HEBREW WORD STUDY – WIDOW – ‘ALMANAH אלמנה
Proverbs 15:25 “The Lord will destroy the house of the proud, but he will establish the border of the widows.
Why is a comparison made between the proud man and the widow? Why not compare the proud to the humble? Practically every translation will translate the last word as widow. Oddly, in the Hebrew, the word used is almanah which is basically a young unmarried woman. She doesn’t have to be a widow. It could be a little girl or a young woman who has not yet married. It could also be a concubine. Actually, it doesn’t have to be a woman it could be a man. Ultimately an almanah is someone who has little or no influence. The word for proud is ge’im from the root ga’ah which is a feeling of superiority over someone else. This word is often applied to a false prophet or teacher who is filled with a sense of self-importance. The word house has a broad meaning in Hebrew and could mean a body of people who are united under a strong leader, in this case, a ga’ah. The Lord will destroy or kasach this body of people who unite themselves around such a strong leader. The word kasach means to cut off or sweep away.
Pastors are judged by the size of their congregation. A large congregation means they are blessed by God. But all it may really mean is the pastor with the large congregation is just a strong leader. Some may even be a ga’ah. In my many years, I have found that many of these ga’ah proud strong leaders ended up getting swept away.
We learn, however, that God will establish the boundaries of the widow. The word establish is yesav which means to stand, as standing in agreement, or to certify. The word boundaries are gevul which has the idea of limiting one’s space. In other words, someone may have a big following and large organization built on a proud leader but God will not stand with him. He may stand with a small congregation build around a leader who is humble before God, an ‘alma someone of little outside importance. The picture is one of God standing at the border crossing, certifying who may enter and who may not. Culturally, a young, unmarried woman had no following, no support, they were given little or no regard. Yet, this almah humble person will be certified or united with God and granted passage.
As I searched for a passage to study today my computer kept crashing until I landed on this verse, then it worked fine. I think this message is for me, but I will share it with you nonetheless. I felt as if God was saying to me: “This is exactly where I want you to be. You are an ‘almanah someone who is not of great importance in the eyes of the world. But just keep studying My Word and take care of your own relationship with me. I am establishing a border around you.” You know that is really all that matters, that I am united with God. I don’t need great fame, recognition or fortune I just need God to establish His border around me.
Posted in DevotionalsTagged Proverbs 15:25