Hebrew Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Hebrew. Here they are! All 100 of them:

But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrew 11:1 KJV)
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
Hebrew word for "charity" tzedakah, simply means "justice" and as this suggests, for Jews, giving to the poor is no optional extra but an essential part of living a just life.
Peter Singer (The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty)
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
Mine was a patchwork God, sewn together from bits of rag and ribbon, Eastern and Western, pagan and Hebrew, everything but the kitchen sink and Jesus.
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
I said it in Hebrew—I said it in Dutch— I said it in German and Greek; But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much) That English is what you speak!
Lewis Carroll
To Alef, the letter that begins the alphabets of both Arabic and Hebrew- two Semitic languages, sisters for centuries. May we find the language that takes us to the only home there is - one another's hearts. ... Alef knows That a thread Of a story Stitches together A wound.
Ibtisam Barakat (Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood)
The Hebrew word, the word timshel - 'Thou mayest' - that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open...Why, that makes a man great...He can choose his course and fight it through and win...I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed - because 'Thou mayest'. ch 24
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
God presents the Sabbath rest as a shelter we can enter. (Hebrews 4:1-11)
Charles R. Swindoll
If you teach the Negro that he has accomplished as much good as any other race he will aspire to equality and justice without regard to race. Such an effort would upset the program of the oppressor in Africa and America. Play up before the Negro, then, his crimes and shortcomings. Let him learn to admire the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin and the Teuton. Lead the Negro to detest the man of African blood--to hate himself.
Carter G. Woodson (The Mis-Education of the Negro)
The original Hebrew word for woman, a word that is used twice to refer to the first woman, three times to refer to strong military forces, and sixteen times to refer to God, is this: Ezer...I learn this: "The word Ezer has two roots: strong and benevolent. The best translation of Ezer is: Warrior." God created woman as a Warrior.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
In my life are many windows and many graves. Sometimes they exchange roles: then a window is closed forever, then by way of a gravestone I can see very far. (Hebrew-to-English translation by Rabbi Steven Sager)
Yehuda Amichai
Latin! The language of God! Or perhaps He speaks Hebrew? I suppose that’s more likely and it will make things rather awkward in heaven, won’t it? Will we all have to learn Hebrew?
Bernard Cornwell (Agincourt)
What is that?” I asked, squinting at the vertical symbols. “It’s Hebrew,” Travis smiled. “What does it mean?” “It says, ‘I belong to my beloved, and my beloved is mine.” My eyes darted to his. “You weren’t happy with just one tattoo, you had to get two?” “It’s something I always said I would do when I met The One. I met you…I went and got the tats.” His smile faded when he saw my expression. “You’re pissed, aren’t you?” he said, pulling his shirt down.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
There's a saying in Hebrew, 'No matter how dark the tapestry God weaves for us, there's always a thread of grace.
Mary Doria Russell (A Thread of Grace)
Around the years 20 to 35 of the Current Era, a mystic Hebrew Yogi by the name of Yehōshùa began teaching people about a spiritual dimension, or the Kingdom of Heaven, that can be found within Man, despite the fact that many people are still unaware of this spiritual state. Yehōshùa, better known in our times as Jesus, did not teach The Way directly to the people, but by the use of parables, elucidating their deepest meanings to those who were closest to him...
Anton Sammut (The Secret Gospel Of Jesus AD 0-78)
The Self says ‘I AM’–as in the very grand sayings of Christ, especially in the Gospel of John, in which he says in the state of onenenss with Yahweh (which in Hebrew means ‘I AM’), I AM is the way and the truth and the life–but the ego says ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that,’ thus attaching itself only to a small portion of the Vastness. (62)
Ravi Ravindra (The Wisdom of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide)
It's too late to be studying Hebrew; it's more important to understand even the slang of today.
Henry David Thoreau (Walking)
Rum Rosh. It's in Psalms, the original Hebrew. It means 'God lifted my head
Mitch Albom (The Stranger in the Lifeboat)
Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the "High Priest of good things to come" (Hebrews 9:11).
Jeffrey R. Holland (Created for Greater Things)
When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him" The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
Stasi Eldredge (Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul)
Selah is found in the Hebrew Bible seventy-four times. Scholars believe that when it appears in the text, it is a direction to the reader to stop reading and be still for a moment, because the previous idea is important enough to consider deeply. The poetry in scripture is meant to transform, and the scribes knew that change begins through reading but can be completed only in quiet contemplation. Selah appears in Hebrew music, too. It’s believed to be a signal to the music director to silence the choir for a long moment, to hold space between notes. The silence, of course, is when the music sinks in.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
God has called His creation to find satisfaction in a personal relationship with Him, and stop trying to manage the world by conforming it to our expectations, and to allow Him to govern His creation. He continues to say through an ancient Hebrew worship song, "Be still and know that I am God!
Charles R. Swindoll
Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belong to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virle. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chasity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past…, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chasity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched. When Joan of Arc, with her witch coven associations, was called La Pucelle - ‘the Maiden,’ ‘the Virgin’ - the word retained some of its original pagan sense of a strong and independent woman. The Moon Goddess was worshipped in orgiastic rites, being the divinity of matriarchal women free to take as many lovers as they choose. Women could ‘surrender’ themselves to the Goddess by making love to a stranger in her temple.
Monica Sjöö (The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth)
Hebrews 12:1- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
…this was the gold from our mining: 'Thou mayest.' The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin (and you can call sin ignorance). The King James translation makes a promise in 'Thou shalt,' meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word timshel—'Thou mayest'—that gives a choice. For if 'Thou mayest'—it is also true that 'Thou mayest not.' That makes a man great and that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.
Jo A. Lee
My first female lover was a Jewish woman. She was butch, but not in a swaggering macho way- she could pass as a yeshiva boy, pale and intense. Small, almost fragile, she exuded a powerful sense of herself. She had not been to a synagogue in years, but kept the law of kashrut, and taught me my first prayers in Hebrew. She cooked, she read, she ironed her dress shirts and polished her boots meticulously, and admired femme women enormously. She was also the first person ever- including myself- to bring me to multiple orgasms. She taught me to ask for what I wanted in bed, then encouraged me to expect it from her and future lovers. She taught me to get her off with fingers, tongue, lips, sex toys, and my voice. She showed me how to masturbate in different positions, and fisted me during my menstrual cramps to provide an internal massage- and to demonstrate that a sexual act without orgasm was also an acceptable, intimate act. She never separated sexuality from the rest of her life; it was as integral to her as her Judaism. This was how I wanted to be. Not just sexually, although certainly that way too. This is how I wanted to move through the world. -- Karen Taylor (from "Daughters of Zelophehad")
Lawrence Schimel (First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far))
King David had a ring with an inscription on it: ‘All things pass.’ When one is sad those words make one cheerful, and when one is cheerful it makes one sad. I have got myself a ring like that with Hebrew letters on it, and this talisman keeps me from infatuations. All things pass, life will pass, one wants nothing. Or at least one wants nothing but the sense of freedom, for when anyone is free, he wants nothing, nothing, nothing.
Anton Chekhov (My Life (The Art of the Novella series))
We encounter God in the face of a stranger. That, I believe, is the Hebrew Bible’s single greatest and most counterintuitive contribution to ethics. God creates difference; therefore it is in one-who-is-different that we meet god. Abraham encounters God when he invites three strangers into his tent.
