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

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How old were the youths mauled by bears?

In 2 Kings 2:23, a group of boys jeers Elisha. Various English translations render this "young boys", "young lads", "boys", "small boys". What kind of range does the Hebrew word behind this group of ...
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By what Name did God reveal Himself to Abraham?

God is on several accounts called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Even by Jesus himself and by his apostles he is called their God. e.g. Mk 12:26 /Acts 3:3 I quote from this answer (from Why ...
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221 views

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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“The Name of Yahweh” a name for God?

I have often been told that "name" in the Old Testament has much more weight than it does to us today. Then I noticed this passage recently: See, the Name of the Yahweh comes from afar, with ...
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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 was Malachi's meaning in “The sun of righteousness” vs the sun gods of his day?

In Malachi 4:1-3 (Tanach 3:19-21) It is interpreted as 'sun' (Shemesh) and then talks of the 'wings' (Kanaph) using the Hebrew words. When looking at the history and the pagan gods of that day, they ...
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Exo. 34:33 - Did Moshe speak with the Israelites veiled or unveiled?

According to the Hebrew text of Exo. 34:33, וַיְכַל מֹשֶׁה מִדַּבֵּר אִתָּם וַיִּתֵּן עַל פָּנָיו מַסְוֶה did Moshe speak to the Israelites with a veil upon his face or without a veil upon his ...
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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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480 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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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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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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163 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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Numbers 12:2 - Translation Discrepancy - Did the Lord speak only through Moses?

Numbers 12:2 says: And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. The word "through Moses" in Hebrew is בְּמֹשֶׁה֙ or ...
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What are the four types of “wise men” in Daniel 2?

In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar has dealings with four types of "wise men". NIV and NLT render them "magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers." The ESV does something rather confusing and renders ...
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Who are the “מְבַשְּׂר֗וֹת” in Psalm 68:11?

Who are the "מְבַשְּׂר֗וֹת" in Psalm 68:11 ? I know that the word usually means the bearer of (good) tidings, but why is it in its feminine form ? (some translations translate it as women, ESV "the ...
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Did the Hebrews lift their right hand to take an oath as some translations of Psalm 144:8 imply?

Did we have any evidence that the Hebrews used to lift their right hand to take an oath as some translations of Psalm 144:8 imply ? The original verse talks of a "right hand of falsehood" (KJV NAS) : ...
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179 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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Why does the YLT render “thunder” as “voices” in Exodus 20:18?

Most modern translations of Exodus 20:18a render it something like the ESV (all emphasis mine): Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet ...
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What is Shesh Mashzar?

The Hebrew words occuring all over the latter parts of Exodus: שֵׁשׁ מָשְׁזָר mean some sort of fancy fabric. Is it reasonable to think of this as silk? I was thinking this might be derived from ...
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What exactly does מִכְנָס (miknac) mean?

Researching a related question, I came across passages like: You shall also make for them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; they shall extend from the hips to the thighs.—Exodus 28:42 ...
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How do we understand “prayer of Jabez” in 1 Chr 4:9-10?

1 Chr 4:9-10 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You ...
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Is there a significance in the usage of the two Hebrew words for the pronoun “I” (a.ni and a.no.chi)

In Jonah 1:9, I noticed that both words for the pronoun "I" are used, a-ni and a-no-chi. וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם עִבְרִי אָנֹכִי וְאֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם אֲנִי יָרֵא אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה אֶת־הַיָּם ...
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Why are the words “darkness” and “light” in their feminine form in Psalm 139:12?

In the following verse: גּם־חֹשֶׁךְ֘ לֹֽא־יַחְשִׁ֪יךְ מִ֫מֶּ֥ךָ וְ֭לַיְלָה כַּיּ֣וֹם יָאִ֑יר כַּ֜חֲשֵׁיכָ֗ה כָּאוֹרָֽה׃ Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the ...
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Can “יָתוֹם” designate someone who has lost his father but not his mother?

