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"The House of Jacob shall Possess their Possessions"
Peace as a
result of Righteousness, and its realization.
pp. 89, 90
We have considered the meaning of the word `possess' and seen the symbolism
intended in the `treading with the sole of the foot'. Let us now take a survey of our
blessings, and see how far we have `possessed' them. Before leaving the picturesque
background of O.T. story and of the Hebrew language for the more precise doctrinal
language of the N.T. and the Greek, we may profit by pondering one or two passages
which illustrate or demand the application of the principle we are examining.
In Isa. 32: we read:
"And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in
quiet resting places" (Isa. 32: 18).
What a delightful prospect these words bring before the mind, especially today when
we see the awful results of unrest all around us. The dwelling here contemplated is not
the temporary and transitory life in tent or caravan that is indicated by shaken, it is rather
that dwelling, which is indicated by the Hebrew yashab, which means primarily `to sit'.
"They shall not build, and another inhabit (yashab) . . . . . Mine elect shall long enjoy
the work of their hands" (Isa. 65: 22).
In one form of the verb, yashab is translated `inhabitant' 25 times in Isaiah alone.
These `habitations' are not only peaceable, they are `sure'. The word thus translated
comes from batach which means `to confide', `to have confidence'. Batach is translated
`trust' more frequently than by any other word, and we give the following references in
Isaiah as examples (Isa. 26: 4-7; 26: 3, 4; 12: 2; 50: 10). Betach the substantive
occurs in three passages in Isaiah:
"The needy shall lie down in safety" (14: 30).
"Quietness and assurance for ever" (32: 17).
"Thou that . . . . . dwellest carelessly" (47: 8).
In the third place, these peaceable dwellings are called "Quiet resting places". The
word here translated `resting place' is menuchah, and is a word full of meaning.
It is the word used in Numb. 10: 33 where we read how the Ark of the covenant went
before Israel in the `three days' journey (suggestive of resurrection) "to search out a
resting place for them". It was the word used by Naomi in her advice to Ruth to return
to Moab, marry and find a home (Ruth 1: 9). It provides us with the "still" waters of
Psa. 23: (margin waters of quietness). Such are some of the blessed attributes of this
`peaceable dwelling'. The reader may, however, be moved to ask how all this, good as it
may be, finds a place in a series confessedly devoted to the idea of `possessing our