Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

February, 2008                                                          Issue #041


Issue Index

Word of the Month – Forgive

Name of the Month – Gad

Question of the Month – Months

Verse of the Month – Exodus 20:17

MT Excerpt – Genesis 4:6-12

AHRC Excerpt – Man and Fire







Word of the Month -  Forgive

By: Jeff A. Benner


Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thy hand. For I will make him a great nation. (Genesis 21:18)


The Hebrew word behind "lift up" is נשא (nasa, Strong's #5375) and means to take hold of something and lift it up, either to move or remove it. This very same Hebrew word is also used in the following verse.


Consider mine affliction and my travail; And forgive all my sins. (ASV, Psalm 25:18)


From a Hebraic perspective, the forgiveness of sins is the same as lifting it off and removing it just as we see in Micah 7:19.


He will again have compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (ASV)


The Hebrew word סלח (salahh, Strong's #5545)  is also translated as forgive and is used in the following verse where the forgiveness of iniquity is being paralleled with the healing (or lifting up) of diseases.


Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases. (RSV, Psalm 103:2,3)


By investigating other words that are related to סלח (salahh) we can see that this word has a very similar meaning to נשא (nasa).


סלד (salad, Strong's #5539) means "to leap up."

סלע (sala, Strong's #5553) is a "cliff" (a wall that is lifted up).

סלק (salaq, Strong's #5559) means "to ascend."



Name of the Month - Gad

By: Jeff A. Benner


The next son of Jacob in our series is Gad.


And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a son. And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad. (KJV, Genesis 30:10,11)


The Hebrew translated as "a troop cometh" is בגד (begad) which is the word גד (gad) meaning "fortune" and the prefix ב (be) meaning "in." So, how does the King James Version get "a troop cometh" out of "in fortune?" First, the KJV translators created their translation almost 400 years ago and since that time much more of the Hebrew language has been learned through etymology and linguistics. Secondly, many translators believe that the word בגד (begad) is an error and was originally written as two words – גד בא (bo gad) meaning "fortune comes." Leah chose this word גד (gad) for her son because of her good "fortune" of having been given another son.


I would also like to point out that the name of the Babylonian god of fortune is "gad." The language of Babylon was Aramaic, a sister language to Hebrew. The Hebrew vowel "a" is not pronounced like the "a" in bad (contrary to the way most of us pronounce this name) but like the "a" in father. Therefore, the Hebrew/Aramaic word/name "gad" is pronounced like our English word "god." It is very likely that our word "god" comes from the Hebrew/Aramaic word גד (gad).



Question of the Month - Months

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: What are the Hebrew names for the months of the year?


A: The following is a chart of the names of the Hebrew calendar used today.






Gregorian Equivelant





























































ב אדר


Adar II *



* This month is added during Leap Year.


Only three of these names are used in the Hebrew Bible-Nissan (Nehemiah 2:1, Esther 3:7), Elul (Nehemiah 6:15) and Adar (Ezra 6:15, Esther 3:7, 13, 8:12, 9:1,5,17,19,21). Tammuz is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, not as a name of a month, but the name of the Babylonian deity (Ezekiel 8:14). This brings up an interesting question. Why is the name of a foreign god in the Hebrew calendar? The names of each month, identified in the chart above, were introduced during Judah's captivity in Babylon. This is evidenced in the fact that the three names mentioned in the Hebrew Bible are in books written during, or after, the Babylonian captivity. Prior to the Babylonian captivity, the name of each month was identified by its cardinal number. For instance, the first month (known as Nissan) was originally called "the first month" as seen in Exodus 12:2.


This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.


Verse of the Month - Exodus 20:17

By: Jeff A. Benner


This is an ongoing look at the 20th chapter of Exodus and the "Ten Commandments" or more literally "ten of the orders."


לֹא תַחְמֹד בֵּית רֵעֶךָ לֹא־תַחְמֹד אֵשֶׁת רֵעֶךָ וְעַבְדֹּו וַאֲמָתֹו וְשֹׁורֹו וַחֲמֹרֹו וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לְרֵעֶךָ׃

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's. (ASV)



לֹא (lo)

This word negates the following verb.


תַחְמֹד (tahh-mod)

The base word is the verb חמד (hhamad) meaning “to desire” or “covet.” The prefix ת identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will desire - and the subject of the verb as second person, masculine, singular - you will desire. Because of the preceding word this would be translated as “you will not desire.”


בֵּית (beyt)

This is the Hebrew word for "house."


רֵעֶךָ (rey-eh-kha)

The base word is the noun רע (ra) meaning “friend” or “companion.” The suffix ך means "of you." Combined this means "friend of you" or "your friend."


לֹא (lo)

This word negates the following verb.


תַחְמֹד (tahh-mod)

This is the same word above meaning “you will not desire.”


אֵשֶׁת (ey-shet)

The base word is the noun אשה (ishah) meaning “woman” or “wife.” Because this word is in the construct state (woman of...), the final letter ה is converted to a ת.


רֵעֶךָ (rey-eh-kha)

This is the same word above meaning "your friend."


וְעַבְדֹּו (ve-av-do)

The base word is the noun עבד (eved) meaning “servant.” The prefix ו means "and" and the suffix ו means "of him." Combined, this means "and servant of him" or "and his servant."


וַאֲמָתֹו (va-a-ma-to)

The base word is the noun אמה (amah) meaning “bond servant” (feminine). Because this word is in the construct state (bond servant of...), the final letter ה is converted to a ת. The prefix ו means "and" and the suffix ו means "of him." Combined, this means "and bond servant of him" or "and his bond servant."


