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The Lord's Prayer in Hebrew

The Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer in Hebrew - Part 5

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Matt 6:13

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Matthew 6:13)

The "Hands of Massah"

Massah comes from a root that means to melt, dissolve, or consume -- as by fire that tests the quality of something. As a noun, the word is often translated as "test," "trial," or "temptation," and is directly used to name the place where the children of Israel rebelled against God in the wilderness (Ex 17:7; Deut 6:16, Psalm 95:8; Hebrews 3:7-9). Significantly, massah can also mean "despair," in the sense of "melting of heart," and is usually rendered as mockery or scorn (Job 9:23).

When we petition the Father to be "led not into temptation," we are essentially asking to be redirected in our heart's attitude in the face of difficult and trying moments. To fall into the "hands of Massah" means yielding to despair -- and to the psychological dissolution that results in bitterness, scorn, and mockery.

Deliverance from Yetzer Hara

The origin of this despair is what Jewish tradition calls yetzer hara, or the inner impulse to gravitate toward selfish gratification (idolatry). This concept first appears in Genesis 6:5 where the wickedness of man is described as "every imagination (yetzer) of the thoughts of his heart was only evil (ra)." In the New Testament, yetzer hara is called the "carnal mind," the "old nature," or the "natural man."

The word yetzer itself is a neutral word used to refer to something formed or shaped, like pottery fashioned by the hand of a potter. Just as a potter purposes a shape before forming an object, so that which is intended within the heart will form our character. But since God has "power over the clay" to make one vessel fit for honor and another for dishonor (Romans 9:21), we are to appeal to the Father alone for deliverance from the evil impulse.

The ultimate source of the evil impulse is hara itself, that is, the evil one, since it is Satan who seeks to entice us into idolatry. Satan does this in order to rob God of His glory by blinding us to the truth of His love and of our desperate need for Him. He seduces us with vain imaginations that we might be satisfied with things other than God Himself. But Yeshua instructs us to pray to be delivered from the evil one by the power of God's salvation.

May you be so delivered today.



Ve'al-tevieinu lidei massah, ki-'im hatzileinu

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