The word "יָתוֹם" has been translated as "fatherless" by numerous translations (ESV KJV NASB etc, cf. Psalm 109:9), but "orphan" by others (LXX, Vulgate, TNK etc), dictionaries mentioning the two ...
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What is the difference between בְּתוֹךְ (b'tokh) and בְּקֶרֶב (b'kerev), which are both sometimes translated the same way?

I understand בְּתוֹךְ as "in the midst of". The tree of life is b'tokh ha-gan (in the midst of the garden), and God spoke to the people mitokh ha-eish (from the midst of the fire -- the initial mem ...
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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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In Hebrew, what is this suffix ending that is on the nouns in psalm 103:3?

What is the suffix ending on the words for iniquities and diseases? (the Kauf,chirriq,yod ending) I see it is interpreted as 'thy' but this is not the usual possessive ending for 'your'. (I am a ...
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Numbers 28: Is the difference between noun-adjective and genitive cases for the burnt offering significant?

I know that in Biblical Hebrew (and presumably other varieties), we see the construct "noun adjective", with the noun unmodified, such as parah adamah (red heifer, parah = heifer). We also see the ...
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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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What is the meaning of Beth Aven (בית און)?

in Joshua 7:2 are EL (אל) and AVEN (און) used in contrast to each other. וישלח יהושע אנשים מיריחו העי אשר עם־בית און מקדם לבית־אל ויאמר אליהם לאמר עלו ורגלו את־הארץ ויעלו האנשים וירגלו את־העי׃ ...
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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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What is Yahweh's gender?

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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Genesis 23 — Why does the Bible change the spelling of Ephron's name?

In Genesis 23, we learn that Sarah has died and Abraham is looking to acquire a grave for her. He approaches the children of Heth and meets Ephron the Hittite who, initially, offers his land (which ...
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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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The meaning of “I” in Zechariah 7:3

Zechariah 7:2-3 (with my emphasis) The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men, to entreat the LORD by asking the priests of the house of the LORD Almighty ...
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How do you know when to understand the Hebrew word עלום (olam) as “eternal” or simply a long duration?

In Gen. 9:16, עלום is translated as "everlasting" in reference to the covenant of the rainbow: וְהָיְתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן וּרְאִיתִיהָ לִזְכֹּר בְּרִית עוֹלָם בֵּין אֱלֹהִים וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ ...
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Why did Dan remain on ships?

In Judges 5: 17, Deborah sang that Dan remained on ships. Did the Israelites have ships in the time of the judges? Is 'ships' the correct translation? Is there an explanation for this curious mention? ...
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What is the role of the paragogic heh when used with the second person as in Psalm 108:5 (ר֣וּמָה)?

What is the role of the paragogic heh when used with the second person as in Psalm 108:5 (ר֣וּמָה)? When used with the first person it as a cohortative meaning, but what's the difference with the ...
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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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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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657 views

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 can I find Greek and Hebrew plain text sources? [closed]

Source texts are available with software There are numerous Biblical source texts available (free, in "public domain") for download into Bible software type programs. Where else are they available? ...
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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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What does it mean that "David eluded him twice?

Shortly after Saul takes David into his service, we read: The next day an evil spirit of God gripped Saul and he began to rave in the house, while David was playing [the lyre], as he did daily. ...
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676 views

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

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 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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598 views

Is El-Shaddai “Sky God” where Sky==Breasts?

I found the name "El-Shaddai" mysterious, but while going over Genesis, found the following passage (Gen 49) Wikisource translation From the god of your fathers, and he will help you, and the ...
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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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Are men (brethren) really men or are they human?

Psalm 133:1 KJV Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! VS Psalm 133:1 GW See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live ...
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Does 2 Samuel 22:27 mean that God can be unrighteous?

With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure ; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury (2 Samuel 22:27) and All the words of my mouth [are] in righteousness; [there is] nothing ...