THE BLESSING OF THE TORAH OF YAHWEH!

19th of the 8th month 2016/2017

Shalom all,

In this message I simply want to highlight what a blessing it is for us to walk in the Torah of יהוה and take a look at the use of this word that has often been cast aside by many as something that is restrictive and harmful; yet as we begin to understand the blessing that the Torah of יהוה is to those who walk in it, we are equipped to see the true benefit of guarding the Torah and doing so with much joy that results in a fervent love, praise and dedication to the Torah of יהוה.

 

The Hebrew word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 means, utterance’, ‘teaching’, ‘instruction’ or ‘revelation’ from Elohim’. Other definitions include: ‘information that is imparted to a student; direction; body of prophetic teaching; instruction on Messianic Age; body of priestly direction, and comes from the primitive root verb יָרָה  yarah – Strong’s H3384 meaning, to shoot, throw, instruct, direct, teach, which therefore can give us the understanding of ‘Torah’ to mean the following:

TO AIM OR POINT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION and MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION

The Torah gives us our ‘direction’ and bearings as we sojourn here, looking forward to the sure and promised hope of the return of our King and Teacher of Righteousness! This word occurs 219 times in 213 verses in the Tanak (O.T.)

For the purposes of this message I will not go through all 219 occurrences; butt will take a deeper look at how this word is used in a psalm that declares a jubilant praise and love for the Torah of Elohim.

In Tehillah/Psalm 119 we see the root word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 being used 25 times, which is written in 6 different forms:

1 – בְּתוֹרַת betorath – ‘in the Torah of’

2 – מִתּוֹרָתֶךָmittorateḵa – ‘from Your Torah’

3 – וְתוֹרָתְךָvetorateḵa – ‘with Your Torah/ and Your Torah/ but Your Torah’

4 – תוֹרָתֶךָtorateḵa – ‘Your Torah’

5 – תוֹרַתtorath – ‘Torah’ (construct state – explained below)

6 – כְתוֹרָתֶךָketorateḵa – ‘according to Your Torah’

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119 is a beautifully constructed masterpiece that truly expresses the psalmists love for the Torah of יהוה. It is divided into twenty-two parts or stanzas, denoted by the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Each stanza contains eight verses, and the first letter of each verse is that which gives name to the stanza.

It is also worth noting that in every one of the 176 verses of this Tehillah, Elohim is either addressed or referred to.

Let us look at each of these 6 forms of the root word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 as used in the relevant verses from Tehillah/Psalm 119 so that we can get a greater understanding of the great love the Psalmist had for the Torah of יהוה.

      

1 - בְּתוֹרַת יהוהbetorath יהוה – ‘in the Torah of יהוה

This construct form of the root word תּוֹרָה torah is used in the very first verse:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:1 “Blessed are the perfect in the way, who walk in the Torah of יהוה!

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

אַשְׁרֵי תְמִימֵי־דָרֶךְ הַהֹלְכִים בְּתוֹרַת יהוה

Asherey temimey-dareḵ haholeḵiym betorath YAHWEH

The construct of ‘in the Torah of יהוה’ is written with two nounsבְּתוֹרַת יהוה – ‘betorath יהוה’. When a noun precedes another noun, the first noun is in the construct state, meaning it is connected to the second noun—two words together forming one concept. The noun תּוֹרָה torah has the letter ‘בְּ’ (bet) at the beginning of this form, as a preposition, which means, ‘in’. A preposition is a word whose function is to indicate the relation of a noun or pronoun to another noun, pronoun, verb, or adjective within a clause. Some English prepositions are “for,” “from,” “in,” “to,” and “with.”

Here in this construct it carries the meaning of ‘in’. The root word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 is a feminine noun and when a feminine noun, ending with the letter ה (hey), such as torah (תּוֹרָה), is used in the construct state, the ה is converted to a ת (taw), which in this case causes it to become ‘torath’ (תוֹרַת). What is very clear here is that the reference to the Torah in this first verse of Tehillah/Psalm 119 is that of יהוה’s Torah!

This first verse expresses the clear fact that those who walk in the Torah of יהוה are blessed! As I mentioned, there are many who, through a complete lack of knowledge or understanding of the Word of Elohim, have cast aside the Torah and consider it to be a curse rather than a blessing. Sadly those who think as such are missing out on walking in a truly blessed life in our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah.

The Hebrew word that is used here in Tehillah/Psalm 119:1 for ‘blessed’ is אַשְׁרֵיasherey which comes from the root word אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835 which means, happiness, blessedness, bliss, and comes from the root verb אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833 which means, blessed, lead, guide, to go straight, make progress to be advanced, to be led forth.

A ‘blessed’ - אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835 – man, is one who fears יהוה, takes refuge in יהוה, trusts in יהוה, and walks in the Torah of יהוה, by guarding to do all that is commanded therein:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people are let loose, but blessed is he who guards the Torah.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘perfect’ is תָּמִים  tamiym – Strong’s H8549 meaning, complete, whole, sound, perfect, without blemish, blameless, and the Hebrew word for ‘way’ is דֶּרֶךְ  dereḵ – Strong’s H1870 which means, way, road, distance, journey and is from the word דָּרַךְ  daraḵ – Strong’s H1869  which means, to tread or march; and so speaks of our walk, and every step that we take – and our ‘ways’ we are to commit to יהוה, which we do by walking in His Torah:

Tehillah/Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to יהוה, and trust in Him, and He does it.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘walkcomes from the root verb הָלַךְ halaḵ - Strong’s H1980 which carries the meaning, ‘to walk, to live, manner of life, cause to live’, and literally speaks of how one lives. It is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life and also carries the meaning, to go, to walk, come, proceed, depart, move, go away, to die, live, manner of life (figuratively).

 From this opening verse of this psalm of praise for יהוה and His Torah we are clearly able to see that a blessed life cannot be properly lived or walked out without the Torah of יהוה being that which leads our every step!

2 – מִתּוֹרָתֶךָmittorateḵa – ‘from Your Torah

This construct form of the root word תּוֹרָה torah is used in the following 3 verses: 18, 51, and 150.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes, that I might see Wonders from Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

גַּל־עֵינַי וְאַבִּיטָה נִפְלָאוֹת מִתּוֹרָתֶךָ

Gal-eynay veabbitah niphlaoth mittorateḵa

 

The noun תּוֹרָה torah has the letter ‘מִ’ (mem) at the beginning of this form, which is used from the word מִן min – Strong’s H4481 which is a preposition that can render the meaning, from, out of, by, by reason of, as a result of, according to. The rest of the word – תוֹרָתֶךָtorateḵameans, ‘Your Torah’ – which we will look at a little later in the verses where we see it simply written as such.

Here in this verse the psalmist asks יהוה to open his eyes that he may see wonders from His Torah! This highlights a very important lesson for us as we recognise that unless we turn to the Master and seek Him we will not be able to see the wonders that are contained in His Torah. So many are blinded to the Truth as they refuse to seek יהוה as they reject His Torah and turn away from it! Those who turn to the Master have their eyes opened to His Truth and are enabled to clearly see the wonders contained in His Torah, which clearly reveals who He is!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:14-16But their minds were hardened, for to this day, when the old covenant is being read, that same veil remains, not lifted, because in Messiah it is taken away. 15 But to this day, when Mosheh is being read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away.

Sha’ul made it very clear here that when one turns to the Master the veil is taken away and eyes are opened to seeing the wonders of the Master in His Torah! What is taken away in Messiah is NOT His Torah, but the veil that lies over people’s eyes! Those who deny the Master are unable to see the wonders contained in the Torah of יהוה!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘open’ comes from the primitive root verb גָּלָה galah – Strong’s H1540 which means, uncover, remove, to be uncovered, disclosed, exposedand the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘that I might see’ is וְאַבִּיטָהveabbiytah which comes from the primitive root verb נָבַט naat – Strong’s H5027 which means, to look, behold, gaze, observe, pay attention and it is written here in the ‘hifil’ verb tense which is the ‘causative’ tense and highlights for us the clear cry of the psalmist here as he earnestly seeks יהוה to open his eyes so that he may be caused to see the wonders that are contained in the Torah of יהוה.

יהוה is the One who ‘causes us to be’ and it is He who ‘causes us to see’ wonders from His Torah when we turn to Him and seek Him with our all by turning away from all that displeases Him!

Those who have turned away from His Torah and have turned away from hearing His Torah will never be able to see the wonders contained therein and never be able to walk in the blessing of obedience!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘wonders’ is נִפְלָאוֹתniphlaoth which comes from the primitive root verb פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381 which means, to be surpassing or extraordinary, fulfil a special (vow), to do extraordinary or hard things, to show oneself wonderful or marvellous. It is written in the ‘niphal’ verb tense which can render the meaning as, to be beyond one’s power, to be difficult to do or understand, extraordinary.

The psalmist is asking יהוה to open his eyes to see that which is beyond his own ability to see and asks to see the surpassing and extraordinary and marvellous matters contained in His Torah!

What is clearly being expressed here is that the psalmist knew that there are matters that are beyond our power to understand and not only is it beyond our power but it is also spectacular and marvellous, beyond comprehension – and it is this that he wants his eyes to be opened to! When we grasp the intensity of this earnest plea it does not make any sense why anyone would want to turn away from the Torah!

Now let us look at a couple of verses where we find the denominative root verb פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381, which clearly speak of the wondrous works of our Wonderful Creator and Redeemer:

Shemoth/Exodus 3:20 “And I shall stretch out My hand and smite Mitsrayim with all My wonders which I shall do in its midst. And after that he shall let you go.

Shemoth/Exodus 34:10 “And He said, “See, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I am going to do wonders such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of יהוה. For what I am doing with you is awesome.

Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1Chronicles 16:9Sing to Him, sing praise to Him, Speak of all His wonders!

Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 16:12Remember His wonders which He has done, His signs and the right-rulings of His mouth

Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 16:24Declare His esteem among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.

We are to proclaim and declare His wonders, which we cannot do if we do not know who the wonder is!!!

Let’s take a look at some more wonderful words that reveal our Wonderful Creator!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace.

