Faith Lesson 6: BATAH בָּטח in the Qal Perfect and Participle

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.


BTH in the Qal Perfect

Our next root, lemma or stem is BTH or BATAH. Its root meaning is “to trust,” “to throw one’s cares on someone,” hence “to lean upon,” or “to confide in.” [Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 98 (Vol. 98, Page 497). Dallas Theological Seminary.] The first use category we’ll look at is verbal, of which the first category is the active voice conjugation. In the active voice, the subject of the action produces the action. The first of these is the Qal, the simplest of the Hebrew tenses. In the Qal, BTH means to trust, rely on, put confidence in, i.e., believe in a person or object to the point of reliance upon. Under this is the Qal perfect, which indicates completed action. So, this first passage illustrates use of the lemma BTH as a verb in the Qal active voice, in the perfect tense. This first passage well illustrates the concept of “trust,” and “reliance upon.” The entire passage illustrates it well:

He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. 2 Kings 18:5

The word “trust” characterized King Hezekiah, who was one of the most honorable kings of Judah. The object of his trust was the Lord, God of Israel. This meant that he relied upon Him totally for every aspect of his leadership. One demonstration of that trust was his destruction of every remnant of idol worship in the land. So intent was he to destroy any semblance of idol worship that he even destroyed the bronze serpent that Moses had made. The people were evidently offering incense to it. This just goes to show, on one hand, how faithful

Hezekiah was to the Lord, not fearing any reprisal from such destruction and on the other just how fickle the people were and how they misunderstood the Lord.

The perfect tense indicates that the action of Hezekiah’s trust was accomplished or fulfilled. He had the faith creating doctrine in his soul making his trust in the Lord a reality even despite his circumstances. Later in Hezekiah’s reign, Assyria threatened Judah. The people justly deserved discipline, but because of Hezekiah’s trust, the Lord delivered Judah. This passage well illustrates the principle of BATAH, because he literally presented his care of Israel to the Lord in light of the threat and rested in the Lord’s promise of deliverance.

You may remember the Assyrian agent Rabshakah challenging Hezekiah’s trust in the Lord. We’ll be taking up more of this story in a moment to illustrate another use of BTH.

BTH in the Qal Passive Participial

Now, let’s continue with the Qal passive participial of BTH. The passive voice, again, means that the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb. So the subject receives the action of the verb. This is the adjectival use of the participle which means “confident,” or “trusting,” i.e., pertaining to placing reliance in a person or object. Our passage is Psalm 112:7:

He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7

In this passage the Psalmist lists five blessings that the Lord bestows upon the person whose priority in life is knowing Him. The previous verses list physical and material prosperity, doctrinal enlightenment (if your priority is learning to love the Lord, He will provide you with a pastor who will lead you there), comfort in times of pressure (He will not give you a life without pressure or adversity, but comfort. Comfort is the assurance that the pressure you are undergoing is within God’s will and for your benefit.), capacity for generosity, discernment of justice, and here, lack of fear because of trust in the Lord.

What are the mechanics of this dynamic? Trusting in the Lord is not an automatic result from belief in Christ, but only comes with the day by day building up of doctrine in your soul. Our sin nature natural tendency is only to place trust in those things that we see or sense physically. This is where faith comes in. As you get to know the Lord from doctrine, what you see pales in comparison to what you know of Him from doctrine. As you build capacity from epignosis knowledge of Him, any fear is pushed out of your soul because of your love for Him. Fear and love cannot reside in the same soul. Virtue love pushes out fear:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

The fear in this verse can refer to any type of fear, from fear of your circumstances, from bad news and how it might affect you to fear related to peer pressure in social situations.

This next use of BTH is again the Qal passive participle but it is an absolute construction which means that syntactically, the participial phrase can be dropped without harming the sentence structure. Its removal doesn’t harm the sentence structure but it would remove the key to having perfect peace!

Whose mind is set on You, You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

Again, to trust in God is to be in a mental state whereby you don’t question His plan for your life, even on a day-to-day basis. I have recently viewed the film, “Gods and Generals” the first of a Civil War Trilogy by Turner Films. It wonderfully illustrates this principle in the life of Gen. TJ Jackson of the Confederacy. One of his adjutants asked him how he could be so fearless in the heat of battle with bullets flying around. He replied something to the effect that the Lord could take him just as easily in bed as He could in battle. You don’t question His provision for you but rely upon it totally.

