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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4answers
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How tall was Goliath?

In 1 Samuel 17, David intends to battle against Goliath and ultimately wins by slinging a single stone into his forehead before decapitating him. As Wikipedia can confirm, there are multiple accounts ...
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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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2answers
276 views

Did women contribute to the temple in exodus 35:22?

Finishing the response to the meta call for contradiction, here is the last contradiction/inconsistency I found in Genesis/Exodus/Leviticus. In Exodus 35:22 we find the following passage. And the ...
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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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Why is a singular verb used to describe both Moses and Aaron?

Continuing the response to the meta call for contradiction. The following contradiction is invisible in English. It appears in the Hebrew of Exodus 4:29. וַיֵּלֶךְ מֹשֶׁה, וְאַהֲרֹן; ...
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Does Exodus 22:28 call for child sacrifice?

In Genesis, we see a motif of first-born sons being overly aggressive and ambitious. Kain slays Abel out of a jealous wrath. Firstborn Esau and Jacob have a long-running rivalry that ends with Jacob ...
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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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1answer
202 views

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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2answers
773 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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5answers
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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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5answers
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What does “Under the Sun” mean in Ecclesiastes?

I noticed that the Teacher uses the phrase "under the sun" more than 20 times in Ecclesiastes. I have always understood this to simply mean "on earth" as The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament ...
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2answers
379 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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1answer
79 views

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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3answers
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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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1answer
167 views

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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2answers
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Does the original Hebrew support the NLT of Genesis 6:3?

Genesis 6:3 refers to when God set humans' lifespans to (approximately) 120 years. However, the NLT (the translation I prefer) has a slightly different translation for the 120-years part. Genesis ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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Why didn't the Septuagint translate 'ahabah to eros?

Song of Songs 2:7 in English (NPJS) reads: I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem, By gazelles or by hinds of the field: Do not wake or rouse Love until it please! As the NET Bible points ...
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4answers
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Does Gen 1:1 refer to day 1 or the entire 6 days of creation?

A natural reading of Gen 1:1 with it's 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 ...
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How should the first line of Judges 5:2 be translated?

So at some point, I'm hoping to be able to answer this question. In the meantime, though, I keep running into more questions, this one concering the first line of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:2). It ...
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3answers
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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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What does it mean for someone to be another person's “portion”?

Searching for the word "portion" brings up a lot of results in the Bible. Sometimes it means a portion of food or of money. But what exactly does it mean in the following context: LORD, you alone ...
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Is there a modern English translation of the Bible that uses the second-person plural pronoun?

I'm looking for a modern translation of the Bible (ideally in the public domain) that retains the distinction between second-person plural and second-person singular. In Early Modern English (the ...
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Original meaning of the expression “sexual immorality” in modern translations of Hebrew Bible [closed]

A modern tool will translate the Hebrew ערוה as “unchastity”, “nakedness” or “incest”. This term is translated in modern versions as “sexual immorality”, but that expression is very vague. In old ...
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1answer
790 views

Do the 'sons of Jacob' or 'sons of Israel' refer to only Jews, or also Christians and Muslims?

There is a song by Damian Marley that refers to "The sleeping sons of Jacob". I looked up 'Sons of Jacob' on Wikipedia and now understand them to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Here's an ...
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3answers
699 views

Accurate translations of original scripts/text

I've been on what is becoming quite the mission to find the most accurate translation of Daniel 9:23-27 (or the (Tenach/OT) bible in general) of the most original scripts/text available. It seems like ...
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New American Standard Bible vs English Standard Version: Which one's more faithful to the original text? [duplicate]

I've read that both the NASB and ESV versions are "formal, word-for-word translations". Is there any way to determine which is the most accurate version? Bonus consideration: Precise translation ...
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332 views

Did Ahaz burn up his sons in the fire or pass them through the fire?

I believe the literal translation is that he passes his sons through the fire. Does that mean that they still lived but were scarred for life, or did they lose their lives? 2 Chronicles 28:3 ...
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Were the Nephilim in Genesis 6 aliens?

Could Genesis 6:1-4 be talking about aliens? (ESV): When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were ...
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Synthesizing Differing Translations of Proverbs 18:24

In the King James, Prov. 18:24 reads "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." This appears to be an admonition for the reader to ...
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2answers
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How should graded numerical parallelism in Hebrew poetry be understood?

In Hebrew poetry, especially proverbs, we see examples of monotonically increasing numbers that set up parallels. For instance Proverbs 30:15 (NJPS): The leech has two daughters, “Give!” and ...
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How many people were involved in the Exodus?

According to Numbers 1:20-46 (NJPS): They totaled as follows: The descendants of Reuben, Israel’s first-born, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, head by ...
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Why is “rega`” translated “peace” in Job 21:13?

Job 21:7-13 (ESV) Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes. Their houses ...
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1answer
396 views

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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3answers
773 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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1answer
295 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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0answers
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What is the actual word used in “Thou shall not kill?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “kill” a valid translation for Exodus 20:13 (Thou shalt not kill)? What word is used in the original Ten Commandments for "kill"? What modern equivalent ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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4answers
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Translation of “Hosanna” (ὡσαννά)

What does "Hosanna" (ὡσαννά) mean (as it appears in the Gospels)? What is its etymology/derivation from Hebrew/Aramaic?
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1answer
104 views

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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1answer
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Is “wait” in Isaiah 40:31 active or passive?

Some translations have this verse reading "They that wait (up)on the Lord" (eg. NKJV) while others have "They that wait for the Lord" (eg. ESV) and still others "Those that hope in the Lord". (eg NIV) ...
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What did Isaiah intend with his unusual usage of “create” in Isaiah 45:7?

In Isaiah 45:7 (ESV): I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. The word "create" (01254) is the same word used in ...
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What is the translation philosophy for tachash skins in Exodus?

In Exodus (e.g.: 26:14) we learn one of the coverings for the tabernacle is to be made of "תחש" (tachash) skins. The translation of this term appears to be especially difficult or contentious as there ...
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Translation of “Selah” (סֶלָה‎)

What is the current scholarly opinion on the possible translations for "Selah" (סֶלָה‎) as used in the Psalms?
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How can I identify puns in the Hebrew Bible?

The Bible sometimes uses words with multiple meanings to the effect of an intentional pun or wordplay. Punning seems especially common in Hebrew. I think that being aware of these literary devices ...
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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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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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Understanding Numbers 11:25

As I am studying, I have encountered different renderings of the last phrase in this verse, which describes the prophesying of the seventy elders of Israel after the Spirit was placed on them. An ...
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Does the Bible mention unicorns?

I was reading Psalm 22 (from this question) and I found this verse: Psalms 22:21 (KJV) Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. When I switched ...