The Torah (3)
Absolutely delightful!

André H. Roosma
17 March 2012

Absolutely delightful! Like a big fat kiss!
Like a what...?
Yes! In Dutch (my mother tongue) we say, ‘om te zoenen!’ (meaning something like: ‘I’d like to kiss it/her/him!’ My dictionary translates: ‘Absolutely delightful!’). And that is liter­ally what Psalm 1 says about the Torah.
In the MKJV translation it reads (verse 1 and 2, emphasis added):

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.

I wondered what the Hebrew original is of the emphasized part of verse 2:

כִּי אִם בְּתוֹרַת יְהוָה חֶפְצוֹ

Very literally:

(כִּי אִם) that (בְּתוֹרַת) in the Torah of (יהוה) YaHUaH
(חֶפְצוֹ) is [to] him [like] to kiss...

The Hebrew word חֶפְצ - chephets was written in the old pictographic, Biblical script1 as: chet: tent-panel/wall, border, boundary, fleshpu: opening, mouth, windtsad: reed-like plant, papyrus, to squeeze, to press – the border [of] the mouth (i.e. the lips) - to press. That is (in my humble view): to kiss. Mostly this is translated by: delight, pleasure, joy, longing.

This calls forth the question: how could we possibly find that kind of delight in the Torah? If the Torah is a law, a commandment, which you do only with some aversion, because it is not attractive, then this would be rather incomprehensible.
But fortunately, the Torah is not a dull law, but God’s instructions for a happy and worthy (community) life, largely in the form of a history on how He walked with Israel and stood up for them (a.o. delivering them from Egyptian slavery). And that is definitely a most delightful story! It inspired Israel, and it can inspire us as well, to indeed memorize, and to meditate on His instructions and the stories about how He lovingly dealt with His people, day and night, all those years.

That meditating on them, Hebrew: הָגָה - hágáh, is in the old script interesting as well: ah: figure with raised hands and bent kneesgam: foot/legah: figure with raised hands and bent knees - ‘worship, the feet, in joyful wonder’. This reminds me of Mary, who liked to sit at Jesus’ feet, listening attentively and with joy and wonder...

Other voices (like ‘the advice or counsel of the ungodly or wicked’) then become a lot less persuasive and other ways (like ‘the way of sinners’) and ‘seats’ become much less attractive!

The consequence is that you are considered ‘happy’, or ‘blessed’; one could also translate: that you are successful.
The Hebrew word that is used in the beginning of verse 1 for this is אַשְׁרֵי - ’ashrei from: אֶשֶׁר - ’esher - happy, blessed, successful, from אָשַׁר - ’áshar - go straight; in the old script: alp: ox headshad: breast(s), sourceraisu: face (sideways) - the first source of God. This can be explained in two ways: as someone who is very dear to God, or as someone who has God as his/her first source and thereby always enjoys abundance. In both cases you can truly be called blessed and happy indeed!

One of the ways to become so blessed, apparently is to consider the Torah – that collection of God’s instructions for a happy community life (partly in the form of a story on how He stood by Israel ‘in better and in worse’) as absolutely delightful!

Hallelu YaH !


1 More information on this old pictographic Bible script in: André H. Roosma, ‘The Written Language of Abraham, Moses and David – A study of the pictographic roots and basic notions in the underlying fabric of the earliest Biblical script.pdf document, Hallelu-YaH Draft Research Report, 1st English version: 18 April 2011 (1st Dutch original: January 2011).


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This is a sequel to: The Shema‘ – the First Testament declaration of faith (1), Part (2), Part (3), Part (4), Part (5), and Torah - (1) A series of laws and commandments? and (2) Throughout the First Testament.

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