I know, I know, I'm a day late. But, wow, it's been an insanely busy week. I'm just glad I'm getting a post up this week at all...
This week's Hebrew letter is Teth, and begins each of the verses in Ps 119: 65 -72, which the NIV 84 renders as:
Do good to your servant according to your word, O LORD.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.
You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.
Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
I think this time I'm going to do the Hebrew Dictionary Dive before I comment...
I actually made an attempt to do a facsimile of the Hebrew listed on biblestudytools.com, so I could match the actual location in the sentence to the Strongs numbers listed. Boy, that's a challenge.
I did, however, see one set of letters...that I would reproduce if I had easy access to a Hebrew font...that repeated over and over as a prefix to several words. The letter sequence is Ayin-Samekh-Thau....I think. There's very little difference between He, Heth, Tau and Thau and I'm not sure what I wrote down. My scribbles really aren't precise enough. But, in doing the facsimile, I noticed the repeated prefixes...that I missed when I was just looking up the words that actually had numbers associated with them.
Those prefixes do not have any numbers.
Plus, there was one word that I simply could not find in the verse in which it was listed. I looked and looked at the Hebrew spelling in the dictionary, and at what was listed as the verse written in Hebrew and I could not find that particular set of characters, but...there are tenses and prefixes and suffixes and I'm not entirely sure there aren't typos in the interlinear Hebrew text as the Strongs numbers frequently appear in the midst of the Hebrew. So, I am considering this all with a very large grain of salt.
But it's still fascinating to dig in and look at the different shades of meaning. Even if the pronouns and prepositions are something of a guess.
You have agreeably fashioned your servant by your word.
Good judgement and discernment teach me because in your commandment [I] stand firm.
Before, I was occupied; going astray, but henceforth I have kept your word.
You are good and do good; teach me actions prescribed for me!
[I] have been plastered over with deception by the presumptuous; [but I guard] your precepts with the totality of my inner being.
Their inner being is insensitive from excess, but I delight myself in the body of your instruction.
[It has been] good for me since I have been humbled for the purpose of learning the actions prescribed for me.
The body of instruction from your mouth is better than a thousand (pieces of?) gold and silver.
5 out of the 8 of these verses begin with the Hebrew word 'Twob', which is translated 'Good' or 'Better'.
It may be that I'm deliberately picking out the more personal of the possible translations, but I see so much emphasis on 'the way prescribed for me'...that the Psalmist is not just asking God to instruct Him in God's general laws and precepts, but in the very boundaries that God wants to place in his own, specific, life.
That's relationship. Intimate and personal.
Yes, Lord, teach me in the way prescribed for me...