UNDERSTANDING HEBREW THOUGHT AND EXPERSSION “By Moreh Moshay Yisrael”


 

Hebrew Bible, Jer. 27

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In order to truly understand what is being said here, its helpful to understand Hebrew thought and communication. In this post I will attempt to lay down the foundation of the Hebrew (Eastern)thought and the Greek (Western) thought process as it relates to communication and our understanding of the scriptures.

Just to be clear, I am not saying that in order for one to understand the scriptures, they would have to know Hebrew. I would think that we all know that this is not necessarily true, for none of us had a working knowledge of Hebrew when we were called to Yah, so please don’t view this post from that angle otherwise you will surely miss the true point and thus waste your mental energy.
For Yisraeleem,(Israelites) past and present, there are basically two major types of cultures; the Hebrew (or eastern) culture and the Greek (or western) culture. Both of these cultures view their surroundings, lives, and purpose in ways which would seem foreign to the other.

What happened to this ancient Hebrew thought and culture? Around 800 BCE, a new culture arose to the north. This new culture began to view the world very much differently than the Hebrews. This culture was the Greeks. Around 200 BCE the Greeks began to move south causing a coming together of the Greek and Hebrew culture. This was a very tumultuous time as the two vastly different cultures collided. Over the following 400 years the battle raged until finally the Greek culture won and virtually eliminated all traceSof the ancient Hebrew culture. The Greek culture then in turn influenced all following cultures including the Roman and other European cultures, our own American culture and even the modern Hebrew culture in Israel today.

As century so called African Americans with a strong Greek and Roman thought influence, we read the Hebrew Bible as if a 21th Century American had written it, and we see it through those eyes.
Ok, what am I getting at? Well, In order to understand the ancient Hebrew culture in which the Tenack was written, we must examine some of the differences between Hebrew (Eastern) and Greek and Roman (European) thought, with which we are confronted today.

Concrete Thought vs. Abstract Thought


Greek thought views the world through the mind known as (abstract thought). Ancient Hebrew thought views the world through the senses known as (concrete thought).
What is concrete thought?>Concrete thought is the expression of concepts and ideas in ways that can be seen, touched, smelled, tasted and/or heard in nature. All five of the senses are used when speaking, hearing, writing and reading the Hebrew language. An example of this can be found in Psalms 1:3; where the phrase> “He is like a “Tree” planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and whose leaf does not wither”. In this passage we have concrete words using abstract images to convey a thought, such as a Tree (one who is upright, righteous), streams of water (grace), fruit (good character) and a unwithered leaf (prosperity).

As we can see right here, it clearly refers to a man by using a tree to describe him. As its written here, the use of the word Tree also applies to the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. In addition, the Tree of Life as well. (Such is the case with the Tree of life which was actually Eve & the tree of the knowledge of good and evil being Satan himself). Ref: Genesis Revealed (Soon to be posted)
It is evident here that the most high is not talking about a literal tree, and the same applies to the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We all know that there are no Tree’s that makes one aware of good or evil, that’s just as real as the fountain of youth, or the goose that laid the golden egg, or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, its simply not true, nor should be viewed as such.

Understanding Hebraic thought is what makes these things clear. Does this mean that if one does not know Hebrew they will never understand the scriptures? I should say not, however, there are those of us who may know the language enough to be able to bring out the deeper meaning embedded therein. It is those who can assist others in understanding that which may not be understood or clear.

What is abstract thought?>Abstract thought is the expression of concepts and ideas in ways that can not be seen, touched, smelled, tasted or heard. Hebrew never uses abstract thought as English does. Examples of Abstract thought can be found in the English translation of Psalms 103:8; “YHWH is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger, abounding in love”. As I mentioned, Hebrew uses concrete and not abstract thoughts, but here we have such abstract concepts as compassionate, gracious, anger, and love in a Hebrew passage, none of which are displayed in nature. Actually these are abstract English words translating the original Hebrew concrete words. The translators often translate this way because the original Hebrew makes no sense when literally translated into English. As a result of this, we read the translated versions trying to get a Hebrew perspective through English or Greek words and interpretations/Interpellations . This is where Yah comes in, were it not so, we would not know Yah or ourselves today, but know for sure, there is more to what we read in English in the Hebrew if we acquaint ourselves with it.

I am fully aware that this is in-depth for some but thought I would use this opportunity to lay some foundation on how the Hebrew language is constructed for conceptual communication, and to show that we cannot simply rely solely on the one that is presented before us today. Hopefully this, (if for no other reason), will cause one to read the scriptures from a different perspective than what was formally embedded in our cerebral cortex by the enemy and misguided preachers and teachers alike. These principles apply to the entire Hebrew Language and stems thereof.

Impersonal vs. Personal Description

The Greek/Roman cultures describe objects in relation to the object itself. The Hebrew culture describes objects in relation to the Hebrew himself.
A Greek description of God would be “God is love” which describes God in relation to God. A Hebrew description would be “Elohim loves me” describing God in relationship to themselves.

Passive vs. Active Nouns

Greek nouns are words which refer to a person, place or thing. Hebrew nouns refer to the action of a person, place or thing. The Hebrews are an active people and their vocabulary reflects this lifestyle. The Greek culture recognizes the words such as a knee and a gift as nouns which by themselves impart no action. But in the Hebrew vocabulary the nouns come from the same root word (BRK) because they are related, not in appearance, but in action. The Hebrew word for knee is (berak) and literally means “the part of the body that bends”. The Hebrew word for a gift is (berakah), meaning “what is brought with a bent knee”. The verb from the root word is (barak), meaning “to bend the knee”. As you can see, both Hebrew verbs and nouns have action associated with them where the Greek nouns do not. Even the Hebrew nouns for father and mother are descriptive of action. The Hebrew word for father is (ab) and literally means “the one who gives strength to the family” and mother (em) means “the one that binds the family together”.

All being said, think not for a moment that we have fully understood anything that we have understood thus far. Stay humble and know that there is More to YHWH that we can ever imagine.

Hopefully I have shed some light on Hebraic thought and communication in order to help those seeking the truth of YHWH.

Shalom L’kol
Moreh Moshay Yisrael

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~ by tellitlikeitizsista on October 2, 2010.

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