In prophesying of the coming of Messiah this verse in Yeshayahu makes a clear proclamation of who the Messiah is, and what His Name is called – one of them of course being ‘Father of Continuity/Everlasting Father’, which we are not going to look at in-depth in this message; however I do want to highlight the first Name that mentioned here – and that is ‘WONDER’, which is the Hebrew noun פֶּלֶא pele – Strong’s H6382 which comes from the root verb פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381.

This is very exciting for us to recognise here, in that The Child that was born unto us - יהושע Messiah – is called by the Name ‘WONDER’ – and we also know that the Messenger of יהוה that appeared to Manowaḥ told him that His Name was ‘Wondrous’. The very Messenger who appeared to Manowaḥ and was taken up in esteem before their eyes was none other than יהושע Messiah!!!

Shophetim/Judges 13:17-19 “Then Manowaḥ said to the Messenger of יהוה, “What is Your name? When Your words come true, then we shall esteem You.” 18 And the Messenger of יהוה said to him, “Why do you ask My name, since it is wondrous?” 19 And Manowaḥ took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to יהוה. And He did wondrously while Manowaḥ and his wife looked on.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘wondrous’ is the root verb we have been looking at - פָּלָא pala – Strong’s H6381, while the Hebrew word translated as ‘wondrously’ is the primitive root פָּלָה palah – Strong’s H6395 which means, to be separated or distinct, distinguished, wondrously’.

The Psalmist understood that the Torah of יהוה contained much wondrous detail of the Master and he asked for his eyes to be opened to see the wonders in His Torah! As we fix our eyes on the Prince and Perfector of our belief we need to look intently into the mirror of the Word and guard the Torah, for then we will certainly see the wonders contained therein. For many of us we are able to testify of the wonders that the Master has revealed to us through His Torah as we diligently guard to do His Torah and walk in His Word! Those who turn away from the Torah of Elohim are blinded and unable to see the Truth.

Let us take a look at the next two verses that contain the construct of מִתּוֹרָתֶךָmittorateḵa – ‘from Your Torah’:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:51 “The proud have utterly scorned me, I did not turn aside from Your Torah.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:150 “Those who pursue mischief have drawn near; they have been far from Your Torah.

In these two verses we are able to see the psalmist’s commitment to walking in and staying in the Torah of יהוה while the wrong have been far from the Torah!

In contrast with the psalmist’s enemies, who are far from the Law, יהוה is near the psalmist, to protect and help him as described in verse 151:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.

Those who pursue wickedness and get up to mischief are far from the Torah of Elohim and have no protection or covering, whereas those who guard the Torah and do not turn aside from it have the assurance of the presence and protection of יהוה

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘the proud’ in Tehillah/Psalm 119:51 is זֵדִיםzeḏiym which is the plural of the noun זֵד zeḏ – Strong’s H2086 which means, insolent, presumptuous, arrogant, and comes from the root verb זוּד zuḏ - Strong’s H2102 which means, to boil up, seethe, act proudly or rebelliously, be rebelliously proud. So many ‘boil up’ so to speak when they are simply told what the Torah teaches and instructs, especially when they do not want to ‘change their ways’ and do what is required! Those who resist the Truth and reject those who are appointed over them to teach and give proper right-ruling will find themselves at risk of being put to death when the Master comes. Another noun that comes from this verb and is used to describe the proud is the word זָדוֹן zaḏon – Strong’s H2087 which means, insolence, presumptuousness, arrogance, pride, which is also used here in this parable and translated as ‘pride’, and is also translated as ‘arrogantly’ in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 17:12And the man who acts arrogantly, so as not to listen to the priest who stands to serve there before יהוה your Elohim, or to the judge, that man shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Yisra’ĕl.

This is a clear warning against the pride of refusing to listen to the Truth!

The Hebrew word for ‘mischief’ in Tehillah/Psalm 119:150 is זִמָּה zimmah – Strong’s H2154 which means, a plan, device, wickedness, acts of lewdness, evil intent, which comes from the primitive root זָמַם zamam – Strong’s H2161 meaning, scheme, devise, plot. What is worth taking note of is that the people who were as tall as the Anaqim that יהוה destroyed were called the Zamzummim by the Ammonites and were also known as the Repha’ites. (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 2:20-21)

Zamzummim – זַמְזֻמִּים – Strong’s H2157 means, plotters, schemers’.

Tehillah/Psalm 37:12 “The wrong plots against the righteous, and gnashes his teeth at him.

The word ‘plots’ here is the word זָמַם  zamam, and we recognise how the wrong are always ‘plotting, scheming, or devising’ plans against the righteous and they ‘gnash’ their teeth in speaking out lies and hatred toward the Truth and against full compliance to the Torah.

Those who did not like the words of Stephanos, as he presented the Truth of the fact that they have not guarded the Torah, ‘gnashed their teeth’ at him:

Ma’asei/Acts 7:54 “And hearing this they were cut to the hearts and gnashed the teeth at him.

The ‘plotters’ of today are always doing their utmost to devise new schemes of retaining the masses in following their twisted worship practices and will speak out against the Truth as they are confronted with the True Sword that cuts to the heart!

The Hebrew root word used here for ‘far’ in Tehillah/Psalm 119:150 is רָחַק raḥaq – Strong’s H7368 which means, to be or become far or distant, go some distance, put it far away, remove, shunand this verb appears over 50 times in Scripture and occurs in various contexts that depict being far from something or someone else. In many passages it expresses the idea of being too far from a place or someone, as if the place or person was unreachable. It is also given as ethical and religious connotations in such passages as Shemoth/Exodus 23:7 where Yisra’ĕl was commanded to stay far from wickedness and falsehood:

Shemoth/Exodus 23:7 “Keep yourself far from a false matter, and do not kill the innocent and the righteous, for I do not declare the wrong right.

This root is also used to describe how far Yisra’ĕl had gone from יהוה through their whoring with the nations and turning to worthlessness:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah2:5 “Thus said יהוה, “What unrighteousness have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?

What becomes clear in Scripture is that to be far from the Torah is not a good thing, whereas those who do not turn away from the Torah but continue in it experience the blessing thereof!

Let us now take a look at the 3rd constructed word of תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 contained in Tehillah/Psalm 119:

3 – וְתוֹרָתְךָ vetorateḵa – ‘with Your Torah/ and Your Torah/ but Your Torah

This construct form of the root word תּוֹרָה torah is used in the following 5 verses: 29, 109, 113, 142 and 174.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:29Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favour me with Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

     דֶּרֶךְ־שֶׁקֶר הָסֵר מִמֶּנִּי וְתוֹרָתְךָ חָנֵּנִי

dereḵ-sheqer haseyr mimmenniy vetorateḵa hanneyniy

 

The noun תּוֹרָה torah has the letter ‘וְ’ (waw/vav) at the beginning of this form and is used as a conjunction that can have the meaning of, with, and, or, but. The rest of the word – תוֹרָתֶךָtorateḵameans, ‘Your Torah’ – which we will look at a little later in the verses where we see it simply written as such.

Here the psalmist makes the urgent appeal to be removed from all falsehood and be favoured with the Torah of Elohim.

What becomes very clear as we look at these words is that it is the Torah of יהוה that is able to keep us from straying into falsehood, as long as we walk in it!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘show me favour’ is written as חָנֵּנִיḥanneyniy which is constructed from the two root words: 1) the primitive root חָנַן anan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour and 2) אֲנִי aniy – Strong’s H589 which means, me, I, alone, myselfand is written in the first person singular, usually for emphasis.

The noun חֵן en – Strong’s H2580 meaning, grace, adornment, favour, gracious comes from the primitive root חָנַן anan – Strong’s H2603 and the reason for me making mention of this is to highlight that these two words, חֵן en and חָנַן anan, are collectively used 141 times in the Tanak (O.T.) and what we are able to clearly recognise in Scripture is that the favour of Elohim is only extended on the basis of His loving-commitment to His covenants of Promise and highlights the reality that the favour of Elohim is only extended to those who are in Covenant with Him and therefore highlights the reality that those who reject the Torah of Elohim and forsake the need to walk according to the Covenants of Promise, are unable to find His favour in time of need! Many today will loosely use the term ‘I am under grace’ while their lives are riddled with compromise and lawlessness, as they totally disregard the need to be walking in and guarding the Torah and commands of Elohim. The psalmist could cry out for the favour of Elohim, based on the loving-commitment of Elohim to His Covenants of promise and he understood the need to guard the commands of Elohim and therefore could confidently seek favour in his time of need, knowing that יהוה would hear his cry! Those who forsake the Torah are not heard by Elohim!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:9 He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer is an abomination.

One who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah is a clear reference to one who refuses to ‘hear, guard and do’ what the Torah instructs and here we are able to see that the prayers of those who turn a deaf ear to hearing and doing what the Torah teaches and commands are an abomination!

Tehillah/Psalm 119:109My life is in my hand continually, and Your Torah I have not forgotten.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

     נַפְשִׁי בְכַפִּי תָמִיד וְתוֹרָתְךָ לֹא שָׁכָחְתִּי

Napshiy beḵappiy tamiyḏ vetorateḵa lo shaḵaḥttiy 

 

In this verse the letter ‘וְ’ (waw/vav) is translated as ‘and’. Here the psalmist makes the clear that in his walk he has not forgotten the Torah of Elohim. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘forgotten’ comes from the root word שָׁכַח shaḵaḥ – Strong’s H7911 and means, forget, cease to care, ignore

We are clearly reminded in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:11-14Be on guard, lest you forget יהוה your Elohim by not guarding His commands, and His right-rulings, and His laws which I command you today, 12 lest you eat and shall be satisfied, and build lovely houses and shall dwell in them, 13 and your herds and your flocks increase, and your silver and your gold are increased, and all that you have is increased, 14 that your heart then becomes lifted up, and you forget יהוה your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage

The sad reality is that so often when things seem to be going well with people, they ‘forget to not forget’, so to speak – which we are constantly to be on guard against!

We see in Hoshěa a clear use of this word שָׁכַח shaḵaḥ - meaning, ‘to forget’, being used as an antonym for יָדַע yaḏa meaning, to know, in:

Hoshěa/Hosea 13:4-6 But I am יהוה your Elohim since the land of Mitsrayim, and an Elohim besides Me you shall not know, for there is no Saviour besides Me. 5 “I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought. 6 “When they were fed they were satisfied. They were satisfied and their heart was exalted, therefore they forgot Me.

