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  • Ayanna A.

Faded Photographs.

You will forget your misery; it will be like water flowing away.

Job 11:NLT

Because you shall forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away.

Job 11:16 KJV

You'll forget your troubles; they will be like old faded photographs.

Job 11:16 MSG

You shall forget…

One of the most exciting aspects of studying the bible for me is how scriptures connect and cross reference themselves. Since I learned tools of rightly dividing the word, I have found surprising treasures of revelation hidden in the word.

One of the 7 Middot of Hillel, or hermeneutical rules of interpretation, is called Gezerah Shevah. It means similarity of expressions and this is one of my go-to tools when studying the bible.

Places where you find the exact same words in Hebrew, or the same general concept described in scripture are connected to each other. When the same word or set of words in Hebrew are repeated in multiple scriptures, the reader can build a case for connection between scriptures.

Learning and applying the 7 Middot of Hillel for interpreting scripture has made the word ALIVE for me. God's promises become living and active in my life instead of just historical words on the page. It has helped me to make personal application of the word to my life.


When I read Job 11:16, I remembered the same words uttered centuries earlier by a man called Joseph because my Pastor has taught several times about the Manasseh Miracle.

Because you shall forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away.

Job 11:16 KJV

Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.”

Genesis 41:51 NKJV

The same word AMAL is used in both scriptures. It is translated as misery in Job and toil in Genesis, but it’s the same meaning: travail, anguish. Using gezerah shevah we see a connection in the text.

Secondarily, forget and made me forget respectively is a gezerah shevah because the same meaning is implied in both passages (even though it is not the exact same Hebrew word used).

We see two connections here— 1. AMAL, meaning toil or anguish 2. Forget/cause to forget. Ding Ding! Somehow looking at Joseph’s life post the birth of his first son, Manasseh, can give us insight into God’s promise found in Job 10.

Do you know what the Manasseh Miracle looks like?

Joseph was in a season of comeback and reward for all his faithfulness to God. Joseph had experienced back to back years of rejection, betrayal, human trafficking, false accusation, and slavery.

When he was 17 he was sold into human trafficking by his family. Not one of his brothers stepped in to save him, despite hearing him cry and beg for mercy.

In Egypt, Joseph rose to leadership in his master’s home, but then experienced continual sexual harassment from his employer’s wife. He was such a man of integrity he refused to have sex with her when no one would know but him, her and his God.

Feeling rejected and angry, she lies on him. Joseph’s reputation was tarnished when she accused him of being a sexual predator. As consequence Joseph was sent to prison and served there for several years. Despite his unfair predicament, Joseph did not descend into self-pity. Instead he was alert to the needs of others. This attribute would become the key out of his enslavement; the doorway that led Joseph out of the prison was linked to a kindness that Joseph showed to one of Pharaoh’s close advisors (Genesis 40:6-8).

So in Genesis 41, we see Joseph coming out of years of back to back disappointments, betrayals and grief. He was now in a land of abundance and blessing. God “caused him to forget” the sorrows of the rejection of his father’s house and the years since then leading to his place of becoming right hand to Pharaoh, or second in command of the world’s greatest super power of that time. Joseph chose to mark this season by naming his first born son Manasseh

But wait, how does all this background about Joseph connect to the scripture in Job you may ask?

We saw earlier that the key scriptures are connected using gezerah shevah. Thus, Joseph’s life story is one example we can look at and learn how does God restore us after seasons of loss.

How does God cause one to forget? How exactly does God regenerate a life? These questions we will answer in the next couple of articles.

But for now, know that if you feel like a Joseph, trapped in a dark pit or in a predicament that is due to the evil of others, trust that the same God who restored Joseph will raise you up as well. Take comfort in one of the last words scripture records that Joseph spoke:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

Genesis 50:20 NLT

God will use the very material of evil done to you to be the vehicle to bless you.

Did this resonate with you? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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