As we study the subject of baptism, we will see that there are many kinds of baptisms in scripture. There is the full immersion pattern established in the creation, in the beginning; there is a purpose of sprinkling clean water; there is baptism of the Holy Spirit, fire; and repentance, for example, all of which we will cover in this series. I wish to continue our discussion of the miqveh. This word used to describe what is commonly called a baptismal, is taken from the Hebrew word qavah. This word is formed by a qof, vav, and he. Its etymological meaning is to gather together toward a purpose or goal. It's various uses in scripture is quite intriguing.
"Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is PLENTY of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcass shall be unclean."
"And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is HOPE in Israel concerning this thing."
"O the HOPE of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night?"
"O YHVH, the HOPE of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken YHVH, the fountain of living waters."
And now perhaps the most revealing appearance of this word and it's first use as an abstract term.
"I have WAITED for thy salvation, O YHVH.
Right in the middle of Ya'kov's (Israel) prophecy over his twelve sons, he stops and makes this statement. As you can see, the verbal root of the word for the place of immersion is also the verbal root of the word for hope and waiting. Hope and wait for what? This is what I hope (pun intended) to bring together in this teaching series. The very first appearance of immersion occurred with the creation in the beginning, as we have already addressed. What happens to the earth and creation is a pattern for what YHVH will do with His people. It is this writers' opinion that the adversary (satan) fell from his exalted position as a cherub named Lucifer (Yechezk'el 28:14; Higalut 12:9; 2Corinthians 11:14), and that he was the cause of the tohu and bohu of B'reshiyth 1:2. The Creator then moved over the face of the waters to restore the creation in the same way He restores mankind. Now we add to this the fact that when you begin to absorb the dynamics of the Hebrew language you begin to observe a pattern of like kind in many of the Hebrew words that are associated with things that are wholesome and positive, and likewise a pattern of like kind in the words that are associated with evil, wickedness and destruction. In other words, as these words are traced out, we find that terms associated with righteousness all share a common etymological root meaning of bringing things into oneness or 'echad. Likewise, words and terms that are generally associated with corruption, confusion and chaos also share common etymological meanings of breaking or scattering. When the formless, confused and empty earth is immersed in the waters, it emerges as a cleansed creation. No longer formless and void but whole and complete, only to await as we do for a new body. This process will also be seen in the restoration of Adam and in the restoration of the body of Messiah or Israel, His assembly from the beginning.
In Romans chapter eight we have a continuing revelation of this truth that God patterns the salvation and deliverance of man in the creation.
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation WAITETH for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in HOPE, Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, WAITING for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by HOPE: but HOPE that is seen is not HOPE: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet HOPE for? But if we HOPE for that we see not, then do we with patience WAIT for it."
Notice that the creation 'waiteth' for the manifestation of the sons of God. The word translated as wait is from the Greek word ekdechomai. This word is translated in the Tanakh from several Hebrew words of which all are very provocative, keeping in mind that our subject is baptism which in it's root means to wait or to hope and it's verbal root means to gather together for a goal. The three Hebrew words are qavatz, bachar, and qatzar. These words are generally translated in the Tanakh as to gather, chosen and harvest. Gee, you mean to be immersed, to wait, to hope, to gather, a harvest, and the chosen are all connected some how? Yes, and not only connected but patterned by the natural things from the beginning.
The next word we come to in our Romans text is the word hope in verse 20. It comes from the Greek word elpis. (Elpis not Elvis. There is no hope in Elvis.) This is the common Greek word for hope and also comes from the Hebrew root qavah. This word is translated specifically from the Hebrew word tiqvah, which you may recognize as the basis for the title of the Israeli nation anthem, HaTikvah or The Hope. This word in Romans 8:20 is translated many times in the Tanakh from the Hebrew word for trust, batach. It is as if the Master is telling us that the creation, having already been immersed, is waiting and trusting in it's new body as well as we are. The big difference being that the creation trusts in it's Creator naturally, instinctively, and without hesitation, whereas humanity is created with the ability to say no to the Master and choose not to hope or wait.
In this section of scripture Rav Sha’ul takes us back to the creation, to the earth immersed in the waters in the beginning. Sha’ul teaches us that the creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God as we all wait for our new bodies. In the end, we will be resurrected with our new bodies as a new heaven and earth emerge with theirs. Notice how many times the words hope and wait are used here. I intend, with much prayer, to connect the conceptual relationship between the pattern of the natural things in the beginning, baptism with the regathering of the whole house of Israel.