Yeshua Ha’ Maschiach

Many Christians don’t even think about Jesus being Jewish, but that is how He ministered. He spoke to people in parables, but many times they included what the people understood, farming, fishing, baking bread, and even keeping house. The Holy Spirit will minister to us much the same way, He can counsel you in the way you understand and learn, even with sports analogies or fashion or what gets your attention. He speaks your language, but do you speak His?

Jesus was probably wearing a talit or prayer shawl that the woman touched, the girl He raised from the dead was likely wrapped in her father’s. It was Hanukkah when He refers to Himself as the light of the world, the Maccabees celebrated the oil not running out, and it was commemorated, how much more should we appreciate Jesus, having now His Spirit to touch us, we are wrapped in His glory as believers, raised from the spiritual dead” And the oil of the Spirit will never run out, but like the wise virgins we must keep the flame burning until the bridegroom comes.

Anna and Simeon recognized the baby Jesus as the Messiah, Ha’ Maschiach. As did others, even Peter, eventually. But most wanted a king. Jesus dealt with the religious, the wicked, the tax collectors and Romans. He was alive in the most brutal of times and died the most cruel death to save us. So we should be glad to take a lesson from history, study His teaching and follow Him.

Jesus would have worn His talit and even phylacteries or armbands, perhaps, no wonder He enraged those in the synagogue who He had warned about boasting with prayers to be seen and heard and making the armbands larger to draw attention to themselves and not God. And God forbid, He had the nerve to heal on the Sabbath. He did several to prove Himself the Messiah, but He was falsely accused and even called the devil.

The devil is not going to heal you, sabbath or any other time. Jesus also declared the fulfillment of the verse in Isaiah, because He had been anointed to preach the gospel. Acts 2:38, said He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him.

They worried about having clean hands before eating, Jesus wanted them to have clean hearts. The Jews were not really much different than we are. We worry about how things will look to people, whether we do or do not go to church enough or give enough. We may have lot of Bibles to look smart or go to every class and outing, but how is your personal relationship with God? Do you really know Yeshua? Has the Holy Spirit been able to release you from the trappings of legalism and let you worship in Spirit and Truth?

Jesus fulfilled the law and prophets, we are now under grace, but we need to know about history. So He was the Messiah, His own did not receive Him, but we did and He still will help Israel. Let’s look at a few more names. Pele Yoetz,Wonderful Counselor, El Gibbor, Mighty God, Avi Ab, Everlastiing Father, Sar Shaloam, the Prince of Peace.These are the Hebraic names from the prophetic verse Isaiah 9:6,7

And finally, Jesus, Yeshua is the way, ha diresh, the truth, el emet, and the life, et chaim. He was the perfect lamb, ta’ mim taleh. And when He died for us on the cross, He said, t’av vnishlim or the Greek, tetestatli, it is finished. Now, we can rest in His grace, peace and really understand the Sabbath. Rebecca Jones / fellow blogger

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My Father’s Name

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Today, we are looking and I might add with reverence and awe, some of the many names of God. He starts off in Genesis as Elohim, to show His strength and moves to Yahweh, Jehovah, and Adonai. He also uses El as an abbreviation. You may notice the plural of Elohim, the Trinity. Many words are added in the Old Testament to portray His forgiveness, closeness, strength and holiness. Elohay Yishi is the God of my salvation. He is definitely the I AM to Moses, and though some dispute the correct pronunciation, Jehovah or Yahweh, are the most common for YHVH, He ends up again as Father, Abba, as Jesus is seated with Him in Revelation.

He revealed His personality through His name, just like we do. Most people know me as Rebecca, but to others, it’s always Becky, yet, I am a writer, daughter, friend. You get the idea. we are said to wear many hats in the figurative, so do we have many names or titles, and while some may not think that we ever lose ourselves or our way, we definitely need to know who we are in Christ, who the father mad us to be.

