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Wednesday, April 18 2012

The Word Of God In The Tongues Of Man

Although many humans have pretended to lower God to human level (see Is Your Church A Cult?), or raise humans to God's level (see Is Your Religion Your Religion?), God is not a man (the Hebrew word, pronounced aw-dawm, from which the name "Adam" originated, actually referred to "man" as a species, male and female i.e. "1:27 So God created man [aw-dawm] in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" Genesis 1:27 KJV; see also The Garden In Eden). God is infinite in intelligence, in power, in knowledge and in life. As such, God's vocabulary is also infinite. The apostle John may well have been alluding to that, as well, with his "21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (John 21:25 KJV).

But the LORD (see Appearances Of The LORD God) has been communicating with humans, in human languages, or "tongues," right from the time that He created the first humans. As we will read (in the English tongue), the LORD continued to speak to, and make Himself known to, humans in all languages - all tongues.

While human dialects (i.e. different accents of the same language) may have also developed prior to the Flood, humanity developed dialects after the Flood from the families of the sons of Noah, who grew into nations.

The descendants of Japheth developed "every one after his tongue."

"10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood [see also How Did The Flood Happen? and The Voyage To The New World].

10:2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

10:3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

10:4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations." (Genesis 10:1-5 KJV)

The descendants of Ham developed "after their tongues."

After The Flood

"10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan [see also The Sin Of Canaan].

10:7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, 10:12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

10:13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, 10:14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

10:15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 10:16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 10:17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 10:18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

10:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

10:20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations." (Genesis 10:6-20 KJV)

So too, the descendants of Shem developed "after their tongues."

"10:21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

10:22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.

10:23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

10:24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

10:25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.

10:26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, 10:27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, 10:28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, 10:29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.

10:30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.

10:31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

10:32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood." (Genesis 10:21-32 KJV)

The World After The Flood

"The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and His Word was in my tongue"

It was later, in the time of the defiant "tower of Babel" that other human languages, other tongues, were created by the LORD - not so that humans couldn't understand the LORD (people of all languages surely did, as we will read), but so that they couldn't understand each other.

"11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth." (Genesis 11:1-9 KJV)

Moses was born of Israelite parents (see The River Of Moses), but he was raised in the Pharaoh's palace from the time that he was weaned. The language, tongue, where Moses grew up, was educated, and spoke, was Egyptian (the language of the then-masters), not Hebrew (the language of the then-slaves). When the LORD first spoke to Moses in the famous incident of the burning bush, would it have been in the language that Moses spoke and understood, or one that he couldn't understand as well?

Sinai

"3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian [see Moses Of Midian]: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

3:4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses.

And he said, Here am I.

3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." (Exodus 3:1-6 KJV)

It is generally and traditionally thought that Moses had some sort of speech impediment ("I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue"). But was Moses referring to a stutter (which he didn't have later), or to his then poor ability to speak Hebrew? Notice that the command was "3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt" (Exodus 3:16 KJV), then "3:18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God." (Exodus 3:18 KJV).

"4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 4:12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." (Exodus 4:10-12 KJV)

With the assistance of Aaron (as a slave, Aaron was far more likely to be fluent in his master's language than the palace-raised and resident Moses would have been in the slave language), Moses returned to Egypt to deliver the Word of God to both the Egyptians and the Hebrews. When they appeared before the Pharaoh, would the King of Egypt have reduced himself to speak in the language of his slaves, Hebrew, or would they have been required to speak to him in the official language of the king's court and nation - Egyptian? Did Moses deliver the Word of God to the Pharaoh in Hebrew, or in Egyptian? Either way, the Pharaoh "got the message."

"5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.

5:3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.

5:4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens." (Exodus 5:1-4 KJV)

King David was a Hebrew speaker, but notice how David described how the Word of the LORD was made available to him in his native language, David's native tongue i.e. "His Word was in my tongue."

"23:1 Now these be the last words of David.

