[b-hebrew] Collecting Wow stories

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Sun Jun 18 23:30:52 EDT 2006


Thanks for a great question, and all the answers.

I have many wows. Here are 2, one weird, and the other less so.

1. The faces of Lehabim: The first time I came up with an original
translation for a word of the Bible was in 1992. The Lord was very living to
me at this time. During the 1st Gulf War (January '91), a brother in the
Lord had called me and said that he couldn't sleep. He opened the Bible and
turned by chance to Isaiah 13. He said that the Lord told him that this was
what He was doing now.
I had already been toying with the idea that Isa 13 was being fulfilled by
the 1st Gulf War, but only toying because my church didn't get into things
like that. I started going over it phrase by phrase & word by word in
English translations. Most words fit, but some did not. I prayed over every
phrase that did not fit, and the Lord would reveal to me how it fit. From
this I felt that then-President George H. W. Bush was the man more precious
than gold in verse 12, who would give the command to rebuild the Temple in
Jerusalem, as Cyrus did for the 2nd Temple. 
I was disappointed when Bush lost the 1992 election to Clinton. I went over
Isa. 13 again word by word in English, but still every word fit. Then I
thought to check it in the reverse way. I made a list of the striking or
significant events of the 1st Gulf war, in order, and tested to see if these
events were all in Isa. 13 in order. The scud attacks on Israel did not seem
to be there in Isa 13. I said, Lord, how could You not care enough about
Your people to not include the scud attacks on them? Surely, if this chapter
was about the Gulf War, You would have included the scud attacks on Israel
in it. Right away verse 13 came to me, "Therefore I will shake the heavens,
and the earth shall remove out of her place." I studied that in Hebrew, and
I said, Lord, that is too ambiguous. It could refer to the bombs dropped on
Iraq. Then right away part of verse 8 came to me, "A man shall look at his
neighbor and be amazed because their faces ". I understood that to mean the
Israelis getting together with their neighbors in their sealed shelters,
looking at one another in amazement because of the gas masks on their faces.
But I knew that the rest of the verse said, "because their faces were faces
of flames". I said, Lord, if that refers to the Israelis wearing gas masks,
then that Hebrew word must not mean flames. I checked in Hebrew, and the
word was Lehabim, which is used in 2 other places in the Bible. In the other
2 places, it is the name of a nation. But why would faces of Lehabim be
amazing? My Bible dictionary said that the Lehabim were today called the
Tuaregs. I checked out a book on the Tuaregs from the public library, and
was amazed to find, "The thing that at once distinguishes the Tuareg from
every other people in the world is the veil worn by the men. ... He may
never remove his veil ... either by day or by night. ... All eating and
drinking goes on behind the veil. ... Does she [the wife] never behold her
husband's face? The short answer is: No, she never does. ... The first
reports of veiled men in the Sahara derive from Arab historians of about
A.D. 300, which suggests that the wearing of the veil is a very old custom
indeed among the Tuareg." (Peter Fuchs, The Land of Veiled Men)
Also flames do not have faces, but people do.

Then what about verse 12 and ex-President G.H.W. Bush being the man more
precious than gold? Upon closer examination of the verse, the verse could
refer to 1 person (as it did with Cyrus) or 2 people: "I will make a man
more precious than fine gold and a human [adam] more than the gold of
Africa." The first man was G.H.W. Bush for releasing the Jewish captives
from the Russian empire (as Cyrus did from the Babylonian) and the second
person is an African-American leader who will give the command to rebuild
the Temple in Jerusalem (as did Cyrus).

2. Acrostic Psalms: I have memorized many Psalms in English, but the ones
easiest to retain are the acrostic (alphabetic) ones because the Hebrew
alphabet reminds me of what verse comes next. I believe the reason for some
Psalms being acrostic is to make it easy for God's people, even older ones
like me, to memorize and retain.

Psalm 25, "Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul" is the 1st clearly
acrostic Psalm in the Bible. It is missing 2 letters, Waw and Qoph, and has
one letter repeated twice, Resh. This shows the Psalm, though wonderful, is
still short of something and is too much in something. The last verse is
extra, and is not part of the acrostic.

The next acrostic Psalm is Psalm 34 "when David changed his behavior before
Abimelech". This Psalm is nearly identical in structure to Psalm 25. It is
missing only one letter, the Waw, which is one of the 2 letters missing from
Psalm 25. As in Psalm 25, the last verse of Ps 34 is not part of the
acrostic.
The verse in Ps 34 for the letter Qoph, which is the other missing letter
from Ps 25, is "The Lord is near to a broken heart and saves such as be of a
contrite spirit." This is one of the missing ingredients of Psalm 25. In Ps
25 the person is not near to the Lord, but is lifting up his soul to the
Lord in order to become near to the Lord. In Ps 34, the person is already
near the Lord. This made me love Ps 25 even more, because that is usually
what I need, to get near to the Lord. I made a song out of Ps 25 in English
and sing it many mornings, especially on the way to work.

-Steve Miller
Detroit 




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