Hebrew Words for Faith: Aman, Batah, Mibtah, Hasah, Galal, etc.

by | Feb 3, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

There is no denying that faith is one of the central themes in the Bible. In fact, the writer of Hebrews emphatically states that it is impossible to please God without faith. It is therefore a good idea for the believer to study what the Bible says about faith.

What are the Hebrew Words for Faith?

The Bible uses several Hebrew words to mean faith or to denote believing and trusting in God. Since the Old Testament was written in Hebrew while the New Testament was written in Greek, it makes sense that all these Hebrew words of faith are found in the Old Testament. These words are “aman”, “batah”, “mibtah”, “hasah”, “galal”, “mahseh”,“yahal”, “rechats” and “emunah.”

 Let’s take a closer look at each of these words. 

Aman

The word Aman means to trust in, believe in, rely upon, or believe. Aman is used in the Qal verb pattern to create the impression of a helpless infant that is supported by the strong arms of the mother or father. This is the picture painted by the Psalmist in Psalmi31:23-24. The word Aman, could also be interpreted as “cause to be certain.” This means that faith is based on something sure as opposed to the modern notion of believing in the abstract without any proof. The word Aman appears in numerous scriptures including Numbers 12:7, 20:12, 1 Samuel 2:35, Nehemiah 9:8, Psalms 106:24, 119:66, Isaiah 28:16, etc. 

Batah

The word batah means to trust in or rely upon. It could also mean feeling safe, trusting, and full of confidence in someone or something. Batah is used to describe the state of being “careless” because of confidence and trust in someone who is watching over you. It is a sense of security and well-being. A good illustration of batah is given in Psalm 62:8; trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. In this scripture, the Psalmist makes it clear that only God should be trusted fully because it is faithful and just. The word is also used in 1 Chronicles 5:20, Psalm 25:2, 31:6, 37:5, 40:3, 55:23, Proverbs 3:5, 29:25, Isaiah 12:2, 26:4, Jeremiah 17:5, 17:7, Hosea 10:13 among other scriptures. 

Mibtah 

Mibtah means trust, confidence, and security. It is derived from the root word Batah which, as we have already seen, is another word of faith. The Psalmist uses this word when he writes “Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust” (Psalms 40:4). Other scriptures where the word is used include Pslamis 65:5, 71:5, and Proverbs 14:26

Hasah

The Hebrew word Hasah means to flee for protection or to seek refuge. It is therefore used figuratively to illustrate a trust in God’s protection, provision, and providence. The implication is you wouldn’t flee for protection from someone unless you believed they were capable of protecting you. Solomon paints a picture of this when he describes the name of the Lord as a strong tower to which the righteous can flee for safety (Prov. 18:10). Hasah is used in lots of scriptures including 2 Samuel 22:3, 22:31, Psalm 2:12, 5:11, 7:1, 11:1, 16:1, 17:7, 18:2, 18:30, 25:20, 31:1, 31:19, 34:8, 34:22, 57:1, etc. 

Galal

This Hebrew word means to trust, commit, or roll. It is associated with faith because that is what it is when you “roll” yourself on the Lord. Galal is used to describe a state of reckless abandon where you are in absolute surrender to God. It is as a result of such a surrender that Job could make a statement like, “Even though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). Galal appears in several scriptures including Psalm 22:8, 37:5 and Proverbs 16:3. 

Mahseh

As you may have guessed, Mahseh is derived from the word hasa which we have already looked at. The word Mahseh means to take refuge or seek shelter. It creates the impression of someone who is in dire need and is rushing towards a fortress for shelter. This is the word used by the psalmist in the scripture where he describes God as an ever-present help in times of need (psalms 46:1-3). This word was mostly used metaphorically to borrow from the practice of running to the hills for refuge in times of war or other calamities. You can find Mahseh in scriptures like Psalms 14:6, 46:1, 62:8, 71:7, and 91:9. 

Yahal

Yahal means to tarry or wait. It could also be translated dot mean “hope for.” Yahal is used to mean faith because the tarry is based on faith that God will eventually come through for you. For instance, in 2 Kings 6:33, the king of Israel had to wait on God’s help when the Syrian army besieged Samaria. 

Rechats

Rechats mean to put one’s trust in or to rely on. This word is used to illustrate complete loyalty to God and a refusal to look for other alternatives even in the face of adversity. A good example of this can be found in the book of Daniel 3:28 where Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego opted to trust in God and refused to worship King Nebuchadnessar’s idol. 

Umunah

The Hebrew word Umunah is faith that is based on certainty or faithfulness. This word is used in Habakkuk 2:4 where it states that the righteous shall live by faith. The context is a contrast between the pagan Chaldeans and the children of God who will put their faith in God because they are certain of his faithfulness. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, exploring the Hebrew words of faith will help you see faith in a different light. Each word, from “aman” to “emunah,” paints a vivid picture of trust, loyalty, and certainty in God. As you continue on your journey of faith, remember to check yourself to make sure you are in faith because, without it, there is no pleasing God. 

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About: Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.
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Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.

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