Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Beautiful Words

From NJCWG member, Maude Carolan Pych

A friend came up to me at church one Sunday (She’s a woman who studies Scripture in depth and who also enjoys my poetry.) and said, “You are of the tribe of Napthali.” I asked what made her say that and she referred me to Gen 49:21: “Napthali is a doe let loose. He gives beautiful words.”

This verse comes from the “Blessing of Jacob,” the longest poem in Genesis, in which Jacob blesses each of his twelve sons with the appropriate blessing for each of them.

A few interesting points: Napthali, being a “son” of Jacob is described as a doe. The reason given by Rabbi David (I couldn’t make out his first name) on the “Hebrew Nation” website is that the female deer is swifter than the male. The rabbi also said that the Hebrew for “beautiful words” is Imrei shefer, which speak of musical ability and natural eloquence and that the word shefer is related to shofar, an instrument that may be used to issue warning and alarm.

Also, while looking at this verse online, I found that other versions translate “beautiful words” as “gives goodly words.” “John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible” says this verse looks ahead to the New Testament and refers to good tidings of good things (the Gospel). He says it points to the people of Christ’s time who were swift to run after Jesus and hear him; panted after him as the hart after the water brooks. The people who received and gave out the goodly words of the Gospel were made free and became like a hind let loose.

The verse caused me to think of the beautiful words/goodly words in Scripture that we use and write about. Here are examples:

Grace, salvation, holiness, righteousness, purity, Jesus, living water, eternity, eternal life, glory, forgiveness, resurrection, love, mercy, truth.

I’m sure you can think of more “beautiful words.” Use them as a springboard to write a prayer, a poem, an article, haiku, etc.

                                                                                    Maude Carolan Pych