Tuesday, February 13, 2024

What, exactly, is “The Apple of God’s Eye?”

There are many Scripture references that refer to the “Apple of God’s Eye” – but what does that refer to, exactly?

Well, truth is, it is actually an ancient metaphor referring to the “pupil” of the eye, which is exactly how some Bible translations render it. The pupil of the eye is the most critical part of the eye with regard to vision, and is therefore the part that is most carefully guarded or protected.

Going a little deeper, the “apple” in the apple of the eye is a translation of the Hebrew word for “apple,” ishon, which is related to the word ish, meaning “man.” Etymologically, the ishon of the eye is “the little man of the eye.”  When one looks into a mirror, he can see an image of himself reflected in the pupil of his eye, which brings to mind the way in which YHWH originally created man in His own image.

Israel is now, and always has been “the Apple of YHWH’s Eye!” He first demonstrated this by choosing them as His own people, and later delivering them from their bondage in Egypt. He also provided food - such as manna and quails (Exodus 16) for them, and saw to their every physical need.

Proverbs 7:1 My son, keep my words, store up my commands with you. 2 Obey my commands, and live; guard my teaching like the pupil of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. (CJB)

Psalm 17:6 Now I call on you, God, for you will answer me. Turn your ear to me, hear my words. 7 Show how wonderful is your grace, savior of those who seek at your right hand refuge from their foes. 8 Protect me like the pupil of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings 9 from the wicked, who are assailing me… (CJB)

Deuteronomy 32: 8 “When ‘Elyon gave each nation its heritage, when he divided the human race, he assigned the boundaries of peoples according to Isra’el’s population; 9 but Adonai’s share was his own people, Ya‘akov his allotted heritage. 10 “He found his people in desert country, in a howling, wasted wilderness. He protected him and cared for him, guarded him like the pupil of his eye, 11 like an eagle that stirs up her nest, hovers over her young, spreads out her wings, takes them and carries them as she flies. (CJB)

(See also Zechariah 2.)

Also, as you know, it was through the nation of Israel (specifically, through the Tribe of Yehudah/Judah) that YHWH sent His Son to redeem humanity from the penalty for its sin, and thus, make it possible for them to have eternal life with Him.

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