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Shalom and greetings in the name of Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, to each of you, my dear friends and supporters. I hope that this letter finds you well and abiding in the Lord as He abides in you.
“Can I hear an Amen?” How many times have you heard your pastor or a Christian speaker say that? And, of course, we all respond with an enthusiastic “AMEN!!” So I’ve been thinking recently, why do we say it, where does the word “Amen” come from, and what does it mean? Let the research begin!
A summation from various dictionaries: Amen is an exclamation acknowledging the genuineness or veracity of a statement, petition, benediction (blessing) or doxology (praise to God). It is a declaration or affirmation translated “so be it,” “it is so,” “truly,” “verily.” It is pronounced Ah-mein in Hebrew.
Origin of Amen
The word “Amen” first appears in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) in Numbers 5:12-31 under solemn circumstances: A husband accused his wife of adultery. She proclaimed her innocence, and had not been caught in the act. The matter was settled by God under the test of bitter water. The woman was taken to the priest who put her under oath. She submitted to a ceremony in which she would drink some water containing dust from the tabernacle floor. If she had committed adultery, she would be cursed with a wasting disease. However, if she did not get sick, then she would be declared innocent and her husband proven wrong. Furthermore, during the ceremony, when the priest announced the curse, the woman was required by God to say, “Amen, Amen” (Num. 5:22). That is the first occurrence of the word in Scripture. The Lord commanded it to be said by a person who was yielding herself to examination by Him in His presence.
“As early as the 4th century BCE, Jews assembled in the Temple responded ‘amen’ at the close of a doxology or other prayer uttered by a priest. This Jewish liturgical use of amen was adopted by the Christians. But Jewish law also requires individuals to answer amen whenever they hear a blessing recited, even in a non-liturgical setting” (Wikipedia).
The Last Word
Amen is subsequently used to end a solemn statement in many other passages in the Old Testament. It is the last word in Psalms 41 and 89. When a prayer or prophecy was made, or a law of God was read, all the people said “Amen!” and praised the Lord (Neh. 5:13; 8:6). In Jeremiah 28:6, the Prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! The LORD do so”.
Amen is also the last word in many instances in the New Testament. Most books of the New Testament end with Amen. The Lord’s example of prayer ends with “Amen” (Matt. 6:13). Paul uses the word seven times in his letter to the Romans at the end of doxologies or benedictions. Paul also uses the word as an affirmation when speaking of Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20). The last verses of the Bible end with “Amen” (Rev. 22:20-21).
The Name of God
One of the names of Jesus is “the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God” (Rev. 3:14a). He is, indeed, the God of Truth.
Can I hear an “Amen?”
My Jewish Contacts
I thank God for the requests I receive (from various parts of the country) for assistance in sharing the Gospel message with unsaved Jewish individuals. They ask me how to respond to Jewish objections to the Gospel, request tracts, or if I would contact the person being witnessed to for a conversation. They ask also that I extend an invitation for them to visit our Messianic fellowship, Tikvah BaMidbar (Hope in the Desert). I was also blessed recently by an unsaved Jewish friend who agreed to read a book I offered him called Jesus Was a Jew, by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. Please pray with me that the Lord would break through the wall of resistance—that His Word would not return void. Join me in also praying for the salvation of the other Jewish individuals God has brought into my life, and for more opportunities to share the Gospel message “the Jew first, and also [with] the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). Pray also for the spiritual and numerical growth of Tikvah BaMidbar.
Thank you, always, for being such an integral part of my ministry—for your prayers, love, and financial support. May our Lord continue to bless each of you for your part in bringing the Gospel to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
In Messiah’s love and mine,
PO Box 14616
Scottsdale, AZ 85267
Phone: (800) 926-5397