God, to me, anyway, rolled all His names up into one, Jesus. He sent Him to redeem a fallen creation, He was one with Jesus, and He was the embodiment of God’s love. Jesus also has a lot of names, they both are the Great I Am, and the Alpha and Omega in Greek, and the Alef Tav in Hebrew. The letter tav in an older version looks like a cross. His name is above all of them and He has all authority.

So God is,

El Roi, the God who sees.

Jehovah Shammah, the God who is here.

Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals.

Jehovah Jireh, the provider.

Jehovah Nissi, our banner or victory, is love love over us.

El Gibor, a mighty God.

El Elyon, the Lord Most High.

El Shaddai, the many breasted one, nurturing and loving.

Jehovah Shaloam, God is our peace.

El Qanna, the jealous God. His jealousy isn’t like ours, sinful, He is just wanting the best for us and to spend time with us.

I could give you so many more, but please enjoy the video. And there are many lists if you care to study further. Rebecca Jones / pexels

 

 

 

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The Forty Days of Repentance

We have talked about Teshuva before on the blog, the forty days of repentance. And it is important to note that we as believers are no obligated to celebrate Jewish holidays but can benefit from learning about them. While there were three feasts in the Old Testament that had to be attended, Teshuvah is the forty days before the new year when people were called to repentance before the Day of Atonement.

While sacrifices were made daily at the temple, the Day of Atonement is when the high priest goes into the Holy of Holies. A cord was wrapped around his leg in case he had sinned and died in there. How sacred is that? Jesus is our high priest and I believe His blood is in heaven in the Holy of Holies, while He may perform a ceremonial ritual, it was His flesh that was rent, or torn like the veil of the temple.

His sacrifice alone gave us access to God, which is why He is the only way to the Father. He is the way, truth and the life, and He said no man comes to the Father but by Him. You see why the Day of Atonement is a high holy day. Yom Kippor, and Teshuvah starts on August 12th. While the word is translated as repentance, it is more like turning back, answering a question, shelah in Modern Hebrew.

Psalm 51 is often called Perek Teshuvah because David was confronted with his crimes and had to return to God. The last ten days of the forty are called the days of awe, God, because of His rachamim, abundant compassion, can and will do the most amazing things in the lives of believers.

So, we are not observant Jews, not Messianic. How do we benefit from these forty days of repentance? It is a time to reflect and repent, though personally, I know, we, as true believers we should have repentant hearts all the time and be quick to recognize sin. We are under grace, and Jesus sacrifice was once  and for all.

That does not give us the freedom to sin, but the freedom from sin. And while the accuser may remind and condemn us, even day and night. Jesus will not, see Romans 8:1 and John 3:17. The Holy Spirit will convict you and you can repent, condemnation inspires fear and punishment, which is what Jesus took in taking our place. We don’t have to fear our Father.

The Holy Spirit is not a spirit of fear nor of the bondage or religion and tradition. When Jesus frees you, are supposed to be free indeed. But so often, we are not, we fail to recognize the depth of His love and the greatness of a sacrifice that covered the would if they could believe.  Sadly, some will not.

We can choose to honor of  celebrate Teshuvah or not. I like to take time and reflect and try to correct anything in my walk that is not giving Him glory. It might be inadvertent gossip. Or neglecting prayer. Have you remembered to give thanks for all He’s done? I have participated in fasts a few times, but don’t worry, that is not mandatory.

You have to pray about that and do it with the right heart for God to bless it, I know people who think it is a weigh loss tool, I never did it for that. And it wasn’t severe, give up a meal a day. Desserts, coffee, or computer time. Your phone. Even a couple of hours. Maybe, you could start a journal or take a prayer walk. Even not reading too many blogs.

I’m posting this a few days early, so you can think about it and I hope you find a way to enjoy Teshuvah with the Lord. I know I will, I’ll be digging into Hebrews studies, I might do some art, I have coloring books with Bible verses. Maybe, you could do something with a friend or a prayer group.

