Hebrew Highlights 17 – Streams


Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.


JER 17:7-8 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord.  For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.”


I would like today to look at 2 words in this passage.  First of all, the word for stream, which is “yuval”, that’s right, my name.  It may mean either a small tributary of a river, or more likely, an underground stream, originating from a river.

The second interesting word here is “ra’anan”, or green.  This is not green as in the color, but green as in fresh.  It has the quality of “luxuriant” in Hebrew.   Before I speak about these words, let’s look at a similar scripture.

PSA 1:1-3 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.

In this case, the word for stream is “peleg”, which is more like a rivulet.  In either case, the idea is that the tree has, in a sense, it’s own little personal source of water.

Now, let me put these verses in perspective with the realities of the land of Israel.  Jerusalem, for instance, receives 24 inches of rainfall per year.  This is not so bad, if you consider that London England gets only 29 inches per year.  The problem lies in another statistic.  London receives its 29 inches during 322 rainy days.  Whereas Jerusalem receives her 24 inches in only 64 days.  These days come mostly in a 5 month period.  Usually, from the beginning of May until the beginning of October, it almost never rains. 

Trees, in London need not worry about water.  If it isn’t raining today, chances are, it will tomorrow.  But in Jerusalem, unless someone waters the trees, they have only the dew to survive on.  By the way, “dew” will be the subject on my next Hebrew highlights.

So, you can see, exactly how “blessed” a tree is that happens to be planted by a stream of water.  All the trees looking on from a distance would be very jealous.

So then, the man who trusts in the Lord and meditates on God’s word, “will not fear when the heat comes; But “his” leaves will be green, And “he” will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. 

Let’s not kid ourselves.  We have all experienced times of drought and heat in our spiritual lives.  Sometimes, we wonder if we will survive until the next season of watering.  Our fruit seems to dry up, and is sour to others wishing to partake of it.

Now please understand that in these scriptures, our heavenly Father is not promising that the heat and times of drought will not come.  He is saying that we always have a private source of nourishment, and our fruit will not fail, if we just keep ourselves rooted in Him.  Our leaves will be fresh and luxurious. 

I pray that as we dig our roots into God’s source, just like putting our bare feet into a creek on a hot summers day, you and I will be able to confidently quote PSA 52:8,  “But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.”



Shalom, Shalom from Jerusalem.