Posts Tagged ‘pagan’

Pagan – Hebrew: Komer, Zikkaron, and Tame


“He did away with the pagan [idolatrous] priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem—those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts” (2 Kings 23:5). 

Komer in Hebrew is the word for ‘pagan’ and means ‘idolatrous.

Hebrew Word Pictures

כ Kaf – A Wing means ‘to open’ or ‘to allow.’

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for komer: to open or allow chaos’ highest authority.


“Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan [memorial] symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked with lust on their naked bodies” (Isaiah 57:8). 

Zikkaron is another Hebrew word for ‘pagan’ and means ‘memorial.’

“The enemy laid hands on all her treasures; she saw pagan nations enter her sanctuary— those you had forbidden to enter your assembly” (Lamentations 1:10). 

In Lamentations the word goy or ‘nations’ is used. There is no separate reference to ‘pagan’ which suggests that the translators wanted to differentiate it from Isaiah 56:6-7.  The ‘nations’ entering the sanctuary was forbidden. During the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, the goyim, the Greeks, entered the sanctuary and defiled it with pig’s blood.  Their actions were pagan and they were goyim.  

Hebrew Word Pictures

ז Zayin – A Weapon means ‘to divide’ or ‘cut.’

כ Kaf – A Wing means ‘to open’ or ‘to allow.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

י Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for zikkaron: divide and allow the highest authority’s binding of life.


Tame is another Hebrew word for ‘pagan’ and means ‘unclean.’

“‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan [unclean] country. And Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land” (Amos 7:17). 

Hebrew Word Pictures

ט Tet – A Snake means ‘twist.’

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first strength.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for tame: twisting chaos’ first strength.

Greek Words for ‘Pagan’

“If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan [nation] or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17). 

The Greek word for ‘pagan’ in this verse is ethnikos which comes from ethnos and means ‘nations’.  It is mistranslated numerous times as ‘pagan’ and ‘gentile’ and not its intended meaning of ‘nations.’  Those who refuse discipline in the Body of Messiah are to be treated as one would treat an outsider, one of the ‘nations.’

“For the pagan [nations of the] world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them” (Luke 12:30). 

The Greek word for ‘pagan’ in this verse is ethnos and means ‘nations.’ Again, there is no specific word for ‘pagan’ in this verse.  

“Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry” (1 Corinthians 10:7). 

The Greek word for ‘pagan’ is paizo and means ‘indulge in pagan revelry.’   It is only used once this way in all of Scripture.   Nations, unclean, memorial, and idolatrous have been substituted with the word ‘pagan’ and even ‘gentile’ creating a misuse of the word.

“But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles [ethnos], how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!  I am talking to you Gentiles [ethnos]. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles [ethnos], I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people [Isra’el]  to envy and save some of them” (Romans 11:12-14). 

The  mistranslation of the words goy and ethnos into ‘pagan’ and ‘gentile’ in this passage creates an identity crisis in the Body of Messiah.  Those of the nations, the goyim, though they may be living among ‘pagans’ are not always ‘pagan’ and learning the ‘ways of the nations’.   They are living in the ‘nations’ because God knew His people would be dispersed among the ‘nations’.   Those of the goyim or ethnos who have put their faith in Yeshua have the responsibility to make Israel envious for their Messiah.

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Nations – Hebrew: Goyim

“As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4).


Goyim or goy in Hebrew means ‘name of a people or nations.’ Goy is used 561 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and refers to peoples and nations generally in a context of geographical or governmental identity.  They have a unique origin and language.  Only twice is goy used with the idea of pagan and seven times it is [mis]translated as ‘gentile’.

Though goyim or ‘gentile’ can mean ‘pagan,’ its specific meaning must be determined through context.  Abraham did not become the ‘father of many pagans’ nor should every gentile be considered pagan. Abraham became the ‘father’ of many geographical peoples with many different origins, languages, and governmental identities: the goyim [nations]. Though those living in the nations may have had a pagan belief system, many within those systems recognize Abraham as their ‘father of  faith.’ These are the goyim promised to ‘the father of many nations.’ 

“The children fought with each other inside her so much that she said, “If it’s going to be like this, why go on living?” So she went to inquire of Adonai, who answered her, “There are two nations [goyim]  in your womb. From birth they will be two rival peoples. One of these peoples will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger” (Genesis 25:22-23). 

The Hebrew word for two ‘nations’ is goyim.  Two goyim fight in Rebecca’s womb –– not two pagans or two gentiles.  Two nations.  From these two nations came the Edomites from Esau and the Israelites from Jacob. The two nations would war regarding over being the ‘seed’ promised to Abraham.

Obedience to God’s commands would lead to the goyim to recognize Isra’el as a wise and understanding goy with an Elohim who is nothing like the pagan gods within the goyim (Deuteronomy 4:32).

Jeremiah tells Isra’el not to learn the ‘ways of the nations’ (Jeremiah 10:2).   The ‘ways of the nations’ he refers to are definitely not God’s ways and could be considered pagan: holding to religious beliefs contrary to the ways of God. This does not make the nation itself pagan, but their customs and religious practices.

Hebrew Word Pictures

ג Gimel – A Camel means ‘lift up’ or ‘pride.’

י Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for goyim: lift up the binding the finished work, the finished work of chaos.

“But now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles [ethnos] might come to the obedience that comes from faith” (Romans 16:26). 

Ethnos is used for ‘a nation or people’ in the Greek.

This verse is also evidence the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham regarding all nations.  Note that the word ethnos is (mis)translated ‘gentiles’ rather than ‘nations.’ 

The word paganin both in the Hebrew and Greek is a completely different word than goy.

