Narrative Lectionary 333
A “soul” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
B “keeps” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
C “decrees” = edah. From ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is testimony or witness.
D “love” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.
E “precepts” = piqqud. From paqad (to attend to or visit – can be used for a friendly or violent encounter; to oversee, care for, avenge, or charge). This is something that is appointed or decreed by God. It can refer to the Law as a whole or a commandment individually.
F “ways” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
G “before” = neged. From nagad (to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain). This is in front of, opposite to. It can refer to a counterpart or partner, one corresponding to or in the sight of.
H “cry” = rinnah. From ranan (a cry of joy or a joyful song; properly, emitting a shrill sound, especially one of joy). This is a song, shout, cry of joy, or proclamation. It could also be a shout of grief.
I “come” = qarab. This is to come near, offer, make ready, approach, take.
J “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
K “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
L “give…understanding” = bin. This is to discern, consider, attend to. It refers to distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand.
M “word” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
N “supplication” = techinnah. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is grace, favor, entreaty, mercy.
O “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v169. See note J above.
P “deliver” = natsal. This is to snatch someone or something away in a good sense – as rescue, defend, or deliver – or in a bad sense – as strip or plunder.
Q “promise” = imrah. From emer (speech, thing, utterance, promise, argument, command); from amar (to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report). This is any kind of utterance, a word or commandment.
R “lips” = saphah. This is lip, edge border, bank – used for a boundary. It can also be speech or language.
S “pour forth” = naba. 11x in OT. This is to spring up, flow, gush, or spout. It can also mean to belch as in emitting a bad smell. Figuratively, it can mean to speak, whether positively or negatively.
T “praise” = tehillah. From halal (to praise, be boastful). This is praise or a song of praise. It is to offer God a hymn, to boast in God. This shares a root with “hallelujah.”
U “teach” = lamad. Properly, this refers to goading (using a pointed stick to guide or prod one’s flock). By implication, it means teaching or instructing.
V “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.
W “tongue” = lashon. This is tongue, talker, language, or wedge. It can also be a tongue of flame or a water cove.
X “sing” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
Y “commandments” = mitsvah. From tsavah (to charge, command, order, enjoin). This is a commandment, law, ordinance obligation, or tradition. It is something commanded whether by God or by a human authority. This term is sometimes used collectively to refer to the Law.
Z “right” = tsedeq. This is rightness, righteousness, vindication. It is everything that is just or ethical. That which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense. It also includes just weights (i.e. true weights). Figuratively, this is justice, righteousness, equity – even prosperity.
AA “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
BB “help” = azar. This is to surround, which implies encircling to protect someone or help them out. It can also be help, ally, or support.
CC “chosen” = bachar. This is to choose, appoint, try, excellent.
DD “long for” = taab. 2x in OT – both in Psalm 119. This is to desire or yearn for.
EE “salvation” = yeshuah. From yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free). This is salvation, deliverance, health, victory, prosperity.
FF “law” = torah. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach). This is law, instruction, teaching, or statute. It can also refer to the first five books of the Bible – the Torah.
GG “delight” = shaashuim. 9x in NT. From shaa (to delight, play) OR form sha’a’ (to stare, cry out, amuse self, be blinded, play). This is a delight, pleasure, or enjoyment.
HH “me” = nephesh. Same as “soul” in v167. See note A above.
II “let…live” = chayah. This is to live or keep alive in a literal or figurative sense. So, it an be revive, nourish, or save.
JJ “praise” = halal. Related to “praise” in v171. See note T above.
KK “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.
LL “gone astray” = taah. This is to wander, deceive, seduce, vacillate. It is to stray in a literal or figurative sense.
MM “lost” = abad. To wander off, lose self. This implies to perish, destroy, die, vanish, or be broken or corrupt.
NN “sheep” = seh. Perhaps from sha’ah (to make a loud noise or crash, devastate, rush). This is a lamb, sheep, or goat – a part of a flock.
OO “seek” = baqash. This is to seek, ask, desire, or request. It can be any kind of searching. It can also mean to worship or pray – implies a striving for.
PP “servant” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
QQ “forget” = shakach. This is to forget or mislay – it is not knowing because of forgetfulness or inattentiveness.
Image credit: “Lost Sheep” by Threthny, 2017.