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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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What did Isaiah intend with his unusual usage of “create” in Isaiah 45:7?

In Isaiah 45:7 (ESV): I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. The word "create" (01254) is the same word used in ...
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What are the “generations” in Genesis 2:4?

Genesis 2:4: These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.(ESV) (BHS) אֵ֣לֶּה תֹולְדֹ֧ות ...
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Blessed is the man who WALKS NOT or HAS NOT WALKED?

I noticed in studying the Psalms that Psalm 1 in the old Coverdale text reads, "Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, and hath not sat ...
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Genesis 3:16 - “Pain in Childbearing” or “Toil and Childbearing”

I recently came across a translation of Genesis 3:16 that seems to reinterpret the pronouncement on Eve. Carol Meyers* translates the first part of the verse like so: "I will greatly increase your ...
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Genesis 3:12: What is the underlying Hebrew word translated into English as “with me” (in KJV)?

In Genesis 3:12, is the underlying Hebrew word, translated into English as "with me" (in the KJV), supposed to be Strong's H5978 as the HCSB and HiSB suggests, or Strong's H5973 as the KJV suggests? ...
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Why does the singular form of שַׂעֲרָה appear in Job 4:15?

In the Book of Job, Eliphaz relates one palpable experience he had with a "רוּחַ" (translated spirit in the NASB), which had caused the hair of his body to stand on end. In Job 4:14-16 we read the ...
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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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Are the three distinctive Hebrew terms, translated “breath of life,” suggesting there was a different mankind at creation than there was at the flood?

The same English phrase, "breath of life," is used to describe three distinct Hebrew phrases. "Neshamah chay" is in Genesis 2:7 (creation). "Ruwach chay" is in Genesis 6:17 (intention for death at ...
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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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According to the original Hebrew, how did Moses's Red sea crossing look?

I heard a different viewpoint on the depiction of the whole red sea crossing than I am used to, and now I am wondering what the correct interpretation is. Instead of the sea splitting open and ...
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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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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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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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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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How did Biblical translators decide on cypress for the type of wood in Noah's ark?

Reading from Genesis 6:14 (NRSV): Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. There is a note at "cypress" which says: Meaning of ...
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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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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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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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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 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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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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Interpretation of Psalm 12:6-7

I'm doing a personal Bible study on the KJV Only doctrine. KJVO advocates point to Psalm 12:6-7 as evidence for the inerrancy of the KJV (or the source manuscripts used by them). The words of the ...
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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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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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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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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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Hosea 6.7: “like men”, “like Adam”, or “at Adam”?

I was doing some study on Adam, and came across Hosea 6.7. The Hebrew, for reference: והמה כאדם עברו ברית שם בגדו בי׃ I was already aware different translations choose to render כאדם either as ...
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What does chamushim (“fifties”) mean in Exodus 13:18?

It is easy to imagine that this word would suggest "by fifties" or, more generally, in large groups, or even "in an regimented way like an army," but on what grounds do so many English versions turn ...
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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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How tall was Goliath?

In 1 Samuel 17, David intends to battle against Goliath and ultimately wins by slinging a single stone into his forehead before decapitating him. As Wikipedia can confirm, there are multiple accounts ...
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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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The name of God in ancient manuscripts

I came across the following from an unofficial/unverified source: Yahu An alternative spelling and pronunciation of Yahweh, found (spelled YHW) on a circa 800 B.C.E. ostracon from Kuntillet ...
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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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What is the meaning of אֶת־ in Genesis 4:1?

Genesis 4:1 states: וְהָאָדָם, יָדַע אֶת-חַוָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ; וַתַּהַר, וַתֵּלֶד אֶת-קַיִן, וַתֹּאמֶר, קָנִיתִי אִישׁ אֶת-יְהוָה. And Adam knew (אֶת־) Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare ...
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Assessments of the evidence for the “Gap Theory” reading of Genesis 1:1-2?

Ever since the emergence of an understanding of "geological time" in the 18th Century, there has been a perceived tension with the six-day account of creation in Genesis 1 -- at least, if those "days" ...
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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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Numeral system in the time of the Genesis

Genesis 41:49 (King James Version) And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. Without being a perfect equivalent, this ...
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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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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 ...