Tag Archives: masculine

HEBREW – Blessed




The very first word we read in the book of Psalms is blessed. The Hebrew here is ’ešer (H835), a masculine noun meaning a person’s state of bliss. It’s never used of God, rather always of people, and is exclamatory in emphasis, as in “O the bliss of . . .” Most of its forty-four appearances are appropriately in the poetry of Psalms and Proverbs.


It is extremely significant that the Septuagint translates ’ešer using the Greek makarios, which our Lord used nine times in the Beatitudes (Mat_5:3-11). Many Bible teachers say this word just means “happy,” which is always circumstantial. It actually speaks of the far deeper idea of an inward contentedness not affected by circumstances (Php_4:11-13).


Of the many occurrences of ’ešer, one that immediately strikes us is Psa_1:1 : “Blessed is the man,” where the unknown psalmist distinguishes two lifestyles (February 23), one that is blessed and one that is not. We find in Psa_1:1-3 three realities that produce genuine bliss and contentment:


First, a path that is holy. In three distinct statements, the psalmist outlines holiness. The holy person first does not stroll with the “ungodly” (rāšā‘, H7563) people. He doesn’t associate with, listen to, or join those who are guilty before God and transgressors of His Law. Second, the holy person does not stand with sinners. Way is derek (February 23), a marked-out pattern of life, and “standeth” is ‘āmaḏ (H5975), which figuratively indicates living somewhere, standing, remaining there (e.g., Exo_8:22, dwell). The holy life, then, is one that does not remain in sin (1Jn_3:9, where “commit” is present tense, to “continually habitually commit sin”). Third, the holy person does not sit with the “scornful” (liys, H3887) person, that is, one who boasts, scoffs, mocks, and derides, as in showing or expressing utter contempt, in this case for the things of God.


Second, blessedness comes from a passion for Scripture. The blissful and contented person is one who takes delight (February 29) in God’s Word and his meditation (January 6) on it is the rule of life and his daily priority.


Third, blessedness comes from a prosperity dependent upon God. The image of sitting by a river is a graphic one, picturing nourishment, growth, fruitfulness, and much more. While “prosperity teachers” promise monetary riches, true prosperity is found in the spiritual riches we have in Christ (Eph_1:3-23).


Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses, noting what else brings bliss and true contentedness: Psa_2:12; Psa_32:1-2; Psa_112:1; Psa_119:1-2; Psa_127:4-5; Pro_3:13 (“happy”); Pro_8:32.




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Hebrew – Statute(s)


chōq [and] chāqaq


The fourth synonym we encounter for God’s Word is statute, which is the Hebrew chōq (H2706), a masculine noun derived from a verb (chāqaq, H2710) that means “to cut, scratch, inscribe, or engrave.” Oh, what a word we have here! While it is used for such ideas as cutting a tomb out of rock (Isa_22:16), its most common use is to refer to engraving or writing.


At one time, one of the major attacks on the authenticity of the Bible by its critics was the belief that writing did not exist in Moses’ time, “proving” that Moses couldn’t have written the Pentateuch, rather that it was written four centuries later by four separate authors. This was forever dispelled, however, in 1902 by one of the most important archaeological finds of all time, the Code of Hammurabi, discovered by M. J. de Morgan. Hammurabi was king of Babylon (ca. eighteenth century BC) and was, therefore, a contemporary of Abraham. The code, written on an eight-foot-high, two-foot-wide, and one-and-a-half-foot-thick polished block of black diorite stone, contains laws (some similar to the Mosaic Law) dealing with worship, justice, taxes and other money matters, building, and matters of commerce.


The existence of that code, as well as others of the ancient world—such as the Egyptian Rosetta Stone (ca. 200 BC)—wonderfully illustrate our word for today. It is used, for example, of the statutes God gave to Moses (Exo_15:26; Num_30:16, Mal_4:4). The word lûach (H3871) speaks of a stone slab (Exo_34:1). God inscribed His law on such tablets; they were known as the “tables,” as in the “tables of testimony [February 17], tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exo_31:18).


The old expression “set in stone” also illustrates this truth. God’s statutes (or decrees) are engraved in stone, graphically demonstrating their permanence. Turning again to Psalms 119, we find chōq twenty-one times, the first of which is in Psa_119:5 : “O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!” God’s Word is not open for debate, not subject to reinterpretation for the times. God’s Word is set in stone!


Scriptures for Study: Read a few of the occurrences of statutes in Psalms 119, noting what our attitude and response to them should be: Psa_119:8; Psa_119:23; Psa_119:54; Psa_119:71; Psa_119:83; Psa_119:112, and Psa_119:117.




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