Jonathan Sacks (The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations)
THE "educated Negroes" have the attitude of contempt toward their own people because in their own as well as in their mixed schools Negroes are taught to admire the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin and the Teuton and to despise the African. Of the hundreds of Negro high schools recently examined by an expert in the United States Bureau of Education only eighteen offer a course taking up the history of the Negro,
Carter G. Woodson (The Mis-Education of the Negro)
All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant."] The original Hebrew word that has been translated "paths" means "well-worn roads' or "wheel tracks," such ruts as wagons make when they go down our green roads in wet weather and sink in up to the axles. God's ways are at times like heavy wagon tracks that cut deep into our souls, yet all of them are merciful.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Grace: God's Unmerited Favor)
The rules of life are not to be found in Korans, Bibles, Decalogues and Constitutions, but rather the rules of decadence and death. The “law of laws” is not written in Hebrew consonants or upon tables of brass and stone, but in every man’s own heart. He who obeys any standard of right and wrong, but the one set up by his own conscience, betrays himself into the hands of his enemies, who are ever laying in wait to bind him to their millstones. And generally a man’s most dangerous enemies are his neighbors.
Ragnar Redbeard (MIght Is Right)
A handy tip: When angels say “be not afraid,” you should be afraid. Also, as I said earlier, we have to memorize angel names because Jonathan Shadowhunter wanted us to have to memorize angel names. They sure like to end angel names in “el.” Means “of God” in Hebrew, Clariel. You two are just adorable
Cassandra Clare (The Shadowhunter's Codex)
And God does have a personality. He can't hide from us. His personality shines through every Hebrew letter, on every page. Sometimes we forget that God is a person--not a fleshly person, but a person nonetheless.
Michael Ben Zehabe (A Commentary on Jonah)
Faith and reason are not, as many seem to be arguing today, mutually exclusive. They never have been. The letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament defines faith as ‘the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of the things not seen.
Francis S. Collins (Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith)
The heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 ... obeyed by faith ... obedience is the pathway to holiness ... no one will become holy apart from a life of faith. Faith enables us to claim the promises of God, but it also enables us to obey the commands of God.
Jerry Bridges (Holiness Day by Day: Transformational Thoughts for Your Spiritual Journey Devotional)
The Nazis played the same games against Jews that today’s left plays against 'Eurocentrism,' 'whiteness,' and 'logocentrism.' When you hear a campus radical denounce 'white logic' or 'male logic,' she is standing on the shoulders of a Nazi who denounced 'Jewish logic' and the 'Hebrew disease'...The white man is the Jew of liberal fascism.
Jonah Goldberg (Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning)
We are not bringing Christ to poor communities. He has been active in these communities since the creation of the world, sustaining them, Hebrews 1:3 says, by His powerful Word. Hence, a significant part of working in poor communities involves discovering and appreciating what God has been doing there for a LONG time.
Steve Corbett (When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself)
When you observe that the fire in your room is getting dull, you do not always put on more coal, but simply stir with the poker; so God often uses the black poker of adversity in order that the flames of devotion may burn more brightly.
Arthur W. Pink (An Exposition of Hebrews)
Its other name was Satis, which is Greek, or Latin, or Hebrew, or all three -- or all one to me -- for enough....but it meant more than it said. It meant, when it was given, that whoever had this house, could want nothing else.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
He remembered a story Madrigal had told him once: the human tale of the golem. It was a thing shaped of clay in the form of a man, brought to life by carving the symbol aleph into its brow. Aleph was the first symbol of an ancestral human alphabet, and the first letter of the Hebrew word truth; it was the beginning. Watching Karou rise to her feet, radiant in a fall of lapis hai, in a woven dress the colour of tangerines, with a loop of silver beads at her throat and a look of joy and relief and... love... on her beautiful face, Akiva knew that she was his aleph, his truth and beginning. His soul.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5–6)
John Piper (Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist)
Abba is not Hebrew, the language of liturgy, but Aramaic, the language of home and everyday life … We need to be wary of the suggestion … that the correct translation of Abba is ‘Daddy.’ Abba is the intimate word of a family circle where that obedient reverence was at the heart of the relationship, whereas Daddy is the familiar word of a family circle from which all thoughts of reverence and obedience have largely disappeared … The best English translation of Abba is simply ‘Dear Father.
Thomas A. Smail (The Forgotten Father)
Adam was told to name the animals. Adam studied each kind and gave them a name based on his observations. Every animal “kind” has some behavior or characteristic that is unique to that animal type. When you know the Hebrew name for an animal, you get a peek at how a perfect man, speaking a perfect language, understood that perfect animal.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
Unless we filter all of our contemplation of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures through the person of Christ, the words are impenetrable. And as our first week’s study informed us, the person of Jesus is love. We will revisit this truth throughout the entirety of this book, because it is the key to every argument you face about LGBTQ+ issues.
Suzanne DeWitt Hall (Where True Love Is: An Affirming Devotional for LGBTQI+ Individuals and Their Allies)
There is so much information in one Hebrew word that translators are hard pressed to decide how much information should be cut. Since the first official translation (the Septuagint), Jewish translators advocated translating Hebrew (for outsiders) at the 'story' level. pg viii
Michael Ben Zehabe (Song of Songs: The Book for Daughters)
My father reminds me that according to Midrash - the ever-evolving commentary upon the Hebrew scriptures - when you arrive in the world as a baby, your hands are clenched, as though to say, "Everything is mine. I will inherit it all." When you depart from the world, your hands are open, as though to say, "I have acquired nothing from the world.
David Shields (The Thing About Life is That One Day You'll Be Dead)
The special knowledge you are about to learn will reveal a “letter theory” that was set into motion from the very first verse in your Bible. It is as though the divine author is telling the reader to expect Hebrew letters and numbers to weave messages, in the sub-text, through the rest of the Bible—starting with verse one.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
I don't know why I do this. I definitely wasn't planning on telling my parents the post office story. Just like I wasn't planning on telling them about my sad crush on Cody Feinman from Hebrew school. Or my even sadder crush on Jessie's slightly younger brother. Or the fact that I'm gay in the first place. But sometimes things just slip out.
Becky Albertalli (What If It's Us (What If It's Us, #1))
Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?
John Steinbeck
People who have never suffered in life have less empathy for others, little knowledge of their own shortcomings and limitations, no endurance in the face of hardship, and unrealistic expectations for life. As the New Testament book of Hebrews tells us, anyone God loves experiences hardship (Hebrews 12:1-8).
