Hope - tiqevah, betach, yachal
by Brad Scott
Ephesians 4:4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Romans 8:20For 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.
In these two passages the Greek word is elpis. No, that is not the root of Elvis. This word primarily comes from the Hebrew batach. It is a word that means to be secure, to trust or to be safe. The first occurrence is very provocative.
Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 34:25And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
The Young’s Literal translation has it best as confidently. I suggest that hope in our Bibles is to trust in something we have not experienced that is based upon that which we have experienced (evidence).
Mizemor (Psalm) 22:9But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
Another word in Hebrew is yachal which is used in context of confidently waiting for something. Not as in waiting to see if your friend shows up or if it rains today, but rather waiting for the baby to come or your W-2's to come in the mail.
Bere’shiyt 8:12And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
Miykah (Micah) 7:7Therefore I will look unto YHVH; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
The most well know word for hope is tiqevah which comes from qavah. The first occurrence is another interesting use.
Bere’shiyt 1:10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
Yiremeyahu (Jeremiah) 17:13O 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.
This is where the National Anthem of Israel stems from. It is interesting to note that the hope of Israel, our hope, comes from a passage in the beginning that is connected to a gathering of waters. Since the days of our ancient ancestor Adam, man has been cast into the wilderness of thorns and thistles (Bere’shiyt 3:18). When men are wandering in the desert and see the gathering of waters, it is a sign of hope that they will live.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