Tag Archives: Eve

HEBREW HONEYCOMB


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
“DYING, THOU SHALT SURELY DIE”
The phrase, “Dying. thou shalt surely die” is a literal translation of the Hebrew words revealing the penalty for eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The serpent capitalized on the words, assuring Mother Eve that she would not immediately fall down dead from eating of the forbidden fruit. Additionally, there was good food to be had and knowledge to be gained. Of course, he purposely did not reveal that unlike God, she would not be able to always choose the good and shun the evil. What subtlety in his lies!
So, with sin now incorporated into the basic makeup of the species, it is appointed unto men once to die. Hebrews 9:27. Is there anyone who could successfully argue against this consistent process? Every hospital testifies that men get sick and die. Every cemetery shouts that it is appointed unto men once to die. Every undertaking establishment says that it is appointed unto men once to die. Old age, and the loss of mental acumen bears witness that it is appointed unto men once to die, so death reigns on planet Earth without respect of persons. The Bible is plain in declaring that the last enemy of mankind to be destroyed will be death. 1 Cor. 15:26.
But GOOD NEWS! For those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, death has indeed been destroyed as the enemy. Jesus soundly defeated it on the cross long, long ago. He not only defeated it, He made it to lay down at our feet and patiently wait for the nod of God to become our transport from the terrestrial to the celestial.
Consequently, there is no fear of the grim reaper in the eternally young heart of the redeemed. Neither is it waited upon with dread. Conversely, the Father of Spirits is fellowshipped in increasing intensity in the full realization that should the Lord Jesus not appear bodily in His glorious second coming, the hideous monster of death will become a limousine to carry us over into the higher dimension in style to the shout of throngs of awaiting saints constituting the grandest welcoming committee imaginable, and in their midst is the blessed Son of God by whose Word, Work, and Authority we enter that heavenly home.
But until then, sin continues to raise its ugly head and we do what we would not. Thus does the reality of its penalty exercise itself in all of us: “Dying, thou shalt surely die.”

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Obey


 

šāma‘

Today’s Hebrew word is one of those that permeates the OT, appearing some 1,150 times, and having equivalents in Akkadian, Aramaic, Arabic, Ugaritic, and Ethiopic. Šāma‘ (H8085) basically means “to hear with the ear” with several shades of meaning derived from it that generally denote effective hearing, that is, truly listening. Ideas conveyed by šāma‘, then, are “paying attention, regarding, and obeying.”

The first occurrence of šāma‘ well illustrates the above concepts. After they sinned, Adam and Eve “heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen_3:8). Here was, as many expositors believe, the pre-incarnate Word, the Lord Jesus, walking in the Garden. Adam and Eve recognized Him as such and knew fully how they had disobeyed His one and only command. We find šāma‘ again in Gen_3:10 and still again in Gen_3:17, where God told Adam that he “hearkened” (listened to, obeyed, or at least followed the lead of) his wife instead of His God.

We repeatedly find this word, therefore, in reference to obeying God. We are told to “hear the word of the LORD” (e.g., Isa_66:5; Jer_22:29), “hear [His] voice” (Isa_28:23), “[hearken] unto counsel” (Pro_12:15), and obey His law and “commandments” (Isa_42:24; Neh_9:16). Two passages that sum it all up are, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deu_6:4-5), followed by the command to keep these words in one’s heart and teach them to your children (Deu_6:6-9). Those verses actually comprise the “Shema,” the basic confession of faith of Judaism recited both morning and evening.

The challenge to us today is both clear and convicting. As šāma‘ indicates “hearing with the intent to obey,” so does the Greek akouō (G191), which is how the Septuagint renders šāma‘ here. It means not only to hear in general (e.g., Mat_2:3), to hear with attention (e.g., Mar_4:3, “hearken”), and to understand (e.g., Mar_4:33), but also to obey (e.g., Luk_16:19-31). In a day when Christ is presented as a way to salvation without Lordship, and when Christian living is viewed as not involving strict obedience to anything definitive, Scripture’s emphasis on obedience has never been more critical.

