Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

February, 2010                                                    Issue #052


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Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Offering

Modern Word of the Month – Shalom

Name of the Month – Enoch

Question of the Month – Concrete Thought?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:11

MT Excerpt – Genesis 7:10-16

AHRC Excerpt – Hebrew Nouns

What's New







Biblical Word of the Month - Offering

By: Jeff A. Benner


The most frequent Hebrew word translated as “offering” is מנחה (minhhah, Strong's #4503). This noun is most likely derived from the root verb ינח (Y.N.Hh, Strong's #3240), which means to deposit in place, especially for safekeeping or as a pledge. From this perspective, a minhhah (offering) is something that is given as a pledge.


And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: (KJV, Genesis 4:3)

Maybe the difference between Cain and Abel’s offering wasn’t the offering itself, but the pledge or action behind the offering.



Modern Word of the Month - Shalom

By: Jeff A. Benner


The word שלום (shalom, Strong's #7965) is used in Modern Hebrew as a greeting, similar to our use of “hello,” or as a farewell, similar to our use of “good-bye.” A common phrase in Modern Hebrew using this word is mah shlom’kha and literally means “What is your shalom?” and is used the same as the English phrase “How are you?” The phrase mah shlom’kha is used when speaking to a male, but when speaking to a female this would be mah shlo’mekh.


The common greeting on the Shabbat (Sabbath) day is “Shabbat shalom.” While this is usually translated or interpreted as “Shabbat peace,” the Hebraic meaning is much deeper. The word שבת (shabbat, Strong's #7676) comes from the verb  שבת (Sh.B.T, Strong's #7673) meaning “to cease” or “stop,” hence it can mean “to rest” but in the sense of stopping from physical activity. Therefore, the Shabbat day is a day of ceasing. The word שלום (shalom, Strong's #7965) literally means “whole,” or “complete.” Therefore the phrase Shabbat shalom more literally means “May your day of ceasing make you whole and complete.”


Name of the Month - Enoch

By: Jeff A. Benner


And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch: (KJV, Genesis 5:18)


The name חנוך (hhanokh, Strong's #2585) means “dedicated” and is derived from the verb root חנך (Hh.N.Kh, Strong's #2596) meaning “to dedicate.”


Genesis chapter five is the only place in the Tenach (Old Testament) where Enoch is mentioned. However, the New Testament mentions him three times (Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11:5 and Jude 1:14). In Jude we read;


And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (KJV, Jude 1:14)


This prophesy of Enoch is not found in the Tenach, but is found in “The Book of Enoch,” a work that has long been lost and only discovered in the 17th century.



Question of the Month – Concrete Thought?

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: How do you know that the Ancient Hebrews thought concretely?


A: I am often asked this question and it is a legitimate question as we only have the Biblical text for our evidence. How can we possibly know how they “thought” when we can only read their “words?” When we read the Bible in English, we are reading a translators interpretation of the text and this translator will frequently take the Hebrew text and convert the Hebraic context into a modern Western context. Let’s look at a classic example from the book of Exodus.


And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua (KJV, Exodus 17:14)


When we read the Hebrew text for this verse literally, we can see the concreteness of the text, demonstrating how the Hebrew thought, that has been removed by the translator.


And YHWH said to Moses, Write this memorial in a scroll, and place it in the ears of Joshua (Literal, Exodus 17:14)



Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:11

By: Jeff A. Benner


שֵׁם הָאֶחָד פִּישֹׁון הוּא הַסֹּבֵב אֵת כָּל־אֶרֶץ הַחֲוִילָה אֲשֶׁר־שָׁם הַזָּהָב׃

The name of the first is Pishon: that is it

which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold (ASV)



שֵׁם (shem)

This word means “name.”


הָאֶחָד (ha-eh-hhad)

The base word is אחד (ehhad) meaning "one" with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the one.


פִּישֹׁון (pi-shon)

The name of the river is pishon.


הוּא (hu)

This is the masculine singular pronoun – “he.” Hebrew only has a masculine and feminine pronoun; there is no neuter (it) like there is in English. Therefore the river, a masculine proper name, is referred to as a “he.


