Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Scapular of Mercy, a revelation from The Blackcoats: The Invisible Weapon

In The Black Coats: The Invisible Weapon Chapter XIX, Lecoq claims to have once held the Scapular of Mercy and to have looked inside.

   “It’s a word: a single word, repeated in a very large number of languages, the greater number of which are unknown to me.  When my eyes fell upon the Hebrew letters that began the series, I thought that they signified the name of God-but the Arabic letters that followed did not say Allah; I remember how the characters were disposed. The Latin, which I already understood, said nihil; then came the German nicht, the English nothing, the Italian niente, the Spanish nada and to spare you the other languages-the French rien.”

    “And that’s the secret of theHabits Noirs!” cried Monsieur de Saint-Louis.

    “Nothing is the antithesis of God,” murmured Samuel.
I immediately was interested in the fact that the Hebrew came first, perhaps Feval (or the founders of the Brothers of Mercy) agreed with my view that Hebrew was the original Pre-Babel language. Not an uncommon view in Judeo-Christian circles.

I was of course curious if this at first mistaken reading of Lecoq’s is believable in Hebrew etymology, (where indeed different words spelled the same or similarly are common due to it’s lack of vowels) or if Feval was making this up out of thin air.

Fortunately I have a Strongs Concordance so I checked, and ‘al (Strong #: 408) which means Nothing, shares the same spelling as ‘el (Noun Masculine, Strong #: 410) the basic Hebrew word for God, but is pronounced differently (For the former the Aleph is pronounced as our "a" while for the latter it’s pronounced as an "e"). To copy/paste my Strongs computer Program entry on the word.
'al (al);  , Strong #: 408

not, no, nor, neither, nothing (as wish or preference)
do not, let not (with a verb)
let there not be (with a verb understood)
not, no (with substantive)
nothing (as substantive)
KJV Word Usage and Count
never  2
nay  1
neither  1
no  1
none  1
nor  1
not  1
nothing  1
rather than  1
whither  1
nothing worth  1
It's not the only word for Nothing, nor the obvious standard one, and so was probably the favored one here by the creator of the Scapular because of the similarity to El.

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