Exploring Hope – 3

We’re continuing our journey through the Hebrew words that we translate into English as “hope.” We talked first about expectation. Then we talked about yâchal, a painful longing that actually proves our faith in God. Take a look at this next word.


This is the first word translated to “hope” in most versions of the Bible, found in Ruth 1:12.

tiqvâh is used as “hope” 23 times in the Old Testament (KJV). It is also translated as:

  • expectation (7); line (2); the thing that I long for (1); expected (1)


Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
(Psalm 71:3-5 ESV)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
(Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.
(Zechariah 9:12 ESV)


The literal translation of tiqvâh is a cord, an attachment.

Let me ask you, what is something you hope for? Something really large that is extremely important you.

Imagine taking a rope and wrapping it around your arm or your waist. Tie a series of knots that help ensure you cannot be loosed from the rope. Now secure the other end of the rope to what you hope for. That is the picture of hope in this word.

What happens when you fasten yourself to something? It goes everywhere you go. Some times you have to push it forward to keep moving down the road. Other times you are so tired that you drag it behind you as you take step after agonizing step towards your destination. You share everything with this hope, and you cannot get away from it. You become a prisoner of hope. What we sometimes forget is that we tied ourselves to this hope because in our most lucid moment we understood that we could continue without it.

Which of your hopes are you willing to bind or attach yourself to? What is worth so much that when all around you crumbles, you are fastened so tightly to it that it will not fall away, you will not lose it?