Ancient Hebrew Research Center
Biblical Hebrew eMagazine
February, 2018
Issue #083
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In This Issue

Biblical Hebrew Word - Daughter-in-law
Modern Hebrew Word - Earth
Featured AHRC Product - Genesis, Zen...
Name Study - Hosea
Verse Study - Genesis 3:17
Q & A - Yasha?
In the News - Literacy
MT Excerpt - Genesis 20:1-9
AHRC Excerpt - Righteous
AHRC Updates
Comments & Editorial

Biblical Hebrew Word - Daughter-in-law

We are going to begin this study with the parent root כל (kol, Strong's #3605), which means "all." From this parent root comes the child root כלל (K.L.L, Strong's #3634), which means "to make complete," but is usually translated as "perfect" and is only found in two verses in the Bible.

Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty. (Ezekiel 27:4, KJV)

The men of Arvad with thine army were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadims were in thy towers: they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about; they have made thy beauty perfect. (Ezekiel 27:11, KJV)

Derived from this child root is the noun כללה (kal'lah, Strong's #3618), which has two related meanings at different times. In the earlier books of the Torah and the Writings, this word means "daughter-in-law."

And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law… (Genesis 11:31, KJV)

It appears that the connection between the root כלל (K.L.L, Strong's #3634), meaning "to complete," and the noun כללה (kal'lah, Strong's #3618), meaning "daughter-in-law," is that once a wife is found for a son the family is now "complete."

In some of the later books of the Bible this word is used for a "bride" or "spouse."

Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. (SS 4:11, KJV)

Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number. (Jeremiah 2:32, KJV)

Modern Hebrew Word - Earth

The Modern Hebrew for the earth is כדור הארץ (kadur ha'arets). In Modern Hebrew the word כדור (kadur) means "ball," but in Biblical Hebrew the word דור (dur) means a "ball" and the letter כ (k) is a prefix meaning "like" as can be seen in the following passage.

and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land… (Isaiah 22:18, ESV)

The Hebrew word הארץ (ha'arets) is the word ארץ (erets, Strong's #776) meaning "land" with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the." So the phrase הארץ כדור (kadur ha'arets) literally means "the ball of the earth." How כדור (kadur), which originally meant "like a ball," came to mean just "ball," I do not know. While the word ארץ (erets, Strong's #776) is often translated as "earth" in the Bible, it technically does not mean the whole earth, but simply the "land" of the earth and is often used for a "region." Incidentally, the word "land" in the verse above is the Hebrew word ארץ (erets, Strong's #776).

Featured AHRC Product - Genesis, Zen and Quantum Physics

Since ancient times man has sought to understand the origins of the universe around him, and his place within it. Such speculations were once the sole purview of religion, but since the Enlightenment, science and rationality have also attempted to explain these mysteries, but from an opposing perspective. Conflict resulted and both sides dug in, clinging to dogmas that precluded any consideration of the other side.

Genesis, Zen and Quantum Physics enters the fray with a very unique approach. Believing that harmony, rather than conflict, defines the relationship between the Genesis account and modern science; the authors have retranslated the creation story according to the ancient Hebrew pictographic language and in the context of the nomadic culture from which the language and narratives arose.

The resulting translation and its accompanying commentary challenge the common understanding of God, science, and the very reason for man's existence. By harmonizing an accurate biblical account with cutting edge scientific understanding, the authors present a mature religious ideal and an appreciation for the understanding of the ancients for modern scientific concepts. This is a book that will redefine your understanding of God, the world around you and your role within it.

Name Study - Hosea

In the Masoretic Hebrew Bible this name is written as הֹושֵׁעַ (ho'shey'a, Strong's #1954). This word is used as a verb in the following passage.

Now then, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, because the LORD has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. (1Sa 25:26, ESV)

This verb is written in the hiphil (causative) form and literally means "cause to be saved" and is the meaning of this name. This name is transliterated two different ways in the Greek Septuagint; Αυση – Ause (see Numbers 13:8) and Ωσηε – Osey'ee (see Hosea 1:1). In the King James Version this name is written three different ways; Hoshea (see Deuteronomy 32:44), Hosea (see Hosea 1:1) and Oshea (see Numbers 13:8).

According to Numbers 13:8 הֹושֵׁעַ (ho'shey'a, Strong's #1954) was the original name of Joshua before Moses gave him the name יהושׁע (Yehoshua, Strong's #3091). It is also the name of the prophet Hosea, the author of the book of Hosea.

