“Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Psalms 40:6-8)
This is from The King James Version of the Bible. It’s important to both Christians and Jews. Scholars of both groups have written much on this passage of the Bible. It should also be of importance to Muslims. But, as weighty as it is, it was not the most critical part of the scriptures with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
A three-word phrase the Honorable Elijah Muhammad often used to use was “to piece apart.” He used it instead of another word, or synonym that he also used, which was “analyze.”
To analyze is “to find out what something is made up of by identifying its constituent parts; to study or examine the structure of something or how its constituent parts are put together; to examine something in great detail in order to understand it better or discover more about it.”
Like many English words, “analyze” has other meanings, which are irrelevant for this article. Although we probably won’t find “to piece apart” in dictionaries, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad used it as a synonym for “to analyze.”
Dictionaries define a synonym as “a word that means the same, or almost the same, as another word in the same language, either in all of its uses or in a particular context.” It’s “a word or expression that is used as another name for something in certain styles of speaking or writing or to emphasize a particular aspect or association.”
Synonyms are alternative names for the same thing. But they don’t necessarily have the same connotation. Example: “house” and “home.”
In this article, “to piece apart” is “synonymous” to “analyze,” because I’m writing about that which the Honorable Elijah Muhammad referred to: one of our primary mental processes by which we develop understanding.
To piece apart or to analyze a communication–whether it’s in spoken or written form–is a mental process. Without the proper exercise of this mental process, we can’t really understand one another! We may get a vague feeling or idea of another’s deeper communications. But we don’t have a real understanding of the other–especially their deeper ideas–in the best sense of that word, without the proper use of this mental process.
So both phrases–”to piece apart” and “to analyze”–have implications similar to the idea expressed by the other word. They’re all but interchangeable.
Some are already bored with this explanation, even though, up to, but not including this sentence, it’s only 444 words long. I’ve not finished it yet. Nor have I had time to give my reason for taking this subject up as I am. But, the understanding of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s use of these terms is essential for the right understanding of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
I chose the above passage from Psalms to comment on, for more than one reason. First, as I mentioned a few articles ago, it came up in my mind, as Minister Farrakhan ended Part One of “The Guide and the Guidance.” He delivered this speech in the capital of the most powerful government on earth. He ended his talk, almost as an afterthought, by warning the powerful of America to be careful how they handle him.
He stated: “Please, don’t force God to destroy you. And how you handle me will determine how long you will live.” He ended his February Saviours’ Day address with: “I warn you in the Name of Allah, that you will be bringing your country to a swift end the day you put your hands on me.”
But there was something about his second warning, on May 3, that profoundly affected me.
Right after his May 3 press conference, I picked up a Bible and looked at Psalms 40:6-8. A few incidences occurred to me that I never thought to put together until that day. First, my mother read this passage to me when I was four from a Bible, now out of print, that contained: “Prepare Me a body and I will go down and redeem man.”
Next, in my first conversation (in 1954) with Malcolm (whom the world came to know as Malcolm X), he quoted and paraphrased certain words to me, which I later learned were from Lessons that Registered Muslims in the Nation of Islam receive. I came to understand how intricately connected these Lessons were to the Bible and the Holy Qur’an.
Then, a few years later, during a speech, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad referred to an older Bible, of which he said most were probably ignorant. That day he quoted these words from it: “Prepare Me a body and I will go down and redeem man.” Then, he gave a brief explanation of it. I recalled thinking: “That’s what my mother read to me several years ago!” His explanation made instant sense to me.
In 1971, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad asked me how I saw a section of the passage that opens this article. It was: “I come: in the volume of the book … .” I responded.
How does all of this relate to Minister Farrakhan’s warning to the powerful of America? Let’s begin by piecing apart Psalms 40:6-8.
These verses of Psalms, as they appear in The King James Version, are composed of two sentences. These sentences are made of fifty-four words.
Let’s stop. Some of us, or perhaps far too many of us, jump to conclusions or read into the communication of others that which they did not intend. Most of us are impatient. In our impatience, we hardly look at (or listen to) what the other has communicated. So, misunderstanding results. Hell often follows.
Can we really say that we know that there is some special meaning in the fact that this passage is composed of two sentences, or fifty-four words, if we’ve either barely begun, or have not analyzed it yet?
To look ahead, for a moment, we’ll see that scholars admit that many times in copying from older Biblical manuscripts, some writers would, for instance, make notes in the margins of different sections of the writings. Later, other copyists would incorporate those personal notes of an earlier copyist into their new copy of the scripture.
Then, lo and behold, somebody’s personal notes end up as the word of God! Now, here comes the Black Brother/Sister, in 2004, claiming to know that of which they know little or nothing.
Allah (God) foreknew our unique need for special help in understanding His words. So, He produced the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Minister Farrakhan–the two Messiahs. Now, no one has an excuse for misunderstanding.
Three verses compose the Psalms’ passage we’re discussing. Before going forward, let’s remember that as you go back to older and yet older Biblical manuscripts, the scholars tell us that the verses were not numbered.
More next issue, Allah willing.
P.S. Look up David L. Robb’s book “Operation Hollywood” via the Internet or otherwise. It confirms a significant position of Minister Farrakhan. You’ll think differently about every “war” movie you’ve ever seen.