[b-hebrew] Is the Hebrew idea of emunah/aman/amen pledging into or keeping a covenant?

Laurence Schell laurenceschell at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Apr 23 19:59:34 EDT 2003

I have been working on a Hebrew definition of
faith/believe and looking at it as entering into a
covenant relationship with God. I have studied the
words emunah, aman, and amen. In a recent post Carie
asked for a Hebrew word defining: 

> > Faith - as in the covenent, or pledge, between G-D
> > and the people of Israel.  Is there one word that
> is
> > particularly associated with the bond made between
> > Moses (and Jews) and G-d on Mt. Sinai?
> Emunah (alef mem nun heh) = faith (trust, belief,
> "solidness")
> OR
> Khesed (khet samekh dalet) = lovingkindness,
> faithfulness, mercy, love
> > Integrity - as in adherence, loyalty, purity?
> Emunah (again)

Interestingly, two of the replies I noticed mentioned
emunah or amen. I would like to hear from anyone,
including those who responded to Carie's post, a more
detailed explanation for why these Hebrew words have
this meaning as opposed to the more common definition
of rational belief many associate with faith. Can
amen, and especially aman, mean pledging into a
covenant? Does emunah point only to trust and belief,
or is the meaning broader? I am aware of the
definition of emunah as faithfulness; but does it also
have a distinct relation to the making and keeping of
covenants? Also, why did this respondent give khesed
as a word that defines faith?

I'd also be interested in any recommended reading,
either books or reference citations or scriptures.

Sincerely, Laurence Schell

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