Since I’ve been writing about eyes and sight lately, I thought I’d share the Hebrew word for eye, which is עין (pronounced AH-yeen).
Matthew 6:22-23 literally reads: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is good, your whole body is full of light; but if your eye is evil your whole body is full of darkness…”
“If your eye is good” is a Hebrew saying that means, “if you are generous.” If a “good eye” speaks to generosity, what is an evil eye? Someone not knowing the Jewish background might suppose it is speaking of casting spells. But in Hebrew culture, having an “evil eye,” means being stingy – just like having a “good eye,” means being generous. Yeshua (Jesus) is warning against lack of generosity and nothing else. This fits the context perfectly: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also….You cannot serve both God and money.”
I’ve learned a lot about Greek and Hebraic thinking in recent years. I know, I know, I have written about it quite a bit, but it really does affect many things, ranging from our belief about God and Scripture to life and to teaching a teenage son. One aspect of Greek thinking is that two opposite things can’t both be true–if Thing A is true then Thing B is false. Greek thinking has resulted in many church debates and denominational splits over the centuries as people argue(d) about things like “Does God choose us OR do we choose God?” or “Is God sovereign OR do we have free will?” “They can’t both be true!” Hebrew thinking, on the other hand, believes that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than our ways and there is room for mystery. Two seemingly opposite things can both be true. God chooses us AND we choose Him. God is sovereign AND we have free will. The Jews believe “these, also, are the words of God.”
Saturday I didn’t get to sleep until about 3 a.m. Last night, I didn’t sleep all that well either. EJ didn’t feel well–he thinks his pain meds were affecting him. JJ said he hardly sleep all night. We were all very tired this morning. EJ feel asleep in his chair this morning, and as soon as school was over, JJ and I took naps too.
We study the Scriptures together as a family. We follow the Jewish Scripture reading schedule. Ezra (the one in the Bible) set up this reading schedule, and Jews have been following it ever since–including Jesus. For the past few years, we’ve been using the Hebrew for Christian book, A Year Through the Torah. You can buy a hard copy of the book or access it on line for free by clicking This Week’s Torah Reading in the sidebar at the left. The teaching is tremendous, and we have learned so much through it. Continue reading →
Lately I have been reading or listening to discussions about the pagan roots and traditions of Christmas, and about whether, in light of this, Christmas ought to be celebrated or not. Some people love Christmas because “Jesus is the reason for the season” and others hate it because of it’s pagan-ness. Continue reading →
The Hebrew language is filled with word play and puns, using words that are spelled similarly, have the same rhythm in the words, or use different words to repeat a thought. This word play is called “Hebraism” and is found throughout the Old and New Testaments. You can see them in Hebrew but not in English. One example of a Hebraism in the New Testament is found in John 3:8: Continue reading →