The Hebrew word derech means ‘way’ and is found 706 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. The word means path, road, distance, and journey. It also has the added meaning of ‘conduct’ and ‘action.’ Derech implies a constant movement forward and takes a lifetime to reach the goal of the journey. It could be likened to a walk of sanctification.
“Provided you keep and observe all these mitzvot I am giving you today, loving Adonai your God and always following his ways — then you are to add three more cities for yourselves, besides these three …” (Deuteronomy 19:9).
“You are agreeing today that Adonai is your God and that you will follow his ways; observe his laws, mitzvot and rulings; and do what he says” (Deuteronomy 26:17).
“The cohen replied, “Don’t worry. Adonai is with you on this journey” (Judges 18:6).
“Adonai-Tzva’ot says this: ‘If you will walk in my ways, obey my commission, judge my house and guard my courtyards; then I will give you free access among these who are standing here” (Zechariah 3:7).
“Yeshua said to him, ‘I am the way [derech], and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
Yeshua used ‘the way’ as the first step to direct people to his Father. James and Peter use ‘way’ to describe ‘good behavior.’
“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him demonstrate it by his good way of life, by actions done in the humility that grows out of wisdom” (James 3:13).
“On the contrary, following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life …” (1 Peter 1:15).
Sha’ul uses ‘way’ in Ephesians and Colossians to describe the ‘paths’ of life either good or evil, the former way of life, the old self and its ways compared to the ‘way’ of living in the Spirit of God.
“You walked in the ways of the ‘olam hazeh and obeyed the Ruler of the Powers of the Air, who is still at work among the disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2).
“Therefore I say this — indeed, in union with the Lord I insist on it: do not live any longer as the pagans live, with their sterile ways of thinking” (Ephesians 4:17).
“Never lie to one another; because you have stripped away the old self, with its ways …” (Colossians 3:7).
Hebrew Word Picture
Dalet is A Door and means ‘pathway.’
Resh is A Head and means ‘highest authority.’
Kof is the Back of the Head and means ‘what is behind.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for derech: what is behind the pathway of the highest authority.
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