Verse Study - Genesis 3:17

וּלְאָדָם אָמַר כִּי־שָׁמַעְתָּ לְקֹול אִשְׁתֶּךָ וַתֹּאכַל מִן־הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִיךָ לֵאמֹר לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ אֲרוּרָה הָאֲדָמָה בַּעֲבוּרֶךָ בְּעִצָּבֹון תֹּאכֲלֶנָּה כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ׃
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; (ASV)

וּלְאָדָם (ul'a'dam) The base word is the noun אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ל (l) means "to" or "for" - "to/for the human." The prefix ו (u) means "and" – "and to/for the human."

אָמַר (a'mar) The word אמר (A.M.R) is a verb meaning "to say." The absence of any prefix or suffix identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular and the tense of the verb as perfect - "he said."

כִּי (kiy) This word means "for" or "because" and is used to explain what came previously.

שָׁמַעְתָּ (sha'ma'ta) The base word is the verb שמע (Sh.M.Ah) meaning "to hear" or "to listen." The suffix ת (ta) identifies the subject of the verb as second person, masculine, singular and the tense of the verb as perfect – you heard/you listened.

לְקֹול (l'qol) The base word is the noun קול (qol) meaning "voice" or "sound." The prefix ל (l) means "to" – "to the voice."

אִשְׁתֶּךָ (ish'te'kha) The base word is the noun אשה (ishah) meaning "woman." The suffix ך (kha) is the second person, masculine, singular, possessive pronoun meaning "your" – your woman. Because the suffix is added to the noun, the letter hey (ה) is changed to a tav (ת). Oftentimes when this noun is written in the possessive, such as in "your woman," it means "wife."

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 second person, masculine, singular – you, and the tense of the verb as imperfect – you will eat. The prefix ו (va) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and you ate.

מִן (min) This is a preposition meaning "from."

הָעֵץ (ha'eyts) The base word is the noun עץ (eyts) meaning "tree" and the prefix ה (ha) means "the" – the tree.

אֲשֶׁר (a'sher) This word means "which" or "that."

צִוִּיתִיךָ (tsi'viy'tiy'kha) The base word is the verb צוה (Ts.W.H), which is usually translated as "to command," but I translate it as "to direct." The suffix תי (tiy) identifies the subject of the verb as first person, singular and the tense of the verb as perfect – I directed. The suffix ך (kha) identifies the object of the verb as second person, masculine, singular – I directed you. Note that when the suffix is added the letter hey (ה) is dropped from the verb.

לֵאמֹר (ley'mor) This is the verb אמר (A.M.R) meaning "to say." The prefix ל (l) means "to." This word means "to say" or "saying."

לֹא (lo) This is the negative participle meaning "no," which negates the action of the next verb.

תֹאכַל (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 second person, masculine, singular – you, and the tense of the verb as imperfect – you will eat.

מִמֶּנּוּ (mi'me'nu) This is the word מן (min) meaning "from," but this word is written uniquely with the extra letter mem (מ). The נו (nu) suffix can mean either "him" or "us," and context will determine which meaning is meant. In this case it is "him" – from him. The "him" is the "tree," a masculine noun.

אֲרוּרָה (a'ru'rah) The base word is the verb ארר (A.R.R), which is usually translated as "curse," but more concretely means "to spit on." The letters ו (u) and ה (ah) identify the verb as the feminine passive participle and therefore means "cursed" or "spit on."

הָאֲדָמָה (ha'a'da'mah) This is the noun אדמה (adamah) meaning "ground" with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the ground.

בַּעֲבוּרֶךָ (ba'a'vu're'kha) This is the word בעבור (ba'avur) meaning "on account of" or "for the sake of." The suffix ך (kha) is the second person, masculine, singular pronoun meaning "you" – on account of you.

בְּעִצָּבֹון (b'i'tsa'von) This is the noun עצבון (its'a'von) meaning "pain" with the suffix ב (b) meaning "in" – in pain. תֹּאכֲלֶנָּה (to'kha'le'nah) The base word is the verb אכל (A.K.L) meaning "to eat." The prefix ת (t) identifies the subject of the verb as second person, masculine, singular – you, and the tense of the verb as imperfect – you will eat. The suffix נה (nah) identifies the object of the verb as third person, feminine, singular – you will eat her. The "her" is referring to the "ground," a feminine noun.

