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

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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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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 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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What is the meaning of the paseq in Genesis 1.5?

Genesis 1:5: וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לָאֹור֙ יֹ֔ום וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר יֹ֥ום אֶחָֽד׃ (WLC) God called [paseq] the light Day, and the darkness he ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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354 views

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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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 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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Are bdellium and onyx stone types of 'gold'?

The Hebrew noun זהב means 'Gold', but in the context of Genesis 2:12 it would read more naturally as a generic term for anything precious that is found naturally: 10A river flowed out of Eden to ...
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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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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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Accurate translation of חֶמְדַּ֣ת in Haggai 2:7

Haggai 2:7 (BHS): וְהִרְעַשְׁתִּי֙ אֶת־כָּל־הַגֹּויִ֔ם וּבָ֖אוּ חֶמְדַּ֣ת כָּל־הַגֹּויִ֑ם וּמִלֵּאתִ֞י אֶת־הַבַּ֤יִת הַזֶּה֙ כָּבֹ֔וד אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֹֽות׃ I've been researching and I've ...
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Do linguistic features of Ecclesiastes rule out Solomon as the author?

Franz Delitzsch is famously quoted as saying: If the book of Koheleth were of old Solomonic origin, then there is no history of the Hebrew Language. His argument seems to be that the Hebrew is ...
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Are 2 Samuel 1:25 and 1:27 questions or an exclamations?

In 2 Samuel 1:25 and 1:27 there appears the sentence: אֵיךְ נָפְל֣וּ גִבֹּרִ֔ים Ekh naphelu gibborim How the mighty have fallen! / How have the mighty fallen? Is this meant to be understood as ...
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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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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 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 ...
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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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Does the Hebrew word “olam“ mean “forever” in Leviticus 23:41?

Several passages refer to keeping a feast as a statute forever. For instance, Exodus 12:14 reads: “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; ...
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Why is Elohim translated as God rather than gods in Genesis 1:1?

I mean Elohim is a plural form of God. So the correct translation would be gods. Now, perhaps the word elohim is followed by singular words and hence the word Elohim must mean plural. So what? That ...
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Who are the prostitutes in Deuteronomy 23:18?

http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/23-18.htm You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the LORD your God to pay any vow, because the LORD ...
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Was the Passover meal to be boiled according to Deuteronomy 16:5-7?

In a recent exchange, Peter Enns responded to a review of his recent book, defending what he sees as a a contradiction between Exodus 12:8-9 and (from what I can gather) Deuteronomy 16:5-7. He 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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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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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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951 views

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 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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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 “revile the gods” (KJV) an accurate translation in Exo. 22:28?

In Exo. 22:28(1) (KJV), it is written, Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people. Is "gods" the correct translation of the Hebrew? The Hebrew word is אֱלֹהִים ...
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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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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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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 ...