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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Words

By Jeff A. Benner


I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (KJV, Psalm 40:8)

The word translated “heart” in this verse is not the Hebrew word לב (lev, Strong's #3820), which means “heart,” but מעה (meyah, Strong's #4578), which means “gut” or “abdomen.” When King David wrote ותורתך בתוך מעי (v’torat’kha betokh mey’ai / your torah is within my guts) he was expressing a very concrete perception of God’s torah (a Hebrew word meaning “teachings,” not “law”). Have you ever been so excited about something that your guts moved or churned? David was so excited about God’s torah that it caused his guts to move. This is the feeling that Job had when he said “My guts boiled” (Job 30:27). Do our guts churn when we hear the teachings of God like David did?

We often use the expression “I had a ‘gut’ feeling” and refer to a thought that does not come from the mind, but from deep down in our subconscious, the gut. I am of the opinion that these “gut” feelings are sometimes God speaking to us, but our heart and mind (actually in Hebraic thought the mind is in the heart, not the brain) are our own thoughts that cloud over what God is speaking.

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