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Hebrew Word Discovery 3 Devek and Yara

hebrew word discovery margaret st peter Apr 10, 2022

Hebrew word discovery 3

Devek and Yara 

 Dabarim (Deuteronomy 10:20

         20 Fear Yahuah, your Alahim. Serve Him, and cling to Him, and swear by His name.

The Hebrew word “devek” is the word that is translated cling.  Google Translate also translate the word as Paste, glue, cement, gum, attachment. 

This gives us the idea of holding on for dear life, attaching to something or someone. When you think of clinging to a person you might thing of co-dependency and that has a bit of a negative connotation. Is that really what Dabarim 10:20 is trying to convey to us. Let’s look deeper.

A Classical Hebrew understanding of devek is an expression of love and respect - a hug or an embrace. Now we can take another look at the scripture with this in mind. 

Rabbinic literature indicates that devek is a high and deep stage of spiritual development where we attach ourselves to Yahuah and exchange our individuality for a profound partnership with Yahuah. 

The understanding of devek a love of Yahuah, a desire for intimacy and closeness with Him. Is this not what we reach for every Shabath when we take the time Yahuah has set aside for us to enter into devek with him? 

Fear Yahuah your Alahim. Serve Him and hug Him, and swear by His name.  

Even with that rending you might still wonder about the word ‘fear” in this verse.  How does that go with the word “hug”? We do not think of hugging someone we fear with the meaning we readily understand in our world today.


I thought the same thing, so I dug a little deeper. The word Yara is translated fear in Tehillim (Psalms) 19:9

Tehillim (Psalms) 19:9

9 The fear of Yahuah is clean, standing for ever.

There are a couple of meaning but for this word we look at an Assyrian mother’s custom. The mothers would tattoo their sons’ names on their hand because the son would go to war to protect her from danger. These mothers were showing honor, respect and love for their sons. They also recognized because the son went to war to protect her and the rest of the family there was no threat to her but the threat (the fear) was to the son and her fear was for her son and not for herself. 

From this we can see the word fear takes on the understanding one can feel a threat or fear for the one we love.

Ask yourself, what is a threat or fear to Yahuah. What does it mean to fear Yahuah. It means that in some way we can be a threat to Yahuah. How is that? It is if we betray our love for Him, we break His heart. 

Do you not sin because you are afraid of the result of sin? No! We do not sin because of our love for Yahuah.  Because we do not want to wound His heart. 

Looking at Tehillim (Psalms) 19:9 the phrase, Fear Yahuah, your Alahim, is saying the fear of Yahuah, is the fear of wounding Yahuah’s heart.

For me this is the most important fear I hold in my heart. The fear of offending, wounding, or bringing sadness to Yahuah’s heart.

Chaim Bentorah says,

“The fear of wounding Yahuah’s heart will purify all our motives for serving Yahuah and avoiding sin.” 

Let’s look at this passage again with our new understanding for the word fear as it was used in Tehillim (Psalms) 19:9

‘I love you Yahuah my Alahim and help me to never wound Your heart. I will Serve You and bring all my motives in line with Your love so that I do not sin against You.  I desire racham with you. I desire intimacy and closeness with you. I desire to be embraced (hug) by You and return that embrace. 

If you think I am changing the Word of Yahuah, you have missed the point of the study. I study the multiply meanings of a Hebrew word to draw closer to the Heart of Yahuah by searching for how He might have been using a given word. Translations and cultures have messed with the original meaning. Sometimes going back to the original, the way it was used at the time will really open up your relationship with Yahuah and your love and understanding of His Word. 

Seek Racham with Yahuah and never wound His Heart. Reach out to Him to embrace Him and be embraced by Him.

For Yahusha’s Joy




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