The Hebrew thought of “world”?


This word, tebel, #8398, means world. It is a highly “extended” word, i.e. a “poetic synonym of earth” (eretz). But it is hard to pinpoint just what the idea behind this is since it is always used in “poetic” prose.

The root is יָבַל yabal, #2986, which means to conduct or bear along, as a river bears along a boat.

He has been driven-hard, and himself is he-who-is-bowed-down, and he is not opening his mouth, like the Sheep to the Slaughtering he is conducted along, and like the ewe [Rachel] to the faces of those-who-shear-her has been mute, and he is not opening his mouth.

Isaiah 53:7 literal

This sounds like it could be similar to our modern idea of “world” as that collective human force that carries us along whether we like it or not, and hence the adage, “to go against the flow”. The world goes…and it takes you with it. If it invents the phone, you will be inevitably be compelled to use it if you want to survive. If it discards the phone and invents the smartphone and Facebook, you will inevitably be compelled to use it to survive. Going against the flow of the world is always, I think, a drastic move with tough isolating consequences. One is forced to weigh the pros and cons, and it is never easy. The only alternative, as I see it, is to rule the world. 

Here’s some other interesting related words from the same root:

יָבָל yabal, #2988watercourse, stream

יָבָל Yabal, #2989, – son of Lemech (Gen. 4:20)

יַבֵּל yabbal, #2990 – a running, supperating (sore? – Lev. 22:22)

יִבְלְעָם Yibbl-Am #2991 – a conducting people, worldly people? This is a city in Manasseh. Thought by Strong to be “From bala’ and am; devouring people”


Not “in the twinkling of an eye” but “in a wink of an eye”

Behold a mystery-secret to you all I tell: we will not the whole sleep, however we will the whole be changed—in an indivisible-instant, in a wink of an eye, in the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised up incorruptible and we will be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:52 literal

Bringing out more of the concrete meaning in these words is important as it allows us to draw a some important connections with the Hebrew Scriptures. Paul chooses the word wink of an eye to help us understand this secret. This is the only instance of the the word in the New Testament. It is connected to the Hebrew רֶגַע rega which is a noun that means wink.

It is based on the Hebrew verb רָגַע raga, which according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance means,

to toss violently and suddenly (the sea with waves, the skin with boils); figuratively (in a favorable manner) to settle, i.e. Quiet; specifically, to wink (from the motion of the eye-lids) — break, divide, find ease, be a moment, (cause, give, make to) rest, make suddenly.

Let’s examine a few scriptures where this word shows up.

Behold like a lion he is ascending from the majesty of the Jordan toward an enduring abode; for I am causing her to wink; I am causing him to run from upon her…

Jeremiah 49:19 literal

My flesh has been clothed with worms, and a clod of dust of my skin has winked.

Job 7:5 literal

For a triumphing of the wicked is from close by, and the gladness of the soiled is until a wink.

Job 20:5 literal

Pay attention towards me my kinship, and my tribe towards me give ear, for the law from me is going out, and my justice for a light, kinships I cause to wink

Isaiah 51:4 literal

And the desert-dwellers have met near the howlers, and the hairy-satyr upon his friend is calling; indeed there a female-night-spectre has caused to wink and she has found for her a resting-place.

Isaiah 34:14 literal