Whatever August 12th to September 19th brings, I hope you are blessed and walking the love of Jesus because His sacrifice was so great, we should never mind being repentant or turning back, answering His call, which is what Teshuvah means.  Rebecca Jones / pexels

I Didn’t Know I Spoke Hebrew!

Wow. imagine me finding some words in Hebrew and having a little fun with my mother. She didn’t know she could speak Hebrew, I’m going to write a few and you can have some fun with me. We need a lighter post now and then. Words we already use with either the same or different meanings. Can you say hallelujah and amen, for starters? You know where they come from.

Avacodo and banana, bank, cello, for starters. If you want water, it’s mayim. But Koka Kola makes you smile. Great, I can have a hamburger and ketchup, no problem, but I prefer mayonnaise, that’s okay too. But salat mayonnaise is potato salad, But if you ask for chips, it’s like cheeps, not  potato chips, chips like fries in England. Maybe, macaroni for dinner. Kabob will get you a sort of sausage link, you have to say shishlik. And a concert sounds nice. I get tired of the internet and need to unwind. Concert and internet, you already know.

Sandwich is close with a v instead of a w, try pizza, as pitsa or salad as salat, and a trip to the museum, is okay, but with an n. You might see a student or professor, the same. Listen to the radio on the way home, shut off your telephone or watch telivisyah, close.  Don’t forget to haves some tea or coffee, but that is more like cafe, supermarket is the same. And if you take sugar, it is more like soo-kar. Cinnamon is kinnamon. If want bread, the word is mafia, seriously, not the mob but a bakery. Put it in a nylon, no, not a stocking, a plastic bag.

You might take an autobus. A toot is not the horn but a berry, some may say strawberry, but straw is another word. You may gag on on pronouncing some Hebrew words but no joke, a gag is not funny or to choke, it is a roof. Don’t forget Nana, the real one if she’s on your trip, but nana means mint.

And if you have children along, they would like football or soccer as it’s called, and they need a yo-yo, the same. And veedeos, and plenty of shok a lad, chocolate. Something happening for you forget it might be evil, the same word.

The study of words, and all stems from Hebrew has become know as Edenics. The word peri is fruit, where we get the pr of apricot, pear, prune, persimmon and grape. Th r  is sometimes an l as in apple or plum. Grain is bar in Hebrew, where we get barley. Barn for storing it and though I don’t like and most people can’t handle too many, beer comes from grain.

We get a lot of words from Genesis, there are similar words,  et sounds like eth and becomes the. Yet ha is Hebrew for the, so you see  words are derived from it, including and, add and odd. Even over from aver and hover, ha over, the Spirit was over the deep, hovered over, the Bible says, and and lahat, like it sounds, meaning shine, gives us light, even though the Hebrew word is or. There are others like with, from ve-et, sounding like weeth. Then be and by, from begin and az becomes was.

This can get into deep study, even Aramaic which predates Hebrew, and exploring the Talmud and Torah. But you don’t need a degree in English or linguistics, you don’t have to be Jewish or even Messianic and still I hope you have had fun learning Hebrew of course you already knew that, didn’t you? Rebecca Jones /pexels

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The Mizpah Coin

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But it was also called Mizpah (which means “watchtower”), for Laban said, “May the LORD keep watch between us to make sure that we keep this covenant when we are out of each other’s sight. Genesis 31:49

I have always liked these necklaces, I even had a mezzuzah on the door until the sun faded it, though I am not Jewish or Messianic, but grafted in through Jesus. I have a Catholic miracle medallion, and a necklace with water from Lourdes. My faith is not in these objects but in Jesus, they are not talismans or charms but reminders, they don’t make miracles, He does and love does.

The Mizpah coin uses the verse from Genesis, it is Laban’s covenant with Jacob, who was to work seven years from Rachel to be his bride, it was like no time because he loved her. But while apparently Jacob kept his part of the bargain, Laban deceived him with a well veiled bride, Leah, and it was seven more years for Rachel. Jacob goes on to deceive his father.

