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Bible Commentary Adam Clarke

Royal Gems in Yahweh's Temple

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Yahweh has magnified his Word, which is composed of individual words, above his name. His words were in the Ark of the Covenant, thereby making it Holy. His words are Hebrew words, which, in many cases, have no Greek or English equivalent. These words, when studied, are the Royal Gems hidden from most of the world. They are for those who will do the work, unveiling beautiful Hebrew words from the mouth of our Creator and Father, who is Adonai Yahweh Elohim of Host. We have examined Yahweh's word, 'Hesed' (he-sed, 02617), which has no Greek or English equivalent and now we will unveil his word, 'Raham' (raw-ham’),which also has no Greek or English equivalent.

Complete communication occurs when words are fully understood, which is why the language of physicians and lawyers, must be exact and unchanging. Our Father's Hebrew words, handed down for over 3,000 years, fall into this same category. When a Hebrew word has no English equivalent, we must transliterate the word and explain it's meaning, which may be comprised of hundreds of words to explain this one word.  Hawaiians had no word in their language for snow, because it did not exist. They could not translate snow into their language because they have no equivalent word. Europeans would have to explain, in so many words, what snow is, then the Hawaiians would have to transliterate this word into their language, explaining to others, what this word represents.

English Bible translations will very rarely transliterate a Hebrew word because the public would not purchase the Bibles that transliterate Hebrew and Greek words. Jehovah was used to represent the Hebrew name of Yahweh in the ASV Bible (1901) and Young's Bible (1886) but the public refused these versions forcing future translators to use the man-made term, the LORD, as the KJV has done for years. Joseph Rotherham took the next step, in 1902, by pushing the boundaries, transliterating the Creator's actual name, using the words, Yahweh and Yah over 6,800 times, but you will not find this Bible in any bookstore. Rotherham never uses the word, mercy, in his Old Testament. The word, 'raham,' he did not transliterate but he translated it and it's family of words (07355 (verb), 07356 (noun), 07349 (adjective)), 'compassion,' 105 times, enabling the reader to recognize that the Hebrew word is, raham, as a noun, verb or adjective. He did this also with the word, 'hesed' (02617), by translating it, lovingkindness, 260 times.    

When studing our Father's Word, we must also differentiate between the true meaning of a English word, which is derived from it's root, from the vulgar (common) usage, which changes with the seasons. For example, if you ask five people to define the meaning of the words, mercy, pity and compassion, you will very likely receive opposing, unrelated  responses. These words are used in our English Bibles to represent one Hebrew word, which is, raham, but none of these words represent raham. Mercy is from the Latin word, merces, meaning, Reward. Pity is from the Latin word, pietas, meaning Piety. Compassion (com-passion) is from the latin word, com-pati, meaning, Suffer (pati) with (com). (Passion's true meaning is, suffer, for instance we have the, 'Passion of the Christ;' it's vulgar meaning today is, "a strong and barely controllable emotion.")  These definitions, which will be foreign to the majority of us, never-the-less, they are the true meanings, according to their etymology (origin of words). (You can discover the true meaning of words from an etymological dictionary or by using Google. Begin your search on Google, by stating the word and adding to it, the word, etymology. For example, go to Google and type or speak, 'passion etymology.'  You will receive a response, such as, Origin, Latin - pati - suffer.)

The vulgar meanings of words can be viewed in dictionaries and on Google. (Dictionaries, except the original OED, define a word by it's vulgar usage, rather than by it's true meaning.) Google defines mercy as, "compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm; the synonyms are leniency, clemency, compassion, grace, pity, charity, forgiveness, forbearance, quarter, humanity." The OED (Oxford English Dictionary) defines mercy as, "Forbearance and compassion shown by one person to another who is in his power and who has no claim to receive kindness; kind and compassionate treatment in a case where severity is merited or expected." OED defines compassion as, "Suffering together with another, participation in suffering; fellow-feeling, sympathy" and they define, pity, as, "the disposition to mercy or compassion; clemency, mercy, mildness, tenderness." What are we to understand when we read the word mercy or compassion in our Father's Word; the true meanings of the words, rewards or suffer with or their vulgar meanings? In our study it will be neither. We must examine the meaning, not of mercy or compassion but rather, the meaning of the Hebrew word, raham, which has been translated, in the KJV, mercy, compassion and piety.