Just how do you arrive to this point in your thinking? You must study the Word of God daily while under the filling of the ministry of the Spirit. In this way, your thinking will slowly change from that which you were born with, that you gained from your education and culture to that of God. He has a structure of thought for you by which He blesses you and you fulfill His plan for your life. That plan is characterized by the concept of trust in Him, totally reliance upon Him. This thought structure is more than likely contrary to the popular cultural thought, even if the country you were raised in was founded upon Christian principles!

So, the lesson we learn from this use of BTH is that trusting in God is a mental activity that results from changing your thinking. It is impossible apart from the teaching of the Word of God while in the state of spirituality. Don’t expect to have your thinking changed and being able to fulfill trust in Him at the drop of the hat! It is a day by day exercise! The dividends from trust in God are absolutely fantastic: Total assurance that your life has meaning, and that you are following His plan for your life.

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Faith Lesson 5: Aman as an Adverb, Noun, and Adjective

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.


AMN used as an Adverb

AMN is used as an adverb several times in Deuteronomy 27:15-26.  In these and other passages it means, “I believe it.” When you say “Amen” either at the end of your prayer or out of an emotional response during the preaching service, you are saying that you have a hard rock foundation upon which you have built your perception of that fact as reality. You believe it!

AMN Substantival Use: Noun

The next use of AMN is substantival. It is translated as “faithfulness” in Isaiah 25:1.
O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. Isaiah 25:1
The idea of support is also seen in 2 Kings 18:16, where it refers to pillars of support. It means “support,” “to use someone as a prop,” a “crutch;” “to use someone else to be supported:”
At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the door posts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria. 2 Kings 18:16

AMN used as an Adjective

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.


In this passage, AMN is used as an adjective. It is translated, “faithful.”
I am of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You are seeking to destroy a city, even a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?  2 Samuel 20:19.
The meaning of AMN in this verse is reliable, loyal or faithful. This is a part of a speech from an influential and wise woman in a certain walled city where Sheba, a rebel was holding out. He had fomented a rebellion of Israelites against David just after his victory over Absalom. Joab, David’s former commander-in-chief, who had just murdered the current commander-in-chief, was preparing to lay siege to this city to quell the Shebian rebellion. Needless to say, the politics of David’s recovery from the Absalom revolution was thick. But this lady, trying to keep her city from becoming laid to waste by Joab’s army wanted to know why he was going against a loyal city. Joab told her that all he wanted was Sheba to quell the Israelite rebellion against David, so the authorities in that city found Sheba and threw his head over the city wall. Joab then returned to Jerusalem allowing David to continue to consolidate his post rebellion power. What a mess we humans create when we ignore God’s leadership!

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Faith Lesson 4 – AMN in the Niphal Imperfect

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.


The next verbal form we’ll look at is the niphal stem which is the passive form of the qal, where the subject receives the action of the verb. This next verse uses the niphal imperfect which refers to incomplete action. The imperfect is commonly translated into the English as a past tense because completed actions occur in the past time. In this particular verse, the verbal form is imperfect but the meaning is identified in the morphological guide as being jussive in meaning. Jussive verbs act as mandates. In this verse, Joseph, seeing his brother for the first time since his betrayal, questions their integrity:

“…and bring your youngest brother to me, so your words may be verified, and you will not die.” And they did so. Genesis 42:20

Were they being honest to him? Were their words grounded in reality; grounded in integrity? Did they care about their youngest brother or were they willing to treat Benjamin as badly as they had him? The NASB translates the AMN as “may be verified” but the Hebrew carries a strong command connotation which is open ended. Though the concept of AMN is trust worthiness, the jussive niphal imperfect questions the concept. An interpretive translation reads this way. You might pound the arms of your easy chair and yell a bit when you read this to get the entire concept! “Bring your brother here! Show me your honesty! You better be telling me the truth or all of you will die!”

