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The Preciousness
by Richard Trimble
06/29/11
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The Preciousness
by rnt


The apostle Peter gave us a name for Jesus that has never been mentioned among the saints, that I am aware. But we have a hymn about it just the same.

O How I Love Jesus

There is a Name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear,
The sweetest Name on earth.

Refrain
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!

It tells me of a Savior’s love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner’s perfect plea.
Refrain

It tells me of a Father’s smile
Beaming upon His child;
It cheers me through this little while,
Through desert, waste, and wild.
Refrain

It tells me what my Father hath
In store for every day,
And though I tread a darksome path,
Yields sunshine all the way.
Refrain

It tells of One whose loving heart
Can feel my deepest woe;
Who in each sorrow bears
A part that none can bear below.
Refrain

It bids my trembling heart rejoice.
It dries each rising tear.
It tells me, in a “still small voice,”
To trust and never fear.
Refrain

Jesus, the Name I love so well,
The Name I love to hear:
No saint on earth its worth can tell,
No heart conceive how dear.
Refrain

This Name shall shed its fragrance still
Along this thorny road,
Shall sweetly smooth the rugged hill
That leads me up to God.
Refrain

And there with all the blood-bought throng,
From sin and sorrow free,
I’ll sing the new eternal song
Of Jesus’ love for me.
Refrain

It is in 1 Peter 2:7 that Peter records the name. And this verse is the only place in the New Testament that it is found. 1 Peter 2:7 says, “7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.”

In the English text, precious is an adjective. The Greek word is, however, a noun, which means it identifies a person, place, or thing. It’s the Greek word, time pronounced as tee-may. It means a value, i.e. money paid for a thing, or valuables. It refers to the highest degree of esteem a person, place, or thing has. In 1 Peter 2:4 and 6 you will find the English word “precious” used. In these verses an adjective form of time is used, describing Jesus. But in 1 Peter 2:7, the word used is a noun.

In the King James Version, it is translated as honour 35 times, price 8 times, precious 1 time, and sum 1 time. The English adjective form “precious” was used rather than preciousness or one of the other nouns because it fits the English translation.

In the underlying Greek text, precious has a definite article. The definite article in Greek identifies and specifies a singular and particular person, place, or thing. So, in 1 Peter 2:7 time is used as a proper noun, i.e. a name, identifying a specific person.

It’s a name that only a very few can use. Only those who believe on Him that He is the chief cornerstone of God call Him The Preciousness. It says, “7 Unto you therefore which believe he is (The) Preciousness …” He is not just any preciousness, any value. He is the One Who defines value. He is The Preciousness to us who believe.

There is one other occasion that the noun, time, is used with the definite article, referring to a specific person. That is found in Matthew 27:9 – “9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price (time) of him that was valued (timao), whom they of the children of Israel did value (timao).”

This passage is actually found in Zechariah 11:13. Don’t let this seeming “mistake” bother you. Adam Clarke in his commentary wrote, “It was an ancient custom among the Jews, says Dr. Lightfoot, to divide the Old Testament into three parts: the first beginning with the law was called THE LAW; the second beginning with the Psalms was called THE PSALMS; the third beginning with the prophet in question was called JEREMIAH: thus, then, the writings of Zechariah and the other prophets being included in that division that began with Jeremiah, all quotations from it would go under the name of this prophet.” (1) I have not been able to verify this information from Dr. John Lightfoot’s works myself, but I accept it as authentic in the words of Adam Clarke. The Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Bible Commentary and Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible also refer to Dr. Lightfoot.

But the point is that the preciousness of Judas Iscariot was not very highly valued by the children of Israel, represented by the chief priests and elders of the people. They valued him at only 30 pieces of silver, the common price of a slave. Exodus 21:32 tells us the value of a slave, “32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.”

But Judas was just a tool for them to buy the blood of Christ. We know it was the price, i.e. The Preciousness of Jesus to them rather than Judas, because Matthew 27:6 says so, “6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.”

There is a Name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear,
The sweetest Name on earth.

It tells me of a Savior’s love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner’s perfect plea.

That Name we now know is The Preciousness. It tells us of His precious blood, the sinner’s perfect plea.

Jesus, the Name I love so well,
The Name I love to hear:
No saint on earth its worth can tell,
No heart conceive how dear.

This Name shall shed its fragrance still
Along this thorny road,
Shall sweetly smooth the rugged hill
That leads me up to God.

And there with all the blood-bought throng,
From sin and sorrow free,
I’ll sing the new eternal song
Of Jesus’ love for me.

Unto you therefore which believe He is The Preciousness.


Footnotes:
(1) Adam Clarke, "Commentary on Matthew 27", "The Adam Clarke Commentary",
http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=027, 1832.



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