Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #1696 - דָּבַר
1) to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, sing
1a) (Qal) to speak
1b) (Niphal) to speak with one another, talk
1c1) to speak
1c2) to promise
1d) (Pual) to be spoken
1e) (Hithpael) to speak
1f) (Hiphil) to lead away, put to flight
V) rbd (דבר DBR) - Speak: A careful arrangement of words or commands. KJV (1488): (vf: Paal, Niphal, Hiphil, Hitpael, Pual, Piel) speak, say, talk, promise, tell, commune, pronounce, utter, command - Strongs: H1696 (דָּבַר)
Nm) rbd (דבר DBR) - I. Word:An arrangement of words. II. Thing:As something that is arranged. In Hebrew thought words contain substance just as physical objects do. III. Plague:The re-ordering of a population. KJV (49): word, thing, matter, act, chronicle, saying, commandment, pestilence, plague, murrain - Strongs: H1697 (דָּבָר), H1698 (דֶּבֶר)
Jeff Brenner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
דָּבַר . This root has various significations, of which several are only found in the derivatives [in Hebrew], but which in the cognate languages also appear in the verb. These various meanings may be thus arranged
(1) The primary power, as the etymologists in Holland long ago rightly observed, is that of setting in a row, ranging in order (Gr. εἴρω); hence
(2) to lead, to guide, specially to lead flocks or herds to pasture (see דֹּבֶר, דֹּבְרָה, מִדְבָּר ), to rule, to direct a people (Syr. and Ch. ܕܒܪܰ to lead, to rule, Arab. دَبَّرَ), also to bring into order, to subdue (see Hiphil), comp. دِبْرُ swarm, as if a herd of bees, and דְּבוֹרָה (a noun of unity), a bee (which see). As a shepherd follows his flock, from the idea of leading there arises that of following.
(3) to follow, to be behind, like the Arab. دَبَرَ, whence دُبْرُ the hinder part, دَابِرُ the last, Heb. דְּבִיר the inmost recess of a temple; and as those who are going to lay snares come from behind
(4) to lay snares, to plot against (comp. עָקַב), to destroy, like the Arab. دَبَّرَ and Heb. Piel No. 2, whence דֶּבֶר, دَبْرُ destruction, death, pestilence. But from the primary idea of ranging in order, or connecting, there arises
(5) the much used, and in the verb the most frequent meaning, to speak, properly, to put words in order. Comp. sermo and dissero a serendo, and Gr. εἴρω in the signification of connecting and saying. In Kal it is only found in part. act. דֹּבֵר Exodus 6:29; Numbers 32:27, 36:5 Psalms 5:7 pass. דָּבֻר Proverbs 25:11, and inf. with suff. דָּבְרֶךָ Psal. 51:6. More frequent is the conjugation
Piel דִּבֵּר and in the middle of a sentence, דִּבֶּר, fut. יְדַבֵּר
(1) to speak, differing from אָמַר to say (which see No. 1), like the Germ. reben and fagen, Gr. λαλεῖν and εἰπεῖν, Aram. מַלֵּל and אֲמַר. It is put
(a) absol., e. g. Job 11:5, מִי־יִתֵּן אֱלוֹהַּ דַּבֵּר “O that God would speak;” Job 33:2; Numbers 12:2; Ezekiel 3:18, etc.; sometimes in an emphatic sense, for to be eloquent, Exodus 4:14, יָרַעְתִּי כִּי רַבֵּר יְרַבֵּר הוּא; Jeremiah 1:6. Often with the addition of אָמַר (see examples under the word אָמַר p. 60., B ).
(b) with an acc. of that which any one says, utters, as שֶׁקֶר, כָּזֶב, שָׁוְא, דִּבֶּר עֶרֶק, to speak justice, deceit, lying. Psal. 101:7 [Kal]; Isaiah 45:19 [Kal]; 59:3 Daniel 11:27. דִּבֶּר דְּבָרִים i.q. Lat. verba dedit, Hosea 10:4; Exodus 6:29, דַּבֵּר אֶל־פַּרְעֹח אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי רֹבֵר אֵלֶיךָ “speak unto Pharaoh all things which I speak unto thee;” Exodus 24:7, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה נַעֲשֶׂה “all that Jehovah hath spoken we will do.” Jeremiah 1:17; Daniel 10:11; Jonah 3:10.