This same form is found in 1 Kings 8:26:

Now therefore, O God of Israel, let Your word, I pray, be confirmed which You have spoken to Your servant, my father David. 1 Kings 8:26

This is an excerpt from King Solomon’s dedication prayer at the new temple he had built. “Be confirmed” is the Niphal imperfect, also jussive in meaning. It is rhetorical because Solomon is asking God to demonstrate His integrity by fulfilling a promise He had made to David. Solomon has here in mind one particular point in the promise…that God would not withdraw His mercy from the seed of David, even when it sinned. This is evident from what follows, where he mentions simply cases of transgression, and prays that they may be forgiven. [Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (2002). Commentary on the Old Testament. (Vol. 3, Page 89-90). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.] We can also understand that this is rhetorical because Solomon recognized that God was fulfilling an aspect of the Davidic covenant, after all, wasn’t he on the throne despite his own sins?

In 1 Chronicles 17:23 we find the same form, translated as “be established, reflecting the passive voice:

Now, O Lord, let the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as You have spoken. 1 Chronicles 17:23

This is one of King David’s prayers, where AMN is used in much the same connotation, as a rhetorical petition of God. The greater context of this passage reveals that this is an incredible prayer of thanksgiving to God and the recognition of His absolute awesome faithfulness.

In this next verse, the concept is being cared for or carried. It is a millennial prophecy of the return of the dispersed to Israel.

Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms. Isaiah 60:4
The NASB translation of AMN is “carried in the arms,” which is literally “nursed at your side.” It is the custom in the mid-East to carry the children on one’s hip, with the arms around the body. This portrays the literal concept of dependable and lasting support. How many parents drop their children while carrying them!

AMN in the Niphal Participle

The next several verses illustrate the use of AMN as Niphal participles. In the Niphal participle AMN means, to be faithful, sure, and dependable. The participial form denotes a continued state. It is used to describe a mature believer, God, His Word and His Covenant:

Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household. Numbers 12:7

AMN is translated, as a verbal participle, “is faithful.” The Lord is scolding Miriam and Aaron who had rebelled against Moses’ authority. He described Moses as being so faithful, that He spoke to him face to face which not even the prophets were honored to experience. After establishing the incredible relationship Moses had with the Lord, He asked them, “so why aren’t you afraid to criticize him?” Miriam was given a case of leprosy as a disciplinary measure. As a result of Moses’ intercession, she was cured and taken back into the camp after seven days.

Another verse which demonstrates the use of AMN as a Niphal participle is 1 Sam 2:35:

But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always. 1 Samuel 2:35

In this passage Samuel was firing the current priest family. Those involved in the priesthood had violated its conditions of existence. God was to establish another line of priests from another of Aaron’s descendents, but ultimately, the Priest prophesied about here is our Lord Jesus Christ. This verse uses the same form of AMN twice: once to describe the priest, the other to describe the house!

This form is also used to describe that upon which all certainty rests: God himself:

Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving-kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9

It also describes His covenant:

My loving-kindness I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall be confirmed to him. Psalm 89:28

AMN in the Hiphil and Niphal

One interesting illustration of the relationship between “belief” and “last” or “being established” is seen in Isaiah 7:9. Both of these words are built upon the AMN root. The historical situation of this verse is this: King Ahaz is told that unless he believes (Hiphil) he will not be established (Niphal). This is the prophet’s Isaiah’s message to King Ahaz of Judah who was being threatened by an alliance of the Northern Kingdom, Israel and Aram, against Judah. Ahaz was told that the alliance would not succeed. However, he did not believe this. Isaiah told him to ask for a confirmation sign from the Lord so that he would believe the prophecy. Ahaz refused to do so. Sounding pious, he said that he didn’t want to “test” the Lord. Actually, he had no intention of believing the prophet. Isaiah gave him one anyway. This prophecy or sign given to Ahaz and to the rest of the Kingdom was fulfilled years later in the birth of our Lord. The fact that Ahaz did not believe resulted in great judgment upon Judah, but sometime later. The verse reads this way:

If you will not believe (Hiphil), you surely shall not last (Niphal).” Isaiah 7:9b

The principle that we can derive from this statement is this: without faith you will have no stability.

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Faith Lesson 3: AMN as a Hiphil Imperfect

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.