The Bible is full of covenants and promises, and while there grace in the beginning and a repentant Abraham who has lied ends up rich, and Jacob ends up with sons that become the twelve tribes of Israel, they made a lot of sacrifices. And the day of Atonement covered sin once a year.

The Ten Commandments were given because they wanted to follow them, anything God could command they said. And they could not, they starting breaking them right away. Thankfully, Jesus gave us a better covenant and promises, and like God, He cannot lie and keeps them, even if we don’t always, we are back under grace.

Paul even calls the commandments the ministry of death, and the era of grace with Jesus, the ministry of the Spirit, how much more should we be blessed, favored, healed and protected. The Holy Spirit is in us as believers to teach and guide and settle us in the one commandment given by Jesus to love, then we are not breaking all the others, but if we sin we have and advocate, He is our High Priest on the Day of Atonement, and really year round. His sacrifice was once and for all.

Whether you have a Mizpah coin or not, He is watching to see that you are keeping covenant, like marriage, business deals, ministry. He knows your heart and what you are keeping or neglecting and is there to help. I’m so glad he keeps His word even if we don’t always, whether by commission, or omission.

Mizpah was also a place where intercession was made and a rock was placed there. The Old Testament is full of altars, you can create your own in your home. I used to have a Bible displayed and a nice set of golden cups and a decanter for Communion. I still have a beautiful lion, lamb and dove painting over the mantle, and one called the Invitation, with a dinner table. Some things I have had to move at times because of children.

I even decorated my Victorian Christmas tree, with crowns, crosses, keys, ( to the kingdom ) and angels, family photos and lots of things, doves and feathers, anything to remind me of the reason for the season, maybe, I can add some Judaica, I scaled down Christmas for a while but it might be back bigger and better. You can scroll back to July and see that I’m ready. Hanukkah coins, made of chocolate are called gelt and given to children as gifts. The Hebrew word for coin is matbea, mat bayh ah. Ancient coins were called zuz or zuzzim, and the phrase piece of money would have been silver.

Jesus even mad a point of a lost coin in a parable and sent Peter to get a coin from a fish’s mouth to pay taxes, He mentions widow’s mites, and once had to clear the temple of the money changers, and was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, so you see, coins are significant and not just tokens or so called good luck pieces, I don’t believe in luck, I believe in love. Look at all the coins that have bee found in the sea, they are considered treasure, Jesus is our and we are His, I hope this story is a reminder that He keeps His covenant, and watches while He is apart from us, though He is ever present by His Spirit.

Whatever traditions, jewelry, statuary, paintings or even baubles, whatever the meaning to you, It is important not to just remember the keepsake, but the sentiment and the promise, to keep covenants and promises. God holds them in high esteem, even with grace, it is sacred to Him, intimate, like a marriage vow or wedding ring. May He watch between us until you visit me again. Rebecca Jones / public domain

Abba Danced The Day You Were Born

Have you heard that expression that angels or God danced the day you were born? Well, He did, and so did angels. ( melakh / messenger ) Abba was certainly proud of His creation. Abba is Hebrew for Father and Jesus died so we could know His, He called Him God, when He normally said Father, from the from the cross, He gave us a Father.

Abba is spelled with the alef and bet in Hebrew and the symbols are for strength and a house. While God intended for men to be the strong and loving head of the house, it is He who should actually be the head of the house. Joshua says that he and his house will serve the Lord.

But what about dancing? We know angels rejoice over the salvation of a sinner but Zephaniah 3:17 says that He rejoices over us with singing and quiets us with His love. Now is He singing without dancing? I think not. Oh, I’m sure He could kick up His heels if He wanted to, but I think He is a slow dancer. You can stand on His shoes and dance with Him like you would an earthly father. Shoes often represent peace in the Christian dream interpretations. Remember, the beautiful ones that carry the gospel is peace.

