Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

June, 2013                                                    Issue #066

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E-Zine Home Page

 

Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Walk

Modern Word of the Month – How are you?

Name of the Month – Matthias

Question of the Month – Pictographs?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 3:1

MT Excerpt – Genesis 13:1-12

AHRC Excerpt – Intro to Ancient Hebrew

AHRC Update

Advertisement

Editorials

Corrections

Copyright

 

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Biblical Word of the Month - Walk

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him, and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and cleave to him. (RSV, Deuteronomy 13:4)

 

We have previously examined a few of the words in this passage: Fear, commandment and voice. In this and future issues, we will examine those words that we have not yet examined: Walk, keep, obey, serve and cleave.

 

The Hebrew verb הלך (H.L.K, Strong's #3212) literally means to "walk," as can be seen in the following passage.

 

And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain… (KJV, 2 Samuel 2:29)

 

This word is also used frequently in a figurative sense as can be seen in the following passage.

 

And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. (KJV, 1 Kings 3:14)

 

In this passage, YHWH is asking Solomon to "walk" in the footsteps of his father David, who walked in the footsteps of YHWH. A son "walks" in the footsteps of his father, a student "walks" in the footsteps of his teacher and a people "walk" in the footsteps of their ancestors. In our English language, we call this "culture." Many of your thoughts and actions are a result of "walking" in the footsteps of your parents, family, neighbors and community. In the case of Israel, their culture was to patterned after YHWH's teachings, but the other nations culture was patterned after other gods.

 

And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. (RSV, Leviticus 20:23)

 

The Hebrew language always uses concrete concepts to express abstract thought. While we may use an abstract word like "culture," the Hebrew language will use a much more concrete word, such as "walking," to express the same idea. Israel was commanded to walk in YHWH's footsteps (follow YHWH's customs) and not walk in the footsteps of other gods (follow the customs of other nations).

 

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Modern Word of the Month – How are you?

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

When visiting other countries it is always appreciated if you attempt to communicate in the native language of the people you are visiting, even if they speak perfect English, and they will respect you for your attempt. Because of this, I thought that it might be useful to cover some very basic Hebrew vocabulary words and phrases that one would need when speaking to a native born Israeli.

 

Hebrew is a number and gender specific language, so how you say "how are you?" will depend on if you are speaking to a man or a woman or to one person or a group. If you are speaking to a man, you would say מה שלמך (mah sh'lom'kha). The word מה (mah) means "what," and the word שלמך (sh'lom'kha) is the word שלום (shalom) meaning "peace" (or more literally, wholeness and completeness), with the suffix ך (kha) meaning "you" (masculine singular). Literally, the phrase mah sh'lom'kha means "what is your completeness?"

 

If you are speaking to a woman, then this would be מה שלמך (mah sh'lom'ekh), which includes the suffix ך (ekh) meaning "you" (feminine singular). If you are speaking to a group of men, then it would be מה שלמכם (mah sh'lom'khem), which includes the suffix כם (khem) meaning "you" (masculine plural). If you are speaking to a group of women, then it would be מה שלמכן (mah sh'lom'khen), which includes the suffix כן (khen) meaning "you" (feminine plural). If you are speaking to a group of men and women, then you would use מה שלמכם (mah sh'lom'khem), the masculine plural form, as the masculine plural is always used for mixed genders.

 

 

 

And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles. (RSV, Acts 1:26)

 

 

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Name of the Month - Matthias

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles. (RSV, Acts 1:26)

 

To replace Judas, the disciples cast lots for the new apostle, and the lot fell on Matthias. In a previous issue, we examined the name "Matthew," which in the Greek is written as Mat-thai-os. The Greek for Matthias is very similar; Mat-thi-as. Both Matthaios and Matthias are Greek forms of the Hebrew name מתתיה (matityah), which we previously found to be תתמ (matat, Strong's #4991) meaning “gift” or “reward,” and the nameיה  (Yah, Strong's #3050) and when combined, this name means “gift of Yah” or “reward of Yah.”

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Question of the Month – Pictographs?

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

Q: Can the definition of a Hebrew word be determined by the pictures of the Hebrew letters?

 

A: Based on my research, I am convinced that the original Hebrew letters were pictures, each with a specific meaning. It is also very apparent that when you combine these letters to form words, the pictures are related to the meaning of the words. However, because of the distance between our time and culture and theirs, it is very difficult to know exactly what these letters meant and even more so, their combinations. Therefore, the interpretations of these words, based on the letters alone, are very subjective.

