Falling – ‘Childisms’ in the Bible



I considered fallen faces in a previous article.Very young children do much falling in general as they learn to walk. Biblical Hebrew often uses some form of falling in its expressions.

Genesis 14:10 And the vale of Siddim is slimepits. And the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled. And they fell there. And they that remained fled to the mountain.

Children understand this expression of defeat. It is the opposite of standing in the Bible.

Leviticus 26:37 And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.

When a little boy plays with soldiers, he makes sure that the defeated soldiers fall, as in this text:

Leviticus 26:7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.

Children also understand the terror of something heavy falling on them. Biblical Hebrew uses this picture, as in the following text:

1 Samuel 11:7 And the fear of Yehovah fell on the people. And they went out as one man.

Children understand how one can trip another to make him fall, as the following texts picture:

1 Samuel 18:25 And Saul said, “Thus shall ye say to David, ‘The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies!’” But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Palestinians.

Psalms 57:6 They have prepared a net for my steps! My soul is bowed down. They have digged a pit before me into the midst whereof they are fallen!

Hebrew thought is also expressed through Biblical Greek, as in the following warning:

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Biblical expressions are designed for children. Adults tend to see these expressions as artful poetry, hyperbole (exaggeration) and a quaint, religious lingo. They are the literal expressions of God, however, written in a manner that young minds understand.


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