Biblical Hebrew eMagazine

June 2016, Issue #073

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Issue Index

Biblical Word of the Month – Work (2)

Modern Word of the Month – Restaurant

Name of the Month – Jeremiah

Question of the Month – Lamed-Nun?

Verse of the Month – Genesis 3:8

MT Excerpt – Genesis 16:7-16

AHRC Excerpt – Greek and Aramaic Manuscripts of the NT

AHRC Update

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Editorials

Corrections

Copyright

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Biblical Word of the Month – Work (2)

By: Jeff A. Benner

The King James Version of the Bible translates thirteen different Hebrew words (listed below) with the word "work," but each one of these Hebrew words have a specific meaning that means more than just "work."

 

מלאכה (m'la'khah, Strong's #4399)

עבד (Ah.B.D, Strong's #5647)

עבודה (avodah, Strong's #5656)

עשה (Ah.S.H, Strong's #6213)

מעשה (ma'a'seh, Strong's #4639)

פעל (P.Ah.L, Strong's #6466)

פועל (po'al, Strong's #6467)

פעולה (p'ul'lah, Strong's #6468)

דבר (davar, Strong's #1697)

יגיע (y'gi'a, Strong's #3018)

יד (yad, Strong's #3027)

עליליה (a'li'li'yah, Strong's #5950)

 

In this issue we will look at the second and third words in the list above, the Hebrew verb עבד (Ah.B.D, Strong's #5647) and the noun עבודה (avodah, Strong's #5656).

The verb עבד (Ah.B.D, Strong's #5647) is used about 290 times in the Hebrew bible and is translated in the King James Version of the Bible with the following English words; serve (227), do (15), till (10), servant (5), work (5), worshipper (5), service (4), dress (2), labour (2), ear (2), bondage (1), bondmen (1), bondservice (1), wrought (1) and several other ways when in combination with other Hebrew words.

The word עבד is a verb meaning "to serve." This may be the service from one person (a slave, servant or steward) to another (the master), but it may also be a service to the land, which is the first use of the word in the Hebrew Bible.

and all the shrubs of the field before existing in the land, and all the herbs of the field before springing up, given that Yhwh the Elohiym did not make it precipitate upon the land and it was without a human to serve the ground, (Revised Mechanical Translation, Genesis 2:5)

The word עבודה (avodah, Strong's #5656) is used about 141 times in the Hebrew bible and is translated in the King James Version of the Bible with the following English words; service (96), servile (12), work (10), bondage (8), act (2), serve (2), servitude (2), tillage (2), effect (1), labour (1) and several other ways when in combination with other Hebrew words.

The word עבודה is a feminine noun derived from עבד (Ah.B.D, Strong's #5647) and means "service," the work of a slave, servant or steward. Both עבודה and עבד are found in the following passage.

and their lives were very bitter with the hard service (עבודה), with mortar and with bricks and with all the service (עבודה) in the field, all their service (עבודה) which they served (עבד) in them with the whip, (Revised Mechanical Translation, Exodus 1:14)

 

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Modern Word of the Month - Restaurant

By: Jeff A. Benner

The Hebrew word for a restaurant is מסעדה (mis-a-dah). This feminine noun is derived from the Biblical Hebrew verb סעד (S.Ah.D, Strong's #5582), which means to "to hold up," "to be a support or aid for strength or rest." This verb is sometimes used in the sense of providing strength (support) from food.

And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts (KJV, Genesis 18:5)

A noun מסעדה is formed out of the verb סעד by adding the letter ה to the end of the root, which is a common means of creating a feminine noun, and the letter מ to the beginning of the root, which is a common means of creating a noun meaning "the place of [the meaning of the root-support]."

 

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Name of the Month - Jeremiah

By: Jeff A. Benner

The name Jeremiah is written in Hebrew as ירמיה / ירמיהו (yir-me-yah / yir-me-yahu, Strong's #3414) and is composed of two words; ירמ and יה.

ירמ is the verb רום (R.W.M, Strong's #7311), meaning to "lift up," with the letter י (yud) as a prefix, which identifies the subject of this verb as masculine singular and the tense of the verb as "imperfect" – "he lifts up." It should also be noted that the letter ו (vav) is dropped from the verb when it is conjugated.