To ‘forgetיהוה and His Torah is simply another way of saying that one does not know Him! To forget יהוה is to reject walking in His Torah – and for this people will die!

Tehillah/Psalm 119:113I have hated doubting thoughts, but I have loved Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

     סֵעֲפִים שָׂנֵאתִי וְתוֹרָתְךָ אָהָבְתִּי

Seaphiym saneathiy vetorateḵa ahaḇttiy

 

In this verse the letter ‘וְ’ (waw/vav) is translated as ‘but’ and the ending of this verse could be literally translated as, ‘but Your Torah I have loved’.

As we consider these words we are able to recognise the clear understanding that the psalmist had in terms of the reason for loving the Torah, for it ensured that he did not have any doubts or a double mind. In this verse we see the clear contrast between hate and love as hate is expressed toward doubting thoughts while love is expressed for the Torah, showing us that without the Torah one is in danger of having doubting thoughts!

One who has doubting thoughts is a person who has a divided mind and is destitute of firm faith and persuasion as to the knowledge of Elohim, causing them to be driven this way and that by every wind of doctrine.

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:5-8If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it shall be given to him. 6 But he should ask in belief, not doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man should not think that he shall receive whatever from the Master – 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The Hebrew word for ‘hate’ is שָׂנֵא sane – Strong’s H8130 which means, to hate, detest, turn against’.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘loved’ comes the root verb אָהֵב aheḇ – Strong’s H157 meaning, to love, dearly loved, friend, friends, lover, and is an expression of choice in action rather than just an emotional feeling!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who earnestly seek me do find me.

He loves those who love Him – and a major part of loving Him is ‘seeking’ Him; because to love Him is to do what he has instructed us to, so how will we know how to love Him if we do not seek out what His instructions are???

An interesting side note is that the numerical value for this word for love is ‘8’ – which speaks of fullness, complete and everlasting! The letter ‘אָ’ (aleph) has the numerical value of ‘1’, while the letter ‘הֵ’ (hey) is ‘5’ and the letter ‘ב’ (beyt) is ‘2’, equalling a total numerical value of 8!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:8 “But you, Yisra’ĕl, are My servant, Yaʽaqoḇ, whom I have chosen, the descendants of Aḇraham My friend

Yoḥanan/John 15:13-14 “No one has greater love than this: that one should lay down his life for his friends. 14 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

Here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:8 we see that יהוה refers to Aḇraham as being one who ‘loved’ Him and this root word for ‘loved’ in the Hebrew is אָהֵב  aheḇ – Strong’s H157 meaning, to love, dearly loved, friend, friends, lover.

Here this word is written in the “qal, active, pure noun participle”, which can also therefore render the intense love between two friends and so we can see why so many translations actually translate this as ‘…Aḇraham my friend…’ and Messiah tells us that the greatest love anyone can have is to lay down his life for his friend! This makes so much sense in that יהוה expresses the greatest love any could by laying down His life, not only for His friend who loved Him – Aḇraham, but also for Aḇraham’s descendants, the chosen and called out children of Yisra’ĕl!

 

יהוה Himself took on the nature of flesh by bearing His Right, Outstretched Arm and proved His love for us by redeeming us through His Blood – He is our Redeemer and the Set-Apart One of Yisra’ĕl – He is our refuge whom shall we dread? We are His friends if we love Him… for Yoḥanan makes it clear for us what love for Elohim is:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy

Tehillah/Psalm 119:142Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

צִדְקָתְךָ צֶדֶק לְעוֹלָם וְתוֹרָתְךָ אֱמֶת

Tsiḏeqatheḵa tseḏeq le’olam vetorateḵa emeth

 

In this verse the letter ‘וְ’ (waw/vav) is translated as ‘and’. The Righteousness of Elohim is forever and His Torah is Truth!

In Hebrew the word for ‘truth’ is אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means,truth, firmness, faithfulness, and this word carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability – and we know that The Word of יהוה is truth:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.

Anyone who claims to serve יהוה without walking in and giving heed to follow His Torah, commands and instructions are not serving in Truth, and those who claim that the Torah/Law of Elohim has been done away with are sadly riddled with the leaven of the hypocrisy of man’s theologies and dogmas that seeks only to serve self rather than the Giver of Life, while claiming the opposite!

When Messiah prayed to the Father he said the following:

Yoḥanan/John 17:17 Set them apart in Your truth – Your Word is truth.

The Greek word that is used here for ‘truth’ is the word ἀλήθεια alētheia – Strong’s G225 which means, truth, truly, according to truth’.

The Master יהושע Messiah tells us clearly in Yoḥanan/John 14:6 that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life – and to walk in the Truth is to walk in Him: in Him in whom there is not spot or blemish or any deceit of falsehood! To walk in Him is to walk according to the Truth and in purity of the Truth, as we hear, guard and do His commands

The Hebrew word used here for ‘righteousness’ is צְדָקָה tseḏaqah – Strong’s H6666 meaning, righteousness, righteous acts, merits, righteous deeds and is the feminine form of צֶדֶק tseḏeq – Strong’s H6664.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:174I have longed for Your deliverance, O יהוה, and Your Torah is my delight.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

     תָּאַבְתִּי לִישׁוּעָתְךָ יהוה וְתוֹרָתְךָ שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי

Taaḇttiy liyshuatheḵa YAHWEH vetorateḵa shaashuay

 

In this verse the letter ‘וְ’ (waw/vav) is translated as ‘and’. What is clearly being expressed here is the delight that the psalmist has in the Torah of Elohim. With the expression of how he has longed for the deliverance of יהוה we are able to see how we are to delight ourselves in the Torah of Elohim as we work out our deliverance with fear and trembling!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘delight’ comes from the root verb שַׁעֲשֻׁעִים sha’ashuiym – Strong’s H8191 which means, delight, pleasant, object of delight, which is an intensive noun that is written in the plural. When being written as ‘my delight’ it is written as שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי sha’ashuai. This noun is used 9 times in the Tanak, 5 of which are used in Tehillah/Psalm 119 in the construct of שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי sha’ashuai meaning, MY DELIGHT.

Let us take a look at these 5 verses and see what the object of Dawiḏ’s delight was:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:24 “Your witnesses also are my delight, my counsellors.”

Tehillah/Psalm 119:77 “Let Your compassions come to me, that I might live, for Your Torah is my delight.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:92 “If Your Torah had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:143 “Distress and anguish have found me; Your commands are my delight.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:174 “I have longed for Your deliverance, O יהוה, and Your Torah is my delight.

As we can clearly see from these verses the object of the psalmist’s delight was the witnesses, Torah and commands of יהוה! As we stop and ponder on this and see exactly what the psalmist took great pleasure in, we have to question the motives of some who claim to follow the Creator yet delight not in His witnesses, Torah and commands.

What is ‘delight’? This English word is defined in various ways by many different dictionaries and carries the basic meaning of, ‘having a strong feeling of joy’ or, ‘something that gives you great pleasure and satisfaction’. ‘A’ delight is a source of joy; and ‘to’ delight’ is to take pleasure in something! To give delight to is to affect with great pleasure or please highly. As a noun it is used to express a high degree of satisfaction or something that gives one great pleasure. As a verb it expresses the concept of taking great pleasure in something and the giving of keen enjoyment. In other words what one delights in can be clearly seen in the pleasure and enjoyment that one shows!

What do you take pleasure in? What is your delight?

When the Torah is a person’s delight then doing what the Word commands is a pleasure to follow.

Romiyim/Romans 7:22 “For I delight in the Torah of Elohim according to the inward man

Our ability to truly delight in the Torah according to the inward man equips us to walk according to the Spirit and take great joy and satisfaction in guarding to do all that our Master has commanded us. When we delight in His Torah then doing His Torah is a delight and not a heavy burden or something that is too hard, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light!

The Torah is only hard to those who do not delight in it. Those who find no satisfaction in studying, meditating and learning the Word in order to joyfully do it, find it hard and boring, and in doing so render themselves as being fools who lack the necessary oil in their jars and will be shut out from entering into the Reign of our King!

4 – תוֹרָתֶךָtorateḵa – ‘Your Torah’

This construct form of the root word תּוֹרָה torah is used 14 times in Tehillah/Psalm 119, which can be seen in the following verses: 34, 44, 53, 55, 61, 70, 77, 92, 97, 126, 136, 153, 163, and 165

Tehillah/Psalm 119:34Make me understand, that I might observe Your Torah, and guard it with all my heart.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

הֲבִינֵנִי וְאֶצְּרָה תוֹרָתֶךָ וְאֶשְׁמְרֶנָּה בְכָל־לֵב

Haḇiyneyniy ve’etstserah torateḵa ve’eshmerennah beḵal-leḇ

 

תוֹרָתֶךָtorateḵa is the most frequent form that we see the root word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 being written in, here in this Tehillah/Psalm 119 and it simply means ‘Your Torah’; with the strict and clear reference to it being יהוה’s Torah.

This verse is from the stanza of 8 verses that begin with the letter ‘הֲ’ (hey) – verses 33-40 – and the main theme of this grouping of 8 verses is the earnest desire to understand the Torah of Elohim, with the appeal to understand the Torah and the commitment to keep the Torah of Elohim at all times.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘understand’ comes from the primitive root verb בִּין bin – Strong’s H995 which means, to discern, act wisely, clever, diligently considerand is written here in the ‘hifil’ verb tense, which is the ‘causative’ form which can render the meaning of, give understanding, cause to understand, teach; and what we can clearly see here is the psalmist’s appeal for יהוה to cause him to understand the Torah so that he might properly observe and guard it with all his heart! Herein lies a very powerful lesson for us as we take note that there are many who fail to guard and observe the Torah of Elohim with all their heart due to a lack of understanding! It is often understood that proper understanding comes in the doing of what one has been taught and the psalmist is seeking for Elohim to teach him His Torah and cause him to do it and in the process of doing it, get the proper understanding through the proper application of the Torah so that he can faithfully observe it and guard it as he should!

The Hebrew word translated here in Tehillah/Psalm 119:34 as ‘observe’ comes from the root verb נָצַר natsar – Strong’s H5341 meaning, to keep watch, guard, preserve; and what is worth taking note of is that a derivative of this word is the word נֵצֶר netser – Strong’s H5342 which means, Branch, a sprout, descendant and is used as a reference to Messiah:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:1 “And a Rod shall come forth from the stump of Yishai, and a Sprout from his roots shall bear fruit.

