Biblical Definitions – Believe


The Hebrew word for believe is from the same Hebrew root as faithclick here.  It means to stand sure as a firm pillar.

Hebrew definition
H539 אמן ‘âman aw-man’
A primitive root; properly to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally to be true or certain; once (in Isa_30:21; by interchange for H541) to go to the right hand: – hence assurance, believe, bring up, establish, + fail, be faithful (of long continuance, stedfast, sure, surely, trusty, verified), nurse, (-ing father), (put), trust, turn to the right.

believe amanIt is the same word as ‘Amen’

amenMessiah is the Amen…the Faithful One, the Sure foundation

Rev 3:14  And to the angel of the assembly of Laodicea, write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Head of the creation of God:

Shaul connects the word for craftsmen (amen) with the sure foundation (amen)

1Co 3:9  For of God we are fellow-workers, a field of God, and you are a building of God.
1Co 3:10  According to God’s grace given to me, as a wise master builder, I laid a foundation, but another builds on it. But let each one be careful how he builds.
1Co 3:11  For no one is able to lay any other foundation beside the One having been laid, who is Jesus Christ.

Believing unto righteousness

Gen 15:5  And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
Gen 15:6  And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Gal 3:6  Even “as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness,” Gen 15:6

Aman-is also translated as Faithful

Num 12:7  My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
Psa 101:6  Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

Psa 19:7  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psa 93:5  Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.
Psa 111:7  The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.
Isa 55:3  Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

1Sa 3:20  And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.
2Sa 7:16  And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
Isa 7:9  And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

Mic 7:5  Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

Gen 42:20  But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.

Deu 28:59  Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

Psa 78:8  And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

Psa 89:28  My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.

Hos 5:9  Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.

2Sa 4:4  And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

It is clear from Scripture that to believe is an action word.  To be a pillar and a firm support one must act upon his beliefs, otherwise it is not considered belief.

Believing in YHWH is more than just believing that He exists in your mind. This is why some people can say they know God but they can at the same time deny Him by their actions.
Tit 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

This is why John tells us those who say they know Him, yet do not keep His commanments are liars. They don’t truly know/believe in Him.
1Jo 2:3  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jo 2:4  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jo 2:5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jo 2:6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

We can say we believe with our lips, but if our heart is not saying the same thing it is a lie.  We can play religion all day long but that does not equate true belief.  True belief is walking out that which is in the heart.
Isa 29:13  Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Mat 15:7  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Does James contradict Paul?
Paul says
Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

James says our faith is revealed by our works
Jam 2:14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Jam 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Jam 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Jam 2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Yet, Paul says Abraham was not justified by works but by faith
Rom 4:2  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
Rom 4:3  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Rom 4:4  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 4:6  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Rom 4:7  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Rom 4:8  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

James says Abraham was justified by works…however in the next verse he states that his works went with his faith.  He was not justified by works alone.  James is teaching what faith/belief truly is.  It is acting upon what is in the heart.  If we believe in Messiah we will act upon that and walk in His Torah for He is the Torah made flesh.  Paul does not contradict James….man’s interpretations of Paul contradicts James.
Jam 2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Jam 2:22  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
Jam 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Jam 2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

This supposed contradiction led Martin Luther to believe that the Epistle of James should not be in the canon of Scripture. Why? It went against his doctrine of faith alone.  Today many believers fall into the same category.  It is true that we are saved by faith alone without works.  Our actions can’t save us.  However, if we truly believe that the Messiah took our sins upon Himself, we will then seek to follow Him as His servants.  A servant is one who serves.  Not one who idolizes another in his mind, that is what we call a fan.  Sadly, in our culture today, believing in Messiah is more closely related to being His fan than His servant.

Martin Luther
“Many sweat to reconcile St. Paul and St. James, but in vain. ‘Faith justifies’ and ‘faith does not justify’ contradict each other flatly. If any one can harmonize them I will give him my doctor’s hood and let him call me a fool.”

