Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

July, 2010                                                    Issue #055


E-Zine Home Page


Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Say

Modern Word of the Month – Knesset

Name of the Month – Peter

Question of the Month – Best Books 2?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:14

MT Excerpt – Genesis 8:15-22

AHRC Excerpt – Perfect

What's New







Biblical Word of the Month - Say

By: Jeff A. Benner


The second most common Hebrew word in the Bible (the first being the word את et) is the verb אמר (A.M.R, Strong's #559), meaning “to say,” and is found 5,379 times (5,308 in the Hebrew text and 71 times in the Aramaic text) in the Hebrew Bible.


And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (ASV, Genesis 1:3)


This verbal root is a child root, where the letter א (aleph) has been added to the two –letter parent root, which would appear to be מר (MR). However, the parent root מר, a root meaning “bitter,” is not the parent root of אמר, מל (ML), a parent root meaning “word” or “comment” is its root. Over time, words evolve and letters are often interchanged with other letters which are formed in the same region of the mouth. While there are countless examples of this in English, let’s just look at the English words “pedal” (a device on a bicycle for the foot) and “pedestrian” (a person on foot). These two words come from the Greek word “ped” meaning “foot.” The English word “foot” is an evolved form of the word “ped” through the exchange of the “p” with the “f” and the “d” with the “t.” Therefore, the original spelling of the verb אמר is אמל.


While the parent root מל (ML) is not found in the Biblical text, its feminine form, מלה (milah, Strong's #4405), is and it is used 38 times, most frequently in the book of Job.


Thy words have upholden him that was falling, And thou hast made firm the feeble knees. (ASV, Job 4:4)



Modern Word of the Month - Knesset

By: Jeff A. Benner


The Modern Hebrew word כנסת (knesset) is derived from the root כנס (K.N.S, Strong's #3664), meaning to gather or bunch up.


He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: He layeth up the deeps in store-houses. (ASV, Psalm 33:7)


The feminine noun form, כנסת (knesset), is a “gathering.” The phrase כנסת בית (beyt knesset) is a “house of gathering” and is the Hebrew word for a synagogue (a Greek word also meaning “gathering”). The word כנסת (knesset) is also used for State of Israel’s Legislature.



Name of the Month - Peter

By: Jeff A. Benner


Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; (ASV, Matthew 10:2)


Peter’s original name, according to the Greek text is Simon son of Jonah (John 21:15). However, being a Jew, his Hebrew name would have been שמעון בן יונה (shimon ben yonah). The name שמעון (shimon, Strong's #559) means “heard,” and for more on this name see the Biblical Hebrew E-Zine issue #37. In Mark 3:16 we are told that Yeshua (Jesus) gives Shimon the name Peter (Petros in Greek), a Greek name that has no equivalency in Hebrew. However, in John 1:42 we are told that his new name is, according to the Greek, Kephas (Cephas), not Petros (Peter). Kephas is a Greek transliteration of the Aramaic name כאפא (Kepha, pronounced kee-phah) meaning “stone.”


And I tell you, that you are Kepha, and upon this rock (kepha) I will build my assembly. (Matthew 16:18 from the Peshitta, a 4th Century Aramaic New Testament)



Question of the Month – Best Books 2?

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: What are the best books AHRC recommends for learning the Hebrew language?


A: In the last issue we provided our book recommendations for learning the Hebraic perspective (thought) of the Hebrew Bible. Now we will provide our recommendations for learning how to read the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew.


Learn to Read Biblical Hebrew: A Guide To Learning The Hebrew Alphabet, Vocabulary And Sentence Structure Of The Hebrew Bible

Learn to Read Biblical Hebrew

Anyone interested in learning to read the Hebrew Bible in its original language will find within the pages of this book all the resources needed to begin this wonderful journey. The book is laid out in four parts. The first part teaches the Hebrew alphabet through a series of lessons. The second part teaches word and sentence structure of the Hebrew language by breaking down each Hebrew word in Genesis chapter one, verses one through five. The Hebrew text of Genesis chapter one is provided for reading and comprehension practices in part three. The fourth part of the book contains charts and dictionaries of prefixes, suffixes, words and roots of the Hebrew language to assist the reader with vocabulary definitions and comprehension. This book is also available as an E-Book through our store.



Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon

Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon

This volume lists alphabetically every Hebrew word as it appears in the Old Testament. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon offers grammatical analysis and a meaning according to a word's derivation. An analytical lexicon helps the beginning and intermediate student of Hebrew identify the root words of difficult Hebrew forms. This book is also available at Google Books.



Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar

Basics of Biblical Hebrew

Following the overall structure of the highly successful Basics of Biblical Greek, this course focuses on biblical Hebrew. With the help of an accompanying CD-ROM, this text emphasizes the structural pattern of the language and minimizes rote memorization.




Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way

Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way

Understanding Hebrew is the key to experiencing the richness of Jewish prayer. Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way teaches the Hebrew found in all Jewish prayerbooks. Designed for students who can read Hebrew words but do not know what they mean, this text explains grammar so simply that the non-academic community can easily understand it.



Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament, The

The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament

These four volumes in one binding include the standard Hebrew text Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, the NIV (North American version) as the English parallel text, a word for word translation for renderings of specific Hebrew words, and an introduction on how to use the Interlinear text.



Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:14

By: Jeff A. Benner


וְשֵׁם הַנָּהָר הַשְּׁלִישִׁי חִדֶּקֶל הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ קִדְמַת אַשּׁוּר וְהַנָּהָר הָרְבִיעִי הוּא פְרָת׃

And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth in front of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. (ASV)



וְשֵׁם (ve-sheym)

The base word is the noun שם (shem), meaning "name," with the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" – and [the] name.


הַנָּהָר (ha-na-har)

The base word is the noun נהר (nahar), meaning a "river," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the river.


הַשְּׁלִישִׁי (hash-liy-shiy)

The base word is שלישי (sh’liyshiy), meaning "third," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the third. When two nouns, both with the prefix ה, are placed together, the second word is used as an adjective (Biblical Hebrew vocabulary does not make the distinction between nouns and adjectives). The literal translation of these two words is “the river the third,” but would be translated as “the third river.”


חִדֶּקֶל (hhi-de-qel)

This is the name of the river.


הוּא (hoo)

This is the masculine singular pronoun – “he.”


הַהֹלֵךְ (ha-ho-leykh)

The base word is the verb הלך (halakh) meaning to "walk." It is written in the participle form (holeykh) and means “walking.” It is prefixed with the ה (ha) meaning "the" – the [one] walking. Walking is used in Hebrew for anything that “moves,” and since rivers cannot walk, it is understood as “moving” or “flowing.”


קִדְמַת (qid-mat)

The base word is the noun קדמה (qidmah) meaning "east." Because this noun is written in the construct state (east of…), the ה is changed to a ת.


אַשּׁוּר (a-shur)

This is the name of the place where the river is located.


וְהַנָּהָר (ve-ha-na-har)

The base word is the noun נהר (nahar), meaning a "river," with the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" and the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – and the river.


הָרְבִיעִי (har-viy-iy)

The base word is רביעי (r’viyiy), meaning "fourth," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the fourth.


הוּא (hu)

This is the masculine singular pronoun – “he.”


פְרָת (p-rat)

This is the name of the river.



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


And [the] name of the third river [is] Hhideqel, he walks east of Ashur, and the fourth river, he is P’rat.


In following issues we will continue with this chapter.


Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 8:15-22

15 and “Elohiym [Powers]” spoke to “No'ahh [Rest]” saying, 16 go out from the vessel, you and your woman and your sons and the women of your sons with you, 17 all of the living ones which are with you from all of the flesh in the flyers and in the beast and in all of the treaders treading upon the land, bring out with you and they swarmed in the land and they reproduced and they increased upon the land, 18 and “No'ahh [Rest]” went out and his sons and his woman and the women of his sons with him, 19 all of the living ones, all of the treaders and all of the flyers, all of the treading ones upon the land to their family went out from the vessel, 20 and “No'ahh [Rest]” built an altar to “YHWH [He exists]” and he took from all of the pure beasts and from all of the pure flyers and he brought up a rising in the altar, 21 and “YHWH [He exists]” smelled the aroma of the sweet one and “YHWH [He exists]” said to his heart, I will not again make the ground be insubstantial on account of the human given that the thoughts of the heart of the human is dysfunctional from his young age and I will not continue to hit all of the living ones which I made, 22 Yet again are all of the days of the land, seed and harvest and cold and hot and summer and winter and day and night, they will not cease,


For details on this new translation see the web site at




AHRC Website Excerpt – Perfect

I begin this study with a comparison of two people, Jacob and Job.


And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. –Genesis 25:27 (KJV)


There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright –Job 1:1 (KJV)


From these two verses, we could conclude that Jacob was plain, just an ordinary person, nothing special, but Job, on the other hand, was rather extraordinary as he was “perfect.” What you might find interesting is the word “perfect” in Job 1:1 is a translation of the Hebrew word תם (tam, [H:8535]) but so is the word “plain” in Genesis 25:27. So why isn’t Jacob considered “perfect” by the translations just as they did with Job? This is another case of translators relying on the Greek Septuagint for their translation rather than the Hebrew text itself. The Greek uses the word amemptos [G:273], meaning “blameless,” for Job and the word haplous [G:573], meaning “simple,” for Jacob.


The word תם (tam, [H:8535]) can be best defined as “mature in thought and action” and is the parent root of the verb tamam [H:8552] meaning to be whole, finished or completed. From this verb comes the word tamiym [H:8549].


Thou shalt be perfect (tamiym) with the LORD thy God. –Deuteronomy 18:13 (KJV)


Can one be perfect? From a Greek perspective, no, because everyone has his faults, but in Hebraic thought there is no concept of “perfect.” A better translation of the verse above is; You will be complete (tamiym) with Yahweh your Elohiym


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.

Ancient Hebrew Torah E-Book



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

In the “Biblical Word of the Month” in the last issue was the Hebrew word oreph (neck). Robert emailed me pointing out that the Hebrew word for “neck” is tza’var (see Isaiah 8:8, Strong’s #6677). Actually, it is not uncommon for two or more Hebrew words to be translated the same in English translations. However, each Hebrew word is a little more specific, which is lost in the translations. The word oreph is the area between the head and the torso while the word tza’var is the back of the neck.


Jim emailed me to say that the Hebrew word for an apostle is שליח (sheliyahh), not שולח (shole’ahh) as the last issue provided. Jim mentions that the participle form (shole’ahh) means “sending” not “sent one.” In Modern Hebrew the participle form of a verb is exclusively used for the present tense of a verb, so in Modern Hebrew שולח can only mean "sending." In Biblical Hebrew, verbs do not use time related verb tenses (past, present and future), but instead action related verb tenses (perfect and imperfect). The participle form is used in Biblical Hebrew to describe an action, but also the one of the action. However, after receiving Jim’s email I looked into this a little deeper, and while the participle form can mean "sending" or "sender" it is probably more the one who sends, rather than the one who is sent. Therefore the word שליח (sheliyahh) is probably more correct. Thank you Jim.




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

Thanks to many people who pointed out that the last issue incorrectly had the transliteration ve-na-har for the Hebrew word הַנָּהָר in the “Verse of the Month” when it should have been ha-na-har.

Thank you Izzy for pointing out that I spelled Edenics incorrectly as Edencis in the last issue.

In the last issue the Israeli National Anthem is given as “Tiqvah” (Hope), but is correctly “HaTiqvah” (The Hope).




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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