Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

June, 2010                                                    Issue #054


E-Zine Home Page


Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Neck

Modern Word of the Month – Tiqveh

Name of the Month – Apostle

Question of the Month – Best Books?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:13

MT Excerpt – Genesis 8:1-14

AHRC Excerpt – Isaiah DSS

What's New







Biblical Word of the Month - Neck

By: Jeff A. Benner


The Hebrew noun for the neck is עורף (oreph, Strong's #6203), which is derived out of the Hebrew verb ערף (araph, Strong's #6202) meaning “to be necked,” as in “breaking the neck.”


Isaac Mozeson, the founder of the study of Edencis, has some very interesting things to say about this Hebrew word.


If you think the GIRAFFE is a strange animal, check out its weird (given) etymology. French girafe and Italian giraffa is said to be a corruption of Arabic zirafah, even though the term is meaningless in Arabic and [besides,] a G from a Z corruption is unnatural… The Hebrew for [the neck] is OReF, more correctly pronounced by Sephardim as KHoReF or GHoReF. Now we've got the perfect sound and sense for GiRaFFe, since GHoReF means the scruff of the neck. Like sCaRF and sCRuF [being] neck words whose initial S is non-historic.


Any word with more than 3 root letters in Hebrew, or any language, is carrying extra baggage around the root or roots. These CRF neck words come from Biblical Hebrew KHoReF (neck) just like the CRaVat (necktie). A related Gimel-Resh term, GaRoN (throat, neck) gives us other long-necked animals, like the CRaNe, eGRet and HeRoN, along with neckwear like the GoRGeous GoRGet, the throaty GRoaN of a CRooNer and the GaRGling of a GouRmet GaRGoyle.



Modern Word of the Month - Tiqveh

By: Jeff A. Benner


In a previous issue we looked at the Hebrew word miqveh. A closely related word is תקוה (tiqvah, Strong's #8615), another Modern Hebrew word that is found in the Hebrew Bible.


Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line (tiqvah) of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by… (KJV, Joshua 2:18)


The word tiqvah is derived from the root קוה (qavah, Strong's #6960) meaning “to collect.” The concrete meaning of tiqvah is a “line” or “cord,” a collection of fibers that are twisted together to make a strong and firm cord. This same word is also used for the abstract idea of “hope,” a strong and firm mind.


For thou art my hope (strength and firmness), O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. (KJV, Psalm 71:5)


The National Anthem for the State of Israel is titled “Tiqvah.”


Kol `od balevav, p'nimah,
Nefesh y'hudi homiyah,
U-l'fa'atei mizrach qadimah,
`Ayin l'tsiyon tsofiyah,

`Od lo' 'avdah tiqvatenu,
Ha-tiqvah bat sh'not 'alpayim,
Lihyot `am chafshi b'artsenu,
'Erets tsiyon viy'rushalayim,
Lihyot `am chafshi b'artsenu,
'Erets tsiyon viy'rushalayim.

While yet within the heart, inwardly,
The soul of the Jew yearns,
And towards the vistas of the East, eastward,
An eye looks toward Zion,

Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope born of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our land,
In the land of Zion and Jerusalem,
To be a free people in our land,
In the land of Zion and Jerusalem.



Name of the Month - Apostle

By: Jeff A. Benner


The next and final name in our previous series, the names of Genesis chapter five, is Noah. We will not discuss this name here as this was done in a previous issue. We will now begin a new series on the names of the Apostles of Yeshua. But our first goal will be to define the term/name Apostle, and then identify the names of the twelve Apostles.


The Hebrew word for “Apostle” is שולח (shole’ahh), the participle form of the verb שלח (shalahh, Strong's #7971) meaning “to send.” The participle שולח (shole’ahh) means “sent one” and its plural from שולחים (shol’hhiym) means “sent ones.”


According to the Greek Gospels of Mark and Matthew the twelve shol’hhiym are: Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. In the next issue we will begin with the name “Peter.”


Question of the Month – Best books?

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: What are the best books AHRC recommends for studying the Hebrew language and culture?


A: The following ten books are the “must have” books for the Ancient Hebrew student. These books are not for learning how to read Hebrew, but instead are resources that will help you to understand the text from a more Hebraic perspective.


