Hebrew Words Defined

Faith Part 2

The Scriptures say,

Ivrim (Hebrews) 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

How very true that is. How very Hebrew that is. No wonder it shows up in the book of Hebrews! Read that verse again, real slow. Did you notice something about this statement that very clearly contradicts "modern Christian teaching?" I'll quote it again.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

You see, faith is not what is hoped for. Faith, according to Ivrim, is not the thing which is not seen. It is not invisible. It is certainly not blind. It is not something that I am trying to get. Faith is the substance and evidence. So, I will put it in a nutshell and then we will go back to the New Testament dictionary, the Tanakh, and validate what faith is. Faith is a personal commitment to follow, observe, and obey the words of YHVH. It always has been. True faith is action. Faith is not just believing in YHVH, but believing YHVH. Trusting that He is the Father of Eternity, and that He knows you intimately. Trusting that He knows what you need to live long and prosperously, and that His commandments are good for you. This is what YHVH means when He introduces faith in the beginning, and this is what Yeshua‘ means when He uses this word.

In the Tanakh this word, faith, is translated into English in several ways. The most common word is believe. Other ways in which it appears are: steady (Shemot (Exodus) 17:12); truth (Devariym (Deuteronomy) 32:4); set office (Divre-Hayamim Alef (1Chronicles) 9:22); faithfully or faithfulness (Mizemor) Psalm) 88:11); and established (Shemu’el Bet (2Samuel) 7:16). The action of faith is abundant in the Tanakh. Let's see how this word is understood and revealed in the New Testament's dictionary.

Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 15:6And he believed in YHVH; and he counted it to him for righteousness." (Then Avram goes on to DO what YHVH told him in the next 11 verses.)

Devariym 1:32Yet in this thing ye did not believe YHVH your ’Elohiym," (This was a response to their rebellion against the commandments of YHVH in verse 26.)

Devariym 32:20, 28-29And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!

Divre-Hayamim Bet (2Chronicles) 20:20And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

Mizemor 119:66Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

Divre-HaYamim Bet 6:17Now then, O YHVH ’Elohiym of Israel, let thy word be verified [aman, niphal future tense], which thou hast spoken to thy servant David.

Devariym 7:6-9For thou art an holy people unto YHVH thy ’Elohiym; YHVH thy ’Elohiym hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people who are upon the face of the earth. YHVH did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people. But because YHVH loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath YHVH brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know, therefore that YHVH thy ’Elohiym, he is ’Elohiym, the faithful El who keepeth covenant and mercy with them who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.

Mishlei (Proverbs) 20:6Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness; but a faithful man, who can find?

Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 7:9And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

Mizemor 31:23Oh, love YHVH, all ye His saints; for YHVH preserves the faithful, and plentifully rewards the proud doer.

Yeshua‘ grew up in a culture, a scriptural culture, that defined faith as a response to the words of ’Elohiym. Faith was obedience and not sacrifice. It was the natural reaction to a commitment. Let's look at several occurrences of this word in the New Testament.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Yochanan (John) 8:46-47Which of you convicts me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God hears God's words, ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." (They are listening but are not doing. The common misconception that the Jewish leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees, etc.) were keeping the law is absolutely false. I will cover this in more detail later.)

Yochanan 10:25-27Yeshua‘ answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they FOLLOW me.

Yochanan 14:12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father." (Modern Christianity commonly confines this to miracles only. This is not the context. This verse is tied with verse 15: "If ye love me ye will keep my commandments.)

Luke 7:9... I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

This is probably a good place to stop for now. This last verse is very revealing about Yeshua‘’s view of faith. So, we will take some time on our next visit to get down to the nitty gritty of faith.

Shalom Alecheim!