יה (Yah, Strong's #3050) is one of the names of God and is the subject of the verb – Yah lifts up.

 

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Question of the Month – Lamed-Nun?

By: Jeff A. Benner

I get a lot of questions through email, Facebook, etc. from people who are learning to read Hebrew concerning various prefixes and suffixes. I received the following question this week, which is typical of many others that I get, and I am sharing it here as it provides me a chance to help people out with some advice on prefixes and suffixes.

Q: Shalom. Thank you for your website and documents. I have been using and sharing with others http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/ and have purchased a hardcopy of the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon which I use to help me understand Torah in the context in which it is written. Of course I have many questions, but the most pressing presently is the prefix lamed-nun. For example in Isaiah 61:6 and Psalms 34:18, in trying to understand brokenhearted, I keep seeing the lamed-nun prefix in front of the word. (highlighted in yellow)

לְנִשְׁבְּרֵי־לֵב

Where can I go to find and use resources that will help me with prefixes such as this one? I have found that lamed means to or from, but cannot find anything for nun, or lamed and nun together.

 

A: One of the best resources for breaking down the morphology of Hebrew words is Benjamin Davidson's Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon , which is available as a free download in our bookstore. In this lexicon each Hebrew word in the Hebrew Bible is listed alphabetically. Below is the entry for the word in question above.

At the far right is the root word בר, which can be looked up in the lexicon for the definition "to break, break in pieces."

At the far left the lexicon identifies the letter ל (l) as a prefix, which as the person asking the question pointed out means "to." Then it identifies the verb as a niphil participle plural construct masculine. Verbs can be a little tricky, but after doing a number of these types of word studies you will soon learn the rules. Niphil verbs add a נ (n) prefix to the verb. Participles turn verbs into a noun (breaking). Masculine plural participles (breakings) add the suffix ים (iym), but because it is a construct (breakings of), the letter מ (m) is dropped. When this word is translated in combination with the prefix ל (l) and the word לב (lev, meaning heart), you have the translation "to the breakings of the heart."

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Verse of the Month – Genesis 3:8

By: Jeff A. Benner

וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶת־קֹול יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים מִתְהַלֵּךְ בַּגָּן לְרוּחַ הַיֹּום וַיִּתְחַבֵּא הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתֹּו מִפְּנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים בְּתֹוךְ עֵץ הַגָּן׃

And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the trees of the garden. (ASV)

וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ  (vai-yish-m-u)

The base word is שמע (Sh.M.Ah), a verb meaning "to hear." The prefix י (y) and the suffix ו (u) identify the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, plural, imperfect tense (they will hear). The prefix ו (v) means "and" and will also reverse the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect (and they heard).

 

אֶת  (et)

This word precedes the definite object of a verb telling us that the next word is what is receiving the action of the previous verb. This word is a grammatical tool used in Biblical Hebrew and has no equivalent in English and is therefore never translated.

 

קֹול  (qol)

This noun means "voice" or "sound."

 

יְהוָה  (xxxx)

This is the Tetragrammaton, 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 letter yud added to the beginning identifies the object of the verb as first person, masculine, singular, imperfect tense or "he exists".

 

אֱלֹהִים  (e-lo-hiym)

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.” When this and the previous name are combined, they are translated in the English translations as "LORD God," but grammatically should be translated as "YHWH of Elohiym" as two nouns put together should be translated in the construct form.

 

מִתְהַלֵּךְ  (mit-ha-leykh)

The base word is the verb הלך (H.L.K) meaning "walk." This is a hitpa'el verb, identified with the prefix הת (hit), which is the reflexive form, which means that the action of the verb is directed toward the subject of the verb, which in this case is YHWH of Elohiym. The prefix מ (m) turns the verb into a participle (walking), but the letter ה (h) of the hitp'el prefix is dropped when the letter מ (m) is added.

 

בַּגָּן  (ba-gan)

The noun גן (gan) is a garden, and the prefix ב (ba) means “in the” – in the garden.

 

לְרוּחַ  (l-ru-ahh)

This is the noun רוה (ru'ahh) meaning "wind," with the prefix ל (l) meaning "to" or "for."

