The Hebrew word dabar has the same consonants as deber. The first means word; the second means pestilence. I think we can agree that some confusion can arise,
YHWH GAVE a pestilence … 70 thousand persons DIED
Adonai SENT a word … it FELL
While the first – send a pestilence – is obviously an event the second is not.
Sending a message and its falling (or connecting) constitute the way things are.
This is an excellent display of the difference between the two Hebrew tenses: the perfect (condition) and the imperfect (event). There are hundreds of sayings where this essential difference is ignored in translating, teaching and preaching. The coincidence of D*B*R being opposites, pestilence killing people and word giving life (helping people) brings to light the double edged character of God’s business (dabar, word דבר)
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.Hebrews 4:12