Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

December, 2010                                                    Issue #057


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Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Law

Modern Word of the Month – School

Name of the Month – James

Question of the Month – Yehu’ah?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:16

MT Excerpt – Genesis 9:7-16

AHRC Excerpt – Transliteration

What's New







Biblical Word of the Month - Law

By: Jeff A. Benner


The Hebrew word often translated as “law” is תורה (torah, Strong's #8451), which is derived from the root ירה (Y.R.H, Strong's #3384). The parent root of this verb is יר (Y.R). The letter י (yud) in the ancient pictographic script is , a picture of a hand, and the ר (resh( in the ancient pictographic script is ,  a picture of the head of a man. Combined this root means "the hand of man" and means "to point," and can be used in a wide variety of ways.   In Genesis 46:28 this word means to point out a direction; "and he sent Judah before him unto Joseph to point his face toward Goshen." This verb can also mean to instruct or teach in the sense of pointing out the direction one is to go in life as we read in Exodus 4:15 when Yahweh says to Moses "and I will teach you what you shall do."


Another noun derived from this root is מורה (moreh), which is a teacher, one who points out the way. The torah is the teaching of the teacher, or more literally, the way pointed out by the teacher, the journey. When we translate Psalm 1:2 with this literal understanding of torah, we read; "His delight is in the journey of Yahweh, and in his journey he meditates day and night." Also in Psalm 119:1; "Happy are the mature ones of the trail, the ones walking in the journey of YHWH."


A nomadic journey is a circuit, traveling from pasture land to pasture land, watering hole to watering hole, year after year. Much of the Hebraic lifestyle is related to this circular journey. Even the feasts are a nomadic journey of a circuit; Pesahh (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost), Sukkot (Tabernacles) and back to Pesahh again. The entire Torah is read through the year and when the end of Deuteronomy is reached, the scroll is rewound and the reading continues with Genesis 1:1.


As I mentioned, the verb yarah means to point, but is also used in the context of pointing an arrow, or shooting an arrow as we see in 1 Samuel 20:20; "And I will shoot three arrows." The word moreh, which we found meant teacher, is also used for an archer, the one who points the arrow. From this perspective, torah is the arrow. If the arrow goes off course it "misses the mark, or strays from the path." When we stray from the path, we also miss the mark. The Hebrew word for "missing the mark" is חטאה (hhatah, Strong's #2403) which is often translated as "sin." Interestingly, another word for "sin" is to "trespass," to leave the path.


And I looked, and behold, you have sinned against YHWH your Elohiym, and you made for yourself a molten calf, you quickly turned away from the trail which YHWH directed you. (Deuteronomy 9:16)


Interpreting the Hebrew word torah as law is about the same as interpreting the word father as disciplinarian. While the father is a disciplinarian, it is a very narrow interpretation. The same is true for torah, a part of torah is law, but this is a very narrow interpretation of it.



Modern Word of the Month - School

By: Jeff A. Benner


The Modern Hebrew word for “school” is two words, בית הספר (beyt hasepher) The first word is בית (beyt, Strong's #1004) meaning “house.” The second word is the prefixה  meaning “the” and the word ספר  (sepher, Strong's #5612) meaning “scroll,” or in modern Hebrew, a book.



Name of the Month - James

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)


And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: (Mark 3:17)


James is identified as the son of Zebedee, a Hebrew name, זבדי (zav’di, Strong's #2067), meaning “my gift.” James is the brother John, both of whom are called, in the Greek, Boanerges, which in Hebrew is בני רגז (beney regaz). This is the word בן (ben, Strong's #1121) meaning “son” (but written in the plural form – sons) and רגז (regaz, Strong's #7266) meaning “rage” – sons of rage.


In the New Testament Greek text the name James is written as Iakobos, a transliteration of the Hebrew name יעקב (ya’akov, Strong's #3290). This name is the verb עקב (Ah.Q.B, Strong's #6117) meaning “to grab the heel,” and the prefix י (yud) meaning “he” – he grabs the heel.


