Hebrew Highlights 97 Peace on Earth
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
Recently I was rereading the story of Yeshua’s birth in the Book of Luke. As I perused my New American Standard Bible, something stuck out as differing to the King James Version, which I grew up with. See if you notice it.
LUK 2:8-14, “And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. "And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
That’s right, verse 14 differs tremendously from the King James Version, which says, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Well, after a lot of research, I’ve come to the conclusion that once again, the NASB has triumphed, and is also in agreement with the Hebrew New Testament.
The Greek word in question is EudoKi’a. It is a descriptive form, which speaks of the word, which precedes it; in this case, “anthropos”, or simply put, “man”.
Hang in there with me while I try to tie up this technical thread. The Hebrew version of Luke 2:14 says “b’nei adam retsono”, or men of His will. Indeed, the Greek “EudoKi’a” is used to translate “His will” from the Hebrew “ratsono” in PSA 103:20-21, “Bless the Lord, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will.”
It is also used again in the New Testament in a very familiar passage, LUK 3:21-22, “Now it came about when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also was baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased."
Here, we could make a sort of amplified version, and say “Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee, I have found one who will carry out my will and desire.”
Well, getting back to our original verse, God has promised “peace among men with whom He is pleased."
My question is this, “As you go about preparing for Christmas, do you know God is pleased with you?” If so, you should have a blessed holiday indeed. If however, you have found yourself shopping, wrapping, and baking in stress, maybe your focus has been on the mess, and not on the Messiah.
Yeshua’s coming to the world is such a wonderful, magnificent, and miraculous happening. It would be a real shame to spend our entire Christmas season indulging ourselves IN ourselves.
2TH 1:11 again uses the word in our study today, “To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power.”
Are you “willing” goodness and works of faith into your life this season?
Want a few suggestions? How about inviting someone to join your family for Christmas dinner whom you know is unlikely to be invited by someone else?
How about passing on one of your many Christmas gifts to someone in real need? How many new sweaters can you wear anyway?
You could just simply say to the person in line with you at Wal-mart, “Merry Christmas. Isn’t Jesus wonderful?” Be prepared to carry on the conversion, listening for an opportunity to bring healing and joy.
Even though the weather is cold, you might want to roll down your car window and bless a policeman or city street cleaner by thanking them for their hard work.
Obviously, the possibilities for bringing a little Christmas cheer are endless. Remember, you are Yeshua’s arms and legs here on this earth. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this year the angels could proclaim, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased, as they carry His message by their words and deeds."
May you have a merry, blessed, and unselfish Christmas.
Shalom, shalom from the Land of Yeshua’s birth.