Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

July, 2009                                                    Issue #051


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Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Ox

Modern Word of the Month – Parshah

Name of the Month – Jared

Question of the Month – Oversized letters?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:10

MT Excerpt – Genesis 7:1-9

AHRC Excerpt – Hebrew New Testament

What's New







Biblical Word of the Month - Ox

By: Jeff A. Benner



In our last issue, we looked at the following verse;


Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. (KJV, Exodus 15:15)


We found that the words “mighty men” was the Hebrew word איל (ayil, Strong's #352), which meant “buck” but could also mean a “chief” in the sense of his “buckness” (one that stands tall in might). Also in this verse is the word “duke,” While there are a few different Hebrew words for “ox,” depending on the function of that ox, the Hebrew word אלוף (aluph, Strong's #441), the word translated as “duke” in the above passage, is used for an older experienced ox that is used in a twin yoke to train a younger inexperienced ox.


This noun is derived from the verbal root אלף (A-L-Ph, Strong's #502) meaning to train through experience. The word אלוף (aluph) can also mean “oxness” in the sense of one who trains the inexperienced and is sometimes translated as chief, duke, captain or governor.



Modern Word of the Month - Parshah

By: Jeff A. Benner


The word פרשה (parshah) is an episode or section of a larger work. It is derived from פרש (parash, Strong's #6567), which is a Biblical Hebrew word meaning to make a distinction or to make a separation. The Torah, the first five books of the Bible, are divided into forty-nine פרשות (parshot - sections), the plural form of פרשה (parshah), one for each week of the year (according to the Hebrew calendar), which is read in the synagogues each Shabbat.



Name of the Month - Jared

By: Jeff A. Benner


The Hebrew name ירד (yered, Strong's #3382), Latinized as Jared, comes from the verbal root ירד (Y-R-D, Strong's #3381) meaning “to go down.” The name ירד (yered) means “descent,” a going down.


Question of the Month – Oversized Letters?

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: What are the oversized and undersized letters found in the Hebrew Bible?


A: An example of oversized letters can be found in Deuteronomy 6:4 (Hear O, Israel, YHWH our Elohiym, YHWH is one);


שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד


Notice that the ayin (ע), the last letter in the first word is written oversized, as is the dalet (ד), the last letter in the last word. When these two letters are placed together, they form the word עד (eyd, Strong's #5707) meaning “witness.” In Judaism, the sh’ma (the name given to this verse as it is the first word in this verse) is Israel’s witness, their statement of faith if you will.


However, none of these oversized or undersized letters are found in any ancient scroll such as found in the Dead Sea Caves. They first appear in the Masoretic Hebrew texts from 1,000 A.D. Whether the Masorites added them or not we don't know, in fact the origins of these oversized and undersized letters are a mystery.


Even though these letters do not appear to have been in the original texts, they are still excellent teaching tools.



Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:10

By: Jeff A. Benner


וְנָהָר יֹצֵא מֵעֵדֶן לְהַשְׁקֹות אֶת הַגָּן וּמִשָּׁם יִפָּרֵד וְהָיָה לְאַרְבָּעָה רָאשִׁים׃

And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. (ASV)



וְנָהָר (ve-na-har)

This word נהר (nahar) meaning a "river" and the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" – and a river.


יֹצֵא (yo-tsey)

This is the verb יצא (Y.Ts.A) meaning “to go out,” but is written in the participle form – going out.


מֵעֵדֶן (mey-ey-dehn)

This is the noun עדן (eyden) meaning “delight” and is the place name Eden. The prefix מ means “from” – from Eden.


לְהַשְׁקֹות (le-hash-qot)

This is the verb שקה (Sh.Q.H) meaning to "drink," but written in the hiphil (causative) form. The prefix ל means "to" – to cause to drink. A root ending with the letter ה (H) drops this letter from the word when it is conjugated.


אֶת (et)

This word preceedes the direct object of the verb.


הַגָּן (ha-gan)

The noun גן means garden and is preceded by the prefix ה  meaning "the" - the garden.


וּמִשָּׁם (u-mi-sham)

This is the word שם meanin "there" and is preceded by the prefixes מ meaning "from" and ו

meaning "and" - and from there.


יִפָּרֵד (yi-pa-reyd)

The verb פרד

(P.R.D) means to "divide." The prefix י  (Y) identifies the subject of the verb as masculine singular (he), and the tense of the verb as imperfect – he divides. The construct of this verb also identifies this verb as a niphil (passive) verb - he is divided.


