Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

April, 2009                                                    Issue #049


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Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Oil

Modern Word of the Month – Aliyah

Name of the Month – Cainan

Question of the Month – Best Books?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:8

MT Excerpt – Genesis 6:9-16

AHRC Excerpt – Chiasmus

What's New







Biblical Word of the Month -  Oil

By: Jeff A. Benner


In today’s culture, oil symbolizes wealth. Nothing has changed over thousands of years. In the ancient cutlures of the near and middle east, oil was a symbol of wealth. Oil was used in lamps for making light. Different types of oils, such as the olive oil, were used for medicinal purposes. Oil was poured on one who was taking the office of king or priest. Oil was used in offerings to Elohiym.


The Hebrew word for oil is שמן (shemen, Strong's #8081  and shamen, Strong's #8082). The verb form is שמן (shaman, Strong's #8080) and means “to be fat.” The parent root of this word is שם (shem, Strong's #8034), which is usually translated as “name” but more Hebraicly means “character.” Isn’t your character your wealth? Isn’t the character of YHWH his wealth?


Modern Word of the Month -  Aliyah

By: Jeff A. Benner


Aliyah refers to the Jewish immigration to the land of Israel. Most modern Hebrew words are created out of Biblical Hebrew roots and the word עלייה (aliyah) is one of these. The root of this word is עלה (Ah-L-H, Strong's #5927), which means “to go up.” In Biblical Hebrew the word עלה (aleh, Strong's #5929) comes from this root and means a “leaf,” as in up in a tree.


In Jewish thought, Israel is at the top of the world and whenever one goes to the land of Israel they “go up” or “aliyah.” While aliyah refers to the process of immigrating, a male who immigrates is called an עולה (oleh) and a female is an עולה (olah).


The opposite of Aliyah is ירידה (yeridah), an immigration out of the land of Israel. Yeridah comes from the Biblical Hebrew root ירד (Y-R-D) meaning “to go down.”


Name of the Month - Cainan

By: Jeff A. Benner


The name Cainan in Hebrew is קינן (qeynan, Strong's #7018). This is not the same name Canaan, the son of Hham, which is כנען (kena’an, Strong's #3667). The name Qeynan comes from the verbal root קנן (qanan, Strong's #7077), literally meaning “to make a nest”This verbal root is derived from the parent root קן (qeyn, Strong's #7064) meaning a “nest.”


Question of the Month – Best Books?

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: If I could only buy three books, which ones would you recommend for learning the Hebrew langauge of the Bible?


A: If you already know the Hebrew alephbet, it is time to start reading Hebrew and learning vocabulary and sentence structure. If you don’t know the alephbet, we have free lessons available on the website at The three books you will want to get are a Hebrew Bible, an analytical Lexicon and an Ancient Hebrew lexicon.


For a Hebrew Bible I recommend the Stone Edition of the Tenach. This has the Hebrew text on one side and an English translation on the other. You probably already have plenty of Christian translations and this translation will be of benefit as it will give a Jewish translation of the text. This Bible also has some great footnotes about the text. You can find this Bible at;


For an analytical lexicon I recommend Benjamin Davidson’s Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon. This lexicon lists every Hebrew word (with the prefixes, suffixes and conjugations intact) that is found in the Hebrew Bible and defines its morphology. It will also give you the root of the word which you can also look up for a detailed definition of the word and some examples of its use. You can find this Lexicon at;


For an Ancient Hebrew Lexicon I recommend my lexicon, the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible. This lexicon will define each word within its concrete cultural context and also groups all the words together that come from the same root. The definitions within this lexicon will help you with learning Hebrew thought so that you can understand the Bible from the perspective of the original authors. You can find this book at;


As you begin reading the text and learning the vocabulary, you will be suprised at how quickly you start learning Hebrew sentence structure and begin to recognize verbs, nouns, prepositions and other parts of speech.


Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:8

By: Jeff A. Benner


 וַיִּטַּע יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים גַּן־בְּעֵדֶן מִקֶּדֶם וַיָּשֶׂם שָׁם אֶת־הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר יָצָר׃


And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (ASV)


וַיִּטַּע (vai-yi-ta)

The base word is the verb נטע (N.T.A) meaning “to plant.” The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect will plant, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular he will plant. The prefix ו (vav) means “and” but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he planted. Also note that the letter נ (nun) is dropped once the verb is conjugated. This happens with any verb beginning with this letter.


יְהוָה (yhwh)

This is the Tetragramaton, the four letter name of God.


