A “teach” = yarah. This is to throw, shoot, be stunned. It is to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach. This is the same root that “Jerusalem” and “Torah” draw from.
B “way” = 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.
C “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.
D “walk” = 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.
E “truth” = emet. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is firmness or stability. Figuratively, it is faithfulness, truth, or trustworthiness. This is the same root that “amen” comes from.
F “give…an undivided” = yachad. 3x in OT. This is to be one, to be united.
G “heart” = lebab. 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.
H “revere” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
I “name” = shem. May be from sim (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
J “give thanks” = yadah. From yad (hand). This is to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise. So, it is to praise, give thanks, or make a confession.
K “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
L “God” = Elohim.
M “whole” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
N “glorify” = kabad. To be heavy, weighty, or severe. It can also be positive abounding in, rich, or honorable. The Hebrew word for “glory,” kabod, is taken from this root.
O “forever” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
P “great” = gadol. From gadal (to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing). This is great, high, bigger, noble, old, marvelous. It can also refer to someone who is powerful or distinguished.
Q “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.
R “delivered” = 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.
S “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.
T “depths” = tachti. 19x in OT. From tachat (underneath, below, the bottom, instead of). This is beneath, the depths, foot of a mountain, a pit, the womb.
U “Sheol” = Sheol. Perhaps from sha’al (to ask, request). This is the place where the dead go, the grace, the underworld.
V “insolent” = zed. 13x in OT. From zud (to cook, boil up, or seethe; figuratively, it can mean to act with arrogance or insolence, to be rebellious). This is arrogant, proud, or presumptuous. It can also refer to an arrogant person.
W “rise up” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
X “band” = edah. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree) OR from ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is a congregation, assembly, or company. It could be a family, crowd, or fixture.
Y “ruffians” = arits. From arats (to tremble, dread, stand in awe, oppress, harass). This is awe-inspiring or terror-inducing, ruthless, tyrant, oppressor, violent, powerful.
Z “seeks” = 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.
AA “life” = nephesh. Same as “soul” in v13. See note S above.
BB “set” = sim. Related to “name” in v11. See note I above.
CC “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.
DD “Lord” = Adonai. Same as “Lord” in v12. See note K above.
EE “God” = El. Related to “God” in v12. See note L above.
FF “merciful” = rachum. 13x in OT. From the same as rechem (womb); from racham (to love, have compassion, have mercy); from racham (compassion, tender love, womb, compassion; the womb as that which cherishes the fetus). This is compassionate or merciful.
GG “gracious” = channun. 13x in OT. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is gracious, compassionate, merciful, having pity on.
HH “slow” = arek. 15x in OT. From arak (to be long in a literal or figurative sense, to continue, defer, draw out, endure, delay). This is long, patience, or slow.
II “anger” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
JJ “abounding” = 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.
KK “faithfulness” = emet. Same as “truth” in v11. See note E above.
LL “turn” = panah. This is to turn, regard, appear, look, prepare.
MM “be gracious” = chanan. Related to “gracious” in v15. See note GG above.
NN “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
OO “strength” = oz. From azaz (to be strong, become fixed, be bold, prevail, be impudent; it means to be stout literally or figuratively. A Late Hebrew word). This is strength in the sense of force, majesty, praise, material and physical strength, the abstract notion of security. It can also speak of social or political power.
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 “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.
RR “child” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
SS “maidservant” = amah. This is female servant or slave, handmaid.
TT “show” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
UU “sign” = ot. From avah (to mark, sign, point out); OR from uth (to agree). This is a sign in a literal or figurative sense. It could be a flag or monument. It could be evidence or a mark. It could also be an omen or a miracle.
VV “favor” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
WW “hate” = sane. This is to hate, an enemy. It is a personal hatred and not an abstract one.
XX “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
YY “put to shame” = bosh. Properly, this means to be pale, which implies shame, disappointment, or confusion.
ZZ “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v11. See note C above.
AAA “helped” = azar. This is to surround, which implies encircling to protect someone or help them out. It can also be help, ally, or support.
BBB “comforted” = nacham. Properly, this is a strong breath or a sigh. This can be to be sorry, to pity, console. Comfort, or repent. But, one can also comfort oneself with less righteous thoughts, so this can also mean to avenge oneself.
Image credit: “Perfection” by Eddie van W., 2010.