VISION – חָזָה

Have you ever read Obadiah? Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if you said no or if you don’t remember it, it is only 21 verses!

In Hebrew, the first sentence reads, ḥāzôn ʿÔbadyâh (English Transliteration). Yes, you read that right, the first sentence is only two words! The Hebrew word ḥāzôn is from the root חָזָה (ḥāzâ), translated normally as the English word “vision.”  In Hebrew, letters are pictograph representations of what they mean. The consonants in this word are Chet – Zayin – Hey, which suggest a cut (weapon) that reveals (behold).  It would seem that Obadiah is delivering a verbal weapon that might divide. Strange to us that the biblical word “vision” is also rooted in division, but even in English the language carries the same root words, but you probably haven’t ever considered the connection of both words in this way. (Vision/Division)

This is called a contronym in Hebrew. I talk a lot about contronyms in our YouTube videos and articles on Expedition 44 and other published works. You won’t find this anywhere else; it is a bit of a “Dr. Ryan” branded word. Essentially a contronym in Hebrew means that something can bring similar results from one extreme to the other. The most common understanding of a contronym is found in the Hebrew word barak. It is one of the 7 words used to describe worship in Hebrew. (In English we just have one word, where in Hebrew they have 7.) The same word in Hebrew can mean to bless or to curse. In Hebraic thinking you would pray that what you consider to be your biggest curse in life could be laid before God at the altar and transformed by Him to be the biggest blessing of your life. In this same way, a “vision” from God can be interpreted and cause division by some but also when founded in the Lord and given fully to Him can result in great unity; the vision transforms into living through the eyes of God in Devotion and unity. Being in “COVENANT” with his plan for us and following in the spirit of unity should be the mission of all believers, unfortunately most churches exemplify division more than vision and unity. We should change that!

Today, my prayer for you is simple, it is that we are united in creating a covenant vision building a discipleship culture by which we understand what God asks of us and those we are shepherding and are enabled and commissioned to do what God is directing and has designed us to do for His kingdom.

My hope and prayer are that each of us through study and devotion bear the image of Jesus and His Kingdom to be transformed into “ALL IN” disciples and bring others this “VISION” of unity as we shepherd and model.

[1] Culver, R. D. (1999). 633 חָזָה. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 275). Chicago: Moody Press.

Dr. Will Ryan

“The LORD bless you and keep you,
Y’varech’cha Adonai v’yeesh’m’reicha.
יְבָ רֶ כְ ָך יְיָ וְ יִ שְׁ מְ רֶ ָך.

Comments are closed.