Day 5: Dig up the root words {Tools for memorizing}

Today we begin memorizing Isaiah 12:1. (Or whatever you’ve scheduled for yourself.)


You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.”
Isaiah 12:1


1. Say it 3-5 times, twice each day.

Get out this week’s 3×5 card, and read the verse aloud, slowly, to yourself three to five times, paying attention to each word. Carry the card with you throughout your day. Or set it somewhere you often look. Say the verse to yourself throughout the day.

Repeat three more times later this afternoon or tonight. Breaking up ten recitations into two sessions of five times each, is more effective (so they say) than one session of ten times.

2. Print the chapter on a full page.

If you haven’t already, print a full-page copy of your chapter. Isaiah 12 (ESV) on one page is here. Use liberal spacing between the lines, leaving room for notes. Then date this page with today’s date. It’ll be interesting to you later to know when you began learning this chapter.

3. Look up the root words.

Spend about 5 minutes each Monday looking closely at each word in its original language (Hebrew for Old Testament, Greek for New Testament). If you’re going to spend concentrated time with a verse, digging into its words’ original meanings can be enlightening.

But you don’t know Hebrew and Greek? Neither do I! But other people do, and they spell it out for the rest of us.

My favorite Bible study software is I’ve used it for years to help me with Hebrew and Greek as well as Bible study in general. It’s a free download for your PC, or $9.99 for your Mac. The iPhone version is $3.99 (I don’t know of an Android version).

You can also look up the words online. Studylight is a great resource for Strong’s Interlinear Bible words. Just scroll over the word you want defined and click. Or if you know the original word already, look it up in their Hebrew lexicon or Greek lexicon.


Words of interest to me from Isaiah 12:1 . . .

  • “give thanks” = yadah (H3034) = to use the hand; to revere; to worship with hands
  • “LORD” = yehovah (H3068) = self-existent one
  • “angry” = anaph (H599) = to breathe hard; be enraged
  • “turned away” = shub (H7725) = to turn back
  • “comfort” = nacham (H5162) = to sigh; to breathe strongly; to be sorry; to pity

I jot down brief notes on my one-page printout of the text. As you learn more verses, you’ll find words repeating, and you can go back to your original notes to see the meaning.


4. Download desktop wallpaper


[click here then download]


* Do it.
Our memory verses will always give us something to meditate on. But sometimes they also give us things to do. If so, take action. With Isaiah 12:1, let’s do what we’re memorizing—give thanks to the Lord! 


Expanding a verse by amplifying each word is a great way to dig deeper into a text. It can illuminate new meanings that we’d miss at first glance.

But while profitable, we don’t want to get too caught up in this, and miss the true meaning of the text. Words are just symbols, after all.

Rely more heavily on the truths deeper than words; they should always point us back to God in all his marvelous glory. 


* * *

What’s your favorite Bible study tool? Please share in the comments.

Tomorrow I’ll share another of my favorite tools: 1st letters! 


16 thoughts on “Day 5: Dig up the root words {Tools for memorizing}

  1. Linda Stoll

    Thanks for the download, Lisa! I’ve just been busy rearranging my icons around those words to focus on. It sure beats crawling behind the desk to retrieve the print-out from last week!

    I appreciate you going deeper with the root words. So rich.

    A great start to the week, friend. I hope it’s a good one for ya’!



    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad the download will work for you, Linda. I need to rearrange my icons too. 🙂 Yes, my week has started great. Got to each lunch with one of my sisters and one of my daughters. Hope you’re off to a good start too!

  2. Sharon

    Love this! The word study approach really appeals to me as a former English major. I am fascinated by words, and discovering the *roots* of words in Scripture can be so enlightening. I really enjoy using the Amplified Bible translation, as it adds shades of meaning inherent in the original words. I also really appreciated your information about Studylight. Makes it easy. I’d love to learn the original languages, but I’m afraid it’s all Greek to me…(with a little Hebrew?!) 🙂


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m such a word person too, so I’m naturally drawn to the roots. I took a class at church a few years back to learn the very basics of Greek, and it was fascinating. I later ordered a workbook and worked through it a bit on my own, but now I know just enough to be dangerous, not helpful. ha.

  3. melody

    I’m really loving all your resources for memorizing. It has helped me so much over the last few weeks. I’m on Isa. 12:4 but haven’t posted yet on the fb page. Wish I could be in a real life Bible Study under your teaching. Your church is blessed to have you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s fantastic that you’re on Isaiah 12:4, Melody! You’re over halfway there, so you’re going to make it through to the end now. So glad you’re with us. I’m getting so much out of this little chapter and hope everyone else is too.

  4. LInda

    I’m appreciate your urging to get (back) into memorizing, and am so enjoying Isaiah 12…
    I use for word studies and cross-referencing and etc. Just love its ease of use and tremendous amount of resources. This passage is rich! Thanks for getting me into it! –LInda

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh yes, I forget about Blueletterbible but that’s definitely a great resource, too. Thanks for putting that here, Linda! So glad that you’re finding this passage as helpful as I am. Rich is definitely an apt word for it.

  5. David

    Yes, I love this bit too of course. I often end up cobbling together my own version.

    I’m a creature of habit and I always use the online parallel Bible. I’ll try out some of your links.

    (Reading about ScriptureTyper I wondered if I could learn to touch-type by typing in verses of Scripture)

    Keep up the good work!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I cobble together my own version as well. It usually brings it more to life for me, and to me. Online parallel Bibles–another great resource. It’s amazing what all is at our fingertips now, often free online, when we once would have had to go buy hardback books to fill our shelves if we wanted the same materials.

      Using Scripture Typer is definitely good practice for keyboarding skills!

  6. jenn

    Thanks so much for the links to the studylight and e-sword! Great resources! Perfect timing, too, as I read your blog yesterday morning and then had the need to look up the greek for a word just last night. 🙂

  7. Jen Ferguson

    I use Logos Bible software and love it! It’s pricy, but it’s super helpful and pretty easy to use.

    I was struck by the meaning of “give thank” that you posted here. Giving thanks truly is an act of worship, but I hadn’t thought of it in that way. I am so glad that you helped me make that connection.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve seen demonstrations through the years for Logos and it always looks incredibly awesome! So many resources bundled together too. I’m glad to hear a recommendation from a “real” person who has found it helpful and easy to use. Thanks, Jen.

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