In the English language, the imperative is not for the grammatically faint of heart. Imperatives command, demand, direct. To etymologists, imperatives are even more striking if they can’t be modernized. Such is the case with “Behold,” a word associated with the King James version of the Bible, which was translated under the aegis of King James VI from the Christian Bible and finished in 1611. The Old Testament features the Hebrew word הנה “hinneh,” while the Greek word ιδου “idou” is used in the New Testament text. Bible purists who can likely cite each of the 1,298 times it is used in the Book, dismiss the superficial translations of “look” or “see.” Rather, “Behold” is a slap in the face, that forceful order to drop everything and “Pay Attention!”
The decree’s first Biblical appearance is in Genesis: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Our very existence and subsistence were thus something we were bequeathed. The word “grateful” comes to mind. Ours is a world of many faiths, but at this time of year, for the third of the world’s population who follow the teachings of Christianity, the birth of Christ unites in the spirit of hope. As John the Baptist wrote in his very first chapter, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
What’s not to like about absolution? Especially at this most wonderful time of the year, when even the very secular investment community has its own gods, invested with seemingly infinite powers to grant full pardons for having taken undue risks. “Just one more year” is the prayer repeated, just 12 more magnificent months of risk-free returns.
Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence
For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website — www.DiMartinoBooth.com
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