Psalm 119:73-88

Today – Hebrew letters Yodh (pronounced like yohd, the vowel has more of an “oh” sound ) and Kaph (like the work cough)

These are covered in verses 73 to 80 and 81 to 88 respectively.

Yodh

English

Your hands made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
74 May those who fear You see me and be glad,
Because I wait for Your word.
75 I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
76 O may Your lovingkindness comfort me,
According to Your word to Your servant.
77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live,
For Your law is my delight.
78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie;
But I shall meditate on Your precepts.
79 May those who fear You turn to me,
Even those who know Your testimonies.
80 May my heart be blameless in Your statutes,
So that I will not be ashamed.

NASB

Hebrew

 יָדֶ֣יךָ עָ֭שׂוּנִי וַֽיְכוֹנְנ֑וּנִי הֲ֝בִינֵ֗נִי וְאֶלְמְדָ֥ה מִצְוֺתֶֽיךָ׃

 יְ֭רֵאֶיךָ יִרְא֣וּנִי וְיִשְׂמָ֑חוּ כִּ֖י לִדְבָרְךָ֣ יִחָֽלְתִּי׃

 יָדַ֣עְתִּי יְ֭הוָה כִּי־צֶ֣דֶק מִשְׁפָּטֶ֑יךָ וֶ֝אֱמוּנָ֗ה עִנִּיתָֽנִי׃

 יְהִי־נָ֣א חַסְדְּךָ֣ לְנַחֲמֵ֑נִי כְּאִמְרָתְךָ֥ לְעַבְדֶּֽךָ׃

 יְבֹא֣וּנִי רַחֲמֶ֣יךָ וְאֶֽחְיֶ֑ה כִּי־תֽ֝וֹרָתְךָ֗ שַֽׁעֲשֻׁעָֽי׃

 יֵבֹ֣שׁוּ זֵ֭דִים כִּי־שֶׁ֣קֶר עִוְּת֑וּנִי אֲ֝נִ֗י אָשִׂ֥יחַ בְּפִקּוּדֶֽיךָ׃

 יָשׁ֣וּבוּ לִ֣י יְרֵאֶ֑יךָ ׳וְיָדְעוּ׳ ״וְ֝יֹדְעֵ֗י״ עֵדֹתֶֽיךָ׃

 יְהִֽי־לִבִּ֣י תָמִ֣ים בְּחֻקֶּ֑יךָ לְ֝מַ֗עַן לֹ֣א אֵבֽוֹשׁ׃

WLC

Kaph

English

My soul languishes for Your salvation;
I wait for Your word.
82 My eyes fail with longing for Your word,
While I say, “When will You comfort me?”
83 Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget Your statutes.
84 How many are the days of Your servant?
When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?
85 The arrogant have dug pits for me,
Men who are not in accord with Your law.
86 All Your commandments are faithful;
They have persecuted me with a lie; help me!
87 They almost destroyed me on earth,
But as for me, I did not forsake Your precepts.
88 Revive me according to Your lovingkindness,
So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.

NASB

Hebrew

כָּלְתָ֣ה לִתְשׁוּעָתְךָ֣ נַפְשִׁ֑י לִדְבָרְךָ֥ יִחָֽלְתִּי׃

 כָּל֣וּ עֵ֭ינַי לְאִמְרָתֶ֑ךָ לֵ֝אמֹ֗ר מָתַ֥י תְּֽנַחֲמֵֽנִי׃

 כִּֽי־הָ֭יִיתִי כְּנֹ֣אד בְּקִיט֑וֹר חֻ֝קֶּ֗יךָ לֹ֣א שָׁכָֽחְתִּי׃

 כַּמָּ֥ה יְמֵֽי־עַבְדֶּ֑ךָ מָתַ֬י תַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה בְרֹדְפַ֣י מִשְׁפָּֽט׃

