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Isaiah 61:1 – Brokenhearted

December 14, 2008

Isa 61:1 NASB
(1)  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

I keep thinking about that brokenhearted part of this verse. There are two Hebrew words that the word “brokenhearted” comes from. Of the many translations I checked, the overwhelming word used is “brokenhearted”. I also found “wounded hearts”, “heartbroken”, “broken of heart” and  “contrite of heart”.

These are the definitions from Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions:

BDB Definition:
1) to break, break in pieces
1a) (Qal)
1a1) break, break in or down, rend violently, wreck, crush, quench
1a2) to break, rupture (figuratively)
1b) (Niphal)
1b1) to be broken, be maimed, be crippled, be wrecked
1b2) to be broken, be crushed (figuratively)
1c) (Piel) to shatter, break
1d) (Hiphil) to cause to break out, bring to the birth
1e) (Hophal) to be broken, be shattered
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root


BDB Definition:
1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding
1a) inner part, midst
1a1) midst (of things)
1a2) heart (of man)
1a3) soul, heart (of man)
1a4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
1a5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
1a6) conscience
1a7) heart (of moral character)
1a8 ) as seat of appetites
1a9) as seat of emotions and passions
1a10) as seat of courage
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a form of H3824

I am struck by how the first word seems to describe intentional violent actions against a person.  The second word takes it beyond the physical. Those actions hit the heart. Whether the heart is hit as a result of the body being hit, or whether the acts are specifically targeting the heart…the heart becomes broken. We live in a world that attacks people, especially in the heart. I see it all around me. I have lived through some of it myself.

I look at the definition of the “heart”. When I see all the things the “heart” encompasses…all the things that are effected…I am amazed. I also relate. I can see how so many of those things pertain to my own struggles. My will, my understanding, my mind, my thinking, my memory, my conscience, my emotions, my passions, my courage, my appetites. I have seen the results of being brokenhearted in my own life in so many ways.

I have also seen Yahweh God’s Son, Yeshua, turn those things around. He has changed me in so many ways. He has given me courage and a passion to help other survivors. He has restored some of my memories and brought balance to some of my emotions. I have always had a determination to make it through and to seek God in the midst of everything going on. My heavenly Abba did not let them take that away from me, although I do feel the effects of the ongoing battle that has spanned over 50 years.

I am still brokenhearted in a lot of ways, but I also see the healing hand of Yeshua in my life. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would not be who I am today without the hand of Yahweh God in my life since I was very young. I knew Yeshua/Jesus in a very real way almost all of my life. I have actively sought Him and loved Him and served Him as best I knew how. I have also failed miserably in many ways, but He has always been there for me…lovingly picking me up and cheering me on…encouraging me to keep trying and to not give up.

If it were not for Yeshua in my life, I would not simply be brokenhearted today…I would be dead. Or I would be locked up somewhere, broken beyond human repair. Humans cannot bring the healing that Yeshua can. They can help to facilitate. They can help me to understand. They can cheer me on and walk with me through it and I am very grateful to the ones that God has brought to me in that capacity. They have been a true blessing to me. God used them mightily, but God did the healing as I did the work of obeying Him in everything I could.

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