Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

January, 2015                                                    Issue #069


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Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Serve

Modern Word of the Month – News

Name of the Month – Azariah

Question of the Month – Selfsame?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 3:4

MT Excerpt – Genesis 14:11-24

AHRC Excerpt – Scapegoat

AHRC Update






Biblical Word of the Month - Serve

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)

In the last issue we discussed the Hebrew word sh’ma, which is often translated as “obey” and in this issue we will be discussing the word “serve,” which in the Hebrew is the verb עבד (Ah.B.D, Strong's #5647). The participle form of this verb, meaning “serving,” is pronounced oved and may possibly be the origin of the English word “obey,” as the “servant” is one who “obeys” the master. This is more evident in the word “obedience,” which begins with “obed,” very similar to the Hebrew word oved. The noun form of this verb is עבד (eved, Strong's #5647) and is usually translated as “servant.” Derived from this noun is the name Obadiah (ovad’yah in Hebrew) meaning “servant of Yah” or, “the one who obeys Yah.”

While the verb עבד (Ah.B.D, Strong's #5647) is most frequently translated as “serve,” it more literally means to perform labor or work on behalf of another. The first use of this verb is found in the following passage.

when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up -- for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground (RSV, Genesis 2:5)

In this passage the verb עבד (Ah.B.D, Strong's #5647) is translated as “till,” but if we apply the full meaning of this word in this passage, it says, “and there was no man to work on behalf of the ground.” According to Genesis 1:28, man is to “subdue” the land (see issue #27), but here we see that man is to “serve” the land. Man’s relationship with the land is symbiotic. While the land serves man, man is also to serve the land.


Modern Word of the Month - News

By: Jeff A. Benner

The modern Hebrew word for “news” is חדשות (hhadshut) This word is derived from the Biblical Hebrew word חדש (hhadash, Strong's #2319) meaning “new.” One of the most popular Hebrew news web sites is Haaretz (הארץ – the land) and is available in Hebrew and English.


Name of the Month - Azariah

By: Jeff A. Benner

And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego. (RSV, Daniel 1:7)

The name Azariah (pronounced azar’yah in Hebrew) is a combination of two words, the verb עזר (Ah.Z.R, Strong's #5826), meaning “help” and the name יה (Yah, Strong's #3050). When combined, this name means “Yah will help.”


Question of the Month – Selfsame?

Q: What time of day did the Israelites leave Egypt? My translation says they left in the “selfsame day,” but what does this mean?

By: Isaac Mozeson

A: Perhaps the most difficult passage in the entire Passover story of Scripture occurs in Exodus 12:17. Here, the Israelites, that tiny band of universal metaphors, are set to leave their oppressive site of slavery and degradation "b'eZTeM haYom haZeH", in -- literally translated -- "the BONE of the day". The word "eTZeM" means bone, from the first time that Adam uses the word in Genesis 2:23, and this Edenic term is the ultimate source for OSTEOMA (the bone tissue tumor) or the Greek bone, OSTEON.

Most bible translations have a bone to pick with this difficult term, so they simply render it "on that selfsame day" or "very day" -- either way their translations are absurd.

Biblical scholars try gymnastics to compare the word to related terms that do mean "itself" (ATZMo) or OMeTZ, "strength." They sorely need a prooftext in an actual language before they could understand this term, and other long ossified Semitic languages, like Akkadian, are no help.

To the rescue comes the venerable language of Chinese, Earth's number one spoken language, which replaced some consonants with rising and falling accents but otherwise changed little since it was refracted from the Edenic gem at Babel and spread with the most prolific son of Japeth. Chinese, like Biblical Hebrew, has large two-letter roots whose meanings form a theme when noting the many three-letter roots or like-sounding words that poured forth from the same source over the millennia.

The Chinese root "zhong," a reasonable match for the Tzadik-Mem Hebrew bone of contention above, has several relevant meanings. Among these are Middle Finger, Backbone, Center, Core, Noon and Midday. Yes, there is nothing wrong with translating Exodus 12:17 as "the bone of the day", once we have the Chinese to teach us that the "bone" (eTZeM) is the middle and strong core (oMeTZ).

Now we can understand that the Israelite slaves were meant to leave in the backbone or middle of the day. This high drama was set for high noon, lest someone think the slaves sneaked out on their own at dawn or twilight. This historic highlight was well lit for all the world to see, for all time.

