24I will take you from the nations,A and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.B25I will sprinkleC cleanD water upon you, and you shall be cleanE from all your uncleannesses,F and from all your idolsG I will cleanse you.
Notes on verses 24-25
A “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. B “land” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land. C “sprinkle” = zaraq. This is to scatter or sprinkle, whether a liquid or a solid. D “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. E “be clean” = taher. Related to “clean” in v25. See note D above. F “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. G “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.
26 A newH heartI I will give you, and a new spiritJ I will put withinK you; and I will remove from your bodyL the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Notes on verse 26
H “new” = chadash. From chadash (to renew or restore, to repair or rebuild). This is something fresh or new. I “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. J “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. K “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. L “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.
27I will put my spirit within you, and make you followM my statutesN and be carefulO to observe my ordinances.P
Notes on verse 27
M “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. N “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. O “careful” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something. P “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.
28Then you shall liveQ in the land that I gave to your ancestors;R and you shall be my people,S and I will be your God.T
Notes on verse 28
Q “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. R “ancestors” = ab. Literally fathers. S “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. T “God” = Elohim.
Image Credit: “Peace-Love” by Ang Pagbabago, 2008.