Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine

November, 2015                                                    Issue #071

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E-Zine Home Page

 

Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Name

Modern Word of the Month – Kibbutz

Name of the Month – Jeshua

Question of the Month – And or then?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 3:6

MT Excerpt – Genesis 15:13-21

AHRC Excerpt – Root System

AHRC Update

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Editorials

Corrections

Copyright

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Biblical Word of the Month - Name

By: Jeff A. Benner

 

The Hebrew word for a “name” is שם (shem, Strong's #8034). The Hebrew word נשמה (neshamah, Strong's #5397) is formed by adding the letters מ (m) and ה (h) to the word שם (shem). This word is used in Genesis 2:7 and means “breath”.

And the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and he blew in his nostrils the breath (נשמה) of life and the man became a living soul.

While the Western mind simply sees “breath” as the exchange of air within the lungs, the ancient Hebrew mind understood the “breath” in an entirely different way as can be seen in Job 32:8:

The wind within man and the breath (נשמה) of the Almighty teach them.

Our Western understanding of the breath does not easily grasp the concept that a breath can teach. While our Western understanding can easily associate thoughts and emotions as the function of the “mind”, the Easterner sees the same function in the “breath”. The “breath” of both men and God has the ability to carry thought and emotion.

A “name” is a person’s “breath,” his character.

A common mistake in Biblical interpretation is to make a distinction between a name and a title. For example, “King David”, is often understood as containing the “name” “David” (an identifier) and his “title,” “King”. The Hebrew word דויד (david) literally means; “beloved”, or “one who loves” and is descriptive of David's character. The Hebrew word מלך (melek) literally means “ruler” or “one who rules”, and is also descriptive of David's character. The Hebrews made no such distinction between a name and a title. The phrase “King David” is Hebraicly understood as “the one who rules is the one who loves”, a very fitting title for the great benevolent king of Israel and the friend of God.

Hebrew names have meanings that are lost when translated into English. The Hebrew word אדם (adam, Strong's #120), means “man” and is also the name of the first man, Adam.

“The LORD God formed the man אדם (adam, Strong's #120) from the dust of the ground”.  (Genesis 2.7)

English translations completely erase the Hebraic connection between the “man” and his origin. When we place the original Hebrew words back into the text, we can see the connection between the words in the verse.

And the LORD formed the אדם (Adam, Strong's #120) from the dust of אדמה (adamah, Strong's #127 - ground). (Genesis 2.7)

Below are a few other examples of the relationship between an individual's name and his function or role.

And she bore קין (Qayin/Cain, Strong's #7014) and she said I have קנה (Qanah, Strong's #7069 - acquired) a man. (Genesis 4:1)

And she bore a son and called his name שת (Sheyt/Seth, Strong's #8352) because God שית (Shiyt, Strong's #7896 - placed) a seed to replace Abel. (Genesis 4:25)

And he called his name נוח (No’ahh/Noah, Strong's #5146) saying he will נחם (Nahham, Strong's #5162 - comfort) us. (Genesis 5:29)

And to Eber were born two sons, the name of one is פלג (Peleg, Strong's #6389) because in his days the land was פלג (Palag, Strong's #6385- divided). (Genesis 10.25)

Because Bible translations transliterate a name, such as נוח into “Noah,” the translation converts the meaning and essence of the name into simple “identifiers” and the connections between the name and his or her function or role is lost in the translation.

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Modern Word of the Month - Kibbutz

By: Jeff A. Benner

A קיבוץ (qiybuts/kibbutz) is a collective community in Israel that is traditionally based on agriculture. This word is found once in the Hebrew Bible.

When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee… (KJV, Isaiah 57:13)

This word is derived from the root קבץ (Q.B.Ts, Strong's #6908) and means to gather together. This root word is found many times in the Hebrew Bible and is first found in Genesis 41:35.

And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. (KJV)

 

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Name of the Month - Jeshua

By: Jeff A. Benner

Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city; Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: (KJV, Ezra 2:1-2)

The name Jeshua appears 30 times in the Hebrew Bible and is found in the books of 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah. This name is the Latinized form of the Aramaic name ישוע (yeshua, Strong's #3442). While we may pronounce the Latin letter “J” as “dg,” when this letter first appeared around the 15th century it had a “y” sound, as it still does today in Slavic languages. The name Yeshua/Jeshua is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew name יהושוע (yehoshua, Strong's #3091), which means “Yah is salvation.”

