HLM Banner HLM banner

Receiving God’s Word

Receiving God’s Word

Credit:Eva Geller

“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion
.” — Proverbs 8:12

Today, Jews around the world observe Simchat Torah, which literally means “rejoicing in the Torah” or “Joy of the Torah.” This day marks the completion of the annual reading of the Torah from Genesis through Deuteronomy. Because this is a non-working holiday, this devotion was prepared in advance for you. Download our complimentary Bible study on King David, who was a lifelong student of God’s Word.

When we read Scripture with an understanding of Hebrew, the original language in which the Torah was written, we often discover the full meaning of a verse that might otherwise remain hidden. Such is the case with today’s verse from Proverbs 8:12, which reads: “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.” The Hebrew word used for “prudence” is ayrum. That particular word takes us all the way back to the beginning of the Bible.

When we read about the sin of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit, the word ayrum is used in two different contexts. First, we are told that the snake in the Garden of Eden was the most ayrum of all creatures on earth. We understand that the snake was exceptionally cunning, and appropriately, the word ayrum in our verse from Proverbs is interpreted in Scripture accordingly.

However, there is an alternative meaning to ayrum. A few verses later than Proverbs 8:12 in the Genesis account, we learn that Adam and Eve noticed that they were ayrum. In this context the word implies that the first couple recognized that they were naked, and shortly after God clothed them. Another meaning for the word ayrum is “naked.”

So we are left with two interpretations of a key word in this verse, and along with that, two important but distinct life lessons.

In the first message, the Jewish sages teach us that when it comes to learning the wisdom of God’s Word, we must always couple our learning with cunningness. We must come up with ways and schemes so we can set regular times for study in our already busy schedules. In addition, we must devise ways by which we can remember the content studied, as well as ways to integrate all we’ve learned. Review, memorization, and meditation are all methods used in the Jewish tradition to ensure that God’s Word remains firmly planted in our hearts and souls.

The second interpretation of the word ayrum teaches us that a spirit of “nakedness” must accompany Torah study. The Talmud teaches that Torah “is not established inside a person unless he is not.” What does this mean? A person has to be unattached, empty of ego, and free of bias, if he or she is to truly receive the Word of God. We must take off garments of pride, coverings of previously learned knowledge, and anything else that might obscure a pure transmission of God’ Word.

May we take each of these lessons to heart so that we might study the Bible effectively, but more importantly, so that God’s Word may most deeply affect our lives.

Discover more about King David, whose psalms and hymns are a rich tradition for both Christians and Jews, in our complimentary Bible study, “The Life of David.”

Hebrew Word of the Day

October 22, 2019

Geography

Plateau — Ramah

YAEL'S HOLY LAND REFLECTIONS

Shavuot — Practicing Gratitude

Yael explores the history and meaning of Shavuot, and what both Jews and Christians can learn from this holiday known as the “Festival of Harvest.”

Monthly Teaching Resource

The Fellowship Family Corner: Things to Do at Home to Boost Your Spiritual Wellness

Shalom, friends! Wherever you may be right now in the world, we all are experiencing the same pandemic crisis. With many of us confined to our homes during this crisis, The Fellowship has collected a variety of downloadable educational materials for you and your family to help boost your spiritual well-being.

How to Help

Your Blessings Needed

God promises to “bless those who bless [Israel].” You can take part in His promise by being a blessing to a lonely elderly Jewish person who has nowhere else to turn. Your gift will help provide food, medicine, and shelter to someone in desperate need. We cannot stand idly by as elderly Jews suffer through the last years of their lives. Join us in helping these previous souls with your best gift today.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.