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

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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 ...
19
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4answers
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Does Genesis's creation account depict creation “ex nihilo”?

I had once heard that one of the remarkable thing about the creation account in Genesis, as compared to the other creation accounts of the cultures of the surrounding area is that God creates the ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Is this person's translation of the Hebrew of Leviticus 18:22 accurate?

Via Facebook, a friend of mine was wondering if the translation of Leviticus 18:22 presented in this article was accurate: And with a male, thou shalt not lie down in a woman's bed; it is an ...
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3answers
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What does “bless” [ברך] mean in Isa 45:23?

יברך and ברך are translated as bless/ing all over the Bible but translated as kneel/ing in Gen 24:11, 2 Chr 6:13 ברך is translated as knee in Isa 45:23 What does the word ברך, translated as "bless" ...
8
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1answer
154 views

What does Song 1:1 tell us about Solomon's relationship to the book?

Song 1:1: שִׁ֥יר הַשִּׁירִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לִשְׁלֹמֹֽה׃ (BHS) The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.(ESV) I have seen it postulated* that the final word here (a lamed preposition prefixed to the name ...
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2answers
409 views

Are there two distinct words [‘lexemes’] for ‘fish’ in Jonah 2?

Jonah 2:1 (Eng. 1:17) says that God appointed דָּ֣ג גָּד֔וֹל (dāg gādôl, 'a great fish') to swallow Jonah. The following verse tells of Jonah crying out from the belly of הַדָּגָֽה (haddāgâ, 'the fish’...
7
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3answers
369 views

“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 ...
6
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2answers
134 views

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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7answers
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What is the new covenant made with Jews/Israel in Jeremiah 31:31

Jeremiah 31 verses 31-33, talks about a new covenant forged explicitly with Jews/Israel and only with Jews/Israel, and none other. I'm quoting the passage in Hebrew and providing the phrase literal ...
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3answers
268 views

Psalm 19:3: whose voice?

Psalm 19:3/4 reads: אֵֽין־אֹ֭מֶר וְאֵ֣ין דְּבָרִ֑ים בְּ֝לִ֗י נִשְׁמָ֥ע קוֹלָֽם׃ (BHS, 19:4) There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. (ESV, 19:3) The idea that speech ...
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1answer
384 views

How to interpret Proverbs 6:16-19, in view of “Numbered Parallelism”

Question 1: How would one interpret, (not translate), Proverbs 6, in view of the linguistic construction: "Numbered Parallelism." How does "Numbered Parallelism", here, affect the interpretation of ...
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2answers
621 views

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 ...
9
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3answers
303 views

Ancient Hebrew Calendar(s) and Modern Translations of “Years”

When we read Genesis or Samuel/Kings/Chronicles (or any OT book that attempts any sort of reliable chronology), what are reasonable meanings of the word (translated) "year?" Suppose I wanted to ...
6
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2answers
312 views

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?
2
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1answer
192 views

Was Jabez asking God to keep him from harm or from evil/sin?

1 Chronicles 4:10 [NIV] Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free ...
12
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1answer
3k views

The meaning of “stranger and sojourner” in Genesis 23:4 and Leviticus 25:23

In Genesis 23:4 Abraham is in conversation with the residents of Heth and says: "I am a stranger and a sojourner with you. Give me a possession for a burying place with you, that I may bury my ...
10
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2answers
536 views

Does the Hebrew in Judges 4:4 explicitly identify Deborah as a woman?

I have no skill at reading Hebrew, so I was using some tool to try and parse the sentence in Judges 4:4. I noticed that the definition given for the second word (אִשָּׁה) is "woman"; but what I'm ...
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4answers
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Does Gen 1:1 refer to day 1 or the entire 6 days of creation?

One way of reading Gen 1:1 with its immediate context is that it is part of the first day of creation 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and ...
6
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2answers
227 views

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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1answer
489 views

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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2answers
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What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?

The Masoretic version of Genesis 4:8 reads as follows: וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן, אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו; וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה, וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ. And Cain said to his ...
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2answers
830 views

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 45:...
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0answers
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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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1answer
3k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
241 views

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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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 (...
5
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1answer
569 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 ...
5
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1answer
363 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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1answer
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Why does the Hebrew word “chesed” in Psalm 136 have two meanings?

