12 Days of Christmas | Day 10 | Word Study on “Reign”

Hello everyone! I’m a teeny bit late as usual. I don’t even want to think about all I need to get done tomorrow…yikes!

I’m not exactly sure why I decided to go with “reign” as my final word study with all the others to choose from, but it was one of the top ones and it felt like a good wrapping up place (*ahem* no reference to Christmas intended).

Speaking of which…I have yet to wrap any Christmas presents. But that’s kind off topic! Let’s talk about reign.

To change things up a little…let’s start with the Greek (New Testament).

Basileuó means to be King or to reign. A similar word is sumbasileuó meaning to reign with. Sumbasileuó is the word used in 2 Timothy 2:12 where it says:

“For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He will also deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”

-2 Timothy 2:11-13

Another similar word is basileia which is means to sovereignty, kingdom or authority and usually refers to said sovereignty being in God’s hands. It is usually translated as kingdom. For instance:

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”

-Matthew 6:33

“So He was saying, “What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the sky nested in its branches.”

-Luke 13:18-19

“And He made us into a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

-Revelation 1:6

Yet another variation of this word appears once in the Christmas story (according to Luke) and once in Revelations. The word is basileusei.

“And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

-Luke 1:30-33

“Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

-Revelation 11:15

Hégemonia is a noun that refers to “a reign.” For instance the hégemonia of Tiberus Caesar (as mentioned in Luke 3:1).

Archó means to reign over, but can also mean to begin.

For the Hebrew I’m going to try and focus on prophecies of Christ (rather than the recounting of all the reigns of random kings throughout the Old Testament).

I’ve chose four verse to go over one from the Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah.

“The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The LORD has clothed and encircled Himself with strength.
Indeed, the world is firmly established; it will not be moved.”

-Psalm 93:1

The word for reign in this instance is malak meaning to be or become king (to reign). It occurs 348 times in the Old Testament and is used to describe when someone becomes king and to describe how Yahweh reigns forever and ever.

“How delightful on the mountains
Are the feet of one who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

-Isaiah 52:7

Isaiah uses the same word here as well (malak). I love how the hymn “Our God Reigns” incorporates this verse. It’s so beautiful.

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.”

-Jeremiah 23:5

Turns out the word used in Jeremiah is almost exactly the same with one minor difference. Insted of “malak” Jeremiah uses “umalak” which more specifically means that he “will reign.” I don’t know anything about Hebrew grammar, but I’m guessing this is the future tense of the same word (reigns=present, will reign=future).

“I will make those who limp a remnant,
And those who have strayed a mighty nation,
And the LORD will reign over them on Mount Zion
From now on and forever.”

-Micah 4:7

And as I was guessing Micah also uses umalak, or “will reign.”

YAHWEH is sovereign and YAHWEH is King of Kings, in the past, the present, and the future. But it seems Jeremiah and Micah in particular, looked forward to the reign of the perfect King over all those who are truly his people. They looked forward to the redemptive King, the one who would gather the Nobodies into a mighty nation and call it His own.

That King is Jesus, the One and Only Son of God and Son of Man and He is knocking on your heart even now, calling for you to surrender your broken heart to him and let him make it a mighty throne. He loves you more fully and truly than you can yet comprehend and brings healing in his reign. Let him reign in your heart.

Song of the Day: He Shall Reign Forevermore by Matt Maher

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this song with you. Matt Maher’s version is by far my favorite version. It’s awesome!

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

-Luke 1:32-33

“For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He will also deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”

-2 Timothy 2:11-13


12 Days of Christmas | Day 7 | Word Study on “Emmanuel”

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Today we are doing a word study on the most requested Christmas-related word: Emmanuel.

First off, we know from Matthew 1:23 that Emmanuel means “God with us.”

“Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall name Him Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

-Matthew 1:23

The Hebrew word for Emmanuel is “Immanuel,” which directly translated means “with us is God.”