As ‘branches’ of THE VINE, we are ‘watched over’ by יהוה, and equipped to bear much fruit:

Yoḥanan/John 15:4 “Stay in Me, and I stay in you. As the branch is unable to bear fruit of itself, unless it stays in the vine, so neither you, unless you stay in Me.

Being ‘watched over’ must cause us to ‘watch over/observe’ that which we have been entrusted with, and that is His Torah that He has written upon our hearts! The way we are able to faithfully observe/keep watch over the Torah is through a proper understanding of the Torah, which comes in the faithful doing of the Word so that understanding may increase!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘guard’ comes from the root word שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 and carries the meaning, keep watch, observe, perform, protect, pay attention’, and the basic idea of the root of this word isto exercise great care over’.

Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:17-18You, then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the delusion of the lawless, 18 but grow in the favour and knowledge of our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah. To Him be the esteem both now and to a day that abides. Aměn.

These were the words that ended the second letter of Kěpha and are words that expressed the urgency of the need to be a watchful people, having been forewarned about the clear fact that just as there came to be false prophets in the past so too shall there be false teachers who shall secretly bring in destructive heresies, and deny the Master who bought them, as seen in the previous chapter of his letter.

The Greek word used in Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:17 for ‘watch’ is φυλάσσω  phulassō – Strong’s G5442 which means, to guard, watch, keep, observe, obey and keep orders, which we also see being translated as ‘watching over’, in:

Luqas/Luke 11:28 “But He said, “Blessed rather are those hearing the Word of Elohim and watching over it!

This word φυλάσσω phulassō – Strong’s G5442 is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek text of the Tanak – O.T.) in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:1My son, guard my words, and treasure up my commands with you.

Here it is used for the word that is translated as ‘guard’, which in the Hebrew text is the word שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104

As we guard His Torah and exercise great care over our need to walk upright, we will be protected against the delusion of the lawless! Why I am highlighting this is to make it very clear that in order to properly watch and be on guard against being led astray we need to be properly guarding the Word of Elohim by paying attention to it, as we hear, guard and do what the Word commands!

To watch as we should we need to know the Word, which takes proper study and daily meditation of the Word and those who are not interested in knowing the Word set themselves up to be an easy target for being led astray by the delusion of the lawless. How one watches is important as we also take note of the warning that Kěpha is giving here, saying that if one does not watch properly then the danger of falling away from one’s own steadfastness in very real indeed and sadly we see that there are so many who are not taking this warning seriously enough.

The psalmist understood the urgency of guarding the Torah with all his heart and cries out for understanding!

His commitment to guard the Torah with all his heart is a clear expression of his commitment to love יהוה as we know that ‘love for Elohim’ is to guard His commands and can be reminded of the verse I have already mentioned earlier in this article:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy

We can also be reminded, as we consider the words of the psalmist, that guarding the Torah with all his heart is in obedient response to loving as he should, for we are called to love יהוה with all our heart:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:4-6Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one! 5 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. 6 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart

It is a heart thing – and obedience flows from the heart, and in a Psalm that is all about the praise of the Torah and commands of Elohim we see the psalmist saying in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:111-112 “Your witnesses are my inheritance forever, for they are the joy of my heart. 112 I have inclined my heart to do Your laws Forever, to the end.

Sha’ul writes in:

Romiyim/Romans 6:17 “But thanks to Elohim that you were servants of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted.

The Greek word for ‘heart’ is καρδία kardia – Strong’s G2588 and this word denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life, and is understood as the centre and seat of the soul and mind; as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours. It refers to the innermost part of a man – that which drives and directs a man’s steps, thoughts and purpose! The Hebrew word for ‘heart’ is לֵב leḇ - Strong’s H3820 which means, inner man, mind, will thought, or is often also written as לֵבָב leḇaḇ – Strong’s H3824 which means, inner man, heart, mind, understanding’; and what is interesting to take note of here is that these two letters for ‘heart’ in the ancient Hebrew pictographic Script make it clear that the rule and authority of Elohim is to be upon our hearts!

In the ancient Script the Hebrew word לֵב leḇ - Strong’s H3820 looks like this:

beitlamed

Lamed - לֵ:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

Bet - ב:

The ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

 

In terms of these two pictures representing the ‘heart’ or the inner man and the will and thoughts of man, we are able to see that a pure heart is one that submits to the authority of the Good Shepherd, having been grafted into His Body, that is the Tabernacle of Elohim, which in Messiah we now are. And in recognising this we see that we, as legitimate sons and daughter of the Most High that have been grafted in by the Blood of Messiah, have upon our hearts His Torah, under which we submit to walking in – for His Torah are the rules of His House! Even with the word for heart being expressed as לֵבָב  leḇaḇ, we are able to see in the ancient text a second ‘bet’ – בbeit, showing us the clear picture of the True authority for both Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, that collectively make up the entire body of Messiah, or Tabernacle of Elohim, which we now are!

To love Elohim with all your heart implies that His commands are written upon your heart, for true love for Elohim is to guard His commands; and if one does not think upon or meditate upon His Torah in order to walk in it, then it shall be very clear that the Truth is not in them!

יהוה knows what is in our hearts, while we may not; and He tests our hearts in order to see if we will obey Him or not:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:2And you shall remember that יהוה your Elohim led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you guard His commands or not.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:12-13And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, 13 to guard the commands of יהוה and His laws which I command you today for your good?

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:18And you shall lay up these Words of Mine in your heart and in your being, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.

The reason I am quoting all these verses is to show that ‘it is a heart thing’ and the Word must be in our hearts and mouths, and not just a vain rendering of a corrupted lips service that has no heart or follow through with obedience and submission to doing the commands with joy!

Guarding the good treasure and deposit of the Truth in our hearts will keep us from sinning and being lawless, and will keep us from being and adulterer and thief!

Tehillah/Psalm 119:11 “I have treasured up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Let us now go through the other 13 verses where we see the word תוֹרָתֶךָtorateḵa being used here in Tehillah/Psalm 119 and look at some key words contained in each verse in order to learn some lessons on the valuable blessing that the Torah of Elohim is for His Bride that makes herself ready for His soon return:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:44That I might guard Your Torah continually, forever and ever

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

וְאֶשְׁמְרָה תוֹרָתְךָ תָמִיד לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

Ve’eshmerah torateḵa tamiyḏ leolam vaeḏ

 

This verse is part of the 8 verses that begins with the letter ‘וְ’ (waw/vav) – verses 41-48, which often functions as a conjunction that means, ‘and’. Here in this stanza we see the psalmist praying for the loving-commitment and deliverance of Elohim to be extended to him and makes an earnest appeal to Elohim that His Word not be taken from his mouth, so that he may answer his reprove, according to the Word of Elohim that he has continually trusted in and therefore be equipped to guard the Torah of יהוה forever. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘guard’ is the word שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 which we have already looked at in the previous section.

What is important to highlight here is the psalmists desire to guard the Torah of Elohim continually, forever and ever. There is never a thought in his mind that it shall be done away with or become extinct but rather he acknowledges that the Torah of Elohim is forever and is something that is to be guarded continually!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘continually’ is the word תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 which means, continuity, all times, always, constantly, regularly, continually, and what is worth taking note of in the instructions regarding the Tabernacle is that the lamp was to burn continually:

Shemoth/Exodus 27:20 “And you, you are to command the children of Yisra’ĕl to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.

The Word of Elohim – is both a lamp to our feet and a light for our path

Tehillah/Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

The word used here for ‘lamp’ is נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 meaning, lamp, candle, light. Now a lamp in ancient times would primarily be a vessel with a wick for burning a liquid such as oil in order to produce light; and as one would walk the lamp would typically be carried in one’s hand!

This word for lamp - נֵר ner – is also used in:

Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:29For You are my lamp, O יהוה, And יהוה makes my darkness light.

Shemoth/Exodus 25:37 “And you shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall mount its lamps so that they give light in front of it.

This was part of the instructions given for the construction of the Tabernacle and the lampstand with its seven lamps that were to be in the Set-Part Place giving light over the table of showbread, and this is also a clear pointing to the seven lampstands as seen in Ḥazon/Revelation 2 & 3, and how יהושע walks in the midst of these!

How we keep our lamps ‘burning continually’ is to be a people who are guarding His pure and clear Torah, day and night!

It was the responsibility of the priest to ensure that the fire would not burn out and so one of the most critical roles in the duty of the priests was to make sure that the fire was maintained!

Kěpha Aleph/ 1Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light

We as a chosen and set-apart royal priesthood have a responsibility. And that is to keep alive and burning the flame of His presence within us at all times! We are to guard the flame, be keepers of the flame and maintain the flame – and this takes diligence and discipline in keeping a watchful eye on what we do in our daily lives!

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:53Rage has seized me because of the wrong who forsake Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

זַלְעָפָה אֲחָזַתְנִי מֵרְשָׁעִים עֹזְבֵי תּוֹרָתֶךָ

Zalapha aḥazathniy mereshaiym ozebey torateḵa

 

This verse is one of the 8 verses that begin with the letter ‘זַ’ (zayin) – verses 49-56.

One of the main themes that run through this collection of 8 verses is the persecution that the psalmist faces on a daily basis from his enemies, which were people who did not obey the Torah of יהוה and he expresses the confidence he has in the proper guarding of the Torah of יהוה that would save him from his enemies.

He also expresses the anger and rage that gripped him because of those who forsake the Torah of יהוה. When one diligently guards the Torah of Elohim, and walks in the true love for Elohim that is called for, then rage may grip the obedient servant of Elohim by what he sees the wrong doing.

While the proud and arrogant lawless ones continued to mock the obedient psalmist he remained steadfast to his complete trust in Elohim and His Torah and here he expresses his anger at seeing the lawless actions of those who forsake the Torah of Elohim.

The Hebrew root word used here for ‘the wrong’ is רָשָׁע rasha – Strong’s H7563 which means, wicked, criminal, evil, offender’. רָשָׁע rasha is frequently  placed in Scripture, especially in Mishlĕ/Proverbs, as being in direct and unequivocal opposition to  צַדִּיק  tsaddiq –Strong’s H6662 which means, just, righteous, blameless, lawful, which is used here for ‘the righteous’.

