“A Healing to Your Navel”
IT IS believed that a large number of mankind’s illnesses are triggered by such emotional stresses as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment, hatred, and guilt. In view of this, how comforting the Bible’s statement that the ‘fear of Jehovah’ is “a healing to your navel and a refreshment to your bones”!—Proverbs 3:7, 8.
The bones are the supporting framework of the body. Thus, the Bible uses the word “bones” metaphorically, to represent one’s being—especially as affected by deep feelings and emotions. But how is the fear of Jehovah “a healing to your navel”?
Bible scholars differ in their opinions regarding the mention of the “navel” in this passage. One expositor says that because it is at “the central region of the body,” the “navel” may be representative of all the vital organs. Another scholar suggests that the word “navel” may mean the umbilical cord, as it is used at Ezekiel 16:4. If this is so, Proverbs 3:8 may be emphasizing our need for utter dependence upon God—much as a helpless fetus is completely dependent upon its mother for nourishment. Still another idea is that “navel” may here refer to the muscles and tendons of the body. In the context of this verse, it may be that these parts are being contrasted with the “bones”—the body’s more solid components.
Whatever the specific meaning, one thing is certain: Displaying a reverential fear of Jehovah is the course of wisdom. Conforming to God’s standards can contribute to our physical well-being now. More than that, it can bring Jehovah’s favor upon us, which will lead to endless life in perfect health—physically and emotionally—in his coming new world.—Isaiah 33:24; Revelation 21:4; 22:2.
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