הַסֹּבֵב (ha-so-veyv)

The base word is the verb סבב (savav) meaning to go around. This verb is written in the participle form and would be translated as “going around.” This verb is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning "the" – the one going around.


אֵת (eyt)

This word preceedes the definite object of the verb.


כָּל (kol)

This word means “all.”


אֶרֶץ (eh-rets)

This word means “land.”


הַחֲוִילָה (ha-hha-vi-lah)

This is the place name Hhavilah with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the Hhavilah.


אֲשֶׁר (a-sher)

This word means “who” or “what.”


שָׁם (sham)

This word means “there.”


הַזָּהָב (ha-za-hav)

The base word is the noun זהב (zahav) meaning “gold.” This noun is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning "the" – the gold.



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


The name of the one is Pishon, he is going around all the land of the Hhavilah, which there is the gold.


In following issues we will continue with this chapter.



Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 7:10-16

10 and it came to pass to the seven of the days and the water of the flood existed upon the land, 11 in the year of six hundred years to the life of “No'ahh [Rest]”, in the second new moon, in the seventeenth day to the new moon, in this day all of the springs of the deep sea cleaved abundantly and the chimneys of the sky had been opened, 12 and the rain showers existed upon the land forty days and forty nights, 13 in the bone of this day “No'ahh [Rest]” and “Shem [Character]” and “Hham [Hot]” and “Yaphet [Wonder]”, the sons of “No'ahh [Rest]” and the woman of “No'ahh [Rest]” and the three women of his sons with them came to the vessel, 14 they and all of the living ones to her kind and all of the beast to her kind and all of the treaders treading upon the land to his kind and all of the flyer to his kind, all of the birds of all of the wings, 15 and they came to “No'ahh [Rest]”, to the vessel, two of two from all of the flesh which in him is the wind of life, 16 and the coming of the males and females from all of the flesh came just as “Elohiym [Powers]” directed him and “YHWH [He exists]” shut round about him,


For details on this new translation see the web site at




AHRC Website Excerpt – Hebrew Nouns

A Noun is defined as a person, place or thing and is the most common type of word in the Biblical text. Some common examples of nouns in the Biblical text are בן (ben - son), מלך (melek - king), ארץ (erets - land), יד (yad - hand), חי (hhai - life) and עץ (eyts - tree). Proper nouns are names of specific persons and places such as יעקב (Ya'aqov - Jacob) and מצרים (Mitsrayim - Egypt).

Every noun is either masculine or feminine. An obvious masculine noun is אישׁ (iysh - man) and an obvious feminine noun would be אשׁה (iyshah - woman). As can be seen in this example the suffix ה (ah) can be added to a masculine noun to make it feminine. Another example is the word מלך (melek - king), a masculine noun whereas מלכה (mal'khah - queen) is the feminine form. However, some nouns cannot be identified as masculine or feminine by any suffix, or lack of it. The word עץ (eyts - tree) is a masculine while רוּח (ru'ahh - wind) is feminine. The gender of a noun is important as will become evident in later lessons.

A simple noun is composed of the two or three letters of its root such as מלך (melek - king) which comes from the root מ-ל-ך (M-L-K). Also coming from the root מ-ל-ך is the verb מלך (malak - to reign). Other nouns are derived from this root by placing specific letters as fixes (prefixes, infixes or suffixes) to the root such as we saw with the word מלכה (mal'khah - Queen). Other nouns derived from מ-ל-ך are מלכוּת (mal'khut - Kingdom), ממלכוּת (mam'lekhut - Reign) and מלכה (melukhah - Royal).


This a part of an article 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 two additional Ancient Hebrew inscriptions on the website including the Aaronic Blessing inscription and an inscription on an ancient offering bowl.

We have also added the Parshah readings for the entire year to the website.



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.

In the July 2009 issue, the final paragraph of the Question of the Month was;


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


Thanks go to Rob for pointing out that this should read;


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





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 © 2010

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center


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