The Berean Expositor
Volume 39 - Page 98 of 234
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In the wisdom of God, Nebuchadnezzar not only demanded of his wise men the
interpretation of the dram that troubled him, but a revelation of the dream itself, and this
illustrates the utter failure of the wisdom of this world to reveal the truth of God. If
human wisdom had been capable, then "the magicians, and the astrologers, and the
sorcerers and the Chaldees" (Dan. 2: 2), "the wise men, the soothsayers" (Dan. 2: 27;
5: 7), "the star gazers and the monthly prognosticators" (Isa. 47: 13) should have been
sufficient. But all was in vain. It is the testimony of Daniel that "there is a God in
heaven that revealeth secrets" (Dan. 2: 28).
In the A.V. we read:
"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed
belong unto us and to our children for ever" (Deut. 29: 29).
While this makes good sense, this translation does not express the meaning of the
original. Rotherham has the following footnote here:
"A very ancient official document . . . . . has dots (denoting spuriousness) upon the
words Yahweh our God. `When these are cancelled', says Dr. Ginsburg, `we obtain the
sense--"The secret things and the revealed things belong to us and to our children for
ever if we do all the words of the Law".' That is, the secret things, or the doctrines which
have not as yet been revealed (comp. Deut. 31: 11-14), belong to us and our children, or
will be disclosed to us. It is remarkable that Rashi already expresses the opinion that the
words L'YHWH ELOHENU, To the Lord our God, ought to have been pointed, but
reverence for the Divine name prevented its being done" (G. Intro., p. 318, 321, 330).
Readers of the Companion Bible will find fuller explanation in Appendix 31.
Throughout the Bible, it is God that speaks, it is His Word that is recorded, and it is
unnecessary just here to occupy space and time attempting to "prove" that which is the
accepted basis of all our teaching. God is the Revealer, and the Scriptures are the record
of that revelation. We pass therefore to the essential meaning of revelation and what the
term implies.
What is Revelation? What does it imply? First let us acquaint ourselves with the
Hebrew word employed. It is galah, and to the uninitiated it is rather bewildering to
discover that the same word, in the same construction of the verb, means "to reveal" and
"to carry away captive". This phenomenon usually indicates that there is a common root
lying behind these two concepts which, once seen, makes all clear. The primary meaning
of galah is "to uncover, especially to uncover and expose nakedness" (Lev. 20: 11-21).
When a people are deported and carried into captivity the land that is left is conceived of
as being "naked" or "uncovered". The act of revealing anything is expressed in opening
the ear (Job 33: 16; I Sam. 20: 12; II Sam. 7: 27 margin) or opening the eye
(Job 36: 15; Numb. 24: 4) where in each case the true reading is "to uncover the
ear, or the eye". Gesenius says galah means "to be naked . . . . . especially used of the ear
by taking away the hair; of the face by taking away a veil".