Timothy J. Keller (Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters)
Not only does every Hebrew word have its own definition, but every Hebrew letter, within the word, has its own meaning. God placed before you a great banquet of universal truths. All this in 22 Hebrew letters. Every letter contains a progressive curriculum designed to teach you about this marvelous world that God gave us. These letters will flavor each word’s definition claiming its place in God’s well organized universe.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
In Song of Songs we are introduced to a new problem for Abishag: Solomon was choosing wives for political advantages, while she was wasting away in Zion--without children. pg xxiv
Michael Ben Zehabe (Song of Songs: The Book for Daughters)
Grandfather looked away from me and out to sea, and when he spoke, it was as though he spoke to himself. “The obligations of normal human kindness – chesed, as the Hebrew has it – that we all owe. But there’s a kind of vanity in thinking you can nurse the world. There’s a kind of vanity in goodness.” I could hardly believe my ears. “But aren’t we supposed to be good?” “I’m not sure.” Grandfather’s voice was heavy. “I do know that we’re not good, and there’s a lot of truth to the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Madeleine L'Engle (A Ring of Endless Light (Austin Family Chronicles, #4))
They were staggered to learn that a real tangible person, living in Minnesota, and married to their own flesh-and-blood relation, could apparently believe that divorce may not always be immoral; that illegitimate children do not bear any special and guaranteed form of curse; that there are ethical authorities outside of the Hebrew Bible; that men have drunk wine yet not died in the gutter; that the capitalistic system of distribution and the Baptist wedding-ceremony were not known in the Garden of Eden; that mushrooms are as edible as corn-beef hash; that the word "dude" is no longer frequently used; that there are Ministers of the Gospel who accept evolution; that some persons of apparent intelligence and business ability do not always vote the Republican ticket straight; that it is not a universal custom to wear scratchy flannels next the skin in winter; that a violin is not inherently more immoral than a chapel organ; that some poets do not have long hair; and that Jews are not always peddlers or pants-makers. "Where does she get all them theories?" marveled Uncle Whittier Smail; while Aunt Bessie inquired, "Do you suppose there's many folks got notions like hers? My! If there are," and her tone settled the fact that there were not, "I just don't know what the world's coming to!
Sinclair Lewis (Main Street)
The doctrine of the carnal Christian[32] has destroyed more lives and sent more people to hell than you can imagine! Do Christians struggle with sin? Yes. Can a Christian fall into sin? Absolutely. Can a Christian live in a continuous state of carnality all the days of his life, not bearing fruit, and truly be Christian? Absolutely not !—or every promise in the Old Testament regarding the New Testament covenant of preservation has failed, and everything God said about discipline in Hebrews is a lie (Heb 12:6)! “A tree is known by its fruit” (Luk 6:44).
Paul David Washer (Ten Indictments against the Modern Church)
I simply argue that the cross be raised again, at the centre of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles but on a cross between two thieves; on a town garbage heap; at a crossroad of politics so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek … and at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died, And that is what He died about. And that is where Christ’s own ought to be, And that is what church people ought to be about.
George Macleod
Past and history are not the same. Past is what happened. It consists of events that affected the patient's self, some of which he can remember, but the most he is having trouble remembering. History is transforming the past to a story that the person tells himself. Sometimes, the story stems from the past, but even the most sincere patient's history is more like a myth. (Translated from the Hebrew edition).
Christopher Bollas (The Infinite Question)
Go into the London Stock Exchange – a more respectable place than many a court – and you will see representatives from all nations gathered together for the utility of men. Here Jew, Mohammedan and Christian deal with each other as though they were all of the same faith, and only apply the word infidel to people who go bankrupt. Here the Presbyterian trusts the Anabaptist and the Anglican accepts a promise from the Quaker. On leaving these peaceful and free assemblies some go to the Synagogue and others for a drink, this one goes to be baptized in a great bath in the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, that one has his son’s foreskin cut and has some Hebrew words he doesn’t understand mumbled over the child, others go to heir church and await the inspiration of God with their hats on, and everybody is happy.
Voltaire
Do you want to be safe from the influence, ways, and lusts of the world and the flesh (I John 2:16)? From the sins which so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1)? Then delight in yourself in the Lord, in His provision, in His Word. Faithfully feed on the things that possess true substance and real meaning. When you remember that "all Scripture is given by inspiration by God and is profitable" (2 Timothy 3:16) and partake of such divine substance, then you are fed, you are led and you are safe!
Elizabeth George (Quiet Confidence for a Woman's Heart: The Power of God's Restoration and Healing)
Confucians, along with Hebrew, Islamic, and Catholic scholastics, as well as Protestant fundamentalists, are like tourists who study guidebooks and maps instead of wandering freely and looking at the view. Speech and writing are undoubtedly marvelous, but for this very reason they have a hypnotic and fascinating quality which can lead to the neglect of nature itself until they become too much of a good thing.
Alan W. Watts (Tao: The Watercourse Way)
Jesus probably studied this same information, in his youth. The apostle Paul probably studied this same information. How can I make such a bold assertion? Because, without this knowledge, much of the New Testament would make no sense. Many of the idioms used in the New Testament are the result of lessons learned from this ancient Hebrew education system. Unfortunately, what was common in their day, has become forgotten in ours. For a Hebrew, math doesn’t get in the way. It blazes the way. Other languages are disconnected from this mathematical relationship . . . and it shows.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
Let’s take some extra time to talk about one: Only the number one can create all numbers with this simple equation, 111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321. One, expressed nine times, multiplied by itself, produces all subsequent numbers progressively and then inversely. Zero is not a number.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
The nature of a letter can also be revealed within its numeric value. All letters and numbers behave in a certain but recognizable way, from which we can deduce its nature. The number two is the only even prime. There is an inherent mathematical dilemma with, “one.” No matter how many times you multiply it, by itself, you still can’t get past “one” (1 x 1 x 1 x 1 = 1). So, how does “one” move beyond itself? How does the same, produce the different? Mathematically, “one” is forced to divide itself and work from that duality. Therein, hides the divine puzzle of bet (b). To become “two,” the second must revolt from wholeness—a separation. Yet, the second could not have existed without the benefit of the original wholeness. Also, the first wanted the second to exist, but the first doesn’t know what the second will become. Again, two contains potential badness, to a Hebrew. (Ge 25:24)
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
I dare say you are planning on a late repentance. You do not know what you are doing. You are planning without God. Repentance and faith are the gifts of God, and they are gifts that He often withholds, when they have been long offered in vain. I grant you true repentance is never too late, but I warn you at the same time, late repentance is seldom true. I grant you, one penitent thief was converted in his last hours, that no man might despair; But I warn you, only one was converted, that no man might presume. I grant you it is written, Jesus is ‘Able to save completely those who come to God through him’ (Hebrews 7:25). But I warn you, it is also written by the same Spirit, ‘Since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you’ (Proverbs 1:24-26). Believe me, you will find it no easy matter to turn to God whenever you please.
J.C. Ryle
Our matriarchs had an interesting advantage over today's western women. Matriarchs didn't begin their marriage with love. Instead, they were taught how to love. They entered marriage with an earnest determination to grow a love that would sustain their marriage for a life time. pg iv
Michael Ben Zehabe (Song of Songs: The Book for Daughters)
The word amen, which found its way from Judaism into Christianity and Islam, crossing cultures and continents, borders and chasms, is in fact an acronym of the Hebrew phrase ‘el melech ne’eman.’ Spoken in response to a blessing, it means: the words of the blessing are true and may they come to pass…Since that word is so universal, it symbolizes for me, much as literature does, everything that we, all of humanity, have in common despite the differences in our way of thinking, in our faith, and our inner and outer landscapes, the living, quivering hope of every human being for forgiveness, salvation, mercy. And so I think that even the very fact of its existence is comforting, although all our wishes may not come true.
Zeruya Shalev
If the bible be true, God commanded his chosen people to destroy men simply for the crime of defending their native land. They were not allowed to spare trembling and white-haired age, nor dimpled babes clasped in the mothers' arms. They were ordered to kill women, and to pierce, with the sword of war, the unborn child. 'Our heavenly Father' commanded the Hebrews to kill the men and women, the fathers, sons and brothers, but to preserve the girls alive. Why were not the maidens also killed? Why were they spared? Read the thirty-first chapter of Numbers, and you will find that the maidens were given to the soldiers and the priests. Is there, in all the history of war, a more infamous thing than this? Is it possible that God permitted the violets of modesty, that grow and shed their perfume in the maiden's heart, to be trampled beneath the brutal feet of lust? If this was the order of God, what, under the same circumstances, would have been the command of a devil? When, in this age of the world, a woman, a wife, a mother, reads this record, she should, with scorn and loathing, throw the book away. A general, who now should make such an order, giving over to massacre and rapine a conquered people, would be held in execration by the whole civilized world. Yet, if the bible be true, the supreme and infinite God was once a savage.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
I was a terrible dancer. I couldn't carry a tune. I had no sense of balance, and when we had to walk down a narrow board with our hands out and a book on our heads in gym class I always fell over. I couldn't ride a horse or ski, the two things I wanted to do most, because they cost too much money. I couldn't speak German or read Hebrew or write Chinese. I didn't even know where most of the old out-of-the-way countries the UN men in front of me represented fitted in on the map. For the first time in my life, sitting there in the soundproof heart of the UN building between Constantin who could play tennis as well as simultaneously interpret and the Russian girl who knew so many idioms, I felt dreadfully inadequate. The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn't thought about it.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
LET MY LOVE ENFOLD YOU in the radiance of My Glory. Sit still in the Light of My Presence, and receive My Peace. These quiet moments with Me transcend time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine. Bring Me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones. Through the intimacy of our relationship, you are being transformed from the inside out. As you keep your focus on Me, I form you into the one I desire you to be. Your part is to yield to My creative work in you, neither resisting it nor trying to speed it up. Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace. Hold My hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step. HEBREWS 13:15; 2 CORINTHIANS 3:18; PSALM 73:23–24
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
A pure heart is like pure gold—soft, tender, and pliable. Hebrews 3:13 states that hearts are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin! If we do not deal with an offense, it will produce more fruit of sin, such as bitterness, anger, and resentment. This added substance hardens our hearts just as alloys harden gold. This reduces or removes tenderness, creating a loss of sensitivity. We are hindered in our ability to hear God’s voice. Our accuracy to see is darkened. This is a perfect setting for deception.
John Bevere (The Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense)
Just as ceremonial fasting was a legitimate means for getting God's attention (Mt 6:16-18; Ac 13:2-3; 14:23), the casting of lots was a legitimate means for inviting God to intercede on a matter. (Pr 18:18) It was not expected that God should intervene every time (1Sam 28:6), but the ceremonial casting of lots was an invitation for God to participate in the final decision.
Michael Ben Zehabe (A Commentary on Jonah)
The Bible frequently uses symmetries and inversions. By such comparisons (parallels and contrasts) the unique aspects of reality begin to emerge. Comparing two objects makes their differences increasingly apparent. Only then can we ask, “Why does this one have that, and the other does not?” For instance: The phrase, “and it was 6 good” is present on all the days of creation—except the second day. Why? Because, “two” contains potential badness, to a Hebrew. We could not have discovered that insight, unless we contrasted God’s description of the creative days.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
...it is a mistake to reduce every decision about Christian living to a "Heaven-or-Hell issue." For example, some ask if the Bible specifically says a certain action is a "sin" or will send them to "Hell." If not, they feel free to indulge in that action unreservedly and ignore any scriptural principles involved. But this approach is legalistic, which means living by rules or basing salvation on works. It treats the Bible as a law book, focusing on the letter and looking for loopholes. By contrast, the Bible tells us that we are saved by grace through faith, not by our works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Grace teaches us how to live righteously, and faith leads us into obedience. (See Titus 2:11-12; Romans1:5; Hebrews 11:7-8.)
David K. Bernard
It has always been difficult for Jews to take Christians serious, mostly because Christians lack the fundamentals that religious Jews learn in their youth. It remains an embarrassing fact, that modern Jews can comprehend the New Testament better than modern Christians. There is no excuse for this. Christians have dropped the ball and should be anxious to remedy that neglect. Not only would they benefit themselves, but their community too.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
We are asking if thought can be aware of itself. That is rather a complex question, and requires very careful observation. Thought has created wars through nationalism, through sectarian religions. Thought has created all this; God has not created the hierarchy of the church--the pope, all the robes, all the rituals, the swinging of the incense, the candles. All that paraphernalia that goes on in a cathedral or in a church is put together by thought, copied, some of it, from the ancient Egyptians, from the ancient Hindus, and Hebrews. It is all thought. So "God" is created by thought.
J. Krishnamurti (The Krishnamurti Reader)
Dorothea, with all her eagerness to know the truths of life, retained very childlike ideas about marriage. She felt sure that she would have accepted the judicious Hooker, if she had been born in time to save him from that wretched mistake he made in matrimony; or John Milton when his blindness had come on; or any of the other great men whose odd habits it would have been glorious piety to endure; but an amiable handsome baronet, who said "Exactly" to her remarks even when she expressed uncertainty,--how could he affect her as a lover? The really delightful marriage must be that where your husband was a sort of father, and could teach you even Hebrew, if you wished it.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
At Ge 1:1 God used a matrix of sevens: (1) Seven words. (2) 28 letters (28 ÷ 4 = 7). (3) First three words contain 14 letters (14 ÷ 2 = 7). (4) Last four words contain 14 letters (14 ÷ 2 = 7). (5) Fourth and fifth words have seven letters. (6) Sixth and seventh words have seven letters. (7) Key words (God, heaven, earth) contain 14 letters (14 ÷ 2 = 7). (8) Remaining words contain 14 letters (14 ÷ 2 = 7). (9) Numeric value of first, middle and last letters equal, 133 (133 ÷ 19 = 7). (10) Numeric value of the first and last letters of all seven words equal 1,393 (1,393 ÷ 199 = 7). (11) The book of Genesis has 78,064 letters (78,064 ÷ 11,152 = 7). So, what is the big deal about seven? Jesus is our Shiva (7), our Shabbat (7th day). (Lu 6:5) You couldn’t see this messianic reference, however, unless you are reading in Hebrew. This book is the beginning of an amazing pilgrimage.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
Every poet knows that the gift of the gods is not fire but language. “Man dwells poetically on this earth,” Hölderin wrote. Language is the essence of being human. We can think, thanks to language, for thought exists only by the grace of words. Our experiences and emotions are molded by language. It is language that allows us to name and know the world. We ourselves are known by language, through prayer, confession, poetry. Language gives us a world that reaches beyond the reality of the moment, to a past (there was…) and a future (there shall be…). It is through language that eternity has a space and that the dead continue to speak: “Defunctus adhuc loquitur” (Hebrews 11:4). Thanks to language, there is meaning, there is truth.