 כָּֽרוּ־לִ֣י זֵדִ֣ים שִׁיח֑וֹת אֲ֝שֶׁ֗ר לֹ֣א כְתוֹרָתֶֽךָ׃

 כָּל־מִצְוֺתֶ֥יךָ אֱמוּנָ֑ה שֶׁ֖קֶר רְדָפ֣וּנִי עָזְרֵֽנִי׃

 כִּ֭מְעַט כִּלּ֣וּנִי בָאָ֑רֶץ וַ֝אֲנִ֗י לֹא־עָזַ֥בְתִּי פִקֻּודֶֽיךָ׃

 כְּחַסְדְּךָ֥ חַיֵּ֑נִי וְ֝אֶשְׁמְרָ֗ה עֵד֥וּת פִּֽיךָ׃

WLC

Psalm 119:57-72

Today – Hebrew letters Heth (pronounced het, though often with a heavy, back of the through h) and Teth (pronounced tet)

These are covered in verses 57 to 64 and 65 to 72 respectively.

Heth

English

The Lord is my portion;
I have promised to keep Your words.
I sought Your favor with all my heart;
Be gracious to me according to Your word.
I considered my ways
And turned my feet to Your testimonies.
I hastened and did not delay
To keep Your commandments.
The cords of the wicked have encircled me,
But I have not forgotten Your law.
At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You
Because of Your righteous ordinances.
I am a companion of all those who fear You,
And of those who keep Your precepts.
The earth is full of Your loving-kindness, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.

NASB

Hebrew

חֶלְקִ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אָמַ֗רְתִּי לִשְׁמֹ֥ר דְּבָרֶֽיךָ׃

 חִלִּ֣יתִי פָנֶ֣יךָ בְכָל־לֵ֑ב חָ֝נֵּ֗נִי כְּאִמְרָתֶֽךָ׃

 חִשַּׁ֥בְתִּי דְרָכָ֑י וָאָשִׁ֥יבָה רַ֝גְלַ֗י אֶל־עֵדֹתֶֽיךָ׃

 חַ֭שְׁתִּי וְלֹ֣א הִתְמַהְמָ֑הְתִּי לִ֝שְׁמֹ֗ר מִצְוֺתֶֽיךָ׃

 חֶבְלֵ֣י רְשָׁעִ֣ים עִוְּדֻ֑נִי תּֽ֝וֹרָתְךָ֗ לֹ֣א שָׁכָֽחְתִּי׃

 חֲצֽוֹת־לַ֗יְלָה אָ֭קוּם לְהוֹד֣וֹת לָ֑ךְ עַ֝֗ל מִשְׁפְּטֵ֥י צִדְקֶֽךָ׃

 חָבֵ֣ר אָ֭נִי לְכָל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר יְרֵא֑וּךָ וּ֝לְשֹׁמְרֵ֗י פִּקּוּדֶֽיךָ׃

 חַסְדְּךָ֣ יְ֭הוָה מָלְאָ֥ה הָאָ֗רֶץ חֻקֶּ֥יךָ לַמְּדֵֽנִי׃

WLC

Teth

English

You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word.
66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
68 You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.
69 The arrogant have forged a lie against me;
With all my heart I will observe Your precepts.
70 Their heart is covered with fat,
But I delight in Your law.
71 It is good for me that I was afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.
72 The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

