Hebrew Highlights 37 - KISSES
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
SOL 1:1-2 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's. "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.
The Song of Songs, as I have mentioned before on Hebrew Highlights, is a picture of the intimate love between Messiah Yeshua and His bride, Israel and the church. It seems interesting to me that this book should begin with a kiss. It is a reminder of the close relationship between us and our savior. If we feel uncomfortable with this verse, perhaps we are not as familiar with Him as we should be. Maybe we can picture Yeshua running up and greeting us with a kiss on the forehead. But on the mouth? Well, I would assume that most wives would feel that a kiss from their husband on the forehead is a little less than satisfactory.
The word for kiss in Hebrew, “neshika” has an interesting cousin built from the same root. The word “neshek”, means weapon, as used in
JOB 20:24, "He may flee from the iron weapon, But the bronze bow will pierce him.
Can there possibly be a connection between a kiss and a weapon? Now please understand that there isn’t always such a link between words with a common root, but it makes for fascinating study to research such associations.
In this case, kisses and weapons do seem related in a couple of verses. Let’s look for instance at PRO 27:6. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” This well-known proverb points out that our friends, by telling us the truth, may seem to be wounding us temporarily, but in the long run, mean to help us. On the other hand, our enemies may compliment us, or shower gifts on us, or literally kiss us, while actually having ulterior motives. You may have heard someone say “beware of prophets of doom”, when actually, we may need to be more wary of prophets of flattery.
When Judas decided to betray his master, his method was pre-meditated. Our Lord’s enemies knew just who to look for, as we see in
LUK 22:48. “But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
Actually, I don’t think Yeshua was at all surprised when His disciple-gone-astray came up to kiss him. This may have been a normal greeting among the group of 12. It was the fact that this familiar kiss was used as a weapon against Him which disappointed Him the most. It was as if Judas was saying, “Here is my groom, my husband, my beloved. Take Him away and do what you will.” Can you possibly imagine the hurt suffered by the Master, who had spent so much love and teaching on this disciple.
Now, if a kiss is a weapon, it has, as all armaments, two possible uses. One, for harm, and the second, for defense. In fact, many peoples keep weapons only as a matter of a deterrent. They hope to never use them offensively. Maybe this is why Paul, in 4 of his letters, exhorts us to greet one another with a “holy kiss”.
If for instance I find myself grumbling inside about a particular brother or sister, and then when I next encounter them, they approach me with a warm handshake, and sincere hug, or indeed, a holy kiss, I am completely disarmed. Anything I had to say has been melted away by their secret defensive weapon.
In 1PE 5:14, the apostle Peter concurs with his brother by saying, “Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.” Let me quickly point out that the word here for love is “Agape”, or Godly love. We should probably reserve our “Kisses on the mouth” for our earthly spouses, and our heavenly groom.
Our loving relationships in the body of Messiah keep the enemy at bay, and bring peace to all who are a part thereof.
So, I send you an Agape kiss and bid you Peace, Shalom, from Jerusalem.