The Latinized form of Yehoshua is Joshua, and as previously mentioned, the Latinized form of Yeshua is Jeshua. In the Greek Septuagint, the 2000 year old Greek translation of the Tanach / Old Testament, both Yeshua and Yehoshua are transliterated as Iesous. As there is no “Y” in Greek, the letter “I” is used and as there is no “Sh” in Greek, the letter “S” is used instead. When the Greek New Testament was written, the Greek name Iesous was used for both Yeshua/Jeshua and Yehoshua/Joshua, but when the Greek Iesous was Latinized it became Jesus, which is the Latinized form of the Greek Iesous, which is the Greek form of the Aramaic Yeshua, which is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew Yehoshua. Due to this confusion with this name, some translations of the New Testament may have Jesus, but another translation may have Joshua, such as can be seen in these two translations of Acts 7:45.

KJV - Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles…

ASV - Which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered on the possession of the nations…

It should be kept in mind that all of these names; Jeshua, Joshua, Jesus, Iesous, Yeshua and Yehoshua, are the very same name, all coming from the Hebrew name Yehoshua.

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Question of the Month – And or then?

By: Jeff A. Benner

Q: I recently received the following question on the AHRC Facebook page from Elvira and found it to be thought provoking and decided to share it here.

I have a question. Numbers 5:31 Begins with the word Then. Should this word be in the translation? Should it read And shall the man be guiltless from iniquity? Does this verse imply that the man bringing the accusation must be himself in a state of innocence from that sin?

A: The English word “then” is often used for what comes next or after what was previously stated. Here is an example from the Bible.

 

…if you will carefully hear my voice, and you will safeguard my covenant, then you will exist for me as a jewel… (Mechanical Translation, Exodus 19:5)

 

In this case, we are told that “if” we obey YHWH, “then” we will be his jewel. However, in the Hebrew language there is no word for “then.”  Instead, the verse literally states the following in the Hebrew.

 

…if you will carefully hear my voice, and you will safeguard my covenant, and you will exist for me as a jewel…

 

It is clear from the context of the passage that one is YHWH’s Jewel “if” they obey him and is best expressed in the English with the word “then,” rather than the word “and.”

 

There are some times where either “and” or “then” could work in the translation, but it will heavily influence how the verse is interpreted and Numbers 5:30-31 is a good example.

29 This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled; 30 Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. 31 Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.

The Hebrew text for verse 31 literally translates as, “and the man will be empty of evil.” The question here is, is the man empty of evil “because” the woman is at fault here, or is the woman at fault only “if” the man is empty of evil himself? Should verse 31 be translated as;

 

And the man is guiltless from iniquity, then this woman shall bear her iniquity.

 

Or as;

 

Then the man will be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.

 

As a translator myself, I have found many instances such as this where the choice of one simple word can have a serious impact on how a verse is translated and my method of dealing with this type of dilemma is to translate the passage literally and then add a foot note indicating other possible translations.

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Verse of the Month – Genesis 3:6

By: Jeff A. Benner

וַתֵּרֶא הָאִשָּׁה כִּי טֹוב הָעֵץ לְמַאֲכָל וְכִי תַאֲוָה־הוּא לָעֵינַיִם וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל וַתִּקַּח מִפִּרְיֹו וַתֹּאכַל וַתִּתֵּן גַּם־לְאִישָׁהּ עִמָּהּ וַיֹּאכַל׃

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. (ASV)

 

וַתֵּרֶא  (va-tey-re)

The base word is the verb ראה (R.A.H) meaning to "see." This verb is prefixed with the letter ת (t), which identifies the subject of the verb as feminine, and the tense of the verb as imperfect (she will see). Note that the letter ה (h) is dropped from the verb once it is conjugated. The verb is also prefixed with the letter ו (v), which means “and,” but also reverses the tense of the verb to perfect (and she saw).