 

While I have found looking at the meanings of the letters in a word helpful (and even a lot of fun), I do not advocated getting a definition of a word based solely on the letters themselves, but instead by examining the definition of the word from Lexicons and the context of how it is used in the text.

 

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Verse of the Month – Genesis 3:1

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

וְהַנָּחָשׁ הָיָה עָרוּם מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה אַף כִּי־אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן׃

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any

tree of the garden? (ASV)

 

 

 

וְהַנָּחָשׁ  (ve-ha-na-hhash)

This is the word נחש (na-hhash) meaning "serpent," with the ה (h) prefix meaning "the" and the ו (v) prefix meaning "and."

  

הָיָה  (hai-yah)

The verb היה (H.Y.H) means to "exist." The written form of this verb identifies the verb tense as perfect - existed - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he existed.

 

עָרוּם  (a-rum)

This word is a noun meaning one who is crafty or sly.

 

מִכֹּל  (mee-kol)

The base word is כל (kol) meaning “all.” The prefix מ (mi) means “from.” Combined, this means “from all” or in the context of this passage, "more than all."

חַיַּת  (hhai-yat)

This is the feminine noun חיה (hhai’yah), derived from the masculine noun חי (hhai), both words meaning a "living one." This word is written in the construct state so the ה (ah) is changed to ת (at).

 

הַשָּׂדֶה  (ha-sa-deh)

This is the noun שדה (sadeh) meaning "field" with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the field.

 

אֲשֶׁר  (a-sher)

This is a common Hebrew word meaning "which" or "who".

 

עָשָׂה  (a-sah)

The verb עשה (A.S.H) means “to do,” but often in the sense of "making." This form of the verb (no prefixes or suffixes) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular and the tense as perfect – "he did" or "he made."

 

יְהוָה  (YHWH)

This is the Tetragramaton, the four letter name of the God of the Hebrews, usually pronounced Yahweh. There are many theories as to the origin and meaning of this name but most likely comes from the verb הוה (hawah) meaning to exist. The yud added to the beginning identifies the object of the verb as first person, masculine, singular, imperfect tense or "he exists".

 

אֱלֹהִים  (e-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 (iym) 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.”

 

וַיֹּאמֶר  (vai-yo-mer)

The base word is the verb אמר (a-mar) meaning to say or speak. The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular, imperfect tense (he will say). The prefix ו (v) means "and" and will also reverse the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect (and he said).

 

אֶל  (el)

This is a preposition meaning "to."

 

הָאִשָּׁה  (ha-ee-shah)

The prefix ה means "the". The word אשה (ee-shah) means "woman".

 

אַף  (aph)

This word is a conjunction meaning "moreover," "in addition," or "furthermore."

 

כִּי  (kee)

This word is a preposition meaning "that." This and the previous word are combined to mean "really."

 

אָמַר  (a-mar)

The verb אמר (A.M.R) means to say or speak. This form of the verb (no prefixes or suffixes) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular and the tense as perfect – "he said."

 

אֱלֹהִים  (e-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 (iym) 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.”

 

לֹא  (lo)

This is the Hebrew word meaning “no” or “not.” This word is often placed before a verb to place the action of that verb in the negative.

 

תֹאכְלוּ  (tok-lu)

The base word is the verb אכל (A.K.L) meaning to eat. The prefix ת (to) and the suffix ו (u) identify the subject of the verb as second person, masculine, plural, imperfect tense-you will eat (Hebrew uses the masculine plural for a group of mixed genders).

 

מִכֹּל  (mee-kol)

The base word is כל (kol) meaning “all.” The prefix מ (mi) means “from.” Combined, this means “from all” or in the context of this passage, "more than all."

 

עֵץ  (eyts)

This is a noun meaning "tree."

 

 הַגָּן (ha-gan)

The base word is the noun גן (gan) meaning "garden," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the."

 

 

 

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

 

And the serpent was crafty, more than all the living ones of the field, which YHWH Elohiym made. And he said to the woman, "did Elohiym really say you will not eat from all the trees of the garden?"

 

In following issues we will continue with this chapter.

