The language in which the Jewish Scriptures (Tanakh) -- or the "Old Testament" in Christian Bibles -- were written.

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Does Moses Speak Broken Hebrew?

When translating Exodus, I became intimately familiar with every sentence (it is really a tremendous form of close reading), and I noticed something amazing. The cases where Moses speaks Hebrew, he ...
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1answer
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What is the proper translation of Hosea 11:12?

I have been researching Hosea 11:12 and have come to realize that it is translated differently in many differing translations of the Bible. It is sometimes translated that Judah walked (or ruled) with ...
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Who is the prophetess in Isaiah 8:3?

The bible doesn't seem to give much information for who "the prophetess" in Isaiah 8:3 is. Who is she? Many seem to assert that she is his wife, but cite no evidence to support this. The word ...
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The meaning of “stranger and sojourner” in Genesis 23:4 and Leviticus 25:23

In Genesis 23:4 Abraham is in conversation with the residents of Heth and says: "I am a stranger and a sojourner with you. Give me a possession for a burying place with you, that I may bury my ...
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132 views

Genesis 22: Jehovah Jireh

Title spelled for recognizability. Forgive me. In Gen 22:14, Abraham names the place where the LORD provided a sacrifice in place of Isaac, calling it: יְהוָ֣ה ׀ יִרְאֶ֑ה אֲשֶׁר֙ יֵאָמֵ֣ר ...
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How many people were involved in the Exodus?

According to Numbers 1:20-46 (NJPS): They totaled as follows: The descendants of Reuben, Israel’s first-born, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, head by ...
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489 views

Does the Hebrew in Judges 4:4 explicitly identify Deborah as a woman?

I have no skill at reading Hebrew, so I was using some tool to try and parse the sentence in Judges 4:4. I noticed that the definition given for the second word (אִשָּׁה) is "woman"; but what I'm ...
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4answers
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Does Gen 1:1 refer to day 1 or the entire 6 days of creation?

One way of reading Gen 1:1 with its immediate context is that it is part of the first day of creation 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and ...
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Does the original Hebrew support the NLT of Genesis 6:3?

Genesis 6:3 refers to when God set humans' lifespans to (approximately) 120 years. However, the NLT (the translation I prefer) has a slightly different translation for the 120-years part. Genesis ...
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204 views

What does Exodus 26:27 say?

I was reading through Exodus the other day and thought that the translation of Exodus 26:26-27 was odd. OSB: "You shall make bars of incorruptible wood: five for the posts on one side of the ...
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439 views

Is the ESV rendering “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever” in Genesis 6:3 accurate?

I am reading through Genesis in the ESV for the first time and was struck by some unfamiliar wording in Genesis 6:3. It reads: "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days ...
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776 views

What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?

The Masoretic version of Genesis 4:8 reads as follows: וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן, אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו; וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה, וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ. And Cain said to his ...
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1answer
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Does Exodus 22:28 call for child sacrifice?

In Genesis, we see a motif of first-born sons being overly aggressive and ambitious. Kain slays Abel out of a jealous wrath. Firstborn Esau and Jacob have a long-running rivalry that ends with Jacob ...
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660 views

Is “wept on his neck” a Hebrew idiom?

In a number of places, the English Standard Version uses a phrase like "wept on his neck," e.g. Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. —Genesis ...
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781 views

Sacrificing and kissing calves in Hosea 13:2

Reading Hosea 13:2 ESV, I found myself confused: And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves metal images, idols skillfully made of their silver, all of them the work of craftsmen. It ...
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Is there a general way to know if a psalm or prophecy is talking about a tribe, a person or a mythical beast?

For example: You rule the raging sea; you still its swelling waves. You crush Rahab with a mortal blow; with your strong arm you scatter your foes. Yours are the heavens, yours the ...
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Psalms 46 - Be still or relax?

In Psalms 46-10 (Christian versions) or 46:11 (in Jewish versions), is the phrase  הרפו ודעו כי אנכי אלֹהים In most English Bible translations הרפו is translated as Be still . With the ...
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186 views

Who is the good and beautiful person in Zechariah 9:17?

There seem to be two main variants of English translations of Zechariah 9:17a: The newer one, of which the NLT is a prime representative: 16On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, ...
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1answer
208 views

Does Rashi's interpretation of Jephthah's fate hold water?

