Amen! Perhaps you pronounce it Ay-men or Ah-men or Ah-main or even Oh-mein. You say it at the end of prayers or after someone says something you agree with. So be it. Verily. Truly. They’re all translations of the word “Amen.” But is that the true definition?
Philologists, experts in the history of language, acknowledge that the source of the word is ancient Hebrew. It was adopted into the Greek and from there moved into other Western languages. It’s said that the ancient Hebrew word is a root word meaning firmness, reliability, faithfulness, or belief. Well, okay. That makes a bit of sense. But the word seems to be far more important than these simple concepts. Is it possible that there is more?
There is a mystical and spiritual tradition that underlies much of Judaism and Christianity (and thus, Islam) known as the Kabbalah. You may have heard of it because some celebrities including Roseanne, Madonna, Demi Moore, Britney Spears and others have either dabbled with a popular version of the Kabbalah, or have fully adopted it.
There are many aspects to the Kabbalah, but one of its major purposes was a mystical interpretation of the sacred scriptures of the Jews, especially the Bible. How can one do this? One way is by finding secret messages hidden in the text.
The Kabbalah has several methods of finding such secrets. One way is to find words that are actually abbreviations made from the first letters of a series of words. Today we call such abbreviations acronyms. An example would be that the word NATO is an abbreviation for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In the Kabbalah, the practice of finding or using acronyms is called Notarikon.
In Hebrew, Amen is composed of three letters: Aleph, Mem and Nun. It so happens that there is a brief sentence in Hebrew, composed of three words which begin with these letters:
Al (pronounced “ehl”) means God
Melech (pronounced “mehl-ech” where the “ch” is like the German “ach”) means King
Neh-eh-mahn means Faithful
Thus, the real meaning of Amen is God is a Faithful King. This is also the interpretation of Amen that is found in the Talmud, the Rabbinic interpretation of the Bible that is the basis of Jewish law.
Many Jews will say “Al Melech Neh-eh-mahn” before reciting in private the prayer that is the statement of faith, the Shema. A common synagogue prayer in Judaism has the Rabbi make a statement and the congregation replies with “Al Melech Ne-eh-mahn.” God is a faithful king.
When you say “Amen” at the end of the prayer, you are doing more than saying “so be it” and hoping that your prayer will become true. You are acknowledging that you are literally making a contract with God. Your part of the contract is to obey God’s laws as best you understand them. God will then fulfill His part of the bargain. But why should God do this when God can do anything? Because God is a faithful king. God will keep His word.
This is especially valuable for when you make a prayer asking for something. You may be asking for patience, wisdom, help for yourself or others, spiritual healing, friendship, or something more tangible. It has been said that “God answers all prayers. Sometimes the answer is ‘no.’” This may be true. On the other hand, if you consider a prayer to be an oral contract, then God is a faithful king. God will uphold His part of the contract if you uphold your part. Is it possible that you don’t get what you pray for because you don’t keep your part of the contract, voiding it out?
Consider what you think your part of the prayer/contract is. It may simply be following to the best of your ability what you believe are God’s laws. If you do, God is a faithful king and will complete the contract. It may be that you promise to do something special, ranging from just doing the chores without being asked to spending time helping the needy. Fulfill your part of the bargain and God will fulfill His part of the bargain. After all, God is a faithful king.
Amen to that!
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy, and has become a certified hypnotherapist and Master NLP practitioner. His book, Modern Magick, is the most popular step-by-step course in real magick ever published.