The Hebrew name Ya’aqov in the Tanach (Old Testament) is Latinized as Jacob. Because the Greek Iakobos is a transliteration of the Hebrew Ya’akov, his name in the New Testament English translations should be Jacob, not James.


I would like to point out a common myth about this name. It has been suggested that the name “James” was introduced for “Jacob” in the King James Version of the Bible because King James told the translators that he wanted his name in the Bible, so they exchanged Jacob for James. This is a myth, as James is used in the Geneva Bible which predates the King James Version.


Question of the Month – Yehu’ah?

By: Jeff A. Benner


Q: I noticed that the Hebrew name Yehudah is spelled the same as YHWH, except for the addition of the letter “d.” So if I remove the “d” I have Yehu’ah, wouldn’t this be the pronunciation of the name YHWH?


A: The pronunciation of some letters will change depending upon its position within the word. For instance, the letter beyt will be pronounced with a "b" if it is at the beginning of a syllable and as a "v" when it is at the end of a syllable. This is also true for the letter waw (vav in Modern Hebrew). When the vav is at the beginning of a syllable it will be pronounced with a w (v in Modern Hebrew), but when it us at the end of a syllable it will be pronounced as a vowel (o or u). In a name like יהודה, the waw is at the end of a syllable and therefore will be pronounced as a vowel (u). But in יהוה the waw is at the beginning of a syllable therefore it should be pronounced as a consonant (w).



Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:16

By: Jeff A. Benner


וַיְצַו יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים עַל־הָאָדָם לֵאמֹר מִכֹּל עֵץ־הַגָּן אָכֹל תֹּאכֵל׃

And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (ASV)


וַיְצַו (vai-tsav)

The base word is the verb צוה (Ts.V.H) meaning to "direct" or “give direction.” The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect will direct, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular he will direct. The prefix ו (vav) means “and” but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he directed. Also note that the letter ה (hey) is dropped once the verb is conjugated.



יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the Tetragramaton, the four letter name of God.


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo-heem)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (eem) is the masculine plural, so this word means “gods” or “ones of power and authority.” However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as “Elohiym” rather than translating it with the English word “God.” The phrase “YHWH Elohim” is the subject of the previous verb – and YHWH Elohiym directed.


עַל (al)

This word means “on” or “upon.”


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning “human.” The prefix ה (ha) means “the” – the human.


לֵאמֹר (ley-mor)

The base word is the verb אמר (A.M.R) meaning to "say." It is prefixed with the ל (ley) meaning "to" – to say, but is better translated into English as “saying.”


מִכֹּל (mee-kol)

The base word is כל (kol) meaning “all.” The prefix מ (mi) means “from.” Combined, this means “from all.”


עֵץ (eyts)

This word is a noun meaning “tree” or “trees.”


הַגָּן (ha-gan)

The word גן (gan) is a garden and is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning “the” – the garden.


אָכֹל (a-khol)

This is a verb meaning “eat.”


תֹּאכֵל (to-kheyl)

The base word is the verb אכל (A.K.L) meaning to "eat.” The prefix ת (to) identifies the verb tense as imperfect will eat, and also identifies the subject of the verb as second person, masculine, singular you will eat. This verb is a repeat of the previous verb, which is a grammatical tool to provide emphasis; therefore these two verbs would be translated as “you may certainly eat.”



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


And YHWH Elohim directed the human saying, from all the trees of the garden you may certainly eat.


In following issues we will continue with this chapter.


Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 9:7-16

7&and you, reproduce and increase, swarm in the land and increase in her, 8&and “Elohiym [Powers]” said to “No'ahh [Rest]” and to his sons with him saying, 9&and here am I, making a rising of my covenant to you and your seed after you, 10&and with all of the beings of the living ones which are with you, with the flyer, with the beast and with all of the living ones of the land with you, from all going out of the vessel to all of the living ones of the land, 11&and I made rise my covenant with you and all of the flesh will not be cut again from the water of the flood, the flood will not exist again to do much damage to the land, 12&and “Elohiym [Powers]” said, this is the sign of the covenant which I am giving between me and you and all of the beings of life which are with you for generations of a distant time, 13&I gave my bow in the cloud, and she will exist for a sign of the covenant between me and the land, 14&and he will exist in my cloud, much watching upon the land and the bow appeared in the cloud, 15&and I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and all of the beings of life with all of the flesh and the water for a flood will not again exist to do much damage to all of the flesh, 16&and the bow will exist in the cloud and I will see her to remember the covenant of a distant time between “Elohiym [Powers]” and all of the beings of life in all of the flesh which is upon the land,         


For details on this new translation see the web site at




AHRC Website Excerpt – Transliteration

Transliteration of Genesis Chapter One.

1be’rey’shit ba’ra e’lo’him eyt ha’sha’ma’yim we’eyt ha’a’rets 2we’ha’a’rets hai’tah to’hu wa’vo’hu we’hho’shekh al pe’ney te’hom we’ru’ahh e’lo’him me’ra’hhe’phet al pe’ney ha’ma’yim 3wai’yo’mer e’lo’him ye’hi or wai’hi or 4wai’yar e’lo’him et ha’or ki tov wai’yav’deyl e’lo’him beyn ha’or u’veyn ha’hho’shekh 5wai’yiq’ra e’lo’him la’or yom we’la’hho’shekh qa’ra lai’lah wai’hi e’rev wai’hi vo’qer yom e’hhad 6wai’yo’mer e’lo’him ye’hi ra’qi’a be’tokh ha’ma’yim wi’hi mav’dil beyn ma’yim la’ma’yim 7wai’ya’as e’lo’him et ha’ra’qi’a wai’yav’deyl beyn ha’ma’yim a’sher mi’ta’hhat la’ra’qi’a u’veyn ha’ma’yim a’sher mey’al la’ra’qi’a wai’hi kheyn 8wai’yiq’ra e’lo’him la’ra’qi’a sha’ma’yim wai’hi e’rev wai’hi vo’qer yom shey’ni 9wai’yo’mer e’lo’him yi’qaw’u ha’ma’yim mi’ta’hhat ha’sha’ma’yim el ma’qom e’hhad we’tey’ra’eh hai’ya’ba’shah wai’hi kheyn 10wai’yiq’ra e’lo’him lai’ya’ba’shah e’rets ul’miq’weh ha’ma’yim qa’ra ya’mim wai’yar e’lo’him ki tov 11 wai’yo’mer e’lo’him tad’shey ha’a’rets de’she ey’sev maz’ri’a ze’ra eyts pe’ri o’seh pe’ri le’mi’no a’sher zar’o vo al ha’a’rets wai’hi kheyn 12wa’to’tsey ha’a’rets de’she ey’sev maz’ri’a ze’ra le’mi’ney’hu we’eyts o’seh pe’ri a’sher zar’o vo le’mi’ney’hu wai’yar e’lo’him ki tov 13wai’hi e’rev wai’hi vo’qer yom she’li’shi 14wai’yo’mer e’lo’him ye’hi me’o’rot bir’qi’a ha’sha’ma’yim le’hav’dil beyn hai’yom u’veyn ha’lai’lah we’hai’u le’o’tot ul’mo’a’dim ul’ya’mim we’sha’nim 