by Brad Scott
I still remember having to diagram sentences in English class in high school. I hated it. I said to myself that I already knew how to talk. For a long time now I have found it occassionally necessary to conjugate verbs in the Hebrew. Now I am grateful for my 5th grade English teacher.
We all know that the verb in English is the action or motion of the sentence. But there are a few interesting things about this word in Hebrew. The Hebrew word for verb is pa'al (פעל), the middle letter being an 'ayin (ע). This word is used in the Hebrew text as work, wrought, and workmanship. Here are two examples to ponder from the Tanakh and it's equivilent in the New Testament.
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 45:11-12Thus saith YHVH, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: Ask me of things to come concerning my sons; and concerning the work of my hands, command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
Ephesians 2:8-10For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created IN Messiah Yeshua‘ UNTO good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
In Hebrew, the concept of the verb in grammar is expressed as work, motion, and action in it's everyday use. Sha’ul reaffirms our Father's use of it in the Tenakh by showing that after we have been 'saved', we now produce righteous action and work because of our being made one with Yeshua'. Read carefully this excerpt from Noah Webster's 1828 edition of the American Dictionary:
"When the action expressed by a verb is exerted on an object, or terminates upon it, the act is considered as passing to that object ..." (emphasis mine)
The noun now becomes one with the verb. True believers and followers of Messiah Yeshua‘ must, by nature, produce the works of the Messiah and not their own because the Messiah (object) and His works (action) are one. Yeshua‘ is not only our proper noun (object of our faith) but He is our verb as well, for in the Hebrew language the verb must be in concord (total agreement) with the noun it is attached to. If the action is not in agreement with the subject, then either the action (our works) must change or the object (Yeshua') must change. Which one do you think should be the one to change?
Shalom Alecheim! ◊