How peaceful to see a couple glide effortlessly across the dance floor, or the ballet. There are many expressions for dance in the Hebrew language, and at the end of the post I will leave you a few and you can think how He might have danced on your birthday, at your wedding or how He will someday in the future.

I wanted to teach a little Hebrew, as I have enjoyed it for years. I know a little, but unless it’s in a prayer language, I neither read or write it. And I didn’t want to overload it like a college course, just to give you a sense of the beauty of Christ, hidden in the depths of His Word, and they were written in Hebrew and Greek. I know of a church who says they study no Greek, and I imagine no Hebrew, but what a shame to miss out on something. When that something might have deeper revelation of Abba, something lost in translation.

I think it is a beautiful thing to be held in a loving Father’s arms as you attempt to follow in the steps of Christ. How graceful and peaceful is His love, and what a blessing to know He sings over us, perhaps even daily, morning and night, to both wake us and quiet  us, and how wonderful to know He wipes away our tears and will one day wipe them forever, you can be sure as a sinner, saved by grace there was rejoicing, and be just as confident that Abba danced the day your were born. Rebecca Jones / pexels

  • Hebrew words for dance.
  • chal – to dance in a ring or circle, twirl or whirl, also machol, or machtot.
  • rakad – to skip or leap, like ballet.
  • kirker – to spin around,showing great emotion. Pour out your soul.
  • pizez – to leap, where we get pizzazz.
  • berach – to kneel. also bless/
  • gil – to spin around in joy, to rejoice.
  • Ya Gil – God dancing.

 

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The Science of Shhh!

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I was thinking I had read something about saying Shhh! in Hebrew that had spiritual implications, almost like the shofar and driving off the enemy. As of writing this, I have been unable to find it, and for that I apologize.

Shhh! It is a very common way of asking people to be quiet, usually, with finger to the lips, it is a common and worldwide term, understood by most people. While the word,  “chasaah “, is Hebrew for silent, the word, “sheket “, is usually, hush.  “Sheket, yeled. “, is a way parents may tell their children to politely or not so politely, to shut up.

I think the Lord, though He gets angry, and is firm, thankfully, it only lasts a moment, has a soft touch about Him, the calm, stillness, rest, being undisturbed. His ” Sheket, yeled, “, is more of a hush child. Shhh is said to be a variation from the Middle Ages, of hush. There are lullabies with the world hush. Shhh is definitely a word for children and babies. But aren’t we His children? Sometimes, we just need the rest and quiet that draws His peace.

The ” Be still and know, I am God. ” of Psalm 46:10, has the implication of silence, the literal meaning is to sink low. It is like a bending, kneeling, a deliberate letting go of cares, there is healing in this verse as well. Can you really be that still, sure you can.

While Old Testament word, ” charash ” with the k sound means to plow or engrave, as the stripes on His back or being engraved on His palms or wrists, it also is used for deaf, and silent. Jesus was in the lonely places, the quiet or silent, place. He prayed quietly, and did not listen to the mocking or accusation, and did not address all of them, He knew what the Father told Him.

While Psalm 22:2 speaks of not rest, others like Psalm 39:2 and 61:1 use the feminine word , ” dumiyah “, a waiting or repose, the words, help my peace, indicates quiet and still.

Whether or not shhh runs off the devil or not, the rest, the quiet and peace that Jesus offers us does give us the calm, the peace, that  brings us strength and victory. The shaloam or shabbat shaloam, we all need. Also, the word pictures for the letter sheen in Hebrew. like our sh, is teeth or flames of fire.  Maybe, it is the quiet, that kind of shhh, that breaks the devils teeth or sends him to the lake of fire. We could all use a little hushing, and then shhh is nice for a while everyday. That may be the science of shhh, after all. Rebecca Jones / public domain

  • It occurred to me that I heard of a woman, a Pentecostal, I think, who used a certain term in prayer, it may have been a prayer language.  That may be what I am remembering, the exact phrase, I could not say, but the shhh sound was in it. And it made reference to the wicked one, we all need to run him off.