Why is the verb, raham, important? It's first usage, as a verb, is in Exodus 33:19, where Moses says to Yahweh,

"…Show me, I pray thee, thy glory.  And he [Yahweh] said,—I, will cause all my goodness, to pass before thee, And will proclaim myself by the name YAHWEH, before thee,—And will show favour [hanan], unto whom I may show favour [hanan], And will have compassion [raham] on whom I may have compassion [raham]."

The TWOT gives a definition of, raham, as, 'the deep inner feeling based on some natural bond.  A  noun that is derived from, raham, is rehem,  which means, the womb, which gives credence to this definition of, 'natural bond;' (nature, coming from the Latin word, natura, meaning, birth.) Rehem's first usage is in Genesis 20:18, which states, "For Yahweh, had restrained from bearing [rehem], every female of the house of Abimelech,—because of Sarah, wife of Abraham." Jeremiah 20:17 reaffirms rehem's meaning, by stating, "Because I was not slain from the womb [rehem],—Nor did, my mother, become, my grave, Nor was her womb [rehem] great for ever!" (As can be seen, the English words, mercy and compassion have nothing to do with the womb.) The noun raham (07356) was translated, womb, four times in the KJV:

Ge 49:25  Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb <07356>:
Pr 30:16  The grave; and the barren womb <07356>; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
Isa 46:3  Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb <07356>:
Eze 20:26  And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb <07356>, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.

I believe the definition, from the TWOT, for raham, which states, "the deep inner feeling based on some natural bond," (as a noun) could be expanded to, "the deep inner familial bond resulting in an beneficial action (verb) that helps the  family member that is in need." A deep inner feeling does not help anyone and is of no benefit unless this feeling results into some beneficial action that would help the beneficiary. This can be seen in it's first usage as a noun, in Genesis 43:14. The context of this verse is that Joseph, as Pharaohs second in command,  demands that Benjamin be brought to Egypt; "Then Israel their father said unto them—If so, then, do, this,—Take of the song of the land in your vessels, and carry down to the man [Joseph], a present,—A little balsam, and a little honey, tragacanth gum and cistus gum, pistachio nuts, and almonds.  And, double silver, take in your hand,—also, the silver that was put back in the mouth of your sacks, carry ye back in your hand, peradventure it was, an error, Your brother also, take ye,—and arise, go again unto the man. And, El Shaddai, give you raham before the man [Joseph], so shall he send with you, your other brother, and Benjamin. But, as for me, when I am bereaved, I am bereaved" (Gen. 43:11-14)! The second usage of raham, as a noun, is in Genesis 43:30, where Joseph is overwhemed with raham towards his brethren; the verse states, "And Joseph made haste, for his raham towards his brother, were pent up, and he sought to weep,—so he went into the inner chamber, and wept there." The beneficial motherly/fatherly actions, because of raham for the beneficiaries, are observed in the above verses.

Deuteronomy 13:17 demonstrates Yahweh's raham and it's benefit to his obedent servants. It uses raham as a noun (07356) and a verb (07355). The context of this verse is in connection with Israel falling away from Yahweh by bowing down to other gods.  The verse ends by stating, "So shall there not cleave to thy hand aught of the devoted thing,—that Yahweh, may turn away, from the glow of his anger, and grant thee raham [noun], and have raham [action verb] upon thee and multiply thee [the result of raham], as he sware unto thy fathers." The other two verses where raham is used as a noun and a verb are below:

1Ki 8:50  and grant forgiveness to thy people, who have sinned against thee, even as to all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee,—and grant them raham [noun] before their captors, so that they may have raham [verb] upon them;
Jer 42:12  that I may grant you raham [noun], and he may have raham [verb] upon you,—and suffer you to return unto your own soil.

