The Apple of My Eye by GARY MACLEAN (2023)

What we say:
“The apple of his/my eye.”

Why we say it:
We say this when we have a positive affinity for someone special to us or when we notice that someone is cherished above all others by someone else. This is the epitome of compliments. It is used so often and so casually that I am certain those using it do not even associate it with the Bible. One example is the last ever song issued on the Apple Records label (The Beatles' label).

The last record ever pressed on Apple (Apple 49), while still under the Beatles' control, was “The Apple of my Eye” by Badfinger, a 1970s rock music group. Which happened to be the first ever group signed to the Apple label besides the Beatles. So, the “Iveys” (Badfinger) enjoyed both a first (first group recorded on Apple) and a last (the last record ever released by Apple) The significance of this Badfinger recording is that they acknowledge both The Beatles and Apple records as being“The Apple of Their Eye.”(1)

Another reference to this idiom in secular music is the Cuppy Cake song. The original recording of this children’s song was by Amy Castle in February 1994 at the age of three.Amy sings about her feelings for the person she is singing to. Included in her endearing terms are Honey bunch, sugar plum, pumpy umpy pumpkin, sweetie pie, cuppy cake, gum drop, snookum snookums and lastly“The Apple of My Eye.”The inclusion of“Apple of My Eye”in this list clearly evidences a belief by secular America, and indeed the world, that“Apple of My Eye”is no less than one of the most positive things anyone can say about another person. If you are “The Apple…” of anyone’s eye, then you are indeed held in extremely high regard. (2)

What the Bible says:
KJV: “He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about. He instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.” (Deuteronomy 32:10)
NIV: “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.” (Deuteronomy 32:10)
KJV: “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8)
NIV: “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8)
KJV: “Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.” (Proverbs 7:2)
NIV: “Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.” (Proverbs 7:2)
KJV: “For thus saith the Lord of Hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he, that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of his eye.” (Zechariah 2:8)
NIV: “For this is what the Lord Almighty says; After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that plundered you-for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye.” (Zech 2:8)

Each of the four Bible references have something different to say:

Deuteronomy 32:10; Nourishment

Psalm 17:8; Protection
Proverbs 7:2; Obedience
Zechariah 2:8; Retribution

Deuteronomy 32:10; Nourishment:
Moses wrote the book of Deuteronomy approximately in the year 1463 BC, 40 years after the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt. He was writing his farewell to the Israelites. His immediate successor, Joshua, wrote the last chapter of Deuteronomy, chapter 34, discussing Moses’ death.

The Israelites had just spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness and were now on the brink of entering the Promised Land of Canaan. Moses wanted to emphasize the Laws of God and remind the new generation of Israelites what God expected of them. The Ten Commandments are restated in the book of Deuteronomy; they appear first in Exodus 20:2-17 then in Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

Part of Moses’ last instruction to the Israelites included the retelling of how The Lord carried the nation through the wilderness. How well He cared for them, how He protected them and instructed them; as though they were the“apple of His eye.”Our eyes are the window to the world. God nourished the Israelites as though they were the pupil of His eye, the apple of His eye. This was important for Moses to point out because he wanted the Israelites to understand how special they were to the Lord so they in turn should make the Lord as important to them.

Psalm 17:8; Protection:
King David wrote most of the book of Psalms. It consists of poems and songs dedicated to the Lord. In it David shares many thoughts; one of which is“Keep me as the apple of the eye.”In Psalm 17 David speaks of the protection the Lord offers, or that David requests. David is asking the Lord to treat him as theapple of His eye,with the level of diligence one might use to protect their eyes.

The second line of this verse; “hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” Reinforces David’s request for protection. King David insisted that the Ark of the Covenant be installed in a tent next to his own so he could visit it every single day. It is said David had the Ark mounted high enough so he could crawl under it and pray. He was under the “shadow of thy wings,” referring to the wings of the Cherubim on the top of the Ark. Many say this is where David wrote the 73 chapters of the Psalms, under the Ark of the Covenant; under the protection of The Lord.

Proverbs 7:2; Obedience:
King Solomon is recognized as being the primary author of the book of Proverbs. He is credited with chapters 1 through 29 at least. Solomon, if you remember, is the man The Lord was so incredibly pleased with that he came to him in a dream and offered him anything he wanted “Ask what I shall give thee.” (1st Kings 3:5). Solomon chose wisdom.

The Lord emphasizes the “keeping of His commandments” in this verse by adding“as the apple of thine eye.”Knowing that the eye is one of the most treasured and cherished parts of the body, He knows we will take extra precautions to ensure we avoid losing sight. Obey my commandments with the same zeal you exercise in caring for your eyes.

Zechariah 2:8; Retribution:
The prophet Zechariah wrote the book of Zechariah sometime between 520 and 470 B.C. Zechariah’s grandfather, with Zechariah, returned from a 70-year forced exile in Babylon. A great deal of Zechariah evolves from a series of eight visions Zechariah had in one night. The specific night is even dated; 24th day of the 11th month. The 11th month on the Biblical Lunar Calendar (BLC) is Shebat, or January/February. This vision has been dated as occurring on February 15, 519 B.C. God has many reassuring promises He wishes His revived people to enjoy. One of those, retribution, is clearly proclaimed in Zechariah 2:8. (3)

God’s people (the Israelites) had endured much persecution. God makes a stern warning to the peoples that have spoiled and plundered the Israelites. He will personally strike them. Because those that touched the Israelites touched the“apple of His eye.” they must pay. God will raise up against them and even cause their servants to turn against them. The Israelite nation is“the apple of His eye”and none must touch it.

We have a modern-day example of God’s wrath against those who dare go up against the Israelites; Hitler and World War II. No mercy was shown Hitler, or the other world leaders who banded with him. All were eventually destroyed, and Israel returned. The worst, most foolish and most dangerous thing we can ever do is to touch"the apple of the Lord’s eye."


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