AMN as a Hiphil Imperfect

In these next two passages, this same lemma is used in the Hiphil imperfect, designating an incomplete action. It usually expresses things which haven’t happened…yet, so can be translated with the future tense. [A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar Page 359]

When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses. Exodus 14:31

Now, maybe I can be accused of taking the tenses and uses of the words too seriously. I think Moses could have used the perfect tense here if he had wanted. Why did he use the imperfect here instead of the perfect? The faith which they gained from the miracle of the Dead Sea crossing didn’t last them! Faith gained from miracles doesn’t last! All of those people who crossed the Dead Sea were believers in Jesus Christ. But salvation faith is not the issue here. The issue was the faith upon which they to build upon their salvation. We’ve studied this previously as the Faith Rest Drill. They were to have added that miracle to the inventory of God’s provision and based their lives upon it. However, they went into a non-faith mode just as soon as the next disaster, or actually, a test of their faith, overtook them. Their faith was incomplete because they were not mixing the acts of God on their behalf with faith. Had they done so, then God’s provision and care for them would have been a greater reality than the tests they underwent. Their so-called disasters were still more real to them than God’s faithfulness to them. Their faith never became complete so every adult who left Egypt, except two, would die the sin face to face with death. Don’t let this happen to you! Use your volition and mix your faith with the Word of God communicated from the pulpit and complete your faith! Our purpose in this church, of course, is to bring your faith to completion, to a state of “teleiosis!” Their faith was never completed.

Another Hiphil imperfect:

Then Moses said, ‘What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ Exodus 4:1

This unbelief is open-ended, incomplete, not cast in stone yet. Given evidence, they may yet come to believe in Moses leadership, then follow him out of Egypt.

AMAN as a Hiphil Participle

This same Hebrew stem is used as a Hiphil participle:

But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God… Deuteronomy 1:32

In this verse, AMN is translated as “trust.” It is the verbal use of the Hiphil participle, but it refers to the content of soul which these believers should have had by which they would come to trust God. In this passage, Moses is recalling the many miracles God accomplished for them, how He delivered them over and over again, how He had given them military victories, provided food and water, and excellent doctrinal teaching and so on. All of these things, which Moses said, “…but for all of this, you don’t have the content of soul to put your confidence in God.”

Another use of AMN in the Hiphil participle:

Therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.’ Isaiah 28:16

In this passage, the participle is used as a substantive, acting as a noun, meaning, “the one who believes.” This passage is a part of a warning to the southern kingdom of Judah. In the face of an Assyrian invasion, the tendency was to establish a mutual protection treaty with whomever they could. They did with Egypt, who, ended out, doing nothing for them when disaster struck. The solution was to believe in the Lord, first for salvation, then to build upon that foundation knowledge of God, establishing within the soul of every believer, a fulfilled spiritual life. The spiritual life in that dispensation was the faith rest drill. The ones who did this, who fulfilled their faith, wouldn’t be scurrying around for human solutions to an impending invasion but would have the ability to relax in the Lord’s provision and protection. The key was for a goodly number of people to do this, creating a pivot of mature believers for the nation. Isaiah warned against human solutions, not with a threat, but with the promise of salvation and deliverance!

Those who believe in God’s deliverance, that is believers, will be able to stand firm in the face of the Assyrian threat. The Costly Cornerstone is a reference to our Lord. The word, disturbed, in this verse has a range of meanings, from “fleeing in a panic from disaster” to “ashamedness.” This same idea is echoed in Romans 9:33, and 1 Peter 2:6: “he who rests on Him shall not have the shame of disappointment, nor flee in sudden panic.”

AMN in the Hiphil Imperative

This next verse demonstrates the variety of uses you can find in one verse. In this verse, this lemma is used twice in the hiphil imperative and once in niphal imperfect:

They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” 2 Chronicles 20:20

Before we look at the uses of AMN in this verse, let’s take a look at the historical background of this passage. Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, the king of the southern kingdom of Judah, from 819 -790 BC. Joshua took the Israelites into the Promised Land in 1405 BC. As you can see from this time line, the battle described in this passage occurred quite sometime after Israel’s initial conquest of the land. The Moabites, Amonites and Meunites had invaded Judah. Evidently, Judah was badly out-numbered and probably out-weaponed as well. Jehoshaphat being a man of God, a mature believer, didn’t go into an emotional panic but went right to the Lord. In his prayer of intercession, recorded in verse three, he immediately sought the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout the land. In his prayer, he cited the fact that God had not allowed the original settlers to defeat them in battle but had told them to avoid those groups of people. Now, he said, those people were rewarding them by, finally, coming up against them, seeking to destroy them. So, Jehoshaphat said this:

O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You. 2 Chronicles 20:12

This was a man of faith! He understood that God had the ability to destroy the enemy apart from the normal defensive use of his forces. After praying, he rested in the Lord. A Levite, Jahaziel, with the gift of prophecy, prophesied victory for Jehoshaphat. He emphasized that the battle was the Lords and that the army need not fight, but just to take up battle positions. The next morning, they went out and stationed themselves as the Lord had commanded. Then Jehoshaphat rallied the troops and choir with this statement recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:20. The choir was prepared for battle along with the troops? His choir was placed between the troops and the enemy!

Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed. 2 Chronicles 20:20

Again, two of the uses of AMN here are hiphil imperatives. Both uses are translated: “put your trust in.” The meaning behind these mandates is fairly obvious and easily applicable to us in this Church Age. This is a mandate to recall and apply the doctrinal content you have in your soul. The fact that Jehoshaphat used this as a rallying cry to his army and choir before they went out to do battle doesn’t dispel the fact that they had to have the necessary doctrine in their souls before they went out. Jehoshaphat wasn’t mandating that they participate in a quick pre-battle Bible class, to result in confidence and trust in the Lord. This was a mandate for them to recall what he knew they already had.

The process that prepares you for the crisis is day by day study of the Word. Trusting the Lord is a structure of thought in your soul that you develop over a period of time from getting to know the Lord from doctrinal inculcation. Jehoshaphat had previously charged the priests and prophets to teach the Word throughout the land, which they did, so these people were prepared to take on the enemy both spiritually and mentally. They had confidence in the Lord who didn’t allow them to fight, but did the job Himself. Had you been in the shoes of a soldier in that army; had you not been able to see what you didn’t see with your senses, that is, God’s provision, then you would have been tempted to run. Can you imagine being in that choir, preparing to sing while facing an overwhelming number of the enemy. Have you ever tried to carry a tune under that kind of pressure? These people had confidence in the Lord’s promise of deliverance to the degree that they remained on the battle line and sang! With this kind of confidence in the Lord, you would have understood that the Lord would do the fighting in a way you may not have expected. Jehoshaphat sent his choir out in front of the army to sing, which they did, then, according to the Scripture:

…the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. 2 Chronicles 20:22

They all killed each other. No one survived. So massive was the enemy force that it took three days to transport all of the booty back to Jerusalem! So, the Lord delivered Judah because their faith. They saw by means of faith that God would deliver them! They believed and trusted in the prophecy from the Lord and had gained understanding of His integrity from the teachings they had received from the priests and prophets.

The other use of AMN in this verse is the niphal imperfect, which we will deal with a bit later. It means, “to be established,” referring to the stability of soul which spiritual maturity brings.

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Faith Lesson 2: Etymology of Faith/ AMEN

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.


B. Etymology: Descriptive Words and Verses They Appear In

Before we look at the languages, I want to give you the structure of this part of our study. First, let me describe the format of the Hebrew word studies, since that is where I am currently in the study of. I plan to use this same structure for all etymological studies we will involve ourselves in from now on. We derive doctrinal principles from the text at different levels of word use, from lemma or root definition, grammar, syntax and verse context. The first level in the Hebrew is that of the Lemma or stem. The vast majority of these in the Hebrew consist of 3 consonants. This is where we begin when we look at a doctrinal principle. Once we establish the meaning of the lemma or stem, we’ll look at derivative words. There are two broad categories of these words, verbal and substantival. Under those two broad categories, I will also place their modifiers, such as adverbial use under the verbal category, adjectival under the substantival… although an adverb can modify an adjective and so on. There are exceptions, however. Under the verbal use of the lemmas, we’ll take a look at the active, passive and middle/reflexive voices and the stems that indicate them. Each of those stems often indicates a shade of meaning. Finally, there are those principles which are presented by means of periphrasis, that is, principles which are not presented in a single word but are described be means of a group of words.

This is where syntax and verse context come in to play. Does this sound somewhat complex? Well, hopefully, my presentation of it won’t be too complex. But why do we need to go into all of this? Whenever we look at subjects categorically, it should build within your soul an organized structure to build doctrines in. Again, it is to give you a firmer foundation for what you believe. It should also deepen your understanding of doctrines you already know.