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Halloween – All Hallow’s Eve

Autumn brings cooler weather, multi-colored leaves, and the harvest of corn, gourds, and pumpkins. In the midst of orange pumpkins and puffy blue clouds, excitement begins to arise for the upcoming celebration of Halloween. Every year, however, that excitement is intertwined with the fear and anxiety of child abductions, poisoned candy, and destruction of public property. Every year this celebration of darkness continues to grow in grandeur with more super Halloween costume stores and haunted houses while the righteous shake their heads and wonder what is happening to our world.

The celebration of “All Hallows Eve” is not in the Bible because God is explicit about the shameful activities done in darkness (Ephesians 5:12). Halloween celebrations take place mostly at night and center on spiritually dark things. Decorations glorify death and fear: spiders, witches, skeletons, and black cats. Children dress up in costumes that honor death and horror: ghosts, witches, devils, skeletons, vampires, and zombies. Of course, there are other costumes to soften or ‘mask’ the dark side: Cinderella, Little Bo Peep, Spiderman, Jack Sparrow and whatever is popular with Disney and the media. Teenagers, bored with masquerading, show their real character as mobsters by destroying public and private property.

“In the beginning, God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-2).

Before light, there was darkness and empty space. When God spoke, light came into this world and the Light of the World was God and was with God.

“In the beginning was the Word,  and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.  “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 1:15, 3:19).

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I AM the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life…. “While I am in the world, I AM the light of the world…. “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46).

Jesus calls himself the Light of the world, and there is no darkness in him. He came into the world to destroy the darkness and the spiritual powers and principalities associated with it. Because people love darkness more than they love the light, they do not understand the light nor do they come near the light.

Unfortunately, the world’s view of darkness has contaminated the hearts and minds of Christians. Rather than being transformed by the renewing of their minds, they continue to play with the “fruitless deeds of darkness” rather than expose them for what they are. Christians should be praising God for calling them out of darkness into His glorious light , not paying tribute to the darkness (1 Peter 2:9, 2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).

“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15).

For several decades, Christ’s victory over death has been diluted with an infatuation of death, and Christians have blurred the line between the gift of eternal life and a celebration of death. They have traded their precious redemption through the blood of Jesus for a celebration that brings no profit to their present life or future heavenly rewards (Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:8-12).

“Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings (having to separate themselves?)” (1 Peter 5:7-9).

Scripture never indicates that Jesus honored any holiday with pagan roots and gods. He didn’t go out into the spiritual darkness of a pagan holiday to shine his light. He didn’t hand out gospel tracts nor did he tell his disciples to do so. His life of obedience to his Father was his testimony; ours must be too.

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

As the Son of God, Jesus did not imitate evil nor should we. He didn’t pretend or masquerade to be something that he wasn’t. That is Satan’s method of operation and should not be ours. 

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 10:10-14).

Many who claim to follow Christ have become lukewarm, mixing the holy and the profane, and without the spiritual maturity to discern good from evil. They cannot see that witchcraft with all its gnarly fingers has enslaved children and young adults in their homes, schools, and towns. They are blind to the demons and evil spirits presented in television programs and movies. Zombies are walking dead people who are given homage by those who claim to have eternal life.

“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.  Anyone who does what is good is from God.  Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11).

A recent popular mantra in Christendom has been “What Would Jesus Do?” This is the exact question everyone should ask regarding any unBiblical holiday, but especially Halloween. What WOULD Jesus Do? Would he try to redeem something rooted in the abominable ways of the nations back to his Father or would he call it for what it was and not participate in pagan ways? The institutional church has been more than willing to say that everything Jewish is ‘evil’ and ‘wrong,’ but legitimate evil practices at Halloween are not? Churches create ‘alternatives’ in order to keep their disobedience disguised, allowing them to keep one foot in the world and one foot … in the world.  

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

The “god of this age,” the Adversary, has blinded the minds of unbelievers and will continue to do so until Christ’s return. The “god of this age” is also being allowed to deceive so-called believers who want to do what is ‘right in their own eyes‘ and live their life without any accountability to God. A great deception has happened to those who claim to have the ‘light,’ but still embrace the darkness in practicies that they deem as fun and harmless.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

For those who truly have made Jesus their Savior, it is imperative to allow Him to be Lord as well. Though it may be a challenge and even difficult to step out and stay out of the darkness, each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and our children. Each of us is accountable before God for our testimony to the world about Jesus’ deliverance from death and spiritual darkness into the ‘light.’

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

If you call Jesus your salvation and have repented from a sin-filled life, then you have to choose between being a friend of God or a friend of the world. When you choose to be God’s friend, He will give you spiritual eyes and set you free from pagan traditions rooted in darkness and demonic spiritual forces –– both part of Halloween.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.  For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2: 8-10).

There will always be those who mock the idea of not taking part in Halloween. For doubters, research “All Hallows Eve” and “Samhain” using an encyclopedia or just browse the internet. This is the information age. If you want information, it’s readily available. Talk to a law enforcement official in your local town and find out about witchcraft activities during Halloween. Read the newspaper and note all of the crime and death that takes place during Halloween. Near Denver, Colorado, a shed was found with the bones of human remains along with articles of witchcraft following Halloween.

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had trusted him, ‘If you obey what I say, then you are really my disciples, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32).

When you know and embrace the truth, you will no longer shake your head in wonderment at the growing evil in the world, but you will know the truth and you will understand whose holiday this really is. You will walk in the ‘light’ of God’s Word and will not only know what Jesus did, but more importantly, you will know what Jesus did not do. He did not celebrate any pagan holidays; he suffered death on a cross and rose from the dead to destroy death, demonic powers, and authorities in high places.

That’s what Jesus did. What will you do?

©2009 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  

For a children’s booklet explaining Halloween, “Take off your mask, Celebrate Life!”