Word Study: Gird “Azar”



Gird – Hebrew: “azar” – To bind, to gird, girdle, belt

Psalm 18:32: “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and makes my way perfect.”

If you are following my “cliff hanger” adventure series: Through the Daleth on the Chaim Bentorah Facebook page, this word study  may make more sense as the Resh in “azar” has now become my crutch on our journey to Patach where I hope to be delivered from the evil Saqi.

I opened my Hebrew Bible  and the first word, that first bit of literary nonsense behind that “Looking Glass” flew out at me – “Ha ‘el.”  In 35 years of studying Hebrew I never ran across this before.  This is the word for “God” but it has a definite article and no plural ending.  Well, maybe I have seen it before but never behind the “Looking Glass.”   I looked at the previous verse: “Who is God, save Jehovah?”   The word for God there is plural and does not have a definite article.  Why did David leave off the plural ending and why the definite article?

Then I saw it, the next word “’azar” for girdle.  The girdle is an important part of the Eastern dress, it is sort of like a belt, and it is used to draw the garment tightly to the body, particularly while on a journey or doing battle.   It suddenly dawned on me that I am doing spiritual battle at this time, the enemy is trying to draw me away from God.  He is using recent tragedies in my life to do this, causing me to lean on the arm of the flesh while watching the arm of the flesh fail.   But soft, there is more to this.  The “azar” is in a piel form and as a piel it forms a double accusative.  That is why the article is before the word for “God,” to show that God is a direct object as well as the word strength.  It is just not God’s strength that is tightly wrapped around me, it is God Himself.   Wait a minute.  David is using the word “el” and not Jehovah.   The Jewish sages teach that the word “elohim” represents the  masculine nature of God. This is God as the protector and provider.  Despite the mourning’s in my life, God is the source of my provision, not the arm of the flesh and He is not only wrapped around me, but this is in a piel form, He is “hugging” me with His strength.  The word “azar” is used tropically for strength, he has a very strong grip of protection and provision around me.

Follow my adventure on the Chaim Bentorah Facebook page as I travel through the Daleth where my friends from the Hebrew Alphabet teach me the meaning of Psalms 30:11 and how to turn my mourning into dancing, put off my sackcloth and gird me with joy.