כֹּל (kol) This word means "all." יְמֵי (y'mey) The base word is the word יום (yom) meaning "day." The plural form, which is used here, is ימים (yamim) and means "days," but because it is written in the construct state (days of…) the final mem (ם) is dropped.

חַיֶּיךָ (hhai'yey'kha) The base word is the word חי (hhai) meaning "life," but it is written in the plural form, which is חיים (hhai'yim) and also means "life." The final mem (ם) is dropped because of the suffix ך (kha) which is the second person, masculine, singular possessive pronoun – your life.

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

And to the human he said, because you listened to the voice of your woman and you ate from the tree that I directed you saying, you will not eat from him, spit on is the ground on account of you, in pain you will eat of her all the days of your life.

Q & A - Yasha?

Q: Where can the word Yasha (Strong's #3467) be found in the Hebrew Bible?

A: Yasha is not exactly a Hebrew word; it is a root (ישע / yasha, Strong's #3467 – to save) from which verbs are derived from. This is a common mistake made by people who do not know anything about Hebrew and use Strong's Dictionary to determine what Hebrew words lay behind the English translations.

For instance, in Exodus 14:30 we read, "The LORD saved Israel." The word "saved" is identified as Strong's #3467 and Strong's Dictionary states that this is the Hebrew verb ישע (yasha, Strong's #3467). But in reality, the word in the text is יושע (yosha), which is the hiphil form of this verb and identifies the subject of the verb as "third person, masculine, singular" and would be literally translated as "he caused to be saved."

If you look up the word "savior" in the Bible, such as in Isaiah 45:15, this word will also be identified as Strong's #3467 - yasha. But in reality, it is the Hebrew word מושע (moshi'a), which is the hiphil participle form of the verb and would literally be translated as "one who causes to save."

When it comes to verbs, Strong's Dictionary will only provide the root, it does not provide the different conjugations used in the Bible. While Strong's is an excellent resource, its limitations need to be understood in order to use it efficiently.

With all of this said, the Hebrew root word ישע (Y.Sh.Ah), in all of its different conjugations, does appear 205 times in the Hebrew Bible.

In the News - Was literacy widespread in Ancient Israel?

Looking at epigraphic evidence is very important to answer this question, especially if one wants to argue for the possibility of the existence of a written Torah prior to 1000 BCE.

Most skeptics argue for the view that most of the Old Testament was written during or shortly after the Babylonian exile. But what does archaeology suggest about the writing habits of Iron Age Israel, and most importantly, is it possible to argue for an earlier writing date? In this article, we will be looking into a few epigraphic Iron Age examples…


The Gezer Calendar, discovered in 1908 in the ancient city of Gezer by Irish archaeologist R.A. Macalister, is one of the oldest Hebrew scripts ever discovered. The inscription is being displayed in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, and many experts date this limestone inscription to around 925 BCE. To put this date into perspective, this would be only a few years after King Solomon’s death.

The calendar is written in the Paleo-Hebraic script, which is very close to the ancient Phoenician script and is a precursor to modern Hebrew. In the tablet, one can observe 7 horizontal lines. These lines delineate the epoch of the year for different agricultural activities:

(1) Two months, late crops — Two months,

(2) Sowing — Two months, spring crops —

(3) One month, cutting flax —

(4) One month, harvest of barley —

(5) One month, all the harvest —

(6) Two months, fruit vines —

(7) One month, summer fruits

An eight damaged vertical line does exist in the bottom left-hand corner. It spells out “Abi—”. This is most probably what appears to be the name Abijah (or Abi-yahu). Most possibly it is the signature of the person who wrote the calendar.

Since the calendar script seems to be very messy and haphazardly chiseled, a few possible line of reasoning have emerged as to its origin. One theory claims that this was written by a farmer who had just learned to read and write.

Perhaps, this tablet was a way for this person to display his new writing skill. Another possible explanation is that this tablet was perhaps a writing exercise for children or a way for children to learn about the agricultural cycle, a sort of ancient life sciences textbook.

This discovery is important because of its location in the countryside. If one were to argue for the literacy of the elite, one would expect to find more exemplars from the cities as opposed to the countryside.

Since the discovery of this inscription, at least have a dozen more inscriptions have been discovered in the countryside which suggests that literacy was more widespread among the lower classes than previously thought.