Ancient Hebrew Dictionary

Ancient Hebrew Dictionary

This Biblical Hebrew dictionary contains the one thousand most frequent verbs and nouns found within the Hebrew Bible. Each word is translated and defined from its original concrete Ancient Hebrew perspective, allowing for a more accurate interpretation of the text. In addition to the one thousand verbs and nouns, the appendices in the book include a complete list of Hebrew pronouns, prepositions, adverbs, conjunctions and numbers. This book is also available as an E-Book through our store.



Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon

Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon

A trio of eminent Old Testament scholars-Francis Brown, R. Driver, and Charles Briggs-spent over twenty years researching, writing, and preparing The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Since it first appeared in the early part of the twentieth century, BDB has been considered the finest and most comprehensive Hebrew lexicon available to the English-speaking student. Based upon the classic work of Wilhelm Gesenius, the "father of modern Hebrew lexicography," BDB gives not only dictionary definitions for each word, but relates each word to its Old Testament usage and categorizes its nuances of meaning. BDB's exhaustive coverage of Old Testament Hebrew words, as well as its unparalleled usage of cognate languages and the wealth of background sources consulted and quoted, render BDB and invaluable resource for all students of the Bible. This book is also available at Google Books.



Harper's Encyclopedia of Bible Life

Harper’s Encyclopedia of Bible Life

A people's language is closely tied to their culture and one cannot completely understand the language without also understanding the culture. The book Encyclopedia of Bible Life is an invaluable resource for learning the culture and lifestyle of the Ancient Hebrews. Here is the ultimate resource on day-to-day life of the people who inhabit the pages of the Bible. Latest findings shed light on agriculture, animals, apparel, nutrition, crafts, business, trade, natural history, homes, farms, synagogues and much more.



New Manners & Customs of Bible Times

Manners and Customs of Bible Times

Within the pages of the Bible are the lives of the Hebrew people. Because their culture was very different from ours, it is essential that the lifestyles and customs of their culture be understood in order to understand the text. This book describes these lifestyles and customs of the Hebrew people allowing for more correct interpretation of the Bible.



The Living Words-Volume 1

The Living Words: Volume One

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 defence; 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. This book is also available as an E-Book through our store.



The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible

The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible

Dr. Pilch strips away the Western worldview baggage we Americans too often take into our interpretation of the scriptures. By examining the Mediterranean culture from an anthropological perspective, he challenges us to understand the Bible in the same way the ancient writers did. Arranged in alphabetical order, each short chapter exposes the true cultural meaning behind key portions of Scripture. For example, Christ's desire for his disciples to be the "salt of the earth" had much more to do with being a catalyst to make fires burn than it ever had to do with enhancing the flavor of food.



Nomads of the Nomads

The nomads of the Near East live today much the same way Abraham and his descendents did over 3,000 years ago. By studying these nomads lifestyle we can see and understand the lifestyle of the Ancient Hebrews including their family and social lifestyle and shepherding and herding skills.



Nelson's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Facts: A Comprehensive Fact-Finding Sourcebook on All the People, Places, and Customs of the Bible

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Facts

This Encyclopedia is a comprehensive look at the many different ancient cultures related to Biblical times and places. Each section clearly describes all aspects of the life and culture of the people mentioned in the Bible allowing the Bible student a clearer picture of the Biblical text. Included in this book are the ancient Hebrews, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians etc. This is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning more about the people of the Bible and their lifestyle which will allow the reader of the Bible to have a deeper understanding of the background of the people and the land, their religion, occupations and politics. The book includes many detailed photographs and illustrations.



Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek

Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek

A very informative book describing, with clarity and detail, the mind of the Hebrews who wrote the Bible. As you read this book you quickly discover that the authors of the Bible do not think like we do. The Biblical text comes alive as you begin to understand the philosophy of the ancient Hebrews and how they perceived life, the world and God.




Tanach: The Stone, Student Size Green

Stone’s Tanach

A Parallel Bible that includes the Hebrew text on one page and a Jewish translation on the other page. This edition includes: Illuminating notes and comments, explanatory charts, illustrations and maps and index of topics.




Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:13

By: Jeff A. Benner


וְשֵׁם־הַנָּהָר הַשֵּׁנִי גִּיחֹון הוּא הַסֹּובֵב אֵת כָּל־אֶרֶץ כּוּשׁ

And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the

whole land of Cush. (ASV)


וְשֵׁם (ve-sheym)

The word שם (shem) means name and is prefixed with the letter ו (ve) meaning "and" – and [the] name.


