The Hebrew word, Tamiym, is translated as ‘perfect’ in English. But, when we look at the context of the word in its original language, we understand that there is more to the meaning of the word. So, what does it really mean?
Tamiym or Perfect
In Psalm 19:7, it says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” The word, perfect, here is translated tamiym in Hebrew. But, the usage of the word does not really mean perfect. In Hebrew, Tamiym means complete, whole, entire, in the sense of being unimpaired, innocent, and having integrity.
So, according to Psalm 19:7, the law of the Lord is perfect in the sense that it is complete and morally pure. It gives us instructions to be at peace with God and in His ways.
But, tamiym is also found in another verse. Exodus 12:5 says, “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats.”
To be used as a sacrificial offering, Moses instructed that the lamb should be tamiym, or without blemish or spots. Is the lamb perfect? No, it is not. But, it is tamiym – blameless, complete, and unimpaired.
Furthermore, Paul shared that the church of Christ should follow being blameless and without blemish. He said in Ephesians 5:27, “…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
We are not encouraged to be entirely perfect but to be tamiym. We can achieve this when we received Jesus’ cleansing through His Word. We, then, become like Him, the Lamb of God, without blemish and spot.
Reference: Living Word