Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

August, 2008                                                    Issue #045


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Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Salvation

Modern Word of the Month – Computer (New Feature to the E-Zine)

Name of the Month – Joseph

Question of the Month – Ancient and Modern Hebrew?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:4

MT Excerpt – Genesis 5:1-8

AHRC Excerpt – Glory







Biblical Word of the Month -  Salvation

By: Jeff A. Benner


Let's begin this study, as should be done with any serious word study, with the root for the word salvation.


For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (KJV, Deuteronomy 20:4)


The Hebrew word translated as "save" in the verse above, is the verbal root  ישע(Y-Sh-Ah, Strong's #3467) meaning to rescue. The context of this word throughout the Tenack (Old Testament) is to rescue someone from his enemy, a trouble or illness, such as can be seen in the verse above. Another form of this verb is מושיע (moshi'ah). This is the "hiphil participle" form of the verb. A hiphil verb changes the action of the verb into a causative and would literally be translated as "to cause one to be rescued." A hiphil participle verb changes the action of the verb into active and would literally be translated as "causing one to be rescued" or it can be one who performs the action of the verb  which would then be translated as "one causing another to be rescued." The word מושיע (moshi'ah) literally means "one causing another to be rescued," or simply, a "rescuer," but this word is usually translated as "deliverer" or "savior."


And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer (moshi'ah) to the children of Israel, who delivered (the verb Y-Sh-Ah) them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. (KJV, Judges 3:9)


he God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour (moshi'ah); thou savest (the verb Y-Sh-Ah) me from violence. (KJV, 2 Samuel 22:3)



 The word ישועה (yeshu'ah, Strong's #3444) is a noun derived from the verbal root ישע (Y.Sh.Ah, Strong's #3467) which means "relief" in the sense of being rescued from an enemy, trouble or illness. The King James Version translates this word as help, deliverance, health and welfare, but most frequently as salvation.


And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help (yeshu'ah/relief) me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help (the verb Y-Sh-Ah/rescue) thee. (KJV, 2 Samuel 10:11)


And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save (the verb Y-Sh-Ah/rescue) us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation (yeshu'ah/relief). (KJV, Isaiah 25:9)


The name Joshua is written as יהושע (yehoshu'ah, Strong's #3091) and is the name/word יה (yah, Strong's #3050, a form of the name/word YHWH) and the word ישועה (yeshu'ah, Strong's #3444) meaning "rescue." The name then means, "Yah is rescue." The Aramaic form of the Hebrew name יהושע is ישוע (yeshu'a, Strong's #3442), the name many use for the name "Jesus" which is the Latin transliteration of the Greek Iesous, which is the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic Yeshua, which is the Aramaic transliteration of the Hebrew Yehoshuah.




Modern Word of the Month - Computer

By: Jeff A. Benner


The Modern Hebrew word מחשב (mahh-shev) means "computer." It is derived from the Ancient Hebrew root חשב (Hh-Sh-B, Strong's #2803) meaning "to think." One method of forming a Hebrew noun out of a root is by adding the letter מ (M) to the front of a root and this noun would then mean "what" does the action of that root. In the case of מחשב, this word means "what thinks"-a computer.


Name of the Month - Joseph

By: Jeff A. Benner


The next son of Jacob in our series is Joseph.


And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son. (KJV, Genesis 30:24)


In the verse above is the Hebrew verb יסף (Y-S-P, Strong's #3254) meaning "to add." The participle form of a verb is created by adding the vowels "o" and "e" between the three letters of the verb root. So, the participle form of יסף (Y-S-P, Strong's #3254) is יוסף (yoseph). A participle is usually translated by adding the suffix "ing" to the meaning of the root. So, while יסף (Y-S-P, Strong's #3254) means "add," the participle form יוסף (yoseph) means "adding." This participle form is the name יוסף (yoseph, Strong's #3130), which of course means, adding.


Question of the Month – Ancient & Modern?

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: How different is Ancient Hebrew from Modern Hebrew?


A: This is a common question. Both Ancient Hebrew and Modern Hebrew are very similar in some respects. However, there are many differences as well.


  1. Modern Hebrew is written with the Aramaic square script, whereas the Hebrew Bible was originally written with the middle Hebrew script (Paleo-Hebrew).
  2. The Modern Hebrew language includes many words that could not have existed in Ancient times (see the Modern Hebrew word of the day above for an example).
  3. The sounds for some of the letters have changed from ancient times (see the Question of the Month in issue #30).
  4. Ancient Hebrew verbs are written in two tenses, perfect and imperfect, which are related to the completion of the action of the verb. However, in Modern Hebrew, the verbs have three tenses, past, present and future, like other modern languages, which are related to the time of the action of the verb.
  5. While Modern Hebrew includes punctuations such as the period, comma, colon, etc, Ancient Hebrew did not have any punctuation.
  6. When the letter waw was prefixed to a verb in Ancient Hebrew, the tense of the verb is usually reversed (such as from perfect to imperfect) but this is not used in Modern Hebrew.
  7. In my opinion, the greatest difference between Modern and Ancient Hebrew is that the Modern Hebrew is an abstract language similar to other modern languages while the Ancient Hebrew language is a concrete language (see the AHRC excerpt below as an example).



Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:4

By: Jeff A. Benner


אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ בְּהִבָּרְאָם בְּיוֹם עֲשׂוֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם


These are the generations of the heavens and of the

earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth

and heaven. (ASV)


אֵלֶּה  (ey-lah)

This word means "these."


תוֹלְדוֹת (tol-dot)

The word תולדה (tol-dah) literally means "birthing," the generation that proceeds out of the progenitor. This word is written in the plural, as indicated by the feminine plural suffix ות (ot). Because of the addition of this suffix, the letter ה (h) is dropped.


הַשָּׁמַיִם  (ha-sha-ma-yim)

This is the word שמים (sha-ma-yim), meaning "skies", with the ה (h) prefix meaning "the."


וְהָאָרֶץ (ve-ha-a-rets)

This is the word ארץ (e-rets) meaning "land," with the ה (h) prefix meaning "the" and the ו (v) prefix meaning "and."


בְּהִבָּרְאָם  (be-hi-bar-am)

The base word is the verb ברא (B-R-A) meaning "to fatten" or "to fill." The ה (hi) prefix identifies the verb as being in the niphal and imperative forms – be filled. The suffix ם identifies the object of the verb as third person, masculine, plural – they were filled. The prefix ב is the preposition meaning "in" or "with" – with their being filled.


בְּיוֹם  (be-yom)

This is the word יום (yom) meaning day with the prefix ב, the preposition meaning "in."


עֲשׂוֹת  (a-sot)

This is the verb עשה (Ah-S-H) meaning "to do" or "to make" but it is written in the infinitive construct form and would be translated as "making."


יְהוָה  (YHWH)

This is the name of God.


אֱלֹהִים  (e-lo-hiym)

This word, which includes the masculine plural suffix (iym), can literally mean gods, judges or mighty ones, but it is used for "God." (Note: when two nouns are placed together, such as with the names YHWH and Elohiym, they are in the construct state which, in English, would have the word "of" placed between them.


אֶרֶץ  (e-rets)

This word means land.


וְשָׁמָיִם  (ve-sha-ma-yim)

This is the word שמים (sha-ma-yim), meaning "skies", with the ו (v) prefix meaning "and."




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


These are the birthings of the skies and the land with their being filled in the day YHWH of Elohiym was making the land and the sky.




Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 5:1-8

For details on this new translation see the web site at


1 this is the scroll of the birthings of the human in the day “Elohiym [Powers]” fattened the human, in the likeness of “Elohiym [Powers]” he did him, 2 male and female he fattened them and he respected them and he called out their title human in the day he fattened them, 3 and the human lived a hundred and thirty years and he caused to bring forth in his likeness, like his image and he called out his title “Shet [Buttocks]”, 4 and the days of the human existed after his causing to bring forth were eight hundred years and he caused to bring forth sons and daughters, 5 and all of the days of the human existed which he lived were nine hundred and thirty years and he died, 6 and “Shet [Buttocks]” lived a hundred and five years and he caused to bring forth “Enosh [Man]”, 7 and “Shet [Buttocks]” lived after his causing to bring forth “Enosh [Man]” eight hundred and seven years and he caused to bring forth sons and daughters, 8 and all of the days of “Shet [Buttocks]” existed nine hundred and twelve years and he died,



AHRC Website Excerpt – Glory

In Exodus 16:7 we read "and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD" (RSV). What is the "glory" of YHWH? First we must recognize that the "glory" is something that will be seen. Secondly, the word "glory" is an abstract word. If we look at how this word is paralleled with other words in poetical passages of the Bible, we can discover the original concrete meaning of this word. In Psalm 3:3 the kavod of God is paralleled with his shield and in Job 29:20 Job's kavod is paralleled with his bow. In Psalm 23:8 we read "who is this king of the kavod, YHWH is strong and mighty, YHWH is mighty in battle." The original concrete meaning of kavod is battle armaments. This meaning of "armament" fits with the literal meaning of the root of kavod which is "heavy" as armaments are the heavy weapons and defenses of battle. In the Exodus 16:7, Israel will "see" the "armament" of YHWH, who is the one who has done battle for them with the Egyptians.


This article is located on the web site at




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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 defense; 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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