Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Scepter of a King, part 1

The Hebrew word for rod is mattah. Mattah is defined as a rod for chastising, throwing, walking, or ruling, like a sceptre. In fact the Hebrew word for sceptre is shebet, which has the same definition as mattah; a stick used for punishing, writing, fighting, walking, or ruling. The Cambridge dictionary defines a sceptre as "a decorated stick which is carried by a queen or king during some official ceremonies as a symbol of their authority."

Mattah is the Hebrew word used for the rod or staff that Moses carried. It was like a sceptre, a symbol of the authority that God had given him (and Aaron).

God had told Moses that he would be used to free the children of Israel. God told Moses what to say to the children of Israel, to the leaders of Israel, and to the king of Egypt. Moses questioned God and asked him “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?” God's answer is in Ex 4:2; "Then the LORD said to him, 'What is that in your hand?' 'A rod,' he replied."

God was telling Moses that he now had the authority of a king to work signs and miracles so that the people would believe what he was telling them. Every sign and miracle that Moses performed was done with his rod, his mattah, the authority given to him by God.

  • And you shall take this rod in your hand with which you shall work the signs [that prove I sent you]. Ex 4:17

  • Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded; [Aaron] lifted up the rod and smote the waters in the river in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and all the waters in the river were turned to blood. Ex 7:20
  • And they did so; Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and there came biting gnats or mosquitoes on man and beast; all the dust of the land became biting gnats or mosquitoes throughout all the land of Egypt. Ex 8:17
  • Then Moses stretched forth his rod toward the heavens, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire (lightning) ran down to and along the ground, and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. Ex 9:23
  • And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night; when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. Ex 10:13