The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 105 of 249
Index | Zoom
his is foreign to modern thought, but if the reader can put himself in spirit back into O.T.
times, the aptness of the figure will be appreciated.
The Greek equivalent to zakar is mnaomai.  This Greek verb has two meanings:
(1) to woo, to court, to sue for, and to solicit (Matt. 1: 18) and (2) to think, and to
remember. In all probability they were originally one in meaning, for there is not a great
distance between thinking much of a thing, and trying to get it. In the Epic and the Ionic
dialects mnaomai was used in both significations, but later mimneskomai was confined to
"thinking" or "remembering" while mnaomai was used exclusively of "wooing" or
"soliciting".  This note may be necessary, as students who consult Dr. Bullinger's
Lexicon will not find mnaomai in the body of the book, a note in the Greek and English
Index reading mnaomai, see mimnesko. Mnaomai suggests the sequence re-mind,
re-collect and re-member, and is found in the Greek N.T. in about nineteen or twenty
forms and combinations. Mnemonics is an English word derived from this Greek root,
and means "the act of memory; the principles and rules of some method to assist the
memory". In this category we must place the Acrostic Psalms, of which Psa. 119: is an
outstanding example. While it is evident that amnesia (a word used to indicate loss of
memory), is derived from this same Greek root, it may not be so generally known that an
"amnesty" is also from the same, and means "an act of oblivion".
"The past shall be covered with a general amnesty" (Macaulay).
It will not serve our purpose to quote every occurrence of the twenty forms of
mnaomai, but there are a number that have to do with the understanding, or the attaining
to meaning, that must be recorded. The place that memory plays in arriving at meaning
and truth is plainly indicated in the promise of the Comforter:
"He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I
have said unto you" (John 14: 26).
"These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I
told you of them" (John 16: 4).
Earlier in John's Gospel the part that memory plays is suggested in the language of
chapter 2: 17 and 22.
"And His disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of Thine house hath eaten
Me up."
In arriving at an understanding of the Saviour's meaning, when He "spake of the
temple of His body" memory played a part for the passage continues:
"When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had
said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said"
(John 2: 22).
Again in connexion with the ride into Jerusalem we read: