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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #520 - אַמָּה
1) cubit — a measure of distance (the forearm), roughly 18 inches (.5 meters). There are several cubits used in the OT, the cubit of a man or common cubit (Deuteronomy 3:11), the legal cubit or cubit of the sanctuary (Ezekiel 40:5) plus others. See a Bible Dictionary for a complete treatment.
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 Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
אַמָּה prop. i.q. אֵם, but always metaph. of the beginning, head, and foundation of a thing. Specially
(1) it is the mother of the arm, i.e. the fore-part of the arm; cubitus, ulna, the fore-arm, Deuteronomy 3:11. Hence
(2) The name of a measure, a cubit, an ell. Comp. the Lat. cubitus, ulna, also Germ. Elle, whence Ellenbogen, Gr. πῆχος and πυγῶν, Arab. ذِرَاعُ, Egypt. ⲙⲁⲥⲓ. The method of numbering cubits is this: אַמָּתַיִם “two cubits,” Exodus 25:10, 17 Exodus 25:17שָׁלשׁ אַמּוֹת 27:1, and so on as far as ten; in the later Hebrew אַמּוֹת שָׁלשׁ 2 Chronicles 6:13 with numbers higher than ten, in the more ancient Hebrew, thus, תֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה Genesis 6:15 in the later, חֲמִשִׁים אַמּוֹת Ezekiel 42:2, or אַמּוֹת עֶשְׂרִים 2 Chronicles 3:4. Also to numerals of all kinds, and both in more ancient and later Hebrew it is joined by בְּ: אַרְבַּע בָּאַמָּה “four by cubit,” i.e. four cubits; מֵאָה בָאַמָּה “a hundred cubits,” Exodus 27:9, 18 Exodus 27:18, 36:15 38:9. The common Hebrew cubit was six palms, nor should the opinion be heeded which makes it only four; a larger cubit of seven palms ἑπταπάλαιστος, is mentioned Ezekiel 40:5, 43:13, comp. 2 Chronicles 3:3 [“this agrees with the royal cubit of the Babylonians (Herod i. 178) and Egyptians; see Bœckh, Metrol. Untersuch. p. 212, seq. 265, seq.” Ges. add.] and the remarks in Thes. p. 110, 113.-Metaph. Jeremiah 51:13, “thy end is come, the measure of thy rapine,” i.e. the time when God setteth bounds and measure to thy wicked gain.
(3) i.q. אֵם No. 6, metropolis, 2 Samuel 8:1, “and David took the bridle of the metropolis from the hand of the Philistines,” i.e. he subjected the metropolis of the Philistines to himself. Comp. the Arabian proverb “to give one’s bridle to any one,” i.e. to submit to his will. Schult. on Job 30:11, and Har. Cons. iv., p. 24. See Geschichte der Hebr. Sprache, p. 41.
(4) foundation. Isaiah 6:4, אַמֹּות הַסִּפִּים “the foundations of the threshold.” Comp. أُمَّاتُ, أُمَّهَاتُ, roots, beginning.
(5) [Ammah], pr.n. of a hill, 2 Samuel 2:24.
אַמָּה pl. אַמָּין f. Ch. a cubit, Daniel 3:1; Ezra 6:3 Syr. ܐܰܡܳܐ, ܐܰܡܬܐܳ, pl. ܐܰܡܝܺܢ.
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