Law is Hitting the Mark while Sin is Missing the Mark – Insights from Hebrew

LAW! Such a harsh word. A word disliked and abhorred by many Christians. But was this always the case? Why did David delight in the “Law“? (Psa 1:2, 119:70,77,174) Why did Paul – the misunderstood apostle say the same thing?(Rom 7:22). A simple word study into the original Manuscripts of the Scriptures can help us understand God’s Law in new light.

The word commonly translated as “LAW” in our English versions of the Scriptures is “Torah” in the Original Hebrew, and derives from the root word “Yarah”.

Strong’s Hebrew Concordance H8451 –  תּורה – tôrâh 
From H3384; a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue or Pentateuch: – law.
(Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Lexicon –  law, direction, instruction)

Strong’s Hebrew Concordance H3384 –  ירה – yârâh  
A primitive root; properly to flow as water (that is, to rain); transitively to lay or throw (especially an arrow, that is, to shoot); figuratively to point out (as if by aiming the finger), to teach: –  (+) archer, cast, direct, inform, instruct, lay, shew, shoot, teach (-er, -ing), through.
(Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Lexicon – to throw, shoot, cast, pour)

Looking at the definitions given on the Strong’s Concordance and BDB Lexicon, it is clear that Torah and it’s root word Yarah are connected to “direction & instruction”. And not only is it connected to these ideas, it also denotes “shooting an arrow” or “taking aim”. A few examples of usage of the word “Yarah” is given below.

Gen 46:28  And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct(H3384) his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
1Sa 20:20  And I will shoot(H3384) three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark.
Psa 64:7  But God shall shoot(H3384) at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.
Exo 4:12  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach(H3384) thee what thou shalt say.
Lev 10:11  And that ye may teach(H3384) the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
Psa 119:102  I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught(H3384) me.

Since we have looked at the meaning of Torah, let us look at another word which is closely connected with it in Scripture – the word “SIN”. The word commonly translated as “SIN” in our English versions of the Scriptures is “Chatta’ah” in the Original Hebrew, and derives from the root word “Chatta”.

Strong’s Hebrew Concordance H2403 – חטּאת – chaṭṭâ’âh
From H2398; an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concretely) an offender: – punishment (of sin), purifying (-fication for sin), sin (-ner, offering).
(Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Lexicon – sin, sinful, sin offering)

Strong’s Hebrew Concordance H2398 – חטא -châṭâ’
A primitive root; properly to miss; hence (figuratively and generally) to sin; by inference to forfeit, lack, expiate, repent, (causatively) lead astray, condemn: – bear the blame, cleanse, commit [sin], by fault, harm he hath done, loss, miss, (make) offend (-er), offer for sin, purge, purify (self), make reconciliation, (cause, make) sin (-ful, -ness), trespassive
(Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Lexicon –  to sin, miss, miss the way, go wrong, incur guilt, forfeit, purify from uncleanness)

Looking at the definitions given on the Strong’s Concordance and BDB Lexicon, it is clear that Chatta’ah and it’s root word Chatta are connected to “missing & going astray”. It denotes “missing the mark”. An example is given below.

Jdg 20:16  Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss(H2398)

arrow_on_targetThe relationship between Sin and Law
As per John’s explanation in his 1st Epistle, Sin = Breaking the Law(1John 3:4).
While “Law” means to “shoot”, “take aim”, “direct” and “instruct”, “Sin” means to “miss”or “go astray”. If we put this thought in a picture form, “Torah” is an archer who aims/shoots at a target, while “Sin” is the same archer “missing the mark”. If we stop taking aim at the perfect instructions of God, we stand to miss the mark, thereby falling into “Sin”.

Children are like arrows
We see that the teaching of YHVH’s Law to ones child was of utmost importance, being mentioned throughout the Scriptures multiple times (Gen 18:19, Deu 4:9, 6:7, Psa 78:3-6, Eph 6:4, 2Ti 3:15). God wanted His people to guide their children in His ways, and this would have been the reason for the Psalmist to have compared children to arrows held in the hand of a mighty man (Psa 127:4  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.)

Conclusion
While referring to God’s instructions/directions as “Law” has caused His words to be seen in a negative light, looking at the Original Hebrew Manuscripts open up the words in full color, providing a picture of shooting an arrow at a target. It also helps us understand the reality, that we may miss once in a while, falling into “sin”, but we must keep aiming at the target given to us by our Heavenly Father. We must ask the Holy Spirit to help us and teach us to take aim, and even if we miss, Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) is there to help us at every turn.

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2 thoughts on “Law is Hitting the Mark while Sin is Missing the Mark – Insights from Hebrew

  1. Nicky

    Does that mean the Law of Moses should be followed? I know for certain(kinda) that the 10 commandments should be followed…I’ve read a lot of the things in your blog and it makes a lot of sense and fits within the scriptures. I didn’t want to make a decision right away so I searched for different/opposing opinions and see if they also follow the scriptures (different views)…and in the end I got myself confused. I’m siding on a lot of the things you have written in this blog, but…
    so in short I’ll write the things I believe in so far (still confused):
    Since Adam(and Eve) sinned, sin entered(which is breaking the Law/Commandments of God, as well as) separating mankind from God. So with sin(death) there is a barrier between man and God, and this is where the Lord Jesus comes in(?). The Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and died and was resurrected. The Lord Jesus Christ is like a bridge over death(?) which makes him the only way to everlasting life and to God. With sin, man are sinners the moment they are born(due to Adam), being unable to follow the Law of God(?) or even if they were able to follow or live(?) under the law, they were still born under sin therefore they are still a sinner(?). With the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the barrier(death?) between man and God is gone so long as they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is God in flesh and the son of God, that he died was buried and after three days and three nights he was resurrected…

