As I was reading this evening I came upon the word “hallowed” in a verse and though I know what it means felt prompted to dig a bit more. The Hebrew word for hallowed (which in other translations was sanctified) is qadash (H6942), which is the root word that qadosh (H6918) comes from which generally means holy.
Here is the full outline of biblical usage from the lexicon:
- to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate
- to be set apart, be consecrated
- to be hallowed
- consecrated, tabooed
- to show oneself sacred or majestic
- to be honoured, be treated as sacred
- to be holy
- to set apart as sacred, consecrate, dedicate
- to observe as holy, keep sacred
- to honour as sacred, hallow
- to consecrate
- to be consecrated
- consecrated, dedicated
- to set apart, devote, consecrate
- to regard or treat as sacred or hallow
- to consecrate
- to keep oneself apart or separate
- to cause Himself to be hallowed (of God)
- to be observed as holy
- to consecrate oneself
This word obviously has to do with being holy and set apart, but it also was translated as sanctify, hallow, dedicate, holy, prepare, consecrate, appointed, purifier, and on a few occasions “prepare” – in situations where the people were to prepare, or set themselves apart, for something.
As I read through the verses where qadash was used I discovered it is an ACTION word. Something we are choosing, actively doing, working towards whereas qadosh seems to be more of an adjective describing something or someone as holy. Sanctifying and hallowing – making someone/something holy, dedicating as holy, preparing to be made holy, appointing a city as holy… the steady theme is making holy.
There is a biblical hermeneutical principle of first mention, in essence it means we can find out a lot about a word by the first time it is used in scriptures. The word love is a great example. The first time it is used is when God is telling Abraham to sacrifice his son who he loves; it teaches us that love is tied to sacrifice.
Anyhow, in the case of qadash, its first use is actually the verse Father took me to this evening in my quiet time with Him (which ironically was a sabbath), Genesis 2:3
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified (qadash) it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made .
I started this blog nearly two weeks ago, and this may seem like an odd shift, but the only way for us to understand the importance of the first mention above is to understand we’re still expected to obey His commandments, so see if you can follow me here 🙂
I have been pondering it and meditating on being holy and set apart. You see there is righteousness that comes with the free gift of salvation, and many people see salvation as a destination point rather than the beginning of a journey. But Philippians 2:12 exhorts us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” – this implies ACTION, which for me cannot help but tie back to what we’re talking about here, the action of being holy, of being set apart.
There’s a principle we often forget that salvation gets us to heaven, but that once there – there are rewards. I realize this is a paradigm shift for some, but it helps remind us that we need to constantly be relentlessly pursuing holiness. Not only does scripture show us this concept of rewards for our personal righteousness, but it also points to what causes greater or lesser rewards: following His word, His instructions, His Torah. Let’s look at Matthew 5:17-19
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
I have already blogged on why I believe we’re to do our best to obey His instructions, and I’ve already blogged on what that looks like, so I won’t repeat that here. I’ll simply give you one more scripture to ponder: 1 Peter 1:14-16
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The verse being quoted here is Leviticus 11:45, which is in the middle of the dietary requirements portion of the Torah.
For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
If we are to be like Yeshua (Jesus), YHVH come in the flesh, we must walk like Him. We will fail at times (which is why we need grace), but the fact that we will fail does not absolve us from our responsibility to try.
Father, we thank You for giving us clear instructions on how You would have us live. Help us to not just receive the righteousness You give us at salvation, but also to walk out righteousness by pursuing holiness – qadash. We pray our lives would bring You glory!