Scriptures for Study: Who hears God, according to Pro_1:5 (cf. Pro_1:7)? To what should we hearken and what is the result in Pro_1:33; Pro_8:32-35? What comes by “hearing” in Rom_10:17?

 

 

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THE LIMITED AND THE LIMITLESS


Adam and Eve comic

AUTHOR – William Andrew Dillard

Parson to Person
There is a conceptual wall separating the mortal and the immortal. Man is finite. God is infinite. The finite simply does not comprehend to any appreciable degree the infinite. In simple terms, God put it simply this way: “As the heavens are high above the earth, so are my ways to your ways and my thoughts to your thoughts, saith the Lord.” Isa. 55. It then behooves us who are finite to accept in full the presentation of God and his work to man as recorded in Holy Writ while avoiding the temptation to sit in His chair to postulate what he knows, and by which principles He is bound.
Still, it is an apparent, favorite pastime of bible students to build tenets of faith on what they insist God does or does not know based on their finite reasoning of spiritual principles. Perhaps revisiting the book of Job would be helpful. He longed for a meeting with the Creator until he got one. There he found himself as helpless and mentally and spiritually inept as a toddler would be to run a factory.
A particular case in point is the Eden scenario. It goes something like this: God knew man would sin before He created the planet; therefore, Adam and Eve had no choice but to do what God foreknew they would do. That is fatalism, unfounded, and contrary to the whole presentation of the Bible. If such nonsense were true, God would not have given Adam and Eve the bone fide offer of eternal life in the fruit of a tree. Such would be simple mind games.
Alas! Adam and Eve did plunge themselves and their posterity into a world of sin and death by casting down that perfect order in Eden, but, Thank God, the Lord Jesus, the Christ stood as a Lamb slain from the casting down of that order. The entire interlude of sin in the world of men provides the opportunity to overcome it through the triumphant cross-work of the God-man: Jesus, and to see that perfect order restored in ages to come. Meanwhile sin is shown to have no intrinsic value by which it may claim right to continued existence other than in the hell reserved for its founder and practitioners who have rejected the grace of God. One may claim he does not understand all of this. Then welcome to the club. It is not to be understood, rather it is to be believed without reservation. By His own revelation to us, the “limited” may know and live the faith of the “Limitless.” This is only possible in Christ Jesus. This then is the emphasis of the resurrection; the meaning of Easter; the continuous first day of the week celebration of His churches through the age. Know Him then, and follow Him at all costs. The limited are on their way to becoming as the Limitless, and what a day that will be!

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Eve’s Temptations


Genesis 3:1-7
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat,” Genesis 3:6.
 
Temptations come in many forms and every one of us has a weakness or two. What are your weaknesses? Maybe you lack strength to resist the temptations of power, wealth, possessions, food or lust; whatever our weaknesses may be, it is important to remember that temptations do not come from God (James 1:13). Maybe you are thinking, Well, of course, God does not tempt me to sin! That is not too difficult to understand. The problem, however, lies in the fact that we are led astray by our desire to play the role of God in our own lives. When we sin, we decide to take control of our lives out of God’s hands because we think we know better than He knows.
Think about Eve’s temptation for a minute. What was it that led her and Adam astray in the garden? It was the idea that, somehow, God was cheating them by forbidding them to eat from one tree in the garden. There were thousands of trees from which they could eat, but only one that was forbidden, and that was the one they wanted. They were tempted by their own pride, desiring to be in control of their own destinies.
Every temptation we face begins in the same way. We think we know better than God, and, instead of humbly trusting Him, we venture down the path governed by pride, giving in to our own desires. What do we find at the end of that path? We find disappointment, discouragement and despair. Why? It is because we make terrible gods.
 
 

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HEBREW – Call [and] Prayer (3)


qārā’

Besides the some one dozen words rendered prayer in the OT, another that clearly pictures prayer in a few instances is the verb qārā’ (H7121), the root of which (qr’) is found in “Old Aramaic, Canaanite, and Ugaritic, and other Semitic languages (except Ethiopic).”

