Seriously, every time I googled “Essene” it pulled up pages or images about “essence” and I completely understand why. Quite often in the English language a word can be spelled with an “s” or a “c” in it. For instance the word “licence” can be spelled “license” and as always in English there is often no logic behind the decided way to spell something.
There are cases however when you know that it ought to be a “c” or an “s”. In most cases when the word is used as a verb, or action word, it is spelled with a “s” and when used as a noun it is a “c”. Using the word licence, the noun would be to say, “I got my driver’s licence.” and the verb would be to say, “I have licensed my car to pull a trailer.”
According to the dictionary the word originated in 1350-1400. In Middle English it was essencia and < Medieval Latin, for Latin essentia. It is typically used as a noun and has the following usages:
- the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing or its significant individual feature or features: e.g. Freedom is the very essence of our democracy.
- Philosophy. the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc.
Synonyms for this word are:
Hebrew Meaning(s) & Word(s)
Using Strong’s concordance and references in the KJV Bible, a search of the word essence results in the Hebrew word Ahava or Ahavah. Ahava has the following meanings and/or associations:
- essence; being; generation
- a river of Babylon Ezra 8:15 Ezra 8:21 Ezra 8:31
- water, the river ( Ezra 8:21 ) by the banks of which the Jewish exiles assembled under Ezra when about to return to Jerusalem from Babylon. In all probability this was one of the streams of Mesopotamia which flowed into the Euphrates somewhere in the north-west of Babylonia. It has, however, been supposed to be the name of a place ( Ezra 8:15 ) now called Hit, on the Euphrates, east of Damascus.
The ancient Hebrew word “ahava” that is often translated as “love” in the Bible has a unique meaning too. The following points are copied directly from a website that
- In the Hebrew, love is connected directly with action and obedience. Strong’s Exhaustive Dictionary defines ahava as “to have affection, sexually or otherwise, love, like, to befriend, to be intimate.” It brings to mind the idea of longing for or breathing for another. Hebraically ahava is a verb and a noun, it is an act of doing. Ahava is not just a feeling. To get a clear understanding of ahava, let’s examine the Hebrew word itself and learn how to love Hebraically.
- First, most Hebrew words can be broken down to a three-consonant root word that contains the essence of the word’s meaning. The root word of ahava is “ahav.” The term ahav in Hebrew means, “to give.” True ahava, true love, is more concerned about giving than receiving. Being the center of someone’s attention isn’t love.
- Giving is the vehicle of love. YHWH so loved the world that He GAVE His only Son.
- Love may focus on receiving, but ahava is all about giving. There is a difference. Consider that the Hebrew word “ahava” is not an emotion but an action.
Our true Essence, Ahav, is to give, just as Scripture tells us that it is better to give than receive, and that every person is created in a service for all fellow humans. Service to brothers and sisters is the true calling of our essence, and where essence=ahav – Love Serves. That is indeed what the Essenes were all about; serving Mother Earth, the Father and all life on earth; men, women, animals … anything that held the breath of life, which includes, of course, plants.
I can see how this word essence could very easily have originated out of the Essenes and their teachings, when you see that synonyms for the word essence are spirit, heart, soul, and principle. I note that over the past while I’ve written about the return to our true essence, or that our true essence is Spirit. We are created in and out of Love. Our essence is Spirit which is Love.
I am closing this off for now with the final note that Spirit has drawn me to this and shown me this because there is a connection that has never been broken. Though the modern day dictionary gives an origin date as circa 1400’s AD, I dare say that its root origin is really from the time of the Essenes in about the 3rd or 2nd century BC.