John T. Willis

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Heart Remembers--IX

A careful student of the Bible should know that one determines the meaning of a word like "heart" by studying the heart in contact with verbs used with the heart. There are EIGHT Hebrew constructions which attribute memory to the heart.

1. shub 'el--"to turn into." Deuteronomy 30:1: "When all these things have happened to you, the blessings and the curses that I have set before you, IF YOU CALL THEM TO HEART [NRSV mind] among all the nations where the Lord you God has driven you, . . . then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes." To "call to heart [mind]" clearly means "to remember." Remember all the things that have happened to you. To remember is to relive or re-enact, not merely recall mentally.
2. sim dabar `al--"set a word upon." When the servants of Achish king of Gath heard the song of the women after David killed Goliath: "Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands," David "TOOK THESE WORDS [Hebrew laid up his words] TO HEART and was very much afraid of King Achish of Gath." David remembered these words and took them seriously.
3. sim 'omer be--"to set a word in." In his third speech to Job, Eliphaz admonished him:
         Receive instruction from his [God's] mouth,
               and LAY UP HIS WORDS IN YOUR HEART.
To receive instruction is equivalent to remember and take seriously.
4. saphan be--"to hide in." The author of Psalm 119 says in verse 11:
          I treasure [hide] your word in my heart,
               so that I might not sin against you.
To treasure or hide words in the heart is to remember, to relive, to re-enact, not merely recall.
5. shamar betok--"to keep in the midst of." Proverbs 4:21 says:
          Do not let them [the words of the writer of Proverbs] escape from your sight;
To keep God's words within the heart means to remember, relive, re-enact.
6. qashar `al, "to bind upon." Proverbs 6:21 says:
          BIND THEM [the teaching of your father and mother] UPON YOUR HEART ALWAYS;
                tie them around your neck.
To bind upon the heart means to remember, to relive, re-enact.
7. qashar be--"to bind in." Proverbs 22:15 says:
          Folly is BOUND UP IN THE HEART of a boy,
                but the rod of discipline drives it far away.
To bind up in the heart means to remember, relive, re-enact.
8. kathab `al--"to write upon." Jeremiah 31:33 says: "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I WILL WRITE IT ON THEIR HEARTS, and I will be their God and they will be my people." To write on the heart is to remember, relive, re-enact.
When Solomon prayed to the Lord, the Lord responded in 1 Kings 9:3:
     "I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you made before me;
       I have consecrated this house that you have built, and put my name there forever;
Here, the heart remembers the house or temple which Solomon had built under Yahweh's instructions. To remember the house means to relive or re-enact what Solomon had accomplished.

Share YOUR works and efforts and plans and concepts and backlashes with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis
(1 Samuel 21:12).


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