Hebrew Highlights 34 - Abide


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


PSA 15:1 (A Psalm of David.) O Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?     yagur yishkon

The word “abide” is used frequently in the Bible.  It is one of those “spiritual” words, which is not really in use on the street.  When is the last time someone asked you, “Where do you abide?”, or “Did you go out, or just abide at home this weekend?”, or even, “Let’s go abide under the shadow of that big tree over there.”

Most people, if asked to define “abide” would probably say something like “to wait”.  Actually, the English “abide” is translated from 5 different very down-to-earth words in the Hebrew Bible.  I’ll just mention them briefly in their infinitive forms:  lagur”, or to reside; “lishkon”, or to dwell; “litlonen”, or to lodge, “lashevet”, which could be either to sit or to settle, and finally, “la’amode”, or to stand.

          Let’s take a look at PSA 25:12-13.  “Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.  His soul will abide in prosperity, And his descendants will inherit the land.”  Here the word rendered “abide” is “talin”, or lodge.  “His soul will “lodge” in prosperity.  You could actually say, His soul will “travel first class”.

Then, in PSA 37:27, we read, “Depart from evil, and do good, So you will abide forever.”  Here the Hebrew is “shchon”, the word used for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  The same root is used in the “shekinah” glory, as in EXO 24:16, “And the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.”

So we could reread Psalm 37:27 as “Depart from evil, and do good, So you will “rest or settle down” forever.”


Now turn to PSA 91:1.  “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”  The two words for dwells and abide are “yoshev” or sit, and then “yitlonan”, or will lodge.  We could poetically say “He who cuddles up in the shelter of the Most High will find a room in the inn of the shadow of the Almighty.”  You’ll probably find King David’s poetry a little less cumbersome than mine.


          Let’s look at a few of the New Testament verses about abiding.  MAT 10:11 "And into whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it; and abide there until you go away.  Here the word is “shvu”, which means stay or sit.

          One of the most famous “abide” verses is found in JOH 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.”  Here the Hebrew word is “omdim” or stand, in the plural form.  Literally, it says, “if ya’ll stand in me, and My words stand in ya’ll, ya’ll request whatever you want, and it will be to ya’ll”.

          Someday, on a future Hebrew Highlights, I’ll explain why it’s important to recognize, and build our doctrines, taking into mind the plurals which we simply read as “you” in English, but are only available to ya’ll, and not you, singularly, or personally.

          Two verses later we read, with the plurals in place, "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you all; ya’ll “stand” in My love.

          So, whether we stand, sit, dwell, settle down, lodge, or reside; we should do so in God’s shadow, in His Son, in His word, in His glory. 


The main thing is that ya’ll do not “abide” … alone.



Shalom, Shalom from Jerusalem.