The Jewish morning begins with the “Modeh Ani” (“I thank”) prayer, which expresses the worshiper’s gratitude for another day of life.

מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה. רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ

(Modeh anee lefanecha melech chai vekayam, she-he-chezarta bee nishmatee b’chemla, raba emunatecha).

Translation: “I thank Thee, living and eternal King, for Thou hast mercifully restored my soul within me; Great is Thy faithfulness.”

The presumption here is that the worshiper entrusted the spirit to the Almighty for safe-keeping the previous evening. Many observant Jews use the phrase, “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31:5) at the end of their evening prayers.

It is interesting that this ritual includes the same verse that Jesus cried out while dying on the cross (Luke 23:46).  It is highly likely that Jesus, in his agony, was reciting this psalm from memory as he faced the greatest challenge of his incarnate life.

We read these fitting words in Psalm 31:1-5

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
Be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit; (בְּיָדְךָ, אַפְקִיד רוּחִי)
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

I would like to focus on the text which was quoted in the Gospels (vs. 5). How does this beautiful verse sound in Hebrew original? Is it possible that something essential about it has been lost in translation?

The Hebrew word translated, “I commit,” is “אַפְקִיד” (pronounced afkid). This word has a meaning that is much closer to “I deposit” – which necessarily signifies a future “reclaiming” of the thing deposited. A vivid image might be that of checking in a coat at theater or restaurant, or even money into the bank, with the definite intention of getting it back. While the English word “commit” can also be used to describe giving something with the purpose of claiming it back at some point in the future, it might just as well mean the giving of something without stating any clear intentions for the future. In Hebrew, on the other hand, the unequivocal meaning of this verse is the temporary submission of one’s spirit into the hands of God – giving it into “His custody,” with the definite intention of receiving it back. 

It makes perfect sense that Jesus would quote this particular psalm while hanging on a Roman cross.

This shows that if we take the time to compare the original verse Jesus was reciting from Hebrew, a simple, but significant insight into the words of Jesus on the cross will emerge. The words Jesus uttered were nothing less than a declaration of his great Israelite faith.  He was confident that as he deposited his soul into the hands of his Heavenly Father, he will surely get it back at his resurrection. What happened three days later proved that Jesus did not hope in vain.

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

357 COMMENTS

  1. Thank God for His faithfulness! Jesus implicit trust in God is a strong example and inspiration. In times of trial when I feel lost and alone He can seem remote. Just as Jesus felt deserted. The resurrection of Jesus Christ and the sending of Holy Spirit gives me hope. With His support I can carry on. The Psalms remind me that everybody has hard times. Lamentations can change to rejoicing. Amen. Thank you for this insight.
    • My question is regarding honoring the Sabbath for Jewish Non-Christians, Jewish Christians and Non-Jewish Christians. Is there a Biblical pre-text for each group to know and believe they are honoring the Sabbath appropriately? What does that look like for each group? Thank you for your response.

      + More answers (80)
    • Thank you so much f sharing this!! “Trust in the LORD w all your heart” has becoming dull & thin lately. I can relate now.

      Thank you so much f the article. It’s enlightening to know the Lord was the same except w grand magnitude.
    • So true, your emotions when in trauma situations may feel unrecognized by God, but you have faith that he sees and hears your plea's. Then it seems miraculously you recieve the help you need, and praise Him for his wondrous mercy and support. Not seen, but believed!
    SHOW ALL (6)
  2. I always get more inspired each time I open your mails.Those believe in the Lord will surely get their lives back.What a previlage we have in the Lord

    • + More answers (19)
    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World and The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!
    • Much love to my brothers and sisters in the unmatchable name of Y'shua HaMashiach! I want to expound on what it means to hebraically believe. In Torah, The prophets and the writings, as well as the Brit Hadashah, whenever you see the phrases "and he walked with God", or "and he/they begin to call on the name....", or "if you believe", or "they believed", or "he who believes in Y'shua", in connection with believing in the one true Elohim. Actually means that they started to obey. Obey what? Obey His Word/Instructions spoken and written in Torah. Study it for yourself!
  3. Thank you for this. I am seeking clarity of things in the Bible that I don't understand and God has sent this to me. Praise the Lord.
    • How wonderful news today to attend God's ward's is happen of life.
      So much comes from you gives new life because we are living in life of darkness. To conform this corona virus is now connected to the world :earth_asia: wild. We need to turn to God new in The book of act of apostles ch 17 vs 30.
  4. Interesting light on what Jesus said. But what would you say about the use of “אַפְקִיד” by, say, Stephen in Acts when he is being martyred? How could he have meant "I deposit my spirit to you but I want it back"? :-) ...or for that matter by Jews since the writing of that Psalm? I don't imagine that they are all thinking of post-resurrection experience. Todah
    • Why would they not be thinking Post Resurrection? It is a common thought of the Resurrection in Judaism. The idea of Resurrection is not only paramount it is tantamount to the Jewish person of the 2nd Temple period. No matter what side you fell on it was every bit of the Jewish culture and mindset of that time. Faced with the moment of death it seems fitting a devout follower of God would "commit his spirit" with the idea of the resurrection.
  5. I am an advocate of Hebrew Primacy; I believe the so called "New Testament" was written in Hebrew. However the many and varied Greek translations are what we have, so I looked it up. Even in the Greek a better translation would have been "I deposit." Thanks for an interesting d'rash.
    • You can believe in Santa Clause doesn't mean he exists. The NT was written in Greek not Hebrew. There is no Hebrew manuscripts only Greek.

