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

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How should we understand the quotations and translations of “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

In Matthew 27:46, the author quotes Jesus (NA28, ESV): ηλι ηλι λεμα σαβαχθανι; Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? and translates: Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες; My God, my God, why have ...
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2answers
62 views

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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3answers
249 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 ...
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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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2answers
71 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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200 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 ...
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146 views

Concealing & revealing in Proverbs 25:2

My question is about the intended meaning of this proverb: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. --Prov. 25:2, NASB I see three ...
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195 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? ...
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0answers
79 views

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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89 views

Does the Hebrew word “olam“ mean “forever”?

Several passages refer to keeping a feast as a statute forever. For instance, Exodus 12:14 reads: “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; ...
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1answer
77 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 ...
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1k views

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
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What is the proper translation of Hosea 11:12?

I have been researching Hosea 11:12 and have come to realize that it is translated differently in many differing translations of the Bible. It is sometimes translated that Judah walked (or ruled) with ...
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2answers
1k views

Who is the prophetess in Isaiah 8:3?

The bible doesn't seem to give much information for who "the prophetess" in Isaiah 8:3 is. Who is she? Many seem to assert that she is his wife, but cite no evidence to support this. The word ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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95 views

Genesis 22: Jehovah Jireh

Title spelled for recognizability. Forgive me. In Gen 22:14, Abraham names the place where the LORD provided a sacrifice in place of Isaac, calling it: יְהוָ֣ה ׀ יִרְאֶ֑ה אֲשֶׁר֙ יֵאָמֵ֣ר ...
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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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Is there an English equivalent for Nephilim of Genesis 6:4?

Genesis 6:4 (NIV)Emphasis added The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes ...
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2answers
479 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
883 views

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 ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
201 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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413 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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712 views

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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1answer
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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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2answers
620 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 ...
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2answers
715 views

Sacrificing and kissing calves in Hosea 13:2

Reading Hosea 13:2 ESV, I found myself confused: And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves metal images, idols skillfully made of their silver, all of them the work of craftsmen. It ...
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55 views

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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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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158 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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1answer
199 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 ...
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1answer
279 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 ...
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611 views

On what basis is the name “Ephraim” given the etymology of “ash heap”?

The name Ephraim seems to commonly be given two etymologies, one referring to an "ash heap" and the other referring to "fruitfulness". Example I can understand the fruitfulness etymology linking ...
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1answer
265 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
708 views

Should the title in Isaiah 9 be translated?

Translators publishing for the Christian market translate the title in Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his ...
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2answers
2k views

Is Satan one of the “sons of God”?

In the framing story of Job, we read about הַשָּׂטָן (ha-Satan) and בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים (ben 'elohiym) appearing before God: Now it fell upon a day, that the sons of God came to present themselves ...
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2answers
837 views

How Does the word for “seven” compare with the word for “Sabbath” in Scripture?

Is there a connection linguistically between the word for "Seven" and for "Sabbath" in the Biblical languages, Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek? If so, could someone explain it to me. This is related to the ...
5
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1answer
291 views

How should רָגַז be translated in Psalm 4?

A quick survey of English translations of Psalm 4:4 shows that there is little agreement about how ragaz should be rendered: NIV In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
343 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
358 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 ...
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1answer
138 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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397 views

Who will suffer plague/punishment in Isaiah 53:8?

Why do different translations render Isaiah 53:8 differently in English: מֵעֹצֶר וּמִמִּשְׁפָּט לֻקָּח וְאֶת דּוֹרוֹ מִי יְשׂוֹחֵחַ כִּי נִגְזַר מֵאֶרֶץ חַיִּים מִפֶּשַׁע עַמִּי נֶגַע לָמוֹ. One ...
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104 views

Is the REB translation of Ex 11:1, comparing to a rejected bride, supported in the original language?

Exodus 11:1b in the Revised English Bible (REB) has: When he finally lets you go, he will drive you out forcibly as a man might dismiss a rejected bride. The simile seems most unusual. Was it in the ...
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1answer
433 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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1answer
232 views

How does one interpret the phrase “in the water under the earth” in Exodus 20:4?

In Exodus 20:4 there is a phrase בַּמַּיִם מִתַּחַת לָאָרֶץ that is often translated as "in the water under the earth". What location is this a reference to?
3
votes
2answers
850 views

What is Yahweh's gender?

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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Judges 17:7 - How could the young man be both “a Levite” and “of the family of Judah”?

Hebrew Text: וַיְהִי־נַעַר מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת יְהוּדָה וְהוּא לֵוִי וְהוּא גָר־שָׁם English Translation: And there was a young man of Beit-Lechem of Yehuda, of the family ...