Rob Riemen (Nobility of Spirit: A Forgotten Ideal)
Be fruitful. God’s command in Genesis 1:28 is most often understood as referring to procreation, but filling the earth with people is only part of the meaning. The Hebrew word for fruitful means more than just sexual reproduction; it refers to being fruitful in either a literal or a figurative sense. Fruitfulness can be qualitative in nature as well as quantitative. Mankind has never had a problem being procreative—a current global population of over six billion is proof of that—but we do have a problem with being fruitful in the other ways God desires. Essentially, being fruitful means releasing our potential. Fruit is an end product. An apple tree may provide cool shade and be beautiful to look at, but until it produces apples it has not fulfilled its ultimate purpose. Apples contain the seeds of future apple trees and, therefore, future apples. However, apples also have something else to offer: a sweet and nourishing food to satisfy human physical hunger. In this sense, fruit has a greater purpose than simply reproducing; fruit exists to bless the world. Every person is born with a seed of greatness. God never tells us to go find seed; it is already within us. Inside each of us is the seed potential for a full forest—a bumper crop of fruit with which to bless the world. We each were endowed at birth with a unique gift, something we were born to do or become that no one else can achieve the way we can. God’s purpose is that we bear abundant fruit and release the blessings of our gift and potential to the world.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
Call it the Human Mission-to be all and do all God sent us here to do. And notice-the mission to be fruitful and conquer and hold sway is given both to Adam and to Eve. 'And God said to them...' Eve is standing right there when God gives the world over to us. She has a vital role to play; she is a partner in this great adventure. All that human beings were intended to do here on earth-all the creativity and exploration, all the battle and rescue and nurture-we were intended to do together. In fact, not only is Eve needed, but she is desperately needed. When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him" The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
Stasi Eldredge (Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul)
Gnosis in Greek means knowledge, or to know. This does not refer to factual knowledge, but to an intuitive or spiritual understanding that comes from experience. The early Gnostics were mystics, people who knew that you could experience God for yourself instead of going into a church and being told what to believe. In Hebrew, to know means to experience—so, according to the Hebrews, knowing God means to experience Him. This is what most all early Hebrews and Christians were striving to do. Unfortunately, the Church got in the way of personal experience, by creating “organized religion.” There’s a saying which states, “Religion is for the masses, and mysticism is for the individual.” If you want to be a sheep and follow along with the masses to get a generic, candy-coated version of your spirituality, then follow the teachings of the Christian fathers. If you want to explore your own individual spirituality, you must go deeply inside yourself, instead of through church doors.
Jordan Maxwell (That Old-Time Religion)
Some Christians pretend that Christianity was not established by the sword; but of what period of time do they speak? It was impossible that twelve men could begin with the sword: they had not the power; but no sooner were the professors of Christianity sufficiently powerful to employ the sword than they did so, and the stake and faggot too; and Mahomet could not do it sooner. By the same spirit that Peter cut off the ear of the high priest's servant (if the story be true) he would cut off his head, and the head of his master, had he been able. Besides this, Christianity grounds itself originally upon the [Hebrew] Bible, and the Bible was established altogether by the sword, and that in the worst use of it — not to terrify, but to extirpate. The Jews made no converts: they butchered all. The Bible is the sire of the [New] Testament, and both are called the word of God. The Christians read both books; the ministers preach from both books; and this thing called Christianity is made up of both. It is then false to say that Christianity was not established by the sword.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
We read off the ancient Hebrew words, with no idea of what they might mean, and the congregation responds with more words that they don't understand either. We are gathered together on a Saturday morning to speak gibberish to each other, and you would think, in these godless times, that the experience would be empty, but somehow it isn't. The five of us, huddled together shoulder to shoulder over the bima, read the words aloud slowly, and the congregation, these old friends and acquaintances and strangers, all respond, and for reasons I can't begin to articulate, it feels like something is actually happening. It's got nothing to do with God or souls, just the palpable sense of goodwill and support emanating in waves from the pews around us, and I can't help but be moved by it. When we reach the end of the page, and the last "amen" has been said, I'm sorry that' it's over. I could stay up here a while longer. And as we step down to make our way back to the pews, a quick survey of the sadness in my family's wet eyes tells me that I'm not the only one who feels that way. I don't feel any closer to my father than I did before, but for a moment there I was comforted, and that's more than I expected.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
We should expect nothing less from the language that was originally given by God, to His human family. Hebrew was the method that God chose for mankind to speak to Him, and Him to them. Adam spoke Hebrew—and your Bible confirms this. Everyone who got off the ark spoke one language—Hebrew. Even Abraham spoke Hebrew. Where did Abraham learn to speak Hebrew? Abraham was descended from Noah’s son, Shem. (Ge 11:10-26) Shem’s household was not affected by the later confusion of languages, at Babel. (Ge 11:5-9) To the contrary, Shem was blessed while the rest of Babel was cursed. (Ge 9:26) That is how Abraham retained Hebrew, despite residing in Babylon. So, Shem’s language can be traced back to Adam. (Ge 11:1) And, Shem (Noah’s son) was still alive when Jacob and Esau was 30 years of age. Obviously, Hebrew (the original language) was clearly spoken by Jacob’s sons. (Ge 14:13)
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
Jonathan Sacks; “One way is just to think, for instance, of biodiversity. The extraordinary thing we now know, thanks to Crick and Watson’s discovery of DNA and the decoding of the human and other genomes, is that all life, everything, all the three million species of life and plant life—all have the same source. We all come from a single source. Everything that lives has its genetic code written in the same alphabet. Unity creates diversity. So don’t think of one God, one truth, one way. Think of one God creating this extraordinary number of ways, the 6,800 languages that are actually spoken. Don’t think there’s only one language within which we can speak to God. The Bible is saying to us the whole time: Don’t think that God is as simple as you are. He’s in places you would never expect him to be. And you know, we lose a bit of that in English translation. When Moses at the burning bush says to God, “Who are you?” God says to him three words: “Hayah asher hayah.”Those words are mistranslated in English as “I am that which I am.” But in Hebrew, it means “I will be who or how or where I will be,” meaning, Don’t think you can predict me. I am a God who is going to surprise you. One of the ways God surprises us is by letting a Jew or a Christian discover the trace of God’s presence in a Buddhist monk or a Sikh tradition of hospitality or the graciousness of Hindu life. Don’t think we can confine God into our categories. God is bigger than religion.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’—that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?” “Yes, I see. I do see. But you do not believe this is divine law. Why do you feel its importance?” “Ah!” said Lee. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is important. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But “Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.” Lee’s voice was a chant of triumph. Adam said, “Do you believe that, Lee?” “Yes, I do. Yes, I do. It is easy out of laziness, out of weakness, to throw oneself into the lap of deity, saying, ‘I couldn’t help it; the way was set.’ But think of the glory of the choice! That makes a man a man. A cat has no choice, a bee must make honey. There’s no godliness there. And do you know, those old gentlemen who were sliding gently down to death are too interested to die now?” Adam said, “Do you mean these Chinese men believe the Old Testament?” Lee said, “These old men believe a true story, and they know a true story when they hear it. They are critics of truth. They know that these sixteen verses are a history of humankind in any age or culture or race. They do not believe a man writes fifteen and three-quarter verses of truth and tells a lie with one verb. Confucius tells men how they should live to have good and successful lives. But this—this is a ladder to climb to the stars.” Lee’s eyes shone. “You can never lose that. It cuts the feet from under weakness and cowardliness and laziness.” Adam said, “I don’t see how you could cook and raise the boys and take care of me and still do all this.” “Neither do I,” said Lee. “But I take my two pipes in the afternoon, no more and no less, like the elders. And I feel that I am a man. And I feel that a man is a very important thing—maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed—because ‘Thou mayest.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
