Easter Vigil A
24 I will takeA you from the nationsB and gatherC you from allD the countriesE and bringF you into your own land.G
A “take” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
B “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.
C “gather” = qabats. This is to collect, assemble, heap, grasp, or gather.
D “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
E “countries” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
F “bring” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
G “land” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.
25 I will sprinkleH cleanI waterJ upon you, and you shall be cleanK from all your uncleannesses,L and from all your idolsM I will cleanseN you.
H “sprinkle” = zaraq. This is to scatter or sprinkle, whether a liquid or a solid.
I “clean” = tahor. From taher (bright, which implies being pure or clean; to purge, cleanse, or purify; clean in a ritual sense or a moral one (i.e. moral or holy)). This is clean or pure in a literal, ritual, or ethical sense.
J “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
K “be clean” = taher. Related to “clean” in v25. See note I above.
L “uncleannesses” = tum’ah. From tame (becoming unclean, foul, defiled; polluted, particularly in a ritual or moral sense). This is filthiness or uncleanness. It can refer to ritual or moral impurity.
M “idols” = gillul. From galal (to roll in a literal or figurative sense, roll away, roll down, wallow, remove, trust). This is an idol, as carved from a round log.
N “cleanse” = taher. Same as “be clean” in v25. See note K above.
26 A newO heartP I will giveQ you,
O “new” = chadash. From chadash (to renew or restore, to repair or rebuild). This is something fresh or new.
P “heart” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
Q “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
and a new spiritR I will putS withinT you,
R “spirit” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
S “put” = natan. Same as “give” in v26. See note Q above.
T “within” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.
and I will removeU from your bodyV the heart of stoneW and give you a heart of flesh.X
U “remove” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
V “body” = basar. From basar (being a messenger, publish, carry preach; properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news). This is flesh, the body, fat, skin, self, nakedness, humankind, or kin. It can also refer to private parts.
W “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
X “flesh” = basar. Same as “body” in v26. See note V above.
27 I will put my spirit within you and makeY you followZ my statutesAA
Y “make” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
Z “follow” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
AA “statutes” = choq. From chaqaq (to inscribe, carve, or decree; a lawmaker; literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal). This is statute, boundary, condition, custom, limit, ordinance It is something that is prescribed or something that is owed.
and be carefulBB to observeCC my ordinances.DD
BB “careful” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
CC “observe” = asah. Same as “make” in v27. See note Y above.
DD “ordinances” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.
28 Then you shall liveEE in the landFF that I gave to your ancestors,GG and you shall beHH my people,II and I will be your God.JJ
EE “live” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
FF “land” = erets. Same as “countries” in v24. See note E above.
GG “ancestors” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
HH “be” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
II “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
JJ “God” = Elohim.
Image credit: “Trying to find our spot off in that light, light off in that spot” by Jayson Musson, 2014. Photo by Regan Vercruysse.