15we’hai’u lim’o’rot bir’qi’a ha’sha’ma’yim le’ha’ir al ha’a’rets wai’hi kheyn 16wai’ya’as e’lo’him et she’ney ham’o’rot ha’ge’do’lim et ha’ma’or ha’ga’dol le’mem’she’let hai’yom we’et ha’ma’or ha’qa’ton le’mem’she’let ha’lai’lah we’eyt ha’ko’kha’vim 17wai’yi’teyn o’tam e’lo’him bir’qi’a ha’sha’ma’yim le’ha’ir al ha’a’rets 18we’lim’shol ba’yom u’va’lai’lah ul’hav’dil beyn ha’or u’veyn ha’hho’shekh wai’yar e’lo’him ki tov 19wai’hi e’rev wai’hi vo’qer yom re’vi’i 20wai’yo’mer e’lo’him yish’re’tsu ha’ma’yim she’rets ne’phesh hhai’yah we’oph ye’o’pheyph al ha’a’rets al pe’ney re’qi’a ha’sha’ma’yim 21wai’yiv’ra e’lo’him et ha’ta’ni’nim ha’ge’do’lim we’eyt kol ne’phesh ha’hha’yah ha’ro’me’set a’sher shar’tsu ha’ma’yim le’mi’ney’hem we’eyt kol oph ka’naph le’mi’ney’hu wai’yar e’lo’him ki tov 22wai’va’rekh o’tam e’lo’him ley’mor pe’ru ur’vu u’mil’u et ha’ma’yim ba’ya’mim we’ha’oph yi’rev ba’a’rets 23 wai’hi e’rev wai’hi vo’qer yom hha’mi’shi 24wai’yo’mer e’lo’him to’tsey ha’a’rets ne’phesh hhai’yah le’mi’nah be’hey’mah wa’re’mes we’hhai’to e’rets le’mi’nah wai’hi kheyn 25wai’ya’as e’lo’him et hhai’yat ha’a’rets le’mi’nah we’et ha’be’hey’mah le’mi’nah we’eyt kol re’mes ha’a’da’mah le’mi’ney’hu wai’yar e’lo’him ki tov 26wai’yo’mer e’lo’him na’a’seh a’dam be’tsal’mey’nu kid’mu’tey’nu we’yir’du vid’gat hai’yam uv’oph ha’sha’ma’yim u’va’be’hey’mah uv’khol ha’a’rets uv’khol ha’re’mes ha’ro’meys al ha’a’rets 27wai’yiv’ra e’lo’him et ha’a’dam be’tsal’mo be’tse’lem e’lo’him ba’ra o’to za’khar un’qey’vah ba’ra o’tam 28wai’va’rekh o’tam e’lo’him wai’yo’mer la’hem e’lo’him pe’ru ur’vu u’mil’u et ha’a’rets we’khiv’shu’ah ur’du bid’gat hai’yam uv’oph ha’sha’ma’yim uv’khol hhai’yah ha’ro’me’set al ha’a’rets 29wai’yo’mer e’lo’him hin’neyh na’ta’ti la’khem et kol ey’sev zo’rey’a ze’ra a’sher al pe’ney khol ha’a’rets we’et kol ha’eyts a’sher bo phe’ri eyts zo’rey’a za’ra la’khem yih’yeh le’akh’lah 30ul’khol hhai’yat ha’a’rets ul’khol oph ha’sha’ma’yim ul’khol ro’meys al ha’a’rets a’sher bo ne’phesh hhai’yah et kol ye’req ey’sev le’akh’lah wai’hi kheyn 31wai’yar e’lo’him et kol a’sher a’sah we’hin’neyh tov me’od wai’hi e’rev wai’hi vo’qer yom ha’shi’shi


The entire transliteration of the Torah 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.

West Vs. East

Ancient Hebrew Torah (Book)



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 Sept. 2010 Issue under the “Verse of the Month” I incorrectly defined the Hebrew word בְגַן, which should have read: The word גן (gan) is a garden and is prefixed with the letter ב (be) meaning “in” – in the garden.




New Testament Greek to Hebrew Dictionary

by Jeff A. Benner


Five hundred most frequent Greek words and names retranslated back into Hebrew for English Readers



This book is currently available as “E-Book,” but will be available in Book form in January 2011. Additional information and ordering details are available through the bookstore.



Copyright © 2010

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center


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