NASB

Hebrew

ט֭וֹב עָשִׂ֣יתָ עִֽם־עַבְדְּךָ֑ יְ֝הוָ֗ה כִּדְבָרֶֽךָ׃

 ט֤וּב טַ֣עַם וָדַ֣עַת לַמְּדֵ֑נִי כִּ֖י בְמִצְוֺתֶ֣יךָ הֶאֱמָֽנְתִּי׃

 טֶ֣רֶם אֶ֭עֱנֶה אֲנִ֣י שֹׁגֵ֑ג וְ֝עַתָּ֗ה אִמְרָתְךָ֥ שָׁמָֽרְתִּי׃

 טוֹב־אַתָּ֥ה וּמֵטִ֗יב לַמְּדֵ֥נִי חֻקֶּֽיךָ׃

 טָפְל֬וּ עָלַ֣י שֶׁ֣קֶר זֵדִ֑ים אֲ֝נִ֗י בְּכָל־לֵ֤ב׀ אֱצֹּ֬ר פִּקּוּדֶֽיךָ׃

 טָפַ֣שׁ כַּחֵ֣לֶב לִבָּ֑ם אֲ֝נִ֗י תּוֹרָתְךָ֥ שִֽׁעֲשָֽׁעְתִּי׃

 טֽוֹב־לִ֥י כִֽי־עֻנֵּ֑יתִי לְ֝מַ֗עַן אֶלְמַ֥ד חֻקֶּֽיךָ׃

 טֽוֹב־לִ֥י תֽוֹרַת־פִּ֑יךָ מֵ֝אַלְפֵ֗י זָהָ֥ב וָכָֽסֶף׃

WLC

Psalm 119:41-56

Today: Letters Vav (sometimes Waw) and Zayin.

Verses 41 to 48 and 49 to 56 respectively.

Vav

English

May Your loving-kindnesses also come to me, O Lord,
Your salvation according to Your word;
42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.
43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I wait for Your ordinances.
44 So I will keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings
And shall not be ashamed.
47 I shall delight in Your commandments,
Which I love.
48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments,
Which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes.

NASB

Hebrew (עברי)

 וִֽיבֹאֻ֣נִי חֲסָדֶ֣ךָ יְהוָ֑ה תְּ֝שֽׁוּעָתְךָ֗ כְּאִמְרָתֶֽךָ׃

 וְאֶֽעֱנֶ֣ה חֹרְפִ֣י דָבָ֑ר כִּֽי־בָ֝טַחְתִּי בִּדְבָרֶֽךָ׃

 וְֽאַל־תַּצֵּ֬ל מִפִּ֣י דְבַר־אֱמֶ֣ת עַד־מְאֹ֑ד כִּ֖י לְמִשְׁפָּטֶ֣ךָ יִחָֽלְתִּי׃

 וְאֶשְׁמְרָ֖ה תוֹרָתְךָ֥ תָמִ֗יד לְעוֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד׃

 וְאֶתְהַלְּכָ֥ה בָרְחָבָ֑ה כִּ֖י פִקֻּדֶ֣יךָ דָרָֽשְׁתִּי׃

 וַאֲדַבְּרָ֣ה בְ֭עֵדֹתֶיךָ נֶ֥גֶד מְלָכִ֗ים וְלֹ֣א אֵבֽוֹשׁ׃

 וְאֶשְׁתַּֽעֲשַׁ֥ע בְּמִצְוֺתֶ֗יךָ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָהָֽבְתִּי׃

 וְאֶשָּֽׂא־כַפַּ֗י אֶֽל־מִ֭צְוֺתֶיךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אָהָ֗בְתִּי וְאָשִׂ֥יחָה בְחֻקֶּֽיךָ׃

WLC

Zayin

English

Remember the word to Your servant,
In which You have made me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
That Your word has revived me.
51 The arrogant utterly deride me,
Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.
52 I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord,
And comfort myself.
53 Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked,
Who forsake Your law.
54 Your statutes are my songs
In the house of my pilgrimage.
55 O Lord, I remember Your name in the night,
And keep Your law.
56 This has become mine,
That I observe Your precepts.

NASB

Hebrew (עברי)

 זְכֹר־דָּבָ֥ר לְעַבְדֶּ֑ךָ עַ֝֗ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִֽחַלְתָּֽנִי׃

 זֹ֣את נֶחָמָתִ֣י בְעָנְיִ֑י כִּ֖י אִמְרָתְךָ֣ חִיָּֽתְנִי׃

 זֵ֭דִים הֱלִיצֻ֣נִי עַד־מְאֹ֑ד מִ֝תּֽוֹרָתְךָ֗ לֹ֣א נָטִֽיתִי׃

 זָ֘כַ֤רְתִּי מִשְׁפָּטֶ֖יךָ מֵעוֹלָ֥ם׀ יְהוָ֗ה וָֽאֶתְנֶחָֽם׃

 זַלְעָפָ֣ה אֲ֭חָזַתְנִי מֵרְשָׁעִ֑ים עֹ֝זְבֵ֗י תּוֹרָתֶֽךָ׃

 זְ֭מִרוֹת הָֽיוּ־לִ֥י חֻקֶּ֗יךָ בְּבֵ֣ית מְגוּרָֽי׃

 זָ֘כַ֤רְתִּי בַלַּ֣יְלָה שִׁמְךָ֣ יְהוָ֑ה וָֽ֝אֶשְׁמְרָ֗ה תּוֹרָתֶֽךָ׃

 זֹ֥את הָֽיְתָה־לִּ֑י כִּ֖י פִקֻּדֶ֣יךָ נָצָֽרְתִּי׃

WLC

Psalm 119:25-40

Time for the Daleth (verses 25 to 32) and He (verses 33 to 40) stanzas.

