Water and Light, Fountains and Eyes

The ancient Hebrew language is rich in poetic imagery, but it sadly flies right over the heads of modern believers limited to reading Scripture in our own languages (like me).  It’s truly impossible to capture all of the subtle double-meanings and deeper connections the original author intended for all of us. 

Back at the waters of Marah, we talked about the letter ayin, a letter that originally looked like an image of an eye: implying see, sight, or to “realize”.  Here at The Rock, we see the entire word ayin (spelled: ayin, yod, nun) which is translated as “sight”.  

Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the SIGHT of the elders of Israel.” (Exodus 17:6)

However, in the proper context, ayin is also correctly and commonly translated as the noun “Fountain”.   I think in the context of the water from The Rock, that hint, or maybe even the pun, is obvious.  Here’s a less obvious reference: 

Proverbs 28:22, “A stingy man hastens after wealth and does not know that poverty will come upon him.” 

The phrase “stingy man” as translated in the ESV, is literally written as “a man who is a bad fountain” in Hebrew.  The KJV reads, “A man with an evil eye”.  A generous man therefore, a man with a good eye, would be more like a fountain in the desert.  

The idiom of an “evil eye” isn’t always water specific, but the concept is the exactly the same.  

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your EYE IS EVIL, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23

In science, the eye is an input device and a fountain would be an output device.   However, in Hebrew thinking, both emit.  When we look around, scripture implies, our eyes are projecting the light inside us.  A secret to mastering the Way, then, is to internalize the keys to the Kingdom that are being taught on the Way to Shavuot.  Then, theoretically we’ll have both living water and kingdom light flowing out of us.  This manifests in optimism joy, shalom, kindness, and generosity.  It is the difference between being like our Messiah, or simply following the lifeless rules of a dry waterless religion. 

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