DO YOU HAVE A ‘LONG NOSE’?
Rob Briggs – Chaplain, Logan United Christian Soccer Club 01-06-2021
DO YOU HAVE A ‘LONG NOSE’?
How often, in your everyday conversations, have you used phrases like; ‘they were just hanging out’ or ‘he’s got blood on his hands’ or maybe ‘to kick the bucket’ or even ‘baloney’ . You know exactly what you mean every time you say them don’t you? These are idioms often used in English. How do you think a translator, who was not familiar with our culture, would go translating them word for word into another language? It just might create some confusion. It certainly would not convey the original meaning you intended I am sure.
Let’s consider the Jewish culture? Their language, Hebrew, does not have the same structure we are used to in English. For example, consider the text of God talking to Moses in Exodus 34:6-7 in the English;
Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”
In the ancient Hebrew, the phrase, ‘slow to anger’, in reference to God, is literally translated as: ‘He has a long nose’. As we generally don’t have a good understanding of Jewish culture and their idioms, we might think of that as being quite hilarious. Fancy referring to God Almighty as having a long nose!
We need to realise that the Hebrew language is very physical and lacks words for almost all the psychological and emotional states we are used to using in English.
Think about this; get in front of a mirror and pull an angry, hostile face. Your face and nose wrinkle up, your nostrils flare out and your brow furrows. It gives the impression that your nose is shorter. So it makes sense then, that a long nose depicts someone who is not angry or is ‘slow to anger’. Isn’t it great that our Bible translators took the time to understand the ancient Jewish culture when they translated it into English?
What lessons can we take from all this?
There are probably many but two immediately spring to mind. Firstly, we should try very hard to have a ‘LONG NOSE’. To have patience and understanding for those we are dealing with in every aspect of our day to day activities. Our coaches and managers, our on-field officials and those who dedicate their time to the management of our clubs and the Association to make our experience in the sport we love a pleasant and enjoyable one. Secondly, to understand we have a loving God who is slow to anger, long suffering and forgives our wrongdoings, even our short noses. And we only need to repent of our wrongs, continue to keep trying to do it right, accepting Him as our Lord and Saviour to qualify for that gift of forgiveness, a gift of grace.
Are you willing to give that a go?
May God Bless you all
Rob (Bob) Briggs LUCSC Chaplain
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