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

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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 “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 ...
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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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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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218 views

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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Can anyone explain this apparent discrepancy between the Greek and Hebrew versions of Isaiah 30:20-21?

Isaiah 30:21, as translated from the Masoretic text (Hebrew), has been used times to say that God can show us where we need to go. וְאָזְנֶ֙יךָ֙ תִּשְׁמַ֣עְנָה דָבָ֔ר מֵֽאַחֲרֶ֖יךָ לֵאמֹ֑ר זֶ֤ה ...
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Is being “cut off from one's people” the cause or effect of sin?

Neither Jewish nor Christian theologians have a clear consensus on the meaning of the term "cut off from one's people," which appears many times in the Torah, especially in Leviticus. To take one ...
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What was the 'testimony' that Aaron's rod was brought before?

Numbers 17:10 (KJV) And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a sign against the rebels; and you shall put away their murmurings from me, that 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 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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Happy or blessed in the Psalms?

This problem occurs more than 20 times in the Psalms, but I’ll quote Psalm 1:1, ESV: Blessed (ʾašrê) is the man      who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, ...
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Judges 3:9 and the meaning of זעק

In Judges 3:9 we read: “When the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's ...
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What was Noah instructed to make in Genesis 6:16?

Genesis 6:16a: A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; (KJV) I don’t know what the second part means,1 but I understand "window." Several other English ...
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Is this translation of Genesis 1:1 accurate?

This questions aims to evaluate an argument oulined on this blog by Robert Holmstedt: In a nutshell, the interpretation and translation of the first complex word, בְּרֵאשִׁית, in the Masoretic ...
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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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What did Hosea mean when he said, “ the children of Israel will be without an image? ”

I was reading an answer to a question which was recently asked and there is a reference to the book of Hosea (KJV) and the text reads, Hosea 3:4 King James Version 4 For the children of Israel ...
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Numbers 22:22 Who sent the angel of the LORD to stop Balaam?

Did Satan stand against Balaam on his own zealous volition or did the LORD send him to stop Balaam? ויחר אף אלהים hot was nostril/wrath of G-d כי הולך הוא because went he ויתיצב מלאך יי בדרך and ...
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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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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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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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Deliver us from “evil” or “the evil one” – help from the Semitists?

Matthew 6:13 ESV And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. But NIV And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. UBS5 καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς ...
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“Surely not” vs “not surely” in Genesis 3:4

Davïd recently provided an explanation of the infinitive absolute in Genesis 2:16, noting the recurrence of the construction in 2:17: "you shall surely die" = inf. abs. (môt, "die") and finite ...
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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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Exo. 4:16 - “And you shall be to him for [an] elohim” (וְאַתָּה תִּהְיֶה לֹּו לֵאלֹהִים)

In Exo. 4:16, it is written, And he shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be --- he shall be to you for a mouth, and you shall be to him for [an] elohim [אֱלֹהִים] וְדִבֶּר הוּא ...
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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?

Do 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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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 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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The fifth rib in Abner

I noticed the mention of fifth rib in the murder of Abner: 2 Sam 3:27 And when Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly and smote him there under the ...
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How are contractions formed in Hebrew and how does YHWH become Yah?

Psalm 68:4 expresses the name of God as Yah. This seems obvious related to the name of God as he expounded it to Moses in Exodus 3:14. We also see the two directly connected in passages such as Psalm ...
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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 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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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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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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What about the eggs? (Deuteronomy 22:6-7)

In the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 22, verses 6 and 7, it reads: 6 If you happen to notice a bird’s nest along the road, whether in a tree or on the ground, and there are chicks or eggs with the ...
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Does Job intend to see God “in” or “without” his flesh in Job 19:26?

Job 19:26 reads: And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.(ESV) The ESV footnote on the word in says, “or without”. The NET note: This could mean “without ...
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What is the meaning of the repetition of “holy” in Isaiah 6:3?

In Isaiah 6:3, the seraphim call one to another, saying: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (ESV) קָדֹ֧ושׁ׀ קָדֹ֛ושׁ קָדֹ֖ושׁ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאֹ֑ות ...
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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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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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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 ...