Hebrew Research Center
January, 2005 Issue #011
Word of the Month – Messiah
Name of the
Month – Egypt
of the Month – Resources?
Biblical Word of the Month - Messiah
By: Jeff A. Benner
The Hebrew word משיח (mashiach/mah-shee-ahch - where the "ch" is
pronounced hard as in the name Bach - Strongs #4899) is usually transliterated
as Messiah. Let us first examine how this word is transliterated and
translated. In the Tenach/Old Testament this word is usually translated in the
English as "Anointed One" and occasionally transliterated as
"Messiah". In the Greek Septuagint (LXX) this Hebrew word is
translated with the Greek word "christos" and is transliterated as
The root word of meshiyach is the verb mashach (Strong's #4886) meaning
"to anoint". In the ancient Hebrew culture is customary to pour oil
on the head of one who is being given a position of authority. This practice is
called "anointing". One of the most common misunderstandings about
meshiyach is that there is only one, but the Tenach identifies several. The
word is used 39 times and just a few of these are listed below.
Leviticus 4:3 If the anointed (mashiyach) priest (kohen) sins bringing guilt to
1 Samuel 24:6 And he (David) said to his men, YHWH forbid me if I should do
this thing to my lord (Saul) the anointed (mashiyach) of YHWH
1 Chronicles 16:22 Do not touch my anointed (mashiyach), my prophets do not
I chose these three passages for one reason, it demonstrates, from an Hebraic
perspective, who are mashiyach. The Priests, Kings and Prophets of Israel are the mashiyach of Israel, they are the ones who are
anointed as men of authority.
While the original meaning of the word mashiyach is applied to one who is
actually anointed with oil, it by extension can also refer to anyone who holds
an office of authority whether they were anointed or not. The Tenach identifies
Cyrus, the King of Persia as a mashiyach.
Isaiah 45:1 Thus says YHWH to his anointed (mashiyach) Cyrus (the King of
Without going into the controversy about who the coming mashiyach (Messiah)
was, is or will be, our purpose here is to understand the Hebraic concept of
who and what a mashiyach is. This will give us a foundation within or our own
studies about the mashiyach.
of the Month - Egypt
By: Jeff A. Benner
In almost every case, a person or place name in the Bible
which we know it by is a transliteration of the Hebrew. For instance the
English Jerusalem is from the Hebrew Yerushalem, Israel from Yisrael, and Methuselah
from Metushelach. This is not the case with Egypt. The Hebrew word for Egypt is
מצרים (mitsrayim / meets-rah-yeem). The first occurrence of
this name is in Genesis 10:6 - And the sons of Ham; Cush,
and Mizraim (mitsrayim), and Phut, and Canaan.
(KJV). Mizraim is the grandson of Noah and evidently settled in the land that
came to be known as Mitsrayim to the Hebrews and Egypt to us today.
The root to this name is צר (tsar Strong's #6862) meaning "pressed in" and
can be translated several different ways; "enemy" as one who presses
in; "trouble" as a pressing in; "strait" as a canyon with
the walls pressing. A common method of forming nouns is to add the letter
"mem" to the front of a root. In this case the "mem" is
placed before the root forming the noun מצר (metsar Strong's #4712). The prefixed "mem"
can be understood as "what is...", hence metsar means "what is
pressed in" and is usually translated as trouble or straits. The suffix of
the name mitsrayim is the masculine plural suffix ים. The normal pronunciation for this suffix
is "eeym", usually a multiple plural, but can also be "yeem"
and is the double plural as in the name mitsrayim.
The name mitsrayim can be interpreted many different ways; two straits
(possibly referring to the two sides of the Nile
river), double straits, two enemies, double pressing, or even double trouble.
While we cannot determine for certain what this name original meant, we can see
some interesting parallels between Egypt
and their relationship with the nation of Israel.
By: Jeff A. Benner
Q: How did the ancient Hebrews
use their natural resources?
A: The early Hebrews were a
nomadic people, living in tents traveling from pasture to pasture with their
flocks and herds. Their flocks provided much of their needs. The hair of their
goats, black in color, was spun into panels for making tents. Their tents,
being black in color, kept the air inside the tent cool. It was constructed
with a very low profile because of the strong desert winds. The meat from the
goats and sheep were used for food and was always served when visitors came to
the tent. Milk from the goats and sheep was commonly drank and also made into
cheese. The skins of the livestock were turned into leather and were used for
various things such as water bags, sandals, bags, etc. The wool from the sheep
was used for clothing and blankets. Grains were also a large staple of the
Hebrews. They would often stay in one area long enough to plant grains which
was made into breads. Other foods harvested included grapes, dates,
pomegranates, and melons. One of the best passages in the Bible showing the
life of the nomadic Hebrew is found in Genesis 18:1-8.
Copyright © 2005
Jeff A. Benner
Ancient Hebrew Research
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