The word Immanuel comes from the Hebrew words “im” and “el“. Im means beside or with and El means God (kind of like Elohim I think).

Immanuel is used twice in the Old Testament, once in Isaiah 7 and once in Isaiah 8.

In the first instance, God is talking to Ahaz (through Isaiah) telling him “not [to] be fainthearted” and telling him of what is going to happen (Isaiah 7:4). If you’d like more context I suggest reading Isaiah 7 for yourself and maybe look at something like this to understand the greater context.

After emphasizing the need for Ahaz to wholeheartedly believe what He is telling him, the LORD tells Ahaz to ask for a sign and to “make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven” (Isaiah 7:11), Ahaz refuses and claims he will not “put the Lord to the test” (Isaiah 7:12).

The LORD rebukes him for his arrogance and says that the Lord himself will give Ahaz a sign. The sign of Immanuel, conceived by a virgin.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. For before the boy knows enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be abandoned.”

-Isaiah 7:14-16

It seems in this case that there were multiple fulfillments of the prophecy, one right then, and one later, when Christ was born. Because while this is the very prophecy quoted by Matthew in reference to Jesus’ birth, it was also fulfilled in Ahaz’s lifetime (before the boy conceived knew enough to refuse evil and choose good).

The Greek word used by Matthew in Matthew 1:23 to refer to Jesus’ virgin birth is “Emmanouél” which is a messianic title that means, as does the Hebrew word, God with us.

Whenever I think of “God with us” I think of the last part of Hebrews 13:5 where it quotes from the Old Testament and reminds us that “He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (ESV).

God is with us always and will never forsake us. He is always there for us to turn to and one day he will take us to be with Him forever. Never fear! He is there for you.

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.”

-Deuteronomy 31:6

Another verse I think of when I think of God with us is Ezekiel 37:27 and the verses surrounding.

“I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them.

And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.

My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

-Ezekial 37:26-28 (ESV)

Something about that verse “my dwelling place shall be with them…I will be their God…they shall be my people” makes me a little homesick for heaven.

God is with us indeed. But I simply can’t wait to truly see Him face to face and sit at his feet and worship him! I can hardly even imagine a glimpse of what it will be like. Won’t it be glorious, when we are truly His people and He is truly our God? Then we’ll be truly with him forever and ever.

I hope you enjoyed and were encouraged by this post! I’m a little later in the day than I was planning on being but oh well! I think I needed a little more time on this post, as short as it is.

Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow for Day 8. Can you believe it’s only 5 more days until Christmas????!?

Song of the Day: O Come O Come Emmanuel by Joshua Aaron

O Come O Come Emmanuel was a pretty intuitive choice for today, but what’s even cooler is the version I chose! It’s sung with more traditional Hebrew pronunciation and has sections that are actually sung in Hebrew!!! It’s so cool. Plus it’s sung live from the Tower of David.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

-Revelation 3:20

“And they will fight against you but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to save you,” declares the Lord.”

-Jeremiah 1:19

“In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be.”

-John 14:2-3

*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted

12 Days of Christmas | Day 4 | Word Study on “Gift”

Hello everyone! I’ve been way busier than I expected, and I’m starting to get even more excited than ever for Christmas!!! I simply can’t wait until I get to reveal all of my Christmas secrets!

Speaking of Christmas gifts…today’s post is a word study on the “gift(s)” in the Bible.

It’s crazy sometimes how many Hebrew words can all mean one English word! Turns out “gift” was one of those.

Let’s begin.

Mattanah (מַתָּנָה)- translated gift or bribe and seems to be used in both positive and negative contexts.

Mattan (מַתָּן)- this one is pretty similar to Mattanah, but is in the masculine form (rather than the feminine form).

Mattath (מַתָּת)- this one also seems pretty similar to Mattanah (and is feminine) but I did notice that it can also be translated as “reward.”

