Hello, and welcome once again to “Concepts in Hebrew”, where we try to discuss particular passages from Scripture that are sometimes very difficult to translate into English, and sometimes even more difficult to understand in the light of our western culture.
Today, I would like to share some of my thoughts and insights on a Hebrew word that we translate into English as ‘word’, and that word from Hebrew is DAH VAHR, with the emphasis on the last syllable. The primary definition of this word, DAH VAHR, is one of order; or, to put things into their proper order; or, to bring them into their proper orderly arrangement. Dah-Vahr is used to establish to us, and in us, our proper orderly procession of life; whether it be in our thinking, walking out our Godliness, or being in right relationships with others. And, ‘dah-vahr’ has to do with the orderly arrangement of living that the Spirit of GOD is leading us into.
One of the references I would like to use to illustrate this principle is Genesis 12:4. This is the chapter where Abram is coming into consciousness of GOD, and a relationship with God. “And Abram departed as YHWH (the LORD) had spoken, or ‘dah-vahr’, unto him. And Lot went with him: Abram seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.” LORD, in all capital letters, almost always represents the word YHWH in Hebrew text. Gen. 12:4 tells us that Abram responded to what YHWH had ‘dah-vahr’ unto Abram. That is very important. It is my belief that the Spirit of GOD, communicating in Abram, gave him the understanding, the inclination and the gumption that it was time for Abram to move on, and begin seeking that city of GOD that he was really looking for, which was not a city established on the east coast of the Mediterranean sea. Abram was looking for that city whose builder and maker is GOD. He was never looking for a physical city; he always was looking for that spiritual land that YHWH was stirring up in him by the ‘dah-vahr’ of the LORD, WHICH IS the word of the LORD.
Also, in Genesis 15:1 we read, “and after these things, the ‘dah-vahr’, or ‘Word’ of YHWH came unto Abram in a vision to say unto him – “fear not Abram. I am your shield; your exceeding great reward”. In this case, the ‘dah-vahr’ came in a vision to Abram. This word, ‘dah-vahr’, is also translated in Proverbs 25:2. “The Glory of GOD is to conceal a thing (dah-vahr) but the honor of Kings is to search out a matter (dah-vahr)”. And incidentally, that word that we translated as “…search out”, from Hebrew, actually means “to excavate, to dig it up, or do whatever you have to do to unearth it and have access to it.” Obviously the most common and popular translation and application of ‘dah-vahr’ is simply as ‘word’, or ‘words’. And it is the Word of GOD that brings order, establishes order, declares to us what the order is, and then leads us into that order.
If a word that we hear is not bringing order or bringing us into order, then maybe that word is not the Word of GOD after all. For the Word of GOD always establishes the order of GOD. Sometimes ‘dah-vahr’ brings order to us by correction. And sometimes ‘dah-vahr’ brings order to us by separation. And sometimes it brings us order by illumination, by changing the way we think and changing the way we understand. But the end result of ‘dah-vahr’ is to always establish GOD in our thinking, in our presence and in our awareness.
Now, my favorite usage of this word – my favorite thought from this word – is from John 1:1. “In the beginning was ‘DAH VAHR’ and the DAH VAHR was with GOD and the DAH VAHR was GOD.” And we translated that thought into English as “word” – and it rightly communicates to us the presence of Jesus Christ, illustrating to us what the presence of GOD looks like in a man’s existence. So we translated it as word. “In the beginning was the Word”. So in the beginning was DAH VAHR, and that DAH VAHR is GOD’s divine presence. Because his presence always establishes his order. And in John 1:14: “And the word (or DAH VAHR) was made flesh and walked among us. And we beheld his glory - the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” In other words, to my understanding anyway, this is telling me that Jesus, showing up as the Word of GOD, as the DAH VAHR of GOD, was to illustrate in our own presence and in our own awareness, in a way we could understand and relate to what it looks like to be the man of GOD – based on the presence of the Word of GOD in that man.
I personally believe that the gospel of John was to introduce to us more accurately what it looks like to be a man of GOD who heard the word of GOD, and lived by the word of GOD, and could communicate the Word of GOD to those around him. To bring that DAH VAHR into his own experience, into his own walk, and to bring that DAH VAHR as his own identity, is what he illustrated in everything that he did. His walk, his talk and his communication with those around him – everything he had to give away to others - was to demonstrate the Word of GOD, based on the DAH VAHR of GOD.
