Ancient Hebrew Research Center
Biblical Hebrew eMagazine
September, 2018
Issue #088
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In This Issue

Biblical Hebrew Word - Elo'ah
Modern Hebrew Word - Soda
Featured AHRC Product - Word Study
Name Study - Molech
Verse Study - Genesis 3:21
Q & A - Unused Root
In the News - The Land
MT Excerpt - Genesis 22:1-8
AHRC Excerpt - Language
AHRC Updates
Comments & Editorial

Biblical Hebrew Word - Elo'ah

The Hebrew word אלוה (elo’ah, Strong’s #433) is used 57 times in the Hebrew Bible and is almost always translated as “God.” The parent root of this word is the word אל (el, Strong’s #410), which is also often translated as “God.” While this word is frequently used in the Bible as a descriptor of YHWH, it is also used for anything of “might.”

Derived from this parent root is the child root אלה (A.L.H, Strong’s #422) and means “to take an oath” or to “swear.” Our word אלוה (elo’ah, Strong’s #433) is derived from this child root and more literally means “The one of the oath.”

The “yoke,” which is used to bind two oxen together, is a perfect illustration of an oath. It was common to pair a younger inexperienced ox with an older more experienced one and the younger one would learn from the older one. When the Israelites entered into an “oath” relationship with YHWH, they were the younger inexperienced ox being yoked to the more mature one – YHWH.

The plural form of אלה (A.L.H, Strong’s #422) is אלהים (elohiym, Strong’s #430). Elohiym is a plural noun, identified by the iym suffix, that is often translated as “God,” “god” and “gods.” I should note that plural words in Hebrew do not always work the same way they do in English and a plural noun can be used in a singular sense.

The Arabic language is another Semitic language closely related to Hebrew and in Arabic the word Allah is indirectly related to the Hebrew word אלוה (elo’ah, Strong’s #433). The word Allah is actually two Arabic words; al meaning “the” and lah meaning “god.” It is the word lah that is a cognate (related word) of the Hebrew word אלוה (elo’ah, Strong’s #433).

Modern Hebrew Word - Soda

Carbonated flavoured beverages are called different things in different areas. Where I grew up in California, we called it a “soft drink.” When I lived in Pennsylvania it was “soda” and in Mississippi, where I live now, it is called “coke” (no matter the flavor). In Israel it is called משקה מוגז (mash’qeh mugaz). The word משקה (mash’qeh) means “beverage” or “drink” and is derived from the verb שקה (Sh.Q.H, Strong’s #8248) meaning “to drink.” The word מוגז (mugaz) is a Modern Hebrew word meaning “sparkling” or “carbonated.” Combined, these words mean “sparkling beverage” or “carbonated beverage.”

A popular “carbonated beverage” is Coka-Cola.” In Hebrew, this brand name is written as קוֹקָה קוֹלָה, which is transliterated as “qoqah qolah.”

Featured AHRC Product - Word Study

When most people do a word study they will open up Strong's dictionary, look up the word they are studying, read that definition and then move on. But there is much more to a thorough study of a Hebrew word, which will open up a whole new world to the reader. This course will teach you how to dig deeper into the meanings of the words of the Bible to uncover the more in-depth understanding of the words in the Bible. Even if you do not know any Hebrew, the resources and tools available to you will provide you with a wealth of information.

Name Study - Molech

Molech was the name of the chief god within the Ammonite (another Semitic nation) pantheon. In Hebrew this name is written as מלך/ מולך(molekh, Strong’s #4432). This word is derived form of the verb מלך (M.L.K, Strong’s #4427) meaning “to rule.” The name Molekh is the participle form of this verb and can mean “ruling” or “ruler.” Besides the participle molekh, there is another way to say “ruler” or “king” and that is with the noun (melekh, Strong’s #4428), which is also derived from the verb מלך (M.L.K, Strong’s #4427).

Verse Study - Genesis 3:21

וַיַּעַשׂ יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים לְאָדָם וּלְאִשְׁתֹּו כָּתְנֹות עֹור וַיַּלְבִּשֵׁם
And Jehovah God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them (ASV)

וַיַּעַשׂ (vai’ya’as) The base word is the verb עשה (Ah.S.H) meaning to "do" or "make." The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will do/make, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he will do/make. The prefix ו (vav) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he did/made. Also note that the letter ה (hey) is dropped from the end of the verb once the verb is conjugated.

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 (hawah) meaning to exist. The yud added to the beginning identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect tense or "he exists."

אֱלֹהִים (elohiym) The base word is אלוה (elo’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."

לְאָדָם (l’a’dam) The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ל (l) means "to" or “for” – to/for the human.

וּלְאִשְׁתֹּו (ul’ish’to) The base word is the noun אשה (ishah) meaning "woman." The prefix ל (l) means "to" or “for” – to/for the woman. The prefix ו (u) means "and" – and to/for the woman. The suffix ו (o) is the masculine, singular, possessive pronoun meaning “his” – and to/for his woman. Note that the letter ה in the word אשה is changed to a ת when the suffixed pronoun is added.

כָּתְנֹות (kat’not) The base word is the feminine noun כתנת (k’tonet) meaning “tunic.” The suffix ות (ot) is the feminine plural suffix. Note that the letter ת (t) is removed from the word כתנת (k’tonet) when this suffix is added to the word.

עֹור (or) This word means “skin.” Do not confuse this word with the word אור (or) meaning “light.”

וַיַּלְבִּשֵׁם (vai’yal’bi’sheym) The base word is the verb לבש (L.B.Sh) meaning "to clothe." The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular (he) and the tense of the verb as imperfect – he will clothe. The prefix ו (v) means "and" – and he will clothe, but also reverses the tense – and he clothed. The suffix ם (m) identifies the object of the verb as masculine plural – and he clothed them.