When reading the history of the Jewish people, of their flight from slavery to death, of their exchange of tyrants, I must confess that my sympathies are all aroused in their behalf. They were cheated, deceived and abused. Their god was quick-tempered unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising but never performed. He wasted time in ceremony and childish detail, and in the exaggeration of what he had done. It is impossible for me to conceive of a character more utterly detestable than that of the Hebrew god. He had solemnly promised the Jews that he would take them from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey. He had led them to believe that in a little while their troubles would be over, and that they would soon in the land of Canaan, surrounded by their wives and little ones, forget the stripes and tears of Egypt. After promising the poor wanderers again and again that he would lead them in safety to the promised land of joy and plenty, this God, forgetting every promise, said to the wretches in his power:—'Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and your children shall wander until your carcasses be wasted.' This curse was the conclusion of the whole matter. Into this dust of death and night faded all the promises of God. Into this rottenness of wandering despair fell all the dreams of liberty and home. Millions of corpses were left to rot in the desert, and each one certified to the dishonesty of Jehovah. I cannot believe these things. They are so cruel and heartless, that my blood is chilled and my sense of justice shocked. A book that is equally abhorrent to my head and heart, cannot be accepted as a revelation from God. When we think of the poor Jews, destroyed, murdered, bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, decimated by famine, butchered by each, other, swallowed by the earth, frightened, cursed, starved, deceived, robbed and outraged, how thankful we should be that we are not the chosen people of God. No wonder that they longed for the slavery of Egypt, and remembered with sorrow the unhappy day when they exchanged masters. Compared with Jehovah, Pharaoh was a benefactor, and the tyranny of Egypt was freedom to those who suffered the liberty of God. While reading the Pentateuch, I am filled with indignation, pity and horror. Nothing can be sadder than the history of the starved and frightened wretches who wandered over the desolate crags and sands of wilderness and desert, the prey of famine, sword, and plague. Ignorant and superstitious to the last degree, governed by falsehood, plundered by hypocrisy, they were the sport of priests, and the food of fear. God was their greatest enemy, and death their only friend. It is impossible to conceive of a more thoroughly despicable, hateful, and arrogant being, than the Jewish god. He is without a redeeming feature. In the mythology of the world he has no parallel. He, only, is never touched by agony and tears. He delights only in blood and pain. Human affections are naught to him. He cares neither for love nor music, beauty nor joy. A false friend, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous:—such is the God of the Pentateuch.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
The problem with every sacred text is that it has human readers. Consciously or unconsciously, we interpret it to meet our own needs. There is nothing wrong with this unless we deny that we are doing it, as when someone tells me that he is not 'interpreting' anything but simply reporting what is right there on the page. This is worrisome, not only because he is reading a translation from the original Hebrew or Greek that has already involved a great deal of interpretation, but also because it is such a short distance between believing you possess an error-free message from God and believing that you are an error-free messenger of God. The literalists I like least are the ones who do not own a Bible. The literalists I like most are the ones who admit that they do not understand every word God has revealed in the Bible, though they still believe God has revealed it. I can respect that. I can respect almost anyone who admits to being human while reading a divine text. After that, we can talk - about we highlight some teachings and ignore others, about how we decide which ones are historically conditioned and which ones are universally true, about who has influenced our reading of scripture and how our social location affects what we hear. The minute I believe I know the mind of God is the minute someone needs to tell me to sit down and tell me to breathe into a paper bag.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others)
If this letter system works, it should be reproducible and consistent. If this letter system works, it should be demonstrated in biblical narrative—with consistency. It has. It does. It will. For instance: Daniel interpreted the handwriting on the Babylonian wall. (Da 5:1-31) The question has always been, “What method would produce the same interpretation?” If you will pull out your Strong’s Concordance and translate those same four words, you won’t get the same results that Daniel got. Was Daniel using a different method than modern Christians? Yes, obviously.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
Increase. Being fruitful is a good and necessary start, but it should grow into the next phase, increase. Once again, even though the idea here is to multiply or reproduce, sexual procreation is only part of the meaning. The Hebrew word for increase also can mean “abundance,” “to be in authority,” “to enlarge,” and “to excel.” It carries the sense of refining your gift until it is completely unique. It is impossible to reproduce what you have not refined. In this context, then, to increase means not only to multiply or reproduce as in having children, but also to improve and excel, mastering your gift and becoming the very best you can possibly be at what you do. It also means learning how to manage the resources God has given you and developing a strategy for managing the increase that will come through refinement. By refining your gift, you make room for it in the world. The more refined your gift, the more in demand you will be. Proverbs 18:16 (KJV) says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” By refining your gift, you make room for it in the world. What is your fruit—your gift? What are you known for? What do you have that is reproducible? What quality or ability do you have that causes people to seek you out? What brings you joy? What are you passionate about? What do you have to offer the world, even just your little part of it? Fruit must be reproducible or else it is not genuine fruit. “Be fruitful” means to produce fruit; “increase” means to reproduce it.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
When our lives are congruent with the Lord’s will, we are empowered spiritually. Remember what Joseph Smith was taught in Liberty Jail? If we let ‘virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly; then shall [our] confidence wax strong in the presence of God’ (D&C 121:45). That is what we want as we seek to strengthen our faith. We want our confidence to be strong in God’s presence. We don’t want to shrink away because we are filled with shame. We want the kind of faith that caused Amanda Barnes Smith to immediately ask God for help in a time of extreme need. She did so in full confidence that He would answer because by then she had been hated and persecuted for His name’s sake. And so she knew her life was pleasing to her Heavenly Father! I believe this is what Paul meant when he said, ‘let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16). That kind of confidence, that kind of boldness comes from having actual knowledge we are living as God would have us live, doing what God would have us do. Here is another reason why these tender mercies and divine signatures are so important to us. They not only teach us about God’s nature, which strengthens our faith, but they are also a confirming witness that god is pleased with us—sometimes even delighted with us.
Gerald N. Lund (Divine Signatures: The Confirming Hand of God (Divine Guidance, #2))
Jesus is the true and better Adam, who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us (1 Corinthians 15). Jesus is the true and better Abel, who, though innocently slain, has blood that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation (Hebrews 12:24). Jesus is the true and better Abraham, who answered the call of God to leave the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void “not knowing whither he went” to create a new people of God. Jesus is the true and better Isaac, who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us all. God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me, because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from me.” Now we can say to God, “Now we know that you love us, because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from us.” Jesus is the true and better Jacob, who wrestled with God and took the blow of justice we deserved so that we, like Jacob, receive only the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us. Jesus is the true and better Joseph, who at the right hand of the King forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them. Jesus is the true and better Moses, who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant (Hebrews 3). Jesus is the true and better rock of Moses, who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert. Jesus is the true and better Job—the truly innocent sufferer—who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends (Job 42). Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves. Jesus is the true and better Esther, who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life but gave his life—to save his people. Jesus is the true and better Jonah, who was cast out into the storm so we could be brought in.
