Text: Deuteronomy 27:14-26
I. Deuteronomy 27:14-26
A. What did it mean when the people said “Amen?”
B. Amen started as a Hebrew word
1. It was transliterated into Greek and then eventually into English
2. Same pronunciation, but with an English spelling
3. It also retained the original meaning.
4. Interestingly, it is nearly a universal word. It has been transliterated into many different languages.
A. Amen derives from a Hebrew root word that means “to build up or support.”
1. Figuratively it means “to be firm or faithful, to trust or believe.”
2. Morally it means “to be true or certain.”
B. Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies - “Let it be granted, let it be done, and unalterably confirmed.”
1. Clearly seen in Numbers 5:22
a. The woman is to say “Amen, Amen”
b. She is agreeing to God’s law on adultery and giving consent to the punishment if found guilty.
2. As Moses read the curses in Deuteronomy 27, the people of Israel were indicating their acceptance of the conditions.
C. Thayer’s - it came to be used as an adverb by which something is asserted or confirmed:
1. At the beginning of a discourse, ‘surely, of a truth, truly’; so frequently in the discourse of Christ ... ‘I solemnly declare unto you’
a. Matthew 5:18; Mark 3:28; John 3:3 - assuredly
2. At the close of a sentence; ‘so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled’
a. It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues into the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed had offered up a solemn prayer to God, the others in attendance responded “Amen,” and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own.”
D. When used as an adjective, it means “firm” or “true”
1. Deuteronomy 7:9 - “faithful God” literally means “God the Amen”
2. Isaiah 49:7 - “the Lord who is faithful” literally means “Yahweh the Amen”
E. American Heritage Dictionary - “Used at the end of a prayer or statement to express assent or approval.”
III. When used after another’s statement or prayer we are saying, “This is true, or may it come to pass, or may it be fulfilled.”
1. I Kings 1:34-36 - Shows the agreement
2. I Chronicles 16:35-36 - Use of both “Amen” and “Praise the Lord”
3. Nehemiah 5:13 - Another example
B. “Amen” may be appropriately spoken during a sermon, a Bible study, a the end of a prayer, or at any time when you strongly agree with what is being said.
1. Nehemiah 8:3-6 - Agreement to the reading of the law and especially the praise of God.
2. Paul sometimes concluded his letters in this way - I Corinthians 16:24; Galatians 6:18
C. Notice you should not say “Amen” unless you understood what was said and agree with it.
1. I Corinthians. 14:15-16 - Notice implied command that it is to be used at the end of prayers.
D. David’s Psalms in praise of God- Not just Amen, but doubled
1. Psalm 41:11-13
2. Psalm 72:17-20
3. Paul does the same - Romans 1:25; 9:5; 11:36
IV. Too often Christians have let denominations dictate their speech
A. Many denominations use “Amen” and “Praise the Lord” so often that it has become nothing more than a chant.
B. But our use of the phrases doesn’t mean we have slipped into emotionalism.
C. Have you paid attention to the prayer? Do you agree with it? Then say, “Amen”
D. Do you strongly agree with something in the sermon or class? Let others know by saying “Amen”