Monday, August 1, 2011

Ark תבה-Tevah

Did you know that there is one unique Hebrew word that contextually speaking only appears twice in the entire Jewish Bible? What is also fascinating is that the word is used in exactly the same sense in both contexts. The word I am referring to is TEVAH. It means “ark” and appears in the following two parts of the Bible.

“So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark (tevah) of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.”-Genesis 6:13-14


“And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark (tevah) of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark (tevah) among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of then water.”-Exodus 2:2-6 and 10

The first text is G-d’s admonition to Noah to build an Ark so that he and his family may escape the great flood that is to come on the earth and the second one depicts a mother saving the baby Moses from Egyptian persecution as the ruling pharaoh had at that time issued an edict that all Hebrew babies were to be killed. Since the first Bible came into printing, these stories have likely been narrated in millions upon millions of Sunday school classes over the years.

For the Exodus text, I am aware that in other translations, “ark” is sometimes translated into the word “basket”. Nevertheless, the original Hebrew word is “tevah”, which means ark and given the spiritual significance involved, I think the same word should be used. That is why I have purposely used the King James Version here.

So in reference to “ark” or “tevah”, what spiritual lesson can we glean from the above two texts? It is very simple. In both cases, G-d has prepared a divine means of escape for His chosen people from impending disaster, regardless of whether the calamity is brought about by the L-rd Himself or is the result of persecution from G-d’s enemies. This should be a great relief to us! If we will only trust G-d and obey Him, He will provide a means of escape. There will be a way out no matter how hopeless the situation. However, we have to listen to Him and heed His warnings.

So in these last days, what is our TEVAH? What can we rely on 100% to rescue us from our worries and problems as well as the great destruction that is to come upon the earth, most likely soon. Of course, the answer is Jesus, our L-rd and Savior.

L-rd, in the coming days ahead, let us not rely on money or the schemes of other people to save us. Let us rely on the Your Holy Anointed One. L-rd, please strengthen our faith.


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