There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. That includes a time to review Hebrew, even though it is not listed specifically in Ecclesiastes 3.
During my recent furlough, I had the opportunity to attend two weeks of intensive Hebrew review and practice at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary's summer quarter. I have always enjoyed Hebrew ever since learning it in college and using it almost every day during my time at the seminary. But, I must admit, my Hebrew has gotten a little rusty over the years.
It was so refreshing to join 28 of my brothers in the ministry (14 each week) and focus on our Hebrew skills as we translated the books of Ruth and Ecclesiastes. Thank you to Professors Paustian and Nass from Martin Luther College for their guidance! It was good to review the different forms of the verb in Qal, Nifal, Piel, Pual, Hifil, Hofal, Hitpael (and occasional Hishtafel and Pilpel) and how those forms influence the meaning and translation of a verse. I benefited from seeing newer resources available for both teaching and studying Hebrew, and I hope to pass that benefit on to our LATTE students in our studies of the Old Testament.
There is a time for everything... Now the time has come to end furlough and continue our LATTE ministry of preparing pastors for God's people in Latin America. Time spent keeping my own Hebrew skills up will be well spent as I pass these skills on to our students.