It is from this contrast that we are able to get the clearest profile of the רָשָׁע rasha – Strong’s H7563 (wicked) kind of people! The book of Mishlĕ/Proverbs contains a great deal of antithetical parallelism, which contrasts the רָשָׁע rasha and the צַדִּיק tsaddiq in black and white terms. The focus is on both the quality of lifestyle and the results of these two ways of living. Whereas the wicked forsake יהוה, the righteous cling to him. Though the wicked are oppressive and dishonest, the righteous are upright and lovers of truth, etc. Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28 clearly deals with the blessings for the righteous (verses 2-14) and the curses for the wrong (verses 15-68)!

The Hebrew word that is translated here in Tehillah/Psalm 119:53 as ‘forsake’ comes from the root verb עָזַב aza - Strong’s H5800 which means, to leave, forsake, loose, loosen, abandon, leave behind, neglect’.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart

Anyone who claims to serve יהוה without walking in and giving heed to follow His Torah, commands and instructions are not serving in Truth and have, by default of their lawlessness, forsaken Him. And those who claim that the Torah/Law of Elohim has been done away with are sadly riddled with the leaven of the hypocrisy of man’s theologies and dogmas that seeks only to serve self rather than the Giver of Life, while claiming the opposite!

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:55I have remembered Your Name in the night, O יהוה, and I guard Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

זָכַרְתִּי בַלַּיְלָה שִׁמְךָ יהוה וָאֶשְׁמְרָה תּוֹרָתֶךָ

Zaḵarttiy ballaylah shimḵa YAHWEH vaeshmerah torateḵa

 

Still in the same section of 8 verses that begin with the letter ‘זַ’ (zayin) – verses 49-56 – we see the complete commitment that the psalmist expresses in his diligent guarding of the Torah of יהוה and declares how he remembered the Name of יהוה in the night.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘remembered’ comes from the root verb ָכַרzaḵar– Strong’s H2142 which means ‘to remember, or be mindful, or bring to remembrance’.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘night’ is לַיְלָה layelah – Strong’s H3915 which means, night (as opposed to day), and is a period of time from the setting of the sun to its rising; and so carries the focus of lacking light. Darkness often has the connotation of a period of uncertainly and a time when fear grips one the most, which metaphorically can be understood, especially when there is no light being shed on a situation that has become an intense time of insecurity and fear; yet we take note that both light and darkness are from Elohim, as both darkness and light are His!

Tehillah/Psalm 74:16 “The day is Yours, the night is Yours too, You have established the light and the sun.

We also take note that the one who dwells in the secret place of the Most High and abides under the shadow of the Almighty is not afraid of the night or day!

Tehillah/Psalm 91:5-6 “You are not afraid of the dread by night, of the arrow that flies by day, 6 of the pestilence that walks in darkness, of destruction that ravages at midday.

Why I am mentioning this is to highlight the character of a capable Bride of Messiah, as she is not afraid of the night and can therefore confidently get up and make proper preparations for the day ahead, with complete confidence and no fear of darkness! We need not fear the dark, so to speak, as we know that even darkness is as light to our Husband and King:

Tehillah/Psalm 139:11-12 “If I say, “Darkness shall cover me,” then night would be light to me; 12 even darkness is not dark for You, but night shines as the day – as is darkness, so is light.

In this Tehillah/Psalm 119:53 the psalmist states that rage had seized him because of the wrong that forsake the Torah of יהוה, and he was possibly being gripped by this rage during the dark hours, so to speak; and then he says in verse 55 that he remembers the Name of יהוה and guards His Torah. In the midst of darkness he remembers who it is who causes him to be and therefore guards the Torah! This teaches us a vital lesson too, as many seem to discard the need to guard the Torah when things get tough and darkness overtakes them! It is during the ‘dark times’, so to speak, that we are to be on greater guard against the schemes of the enemy and his dark ways, as we remember that it is our Master and Elohim that has made both darkness and light and to Him darkness is as light, giving us the full assurance that, as a capable wife of the Most High, we can rise up in the darkness and be about our Master’s business!

When I ponder on this I am reminded of the call we see in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:1-2 “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of יהוהhas risen upon you. 2 “For look, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But יהוהarises over you, and His esteem is seen upon you.

I am also reminded of the words of Sha’ul in his letter to the believers in Rome:

Romiyim/Romans 13:11-14 “And do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for us to wake up from sleep, for now our deliverance is nearer than when we did believe. 12 The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in living together and indecencies, not in fighting and envy, 14 but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.

Dawiḏ made it clear that while some trust in the world’s ways he declares that the righteous remembered the Name of יהוה:

Tehillah/Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we remember the Name of יהוה our Elohim.

Remembering the Name of יהוה is to remember, acknowledge and know who it is that causes us to be!

The Name of יהוה is derived from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961 which means, to be, to become, to be in existence, and when Elohim spoke to Mosheh He said, “I AM that which I AM”, and told Him to tell the Yisra’ĕlites that the I AM had sent him. (Shemoth/Exodus 3:14)

I AM THAT WHICH I AM – in Hebrew is – אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶהeyeh asher eyeh – The word ‘eyeh’ comes from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961; and the word אֲשֶׁר asher – Strong’s H834 is a primitive pronoun that means, who, which, that, that which and is a marker of a relative reference to an entity, event, or state. The first ‘eyeh’ is written as a proper noun, singular, masculine, while the second ‘eyeh’ is written in the qal active verb tense and in essence we see Elohim making it clear here to Mosheh that “The One who exists is the One who causes to exist, or gives existence” or “The All existing One is the One who gives existence

Literally speaking it can render, “I AM the One who causes to be”, or “I AM the One who brings into being”, as well as “I AM the life-giver, the giver of all existence”, and “I AM the ever living self-consistent and unchangeable One”.

This however is not The Name of Elohim, but was rather an explanation that would lead up to the revelation of His Name, which is clearly declared as: יהוה – Strong’s H3068 which is derived from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961.

When we say the Name of יהוה we are proclaiming that it is the ‘I AM’ who gives existence and that He is the One who causes me to be! יהוה is our Creator and He has formed us! 

The Name of יהוה – Strong’s H3068 is pictured in the ancient script as follows:

heywaw heyyad

Yod – י

In the Ancient Script this is the letter ‘yad or yod’ which is pictured as -  yad - which is the picture of an arm and hand and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’ from the primary functions of the arm and hand and also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. This also reveals to us a stretched out arm and hand.

Hey - ה

The ancient script has this letter as hey and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breathe’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out.

Waw - ו

The ancient pictographic form of this letter is waw, which is a peg or ‘tent peg’ or nail, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.

In the pictographic representation of the Name of Elohim we are able to clearly see how He, the All Existing One, revealed Himself to His Creation through His Outstretched Arm and Hand. The two pictures of the man and the peg in between them also gives us insight as to how He would come and reveal Himself in the form of a man and secure the Covenants of promise, and in this we are able to see the two comings of Messiah.

Behold the Outstretched Arm of the All Existing One shall come and secure His Covenant and Redeem us in order to establish His House for which He is coming again!

The correct grammatical way to pronounce the Name of יהוה is ‘YAHWEH’. For more on this please see the article I wrote called, “Grammatical study from Scripture on confirming the pronunciation of the Name of יהוה” which can be found under the articles menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by simply clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/2012-04-19-08-30-28/view/678-grammatical-study-from-scripture-on-confirming-the-pronunciation-of-the-name-of

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:61The cords of the wrong have surrounded me, Your Torah I have not forgotten.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

חֶבְלֵי רְשָׁעִים עִוְּדֻנִי תּוֹרָתְךָ לֹא שָׁכָחְתִּי

ḥeḇley reshaiym ivveḏuniy torateḵa lo shaḵaḥttiy

 

This verse is from the section of 8 verses that begin with the letter ‘חֶ’ (ḥet) – verses 57-64 and in this stanza he continues to declare his deep devotion and love for the Torah of Elohim and in verse 57 he basically says that יהוה is all he wants as he says that יהוה is his portion and here in verse 61 he makes it clear that even while the chords or boundary lines of the wrong are all around him, he has not forgotten the Torah of Elohim!

This carries a great lesson for us in recognising that despite us being in the world and being surrounded by the wrong and their wicked ways of lawlessness, we are never to forget the Torah of Elohim! Often when people are going through difficulties or trying times they tend to forget, neglect or pay no attentions to the Torah of Elohim and in doing so make one of the biggest mistakes that they can. Here the psalmist proclaims total devotion to the Torah of Elohim in the face of his enemies and those who were trying to catch or ensnare him!

We know that the devil is likened in Scripture to a roaring lion that seeks someone to devour and we, as the righteous set-apart ones of Elohim, are to be sober and alert by guarding the Torah and not forgetting or neglecting to do what it commands!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 5:8-9Be sober, watch, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the belief, knowing that the same hardships are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

DO NOT FORGET THE TORAH OF יהוה!

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:70Their heart has become like fat, without feeling; I have delighted in Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

טָפַשׁ כַּחֵלֶב לִבָּם אֲנִי תּוֹרָתְךָ שִׁעֲשָׁעְתִּי

taphash kaḥeyleḇ libbam aniy torateḵa shiashaettiy

 

This verse is one of 8 that begin with the letter ‘טָ’ (tet) – verses 65-72.

Despite the enemies attempts at trying to entrap or destroy this psalmist he continually strengthens his call of dedication and commitment to the Torah of יהוה and even states in verse 71 that it was good that he was afflicted for then he could learn the laws of Elohim! Here in this verse he presents a clear contrast between the wicked that have no care for the Torah of Elohim and the delight that he has in the Torah!

The Hebrew root verb used here for ‘delighted’ is שָׁעַע sha’a – Strong’s H8173 which means, take joy in, delight in, have a feeling or attitude of taking pleasure in, having fondness for an object’.

This verb is also used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:16 “I delight myself in Your laws; I do not forget Your word.

As this psalmist meditated on the orders and ways of Elohim he expresses how he delights himself in the laws of Elohim and takes great pleasure in them, having a proper attitude toward them!

While the wrong have fattened hearts of deceit without feeling, this psalmist declares that he takes great pleasure in the Torah of Elohim! How about you? Does the Torah give you great pleasure and do you have great fondness and delight for it? Or has your heart become calloused by the worries of this age and the deceit of wealth that chokes out the Word and renders one fruitless?

