Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

May, 2010                                                    Issue #053


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Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Gut

Modern Word of the Month – Jungle

Name of the Month – Lamech

Question of the Month – Henotheism?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:12

MT Excerpt – Genesis 7:17-24

AHRC Excerpt – Life for Life

What's New







Biblical Word of the Month - Gut

By: Jeff A. Benner


I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (KJV, Psalm 40:8)


The word translated “heart” in this verse is not the Hebrew word לב (lev, Strong's #3820), which means “heart,” but מעה (meyah, Strong's #4578), which means “gut” or “abdomen.” When King David wrote ותורתך בתוך מעי (v’torat’kha betokh mey’ai / your torah is within my guts) he was expressing a very concrete perception of God’s torah (a Hebrew word meaning “teachings,” not “law”). Have you ever been so excited about something that your guts moved or churned? David was so excited about God’s torah that it caused his guts to move. This is the feeling that Job had when he said “My guts boiled” (Job 30:27). Do our guts churn when we hear the teachings of God like David did?


We often use the expression “I had a ‘gut’ feeling” and refers to a thought that does not come from the mind, but from deep down in our subconscious, the gut. I am of the opinion that these “gut” feelings are sometimes God speaking to us, but our heart and mind (actually in Hebraic thought the mind is in the heart, not the brain) are our own thoughts that cloud over what God is speaking.



Modern Word of the Month - Jungle

By: Jeff A. Benner


Many Modern Hebrew words are transliterations of European words. For instance the Modern Hebrew word for “telephone” is טלפון, which is pronounced telephone. The Modern Hebrew word for a “jungle” is ג'ונגל, which is pronounced “jungle” (the letter ג is a “g” sound, but when followed by the apostrophe it takes on a “j” sound in Modern Hebrew). This Modern Hebrew word is a transliteration of the European word “jungle,” which is found in English, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish and French.


According to Isaac Mozeson, world renowned for his work in Edenics, the study of Semitic/Hebrew origin to words around the world, the word jungle comes from the Semitic/Hebrew word יער (ya’ar, Strong's #3293). At first glance there does not seem to be any connection between this Hebrew word and “jungle,” that is until we examine the sound shifts that have occurred over time. When a word is transferred from one language to another the sounds of letters are swapped for other letters of similar sound. For example the Latin word for foot is “ped” (where we get our words pedestrian and pedal). The “p” is exchanged for the “f” (both sounds being made at the lips) and the “d” for “t” (both sounds being made at the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth) and the word “ped” becomes “fet” or “feet.”


In the case of the word יער, the י (y) is exchanged for a “j,” the ע (a guttural stop) for an “ng,” and the ר (r) for an “l” and יער (ya’ar) becomes JuNGLe. The Ancient Hebrew יער traveled through many different other languages to become the European word jungle, which was then transliterated back into Hebrew as ג'ונגל. Interestingly though, the Modern Hebrew word for a “forest” is the Ancient Hebrew word יער.



Name of the Month - Lamech

By: Jeff A. Benner


The next name in our series from Genesis chapter 5 is Methuselah, but was defined in issue #10, so we will move onto the next name, למך (lemech, Strong's #3929).


This is one of the names in the Bible that is very difficult to translate as the root of this word, למך, is not used anywhere in the Biblical text and therefore the meaning of this root/word/name is impossible to determine with any degree of accuracy. One possible interpretation is that this name is the verb מוך (mok, Strong's #4134) meaning “low” and prefixed by the letter ל meaning “to” – “to be low.” Other suggested meanings for this root/word/name are powerful, robust and priest.


Question of the Month – What is Henotheism?

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: What is Henotheism?


A: Most of us are familiar with the terms polytheism (Latin for “belief in many gods”) and monotheism (Latin for “belief in one god”). But not too many are familiar with the term Henotheism, which also means “a belief in one god,” but refers to the worshiping of only one god, but recognizes the existence of other gods.


In the Biblical text we find references to all three belief systems. While polytheism is forbidden, it was practiced by some Hebrews. On numerous occasions we read in the Bible of the Hebrews worshipping Ba’al or Asherah alongside of Yahweh. Isaiah 43:10 is a clear monotheistic view which states “before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Several passages in the book of Psalms imply a more Henotheistic view.