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo-heem)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (iym) is the masculine plural so this word means “gods” or “ones of power and authority.” However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as “Elohiym” rather than translating it with the English word “God.” This name/word is the subject of the verb ויטע (hayah) – and Elohiym planted.


גַּן (gan)

This noun means garden.


בְּעֵדֶן (be-ey-den)

The base word is עדן (eyden) meaning “delight” and is the place name Eden. The prefix ב means “in” – in Eden.


מִקֶּדֶם (mee-qe-dem)

The base word is קדם (qedem) meaning “east” (but can also mean “ancient”). The prefix מ means “from” – from [the] east, but means “eastward.”


וַיָּשֶׂם (vai-ya-sem)

The base word is the verb שים (S.Y.M) meaning “to place.” The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect will place, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular he will place. The prefix ו (vav) means “and” but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he placed. Also note that the letter י (yud) is dropped once the verb is conjugated, which frequently occurs. The name/word Elohiym is also the subject of this verb.


שָׁם (sham)

This word means “there.”


אֶת (et)

This word preceedes the definite object of the verb.


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning “human.” The prefix ה means “the” – the human. This noun is the definite object of the verb וישם.


אֲשֶׁר (ah-sher)

This is the relative pronoun which can be translated as which, who or what.


יָצָר (ya-tsar)

This is the verb יצר (Y.Ts.R) meaning “to press into shape.” Because the verb does not contain any prefixes or suffixes it identifies the verb tense as perfect formed, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular he pressed into shape.


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


and YHWH Elohiym planted a garden eastward in Eden, and he placed the human there which he pressed into shape.


In following issues we will continue with this chapter.


Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 6:9-16

9&these are the birthings of No'ahh, No'ahh existed a correct and mature man in his generations, No'ahh walked himself with the Elohiym, 10&and No'ahh caused to bring forth three sons, Shem, Hham and Yaphet, 11&and the land was damaged to the face of the Elohiym and the land of violence was filled, 12&and Elohiym saw the land and look, she was damaged given that all of the flesh destroyed his road upon the land, 13&and Elohiym said to No'ahh, a conclusion of all of the flesh came to my face given that the land of violence was filled from their face and here am I destroying the land, 14&make for you a vessel of trees of gopher, nests you will make for the vessel and cover her from the house and from the outside with the covering, 15&and this is how you will make her, three hundred forearms is the length of the vessel, fifty forearms is her width and thirty forearms is her height, 16&you will make a shining to the vessel and to a forearm you will much finish her from her upward one and you will set in place an opening of the vessel in her side, under ones, second ones and third ones you will make for her,


For details on this new translation see the web site at




AHRC Website Excerpt – Chiasmus

The Chiastic Structure of Genesis 1:1 to 2:3


Elohiym filled the sky and the land because it was empty and it was all in chaos so the wind of Elohiym settled upon the water (1:1 to 1:2)



Day 1 - Elohiym separates (1:3 to 1:5, Day one)


a. light


b. dark



Day 2 - Elohiym separates (1:6 to 1:8, Day two)


a. water


b. sky



Day 3 - Elohiym separates(1:9 to 1:13, Day three


a. land


b. Plants spring up from the land



Day 4 - Elohiym fills (1:14 to 1:19, Day four)


a. the light with the sun


b. the dark with the moon



Day 5 - Elohiym fills (1:20 to 1:23, Day five)


a. fills the water with fish


b. fills the sky with birds



Day 6 - Elohiym fills (1:24 to 1:31, Day six)


a. the land with animals and man


b. Plants are given as food



Elohiym Finishes his separating and filling of the sky and the land and respects the seventh day because in it he did his occupation (2:1 to 2:3, Day seven)


This article is located on the web site at


What's New

We are always adding new material to the AHRC and Mechanical Translation websites, here is what is new on these websites.

We have added many more new videos which can be viewed at Some of the new titles are The four stages of Biblical Transmission, Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, Evidence of the historicity of the Bible, Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions, The Three Keys, The Horns of Mosheh, and This is my name.



Do you have a comment or personal insight into the articles in this issue of the E-Zine? If so, let us know.



Did you find any errors needing correction in the articles in this issue of the E-Zine? If so, let us know.




Ancient Hebrew Dictionary by Jeff A. Benner


Whether you know Hebrew or not, this book will provide you with a quick reference resource for learning the meaning of many Hebrew words that lie beneath the English translations, which will open new doors for you into Biblical interpretation.


Additional information and ordering details are available through the bookstore.



Copyright © 2009

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center


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