Additionally, I have trouble believing that a people group who were recording or teaching their agricultural activities to children, would not be recording their own history at the same time. After all, the Old Testament is an ancient record of Israel’s history!

MT Excerpt - Genesis 20:1-9

20:01&and "Avraham [Father lifted]" lifted up from there unto the land of the south country and he settled between "Kadesh [Set apart]" and "Shur [Caravan]" and he sojourned in "Gerar [Chew]", 20:2&and "Avraham [Father lifted]" said to "Sarah [Noblewoman]" his woman, she is my sister and "Aviymelekh [My father is king]" the king of "Gerar [Chew]" sent and he took "Sarah [Noblewoman]", 20:03&and "Elohiym [Powers]" came to "Aviymelekh [My father is king]" in the dream in the night and he said to him, look at you, dying because of the woman which you took and she is the married of a master, 20:04&and "Aviymelekh [My father is king]" had not come near to her and he said, "Adonai [My lords]" will you kill also a correct nation, 20:05&did he not say to me she is my sister and she also said he is my brother, in the maturity of my mind and in the innocence of my palms I did this, 20:6&and the "Elohiym [Powers]" said to him in the dream, I also knew given that in the maturity of your mind you did this and I also kept you back from his fault to me therefore, I did not give you to touch her, 20:07&and now make the woman of the man return given that he is a prophet and he will plead round about you and live and if you do not make a returning know that you will surely die, 20:08&and "Aviymelekh [My father is king]" departed early in the morning and he called out to all of his servants and he spoke all of these words in their ears and the men greatly feared, 20:09&and "Aviymelekh [My father is king]" called out to "Avraham [Father lifted]" and said, to him what did you do to us and how did I err to you given that you brought upon me and upon my kingdom place a magnificent error, works which were not done, you did by me,

AHRC Excerpt - Righteous

צַדִּיק tsadiyq
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous, and his ears toward their cry. (Psalm 34:15 RSV)

Who are the righteous and what is righteousness? As our verse above indicates, God sees and listens to the righteous so it would be in our best interest to have a biblical definition of righteousness. Every Hebrew word in the mind of the Ancient Hebrews paints a picture of action. By doing a little investigation this picture can be found.

The first step in finding a more concrete meaning to a word is to find it being used in that context. For example, the word ברך (barak, Strong's #1288 ) is almost always translated as "bless," but being an abstract word we need to find it being used in a more concrete manner, which we do in Genesis 24:11, where it means "to kneel". This gives us a more concrete picture of the word. The problem with the word צדיק (tsadiyq, Strong's #6662) is that it is never used in a concrete manner.

The next method is to compare its use in Hebrew poetry where words are commonly paralleled with similar meaning words, such as in the following passage.

Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalm 32:11 RSV)

The Hebrew words tsadiyq, translated as righteous, and ישר (yashar, Strong's #3477), translated as upright, are paralleled many times in the Bible indicating that in the Hebrew mind they were similar in meaning. Upright is another abstract word but it is used in a concrete manner, such as in Jeremiah 31:9, where it means "straight" as in a straight path.

Hebrew Poetry will also parallel antonyms, words of opposite meaning, such as in the following verse.

For the arms of the wicked shall be broken; but the LORD upholds the righteous. (Psalm 37:17 RSV)

Here we find the word wicked (rasha, Strong's #7563) being used as an antonym, here as well as in many other passages, to the word righteous (tsadiyq). While the word wicked is an abstract, we can find its concrete meaning in the verb form, רשע (R.Sh.Ah, Strong's #7561), which means to "depart" in the sense of leaving God's way.

For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. (Psalm 18:21 RSV)

We now have a few clues into the meaning of a tsadiyq. He is one who is straight and does not depart from the way of God. The next step is to understand these concepts from the Ancient Hebraic culture and thought.

The Ancient Hebrews were a nomadic people who traveled a circuit through the wilderness, following the same paths from pasture to pasture, campsite to campsite and watering hole to watering hole. Anyone leaving this path can become lost and wander aimlessly, one who has "departed" from the path.

A righteous person is not one who lives a religiously pious life, the common interpretation of this word, he is one who follows the correct path, the path (way) of God.

AHRC Updates

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

Video: Where did the name "Jesus" come from? - 1/26/2018

A rebuttal to Lew White's article "Hieroglyphic Hyksos Hoax" - 1/26/2018

Comments & Editorial

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