Hebrew Word Study – Obey – Part III

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The Rest of the Picture Story



Ayin    Mem   Sheen



Liquid – Mighty Waters like the Ocean
Massive as the waves of the Sea
Chaotic and Destructive like a Tsunami
Water coming down like a Stream
Rain Water that makes the Desert Bloom
The Word of God that brings Life
Living Water – Waters


The third and final letter in the three letter Hebrew word we translate into English as OBEY is the letter Ayin.  Ayin is pictured as an eye and it means to see and understand.  Ayin means to experience something.




To See – To Know – To Experience

In summary, we have three big ideas that are put before us in the Hebrew word spelled Sheen, Mem, and Ayin, translated as Obey into English and literally translated “Listen” in Hebrew.

The three big puzzle pieces are as follow:

Sheen – To Crush or Destroy
Mem – Chaos and Confusion or Order and Life
Ayin – To See, to Understand and Experience 

Rebekah, in the drama we find in Genesis 27, is not only the one giving the command, she is also obeying a command. 

Rebekah has heard the plans of her husband Isaac. Isaac was determined to give Esau the blessing. This was not God’s plan and Rebekah knew it. Rebekah seized the moment and decided to intervene in order that righteousness might prevail.  But she did it in such a way that it was obvious that she was not listening to or hearing the voice of the LORD God. 

She was listening to another voice. She was hearing the voice of the enemy that was determined to undermine and destroy the very plans of God that she was trying to accomplish by unauthorized means and unscrupulous methods.

Jacob, for his part, listens to the voice of his mother. He knows it is wrong and yet he hears and heeds the instructions given to him by Rebekah. Jacob does object to Rebekah’s plan. Unfortunately, his objections had nothing to do with truthfulness or a confidence that God can work this out without his help. Jacob's objections were based on the fear of getting caught.

The first mention of the Hebrew word OBEY puts the matter of Obedience before us in a way that we are meant to fully understand.  Abraham received a blessing for his obedience.  

The second mention of the Hebrew word Obey also puts the matter of Obedience before us in a way that is meant to give a warning.

In a nutshell, the Picture meaning of OBEY is this:

Each of us is in a battle, a war. It is either a war to crush and destroy what is Evil or a war against what is Good. 

We are held responsible for who we listen to. If we listen to the enemy we are fighting a battle on the side of all that is evil. We can’t say we do not know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil has left all of us with an understanding of what is good and what is evil. In addition to the knowledge of good and evil we also have experience with good and evil. This is part of the hidden picture message in the Hebrew word Shema, the word we translate into English as Obey.

Even if our conscience is so seared that the lines are blurred between what is good and what is evil, we still know there is a difference. God holds each of us responsible for the choices we make in the war that is either crushing what is evil or destroying what is good.

Unfortunately, listening and heeding the whispers that come from the Evil One can cost us our eternal soul. One bad choice in life can cost us everything.

Every single one of us has listened to the enemy and heeded their suggestions. We have all made sinful choices. We have obeyed the voice that is at war with the LORD God.  We have listened to the lies of the Serpent and we have heeded his instructions and obeyed his wishes more times than any of us can count.

Each of us by our obedience to the siren song that produces chaos, confusion and death have sealed our own doom. We have become the enemies of all that is good and right. We are locked into a covenant with death and destruction. To make matters worse, there is no way out of this mess.

The sin of Adam that resulted in the fall of all mankind all started when Eve listened to the lies of the Serpent and Adam heeded the wishes of Eve. 

Why did Adam fail the test?  Was the problem obedience? 

Adam’s disobedience was rooted in something much more serious than simply listening to Eve. Disobedience was only the symptom, the real problem was that Adam loved someone more than he loved the LORD God.

You don’t have to think about it very long before you can figure out who that someone was. Adam loved Eve more than he loved his Heavenly Father. Adam listened to the wrong voice. 

There is only one voice we are to heed and hear. The Hebrew Word for Obey is hidden in the English translation of what is known as the Shema.

Can you find Shema in the following verse?

Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.


Shema, the Hebrew word that is translated as Listen and Heed, is also translated as HEAR!

The way that leads to life eternal is not only the central theme of all Scripture, it is also the hidden theme proclaimed in the same word that discloses our seemingly hopeless condition. 

The answer can be found in the meaning of the numbers hidden underneath the three numbers Sheen, Mem, Ayin.

Check back for Part IV of Obey!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Philana says:

    Adam loved himself more. He was standing right there with her. He heard everything the serpent said. He was just as curious as she was and did nothing as he watched her take her bite… I think he wanted to see if she would die instantly. He did not love her he loved himself.

  2. Rebecca Ann Fannin says:

    Love this!

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