Sealing of the Spirit.
What does that mean?
This type of study (a simple word study) is my favorite type.
When I was a youngin’ (that is a Christian youngin’), and found out about Strong’s concordance, I well near flipped with the possibilities. Computers were not available to me at the time, and the hard cover Strong’s I had given to me was a treasure trove of data!
This first part of the study, we will review all the Old Testament verses that include the hebrew word translated as “sealed” חָתַםchatham (khaw-tham’)
For this study in sealing, using old Testament occurrences will help me establish the apostles/first century believers understanding of the concept. Therefore the first portion of the study will look at all of the Old Testament verses that include the concept of sealing, found in the Hebrew word defined above.
Old Testament References
And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it ishis uncleanness.
Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?
This is the Song of Moses and up till this verse, Moses is writing about the faithfulness of God and the chastisement required upon His people. At verse 34, Moses declares Gods compassion on His people, in that “this” that is laid up in store is the need for the chastisement the people of God need to experience. This judgment that is sealed up among God’s treasures is described many times in the Pentateuch, and many believe it refers to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. If so, this sealing was not permanent. But it was secure!
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles thatwere in his city, dwelling with Naboth.
Jezebel sealed the letters with the seal of the King. 1 Kings 21:11 tells us that he seal was broken in order to read the letter and condemn Naboth to death.
And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah,
Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring.
Similar idea as 1 Kings 21:8. The seal was broken in order to read the pronouncement. As a matter of fact, it needed to be broken in order to effect its purpose.
Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.
Similar to above
And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
Similar to above
Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
A poetic expression of darkness – when the heavens are completely dark, it is as if God sealed all the stars up in a bag. But thankfully the sealing is not eternal.
My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity.
Similar concept as above.
In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.
Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.
A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
Isaiah speaks of the prophecy as being complete and that it should be stored away, sealed up among his disciples.
And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
The prophecies were sealed until the One who is worthy to break open the seals revealed the truth of the prophecies.
And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.
So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open:
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.
Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD.
Some background to these verses
Just before the destruction of Jerusalem, in the days of Jeremiah, God told Jeremiah to buy some land and to take the sealed purchase papers and the accompanying letter (open evidence) and to bury it in the ground. Verse 44 tells us that the day will come, when the captivity is accomplished, that men will again purchase property in the land of Israel. This occurred some 70 years later after the return of the Israelites.
Does this verse teach the unbreakableness of a seal or imply something else?
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Ezekiel is speaking of the King of Tyre and of his opinion of himself. He was full of himself! Ezekiel is a master of sarcasm!
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
A very difficult verse in many respects but the concept of sealing occurs twice, once with the idea of “completion” or “finishing”. A tremendous prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of finishing of sins and completing/fulfilling prophecy
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
In verse 8, Daniel asked when the prophecy would be fulfilled. God told him to seal the prophecy, since it would not be revealed until the time of the end. The prophecy would be sealed until revealed! (Hey – I’m a poet and didn’t know it!)
In order to compare similar concepts of sealing, I used the Septuagint, (the greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, which Jesus and His disciples used during their lifetime). For example, when the translators came to Daniel 12:9 and saw châtham, they used the greek word sphragizo.
Therefore I am going to continue in our next post in the study of “sealing” with the greek work sphragizo.
The following verses use ether the verb or noun of the simple word, and one strengthened verb (prefix of kata) חָתַםchatham (khaw-tham’) Strong’s 1. to close up 2. especially to seal [a primitive root] KJV: make an end, mark, seal (up), stop. Brown Driver Biggs 1) to seal, seal up, affix a seal 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to seal, affix one’s seal 1a2) to seal up, fasten up by sealing 1b) (Niphal) to seal 1c) (Piel) to lock up 1d) (Hiphil) to be stopped Part of Speech: verb The Complete Word Study Dictionary
A verb meaning to set a seal on, to seal up. It indicates the act of affixing an impression to serve as a seal on something, then sealing it up as well. It could be done to any clay object: a letter (1Ki_21:8); a bill of sale, such as the one used by Jeremiah (Jer_32:10-11, Jer_32:14, Jer_32:44); a house could be sealed up (Job_24:16); something could be sealed up or stopped up (Lev_15:3). It is used often figuratively: Daniel’s vision of seventy weeks when fulfilled will seal up the prophetic vision (Dan_9:24); Israel’s testimony or law is “sealed” among his followers for future reference (Isa_8:16). It is used in Son_4:12 to describe the bride of the bridegroom as a spring sealed up with promise of delights in marriage. It indicates sealing something so it can be opened only by the one who has the key that will open the seal (Isa_29:11).
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