Holy and Sanctified

Holy and Sanctified

‘Childisms’ in the Bible series

Yehovah designed The Torah, the first six books of the Bible, for children. Yet many adults have found some of these books difficult. I am continuing a series of articles on the ‘childisms’ of the Torah and Tenach (‘Old Testament’). You may desire to collect these articles, since they will define and describe some very important Hebrew words and expressions.


Universally used and universally misunderstood, the words holy and sanctified spice Biblical texts like salt spices foods. Readers usually see whatever is holy as something that is set apart, transcendent (beyond what a person can see, hear, understand—what is unknowable), pure, sacred. These words seem very deep.

A very young child has a proper understanding of holiness and sanctification. The words mean nothing more and nothing less than owned. They express simple ownership.

Leviticus 20:26 And ye shall be holy unto me! For I, Yehovah, am holy. And I severed you from the peoples. And ye shall be mine!

This idea of ownership is found in many texts, sometimes in surprising ways. One famous text expresses this:

Isaiah 6:3 And one shouted unto another and said, “Holy, holy, holy, is Yehovah of hosts! The whole earth is full of His glory!”

Adults tend to see this text in the above ‘transcendent’ way. Consider it with the following text:

Exodus 3:15 And God said unto Moses, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, ‘Yehovah God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you. This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.’”

The God of Abraham: Holy (owned by Abraham)

The God of Isaac: Holy (owned by Isaac)

The God of Jacob: Holy (owned by Jacob)

Each expresses simple ownership, akin to what a child says when she states, “He’s my daddy!” and, “It’s mine!” Very young children discover ownership before they discover many other things in life.

Holy has nothing to do with purity or with being set apart. The word holy (in Hebrew) was used to describe prostitutes (both male and female) who ‘earned’ funds for pagan temples. One such text is the following:

Genesis 38:21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, “Where is the harlot [literally, holy-one, feminine] that is openly by the wayside?” And they said, “There was no harlot [holy-one] in this.”

This hardly describes a person who is pure or set apart.

The opposite of being owned is obviously… being unowned. Another way of saying this is being secular. Whatever is secular or for public usage is unowned; it is unholy. A Biblical word that means secular is profane. Languages have big words that mean small things! A child may find a very pretty stone. That stone was on the ground, and no one claimed it. The child wants that stone. The profane stone became holy to the child.

Are you holy? Would the God of the Bible claim ownership of you?

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