Be Still And Know

Be still… a state of being in which we know God and discover who we really are.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

The sayings of my mouth.

Expressions that expose what is in my heart, revealing what I perceive to be truth and wisdom.

The meditation of my heart.

To earnestly, deeply think and to murmur with tenderness, evoking a strong emotional response.

Pause. Be still. Silent.

What happens? Do thoughts and plans and emotions seem to spin and whirl non-stop through your mind?

Become aware of the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart. Recognize them and then let them go to prepare your body, mind and spirit to begin today’s adventure in the Word of the Lord God. Give his words and thoughts precedence over your own.

Ps 62:9 – Those of low estate are but a breath [vanity]; those of high estate are a delusion [lie]; in the balances [pair of scales] they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. (ESV)

But a breath. A delusion. Do you know who you are? Do you know who the Lord God says you are?

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. (Psalm 42:7 ESV)

Deep calls to deep.

Gen 1:1-2 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (ESV)

In the beginning.
Darkness was over the face of the deep.

What is the deep? A place? A thing? A state of being? Disorder? Confusion? Obscurity? The sleep of unconsciousness? Death?

The deep. An abyss as a surging mass of water, especially the deep, the main sea or the subterranean water-supply.1
Abyss: bottomless gulf; chasm; anything too deep for measurement; primeval void or chaos before the Creation.2
Darkness was over the face of the deep. Darkness, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness, obscurity.3
Darkness was over the face of the deep.
The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

What is the relationship between darkness and the Spirit of God? What is the relationship between the deep and the waters? Does the deep enclose and restrain the waters? Or do the waters enclose and restrain the deep? Does the Spirit of God hold and influence both?

What are the waters?

Waters: Water is one of the original basic substances. All waters initially covered the surface of the entire earth. The word represents that which is in a well, water to be drunk. “Living water” is water that flows. The word water is used of springs, streams, seas, and the ocean. Scripture speaks of water of oppression or affliction, water of gall because of sin against the Lord, water poured or sprinkled symbolizing purification, and bitter water. The word water is used figuratively, symbolizing danger or distress, something impetuous, violent and overwhelming. It is also used to represent timidity, something transitory, that which is refreshing, rest, peace, as well as bloodshed. The word has special reference to the deep floods or sources of water, representing the “depths” as the opposites of the heavens or skies, the ever-existing (but not eternal), ever-threatening, and perilous “deep,” not simply an element of nature but a dangerous element: “The depths have covered them; they sank into the bottom as a stone” Ex 15:5.4

Waters. Inclusive. Paradox. Mystery.
Waters: Figuratively, juice, by euphemism, urine, semen; wasting, water course, flood, spring.5

What is the relationship between the face of the deep and the face of the waters? What is the relationship between darkness and the hovering Spirit of God?

The Spirit of God was hovering: To brood; to be relaxed. Flutter, move, shake.6
The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

It seems that these words of Scripture describe the natural world coming into existence and much more.

John 1:1-5 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it. (CJB)

Being.

The Word was God. The Word was with God. In the beginning.

Without the Word. Without him. Without Christ Jesus, nothing came to be, without him nothing made had being. In him was life. Life. The life was the light of mankind. Life. Light. The light shines in the darkness. Without him nothing made had being.

Ps 33:6 – By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host [a mass of things]. (ESV)

Is the word of the Lord and the breath of his mouth the same thing?

By the word. By the breath of the Lord’s mouth. Is being the result of a one-time occurrence, a word spoken once, a breath breathed once that lasts forever? Or is being a vital and necessary ongoing, constant, continuing word and breath, in intimate relationship?

Being: To cause to be, come into being. Arise. Be brought to pass. Continue. Be ended. Fall. Be finished. Follow. Be found. Be fulfilled.7

Does being include a vital and necessary ongoing, constant, continual ending, falling, finishing as well as a vital and necessary ongoing, constant, continual rising again, coming into being, bringing to pass, being found and fulfilled?

Gen 2:7 – then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (ESV)

Creature: a breathing creature, animal of vitality, bodily or mental. Appetite, beast, body, dead(ly), desire, [dis-] contented, greedy, lust, man, me, mind, mortally, pleasure, slay, soul. To breathe; passively, to be breathed upon, figuratively, refreshed as if by a current of air.8

Job 33:4 – The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (ESV)

The Word. The breath. The Spirit.

