Friday, January 26, 2024

The Hebrew verb שׁמר (shamar, pronounced sha-MAHR) is a versatile word that is used to convey the idea of "keeping," "guarding," or "protecting." שׁמר (shamar) commonly occurs in relationship to Sabbath observance as seen in Leviticus 19:3: "You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keepשׁמרו) my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God," as well as in portions regarding covenant obedience like in 1 Kings 2:3: "And keepשׁמרת) the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keepingשׁמר) his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses." The verb שׁמר (shamar) will also frequently be found in descriptions of "guarding," like in Joshua 10:18: "Joshua said, 'Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to guardשׁמרם) them'." It is used to describe acts of "watching," as in Proverbs 21:23: "To watch (שׁמר) over mouth and tongue is to keep (שׁמר) out of trouble." It is also used in descriptions of "protecting," as seen in 1 Samuel 25:21: "Surely it was in vain that I protected (שׁמרתי) all that this fellow has in the wilderness."