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Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 13:1-12

1&and “Avram [Father raised]” went up from “Mitsrayim [Troubles]”, he and his woman and all of the ones which belonged to him and “Loth [Covering]” with him unto the south country, 2&and “Avram [Father raised]” was much heavy in livestock, in silver and in gold, 3&and he walked to the breaking of his camps from the south country and as far as “Beyt-El [House of El]”, as far as the place where her tent existed, there in the first time between “Beyt-El [House of El]” and the “Ay [Heap of ruins]”, 4&to the place of the altar which he made there in the first and there “Avram [Father raised]” called out in the title of “YHWH [He exists]”, 5&and also to “Loth [Covering]”, the one walking with “Avram [Father raised]”, existed flocks and cattle and tents, 6&and the land did not lift them up to settle together given that their goods existed abundantly and they were not able to settle together, 7&and strife existed between the feeders of the livestock of “Avram [Father raised]” and the feeders of the livestock of “Loth [Covering]” and the one of “Kena'an [Lowered]” and the one of “Perez [Peasant]” were at that time settling in the land, 8&and “Avram [Father raised]” said to “Loth [Covering]”, please, let not contention exist between me and you and between my feeders and your feeders given that we are men of brothers, 9&is not all of the land to your face, please be divided apart from upon me, if the left hand, I will go right and if the right hand, I will go left, 10&and “Loth [Covering]” lifted up his eyes and he saw all of the roundness of the “Yarden [Descender]” given that all of her was drinking, before much damaging of “YHWH [He exists]” at “Sedom [Secret]” and at “Ghamorah [Rebellion]”, like the garden of “YHWH [He exists]” and like the land of “Mitsrayim [Troubles]” as you come to “Tso'ar [Tiny]”, 11&and “Loth [Covering]” chose for him all of the roundness of the “Yarden [Descender]” and “Loth [Covering]” lifted up from the east and they divided apart, each from upon his brother, 12& “Avram [Father raised]” had settled in the land of “Kena'an [Lowered]” and “Loth [Covering]” had settled in the cities of the roundness and he pitched the tent as far as “Sedom [Secret]”,

 

For details on this new translation see the web site at

http://www.mechanical-translation.org

 

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AHRC Website Excerpt – Intro to AH

Introduction to Ancient Hebrew

When I first started learning Hebrew, I learned the Hebrew alphabet, the same Hebrew alphabet that can be seen any Hebrew Bible.

A portion of a Modern Hebrew Bible
A portion of a Modern Hebrew Bible

However, while reading our local paper in 1997 I came across the article "Evidence of Solomon's temple found." In this article was a photograph of a 3,000 year old receipt for 3 shekel's for a donation to the "House of Yahweh" by "Ashyahu the King," written on a piece of pottery fragment. What I found most interesting was that this Hebrew inscription was written in an alphabet that was nothing like the Hebrew I had learned and this begun my journey into the Ancient Hebrew alphabet and language of the Bible.

An Ancient Hebrew Inscription
An Ancient Hebrew Inscription


Contents:

  • The relationship between the Hebrew words of the Bible and the Ancient Hebrew culture
  • The differences between Greek and Hebrew concepts
  • The meaning of the letters in the ancient pictographic Hebrew script
  • The root system of the Ancient Hebrew language
  • A Hebraic interpretation of the Aaronic Blessing

 

 

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by Jeff A. Benner

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Editorials

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

From David L.:

 

I have enjoyed your issues immensely. I do take exception to your definition of “adam” as simply human. The word human originally was a contraction of “hued man”. Adam is more correctly defined as “man who shows blood in the face”. This more correct definition is, of course, politically incorrect, but for Whom do instruct? Why change His Word as do those who have arrogantly removed His Name from the text over 6800 times?

 

My Response:

 

The objective of the Mechanical Translation is to use only one or two English words that best transmit the meaning of each Hebrew word. While “human” does not completely convey the meaning of the Hebrew “Adam,” it is the best possible match. The Mechanical Translation is also equipped with a dictionary that will more specifically define the word to its Hebrew meaning. Currently, the dictionary defines this word as “relating to, or characteristic of man. The first man. All of mankind as the descendants of the first man.” As this word is derived from the verb “adam,” meaning “to be reddish,” and is derived from the word “dam,” meaning “blood,” I am going to add to the dictionary for future publications of the Mechanical Translation, “Derived from a root meaning “blood” and “of reddish color.”

 

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Corrections

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

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Copyright © 2013

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center

 

Please feel free to use, copy or distribute any material within the "Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine" for non-profit educational purposes only.

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