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Back To School / Let’s Learn Some Hebrew

Well, it’s August already and school is about to start. So I thought I would do something educational for us this month. At the first of the year, I promised we would get into the beauty, of His Word. Hebrew, the holy tongue. L’shon HaKodesh is a beautiful language. Yo-fee means beautiful. Don’t worry that this will be difficult, I will break it down. I’m not a computer expert, and I am not a speaker of Hebrew. I just love to study, and like the computer if I learn a little something to share, I will, you know, not everyone will do that and they sometimes think you ought to know it already.

We know that the world was originally speaking one language, Nimrod messed that up. God divided tongues because of tower of Babel. He restored it somewhat at Pentecost. And gradually people not only spoke in tongues but learned other languages. Jesus  spoke Aramaic and Hebrew, the New Testament was written in Greek.

So let’s start at the beginning, bara, means to create. God created light and separated into day and night. These were twelve hour spans, explaining the three days and nights in the tomb. The word for light is or, yes just, or. Day is yom, and layla is night. If I say good morning, it would be, boker tov or layla tov. Good night. These are the days of the week. the ch is a hard sound like German.

Yom Rishon – Sunday

Yom Sheni – Monday

Yom Shlishi -Tuesday

Yom Revi’ i -Wednesday

Yom Chamishi -Thursday

Yom Shishi – Friday

Yom Shabbat – Saturday

Of course we know about Yom Kippor, the day of Atonement, while our days coincide, our months do not. The Jewish New Year begins Rosh Hashanah, is usually in September or October. This year 2018, the New Year is  September 10,11. L’ Shanah Tovah, Happy New Year! And Yom Kippor the day of Atonement is the 19th, I’m glad Jesus is our High Priest.

Remember, Hebrew is read right to left, and often is transliterated for us to learn, It has no vowels, and only 22 consonants. This is a serious study but, I want to keep it light. You’re not being graded. There is also no J, so it the yod that steps in, Jesus, Yeshua. Jonathan, Yohanon, Jacob, Yacob, or Yakov. It is a y.

We call it the alphabet, in Hebrew it is the alef-bet, the first two letters. Like Alpha and Omega is Greek. Hebrew was not officially reintroduced until the 1800’s, that too, is another post. Shaloam, Rebecca Jones / stock photo

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Wise To Seek Him

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We three kings of Orient are,
Bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain.
Following yonder star.

O Star of wonder, star of night.
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding.
Guide us to thy Perfect Light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to rein

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Pray’r and praising, all men raising,
Worship Him, God most high.

O Star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect light.

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume,
Breathes of life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

O Star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect light,

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice.
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Earth to heav’n replies.

O Star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect light .

These are words to We Three Kings of Orient Are, and they did bear gifts and traverse afar. Perhaps over moor and mountain. and even field but fountain, is that a waterfall, following the star of wonder, royal beauty bright. It guided them to perfect light, Jesus.

Frankincense offered to a deity most High. An incense, myrrh, a bitter perfume that spoke of bleeding and dying, the cold, sealed, tomb, even as He lay in a stone manger. King and God and Sacrifice. Alleluia!

And the gold, these gifts speak to His Kingship, and God made provision for their flight from Herod. What about the wise men, the magi? They were educated in the science of astrology. What Abraham taught was astronomy, Nimrod corrupted God’s way of displaying signs and seasons, into stargazing and fortune telling of sorts. The enemy attempts to copy God who does ues the heavens and numbers. Magi also has to do with Zoroasterism, but they were opposed to sorcery. Why we need wisdom.

The Bible suggest three wise men, tradition says they are Melichor, king of Persia, who reunited to celebrate with the other magi in 54, A.D. , already and old man with a long, white, beard, when he visited Jesus, he died at 116 on January 1st, 55 A.D. Caspar or Gaspar, which comes from the word gizbar, treasurer, he was believed to be an Indian scholar and stories vary as to whether he passed through the town of Taxila, known for silk or was actually King Gondophares, the other name may have been a title. He is depicted as young and beardless and brought the frankincense. He was martyred, and there are churches names for the Magi in India. Balthazar,  a black man, with a beard, who brought the myrrh, that was a symbol of His death. He supposedly died at 112, four days after Melichor.

