John T. Willis

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Heart Agrees or Consents--XI

There are FOUR Hebrew constructions in the Hebrew Bible which attribute agreeing or consenting to the heart.

1. The adjective 'ehad means "one." 1 Chronicles 12:23-40 describes David's army at Hebron. In verse 38, the composer writes:
      All these, warriors arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with full intent to make David king
                              over all Israel;
      likewise all the rest of Israel were of ONE HEART [NRSV a single mind] to make David king.
     Alluding to the Great Passover in the days of King Hezekiah of Judah, the composer writes in
2 Chronicles 30:12:
      The hand of God was also on Judah to give them ONE HEART
       to do what the king [Hezekiah] and the officials commanded by the word of the Lord.
To be of one heart means to totally agree or consent.

2. The Hebrew expression shaba` bekal means "to swear with all." When Asa king of Judah trusted in Yahweh when Zerah and the Ethiopians threatened Judah, the composer of 2 Chronicles 15:15 says:
      All Judah rejoiced over the oath; for THEY HAD SWORN WITH ALL THEIR HEART,
      and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them,
      and the Lord gave them rest all around.
To swear with all the heart means to completely agree with an oath or a promise.

3. The Hebrew expression hayah leyahad means "to be for a unitedness." When David was in the stronghold in the wilderness when he fled from Saul, some Benjaminites and some Judahites came to the stronghold to support David. 1 Chronicles 12:17 says:
      David went out to meet them and said to them,
    "If you have come to me in friendship, to help me, THEN MY HEART WILL BE KNIT TO YOU;
      but if you have come to betray me to be my adversaries,
     though my hands have done no wrong, then may the God of our ancestors see and give judgment."
For one's heart to be knit with some else or other people is to agree or consent.

4. The Hebrew verb sabab means "to turn, to return." When the Judeans kept the Passover after they had rebuilt the temple under the guidance of Zerubbabel and Joshua, Ezra 6:22 says:
      With joy they celebrated the festival of unleavened bread seven days;
       for the Lord had made them joyful, and HAD TURNED THE HEART OF THE KING
                     OF ASSYRIA TO THEM,
       so that he aided them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.
In this context, for the king of Assyria to turn his heart and help the Judeans in rebuilding the temple, means to agree of consent to what the Judeans were doing.

Share YOUR concerns and experiences and successes and failures and reversals with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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