Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"Hay-AHK"

Job 39.24-25 NIV

“In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. 

At the blast of the trumpet he snorts, ‘Aha!’ He catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry.”

When I was a boy I took Karate lessons at the Washington Karate Association school on the corner of 85th and 15th Avenue NW near Ballard in Seattle. Under the strong and capable leadership of Sensei Julius Thiry [1], I learned a little bit about respect and discipline. I have fond memories of my brief time at the dojo. I was especially fascinated by the sounds of karate... arms snapping against the heavy cloth ‘gi’ (uniform); students counting in unison, “ichi, ni, san, shi,…;” and the power shout of ‘kiai’ delivering focused energy into a single movement.

‘Kiai’ (pronounced key-eye) is a Japanese compound term combining the oriental word for mind, will, or spirit with the verb ‘to unite.’ It literally means to concentrate your spirit, unite your mind, or focus all your will on the action you are taking. A loud and unique ‘kiai’ (karate scream) often accompanies a well executed kick or punch. Some say ‘kiai’ is a secret esoteric Samurai fighting skill. Others believe the sound itself is enough to kill small animals and render an opponent helpless.

I am equally intrigued by a similar sound of the horse preparing for war in the above scripture verse from the book of Job. The stallion “cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.” “In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground” as he charges the front line of battle. At the blast of a bugle, the animal snorts its primal ‘kiai’ and gathers all its energy for combat.

Most English versions translate the word “Aha” or “Ha Ha” which loses the intensity of the meaning for me. The original Hebrew word is ‘heach’ [2], pronounced ‘hay-ahk’ with guttural emphasis on the last syllable. It’s an interjection expressing incredible joy over the anticipated or realized defeat of an enemy.

‘Heach’ is the Hebrew version of ‘kiai.’ Try saying it now, loudly. Make it your war cry for the battle you will wage today in the name of your Savior, Jesus Christ. Let the sound of the word (hay-AHK) swirl in your brain. You are a warrior rushing toward the front lines of enemy territory. You are ready to lay your life down if necessary in the advancement of the gospel of God’s kingdom on earth. You’ve heard the call. You “cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.” “At the blast of the trumpet” make Satan hear and tremble at your shout of victory…

“Hay-AHK”!
_____________

[1]  For more on Julius Thiry and Washington Karate Association, see 
http://www.internationalshitoryu.com/aboutus/organization-chart/julius-thiry/.

[2] The Hebrew word ‘heach’ appears only 9 times in the entire Old Testament (Job 39.25; Psalms 35.21; 35.25; 40.15; 70.3; Isaiah 44.16; Ezekiel 25.3; 26.2; 36.2) and used mostly by God’s enemies as a term of ridicule against His people.


The image above is entitled “Rearing Horse” was drawn with red chalk by Leonardo Da Vinci (ca. 1493-1498) and is now on display at the Royal Library in Windsor Castle, England.

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