The Candle of the Lord (Alphabetic Link)
And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search (chaphash)
Jerusalem with candles (ner), and punish the men that are settled on their lees:
that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.
Zephaniah 1:12 (Spoke 14, Cycle 2)
verse is one of the most famous in Zephaniah. It led Medieval artists to frequently represent him with a
candle searching out Jerusalem. It links directly to the first Nun verse in the great Alphabetic Psalm 119:
- AV Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp (ner) unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Scripture relates this lamp to the spirit that God placed in every man using another Nun KeyWord:
- AV Proverbs 20:27 The spirit (neshamah) of man is the candle (ner) of the LORD,
searching (chaphash) all the inward parts of the belly.
The word describing the function of the candle (ner) as searching (chaphash) is
the same as that in Zephaniah 1:12. It differs only in its first Letter from the Nun KeyWord nephesh:
- AV Psalm 119:109 My soul (nephesh) is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.
- AV Psalm 25:13 His soul (nephesh) shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
Neshamah first appears when God breathed the breath (neshamah) of life into
Adam (Gen 2:7). It is essentially synonymous with the much more common ruach (spirit). These words
are used in parallel in four verses; Job 27:3, Job 34:14, Isa 42:5, and this one from Job:
The Spirit (Ruach) of God hath made me, and the breath (neshamah) of
the Almighty hath given me life.
Rabbinic tradition brings all these ideas together by noting that two of the primary
parts of man – soul (nephesh) and spirit (ruach) – form the acronym ner (lamp)
that searches out the deep things within us (1 Cor 2:11). Hebrew translations of the New Testament use these words in
one of the most famous verses in the Book of Hebrews where God proclaims the power of the Living Word
that searches our heart unto division of soul and spirit:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul (nephesh) and spirit (ruach), and of the joints
and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature
that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Hebrews 4:12f (Spoke 14, Cycle 3)