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In many places in the TaNaKh, I see the distinctive use of similar words, like:

  • תורה - "law"
  • חקי - "statutes"
  • מצות - "commandments"
  • פקדי - "precepts"
  • עדות - "testimonies"
  • משפטים - "judgments"
  • דבר - "word"

These are prominent in Psalm 119, but are used as early as Genesis 18:19 and 26:6. Also, some of these words are used in the same sentence, implying different meanings. For example, Deut. 30:16 says:אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו וְלִשְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְחָיִיתָ וְרָבִיתָ וּבֵרַכְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָא שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ:

I have been trying to learn the distinctions of meaning by paying attention to instances of them in the text, but this is slow and uncertain. My question is two parts:

  1. Each of these words imply a requirement of G-d, but how are they distinguishable in meaning?

  2. What resources are helpful to understand how these and other words are understood in Tanach?

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I don't understand the question. What do you want to know about these words? Why these words? What do you want to know about other words? What is the concordance teaching you? – Seth J Dec 24 '13 at 4:27
@SethJ what's the difference between them? – Shmuel Brin Dec 24 '13 at 7:13

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