Continuing in Psalm 119 with the letter “dalet” ד which is shaped like a door or a man bent over in humility. Dalet is spelled דלת and has two possible root words. Some of its meanings are: door, gate, doors to heaven such as a portal, and also to be delivered from prison. Other possible usages are: being reduced, brought down low, weakness and poverty. When looking at the 8 verses under Dalet in Psalm 119, it is a good idea to consider these meanings for insight into the scripture verses.
Psalm 119: 28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
The dalet word that begins this verse is “dalaph” דלף and is translated as melteth. This word actually has more of the idea of shedding tears, weeping, or of rain drops. In this verse “dalaph” is in a Qal verbal form which means it is just a normal verb, and not intensified. A picture of tears gently shed out of feelings of deep sorrow. Since it is the soul weeping, the tears do not necessarily have to be literal, but can be understood as expressed in the saying …”I’m laughing on the outside by crying on the inside”.
The word heaviness, as in oppressiveness, is the Hebrew word “Yagah” יגה . Looking at how this word is used in other verses, the idea is that of heaviness related to feeling foolish, shameful or disappointed. It also means raindrops coming through the chinks of a roof. The constant dripping over time causes structural damage. This also reminds me of the water torture where simple drops of water fall in the same area of the forehead causing pain and mental anguish.
David asks to be strengthened “qum” קום which is in a Piel verbal form (intensifies the word). Qum means: to arise, and can be explained as the type of strength needed when you’re down for the count after a “knock out”. This strengthening is according, or literally “like or as” God’s words “dabar” דבר: one of the meanings for the same root word spelled “debir” דבר is: oracle, the place of speaking, inner sanctuary, an alternative name of the Holy of Hollies in Solomon’s temple. One way “Dabar” דבר can be summed up is: words spoken from the “heart” (inner place) of God. What’s interesting to me is the syntax: “like or as” God’s words (דבר). Renewing our minds daily in the Word, both the whole of the Word of God, and the specific promises spoken to us. Jesus, the Word, is the lifter of our heads. It’s so important to view ourselves and our life situations with God’s perspective.
Earlier in v.25 a similar sentiment is expressed, My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. Cleaving to the dust has the idea of being close to death ( Gen. 3:19), and David (whom I believe is the author) asks God to revive him according to His Word Dabar דבר. The root word for revive is “chayah” חיה also means “to give life”. God’s word is life, Deut. 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Another meaning from the same root word as “Debar” דבר is “wilderness” Midbar דבר. God fed the Israelites manna in the wilderness and in John 6:32b-33 Jesus says …but it is my Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.
Lastly, the Hebrew word “Dober” with same root word דבר, is used a couple times in scripture to mean: a pasture, and feeding ground for sheep. The Word, Debar דבר, feeds us, lifts us up, revives us, sustains us and give us life. In John 7:9 Jesus says “I am the door (ד); if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” He also stands at the the door of our hearts and invites us to sup with Him, the very Word of God and true bread of life.