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HYPOTHESIS: What does Hebrew word "shaphael" mean ?
INTRODUCTION: Reading our Bibles can be confusing with translations. The word "shaphael" often is translated by King James as "humble". We already have a "humble" word in Hebrew, the word "aniy" which is often translated as "afflicted", and from a human frame of reference , "aniy" does mean "afflicted".
We can prove one is on the right track, when you study the contrast in poetry parallels with "pride" which means to be "high" against "shaphael" which means to be "low". Let's not spoil your fun. On with the study. Shalom
METHOD: All verses in Scripture are studied. The Greek word "tapeinoo" is the translated word of Hebrew word "shaphael".
CONCLUSION: The word "shaphael" means to be "low". The picture is a similar idea to what we would also consider as humble.
PICTURE: low Strongs 8217
The meaning in ancient Hebrew is "pressed" "mouth" "authority".
PERSONAL APPLICATION: In modern English slang the Hebrew word "shaphael" means to "watch your mouth" or "bit your lip". If pride means "walking strong" Shaphael means "walking softly" or being "careful in what you say" to others. The idea is being careful with who you tread on, keeping your mind subordinate to the authority of others, Learning to have respect for other people, rather than yourself all the time.
I don't mind one translating the word "shaphael" as "humble". The other problem with this is we remove the Bible definition of "humble", "The watching eye looks out for people with active hands". So in Scripture being "humble" means to be a "brother's keeper".
Ge 4:9 ¶ And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
This classic line of Cain shows an interesting phrase. Cain become proud. Pride causes relationships to break apart. So Cain opinion of himself rose higher and higher, until He considered himself above Abel, and above God, in terms of relationship. Instead of watching out for his brother Abel, Cain was his brother's controller. Proud people love to control others, especially those who are humble. So the humble become afflicted, while the proud lord over them. The reason for this is because proud people have no control over the relationships in their own lives, hence they control the relationships of others. And by controlling them, they also destroy them. Thus proud people make for abusive relationships in one form or another. You will find proud people always talk about themselves. The reason for this is because, they cannot master their own relationship to themselves , so they master other people around instead, so the words they use talking about others, is really the talking they want to achieve with themselves. So it's relatively easy to know what problems a proud person has, just let them speak. They talk about themselves, using other people relationships they know as their sounding board, or scap-goat. The word "shaphael" than, is important here, because the "proud" need to be lowered in their estimation of themselves. The first and only sin that keeps us from heaven, is "pride". From a human viewpoint, pride is the most difficult to remove, because we do not understand the relationship we have to ourselves, and where our self-power comes from. And until we reach the "end of our rope" or become "lowered" enough, do we than understand our self-power is vanity, a chasing after the wind.
Ec 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity
Solomon is a good character to study. He went through humans stages of humility, pride and humility again. He had to be "lowered" "shaphael" again by God, and learn to remove the human pride again from his life. Much of his pride came while a disciple to Jesus. He thought by marrying other women from different lands, that he might witness to them and convert them. A noble idea. But it was a rising of relationship against God, not a lowing of relationship with God, and in time the women and their culture, he married into, corrupted Solomon. May God bless out understanding of ourselves, so we may ourselves low in our own eyes, so God can talk to us and we will listen and obey. May we hear the still small voice of Jesus talking to us in our mind. Shalom
DISCUSSION: There are 28 verses to study in all.
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