Untangling Hebrew

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Hebrew Word of the Day

ברוך הבא
Welcome to Hebrew! We will derive our Hebrew word for the day from this week's parasha portion, לך לך (Lech L'cha- Get yourself out)

Genesis 12:1 "Now Adonai said to Avram, 'Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you.' " (CJB)

-birthplace, native country, lineage, kinsmen
מולדת derives from the root ילד (yalad) - give birth, or beget.
ילד is also the root for ילד (yeled) -boy- and ילדה (yaldah) -girl.

God calls Avram to get away from his family and background. Terach his father began the journey out of Ur, but never reached his goal of Canaan. (Gen. 11:31) Did God originally call the whole family, only to see them stay in Haran? At any rate, God specifically tells Avram, "Get yourself out of there!" and only Avram and Lot enter into Canaan. God calls Avram to leave his 'moledet' behind because He intends to make of this man a new nation and a new lineage on the earth.

What about Lot? Should Avram have brought him along? God told Avram to leave everyone in his family behind. Lot was indeed also blessed and ended up fathering two nations himself, but Avram had to rescue Lot from death twice. Lot did not help the people around him or soften their hearts towards God; rather the reverse occured. Lot lost everything he had had when he left Avram, and the nations he fathered were the result of incest. (see Gen. 19:30-38)

This word is also used of the Moabitess Ruth in Ruth 2:11- "...you left your father and your mother and the land you were born in (מולדת moledet) to come to a people about whom you knew nothing beforehand." (CJB) Ruth, of course, ends up being the matriarch of the Messianic line. And realize also that she came from Moab, who was one of Lot's sons.


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