Narrative Lectionary 438
A “be gracious” = chanan. This is to beseech, show favor, be gracious. Properly, it is to bend in kindness to someone with less status.
B “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.
C “distress” = tsarar. This is to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary.
D “eye” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
E “wastes away” = ashesh. 3x in OT– used only in the psalms for eyes and bones wasting away. This is to shrink or waste away. By analogy, this would be to fail or be consumed.
F “grief” = ka’as. From ka’as (to be angry, trouble, provoke, spite, grieve, have sorrow). This is vexation or anger.
G “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.
H “body” = beten. Root may mean to be hollow. This is the belly or womb. It can also refer to a body more broadly.
I “life” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
J “spent” = kalah. This is to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed.
K “sorrow” = yagon. 14x in OT. From yagah (to suffer, grieve, afflict). This is grief or sorrow.
L “years” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.
M “sighing” = anachah. 11x in OT. From anach (to sigh, groan, or mourn). This is sighing or groaning.
N “strength” = koach. Root may mean to be firm. This is power, strength, force. It can be literal or figurative, positive or negative. It can also mean capacity or means – what something produces. Additionally, it could refer to some kind of small reptile.
O “fails” = kashal. This is to stumble, fail, be weak or decayed, be overthrown, to totter. It can refer to weak legs or ankles so it is falter, faint, or fall.
P “misery” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.
Q “bones” = etsem. From atsam (vast, numerous, strong; to close one’s eyes, to make powerful; to break bones). This is self, life, strength, bone, or substance.
R “am” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v9. See note B above.
S “scorn” = cherpah. From charaph (to expose and so figuratively to reproach, defame, carp at, defy). This is reproach, rebuke, shame, or disgrace. It can also refer to genitals.
T “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
U “adversaries” = tsarar. Same as “distress” in v9. See note C above.
V “horror” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
W “neighbors” = shaken. From shakan (to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently; to abide or continue). This is resident or neighbor. It is related to mishkan, the Hebrew word for “tabernacle.”
X “object of dread” = pachad. From pachad (to dread, be afraid, thrill, be in awe; feeling startled from a sudden sound or alarm). This is dread, fear, awe, panic. It can also refer to what someone fears or dreads.
Y “acquaintances” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
Z “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
AA “street” = chuts. Root may mean to sever. So, this is something that is separated by a wall – the outside, the street, a field, highway, or abroad.
BB “flee” = nadad. This is to wave back and forth. Figuratively, it is to flee, stray, flutter chase away, shake, or shrink. It can also refer to a fugitive.
CC “passed” = shakach. This is to forget because of not remembering something or not paying attention to it. It can also mean to mislay.
DD “mind” = 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.
EE “dead” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
FF “become” = hayah. Same as “am” in v11. See note R above.
GG “broken” = abad. To wander off, lose self. This implies to perish, destroy, die, vanish, or be broken or corrupt.
HH “vessel” = keli. Related to “spent” in v10. From kalah (see note J above). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.
II “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
JJ “whispering” = dibbah. 9x in OT. From dabab (to glide, flow gently, move slowly, speak). This is flowing so it can mean whispering, bad report, slander, or infamy.
KK “many” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
LL “terror” = magor. 8x in OT. From gur (to quarrel, stir, attack). This is fear, panic, or terror.
MM “all around” = sabib. From sabab (turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch; to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense). This is a circuit or a circle. It could refer to an environment, one’s neighbors, or a circular path round about.
NN “scheme” = yasad. This is to establish, appoint, instruct. It is to set in a literal or figurative sense. Also means to sit down together and so to consult or take counsel.
OO “together” = yachad. From yachad (to join, be united). This is a unit, both, altogether, unitedness, alike.
PP “plot” = zamam. 13x in OT. This is to devise, plot, imagine, intend, scheme, think evil. It is usually used in an evil sense.
QQ “take” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
RR “life” = nephesh. Same as “soul” in v9. See note G above.
SS “trust” = batach. This is to hide for refuge, be secure or sure. Figuratively, it refers to trust, being confident, or hoping.
TT “God” = Elohim.
UU “times” = et. Probably from anah (to answer, sing, announce); from ad (forever, all, old); from adah (to pass on, advance, decorate oneself). This is a period or season. It can also mean whenever or continually.
VV “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.
WW “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.
XX “enemies” = oyeb. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is a foe or enemy as one that you are hostile to.
YY “persecutors” = radaph. This is to chase after, pursue, hunt, or persecute. It is running after someone or something, generally with hostile motives.
ZZ “face” = 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.
AAA “shine” = or. This is to light, shine, set on fire – to be luminous in a literal or figurative sense.
BBB “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.
CCC “save” = 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.
DDD “steadfast love” = chesed. From chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is favor, goodness, kindness, loving kindness, pity, reproach, or a good deed. When done by God to humanity, this is mercy/loving kindness. When done by humanity to God, it is piety.
EEE “be put to shame” = bosh. Properly, this means to be pale, which implies shame, disappointment, or confusion.
FFF “call on” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
GGG “wicked” = rasha. This is morally wrong so it refers to someone who is actively bad as wicked, criminal, an evil person, offender, condemned, or ungodly.
HHH “go dumbfounded” = damam. This is to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, or die.
III “Sheol” = Sheol. Perhaps from sha’al (to ask, request). This is the place where the dead go, the grace, the underworld.
JJJ “lying” = sheqer. This is deception, lie, or disappointment. It can also be something that is vain or wrongfully.
KKK “lips” = saphah. This is lip, edge, border, bank – used for a boundary. It can also be speech or language.
LLL “be stilled” = alam. 9x in OT. This is to bind or tie fast. When applied to the mouth, it means to be silent or speechless. This can be voluntary or involuntary.
MMM “speak” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
NNN “insolently” = athaq. 4x in OT. From atheq (to move, advance, remove or continue; figuratively, to grow old or to copy or transcribe). This is arrogant, insolent, arrogance, impudent, stiff.
OOO “righteous” = tsaddiq. From the same as tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, just cause, vindication; that which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense; abstractly equity; figuratively prosperity). This is just, innocent, righteous, righteous one, or lawful.
PPP “pride” = gaavah. 19x in OT. From gaah (to rise up, be exalted, triumph; figuratively, be majestic). This is majesty, excellency, pride, or arrogance. It can also mean ornament.
QQQ “contempt” = buz. From buz (to disrespect, hate, scorn). This is contempt, laughingstock, shame, or hated.
Image credit: “Lightning brings out into practice the light hidden in water” by zeevveez, 2011.