Pearls of the Word

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A Jew's praise comes from God

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"But the Jew is what he is within himself [kruptos, in secret], and circumcision is of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter. His praise is not from men, but from God" (Romans 2:29).

The word "Jew" comes from the Hebrew word יְהוּדִי (Yehudi), which is itself derived from the word יְהוּדָה (Yehuda), meaning "praise of God". So, by etymology, a Jew is "someone who praises God", but his praise does not come from the fact that he is a Jew, within his body or in his heart, but because he belongs to God.

Although playing on the words "Jew" and "praise", the apostle Paul insists that true praise can only come through the presence of God in our lives. Therefore, the real Jew praises God because God’s spirit, who has circumcised his heart, is Himself the inspirer (the author) of the praise (Philippians 3:3).