Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017

Communication

With Words

“There is a way that seems right to a man,

but its end is the way of death.” Prov 14:12

Many shades of meaning to a word.

My intention was to continue with the thoughts of last week, but in my studies, I came to Genesis 3:22 : “Then the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us; knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever ... This verse seems to be showing that Satan was actually speaking truth by saying that Eve will become like God, does it not? As I wrestled with this verse, I found myself being drawn back to 3 uses of the phrase 'the knowledge (or knowing) of good and evil,' in Genesis 2 and 3. The two occasions in Genesis 3 use the same Hebrew word ‘yada’ for the word 'knowing',  which is a verb meaning an intimate, experiencial knowing, as opposed to an intellectual knowledge. Genesis 2 uses a different Hebrew word, but it it's root word is 'yada', and it is simply the noun form of the verb 'yada', so the meaning is very similar. 'Yada' has a very wide range of English words that are used in different places in the Bible, and which bring a variety of shades of meaning… There is also a wide variety of shades of meaning to the English translations for the Hebrew words translated as 'good’ and 'evil', but there is a key that becomes apparent in the Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon, and that key is that word for good is not just an objective good, it feels good; it appeals to the senses, thus bringing a hint of subjectivity. Chaim Bentorah, a highly qualified and experienced Hebrew teacher, defines the Hebrew word translated a ‘good’ as ‘being in harmony’. What I am learning from Chaim, is that the Hebrew language is multifaceted and a word can have many different meanings; often all of which may be applied to a single instance of the use of that Hebrew word in a specific sentence, bringing forth a multitude of colours and shades of meaning. As I applied this concept to the phrase of 'knowing good and evil,' some interesting shades came to the fore. Let me give you a sampling, and leave you to go where the Holy Spirit it takes you; just remember to keep within the bounds of what God has said about Himself, as well as keeping within the overal teaching of the Word of God. (My quotes are based on the New American Standard Version of the Bible) God speaking to Adam and Eve (Gen 2:17) : Do not eat of the tree ... of the intimate experience of what brings (subjective) cheerfulness and sorrow of the intimate understanding of what brings personal  (subjective) pleasure and displeasure the careful observation of what is personally (subjectively) favourable and unfavourable. Satan's words to Eve (Gen 3:5) : You will be like God... discerning what is best and what is inferior aware of what is beneficial and what is hurtful perceiving what is kind and what is not pleasing God's internal discussion (Gen 3:22): Man has become like one of Us... comprehending pleasure and pain considering what is beneficial and what is harmful understanding welfare (or well being) and distress. What is so bad about the last three? We, as created beings, are finite and cannot see the whole picture. What looks good in microcosm may be disastrous in the bigger picture. Peter’s desire to protect Jesus from the cross, was beautiful in microcosm, but would have been disastrous for all humanity who had put their hope in the promise of the Seed who would crush Satan's head. Ponder on this and see what shades of meaning the Holy Spirit reveals to you. Next week, I will share a story with you.
As you touch or hover over each picture in the four small squares above, they will be magnified in the main square. This demonstrates what happens in our minds; what we focus on becomes enlarged in our minds, to the exclusion of other things. When we get to see a larger frame, and see how the smaller parts fit together, our understanding often shifts.
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Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017

Communication

With Words

“There is a way that seems right to

a man, but its end is the way of

death.” Prov 14:12

Many shades of meaning to a word.

My intention was to continue with the thoughts of last week, but in my studies, I came to Genesis 3:22 : “Then the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us; knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever ... This verse seems to be showing that Satan was actually speaking truth by saying that Eve will become like God, does it not? As I wrestled with this verse, I found myself being drawn back to 3 uses of the phrase 'the knowledge (or knowing) of good and evil,' in Genesis 2 and 3. The two occasions in Genesis 3 use the same Hebrew word ‘yada’ for the word 'knowing' which is a verb meaning an intimate, experiencial knowing, as opposed to an intellectual knowledge. Genesis 2 uses a different Hebrew word, but it it's root word is 'yada', and it is simply the noun form of the verb 'yada', so the meaning is very similar. 'Yada' has a very wide range of English words that are used in different places in the Bible, and which bring a variety of shades of meaning… There is also a wide variety of shades of meaning to the English translations for the Hebrew words translated as 'good’ and 'evil', but there is a key that becomes apparent in the Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon, and that key is that word for good is not just an objective good, it feels good; it appeals to the senses, thus bringing a hint of subjectivity. Chaim Bentorah, a highly qualified and experienced Hebrew teacher, defines the Hebrew word translated a ‘good’ as ‘being in harmony’. What I am learning from Chaim, is that the Hebrew language is multifaceted and a word can have many different meanings; often all of which may be applied to a single instance of the use of that Hebrew word in a specific sentence, bringing forth a multitude of colours and shades of meaning. As I applied this concept to the phrase of 'knowing good and evil,' some interesting shades came to the fore. Let me give you a sampling, and leave you to go where the Holy Spirit it takes you; just remember to keep within the bounds of what God has said about Himself, as well as keeping within the overal teaching of the Word of God. (My quotes are based on the New American Standard Version of the Bible) God speaking to Adam and Eve (Gen 2:17) : Do not eat of the tree ... of the intimate experience of what brings (subjective) cheerfulness and sorrow of the intimate understanding of what brings personal  (subjective) pleasure and displeasure the careful observation of what is personally (subjectively) favourable and unfavourable. Satan's words to Eve (Gen 3:5) : You will be like God... discerning what is best and what is inferior aware of what is beneficial and what is hurtful perceiving what is kind and what is not pleasing God's internal discussion (Gen 3:22): Man has become like one of Us... comprehending pleasure and pain considering what is beneficial and what is harmful understanding welfare (or well being) and distress. What is so bad about the last three? We, as created beings, are finite and cannot see the whole picture. What looks good in microcosm may be disastrous in the bigger picture. Peter’s desire to protect Jesus from the cross, was beautiful in microcosm, but would have been disastrous for all humanity who had put their hope in the promise of the Seed who would crush Satan's head. Ponder on this and see what shades of meaning the Holy Spirit reveals to you. Next week, I will share a story with you.
As you touch or hover over each picture in the four small squares above, they will be magnified in the main square. This demonstrates what happens in our minds; what we focus on becomes enlarged in our minds, to the exclusion of other things. When we get to see a larger frame, and see how the smaller parts fit together, our understanding often shifts.
Prev Next