Timothy J. Keller (Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism)
The problem is obvious, once the Father began creating, He risked that, although perfect, His new and autonomous family could choose badness. How else did we get demon angels? Two is a risky number. The solution is unifying, or amening, with the original “one.” Only recently has science been able to monitor a quasar. The elements that compose the stars is too base for the creation of higher forms of life. When these stars die, however, they go through two steps: First, the star implodes. Second, the star explodes. Only after the second step does the quasar create higher elements, from which we are formed. Stardust: We are made of stardust. The universe we come from is lyrical. From polarity, matter, energy and light eventuate. Even a black hole emits a super-charged jet. For the birth of any new thing, there must be polarity. For any children to exist, there must be a man and his opposite, woman. It is no mystery why the ancient Sumerian words for, “one” and “two” are the same words for, “man” and “woman.
Michael Ben Zehabe (The Meaning of Hebrew Letters: A Hebrew Language Program For Christians (The Jonah Project))
[The Christian story] amounts to a refusal to affirm life. In the biblical tradition we have inherited, life is corrupt, and every natural impulse is sinful unless it has been circumcised or baptized. The serpent was the one who brought sin into the wold. And the woman was the one who handed the apple to man. This identification of the woman with sin, of the serpent with sin, and thus of life with sin, is the twist the has been given to the whole story in the biblical myth and doctrine of the Fall.... I don't know of it [the idea of woman as sinner...in other mythologies] elsewhere. The closest thing to it would be perhaps Pandora with Pandora's box, but that's not sin, that's just trouble. The idea in the biblical tradition of the all is that nature as we know it is corrupt, sex in itself is corrupt, and the female as the epitome of sex is a corrupter. Why was the knowledge of good and evil forbidden to Adam and Eve? Without that knowledge, we'd all be a bunch of babies still Eden, without any participation in life. Woman brings life into the world. Eve is the mother o this temporal wold. Formerly you had a dreamtime paradise there in the Garden of Eden – no time, no birth, no death – no life. The serpent, who dies and is resurrected, shedding its skin and renewing its life, is the lord of the central tree, where time and eternity come together. He is the primary god, actually, in the Garden of Eden. Yahweh, the one who walks there in the cool of the evening, is just a visitor. The Garden is the serpent's place. It is an old, old story. We have Sumerian seals from as early as 3500 B.C. showing the serpent and the tree and the goddess, with the goddess giving the fruit of life to a visiting male. The old mythology of he goddess is right there.... There is actually a historical explanation [of the change of this image of the serpent and the snake in Genesis] based on the coming of the Hebrews into Canaan. The principal divinity of the people of Canaan was the Goddess and associated with the Goddess is the serpent. This is the symbol of the mystery of life. The male-god-oriented groups rejected it. In other words, there is a historical rejection of the Mother Goddess implied in the story of the Garden of Eden. Moyers: It does seem that this story has done women a great disservice by casting Eve as responsible for the Fall. Why...? Campbell: They represent life. Man doesn't enter life except by woman, and so it is woman who brings us into this wold of pairs of opposites and suffering.... Male and female is one opposition. Another opposition is the human and God. Good and evil is a third opposition. The primary oppositions are the sexual and that between human beings and God. Then comes the idea of good and evil in the world. And so Adm and Eve have thrown themselves out of the Garden of Timeless Unity, you might say, just by that act of recognizing duality. To move out into the world, you have to act in terms of pairs of opposites.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
Now and then I am asked as to "what books a statesman should read," and my answer is, poetry and novels—including short stories under the head of novels. I don't mean that he should read only novels and modern poetry. If he cannot also enjoy the Hebrew prophets and the Greek dramatists, he should be sorry. He ought to read interesting books on history and government, and books of science and philosophy; and really good books on these subjects are as enthralling as any fiction ever written in prose or verse. Gibbon and Macaulay, Herodotus, Thucydides and Tacitus, the Heimskringla, Froissart, Joinville and Villehardouin, Parkman and Mahan, Mommsen and Ranke—why! there are scores and scores of solid histories, the best in the world, which are as absorbing as the best of all the novels, and of as permanent value. The same thing is true of Darwin and Huxley and Carlyle and Emerson, and parts of Kant, and of volumes like Sutherland's "Growth of the Moral Instinct," or Acton's Essays and Lounsbury's studies—here again I am not trying to class books together, or measure one by another, or enumerate one in a thousand of those worth reading, but just to indicate that any man or woman of some intelligence and some cultivation can in some line or other of serious thought, scientific or historical or philosophical or economic or governmental, find any number of books which are charming to read, and which in addition give that for which his or her soul hungers. I do not for a minute mean that the statesman ought not to read a great many different books of this character, just as every one else should read them. But, in the final event, the statesman, and the publicist, and the reformer, and the agitator for new things, and the upholder of what is good in old things, all need more than anything else to know human nature, to know the needs of the human soul; and they will find this nature and these needs set forth as nowhere else by the great imaginative writers, whether of prose or of poetry.
Theodore Roosevelt (Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography)
The Dead Father was slaying, in a grove of music and musicians. First he slew a harpist and then a performer upon the serpent and also a banger upon the rattle and also a blower of the Persian trumpet and one upon the Indian trumpet and one upon the Hebrew trumpet and one upon the Roman trumpet and one upon the Chinese trumpet of copper-covered wood. Also a blower upon the marrow trumpet and one upon the slide trumpet and one who wearing upon his head the skin of a cat performed upon the menacing murmurous cornu and three blowers on the hunting horn and several blowers of the conch shell and a player of the double aulos and flautists of all descriptions and a Panpiper and a fagotto player and two virtuosos of the quail whistle and a zampogna player whose fingering of the chanters was sweet to the ear and by-the-bye and during the rest period he slew four buzzers and a shawmist and one blower upon the water jar and a clavicytheriumist who was before he slew her a woman, and a stroker of the theorbo and countless nervous-fingered drummers as well as an archlutist, and then whanging his sword this way and that the Dead Father slew a cittern plucker and five lyresmiters and various mandolinists, and slew too a violist and a player of the kit and a picker of the psaltery and a beater of the dulcimer and a hurdy-gurdier and a player of the spike fiddle and sundry kettledrummers and a triangulist and two-score finger cymbal clinkers and a xylophone artist and two gongers and a player of the small semantron who fell with his iron hammer still in his hand and a trictrac specialist and a marimbist and a maracist and a falcon drummer and a sheng blower and a sansa pusher and a manipulator of the gilded ball. The Dead Father resting with his two hands on the hilt of his sword, which was planted in the red and steaming earth. My anger, he said proudly. Then the Dead Father sheathing his sword pulled from his trousers his ancient prick and pissed upon the dead artists, severally and together, to the best of his ability-four minutes, or one pint. Impressive, said Julie, had they not been pure cardboard. My dear, said Thomas, you deal too harshly with him. I have the greatest possible respect for him and for what he represents, said Julie, let us proceed.
