God’s Division of His Word – Testimony/Testimonies

By Chette Nichols Jr

As we continue to look at how God rightly divided the word of truth we come to the second word of the nine we found in Psalm 119, testimonies/testimony.  I pray these word studies help in your deeper study of God’s word.

Testimonies – found 36 times in the OT only and 23 of those times in Psalm 119.

Testimony is found 73 times in the Bible 42 times in the OT, 31 in the NT, and only used by Paul 5 times.

Testimony was used first in Scripture in Exodus 16:34 and it is singular, while the plural Testimonies was first used in Duet 4:45. So we will take a look at these verses to determine the first usage meaning then look at the other verses for additional meanings.

 Exo 16:34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. While the first usage verse says that Moses and Aaron laid up a pot of manna before the Testimony. But the next two uses that came after Exodus 16 tell us that he has not given them the testimony yet.

Exo 25:16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. Future tense

Exo 25:21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. Future tense

Deut 4:44, 45 And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel:  These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Moses spake unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt, Present tense

So from this we can determine is that Moses wrote of how God had brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And later God gives them the 10 commandments on two tables of stone twice and the second time there are more things written. The narratives of Israel’s journey which are a testimony and the commandments which are called the testimonies also. The ark is called the ark of testimony because it carries those writings and tablets. The Tabernacle is called the tabernacle of the Testimony which is the inner vail and covering of the Holy of Holies. Most of the uses speak of the commandments and law and the recordings of Israel’s exodus as the testimonies.

Ruth 4:7 Now this [was the manner] in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave [it] to his neighbour: and this [was] a testimony in Israel.

Ruth is the first place we see the word testimony is used differently. It is used as a means of recording a witness between two people. And the commandments, law and statutes, precepts were all given between God and Israel. So testimony can mean a witness, a covenant, a contract, and it can mean the two stone tablets of the 10 commandments , the law and statutes as well.