- Series: Hebrew and Aramaic Word Pictures
- Scripture: Romans 10:8-11; Psalm 145:15; Colossians 1:21-23
The third word for faith is the one most commonly translated believe and then the noun, faith. It is the Hebrew word aman and Aramaic is eman, which is very similar.
All the letters we have seen before – here is the ox again! – plus the water and the seed. The simple meaning of the word picture is the strong water of the seed – now what does that mean? Well, it becomes clearer when we look at the action of the verb. It means to lean or stand on for support. The basic root idea is firmness or certainty, as the strong arms of a parent supporting a child. This is seen in the derivative nouns and adjectives of aman:
Faithfulness, amen, firmness, fidelity, verily, indeed, truth, support, nurture, pillar, believer (one who stands firm on God’s word)
What a seed needs to grow is the best water. That is why I have put “believe” as the third step in the progress of faith. What believing means is to allow the water to saturate the seed and cause it to grow. A great example is Romans.
This is the key verse to getting born again, but is also the key to continuing in faith each day. The word is near to us in our heart, confess (lean on) the Lord Yeshua and then allow the life giving water that brings spiritual life “save” us or give life and vitality to us. Whoever does this will not be ashamed!
Now we are beginning to see why knowing these words gives us insight into the progress of faith – flee for refuge, have confidence and then lean on God and the Lord for support and life.
The next word is sabar in Hebrew, sevar in Aramaic. The only difference between the two is that Hebrew has the letter shin instead of semkath. But it is pronounced as sabar, not shabar.
We have not seen the letter shin before, so let’s take a look at it a little closer. It is a three pronged letter and is the pictograph of teeth. You can even see the two front teeth in the picture. It is often associated with what teeth do, consume, destroy, repeat. But in my studies I have seen that often this is very puzzling to have the word picture be about destruction. Then I found another source of the old Semitic characters that describes it as “source (of life, water), to bring forth, fullness” more along the lines of the picture of breasts or a well where the lines are curved instead of straight. This meaning makes more sense to me.
The simple meaning of the word sabar in Hebrew would then be the source of life for the family of the man. It is important to examine both Hebrew and Aramaic to be able to understand the differences. I think that since the pronunciation in Hebrew is “s” and that corresponds to the semkath in Aramaic of sevar-- that is the pictograph that we should choose to go towards Aramaic rather than the Hebrew. Then the simple meaning would be the support for the family of the man. This fits with the action of the verb of looking expectantly, as well as to hope.
The qoph is the picture of a sun on the horizon and this sun is rising. Qoph is associated with resurrection and rising up, as well as to follow, or what comes after. The vav or waw is a picture of a tent peg and has the idea of connecting or joining something. That is why it is used as a particle to mean “and.”
The simple meaning of qewa is to follow the connection of the strong one -- [the Hebrew would be what comes from following the connection].
The action in this word picture is very “proactive” as we would say today. It means to intertwine, as the cords of a rope are woven together. Thus it means to abide, continue, wait and look eagerly for. Our hearts are woven together with God’s promises and so we can “wait on the Lord.” This is not a passive action however-- it is very ACTIVE! There are many verses that have to do with abiding in the Lord’s presence and with HIS stability. Let’s look at a passage from the New Testament.