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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #377 - אִישׁ
1) (Hithpalel) to be a man, show masculinity, champion, great man
Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
אִישׁ with suff. אִישִׁי, אִישֵׁךְ, אֵישָׁהּ; in pl. found only three times, Psal. 141:4 Proverbs 8:4; Isaiah 53:3 אִישִׁים; in the place of which the use of the language has substituted אֲנָשִׁים (from the unused sing. אֵנֶשׁ); const. state אַנְשֵׁי; with suff. אֲנָשָׁיו, אַנְשֵׁיהֶם; and periphrastically בְּנֵי אִישׁ; comp. No.6.
(1) a man. Specially
(a) opposed to woman, a male; Genesis 4:1, “I have acquired a man with God,” i.e. male offspring. 1 Samuel 1:11. Used even of brutes, Genesis 7:2 comp. 1:27 6:19. So in Latin, vir, of animals, Virg. Ecl. vii. 7.
(b) a husband, opposed to a wife, Ruth 1:11; Genesis 3:6, 29:32, 34 Genesis 29:34 with suff. אֲנָשֵׁינוּ “our men,” i.e. husbands, Jeremiah 44:19 so in Greek ἀνήρ, Il. xviii. 291; Lat. vir, Hor. Sat. i., 2, 127.
(c) opposed to an old man, it is the name of virile age, 1 Samuel 2:33. Sometimes
(d) it denotes manly mind, valour; (comp. verb in Hithp.) 1 Samuel 4:9, הִתְחַזְּקוּ וִהְיוּ לַאֲנָשִׁים “be strong and be men;” 1 Kings 2:2 comp. Hom. Il. v. 529. It is
(e) homo, man, opposed to God, Job 9:32, 12:10 Isaiah 31:8 especially in pl. (Genesis 32:29; Isaiah 7:13 comp. Hom. πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε. Opposed to beasts, Exodus 11:7; Genesis 49:6.
(f) by apposition it is joined to other substantives, as אִישׁ סָרִים “a eunuch,” Jeremiah 38:7 אִישׁ כֹּהֵן “a priest,” Leviticus 21:9 especially with Gentile nouns, אִישׁ עִבְרִי “a Hebrew,” Genesis 39:14 comp. ἄνδρες Γαλιλαῖοι, ἄνδρες Ἰσραηλῖται Act. 1:11 3:12.
(g) followed by a genitive of city, land, and people, it denotes an inhabitant, or citizen of it; אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל “an Israelite;” אַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל 1 Samuel 7:11 אַנְשֵׁי יְהוּדָה 2 Samuel 19:42 also אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר Genesis 24:13. Especially in this signification sing. אִישׁ is put collectively; אִישׁ יִשְׂדָאֵל for אַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל Joshua 9:6, Joshua 9:7, 10:24 Judges 7:8, 8:22, etc.
(h) followed by a genitive of king, leader, military commander, lord, etc., the men of any one are his companions, followers, soldiers, feine Leute. 1 Samuel 23:3, 12 1 Samuel 23:12, 24:5, 1 Samuel 24:8, 28:1. Once perhaps used of relatives and near friends, as the Syriac ܐ̱ܢܳܫ̈ܝܰ ܦܠܳܢ, viz. Ezekiel 24:17, 22 Ezekiel 24:22, where לֶחֶם אֲנָשִׁים is food which relations and near friends were accustomed to send to mourners, In like manner
(1) אִישׁ אֱלֹהִים and with art. אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים a man of God, i.q. a servant and minister of God; of angels, Judges 13:6, Judges 13:8 of prophets, 1 Samuel 2:27 of Moses, Deuteronomy 33:1 of David, 2 Chronicles 8:14.
(k) followed by a genitive which denotes attribute, virtue, vice, it designates one endued with such an attribute, and the Hebrews were accustomed in this manner to make a circumlocution of adjectives. אִישׁ תֹּאַר “a man of form,” i.e. handsome; אִישׁ דָּמִים “bloody;” אַנְשֵׁי לֵבָב “intelligent,” etc.; אַנְשֵׁי הַשֵּׁם “celebrated,” Genesis 6:4 comp. אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה “a husbandman,” Genesis 9:21.
(l) it is used coll. of soldiers, Germ. Mannfchaft, Kriegsmannfchaft, Isaiah 21:9 comp. אָדָם Isaiah 22:6.
(m) אִישׁ denotes a man of more noble quality; opposed to אָדָם a man, or men, of the common people; see under אָדָם No. 1, letter (b).
(n) when joined to numerals, after numbers below ten is put אֲנָשִׁים, as שְׁלשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים Genesis 18:2 between ten and twenty commonly אִישׁ Numbers 1:44 above twenty, always אִישׁ 1 Samuel 14:14, 22:2, 18 1 Samuel 22:18, etc., etc.
(2) followed by אָח or רֵעַ one, another; see אָח and רֵעַ.
(3) any one, some one, Genesis 13:16; Exodus 16:29; Song of Solomon 8:7 so Syr. ܐ̱ܢܳܫ for τις e.g. ܝܘܕܝܐ ܐܢܫ a certain Jew. [“Pl. אֲנָשִׁים men, certain men, like Syr. ܐ̱ܢܳܫܺܝܢ 1 Kings 20:17; Jeremiah 37:10.”]
(4) each, every one; 1 Kings 20:20, וַיַּבּוּ אִישׁ אִישׁוֹ “and they slew every one his man.” אִישׁ וְאִישׁ, אִישׁ וָאִישׁ Psalms 87:5; Esther 1:8 (männiglich). Once like בֹּל it is prefixed to another substantive, Genesis 15:10, וַיִּתֵּן אִישׁ־בִּתְרוֹ לִקְרַאת רֵעֵהוּ “and he set each of the several (animals) part over against part.” אִישׁ־בִּתְרוֹ is i.q. כָּל־בִּתְרוֹ, but the sacred writer has put אִישׁ for כֹּל so as to answer to the following רֵעֵהוּ
(5) an impersonal construction is used, like the Germ. man, French on, Eng. one or men (one says, men say), 1 Samuel 9:9, לְפָנִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל בֹּה אָמַר אִישׁ “formerly it was thus said in Israel,” i.e. one used to say.
(6) בְּנֵי אִישׁ sons of men pl. is periphrastically for men simply, like בְּנֵי אָדָם; see אָדָם No. 5, Psalms 4:3. Sometimes used ἐμφατικῶς of noble men, opposed to בְּנֵי אָדָם Psalms 49:3; Proverbs 8:4 see אָדָם No. 1, letter (b).
As to origin, I regard אִישׁ as a primitive word, somewhat however softened from the harsher form אֶנְשׁ ensh, which see; whence אִשָּׁה for אִנְשָׁה, and pl. אֲנָשִׁים. In like manner the Arabs have إِنْسَانُ and إِيْسَانُ. To this answers the Sansc. isha master, ishi, mistress; and perhaps we should compare Gr. ἴς, Lat. vis and vir (comp. honor, honos, παῖς, Lac. ποῖρ, puer). Derivatives אִישׁוֹן, pr.n. אִישְׁהוֹד, אִישׁ־בּשֶׁת and
אִישׁ denom. verb only in
Hithpalel הִתְאוֹשֵׁשׁ to shew oneself, or act as a man (ἀνδρίζεσθαι), fich ermannen; Isaiah 46:8, הִתְאֹשָׁשׁוּ “shew yourselves men,” i.e. be wise, east away the childish trifles of idolatry. Rightly rendered by Luther, fehd Männer. (Ch. הִתְאֹשֵׁשׁ and תִתְאַשֵׁשׁ id.)
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