Donald Barthelme (The Dead Father)
Hope does not mean that our protests will suddenly awaken the dead consciences, the atrophied souls, of the plutocrats running Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil or the government. Hope does not mean we will reform Wall Street swindlers and speculators. Hope does not mean that the nation’s ministers and rabbis, who know the words of the great Hebrew prophets, will leave their houses of worship to practice the religious beliefs they preach. Most clerics like fine, abstract words about justice and full collection plates, but know little of real hope. Hope knows that unless we physically defy government control we are complicit in the violence of the state. All who resist keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair and apathy become enemies of hope. Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope sees in our enemy our own face. Hope is not for the practical and the sophisticated, the cynics and the complacent, the defeated and the fearful. Hope is what the corporate state, which saturates our airwaves with lies, seeks to obliterate. Hope is what our corporate overlords are determined to crush. Be afraid, they tell us. Surrender your liberties to us so we can make the world safe from terror. Don’t resist. Embrace the alienation of our cheerful conformity. Buy our products. Without them you are worthless. Become our brands. Do not look up from your electronic hallucinations to think. No. Above all do not think. Obey. The powerful do not understand hope. Hope is not part of their vocabulary. They speak in the cold, dead words of national security, global markets, electoral strategy, staying on message, image and money. Those addicted to power, blinded by self-exaltation, cannot decipher the words of hope any more than most of us can decipher hieroglyphics. Hope to Wall Street bankers and politicians, to the masters of war and commerce, is not practical. It is gibberish. It means nothing. I cannot promise you fine weather or an easy time. I cannot pretend that being handcuffed is pleasant. If we resist and carry out acts, no matter how small, of open defiance, hope will not be extinguished. Any act of rebellion, any physical defiance of those who make war, of those who perpetuate corporate greed and are responsible for state crimes, anything that seeks to draw the good to the good, nourishes our souls and holds out the possibility that we can touch and transform the souls of others. Hope affirms that which we must affirm. And every act that imparts hope is a victory in itself.
Chris Hedges
No more peeping through keyholes! No more mas turbating in the dark! No more public confessions! Unscrew the doors from their jambs! I want a world where the vagina is represented by a crude, honest slit, a world that has feeling for bone and contour, for raw, primary colors, a world that has fear and respect for its animal origins. I’m sick of looking at cunts all tickled up, disguised, deformed, idealized. Cunts with nerve ends exposed. I don’t want to watch young virgins masturbating in the privacy of their boudoirs or biting their nails or tearing their hair or lying on a bed full of bread crumbs for a whole chapter. I want Madagascan funeral poles, with animal upon animal and at the top Adam and Eve, and Eve with a crude, honest slit between the legs. I want hermaphrodites who are real hermaphrodites, and not make-believes walking around with an atrophied penis or a dried-up cunt. I want a classic purity, where dung is dung and angels are angels. The Bible a la King James, for example. Not the Bible of Wycliffe, not the Vulgate, not the Greek, not the Hebrew, but the glorious, death-dealing Bible that was created when the English language was in flower, when a vocabulary of twenty thousand words sufficed to build a monument for all time. A Bible written in Svenska or Tegalic, a Bible for the Hottentots or the Chinese, a Bible that has to meander through the trickling sands of French is no Bible-it is a counterfeit and a fraud. The King James Version was created by a race of bone-crushers. It revives the primitive mysteries, revives rape, murder, incest, revives epilepsy, sadism, megalomania, revives demons, angels, dragons, leviathans, revives magic, exorcism, contagion, incantation, revives fratricide, regicide, patricide, suicide, revives hypnotism, anarchism, somnambulism, revives the song, the dance, the act, revives the mantic, the chthonian, the arcane, the mysterious, revives the power, the evil, and the glory that is God. All brought into the open on a colossal scale, and so salted and spiced that it will last until the next Ice Age. A classic purity, then-and to hell with the Post Office authorities! For what is it enables the classics to live at all, if indeed they be living on and not dying as we and all about us are dying? What preserves them against the ravages of time if it be not the salt that is in them? When I read Petronius or Apuleius or Rabelais, how close they seem! That salty tang! That odor of the menagerie! The smell of horse piss and lion’s dung, of tiger’s breath and elephant’s hide. Obscenity, lust, cruelty, boredom, wit. Real eunuchs. Real hermaphrodites. Real pricks. Real cunts. Real banquets! Rabelais rebuilds the walls of Paris with human cunts. Trimalchio tickles his own throat, pukes up his own guts, wallows in his own swill. In the amphitheater, where a big, sleepy pervert of a Caesar lolls dejectedly, the lions and the jackals, the hyenas, the tigers, the spotted leopards are crunching real human boneswhilst the coming men, the martyrs and imbeciles, are walking up the golden stairs shouting Hallelujah!
Henry Miller (Black Spring)
The English word Atonement comes from the ancient Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and discovered their nakedness in the Garden of Eden, God sent Jesus to make coats of skins to cover them. Coats of skins don’t grow on trees. They had to be made from an animal, which meant an animal had to be killed. Perhaps that was the very first animal sacrifice. Because of that sacrifice, Adam and Eve were covered physically. In the same way, through Jesus’ sacrifice we are also covered emotionally and spiritually. When Adam and Eve left the garden, the only things they could take to remind them of Eden were the coats of skins. The one physical thing we take with us out of the temple to remind us of that heavenly place is a similar covering. The garment reminds us of our covenants, protects us, and even promotes modesty. However, it is also a powerful and personal symbol of the Atonement—a continuous reminder both night and day that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are covered. (I am indebted to Guinevere Woolstenhulme, a religion teacher at BYU, for insights about kaphar.) Jesus covers us (see Alma 7) when we feel worthless and inadequate. Christ referred to himself as “Alpha and Omega” (3 Nephi 9:18). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is surely the beginning and the end. Those who study statistics learn that the letter alpha is used to represent the level of significance in a research study. Jesus is also the one who gives value and significance to everything. Robert L. Millet writes, “In a world that offers flimsy and fleeting remedies for mortal despair, Jesus comes to us in our moments of need with a ‘more excellent hope’ (Ether 12:32)” (Grace Works, 62). Jesus covers us when we feel lost and discouraged. Christ referred to Himself as the “light” (3 Nephi 18:16). He doesn’t always clear the path, but He does illuminate it. Along with being the light, He also lightens our loads. “For my yoke is easy,” He said, “and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). He doesn’t always take burdens away from us, but He strengthens us for the task of carrying them and promises they will be for our good. Jesus covers us when we feel abused and hurt. Joseph Smith taught that because Christ met the demands of justice, all injustices will be made right for the faithful in the eternal scheme of things (see Teachings, 296). Marie K. Hafen has said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ was not given us to prevent our pain. The gospel was given us to heal our pain” (“Eve Heard All These Things,” 27). Jesus covers us when we feel defenseless and abandoned. Christ referred to Himself as our “advocate” (D&C 29:5): one who believes in us and stands up to defend us. We read, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler” (Psalm 18:2). A buckler is a shield used to divert blows. Jesus doesn’t always protect us from unpleasant consequences of illness or the choices of others, since they are all part of what we are here on earth to experience. However, He does shield us from fear in those dark times and delivers us from having to face those difficulties alone. … We’ve already learned that the Hebrew word that is translated into English as Atonement means “to cover.” In Arabic or Aramaic, the verb meaning to atone is kafat, which means “to embrace.” Not only can we be covered, helped, and comforted by the Savior, but we can be “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Nephi 1:15). We can be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11). In our day the Savior has said, “Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (D&C 6:20). (Brad Wilcox, The Continuous Atonement, pp. 47-49, 60).
Brad Wilcox