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

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Can “שָׂנֵא” mean “rejected”?

I have posted a question about the translation of μισέω in Romans 9:15, which quotes Malachi 1:2-3. To further dig into the question of whether "rejected" is a correct translation, I would like to ...
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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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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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Why is “raah” usually translated differently in Amos 3:6 and 9:4

Why is "raah" usually translated differently in Amos 3:6 and 9:4, even in a super-literal translation: 6Is a trumpet blown in a city, And do people not tremble? Is there affliction in a city, And ...
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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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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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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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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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Reconciling the Differences in Jesus' Citation of Deu. 6:5 according to the Synoptics

According to the Masoretic text of Deu. 6:5, it is written, וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יַהְוֶה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל מְאֹדֶךָ which the Septuagint (according to Rahlf's ...
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Is this a figure of speech? [duplicate]

If you look at Proverbs 6:16 and Proverbs 30:18, they are written in a certain format: "There are six things the LORD hates--no, seven things he detests" "There are three things that are too ...
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How do we know the usage of the term Adonai in Genesis 15:2?

In Genesis 15:2, Abram uses the term Adonai when addressing the Lord. It is my understanding that this word is an emphatic of Adon, which means Father. What do we know about the cultural and/or ...
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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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What do we learn from the different usages of “aman” and “batach” in the OT?

aman (Strong's H539) and batach (Strong's H982) are both used in the OT to imply some level of trust in God. And he believed (aman:H539) in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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Various translations of Psalm 19:3

Psalm 19:1-3 in the English Standard Version reads: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God,        and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours ...
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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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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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Is “stars” the object of “made” or “rule” in Genesis 1:16?

Genesis 1:16 says (according to the Complete Jewish Bible translation) "God made the two great lights — the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night — and the stars." My ...
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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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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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Is there a significance in the usage of the two Hebrew words for the pronoun “I” (ʾănî and ʾānōkî)

In Jonah 1:9, I noticed that both words for the pronoun "I" are used, ʾănî and ʾānōkî. 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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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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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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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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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 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 ...