenant relationship of the true God

Different translations handle these verses differently so checking several will be a good study. (I used the NIV.) I did a definition study of the other words in the verse and a loose translation without the names would be:  Physical bring us back O (different names) establish favorable circumstances as a sign of favor so that we can be rescued from earthly enemies.

If you now read the verse adding the definitions for the names it really adds a new depth to the verse.

I like how Asaph added another name as the Psalm proceeded. Now there are three other sets of names in Psalm 80 the first is “Shepherd of Israel” and then in verse 4 and 14 and these are combinations of Lord, God and Almighty; if numerology interest you that is six times names of God are used and a total of twelve individual uses.

Asaph starts the Psalm by calling on the Shepherd of Israel who led Joseph.  I like that title – Shepherd of Israel.  I read several ideas about why he would start off with Joseph and then mention Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh so know that you will find many ideas. So here is mine; Joseph is actually the “first born heir” which was an important position in a Hebrew family.  Benjamin was his brother by the same mother and Ephraim and Manasseh are his children; that would make them Rachel’s (the “loved wife”) children. Jacob was making Joseph the “ruler” of the family when the brothers got rid of him. One sign of this was the coat of many colors. He actually was a first-born son just not the first-born son but Reuben lost the birthright of the first-born (Genesis 35:22).

Here are a few other “nuggets” that I found in doing this study.

  1. “Restore” carries the idea of return or repent; it is different from the New Testament “repent” or metanoia. Metanoia is a mental change while shoob or restore usually refers to a physical return.
  2. The word for face is paneh which comes from panah; it means to turn or look. Another word is paniym and it refers to the “face bread” or shewbread that was put into the Tabernacle.  They did not have a physical image of God but they had the bread. I am not an etymologist so I do not know if they are related but the Spanish word for bread is pan.
  3. I read in my Bible Glow app; that the psalms in Book 1 (#1-41) more often use Yahweh (the Lord) and Book 2 (#42-72) uses Elohim (God) more often, there is no apparent reason for this grouping.
  4. A little background – this is in the Third Book of Psalms and most of these are attributed to Asaph (means gather or collector). He was a Levite and part of King David’s praise team.

I used my Strong’s Concordance with Vines Dictionary as a reference book. pic of bread from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challah

Hope and LORD God

 

This study is going to cover several things; it started out as a look at the word “hope” and then I noticed the differences in Lord God. So I had fun comparing the passage in different translations.

I set Psalm 71 in 1 Samuel 30:6 (see psalm position), this passage is where Ziklag was burned, because it sounds like someone trying to encourage them self in the Lord.

Hope in verse 5 is tiqvah #8615 (Strong’s Concordance, 2001) and means a cord or attachment, it is used 34x; other usages are expectancy and line. While in verse 14 it is yachal #3176 and means wait and to be patient, it is used 42x; other usages are tarry, trusted, and variant. If I am really exploring a word I will look up all the usages of the word and how they are set in the passages.

Other Old Testament (King James) words that are translated as hope are:

  1. #983/982/986 – batach –refuge, security, trust ex. –Ps. 16:9, 22:9, Eccl. 9:4
  2. #2342 – chuwl – twist, whirl, dance, writhe (in pain), figurative-to wait ex. – Lam. 3:26
  3. #2620 – chacah – to flee (for protection), to confide in  “It is often used where God is compared to a rock, shield or one with protective wings. ex. –Prov.14:32
  4. #2976 – yaash – to despond (no hope) ex. – Jer.2:25
  5. #3689 – kecel – fatness, silliness, (in a good sense) trust ex. – Job 31:24
  6. #4009 – mibtach – from 982 refuge, security, assurance ex. – Jer. 17:7
  7. #4723 – miqvah – something waited for, confidence, collection (of something) ex. – Ezra 10:2
  8. #7663/7664 – sabar –to scrutinize, to expect ex. – Is. 38:18, Ps. 119:116
  9. #8431 – towcheleth – expectation ex. – Job 41:9                                        Interesting note – in the KJV I do not see a reference for “hope” until the Book of Ruth.

The New Testament (KJV) really only has one word for hope but according to Vine’s Dictionary it has several definitions (Vine’s is in my concordance).

