by Brad Scott
When I was a teenager I was accused more than once from my parents that what they had just told me had "gone in one ear and out the other". This is an English idiom that refers to the fact that someone is not really listening. By not listening, we can misunderstand at best and reap disaster at worst. In Hebrew, the phrases "in your ears" or to "give ear" are idioms that refer to the fact that one is obeying. This is why the Hebrew word for hearing (shema' ) (שמע) and observing or keeping (shamar ) (שמר) are direct cognates.
To give ear means to give full attention and to listen with both ears. When something goes in one ear and out the other, a person is only listening with one ear and not getting a proper balance of truth. This is why an ear infection or deafness in one ear will throw a person off balance. Speaking of balance, the Hebrew word for ears is 'ozen (אזן). Hebrew has a handful of words that are not written in the plural but rather in what is called a dual state. This grammatical term is used of those parts of the body that come in two's and should be used in two's. So it is with the ears. The ears are designed and placed on our bodies so that we can hear and understand in full stereo, so that we get proper balance. The word for ears 'ozen, is the verbal root for the word balance or mo'zen (מאזן). The verbal root for balance is the ears. Why is this? Because proper balance is found when one hears both sides of an issue. Balance, in the Scriptures, does not involve compromise, staying in the middle or forsaking one's conviction. Balance is when both sides of an issue are properly analyzed.
Mishlei (Proverbs) 11:1A false balance is an abomination unto YHVH, but a just weight is His delight.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