Appearing more than 730 times, qārā’ has a wide range of meanings, depending upon the context and grammar, including: “to call, declare, summon, invite, read, be called, be invoked, be named.” It is used, for example, of summoning someone, as when God “called unto Adam” (Gen_3:9), when God “called unto [Moses] out of the midst of the bush” (Exo_3:4), and for Adam naming the animals (Gen_2:20) and Eve (Gen_3:20). It is also used of reading aloud from a book or scroll (Exo_24:7; Neh_13:1; Jer_36:6; Jer_36:8). It is even used for the act of preaching (Neh_6:7; Jon_3:2, March 16).

Another significant use of qārā’ is in men calling upon God, a use we see often and that graphically illustrates prayer. After the fall, some men realized the all-encompassing consequences of sin and began to call on God’s name (Gen_4:26; Gen_12:8; Gen_13:4). We are especially struck by verses such as Psa_3:4 : “I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.” Also, Psa_18:6 : “In my distress I called [qārā’] upon the LORD, and cried [qārā’] unto my God.” Such statements, in fact, are a recurring theme in the Psalms (Psa_18:6; Psa_30:8; Psa_34:6; Psa_120:1; Psa_130:1; Psa_138:3).

Psa_119:145 is particularly striking: “I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.” Think of it! The psalmist’s entire being was engaged in prayer. He had written in Psa_119:10, “With my whole heart have I sought thee.” We then read in Psa_119:146 : “I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.” Here is true, earnest prayer. And what is the goal of such earnestness? In modern teaching, the goal is ourselves, getting what we want. The psalmist’s goal was a little different, to say the least. His aim was to “keep [God’s statutes [February 19] and] testimonies [February 17].” Let us pray earnestly to that end.

Scriptures for Study: What is the admonition of Psa_116:2? What then is the promise of Psa_145:18?

 

 

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HEBREW – Know [and] Praise (4)


yāḏa‘ [and] hālal
The old Scottish (Genevan) Psalter of 1551 affectionately and respectfully refers to Psalms 100 as “Old Hundredth.” The first stanza declares:
All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.
Here “is one of the every-day expressions of the Christian church,” writes Charles Spurgeon in The Treasury of David, “and [it] will be so while men exist whose hearts are loyal to the Great King. Nothing can be more sublime this side of heaven than the singing of this noble psalm by a vast congregation.” Today we consider a fourth way to praise God according to “Old Hundredth.”
The words “Know . . . that the LORD he is God” (Psa_100:3), show us that we praise God by increasing our knowledge of Him. Know is yāḏa‘ (H3045), which appears more than 900 times and has a wide range of meanings concerning knowledge acquired by the senses, “to know relationally and experientially.” It is similar to the Greek ginōskō (G1097), “to know by experience,” and often is practically synonymous with love and intimacy (Mat_1:25), as well as the personal relationship the believer has with Christ (Php_3:10; 1Jn_2:3; 1Jn_2:5; cf. Mat_7:23).
Yāḏa‘, then, first appears in Gen_3:5, where Satan tells Eve that eating of the forbidden tree would enable her to know good and evil. Gen_3:7 goes on to say that Adam and Eve knew they were naked. It also speaks of sexual intimacy (Gen_4:1) and even its perversion, such as homosexuality (Gen_19:5). Spiritually, not only does yāḏa‘ speak of God knowing us (Gen_18:19; Deu_34:10), but also of our knowing Him. While the lost do not know God (Jer_10:25; Job_18:21; Joh_17:25), the believer does, and that knowledge is to increase and grow. The psalmist desired to understand and know God’s Word (Psa_119:125). Solomon wanted “to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding” (Pro_1:2) and then added, “Teach [yāḏa‘] a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Pro_9:9). Peter likewise declares, “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2Pe_3:18).
Scriptures for Study: In what does true knowledge result (Psa_9:10)? What does Psa_44:21 declare about God?

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Cain


 

Qayin

 

When we hear the name Cain, most of us probably think immediately of the first murderer and his heinous crime. But there is more here. The Hebrew is Qayin (H7014), which as most scholars agree is a play on the verb qānāh (H7069), “to buy, purchase, acquire, or possess.” This seems all the more apparent in what Eve herself says of Cain: “I have gotten [i.e., acquired, qānāh] a man from the LORD” (Gen_4:1).

