Psalm 119:137-144 (Tzade)

Psalm 119 is about loving God’s Torah, His statutes, commands and precepts.  It is broken up into sections with strange looking words or letters which are the Hebrew alphabet.  In the Hebrew Scriptures, each line of each section starts with a word beginning with this letter.  This is called an acrostic poem.    Each Hebrew letter also has a  word picture associated with it giving greater meaning and symbolism to each line of the specific letter-ed section.

Word Picture - A Fishhook

צ Tzade – A Fish Hook

Pull Toward, Harvest

“You are righteous, Adonai; and your rulings are upright. You have commanded your instructions in righteousness and great faithfulness. My zeal is destroying me, because my foes have forgotten your words. Your word is refined to complete purity, and your servant loves it.  I may be small and despised, but I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is eternal righteousness, and your Torah is truth. Trouble and distress have overtaken me, but your mitzvot are my delight. Your instruction is righteous forever; give me understanding, and I will live.”

All English translations like the Amplified Bible, the King James Version, the New American Standard Bibe, and New International Version, use the word ‘law’ in verse 142;  however, using a concordance to find the exact Hebrew word that King David uses, it is Torah.  King David knew and understood that Torah  was synonymous with the Word of God, the only Word of God he had; there was no confusion between the ‘law of sin and death’ and Torah: God’s teachings and instructions.   For David, the Torah is refined to complete purity.

Yeshua asks his Father to “sanctify them [his disciples] by your word, your word is truth” (John 17:17). In Greek logos is used for ‘word’ and means ‘that which is spoken, commanded, taught, and instructed.’ Yeshua asks that his Father sanctify his followers with the words God has spoken, commanded, taught and instructed –– Torah. It is the Torah or the first five books of the Bible that sanctify Yeshua’s followers.  The Greek word hagiazo is ‘sanctify’ and means ‘make holy, treat as holy, set apart as holy, sanctify, hallow, purify.’ The Hebrew word kadosh is ‘holy’ and means ‘making one pure by having met all of God’s requirements when worshiping Him.’ There is no difference between what King David said about Torah and what Yeshua said about the Word. Torah and Word are different words for the same group of Scriptures; they both sanctify and make us holy to Adonai; they are both Truth.

Three words stand out this passage: righteousness, faithfulness, and delight.   In Hebrew, the word righteousness tzadak comes from the Hebrew letter tzade and means ‘to be in the right, justified, and just.’ The meaning of the verb tzadak is ‘to be righteous,’ a legal term which involves God’s process of justice when He makes a divine pronouncement of guilt or innocence on the wicked or righteous.  In Genesis, Abraham meets Melchizedek or Melek Tzadek, the ‘King of Righteousness’ and they share bread and wine.   Tzadek or ‘righteous standing before God’ was credited to Abraham because he believed Adonai’s promises.  Tzadek describes a faithful relationship between two people or a person and God –– Melek Tzadek and Abraham.  Tzadek holds the idea of loyalty and embodies everything that God desires of His people.

There are two views of righteousness when it comes to Torah.  One view of righteousness is when a person or God judges and speaks righteous verdicts using Torah regulations as the guideline.  The other view is when a person teaches and pursues after righteousness using Torah instructions as their guideline.  

In the Hebrew Word Pictures, both views of tzadek symbolize the ‘drawing toward’ of the fishhook.

Tzade – A Fishhook means ‘pull toward.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

ק Kof – Back of the Head means ‘what is behind.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for tzadek: to pull toward what is behind the pathway.

Righteousness is being hooked to the path of life, the path behind the words in Torah. Like King David, we are to delight in God’s Torah, His precepts, and His commandments so that we are drawn toward God’s righteousness and walk as father Abraham and the Living Torah, Yeshua.

©2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

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