הַנָּהָר (ve-na-har)

This is the word נהר (nahar) meaning a "river" and the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the river.


הַשֵּׁנִי (ha-shey-niy)

This is the word שני (sheyniy) meaning "second" and the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the second. This word and the previous word are a construct meaning “the second river.”


גִּיחֹון (gi-hhon)

This is the name of the second river.


הוּא (hu)

This word means “he,” in reference to the river. There is no “it” in Hebrew, so the masculine pronoun is used to refer to the river, a masculine noun in Hebrew.


הַסֹּובֵב (ha-so-veyv)

The base word is סבב (S-B-B), a verb meaning  "to go around." The “o” and “ey” vowels placed inside this verb identify it as a participle – “going around.” It is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning "the" – the [one] going around.


אֵת (eyt)

This word precedes the definite object (which are the words כל ארץ) of the previous verb.


כָּל (kol)

This word means “all.”


אֶרֶץ (e-rets)

This word means “land.”


כּוּשׁ (kush)

This is the name of the region that the rivers flows around.



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


And the name of the second river is Gihhon, he is the one going around all the land of Kush.


In following issues we will continue with this chapter.


Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 8:1-14

1 and “Elohiym [Powers]” remembered “No'ahh [Rest]” and all of the living ones and all of the beasts which were with him in the vessel and “Elohiym [Powers]” caused a wind to cross over upon the land and the water subsided, 2 and the springs of the deep sea and the chimneys of the sky were shut and the rain shower was restricted from the sky, 3 and the water will turn back from upon the land, walking and turning back, and the water diminished from the far end of a hundred and fifty days, 4 and the vessel rested in the seventh new moon in the seventeenth day to the new moon upon the hills of “Ararat [Curse]”, 5 and the water had existed, walking and diminishing until the tenth new moon in the unit to the new moon, the heads of the hills appeared, 6 and it came to pass at the conclusion of the forty days and “No'ahh [Rest]” opened the window of the vessel which he made, 7 and he sent the raven and he went out, going out and turning back, until the drying out of the waters from upon the land, 8 and he sent the dove from him to see if the water was insubstantial from upon the face of the ground, 9 and the dove did not find a resting place for the palm of her foot and she turned back to him to the vessel given that the water was upon the face of the land and he sent his hand and he took her and he brought her to him to the vessel, 10 and he twisted yet again another seven days and he again sent off the dove from the vessel, 11 and the dove came to him at the appointed time of the evening and look, a leaf of olive, a prey in her mouth and “No'ahh [Rest]” knew that the water was insubstantial from upon the land, 12 and he twisted yet again another seven days and he caused the dove to be sent and she did not add a turning back to him yet again, 13 and it came to pass in the unit and six hundred years in the first in the unit to the new moon the water dried up from upon the land and “No'ahh [Rest]” removed the roof covering of the vessel and he saw and look, the face of the ground dried up, 14 and in the second new moon in the seventeenth day to the new moon the land was dried out,


For details on this new translation see the web site at


AHRC Website Excerpt – Isaiah DSS

Image excerpted from Great Isaiah Scroll Directory


This passage (Isaiah 7:14) from the Dead Sea Scrolls has a few differences from the Masoretic text (as used today in all Hebrew Bibles and which most translations are based on). In the top line the wordיהוה  (YHWH) is underlined, this is the name of God. In the Masoretic text the wordאדוני  (adonai) is used instead.

In the bottom line, near the middle is the word
וקרא  (v'qara) meaning "he will call". In the Masoretic text this word is written asוקראת  (v'qarat) meaning "she will call".

On the bottom line near the left end is the word
עמנואל  (imanuel). This word is the combination of two words -עמנו אל  (imanu el). Because these two words are grouped together as one we know that it is a name. In the Masoretic text this name is written as two separate words -עמנו אל  (imanu el).


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 uploaded a new video onto YouTube titled Textual Criticism.



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.




The Semitic Origins of the New Testament (DVD)

by Jeff A. Benner


This 54 minute DVD presents archeological, historical, manuscript, textual, and cultural evidence that suggests the New Testament was not originally written in Greek, but with a Semitic, and probably Hebrew, language and later, translated into Greek. This study is excerpted from Mr. Benner's teaching at the Restoration Conference in Portland Oregon in July 2008.


Additional information and ordering details are available through the bookstore.



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Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center


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