 

It did not take long, however, for that blessed acquisition to take a turn for the worse, long before Cain’s murder of his brother Abel. Jude alludes to Cain’s real problem when he writes of apostates: “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain” (Gen_4:11). The Greek for way is hodos (G3598), which literally refers to a road, highway, or street, but metaphorically to a course of conduct or way of thinking. So what was Cain’s way of thinking? That he could please God his own way.

 

What offering, then, did Cain bring, and why did God not accept it? Some teachers insist the problem was that Cain did not bring blood, as did Abel. Gen_3:21, it is argued, reveals that God taught Adam and Eve that blood had to be shed for sin, so this same knowledge was undoubtedly handed down to Cain and Abel.  The Hebrew, in fact, for the offering (April 17, 20) both men brought is minchāh (H4503), which does not refer to blood, rather the general idea of a gift. There are two Hebrew words used to translate this passage into english. The second is (H6529), meaning fruit. Therefore a fruit offering.Now we find with Abel brings a gift and (H1062) firstling of man or beast. Properly a blood offering such as was slain in the garden for Adam and Eve.

 

So why was Cain’s offering not accepted? We submit two reasons: First,it was not a bloody sacrifice that represented Christ our sacrifice. for Cain (in contrast to Abel bringing the “firstlings” (Gen_4:4). Second,Cain’s offering represented the ability of man to work his way to heaven. Third, it represented the pride of man in self ability in saving ourselves from condemnation.

 

What, then, is the way of Cain? The way of man. Cain’s way of thinking was that he could please God his own way. Christianity, however, is a life, a life found only in Christ by grace through faith.

 

Scriptures for Study: Read Mat_7:13-14, noting the two paths Jesus outlines. What does 1Jn_3:12 say about Cain?

 

 

 

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Hebrew – Help Meet


ēzer negeḏ

Gen_2:18 reveals the exact reason God provided Eve for Adam: “The LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Here is an often misunderstood (even hated) verse, but it, along with 1Co_11:9— “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”—could not be clearer. Before we chalk all this up to some supposed “male chauvinism,” let us consider the truly incredible reason for it.

The Hebrew for help here is ‘ēzer (H5828), which speaks of a “helper, assistant, one who aids.” The most significant aspect of this word, however, is that most of its twenty-two occurrences indicate divine aid, especially in the Psalms (Psa_20:2; Psa_33:20; Psa_70:5; Psa_89:19; Psa_115:9-11; Psa_121:1-2; Psa_124:8; Psa_146:5). Think of it! A godly wife is actually divine aid. God made her specifically to aid the man. Why? Because he needs it! Meet, then, is negeḏ (H5048), which includes such concepts as “over against, corresponding to, and counterpart.” So God made man a counterpart, a helper who complements him, an assistant who is appropriate and suitable for his needs.

I certainly identified with a sign in a wallpaper and paint store that read, “Husbands choosing colors must have note from wife.” How true that is for me! If it’s not blue, then I don’t really care. If it weren’t for my wife’s knowledge, my clothes would seldom be coordinated. And that’s just one area in which she is a helper who is appropriate and suitable for my needs.

One writer says it well: “As a result of the Creation order, men and women are oriented to one another differently. They need one another, but they need one another differently. The man needs the help; the woman needs to help.” That says it perfectly. When we understand that principle, when we are related to our spouse as God has designed us to be, we will see our marriages transformed.

Scriptures for Study: Read the verses in Psalms mentioned above. How is God’s help pictured in Psa_33:20 and Psa_115:9-11? What response does such help generate in us (Psa_146:5)?

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Woman [and] Eve


 

Iššāh [and] Chawwāh

 

Today’s words will not please the militant feminists of our day, but God has done more for women than the so-called “feminist movement” could even dream of. Adam actually gave two names to the woman that God provided for him. The first, of course, was Woman (Gen_2:23), the Hebrew ’Iššāh (H802), which Adam himself defined as “taken out of Man.” She is, quite literally, a part of man. (See February 8 for another use of ’iššāh.)

