Sunday, September 25, 2016

Beguile - The Deeper Meaning

In Moses we read of Satan seeking to beguile Eve, “for he knew not the mind of God.”[1] Satan wanted to destroy agency from the get-go by forcing everyone to return to Heaven and receiving the glory of not losing any of God’s children. We know how that ended.

Then we read “it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men.”[2] Here is Satan, trying to undermine God’s plan, but actually playing into it because he didn’t know the mind of God.

I pondered the word beguile. Most people say it means deceived or fooled. I have this note in my scriptures: Beguiled is an ancient Hebrew word not commonly used. Satan gave her a complex scenario. Eve had a decision to make.

I found an article wherein a Hebrew scholar, Dr. Nehama Aschkenasy, told the writer that the Hebrew word interpreted as "beguiled" is a “rare verb form of unusual depth and richness … no longer in use, [and] almost impossible to translate. ‘It is safe to say that it indicates an intense multi-level experience which evokes great emotional, psychological and/or spiritual trauma’ … and ‘makes it clear that Eve was motivated by a complex set of inner drives, anchored not only in her physical but also in her intellectual and spiritual nature.’ … She further suggests that because of this intense multi-level experience, Eve is caused to step back, reevaluate, reassess, and ponder the tree of knowledge of good and evil.[3]

Those who attend the temple experience this view of Eve. We are blessed to know that she was a woman of great courage and spiritual insight which allowed her to make the choice she had to make.

[1] Moses 4:6 And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world.
[2] D&C 29:39 And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—
[3] Beverly Campbell, Mother Eve Mentor ForToday’s Woman: A Heritage of Honor, April 2, 1993, 11th annual conference of Collegium Aesculapium in Salt Lake City, Utah 

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