 

הָאִשָּׁה  (ha-ee-shah)

The prefix ה means "the". The word אשה, derived from the root  אנש (anash) meaning "mortal," means "'woman". As this is the subject of the verb, this is the “she” in the previous word.

 

כִּי  (kiy)

This word is a conjunction that can mean "for," that," or "because" and is used to explain what came previously.

 

טֹוב  (tov)

This word is usually translated as “good” but more Hebraicly means “functional.”

 

הָעֵץ  (ha-eyts)

The noun עץ (eyts) means "tree" or "trees." The prefix ה (ha) means "the" - "the tree(s)."

 

לְמַאֲכָל  (l-ma-a-khal)

The base word is מאכל (ma’a’khol) meaning “food.” The prefix ל means “to” or “for” – for food.

 

וְכִי  (v-khiy)

This base word is the conjuction כי (kee) that can mean "for," that," or "because" and is used to explain what came previously. This is prefixed with the letter ו (v), which means “and.”

 

תַאֲוָה  (ta-a-vah)

This is a noun meaning “yearning.”

 

הוּא  (hu)

This is a pronoun meaning “he.”

 

לָעֵינַיִם  (la-ey-na-yim)

The base word is the noun עין (ayin), meaning “eye.” The suffix ים (yim) is the double plural (eyes). The prefix ל (la) means “to” or “for.”

 

וְנֶחְמָד  (v-nehh-mad)

The base word is the verb חמד (Hh.M.D), meaning to “crave.” The prefix נ (n) identifies the verb form as the passive niphal participle (be a craving). The verb is also prefixed with the letter ו (v), which means “and.”

 

הָעֵץ  (ha-eyts)

The noun עץ (eyts) means "tree" or "trees." The prefix ה (ha) means "the" - "the tree(s)."

 

לְהַשְׂכִּיל  (l-has-kiyl)

The base word is the verb שׂכל (S.K.L) meaning to “calculate,” to comprehend and carefully consider a path or course of action. This verb includes the additional letters ה (h) and י (y), which identify the verb form as hiphil (make calculate). The verb is also prefixed with the letter ל (l) meaning “to” or “for.”

 

וַתִּקַּח  (va-tee-qahh)

The base word is the verb לקח (L.Q.Hh) meaning to "take." This verb is prefixed with the letter ת (t), which identifies the subject of the verb as feminine, and the tense of the verb as imperfect (she will take). Note that the letter ל (l) is dropped, which is a rare occurrence that happens with this verb alone, once it is conjugated. The verb is also prefixed with the letter ו (v), which means “and,” but also reverses the tense of the verb to perfect (and she took).

 

מִפִּרְיֹו  (mee-peer-yo)

The base word is the noun פרי (p’riy) meaning “fruit.” This noun is prefixed with the letter מ (m) meaning “from” (from fruit) and suffixed with the letter ו (o) meaning “of him,” or “his” (from the fruit of him / from his fruit)

 

וַתֹּאכַל  (va-to-khal)

The base word is the verb אכל (A.K.L) meaning to eat. The prefix ת (t) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, feminine, singular, imperfect tense (she will eat). The prefix ו (v) means "and" and will also reverse the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect (and she ate).

 

וַתִּתֵּן  (va-tee-teyn)

The base word is the verb נתן (N.T.N) meaning to "give." This verb is prefixed with the letter ת (t), which identifies the subject of the verb as feminine, and the tense of the verb as imperfect (she will give). Note that the first letter of the verb, the letter נ (n) is dropped from the verb once it is conjugated. The verb is also prefixed with the letter ו (v), which means “and,” but also reverses the tense of the verb to perfect (and she gave).

 

גַּם  (gam)

This word means “also.”

 

לְאִישָׁהּ  (l-iy-shah)

The base word is the noun איש (iysh), meaning “man.” This noun is prefixed with the letter ל (l) means “to” or “for” (to man) and is also suffixed with the letter ה (h) meaning “of her” or “her” (to the man of her / to her man).

 

עִמָּהּ  (ee-mah)

The base word is the word עם (iym), meaning “with” and is suffixed with the letter ה (h) meaning “her” (with her).

