Saturday, March 15, 2008

Blessed is he......

The early portion of the so-called "Sermon on the Mount" has Yeshua delievering the "beatitudes." The word beatitude is from the Latin beatitudo, which means "happiness." Many understand these simples listings to describe the state of mind of a Christian, and some texts translate the first word as "Happy," or "blessed." This is because the Greek word which appears here is makarioi which is normally translated as "they are fortunate," or "they are well off." The blessed nature that these characteristics endow is thought to be psychological. The word traditionally translated into English as "blessed" or "happy" is in the Greek original μακαριος (makarios). A more literal translation into contemporary English of this thought may be "possessing an inward contentedness and joy that is not affected by physical circumstances"

But, makarios was used historically almost exclusively for the gods, the dead, or (at least) the wealthy. Used in the Septuagint, the word translated the Hebrew esher and described the state of upright life. It does not really speak to psychology, but the physical being.

By the time of Yeshua, the Aramaic word was shoobyhoon, "they are restored," and referred likewise to the state of being restored or returned to life upon an upright path.

Psalm 1:1-2 describes such a man:

esher is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked; and in the way of sinners, does not stand, and in the seat of scoffers, does not sit. But rather in the law of Yahweh, does he delight; and in his law does he meditate, day and night.
The beatitudes do not describe a state of mind (happy), but a pathway of life for the upright (tzaddikiym). As Psalm 1 concludes:

For Yahweh is aware of the road of the tzaddikiym, but the road of the wrong ones is lost.


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