Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Praising God for Our Kidneys

Michael DeVries’ sermon at Eastern Avenue CRC on Sunday, “God the Knitter,” mentioned that the Hebrew word for “inward parts” in verse 13 (“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb”) means “kidneys.”

The Psalms volume of the interlinear Hebrew OT wasn’t on the shelf in the Calvin library, so I had to do some rummaging. Here’s what I found.

First, I checked the Oxford’s new Jewish Study Bible. It confirms the “kidney” translation in a footnote but renders the word as “conscience” in the text—a choice that fascinated me.

A little Googling later, I found an interlinear tool from Crosswalk.com. It says the term “inward parts” is the Hebrew hylk (“kilyah”):

Definition
kidneys
of physical organ (lit.)
of seat of emotion and affection (fig.)
of sacrificial animals

Note that for its four other appearances in the Psalms, hylk is rendered “mind and/or heart.”
 

Ps 7:9   O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; For the righteous God tries the heart s and mind s. 
Ps 16:7   I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. 
Ps 26:2   Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. 
Ps 73:21   When my heart was embittered, And I was pierced within, 
Ps 139:13   For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. 

Posted by Nathan Bierma on 05/10 at 02:26 PM
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