 

 וַיֹּאכַל (vai-yo-khal)

The base word is the verb אכל (A.K.L) meaning to eat. The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular, imperfect tense (he will eat). The prefix ו (v) means "and" and will also reverse the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect (and he ate).

 

 

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

And the woman saw that the tree is functional for food and that he was yearning to the eyes and the tree is a craving for making calculations and she took from his fruit and she ate and she gave also to her man with her and he ate.

In following issues we will continue with this chapter.

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Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 15:13-21

15:13&and he said to “Avram [Father raised]”, you will surely know that your seed will exist as a stranger in a land not for them and they will serve them and they will much afflict them four hundred years, 15:14&and also the nation which they will serve, I am moderating, and afterward they will go out with magnificent goods, 15:15&and you will come to your fathers in completeness, you will be buried with a functional gray head, 15:16&and the fourth generation will turn back thus far given that the iniquity of the one of “Emor [Sayer]” is not yet complete, 15:17&and it came to pass, the sun came and he was twilight and look, an oven of smoke and a torch of fire which crossed over between these divided parts, 15:18&in that day “YHWH [He exists]” cut with “Avram [Father raised]” a covenant saying, to your seed I will give this land from the river of “Mitsrayim [Troubles]” as far as the magnificent river, the river “Perat [Break]”, 15:19&the one of “Qayin [Acquired]” and the one of “Qeniz [Hunter]” and the one of “Qadmon [Ancient one]”, 15:20&and the one of “Hhet [Shattered]” and the one of “Perez [Peasant]” and the one of “Rapha [Heal]”, 15:21&and the one of “Emor [Sayer]” and the one of “Kena'an [Lowered]” and the one of “Girgash [Stranger on clods]” and the one of “Yevus [He threshes]”,

For details on this new translation see the web site at

http://www.mechanical-translation.org

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AHRC Website Excerpt – Root System of Hebrew Words

Hebrew words are derived out of the many Hebrew root words (parent, child and adopted roots), as demonstrated in the graphic below.

The parent root L-K and its derivatives
(Note: The letter kaph is written as
ך when at the end of a word and as כ everywhere else)

Derived from the parent root לך (LK) are two child roots, הלך (HLK) and לאך (LAK), and one adopted root, מלך (MLK). The child הלך is formed by adding the letter ה (H) to the beginning of the parent, the child לאך by adding the letter א (A) in the middle and the adopted by adding the letter מ (M) to the beginning.

Hebrew roots can be used as a verb or a noun. In English, a verb is a word of "action" and a noun is a "person, place or thing," something void of action. In Hebrew, a verb is a word for the "action" of "a persona, place or thing," and a noun is a word for "a person, place or thing" in "action." As an example, the root מלך (MLK) can mean "the rule of the king" as a verb, or "the king who rules" as a noun.

Other words are derived out of the child and parent roots by adding specific letters to the roots. As an example, the noun מלכה (MLKH) is formed by adding the letter ה (H) to the end of the root and means "the female king who rules" or "queen," and the noun מלכות (MLKUT) is formed by adding the letters ות (UT) to the end of the root and means "the region ruled by the king" or "kingdom."

Once we understand how to properly interpret and define Hebrew words based on their relationships to their roots and the culture in which the words were used, we can then properly interpret Biblical passages from a Hebraic perspective.

And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:6)

Our normal understanding of the word "keep" within this verse is to "obey," however this is not the case. The Hebrew verb used here is שמר (shamar), which literally means "to guard" or "to protect."

They will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant. (Deuteronomy 31:20)

Similarly, our normal understanding of "break" within this verse is to "disobey," but again this is not the case. The Hebrew verb here is פרר (parar) and means "to trample underfoot."

The "keeping" or "breaking" of the commandments of God is not about obedience and disobedience; it is about one's attitude toward them. Will we guard and protect them as we would our family, or will we throw them on the ground and trample them as we would garbage?

Read more at - http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/vocabulary_anatomy.html

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AHRC Update

The Ancient Hebrew Research Center has gone through a complete redesign and rewrite. Besides a completely new look and format, there are new articles and content that has been added. In addition, the entire website is now mobile friendly and can be easily viewed on your mobile devices.

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Editorials

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Corrections

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Copyright © 2015

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center

 

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