When Rashi looks back on the life of Jephthah, he notes: Jephthah was afflicted with boils and dismemberment as it is stated, (below 12:7) “And he was buried in the cities [pl.] of Gilead.” (His ...
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1answer
321 views

Ezekiel 44:5 Mark Well

Ezekiel 44:5 ESV And the Lord said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning all the statutes of the temple of the Lord ...
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3answers
680 views

On what basis is the name “Ephraim” given the etymology of “ash heap”?

The name Ephraim seems to commonly be given two etymologies, one referring to an "ash heap" and the other referring to "fruitfulness". Example I can understand the fruitfulness etymology linking ...
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1answer
274 views

Is Hosea 11:1 referencing the initiation of the Exodus or the sojourn in Egypt?

The New JPS translation of Hosea 11:1 reads: I fell in love with Israel When he was still a child; And I have called [him] My son Ever since Egypt. This seems to indicate that when ...
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790 views

Should the title in Isaiah 9 be translated?

Translators publishing for the Christian market translate the title in Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his ...
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1answer
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Why does the Hebrew word “chesed” in Psalm 136 have two meanings?

Psalm 136:23 & 24 use the same Hebrew word that is sometimes translated as "grace". The ESV uses "steadfast love" in those verses: It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his ...
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1answer
373 views

Genesis 3:13 Does the Hebrew actually say הִשִּׁיאַ֖נִי deceived ME?

In Genesis 3:13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Does the Hebrew word actually say "deceived me"? ...
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1answer
385 views

Did Job repent?

Many translations of Job 42:6 have something like the NIV: Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes. However, in the article on Job from The Dictionary for Theological ...
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1answer
142 views

Why is Hebrew for 'Lord' (אֲדֹנָ֛י) sometimes translated as 'O Lord'?

I noticed the phrase 'O Lord' several times in Daniel's prayer in Chapter 9. For example: O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, ...
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434 views

Who will suffer plague/punishment in Isaiah 53:8?

Why do different translations render Isaiah 53:8 differently in English: מֵעֹצֶר וּמִמִּשְׁפָּט לֻקָּח וְאֶת דּוֹרוֹ מִי יְשׂוֹחֵחַ כִּי נִגְזַר מֵאֶרֶץ חַיִּים מִפֶּשַׁע עַמִּי נֶגַע לָמוֹ. One ...
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Is the REB translation of Ex 11:1, comparing to a rejected bride, supported in the original language?

Exodus 11:1b in the Revised English Bible (REB) has: When he finally lets you go, he will drive you out forcibly as a man might dismiss a rejected bride. The simile seems most unusual. Was it in the ...
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1answer
464 views

Why does Psalm 103:8 use the dual form of אַפַּ֣יִם (anger)?

In Psalm 103:8 we read: אֶ֖רֶךְ אַפַּ֣יִם וְרַב־חָֽסֶד Why is אַפַּ֣יִם (anger) in its dual form?
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How does one interpret the phrase “in the water under the earth” in Exodus 20:4?

In Exodus 20:4 there is a phrase בַּמַּיִם מִתַּחַת לָאָרֶץ that is often translated as "in the water under the earth". What location is this a reference to?
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995 views

What is Yahweh's gender? [closed]

Yahweh is often called "He" in english bibles. Is it so in Hebrew original? if yes, is there any other evidence of his masculitiny besides the pronoun? if no, why isn't Yahweh called "It"?
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Judges 17:7 - How could the young man be both “a Levite” and “of the family of Judah”?

Hebrew Text: וַיְהִי־נַעַר מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת יְהוּדָה וְהוּא לֵוִי וְהוּא גָר־שָׁם English Translation: And there was a young man of Beit-Lechem of Yehuda, of the family ...
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6answers
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What else can “Fifteen cubits from above” in Gen 7:20 mean?

When translating Genesis, I took pains to preserve the implied flat-Earth cosmology that a naive reading suggests. One of the places where this made a big difference is in the story of Noah. Noah is ...
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1answer
664 views

Can “pharmakous” mean something other than “sorceror”?