“We should throw the Epistle of James out of this school [Wittenberg], for it doesn’t amount to much. It contains not a syllable about Christ. Not once does it mention Christ, except at the beginning [Jas. 1:1; 2:1]. I maintain that some Jew wrote it who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any. Since he heard that Christians place great weight on faith in Christ, he thought, ‘Wait a moment! I’ll oppose them and urge works alone.’ This he did. He wrote not a word about the suffering and resurrection of Christ, although this is what all the apostles preached about. Besides, there’s no order or method in the epistle. Now he discusses clothing and then he writes about wrath and is constantly shifting from one to the other. He presents a comparison: ‘As the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead’ [Jas. 2:26]. O Mary, mother of God! What a terrible comparison that is! James compares faith with the body when he should rather have compared faith with the soul! The ancients recognized this, too, and therefore they didn’t acknowledge this letter as one of the catholic epistles.”

“That epistle of James gives us much trouble, for the papists embrace it alone and leave out all the rest. Up to this point I have been accustomed just to deal with and interpret it according to the sense of the rest of Scriptures. For you will judge that none of it must be set forth contrary to manifest Holy Scripture. Accordingly, if they will not admit my interpretations, then I shall make rubble also of it. I almost feel like throwing Jimmy into the stove, as the priest in Kalenberg did.”

“Only the papists accept James on account of the righteousness of works, but my opinion is that it is not the writings of an apostle. Some day I will use James to fire my stove.”

Martin Luther held so firmly to his interpretation of faith alone that he was willing to disregard the book of James as Scripture.  We cannot let our interpretations of Scripture lead us to think that we can decide what books belong in the Bible and which books do not.  Luther was correct that the Scriptures teach that righteousness comes from faith alone but James is also correct that faith without works is dead.  Faith is likened to a tent peg that is driven into a sure place.  The winds and rain can crash against that tent but it won’t fall because it is held firm to the sure place (Rock).  This is what Messiah taught us.

Mat 7:24  Then everyone who hears these Words from Me, and does them, {This is true faith…hearing and doing.} I will compare him to a wise man who built his house on the rock;
Mat 7:25  and the rain came down, and the floods came up, and the winds blew, and fell against that house; but it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
Mat 7:26  And everyone who hears these Words of Mine, and who does not do them {This is the modern idea of faith…believing in the mind but not necessarily acting upon}, he shall be compared to a foolish man who built his house on the sand;
Mat 7:27  and the rain came down, and the floods came up, and the winds blew and beat against that house; and it fell, and great was the collapse of it.

Gematria gleanings

aman 91The gematria of believe (aman) is 91.  When looking at some other words and phrases in Hebrew that add up to 91 we see further support for aman (believe) being an action word.

91 Lord, ElohimWhen Yahshua stated He was the Amen in Revelation 3:14, on a deeper level He was referring to He is…YHWH Elohim.

91 TempleThe Temple of YHWH is a picture of Messiah, His body.  When we believe in Him, it is likened to being a tent peg driven into the ground that holds the tent down.  When we believe, we become a part of His Body.  Of His flesh, and of His bones just as the tent peg becomes one with the tent when they are joined together.  When looking at the Tabernacle and the Temple in the Scriptures, not only does it teach about the Messiah but it also teaches about His Body, His Bride.  Yah willing, this will be further discussed in a future study.

91 AngelLiterally, Malakh means a messenger.  As believers that is what our job is.  To deliver His message to the world.  It is through our actions that we deliver this message not by our mental beliefs.  This is what James was talking about in the 2nd chapter of his epistle.

MalachNotice that the word Messenger means who who walks with the message of another with a staff in his hand to provide support.  That is the definition of aman.  To provide support for another.

In the Scriptures, His priests (kohanim) are described as His messengers/angels.

Mal 2:7  For the lips of the priest should guard knowledge, and they should seek the Law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of YHWH of Hosts.

Making known His faithfulness

91 make knownPsa 89:1  Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness (emunah) to all generations.

91 workThe word for work in Hebrew also adds up to 91.  Again, we see the connection to action.  The word for servant (eved) is from this same root.   His servants, those who believe in Him, work for Him.



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4 comments on “Biblical Definitions – Believe

  1. This is just what I was taking about inJohn3:16 YHWHs awesome. Havent read these def.for a long time. And when you read something again after its been awhile how much clearer it is. Do you have any idea what a Blessing that you are to me.Always thanking YHWH for letting me have you for a son. Love ya, Mom

  2. Pingback: Christianity, Islam and Judaism ?? - Page 9

  3. Pingback: Do We Believe? | Our Dot On The Map

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