|An brief introduction to the Hebrew language. The Bible is in Hebrew. An easy language. The depth and range of Hebrew words. For more see our correspondence course Biblical Hebrew made easy.|
AN INTRODUCTION TO HEBREW
|HEBREW INTRO||ON LEARNING|
|WORD STUDIES||STUDENT AREA|
|LATEST STUDY||BIBLE COURSES|
|"the Bible is a Hebrew book"|
"In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . ."
Whilst John draws attention to this by writing:
"In [the] beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in [the] beginning with God. All things were made by him . . ."
Thus the Word is closely associated with creative activity. In Isaiah 55.11 the 'word' goes out of God's mouth, just as His breath/Spirit does. In fact both the word for Spirit and the word for mouth derive from verbs meaning to blow, puff or exhale. Both Spirit and Word are associated with creation in Genesis 1 ("The Spirit of God was brooding . . ."; "And God said, let there be . . . "). The significance of Isaiah 55.11 is that the 'word' never returns void ('empty', a different word but one with similar meaning to 'void' in Genesis 1.2), it always accomplishes (Hebrew: 'âsâh 'to make or create', used in Genesis 1) its purpose. Now these are key meanings of the actual Hebrew word for 'word', but here described in several sentences.
In other words, dâbhâr means both the 'word' itself and its accompanying creative 'act'. It occurs over 1400 times in Scripture and is translated by 85 different English words in the KJV (Its root verb, dâbhar, occurs over 1100 times and required 45 different English words). This reinforces the need to know the underlying Hebrew text and language as misinterpretations can easily be made based upon different English words whilst the same Hebrew word can be behind all of them. Dâbhâr can also be translated by 'power', 'purpose', 'book', 'provision', 'reason', 'work', 'matter', 'thing', 'cause' or 'commandment' (e.g., the 10 commandments), it could be a written report, single utterance, whole book, or prophetic message.
Thus there is no distinction as has sometimes between made in the Greek between logos and rhema words of God. For instance, in the Greek Old Testament the Word (logos) heals those bitten by the serpent whilst the Word (rhema) preserves those that believe.
The Word was not just spoken it contained the power to fulfil. When the prophet heard a Word from the Lord it contained the driving force to impel its delivery. Jeremiah (20.9) could not restrain the Word any longer, but had to let it out. Just as the New Testament describes it the Word is alive and active, creative and explosive. It also was life to its hearers (Deuteronomy 32.46-47 and Jesus' words in John 6.63,68).