Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The Hebrew noun דרך (dérek), meaning "road, path, way," is from the Semitic root dalet, resh, kaf (D-R-K), meaning "to tread (a path) with the feet." The noun thus means something trodden, like a road or path. The Hebrew noun דרך (dérek) also came to mean "way" with multiple meanings as in English, representing a physical road leading somewhere ("Let me pass through your land on the road, and I will walk on the road (only); I will not turn to the right or the left." Deut. 2:27) , a reference to the journey itself (e.g., "And he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob..." Gen. 30:36), but also a moral or ethical "way" or path that one can follow in life (e.g., "The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them." Hos. 14:9). Interestingly, the Hebrew word דרך (dérek) is not the origin of the name Derek, which is actually the English short form of Diederik, the Low Franconian form of the name Theodoric, which means "people-ruler" in old Germanic.