The word of the Lord. The breath of his mouth. The Spirit of God. Are these all One? Or perhaps Three in One?

The Spirit of God has made me. The breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Is there a difference between being made, becoming a living creature, and being given life or being?

Spirit: Wind; by resemblance breath, a sensible or even violent exhalation.9

Has made me: To do or make; accomplish, bestow, bring forth, exercise, fashion, labor, maintain, prepare, provide, work.10

The breath of the Almighty gives me life.

The breath of: A puff, i.e. wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect, soul, spirit. To blow away, destroy.11

The breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Gives me life: To live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively, to revive. Keep, leave, make alive. Give, promise, life. Let, suffer to live. Nourish up, preserve alive, recover, repair, restore to life, be whole.12

Mystery.

Who are you? Have you been made? Are you also living? Do you have being?

Might there be ever increasing depths of being that we can experience if we keep seeking and surrendering to the Lord God?

Matt 16:15-17 – He [Jesus] said to them [disciples], “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (ESV)

From where does your knowledge come?

Gal 1:11-12 – For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Jesus came.

John 20:19-22 – On the evening of that day [after Jesus’ resurrection], the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

Receive: to take, to get hold of; accept; be amazed.13

The Spirit of God has made me. The breath of the Almighty gives me life. Jesus Christ breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Was this a new, deeper experience in the life of the breath of the Almighty than they had previously experienced? And there was still more to come according to the promise of Jesus’ Father!

Luke 24:49 – And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (ESV)

John 14:16-17 – And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (ESV)

John 14:26-27 – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (ESV)

John 15:26-27 – “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. (ESV)

John 16:7-11 – Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;   concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (ESV)

Without him nothing made had being.

Who are you? Have you been made? Are you also living? Do you have being? Without him nothing made had being.

The Spirit of God has made me. The breath of the Almighty gives me life. Christ Jesus, being.

Can you receive the Spirit of truth? Do you see him? Do you know him? Does he dwell with you? Is he in you?

The world cannot receive the Spirit of truth. The world neither sees him nor knows him. He does not dwell with them.

World: orderly arrangement, decoration, including its inhabitants; adorning.14

1 Peter 3:3-5 – Do not let your adorning [world] be external—the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing— but let your adorning [world] be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (ESV)

World. Orderly arrangement. Decoration. Adorning. Its inhabitants.

Is your world external? Or is your world the hidden person of the heart? Which orderly arrangement are your thoughts and ways absorbed with?

What is your state of being?

Might our soul be in the same condition as the earth and the cosmos before God made it and gave it being and life through his word and breath and Spirit?

Darkness was over the face of the deep, the void, the chaos. Misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness, obscurity.

Is darkness over the face of the deep of your soul?

Ps 36:1-2 – Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. (ESV)

Darkness. Estrangement. Independence. Without being. Without the Word. Without Life. Without Light.
Transgression: revolt, rebellion, to break away from just authority, quarrel.15
Transgression speaks to the wicked. Wicked: do wrong, disturb, violate, vex, make trouble, depart.16
Transgression speaks to the rebellious, who quarrel, break away and depart from just authority.

Transgression speaks deep in their heart, within, in the bowels, the center, deep in the feelings, the will, the intellect, the center. Hidden, unexposed. Unaware. Darkness. Without being. Without Christ Jesus.

Transgression speaks to the wicked [one who departs from God] deep in his heart.

Prov 4:19 – The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. (ESV)

The way of those estranged from God, disunited with the Lord God, is like deep darkness.

They do not know over what they stumble.

Deep darkness. Ignorance. Unknowing. Inexperience. Unconscious. Without being. Without Christ Jesus.

The Spirit of God. Hovering. Brooding.

At the same time, is the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the surging mass of waters? Brooding, fluttering, moving, shaking. Wind. Breath. Causing to come to an end, be finished, to arise, to come into being, to be found, to be fulfilled.

Heb 11:3 – By trusting, we understand that the universe was created through a spoken word of God, so that what is seen did not come into being out of existing phenomena. (CJB)

The Spirit of God has made me. The breath of the Almighty gives me life. Without the Word, nothing made had being. Surely this revelation calls for diligent meditation on every word that comes from the mouth of God! Both the written word and the words taught by the Spirit of God in our inner being.

Matt 4:4 – But he [Jesus] answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (ESV)

By trusting every word that comes from the mouth of God, we understand who we are and what life is, and what being is.

