Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

December, 2004 Issue #010


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Biblical Word of the Month Trust

Name of the Month Methuselah

Question of the Month King David?




Biblical Word of the Month - Trust

By: Jeff A. Benner


In this issue we are going to look at the different Hebrew words that are translated as "trust". While the word "trust" appears 134 times in the King James Version of the Bible. There are several different Hebrew words behind the English. The English word "trust" is an abstract (cannot be sensed by the five senses), but Hebrew is a concrete oriented language where each word is associated with something that can be sensed by one or more of the five senses. Each of these Hebrew words has their own nuance of meaning that can aid in interpreting the passages they are found in.

חסה (chasah strong's #2620)

Ps 18:2 The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust. This word has the meaning of "to lean on someone or something". If you are hiking with a group of your friends and you sprain your ankle, you are going to lean on one of your companions to help you out of the wilderness. God is the one that we lean on when things get tough. We can also lean on our friends and family for support as well.

בטח (betach strong's #982)

Ps 56:4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. This word has the more concrete meaning of "to cling". A related word, avatiyach (#20) is a melon which clings to the vine. Even though the melon is huge, just as our problems seem to be, the vine is very small. We may not see God but, his is our strength, the one who nourishes us just as the vine nourishes the melon.

יחלל (yachal strong's #3176)

Isa 51:5 My righteousness [is] near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
This word is usually translated as hope but it does not mean to wonder if something will happen and "hope" it does but, to "know" that something will happen in the future. We do not hope that God will protect us, we "know" he will. In the above passage the concrete image of holding onto God's arm for support can be seen but, the word arm (zeroah) is a Hebraic euphemism (using one word to mean something else) for "strength". This passage is saying that the people will know that God's strength will save them.

אמן (aman strong's #539)

Psa 78:22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation
The word aman means to "be firm". When setting up a tent you always choose "firm" soil to drive in your tent pegs so that when the wind blows, the tent pegs will not be pulled out of the ground collapsing your tent (see Is 22:23 where the word aman is translated as "sure" in the KJV). This word is the verb form of the word "amen". When we say "amen", we are literally saying I stand firm on this prayer.



Name of the Month - Methuselah

By: Jeff A. Benner


This name is pronounced "meh-tu-sheh-lahh" (the "hh" is pronounced hard like the "ch" in the name "Bach") in Hebrew. This name is a combination of two words - metu and shelahh. Strong's dictionary states that this name means "man of the dart". According to Strong, the root for "metu" is the word "mat" (#4962) which means "man" and the word "shelach" (#7973) means a weapon or missile (hence the translation of dart).

But, there is another possible meaning for this name. The word "metu" may be derived from the word "mot" meaning death and the "u" is a suffix that means "their" - "their death". There is no way to know for certain if the final vowel in "metu" was an "o" or an "u" as the vowel pointings that make that distinction are of fairly recent origin. If it was originally an "o" then the suffix would change to "his" - "his death".

The word shelach (missile or weapon) is the noun form of the verb shalach meaning "to send" (a missile or weapon that is sent). Shelach has the more literal meaning of "to send something".

We know have the possible meaning of "their death sends" or "his death sends". Sounds like an incomplete sentence doesn't it? Well, it is interesting to note that the year Methuselah died, something very big was sent - the flood. Methuselah's name may be a prophecy that on the day of his death "his death will send" the flood.



Question of the Month King David?

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: Is King David mentioned in the archeological record outside of the Bible?


A: Have you heard proponents against the accuracy of the Biblical text say that many of the characters, like King David, or the Temple never existed and that there is no ancient written account of their existence outside of the Biblical text? The inscription above is written in Aramaic (a sister language of Hebrew and written in the same Middle Semitic script as Hebrew). The Arameans were not Hebrews but did write about the King of Israel (top line) and the house of David (bottom line).


Copyright 2004

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center


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