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

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Psalm 72: “he will …” vs. “may he…”

The NET rendition Psalm 72 differs from most modern translations in translating most verbs in Psalm 72 as future indicative – "he will" – rather than jussive – "may he". For ...
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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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141 views

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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The meaning and reference to מוג in Amos 9:13 related to that of Amos 9:5

Comparison of Translations A number of major translations (KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, NIV, YLT) of Amos 9:5 have מוג (mûḡ) translated as "melt," "melts," or "melteth," but I will give the KJV translation ...
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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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152 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, ...
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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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“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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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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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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Did Jeremiah complain about corrupt torah in Jeremiah 8:8?

A website called "Jesus Believes in Evolution" claims that Jeremiah complained about Torah being corrupted, citing Jeremiah 8:8. However, that is not a common interpretation of the verse. What did ...
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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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249 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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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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255 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 ...
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463 views

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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271 views

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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To Jacob a Son or a Son to Jacob in Genesis 30

My son asked me the following question about wording of the verses describing the births of Jacob's sons to Bilhah and Zilpah, as well as Leah's 5th and 6th sons. In the Hebrew, discussing the birth ...
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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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194 views

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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989 views

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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548 views

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 ...
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Translation and historical background of Job 29:6a

Various Translations Job 29:6a is translated various ways. The apparently more literal one's being: (KJV) When I washed my steps with butter (NASB) When my steps were bathed in butter [NET ...
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What is the meaning of mešeq in Genesis 15:2?

In Genesis 15:2, as Abram laments his childlessness to the LORD, he says, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus (ESV) וּבֶן־מֶ֣שֶׁק בֵּיתִ֔י ה֖וּא דַּמֶּ֥שֶׂק אֱלִיעֶֽזֶר ...
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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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Accurate translation of הִתְעֵתֶים in Jeremiah 42:20

Jeremiah 42:20 (BHS): כִּ֣י הִתְעֵתֶים בְּנַפְשֹֽׁותֵיכֶם֒ כִּֽי־אַתֶּ֞ם שְׁלַחְתֶּ֣ם אֹתִ֗י אֶל־יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר הִתְפַּלֵּ֣ל בַּעֲדֵ֔נוּ אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ וּכְכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר ...
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How is Jerusalem called after the name of God?

In Daniel 9:19 we read O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name." I can see how if ...
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208 views

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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224 views

Who is the good and beautiful person in Zechariah 9:17?

There seem to be two main variants of English translations of Zechariah 9:17a: The newer one, of which the NLT is a prime representative: 16On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, ...
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Hope or no hope in Job 13:15?

Job 13:15a NRSV: See, he will kill me; I have no hope ... ESV: Though he slay me, I will hope in him ... BHS: הֵן יִקְטְלֵנִי לֹא [לוֹ] אֲיַחֵל The difference rests on whether to prefer the ...
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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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346 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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In Daniel 10:13, is the angelic speaker himself left alone, or does he leave Michael?

While looking at interpretations of Daniel 10:13, I found something that seemed strange in the writings of Theodoret. In most modern translations, the verse reads something like this: The prince ...
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“Those who hate me” in Exodus 20:5

Exodus 20:5b (WLC | ESV) : כִּ֣י אָֽנֹכִ֞י יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ אֵ֣ל קַנָּ֔א פֹּ֠קֵד עֲוֺ֨ן אָבֹ֧ת עַל־בָּנִ֛ים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁ֥ים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִ֖ים לְשֹׂנְאָֽ֑י for I the LORD your God am a ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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Are the divine name and its contracted form somehow unique or are they truly inter-changeable?

According to Strongs H3050, there are 48 occurrences in the Hebrew Bible where God's name is rendered as יָהּ (Yah). Most of these are found in the Psalms. This suggests it is a poetic form. ...
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109 views

From the time what came to be? - Isaiah 48:16

I'm just not sure what the it is referring to here, or is it implied? Is it connected to wherever there is? Isaiah 48:16 (ESV) Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not ...
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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 ...