    This in short is what I think, but there are views from others that if you follow the Law, you will be under the Law(?) and therefore you will be judged under the law, which isn’t good because no one will be able to pass. They say that since we are under the the grace of God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, we should under faith… In short I don’t want to be under the law if I’m going to be judged under the Law (when I thought I was under grace) when that day comes.
    But sin is breaking the Law of God, so we should follow the law but have the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ(?)???????????????Romans 4:7 so I have salvation and am saved through the Lord Jesus Christ, but still follow the Law.
    ??????????????????help ):

    I was confused a lot yesterday, but not a lot today. I just don’t want to live in error and believe in error…So Many Errors Everywhere, but I don’t know if they’re errors. Or maybe I do know, but I… I think I’m not going in error so far..probably.

    James 2:10 So I shouldn’t keep the whole law?
    1John 3:4 So I should keep the Law? Is that just the 10 Commandments or the whole Law?
    Revelation 14:12 Keep the commandments (as in the 10 Commandments or the whole?) and have faith in the Lord Jesus?
    Revelation 12:17 The dragon was angry and made war with the rest of her offspring. So if it made the dragon angry, does that mean we should follow the commandments(whole?10 Commandments?) and believe in the Lord Jesus?
    Matthew 7:21-23 So I should follow the law? the whole or..?
    Luke 16:16 So the Law (of Moses?) are fulfilled as in, we don’t need to follow it?
    Acts 21:24 I should keep the law….?
    Romans 3:20 Since Law is the knowledge of sin, I should follow the law (and have the faith/believe in the Lord Jesus Christ)?
    Romans 6:14-15 Even though I’m under grace, I should still follow the law..?

    There are others who also say that Law of Moses and the 4th Commandment were nailed to the cross.
    There are those who say that a new commandment or system was made when the Lord fulfilled the old Law at the cross..

    Am I just making things more confusing myself? Cause I think I am.

    Sorry about this long comment.
    I’ve got a lot more to put, but….sigh…
    Am I being bias by seeking your advice? Cause if I am, it’s because I what your writing in your blog makes so much sense.As in, it fits in the scriptures. But there are others who…

    Reply
    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Nicky,

      It is confusing only because we have been taught that way. We have only ourselves to blame for all this confusion. That being said I understand what you feel, because I have been there. I am glad that you are at least open to critiquing your own views… something many Christians are unwilling to do.

      We are sinful. And there is no one other than Yeshua who kept God’s Law perfectly. He took on the Curse of the Law upon Himself (The curse of the Law is death… some mistakenly think that the Law is the curse). The Law does only 3 things – 1)it curses who breaks it. 2)it blesses who keeps it. 3)it lets us know what sin is. The Law could not save anyone… even in OT times. We like Abraham, are made righteous through faith – and once we are saved, we obey Him who saved us because we love Him. That is the reason for keeping God’s Law. Keeping the Law for salvation was what Paul fought all his life – which he called “justification through the Law”. This was a wrong doctrine taught in the 1st century period. We are saved through God’s grace, through the faith we have on Him.

      If we trust on the Law, or rather the keeping of the Law to attain salvation (which is unbiblical), even if we keep the whole law and break one, we are considered unrighteous – which is what James is saying… we should not trust in the Law for salvation (remember it is given for 3 things only… mentioned earlier).

      According to my understanding the 10 Commandements (rather 10 words/sayings) encapsulate the whole Law. You cannot separate one from the other. I have done a syudy on this, if you care to read through:
      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/law-of-god-law-of-moses-2-laws-or-1/

      The Law was nailed to the cross… is one of the main arguments many Christians make. They do it unwittingly… because that is what they have been taught. Again… you may read this for further clarifications:
      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/was-gods-law-blotted-out-and-nailed-to-the-cross-misunderstandings-regarding-col-211-17/

      Some say that the 2 New commands replaced the Law – again read:
      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/is-love-all-that-matters-was-the-ten-old-commandments-overuled-by-two-new-commandments/

      As I said before, we are the ones who have brought confusion to our faith. I depend on a few key thoughts to keep my mind clear at all times… I hope it helps you as well. 1) God’s Word cannot change 2) God’s Word or Scripture as seen by Yeshua, His disciples and even Paul was the Old Testament – as the New Testament was not existent at that time. Their scripture was the OT. 3) No one can add to God’s Law or take away from it… not even a jot or tittle. 4) Yeshua, His disciples and even Paul obeyed the Law and refuted only man-made laws such as the Oral Law aka traditions of the elders/fathers.

      I hope the above clears up some of your confusion… please don’t hesitate to write/question me on any subject… Will always be here to help..

      Further reading:
      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/gentiles-have-to-obey-only-4-commandments-misunderstandings-regarding-acts-15/

      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/the-middle-wall-of-partition-misunderstandings-regarding-eph-214-16/

      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/paul-falsely-accused-of-breaking-gods-law/

      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/should-we-stone-sinners-if-we-obey-gods-law/

      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/is-gods-law-a-curse/

      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/is-it-law-vs-grace-and-faith-vs-works/

      https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/defining-the-terms-sin-law-grace/

      May you be a mighty blessing to everyone around you!

      Reply

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