What is interesting to take note of is that this root verb שָׁעַע sha’a – Strong’s H8173 can also carry the meaning of, to be smeared over or blinded, to smear the eyes shut, and is translated as ‘shut’, in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:10 “Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and shall turn and be healed.

What in essence is being said here is that those who have not delighted in יהוה and His Torah, and have shut their eyes to the Truth are given over to their own evil that they have delighted in. This is a negative use of this word that highlights the danger of not delighting in יהוה and being given over to the delights of a fattened and calloused heart!

Understanding our need to be delighting ourselves in יהוה, His Torah and the comforting breath of His Word, we recognise that this verb teaches us that our delight in Him must express an intensive and intentional action of seeking Him and continually doing so, lest our eyes become smeared shut by deceit!

To delight in יהוה is a continual action of a committed obedience that is required to be done out of a pure pleasure and joy as opposed to it being a heavy burden that is too hard to bear! What one delights in will not be too hard to do, even if it takes hard work and costs you!

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:77Let Your compassions come to me, that I might live, for Your Torah is my delight.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

יְבֹאוּנִי רַחֲמֶיךָ וְאֶחְיֶה כִּי־תוֹרָתְךָ שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי

Yeḇouniy raḥameyḵa ve’eḥyeh ki- torateḵa sha’ashu’ai

 

This verse is one of 8 that begin with the letter ‘יְ’ (yod) – verses 73-80.

Here the psalmist appeals to יהוה to extend His compassion toward him in response to his ardent delight in the Torah.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘compassion’ comes from the root word רַחַם raḥam – Strong’s H7356 which means, compassion, tender love, deep mercy, and at its root it refers to a deep love (usually of a superior for an inferior) which is rooted in a natural bond.

In a psalm of Dawiḏ we are reminded of the dealing of Elohim that we are not to forget, as he crowns us with His compassion:

Tehillah/Psalm 103:4 “Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving-commitment and compassion

We see this word רַחַם raḥam – Strong’s H7356 being used here in this Psalm, in describing the deep love Elohim has on those who fear Him, being likened to the love of a father for his children as seen in verse 13:

Tehillah/Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion for his children, so יהוה has compassion for those who fear Him.

יהוה does not just put a crown on our head – He literally surrounds us with His kindness and tender love. I wonder how many times we have forgotten this.

The psalmist here expresses his urgent desire for the compassions of Yah to be brought to him so that he may live!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘live’ comes from the primitive root verb חָיָה ḥayah – Strong’s H2421 which means, to live, came to life, restored to life, revived. Our ability to be revived and kept alive is by our guarding of the commands of Elohim, and the noun that comes from this root verb and means ‘life’ is חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416 and means, life, alive, living, flowing, fresh, running:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:45-47And when Mosheh ended speaking all these words to all Yisra’ĕl, 46 he said to them, “Set your heart on all the words with which I warn you today, so that you command your children to guard to do all the Words of this Torah. 47 “For it is not a worthless Word for you, because it is your life, and by this Word you prolong your days on the soil which you pass over the Yardĕn to possess.

What we must guard against is the looking to the ‘letter of the Torah’ only; as we must recognise that the Torah without Messiah contains no life – but it is only in Messiah that true life of the Torah becomes something that can and does sustain us.

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:92If Your Torah had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

לוּלֵי תוֹרָתְךָ שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי אָז אָבַדְתִּי בְעָנְיִי

Luley torateḵa sha’ashu’ai az aḇaḏtiy ḇe’aneyiy

 

This verse is one of 8 that begin with the letter ‘ל’ (lamed) – verses 89-96.

As we continue to see a repetitive theme of the delight that the psalmist has for the Torah of Elohim we take note in this verse that he makes it very clear that if the Torah of Elohim had not been his delight he would have perished!

Without a true delight in the Torah one will certainly perish in their afflictions!

The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘perished’ comes from the root verb אָבַד aḇaḏ – Strong’s H6 which means, ‘to perish, destroy, lose, put to death, blot out, do away with, to give up as lost, vanish, be lost or strayed’.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be led astray, “Evil company corrupts good habits.

Keeping company with those that do not delight themselves in the Torah of Elohim will corrupt one’s delight in the Torah and in the process cause one to perish in their affliction!

The root word for ‘affliction’ here is עֳנִי oniy – Strong’s H6040 which means, affliction, great pains, misery, which comes from the root עָנָה anah – Strong’s H6031, as mentioned already above.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:50 “This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.

In the great praise for the Torah, the psalmist certainly expresses that without the Torah we would have no proper direction and would be on a path to destruction. And when being surrounded by, or dwelling in, a place of affliction we have comfort in recognising the fruit of meditating on the Torah day and night, and that in the working out of our deliverance with fear and trembling, through obedience to the Torah, we are able to set our expectation perfectly upon the favour that is to be brought to us at the revelation of יהושע Messiah.

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:97O how I love Your Torah! It is my study all day long.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

מָה־אָהַבְתִּי תוֹרָתֶךָ כָּל־הַיּוֹם הִיא שִׂיחָתִי

Mah-ahaḇtiy torateḵa kal-hay’yom hi siyḥathiy

 

This verse is one of 8 that begin with the letter ‘מָ’ (mem) – verses 97-104.

In this section the psalmist expresses his deep love for the Torah of יהוה and how it has blessed him. One’s love for the Torah of Elohim can be clearly seen in their dedication to studying the Torah. Here we see the emphasize being placed on the continual learning and meditation that takes place and we know that we are told that it is a blessing for a man to meditate on the torah day and night and that it is what we, as servants of the Master, ought to do:

Yehoshua/Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.

Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-3 “ Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 but his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night. 3 For he shall be as a tree planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘study’ comes from the word שִׂיחָה siah – Strong’s H7881 which means, study. Meditation, musing, reflection, prayer, devotionand is also used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:99 “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your witnesses are my study.

This word expresses the the action of giving considerable thought about a person or subject, with a focus of responding properly to the information and here the psalmist makes it very clear that the Torah and witnesses of Elohim are his study. One of the biggest things we see missing today by so many believers is their love for studying the Torah and witnesses of Elohim and this needs to be rectified, if the Bride truly wants to make herself ready for our Master’s soon return.

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:126It is time for יהוה to act! For they have broken Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

עֵת לַעֲשׂוֹת לַיהוה הֵפֵרוּ תּוֹרָתֶךָ

Eth la’asoth laYAHWEH hepheru torateḵa

 

This verse is one of 8 that begin with the letter ‘עֵ’ (ayin) – verses 121-128.

In this section we see an urgent cry from the psalmist unto יהוה for help as he asks to be rescued from his enemies and affirms his love for the Torah and states that he has done right-ruling and righteousness and further seeks to be continually taught by Elohim in order to grow in his understanding of the witnesses of Elohim and in this verse he calls for יהוה to rise up and act against the wrong who have broken His Torah!

The Hebrew root word translated as ‘broken’ comes from the root word פָּרַר parar – Strong’s H6565 which means, to break, frustrate, annul, nullify, make ineffectual, split, divide, make void. Many have broken the Torah by not diligently seeking the proper counsel of the Word, and any who try to make ineffectual the Torah of Elohim will never have their plans succeed, for יהוה is coming to destroy the wicked who have broken His Torah!

Those who claim that the Torah has been done away with and nullified have simply broken the Torah and will be severely punished, lest they repent and return to walking in obedience the Torah of Elohim!

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:136Streams of water have run down from my eyes, because they did not guard Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

פַּלְגֵי־מַיִם יָרְדוּ עֵינָי עַל לֹא־שָׁמְרוּ תוֹרָתֶךָ

Palgei-mayim yareḏu ei’nai al lo-shameru torateḵa

 

This verse is one of 8 that begin with the letter ‘פַּ’ (pey) – verses 129-136.

In this section the psalmist praises יהוה for His law and prays for יהוה’s mercy to save him from his enemies and expresses his heartache and sadness that he has due to those who have not guarded the Torah! This verse is a very emotional expression of grief that he has for those who do not guard the Torah and he may have even been thinking about his fellow Yisra’ĕlites who are not as faithful as he is in obeying all the commands of the Torah of Elohim. Many of us may be able to identify with this kind of grief as it certainly is a heartbreaking thing to see those who may be seen to be fellow believers and are not guarding the Torah as they should! For those who do not know Elohim it can be expected that they will not guard His Torah but for those who ought to and do not – that is something that causes much grief and pain for the true trustworthy servant of the Most High! What we see here is how the psalmist wept for those who did not guard the Torah. When our Master came riding on the donkey into the city and the crowd of taught ones began to praise Elohim, rejoicing with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the Sovereign who is coming in the Name of יהוה!’ Peace in heaven and esteem in the highest!’, the Pharisees told Him to rebuke His taught ones and get them to be quiet. He made it clear that if they do not cry out the stones would cry out and with much grief for the proud and arrogant city that had not guarded the Torah of Elohim we see that He wept over it:

Luqas/Luke 19:41 “And as He came near, He saw the city and wept over it

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:153See my affliction and deliver me, for I have not forgotten Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

רְאֵה־עָנְיִי וְחַלְּצֵנִי כִּי־תוֹרָתְךָ לֹא שָׁכָחְתִּי

Re’eh-aneyiy veḥalletseniy kiy- torateḵa lo shaḵaḥttiy

 

This verse is one of 8 that begin with the letter ‘רְ’ (resh) – verses 153-160.

Once again we are able to see the earnest cry of the heart of this psalmist amidst much trouble and affliction as he makes it abundantly clear that no matter the circumstances he had not forgotten the Torah of Elohim. In this Tehillah/Psalm 119 we take note how the psalmist makes this repeated statement that he has not forgotten the Torah, orders and commands of Elohim.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:61 “The cords of the wrong have surrounded me, Your Torah I have not forgotten.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:83 “For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, Your laws I have not forgotten.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:109 “My life is in my hand continually, and Your Torah I have not forgotten.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:141 “I am small and despised; I have not forgotten Your orders.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:153 “See my affliction and deliver me, for I have not forgotten Your Torah.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:176 “I have strayed like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commands.