Shay (שַׁי)- translated as gift, this word specifically refers to gifts of homage (I’m guessing if the story of the wise men were in Hebrew, this would be the word used for their gifts).

Minchah (מִנְחָה)- this word is translated as gift, offering, tribute, or present. For instance, in Genesis 32, when Jacob was afraid of meeting his brother Esau he sent ahead a Minchah or present (meant to appease him).

Eshkar (אֶשְׁכָּר)- translated as both gift and as payment (although to me, those seem contradictory).

Shilluchim (שִׁלּוּחַ)- this word means parting gift or sending away gift, and is sometimes translated as dowry.

Shochad (שַׁחַד)- this word can mean gift but it seems to me to be mostly translated as a bribe. It shows up a lot in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Proverbs warning against bribes.

Instead of going through all the different words for gift in Greek, I’d like to look at the main Christmas passage (namely Matthew 1-2) that mentions gifts and then look at the Greek word from the verse there.

Matthew 2 tells us that sometime after Jesus was born, Magi (we sometimes call them “wise men”) came “from the east…[to] Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (Mat 2:1).

After being cross-examined by Herod (who was probably very unhappy about such an announcement) they set out to find the King of whom they believed the star had foretold.

The Bible says that “they went on their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on ahead of them until it came to a stop over the place where the Child was to be found.” (Mat 2:9)

They went into the house where Jesus was with Mary and “they fell down and worshiped Him” (Mat 2:11a).

At that point we come to the main verse this whole post centers around.

“Then they opened their treasures and presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

-Matthew 2:11b

The first thing my brother asked me when he saw me typing that over my shoulder was “what’s frankincense and myrrh?”. Well…we’ll get to that later. For now, just listen to “We Three Kings.” 🙂

The Greek word for gifts in this case is dora or dóron (I’m not sure which is correct). Dóron can mean gift, present, and sacrifice. According to HELPS Word-Studies, this particular word refers to a gift that is entirely free-willed and not externally compelled.

This same word is Luke 21 for the word offering when Jesus sees the the widow’s gift:

“And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all contributed to the offering from their surplus; but she, from her poverty, put in all that she had to live on.” (Luke 21:3-4).

That’s about all for today! These are harder to do than I remember. 🙂

Song of the Day: We Three Kings by Steven Curtis Chapman

This was the best version of We Three Kings I could find. Here are the lyrics (which should explain at least a little about the frankincense and myrrh…if not you could always do some research!):

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts, we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect Light

Frankincense to offer have I
My gift of love and sacrifice
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God on high

Myrrh is mine, it’s bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

Glorious now, behold Him, arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, alleluia
Sounds through the Earth and skies

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

-James 1:17

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

-2 Corinthian 9:15

*All Scripture quotations are in the NASB translation unless otherwise noted

12 Days of Christmas | Day 1 | Word Study on “Lamb”

Hello everyone! Today is the first day of the 12 Days of Christmas blog tour and I’m starting it out with a word study on the word Lamb!

Thanks so much for voting, everyone! I really appreciate your feedback, and I was super happy to see what words y’all wanted me to do!

Well…turns out there are a lot of Hebrew words for “lamb.”

Here’s what I found on BibleHub for Strong’s conncordance:

Keseb (כֶּשֶׂב)- translated lamb or sheep; seems to be found in places referring to Old Testament sacrifices (in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), as well as where Joseph is multiplying his flock despite Laban’s interference (Genesis 30).

Kebes (כֶּבֶשׂ)-translated lamb, but often specifically translated as male lamb; also found in places with instructions for Old Testament sacrifices (throughout Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers).

Kibsah or Kabsah (כִּבְשָׂה)- translated female lamb or ewe; found refering to the gifting (or taking in some cases) of a lamb, with a few references to Old Testament sacrifices (found in Genesis, Leviticus, Numbers, and 2 Samuel).

