Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

June, 2007                                                    Issue #037

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E-Zine Home Page

 

Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Firmament

Name of the Month – Simeon

Question of the Month – Greek word pun?

Verse of the Month – Exodus 20:11

MT Excerpt – Genesis 3:1-7

AHRC Excerpt – Names of God

Copyright

 

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Biblical Word of the Month - Firmament

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

The word רקיע raqiya [H:7549], translated as firmament, comes from the root word רקע raqa [H:7554] which can be found in several passages including Isaiah 40:19;

The sculpture is poured by the craftsman and he overlays the cast with gold and castings of silver chains.

Raqa is the process of hammering out a piece of gold or other metal into thin plates which was then applied to a carved or casted image such as we read in Numbers 16:39;

And El’azar the priest took the copper censers, which they brought near and were burned and they were hammered out into plates for the altar.

Here, the phrase “hammered out” is again the verb root רקע raqa [H:7554]. The word רקיע raqiya [H:7549], as found in Genesis 1:6 is literally a “hammered out sheet”. There are some scientists who have speculated that before the flood there was a thick sheet of water surrounding the earth high in the atmosphere. It is then possible that the opening of the windows of heaven which brought down the floodwaters (see Genesis 7:11) is the collapse of this “hammered out sheet” of water. It is also theorized that the sheet of water would have filtered out harmful sun rays and contributed to the longevity of life on the earth prior to the flood.

 

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Name of the Month - Simeon

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

This name is derived from the Hebrew verb שמע shama [8085] meaning “to hear.”

 

dha efei fniela efei larsi oms

dha efei fniela efei larsi oms

 

In Deuteronomy 6:4, written above in the Modern Hebrew and Middle Semitic (paleo-Hebrew) scripts, the first word is sh’ma, the imperative form of the verb meaning “hear!” This word is kind of a motto to Israel. It has been found written on ancient pottery (left) and coins (right).

                        

In Genesis 29:33 Leah, the wife of Jacob, says, “Because Yahweh has heard (shama) that I was hated and he gave me this one also” and she gives him the name שמעון Shimon [8095], a Hebrew word meaning “heard.”

 

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Question of the Month – Greek word pun?

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

Q: In the Greek text of Matthew 16:18 there is a word pun with the Greek words “petros,” meaning “Peter,” and “petra,” meaning “rock.” From this can we conclude that this book was originally written in Greek and not Hebrew?

 

A: The Hebrew authors love to add word puns in their writings and the Tenach/Old Testament is filled with them. So, does the use of a word pun in the Greek book of Matthew indicate that this was originally written by Hebrew authors with the Greek language? Not necessarily for several reasons.  First, If the text was originally written in Hebrew and translated into Greek later the translator may have simply added the word pun, especially if the Hebrew already had a word pun. Secondly, if we examine the Hebrew book of Matthew as preserved by Shem Tov Ibn Shaprut (14th Century CE), we find a different word pun.

 

I say to you, you are a stone (eh-ven) and I will build (ah-venah) upon you my house of prayer.

 

Thirdly, while there are some word puns in the Greek text of the Bible, there are far more found in the Hebrew Matthew and in the rest of the New Testament when the Greek is translated into Hebrew.

 

 

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Verse of the Month – Exodus 20:11

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

כִּי שֵׁשֶׁת־יָמִים עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֶת־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֶת־הַיָּם וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּם וַיָּנַח בַּיֹּום הַשְּׁבִיעִי עַל־כֵּן בֵּרַךְ יְהוָה אֶת־יֹום הַשַּׁבָּת וַיְקַדְּשֵׁהוּ׃

For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (ASV)

 

כִּי (kiy)

This word means “because” or “for.”

  

שֵׁשֶׁת (shey-shet)

This is the Hebrew word for the number “six.”

  

יָמִים (ya-miym)

The base word is יום yom meaning “day” with the masculine plural suffix ים iym. Yamiym then means “days.”

  

עָשָׂה (a-sah)

This verb means “to do” or “to make” and is written in the perfect tense - “did” or “made.” The form of the verb also identifies the subject of the verb as masculine singular - “he made.”

  

יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the subject of the previous verb - “YHWH” or “Yahweh.”

  

אֶת (et)

This word precedes the direct object of the previous verb.

  

הַשָּׁמַיִם (ha-sha-ma-yim)

This is the direct object of the previous verb. The base word is שמים shamayim meaning “sky” with the prefix ה ha meaning “the.”

  

וְאֶת (ve-et)

The prefix ו ve means “and” and is followed by another את et indicating that the next word is also a direct object of the previous verb.

  

הָאָרֶץ (ha-a-rets)

This is also a direct object of the previous verb. The base word ארץ erets means “land” with the prefix ה ha meaning “the.”

 

אֶת (et)

Again, this word is used to identify another direct object of the previous verb.

  

הַיָּם (hay-yam)

Another direct object of the previous verb. The base word My yam meaning “sea” with the prefix h ha meaning “the.”

  

וְאֶת (ve-et)

The prefix w ve means “and” and is followed by another ta et indicating that the next word is also a direct object of the previous verb.

  

כָּל (kol)

This word, meaning “all,” is the beginning of three words which are all part of the direct object of the previous verb.

  

אֲשֶׁר (a-sher)

A word meaning “which,” “who,” or “what.”

  

בָּם (bam)

This is the prefix ב ba meaning “in the” with the suffix ם m meaning “them.” This prefix/suffix combination means “in them.”

  

וַיָּנַח (vay-ya-nahh)

The base word is the verb נוח nu’ahh meaning “to rest.” The prefix י ya identifies that the verb is in the imperfect tense and the subject of the verb (which is the Yahweh mentioned previously) as a masculine singular - “he will rest.”  The prefix ו va means “and” but also reverses the tense of the verb - “and he rested.”