 

While Greek, Roman, and Jewish culture all held women in low regard, God and His Word hold them in the highest. The OT specifically teaches that women are spiritually equal to men. The Mosaic Law was given to all Israel, women as well as men (Deu_1:1). Both were to teach it to their children (Deu_6:4-7; Pro_6:20). The protection of the law applied equally to women (cf. Exo_21:28-32). Women had inheritance rights (Num_36:1-12). Men and women alike participated in the Jewish religious feasts (Exo_12:3; Deu_16:9-15). The single greatest spiritual vow, the Nazirite vow, was open to both men and women (Num_6:2). Women were involved in spiritual service (Exo_38:8; Neh_7:67). Nor did God hesitate to deal directly with women (Gen_3:13; Gen_16:7-13; Jdg_13:3).

 

The second name Adam gave this Woman was Eve, a name that should truly bless the heart of every woman. It is the Hebrew Chawwāh (H2332), which is related to chāyāh (H2421, “to be alive”) and Adam expounds as “the mother of all living” (Gen_3:20), as she gave birth (life) to the entire human race (Gen_4:1-2). What a truth! Every wife is both an ’iššāh, who is dependent on a man for her living, and a Chawwāh, on whom every man is dependent for his life. The warm-hearted Walt Disney movie The Lion King contained a song titled “The Circle of Life,” but what we see here is the real circle of life. And God did (and continues to do) all this through one institution, marriage.

 

To each dear, godly lady who might be reading this, may God richly bless you as you bring life into this world for His glory.

 

Scriptures for Study: Read the verses mentioned in today’s study, meditating on the place God has given women and the implications of that truth.

 

 

 

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HEBREW HONEYCOMB I, EYE, AYE: THE PROBLEM


 

William Andrew Dillard

 

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
I, EYE, AYE: THE PROBLEM
Some sage once said, “A man wrapped up in himself makes a terribly small package.” While most would agree, they must also acknowledge that this very principle is the primary cause of all the woes of the race. Think with me about this!
Luke 12:16-21 records the sad saga of a rich fool. He abounded in the richness of his day. His barns could hold no more. Did he seek to be helpful to others? No! He said to himself, “I” have no more storage room so “I” will pull down my buildings and “I” will build bigger ones. “I” will say “I” have much to last for many years so “I” will take it easy, eat , drink, and be merry. Alas, he died that night, and not having lived for the Lord nor invested in the lives of others, left his goods to the wiles of the world; truly a fool! His kind has not perished, but increased in the world: folks with “I” trouble.
Additionally, the temptation that succeeded in plunging the entire human family into sin was one of “I” and “eye” trouble. Mother Eve in response to Satan’s self-serving appeal , saw that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was beautiful to look upon (lust of the eye); she saw it was good for food (lust of the flesh through the eye); and she saw it was desirable to make one wise (pride of life, “I” and “eye” trouble). There was no forethought here regarding the Word and Will of the Creator, just “I.” Although that was nearly six thousand years ago, little children still sing out the warning, “O, be careful little eyes what you see….”
Enter Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. He was allowed to build one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: the magnificent Babylon with broad avenues, hanging gardens, and splendid structures. He said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (“I” and “Eye” trouble). He was judged immediately and learned firsthand that these things were from, and for God. Daniel 4.
Finally, there is another form of that phonetic problem that plagues the people of God, and should be corrected by all means. It is revealed in the story of two sons, Matthew 21:28-31. A man directed one of his sons to go work in his vineyard. The son said “nay” (no), but he later did. To the other he gave the same direction, and that son said “aye” (yes), but never did. There are multitudes today who give acquiescent “aye” to the work of God, but never do it. They cannot imagine the enormity of the loss being incurred by such disobedience to their Heavenly Creator.
So, anyway you spell it, I, Eye, Aye, it is the sinful source of the ills of mankind in general and of each individual in particular. May God help us to have a sweet spirit of truthful, and wholehearted surrender to the will of God Whom we all must soon meet face to face, and not be beset by the ages old, universal problems of “I, Eye, Aye.”

 

 

 

 

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