(c) Rarely like אָמַר, it is so used that the things spoken follow, and לֵאמֹר must then be understood. Genesis 41:17; Exodus 32:7, וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־משֶׁה לֶךְ־ “and Jehovah spoke unto Moses, go,” etc. 1 Kings 21:5; 2 Kings 1:7, 2 Kings 1:9; Ezekiel 40:4; Daniel 2:4.
The person to whom, or with whom we speak, is commonly preceded by the particles אֶל Genesis 8:15, 19:14, and לְ Judges 14:7 also after עִם Genesis 31:29; Deuteronomy 5:4 אֵת (אִתּ) Genesis 23:8, 42:30 עַל Jeremiah 6:10. דִּבֶּר בְּ to speak to, used of God; making something known by revelation, Zechariah 1:9 [Kal]; הַמַּלְאָךְ הַדֹּבֵר בִּי “the angel who was speaking with me;” verse 14 Zechariah 1:14, 2:2, Zechariah 2:7, 4:1, Zechariah 4:4, 5:5. Habakkuk 2:1; Jeremiah 31:20; Numbers 12:6, Numbers 12:8. Once with an acc. (to speak to) Genesis 37:4 compare λέγειν τινά to speak to any one. To speak of any person or thing is put with an acc. (like λέγειν τινά). Ruth 4:1, הַגֹּאֵל עֹבֵר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר־בֹּעַז “the kinsman passed by of whom Boaz spoke;” Genesis 19:21, 23:16 with בְּ 1 Samuel 19:3, וַאֲנִי אֲרַבֵּר בְּךָ אֶל־אָבִי “and I will speak of thee to my father” (verse 1 Samuel 19:4); אֶל Job 42:7 עַל 1 Kings 2:19: this is especially used of the things which God speaks or promises to any one (see letter a), 1 Kings 2:4; Daniel 9:12; Jeremiah 25:13, 42:19. To speak against any one, constr. with עַל (prop. to assail any one with reproaches), Psalms 109:20; Jeremiah 29:32; Deuteronomy 13:6 or בְּ (see בְּ B, 6). Numbers 21:7, דִּבַּרְנוּ בַּיהֹוָה וָבָךְ “we have spoken against Jehovah and against thee.” Job 19:18 Psal. 50:20 78:19. But דִּבֶּר בְּ is also to speak through any one, to use any one as an interpreter (see בְּ C, 2), Numbers 12:2; 2 Samuel 23:2; 1 Kings 22:28.
To speak often signifies (as the context shews)
(a) i.q. to promise, zufagen Deuteronomy 19:8; Jonah 3:10, with an acc. of the thing, Deuteronomy 6:3 with אֶל and עַל of the pers. (see above), and in a bad sense to threaten, Exodus 32:14.
(b) to command, to prescribe (comp. אָמַר No. 3), Genesis 12:4; Exodus 1:17, 23:22 to admonish, 1 Samuel 25:17.
(c) to utter a song, i.q. to sing, Judges 5:12 compare Arab. قال and Gr. ἔπος, when used of a poem.
(d) to speak to a woman, i.e. to ask her in marriage; followed by לְ Judges 14:7 בְ 1 Samuel 25:39. Comp. Arab. خطب and Pual.
Farther, these expressions have to be noticed
(e) דִּבֶּר עַל־לֵב פ׳ to speak kindly to any one, especially to console; compare παραμυθέομαι, Lat. alloquium. Genesis 34:3, 50:21 Ruth 2:13; 2 Samuel 19:8; 2 Chronicles 30:22, 32:6.
(f) עַל־לְבּוֹ, דִּבֶּר אֶל־ “to speak with oneself;” Genesis 24:45; 1 Samuel 1:13, מְדַבֶּרֶת עַל־לִבָּהּ “she was speaking in her heart.” Also followed by עִם לִבּוֹ, בְּלִבּוֹ, Ecclesiastes 1:16, 2:15 Psalms 15:2 [Kal].
