I sat down at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, opened my Hebrew Bible to the Jerusalem postcard marking my place, and began to read:

The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah…

Three words in, I stopped.

I was reading Isaiah 61. Which meant that despite all the debate about whether first century Jews spoke Hebrew or Aramaic, I could be sure that these exact Hebrew words came out of my Messiah’s mouth:

Ruach Adonai Yehovah alai
The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is on me
ya’an mashach Yehovah oti levaser anavim
because anointed has Jehovah me to announce to the meek;
shlachani lechabosh lenishbrei-lev
sent me to bind up the broken-of-heart,
likro lishvuyim dror
to call to the captives, “Liberty!”
vela’asurim pkach-koach.
and to the bound, “Prison-opening!”
Likro shnat ratson leYehovah…
To proclaim the year of favor of Jehovah…

and just as He begins the second sentence, He stops, closes the book, sits down, and says, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

That’s my Redeemer’s heart.


  1. This post was great. Reading the Hebrew and English together was something neat to do.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Dear Miss Toria,
    It’s actually not an official translation. I used my own (very basic) Hebrew knowledge, plus Strong’s concordance to give a word-by-word translation of these verses, making as few adjustments to English as I could get away with. This would probably be too confusing for everyday use, but I wanted you to be able to hear the rhythm and delivery of these verses as they are in Hebrew.

    If you’d looking for an English version that’s very literal (but more readable) and uses “Jehovah,” you could try the American Standard Version.

    1. Elisabeth, I enjoyed your post. I’m learning Hebrew at the minute, and planning my first visit to Israel in September. I wonder if you had any ‘tips’ on learning the language?

  3. Miss Toria says:

    What an awesome post!! What’s the title of the Hebrew Bible you’re quoting from?? I’ve never heard of one that actually uses Yehovah! Most of the Hebrew ones use YHVH instead of actually spelling it out…I’d love to find one that says our Master’s Name, and this translation you’re using sounds great!!

    Blessings in Messiah,
    Miss Toria

  4. This blessed me thanks for sharing this.

  5. Thank you, Elisabeth–that was beautiful. What a Savior we have.

  6. This was a precious find, Elisabeth. The Hebrew was beautiful.
    This week, my heart has been broken for some of the girls in our youth group. They’ve opened up to me, sharing some terrible past-circumstances that young girls should never experience. Isaiah 61 was among my findings as I searched for Scripture of healing…the line “sent to bind up the broken-of-heart” ministered to me the most this morning.

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