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What’s in a word? Words are used in sentences to convey thoughts to others verbally or in written form.
Yahweh is my shepherd; I shall not want, Ps 23:1.
The word “shepherd” is translated from the Hebrew ra` ah (raw-aw’); a primitive root; to tend a flock; i.e. pasture it; intransitively, to graze (literally or figuratively); generally to rule; by extension, to associate with (as a friend). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Before we leave to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall, we lived in the world. And this world contains trials and temptations for us which can be instigated through events or in our contact with those who do not think and believe as we do.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak, Matt 10:16-19.
We must be on guard against such wolves which can appear as sheep.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves, Matt 7:15.
Barne’s Notes explain this verse as:
“[Who come in sheep’s clothing] The sheep is an emblem of innocence, sincerity, and harmlessness. To come in sheep’s clothing is to assume the appearance of sanctity and innocence, when the heart is evil.
“[Ravening wolves] Applied to the false teachers, it means that they assumed the appearance of holiness in order that they might the more readily get the property of the people. They were full of extortion and excess.” (from Barnes’ Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
What property are they trying to obtain – our lives.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean, Matt 23:25-26 NIV.
And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. As the truth of the Messiah is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. Wherefore? because I love you not? Yahweh knoweth. But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of the Messiah. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works, 2 Cor 11:9-15.
As 2 Tim 2:12-15 says,
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before Yahweh that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Yes, we must be able to discern truth from falsehood. We have to be careful of the words we choose to speak. Maybe some of us are not as eloquent speakers as others as we may not have been given such a gift. This was true of Moses, as we read in Ex. 4:10-15.
And Moses said unto Yahweh, O my Sovereign, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And Yahweh said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I Yahweh? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O my Sovereign, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. And the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
Thus, Yahweh will speak unto Moses, who was to speak the same words to Aaron, who was, then, to speak to the people.
Just as it was for Moses, who said he was not an eloquent speaker, so it is for us if we feel the same way. What remedy do we have?
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you, Matt 10:16- 20.
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit, Mark 13:11.
As part of a verse of a song we sing “WHEN TROUBLES SURROUND YOU,” one should remember these words that Yahweh’s Spirit will guide us.
But Yahweh hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of Yahweh. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of Yahweh knoweth no man, but the Spirit of Yahweh. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of Yahweh; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of Yahweh. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor 2:10-14.
Discerned comes from the Greek # 350 in Strong’s anakrino (an-ak-ree’- no), which means properly, to scrutinize (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
When we speak we must speak to be understood as 1 Cor 14:9 says,
So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air.
Here it seems that if one speaks words above the intelligence of another than those words will float away in the breeze.
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Messiah; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Yahshua Messiah, unto the glory and praise of Yahweh. But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the evangel; So that my bonds in Messiah are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Master, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear, Phil 1:9-14.
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak, Eph 6:20.
Even if we feel more confident in speaking we must still discern or scrutinize our thoughts before we say things.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of Yahweh, James 1:19-20.
Swift comes from Strong’s #5036 tachus (takh-oos’); figuratively meaning to be ready. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh, Luke 6:45.
A matching verse is Matt. 12:34- 37,
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
We are responsible for everything we say and do. Eccl. 12:13-14 tells us just that.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Yahweh, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man, For Yahweh shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
So, we will be held responsible for everything we say and do.
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies, Matt 15:18-19.
As the mouth speaks of the feelings of the heart, so the parts of the mouth used in speech are also important. The major parts are the teeth, the lips, the tongue and the roof of the mouth.
Arise, O Yahweh; save me, O my Elohim: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the unrighteous, Ps 3:7.
Teeth are important. Barnes’ Notes speaks of the phrase [Thou hast broken the teeth of the unrighteous] to render them harmless. (from Barnes’ Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men, Prov 30:14.
Hear my voice, O Yahweh, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words, Ps 64:1-3.
The tongue is related here to the teeth – each can be as sharp as a sword.
Lips can have a bad connection when they infer lying.
Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous, Ps 31:18.
Yahweh does not like lips that lie. Take heed of the following Scriptures:
Lying lips are abomination to the YAHWEH: but they that deal truly are his delight, Prov. 12:22.
Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous, Ps 31:18.
An unrighteous man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire, Prov 16:27.
Yet, lips can also be associated with good meanings.
The lips of the righteous feed many, Prov 10:21.
The word feed comes from the Hebrew ra‘ ah (rawaw’)( Strong’s #7462); a primitive root; to tend a flock; by extension, to associate with (as a friend). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
The last part of Prov. 14:3 says “the lips of the wise shall preserve them.” Preserve come from the Hebrew shamar (shawmar’)( Strong’s #8104) generally meaning to protect, attend to, etc. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof, Prov 18:21. In this Scripture we find out how powerful the tongue is. Secular sayings have been made about the tongue which indirectly has its basis the Scriptures:
- The tongue is, at the same time, the best part of man, and the worst.
- Give not thy tongue too great liberty, lest it take thee prisoner.
- A wound from the tongue is worse than a wound from a sword; for the latter affects only the body, while the former the spirit.
- A fool’s heart is in his tongue; but a wise man’s tongue is in his heart.
- We can not control the evil tongues of others; but a good life enables us to disregard them.
Scriptures give us some admonitions concerning our speech patterns:
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile, Ps 34:13.
Some examples of how the Hebrew word ra‘ (translated here as evil) is translated are adversity, affliction, calamity, displeasure, distress, misery, evil. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek- Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Some examples of how the Hebrew word mirmah (meer-maw’)(here translated guile) are deceitfully, fraudulently, falsely, treacherly. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief, Prov 24:1-2.
Roof of Mouth
Generally, using the roof of the mouth is to make reference to the act of remaining silent.
As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of Elohim was upon my tabernacle; When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me; When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil; When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street! The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up. The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth. The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth, Job 29:4-10
Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of Yahweh stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face. Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house. But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house, Ezek 3:23-26.
Saying: If wisdom’s ways you widely seek, five things observe with care: of whom you speak, to whom you speak, and how, and when, and where.
One must also remember that words, once spoken, can never be recalled.
-Elder Roger G. Meyer
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