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The Lord’s Devarim—His words are of vital importance, as we know. Consider them in opposition to Nimrod’s devarim.
In the last lesson we saw Nimrod’s devarim, his cause with his anti-God decrees or commandments. Now we’ll look at God’s devarim. This word, with multiple meanings, (Key 1 to unlock Bible meaning) leads us into unsuspected corners of Bible comprehension.
A little further on from the reference to one speech, in Genesis 15, we find devarim again, used in a context with Abraham immediately following his encounter with Melchizedek. Otherwise known as the King of Righteousness, a difficult to understand passage because of the little background and few references to this King. The Explanation will explain the meaning of the episode when we reach Genesis 14. For now, please retain this point. Nimrod and his devarim represent everything UNrighteous. In this sea of wickedness there’s a glimmer of hope, Abraham and Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness.
We know the context is all-important for Bible understanding. At the beginning of Genesis, God established the foundation of the New Testament Church when He changes the name Abram to Abraham, for his servant who is father of the faithful. In this context it uses the Biblical Hebrew dabar twice, to refer to these momentous events, and for the first time it uses the term word of the Lord (דְבַר־ יְהוָה֙).
After these things (H1697 – devarim) the word (H1697 – debar) of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.
devarim in Genesis 15:1. The same word is translated both things and word.
Here is the verse where Exodus uses debar in conjunction with God’s commandments:
And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words (H1697 – devrai) of the covenant, the ten commandments (H1697 – devarim).
devarim in Genesis 34:28. They translated the same word both words and commands or commandments.
Key 1 reveals dabar having the meanings things, causes, word and commands. When you put this together, God’s, Yahveh’s words are commands. In other words, God’s Word, the Bible is a serious matter/cause (other translation of dabar!). Abram took it to heart, it was counted to him as righteousness. How about our outlook?
Let me give you a little further insight into the multiple meanings of dabar and where it leads us to unlock Bible meaning. Dabar relates to Creation in Genesis 1. This one word is a fascinating study.
God’s Word and Creation
In this context we’ll discover H1697 is in the Psalms, where it confirms God’s speaking into creation, in Genesis 1. God’s Word initiates the creation.
4. For the word (H1697) of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5. He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
6. By the word (H1697) of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
In Genesis 1 we read, “And God said …” Here, “by the word of the Lord were the heavens made.” This is not contradictory but complementary.
Let’s conclude this short elaboration of the Biblical Hebrew word dabar with a concept that might be new to you. You know that in the New Testament, in John 1, The Word refers to Jesus Christ (verses 1, 3, 14), by Whom everything was created. I realize that the Word in John is in Greek and we’re studying Hebrew. Nonetheless, we know there’s an intricate relationship between the Old and New Testaments. When we see debar translated Commandments, the Word of God, the instrument that spoke into Creation, we cannot but consider the relationship of this Word to Jesus Christ Himself, who is called the Word. I will not expand on this here, just leave you with this food for thought.
I will add one final thought here about the Word of the Lord. This time in Greek as we find it in John 1:1 the term Logos repeated three times. And, in verse 14, “Word became flesh,” referring to Jesus Christ. “Theos Logos” is the basis for the English word Theology. We tend to throw that word around and many scholars use it to mean a “study of God’s word” with a small “w.” No, Theology IS God’s Words, and it is the study of what God tells us. It is the study of God’s Commandments. With that in mind, we need the proper respect for the study of God’s Words to His Creation.
John 1:1 in Greek Theos Logos. This is the basis of the English word Theology.
We’ve dealt with ONE word, debar, and its meaning, how SO MANY CONTEXTS use the SAME word. Debar begins to reveal some of its story. The quantity of different translations, 50, exposes the number of different contexts where the authors use this Biblical Hebrew word. This adds both depth and additional impact to the passages where we find this word.
Whether there are two or twenty-five translations, they ALL come from ONE base and there IS a relationship between these words, even if it’s not clear at first sight. We’re even going to see there can be OPPOSITE meanings, and again, there’s a relationship!
Practice makes perfect
Now, it’s your turn, Go to UnlockBibleMeaning.com and find Deuteronomy 1:1. Switch to the Interlinear Bible. Read the first verse. Using the transliteration (on the second line) find devarim. You will discover it twice in this verse, like in Genesis 15:1 above.
Then click on this link. It is the name of the fifth book in the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy (ספר דברים), in Hebrew. Compare the Hebrew with debar. What did you find? By the way, the first of these two words is safer which means book. The Book of Words.
Meditate on why the name of this book is Words or Commandments or other of those 50 translations.
Moses pronounces these words and commandments. This is not just any book of words.
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