Many times I have observed many arguing on scriptures and I have gotten instruction from observing . Usually the issue is one party is arguing based on what he has read and the other based on what he has studied .
Today I want to share with you something that will help your bible study .
It is the study of the grammar of scriptures especially in the language they were written in before translation . A whole lot of truth has been lost because of translations . in fact we have gotten a lot of things mixed up because of the challenge of translating correctly from the Hebrew especially to English .
I will highlight a few and explain them .
First let us examine the words of Paul to his protege timothy .
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
So we have to study to be able to teach rightly .
So I want to talk about the verbs of scriptures .Especially Hebrew verbs .
The way verbs are used in Hebrew differs significantly from the way it is used in English . This as resulted in a lot of miscommunication in the translations especially in the king James bible .
For example ,
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
In this verse the king James translates the Hebrew Scriptures to say ” I will put none of these diseases upon you which I have brought upon the Egyptians ”
Now it clearly looks like God has the ability to give sickness to folks .
So how do we explain this ?
To understand why we have many Hebrew verbs rendered like this there are a few things to understand .
The Hebrew doesn’t render verbs in tenses related to time like the English .
So instead of past ,present and future tense the Hebrew has majorly two tenses.
Perfect or imperfect .
A perfect verbal tense in Hebrew communicates an action which is deemed or seen as complete .
It may not have actually happened but it is viewed as having happened as nothing can stop it .
An imperfect verbal tense speaks of an action that is happening or desired to happen . It also refers to actions contingent on certain factors to happen .
When an imperfect verbal tense is used it speaks more to permission and not causation.
There is a difference between allowing something to happen and causing it to happen .
Another thing to note about Hebrew verbs is the mood of the speaker !
Yes . The Hebrew language is that awesome .
The Hebrew verb communicates two moods : indicative and subjunction .
The indicative mood usually communicates perfect verb tense why the subjunctive communicates the imperfect .
Now let’s go back to Exo 15:26
The verb “put” and “brought” are the Hebrew word “asim” which means to “set or place ”
They are in the imperfect tense in that it is contingent on other factors which in this context is ” if thou shall diligently harken to my voice ” .
This means that “asim ” isn’t causative but permissive .
So why is the verb “asim” translated as causative in English and not permissive?
Because in English we don’t really express verbs in the permissive . A verb in English is both active and causative and never passive or permissive .
Whereas verbs in Hebrew can be passive or permissive .
So Exo 15:26 should actually read ” I will permit none of the diseases which I permitted on the Egyptians from coming upon you ” .
God is the one who heals and protects .
However ,man by disobedience to moses law ,broke Gods hedge of protection from diseases ,sin ,devil etc . The breaking of the edge gave access to these evil forces to mans body .
It is allowed or permitted in by mans actions not by Gods causation .
He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
Written by Pastor Femi Olaleye
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