(This short essay was originally published by the Root & Branch Association's information service, headquartered in Jerusalem, Israel.)


Verse of the Month – Genesis 3:4

By: Jeff A. Benner

וַיֹּאמֶר הַנָּחָשׁ אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה לֹא־מֹות תְּמֻתוּן׃

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. (ASV)

וַיֹּאמֶר (vay-yo-mer)

The base word is אמר (A.M.R) meaning "to say". The prefix י (y) identifies the verb as third person, masculine, singular, imperfect tense and would be translated as "he will say" or "he says". The prefix ו (v) means "and" and when prefixed to a verb will usually reverse the tense, in this case from imperfect to perfect tense and would be translated as "and he said".

הַנָּחָשׁ (ha-na-hhash)

The base word is the noun נחש (nahhash) meaning a "serpent," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the serpent. This noun is the subject of the previous verb.

אֶל (el)

This word is a preposition meaning "to" or "toward".

הָאִשָּׁה (ha-ee-shah)

The prefix ה means "the". The word אשה, the feminine form of the masculine noun איש meaning "man," means "woman".

לֹא (lo)

This is the Hebrew word meaning “no” or “not.” This word negates the action of the following verbs.

מֹות (mot)

This is an infinitive verb (simple action with no tense or subject) meaning “die.”

תְּמֻתוּן (xxxx)

The base word is the verb מות (M.W.T) meaning “to die.” It is prefixed with the letter ת (t) and suffixed with the letter ו (u), which identifies the tense of the verb as imperfect–will die, and the subject of the verb as 2nd person, masculine, plural–you will die (note that masculine plural can apply to males and females together). The other suffix, ן (n), emphasizes the action of the verb–you will surely die. Because the verb מות (M.W.T) is used twice, the action is being magnified–You will most certainly die. As the word לא (lo) negates the action of this verb, it will be translated as–You will most certainly not die.

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

And the serpent said to the woman, you will most certainly not die.

In following issues we will continue with this chapter.


Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 14:11-24

14:11&and they took all of the goods of “Sedom [Secret]” and “Ghamorah [Rebellion]” and all of their foodstuff and they walked, 14:12&and they took “Loth [Covering]”, the son of the brother of “Avram [Father raised]”, and his goods and they walked and he settled in “Sedom [Secret]”, 14:13&and the escaped one came and he told to “Avram [Father raised]”, the one of “Ever [Cross over]” and he was dwelling in the great trees of “Mamre [Bitter place]” and the one of “Emor [Sayer]”, the brother of “Eshkol [Cluster]” and the brother of “Aner [Answer]” who were the masters of the covenant of “Avram [Father raised]”, 14:14&and “Avram [Father raised]” heard that his brother was captured and he emptied his three hundred and eighteen experienced ones born of his house and he pursued as far as “Dan [Moderator]”, 14:15&and he and his servants were apportioned upon them at night and he hit them and he pursued them as far as “Hhovah [Hiding place]” which is from the left hand to “Dameseq [Blood sack]”, 14:16&and he returned all of the goods and also “Loth [Covering]” his brother and his goods he returned and also the women and the people, 14:17&and the king of “Sedom [Secret]” came out to meet him after his turning back from hitting “Kedarla'omer [Attack for sheaves]” and the kings which were with him, to the valley of “Shaweh [Plain]”, he is the valley of the king, 14:18&and “Malkiy-Tsedeq [King of righteousness]” was king of “Shalem [Complete]” and he brought out bread and wine and he was priest to the upper mighty one, 14:19&and he respected him and he said, respected is “Avram [Father raised]” to the upper mighty one, the purchaser of the sky and land, 14:20&and respected is the upper mighty one who delivered up your narrows in your hand and he gave to him a tenth part from all, 14:21&and the king of “Sedom [Secret]” said to “Avram [Father raised]”, give to me the being and the goods take for you, 14:22&and “Avram [Father raised]” said to the king of “Sedom [Secret]”, I made my hand rise to “YHWH [He exists]” the upper mighty one, purchaser of the sky and land, 14:23&if not from a thread and also not a lace of a sandal and if I do not take from all of the ones which are yours then you will not say, I made “Avram [Father raised]” be rich, 14:24&apart from me only which the young men ate and the portion of the men which walked with me, “Aner [Answer]”, “Eshkol [Cluster]” and “Mamre [Bitter place]”, they will take their portion,

For details on this new translation see the web site at


AHRC Website Excerpt – Scapegoat

The Scapegoat: The Pseudepigrapha and Azazel

In the realm of Biblical Books, there are four different groups of books; the Tanach (Old Testament), the New Testament, the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha.
Judaism accepts the first as cannon, Christianity the first two, Catholicism the first three, but none of the major Judeo Christian religions accept the fourth within their cannon of scripture. This is to their disadvantage because the books of the Pseudepigrapha can often shed light on passages in the other three. One example of this is the scapegoat.

