As we begin the New Year with, hopefully, a determination to be students of Scripture, I want to share one of my favorite verses with you:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
When I memorized this verse years ago as a new Christian I focused on the word meditate which I naturally assumed meant get in a quiet place and think about the Word. So I set out to apply this text to my life by pondering a little of the Bible every day. Certainly that’s a worthy and rewarding habit, but is that precisely what the Hebrew word translated meditate means?
Let’s use a Logos Guide to help answer the question:
- Open an English Bible containing the reverse interlinear option such as the ESV, NASB, LEB, or NKJV (A)
- Navigate to Joshua 1:8 (B)
- Right click on the word mediate (C)
- Select the lemma from the right side of the Context menu (D)
- Select Bible Word Study from the left side of the Context menu (E)
- Look in the Lemma section at some of the glosses for the word from Hebrew dictionaries: moan, utter, speak, murmur, mutter, etc. (F)
- Notice in the Translation section various ways the lemma is translated in the English Bible such as the ESV which contains: utter, moan, mutter, tell, talk, etc. (G)
- Reread Joshua 1:8 carefully noticing the apparent contrast with a negative admonition followed by a positive one: (H)
Don’t let the Book of the Law (cease, stop, discontinue, etc.) departing from your MOUTH, but meditate (mutter, talk, utter) on it.
- Open The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) to Joshua 1:8 taking note of how the Hebrew word is translated here: (I)
This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.
Using various sections in Bible Word Study to investigate the Hebrew lemma carefully and seeing how other Bibles translate the word, we now ask ourselves, Did the Lord instruct Joshua to think about the Word or talk about the Word?
Testifying for myself, I’ve discovered if I mutter the Word to myself throughout the day, I more apt to remember it and more importantly obey it as the Lord originally instructed Joshua to do.
For additional training on Bible Word Study, as well as the many other features of Logos, consider attending a Camp Logos in 2016. Click here for our current 2016 schedule.