וְשֹׁורֹו (ve-shor-o)

The base word is the noun שור (shor) meaning “bull.” The prefix ו means "and" and the suffix ו means "of him." Combined, this means "and bull of him" or "and his bull."


וַחֲמֹרֹו (va-hha-mo-ro)

The base word is the noun חמר (hhamor) meaning “donkey." The prefix ו means "and" and the suffix ו means "of him." Combined, this means "and donkey of him" or "and his donkey."


וְכֹל (ve-khol)

The base word is כל (kol) meaning “all" and the prefix ו means "and."


אֲשֶׁר (a-sher)

This is the relative participle meaning "which."


לְרֵעֶךָ (le-rey-eh-kha)

The base word is the noun רע (ra) meaning “friend" or "companion." The prefix ל means "to" but in many contexts, such as here, it means "belonging to..." The suffix ך means "of you" or "your." Combined, this means "belonging to your friend."



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


You will not desire the house of your friend; you will not desire the wife of your friend, and his servant and his bond servant and his bull and his donkey and all which belongs to your friend.


In following issues we will continue with this chapter.


Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 4:6-12

For details on this new translation see the web site at


6 and “YHWH [He exists]” said to “Qayin [Acquired]”, why were you flared up and why is your face fallen, 7 if you cause it to be done well, will it not be lifted up and if you do not cause it to be done well, an opening of error is stretching out and to you is his following and you will regulate in him, 8 and “Qayin [Acquired]” said to “Hevel [Empty]” his brother, let us go out into the field, and it came to pass in their existing in the field and “Qayin [Acquired]” rose to “Hevel [Empty]” his brother and he killed him, 9 and “YHWH [He exists]” said to “Qayin [Acquired]”, where is “Hevel [Empty]” your brother, and he said, I do not know, am I the guard of my brother, 10 and he said, what did you do, the voice of the blood of your brother is crying out to me from the ground, 11 and now you are spitted upon from the ground which parted her mouth to take the blood of your brother from your hand, 12 given that you will serve the ground, she will not again give her strength to you, you will exist in the land, staggering and nodding,


AHRC Website Excerpt – Man and Fire

And the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)


The Hebrew word for fire is "אש" (esh). Derived from this two letter parent root is the three letter child root "איש" (iysh) meaning "man". Not only are these two words related by their letters, they are also related in meaning. To re- discover this relationship between fire and man let us begin by seeing the "creation" of fire from the ancient Hebrews perspective.


In ancient times before the invention of lighters and matches, fire was made with a "bow drill" and tinder. The tinder is any fine organic material such as dried grass or inner bark fibers. The bow drill consisted of four parts, the fireboard, bow and string, rod and handle. The fireboard was made of a flat board with a v-shaped cut at the edge of the board. The bow and string is constructed similar to an archers bow. The rod is a round stick pointed at one end and rounded at the other. The handle is a flat round board.


Fine tinder is compressed into a ball and laid on the ground. The fireboard is placed on top of the tinder with the v-shape cut over the tinder. The string of the bow is wrapped once around the rod and the pointed end of the rod is set on the fireboard over the v-shaped cut. The handle is placed on top of the rod. One hand holds the handle while the other hand moves the bow back and forth in a sawing motion. This action causes the rod to spin back and forth on the fireboard.


As the rod spins on the fireboard fine wood dust is shaved off the rod and deposited in the v-shape cut on top of the tinder. The friction of the two woods rubbing also created heat causing the dust to become very hot. After a short time working the fire drill smoke will begin to rise from the heated dust. The fireboard is carefully removed leaving the pile of smoldering dust on the tinder. The Tinder is picked up and enclosed around the dust and the fire maker blows on the dust increasing the heat. The dust then ignites the tinder creating fire.


Let us know look at passage in Genesis in light of the ancient form of making fire.


Genesis 2:7



And the LORD God

And the fire maker

formed the man from the dust of the ground

formed a man of dust on the tinder

and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life

and he blew into the tinder the breath of life

and the man became a living soul.

and the man became a living fire.


This article is located on the web site at




“What is it” I think is still a translational error.


Analytic Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon – Davidson - page 498 left column bottom - mem nun nun sofit – In Ex. 16:15 it is Mem-nun sofit – I thought “what” was mem – hey.


Next TWOT number 1215 here is list the same definition “portion”


If you have a chance take a look. The item has been extensively researched and “portion of Him”  seems to be a better rendering of the Hebrew and then would explain the comment of John 6:41.


In your book Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible – page 171 number 1290A- you list mem nun sofit and meaning “portion.” Even if “what” could be derived from the Hebrew does not it seem that “what portion’ would be the intent considering the root, etc?


--Dick Brown





The Living Words-Volume 1      

The Living Words-Volume 1 by Jeff A. Benner

Reading a translation of any book is just not the same as reading it in its original language and is adequately stated in the phrase "lost in the translation." When-ever a text is translated from one language to another it loses some of its flavor and substance. The problem is compounded by the fact that a language is tied to the culture that uses that language. When the text is read by a culture different from the one it is written in, it loses its cultural context. A Biblical example of this can be found in the Hebrew word tsur which is translated as a rock - "He only is my rock and my salvation, he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved" (Psalm 62:2, KJV). What is a rock and how does it apply to God? To us it may mean solid, heavy or hard but the cultural meaning of the word tsur is a high place in the rocks where one runs to for refuge and defense, a place of salvation. "The Living Words" is an in-depth study into the Ancient Hebrew vocabulary and culture of the Bible replacing the flavor and substance that has been removed from us.


Additional information and ordering details are available through the bookstore.



Copyright © 2008

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center


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