Trusting: persuasion, to convince by argument, true or false; to assent to evidence or authority, to rely by inward certainty; to rely upon Christ for salvation.17

We know.

1 John 5:19-20 – We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (ESV)

We know that we are from God. How do we know? By a gospel that is man’s gospel? Or through a revelation of Jesus Christ?

For decades I thought I knew. I believed what pastors and teachers and Scripture said, and I received and accepted their words. But I’ve since discovered that knowing is much more than mental exercise and intellectual agreement with statements of belief or even Scripture.

How do I know that I am from God, and not lying in the power of the evil one along with the whole world? Through personal and intimate experience of a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Isa 50:10-11 – “Who among you fears Adonai [Jehovah]? Who obeys [hears intelligently, attentively, discerns, consents] what his servant says? Even when he walks in the dark, without any light, he will trust [be confident, secure] in Adonai’s reputation and rely on his God. But all of you who are lighting fires and arming yourselves with firebrands: go, walk in the flame of your own fire, among the firebrands you lit! From my hands this [fate] awaits you: you will lie down in torment. (CJB)

Am I content and secure even when everything seems wrong, when I have no light, cannot see, don’t understand, and am afraid of losing my treasures and my life? Do I welcome and embrace the darkness, trusting my God’s reputation and character, or do I rush to create my own light, and formulate my own explanations and plans?

How do I learn to rest secure, confident in the Lord God even in the darkness of unknowing, when I lose  the illusion of having control, when I give control back to God, waiting in stillness and silence for him to reveal himself and his plan? How do I learn to be confident in the Lord God’s reputation? How do I learn to hear intelligently, attentively, with discernment and consent to what I hear in the silence?

We know: to see, to know, to be aware, behold, consider, look on, perceive, be sure, understand, to gaze with wide-open eyes, as at something remarkable; to stare, to discern clearly, to attend to, to experience.18

How do we rest secure in the Lord God?

David, psalmist, shepherd, king of Israel knew.

Ps 143:1-6 – Adonai [Jehovah, O LORD], hear my prayer; listen to my pleas for mercy. In your faithfulness, answer me, and in your righteousness. Don’t bring your servant to trial, since in your sight no one alive would be considered righteous. For an enemy is pursuing me; he has crushed my life into the ground and left me to live in darkness, like those who have been long dead. My spirit faints within me; my heart is appalled within me. I remember the days of old, reflecting on all your deeds, thinking about the work of your hands. I spread out my hands to you, I long for you like a thirsty land. (Selah) [Pause, breathe, reflect] (CJB)

When we fail to see his hand, his strong arm, or his smiling face in the midst of our hardship, we look back, way back down through the ages. We look on all his deeds, his great grace and love, and we trust his heart, his reputation as we wait patiently for him in his house, to reveal himself to us in our darkness.

Because of the Lord God’s great grace and love.

Ps 5:7 – But I can enter your house because of your great grace and love; I will bow down toward your holy temple in reverence for you. (CJB)

Lam 3:31-33 – For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. (ESV)

We know. Deep calls to deep. It seems to me that knowing and hearing intelligently becomes easier after we have had a Jonah experience, a king of Nineveh experience, a crucifixion with Christ the Messiah experience. Have we lost ourselves to find our true selves because Christ Jesus has made, and continues to make his Father’s name and reputation known to us? Is the love with which the Father loved Jesus in us? Is Christ Jesus himself in us? Do we know through intimate experience in that place where deep calls to deep?

When my wee bit of knowledge that was based on man’s gospel left me hungry, thirsty and dissatisfied, questioning whether religion or even God could fill the empty, lonely place in me by supplanting the unhealthy fear and anger that resided there with God’s love and peace, I began to beg God to let me know that I am from God.

He directed me to Psalm 46:10.

Be still.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)

I spent the next decade asking the Lord God to teach me what it means to be still. Be still and… thereupon… then… next… know.

Through much labor in learning to be still, I eventually learned to rest secure in my God’s reputation, his character, his nature, his heart, his Name, even though my external circumstances didn’t appear at first to agree with his written word, his promises.

It seemed that I could not know, I could not rest secure, until I had first learned to be still, to have my wayward heart renewed. In that process, I learned how much power the evil one had over me. I was like Jonah, like Cain, like the descendants of Abraham, and like the rich man who lacked one thing, who would not, could not, listen to the Lord God, who wandered away, out from his presence, so that the Lord God gave us all over to our stubborn hearts, to follow our own counsels.