In all of these verses we take note that the confession or declaration that he had not forgotten the Torah and commands of Elohim is done from a place of weakness and danger, yet his dependence upon the Torah of Elohim is greatly highlighted and is certainly a very important lesson for us to learn as we must make sure that we never forget the Torah of Elohim by neglecting to do what is commanded therein!

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:163I have hated falsehood and loathe it, Your Torah I have loved.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

     שֶׁקֶר שָׂנֵאתִי וַאֲתַעֵבָה תּוֹרָתְךָ אָהָבְתִּי

Sheqer sane’thiy va’atha’eḇah torateḵa ahaḇetiy

 

This verse is one of 8 that begin with the letter ‘שֶׁ’ (shin) – verses 161-168.

Here he makes it clear what he loves and what he hates. We have already discussed the Hebrew word for ‘hate’, which is שָׂנֵא sane – Strong’s H8130 which means, to hate, detest, turn against’. Hate expresses an emotional attitude toward persons and things which are opposed, detested, despised and with which one wishes to have no contact or relationship. It is therefore the opposite of love.

The word used here in verse 163 for ‘loathe’ is תָּעַב ta’aḇ – Strong’s H8581 which means, to abhor, despise, reject, utterly hate, loathe’.

The Hebrew root word translated as ‘falsehood’ is שֶׁקֶר sheqer – Strong’s H8267 which means, deception, disappointment, falsehood, lies, and comes from the root verb שָׁקַר shaqar – Strong’s H8266 which means, to do or deal falsely, lie’.  

Ěḵah/Lamentations 2:14Your prophets have seen falsehood and folly for you, and have not shown you your crookedness, to turn back your captivity. But their visions for you are false and misleading messages.

Through the false and misleading messages we see how so many have actually begun to teach themselves to speak falsehood; a falsehood that has been so ingrained in them as we are able to see through the mirror of the example given to us in Yirmeyahu being a clear reflection of the state of falsehood that prevails on the earth today!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:3-6 “And they bend their tongue like a bow. Falsehood, and not truth, prevails on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they have not known Me,” declares יהוה. 4 “Let everyone beware of his neighbour and not trust any brother. For every brother catches by the heel, and every neighbour walks with slanderers. 5 “And everyone deceives his neighbour, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak falsehood, and have wearied themselves to crook. 6 “You live in the midst of deceit; through deceit they have refused to know Me,” declares יהוה.

Falsehood prevails on the earth! This could be a clear description of the wicked and deceitful generation that we live in the midst of today! Just as Yirmeyahu lived in the midst of deceit so we recognise how similar the days are that we are living in now.

So many people today find themselves unable to truly love the Torah as they do not hate and utterly detest falsehood!

What becomes very clear from the words that are in this Tehillah/Psalm 119 is that in order to properly love the Torah one has to detest and loath that which is false and what we see happening today by so many is the tolerance of evil and falsehood, which sadly corrupts any attempts at loving and delighting in the Torah!

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119:165Great peace have those loving Your Torah, and for them there is no stumbling-block.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

שָׁלוֹם רָב לְאֹהֲבֵי תוֹרָתֶךָ וְאֵין־לָמוֹ מִכְשׁוֹל

Shalom raḇ leohaḇey torateḵa ve’ein-lamo miḵshol

 

This verse is also one of 8 that begin with the letter ‘שֶׁ’ (shin) – verses 161-168 and in following on from the thought of the last verse we looked at we are able to see from this verse that those loving the Torah have great peace and have a secure path before them with no stumbling blocks on their way. Those who tolerate and refuse to hate and loathe falsehood will find their paths riddled with many stumbling blocks and in turn have no peace but are gripped with worries and anxieties and stress.

The Hebrew word for ‘great’ is רַב raḇ - Strong’s H7227 which means, many, abundance, much, great, abounding, plentiful. Great emphasis is being placed on how much peace that those loving the Torah have!

In Hebrew the word that is translated here as ‘peace’ is the word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 which means, wholeness, completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, well-being, safety, protection, which comes from the primitive root verb שָׁלֵם shalem – Strong’s H7999 which means, to be complete or sound, rewarded, make full restitution’.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 26:3 “The one steadfast of mind You guard in perfect peace, for he trusts in You.

The Hebrew text is written as follows:

 יֵצֶר סָמוּךְ תִּצֹּר שָׁלוֹם שָׁלוֹם כִּי בְךָ בָּטוּחַ  -  ‘yetser samu titsor shalom shalom ki ḇeḵa batua’ and can be literally translated as: ‘he whose mind is steadfast you keep in perfect peace, because in you he trusts’

The term ‘perfect peace’ is translated from the repetition of the word ‘shalom’. Yeshayahu was picturing himself standing in the redeemed land with the remnant, listening to the people express their thanks to and confidence in יהוה our Saviour! And the true thanks of the reality of the deliverance being made complete for those who are steadfast in mind is expressed in the complete shalom that is experienced by those who trust in יהוה.

Those loving the Torah have perfect peace and are not shaken by threatening circumstances but stand firm on the Rock of their deliverance!

The Hebrew word for ‘stumbling block’ is מִכְשׁוֹל miḵshol – Strong’s H4383 which means, a stumbling, a means or occasion of stumbling, obstacle, and comes from the root verb כָּשַׁל kashal – Strong’s H3782 meaning, stumble, totter, stagger, bring down, failing, weakening, and is used to describe the ‘weak knees’ in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35:3 “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the weak knees.

In the parable of the sower we take note of the seed that falls on rocky places:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:20-21 “And that sown on rocky places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but is short-lived, and when pressure or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

The Greek word that is translated here as ‘stumbles’ is σκανδαλίζω  skandalizō – Strong’s G4624 which means, to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way upon which another may trip and fall, and metaphorically can mean, to offend. It also carries the meaning, fall away, led into sin, stumble, to cause another or be caused to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.

Some people stumble under pressure due to hands that are weakened by deceit when persecution comes and then quickly compromise. Rocky hearts that have no ability to let the Word take root in their lives and quickly stumble when pressure and persecution, BECAUSE OF THE WORD, arises.

This Greek word σκανδαλίζω  skandalizō – Strong’s G4624 comes from the root word σκάνδαλον skandalon – Strong’s G4625 which means, a snare, stumbling block, offense, and it is this word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) for ‘stumbling block’ in Tehillah/Psalm 119:165.

What we can therefore see from these words in Tehillah/Psalm 119 is that those loving the Torah of Elohim can be likened to those who are represented by the good soil, as they hear the Word, understand it by doing it and bear much fruit of obedience, along with the assurance of a complete shalom!

5 – תוֹרַתtorath – ‘Torah’

This construct form of the root word תּוֹרָה torah is written here in the construct state in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:72The Torah of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

     טוֹב־לִי תוֹרַת־פִּיךָ מֵאַלְפֵי זָהָב וָכָסֶף

Toḇ-li torath-piyḵa me’alephey zahaḇ vaḵaseph

 

The root word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 is a feminine noun and when a feminine noun, ending with the letter ה (hey), such as torah (תּוֹרָה), is used in the construct state, the ה is converted to a ת (taw), which in this case causes it to become ‘torath’ (תוֹרַת). When a noun precedes another noun, the first noun is in the construct state, meaning it is connected to the second noun—two words together forming one concept and here in this verse we see the Torah being connected to the root word פֶּה peh – Strong’s H6310 which means, mouth, commandment, edge, word. This word is used to reference the Word or commandments that come from the mouth of יהוה, as it is used approximately 50 times in the Tanak in reference to the mouth of Elohim. The word פִּיךָpiyḵa means, ‘Your mouth’ and is a clear reference to the mouth of יהוה, hence the term תוֹרַת־פִּיךָtorath-piyḵa is a clearly understood here as the Torah of the mouth of יהוה.

Here the psalmist expresses the value of the Torah of the mouth of יהוה, making it very clear that it is worth far more than any amount of gold or silver!

The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘better’ is טוֹב to – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well, and comes from the primary verb טוֹב to – Strong’s H2895 and carries the meaning, pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well.  

In the true understanding of this word   טוֹב to we can see that it may best be translated in most cases as ‘functional’, for when יהוה said in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31 that when He saw all that He had made, that He said it was very good. What He saw was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and this is why it was ‘good’.

Sounds all good – yet as we study further into the Hebraic mind-set in regards to this word we get a fuller understanding of what טוֹב to means.  To do that it does help to look at the ancient script and get a wider perspective of the true meaning of this word.

In the ancient script - טוֹב to - is pictured as:

beitwawtet

Tetט:

The original pictograph for this letter is tet, a container made of wicker or clay. Containers were a very important item among the nomadic Hebrews. They were used for storing grains and other items. Wicker baskets were used as nets for catching fish. The meanings of this letter are basket, contain, store and clay.

Waw - וֹ:

The ancient pictographic form of this letter is waw, a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.

Beyt - ב:

The ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

טוֹב  to - beitwawtet -  from this picture we are able to learn and see that: we as clay vessels are made secure through the Blood of Messiah that holds for us a secure covenant promise of being made complete in Him and becoming the Dwelling Place of the Most High – where He that is Good  - The Potter - may dwell with those He has created and called by name!

As we look at these letters we find a great revelation in terms of the Good News (Besorah) or rather ‘טוֹב to News’!

The way we, as ‘clay vessels’, are secured into the House of Elohim is by being secured by the peg! Listen to what it says in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 22:22-24 “And I shall place the key of the house of Dawiḏ on his shoulder. And he shall open, and no one shuts; and shall shut, and no one opens. 23 ‘And I shall fasten him like a peg in a steadfast place, and he shall become a throne of esteem to his father’s house. 24 ‘And they shall hang on him all the weight of his father’s house, the offspring and the offshoots, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the jars.

We know that this is a great picture of how through יהושע Messiah we are fastened in a steadfast place!

Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a short while, favour has been shown from יהוה  our Elohim, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His set-apart place, that our Elohim might enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

This again is a wonderful promise given amidst a time of bondage due – that a peg is given in His set-apart place – a great picture of the loving-commitment and compassion יהוה has for His called out nation, that while the ‘House of Elohim’ had been neglected and broken down He would bring the necessary means to ‘secure’ His covenanted people to His House that he builds by His design! It is through the work of Messiah, who has become the very ‘peg’ that secures us and adds us, the clay vessels, to His House!

