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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is Elohim translated as God rather than gods in Genesis 1:1?

I mean Elohim is a plural form of God. So the correct translation would be gods. Now, perhaps the word elohim is followed by singular words and hence the word Elohim must mean plural. So what? That ...
17
votes
8answers
45k views

Which 'modern' English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation?

Which 'modern' (anything inclusive of King James Version to date) English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation from the original Hebrew & Greek texts? ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
39
votes
6answers
6k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
570 views

In Genesis 20:13, why is elohim with a plural verb translated God rather than gods?

Genesis 20:13 (ESV) And when God caused me to wander… (WLC): ויהי כאשר התעו אתי אלהימ Another question asked about the translation of אלהימ (‘elohim) using the singular God. The answers ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
439 views

Different meanings of 'Earth' in Genesis 1

The word הארץ ('the earth') appears a very large number of times in the six-day creation account spanning Genesis 1:1 to 2:1. It seems clear to me that the usages in 1:1 and 2:1 are special - the ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the translation “rib” for the Hebrew צֵלָע (*tsela*) in Genesis 2:22 justified?

Why is it that Biblical translators choose to translate the Hebrew word צֵלָע (tsela) as "rib" when referring to the formation of Eve from Adam in Genesis 2:22? Never is this word translated as rib ...
6
votes
9answers
5k views

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 ...
17
votes
4answers
14k views

What translation best translates the word “vanity” (in the KJV) in Ecclesiastes?

The word "vanity" (KJV) in Ecclesiastes was translated (possibly incorrectly) in the NIV as "meaningless". Is "vanity" the best translation for the Hebrew word hebel (Strongs 1892) or does a newer ...
12
votes
3answers
19k views

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 ...
12
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
295 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
482 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
615 views

Can “Yom” in Genesis 1 be translated as an “aeon/age”?

Can Yom in Genesis 1 be translated "aeon" meaning "an age"? What is its semantic range? I have read a few translations which translated days as: "From darkness to light, the sixth creation phase" and ...
2
votes
3answers
521 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
959 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
22k views

Is “breath of life” in Genesis 2:7 is the same as spirit?

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7 (KJV) What is the meaning of "breath of life" ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

What translation philosophies have cause such a wide variation in translation of *tachash* skins?

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
390 views

Hosea 6.7: “like men”, “like Adam”, or “at Adam”?

I was doing some study on Adam, and came across Hosea 6.7. The Hebrew, for reference: והמה כאדם עברו ברית שם בגדו בי׃ I was already aware different translations choose to render כאדם either as ...
8
votes
2answers
451 views

The name of God in ancient manuscripts

I came across the following from an unofficial/unverified source: Yahu An alternative spelling and pronunciation of Yahweh, found (spelled YHW) on a circa 800 B.C.E. ostracon from Kuntillet ...
7
votes
1answer
230 views

Does the qal in Amos 3:6 automatically imply causation?

I am looking at Amos 3:6 and I expected a permissive rather than causative verb but I found a perfect qal. Does this qal actually mean cause here? Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and ...
4
votes
1answer
570 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
705 views

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; ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
212 views

Does Isaiah 7:14 indicate that the young woman is already pregnant?

Isaiah 7:14b (WLC) הִנֵּ֣ה הָעַלְמָ֗ה הָרָה֙ וְיֹלֶ֣דֶת בֵּ֔ן וְקָרָ֥את שְׁמֹ֖ו עִמָּ֥נוּ אֵֽל׃ Very roughly, "Behold, the-young-woman [to-be] pregnant and-bearing son..."1 The majority of ...
9
votes
4answers
579 views

What is the likely way in which ancient Hebrews would have understood “raqiya” in Gen 1:6?

In Genesis 1:6, the word "firmament" (Hebrew: raqiya) is referring to what we call the sky. It separates the waters below (oceans, lakes, rivers, etc) from the waters above (where the rain comes ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What does Genesis 3:16 literally say?

I've noticed that sometimes words are repeated in the hebrew text. Gen 3:16 אֶֽל־ H413 to הָ·אִשָּׁ֣ה H802 Unto the woman אָמַ֗ר H559 he said הַרְבָּ֤ה H7235 I will greatly אַרְבֶּה֙ H7235 ...
7
votes
1answer
474 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
4k views

Is “kill” a valid translation for Exodus 20:13 (Thou shalt not kill)?

Exodus 20:13 (KJV) Thou shalt not kill. Many political statements have been made about this verse. This translation has been used by many to support their pacifist desires. However, it seems ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

How many daughters did Lot have, two or four?

When we read the KJV we get the impression that Lot possibly had daughters living with their husbands in Sodom, in addition to two unmarried daughters still living at home: "And Lot went out, and ...
12
votes
2answers
13k views

How old was Samuel when Hannah took him to the temple?

In 1 Samuel 1:24 we read: 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

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, ...
10
votes
3answers
561 views

What is the best translation of Job 6:14?

NKJV: “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty." NASB: “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So ...
9
votes
3answers
17k views

Given the differences between Hebrew and Aramaic, how are the Aramaic sections identified?

There are a handful of Aramaic passages in the Bible; notably in Daniel and Ezra. Since the writing system of these two was the same, how are the Aramaic sections identified?
8
votes
2answers
31k views

What does it mean for someone to be another person's “portion”? [closed]

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
154 views

Shall I Know Pleasure?(Gen. 18:12)

In Gen. 18:12, Sarah, after hearing the Lord tell Abraham that in a year's time she will bear a son, says, (Gen. 18:12) וַתִּצְחַ֥ק שָׂרָ֖ה בְּקִרְבָּ֣הּ לֵאמֹ֑ר אַחֲרֵ֤י בְלֹתִי֙ הָֽיְתָה־לִּ֣י ...
4
votes
1answer
323 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
452 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
310 views

Why isn't the Tetragrammaton used in Exodus 3:14?

I do not know Hebrew, but I've always been under the impression that the Tetragrammaton is a literal "I AM". Strongs: 1961 אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1961.htm vs Strongs 3068 יְהֹוָה ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

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 ...
15
votes
2answers
936 views

Why is the light in day 1 of creation not an 'it'?

Throughout Genesis 1 there are two repeated refrains: ויהי כן 7And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it ...
15
votes
2answers
11k views

How does the act of “foot washing” lead to the act of “sexual intercourse”?

In 2 Samuel chapter 11,after King David had slept with Uriah's wife Bathsheba we read in 11:5, The woman conceived and sent word to David,saying,"I am pregnant." David's response to the news ...