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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #2161 - זָמַם
1) to have a thought, devise, plan, consider, purpose
1a1) to consider, fix thought upon
1a2) to purpose, devise
1a3) to plot (of evil intent)
Jeff Brenner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
זָמַם pret. זָמַמְתִּי and זַמּוֹתִי, fut. יָזֹם pl. יָֽזְמוּ for יָוֹמּוּ (see Gr. § 57, note 11 [§ 66, note 11]; Lehrg. p. 372; for the root יָזַם, which some propose, is altogether fictitious). [In Ges. add. “to meditate, to have in mind, to purpose; Arab. سَمَّ id. It seems to come from the idea of murmuring or muttering, i.e. the low voice of persons talking to themselves or meditating; comp. זַמְזַם to murmur, also הָמָה, הָגָה.” This new definition of this root of course influences the synopsis of meanings, as well as it entirely supersedes the following remark.] Properly to tie, to bind, i.q. the kindred צָמַם, and Arab. زَمَّ to bind, to tie together, whence زِمَامُ a cord. Hence tropically
(1) to lie in wait, to plot, followed by לְ, Psalms 37:12 to purpose, or meditate evil, Proverbs 30:32 followed by a gerund, Psalms 31:14. Hence
(2) as a verb of medial signification, to meditate something, to propose to oneself, followed by an accusative, Genesis 11:6; Lamentations 2:17. Proverbs 31:16, זָֽמְמָה שָׂדֶה וַתִּקָּחֵהוּ “she proposed to herself (to possess) a field, (she considers a field,) and she obtains it.” followed by a gerund, Zechariah 1:6.
With regard to the original signification above proposed [but see the added note], it is sufficient to remark, that verbs signifying binding or weaving are very often applied to counsels, especially in a bad sense, of which examples may be seen under the root אָרַב. Allusion is made to this origin in Job 17:11, זִמּוֹתַי נִתְּקוּ “my purposes are broken off,” that is, like a cord; since the Orientals compare a counsel formed to something woven or wreathed. Vit. Tim. t. i. p. 90: شدّ حزام الحزم he firmly twined the cord of his purpose. In Arabic the figurative idea is found in the verb سَمَّ to purpose to himself, to intend.
Derivatives, זִמָּה, זַמָּה, מְזִמָּה and זָמָם.
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