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

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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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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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237 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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126 views

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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700 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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470 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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87 views

“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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152 views

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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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 ...
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238 views

Frequency of each binyan (grammatical conjugation) in the OT?

I'm wondering how frequently each of the binyanim (grammatical conjugations) occur in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible)? I would be happy with either quantities or percentages. So either of the ...
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790 views

Genesis 23 — Why does the Bible change the spelling of Ephron's name?

In Genesis 23, we learn that Sarah has died and Abraham is looking to acquire a grave for her. He approaches the children of Heth and meets Ephron the Hittite who, initially, offers his land (which ...
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Is the best translation for the Hebrew “rēaʿ” the common English “neighbor”?

The word רֵעַ rēaʿ is normally translated as "neighbor". Some Jewish friends told me it means "buddy/comrades" instead. For example, 1 Samuel 28:17 in the NET translation reads: The LORD has done ...
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100 views

Source for tri- or quadri-literal roots of Hebrew words?

I am looking for a source (dictionary, website, software, ...) which would systematically give the basic triliteral or quadriliteral root for each word of the Hebrew Bible. Currently, I use Logos 6 ...
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260 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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609 views

Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 Puzzlement

Verse 1: שלח לחמך על פני המים כי ברב הימים תמצאנו Send/set your bread upon the surface of the waters for in many days you shall discover it. Verse 2: תן חלק ל שבע וגם ל שמונה כי לא תדע מה יהיה ...
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Proverbs 26:10 - Are modern translations right to involve an 'archer'?

I'm trying to interpret Proverbs 26:10, but as I've attempted to cross-reference more and more sources, I keep finding radically different translations: "Like an archer who wounds at random, so is ...
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76 views

Will the fire not “be quenched” (passive) or never “go out” (possibly reflexive) at Isaiah 66:24

In Isaiah 66:24 we read that the fire will not be quenched: וְאִשָּׁם֙ לֹ֣א תִכְבֶּ֔ה This looks like the Niphal stem to me (passive). Yet several versions I've looked at render it as the fire will ...
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153 views

Does the Hebrew tally these numbers?

Some Bible versions seem to make an assumption when translating the text of Daniel 12:12. Most translate it as 1335 days but that is not actually what it says! The Authorised Version (and some ...
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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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THE burning bush: why the definite article?

In the Hebrew, the first time the burning bush appears it has an article. Literally this is translated by "the bush" (as in Young's Literal Translation). However, most common translations translate ...
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356 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 ...
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What happened with the translation of 1 Samuel 1:24?

In NIV is written: After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord ...
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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 ...
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Psa. 103:4: חַיָּיְכִי and הַמְעַטְּרֵכִי

What is the explanation for the כי- suffix on the words חַיָּיְכִי and הַמְעַטְּרֵכִי in Psa. 103:4?
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What is the role of the paragogic heh when used with the second person as in Psalm 108:5 (ר֣וּמָה)?

What is the role of the paragogic heh when used with the second person as in Psalm 108:5 (ר֣וּמָה)? When used with the first person it as a cohortative meaning, but what's the difference with the ...
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70 views

Could foreign peoples (non Israelite) serve as priests in the temple?

In reading Isaiah 56:6,7, it seems to indicate the allowance of foreign peoples serving as priests at the temple. This, it seems, would be in direct contradiction to the Levitical priesthood. The word ...
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81 views

“Seasons”, or “Sacred Seasons”?

Psalm 104:19, עָשָׂ֣ה יָ֭רֵחַ לְמֹועֲדִ֑ים (Westminster Leningrad Codex) He appointed the moon for the seasons (Interlinear translation) In the BDB (Brown Driver Briggs), לְמוֹעֲדִ֑ים (for ...
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133 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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“Under heaven” or “under the heavens” on day three of creation?

The ESV translation uses the terms "Heaven" and "the heavens" in verses 8 and 9 of Genesis 1 in a way I find confusing: 8And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was ...
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272 views

Why are thighs important?

There is an old question on Christianity.SE which I suggested that it should also be asked here - since we don't migrate OLD questions. In doing so, I noticed that the OP hasn't been really active ...
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In Jeremiah 10:8 what does “a worthless doctrine” mean?

What does "a worthless doctrine" mean in Hebrew, as found in Jeremiah 10:8? "But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine." - Jeremiah 10:8 (NKJV)
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What does it mean when Queen Vashti “displays her beauty” in Esther 1:11

In Esther 1:10-11, what exactly does the phrase "display her beauty" mean? ESTHER 1:10-11 - "On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who ...
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Joseph's proclamation while riding in the chariot in Egypt

Genesis 41:43 contains a verse describing Joseph riding in one of Pharaoh's chariots and being proclaimed as a leader. Since I began reading Tanach more than a decade ago, the grammar of this verse ...
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What is the difference between “the law” and “the commandment” given by God to Moses? (Exodus 24:12)

Exodus 24:12: The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their ...
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133 views

What is stronger: רשע (rasha`, “wicked”) or חטא (chatta', “sinner”) in the Hebrew Bible?

I have a question about the following words: רשע (rasha`), generally translated as "wicked" or "ungodly". 263 occurences in the OT. חטא (chatta'), generally translated as "sinner". 256 occurences ...
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150 views

What is the significance of the insertion of the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet into the names of Abraham and Sarah?

In Genesis 17 (verses 5 and 15) God gives Abram and Sarai new names. v. 5: No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude ...
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164 views

Why do translations use “wild ox”?

Several translations frequently speak of the "wild ox." Where I come from, Ox is not the natural ("wild") state of such creatures. Oxen are normally relatively docile, castrated animals, which doesn't ...
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269 views

Why the two paragogic nuns in 1 Sam 2:22?

in the Semitic languages, paragogic letters are what scribes add to the ordinary forms of words in order to express some additional emphasis and/or some change in the sense. For example, in the ...
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405 views

To whom was Boaz paying when buying Naomi's land?

Ruth 4:9: Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion ...
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682 views

What does “in the midst of the years” mean in Habakkuk 3:2?

The phrase "in the midst of the years" occurs in some more literal translations of Habakkuk 3:2: Yahweh, I have heard the report of you, and your work, Yahweh, do I fear. In the midst of the years ...
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258 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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In Gen. 4:7, why is the participle רֹבֵץ declined in the masculine gender?

In Gen. 4:7, it is written, הֲלוֹא אִם תֵּיטִיב שְׂאֵת וְאִם לֹא תֵיטִיב לַפֶּתַח חַטָּאת רֹבֵץ וְאֵלֶיךָ תְּשׁוּקָתוֹ וְאַתָּה תִּמְשָׁל בּוֹ My question concerns the word רֹבֵץ, a participle ...
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50 views

"My shield is with God”?

Psalm 7:10(11)1a: ‏מָֽגִנִּ֥י עַל־אֱלֹהִ֑ים (BHS) My shield is with God (ESV) Elsewhere God is described as being one’s shield (2 Sam 22:3 // Ps 18:3; Ps 28:7) but with feels odd. It’s also ...
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“For the sake of your ḥesed” in the Psalms

Psalm 6:5[4]:1 ‏שׁוּבָה יְהוָה חַלְּצָה נַפְשִׁ֑י הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי לְמַעַן חַסְדֶּֽךָ׃ (BHS) Turn, LORD, and deliver me;       save me because of your unfailing ...
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What gender does the pronouns have that denote ruach or pneuma? [closed]

In Hebrew the word for wind/breath/spirit is ruach, which is feminine (like all nouns for body parts). However, some theologians use that as an argument for calling the Holy Spirit "she". Pneuma in ...