AMAN in the Qal Conjugation: Participle

Looking at the Hebrew, the first lemma or stem we’ll investigate is AMN, which consists of ALEPH, MEM and NUN: I only have the consonants of the root here and not the vowel markings, prefixes or suffixes. Those changes determine its morphology, that is, its form and its syntax; how it is used in a sentence. The root meaning of these three consonants is firmness or certainty. First, let’s see how this lemma is used as a verb.

The first verbal use we’ll look at is the active voice, where the subject of the action produces the action of the verb. The first of these is the Qal where it expresses the basic concept of support. A good illustration of this basic meaning is the strong arms of the parent supporting the helpless baby. It isn’t just a quick pick up and put down, the concept being continued support. To really magnify this principle, the only way this lemma occurs in the Qal is as a participle which expresses continuance. The Qal expresses support to which we add the participial concept of continuance. Note how the meaning of the lemma can be emphasized or strengthened by its morphology. When you add continuance to the concept of support you arrive at the concept of continual, unfailing support. The occurrences of the Qal participle are always substantival, that is they act as nouns. Let’s look at a couple of them. Note that the participle describes a category of person we always expect to be dependable, characterized by caring and reliance.

Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse (literally: foster-father) carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’? Numbers 11:12

The context of this verse is Moses’ exasperation at the behavior of the Hebrew people he was leading into the Promised Land. The Qal participle is “nurse,” or more accurately “foster-father.” As far as our purpose goes, a nurse or foster-father is one who is always there, always providing selfless care. The nurse or foster father is faithful in providing for his or her charges. Now, Moses used this term in exasperation, not gently at all. As a matter of fact, the Lord provided him a layer of management to take some pressure off of him after this complaint.

Another use of the Qal participle:

Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. Ruth 4:16

The child referred to here was Obed, King David’s grandfather, so also a distant ancestor of the humanity of our Lord. He was born to Ruth and Boaz, continuing the line leading to our Lord. What a ministry Naomi took on when she informally took on the role of nurse to Obed. Again, this Qal participle describes someone who is selfless, always providing care to the best of their ability. Her care for Obed serves as an example for every grandparent! Whenever a grandparent takes responsibility, even partial responsibility for a grandchild’s rearing, that care is an application of doctrine toward the future of that nation. A sure way for a grandparent to pass on doctrinal values to that child, to the next generation, is by caring for it. Not only is it a means of passing family solidarity to the next generation, but by that care, the child can be protected from outside influences when the influence the child needs is doctrinal. There is no better way for a grandparent to invest in their own eternal future, because God rewards that service as a part of Christian service. So, not only does this care have temporal ramifications, but eternal as well. There are those who allege that a couple should never bring a child into this world that may cause a strain to an already hectic schedule of child raising, often necessitating grandparent care. But note that the historic pattern for raising children always has included the grandparents. For it is often they who pass down more doctrinal instruction than to parents! Our short study of Timothy illustrated this principle. Note, also, that Scripture never takes for granted the birth of a child, regarding each individual as the Lord’s special work of creation for which He always plans and provides perfectly.

 AMAN in the Hiphil Perfect

The Hiphil conjugation also falls into the active voice category. It indicates the causative sense of those verbs occurring in the Qal, basically meaning, “to cause to be certain or sure,” “to be certain about,” or “to be assured about.” In this sense this word in the Hiphil conjugation refers to faith, and “shows that biblical faith is an assurance, a reality, a certainty, in contrast with modem concept of faith as something that is possible, hopefully true, but not certain.” [Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Page 51] Uses of the Hiphil conjugation fall into two categories, the perfect and imperfect. The perfect indicates completed action, normally expressing something that has actually occurred. Now, let’s look at a couple of verses where the lemma AMN is used in the hiphil perfect:

The hiphil in Genesis 15:6 uses AMN for the salvation of Abraham, meaning to use God as a prop and foundation:

Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6

Abraham was caused to believe in that he was given the Gospel message which was applicable to his dispensation. He responded to the Gospel of our Lord, as He was then revealed to him, because he had the soul structure to respond to the perfect authority of God the Holy Spirit revealing Gospel information to him. The perfect tense indicates that he only had to do this once and his salvation, his deliverance from the lake of fire, was complete. Abraham believed at one point in time, and then God the Father imputed His righteousness to him, sealing his salvation, for once and for all time. This application of the perfect tense shoots down the false belief of those Christian denominations that allege that salvation can be lost by an act of sin. A human being can never undo what God, in His perfect integrity, has done! Once you believe in Jesus Christ, no one can take that salvation from you. Not even you!