Listen to this from John 5:24 “And he said ‘verily, verily’ – and in Hebrew he would have said ‘amen, amen (a double witness).’ I say to you – he who hears my DAH VAHR and he who believes in Him who sent me has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but is past from death into life already.” Now, I obviously added ‘already,’ but the implication is clear that if you hear GOD’s DAH VAHR and you believe on the one who sent Jesus Christ, and that he has everlasting life, then you’ve already passed from condemnation , for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
And in verse 25 he follows this up saying “Amen, Amen. I say onto you, the hour is coming and even now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the son of God. And they that hear shall live.” Now he is clearly saying that they will hear the word (dah-vahr) of God from the son of God. He’s not talking about the dead in the grave; he’s talking about people who were spiritually dead because they had no direct spiritual connection with God Himself. What they needed was the DAH VAHR, the orderly arrangement of the word of God, to return them and restore them to their right relationship with God –which God calls resurrection.
Well, he was obviously talking to the rulers and the religious leaders of his day. He was talking to men who wanted to rule over other men. And so in trying to drive this point home, when they questioned him further and they doubt Him, He says in John 5:38: “And you have not his ‘DAH VAHR’ abiding in you, for whom he has sent, him you believe not.” And in verse 39, he follows this up by saying, “You’ve searched the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life. And the scriptures are they which do testify of me.”
I think Jesus was saying to these people that “I am the Word of GOD; I am sent forth from the word of GOD, and if you don’t believe me it is because you do not have the Word of GOD within you.” Because in verse 39 he says: You constantly search the scriptures, thinking you will find eternal life, but all of those scripture are only testifying about me. All of those scriptures are the DAH VAHR of GOD that are testifying of me, Yashua haMashiach, Jesus who is the Christ. And in John 8:31, it says – “Then says Jesus to those Jews which believed on him: ‘If you continue in my DAH VAHR, then you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” I think it’s very interesting that Jesus did not say that truth would ‘set’ you free. I have heard for years people quoting: “The truth will set you free; the truth will set you free!” And they were never aware of what they were saying, because Truth is the DAH VAHR of GOD; and the DAH VAHR of GOD does not just set you free, it makes you free.
As I’ve said before – quoting someone else, I don’t know who said it – “Four walls do not a prison make.” A prison is in your mind and in your heart. It is the absence of the Word of GOD in a man that makes him a prisoner. And Jesus said in John 8:31: “If you continue in my DAH VAHR, you are my disciples indeed. And by continuing in my DAH VAHR, you shall know Truth, and Truth will make you a free man.” In John 6:63, Jesus is quoted as saying “it is the spirit that quickeneth. The flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak onto you are spirit and are life.” Now, he’s saying this to the disciples, in context of just a few sentences before. He is saying that as the father has sent me, and I live by the father, so he who eateth me, even he shall live by me. He had told them that he was the bread of heaven, the bread of life that had came down out of heaven. You must eat of my flesh and drink my blood. And he knew the disciples were struggling over this, and saying among themselves, “… this is a hard saying; we don’t understand.” He said – it is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak unto you are Spirit, and are alive.” The ‘Dah-Vahreem’ (which is the plural form of ‘Dah-Vahr’) of God is Spirit and it is life – so much so that to follow this up in John 10:32, where the religious leaders were doing battle with Jesus over his words and His very presence, and He asked them: “what good work are you going to stone me for today?” And they responded, “We do not stone you for good work, but because you blaspheme and because you, being a man, make yourself GOD.”
And in John 10:34, Jesus answered them: “Is it not written in your law…”, and notice that he did not say ‘my law’. He says to these jews who wanted to live by a written law, “Is it not written in your law, “I have said ‘you are GODs’” And in John 10:35 He quotes, “If He called them gods to whom the DAH VAHR had come, and the scripture cannot be broken.” And so Jesus is clearly saying to them –“you search the scriptures and think that you’ve found life in them.” And there is life in them, but not life by the legal letter. It is Life by the Spirit that is in the DAH VAHR of GOD. There is only ‘death’ in a legal letter. So Yashuah was telling them, “If He, GOD, calls them Gods because the DAH VAHR of GOD has come into them, and scripture can’t be broken, then why do you want to stone me?
And there’s one more reference I would like to use to try to illustrate this point in John 15:7: He said “If you abide in me and my word abide in you”; if my DAH VAHR - DAH VAHREEM is the plural, abide in you, “…you shall ask what you will and it shall be done to you.”
Now, in my humble opinion, Jesus is clearly laying out to those He came to call that it is the Word of GOD, the DAH VAHR of GOD, the orderly arrangement of GOD that was going to fix their condition. That they were religious, yes; that they kept many rituals, yes; but they had no life abiding within themselves because they did not hear the DAH VAHR of GOD, as the spirit of GOD, bringing back order into their own personal experiences. I’m convinced that it is the Word of GOD is in each one of us that corrects us, that points us in the right direction, and gives us the orderly arrangement for conducting our lives- not only with our Father, but with each other.
