WFT- nyctalopia

02 August 2009

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for July 21st was nyctalopia. Though it might seem so, this word isn't weird compared to the previous word for thought.

M-W provided this definition:

reduced visual capacity in faint light (as at night) : night blindness

This was the additional information they provided in the "Did you know?" section:

"Nyctalopia" comes to us from the Latin word "nyctalops," which means "suffering from night blindness." It is ultimately derived from the Greek word "nyktalops," which was formed by combining the word for "night" ("nyx") with the words for "blind" and "eye" ("alaos" and "?ps," respectively). English speakers have been using "nyctalopia" to refer to reduced vision in faint light or at night since the 17th century. We added the somewhat more pedestrian "night blindness" to the lexicon in the 18th century.

A few things from Scripture come to mind regarding this word:

Betrayed by a kiss

While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:47-48)

Why did Judas betray Yeshua with a kiss? Why not just point Him out to the Temple guards? While it is speculation it possible that nyctalopia played a part in the choice to do so. It was dark and by singling out Yeshua by approaching Him and kissing Him the guards would more clearly be able to identify Yeshua. As was noted... this is speculation.

Eyes are darkened

Another thing that came to mind regarding nyctalopia, eyes, sight, and darkness was this passage from Romans 11:10-


In speaking of the Isra'elites who (as a nation) have rejected Yeshua as their Messiah, Paul asks the question "G-d has not rejected His people, has He?" (Romans 11:1). Paul immediately answers the question with a solid "May it never be!". The eyes of the Isra'elites have been "darkened to see not"... for a time. Paul goes on to point out

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! (Romans 11:11-12)


Part of the mission of believing Gentiles is to make the nation of Isra'el jealous. Although they may be suffering from temporary nyctalopia in our dark and dying world, may they be provoked to jealousy and called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).


Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. - 1 Tim 1:17


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