God standeth in the congregation of the mighty [El in Hebrew], he judgeth among the gods (KJV, Psalm 82:1)


Among the gods there is none like unto thee. (KJV, Psalm 86:8)


For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. (KJV, Psalm 95:3)



Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:12

By: Jeff A. Benner


וּזֲהַב הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא טֹוב שָׁם הַבְּדֹלַח וְאֶבֶן הַשֹּׁהַם׃

and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. (ASV)



וּזֲהַב (u-za-hav)

This is the noun זהב (zahav) meaning "gold" and the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" – and gold.


הָאָרֶץ (ha-a-rets)

This is the noun  ארץ (erets) meaning "land" and the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the land.


הַהִוא (ha-hi)

This is the pronoun היא (hi) meaning she (referring to the land, a feminine noun), but is written defectively as הוא. It is prefixed by the letter ה (ha) meaning "the." While this literally translates as “the she,” it means “that,” as in “that land.”


טֹוב (tov)

This word is usually translated as “good” but more Hebraicly means “functional.”


שָׁם (sham)

This word means “there.”


הַבְּדֹלַח (hav-do-lahh)

This is the noun בדולח (bedolahh), probably meaning “amber,” with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the amber.


וְאֶבֶן (ve-e-ven)

This is the noun אבן (even) meaning "stone" and the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" – and a stone.


הַשֹּׁהַם (ha-sho-ham)

This is the noun שוהם (shoham), which is an unknown stone, possibly the onyx. It is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning "the" – the shoham. This word and the previous one are joined together to mean “and the shoham stone.”



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


And [the] gold of that land [is] functional, there [is the] amber and the shoham stone.


In following issues we will continue with this chapter.


Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 7:17-24

17 and the flood existed forty days upon the land and the water increased and lifted up the vessel and she rose from upon the land, 18 and the water overcame and increased much upon the land and the vessel walked upon the face of the water, 19 and the water had overcome a great many upon the land and concealed all of the high hills which are under all of the sky, 20 fifteen forearms upward the water overcame and much concealed the hills, 21 and all of the flesh expired, the treading ones upon the land with the flyer and with the beast and with the living ones and with all of the swarming swarmers upon the land and all of the humans, 22 all of the ones which have the breath of the wind of the life in his nostrils, from all of the ones which were in the wasteland died, 23 and he wiped away all of the substance which was upon the face of the ground, from the human, as well as the beast, as well as, the treader and also the flyer of the sky and they were wiped away from the land and only “No'ahh [Rest]” remained and who were with him in the vessel, 24 and the water overcame upon the land a hundred and fifty days,


For details on this new translation see the web site at




AHRC Website Excerpt – Life for Life

What does "life for life" mean? How about "eye for an eye?" The King James Version translates Exodus 21:23-25 as, "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." In this translation is the phrase "life for life" and implies that if you take a person’s life, your life is to be taken. I do not believe this is what the verse is implying. The Hebrew translation of "life for life" would be hhayim l'hhayim, but this is not what is found in the Hebrew. The Hebrew reads nephesh tahhat naphesh which means "being in place of being." I interpret this to mean that if you take a life, such as that of a servant (see the previous verses) or a beast, then you must replace that life.

The KJV translation of "eye for eye" also implies that if you take the eye of another, then your eye must be taken. In the Hebrew, this phrase is written as ayin tahhat ayin meaning "an eye in place of an eye." If you take the eye of a person, then you must replace that eye. Of course this cannot mean implanting a new eye, but instead, you must take whatever measures are necessary to give that person what he needs in order to compensate him for the missing eye. This might mean giving him a servant to see for him or money to replace his lost wages.

This interpretation can be supported with the next two verses (26, 27) which read as follows from the RMT. "but if a man will hit the eye of his servant, or the eye of his bondwoman, and he damages her, he will send him to freedom in place of his eye,  and if the tooth of his servant, or the tooth of his bondwoman is made to fall out, he will send him to freedom in place of his tooth."


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.

I have completed the rough draft of the video series “A History of Hebrew: Its Language and Philosophy.” I have also begun a new video series titled “The Way of Yahweh.” Both of these videos can be viewed on the home page ( Once the final editing is completed on these videos they will also be available in DVD format.



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

His name [Enoch] also means “to make narrow” in ancient Hebrew. Thus Enoch walked with God and he was no more- what happen to Enoch? As he became closer to God he narrowed and all that could be seen was God.
--Dick Brown




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 © 2010

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center


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