Jeremiah 18.16 (NASV)Not every translation has the word "hissing" in the text. The NIV renders the passage this way:
To make their land a desolation,
An object of perpetual hissing;
Everyone who passes by it will be astonished
And shake his head.
Their land will be an object of horrorIn translations like the NIV the physical act of hissing is replaced with something more psychological, a feeling of scorn.
and of lasting scorn;
all who pass by will be appalled
and will shake their heads.
The word "hissing" isn't overly common in the OT. Most of the references are in Jeremiah (18.6, 19.8, 25.9, 25.18, 29.18, 51.37). As hinted at by the NIV, the most common interpretation of hissing is that it was an act of derision. But I wonder if this psychological interpretation of hissing is missing something about the concrete act of making an actual hissing noise.
I ask because in one of my study bibles I found the following in the note to Jeremiah 18.16:
Hissing: in some ancient Near Eastern cultures hissing was not only a sign of derision but a magical means of keeping demons away; people hissed in order to ward off danger, like whistling in a cemetery.In light of this, I've taken up hissing as a part of my practice in resisting the Principalities and Powers. I'm now hissing in meetings, in stores, in political discussions.
True, it's all a bit distracting to co-workers, friends and family, but spiritual warfare is spiritual warfare.