Psalm 136:23 & 24 use the same Hebrew word that is sometimes translated as "grace". The ESV uses "steadfast love" in those verses: It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his ...
2
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1answer
483 views

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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1answer
487 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 ...
4
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1answer
159 views

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, ...
7
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1answer
534 views

Why does Psalm 103:8 use the dual form of אַפַּ֣יִם (anger)?

In Psalm 103:8 we read: אֶ֖רֶךְ אַפַּ֣יִם וְרַב־חָֽסֶד Why is אַפַּ֣יִם (anger) in its dual form?
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2answers
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What is Yahweh's gender? [closed]

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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1answer
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Can “pharmakous” mean something other than “sorceror”?

The Hebrew word כַשֵּׁף is typically translated "sorcery" in Hebrew-to-English translations. Paro had court sorcerors replicate some of God's miracles and Nebuchanezer asks his sorcerors to interpret ...
6
votes
3answers
558 views

How is the New World Translation's usage of “Jehovah” controversial?

The New World Translation transliterates the Tetragrammaton as “Jehovah”. Why does this translation choose to transliterate the Tetragrammaton this way? How was the choice made to use the ...
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3answers
274 views

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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0answers
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Who’s doing the calling in Isaiah 7:14?

Isaiah 7:14b reads: הִנֵּ֣ה הָעַלְמָ֗ה הָרָה֙ וְיֹלֶ֣דֶת בֵּ֔ן וְקָרָ֥את שְׁמֹ֖ו עִמָּ֥נוּ אֵֽל׃ This is often translated similarly to the ESV: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a ...
4
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1answer
771 views

What is the meaning of the “gathered to his people” idiom?

In the Old Testament, when someone dies, he is sometimes said to be "gathered to his people" or a close variant: Genesis 15:15 As for you [Abraham], you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will ...
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0answers
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1 Kings 1:53 - What is the difference between the manner of obeisance (προσκύνησις) given to a king versus God?

In 1 Kings 1:53, it is written, So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house. (King ...
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0answers
89 views

Is “ordination” in Leviticus 8 the underlying concept of “fulfilled” in Matthew 5:17?

Leviticus 8:22 (ESV) reads: Then he presented the other ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. The Hebrew word here translated "ordination" ...
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1answer
94 views

What is the difference between a soul blessing and a person blessing?

Genesis 27 tells the story of Isaac’s blessing being given to Jacob. When they refer to the act of blessing, Isaac and his sons repeatedly use the phrase “[my/your] soul will bless [you/me]” (vv. 4, ...
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2answers
151 views

Is there a better translation for “Union” in Zechariah 11:14?

Zechariah 11:14 Then I broke my second staff Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.(ESV) The word Union here is "chabal" חָבַל which has varying meanings in Scripture from ...
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1answer
538 views

What is the significance of Elisha's staff in 2 Kings 4?

What is the significance of Elisha sending Gehazi to place the staff upon the boy's face in anticipation of his later arrival upon the scene in 2 Kings 4:29? 2 Kings 4:29 (NASB) Then he said to ...
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1answer
55 views

Exo. 29:1 - Difference between לֶחֶם מַצּוֹת, חַלֹּת מַצֹּת, and רְקִיקֵי מַצּוֹת?

In Exo. 29:2, the Hebrew text states, וְלֶחֶם מַצּוֹת וְחַלֹּת מַצֹּת בְּלוּלֹת בַּשֶּׁמֶן וּרְקִיקֵי מַצּוֹת מְשֻׁחִים בַּשָּׁמֶן סֹלֶת חִטִּים תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם What is the difference between ...
5
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1answer
108 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
63 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
393 views

How many times does the Hebrew word הֵילֵל (heilel) occur in the Masoretic text?

In Isa. 14:12, the Hebrew text according to BHS states, אֵ֛יךְ נָפַ֥לְתָּ מִשָּׁמַ֖יִם הֵילֵ֣ל בֶּן־שָׁ֑חַר נִגְדַּ֣עְתָּ לָאָ֔רֶץ חֹולֵ֖שׁ עַל־גֹּויִֽם Does the Hebrew word הֵילֵל occur ...
2
votes
2answers
469 views

What is the proper translation of Genesis 32:28?

I was reading Genesis 32:28 and the scripture reads as follows, Genesis 32:28 (NIV 2011): Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God ...
4
votes
2answers
230 views

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 ...