 

הַיֹּום  (ha-yom)

This is the noun יום (yom) meaning "day," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the."

 

וַיִּתְחַבֵּא  (vai-yit-hha-bey)

The base word is the verb חבא (Hh.B.A) meaning "hide." This is a hitpa'el verb, identified with the prefix הת (hit), which is the reflexive form, which means that the action of the verb is directed toward the subject of the verb, which is the next word. The prefix י (y) identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will hide - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will hide, but the letter ה (h) of the hitp'el prefix is dropped when the letter י (y) is added. The prefix ו (u) means “and,” but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he hid.

 

הָאָדָם  (ha-a-dam)

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

 

וְאִשְׁתֹּו  (v-ish-to)

The base word is אשה (ishah) meaning "woman.” The suffix ו (o) means "of him," but because this is a construct (woman of him) the letter ה (h) is turned into a ת (t). The prefix ו (v) means "and" – "and the woman of him" or "and his woman."

 

מִפְּנֵי  (mip-ney)

This base word is the noun פנה (paneh) meaning a "face," but is always written in the plural form-פנים (paniym), but note that they letter ה (h) is dropped when the plural suffix is added. Also, because this is a construct (faces of), the מ (m) is also dropped from the plural noun. The prefix מ (m) means "from" – from the faces of. In Hebrew, the "face" is always written in the plural, but should be translated as a singular – from the face of.

 

יְהוָה  (YHWH)

This is again the tetragrammaton, the name of God.

 

אֱלֹהִים  (e-lo-hiym)

This is again the name Elohiym.

 

בְּתֹוךְ  (b-tokh)

This is the noun תוך (tokh) meaning "middle" or "center." The prefix ב (b) means "in."

 

עֵץ  (eyts)

This noun means "tree," but can also mean "trees." While most Hebrew nouns have a singular and plural form, this word is unique in that the singular form, such as is written here, can stand for the singular and the plural form. The plural form of this word is עצים (etsiym) and means "wood." Usually the context of a passage will determine if this noun is to be understood as a singular or plural, and in this case it is plural.

 

 הַגָּן (ha-gan)

The noun גן (gan) is a garden, and the prefix ה (ha) means “the” – the garden.

 

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

And they heard the voice/sound of YHWH of Elohiym walking in the garden for the wind of the day, and the man hid, and his woman, from the face of YHWH of Elohiym in the middle of the trees in the garden.

In following issues we will continue with this chapter.

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Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 16:7-16

16:07&and the messenger of “YHWH [He exists]” found her upon the eye of the water in the wilderness upon the eye in the road of “Shur [Caravan]”, 16:08&and he said, “Hagar [Stranger]”, the maid of “Sarai [Princess]”, from where did you come and wherever are you walking and she said, from the face of “Sarai [Princess]” my female owner I am fleeing away, 16:09&and the messenger of “YHWH [He exists]” said to her, turn back to your female owner and afflict yourself under her hands, 16:10&and the messenger of “YHWH [He exists]” said to her, I will make your seed an increase of an increase and he will not be counted from an abundance, 16:11&and the messenger of “YHWH [He exists]” said to her, look, you are pregnant and you will bring forth a son and you will call out his title “Yishma'el [El will listen]” given that “YHWH [He exists]” will  hear your affliction, 16:12&and he will exist as a wild ass of a human, his hand with all and a hand of all of the ones with him and upon the face of all of his brothers he will dwell, 16:13&and she called out the title of “YHWH [He exists]”, the one speaking to her, you are “El-Ra'iy [El seeing me]” given that she said also, at this point will I see after seeing me, 16:14&therefore he called out to the well “Be'er-Lahhiy-Ro'iy [Well for the living seeing me]”, look, it is between “Kadesh [Set apart]” and “Bered [Hail]”, 16:15&and “Hagar [Stranger]” brought forth for “Avram [Father raised]” a son and “Avram [Father raised]” called out the title of his son which “Hagar [Stranger]” brought forth “Yishma'el [El will listen]”, 16:16&and “Avram [Father raised]” was a son of eighty six years in the giving birth of “Hagar [Stranger]” to “Yishma'el [El will listen]” for “Avram [Father raised]”,

For details on this new translation see the web site at

http://www.mechanical-translation.org

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AHRC Website Excerpt – Greek and Aramaic Manuscripts of the New Testament

There are two different ancient texts of the New Testament; the Greek version and the Aramaic version (called the Peshitta). While most people are familiar with the Greek New Testament, very few are even aware that an Aramaic New Testament even exists.


