Friday, December 5, 2014

Season of Praise: Shabach

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Shabach - Strong's 7623

That link is to the Blue Letter Bible lexicon that I've been using so far in this study, but I found that it differed from the definition in the Hebrew/Chaldee dictionary in the back of my Zodhiates, which is the definition listed here.

Again, this is a primitive root word and has a number of tenses and meanings...I suspect it's a word like the English word 'TEAR'...which means entirely different things, depending on the context.

So.   The BLB folks list two primary meanings for Shabach; the first one,  to soothe, still, stroke, really isn't applicable to the current discussion, so we'll look at the second one listed,  to laud, praise, commend; congratulate, boast.  This one is, at least, comparable to Strong's definition of properly, to address in a loud tone, i.e. (specifically) loud; figuratively, to pacify (as if by words):--commend, glory, keep in, praise, still, triumph.

But the Strong's entry also mentions 'loud tone'...and the definition I have heard before included 'to shout'.  It is interesting that volume is not mentioned in the BLB lexicon, whereas it's the primary connotation of Strong's.

So let's see how it is used.  The BLB folks tell us that it is only used 11 times in the entire Old Testament, and it's translated  in the King James as Praise 5 times,  Still twice, and once each as Keep it in, Glory, Triumph and Commend.

Let's see how the Amplified translates the applications that involve praise:

1 Ch 16:35 - And say, Save us, O God of our salvation; gather us together, and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to Your holy name and glory [Shabach] in Your praise.

Ps. 63:3 - Because Your loving-kindess is better than life, my lips shall praise [Shabach] You.

Ps. 106:47 - Deliver us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to Your holy name and glory [Shabach] in praising You.

Ps. 117:1 - O Praise the Lord, all you nations!  Praise [Shabach] Him, all you people!

Ps. 145:4 - One generation shall laud [Shabach] Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.

Ps. 147:12 -  Praise [Shabach] the Lord, O Jerusalem!  Praise your God, O Zion!

Just for grins, I checked the words that are translated 'praise' in the verses that have more than one appearance of that word...and they are the other two words that we haven't looked at yet.  But it makes you'll see in a couple of weeks...when you add the connotation of 'loud' to the words that were translated from Shabach.

 Now, I'll admit I am not typically a loud-praising kind of person.  My praise tends more to poetry than screaming.  But, you know, there are times when a loud raucus praise fits the occasion.  There are not a ton of instances of loud praise in the Bible, as we can see from the short list above...but there are some.  

And I've observed judgement passed upon folks in both directions.  Some for being 'too loud'...others for being 'too quiet'.  I remember being in a church service a number of years ago in which I had the conscious thought , 'This is a circus and I don't want any part of it'...had a mental picture of collecting my kids from children's ministry and going home...but I immediately felt an overwhelming grief in my spirit even as I thought that.  Would I shut out the Spirit of God just because I was uncomfortable with the way people around me were reacting to Him?  I actually felt a bit frightened that I would consider such a thing.

My praise may not be loud...but 'loud' is definitely a connotation of Shabach,  There are times when a shout is the very thing that will bring down the enemy's wall. Who am I to say whose praise is too loud for their breakthrough?  Someday...I may need to be free to shout through a wall myself.

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