Confessing the Hebrew Scriptures

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Biblical confession is about getting His Word (which, incidentally, is His will) into our hearts and spirits, for that is where faith is built. Jonathan Bernis discusses confessing the scriptures in Hebrew.

Releasing the Fullest Measure of God’s Blessing and Provision

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation — Romans 10:10

The concept of confession is an integral element of our relationship with the Lord, when properly understood. Most of us are all too familiar with the unbiblical mottos “name it and claim it” or “blab it and grab it.” The idea that we can claim or confess whatever we want and God will give it to us if we have enough faith—even when it is based on greed—is utter nonsense. Desire for massive wealth, ever-increasing possessions, and other selfish gain is not what following Yeshua (Jesus) is about.

As Lord of our lives, it should be more and more about His will and His desires, not our will. John 14:13 explains, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  This famous verse, often used to justify the “name it and claim it” crowd, actually defines how we are to ask: in His Name, which means it is consistent with His character, nature, and will, and that the Father may be glorified—not us!

That is what biblical confession is all about. It’s about getting His Word (which, incidentally, is His will) into our hearts and spirits, for that is where faith is built.

The Heart-Mouth Connection

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. —Romans 10:10

You need to grasp this biblical principle from Romans, the heart-mouth or heart-confession relationship.

The heart is where faith dwells, not the mind. Simply put, confession builds our faith: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Notice that the word hearing is mentioned twice; there is that connection between ears and spirit. Confession of God’s Word is an avenue to deposit faith in our spirits. It is the confession of the Word that releases the truth and the promises of God in our lives.

Rehearing and Rehearsing the Word of God

After Moses died, Joshua had an immense responsibility to lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. God spoke to Joshua to prepare him, to build his faith:

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” —Joshua 1:8

That word “meditate” is the Hebrew verb dbd, hagah, which literally means “to groan, sigh, mutter, or speak.” This differs from the Christian concept of meditation, which has more to do with reflection. The word meditation comes from the Latin word that means “to consider or contemplate, the process of deliberately focusing on something specific and reflecting on its meaning."

In the biblical Hebrew, there is a dual concept of meditation. First, dgiy, see-cha, which has to do with rehearing in one’s mind or thoughts (similar to the Christian concept of meditation). The other, dbd, hagah, is not reflection with the mind, but with the mouth. It is rehearsing the Word of God in speech: “to speak, talk, utter, or mutter.”

The Hebrew Dimension

God is omniscient, so confessing the Word of God in any language is going to release power and blessing. However, it is my belief that proclamation in the original Hebrew language will release the fullest measure of God’s blessing and provision.

Confessing the Scriptures in Hebrew

So, if going to the root, which is Hebrew, is the most accurate form of confession and is likely to produce the fullest measure of blessing, you may be asking yourself, “How do I do this?” After all, how many have studied Hebrew or gone to seminary?—probably only a handful of those who are reading this article.

The good news is that there is a way. This is not a new challenge. As Jews began to leave the old country at the close of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, they settled in America, and in their struggle to survive and be accepted, they began to assimilate into American culture. The use of Hebrew in prayer and Yiddish as a spoken language began to disappear. To preserve Hebrew prayer in the synagogue, a method called transliteration was employed. This simple process, which we see utilized in dictionaries, uses English letters to sound out the Hebrew words.

Let’s look at a few examples:

The Hebrew word for “peace” is qely, Shalom. While you may recognize the Hebrew word for peace from seeing it so often, most cannot read the Hebrew characters. But when we use the transliterated method, it now becomes very readable: sha•lome.

Let’s try another one, the Hebrew word for “Jerusalem,” milyexi. Most can’t read milyexi , but when we apply the transliteration method, it becomes easy: Ye•roo•sha•la•yim.

Even more complex sentences become easy to recite with a little practice. Let’s try one more example. Many of our Jewish prayers begin this way:

mlerd jln epidl` ipc` `z` jexA

Ba•ruch a•tah Ado•nai, Elo•hei•nu me•lech Ha-o•lam

“Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe”

In short order, you will be declaring these Hebrew verses like a native Hebrew speaker!

All Scripture references from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.

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