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

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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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Were there 600,000 Israelites, or 600 “soldiers”? [duplicate]

This question is a follow-up from this answer where a user on Christianity.SE claimed that the Hebrew words for "thousand" and "soldier" were mixed up in the transcription and translation of the ...
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530 views

How Does the word for “seven” compare with the word for “Sabbath” in Scripture?

Is there a connection linguistically between the word for "Seven" and for "Sabbath" in the Biblical languages, Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek? If so, could someone explain it to me. This is related to the ...
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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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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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639 views

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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48 views

Does Moses want the Lord to go among the people because or despite their stiff necks?

After Moses received the second set of tablets from God, we read: Moses hastened to bow low to the ground in homage, and said, “If I have gained Your favor, O Lord, pray, let the Lord go in our ...
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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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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 ...
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45 views

Red Heifer or Heifer of Soil

How could we know if פרה אדמה in Num 19:2 refers either to a red cow (parah edumah) vs a cow of the soil (parah adamah)? I would like someone to analyse the issue morphologically, ...
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875 views

What gender does the pronouns have that denote ruach or pneuma? [closed]

In Hebrew the word for wind/breath/spirit is ruach, which is feminine (like all nouns for body parts). However, some theologians use that as an argument for calling the Holy Spirit "she". Pneuma in ...
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What is the significance of the verb בנה in Genesis 2:22?

And Yahveh God built a woman with the rib that he took from the man, and He brought her to the man. וַיִּבֶן יַהְוֶה אֱלֹהִים אֶֽת־הַצֵּלָע אֲשֶׁר־לָקַח מִן־הָאָדָם לְאִשָּׁה וַיְבִאֶהָ ...
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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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396 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
112 views

Why does the KJV translate Num. 11:25 as “and did not cease”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Understanding Numbers 11:25 Numbers 11:25 (KJV): And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that [was] upon him, and gave [it] ...
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115 views

What does the word הַסִּרְפַּד mean?

Isaiah 55:13 uses the word הַסִּרְפַּד which I have seen translated as "brier" or "nettle". What is the precise meaning of this word? Is it used elsewhere?
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381 views

“Unclean” – Original word and synonyms?

Lev 11 talks about animals being unclean. What word for this is used in the original Hebrew texts and what can one say about the different meanings of the word? Synonyms, etymology etc.?
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Is the name Israel intended to be ambiguous?

Jacob is renamed Israel by God as explained in this passage: Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
838 views

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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2answers
182 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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4answers
421 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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191 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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639 views

Psalm 23 - long long pursuit of the house of the LORD

I am puzzled by translations of the 23rd Psalm. I wish to bring those my puzzlement to your attention. Perhaps, someone could comment on it. ינחני במעגלי צדק The accepted translations are saying ...
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216 views

Isaiah 1:18 white washing the scarlet?

Again I read another web page and this time I did remember to copy down the URL: http://www.teachinstitute.org/wordpress/?p=1013. Isaiah 1:18 לכו נא - I urge you that we go ו נוּכחה - and present ...
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3answers
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How different is Biblical Hebrew from modern Hebrew?

It's been variously suggested on this site that the difference between Biblical Hebrew and modern Hebrew is like either the difference between: Old English and modern English Shakespeare's English ...
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1answer
222 views

A woman is not to put on a man's dress?

I came across a Christian web page. The subject that caught me was the view on Deut. 22:5 expressed in the page. A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; ...
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4k views

Did Moses have an Egyptian name?

Moses got his name from Pharaoh's daughter: When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of ...
7
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1answer
133 views

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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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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467 views

What is the meaning of “Jealous” in Exodus 20:5?

I asked this question on Christianity Stack Exchange. Exodus 20:5 NIV You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the ...
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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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898 views

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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Was there some connection between barley bread and Gideon in the mind of the Midianites?

Before attacking the Midianite camp, Gideon does a little spying: When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of ...
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392 views

Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 Puzzlement

Verse 1: שלח לחמך על פני המים כי ברב הימים תמצאנו Send/set your bread upon the surface of the waters for in many days you shall discover it. Verse 2: תן חלק ל שבע וגם ל שמונה כי לא תדע מה יהיה ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
124 views

Should קהלת actually translate to “Preacher”

Ecclesiastes starts with - words of קהלת son of David. In Hebrew it does not say - the words of the קהלת. Nor - words of the קהלת. But simply - words of קהלת. How do we know that קהלת translates to ...
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1answer
601 views

Was Rahab a temple prostitute?

Joshua includes a dramatic story of spies, a prostitute, and subterfuge: Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim, saying, “Go, reconnoiter the region of Jericho.” So they set out, ...
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1answer
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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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Who or what is Rahab in Job?

The most famous Rahab in the Bible is the prostitute of Jericho who hid the two Hebrew spies in Joshua 2. But there seems to be a different Rahab introduced in Job: “God will not turn back his ...
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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
94 views

Did God shut up Satan before he had the chance to accuse Yeshua?

Growing up with the the New Living Translation, I had alway thought that Zechariah 3:1 said that Satan was accusing Yeshua: Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the ...
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905 views

Leaping over the threshold in Zephaniah 1:9

It would seem from the various translations of Zephaniah 1:9 that is is tricky to understand. Some translations give an apparently fairly vanilla, literal rendering: On that day I will punish ...
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1answer
313 views

What does “in the midst of the years” mean in Habakkuk 3:2?

The phrase "in the midst of the years" occurs in some more literal translations of Habakkuk 3:2: Yahweh, I have heard the report of you, and your work, Yahweh, do I fear. In the midst of the years ...
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89 views

Is there an interpretive significance for nashak (kiss) and nasak (burn) being puns? [closed]

It was suggested here that 'kissing the calf' may be a play on words for 'burning the calf'. Is there other support in scripture where the use of 'kiss' and 'burn' has interpretive significance? See ...
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2answers
520 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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176 views

Is the death of the pious precious in the eyes of God?

How does one understand the word yakar in Psalms 116:15? Classic Jewish commentators explain the word in context to mean "difficult". However, that is not how is it commonly used nor is it in ...
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1answer
195 views

Is Naaman impure?

In 2 Kings 5:10 we read: וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו אֱלִישָׁע, מַלְאָךְ לֵאמֹר: הָלוֹךְ, וְרָחַצְתָּ שֶׁבַע-פְּעָמִים בַּיַּרְדֵּן, וְיָשֹׁב בְּשָׂרְךָ לְךָ וּטְהָר.‏ And Elisha sent a messenger unto ...
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69 views

Judgment like light(ning) in Hosea 6:5

ESV, NIV and NLT each have a rather distinctive translation of the last phrase of Hosea 6:5: Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment ...
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241 views

Is Hosea 4:11 teaching total abstinence from alcohol?

In Hosea 4:11 (ESV), God seems to condemn drinking wine: They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the Lord to cherish ...