Repeating Words

As the original writers did not have the ability to use a different font, bold emphasis or finish a sentence with an emphatic '!', the scribes had to emphasis words using repetition.

Genesis 10:1-32

Reference:  v.9  He (Nimrod, son of Cush) was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, "Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord." (NIV Bible)

Explore:  Growing up as the youngest child in the family, I honed a great skill in being annoying.  While I am far from a child now, I still like to put these annoying abilities to good use.  The one who is inflicted with these abilities the most is my incredibly patient husband.   One of my varied annoying skills is being able to repeat everything Cam says.  If he is talking to me I will start by just repeating the end of his sentences.  The "conversation" will run a little like this:

Cam: That was a really good movie.  I really liked the ending.
Linda: I really liked the ending.
Cam: The lead actor had a hard role to play though.
Linda: Yeah, hard role to play.
Cam: Did you enjoy watching the movie?
Linda: I enjoyed watching the movie.
Cam: Are you repeating everything I say?
Linda: Me? Repeating everything you say?
Cam gives Linda a funny look and Linda cracks up laughing!

Totally annoying for Cam but absolutely hilarious for Linda!! 
When I read through this passage outlining the genealogy of Noah, I couldn't help notice that in verse 9 it says the same thing twice.  While I'm sure the writer of Genesis was not trying to be annoying like me, it did grab my attention.

Application:  Repeated words have strong meaning when it comes to scripture.  As the original writers did not have the ability to use a different font, bold emphasis or finish a sentence with an emphatic '!', the scribes had to emphasis words using repetition.  The more I study the whole Bible I see similar themes from Old Testament to New Testament and many stories and commandments that are repeated in many ways throughout the different books.  It is these repetitive words that should not annoy us – like my repetition does to my husband! – but should make us sit up and take notice.  

Prayer:  Lord, we have much to learn from the scriptures.  May Your Spirit prompt us and open our eyes to Your Wisdom.  Amen.

What insight have you gleaned from scripture recently?  What verse, word or theme has stuck out to you?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.

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