AARON'S ROD

There is a tendency to treat the words “rod” and “staff” as being basically the same thing in the English language.  A quick reference to an English language dictionary will reveal some ambiguity in that the word “rod” is used to explain “staff,” and the word “staff” is used to explain “rod.”  All in all, there exists a considerable overlap in meaning.

It turns out that in Hebrew the distinctions are not as crisp as we would like for them to be either.  Editorial groups disagree in translations.  However, all seem to agree that a rod, or a staff for that matter, is a large, straight stick of some sort.  For our purposes, I’ll go out on a limb here and try to make a distinction that will work for this discussion.

As has been said “rod” and “staff” are largely interchangeable.  However, “rod” seems to be more closely related to a weapon or even an implement of discipline (e.g. Proverbs 13:24).  The “staff” seems to be more related to an implement of support.  As I implied, these are general guides only and there is a high degree of interchangeable use.

Another aspect of distinction is that “rod” is closer in meaning to “scepter” than is “staff.”  Of course, we are aware that the word “scepter” refers to a visual symbol of authority.  Again, though, the imprecision and inconsistency of usage is a bit frustrating. 

One thing we can say is that “staff” is generally not used in association with discipline, while “rod” is.  Because the use of a rod in discipline is so common, we will use that association.  Furthermore, we will extend the use to symbols of rule or authority. 


"MOT TAMUT"

When God was ready to put the man Adam (also mankind) to work, He placed the man in the garden He had prepared for the abode for him.  In that garden, and it appears in that garden alone, there were two trees that were different from all other trees that God created.  The two trees occurred in one specimen each and that specimen was found in that garden.  This unique pair of trees, tree of life and tree of the knowledge of good and evil, were placed in the center of the garden.  When God placed the man into the garden, He specifically warned the man not to eat the fruit that grew on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  It might be worth noting that God said nothing to the man concerning the tree of life.  We may assume that, from God’s initial perspective at least, the fruit of the tree of life was available to the man for consumption (Genesis 2:16-17 as supported by Genesis 1:29).


FALSE NEGATIVE

Recently, I experienced a significant malady.  Due to recurring fever, my wife was finally able to persuade me to seek medical attention.  The symptoms of the malady showed up primarily in stuffy sinuses and headache, with minor accompaniment from stuff in the chest.  After the examination, I was given a prescription for a particular antibiotic which, it was hoped, would clear things up.  The diagnosis was “sinus infection.”  As I was leaving the facility where this all took place, the FNP accompanied me to the door and said the test for flu was negative.  She went on to say that a negative test could not be conclusive.  I might still have a flu virus.  In such a case, the antibiotic would not accomplish the task and to let them know if that was the case.  The term she used was “false negative” in that conversation.  She said the lack of a positive indication did not completely rule out the presence of a flu virus.  Had the test been positive, they would know to treat me for flu.  As it came out, they did not know.


Pages