# 1680/1679 Elpis (noun and verb) to anticipate (with pleasure), expectation, confidence

Hope is not a fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22; if you look at the list of things to add to your faith in 2 Peter 1:5+6 you will notice it is not there either. I feel it is because if you get those things they are what allows you to have HOPE.

Notice the variations from Lord God, Lord Jehovah, Sovereign Lord to just repeating Lord twice. I have seen people pick a verse like this to use as a comparison when they are shopping for a new Bible.

Psalm 71

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)              For you are my hope, Adonai Elohim, in whom I have trusted since I was young.

New American Standard Bible (NASB) 5 For You are my hope; O Lord [c] God, You are my confidence from my youth. [c] Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord

Darby Translation (DARBY)                   For thou art my hope, O Lord Jehovah, my confidence from my youth.

New International Version 1984            For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)For You are my hope, Lord God, my confidence from my youth.

King James Version (KJV)                    For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

New King James Version (NKJV)        For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.

Wycliffe Bible (WYC)                           For thou, Lord, art my patience (For thou, Lord, art whom I put my trust in); Lord, thou art mine hope from my youth.

Amplified Bible (AMP)                          For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.

Psalm 70

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRAFor thou art my patience, O Lord: my hope, O Lord, from my youth;

All of the references came from: www.biblegateway.com (each has their own publishing company) Use the parallel function at the right side of the page after you have gotten your scripture on the screen.

 

 

 

Waiting on God

Isaiah 40: 27 – 31. This is a great Bible verse and people will frequently turn to this passage when they are tired and not sure they can go on.  We focus on verse 30 and 31 and seldom read it in context; we read #31 and start to hope so we can get strength.  I also have done this but one day I started looking up some key words; I don’t think what I found changes the reality of the verse but it changes where we should put our emphasis.

One thing that I always suggest in studying any verse is to look at it in different translations and look it up in a concordance so you get the meaning of the words in their original usage.  For this study I used the King James, so I looked in my Strong’s Concordance that, has the Vine’s Dictionary incorporated into it.

I feel that it is God speaking here and in verse 27 scolds and comforts by asking,” Why do you think I may ignoring your cries.” In 28 He reminds us that He is not the problem and in 29 states He is always ready to help us. But verse 31 is where I got a whole new meaning in this passage. Hope, here is and can be translated “wait” and renew does not carry the English meaning I thought it would.  Renew is chalaph in Hebrew and it carries the meaning of letting something “slide by or hasten away or change.”  One concordance even suggested the idea of losing something.

I always thought I would get my strength boosted; instead it seems that I will get rid of my strength and get NEW strength – God’s strength. Then we can soar like an eagle.

Isa 40:27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”?

Isa 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

Isa 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Isa 40:30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

Isa 40:31 but those who hope (wait) in the LORD will renew (lose, hasten away, change) their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)

Another interesting numerological idea about Isaiah 40 is that if you look at Isaiah as having 66 chapters like the Bible has 66 books then chapter 40 relates to the beginning of the New Testament and it is the chapter that transitions to the hopeful part of Isaiah.

The Holy Bible, New International Version®. Pradis CD-ROM:Isa 40:27. Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation, © 1973, 1978, 1984.

LORD vs. Lord

Ancient Hebrew is a very descriptive language but the problem is translating it to English, sometimes our words cross meanings with it and we have one word for two meanings. An example is our word Lord; Hebrew has two completely different words for what we call Lord – Adonai and Yahweh. The NIV translation will use the word Lord but with two different cases to represent the two Hebrew words – LORD and Lord. The preface in the NIV Bible has a great explanation of why the translators did this.

From the Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance we get the meaning of Adonai as the one true God who has majesty and authority and Yahweh as the one true God that makes personnel and covenant relationships, the name also gives the picture of a God who exists or causes existence.  Psalms 68:17-20 uses both of the words so replace the word Lord with a form of its meaning and see how it changes the idea of the passage.

The James Moffatt Translation uses the word Eternal instead of Yahweh (Lord) and I always felt that it was very powerful in the way it changes the passage.  So try replacing the word Eternal when you see the word Lord especially if you read the NIV translation.

(see The Lord my/your God)