John T. Willis

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Heart is the Seat of Emotion--XVIII

The Hebrew noun lebh, "heart," is a synonym for emotions.
   1. "Heart" appears with the Hebrew verb mana`, "to withhold, hold back," in Ecclesiastes 2:10. "Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them' I KEPT MY HEART FROM NO PLEASURE, for I found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil." "To keep the heart from" is to deny outlet to the emotions.
   2. The composer of Psalm 86 says in Psalm 86:11:
        "Teach me your way, O Lord,
               that I may walk in your truth;
To "undivide" or "unite" the heart means to concentrate or focus on the emotions.
   3. The Hebrew expression dabhar `al-lebh, literally, "to speak to the heart," is a Hebrew idiom meaning to comfort. Genesis 34:3 contains this description of Shechem's approach to Dinah: "And his [Shechem's] soul was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the girl, and SPOKE TENDERLY TO HER [Hebrew--spoke to her heart]." This is clearly an emotional function of the heart.
   4. Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 20:9:
       "If I say, 'I will not mention him [Yahweh],
             or speak any more in his name,'
        then within me [Hebrew--in my heart] there is something like a burning fire
             shut up in my bones;
        I am weary with holding it in,
             and I cannot."
Jeremiah's attitude here is very emotional. He is struggling within himself.

These biblical passages show that according to the Bible, the heart is the terminal into which emotions merge and out of which emotions disperse. Thinking and feeling are inseparably connected in the lives of all human beings. As the heart thinks, it moves and is moved, and as the heart moves and is moved, it thinks. For each emotion, there is an antithesis.

Share YOUR experiences and observations and feelings and thoughts and desires with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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