Where does the phrase "Beauty for Ashes" come from?

From the Bible

Beauty for Ashes comes from the Holy Scripture - Isaiah 61:3

Where does it come from ? “beauty for ashes” I know that there are a lot of people out there that want to know where this piece of scripture came from in the Bible. You may ask how I think I know this? Well as it turns out our gracious friends at GOOGLE send traffic our way from people doing a search on the meaning of this phrase due to the name of our web site. www.BeautyForAshesGifts.com - So I decided to help these precious folks out, and let them know what I think I know about the scriptural references that have a bearing upon this verse. I am not writing to those who know what it means, only those who don’t. I won’t go into why we picked this name for our business, but when I am through with my ramblings about it, you might have a pretty good understanding of the phrase, and therefore figure out the basis for part of it. FYI. If all you have is the Strong’s Concordance to look up Hebrew and Greek words, then I need to educate you somewhat. In my humble opinion, Strong’s is at best a common numbering system where by we can all find a level playing field as far as finding common terms and general meanings go. It is in no way the final word on any one word in the Scripture, and in a lot of cases, I find somewhat lacking in scope and detail. I also find that in other cases it shed some light on things I don’t see anywhere else. So it needs to be kept in its proper perspective as a research tool goes. Should you wish to get some additional serious research tools to study the scripture with? Give me an email, and I will be happy to share what I have and use as reference materials. I’m sure there is even better and more extensive writings on the original Hebrew than I have. I know there are several very good sources of reference material, and one does what he can with the limited resources they have.

So, to start with, let’s examine the set of scripture that this particular phrase is embedded in to get a general mental picture of its foundational principals. Then we will go on to elaborate on some possible deeper meanings of the same verses, and their implications. The particular set of scripture that it comes from is outlined and framed in the following set of verses from the book of Isaiah in the Tenach as a Hebrew reference, or the Old Testament from a purely Christian stand point of view. Isaiah 61:1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; Is 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; Is 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Is 61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. Is 61:5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. Is 61:6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord; men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. Is 61:7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them. Is 61:8 For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Is 61:9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.

Now if all you wish to know is the place in the Bible where this phrase comes from? Well then here it is, you need not read any further. However if you want to hear the ramblings of a very ignorant, outcast from society, and one with more questions about everything than he has answers. Read on, and enjoy your selves if that is possible?. I should probably say at this point that I know that we could uncover layer after layer, and precept after precept, just based upon this little phrase. There is much more to it than I am willing to go into at this time. None the less I will try to keep my meaningless jibber jabber to a minimum for my sake. Next, to add more Bible scripture that might give you some closure on the above verses, if Scripture is all you want? Lets read the Book of Luke Chapter 4 and verse 13 thru 22. Some foundation might be helpful to those who just don’t know the WORD of GOD. (TORAH) or (The likenesses and teachings of Elohiem). Now I know that the book of LUKE is not in the Organic TORAH or the first five books of the Bible. However based upon the meaning of the Hebrew word TORAH, from GOD’S viewpoint it might just include more than one might think. So forgive me if I place the book of LUKE in the TORAH or HAFTORAH, or BRITAUTASHAW, or the entire TANACH if you will. Yeshua (Jesus), if you will, is the subject of the leading verses here so one is clear who these scriptures are referring to. Lets read, shall we? Lu 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. Lu 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. Lu 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. Lu 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. Luke 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Lu 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Lu 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. Lu 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Lu 4:22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

Once again if the Scripture is all you want that is the bulk of it that relates to each other. There are some other ones that are reaching from a different perspective and overlap; however, these will do for the sake of this conversation. Please feel free to come to your own conclusions as to their meaning or lack thereof, and Please don’t think for a second that I know anything! I will offer you some of my thoughts on these precious verses, and their content, if you wish to trudge along with me?

In the big scheme of things, to a Christian, basically the verses in the Book of Isaiah are a prophesy of the coming Messiah (Christ) and the work that He would perform in His ministry of Salvation. The scriptures in the Book of Luke basically fulfill the prophesy of Isaiah in the preceding verses. The conclusion is that Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Messiah or Christ, and Yeshua (Jesus) came fulfilling them in total. End of the argument to the majority of Christians. A rather simplistic view of them, but in my opinion, accurate as far as it goes. I don’t know the Rabbinical viewpoint of these scriptures, nor what those in the Talmud say concerning these verses in Isaiah. Therefore I state my Ignorance, and lack of scholarly formability as it pertains to such. However, since I believe that Yeshua is the promised Messiah, I am not very interested in those opinions that say He is not. Please don’t for a second think that I don’t love those with differing opinions as much as I love my own flesh and blood. The LORD knows I do. Simply we have a difference of opinion, and if possible, can sit down and reason together in love should occasion permit. Difference of opinions maybe, but love and respect for one another none the less. I feel that I owe my entire salvation to the Jewish peoples of the world. Why? you ask. Because were it not for their zeal to serve, to suffer, to be persecuted, to die if necessary even by some calling themselves Christian, for their undying and never ending love for GOD and His Word (The Tenach). I would never have had a chance to read it nor know Him as I do. I Owe them everything I have, not withstanding our differences of opinion concerning Jesus, Yeshua. Are they perfect, not in a million years. Am I perfect, not in a million years. But the scripture is crystal clear, if you have a pure heart, that the Jewish people are an integral absolutely necessary part to the entire Word of God. It isn’t because of what they are, it is because of God’s Precious Promises to Abraham. If they are not in full force and effect? Then no one has even a shred of a chance of finding salvation on any level! If you have a love for God’s word and the truth contained therein, then you know for a fact that the LORD loves them, and cares for them every bit as much as He does for you and me. Enough rambling, lets get into the meat of the issue, shall we?