David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,

23:2 The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 23:4 And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain." (2 Samuel 23:1-4 KJV)

Knowing and teaching the Word of God in one's own native tongue included the Messiah Himself. Aramaic is a member of the ancient Semitic family of languages, which includes Hebrew and Arabic (although the names are similar, Aramaic and Arabic are not the same). Originally the language of the Arameans who inhabited northwestern Mesopotamia/Syria, the various dialects of Aramaic were eventually widely used over a vast area, from Greece to India, which included Galilee in northern Israel. While He understood and could read Hebrew, Aramaic was the native and primary tongue of Jesus of Nazareth - The Messiah spoke and taught the Word of God in the Aramaic tongue (the reason that the Messiah and the apostles of Galilee could be identified by their accent when they came down to Jerusalem in Judea). Numerous teachings of the Messiah were spoken in His native Aramaic, not in Hebrew. Some well-known examples:

Sermon

"1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas [Note: Cephas is an Aramaic name, Peter is a Greek name], which is by interpretation [i.e. from Aramaic], A stone." (John 1:42 KJV)

"14:36 And he said, Abba, Father [the Messiah prayed to God with the Aramaic word for Father], all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt." (Mark 14:36 KJV)

"15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? [the Messiah cried out to God in Aramaic] which is, being interpreted [from Aramaic], My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34 KJV)

"20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni [which is Aramaic; "Rabbi" is Hebrew]; which is to say, Master." (John 20:16 KJV)

The Messiah encouraged His people that when persecution came upon them, they would speak in their own normal language, whatever it is (as we will read further), but "it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you."

"10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matthew 10:16-20 KJV)

The entire purpose of the famous "speaking in tongues," which means speaking in normal, known languages (i.e. "we do hear them speak in our tongues"), is so that the Word of God may be known in all tongues of man.

"2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come [see Pentecost: Christ's First Harvest], they were all with one accord in one place. 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 2:9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 2:10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 2:11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God." (Acts 2:1-11 KJV)

The Jerusalem Pharisee Saul (see The Passed Over Pharisees) was a native Hebrew speaker, so the Word of God (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?) spoke to him in Hebrew (even though, when He was a mortal human, His native language was Aramaic).

Earth

"26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord?

And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." (Acts 26:13-18 KJV)

The entire point of taking the Gospel to the world isn't to teach people one language or another, but bring the Truth to all of humanity so that "every tongue shall confess to God."

"14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:9-12 KJV)

"Speaking in tongues" is not meaningless babbling. "Speaking in tongues" means speaking in other known languages.

"14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." (1 Corinthians 14:10-19 KJV)

"14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God." (1 Corinthians 14:27 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is the True Gospel?
See The True Gospel Of Christ


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This Day In History, April 18

1328: Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV ("Louis the Bavarian") deposed Pope John XXII in Rome in a quarrel over who had superior authority (see Emperors and Popes). Peter of Corbara was appointed anti-pope as Nicholas V (see Antipopes).

1689: British Chief Justice Judge George Jeffreys died in the Tower of London. He presided over the "Bloody Assizes" following the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685.

1834: William Lamb became Prime Minister of England.

1847: U.S. forces under General Winfield Scott attacked Mexican forces under General Santa Anna at the battle of Cerro-Gordo.

1906: A powerful earthquake struck San Francisco (then a relatively small town). It killed more than 1,000 people and left over 200,000 people homeless.

1943: While traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the planner of the attack on Pearl Harbor, was killed after the plane was shot down by U.S. P-38 fighters.

1946: The League of Nations was dissolved. It was replaced by the United Nations.

1949: The passing of the Republic of Ireland Act.

1950: The first transatlantic jet flight.

1951: France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed a treaty to establish the European Coal and Steel Community.

1954: Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser became the leader of Egypt.

1955: Albert Einstein, German-born scientist, died at age 76. He formulated the Theory of Relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921.

1974: A Washington court issued a subpoena on U.S. President Richard Nixon to produce tape recordings and other "cover-up" evidence demanded by prosecutors for their investigation of the Watergate crimes.

1996: Over 100 civilian refugees were killed by Israeli artillery that bombarded a UN compound in Qana, Lebanon.





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