Following our own counsels seems to always lead to lying down in torment to one degree or another until the Lord God pleads our cause:

Mic 7:9 – I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication. (ESV)

Note the contrast between the heart of those who have being through the Word and those who do not, those who know that we are from God, and those who lie in the power of the evil one.

Ps 37:30-31 – The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. (ESV)

Ps 36:1-2 – Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. (ESV)

Be still.

Be still is paradox.

For me, it has been a different, much more difficult type of labor. It is not “doing” so much as “being” or becoming as I wait for the Lord God to work the doing in me. It is a different kind of dying. It is learning a new way to hear and see and experience and know as I wait for Jesus to reveal himself and his Father to me.

Be still. To slacken, abate, cease, consume, fail, be faint, be feeble, forsake, idle, leave, let alone, go down. To mend, to cure, to cause to heal, repair, thoroughly, make whole.19

Be still. It is paradox. Seemingly opposite work happening at the same time. Vessel of wrath. Vessel of mercy.

Ps 37:7 – Be still [rest] before the Lord and wait patiently for him; (ESV)

Rest: to be dumb; to be astonished, to stop, to perish; cease, be cut down (off), fail, perish, rest, be silent, keep silence, be (stand) still, tarry, wait; be brought to silence, be undone, utterly.20

Be still. It is a state of being in which we know God and discover who we are in him.

Interact with the words of Scripture through deep, careful study.

Read the Lord God’s words. Read slowly. Read reflectively. Not just with your mind but with your heart and spirit. Let his words sink in. Ruminate upon his words so they become implanted deep in the center of your soul. Take from them what he wants to give to you.

Meditate. Experience the word of Scripture bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience the words of Scripture expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Become acquainted with your longing. Anticipate that your soul’s longing will be satisfied, its hunger will be filled with good things, and it will be healed and made complete again. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.

Respond to the Lord God’s words by setting your thoughts and emotions aside and let your heart speak to God without words.

Then move beyond logic and reason; move from head to heart to spirit. Contemplate. Sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring. Simply be. Become conscious of your companions. Longing for you. Your longing for them.

Simply rest in God’s words. Listen to God at the deepest level of your inner being. Listen as Love speaks with a still small voice that moves you to silence and an ever-deepening listening in which the Word becomes active and alive in you, gradually transforming you from within.21

2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)

When finished, select just one word or phrase and carry it with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Let it soak deep into your soul, so it miraculously combines your spirit with God’s Spirit. Tomorrow, meditate on the entire text again. Select the same word or phrase or a different one to carry with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Do this practice every day. Let God’s Word begin to fill your soul with good things, with life and light and being through Christ Jesus.

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Ask the Lord God to make you aware of the breath of the Almighty in you. Believe him when he says his breath makes you understand. Desire his breath. Seek his breath, find your being, your life in him.

Be still. Be silent. Make no request of him, but that you may know him, that you may know you are in him, and he is in you.

Allow him to bring you to silence. Allow yourself to be utterly undone by him.

Allow your heart and mind and soul and spirit to be opened wide before him to whom you must give account. Allow him to reverse and cancel any work that you have done that is contrary to his words, thoughts and ways. Trust him as he brings all those to ruin in order to mend, heal, repair, and make whole, as he turns your focus to the hidden person of the heart.

Read the following scripture text and note what word or words catch your attention. What does the Lord God want from you and for you?

2 Cor 12:8-10 – Three times I [apostle Paul] pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (ESV)

What questions immediately come to mind? What emotions, desires, fears… surface?

Consider what the power of Christ resting on you as you rest in him looks and feels like.

Rest: to tent upon, i.e. figuratively abide with; rest upon. To tent or encamp, i.e. figuratively to occupy (as a mansion) or (specifically) to reside (as God did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion; dwell.22

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1The deep: OT:8415 <START HEBREW><ohT=<END HEBREW> tehowm (teh-home’); or tehom (teh-home’); (usually feminine) from OT:1949; an abyss (as a surging mass of water), especially the deep (the main sea or the subterranean water-supply): KJV – deep (place), depth. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

2Webster’s Dictionary.

3Darkness: OT:2822 <START HEBREW>Ev#j)<END HEBREW> choshek (kho-shek’); from OT:2821; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: KJV – dark (-ness), night, obscurity. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4WATER: mayim OT:4325, “water; flood.” This word has cognates in Ugaritic and old South Arabic. It occurs about 580 times and in every period of biblical Hebrew.