Seh (שֶׂה)- this one is a little different from the other words, because it means one of a flock and can be translated as either a lamb, sheep, or goat.

Found in the classic passage where Abraham is instructed to offer up his son as a sacrifice, both where his son asks “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (Gen 22:7) and where Abraham answers “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Gen 22:8).

Interestingly enough, when God does physically provide a “lamb” to Abraham it uses a different word that doesn’t directly translate to lamb. The word is “ayil” (אַיִל) and instead, it translates as ram or “leader of the flock.” Ayil is sometimes even used to describe people, as in a mighty leader (i.e. Exodus 15:15 regarding the Moabite leaders).

I find this kind of cool. It’s almost like Abraham asked for just “one of the flock” but the LORD gave him the “mighty leader of the flock.” Like they were sacrificing seh after seh (“one of the flock”), but until the true and greater Ayil (leader of the flock) was sacrificed we could not have true salvation. Interesting, right?

Tson (צאֹן)- translated as flocks, either of small cattle, goats, or sheep. Has 274 occurrences throughout the Old Testament, and is used pretty much everywhere to refer to flocks. For instance Genesis 4:2 says that “Abel was a keeper of flocks,” or keeper of tson. Or in 1 Samuel 17:34, David tells Saul that he was “tending his father’s sheep” or tending his father’s tson.

Some other less significant words meaning lamb, that have very few occurrences are:

  • Immar (אִמַּר)- meaning “a lamb” or lambs, has 3 occurrences in the Old Testament.
  • Taleh or tela (טָלֶה or טְלָא)- meaning “a lamb,” has 3 occurrences in the OT.
  • Kisbah (כִּשְׂבָּה)- means “a ewe lamb” or a female lamb, has 1 occurrence in Leviticus.
  • Dekar (דְּכַר)- means “ram” or male sheep. Corresponds to word “zakar” meaning male (e.i. “male and female He created them” Gen 1:27).

Alrighty! That was a lot for the Hebrew. 🙂

Now for the New Testament Greek stuff. There are also a lot of words for “lamb” in Greek, but not quite as much and they’re a little more specific. I’ve parred down to what I think are the most important three.

Arnion (ἀρνίον)- means a little lamb or just “a lamb.” Specifically it refers to someone innocent and pure, particularly those suffering unjustly. Most occurrences are in the book of Revelation, but it is also the word Jesus uses before his ascension when he asks Peter “do you love Me more than these?” and then commands him to “tend My lambs” (John 21:15).

Amnos (ἀμνός)- means “a lamb,” but refers to innocence and sacrifice. Often refers to a one-year-old lamb (without blemish) such as would be used for a sacrifice. Used by John when he declared as Jesus walked by “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

Pascha (πάσχα)- this word refers specifically to “the Passover lamb” and can be used to refer to Passover in general. For instance, when the disciples are discussing the upcoming Passover with Jesus shortly before his betrayal they asked “where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” they used pascha to refer to the Passover. So while pascha means Passover lamb, it can also simply refer to Passover overall.

That’s about all for the Greek!

In the Bible, lambs were used for food, money (aka livelihood), gifts, and sacrifice. But they are very important to us, because when Jesus came innocent and unblemished at Christmas, he came as the true and greater Ayil (ram, leader) come to take our place, and he came as the true and greater Pascha (Passover lamb) to make a way for our Salvation. So behold the lamb of God!

Have an awesome day!

“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

-John 1:29 (ESV)

“Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

-1 Peter 1:17-19 (ESV)

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

-Revelation 5:13 (ESV)

Song of the Day:

Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson

See you tomorrow for lots of Christmas-y books!!! I’m looking forward to it.:) I hope you enjoyed today’s post despite all the lengthy Hebrew and Greek stuff. 🙂

Also, make sure to check out Faith’s fun Flash Fiction Challenge here and enter the Giveaway! From there you can check out all the other people participating in the blog party. Enjoy.

*All Bible quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted

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