Raham & Hesed
Hesed (02617), meaning "loyalty," "mutual aid," "reciprocal love," "obligation," which was explained in the article, Hesed (Yahweh's Covenantal Relationship Towards His Servants), which can be found in Teleios Books, Volume 4, and is translated as, lovingkindness, in the Rotherham Bible. Both hesed and raham have no equivalent English or Greek words, which necessitates them both being transliterated. Below are the verses that contain raham and hesed, as nouns, in the same verse:

Ps 25:6  Remember thy rahams, O Yahweh, and thy hesed, For, from age-past times, have they been.
Ps 40:11 ¶  Thou, O Yahweh, wilt not restrain thy rahams from me, Thy hesed and thy truthfulness, shall continually watch over me.
Ps 51:1 ¶  Be favorable unto me, O Elohim, according to thy hesed, And, in the multitude of thy rahams, blot out my transgressions;
Ps 69:16  Answer me, O Yahweh, for good is thy hesed, According to the abounding of thy rahams, turn thou towards me:
Ps 103:4  Who redeemeth, from destruction, thy life, Who crowneth thee, with hesed and raham:
Isa 63:7 ¶  The hesed of Yahweh, will I recall, the praises of Yahweh, According to all that Yahweh, hath bestowed upon us,—Even the abundance of goodness to the house of Israel, Which he bestowed upon them—According to his rahams, and, According to the abundance of his hesed.
Jer 16:5  For, Thus, saith Yahweh—Do not thou enter into the house of crying, Neither do thou go to lament, nor do thou bemoan for them,—For I have withdrawn my blessing from this people, Declareth Yahweh, Both hesed and raham.
La 3:22  The hesed of Yahweh, verily they are not exhausted, Verily! not at an end, are his rahams:
Da 1:9  But, although Elohim had brought Daniel into hesed and tender raham, before the ruler of the eunuchs,
Ho 2:19  And I will take thee unto myself, unto times age-abiding,—yea I will take thee unto myself, in righteousness and in justice, and in hesed, and in abounding raham:
Zec 7:9  Thus, spake Yahweh of hosts, saying,—With true justice, give ye judgment, and, hesed and rahams, observe ye, one with another;
Psalm 103:6-18 paints Yahweh as a Father with his children, using raham and hesed multiple times; "Yahweh is one, who executeth righteousness, Yea vindication for all the oppressed.  Who made known his ways unto Moses, unto the sons of Israel, his doings.  Rahamîm (07349) and gracious, is Yahweh,—Slow to anger and abundant in hesed.  Not perpetually, will he contend, Nor age-abidingly, retain anger;  Not according to our sins, hath he dealt with us, Nor according to our iniquities, hath he treated us. For, as the heavens are exalted over the earth, His hesed hath prevailed over them who revere him; As far as East from West, Hath he put far from us, our transgressions; Like the raham of a father for his children, Is, the raham of Yahweh, for them who revere him;  For, he, knoweth how we are formed, He is mindful that, dust, we are.  As for man, like grass, are his days, Like the blossom of the field, so, doth he blossom;  For, a ruah, hath passed over it, and it is gone, And its own place is acquainted with it no more. But, the hesed of Yahweh, is from one age even to another, Upon them who revere him, And his righteousness, to children’s children: To such as keep his covenant, And remember his precepts, to do them."

Raham, as a Verb, being used with Hesed
Isa 54:8  In an overflow of vexation, I hid my face, for a moment, from thee, But, with hesed age-abiding, have I had raham,—saith thy Redeemer, Yahweh.
Isa 54:10  For, the mountains, may move away, And, the hills, may be shaken,—But, my hesed, from thee, shall not move away, And, my covenant of peace, shall not be shaken, Saith he who hath raham upon thee—Yahweh.
La 3:32  Surely, though he cause grief, yet will he have raham, according to the multitude of his hesed; 

Additional Usages of Raham (Noun, 07356)
2Sa 24:14  And David said unto Gad—I am in a great strait,—let us fall, I pray thee, into the hand of Yahweh, for, manifold, are, his rahams, but, into the hand of man, let me not fall.
Ne 9:19  yet, thou, in thine abounding rahams, didst not forsake them in the desert,—the pillar of cloud, departed not from over them by day, to lead them in the way, nor the pillar of fire by night, to light up for them the way wherein they should go.
Ps 145:9  Good is Yahweh to all, and, his tender rahams, are over all his works.
Isa 63:15 ¶  Look thou down, out of the heavens, and see, Out of the high abode of thy holiness and of thy majesty,—Where, are thy jealousy, and thy mighty deeds? The resounding of thy yearning affection, and thy rahams towards me, are they restrained?