Psalm 42:7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. I am not going to elaborate upon this verse from the Psalms, but simply to ask you to meditate upon it at face value for a little while before you go on. If I broke all these scripture down into Hebrew, and the meanings and underpinnings of those meanings? We would be here for an awful long time, so I will attempt to just cover some of the things that flow with what I am trying to cover. Isaiah 61:1 says the following with a slight addition of English derivation. Is 61:1 The ruach (wind) of the Lord God (Yahweh Elohim) is upon me; because the Lord(Yahweh) hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; Is 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; I can think of many directions to go from here, it is hard to just keep it simple because the LORD is sooooooo self revealing. OK, here goes for what it is worth. For brevity sake I am not going to actually spell these words out in Hebrew Font. I will use the English derivation of same in an attempt to shorten things up with out loosing any insights I may have.

The first important Hebrew word we stumble upon here is the word for “Spirit”. In Hebrew it is the word “ruwach” sounds like /roo’-akh/ it means “breath of air” or “air in motion” or “breeze” or “the wind” with one huge emphasis. None of these pertain to just human breath, or the wind in the air or some natural aspect of O2. It is used in a supernatural way to point at the powerful Life that is in GOD Himself when it is in motion. All of the above types are nothing but metaphors to give us something to anchor to as far as a basic understanding of the term goes. The bigger issue is that when this term is used as a noun in relationship to God? It has endless possibilities beyond our reach as mortal human beings to fathom, in our intellectual capacities. It embodies in one instance somewhat the real nature of wind. Without being able to be seen, but however somewhat detected by other senses of our earthly bodies. It embodies all of the attributes, of a very powerful shadow and type of everything, from a undetectable move of the air, to a small breeze, to the most powerful hurricane one can imagine, yet all made out of the same substance, if you will, the air! None of which you can see, but can detect in various ways. Some very slight and pleasant, others very powerful and overbearing. On one instance life giving to human kind, and the other, extreme destruction of everything in its path, of the most terrifying kind and done instantly.

In the Old Testament (God knows I hate that term, but I need to use it for understanding sake of others referring to the set of scripture it embodies) it refers to The Divine Spirit of God Himself, with peculiar endowments of mind, as that of an artificer, a prophet, a prophetic spirit, a interpreter of dreams, a force of supernatural instances that defy all the laws of nature as we know it, the supernatural courage of a military leader, as well as extremely kindly and loving virtues in many instances. Now no amount of words will describe this life giving or life taking force of the One True GOD. Suffice it to say this, for those who came directly into His presents!!! Well, they fell on their faces instantly as a dead man without recourse. Except He told them not to fear, or rise up, they were dead before they were born. Now I have only covered a very small part of this one word, so if I keep going on like this we will be here all the next 1000 years, Yuk Yuk, and still won’t have covered it all!!! Suffice it to say you will never get your intellect, no matter how smart you are or what your Mensa score is, to wrap your mind around this one aspect of God which will always escape mankind. If you are very, very, fortunate, and have a real pure heart, follow the scripture with all your heart, then you get to only experience it. If you are very, very, very, …. privileged, and some how manage to garner His extreme favor, then you can walk in the Holy Fire of His Presents. Then you too can fall on your face as a dead man, be terrified beyond your wildest imaginations and then some, and know what it is like in your flesh to be both dead and alive, frozen in time but not somehow, set on extreme fire yet not consumed or burned on your flesh when it is over with, a Holy presents that dwarfs your unholy being and reveals your total corruptness, all at the same time. Should this happen to you, then I can tell you from first hand experience, you will be thinking about your experience with Him for the rest of your natural life in awe and amazement. Ever wondering about what exactly happened, what it meant, how it happened, what exactly took place, and never being able to even come close in describing it to anyone, and never knowing why it happened to you and not others who you may think are much more worthy than you are. Personally I consider my self just a plain old dirt bag with more sinful baggage than most. So go figure, because I have spent 30 years trying to figure it out and haven’t even come close. All I can do is know that a Fire Brand has been applied to my spirit, and in part know the tremendous love and grace of God.  But this one thing I know for sure! Ask me if He is real, ask me if he is alive, ask me who He is, ask me all these and there will be no hesitation or doubt in my mind or my answer to you. I know He is alive, I know who He is, I know He is very, very, very REAL!!! I also know that He Loves all of us with a love so deep, so real, so purposeful that nothing in this world or the next will change it. It would be like you blowing on the hardest surgical steel or substance known to man, and thinking somehow that you could alter its atomic structure in some way. Good Luck!!! And I will say to you that even if you could, you will never alter His. Well as I blab on in the middle of the night, maybe I should get back on point as my law instructors would always say to me. Well only one Hebrew word down and God Himself knows how many are left. Let's go to the next word in Hebrew, shall we. (To be continued so stay tuned!)

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