- Psalm 122:6 (Photo Credit: Effie-Alean Gross, 2007)
Since I was a teenager, I have been fascinated with language. My girlfriends and I made up a code language, using “i-b” after the first consonant of each syllable in a word. We got pretty good at speaking “our language.” In high school I took Latin, for a time, and later, I studied French. Then, upon visiting the Holy Land in 1999, I determined to learn Hebrew.
Before you think I’m multi-lingual, let me assure you that I never mastered any of the afore-mentioned tongues. Even after two additional trips to Israel (2003 and 2007), I can’t claim more than a few words in my Hebrew vocabulary. As for English, I’m still learning even after earning a master’s degree and teaching the subject.
Interestingly enough, at Jewish Roots Bible Class last night, I discovered that I can compensate for what I don’t know about the official language of Israel. I learned how to breathe in Hebrew. Quite remarkable. You see, I was taught to pray the names of G-d in Hebrew. If you want to be blessed in this way, here’s the Top Ten list.
- Elohim: The one true God; most high God (Ps. 7:9-11).
- El Shaddai: God almighty (Job 11:7; 33:4; 34:10).
- YHVH–LORD/Adonai Avinu (The LORD our Father): The unutterable name of God; He was, He is, He will be (Ex. 3:14, 15).
- Jehovah Jirrah: The Lord will provide ( Gen. 22:13).
- Jehovah Rapha: The God who heals (Ps. 147:3).
- Jehovah Nissi: The Lord is my banner, my miracle (Ex. 17:15).
- Jehovah Shalom: The Lord is my peace (Judges 6:22-24).
- Jehovah Raah: The Lord is my Shepherd, my guide and leader (Ps. 23).
- Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord is our Righteousness (Jer. 23:6 ff).
- Jehovah Shamah: The Lord is there (Ez. 48:35).
When we breathe the Hebrew names of God, we speak (inaudibly) His very character. Of course, we can say His name, too, with a little practice. Understanding the magnitude of God, increases our faith.
Now I believe that the next time I hear the Hebrew word, “ken,” , I won’t think that my eldest son is being paged. Ken means “yes.”
The next prayer I breathe in Hebrew will be, “Ken, Adonai.” Yes, LORD.
Won’t you breathe with me? Inhale. Exhale the names of G-d. He is our all-in-all!
Oh, yes, in case you’re wondering or confused, Kilroy was absent “in the beginning” when YHVH created all things inscribed by Kilroy.
PS–Todah! (Thank you) Richard Toviah, Jewish believer in Messiah Jesus, for the Bible teaching in Fountain Hills, AZ.