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

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On what basis do translators translate echad in Daniel 10:13 to be one instead of first?

Daniel 10:13 NIV 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of ...
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What is the difference between “eretz” and “adamah” in Gen 2:6?

These two words are variably translated as ground, earth, land etc. How should we understand the difference between the words in this passage? Genesis 2:6 And a mist was going up from the land ...
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Does Leviticus 19:28 in the original text instruct not to tattoo for the dead or not to tattoo at all?

The command is clear in this passage to not pierce one's body for the dead. The slaves were to be pierced by their master upon choosing to stay with them rather than going free; therefore, it seems ...
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Did God say that Adam will die on the same day he ate the fruit?

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17, NKJV) but you must not eat from the tree of the ...
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What is the best translation of Job 6:14?

NKJV: “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty." NASB: “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So ...
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Given the differences between Hebrew and Aramaic, how are the Aramaic sections identified?

There are a handful of Aramaic passages in the Bible; notably in Daniel and Ezra. Since the writing system of these two was the same, how are the Aramaic sections identified?
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What does “Qr perpetuum” mean?

In the BDB entry for הוא http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1931.htm, the term "Qr perpetuum" appears, but I have no clue what it means. From logical deduction, I can conclude it means something like "from ...
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Is LXX “Enoch pleased God” a reasonable idiomatic translation of Hebrew “Enoch walked with God”?

The Septuagint translates the Hebrew phrase וַיִּתְהַלֵּךְ חֲנֹוךְ אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים "Enoch walked with God," from Genesis 5:22 as εὐηρέστησεν δὲ ενωχ τῷ θεῷ "Enoch pleased God." I would have ...
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What does Azazel mean in Leviticus 16:8?

In Leviticus 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots over two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel. It appears that Azazel is translated as scapegoat. Strong’s Hebrew 5799 ...
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How old was Samuel when Hannah took him to the temple?

In 1 Samuel 1:24 we read: After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of ...
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What is the “Water” of Genesis 1:2?

We read in the creation account: The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.—Genesis 1:2 ...
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What does it mean for someone to be another person's “portion”? [closed]

Searching for the word "portion" brings up a lot of results in the Bible. Sometimes it means a portion of food or of money. But what exactly does it mean in the following context: LORD, you alone ...
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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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Did Ahaz burn up his sons in the fire or pass them through the fire?

I believe the literal translation is that he passes his sons through the fire. Does that mean that they still lived but were scarred for life, or did they lose their lives? 2 Chronicles 28:3 ...
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Is there any significance to the shift between cardinal and ordinal numbers in Genesis 1?

Genesis 1:5 uses a cardinal number "one" to describe the first day - יֹ֥ום אֶחָֽד - whereas all of the following days are modified by ordinals (WLC): 1:8 - יֹ֥ום שֵׁנִֽי 1:13 - יֹ֥ום שְׁלִישִֽׁי ...
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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) reads: 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 ...
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Meaning of (et)“את” and (v'et)“וְאֵ֥ת” in Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית created בָּרָ֣א God אֱלֹהִ֑ים (unknown word) אֵ֥ת the heavens הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם (unknown word) וְאֵ֥ת the earth הָאָֽרֶץ׃ I ...
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Is “breath of life” in Genesis 2:7 is the same as spirit?

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7 (KJV) What is the meaning of "breath of life" ...
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How should graded numerical parallelism in Hebrew poetry be understood?

In Hebrew poetry, especially proverbs, we see examples of monotonically increasing numbers that set up parallels. For instance Proverbs 30:15 (NJPS): The leech has two daughters, “Give!” and ...
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Is Isaiah 1:18 reasonable?

I’m accustomed to the ESV Isaiah 1:18 (defining my own a/b/c clauses for the sake of discussion): (a): “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: (b): though your sins are like scarlet, ...
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What is the meaning of “encircled” in Jeremiah 31:22?

Yesterday, I read Jeremiah 31:21-22 (ESV): “Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, ...
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What is the significance of Methuselah's name?

I've heard that Methuselah's name was given to him by Enoch in response to a prophecy concerning the flood. Since he seems to have died in the year of the flood (according to the Masoretic and ...
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A purported Hebrew translation of Deuteronomy 22:5; is it accurate?

This question pertains to this article regarding transgenderism. Deuteronomy 22:5 is sometimes cited as a Biblical passage condemning transgender behavior. It states: The woman shall not wear ...
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Why is Job referred to by the feminine pronoun in Job 1:15?

טו וַתִּפֹּל שְׁבָא וַתִּקָּחֵם, וְאֶת-הַנְּעָרִים הִכּוּ לְפִי-חָרֶב; וָאִמָּלְטָה רַק-אֲנִי לְבַדִּי, לְהַגִּיד לָךְ. This verse, Job 1:15, ends with "and I alone escaped to tell you". The "you" ...
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Before the Tower of Babel did all speak Hebrew as the original human language? [closed]

I find it fascinating that rabbinic literature suggests that Hebrew was the original human language. I have seen Christian authors also argue the same. For example, from the Jewish Encyclopedia: ...
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Ancient Hebrew Calendar(s) and Modern Translations of “Years”

When we read Genesis or Samuel/Kings/Chronicles (or any OT book that attempts any sort of reliable chronology), what are reasonable meanings of the word (translated) "year?" Suppose I wanted to ...
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Were "the thieves” who reviled Jesus on the cross only one person?

