Joseph said to them, “It is just as I told you: You are spies! And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” And he put them all in custody for three days.
- Genesis 42:14-17
I trained them and strengthened their arms,
but they plot evil against me.
They do not turn to the Most High;
they are like a faulty bow.
Their leaders will fall by the sword
because of their insolent words.
For this they will be ridiculed
in the land of Egypt.
- Hosea 7:15-16
In both Scriptures, I put the phrase about “words” in bold text.
Yesterday’s post talks of going to a used book sale. I lamented that no Bible Reference books were for sale, or nearly none. They had one unabridged copy of Strong’s Concordance. My bag was not big enough nor strong enough to carry it. This book was at least four inches thick, and each page was in the neighborhood of 12-14 inches high and maybe one inch less wide (11-13?). Only a bodybuilder could hold the book in one hand and flip through the pages with the other hand. No, this was a book for a lectern or pulpit, like they used for the unabridged dictionary at the old library that I visited 60 years ago. Too big for most people to lift but available for anyone willing to flip a few pages at a time.
I knew that I had a few Bibles with a concordance in the back, rarely used. I have a compact NIV Concordance also, never used. I have a few Bible dictionaries. But this was a Strong’s! Do you understand!? A Strong’s!!!
The Strong’s Concordance was entitled The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Absolutely! You could get exhausted just lifting it, maybe 25-30 pounds or more. It was written by James Strong (1822-1894). His goal was not to create a KJV word search book, as it is commonly used. No, James Strong wanted everyone to understand the origin, meaning, and translation of 8,674 Hebrew root words used in the Old Testament and 5,624 Greek root words used in the New Testament for better understanding of what the original author meant. These words were found in his concordance by going to the English word in alphabetical order, as used in the King James Version.
My brain thinks in the KJV, having memorized many verses in my youth, and more often read the KJV from cover to cover. I thought this would be an interesting addition to my library.
Just for giggles, I lifted the book with a groan and placed it onto a row of hymnals that were for sale. The table did not collapse. I flipped the outside cover open, with difficulty, along with a few hundred pages. I had flipped it to a verb. It might have been the word “gave.” The left and right sides of the facing pages of the book had the word “gave” and many of the uses of the word through the Bible. I say “many” in that there are 466 uses of the word “gave” in the Bible and as luck would have it, these two pages started with “gave” and they ended with “gave”, somewhere in the middle of the 466 entries in the book, maybe one hundred on each page.
I had not found any useful information. I had found haystacks instead of the needle.
Of course, now upon writing, how did I know that there are 466 uses of the word “gave” in the Bible? I used an online search engine. It gave me the numbers for the Bible (466), the Old Testament (330), the New Testament (136), and each book of the Bible (48 of the 66 books – a commonly used verb).
If I was to think of a verse that had the word “gave” in it and I had a rough idea of what book of the Bible, I could find it a lot easier online, as long as I had an internet connection. OR I could buy the Strong’s and risk getting a hernia trying to lift the book and search for the word.
I chuckled, closed the book, and returned it to the sales table. Maybe someone else with a stronger sense of nostalgia than I would buy it.
While I might miss many of the old ways of doing things, some may be meant to be referred to in past tense. Besides, Strong’s is available online, without the hernia.
Let us praise God for the tireless workers of the past that created such books and let us also praise God for the methods that we now have to make it a little easier to use.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.