Proverbs 13:17: Out of the Faithful Sent Ones Comes Healing

Pro 13:17 “A wicked messengers falls into trouble, but a faithful ambassador brings healing. (NJKV)
Recently, I was reading the Aramaic translation of the Proverbs and stumbled across this verse and it incited in me a whole new appreciation for healing. The latter part of this verse will be our focus. The Aramaic of this text reads, “A faithful ambassador is a healer.” (1) This translation awakened all the charismatic fires within me and I set out to see why I had never seen this translation of this Proverb previously. The following is a list of translation and how they translate the Hebrew of this text:
(ASV) But a faithful ambassador is health.
(BBE) he who gives news rightly makes things well.
(ESV) but a faithful envoy brings healing.
(GNB) but those who can be trusted bring peace.
(NIV) but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.
(NASB) but a faithful envoy brings healing.
All of these translations are wonderful but none of them came close to the translation of the Aramaic that had so ignited the revivalist inside of me. So, I decided to examine the Hebrew of the text to see where this Aramaic translation could’ve come from. Here is what I found.
The Hebrew phrase is only three words long:      מרפא׃ אמונים  וציר,
Let’s dissect these three words and see if some meaning can be extracted. The first word is pronounced “tzeer” and is best described as “the sent out ones”. It is derived from the word “send” thus, we see the words envoy and ambassador, as the primary translation. However, at its root, all of these definitions denote that one is being sent from another. A king may send an envoy, who represents the king. The President will send an ambassador to a foreign country to represent the President in that country. For the Christian, this is very powerful. Paul calls us “ambassadors” of Christ. Thus we represent in the physical realm all that He is in the spiritual realm. As awesome a revelation as this is, there is more to it than this. “Tzeer” also means that the ambassador is “sent out” on a mission. In New Testament language, this carries an apostolic connotation. (The Greek word is πρεσβευομεν for ambassador in 2 Cor 5:20 is pronounced “presyb-oo” and is translated as leaders, elders and ambassadors. There is also the Greek word “apostolos” which carries the meaning of “sent ones”, I would be curious to see which Greek word is used here in the Greek translation of the Septuagint; however, I have not a Lexicon for the Septuagint, and the proverbs are in different order and I can’t find this proverb. If anyone knows, please let me know)
The next word in the verse is written in a Hebrew adjectival format and describes the ambassador. It is the Hebrew word “emunah”. This is the word we get “Amen” from and it means “trustworthy, faithful, or established.” Combining the adjective and the subject what we have so far is, “The faithful ambassadors, or the faithful sent ones.”
The last word is an explosive word. It is pronounced “marpe”. It is most commonly translated as “medicine, cure, or deliverance.” But, we can dissect the word a little further. The first part of the word is the Hebrew letter Mem. In Hebrew it is an inseparable preposition and is attached to the front of a word. When this is attached to the front a word, it means, “Out of or from.” Thus the preposition tells us what where the action is. (2) The last part of the word is “rophe” which is always translated healing. Hence, the word is a combination word that means “healing comes forth.” Now, when we put it all together we find out that the Aramaic translation is accurate and awesome. Here is what a literal translation of what we just discussed. “Out of the faithful sent ones comes healing.” or “Healing comes forth out of the faithful sent ones.” This is a picture of every New Testament believer and certainly a picture of Jesus Himself.
In the gospels, we read a story of woman sneaking up on Jesus to touch the tassels of His garment in order to receive her healing. Jesus turns to find the woman and asks, “Who touched Me.” The disciples inform Jesus that there are hundreds of people touching Him. He replies, and this is the crucial part of what we are discussing here, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” (Luke 8:46) The Greek word for power is the word “dunamis”, it is the word we get dynamite from. Jesus was filled with this power, it was dwelling inside of Him. God’s knee-jerk response to faith was the release of Holy Spirit “dunamis” into the body of this woman and she was healed. Indeed, out of this faithful sent one came healing. This is the meaning of this proverb and the destiny of all New Testament believers.
This was the understanding of the Aramaic translators. The faithful sent one is a healer as life-giving dunamis power flows through the New Testament Believer and brings life, health, and peace to those to whom we are sent, as we remain faithful to Him. Thus, any believer who is sent by God on a particular mission, can expect to see miracles, signs, and wonders.
Endnotes
**All defintions of Hebrew and Greek words are taken from the Strongs Concordance***
1. Lamsa, George, Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Text, Harper and Row, San Francisco, CA, 1968, page 670.
2. Fuller, Russell, Choi, Kyoungwon, Invitation to Biblical Hebrew, A Beginning Grammar, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 2006, page 41.

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