וְהָיָה (ve-ha-yah)

The verb is היה (H.Y.H) meaning to "exist." This verb identifies the verb tense as perfect - existed - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he existed. The prefix ו means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he will exist.


לְאַרְבָּעָה (le-ar-ba-ah)

The word is ארבעה (arba'ah) means “four.” The prefix ל means “to” – to four.


רָאשִׁים (ra-shiym)

This is the word ראש (rosh) meaning “head,” but includes the ים masculine plural suffix – heads.



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


And a river was going out from Eden to cause the garden to drink, and from there he is divided to four heads.


In following issues we will continue with this chapter.


Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 7:1-9

For details on this new translation see the web site at

1 and “Yhwh He is” said to “No’ahh Rest”, come, you and all of your house to the vessel given that I saw you {are} {a} correct one to my face in this generation, 2 from all of the pure beast{s} you will take (for) you seven, seven men and his women, and from the beast{s} which {are} not pure, two men and his women, 3 also from {the} flyer{s} {of} the skies seven, seven male{s} and female{s} to [keep alive] {the} seed upon {the} face {of} all the land, 4 given that (within) seven (more) days, I will make {a} precipitating upon the land, \forty/ day{s} and \forty/ night{s}, and I will wipe away all the substance, which I (made), from upon {the} face {of} the ground, 5 and “No’ahh Rest” did <everything> which “Yhwh He is” directed him, 6 and “No’ahh Rest” {was} {a} son {of} six hundred year{s}, and the flood |had| existed {as} waters upon the land, 7 and “No’ahh Rest” and his sons and his woman and the women {of} his sons (with) him came to the vessel from the face {of} the waters {of} the flood, 8 from the pure beast{s}, and from the beast{s} which {are} (not) pure, and from the flyer{s}, and all which {are} treading upon the ground, 9 two {by}  two they came to “No’ahh Rest” to the vessel, male and female <just as> “Elohiym Powers” directed “No’ahh Rest”,




AHRC Website Excerpt – Hebrew New Testament

The New Testament, or B'riyt HaHhadashah in Hebrew, was written by Hebrews, for Hebrews and within an Hebraic Culture. While the only New Testament manuscripts known to exist are written in Greek, with the possible exception of the book of Matthew, the evidence suggests that much of it was originally written in Hebrew and afterwards translated into Greek.

While there are many textual evidences to support this theory, Matthew 5:3 is a good example of this.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Greek word for "poor" is ptochos and means one who is destitute, afflicted, and lacking. What this verse is literally saying is "Blessed are the ones destitute/afflicted/lacking in the spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This does not make any sense. However, if we translate the Greek word ptochos into Hebrew we have the word aniy which also means destitute, afflicted and lacking. More literally the Hebrew word aniy means "bent down low" such as a poor person who is destitute. But, this Hebrew word can also mean one who is humble, in the same sense of bending down low.

Now, if we translate the Hebrew back into English we have, "Blessed are the humble in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." By understanding this passage from its Hebrew background, we are able to better interpret the New Testament Bible.


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.

Mr. Benner has been working on a new video Documentary titled, “A History of Hebrew: Its language and Philosophy.” This video will include four parts, the Hebrew alphabet, the Hebrew Language, Hebrew Philosophy, and Biblical Transmission. Currently the Hebrew alphabet, as well as a part of Biblical Transmission is complete (at least the first version as some editing does need to be done). The completed portions can be viewed on the home page at



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

From Austin Allred;

I think I recall a teaching of yours that taught that the concepts of "good" and "evil" weren't really existant in the Hebrew languange. It was more correctly explained as "functional" and "disfunctional." Would it be appropriate to replace the words accordingly in this E-Zine?


Thank you Austin for the comments. Function and Dysfunction are the meanings behind tov and ra. But, in the verse of the month I try and keep the definitions a little simpler as the goal here is to learn how to recognize the morphology (prefixes, suffixes, words, conjugations and root) of Hebrew words. I contemplated using function and dysfunction but then would need a much more lengthy explanation which I thought would detract from the exercise.




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




A Mechanical Translation of the Book of Exodus

by Jeff A. Benner


The Mechanical Translation of the Book of Exodus is the second book in the Mechanical Translation of the Hebrew Bible series which literally translates the book of Exodus using the "Mechanical Translation" methodology and philosophy. This new and unique style of translation will allow a reader who has no background in Hebrew to see the text from an Hebraic perspective, without the interjection of a translators theological opinions and bias. Because the translation method identifies the morphology of each Hebrew word it is also a tool for those who are learning to read Biblical Hebrew.


Additional information and ordering details are available through the bookstore.



Copyright © 2009

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center


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