Gnostic Doctrine

Friday, 19 July 2019

The Ten Words

The ten words in Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is one of several acrostic poems found in the Bible. Its 176 verses are divided into 22 stanzas, one for each of the 22 characters that make up the Hebrew alphabet.

Throughout the whole of the Alphabetic Psalm, 119 there is in every verse one of the following ten expressions: DEREK (= Way), 'EDUTH (= Testimony), PIKKUDIM (= Precepts), MIZVAH (= Commandment), 'IMRAH (= Saying), TORAH (= Law), MISHPAT (= Judgment), ZEDEK, ZeDAKAH, and ZADDIK (= Righteousness), HOK, and HUKKAH (= Statutes), DABAR (= Word), which correspond to the Ten Commandments; except one verse, in which there is none of these: namely, verse 122." 

The Ten Commandments of the Law are described as the "ten words" of the Decalogue (Deu. 5:22), and significantly, this Psalm, the Alphabet of Grace is built around ten words, each of which expresses an element of the Word of Yahweh, and one of which is found in every verse of this Psalm, except in vv. 122 and 132. Therefore the "ten words" of Psa. 119 really reflect the spirit of the Law of Moses, and demonstrate the way in which the Law should have been revealed in those who were under its covenant.

The ten words are: Saying, Word, Testimony, Way, Judgment, Precept, Commandment, Law, Statute, Righteousness:

1. SAYING: Heb. amar: the expression of the divine will and promise to man. The Hebrew word occurs in v. 82 and in v. 57 (as "said"), whilst a cognate word imrah (translated "word") occurs 19 times.

2. WORD: Heb. dabhar: See v. 9. This is represented in the New Testament Greek as logos, that is, the outward expression of inner thought and meaning. It occurs 22 times.

3. TESTIMONY: Heb. edoth: See v. 2. The idea of the word is that of an attestation, or formal affirmation — thus, a solemn declaration of God's will on matters, especially of moral or religious duty, or a protest against human propensity to deviate from it. It is rendered "testimonies." See Deu. 4:45; 6:17, 20, etc. Occurs 23 times.

4. WAY: Heb. derek: See Deu. 5:33. The course of conduct marked out by God's Law. Occurs 13 times.

5. JUDGMENT: Heb. mishpat: A verdict establishing a precedent; thus a divine commandment. Occurs 22 times.

6. PRECEPTS: Heb. piqqudim: Appointments or mandates, precepts or requests. Occurs 21 times.

7. COMMANDMENTS: Heb. mitsvahim: Definite, specific requirements 76 imposed authoritatively. Sometimes rendered "judgments." Occurs 23 times.

8. LAW: Heb. torah: denoting directions or instructions; a body of teaching, a system of law. Occurs 25 times.

9. STATUTES: Heb. chuqqim: an enactment, an appointment that must be kept. Occurs 21 times.

10. RIGHTEOUSNESS: Heb. tsedaqah or tsedeq: denoting righteousness, rectitude, justice, virtue. Thus, the fulfilment and keeping of the Law. It occurs 12 times.

Christian Kabbalah Christ in the Hebrew Alphabet

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