The following is a literal translation of Leviticus 16:7-10.

"And take the two goats and stand them up before YHWH at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And Aharon will give the two goats over to the casting of lots, one lot to YHWH and one lot to Azazel. And Aharon will bring the goat which over him was cast the lot to YHWH and make him a sin offering. And the goat which was over him the lot cast to Azazel, he will stand alive before YHWH to make atonement to send him to Azazel in the wilderness."

Each goat represents one type of person. The goat selected for YHWH represents the obedient servent who is committed to God; this one sacrifices his life to serve before YHWH. The other goat represents the haughty and proud who is free to live his life his own way, separate from YHWH and sent out into the wilderness.

While it would seem that the goat released into the wilderness has the better deal, this is not true, the goat that is sacrificed to YHWH is completely dedicated to YHWH while the other is sent out into the wilderness, probably to die from starvation. The Jewish tradition actually says that the goat was taken to a high place, a cliff, and thrown over it.

What exactly is Azazel? There have been three theories. The first is that it is a combination word meaning "goat" (az) and "shake" or "sent away" (azel), hence the translation in some Bibles of "scapegoat". The second is that the word is the place to which the goat was sent; a desert, solitary place, or a high place. The third is that Azazel is the name of an individual, angel or demon. The later makes more sense as the Hebrew says that one of the goats is "to" YHWH, while the other is "to" Azazel (one who is the opposite of YHWH). The Hebrew translated as “to” could also be translated as “for” or “belonging to.”

Many times passages in the Bible cannot be understood correctly without outside sources to shed light on the ancient cultural understandings and background. While many people are attempting to interpret this passage based on the Bible alone, creating many different interpretations, the actual meaning of Azazel can be found in the book of Enoch.

ENOCH 8:1-3 And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways

ENOCH 10:1-8 Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: 'Go to Noah and tell him in my name "Hide thyself!" and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.' And again the Lord said to Raphael: 'Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire… the whole earth has been corrupted 9 through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.

ENOCH 54:3-6 And there mine eyes saw how they made these their instruments, iron chains of immeasurable weight. And I asked the angel of peace who went with me, saying: "For whom are these chains being prepared? And he said unto me: "These are being prepared for the hosts of Azazel, so that they may take them and cast them into the abyss of complete condemnation, and they shall cover their jaws with rough stones as the Lord of Spirits commanded. And Michael, and Gabriel, and Raphael, and Phanuel shall take hold of them on that great day, and cast them on that day into the burning furnace, that the Lord of Spirits may take vengeance on them for their unrighteousness in becoming subject to Satan and leading astray those who dwell on the earth."

This article is located on the web site at


AHRC Update

New web content, articles, books, videos and DVDs produced by AHRC as well as any new events.

  • Saudi Arabia Menorah Rock Inscription Translated by Jeff Benner (Link)




A new and unique method of translation that brings you a literal and faithful word for word translation of the Hebrew text through the English language.

by Jeff A. Benner

The Mechanical Translation of the Torah is divided up into 12 Volumes;

1.   About the Hebrew Language and the Mechanical Translation

2.   The Book of Genesis

3.   The Book of Exodus

4.   The Book of Leviticus

5.   The Book of Numbers

6.   The Book of Deuteronomy

7.   The Revised Mechanical Translation

8.   Dictionary and Concordance

9.   Lexicon

10. Commentary

11. Facsimiles of the Torah from the Leningrad Codex

12. The Torah in Ancient Hebrew


While the Mechanical Translation of the Torah is not yet complete, we are making available the works that have been, or are almost, completed. Each volume is available in PDF format, which can be viewed on your computer or printed out and placed in binders for ease of reading or studying.

Additional information is available through the website.




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

Big thanks goes out to Brick who provided us with the connection between the English word “obedience” and the Hebrew word “obed,” as we mentioned in the Hebrew word of the month above.



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


Copyright © 2015

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center


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