Daleth

English

My soul cleaves to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.
26 I have told of my ways, and You have answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts,
So I will meditate on Your wonders.
28 My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
29 Remove the false way from me,
And graciously grant me Your law.
30 I have chosen the faithful way;
I have placed Your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to Your testimonies;
O Lord, do not put me to shame!
32 I shall run the way of Your commandments,
For You will enlarge my heart.

NASB

Hebrew

 דָּֽבְקָ֣ה לֶעָפָ֣ר נַפְשִׁ֑י חַ֝יֵּ֗נִי כִּדְבָרֶֽךָ׃

 דְּרָכַ֣י סִ֭פַּרְתִּי וַֽתַּעֲנֵ֗נִי לַמְּדֵ֥נִי חֻקֶּֽיךָ׃

 דֶּֽרֶךְ־פִּקּוּדֶ֥יךָ הֲבִינֵ֑נִי וְ֝אָשִׂ֗יחָה בְּנִפְלְאוֹתֶֽיךָ׃

 דָּלְפָ֣ה נַ֭פְשִׁי מִתּוּגָ֑ה קַ֝יְּמֵ֗נִי כִּדְבָרֶֽךָ׃

 דֶּֽרֶךְ־שֶׁ֭קֶר הָסֵ֣ר מִמֶּ֑נִּי וְֽתוֹרָתְךָ֥ חָנֵּֽנִי׃

 דֶּֽרֶךְ־אֱמוּנָ֥ה בָחָ֑רְתִּי מִשְׁפָּטֶ֥יךָ שִׁוִּֽיתִי׃

 דָּבַ֥קְתִּי בְעֵֽדְוֺתֶ֑יךָ יְ֝הוָ֗ה אַל־תְּבִישֵֽׁנִי׃

 דֶּֽרֶךְ־מִצְוֺתֶ֥יךָ אָר֑וּץ כִּ֖י תַרְחִ֣יב לִבִּֽי׃

WLC

He

English

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall observe it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law
And keep it with all my heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies
And not to dishonest gain.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity,
And revive me in Your ways.
38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
As that which produces reverence for You.
39 Turn away my reproach which I dread,
For Your ordinances are good.
40 Behold, I long for Your precepts;
Revive me through Your righteousness.

NASB

Hebrew

הוֹרֵ֣נִי יְ֭הוָה דֶּ֥רֶךְ חֻקֶּ֗יךָ וְאֶצְּרֶ֥נָּה עֵֽקֶב׃

 הֲ֭בִינֵנִי וְאֶצְּרָ֥ה תֽוֹרָתֶ֗ךָ וְאֶשְׁמְרֶ֥נָּה בְכָל־לֵֽב׃

 הַ֭דְרִיכֵנִי בִּנְתִ֣יב מִצְוֺתֶ֑יךָ כִּי־ב֥וֹ חָפָֽצְתִּי׃

 הַט־לִ֭בִּי אֶל־עֵדְוֺתֶ֗יךָ וְאַ֣ל אֶל־בָּֽצַע׃

 הַעֲבֵ֣ר עֵ֭ינַי מֵרְא֣וֹת שָׁ֑וְא בִּדְרָכֶ֥ךָ חַיֵּֽנִי׃

 הָקֵ֣ם לְ֭עַבְדְּךָ אִמְרָתֶ֑ךָ אֲ֝שֶׁ֗ר לְיִרְאָתֶֽךָ׃

 הַעֲבֵ֣ר חֶ֭רְפָּתִי אֲשֶׁ֣ר יָגֹ֑רְתִּי כִּ֖י מִשְׁפָּטֶ֣יךָ טוֹבִֽים׃

 הִ֭נֵּה תָּאַ֣בְתִּי לְפִקֻּדֶ֑יךָ בְּצִדְקָתְךָ֥ חַיֵּֽנִי׃

WLC

Note: the “h” at the end of Daleth is silent in the same way as in Beth. It does not make a “th” sound here. Also, He is pronounced more like hey as in “hey you!”.

