The Books of Life │ Expository Bible Studies │ Christ Assembly

We must also take notice of the term “blotted out” from the book of life in Psalm 69:28. In Psalm 69, David experienced deep distress caused by his enemies. In that Psalm, David prayed for two related things concerning his enemies: (1) that his enemies would be blotted out of the book of life; and (2) that his enemies would not be recorded with the righteous. Therefore, we may understand that someone’s name may be “blotted out” of the book of life. Also, as a separate act, a person’s name may be recorded with the righteous, and this verse indicates that record of the righteous may be in a separate book.

This term “blotted out” has special meaning in the Old Testament. 1The Hebrew term here for “blot out me” (“אֶמְחֶנּו”) means to wipe clean, to remove completely. This same root word is used to wipe clean a mouth (Proverbs 30:20, page 1046), or to remove tears from a face (Isaiah 25:8, page 1106). Likewise, the LORD brings judgment upon the stubborn individual idolater so that the LORD will “blot out” his name from under heaven (Deuteronomy 29:21, page 336). God used this root term “blot out” to mean He would kill every living person on the earth at the time of flood, because they were evil. 2The Hebrew term in Genesis 6:7, page 9, for “blot out” (“אֶמְחֶה”) refers to God himself saying, “I will blot out man . . . from the face of the earth  . . . .” Likewise, in Exodus 17:14, page 117, God proclaims that He will utterly blot out (“כִּי-מָחֹה אֶמְחֶה”) the memory of Amalek from under heaven. This same judgment of removing their name from under heaven appears also in Deuteronomy 9:14, page 302, where God intends to destroy the people of Israel and blot out their names under heaven (“וְאֶמְחֶה אֶת-שְׁמָם, מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם”); see also similar verses at Deuteronomy 29:20, page 336; 2 King 14:27, page 619; Nehemiah also asked God to remember and not blot out Nehemiah’s loyal deeds (“וְאַל-תֶּמַח חֲסָדַי”) performed for the house of God (Nehemiah 13:14, page 788). David prayed for God to blot out his transgressions (“מְחֵה פְשָׁעָי”) in Psalm 51:1, page 904; see also Psalm 51:9, page 904 and Jeremiah 18:23, page 1214. In all these passages, whenever the verb “blot out” is used regarding people or their names, it always refers to killing them on earth, or causing them to be remembered no more on earth. Likewise, in Genesis 7:23, page 11, God flooded the world and blotted out (“וַיִּמַח”) every living thing from the face of the earth. Even then, God spared some people by providing an ark to save them from the flood. Likewise, God also spoke of raising up offspring for a deceased male of Israel so that the deceased male’s name would not be blotted out from Israel. 3The Hebrew phrase for “blotted out from Israel” (“וְלֹא-יִמָּחֶה שְׁמוֹ, מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל” focused upon the living on earth; see also Judge 21:17, page 430, where wives must be provided to Benjamites so that the tribe would not be blotted out from Israel. Again, the usage of the term “blotted out” means that a family may cease to be physically alive on earth, because the family has no more male descendants. Therefore, God commands kinsmen to raise up children to carry on the family name, so that family name will not be blotted out and permanently be removed from the earth. We see that the term “blotted out” means to undergo physical death, and it does not refer to spiritual death. Therefore, we know that to be “blotted out” of the Book of the Living means to suffer physical death on earth, and the Book of Life itself must mean a book containing the names of people physically alive on earth at any given time. 4In Psalm 56:8, page 909, David wrote that God has taken account (“סָפַרְתָּה-אָתָּה”) of David’s wanderings, and put David’s tears in the bottle of God, and put them into “your Book’ (“בְּסִפְרָתֶךָ”). David continues on and knows he will triumph over his enemies and walk before God in the light of the living (“בְּאוֹר, הַחַיִּים”). Therefore, because of the reference to living on earth before his enemies, and the record of his wanderings and tears on earth, the book described here may be the Book of the Living also, indicating it also records all the wanderings of men and their tears on earth. In the alternative, God may also have another book which I will label the Book of Wanderings. 

References │ Page Numbers Below Footnotes   [ + ]

1. The Hebrew term here for “blot out me” (“אֶמְחֶנּו”) means to wipe clean, to remove completely. This same root word is used to wipe clean a mouth (Proverbs 30:20, page 1046), or to remove tears from a face (Isaiah 25:8, page 1106). Likewise, the LORD brings judgment upon the stubborn individual idolater so that the LORD will “blot out” his name from under heaven (Deuteronomy 29:21, page 336).
2. The Hebrew term in Genesis 6:7, page 9, for “blot out” (“אֶמְחֶה”) refers to God himself saying, “I will blot out man . . . from the face of the earth  . . . .” Likewise, in Exodus 17:14, page 117, God proclaims that He will utterly blot out (“כִּי-מָחֹה אֶמְחֶה”) the memory of Amalek from under heaven. This same judgment of removing their name from under heaven appears also in Deuteronomy 9:14, page 302, where God intends to destroy the people of Israel and blot out their names under heaven (“וְאֶמְחֶה אֶת-שְׁמָם, מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם”); see also similar verses at Deuteronomy 29:20, page 336; 2 King 14:27, page 619; Nehemiah also asked God to remember and not blot out Nehemiah’s loyal deeds (“וְאַל-תֶּמַח חֲסָדַי”) performed for the house of God (Nehemiah 13:14, page 788). David prayed for God to blot out his transgressions (“מְחֵה פְשָׁעָי”) in Psalm 51:1, page 904; see also Psalm 51:9, page 904 and Jeremiah 18:23, page 1214. In all these passages, whenever the verb “blot out” is used regarding people or their names, it always refers to killing them on earth, or causing them to be remembered no more on earth. Likewise, in Genesis 7:23, page 11, God flooded the world and blotted out (“וַיִּמַח”) every living thing from the face of the earth.
3. The Hebrew phrase for “blotted out from Israel” (“וְלֹא-יִמָּחֶה שְׁמוֹ, מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל” focused upon the living on earth; see also Judge 21:17, page 430, where wives must be provided to Benjamites so that the tribe would not be blotted out from Israel.
4. In Psalm 56:8, page 909, David wrote that God has taken account (“סָפַרְתָּה-אָתָּה”) of David’s wanderings, and put David’s tears in the bottle of God, and put them into “your Book’ (“בְּסִפְרָתֶךָ”). David continues on and knows he will triumph over his enemies and walk before God in the light of the living (“בְּאוֹר, הַחַיִּים”). Therefore, because of the reference to living on earth before his enemies, and the record of his wanderings and tears on earth, the book described here may be the Book of the Living also, indicating it also records all the wanderings of men and their tears on earth. In the alternative, God may also have another book which I will label the Book of Wanderings.