4th Century Greek Manuscript


5th Century Aramaic Manuscript

 

The oldest and most complete Greek manuscripts are the Codex Sinaiticaus and the Codex Vaticanus. Both of these date to the 4th Century AD. The oldest and most complete Aramaic manuscript is British Library, Add. 14470, which dates to the 5th Century AD. While each of these texts were scribed 300 to 400 years after the events of the New Testament, they are each undoubtedly copies of previous manuscripts.

The question in regards to the original New Testament text is;

  1. Was the New Testament originally written in Greek and then translated into Aramaic?
  2. Was the New Testament originally written in Aramaic and then translated into Greek?

Beside these two questions, there is another possibility to the origins of the New Testament. Hebrew, a sister language to Aramaic, was predominately used by Jews in the 1st century AD for both religious and secular writings, as attested to in the Dead Sea Scrolls. While no ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the New Testament exist today, it is possible that they did exist at one time, which poses two other questions.

  1. Was the New Testament originally written in Hebrew (A sister language of Aramaic and predominately used for religious texts by the Jews in the 1st Century AD) and then translated into Aramaic, which was then translated into Greek?
  2. Was the New Testament originally written in Hebrew and then translated into Aramaic and Greek?

If the New Testament was originally written in Greek, then the Greek New Testament, and the translations from the Greek, will be the more reliable text. However, if the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, then the Aramaic New Testament, and the translations from the Aramaic, will be the more reliable text.

The debate for a Greek primacy to the New Testament vs. an Aramaic primacy of the New Testament has been the subject of debate for a very long time. While the majority of Western Christian churches hold to a Greek primacy for the New Testament, the majority of Eastern Christian churches hold to an Aramaic primacy for the New Testament.

While it is not the intention of this article to prove one side of this debate over the other, it is to make the reader aware of the debate.

Translations from the Greek texts

There are a multitude of translations of the Greek New Testament in many different languages. Some of the more popular English translations from the Greek text include; the King James Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New International Version and the New American Standard Bible. Two of the more popular Hebrew translations of the Greek New Testament are the Salkinson-Ginsburg translation and the Delitzsch translation.

Translations from the Greek texts

As for the Aramaic New Testament, translations are very few, the most popular being George Lamsa's translation and the Aramaic English New Testament. For a Hebrew translation of the Aramaic text there is The New Covenant Aramaic Peshitta text with Hebrew translation.

This article is located on the web site at

http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/nt_manuscripts.html ________________________________________________________________________

AHRC Update

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

I have added many new audio teachings on the website that include several radio interviews and conferences. You can click on the link and listen to the file, or you can right click on the file and save it to your computer. Enjoy.

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A History of Hebrew: Its Language and Philosophy

by Jeff A. Benner

This 83 minute video, available as a DVD or video download, explores the history of the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament by Christians and the Tanakh by Jews and its language and philosophy. The Hebrew Bible is an Ancient Near Eastern text, which was written millennia ago within a time and culture that is vastly different from our own. The author's perspectives on life and the world around them are steeped with their own traditions, lifestyles, manners and thoughts. When reading and studying this text we cannot interject our own cultural perspectives into the text, to do so would bring about interpretations and conclusions that are far removed from the authors intended meaning.

We will be examining the Hebrew alphabet, language, philosophy and culture to uncover the evidence that supports a perspective of these ancient Near Eastern texts that is very different from the way they are normally perceived and we will dig into the deeper meanings of these texts from an ancient perspective.

Additional information and ordering details are available through the bookstore.

(http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/bookstore/dvd_ahh.html)

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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.

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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.

Thank you Mary Lou for pointing out that the scripture in the "Modern Word of the Month" should be Genesis 42:27 and not 43:27.

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Copyright © 2016

Jeff A. Benner

Ancient Hebrew Research Center

 

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