The Hebrew word כַשֵּׁף is typically translated "sorcery" in Hebrew-to-English translations. Paro had court sorcerors replicate some of God's miracles and Nebuchanezer asks his sorcerors to interpret ...
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3answers
486 views

How is the New World Translation's usage of “Jehovah” controversial?

The New World Translation transliterates the Tetragrammaton as “Jehovah”. Why does this translation choose to transliterate the Tetragrammaton this way? How was the choice made to use the ...
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1answer
372 views

Why does Strong's have two different entries for the word “Adam”?

As far as I can tell, these are the exact same word, down to the cantillation marks. And H121 even says, "the same as H120". From Strong's: H120 - 'adam אָדָם, from אָדַם (H119): man, ...
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What did Hosea mean when he said, “ the children of Israel will be without an image? ”

I was reading an answer to a question which was recently asked and there is a reference to the book of Hosea (KJV) and the text reads, Hosea 3:4 King James Version 4 For the children of Israel ...
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Who’s doing the calling in Isaiah 7:14?

Isaiah 7:14b reads: הִנֵּ֣ה הָעַלְמָ֗ה הָרָה֙ וְיֹלֶ֣דֶת בֵּ֔ן וְקָרָ֥את שְׁמֹ֖ו עִמָּ֥נוּ אֵֽל׃ This is often translated similarly to the ESV: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of the “gathered to his people” idiom?

In the Old Testament, when someone dies, he is sometimes said to be "gathered to his people" or a close variant: Genesis 15:15 As for you [Abraham], you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will ...
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How does the act of “foot washing” lead to the act of “sexual intercourse”?

In 2 Samuel chapter 11,after King David had slept with Uriah's wife Bathsheba we read in 11:5, The woman conceived and sent word to David,saying,"I am pregnant." David's response to the news ...
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1 Kings 1:53 - What is the difference between the manner of obeisance (προσκύνησις) given to a king versus God?

In 1 Kings 1:53, it is written, So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house. (King ...
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Is “ordination” in Leviticus 8 the underlying concept of “fulfilled” in Matthew 5:17?

Leviticus 8:22 (ESV) reads: Then he presented the other ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. The Hebrew word here translated "ordination" ...
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1answer
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What is the difference between a soul blessing and a person blessing?

Genesis 27 tells the story of Isaac’s blessing being given to Jacob. When they refer to the act of blessing, Isaac and his sons repeatedly use the phrase “[my/your] soul will bless [you/me]” (vv. 4, ...
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Is there a better translation for “Union” in Zechariah 11:14?

Zechariah 11:14 Then I broke my second staff Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.(ESV) The word Union here is "chabal" חָבַל which has varying meanings in Scripture from ...
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133 views

What is the intended image of “pierced my hands and feet” in Psalm 22:16?

I sometimes struggle to understand how some of the NT authors describe OT passages as messianic prophecies. One of these is from the 22nd Psalm. Psalm 22:16 NASB (emphasis added) For dogs have ...
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1answer
178 views

What is the significance of Elisha's staff in 2 Kings 4?

What is the significance of Elisha sending Gehazi to place the staff upon the boy's face in anticipation of his later arrival upon the scene in 2 Kings 4:29? 2 Kings 4:29 (NASB) Then he said to ...
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3answers
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What did the 70 elders see, if man can't see God and live?

Exodus 24:10 says, of the 70 elders who went up on the mountain with Moshe: וַיִּרְאוּ, אֵת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל and they saw the God of Israel Meanwhile, Exodus 33:20 says, when Moshe asks ...
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1answer
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Exo. 29:1 - Difference between לֶחֶם מַצּוֹת, חַלֹּת מַצֹּת, and רְקִיקֵי מַצּוֹת?

In Exo. 29:2, the Hebrew text states, וְלֶחֶם מַצּוֹת וְחַלֹּת מַצֹּת בְּלוּלֹת בַּשֶּׁמֶן וּרְקִיקֵי מַצּוֹת מְשֻׁחִים בַּשָּׁמֶן סֹלֶת חִטִּים תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם What is the difference between ...
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1answer
90 views

Is being “cut off from one's people” the cause or effect of sin?

Neither Jewish nor Christian theologians have a clear consensus on the meaning of the term "cut off from one's people," which appears many times in the Torah, especially in Leviticus. To take one ...