Because I knew that thou [Israel] art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew [stiff-necked won’t bend or bow], and thy brow brass.” (Isaiah 48:4)
What does it mean to have a brass brow?
Look up. Notice the position of your forehead and eyebrows. Now try looking up without using your forehead, eyebrows or neck. Can you?
- What is God telling the Israelites through the symbolism of the forehead and neck?
- Do you have a reputation of being stubborn? How are you overcoming it?
- In what ways do you look to God?
- In what ways are you riding yourself of pride?
- In what ways are you summiting to God?
After doing a study on foreheads I came up with a list of symbols. I always find it interesting how God uses a symbol and Satan has a counterfeit symbol. At the same time God uses the hard forehead to describe prophets and sinners. The message I’m learning is that we need to make our hearts (in this case foreheads) hard against evil and soft toward God’s messages.
- Obstinate: the house of Israel are “stout of forehead” (Ezekiel 3:8)
- Without God: thy brow is brass (Isaiah 48:4)
- Separation from God: Amlicites marked themselves (Alma 3:13)
- Not looking to God: Israel are of a hard forehead and of a stiff heart (Jeremiah 3:7)
- Beliefs: David’s stone struck Goliath’s forehead (1 Samuel 17:49)
- Loyal to God/ need not fear your enemies: God makes his prophet’s “forehead hard …. as an adamant harder than flint,” (Jeremiah 3:8, 9)
- Hard work: Adam worked “by the sweat of [his] brow”
- Bold and Firm Message from the prophet (Isaiah 48:8; Isaiah 48:9)
- Saving Mark: a distinguishing mark made on the men that turned to God, it set them apart and they were spared (not killed)(Ezekiel 9:4)
- Present to God: “Holiness To The Lord” written on the mitre (hat) of the High Priest (Exodus 28:36)
I recently did a study on hair for our “Body of Christ” Series. Sometimes when you study a subject yo
u think you know it pretty well and then you begin and realize that your knowledge is very small. This is exactly how I felt in this study. I learned far more than I knew. I invite you to take a small topic and study it.
The first time ‘hair’ is used in the Bible is when Esau was born (Genesis 25:25)The word for hair in Hebrew is “שֵׂעָר” (se’ar) consisting of the consonants shin-ayin-reish. These are the same consonants used in the word “shi’ur” meaning a “measured portion”.
They are also the same consonants for the Hebrew word שער (sha’ar) meaning “gate”.
These suggests that hair acts like a gate and can be measured. Like a gate acts as a connection between those inside and those outside, so does hair act as a connection between the inside and outside. God said no hair of the head would be lost to him (Alma 40:23) suggesting he knows and measures all things.
We can imagine God being the keeper of the gate regulating the revelation we receive into our head and keeping track of the lost pieces of the gate. You may imagine something different.
Here is a list of symbols I found that had to do with hair.
- Innumerable – the hairs together on a head
- Minuteness (hairbreadth) – the thickness of a single hair (Judges 20:16)
- Honored / Wisdom – Grey and hoary white hair (Proverbs 16:31; 20:29) Expressing old age (Isaiah 46:4), and wisdom (Solomon 4:9-10?)
- Glorious / Divine presence “whose brightness and glory defy all description” (Joseph Smith History 1:17; Daniel 7:9; Revelation 1:14)
- Humble and mighty people – “hair of the feet and the beard” (Isaiah 7:20)
- Terror or fear – the “hair of the flesh” is said to “stand up” (Job 4:15)
- Slavery – “instead of well set hair baldness” (Isaiah 3:24; 2 Nephi 13:24)
- Strength – Samson’s “hair of his head began to grow again” (Judges 16:22)
- Omniscience – even a hair of the head shall not be lost (Alma 40:23; D&C 9:14; 29:25); a hair of his head shall not fall … unnoticed (D&C 84:80; 84:116)
- Gate – hair is like a gate between the outside and the inside (Hebrew word with same consonants as hair is gate)
- Measurable – our hair “shall not be lost” (Alma 40:23) (Hebrew word close to hair is “measured portion”)
What insights do you know about hair?
How has this study helped you become closer to Christ? Your family?
The cheek is a symbol for trust and loyalty. It is the place where friends greet each other. Enemies slap and beat the cheeks as an insult. When one hides his cheeks he is astonished or ashamed.
Judas chose to betray his master with a kiss on the cheek. He was paid 30 pieces of silver (the price of a slave) by the Romans to tell them where Jesus was. He told the guards that the one he kisses is Jesus. As he walked up to Jesus and the other eleven apostles he greeted Jesus with a kiss and said, “Master.” Jesus greets him by calling him, “friend.” Jesus knew he was being betrayed and still he greets him with a kiss and calls him friend. Jesus is the ultimate example of forgiveness. He was immediately seized and arrested.
The Savior taught us that even the insult of having your cheek slapped is to be forgiven and pardoned, “turn to him your other cheek” (Matthew 5:39; Luke 6:29). Kindness and friendship is king over aggression and anger.
How do you use your cheeks to show you are not ashamed of Christ and that you follow his example?
Do you know what “hair was white like pure snow” means? Check out our next Table Talk discussion #66.
“His Cheeks” Devotional Guide Available NOW!
We have prepared “His Cheeks” Devotional Guide for you to use with your family. Check out the video on Cheeks: “His Cheeks” – Table Talk Discussion #65.
In today’s temple, we manipulate light to show progression, in the ancient Biblical Tabernacle they used smell to show a change in atmosphere and progression.
The desert was bright, hot, windy and dirty. Inside the Holy room was cool, clean, dark, with soft carpet and filled with sweet smells.
All five senses were appealed to:
- Smell – incense, bread, wine
- Taste – bread and wine
- Sight – light, smoke (cloud), beauty
- Feel – carpet, smoke, shade, spirit
- Hear – quiet, pleasant
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“The Smell of Thy Nose” Devotional Guide Available NOW!
We have prepared a PDF “The Smell of Thy Nose” Devotional Guide for you to use with your family. Table Talk Discussion #62 goes along with the guide.