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Topics Definition of Hebrew Words

By Jeff A. Benner


Let's begin this study, as should be done with any serious word study, with the root for the word salvation.

For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (KJV, Deuteronomy 20:4)

The Hebrew word translated as "save" in the verse above, is the verbal root ישע (Y-Sh-Ah, Strong's #3467) meaning to rescue. The context of this word throughout the Tanakh (Old Testament) is to rescue someone from his enemy, a trouble or illness, such as can be seen in the verse above. Another form of this verb is מושיע (moshi'ah). This is the "hiphil participle" form of the verb. A hiphil verb changes the action of the verb into a causative and would literally be translated as "to cause one to be rescued." A hiphil participle verb changes the action of the verb into active and would literally be translated as "causing one to be rescued" or it can be one who performs the action of the verb which would then be translated as "one causing another to be rescued." The word מושיע (moshi'ah) literally means "one causing another to be rescued," or simply, a "rescuer," but this word is usually translated as "deliverer" or "savior."

And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer (moshi'ah) to the children of Israel, who delivered (the verb Y-Sh-Ah) them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. (KJV, Judges 3:9)

he God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour (moshi'ah); thou savest (the verb Y-Sh-Ah) me from violence. (KJV, 2 Samuel 22:3)

The word ישועה (yeshu'ah, Strong's #3444) is a noun derived from the verbal root ישע (Y.Sh.Ah, Strong's #3467) which means "relief" in the sense of being rescued from an enemy, trouble or illness. The King James Version translates this word as help, deliverance, health and welfare, but most frequently as salvation.

And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help (yeshu'ah/relief) me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help (the verb Y-Sh-Ah/rescue) thee. (KJV, 2 Samuel 10:11)

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save (the verb Y-Sh-Ah/rescue) us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation (yeshu'ah/relief). (KJV, Isaiah 25:9)

The name Joshua is written as יהושע (yehoshu'ah, Strong's #3091) and is the name/word יה (yah, Strong's #3050, a form of the name/word YHWH) and the word ישועה (yeshu'ah, Strong's #3444) meaning "rescue." The name then means, "Yah is rescue." The Aramaic form of the Hebrew name יהושע is ישוע (yeshu'a, Strong's #3442), the name many use for the name "Jesus" which is the Latin transliteration of the Greek Iesous, which is the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic Yeshua, which is the Aramaic transliteration of the Hebrew Yehoshuah.

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