Biblical Hebrew eMagazine
Ancient Hebrew Research Center

August, 2017        Issue #079

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In This Issue

Biblical Hebrew Word - Work (8)
Modern Hebrew Word - Telephone
Featured AHRC Book or DVD
Name Study - Jericho
Verse Study - Genesis 3:13
Q & A - Septuagint
In the News
MT Excerpt
AHRC Excerpt
AHRC Updates
Comments & Editorial

Biblical Hebrew Word - Work (8)

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 final Hebrew word translated as "work" in the KJV. This is the word עליליה (a'li'li'yah, Strong's #5950), which only appears once in the Hebrew Bible.

Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: (KJV, Jeremiah 32:19)

This noun is derived from the noun עלילה (a'li'lah, Strong's #5949), which is translated in the KJV as: doing, works, deeds, occasions, actions, acts and inventions. This noun is derived from the verbal root עלל (Ah.L.L, Strong's #5953), which means to "carefully and thoroughly perform a task such as gleaning a field." In my Mechanical Translation of the Torah I translate this verb as "work-over," the noun עלילה (a'li'lah, Strong's #5949) as "workings" and עליליה (a'li'li'yah, Strong's #5950) as "works."

Modern Hebrew Word - Telephone

Due to technological advances there are many modern things that have no Biblical Hebrew word for them. In this event, the Hebrew Language Academy will do one of two things. One, they will create a new word from a Biblical root word that has a meaning related to what the new word represents. Two, they will transliterate a word from another language into Hebrew.

Once such example of the second method is the Hebrew word for "telephone," which is טֶלֶפוֹן (te-le-phon), a transliteration of the word "telephone." A cell phone is טֶלֶפוֹן סֶלוּלָר (te-le-phon se-lu-lar), where סֶלוּלָר (se-lu-lar) is another transliteration, this time from the word cellular.

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Name Study - Jericho

Jericho is written in Hebrew as ירחו (y'rey'hho, Strong's #3405). This name is derived from the noun ירה (y'rey'ahh, Strong's #3394), which means "moon." This noun is derived from the unused parent root רח (rahh), which is the root of several other words including רוח (ru'ahh, Strong's #7307) meaning "wind," אורח (o'rehh, Strong's #736) meaning "caravan" and רחה (re'hheh, Strong's #7347) meaning "millstone." All of these words have the common meaning of "following a prescribed path." The moon follows a prescribed path through the night sky, the wind follows a prescribed path in each season, a caravan follows a prescribed path to different cities and the round millstone is turned round and round, a prescribed path, on another stone.

Attached to the word ירה (y'rey'ahh), meaning "moon," is the suffix ו (o), which means "his." So the name ירחו (y'rey'hho) means "his moon."

Verse Study - Genesis 3:13

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים לָאִשָּׁה מַה־זֹּאת עָשִׂית וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה הַנָּחָשׁ הִשִּׁיאַנִי וָאֹכֵל׃
And Jehovah God said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. (ASV)

וַיֹּאמֶר (vai-yo-mer) The base word is אמר (A.M.R) meaning "to say." The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular and the tense of the verb as 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."

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 (havah) meaning to exist. The letter yud (י) added to the beginning identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect tense: "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."

לָאִשָּׁה (la-ish-ah) The word אשה (ishah) means "woman." The prefix ל (le) means "to" or "for" - to the woman.

מַה (mah) This word means "what."

זֹּאת (zot) This word means "this."

עָשִׂית (a-siyt) The verb עשה (A.S.H) means "to do." The suffix ת (t) identifies the subject of the verb as second person, feminine singular (you do) and the tense of the verb as perfect: "you did."

וַתֹּאמֶר (va-to-mer) The base word is the verb אמר (a-mar) meaning to say or speak. The prefix ת (t) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, feminine, singular, imperfect tense (she will say). The prefix ו (v) means "and" and will also reverse the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect: "and she said."

הָאִשָּׁה (ha-i-shah) The prefix ה (ha) means "the." The word אשה (ishah), the feminine form of the masculine noun איש (iysh) meaning "man," means "woman."

הַנָּחָשׁ (ha-na-hhash) The base word is the noun נחש (nahhash) meaning a "serpent," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the serpent.

הִשִּׁיאַנִי (hi-shiy-a-niy) The base word is the verb נשא (N.Sh.A) meaning to "deceive." The verb identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular, which is the nahhash from the previous word. The verb also identifies the tense of the verb as the perfect tense: "he deceived." The additional letters ה (hi) and י (iy) identify the verb as a hiphil (causative) verb: "he caused to be deceived." The suffix ני (niy) identifies the object of the verb as first person, singular: "he caused me to be deceived." Also note that when this verb is conjugated the letter nun (נ) is dropped from the verb.

וָאֹכֵל (va-o-kheyl) The verb is אכל (A.K.L) meaning to "eat." This verb identifies the verb tense as imperfect: "will eat" and the subject of the verb as first person, singular: "I will eat." The prefix ו (va) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb: "and I ate."

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

And YHWH the Elohiym said to the woman, what is this you did, and the woman said, the serpent caused me to be deceived and I ate.

Q & A - Septuagint

Q: Isn't the Septuagint much older than the Masoretic texts? And isn't the Septuagint what New Testament authors used to quote the Old Testament?

