by Brad Scott
Perhaps many of you have heard or seen my seminars on Words Mean Things. In that presentation I discuss the etymological background of the Hebrew word chanah, chanan. In its initial, natural setting, this very picturesque word, which is generally translated as grace and favor, means "to pitch a tent with". When YHVH ’Elohiym extends His grace toward you, the picture embedded in the word is one of the Creator pitching His tent with you. You are both under one covering, His things are your things and He considers you family. Another word directly related to this very precious picture is the word shekinah, or shakan (שכן) in its root. In your average Americanized Hebrew lexicons it defines this word as to dwell, abide, settle down, and neighbor. The ancient meaning of this word is to lay down and stretch out. It is the Hebrew word used to denote dwelling in a place that is home. A place where you can be at ease and let your hair down, so to speak.
Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 3:24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Bere’shiyt 9:27God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
Shemot (Exodus) 25:8-9And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
As you can see, this word is also the root word for tabernacle. His tabernacle is the place where family can settle down and stretch themselves out in.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