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

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How should the first line of Judges 5:2 be translated?

So at some point, I'm hoping to be able to answer this question. In the meantime, though, I keep running into more questions, this one concering the first line of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:2). It ...
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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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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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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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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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A purported Hebrew translation of Deuteronomy 22:5; is it accurate?

This question pertains to this article regarding transgenderism. Transgender people are sometimes quoted Deuteronomy 22:5, which states: The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, ...
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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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Before the Tower of Babel did all speak Hebrew as the original human language?

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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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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To whom does El-Gibbor refer in Isaiah 9?

I've asked about the translation philosophy of the long title in Isaiah 9. This question drills down into one of the phrases: El-Gibbor. According to Wikipedia, there are two basic options: The ...
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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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982 views

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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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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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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Does the qal in Amos 3:6 automatically imply causation?

I am looking at Amos 3:6 and I expected a permissive rather than causative verb but I found a perfect qal. Does this qal actually mean cause here? Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and ...
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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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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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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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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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241 views

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 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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496 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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Were the Nephilim in Genesis 6 aliens?

Could Genesis 6:1-4 be talking about aliens? (ESV): When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were ...
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Why is “rega`” translated “peace” in Job 21:13?

Job 21:7-13 (ESV) Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes. Their houses ...
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Is Elijah fed by ravens or Arabians?

A couple of commentaries mention that scholars dispute that Elijah was fed by ravens and instead think the word in 1 Kings 17:4-6 ought to be translated black arabs or perhaps "Orbites, i.e., ...
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Is this person's translation of the Hebrew of Leviticus 18:22 accurate?

Via Facebook, a friend of mine was wondering if the translation of Leviticus 18:22 presented in this article was accurate: And with a male, thou shalt not lie down in a woman's bed; it is an ...
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How is the New World Translation's usage of “Jehovah” controversial, and why would the name Jehovah convey the desired information?

How do the NWT translators advocate that 'Jehovah' is the proper transliteration of the tetragrammaton support its usage of "Jehovah" over all names for God, and why would the name "Jehovah" convey ...
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Where can I find Targum Neofiti online?

I'm looking for Targum Neofiti online in the original Hebrew/Aramaic lettering. Does anyone know where I can find it?
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Why didn't the Septuagint translate 'ahabah to eros?

Song of Songs 2:7 in English (NPJS) reads: I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem, By gazelles or by hinds of the field: Do not wake or rouse Love until it please! As the NET Bible points ...
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What does “bless” [ברך] mean?

יברך and ברך are translated as bless/ing all over the Bible but translated as kneel/ing in Gen 24:11, 2 Chr 6:13 ברך is translated as knee in Isa 45:23 What does the word ברך, translated as "bless" ...
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Why does the King James have “turtle” in Song of Solomon 2:12?

Ernie Harwell was famous for starting his first baseball broadcast of the Detroit Tigers spring with the following quote: Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (KJV) 11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain ...
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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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Why are Hebrew verbs in the “perfect” form so often translated as present tense in modern translations?

Why are Hebrew verbs in the "perfect" form so often translated as present tense in modern translations? For example in Psalm 119:47 : וְאֶשְׁתַּֽעֲשַׁ֥ע בְּמִצְוֹתֶ֗יךָ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָהָֽבְתִּי׃ ...
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Are Psalms 23 and 24 both by David according to their prefixes?

Psalm 23 begins with the annotation: מזמור לדוד While Psalm 24 begins with a similar, but slight different one: לדוד מזמור Yet both are marked in the NET (and elsewhere) as "A psalm of David". I ...
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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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Translation of the word Giant

Are there other translations of the word "Giant"? Please note that this question is related to this question. Genesis 6:4 KJV There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, ...
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Can the word translated as “messiah” be considered a title when referring to Jesus?

The word translated as "messiah" in the Bible can apparently have a few meanings in both Hebrew and Greek. It is usually used to simply say "anointed" or "anointed one". For example, see this usage: ...
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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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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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Is “faith” a correct translation in Deut 32:20 and Hab 2:4?

I recently noticed that in the KJV, the word "faith" only appears twice in the OT: Deuteronomy 32:20 and Habakkuk 2:4. I thought maybe those anomalies were due translation so I looked up the same ...
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Whose words were kept from falling to the ground?

I have two different translations of 1 Samuel 3:19. The 2011 NIV renders the sentence: The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. However, I ...
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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 is the distinction between πολύσπλαγχνός and οἰκτίρμων in James 5:11?

In the letter of James, 5:11, the author writes: τὸ τέλος Κυρίου εἴδετε, ὅτι πολύσπλαγχνός ἐστιν ὁ Κύριος καὶ οἰκτίρμων English translations frequently seem to render the two adjectives ...
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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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Calculation of date from Genesis 7:11

Does Genesis 7:11 say: A) the floodwaters burst open in the 17th day, the second month of the 600th year of Noah's life, or B) the floodwaters burst open in the 17th day, the second month in the ...
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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 ...