Additional Usages of Raham (Verb, 7355)
2Ki 13:23  Then was Yahweh gracious unto them, and had raham upon them, and turned unto them, for the sake of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,—and was not willing to destroy them, nor to cast them off from his presence, as yet.
Ps 103:13  Like the raham of a father for his children, Is, the raham of Yahweh, for them who revere him;
Isa 14:1 ¶  For Yahweh, will have raham, on Jacob, And will yet, choose Israel, And will give them rest upon their own soil,—And the sojourner, shall join himself, unto them, And they shall attach themselves unto the house of Jacob;
Isa 55:7  Let the lawless forsake, his way, And the man of iniquity, his thoughts,—And let him return unto Yahweh, That he may have raham upon him, And unto our Elohim, For he will abundantly pardon.
Jer 13:14  and I will dash them every man against his brother, even the fathers and the sons, together, Declareth Yahweh,—I will not pity, Neither will I spare, Neither will I have raham, that I should not destroy them.
Jer 21:7  And, after that, Declareth Yahweh—Will I deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people,—even such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine,—into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, even into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them who are seeking their life,—and he will smite them with the edge of the sword, he will not have pity on them, nor will he spare, nor will he have raham.
Jer 31:20  Was Ephraim, a very precious son to me? Was he a most delightful, child? For, as often as I have spoken against him, I have, remembered, him, again! For this cause, have my affections been deeply moved for him, I must have, raham, upon him, Declareth Yahweh.
Ho 14:3  Assyria, shall not save us, Upon horses, will we not ride, neither will we say any more—Our god! to the work of our own hands! For, in thee, shall the fatherless, find raham.
Zec 10:6  So will I make mighty ones of the house of Judah, and, the house of Joseph, will I save, and will cause them to continue, because I have had raham upon them, So shall they be as though I had not rejected them,—for, I, Yahweh, will be their God, and will answer them;

Yahweh's Hebrew Words are divinely chosen, rich treasures, words and thoughts that are not our words or our thoughts but of those of the Creator of language. For those who seek these treasures, they are there to be found, being received with rejoicing and thanksgiving; treasures, when a man, finding, hid,—and, by reason of his joy, withdraweth and selleth whatsoever he hath, and buyeth that field. Raham does not mean mercy (reward), compassion (suffer with) or pity (piety) but rather, the deep inner familial bond resulting in an beneficial action (verb) that helps the  family member that is in need. Hesed does not mean, according the the KJV, mercy, kindness, lovingkindness, goodness etc. etc. but rather, the hesed of Yahweh is very closely related to His  rahamim but distinguished from it by its more positive character. Yahweh's hesed corresponds to the demands of loyalty, justice and righteousness and already contains these concepts. Raham and hesed must be transliterated, which is something the public will not accept. Joseph Rotherham was forced into the same public demand, so he translated, consistently, raham, as compassion and hesed, as lovingkindness, which enables us to view raham and hesed in his Bible. The majority of all other Bible translations do not adhere to transliterations, thereby resulting in Yahweh's thoughts being miscommunicated.

Can you get saved when your Bible does not translate correctly? Yes! Do the majority of Christians know Yahweh, as his Hebrew words reveals him? No! I am saddened to say, most Christians, pastors included, are ashamed of his name, which is why they refer to him as the Lord or God and never Yahweh, even though Moses in Exodus 33-34 asked,

"Show me, I pray thee, thy glory. And he said, I, will cause all my goodness, to pass before thee, And will proclaim myself by the name YAHWEH, before thee,—And will show favour, unto whom I may show favour, And will have raham on whom I may have raham...So Yahweh passed before him, and proclaimed,—YAHWEH, YAHWEH, A EL of raham, and favour,—Slow to anger, and abundant in hesed and faithfulness…"

Treasure seekers realize that, "The words of Yahweh, are words, that are pure, silver refined in a crucible of earth, purified seven times" (Ps. 12:6)!

(When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew words
Yahoshua (yeh-ho-shoo’- ah) for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and ruah for pneuma (spirit).)

(For footnotes, read the PDF version.)

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