Listen:  74 Question 3

The word ‘amen’ is used both in the Old and New Testaments.  In the Old Testament, the word is a transliteration of the Hebrew word, which was pronounced, ‘aw-mane.’  It means: sure, truly, truth, or so be it.  Throughout the Old Testament, the word is used to acknowledge the truthfulness of what has been said as in Deuteronomy 27:15 which says, “Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.”  In Isaiah 65:16 the word ‘amen’ is translated ‘truth.’  That says, “That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.”  In Jeremiah 11:5 the word is translated ‘so be it.’  That verse says, “That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD.”

Some have thought that the word ‘amen’ is of pagan origin because there was an Egyptian god named ‘Amen-Ra’.  These people teach that Moses introduced the name of this pagan god into the worship and religious language of the people after leading them out of Egypt. I think we can see that if Moses had done such a dishonoring thing, the Lord would have been very angry.  Actually, the first time we see this word used; it was the Lord that commanded it to be used in Numbers 5:22.  It is not credible that the true God would invoke the name of a false pagan god.

In the Old Testament, we see occurrences where the word ‘amen’ was used in the saying of prayers.  One example is the prayer that is being offered in Nehemiah 8:6 which says, “And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.”

In the New Testament, the word ‘amen’ is transliterated from the Hebrew.  Its meaning is identical.  The word in the New Testament is often translated into the English as ‘verily’.  The Lord Jesus, very often spoke this word.  In Matthew 17:20 we read, “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”  The Lord told the penitent thief on the cross in Luke 23:43, “…Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  Often, the Lord would use the word twice for emphasis concerning the truth He was giving, such as in John 3:3 which says, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  We see this double emphasis in John 16:23 which says, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.”  In each of these instances, the word ‘verily’ or ‘amen’ was used to emphasize the truth that was being spoken.

The Apostle John used it to close the Gospel account that bears his name.  The Apostle Paul used this word to close most of his epistles.  We see the word ‘amen’ being used to end a prayer when the Lord taught His disciples how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

The word ‘amen’ is even given as a name for the Lord in Revelation 3:14 which says, “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.”

The word ‘amen’ is a solemn affirmation of truth.  It is a special word that we can use whenever we have said, or heard, something that is true before God.  It is a proper word to use to end our prayers.  The very last word in the Bible is the word ‘amen’ as we read in Revelation 22:20-21, “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”  To that thought, I add my own amen, so be it, come Lord Jesus, come today.