Learn Hebrew

Hebrew for Christians
 Devakut - Cleaving to the LORD

B"H  Sivan 5771

Devakut -

Cleaving to the LORD...

You shall revere the LORD your God. You shall serve him
and cleave to him. (Deut. 10:20).

THE HEBREW WORD devakut (דְּבָקוּת) means "cleaving" and refers to communion with God. This word derives from the Hebrew root davak (דבק), meaning to "cling" or "stick" (the Modern Hebrew word for glue is devek which likewise comes from the same root). Davak is used to describe how a man cleaves to his wife so that they become basar echad – "one flesh" (see Gen. 2:24), and is related to the word for bodily joint (debek), the bond of our bones to our skin (Job 19:20). The devakim were those who "held fast" or "cleaved" to the LORD throughout their wanderings in the wilderness (Deut. 4:4), and all of us are likewise commanded to revere the LORD and be united with Him (Deut. 6:4-6; 10:20, John 15:1-5, etc.).

In Jewish mystical tradition, devakut is considered as the highest mystical step on the spiritual ladder back to God, similar to the "beatific vision" of some Christian traditions. Yeshua, however, emphasized that He alone is the true sullam, or Ladder, to God. Just as Jacob saw a ladder reaching to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending upon it, so Jesus told Nathanael that He is sha'ar hashamayim - the gateway into heaven (Gen. 28:12, John 1:51, 14:6).

The Scriptures declare: yesh ohev davek me'ach – "there is a friend who sticks (davek) closer than a brother" (Prov. 18:24). His Name is Yeshua, the Holy One of Israel who descended to earth by clothing himself in human flesh. Yeshua demonstrated God's own devakut for us by "cleaving" to the cross as full payment for our sin. Because of His loyal love for us, we can now experience "at-one-ment" and communion with God (see John 17:21-23). Blessed be His Name forever.

The servant isn't above his master: We can't "out love" God. If He commands us to cleave to Him, then we can be assured that He is already cleaving to us. But love must be answered to be true love. In Modern Hebrew the word teshuvah, often translated "repentance," also means "an answer."  It is the turning to a shelah, a question, and responding to it with complete honesty. God's love for us is the question, and our teshuvah – our turning of the heart toward Him – is the answer.

Psalm 68:8


et-Adonai Elohekha tira, oto ta'avod u'vo tidbak

Vine and Branches

<< Return


Hebrew for Christians
Copyright © John J. Parsons
All rights reserved.