Monday, July 14, 2008

More Hebrew word-play?

In Alma, chapter 1, in the Book of Mormon, covering events circa 90 B.C., the abridger Mormon describes the organization of the congregation of the righteous -- their shul, I suppose.

He lays emphasis on the priests imparting the "word" of God. Word in Hebrew is "dabar." And what was the effect of imparting that word? They did establish the "affairs" of the church. "Affairs, " as in business, not infidelity, is a rare word in scripture. It shows up only a handful of times. One of those times is in Psalms 112:5, which very passage Mormon seems to have had in mind. For the psalmist talks about a good man handling his affairs with discretion -- and being generous, lending to those in need.

Which is exactly what Mormon says that Nephite congregation did. (cf. Alma 1: 27).

Strong's Concordance of the Bible informs us that "affair" in Hebrew is "dabar," too, perhaps because business involves words.

So we have two instances of dabar, one leading to the other: imparting the dabar of God ... leads to the establishment of the dabar of the church.

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