Hebrew Amar vs Dabar

Extract from chaimbentorah.com

Amar somewhat similar to Greek logos-logic

  1. Psa 119:11 Your word (amar) have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.
  2. Psa 138:2 I will worship toward your holy temple, and praise your name for your lovingkindness and for your truth: for you have magnified your word (amar) above all your name.

Dabar somewhat similar to Greek rhema-rhetoric

  1. Gen 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language (i.e. lips), and of one speech (i.e. spoken words).
  2. Gen 27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said to his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
  3. Gen 37:11 And his brethren envied him, but his father observed the saying.
  4. Deuteronomy 27:2-4 You shall set yourself up great stones, and plaster them with plaster (i.e. lime), and you shall write upon them all the words of this law (Torah).

Dabar (H1696 verb H1697 noun) has been recognized as a more direct, clear, and forceful speech. Some have even equated it with the Greek noun rhema (with its corresponding verb epo or ereo). A comparable English word is rhetoric. It is speaking more sincerely, an intimate uttering from the heart. (G4487 noun, G4483 G2036 G2046 verbs).

Amar (H561 noun (m) H565 noun (f)) is merely an everyday conversation, based on the Hebrew word "amar" meaning "to say" or "said". In Greek the corresponding noun is "logos" and the verb is "lego" (G3056 noun (m) G3004 verb). Logical statements as far as the speaker is concerned laid out in order. No major rhetoric.

See too John 8:43 Why do you not understand my speech (in Greek "lalia", the sounds Jesus was making)? Because you are not able to listen to my word (logos), i.e. the quiet logic that underlies it.

Let me use a husband and wife as an example. The husband and wife are traveling and the wife is giving directions. She will say (Dabar, Rhema), “Ok, turn to the left at the next stoplight.” But if they are engaging in a personal conversation (Amar, Lego) she may snuggle up to her husband, take his arm and say: “Honey (dear, sweetheart, sweetums) let’s stop at that restaurant we always like.”

There are times God simply amar’s to us: “Don’t watch that movie.”

Then there are times God will snuggle up to us and dabar “My beloved,” and then amar “Let’s go over that passage of Scripture I pointed out to you this morning.”

Like an old married couple, they can easily sense when their mate is coming on to them and they respond accordingly. So too with God, we need to grow in our relationship with Him to be like Moses where we can tell when God is either seeking intimacy with us or He is just wanting to guide us or both.

** End of Page