Tag Archives: passion



dāḇār [and] ‘imrāh


One of the most significant words used for Scripture, of course, is the term word, which actually is a translation of several Hebrew words. Today we examine two of the most important.


The first is dāḇār (H1697), which means a word or “speech” and is a general term for God’s revelation. The Ten Commandments are referred to in Exo_34:28 and Deu_10:4 using dāḇār, which we could translate as “the ten words” because they are exactly what God said. The passion of the Christian should not be the most entertaining speaker of the day or the latest self-help teacher. The believer’s passion should be, “God says . . .” Its first occurrence in Psalms 119, for example, is in Psa_119:9 : “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word,” a clear reference to God’s moral law being the one and only path to right living (February 14).


Another Hebrew word translated word is ’imrāh (H565), a derivative of ’āmar (H559). While the latter is found often, the former is a rare poetic word that appears more in Psalms 119 than everywhere else combined. It is more or less a synonym for dāḇār and simply emphasizes not just a concept or thought but the very words of God, and is often used in the phrase “the words of my mouth” (e.g., Psa_19:14; Pro_4:5; Pro_5:7; Pro_7:24; Pro_8:8). Another form (’ēmer; H561) is often translated with the Greek rhēma (G4487) in the Septuagint (e.g., Psa_78:1; Psa_138:4), which usually relates to individual words and utterances.


Turning once again to Psalms 119, the first occurrence of ’imrāh there is that wonderful verse, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa_119:11). In a day when God’s words are more and more being replaced by concepts, or what is called “dynamic equivalence,” this word underscores that it is the individual words that are crucial. The same principle is underscored in Psa_12:6-7 : “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Let us truly desire the words of Scripture.


Scriptures for Study: Read a few of the occurrences of ’imrāh in Psalms 119, noting the significance of each: Psa_119:50; Psa_119:67; Psa_119:76; Psa_119:103, and Psa_119:117.




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330 – Nov. 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past


They called her “Mama”


 1943 – The Baptist Mission Society of Great Britain passed a resolution in the memory of Lydia (Lily) Mary De Hailes, the first single lady missionary to be appointed by them. It read in part, “She loved the African with a deep and passionate devotion and she longed with her whole life that he might be brought to Christ…” Lily was born into a fine Christian family in North London, and in her youth she was introduced to the cause of missions, even hearing Dr. Robert Moffatt, the pioneer missionary to Africa. After her school years, a severe case of smallpox left her permanently scarred, and she also suffered a lifelong bout with headaches, but nothing kept her from her goal of missionary service. A study of medicine, and her families uniting with Pastor James Stewart’s Baptist Chapel in Highgate, which was a hotbed of missions, that during his tenure saw fifty-one of his members leave for missionary service, prepared her even more for her life’s work. Next she moved to Edinburgh Scotland to train at the Simpson Memorial Hospital in 1881-1882 where she met Rev. Alexander Cowe, who planned to serve in the Congo. In 1885 they were engaged with the understanding that she would follow him in about a year. Tragedy struck, however, as he fell sick and died after just five weeks in Africa. The Mission Society refused to send a young woman to the field, thus her hopes were doubly dashed. However, in 1889 Lily was allowed to go as a nurse with other missionaries, and this started her forty year ministry in Africa. They called her “Mama”, and she received the Chevalier of the Order of Leopold II from Belgium. [Edna M. Staple, Great Baptist Women (London: Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1955), p. 97. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 647-49]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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