The Berean Expositor
Volume 40 - Page 148 of 254
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The words of Jehovah are pure words.
As silver tried in a furnace:
(Words) pertaining to the earth
Purified seven times.
The word `of' in the phrase `words of earth' is the Hebrew lamed which is the sign of
the dative `to' not the genitive `of'.
The meaning of this verse appears to be, that though the words used by the Lord in
making known His will to man must necessarily be words that `pertain to the earth', yet
such is His grace and power, these words have been used with such discretion and with
such precision that they are like silver purified to perfection. While therefore, in our
dealing with the Scriptures we are dealing with the Hebrew and the Greek language, and
are not permitted to take any liberties with its grammar, its vocabulary or its syntax
(syntax refers to the disposition of the words in a sentence; grammar deals with the
actual words themselves as to whether they be nouns, verbs, etc., and the various changes
that must be made in order to express number, gender, case, etc.), yet we are encouraged
in our search and emboldened in our trust by the consciousness that these words of earth
have been purified seven times, so that without reserve we may believe all that they
legitimately mean.
There are one or two other references that speak of the fact that the word of God has
been `tried' or `refined':
"The word of the LORD is tried (margin refined)" (II Sam. 22: 31; Psa. 18: 30).
"Thy word is very pure (margin tried or refined)" (Psa. 119: 140).
"Every word of God is pure (margin purified)" (Prov. 30: 5).
It is objected by some that it is not the sign of great spirituality to be concerned about
`mere words'. True, `mere words' may be a barren field, but the pure, trued, refined
words used by God demand the highest spiritual powers for their appreciation. There are
few who would question the sincerity of Melancthon, friend and helper of Luther. He
"Scripture cannot be understood theologically unless it has already been understood
(Scriptura non poset intelligi theologice, nise antea sit intellecti grammatice).
Sawyer says:
"We cannot believe any further than we understand the true meaning of the divine
If a sentence were to be printed here from the original Hebrew or Greek of the
Scriptures, and the reader be unacquainted with those languages, although these words
would be the words used by inspiration and full of life and peace, they would be `mere
words' apart from understanding, and valueless to faith.