The Word of Elohim made flesh – The Living Torah, יהושע Messiah came down and secured for us the ability to be made into the House that He Elohim shall dwell in forever!

His House/Dwelling Place is built by His design and His plan and so when we see how that we are the ‘Dwelling Place’ of the Most High, then we are able to get a clearer understanding that we are built up according to His plans as instructed in His Torah that was given through Mosheh and revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Messiah.

Just as the Tabernacle in the Wilderness had to be built exactly according to the pattern shown to Mosheh on the mountain of the true heavenly Tabernacle, so too do we need to recognise that the only way we can be built up into being the True Dwelling Place of Elohim is through carefully following His instructions as we walk in and stay in Messiah – The Living Torah.

When something is working properly we might say today something like, ‘working like a well-oiled machine’, when speaking of that which is functioning the way it should and the way it was designed to. So טוֹב to in the true sense of the word, expresses the idea that something is ‘good’ when it is fulfilling the action for which a person or thing is specifically fitted or used, or for which something exists. In other words it refers to something that functions within its intended purpose!

The opposite of טוֹב to (good) is ‘evil’, which in Hebrew is the word, רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, bad, evil, wicked, harmful’.  The tree of knowledge in the garden was of טוֹב to (good) and רַע ra (evil)!

Just as we understand that טוֹב  to represents that which is ‘functional’, we can then see that רַע ra represents that which is ‘dysfunctional’, which simply put speaks of that which reveals and abnormal and unhealthy lifestyle that is not functioning as it should.

We may often think something is good, yet if it is not ‘functional’ according to the plumb line of the Torah of יהוה, then we had best be careful to consider our steps!

The Torah of the mouth of יהוה is ‘better’ – that is: more functional – than gold and silver!

We take note of the wisdom of Shelomoh in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:14 For the gain from it is better than gain from silver, and its increase than fine gold.

Here in this Proverb Shelomoh is making it clear to us that the value of wisdom is greater than silver and gold, and the gain (that refers to profit) thereof far outweighs any increase that worldly wealth can bring! In essence what is being said here is that what you gain in discovering wisdom is priceless and eternal!

Silver and gold will rise and fall in its value over time, and will even fade and perish, yet wisdom is a life gaining commodity that is required to be found and embraced for a true set-apart one of the Most High!

The Psalmist echoes the same thought in declaring that the Torah of the mouth of יהוה far outweighs any wealth the world has to offer!

Many people are chasing wealth and never gain a true blessing of true contentment, which can only be found in the Master יהושע Messiah. Sha’ul had clearly found great wisdom and understanding as he could confidently proclaim how content he could be in any situation, and did not allow circumstances to dictate his contentment, but rather that he had found wisdom and got understanding through the diligent hearing, guarding and doing of the Word!

Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak concerning need, for I have learned to be content in whatever state I am. 12 I know what it is to be humbled, and I know what it is to have in excess. In any and every situation I have learned both to be filled, and to be hungry, both to have in excess, and to be in need. 13 I have strength to do all, through Messiah who empowers me.

As we consider the great value of the Torah of the mouth of יהוה being worth more than any amount of gold or silver we must ask ourselves if we actually value it as the psalmist does or does the deceit of wealth have a way of diminishing the value of the Torah to the point where it is compromised in order to gain wealth and riches?

We know that the Torah of the mouth of יהוה is priceless and that we have been given it as a gift. The question is whether we treat it as such and place the proper emphasis on its true value by loving it and running in the way of the commands of Elohim or do we at times scoff at its value by putting freshly matters first!

6 – כְתוֹרָתֶךָketorateḵa – ‘according to Your Torah’

This construct form of the root word תּוֹרָה torah is used once, in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:85The proud have dug pits for me, which is not according to Your Torah.

In the Hebrew text this verse is written as follows:

כָּרוּ־לִי זֵדִים שִׁיחוֹת אֲשֶׁר לֹא כְתוֹרָתֶךָ

Karu-liy zeḏiym shiyḥoth asher lo ketorateḵa 

 

Here the psalmist highlights that what the proud are doing is contrary to the Torah of Elohim and is a clear description of those who disregard the Torah of Elohim.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘digs’ is כָּרָה karah – Strong’s H3738 which means, to dig, cut, pierce, excavate, dig through, and the object of this verb is usually a trench, pit or cistern, and here it is used figuratively for trapping a person with an evil plot! This word is used to describe the man of beliya’al, who ‘plots’ evil!

Those who ‘dig pits’ will fall into them!

Tehillah/Psalm 7:14-16 “See, he who is bound with wickedness, and has conceived trouble and brought forth falsehood, 15  he has made a pit and dug it out, and falls into the ditch he made! 16 His trouble turns back upon his own head, and his wrongdoing comes down on the top of his head.

The imagery that the psalmist is using here in Tehillah/Psalm 119 expresses to us how his enemies are seeking ways to catch him and are being very crafty in their attempts as the image of pits being dug out can be a figurative way of expressing the idea of hunting as we take note how the mode in which wild beasts were caught was by digging a pit and covering it over reeds or turf, so as to disguise it and make it indistinguishable from solid ground so that when the animal would walk over it the surface would break and the animal would fall into the pit where it would be taken alive into captivity.

We can learn a great deal from this imagery as we understand that the enemy has a crafty way of making traps for the righteous to fall into as they walk out their belief. He does this by making the path look like the right way yet when one who is not being watchful and on guard against deception, takes a step toward compromise they will fall in to a pit of destruction. What the psalmist is making clear here is that the proud have dug pits in contrast to the Torah and herein we are able to recognise the pit of destruction that the lawless system of worship has dug in order to catch many as their system of worship is Not according to the Torah, especially when they reject the Torah of Elohim and institute new man-made worship standards and feasts that are an abomination to Elohim!

This verse highlights a very important lesson for us; and that is that we are to guard, love and delight in the Torah of Elohim, for then we will be sober and watchful in every step we take and not be caught in the traps and pits of destruction that are positioned in the way of lawlessness and compromise yet dressed up to appear real!

As we consider these 25 verses from Tehillah/Psalm 119 where we see the root word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 being used we would do well to carefully consider the value of the Torah of Elohim and the blessing that it brings to the life of the one loving and delighting in it.

In light of the expansion of these verses from Tehillah/Psalm 119 let me once again make clear what the Torah of Elohim is as we recap what the meaning of the Hebrew word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 means.

The Hebrew word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 means, utterance’, ‘teaching’, ‘instruction’ or ‘revelation’ from Elohim’. Other definitions include: ‘information that is imparted to a student; direction; body of prophetic teaching; instruction on Messianic Age; body of priestly direction, and comes from the primitive root verb יָרָה  yarah – Strong’s H3384 meaning, to shoot, throw, instruct, direct, teach, which therefore can give us the understanding of ‘Torah’ to mean the following:

TO AIM OR POINT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION and MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION

The Torah gives us our ‘direction’ and bearings as we sojourn here, looking forward to the sure and promised hope of the return of our King and Teacher of Righteousness!

In other words, it means that you ‘aim’ or ‘point’ in the right direction and then you move in that direction. You can see that this meaning is way different as to how we understand the ‘burden’ that is typically associated by so many with the word ‘Law’. It is also interesting and wonderful for me to see how the word תּוֹרָה torah clearly reveals the Messiah!

Let me show you how.

The Ancient Hebrew Script consisted of an alphabet of pictographic symbols whereby each letter/symbol rendered its own unique meaning. This later developed into the ‘middle script’ or Paleo-Hebrew and then into what is known today as ‘Biblical Hebrew’ or ‘block lettering’ as we have it in Biblical texts today. Though the Hebrew Language went through a number of changes in terms of how the letters were written, we are able to discern the original symbols or pictures that were used to resembled their meaning. Each symbol or picture carried a meaning or meanings and when symbols were collectively put together they would spell a word that carried a vivid meaning or clear message through the words that were formed. 

The word TORAH is a combination of four symbols: (Remember Hebrew is read right to left):

heyreshwawtaw(Ancient Hebrew) and    תּורה (Biblical Hebrew)

 

taw = תּ (tav) a picture of ‘crossed sticks’ which means ‘to seal or covenant’ or ‘mark’ or ‘sign

 waw  = ו (vav) a “nail” or a “peg” which means ‘to add or secure or hook

resh = ר (resh) “a head of a man” meaning “a person, the head or the highest” or “first” or “top” or “beginning

hey = ה (hay) “a man with arms raised” which means “to reveal” or “behold” or “what comes from

When we consider these pictographic symbols and their meanings, we can, by the word rendered as ‘Torah’, see the wonderful work of Messiah, who secures for us the Covenant in His own Blood that brings the two houses (Yehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl) – two sticks – together!

It could also be rendered as a powerful testimony of the work of Messiah as follows:

Behold the man, Messiah our Head, who by His own Blood renewed the covenant, nailing to the ‘stake’ that which was written against us, and securing the covenant in order that the two sticks can be brought back together in Him, whom we praise

Other definitions based on this word could also render for us the following:

What comes from the man nailed to the ‘cross’ or upright pole and Behold the man who secures the covenant and To a cross is nailed the highest, it is revealed in Torah

Wow – how awesome is this!!! Now – does this sound like a heavy law??? Not at all!

This description or definition does not make me think of fines or of a judge or of punishment or even of prison!

יהושע tells us that His yoke is easy! Guess what! His yoke is His Torah (instructions and teaching)!

 

May this short word study on the root word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451, as contained in 25 verses of a masterful psalm of praise for the Torah of יהוה, cause you to recognise the true blessing that His Torah is for us who walk in and stay in the Master! Will you walk in the blessing of the תּוֹרָה torah of יהוה by loving it, delighting in it and guarding to do all He has commanded us to do, knowing that the Torah of the Mouth of יהוה, which is His Word, is a blessing for us!

We are NOT to forsake the Torah!!! We are NOT to cast away His instructions! A clear warning is given to those who do so, while claiming to be part of a covenant people of Elohim!

Tehillah/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 while you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?

 

As you meditate on the wonders from the Torah of יהוה be strengthened in Him and stand firm in the belief of our Master, holding fast to the hope you have in Him and walk in the blessing of the Torah of יהוה:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:21-25Therefore put away all filthiness and overflow of evil, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your lives. 22 And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.

THE BLESSING OF THE TORAH OF YAHWEH!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!