First, “water” is one of the original basic substances. This is its significance in Gen 1:2 (the first occurrence of the word): “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In Gen 1:7 God separated the “waters” above and the “waters” below (cf. Ex 20:4) the expanse of the heavens.

Second, the word represents that which is in a well, “water” to be drunk Gen 21:19. “Living water” is “water” that flows: “And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing [living] water…” Gen 26:19. “Water” of oppression or affliction is so designated because it is drunk in prison: “Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace” 1 Kings 22:27. Job 9:30 speaks of slush or snow water: “If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean….”

Third, mayim can represent liquid in general: “…for the Lord our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord” Jer 8:14. The phrase, me raglayim (“water of one’s feet”) is urine: “Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss [water of their feet] with you?” 2 Kings 18:27; cf. Isa 25:10.

Fourth, in Israel’s cultus “water” was poured or sprinkled (no one was ever immersed into water), symbolizing purification. So Aaron and his sons were to be washed with “water” as a part of the rite consecrating them to the priesthood: “And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water” Ex 29:4. Parts of the sacrificial animal were to be ritually cleansed with “water” during the sacrifice: “But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water…” Lev 1:9. Israel’s rites sometimes include consecrated “water”: “And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water” Num 5:17. “Bitter water” was used in Israel’s rituals, too: “And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse” Num 5:18. It was “water” which when drunk brought a curse and caused bitterness Num 5:24.

Fifth, in proper names this word is used of springs, streams, or seas and or the area in the immediate vicinity of such bodies of water: “Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood…” Ex 7:19.

Sixth, this word is used figuratively in many senses. Mayim symbolizes danger or distress: “He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters” 2 Sam 22:17. Outbursting force is represented by mayim in 2 Sam 5:20: “The Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the [break-through] of waters.” “Mighty waters” describes the onrush of the godless nations against God: “The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters…” Isa 17:13. Thus the word is used to picture something impetuous, violent, and overwhelming: “Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night” Job 27:20. In other passages “water” is used to represent timidity: “…wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water” Josh 7:5. Related to this nuance is the connotation “transitory”: “…because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away” Job 11:16. In Isa 32:2 “water” represents that which is refreshing: “And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Rest and peace are figured by waters of rest, or quiet waters: “…he leadeth me beside the still waters” Ps 23:2. Similar ideas are involved when one’s wife’s charms are termed “water of life” or “water which enlivens”: “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well” Prov 5:15. Outpoured “water” represents bloodshed Deut 12:16, wrath Hos 5:10, justice Amos 5:24; KJV, “judgment”, and strong feelings Job 3:24.

tehom OT:8415, “deep water; ocean; water table; waters; flood of waters.” Cognates of this word appear in Ugaritic, Akkadian (as early as Ebla, around 2400 B.C. – 2250 B.C.), and Arabic. The 36 occurrences of this word appear almost exclusively in poetical passages but in all historical periods.

The word represents the “deep water” whose surface freezes when cold: “The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen” Job 38:30. In Ps 135:6 tehom is used of the “ocean” in contrast to the seas: “Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places [in the entire ocean]” (cf. Ps 148:7 et al.).

The word has special reference to the deep floods or sources of water. Sailors in the midst of a violent storm “mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths” Ps 107:26. This is hyperbolic or exaggerated poetical talk, but it presents the “depths” as the opposite of the heavens or skies. This emphasis is especially prominent in the Song of Moses, where the word represents the ever-existing (but not eternal), ever-threatening, and perilous “deep,” not simply an element of nature but a dangerous element: “The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone” Ex 15:5. On the other hand, in such contexts tehom may mean no more than “deep water” into which heavy objects quickly sink.

Tehom can represent an inexhaustible source of water or, by way of poetic comparison, of blessing: “…with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under…” Gen 49:25. In such contexts the word represents the “water table” always available below the surface of the earth — what was tapped by digging wells, out of which flowed springs, and what was one with the waters beneath the surface of oceans, lakes, seas, and rivers. This was what God opened together with the waters above the expanse Gen 7:11; cf. 1:7 and what later was closed to cause and terminate the great Flood Gen 8:2; cf. Ps 33:6; 104:6; Ezek 26:19. In such contexts the word represents a “flood of waters” Ps 33:6.

