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

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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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253 views

Does the definite article 'the', occur in front of the name of God in the Hebrew language?

Or is the an interpolation from the English translators of the bible? I'm no Hebrew expert but I'm curious to know how the name was written and read in Hebrew. Was it the YAHWEH or just YAHWEH? ...
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230 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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2answers
751 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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5answers
202 views

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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218 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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582 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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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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144 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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283 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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397 views

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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51 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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303 views

Is the name Israel intended to be ambiguous?

Jacob is renamed Israel by God as explained in this passage: Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he ...
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66 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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70 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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101 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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2answers
157 views

“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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235 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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3answers
96 views

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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59 views

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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68 views

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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99 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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120 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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143 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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189 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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294 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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638 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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225 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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49 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 ...
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7answers
955 views

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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486 views

Why does the ESV use “surely” in Genesis 2:16 when all others say “freely”?

Someone has brought it to my attention that the ESV deviates from all other English translations in Genesis 2:16 by changing "freely" to "surely." The ESV is heavily endorsed by Calvinist pastors, so ...
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420 views

Is Hosea 4:11 teaching total abstinence from alcohol?

In Hosea 4:11 (ESV), God seems to condemn drinking wine: They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the Lord to cherish ...
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1answer
70 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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2answers
156 views

What is the meaning of the symbols that appear in the text of the Hebrew Bible?

What is the meaning/reason for the symbols at the end of various verses in the Hebrew Bible? For example, Song of Solomon 6:3: אֲנִ֤י לְדוֹדִי֙ וְדוֹדִ֣י לִ֔י הָרֹעֶ֖ה בַּשׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים׃ ס ...
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582 views

Are men (brethren) really men or are they human?

Psalm 133:1 KJV Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! VS Psalm 133:1 GW See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live ...
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990 views

Grammar-Literal Translation of Genesis 1:3 and 12:3

In Biblical Hebrew there are two simple verb types (Qal and Niphal) which convey no causation. Are the below revisions of the King James Version more accurate to the thoughts expressed by the grammar? ...
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67 views

What is the meaning of the Hebrew word that is translated in Genesis 7:21 as creeping? Does it also mean “swarming?”

What is the meaning for the original Hebrew word which KJV translates as "creeping?" in Genesis 7:21 The NASB translates it as "swarming." Some say the NASB is more accurate, others favor the KJV. ...
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1answer
189 views

Land of Moriah or Mount Moriah?

Genesis 22: 2 talks of the'land of Moriah' and 2 Chronicles 3: 1 of 'Mount Moriah'. Does the original Hebrew use these two different words? Is there any further evidence that it is the same place?
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318 views

Does 2 Samuel 22:27 mean that God can be unrighteous?

With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure ; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury (2 Samuel 22:27) and All the words of my mouth [are] in righteousness; [there is] nothing ...
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189 views

Should קהלת actually translate to “Preacher”

Ecclesiastes starts with - words of קהלת son of David. In Hebrew it does not say - the words of the קהלת. Nor - words of the קהלת. But simply - words of קהלת. How do we know that קהלת translates to ...
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1answer
200 views

Not good for Adam or Mankind to be alone? Genesis 2:18

We read in Genesis 2:18 (ESV) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” I'm not a Hebrew scholar by any means, but what little ...
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1answer
90 views

Numbers 12:2 Translation issue

One translation of 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. In the interlinear Bible I see the ...
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1answer
49 views

Can the 'bravery' of Isaiah 3: 18 be understood as 'magic power'?

"In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their anklets . . ." I can understand that 'bravery' can possibly be words like 'finery' but recently heard from one of the more esoterically ...
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430 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
56 views

Does Moses want the Lord to go among the people because or despite their stiff necks?

After Moses received the second set of tablets from God, we read: Moses hastened to bow low to the ground in homage, and said, “If I have gained Your favor, O Lord, pray, let the Lord go in our ...