Jesus narrowed Life down to two things: He said, “You shall love the Lord your GOD with all your body, soul, and spirit”; and He said the other is like it; “You shall love your neighbor as self”. That is orderly arrangement. That is GOD in action; between you and GOD, and between me and you.
Now as an afterthought, to try to follow up on this, I want to say this to put a little icing on the cake. I want to take you back to Exodus, because we have referenced to us from Exodus the introduction of what we call the Ten Commandments. And when I discovered this word DAH VAHR, I discovered that in the original Hebrew language GOD never gave Moses Ten Commandments, but He gave to them ten words, Ten Dah-Vahreem(plural), or ten orderly arrangements. And you can look this up for yourself; all you need is a Strong’s Concordance and you can look these things up and verify if what I’m telling you is accurate. But what GOD wanted to give to the Israelites was not a list of commandments; because the word that is translated as ‘commandment’ is the Hebrew word TZAH-VAH, and that actually means to apply to yourself, externally, a rule or a regulation to try to correct your internal behavior.
And that’s all a commandment can do. A commandment is an external binding, or limitation, to try to keep you from doing things you shouldn’t do. GOD never gave the Israelites Ten Commandments. He gave to them ten DAH VAHREEM; Ten Words. And when you understand Biblical Hebrew, and you read it in that context, then the Ten Commandments take on a completely different light. They sound different. They smell different. They taste different and feel different, because you realize that GOD was giving them ten orderly arrangements for Life; and He did not give to them a list of dos and don’ts, but it was a way of understanding the character and nature of the God that had established covenant relationship with them. And in our carnal thinking, or religious thinking, we are so programmed to believe that GOD gave us commandments that we have to keep. And so we walk constantly through our lives – many of us, or most of us, – thinking that the commandments that GOD requires, we have never been able to fully keep well enough to suit GOD, or to suit our fellow men.
Religion has told us, over and over and over again, that if we break the commandments we have to pay the punishment. That’s not what this Dah-Vahr is saying. The ten orderly arrangements are the ten ways of expressing GOD in your daily relationship; from you to GOD, and you to me; and from me to GOD, and me to you. If we understand those orderly arrangements, then we realize that most of those arrangements have already been established in our hearts, because GOD told Jeremiah “I will do something they could never think of; I’ll write this on their hearts”. You see, GOD is an inside Job. The Spirit of GOD that is in us, by his DAH VAHR, is our orderly arrangement. It is our right relationship with one another. It is our way of fellowship. It is how we illustrate, to those who do not know GOD, what it is like to walk daily with our GOD.
God said, “I will write my Law on their hearts, and the DAH VAHR of GOD, written on their hearts, will make them the people of GOD. And the LORD GOD says, “… and I will be their GOD and they shall be my people.” When my word, or my DAH VAHR, is written on their hearts then the Spirit of me, in my Words in them, will be their conduct. That will be the way they live out their lives; that is the way they will relate to themselves, and to those around them. That is indeed how they will show to the world, to those who do not know GOD as their Father, what it is like to have a right relationship with God as Father. Because when the world sees that, they will know that is also what they have been looking for. Everyone is hungry for the same thing. It’s just that, in Christianity, we’ve turned the love of GOD into a religion, and demanded that others keep the same religious rules and rituals that we do. That’s not what GOD intended. He sent Jesus Christ to put us back in a right relationship with GOD so that we can have a right relationship with each other. Because when I see GOD in your walk, that makes me hungry for the word of GOD as well; and makes me want that as well.
I hope you will consider this word, DAH VAHR, and maybe have it become a part of your thinking to the extent that, when you read the scriptures, and when you come across the word translated ’word, or words’, that it is the Word of GOD, the DAH VAHR, the orderly arrangement. When you read through the gospel of John and you see all the times Jesus said ‘word’ or ‘words’, He is actually describing the DAH-VAHR of GOD, the Order of God, the orderly arrangement in our thinking, based on what you see Him do, and say. Jesus said, “I only do what my father tells me to do; I only act according to my Father’s DAH VAHR; I only say according to my Father’s DAH VAHR; I only go where My Father tells me to go, based on God’s Dah-Vahr.
And so I’m going to leave you with this last thought. In John 8:31 the verse tells us; ‘then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, “If you continue in my DAH VAHR, my word, you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Remember as I said before; the Truth doesn’t set you free, because if the Truth only ‘sets’ you free, then you can be bound up or tripped up and put back into jail. You can be trapped, again, in a mental and spiritual bondage. But, if My Word abides in you, then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free; and then no man can deceive you.
Thank you for listening. I hope something we’ve said today blesses you, and ministers to you, and until we get a chance to meet again, I bid you
Shalom and Shalom! Alan
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