"Christ Teaching the Disciples"
by Duccio di Buoninsegna (Painted 1308-1311)
Text: 1 Chronicles. 16:36
"All the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord." 

According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, Amen, in Hebrew, literally means sure (to prop up or support). In the Greek, it means firm. It also has a figurative meaning of faithful.  

The use of the word Amen dates back to very ancient times. In the Bible, it can be found in Numbers 5:22 and Deuteronomy. 27:15-26 where it is spoken by the children of Israel as a confirmatory response. And, with only slight differences, it can also be found in all of the Assyrian dialects  where it is used as both a verb and an adjective. 

The word Amen is usually applied at the end of a declaration or pronouncement. However, the Orientals  also use it at the beginning of such a statement, as do the English (on occasion). 

The Mohammedans customarily close every public prayer by saying Amen, with the meaning  being:  "be it firm or established that with what has been said I agree." 

From Samuel Burder:  "During New Testament times, it was customary for the people  --whether in the synagogues or at home-- to add "Amen" to any prayers being offered. (Matthew. 6:13; 1 Corinthians. 14:16)  This practice was taken so seriously that the Jewish doctors gave three rules for pronouncing of the word Amen in public:  

1. That it not be pronounced too hastily and swiftly, but with a grave and distinct voice. 

2.  That it be not louder than the tone of him that made the blessing.

3. It was to be expressed in faith, with a certain expectation that God would bless them and hear their prayer.  ("Oriental Customs",  No. 438. Published 1822.)

In this particular text, the cry of Amen is being uttered by the people at the close of the reciting of one of David's psalms. By saying such, they were giving pubic affirmation of their renewed acceptance of the provisions of God's covenant.

Copyright by Ancient Bible History - Eden Games Inc.



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