In Gen 1:2 (the first occurrence of the word) tehom is used of “all waters” which initially covered the surface of the entire earth: “…and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (cf. Prov 3:20; 8:24,27-28). (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

5Waters: OT:4325 <START HEBREW><y!m^<END HEBREW> mayim (mah’-yim); dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively, juice; by euphemism, urine, semen: KJV –  piss, wasting, water (-ing, [-course, -flood, -spring]). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

6Hovering/moved: OT:7363 <START HEBREW>[j^r*<END HEBREW> rachaph (raw-khaf’); a primitive root; to brood; by implication, to be relaxed: KJV – flutter, move, shake. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

7Was/being: NT:1096 <START GREEK>gi/nomai <END GREEK> ginomai (ghin’-om-ahee); a prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be (“gen”- erate), i.e. (reflexively) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (literal, figurative, intensive, etc.): KJV – arise, be assembled, be (-come, -fall, -haveself), be brought (to pass), (be) come (to pass), continue, be divided, draw, be ended, fall, be finished, follow, be found, be fulfilled,  God forbid, grow, happen, have, be kept, be made, be married, be ordained to be, partake, pass, be performed, be published, require, seem, be showed,  soon as it was, sound, be taken, be turned, use, wax, will, would, be wrought. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

8Creature: OT:5315 <START HEBREW>vp#n#<END HEBREW> nephesh (neh’-fesh); from OT:5314; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental): KJV – any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature,  dead (-ly), desire,  [dis-] contented,  fish, ghost,  greedy, he, heart (-y), (hath,  jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thyself-), them (your)- selves,  slay, soul,  tablet, they, thing, (X she) will,  would have it.

OT:5314 <START HEBREW>vp^n*<END HEBREW> naphash (naw-fash’); a primitive root; to breathe; passively, to be breathed upon, i.e. (figuratively) refreshed (as if by a current of air): KJV – (be) refresh selves (-ed). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

9The Spirit of: OT:7307 <START HEBREW>j^Wr<END HEBREW> ruwach (roo’-akh); from OT:7306; wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively, life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension, a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): KJV – air, anger, blast, breath,  cool, courage, mind,  quarter,  side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest,  vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

10Has made me: OT:6213 <START HEBREW>hc*u*<END HEBREW> `asah (aw-saw’); a primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows): KJV – accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy,  certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal (with), deck,  displease, do, (ready) dress (-ed), (put in) execute (-ion), exercise, fashion,  feast, [fighting-] man,  finish, fit, fly, follow, fulfill, furnish, gather, get, go about, govern, grant, great,  hinder, hold ([a feast]),  indeed,  be industrious,  journey, keep, labour, maintain, make, be meet, observe, be occupied, offer,  officer, pare, bring (come) to pass, perform, pracise, prepare, procure, provide, put, requite,  sacrifice, serve, set, shew,  sin, spend,  surely, take,  thoroughly, trim,  very,  vex, be [warr-] ior, work (-man), yield, use. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

11The breath of: OT:5397 <START HEBREW>hm*v*n=<END HEBREW> neshamah (nesh-aw-maw’); from OT:5395; a puff, i.e. wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect. or (concretely) an animal: KJV – blast, (that) breath (-eth), inspiration, soul, spirit.

OT:5395 <START HEBREW><v^n*<END HEBREW> nasham (naw-sham’); a primitive root; properly, to blow away, i.e. destroy: KJV – destroy. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

12Gives me life: OT:2421 <START HEBREW>hy*j*<END HEBREW> chayah (khaw-yaw’); a primitive root [compare OT:2331, OT:2421]; to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively, to revive: KJV – keep (leave, make) alive,  certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (X God) save (alive, life, lives),  surely, be whole. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

13Receive: NT:2983 <START GREEK>lamba/nw<END GREEK> lambano (lam-ban’-o); a prolonged form of a primary verb, which is use only as an alternate in certain tenses; to take (in very many applications, literally and figuratively [properly objective or active, to get hold of; whereas NT:1209 is rather subjective or passive, to have offered to one; while NT:138 is more violent, to seize or remove]): KJV – accept,  be amazed, assay, attain, bring,  when I call, catch, come on (X unto),  forget, have, hold, obtain, receive (X after), take (away, up). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

14World: NT:2889<START GREEK>ko/smo$<END GREEK> kosmos (kos’-mos); probably from the base of NT:2865; orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by implication, the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally]): KJV – adorning, world. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

15Transgression: OT:6588 <START HEBREW>uv^P#<END HEBREW> pesha` (peh’-shah); from OT:6586; a revolt (national, moral or religious): KJV – rebellion, sin, transgression, trespass.

