Have you ever had experiences where the Lord brings particular verses or truths to mind over and over in different ways? I take that as God’s means of getting my attention about something, and in those situations, I like to study them out as I listen to the message He wishes to deliver. Recently, I had that experience as it seemed I kept running across plural Hebrew words that caused me to stop and think about their meaning.
I am far from a Hebrew scholar, but I have learned to speak it and understand it on an elementary level. One of the principles I know is that Hebrew, like Spanish and several other languages, uses feminine/masculine tenses. Masculine words ending in “-im” and feminine words ending in “-ot” are plural. For example, the upcoming time of Pentecost is Shavuot in Hebrew, which mean “weeks.” Pentecost is the Feast of Weeks, because it follows the early spring feasts by 7 weeks. (Leviticus 23:15-21)
That’s a fantastic study in itself, but let’s move in a slightly different direction. While “-im” is plural, “-ayim” endings signify a pair. For example: michnasAYIM = a pair of pants, mishkafAYIM = a pair of glasses and garbAYIM = a pair of socks. (These are actually transliterations. The Hebrew form of “-ayim” is “ים-” read right to left.)
Well, check out these words that include the “pair of” endings:
- Water = מים (mayim)
- Jerusalem = ירושלים (Yerushalayim)
- Life = החיים (chayim)
A pair of waters? A pair of Jerusalems? A pair of lives? Yes! Check this out!
Read Genesis 7:11 (NIV and NLT provide clearest examples) There were two sources of water during Noah’s flood. What were they?
We know about Jerusalem today because we can find it on a map and see actual pictures of it. But what hint regarding Jerusalem is found in Revelation 21:2? Two Jerusalems!
As Christians, what do we know about life? We live life here on this earth, but there is a second life…eternal life!
So, water, Jerusalem and life are not only plural, but they are pairs! Yet, we see and understand this truth only through Scripture! It doesn’t make sense in any other context.
I think it is amazing how God reveals deep truths to us in simple ways! Not to say Hebrew is “easy,” but it certainly holds the key to understanding many truths.
We’re going a level deeper tomorrow as we look specifically at the duality of Jerusalem! Don’t miss it…you will be blessed!