  

בַּיֹּום (ba-yom)

The base word יום yom means “day” and the prefix ב ba means “in the.” Bayom means “in the day.”

  

הַשְּׁבִיעִי (hash-viy-iy)

The base word is שביעי sheviyiy meaning “seventh” with the prefix ה ha meaning “the.”  This word is a description of the previous word so; the phrase “in-the-day the-seventh” would be translated as “in the seventh day.”

  

עַל (al)

This word means “on” or “upon.”

  

כֵּן (keyn)

This word means “so” as in “it is so.” This is also the Modern Hebrew word for “yes.” When this and the previous word are put together, “upon so,” it means “therefore.”

  

בֵּרַךְ (bey-rakh)

The base word ברך barak means “to kneel.” However, it is written in the “piel” form which is a way of slightly changing the meaning of the verb. In this case it means “to show respect” in the sense of kneeling before another. This form of the verb also identifies the tense of the verb as “perfect” - “showed respect” and the subject of the verb as masculine singular - “he showed respect.”

  

יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is again the name YHWH, or Yahweh, the subject of the previous verb.

 

אֶת (yom)

This word precedes the direct object of the previous verb.

  

יֹום (ha-sha-bat)

This and the following word are the direct object of the previous verb. This word means “day.”

  

הַשַּׁבָּת (har)

The base word שבת shabbat is usually transliterated as Sabbath but literally means “ceasing” in the sense of stopping work to rest. The prefix ה ha means “the.”

  

וַיְקַדְּשֵׁהוּ (vay-qad-shey-hu)

The base word is the verb קדש qadash means “to set apart for a special function.” The prefix י ye identifies the verb is in the imperfect tense and that the subject of the verb (which is the Yahweh mentioned previously) as masculine singular - “he will set apart.”  The prefix ו va means “and” but also reverses the tense of the verb - “and he set apart.” The suffix הו hu means “him” (but in English we would use “it”) - “and he set him/it apart.”

  

 

The following is a literal rendering of this verse from its Hebraic meaning.

 

Because in six days Yahweh made the sky and the land, the sea and all which is in them and he rested in the seventh day therefore, Yahweh showed respect for the day of ceasing and he set it apart for a special function.

 

In following issues we will continue with this chapter.

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Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 3:1-7

1 and the serpent had existed as a subtle one from all of the living ones of the field which “YHWH [He exists]” of “Elohiym [Powers]” made and he said to the woman, did “Elohiym [Powers]” really say you will not eat from all of the trees of the garden, 2 and the woman said to the serpent, from the produce of the tree of the garden we eat, 3 and from the produce of the tree which is in the midst of the garden “Elohiym [Powers]” said, you will not eat from him and you will not touch in him otherwise you will die, 4 and the serpent said to the woman, a dying you will not die, 5 given that “Elohiym [Powers]” is knowing that in the day you eat from him then your eyes will be opened up and you will exist like “Elohiym [Powers]” knowing function and dysfunction, 6 and the woman saw that the function of the tree is for nourishment and that he is yearning to the eyes and the tree was a craving to make calculations and she took from his produce and she ate and she gave also to the man with her and he ate, 7 and the eyes of the two of them were opened up and they knew that they were naked and they sewed together leaves of the fig and they did for them loin coverings,

 

For details on this new translation see the web site at

http://www.mechanical-translation.org

 

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AHRC Website Excerpt – Names of God

In our modern culture a title defines the position, or character, of an individual while a name is nothing but an identifier with no meaning. In Hebrew all names are words with meaning and represent the character of the individual. Using English as an example my name, from a Hebraic perspective, could be Jeff, father, husband, son or manager. The first column is the name in Hebrew, the second is an English transliteration, the third is its literal translation and the fourth is a Biblical reference with the name.

 

אל

 

El

mighty one

Genesis 14:19

אלוה

 

Elo'ah

power

Deuteronomy 32:15

אלהים

 

Elohiym

powers

Genesis 1:1

יהוה

 

Yehu

he exists

Genesis 4:1

אהוה

 

Ehyeh

I exist

Exodus 3:14

אדוני

 

Adonai

lords

Genesis 18:27

אחד

 

Ehhad

one

Zechariah 14:9

מלך

 

Melekh

king

Psalm 47:6

אב

 

Av

father

Isaiah 64:8

מושיע

 

Moshi'ah

deliverer

Isaiah 45:15

רוח

 

Ru'ahh

wind

Genesis 1:2

בורא

 

Borey

filler

Isaiah 40:28

באל

 

Ba'al

master

Isaiah 45:5

עושה

 

Oseh

maker

Isaiah 45:5

אל שדי

 

El Shaddai

mighty breasts

Genesis 17:1

אדוני יהוה

 

Adonai Yehu

Adonai of Yehu

Genesis 15:2

יהוה אלהים

 

Yehu Elohiym

Yehu of Elohiym

Genesis 2:4

יהוה יראה

 

Yehu Yireh

Yehu sees

Genesis 22:14

יהוה נסי

 

Yehu Nisi

Yehu is my standard

Exodus 17:15

יהוה שלום

 

Yehu Shalom

Yehu is completeness

Judges 6:24

יהוה צדקנו

 

Yehu Tsid'qanu

Yehu is our righteousness

Jeremiah 23:6

יהוה צבאות

 

Yehu Tseva'ot

Yehu of the armies

1 Samuel 1:3

אלהים צבאות

 

Elohiym Tseva'ot

Elohiym of the armies

Psalm 80:7

 

This article is located on the web site at

http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/24_namesofgod.html

 

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Copyright © 2007

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center

 

Please feel free to use, copy or distribute any material within the "Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine" for non-profit educational purposes only.

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