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AMAN AND AMEN – A WORD STUDY

September 14, 2012


AMAN AND AMENAMAN is the Hebrew root of AMEN and means to believe (have faith), to trust, to stand firm. At the heart of the meaning is the idea of certainty, firmness, dependability, trustworthiness. The primary meaning is that of providing stability and confidence, like a baby would find in the arms of a parent. We see a depiction of the meaning in 2Ki 18:16 where AMAN is translated “doorposts” describing the pillars of support for the Holy Temple. In the first and most important use of AMAN, Moses records that Abram “believed (AMAN) in Jehovah and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” (Ge 15:6-sermon) Abram did not just give mental assent to God’s promise (Ge 15:5) but he relied on that promise, “throwing his full weight” so to speak on God’s promise and making a firm, forever personal commitment. In other words Abram’s faith was not only cognitive (mental act of acquiring knowledge) but also personal for he committed to stand firm on God’s promise, in a sense giving God a hearty “AMEN” (So be it, Let it be so, Be it firm, Be it established), which is exactly what we did when we first believed in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (Ro 10:9-10-note). As an aside, it should be noted that the way of salvation in the OT is NOT by keeping the Law, performing sacrifices, doing good works, etc, but is the same as in the NT= By grace thru faith (AMAN) in the Messiah (cf Hab 2:4-note).

The Hebrew word AMEN has been transliterated into most languages & has been called the best-known word in human speech, so that when we say “AMEN” it confirms our belief in & affirmation of another’s person’s statement. In the NT, Jesus had the unique custom of saying “AMEN” (Truly, Verily) at the beginning of many of His most solemn declarations (Mt 5:18-note – God’s Word Translation paraphrases it “I can guarantee this truth”), emphasizing the truthfulness, trustworthiness and certainty, even doubling the “AMEN” (25x only in John’s Gospel) for added impact, as when He declared to Nicodemus one of the most solemn truths ever uttered – “TRULY, TRULY, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Jn 3:3-sermon)

Puritan Richard Sibbes wrote that “AMEN is a short word, but marvelously pregnant, full of sense, full of spirit. It is a word that seals all the truths of God and seals every particular promise of God. It is never likely to arise in the soul, unless there is first an almighty power from heaven (the Spirit) Who seizes on the powers of the soul, to subdue them and make it say ‘Amen.’ There is such an inward resistance of the heart and an innate rebellion against the blessed truth of God, that unless God, by His strong arm, bring the heart down, it never will nor can say AMEN.”

Pastor Tony Evans picks up on this point noting that the Sovereign God allows trials into our life “to see whether we are willing to implement on Monday what we said AMEN to on Sunday.” Like Sibbes he adds that “It is the Holy Spirit Who makes the truths (we) study come alive in our heart…When you read God’s Word about your security in Christ and something (Ed: “SomeOne!”) within you says, “AMEN, that’s true and I believe it,” that’s the ministry of the Spirit. A (fleshly) Christian speaks ‘Christian,’ but then lives another ‘dialect.’ He says ‘AMEN!’ with his lips, but speaks a different language with his life.” Beloved, this begs the question…

DOES THE ‘AMEN’ OF MY LIPS
MATCH THE ‘AMEN’ OF MY LIFE?

In light of the profound signficance of the little word AMEN, It is profoundly meaningful that the entire Bible closes with an “AMEN,” assuring everyone who reads the words that the whole Holy Bible is wholly, absolutely true and trustworthy. To which I can “hear” many of you echoing from deep within your soul “Amen!” In fact the Word of Truth actually ends with TWO AMENS

He (Jesus) Who testifies to these things says “Yes, I am coming quickly.” AMEN. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. AMEN. (Revelation 22:20-21-sermon)

In Revelation 3 Jesus the Living “Word of God” (Jn 1:1-sermon) describes Himself as “The AMEN, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.” (Rev 3:14-sermon) Spurgeon in his devotional comments that…

The word AMEN solemnly confirms that which went before; and Jesus is the great Confirmer; immutable, forever is “THE AMEN” in all his promises (cf 2Cor 1:20KJV-sermon). Sinner, I would comfort thee with this reflection. Jesus Christ said, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28-note) If you come to Him, He will say “Amen” in your soul; His promise shall be true to you. He said in the days of His flesh, “The bruised reed I will not break.” (Mt 12:20-sermon) O thou poor, broken, bruised heart, if thou comest to Him, He will say “Amen” to thee, and that shall be true in thy soul as in hundreds of cases in bygone years. Christian, is not this very comforting to thee also, that there is not a word which has gone out of the Saviour’s lips which He has ever retracted? (cf Josh 23:14-sermon) The words of Jesus shall stand when heaven and earth shall pass away (Mt 24:35).

If you get a hold of but half a promise, you will find it true. Beware of him who is called “Clip-promise,” who will destroy much of the comfort of God’s word.  Jesus is Yea and Amen in all His offices (cf 2Cor 1:20KJV-sermon). He was a Priest to pardon and cleanse once, He is an Amen Priest still. He was a King to rule and reign for His people, and to defend them with His mighty arm, He is an Amen King, the same still. He was a Prophet of old, to foretell good things to come, His lips are most sweet, and drop with honey still—He is an Amen Prophet.

He is Amen as to the merit of His blood; he is Amen as to His righteousness. That sacred robe shall remain most fair and glorious when nature shall decay. He is Amen in every single title which He bears; your Husband, never seeking a divorce; your Friend, sticking closer than a brother (Pr 18:24-sermon); your Shepherd, with you in death’s dark vale; your Help and your Deliverer; your Castle and your High Tower (Pr 18:10-note); the Horn of your Strength, your Confidence, your Joy, your ALL IN ALL, and your Yea and Amen in all.

And all God’s people shout
“AMEN!”

RELATED RESOURCES:
IN DEPTH WORD STUDIES ON AMAN & AMEN
“AMEN” – FROM HANDEL’S MESSIAH
RELATED FACEBOOK POST ON AMAN & AMEN

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4 Comments
  1. Spencer Zimuto permalink

    Great teaching. God bless you. Send more.

  2. Spencer Zimuto permalink

    I say Amen to this and to more faithful and truthful teachings which shall come after this. Maranatha. Amen.

  3. Frank Sinandima permalink

    Great stuff so helpful. Please send me more information to study.
    Thanks

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