Thursday, October 8, 2009

interesting Hebrew

We all need bread each day just like the Israelite people collected manna in the wilderness each day. Here is my bread of the day. ( kind of like "a-ha!" moment)

I like studying Hebrew language to read the Bible. This is a quote from "Zola's Introduction to Hebrew", written by John Parsons. This is my Hebrew textbook I bought a few years ago.

The original Torah was written without any vowel points at all. This meant, of course, that in order to read the text properly, the reader was responsible for supplying the missing "intonations" or vowels.
Why is this the case? Why would the Lord provide only the consonants without the vowels? Some sages have said that by supplying the vowels, the reader must be active and do his or her part -- that is, the reader must supply the intonation and "exhale" the words that the Lord has so graciously inspired.
The reading of Torah, then, involves two things: the text itself and the reader who brings to the text the willingness to breathe out the divine inspiration. And without the Ruach(the Spirit), the text itself is dead, "for the letter killeth, but the Spirit gives life" (see 2 Cor. 3:6)

How interesting!
The original Old Testament was written in Hebrew without any vowel symbols. The language doesn't really have any vowels. The symbols (or points) were created to add to the language later to make it easier to read. I didn't know that. In the book of Acts you can see that the Jewish people read the Bible in the synagogue every sabbath. The reader was called out and read the portion from the scriptures. Then, the reader has the responsibility to read it correctly.

The reader cannot just read the scriptures mindlessly in order to read it correctly out loud in front of the congregation. Now I understand that besides his/her mind to concentrate on the pronunciation, he/she has to 'exhale' the words, using his/her breath. Breath in Hebrew is 'ruach', and it also means 'the Spirit'. So, the reader needs breath = the Spirit to make the scriptures alive and deliver it to the people who are listening.

Isn't it the same today in many ways? We need the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Bible. That is why we should pray before we read the Bible. I understand it a little more now... John Peason's explanation of the Hebrew language helped me learn a lot.

Even from the beginning of the world, even in the Old Testament days, God wants us to come to Him and depend on Him. We cannot just study the scriptures for the sake of studying if we are looking for life from it. God made it that way so that the Spirit can aid us. The Holy Spirit teaches us.

Isn't that interesting!

(from 7/29/2008)

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