Keep me as the apple of the eye;
hide me in the shadow of thy wings,
from the wicked who despoil me,
my deadly enemies who surround me.
(one of our two little apples on our four apple trees…Julie Cook / 2017)
Whereas an apple a day supposedly keeps the doctor away, historically apples have often
fallen in and out of favor….both literally and figuratively.
in part due to a loss of translation or simple miscommunication.
A member of the rose family, apples were most likely the first trees to be cultivated
Historical records have even credited Alexander the Great with most likely
discovering a dwarf variety of apples that he later brought to Macedonia from Kazakhstan.
And it was the early European settlers who are credited with having first introduced
cultivated varieties of apples to North America as the crab apple was the only native
“apple” species on the continent.
Thus having originated in central Asia, it is often speculated as to whether apples were
even known to exist as an actual fruit or tree in ancient biblical times.
And as any biblical translation scholar will tell you,
Hebrew translations may or may not always have a corresponding word in
English as an equivalent…
just as we observe with the use of the word apple in Psalm 17.
Verse 8 mentions “keeping me as the apple of your eye…”
Meaning that ‘I am to be held in the center of your heart and attention
I am your pride and joy…..”
As the Hebrew translation of the psalm does not use the word apple as we
know the word apple to be today, but rather it translates as “little man of my eye”
and refers to the pupil of the eye and not an actual apple because the pupil was
thought to be a round hard ball, much like an apple.
And yet it was the eye to which early civilizations looked as being key to the essence of a person.
So keeping one as the center of the eye is to have kept them at the heart of one’s being.
The word apple is laced throughout various verses and passages in the Old Testament
with a direct Hebrew translation often referring to pupils and or actual eyeballs…
So perhaps apple is wrongly transposed from the more accurate notion
of that of an aperture, with aperture being the center of the eye…
as an aperture is a hole in which light passes through, such as in a camera lens….
which in turn equates the pupil of the eye, which is the hole allowing
ligt to pass to the back of the retina….which is in essence how we see…
thus apple is meant as aperture.
And as we read the story in Genesis regarding the exchange between Eve and the serpent:
Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;
but God said,
‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden,
neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”But the serpent said to the woman,
“You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
and that it was a delight to the eyes,
and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate;
and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked;
and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.
We see the same sort of translation issue arising in this story as
the Latin translation of the word “apple” is closely similar to the translation of “evil”
“with the Latin words mālum (an apple) and mălum (an evil),
each of which is normally written malum.
The tree of the forbidden fruit is called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”
in Genesis 2:17, and the Latin for “good and evil” is bonum et malum.”
So we see that the end result is often that time has a way of cementing
certain words to certain meanings.
While the gist and the story remains pretty much the same and understood…
the symbols of various words take on a variety of meanings.
As in these two examples with the word apple…
In the one instance it is seen as something ominous and wrong with a sinister
and evil connotation…
while next it is meant as something special, endearing and solely important…
And it is often here, in these confusions of translations and multiple meanings,
that skeptics often point…
as skeptics love to use perceived confusion as a smoke screen of defense.
Their’s is a very loud and very vocal piece of the hysterical….
“see, that isn’t right, that isn’t what was really intended….
so how do you, how can you, claim to even know what is right or what is wrong…
maybe you’ve just been misguided all these thousands of years…”
However as we often see in these sacred stories and narratives that although there
may be multiple words that are being used in a variety of different contexts…
the meanings and lessons conveyed are still always the same as originally intended…
It’s just that we may have exchanged an apple for an orange…
Which means that sometimes the words are defined as the same thing,
and at other times they are not…
perhaps meaning or relating to a variety of different things such as
feelings, thoughts and emotions….
….such is the joy of language…
But one thing is always certain…
God’s word will always remain the same…as well as unchanged…
God’s meaning, intent and His words are never altered or changed despite man’s
often erroneous and misguided attempts of expressing such…
For His words stand the test to both time and translation….
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof,
for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete,
equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17