OT:6586 <START HEBREW>uv^P*<END HEBREW> pasha` (paw-shah’); a primitive root [identical with OT:6585 through the idea of expansion]; to break away (from just authority), i.e. trespass, apostatize, quarrel: KJV – offend, rebel, revolt, transgress (-ion, -or). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

16Wicked: OT:7563 <START HEBREW>uv*r*<END HEBREW> rasha` (raw-shaw’); from OT:7561; morally wrong; concretely, an (actively) bad person: KJV –  condemned, guilty, ungodly, wicked (man), that did wrong.

OT:7561 <START HEBREW>uv^r*<END HEBREW> rasha` (raw-shah’); a primitive root; to be (causatively, do or declare) wrong; by implication, to disturb, violate: KJV – condemn, make trouble, vex, be (commit, deal, depart, do) wicked (-ly, -ness). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

17Trusting: NT:4102 <START GREEK>pi/sti$<END GREEK> pistis (pis’-tis); from NT:3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: KJV – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

NT:3982 <START GREEK>pei/qw<END GREEK> peitho (pi’-tho); a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): KJV – agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) confident, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

18We know: NT:1492 <START GREEK>ei&dw<END GREEK> eido (i’-do); a primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent NT:3700 and NT:3708; properly, to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perf. only) to know: KJV – be aware, behold, can (+not tell), consider, (have) know (-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wish, wot. Compare NT:3700.

NT:3700 <START GREEK>o)pta/nomai<END GREEK> optanomai (op-tan’-om-ahee); a (middle voice) prolonged form of the primary (middle voice) optomai (op’-tom-ahee); which is used for it in certain tenses; and both as alternate of NT:3708; to gaze (i.e. with wide-open eyes, as at something remarkable; and thus differing from NT:991, which denotes simply voluntary observation; and from NT:1492, which expresses merely mechanical, passive or casual vision; while NT:2300, and still more emphatically its intensive NT:2334, signifies an earnest but more continued inspection; and NT:4648 a watching from a distance):

NT:3708 <START GREEK>o(ra/w<END GREEK> horao (hor-ah’-o); properly, to stare at [compare NT:3700], i.e. (by implication) to discern clearly (physically or mentally); by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

19Be still: OT:7503 <START HEBREW>hp*r*<END HEBREW> raphah (raw-faw’); a primitive root; to slacken (in many applications, literal or figurative): KJV – abate, cease, consume, draw [toward evening], fail, (be) faint, be (wax) feeble, forsake, idle, leave, let alone (go, down), (be) slack, stay, be still, be slothful, (be) weak (-en). See OT:7495.

OT:7495 <START HEBREW>ap*r* <END HEBREW> rapha’ (raw-faw’); or raphah (raw-faw’); a primitive root; properly, to mend (by stitching), i.e. (figuratively) to cure: KJV – cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair,  thoroughly, make whole. See OT:7503. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

20Rest: OT:1826 <START HEBREW><m^D*<END HEBREW> damam (daw-man’); a prim root [compare OT:1724, OT:1820]; to be dumb; by implication, to be astonished, to stop; also to perish:

KJV – cease, be cut down (off), forbear, hold peace, quietself, rest, be silent, keep (put to) silence, be (stand) still, tarry, wait.

OT:1820 <START HEBREW>hm*D*<END HEBREW> damah (daw-mam’); a primitive root; to be dumb or silent; hence, to fail or perish; trans. to destroy: KJV – cease, be cut down (off), destroy, be brought to silence, be undone,  utterly. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

21Lectio Divina as described by the 12th century Carthusian monk called Guigo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guigo_II

22Rest: NT:1981 <START GREEK>e)piskhno/w<END GREEK> episkenoo (ep-ee-skay-no’-o); from NT:1909 and NT:4637; to tent upon, i.e. (figuratively) abide with KJV – rest upon.

NT:4637 <START GREEK>skhno/w<END GREEK> skenoo (skay-no’-o); from NT:4636; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figuratively) to occupy (as a mansion) or (specifically) to reside (as God did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion): KJV – dwell.

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