Stimulating Spiritual Hunger 4

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For our fourth spiritual exercise, we are going to be learning to use Blue Letter Bible, a website that will allow you to dig deeper into Greek and Hebrew words without going to seminary. There is also an app, downloadable onto your phone, but my instructions below will be for using Blue Letter Bible from the website, as I have found it to be a richer experience.


Start with a verse that has especially struck a chord with your heart.


“When my anxious thoughts multiply with me, Thy consolations delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)


The home page of Blue Letter Bible will immediately open two large search boxes on the right side of your screen. One is for searching by verse or word. The other is a drop down box for your preferred version. 


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Pressing search will bring up your verse at the top of the screen, along with any additional verses in that chapter. 


Hover your cursor over the “tools” button, to the left of the verse. Immediately, you should find a drop-down box including lots of options. Let’s explore the top one first: interlinear


Clicking this tool, automatically allows you to see the verse in its original language. Look at the center column, under the Word “Strong’s”. This taps you into Dr. James Strong’s Concordance, first published in 1890. 


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If the number begins with an “H”, then the word was originally in Hebrew. If a “G”, then you are in the New Testament, which was written in Greek. 


Note that not every single English word has a number beside it. Sometimes, Hebrew or Greek thoughts were conveyed within a single word. This is true of Psalm 94:19. In fact, if you look closely, you will notice that the first two Strong’s numbers are the same. 


Click on the first one (H8312). In the resulting frame, you will find the ability to hear the Word pronounced for you in Hebrew as well as check out the root word (etymology)


Skim down to the section “outline of Biblical usage”. This is your basic definition of the word.

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Scrolling down to the bottom of the page will allow you to see how many times this same word is used in the Hebrew Bible. It’s interesting that “sar’aph” is only used in two verses, and both times the word is doubled within the verse. This would probably lead me to a Google search of “why Hebrew words are doubled” or something along that line. In Chinese, I know that doubling a word gives it special emphasis in a sentence. 

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Click your back arrow, to take you to your initial interlinear. Now, let’s click on the next number: H7230. It’s the one beside the English word “multiply“. 


Hover over the root word. The words pop up without actually clicking on it.  “Are many, are multiplied….ten thousands” are some of the definitions that this word “multiply” comes from. 


Skim over the “outline of Biblical usage” for more insight before looking at the “Genenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon”. Sometimes, you will find your actual verse referenced within the lexicon, giving you specific insight into its meaning. 


Check out other verses where this word is used. Any insights there? 


As I look over the largeness and abundance of this word, I have a little more understanding into why the Psalmist possibly doubled the word “thoughts”. Haven’t you had an experience in which you can’t keep the thoughts from coming? The overwhelming sense in which they loop over and again within you? Thoughts, thoughts and more thoughts? All abundantly filling up your inmost being (H7130  – the next word in your verse). 


Often, I open a blank Word document in another screen. At the top I cut and paste the whole verse, then underneath, I copy any word within the verse that holds special meaning. Here is an example.


“When my anxious thoughts multiply with me, Thy consolations delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)


–When my anxious thoughts – H8312 “saraph” (noun) – disquieting thoughts


–multiply – H7230 “rob” (noun) – multitude, abundant, greatness


–within – H7130 “qereb” (noun) – inward part, as seat of thought and emotion


And so on. When I have outlined each word, I then take the new meanings and jot down an amplified version that helps me understand a bit better. 


Not only does this allow you to mediate upon God’s Word in a fresh way, it also stimulates nuances of meaning hidden away in the original language. 


Now, on to your assignment. Ask the Father to direct you to a verse or passage. Spend 30 minutes or so chewing on His Truth using this new tool. Then share new insights with us here as to what He reveals. 



For a tutorial on how to manipulate Blue Letter Bible, I’ve found this great video.

Here’s one for how to use the Blue Letter app.

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