Psalm 119:9-24

We continue where we left off from last time and move onto the Beth and Gimel stanzas of this chapter of the Psalms.

Beth

English

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.
16 I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.

NASB

Hebrew

 בַּמֶּ֣ה יְזַכֶּה־נַּ֭עַר אֶת־אָרְח֑וֹ לִ֝שְׁמֹ֗ר כִּדְבָרֶֽךָ׃

 בְּכָל־לִבִּ֥י דְרַשְׁתִּ֑יךָ אַל־תַּ֝שְׁגֵּ֗נִי מִמִּצְוֺתֶֽיךָ׃

 בְּ֭לִבִּי צָפַ֣נְתִּי אִמְרָתֶ֑ךָ לְ֝מַ֗עַן לֹ֣א אֶֽחֱטָא־לָֽךְ׃

 בָּר֖וּךְ אַתָּ֥ה יְהוָ֗ה לַמְּדֵ֥נִי חֻקֶּֽיךָ׃

 בִּשְׂפָתַ֥י סִפַּ֑רְתִּי כֹּ֝֗ל מִשְׁפְּטֵי־פִֽיךָ׃

 בְּדֶ֖רֶךְ עֵדְוֺתֶ֥יךָ שַׂ֗שְׂתִּי כְּעַ֣ל כָּל־הֽוֹן׃

 בְּפִקֻּדֶ֥יךָ אָשִׂ֑יחָה וְ֝אַבִּ֗יטָה אֹרְחֹתֶֽיךָ׃

 בְּחֻקֹּתֶ֥יךָ אֶֽשְׁתַּעֲשָׁ֑ע לֹ֭א אֶשְׁכַּ֣ח דְּבָרֶֽךָ׃

WLC


Gimel

English

Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.
19 I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.
20 My soul is crushed with longing
After Your ordinances at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed,
Who wander from Your commandments.
22 Take away reproach and contempt from me,
For I observe Your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit and talk against me,
Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
24 Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors.

NASB

Hebrew

גְּמֹ֖ל עַֽל־עַבְדְּךָ֥ אֶֽחְיֶ֗ה וְאֶשְׁמְרָ֥ה דְבָרֶֽךָ׃

גַּל־עֵינַ֥י וְאַבִּ֑יטָה נִ֝פְלָא֗וֹת מִתּוֹרָתֶֽךָ׃

 גֵּ֣ר אָנֹכִ֣י בָאָ֑רֶץ אַל־תַּסְתֵּ֥ר מִ֝מֶּ֗נִּי מִצְוֺתֶֽיךָ׃

 גָּרְסָ֣ה נַפְשִׁ֣י לְתַאֲבָ֑ה אֶֽל־מִשְׁפָּטֶ֥יךָ בְכָל־עֵֽת׃

 גָּ֭עַרְתָּ זֵדִ֣ים אֲרוּרִ֑ים הַ֝שֹּׁגִים מִמִּצְוֺתֶֽיךָ׃

 גַּ֣ל מֵֽ֭עָלַי חֶרְפָּ֣ה וָב֑וּז כִּ֖י עֵדֹתֶ֣יךָ נָצָֽרְתִּי׃

 גַּ֤ם יָֽשְׁב֣וּ שָׂ֭רִים בִּ֣י נִדְבָּ֑רוּ עַ֝בְדְּךָ֗ יָשִׂ֥יחַ בְּחֻקֶּֽיךָ׃

 גַּֽם־עֵ֭דֹתֶיךָ שַׁעֲשֻׁעָ֗י אַנְשֵׁ֥י עֲצָתִֽי׃

WLC


Clarification: Each line in the Hebrew section is a new verse. Verses do not run into a new line.