The next passage uses the hiphil perfect in the negative:

They told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.”But he was stunned, for he did not believe them. Genesis 45:26

The immediate context for this passage is Joseph’s father being told that his second to youngest son was alive and ruler in Egypt. Immediately after he was given the news of Joseph, Jacob didn’t initially believe them, but, according to the Scripture, was stunned. His emotions took over and he was not even in a state where he could think. This is a normal human response, certainly. He didn’t come to, so to speak, until he saw everything Joseph had sent them. So, in this passage, the action of his unbelief or probably, better yet, non comprehension was complete until he saw evidence to the contrary. When anyone is being controlled by their emotions, they cannot think. Belief must always be a result of thought, not emotion. The same holds true for the function of faith in any believer. You can’t decide to believe the Gospel resulting in salvation from your emotions. You decide to believe based upon you understanding of the work our Lord did upon the cross. Esau sought salvation with his emotions, or tears, the Scripture says, but it was of no avail. The same pattern holds true for the application of faith during your day-to-day spiritual life. You cannot recall and apply doctrine if you are over come, and therefore, controlled by your emotions. Doctrinal application requires clear thinking!

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Faith Lesson 1: Introduction to Faith

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.


Updated 10/05/12
A. Faith Defined and Other Related Subjects                
B. Hebrew Vocabulary                                              
            1. A M N אָמַן……
            2. BTH בָּטח
            3. H S H חָסָה…….
            4. Y CH L  יָחַל……
         5. Q W H  קוה
A. Faith Defined and Other Related Subjects

Basically there are three systems of human perception. There are three ways we learn things: faith, rationalism and empiricism. Both the Rationalist and Empiricist say that no one can know things directly but grasp knowledge by means of impressions made. These impressions are the phenomena upon which all knowledge is built. Rationalism is concerned with the impressions made on the intellect, the thinking, while Empiricism with impressions made upon the senses. The foundational question of both systems is this: Can we, as knowing subjects, be certain of the existence of known objects? If so, to what extent can we be certain of their existence?

The Rationalist seeks answers by deduction or reasoning while Empiricists, scientific induction from observation. The rationalist says that reality is what you think to be true, that the truth can best be discovered by reason and factual analysis, rather than faith or religious teaching. Empiricism is knowledge from perception by observation and experience rather than by theory. To the empiricist, all ideas are derived from phenomena detected by the eyes, ears, nose, touch, etc, having no innate or a priori conceptions [Wikipedia].

Faith, though really put down by the modern intellectual, is the foundation for all learning. The simplest way to define faith is to say that it accepting as true what you are taught. Faith, therefore, requires a system of authority, the teacher, and response to that authority, humility, on the part of the student. Faith is foundational because your entire system of language is formed in your thinking by means of faith. You are taught a system of language when your mind is most pliable, then you build everything else upon that. You do use both rationalism and empiricism throughout your life as you accomplish your human endeavors.

Despite what the modern intellectual says though, faith is the most important system of perception, firstly, because it is foundational to the perception of all knowledge and secondly because it is only through faith, that you come to perceive what is beyond the five or six human senses, and beyond human reason, that is, the greater reality of divine truth. When you place your faith in Jesus Christ, you begin to understand as you grow spiritually, that God’s creation, the total reality of it, goes far beyond what you see. The entire spiritual life, what as a believer, you base your life on, is invisible to the senses and far supersedes anything that can be detected by our senses or thought of on our own. With that last sentence, I have put empiricism and rationalism in a subordinate position. You do use them, but they are subordinate to faith, based upon faith.

Faith, by its very nature, is a non-meritorious system of perception. When you learn, using faith, you must be humble or teachable and have confidence in the one in authority, their veracity. Faith is not based on your own knowledge, as is rationalism or upon your own observations, as in empiricism, but the “faithist” looks outside of himself for verifiable truth.

Faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the ultimate function of faith, where the individual looks to the Source of life Himself for verifiable truth! And how are we rewarded for that search, we are given eternal life at the very outset faith, and then given a whole new system of life, the spiritual life! As a matter of fact, the proper function of faith in every other facet of human life is designed to set each individual up for faith in Christ.  Now, despite the fact that faith is non-meritorious, it still requires an effort to build upon its initial foundation.

Each child is taught the number system we use, based upon 10. Having believed 1+1 = 2, you can then, through great effort, learn calculus, trigonometry and other complex systems of mathematics. The study of language is the same: by faith, you learn linguistic basics, and then you build upon that. You can even use your knowledge of English as a foundation to learning other languages. Both the study of mathematics and language require a great effort. Building your life upon your foundation of faith in Christ also takes an effort in the form of positive volition. You must be aggressive in your pursuit of material upon which to build the content of your faith. Depending upon your individual situation, your pursuit may vary. The first priority in faith perception is your spirituality. You know all about that! Secondly, is to find the joint of supply, your teacher of doctrine which God has provided for you.

 …from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16 NASB

 The “joint of supply” is a reference to the pastor of the local church who supplies doctrinal teaching which leads that local congregation to spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity gives both the individual believer and entire body capacity from virtue love. We’ve talked about those principles in detail in our Local Church series.

Once you find a pastor teacher in your local geographical area, you need to get under his ministry and support it to the best of your ability, as God provides. The relationship between your local pastor and his congregation (you) is reciprocal. Under the concept of reciprocity, between a pastor and his congregation, he prepares the doctrine then serves it up to his congregation. Every pastor must do this, on his own, using whatever resources God has provided. The congregation then responds to that preparation and service by building soul capacity from spiritual growth based upon that pastor’s study and teaching. That initial response of spiritual growth should result in the desire for more faith building content, which the local pastor is responsible to provide as demanded to his local congregation. Capacity demands, God provides the necessary doctrine through the local pastor teacher. Not only does the congregation reciprocate by growing up spiritually but by prayer support and whatever means God has provided for the support of that local pastor’s ministry. The congregation always benefits from that support. It is always reciprocal! It is, initially, a closed system. Then, as God provides the means, because of the spiritually gained capacity of the congregation, it can express its capacity by reaching out beyond the needs of that local church providing for other ministries such as missionaries, evangelists and seminaries.

I long for the day when this congregation has the resources and time (beyond prayer) to support other ministries. We’ll talk in more detail about the doctrine of reciprocity at another time. Paul taught Timothy that pastors are worthy of financial support, denoting the importance of support of local pastors by their local congregations:

 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 1 Timothy 5:17-18

 This is the how God has designed the local church in this post Cannon period of the Church Age to function.  To further your spiritual growth, you should, following the principle of one shepherd to one flock of sheep, following that pastor’s spiritual leadership by the doctrine he communicates. The issue in finding a pastor is always doctrinal. Is doctrine being taught by a pastor in your local area? Is his doctrinal teaching giving you what you need to grow? Remember, God placed that pastor in your locality for a reason, so communicate with him if for any reason the doctrine communicated is not building you up spiritually! This is a big part of reciprocity! Then grow spiritually from his ministry and support him. If there is not a pastor teaching accurate Bible doctrine in your local area, then find another pastor who is willing to offer doctrinal communication to you by another means.

This second option is always second best because that person does not participate in the full dynamics a local church is designed to have. If you have been abused and traumatized at a local church at sometime in your life, leaving you unable to concentrate on the teaching of the Word at a local church. Again, in this case, maturing spiritually by pastoral communication by alternate means is certainly justified! But, I digress! This topic is fully discussed in the Local Church study. Now, the next phase of building your faith, which results from both spirituality and doctrine communicated from the pulpit, is your volition. We’ve talked about this in a fair amount of detail in our Faith Rest study. Now, this leads us to another aspect of faith.

Faith also refers to the system of doctrine or a creed which you have allowed to become a part of your soul, by means of faith perception. It is what you believe, what you have total confidence in as true. Obviously, then, your faith must go far beyond what you understand of your salvation, if you are going to live, fully, by the faith God has designed for you. Now, these aspects of faith are found in both Hebrew and Koine Greek. Let’s look at a few words in both languages and see how they are used and what we can learn from that use.

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