(g) טוֹבָה עַל, דִּבֶּר טוֹב (of God) “he has spoken good things of any one,” he has promised; Numbers 10:29; 1 Samuel 25:30; Jeremiah 18:20. דִּבֶּר רָעָה עַל to decree, to inflict evils on any one. 1 Kings 22:23; Jeremiah 11:17, 19:15 26:19 35:14 followed by אֶל־ Jeremiah 36:31. The meaning is rather different in Esther 7:9, מָרְדְּכַי אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר־טוֹב עַל־הַמֶּלֶךְ “Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king” (compare 6:2 ).
(h) אֶל־ דִּבֶּר טוֹבוֹת, אֵת to speak kindly with any one; 2 Kings 25:28; Jeremiah 12:6 it. דִּבֶּר שָׁלוֹם עִם to speak friendly, peaceably with any one; Psal. 28:3 [Kal], followed by אֵת Jeremiah 9:7 followed by אֶל־ to announce welfare, to promise, Psalms 85:9 followed by בְּ id. Psalms 122:8, אֲרַבְּרָה־נָּא שָׁלוֹם בָּךְ “I will pray for peace for thee;” followed by לְ Esther 10:3 [Kal], דֹּבֵר שֶׁלוֹם לְכָל־זַרְעוֹ “he spoke for the welfare of all his posterity.” And even absolutely, Psalms 35:20.
(1) דִּבֶּר מִשְׁפָּט אֵת to pronounce sentence (by which a penalty is declared) upon some one, and to plead with some one. See מִשְׁפָּט.
(2) to plot against, to lay snares (Arab. Conj. II. compare above Kal No. 4), Psalms 127:5. Hence to destroy, 2 Chronicles 22:10 (compare אִבַּד in the parallel place, 2 Kings 11:1).
[“Note. In former editions, like A. Sehultens (Opp. Min. p. 124, al.), I have ascribed further to the verb דָּבַר in Piel the significations, to waylay, to plot against, also to destroy; comp. דֶּבֶר and Arab. دبّر followed by على motitus est in aliquem. But the three passages usually cited, do not necessarily make out this sense. Thus Genesis 34:13, וַיְרַבְּרוּ “and they spake,” sc. so בְּמִרְמָה deceitfully, as before. Psalms 127:5, “they shall not be ashamed when they shall talk with the enemies in the gate,” i.e. when they shall combat with enemies; corresponding to the Greek phrase συλλαλεῖν τινί, Isaiah 7:5, LXX.; compare also Heb. הִתְרָאָה 2 Kings 14:8 Comm. on Is.i. p. 280.-More difficult is 2 Chronicles 22:10, “and Athaliah arose, וַתְּדַבֵּר אֶת־כָּל־זֶרַע הַמַּמְלָכָה” in parall. 2 Kings 11:1, וַתְּאַבֵּד; here LXX. and Vulg. ἀπώλεσε, interfecit. But it can be rendered, and she talked with them, i.e. made war upon them; compare Psalms 127:5 or it may be ellipt. for וַתְּדַבֵּר מִשְׁפֶּטִים אֶת־כּ׳ i.e. she pronounced sentence upon them.” Ges. add. The reader may judge whether it be not preferable with Schultens to admit the sense of to destroy.]
Pual, pass. Psal. 87:3, נִכְבָּדוֹת מְדֻבָּר בֶּךְ “glorious things (decreed by God) are spoken of thee;” Song of Solomon 8:8, בַּיּוֹם שֶׁיְּדֻבַּר בָּהּ־ “when she shall be spoken for,” when she shall be asked in marriage; see Piel, letter d.
Niphal, recipr. of Piel, to speak together, to one another, Malachi 3:16 followed by בְּ Ezekiel 33:30; Psalms 119:23 and עַל Malachi 3:13.
Hiphil, to subdue (see Kal No. 2), Psal. 18:48, וַיַּדְבֵּר עַמִּים תַּהְתַּי “who subdueth the people under me;” Psalms 47:4 see Kal No. 2.
Hithpael, part. מִדַּבֵּר speaking with, Numbers 7:89; 2 Samuel 14:13; Ezekiel 2:2.
[(2) “מִדַּבֶּרֶת what one has spoken;” see דַּבְּרָה.]
The derived nouns follow immediately, except דּבוֹרֳה, דְּבִיר, מִדְבָּר.
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