WLC = Westminster Leningrad Codex

Psalm 119

This chapter of the Psalms is a rather interesting one.

Not only is it long but it is broken into stanzas of 8 verses. The lines of these verses each originally began with a word that had a Hebrew letter corresponding to a particular place in the Hebrew alphabet.

In other words, the first 8 verses all begin with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (aleph) and the next 8 begin with the next letter (bet) and then the next for the next 8 and so on.

This is why in English translations you will find “Aleph”, “Beth”, “Gimel”, etc. every 8 verses to emphasize this.

So to get this “mini-series” of sorts started, here’s the first 8 verses or the 1st stanza in both English and Hebrew.

English

Aleph

How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.
You have ordained Your precepts,
That we should keep them diligently.
Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!
Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.
I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly!

NASB

Hebrew

 אַשְׁרֵ֥י תְמִֽימֵי־דָ֑רֶךְ הַֽ֝הֹלְכִ֗ים בְּתוֹרַ֥ת יְהוָֽה׃

 אַ֭שְׁרֵי נֹצְרֵ֥י עֵדֹתָ֗יו בְּכָל־לֵ֥ב יִדְרְשֽׁוּהוּ׃

 אַ֭ף לֹֽא־פָעֲל֣וּ עַוְלָ֑ה בִּדְרָכָ֥יו הָלָֽכוּ׃

 אַ֭תָּה צִוִּ֥יתָה פִקֻּדֶ֗יךָ לִשְׁמֹ֥ר מְאֹֽד׃

 אַ֭חֲלַי יִכֹּ֥נוּ דְרָכָ֗י לִשְׁמֹ֥ר חֻקֶּֽיךָ׃

 אָ֥ז לֹא־אֵב֑וֹשׁ בְּ֝הַבִּיטִ֗י אֶל־כָּל־מִצְוֺתֶֽיךָ׃

 א֭וֹדְךָ בְּיֹ֣שֶׁר לֵבָ֑ב בְּ֝לָמְדִ֗י מִשְׁפְּטֵ֥י צִדְקֶֽךָ׃

 אֶת־חֻקֶּ֥יךָ אֶשְׁמֹ֑ר אַֽל־תַּעַזְבֵ֥נִי עַד־מְאֹֽד׃

WLC

Note: you may have noticed I spelled bet two different ways – bet & beth. It is more common to see it spelled beth but the h isn’t pronounced so it sounds more like bet like you would pronounce in English.

Hebrew Tidbit #6

Hebrew is not a tense-based language.

This can be a difficult component for not only English native speakers to grasp but for most who learned a western language first.

Hebrew is a language of aspect and in order to translate into English which has tenses you have to consider which aspect you are translating from and the context.

So let’s unpack that a little bit.

  1. Hebrew is an aspect language.
  2. You have to consider the aspect when translating meaning there are multiple types of aspects in Hebrew. These aspects are focused on the verbs in the language.
  3. With the above in mind, a single aspect may have more than 1 English translation. In order to know which translation is the correct to use, you must consider the context of the surrounding text you are translating.

The point is that not every language has a 1 to 1 easy translation and that is particularly the case when you compare an aspect language like Hebrew to a tense language like English.

As a side note, Biblical Greek (Koine Greek) is also considered to be aspect driven but it is odd in that it actually does have some tense characteristics like that of English (in other words, it is sort of between Hebrew and English on this topic).

Hebrew Tidbit #4

Let’s look at a Hebrew word for this one. A rather well-know word would be shalom meaning peace. It is also commonly used as a greeting.

In Hebrew characters only, the word appears as follows . . .

שלום

If vowel markings are added, shalom takes on the following appearance . . .

שָׁלוֹם

The dot above the shin (the w looking character to the right) is not a vowel marker but the others are vowels.

Remember! Hebrew is read right to left. It is that w looking character that provides the sh sound to shalom.

Why Study Koine Greek?

Why would you want to study a particular version (Koine) of Greek that no one speaks anymore?

The straightforward answer is because it is the language in which the New Testament (NT) was written. In addition, there was written a Koine Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint.

