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Home MORE Bible Blog Blog Category ARTB Bible Blog 10/11/2011, Why was Joseph RUMINATING?

ARTB Bible Blog 10/11/2011, Why was Joseph RUMINATING?

Joseph her master was just, but never desired to expose her. He had been RUMINATING of releasing her privately. When he was RUMINATING these-things, a messenger of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. (Matthew 1:19, 20 ARTB).

A note from A. Frances Werner:

It's been a while since I've had time to write up a word study.  You'll note that the verses above show "ARTB" instead of "ARTB Draft".  Thanks be to God that my work is now complete.  Proofs have been read and finalized, and the New Testament is at the printer!  More details coming soon.

Most bible versions utilize the words think/thought or mind instead of rumination in these passages. In Aramaic and Hebrew, the root is the word REA (Strong's 7476, 7470, 7469 and 7475). In the Old Testament, this was a minor word, only used 17 times.  It currently is recorded as musing in the ARTB Old Testament, but when I realized that this root REA was utilized a hundred times in the New Testament, I decided that that it needed another look.  The Greek is even more complicated in the New Testament. For example, in the KJV, there are 9 different words in Greek that are translated as mind and 11 different words that are translated as thinking/thought.

In examining alternatives for the word thinking/thought, I was lead to the uncommon word rumination. Rumination is a very specific word associated with sheep chewing the cud, and is not utilized frequently in modern America. Any animal which chews cud is called a ruminant. Throughout history, the Israelites were associated with shepherding sheep, and would have intimate knowledge of sheep chewing cud, a process that occurred after grazing. 

Rumination is a lovely word, distinct from simple thinking or problem solving. You may THINK hard about a math problem, or how to plan the details for a new invention. Rumination is a more complex form of chewing the cud of the word of God to discern his will.  The logical solution for Joseph was to divorce Mary (Miriam).  But was that best for her?  Was that a nurturing solution? Most importantly, what was the will of God?

You’ll find in the ARTB New Testament that Greeks think, but Jews and Christians ruminate. Rumination is a form of meditation while you chew the word of God.  Blessings!