In the last week or so, two good friends have given me out-of-the-blue gifts, one gave me some fancy tea and the other a tea pot. Now I’m usually very much a coffee drinker, so I took this opportunity to dabble on The Other Side, and to my surprise really enjoyed it! One friend also gave me card in which she encouraged me to spend time with Jesus (drinking a cuppa!) until my ‘cup overflowed’ and I have enough to give to those around me. So I also took the opportunity to rummage in the Hebrew of the words of Psalm 23v5: You anoint my head; My cup overflows.
The Hebrew of this verse reads: dissanta (you anoint) basemen (with oil) rosi (my head); kowsi (my cup) rewayah (runs over).
Here are the words I investigated to see if the Hebrew had any meaning which my English translation had missed (numbers in [brackets] refer to Strongs ref number):
kowsi , my cup: It’s referring to a cup of blessing. So, my cup of blessing overflows.
rewayah , runs over: It means abundance, of overflow as if it were alive (!), and saturation. One commentary linked it with Ephesians 3:20, He can do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask or imagine
dissanta , you anoint: The root of this word is dashen which means literally to get fat. Other meanings included anointed, to become greasy (from a lot of anointing?!), to become prosperous, to find acceptance, and to remove its ashes. This really intrigued me. It seems that this word firstly refers to a physical enhancement. I remember an African friend greeting me with You’re so fat! which she meant as a compliment about how well I looked. I’m sure this is what this word is talking about, an experience of well being, perhaps related to financial wellbeing (see the prosperous meaning), having enough physical resources that you are well. It is then extended to a spirituan ‘enhancement’ relating to acceptance and removal of ashes. Ashes in the Bible feature a lot in the sacrifice and offering system detailed in Leviticus. The ashes are taken outside the camp, specifically relating to sin offerings (Leviticus 4:12). There is a link here to atonement, to being made acceptable Ashes are also used in mourning and contrition. So God taking away His people’s ashes, when He anoints them, He removes our guilt and shame and maybe also sadness. He gives us a garland instead (Isaiah 6:3). This is a massive spiritual ‘enhancement’. This is a daily game changer. God anoints me, He swaps out my guilt and sadness, and He makes my cup of blessings so full it runs over as if it were alive. Wow what a wonderful God!
Here’s my last thought: Remember the context for this abundance is ‘in the presence of my enemies’ (Psalm 23:4). God’s blessing is not limited by our circumstances. He blesses us in them.