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Language Studies

Hebrew Thoughts Archives

February 22, 2014
These two variant words are first used respectively in Genesis 2:25 ‘ârôwm (Strong's #6174, x16) and Genesis 3:7 ‘êyrôm (Strong's #5903, x10) in the description of man and his fall. They both derive from the root verb ‘âram (Strong's #6191) which significantly also shares a primary syllable with ‘ârah (Strong's #6168), "to make naked"
February 15, 2014
The word nâsagh (Strong's #5381, x50) only occurs in what is known as the Hiphil or causative stem of the Hebrew verb. It seems to mean, therefore, "to cause to reach, attain". However, Job 24:2 is translated "Some remove landmarks" which is closer in meaning to the similar sounding verbs nâçagh (Strong's #5253) "to remove, displace, takeaway"…
February 8, 2014
shâma' (Strong's #8085, x1160) is best translated by a combination of four English words, "hear, heed, understand and obey". In all it occurs over a thousand times in Scripture, often in key verses and is translated variously in the KJV, for example, by hear x785, hearken x196, obey x81, understand x9, obedient x8. We find it in biblical names…
February 1, 2014
'îysh (Strong's #376), occurs 2180 times with nearly another 500 in the Qumran Dead Sea Scroll texts, many times more frequently than the next most common word for 'man', 'âdhâm (Strong's #120, approx 550 times - see Word Study). 'enôwsh (Strong's #582, man in his weakness, just 42 uses) and gebher (Strong's #1397, man in his…
January 25, 2014
The word kôpher (Strong's #3724,x17) is related to kâphar "to cover" (Strong's #3722, x102). It is first used in Genesis 6:14 of the waterproofing of the ark, using similar cognate language to the Babylonian flood story. The NKJV translation obscures the relationship between noun and verb with "cover it inside and outside with pitch" whilst…
January 18, 2014
The Hebrew verb râcham (Strong's #7355, x47) "to have mercy" and its corresponding noun racham (Strong's #7356, x44) "mercy, compassion, womb, bowels" are probably best known from the prophetic drama of the naming of Hosea's daughters in Hosea 1:6 and later reversed in Hosea 2:1: "And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to…
January 11, 2014
The Hebrew word pesach (Strong's #6453) is the noun behind the word for 'Passover' and comes from the verb Psx pâsach 'to pass over, spring/leap over' (Strong's #6452). From a numerological point of view and that of biblical neatness it is rather amazing that the word for probably the most important Jewish festival…
January 4, 2014
The word gâ’al (Strong's #1351, x11) in its few uses is translated by "pollute" x7, "defile" x3 and once "stain" in the KJV. It is actually spelled identically to gâ’al (Strong's #1350, x104) which is rendered by some idea of redemption or ransom or even revenge in 80% of its uses and again, in a debatable use, by "stain" once (Job 3:5). There…
December 28, 2013
The verb bâr⒠(Strong's #1254) means literally 'to create by cutting out or carving' (especially in a particular form of the Hebrew verb known as piel, cf. Joshua 17:15,18; Ezekiel 23:47) and the ideas of 'creating' and 'begetting' and 'filling' flow from this. Its close Arabic cousin can mean to carve or cut or whittle wood for an…
December 21, 2013
The word lâham / lâhêm (Strong's #3859, x2) only occurs in one context, the book of Proverbs, but is repeated in Proverbs 18:8 and 26:22: "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, And they go down into the innermost parts of the belly." (Proverbs 18:8, KJV) "The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost…
December 14, 2013
The word tâbhal (Strong's #2881, x16) is first used in Genesis 37:31 of Joseph's brothers taking his multicoloured tunic and dipping it in goat's blood to fake his death. Usually rendered by baptô (Strong's #911) "to dip, dye" in the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament it is unexpectedly translated here by molunô (Strong's #3435), a verb…
December 7, 2013
The root verb bâsar (Strong's #1319, x26) is used of bringing or carrying fresh news generally from the battlefront. The messenger was usually "fresh-faced" or "flushed" from his arrival and the news was usually "good", though its first use in 1 Samuel 4:17, using the participle of the verb mebhassêr, is of a "messenger" bringing the bad news…
November 30, 2013
The word אִשַָּׁה 'ishshâh (Strong's #802, x780) appears to be a feminine form of אִישׁ 'îysh "man, husband, male" (Strong's #376, x1638), in turn probably contracted from אֱנוֹשׁ 'enôwsh "man" (Strong's #582, x564). Many modern Hebraists prefer to see the two words as unrelated despite the similar sound…
November 23, 2013
The word, tâmîym (Strong's #8549, x91) means "complete perfection" and in the Greek Septuagint Old Testament is translated by such words as teleios "mature, complete, finished, perfect". It derives from the verb tâmam (Strong's #8552, x64) "to be complete, finished, whole" first used during the famine in Egypt of both the money being…
November 16, 2013
The word תּוֹעֵבַָה tô‘êbhâh "abomination" (Strong's #8441, x117) comes from תָּעַב tâ‘abh "to abhor, shame, detest" (Strong's #8581, x22). Abhor is perhaps too strong a word and the Tongan word tabu and…