Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav
By Jeff A. Benner
What is the Hebrew word behind the word "O" as in "Hear O Israel?" Answer
Is there a difference between heaven and heavens? Is one spiritual and the other physical? Answer
How does the Hebrew word "pas" get translated as "colors" in Genesis 37:3? Answer
What is the “Paragogic Nun?” Answer
What is the Hebrew word for "alone?" Answer
Where can the word Yasha (Strong's #3467) be found in the Hebrew Bible? Answer
What does the name Eber mean in Hebrew? Answer
What are the Hebrew words for "us" and "our" in Genesis 1:26? Answer
What is the difference between the name "Jew" and the name "Hebrew"? Answer
What are the Hebrew names for the months of the year? Answer
What is the Hebrew word behind the word "O" as in "Hear O Israel?"
There is no Hebrew word behind the word "O." It is added into the translation to help the text flow better. In the Hebrew text it simply says "Hear Israel." But because this phrase could be interpreted different ways in English (Does this mean that one is to listen to Israel or that Israel is to listen?) so they inserted the word "O" to clarify the text.
Is there a difference between heaven and heavens? Is one spiritual and the other physical?
The first thing to keep in mind is that in Ancient Hebrew thought there is no separation between the physical and non-physical, they are the one and the same. An example of this is in Psalm 24:4 where "clean hands" and "pure heart" is one and the same thing. A common form of Hebrew poetry the "and" connects two phrases as one and the same thing. Clean hands are a sign of a pure hearth and visa-versa.
How does the Hebrew word "pas" get translated as "colors" in Genesis 37:3?
What many are not aware of is that about 20% of the meanings of Hebrew words in the Bible are not known. Some of them are completely unknown while the meanings of others are still obscure. Over time more and more word meanings are coming to light due to archeological discoveries. Sometimes older translations (such as the KJV) are less accurate because less is known about the words but newer translations have the advantage of recent discoveries. This is probably the case with the word pas. Originally it was guessed that this word meant diverse or many colors. But know it is known that this word has something to do with the palm and in this context probably means a "long sleeved" garment, which would be an uncommon and special garment at that time.
What is the “Paragogic Nun?”
Hebrew verbs can have a variety of prefixes and/or suffixes added to the verb root. For instance, when the letter ת (tav) is added to the front of the verb דבר (D.B.R, Strong's #1696), the conjugated verb תדבר (tedaber), meaning “you (masculine singular) speak,” is formed. When the letter ו (vav) is then added to the end of this verb, it becomes תדברו (tedaberu), meaning “you (masculine plural) speak.” On rare occasions one will find the letter ן (nun) added to the end of a verb conjugation, such as in תדברון (tedaberun). This additional letter is called the “paragogic nun” and adds the idea of “must” or “certainly” to the verb. So while תדברו (tedaberu) means “you will speak,” תדברון (tedaberun) means “you must speak.”
What is the Hebrew word for "alone?"
The base word is בד (bahd/vahd) meaning a “stick.” The ל (le) is a prefix meaning “to” and the ו (o) is a suffix meaning “his.” So לבדו means “to his stick.” A stick is a piece of a tree that is separated from the tree. The phrase “to his stick” is a Hebrew idiom meaning to be “alone.”
Where can the word Yasha (Strong's #3467) be found in the Hebrew Bible?
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.
What does the name Eber mean in Hebrew?
The name Eber is first found in Genesis 10:21 - Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber… (KJV)
What are the Hebrew words for "us" and "our" in Genesis 1:26?
In Hebrew, most pronouns (such as "us" and "our") are written as prefixes or suffixes. Such is the case with Genesis 1:26. In this verse is the Hebrew verb נעשה (na'a'sah), which is the Hebrew verb עשה (asah) meaning "to make." The prefix נ (na) identifies the subject of the verb as first person plural (us) -- "we will make" or "let us make." Also in this verse is the noun בצלמנו (b'stalmeynu), which is the noun צלם (tselem) meaning "image." The prefixed letter ב (b) means "in" -- "in the image." The suffix נו (nu) means "our" -- "in our image." The reason you are having trouble finding these pronouns is that Strong's dictionary and other lexicons only identify the "base" word and not the prefixes and suffixes attached to them.
What is the difference between the name "Jew" and the name "Hebrew"?
The name "jew" is pronounced "yehudiy" in Hebrew and means "from the family of Judah". The first occurrence of the name "Jew" is in the book of esther. Judah was one of the 12 sons of Jacob and anyone descended from Judah was a Yehudiy. The nation of Israel split into two nations, Judah (consisting of descendents of Judah, Benjamin and some Levites) in the south and Israel (consisting of the other 10 tribes) in the north. Those living in Judah became known as Yehudiy. When the northern tribes of Israel were taken into Assyrian captivity, all that remained was Judah, the yehudiym (the Jews). The "Jews" were then taken into Babylonian captivity and later returned to the land of Israel but still called the yehudiym as they are known by to this day.
What are the Hebrew names for the months of the year?
The following is a chart of the names of the Hebrew calendar used today.
Only three of these names are used in the Hebrew Bible-Nissan (Nehemiah 2:1, Esther 3:7), Elul (Nehemiah 6:15) and Adar (Ezra 6:15, Esther 3:7, 13, 8:12, 9:1,5,17,19,21). Tammuz is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, not as a name of a month, but the name of the Babylonian deity (Ezekiel 8:14). This brings up an interesting question. Why is the name of a foreign god in the Hebrew calendar? The names of each month, identified in the chart above, were introduced during Judah's captivity in Babylon. This is evidenced in the fact that the three names mentioned in the Hebrew Bible are in books written during, or after, the Babylonian captivity. Prior to the Babylonian captivity, the name of each month was identified by its cardinal number. For instance, the first month (known as Nissan) was originally called "the first month" as seen in Exodus 12:2.