While I can’t say for sure, the exact circumstances, it was my understanding two were martyred, surely kings would have sought Him, and they were wise to avoid Herod on their return. The gifts were no coincidence either, God knew what and who He would send. There is a popular quote, that wise men still seek Him, and they do, and wise women too.

I have enjoyed celebrating Christmas in July and learned a lot, and there are still more carols I will eventually read. But for now, we are turning to Hebrew Studies in August, don’t worry, it’s not hard. God bless and be wise, so study. Rebecca Jones / public domain

 

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Selah

I used to read through the Psalms, and there it was, the five letter little word that popped up now and again.  Selah. Tefillim is Hebrew for  Psalms or prayers. I would see that it was a note to a musical director, I thought of it as a pause, in music or between two Psalms, truthfully, I had no idea what it was. So, what is selah?

Let’s look at the Hebrew. It is used seventy four times in the Bible. In Psalms and three in Habakkuk. The real meaning isn’t known, it does appear to be a musical direction or instruction on reading the Psalm.  Something like, ” Stop and listen. ” The Amplified Bible, translates it as, ” pause and think about that. ”

Since Psalms were accompanied by music, is it any wonder that thirty one of the thirty nine psalms to the choir master include the word selah. It may indicate a break in the song or music. It has a reflected sound of the Arabic salih, valid or truth preserving.  Another interpretation claims selah  comes from the salah meaning hang, or weigh, even as gold is weighed, ironically, David hung the harps  on trees and a lot of the music, wasn’t heard again until recently when some music was published according to the notes of certain Psalms.

Jewish music expert, Suzanne Haik-Vantoura, offers a different view. Her book, the Music of the Bible revealed concludes that selah was not an instruction rather part of the lyrics. Again, much like the amen at the close of a prayer. Pause and crescendo appear in some Bibles, in the margins.

While selah had an heir of mystery to it, we know that it is definitely has a pause or rest to it. Maybe, it is a grace note of sorts. The word “selah” appears to be related to the Hebrew word “salal” which  means to lift up, or to exalt, a musical direction in the Psalms it probably means a lifting up of the voices or instruments either in pitch or in volume. Or again as a lyric, after studying Christmas carols, some very old ones, perhaps it is like the word refrain, so is it a chorus to repeat the psalm? I could not say for sure.

The ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) uses the word “diapsalma” to translate “selah”.  Literally, it simply means “through the Psalm”. This doesn’t mean they understood the expression.  Arrangers, composers, and lyricists try to  to create emotional lyrics for the words and message of the song. There must be a reason why this word is included in the inspired text of the Book of Psalms, perhaps only the musicians of the day understood the term or God’s instruction.

If this word was inserted for pitch or volume to be increased, it must mean drawn to what has just been said or sung. We would be wise to pause for a moment at the word selah, focusing on what we just read. We can lift up our thoughts to the Lord in praise or sing the psalm, a pause or a break, the very rest that Jesus offers to the weary, does He offer it in music?

Surely, He does, for He rejoices over us in singing and quiets us with His love. Zephaniah 3:17, and still the word is said to be pronounced, say -lah , and others who see it as a strong rock or city. Well, He is that too. Augustin, from a study of Masoetic text suggested it means, fiat, the Latin for let it be made. Others see it as not as word at all but letters sewn together as an acrostic of sorts, much like the sign over Jesus’ head on the cross. except we know what that meant.

But as a pause or a rest, from reading, singing or worship, day to day life. Selah, pause, rest, sing and worship in His finished work and promises. What does selah mean? Maybe, the Lord only knows. And since He is coming soon, He will tell us, selah. Rebecca Jones