Koine (sounds like coin-ay) effectively means common so we have “common” Greek and this was the common tongue in the time of Jesus and the Apostles as well as beyond. Any time you study languages, you will come across the term lingua franca which is used to refer to the common language of a time. For NT times, this was Greek.

  1. With the above in mind, you have to study Koine Greek if you want to be able to read the NT in its original language and grasp a deeper understanding of the text.
  2. What was written in Greek may not have a direct counterpart in English. This is a great reason for the different translation approaches used between the different English translations of the Bible. Read the Greek to get to the source.
  3. The culture in which the original text written in Greek is different from our own present-day culture. This is important for understanding difficult texts that our present-day culture hates or is confused about. 1 Timothy 2:9-15 is a great example. People have often responded to such a passage by siding with worldly culture and thereby rejecting the Scripture (at least on the target passage), or you get those who read it without seeking to understand the full context and thereby conclude, improperly, to take on abusive, error-filled practices. This point also serves to re-emphasize point 2.
  4. Revival. Historically, the early church did all its worship in Greek. This became a problem as the western church and the eastern church grew further and further apart. Eventually, the west broke entirely and did things in Latin and the people largely spoke their own native tongue at this point. This brought about a period of spiritual darkness that stuck around until the Reformation. We are in danger of the same sort of spiritual darkening if we fail to continue to seek out the Greek, the original text of the NT Scriptures. Thankfully, we do have many good English translations today, but we wouldn’t have had them without the Greek; if we forget the Greek, we can endanger ourselves to those who would push forward altered translations of the Bible.
  5. For the one studying Greek (or any language for that matter), their minds become sharpened. As you learn Koine Greek, you come to understand the Scriptures as those did in the times that it was written and beyond. You also become sharper at noticing key details in the text that can have profound implications to its interpretation. For one, this helps to notice what was originally being said in a given text when in the English it may look like something contradictory is being said when compared to another area of Scripture. Such a scenario speaks to the difficulties of translation and emphasizes the benefit of understanding the original language in which it was written.

I’m sure I could make more points but already you can see how each point made easily feeds into the others. Also, many of these reasons to study Greek would also apply to study Hebrew which is the original language of the Old Testament Scriptures. Sure, you could just stick to the Greek Septuagint but that work is a translation of the original Hebrew. Once again, it is good and profitable to get to the original language.

Now, with all that said, I am not trying to say that every Christian must learn Greek, Hebrew, or whatever other languages. I would highly recommend it though. Between Greek and Hebrew, most English speakers will find Greek relatively easier to learn as there are clear similarities between the two languages.

Other languages used in the time of Christ and thereafter include Aramaic and Latin which can also prove useful.


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Messiah

Dictionary.com

noun
  1. the promised and expected deliverer of the Jewish people.
  2. Jesus Christ, regarded by Christians as fulfilling this promise and expectation. John 4:25, 26.
  3. (usually lowercase) any expected deliverer.
  4. (usually lowercase) zealous leader of some cause or project.
  5. (italics) an oratorio (1742) by George Frideric Handel.

Etymonline.com

c. 1300, Messias, from Late Latin Messias, from Greek Messias, from Aramaic (Semitic) meshiha and Hebrew mashiah “the anointed” (of the Lord), from mashah “anoint.”

This is the word rendered in Septuagint as Greek Khristos (see Christ). In Old Testament prophetic writing, it was used of an expected deliverer of the Jewish nation. The modern English form represents an attempt to make the word look more Hebrew, and dates from the Geneva Bible (1560). Transferred sense of “an expected liberator or savior of a captive people” is attested from 1660s.


Discussion/Explanation

Messiah has counterparts, as can be seen above, in Late, Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew. It is in the Septuagint – the Greek translation of the Old Testament (OT) – that we see the related term from which we get Christ.

Regardless of which translation used, it remains a term that marks the deliverer, the anointed one foretold to come and save His people. As Christians, we know the Messiah to be Jesus. We call Jesus the Christ or Jesus Christ as this designates the same thing, the same truth about Jesus. The works of the New Testament (NT) were written in Greek which is why we see the term “Christ” so often whereas the OT commonly used “Messiah” as it was written in Hebrew.


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