Learning Biblical Hebrew
7/28/12 at 04:49 PM 0 Comments

One metaphor about water

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Whenever I want to go on a journey or a trip I think about the words of Jeremiah in the beginning of his prophecy. Jeremiah 2 is a journey that starts in the wilderness and ends with the lack of water for the people of Israel. The first 13 verses of this chapter describe this journey with the metaphor of the groom as G-d and the bride as the people of Israel. Let us see these verses:

" וַיְהִי דְבַר-יְהוָה, אֵלַי לֵאמֹר. הָלֹךְ וְקָרָאתָ בְאָזְנֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם לֵאמֹר, כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, זָכַרְתִּי לָךְ חֶסֶד נְעוּרַיִךְ, אַהֲבַת כְּלוּלֹתָיִךְ--לֶכְתֵּךְ אַחֲרַי בַּמִּדְבָּר, בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא זְרוּעָה. קֹדֶשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל לַיהוָה, רֵאשִׁית תְּבוּאָתֹה; כָּל-אֹכְלָיו יֶאְשָׁמוּ, רָעָה תָּבֹא אֲלֵיהֶם נְאֻם-יְהוָה."

"Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord," I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown.“Israel was holy to the Lord, The first of His harvest. All who ate of it became guilty; Evil came upon them,” declares the Lord.’”

If this journey started so well, what happened on the way? Why couldn’t the Israelites say thanks to their G-d and then replaced him with nothing (hevel in Hebrew)?

In my opinion the answer to this question is found in verse 13. This verse can show us the difference between a river that gives water all year round and the well and a cistern where water is not found as written:

" כִּי-שְׁתַּיִם רָעוֹת, עָשָׂה עַמִּי: אֹתִי עָזְבוּ מְקוֹר מַיִם חַיִּים, לַחְצֹב לָהֶם בֹּארוֹת--בֹּארֹת נִשְׁבָּרִים, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָכִלוּ הַמָּיִם"

"“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns,Broken cisterns that can hold no water."

We all need the water in order to survive - to take a shower, to drink, to wash the dishes and more. However, the basic meaning of water is believing in G-d. He is the only source of water in this world and not a broken well.

What do you think about this metaphor? Share your thought with us here and on our Facebook fan page!

Have a blessed week, Eli

Hebrew-Transcription-Translation

חֶסֶד-chesed-Grace, Kindness

בַּמִּדְבָּר-bammidbār-In the wilderness

מַיִם-mayim- Water

נִשְׁבָּרִים-nišbārim-Broken

רָעָה-rā'āh-Evil

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