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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #517 - אֵם
1a) of humans
1b) of Deborah’s relationship to the people (figuratively)
1c) of animals
2) point of departure or division
1013) ma (אמ AM) AC: Bind CO: Glue AB: ?: The pictograph a represents strength. The m is water or any other liquid. Combined these pictographs mean "strong liquid". Glue was made by placing the hides and other animal parts of slaughtered animals in a pot of boiling water. As the hide boiled, a thick sticky substance formed at the surface of the water. This substance was removed and used as a binding agent. (eng: arm - with the addition of the r sound)
A) ma (אמ AM) AC: ? CO: Arm AB: ?: The arm that holds things together. The arm is seen as glue that encircles and holds together. A cubit was the length of the arm from elbow to fingertip. The mother of the family is the one who binds the family together by holding in her arms and by the work of her arms.
Nf1) ema (אמה AMH) - I. Cubit:A linear standard of measure equal to the length of the forearm. [Hebrew and Aramaic] II. Bondwoman:One who is bound to another. KJV (304): cubit, measure, post, handmaid, maidservant, maid, bondwoman, bondmaids - Strongs: H519 (אָמָה), H520 (אַמָּה), H521 (אַמָּה)
Jeff Brenner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
אֵם constr. st. אֵם with suff. אִמִּי pl. אִמֹּות f. mother (Arab. أَمُّ and إِمُّ Eth. እም፡, Aram. אִמָּא, ܐܶܡܳܐ, Dan 4:1-37 Act 9:1-43 id.) אָב וָאֵם “father and mother,” both parents, Judges 14:16; Psalms 27:10; Esther 2:7.-בֶּן אִמִּי “my brother, by the same mother,” Genesis 43:29. Poet. בְּנֵי אִמִּי “my brethren” generally, Genesis 27:29; Song of Solomon 1:6. With less exactness a step-mother is also called mother, Genesis 37:10 (comp. 35:16, seq.), which would be more accurately called אֵשֶׁת אָב. But the name of mother has a wider use, and is applied also
(1) to a grandmother, 1 Kings 15:13 and generally to any ancestress, Genesis 3:20.
(2) metaph. used of her who bestows benefits on others, Judges 5:7.
(3) used as denoting intimate relationship or intimacy, Job 17:14 (compare אָב No. 7).
(4) of a nation, as opposed to the children, i.e. persons springing from it, Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 50:12; Ezekiel 19:2; Hosea 2:4, 4:5.
(5) mother of the way, a parting of the road, prop. source and head of the way (elsewhere רֹאשׁ דֶּרֶךְ), Ezekiel 21:26. Arab. أُمُّ is the root, beginning of a thing, but أُمُّاُلطَّرِيقِ is a royal way, and perhaps in Eze.loc. cit. it may be taken in this sense.
(6) i.q. אַמָּה metropolis, a great and leading city, even though not the capital; 2 Samuel 20:19, עִיר וְאֵם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל “a city and a mother in Israel.” So on the Phœnician coins of Tyre and Sidon; compare Arab. أُمُّ metropolis; Greek μήτηρ, Callim. Fr. 112, and mater, Flor. iii. 7, 18; Ammian. xvii. 13.
(7) metaph. used of the earth as the mother of all men, Job 1:21.
This word is undoubtedly primitive, and, like אָב (see p. 2. B.), it imitates the first sounds of an infant beginning to prattle, like the Greek μάμμα, μάμμη μαμμαία, μαῖα, Copt. mau, Germ. Mama, Amme [Eng. mamma, Welsh mam]. A fem. form used metaphorically is אַמָּה. In Arabic there is hence formed a verb أَمَّ to be a mother; hence, to be related, to set an example, to teach.
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