Thursday, 6 January 2022
I am a Fool for Messiah - 5
Immediately after I published part 1 of this series, one of our faithful readers sent me a scripture that I have thought about several times in the week since then. The Scripture verse itself is Proverbs 9:6. Several translations treat it differently. I'll give you a few of them and then offer my translation. "Wisdom" is speaking as if she is a woman, when she says ...
Proverbs 9:6 Abandon your foolish ways and live! Walk in the way of understanding. TLV
Proverbs 9:6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight. NIV
Proverbs 9:6 Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding. NKJV
So, what do we have? A verse with an Et'nach'ta. An Et'nach'ta is a cantillation mark that looks like a point-up wishbone. It marks a division of thought (or a pause), much like a comma in English grammar. About 98% of all scripture verses have one. We say something, (comma - pause - Et'nach'ta) so now we say something more to build upon it.
We start with a command. In our 3 given translations, the command is to "abandon," "leave," and/or "forsake." The Hebrew word is Ez'vu (Ayin-Zayin-Bet) which is the same Shoresh [root] used by Yeshua from the cross when He asked His Father, "Eyli, Eyli, Lamah Azavtani?" (My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?) Quoting Psalm 22:1. All 3 words are good options, leave, forsake, or abandon. Another good option would be "turn aside."
But, turn aside from what? The 3 translations offer alternatively, "foolish ways," "simple ways," or just plain "foolishness." The Hebrew word is p'ta'im (Peh-Tav-Aleph) which is the same Shoresh [root] as Pitom, meaning suddenly or impulsively. Now the message is coming into focus, "turn aside from impulsive behavior."
Take a moment, even an instant, to think, how do my people respond in a situation like I'm in? How can I give glory to God by responding as Yeshua would, in this situation? IOW, WWYD? And the promised result is "life," "and you will live."
This brings us to the Et'nach'ta, so pause and think. "Turn aside from impulsive behavior and you will live." Sounds like Solomon wanted to share the greatest wisdom from God. If he could, he would just open your head and pour it in. "Leave impulsive living behind and you will really live."
The last part of the verse is a balance to the first part of the verse. After all, this is poetry. This part also starts with a command, "walk" or "go" in the way. The Hebrew word used here is Ish'ru, which does not really mean walk or go. It really means straight (Aleph-Shin-Resh) as in "Yashar." The implied meaning is to avoid crooked and twisted ways and take a direct or straight path.
That path is called the road (or way) of understanding. The Shoresh [root] uses the Bet-Nun couplet, which is part of Mavin meaning "I understand." It brings to mind these verses ... Proverbs 3:5-5 Trust in Adonai with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
The Bible is an amazingly written document with an amazingly consistent message. Read it with the Etnachta in mind and pause to appreciate the details.
Psalm 5:9(8) Lead me, Adonai, in Your righteousness, because of my enemies. Make Your path straight before me.
Oh, and in case you forgot, stop the foolishness.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,