      + More answers (3)
    • Unfortunately we do not have any early copies of the Gospels in Hebrew. The Greek word παρατίθημι paratíthēmi has several meanings including "deposit." See https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3908&t=KJV We do have early, perhaps 1st or 2nd century CE copies of manuscripts in Aramaic. The Peshitta Aramaic for Lk. 23:46 uses ܣܐܡ soom which also has several meanings, including: 1) put, put on, place, set, lay, lay down; (2) add, give (to), lay up, lay aside; (3) ordain, assign, appoint, establish, commit, determine, decide. Hopefully this Aramaic insight is helpful.

      + More answers (1)
  6. It just occur to me that when Jesus utter the words into your hands I commit my soul, it was repentant of my and all the sins of the world but we have to repent our self to complete it for salvation to happen.
    • YESHUA (JESUS) didn't commit/comment/deposit His "soul"...It was His "SPIRIT" that went back to YAHWEH (FATHER GOD)...When Jesus died on the cross, GOD (the FATHER) took JESUS spirit from him and He was dead. 3 days later GOD (the FATHER) gave His spirit back to Him and He lived/arose from that death and thus the tomb. When GOD created Adam, Adam became a living "SOUL"...so Adam was in effect a living person, a flesh and blood creature, a human being thus a "SOUL". So, that being said, JESUS gave up His "SPIRIT" at His moment of death...

      + More answers (2)
    • I'm an ordained Interfaith Minister. This is the first time I have read anything which helped me understand why people believe and say, "Jesus died for our sins". The idea that he committed his spirit into Gods hands as an example for us resonates for me. I never could get why people think he was crucified for us. He was crucified because he threatened people in power with his new ideas. Thank you. PS. Grandpa was a Jew but it was a secret for my first 60 years on the planet.

      + More answers (1)
    • How wonderful news today to attend God's ward's is happen of life.
      So much comes from you gives new life because we are living in life of darkness. To conform this corona virus is now connected to the world :earth_asia: wild. We need to turn to God new in The book of act of apostles ch 17 vs 30.
  7. Jesus also cried out "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" which many Churches teach is a sign of his despair from being abandoned by God. I don't believe this. It is also the first line of Psalm 22. In Jesus' time Psalms weren't numbered, the leader of a prayer group would call out the first line and the faithful would take up the remainder of the Psalm (the common prayers of the time). I believe Jesus was calling the faithful around him to a very specific, prophetic prayer. What is your take on this?
    • Mike, I do believe the entire Psalm was in His mind and gave Him courage. BUT, also,for me, the concept of Jesus feeling abandonment is important to His experiencing everything as we do, being a brother who has been tempted as we are. Thus, it builds my faith in moments of despair, that, even though .... He still "deposited/entrusted His Spirit to God, knowing that , as in Psalm 22, He would ultimately "tell of Thy name to my brethren" v22. ,Since for this hour He had come, He "leaped into the dark", believing He would be caught. Blessings.

      + More answers (2)
    • Mike, I believe that when Jesus uttered 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me' wasn't that God abandoned Jesus as some people may assume. I believe Jesus spoke those words because since every single sin mankind has ever been committed from the creation of man even into the future was placed on Jesus and the Father couldn't look at Jesus. That's the reason Jesus said those words.

      + More answers (7)
    • Mike. He was not abandoned by God. Because he took on all the sins of the people he was briefly separated from God. God never abandons us, we abandon him through sinning & not repenting.

      + More answers (1)
    • You are one of the few whom I believe have grasped Jesus' use of Ps 22. The first verse can only be understood in the light of the rest of the Psalm. This is a song of VICTORY, not defeat or abandonment.

      + More answers (1)
    • The Aramaic Peshitta gives us some insights on this. Jesus was not quoting the 22nd Psalm (at least not in Hebrew). The 22nd Psalm in Hebrew uses the word עֲזַבְתָּנִי azawtani or azavtani meaning to leave, loose, forsake ; (Qal) to leave, to depart from, leave behind, leave, let alone, to leave, abandon, forsake, neglect, apostatise, to let loose, set free, let go, free; (Niphal) to be left to, to be forsaken; (Pual) to be deserted. It does not use the Aramaic word transliterated into Greek as σαβαχθάνι sabachthani but this Aramaic word ܫܒܼܩܬܿܢܝ܂ is actually pronounced as shwachtan ...
    SHOW ALL (7)
  8. I so enjoy receiving these they are wonderful they give me so much food and encouragement. I only wish I could take the course but I am to old. What a thing to have to say but I am blind in one eye and can not hear oh if only this was here years ago how much pain could have been avoided. I bless you for those who are able to take the course what a great blessing.
  9. The faith that Jesus showed on the cross is a very good example for us as we face the coming abject violence that current events around the globe suggest. His words entrusting his spirit to God as he descends into death for safekeeping are riveting! Then his resurgence after three days is reassuring that, yes in fact, if our trust is in God of Jesus we also will not remain in the grave. Praise God! As Jesus raised we also will raise so the fear, and the bite of death, have lost their power over us!
Load more comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your name here
Words left: 50
Please enter your comment!