WORDS OF LIFE (#8) The AMEN God – ’amen (and related words ’emunah, ’aman, ’emeth)

(March 16, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, concludes his series on selected Hebrew words…

Camping on sand is not a good idea!  Even though a tent may be sound and the ropes strong, unless the pegs are hammered in securely, the tent will collapse and may even be blow away. You need, therefore, a sound piece of ground into which the pegs can be driven.

This is the thought behind Isaiah 22:23, ‘I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will be a seat of honour for the house of his father’ (NIV). Unless a nail or peg is driven into something solid and dependable, it is of little value. The Hebrew word that is translated in this verse as ‘firm’ is ’aman which means ‘to be firm’ or ‘permanent’ – we are more familiar with this word as ‘Amen.’ It is found over 100 times in the Old Testament.

The first time the word is used in the Old Testament is Genesis 15:6 which states, ‘Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.’  ‘Believed’ is the word ’aman and it not only tells us simply that Abram believed God but also tells us something about the nature of Abram’s faith in God in that it was firm and secure. The statement means so much more than the fact that Abram believed God’s promise. (more…)