A: Yes, the Septuagint is older by about 1,000 years. In most places the Septuagint and the Masoretic text agree, but there are times where they are different, which means that the Hebrew text used to make the Septuagint is different from the Hebrew text used to make the Masoretic text. So we can compare the Septuagint with the Masoretic text along with other texts (such as the Aramaic Targums, the Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.) to try and figure out which one preserves the original text. Sometimes it will be the Septuagint and other times it will be the Masoretic text. Only the Greek NT uses the Septuagint for OT quotes, which makes sense. If you were going to quote the OT in Greek, you wouldn't translate from the Hebrew OT as this was already done with the Septuagint, so you just quote the Septuagint. The Aramaic Peshitta (an Aramaic NT that dates to about the 5th C. AD, which I prefer over the Greek NT) likewise would not translate the Hebrew OT when quoting the OT; it quotes the Aramaic Targums (Ancient Aramaic translations of the OT) instead. There are several Hebrew NT texts as well, but they are more modern, and when they quote the OT, they don't translate the Greek quotes of the NT into Hebrew; they take their quote from the Hebrew OT. The point is that the New Testament writers quote the OT that is written in the same language in which they were writing.

In the News

Ancient Graveyard of Slaves Discovered in Egypt - Could they be Hebrews? (Part 1)

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a largely juvenile slave force, numbering in the thousands, buried in Egypt. These slaves had worked to build the city of Amarna, Egypt's new capital city under Akhenaten, the eccentric pharaoh of the New Kingdom's 18th Dynasty who is thought to have adopted a form of monotheism. Evidence from the graves indicates there was oppressive treatment of this disposable and possibly foreign workforce. Naturally, some have latched onto this find (and its similarities to the Exodus account) to propose that this might be evidence of Israelite slaves. Assessing that idea by examining the finds and then applying a patterns approach will be the subject of this two-part Thinker post.

MT Excerpt

Genesis 19:1-13

19:01&and two of the messengers came unto "Sedom [Secret]" in the evening and "Loth [Covering]" was settling in the gate of "Sedom [Secret]" and "Loth [Covering]" saw and he rose to meet them and he bent himself down, nostrils unto the land, 19:02&and he said, please look my lords, please turn aside to the house of your servant and stay the night and wash your feet and you will depart early and you will walk to your road and they said, no, given that in the street we will stay the night, 19:03&and he pressed very hard with them and they turned aside to him and they came to his house and he made for them a feast and he baked unleavened bread and they ate, 19:4&before they laid down, the men of the city, men of "Sedom [Secret]", from the young men and also the bearded ones, all of the people from the far end, went around upon the house, 19:05&and they called out to "Loth [Covering]" and they said to him, where are the men which came to you tonight, bring them out to us and we will know them, 19:06&and "Loth [Covering]" went out to them, unto the opening and he shut the door after him, 19:07&and he said, please no my brothers, you will be made dysfunctional, 19:08&please look, I have two daughters which do not know a man, please, I will bring them out to you and do to them as is functional in your eyes only to these men you will not do a thing because they came in the shadow of my rafter, 19:09&and they said, draw near to a distance, and they said, the one had come to sojourn and he will judge a judgement, now we will cause you to be dysfunctional rather than them and they pressed very hard with the man, with "Loth [Covering]", and they drew near to burst the door, 19:10&and the men sent their hand and they made "Loth [Covering]" come to them unto the house and they shut the door, 19:11&they hit the men which were at the opening of the house with the blindness from the small and also the magnificent and they were weary for finding the opening, 19:12&and the men said to "Loth [Covering]" yet again, who also belongs to you here, in-laws and your sons and your daughters and all of the ones which belong to you in the city, go out from the place, 19:13&given that we will destroy this place, given that their cry will magnify at the face of "YHWH [He exists]" and "YHWH [He exists]" sent us to damage her,

AHRC Excerpt

The Semitic Origins of the NT - Archaeological Evidence of a Semitic NT

For many years it has been taught that Greek and Aramaic were the languages of Israel during the Second Temple period (530 BC to 70 AD). However, over the past fifty years more and more evidence has surfaced that the language of the Jews in Israel during this time was in fact Hebrew. Below are some of discoveries supporting this theory.

In 135 CE Shimon Ben Kosiba (Simon Bar Kockba) lead the final revolt against the Romans. The image to the right is a fragment of a parchment which begins, "From Shimon Ben Kosiba to Yeshua Ben Galgoula and to the men of the fort, peace..." This is a letter from Shimon himself to one of his leaders in the revolt and it is written in Hebrew.

All coins minted in Israel (see below) during the second Temple period include inscriptions written in Hebrew. The coin on the left is written in the late Semitic script bearing the inscription "yerushalem" (Jerusalem). The coin on the right is written in the middle (paleo) Hebrew script with the word "sh'ma" (hear).

The many scrolls and thousands of fragments uncovered in the Dead Sea Caves were written from between 100 CE and 70AD. Some of these scrolls and fragments are of Biblical book but others are secular works concerning day to day business. Of all of these scrolls and fragments, approximately 90% are written in Hebrew while only 5% are in Aramaic and 5% in Greek. While most of the Hebrew inscriptions use the late Hebrew script, some of them use the more ancient early (paleo) script, such as the image to the left, which is a portion of the book of Leviticus.

AHRC Updates

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

Ancient Hebrew Seminar (audio) - 5/30/2017

A History of the Hebrew Word for One - 5/26/2017

Comments & Editorial

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