I recently ran across this answer on C.SE reconciling Luke’s account of the repentant thief on the cross (Luke 23:40) with Mark’s statement - also present in Matthew - that both thieves reviled Jesus ...
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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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Is Malachi a pseudonym?

The ESV has a note on Malachi 1:1: The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.1 1:1 Malachi means my messenger Malachi's Wikipedia entry shows that this has caused interpreters ...
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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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Where does the name “Beelzeboul” come from?

Mark 3:22:1 Καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβάντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει καὶ ὅτι ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια. (NA28) And the scribes who came down from ...
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What does Genesis 3:16 literally say?

I've noticed that sometimes words are repeated in the hebrew text. Gen 3:16 אֶֽל־ H413 to הָ·אִשָּׁ֣ה H802 Unto the woman אָמַ֗ר H559 he said הַרְבָּ֤ה H7235 I will greatly אַרְבֶּה֙ H7235 ...
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2 Sam. 2:9: אֶל and עַל

I have a question concerning the Hebrew text of 2 Sam. 2:9: וַיַּמְלִכֵהוּ אֶל הַגִּלְעָד וְאֶל הָאֲשׁוּרִי וְאֶל יִזְרְעֶאל וְעַל אֶפְרַיִם וְעַל בִּנְיָמִן וְעַל יִשְׂרָאֵל כֻּלֹּה English ...
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Why was crocodile (תנין) from Exodus 7:10 translated as snake or serpent?

In Exodus, chapter 7, verse 10, Aaron throws his staff of the ground in front of Pharaoh and it becomes a תנין in the Hebrew Bible as well as the Leningrad Codex. The Septuagint translates it as ...
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What basis do we have for defining Sabbatismos in Hebrews 4:9?

The word, Sabbatismos occurs in the Greek NT only once. Strongest Strong's defines it as Sabbath rest; Sabbath observance. Thayer's/Strong's defines it as a Sabbath keeping. Various English ...
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What is the likely way in which ancient Hebrews would have understood “raqiya” in Gen 1:6?

In Genesis 1:6, the word "firmament" (Hebrew: raqiya) is referring to what we call the sky. It separates the waters below (oceans, lakes, rivers, etc) from the waters above (where the rain comes ...
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What were the major objections that Augustine had with Jerome's translation of the Hebrew Bible?

I was having a discussion with someone who insisted that one of the major reasons I thought that Augustine objected to Jerome's translation of the Septuagint was completely not true. He argued that ...
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Synthesizing Differing Translations of Proverbs 18:24

In the King James, Prov. 18:24 reads "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." This appears to be an admonition for the reader to ...
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191 views

Who is “not speaking” in Jeremiah 10:5?

In the beginning of Jeremiah 10 there is a discussion of those who cut down trees, and then erect them and decorate them. I assume this was some sort of idolatrous practice. In verse 5 the verse ...
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390 views

Written language during the time of Moses?

What would the written language have been like during the time of Moses (I'm assuming that to be around 1400 BCE), and what kind of material would they have been writing on - was it all on stone ...
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Hebrew Text Indicative of a Local or Global Flood?

I am trying to look for hints in the text of Genesis regarding Noah's account. There has been plenty of debate on whether the flood described is local or global. The usual line of thought is that the ...
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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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Does Isaiah 7:14 indicate that the young woman is already pregnant?

Isaiah 7:14b (WLC) הִנֵּ֣ה הָעַלְמָ֗ה הָרָה֙ וְיֹלֶ֣דֶת בֵּ֔ן וְקָרָ֥את שְׁמֹ֖ו עִמָּ֥נוּ אֵֽל׃ Very roughly, "Behold, the-young-woman [to-be] pregnant and-bearing son..."1 The majority of ...
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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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In Genesis 20:13, why is elohim with a plural verb translated God rather than gods?

Genesis 20:13 (ESV) And when God caused me to wander… (WLC): ויהי כאשר התעו אתי אלהימ Another question asked about the translation of אלהימ (‘elohim) using the singular God. The answers ...
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How should רָגַז be translated in Psalm 4?

A quick survey of English translations of Psalm 4:4 shows that there is little agreement about how ragaz should be rendered: NIV In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your ...
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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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What does Song 1:1 tell us about Solomon's relationship to the book?

Song 1:1: שִׁ֥יר הַשִּׁירִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לִשְׁלֹמֹֽה׃ (BHS) The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.(ESV) I have seen it postulated* that the final word here (a lamed preposition prefixed to the name ...
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Concealing & revealing in Proverbs 25:2

My question is about the intended meaning of this proverb: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. --Prov. 25:2, NASB I see three ...
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Is Satan one of the “sons of God”?

In the framing story of Job, we read about הַשָּׂטָן (ha-Satan) and בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים (ben 'elohiym) appearing before God: Now it fell upon a day, that the sons of God came to present themselves ...