- Series: Hebrew and Aramaic Word Pictures
- Scripture: Psalm 57:1; Psalm 18:2; Hebrews 6:17-18; Psalm 91:2
In the last two articles we were talking about the qualities of God that lead a man to accept salvation. The next two articles will focus on another progression of how faith works and what it is based on. The love of God leads men to want to go inside the fence. There are 5 words that we will look at that are related to what we call “faith.” So many times, people want to know what faith is and how to have it. After this explanation of the word pictures, you will know more about how to explain this rather difficult concept.
We begin with a word for trust in Hebrew: chasah.
Chasah is another “fence word” so the letter of khet or kheth is a familiar one. So is the second letter, samech or semkath, which is the pictograph of a thorn or support. The third letter is hey or he and is one of my favorite letters. It shows a man with his arms up or raised and it means behold, or revealed.
The simple meaning of the word picture is: the fence of support revealed.
The action behind the verb chasah is to flee for refuge. It is an action one takes when there is danger and a need to be protected. The English word “house” actually sounds very much like this word. There are many uses of this verb in the Psalms. Here’s one in Psalm 57 when David was fleeing from Saul.
Being with my grandchildren always teaches me something about being childlike in faith. When Sam who is 4 and a rough tough boy falls and hurts himself, he runs first to his Daddy, his Abba and cries out for help! He wants to be picked up and sheltered and prayed for and trusts that his Dad will do whatever it takes to make it all better.
A related noun to chasah is the word for lineage. The family line is what supports a person.
The Aramaic word is not a direct match to chasah. The closest Aramaic word is gawas and its word picture is “feet connected to support”, which is very similar. A key verse to see this use that paints the same picture as chasah is Heb 6:17-18.
The letter we have not seen before is tet or teth -- a circle with an x in the middle and is the pictograph of a basket. It means surrounding or what the basket contains. So the simple meaning of the word picture for batach is inside the surrounding fence. When we run to the fence to find God’s lovingkindness, the point is to then go INSIDE. Again, this word for trust is often used in the Psalms. In English translations, it is important to distinguish which kind of trust is used in Hebrew, chasah or batach, because both words are translated trust, but have different meanings.
The action for batach is to cling, or sometimes it is described as to throw down on one’s face. Both actions paint vivid pictures. Cling has the idea of something sticking, like “cling peaches”, sticking to the seed in the center, or cling like a melon to the vine. If the other action is used --after fleeing and getting to shelter, you throw yourself down and go “whew!” I made it! – and then you do everything in your power to remain in that place of safety. When we do this kind of trust, there is a surge of confidence, which is often how this word batach is translated.