Monday, April 27, 2009

Memory Monday — Deuteronomy 6:4-8 (Phylacteries)

I seem to be going for the every other week theme right now. Not necessarily a good thing.

From memory:

Deuteronomy 6:4-8
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.


This was supposed to include verse 9, but when I sat down to type it out I went blank. Not quite completely. I knew the verse had to do with doorposts (it was doorframes) and gates, but the actual verse was completely gone from my mind. So I get to do it again next week with verse 9.

Verse 8 got me thinking a little bit, because I always focused on verse 9, the one I couldn't remember, and the commandments of the Lord being there as you walk out to remind you before you face the world. But binding them on your forehead — exactly how was that supposed to work?

First I used John MacArthur's Bible Commentary (the one for the entire Bible) and looked up these verses. He said that that the Israelites were to continually meditate on and be led by God's commandments, but that later in Jewish history that this phrase was mistakenly taken literally and that the people tied phylacteries to their hands and foreheads with leather straps. These phylacteries are little boxes containing these verses, and are also called tefillin, or putting on teffillin (thanks, Wikipedia).

When I looked up phylacteries on the internet and found some information on various sites, including Wikipedia, there were a few pictures, which was really what I was interested in. Because I'm curious that way and wanted to know what it looked like to wear it on your forehead. Here are what the phylacteries look like

and here is what they look like being worn, on the forehead and on the arm.

There were rules and such about wearing them, and I'm also curious enough to find it interesting to read about that stuff. If you are, you can just google phylacteries.

For more Memory Monday stuff, join Joanne at The Simple Wife.


3 comments:

MomE said...

Have you seen The Gospel of John DVD that came out last year I think? It's awesome...pretty much just the book verbatim...but they have phylacteries at one point when God speaks to the one disciple under the fig tree (who escapes me at the moment...argh)...I was the only one in class who knew what they were cuz I'm a dork and love that sort of stuff...and I had a girlfriend who was raised Messianic Jew!

Betsy said...

I always think of the Pharasees and the fact that they made their phylacteries huge as if that made them seem holier. I wonder if God really meant it literally to bind them to their foreheads and arms or if it was a figure of speech that they look steps further themselves. Hmmmm....I'll have to check that out!

Bonnie said...

That is really interesting about the phylacteries ....

 
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