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.

Romans 10:8-11 (KJV)
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

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.

Psalm 145:15 TNK
The eyes of all look to You expectantly, and You give them their food when it is due.

Hope is the aspect of faith where we consider expectantly that the promises of God will come to pass in His timing and with His insight. Someone once told me that “believing equals receiving,” but I don’t think that is directly true anymore. Believing equals expectant confidence that we will receive the answer we need.
The last word to briefly look at is qawah in Hebrew and qewa in Aramaic.


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.

Colossians 1:21-23 (MGI)
For you also, who previously were strangers and enemies in your minds because of your evil works, he has now made peace [reconciled you]
by the body of his flesh and by his death, so that he would establish you before him, holy, without blemish, and without blame.
Since [this is so], continue [qewa] in your faith [haimanutha – from eman], your foundation being firm, and be not shaken from the hope [savra - from sevar] of the gospel that you heard [and] that was preached in all the creation that is under heaven, of which I, Paul, am a minister.
This is a great summary verse for what we have looked at about the progress of faith. Flee for refuge to the fence, confidently remain there. Then continue to weave your heart together with God’s -- his strong water (his life-giving water) and look expectantly toward that as the source of our salvation.

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