Power to Get Wealth

The Hebrew words for power and wealth

Deuteronomy 8:18
“But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (AMPC)”

Power—Strongs 3581 – “kō·aḥ from an unused root meaning to be firm; vigor, literally (force, in a good or a bad sense) or figuratively (capacity, means, produce); also (from its hardiness) a large lizard — ability, able, chameleon, force, fruits, might, power(-ful), strength, substance, wealth.” 

Wealth—Strongs 2428 – “Chayil khah’yil – probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength – able, activity (+) army, band of men (soldiers), company, (great) forces, goods, host, might, power, riches, strength, strong, substance, train (+) valient (-ly) valour, virtuous (-ly) war, worthy (ily)”

Chayil is translated the following ways in the King James version: army, man of valour, host, forces, valiant, strength, riches, wealth, power, substance, might, strong, misc

All of the versions available on Bible Gateway translate chavil as wealth except one that uses the word successful.

The verse is part of a warning not to allow pride to cause us to pat ourselves on the back when we obtain wealth.

It’s fascinating that the Hebrew words translated power and wealth could also each be translated as force or power. So the verse could be translated as  the force to get power or the force to get force” or even “the power to get strength.”

All of the definitions apply to the Israelite kings. Many of them did not heed the warning and neglected the first commandment to “love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.”

David is one who did follow the first commandment—most of the time. He had a “band of men”—which could be called an army—before he had riches.

The definition “means or other resources” resonates with me.

The terms wealthy and rich carry a negative connotation to some.

Money can’t always buy what we need or want the most. A wealthy person may be bankrupt in love, joy, peace, freedom, health, satisfaction, and other desirable things.

Since the real asset isn’t money or wealth, but rather the power to get wealth, then a person with this revelation will not be bothered if someone steals from them or if the economy takes a nose-dive, because their assets are not the real asset (Luke 16:8).2

1 Strongs Concordance is in Public Domain and available online.

2 Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary note on Deuteronomy 18:18