The Shema‘
– the First Testament declaration of faith (2)

André H. Roosma
21 February 2012 (Dutch version: 31 Jan. 2012)

In the previous edition we observed that in the faith experience of Israel, the שׁמע - Shema‘, starting with a passage from Deuteronomy 6, played a big role.
There I paid attention to the most important word in these lines – the glorious Name of God.1

Now the first word: שׁמע - Shema‘ is worth a closer look. Anyone who ever made any study of Hebrew knows that this word is related to the Hebrew word for name: שׁם - shem. Behind it is a letter ע - ayin. Originally this was the pictographic symbol ainu: eye - ainu - eye, to see, vision.2 שׁמע - Shema‘ can therefore also be translated as ‘seeing the Name (i.e. God’s presence’! That the glorious Name of God then appears twice in the line that follows, is not a coincidence! Almost all of God’s instructions start with a reminder about that most significant Name, proclaming God’s presence with us. How could we ever bring about something good without His presence?

And we can dig a bit deeper still. The entire word שׁמע was originally written like this: shad: breasts, sourcemu: water, abundanceainu: eye, vision, to see. These symbols stand for: shad: breasts, source - breast(s), source; mu: water, abundance - water, abundance; ainu: eye, vision, to see - eye, vision, to see.
In its entirity this can be interpreted as: ‘to see the Source of water/abundance’. Who is that Source of life giving water and abundance? Only the God of the Bible and His Son Jesus Christ!

Focussing your eye on the Source of living water; the Source of abundance – a very splendid start of this creed!
It reminds me of the words of John (Jahu-chanan) the Baptist: „See, (or: Behold!) the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1: 29).

Hallelu YaH !

1 Concerning the glorious Name of God, see:
André H. Roosma, ‘The magnificent and most lovely Name of the God Who was there, Who is there, and Who will be there.pdf document, extensive Accede! / Hallelu-YaH! study, July 2009.
2 The word explanations given here are based in part on an extensive study of the oldest pictographic Bible script. See: André H. Roosma, ‘The Written Language of Abraham, Moses and David – A study of the pictographic roots and basic notions in the underlying fabric of the earliest Biblical script.pdf document, Hallelu-YaH Draft Research Report, 1st English version: 18 April 2011 (1st Dutch original: January 2011).


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This is a sequel to: The Shema‘ – the First Testament declaration of faith (1).

Next article: Part (3).

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