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

And YHWH Elohiym made for the man, and for his woman, tunics of skin, and he clothed them.

Q & A - Unused Root

Q: What does Strong's Dictionary meaning when it says, "from an unused root?"

A: All Hebrew words are derived from a root. For instance, the Hebrew word amen (so be it, meaning you "support" what is being said) comes from the root aman meaning "support." There are some words in the Bible where the root word is not used or found in the Bible. For instance, we have the word erets (land), but the root, which would be arats, is not found in the Hebrew Bible, so the dictionary or lexicon will say "from an unused root." It might also add, such as Strong's does for erets, "probably meaning to be firm." There are two possible ways this "probable" meaning is determined. It may be an educated guess based on the meaning of the words derived from that root or it may be determined by the use of that root in another Semitic language such as Aramaic, Akkadian, etc.

In the News - The Land

The Bible says Israel belongs to the Jews – and has for over 3,000 years
From Fox News

The Americans, British and Arab states can debate whatever Mideast peace plan they want. But nothing can change this pre-eminent fact: Israel is entitled to the land it has, and has been for over 3,000 years. It says so in the most historically accurate document in history: the Bible.

The land of Israel was given by God to the descendants of Abraham. In the Book of Genesis, God appeared to Abraham and said: “I will assign this land to your offspring” (Genesis 15:18-21). In this passage, God made a covenant – an agreement or contract – with Abraham. He repeats this covenant is eternal and unconditional throughout the Bible.

The medieval scholar and Bible commentator Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki) asked: “Why, if the Torah is a book of laws for the Jewish people, does it begin with the history of creation and the lives of our Jewish forefathers?”

Rashi’s answer was that there will be a time when nations will claim the Jews “stole the Land of Israel,” and that the land belongs to others and not them.

Rashi explains that the Bible begins with the story of creation first to establish that all the world belongs to God, and only He has the right to apportion it. And according to the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses, God promised the land of Israel to the nation of Israel.

God in the Bible makes clear that the land of Israel would not be given to the descendants of Abraham’s son Ishmael, but rather Isaac. In Genesis 17:19, God tells Abraham: “Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac; and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come.”


MT Excerpt - Genesis 22:1-8

22:1&and it came to pass after these words and the "Elohiym [Powers]" greatly tested "Avraham [Father lifted]" and he said to him, "Avraham [Father lifted]", and he said here am I, 22:2&and he said, please take your son, your solitary one which you love, "Yits'hhaq [He laughs]" and you will walk to the land of "Moriyah [Appearance of Yah]" and make him go up there for a rising upon one of the hills which I will say to you, 22:3&and "Avraham [Father lifted]" departed early in the morning and he saddled his donkey and took two of his young men with him and with "Yits'hhaq [He laughs]" his son and he cleaved trees of the rising and he rose and he walked to the place which the "Elohiym [Powers]" said to him, 22:4&in the third day "Avraham [Father lifted]" lifted up his eyes and saw the place from a distance, 22:5&and "Avraham [Father lifted]" said to his young men, you will settle here with the donkey and I and the young man will walk as far as this way and we will bow ourselves down and we will turn back to you, 22:6&and "Avraham [Father lifted]" took trees of the rising and set in place upon "Yits'hhaq [He laughs]" his son and he took in his hand the fire and the knife and the two of them walked together, 22:7&and "Yits'hhaq [He laughs]" said to "Avraham [Father lifted]" his father and he said, my father, and he said, here am I my son, and he said, look, the fire and the trees and where is the one of the flock for the rising, 22:8&and "Avraham [Father lifted]" said, "Elohiym [Powers]" will see to him the one of the flock for a rising my son and the two of them walked together,

AHRC Excerpt - The Culture of the Hebrew Language

 Image from the TV show History Happened Here
Image from the TV show "History Happened Here"

The above image is from the TV show "History Happened Here: The Dead Sea Scrolls," narrated by Leonard Nimoy. The editor of this segment recognized "lines" within the text and oriented the image to reflect this. The mistake the editor made was that he assumed our cultural perspective into the image.

In our culture, we write words on top of a line, but Hebrew was written with the words hanging down from the line. The image above, as it appeared in the episode, is upside down.

Correct orientation of the image
Correct orientation of the image

When we make an assumption about an ancient text based on our own culture, we will misinterpret and mistranslate the text.

In his book Understanding the whole student, Benjamin Lee Whorf stated, in what has become known as the Whorf hypothesis, that; "language is not simply a way of voicing ideas, but is the very thing which shapes those ideas." An example of this is how one perceives of time. In our modern western culture we view time in the sense of the past, present and future, a fixed and measurable progression of time.

A Hopi Indian, c. 1910
A Hopi Indian, c. 1910

Other cultures, such as the Hopi Indians of North America, do not share this same perspective of time. To the Hopis, there is what "is" (manifested) and what "is not yet" (unmanifested). Interestingly, the Ancient Hebrews had a similar view of time. Like the Hopi language, the Ancient Hebrew language does not use past, present and future tenses for verbs. Instead they use two tenses, one for a complete action (manifested) and one for an incomplete action (unmanifested).


AHRC Updates

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

Chiasm in Torah (Guest Article) - 9/6/2018

Genesis 1-11 (Guest Article) - 9/2/2018

Hebrew Word Study: Psalm 22:8 (Video) - 8/9/2018

The Flat Earth Theory: Fact or Fiction - 7/18/2018

Comments & Editorial

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