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

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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
17
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733 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 ...
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3answers
615 views

Does Gen 1:1 refer to day 1 or the entire 6 days of creation?

A natural reading of Gen 1:1 with it's 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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952 views

What did the 70 elders see, if man can't see God and live?

Exodus 24:10 says, of the 70 elders who went up on the mountain with Moshe: וַיִּרְאוּ, אֵת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל and they saw the God of Israel Meanwhile, Exodus 33:20 says, when Moshe asks ...
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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 ...
14
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2answers
781 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 ...
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Did Moses have an Egyptian name?

Moses got his name from Pharaoh's daughter: When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of ...
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Translation of “Selah” (סֶלָה‎)

What is the current scholarly opinion on the possible translations for "Selah" (סֶלָה‎) as used in the Psalms?
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Is “wait” in Isaiah 40:31 active or passive?

Some translations have this verse reading "They that wait (up)on the Lord" (eg. NKJV) while others have "They that wait for the Lord" (eg. ESV) and still others "Those that hope in the Lord". (eg NIV) ...
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Translation of “Hosanna” (ὡσαννά)

What does "Hosanna" (ὡσαννά) mean (as it appears in the Gospels)? What is its etymology/derivation from Hebrew/Aramaic?
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
13
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4answers
973 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 ...
12
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1answer
539 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 ...
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4answers
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What does “Jealous” mean in Exodus 34:14?

Most translations seem to agree that "Jealous" is the best translation for this passage. For example: Exodus 34:14 (NASB) —for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is ...
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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? ...
11
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1answer
171 views

“dancing” or “beat time with his feet” in 2 Samuel 6:14?

Frank Garlock says in his The Language of Music that 2 Samuel 6:14: Enthusiasts of contemporary Christian music and Christian Rock sometimes cite the Old Testament scripture where David led the ...
11
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1answer
246 views

What word best captures the spirit of לִּילִית in Isaiah 34:14?

Isaiah 34:14 in the Masoretic Text is the following: גְשׁוּ צִיִּים אֶת-אִיִּים, וְשָׂעִיר עַל-רֵעֵהוּ יִקְרָא; אַךְ-שָׁם הִרְגִּיעָה לִּילִית, וּמָצְאָה לָהּ מָנוֹח Here, לִּילִית is supposedly ...
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Comparison of English word “fool” in original Hebrew and Greek

Question is based on this comment on Christiantity SE. In the OT, the word fool is apparently used to describe atheists: The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1 and Psalm ...
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161 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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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 ...
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What does “put the branch to their nose” in Ezekiel 8:17 mean?

Reading Ezekiel 8 in the ESV I came across verse 17 today and was puzzled by phrase there: Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that ...
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3answers
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Who or what is Rahab in Job?

The most famous Rahab in the Bible is the prostitute of Jericho who hid the two Hebrew spies in Joshua 2. But there seems to be a different Rahab introduced in Job: “God will not turn back his ...
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2answers
873 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 ...
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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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3answers
361 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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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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370 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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381 views

What did Isaiah intend with his unusual usage of “create” in Isaiah 45:7?

In Isaiah 45:7 (ESV): I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. The word "create" (01254) is the same word used in ...
9
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1answer
195 views

Genesis 3:12: What is the underlying Hebrew word translated into English as “with me” (in KJV)?

In Genesis 3:12, is the underlying Hebrew word, translated into English as "with me" (in the KJV), supposed to be Strong's H5978 as the HCSB and HiSB suggests, or Strong's H5973 as the KJV suggests? ...
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How tall was Goliath?

In 1 Samuel 17, David intends to battle against Goliath and ultimately wins by slinging a single stone into his forehead before decapitating him. As Wikipedia can confirm, there are multiple accounts ...
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Why is Job referred to by the feminine pronoun in Job 1:15?

טו וַתִּפֹּל שְׁבָא וַתִּקָּחֵם, וְאֶת-הַנְּעָרִים הִכּוּ לְפִי-חָרֶב; וָאִמָּלְטָה רַק-אֲנִי לְבַדִּי, לְהַגִּיד לָךְ. This verse, Job 1:15, ends with "and I alone escaped to tell you". The "you" ...
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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?
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Was there some connection between barley bread and Gideon in the mind of the Midianites?

Before attacking the Midianite camp, Gideon does a little spying: When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of ...
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1answer
744 views

Is LXX “Enoch pleased God” a reasonable idiomatic translation of Hebrew “Enoch walked with God”?

The Septuagint translates the Hebrew phrase וַיִּתְהַלֵּךְ חֲנֹוךְ אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים "Enoch walked with God," from Genesis 5:22 as εὐηρέστησεν δὲ ενωχ τῷ θεῷ "Enoch pleased God." I would have ...
8
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2answers
251 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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Blessed is the man who WALKS NOT or HAS NOT WALKED?

I noticed in studying the Psalms that Psalm 1 in the old Coverdale text reads, "Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, and hath not sat ...
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How should the first line of Judges 5:2 be translated?

So at some point, I'm hoping to be able to answer this question. In the meantime, though, I keep running into more questions, this one concering the first line of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:2). It ...
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2answers
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What does Azazel mean in Leviticus 16:8?

In Leviticus 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots over two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel. It appears that Azazel is translated as scapegoat. Strong’s Hebrew 5799 ...
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2answers
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What is the “Water” of Genesis 1:2?

We read in the creation account: The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.—Genesis 1:2 ...
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2answers
279 views

Did Ahaz burn up his sons in the fire or pass them through the fire?

I believe the literal translation is that he passes his sons through the fire. Does that mean that they still lived but were scarred for life, or did they lose their lives? 2 Chronicles 28:3 ...
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1answer
992 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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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" ...
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3answers
141 views

What does chamushim (“fifties”) mean in Exodus 13:18?

It is easy to imagine that this word would suggest "by fifties" or, more generally, in large groups, or even "in an regimented way like an army," but on what grounds do so many English versions turn ...
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280 views

On what basis do translators translate echad in Daniel 10:13 to be one instead of first?

Daniel 10:13 NIV 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of ...
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Before the Tower of Babel did all speak Hebrew as the original human language?

I find it fascinating that rabbinic literature suggests that Hebrew was the original human language. I have seen Christian authors also argue the same. For example, from the Jewish Encyclopedia: ...
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440 views

Did God say that Adam will die on the same day he ate the fruit?

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17, NKJV) but you must not eat from the tree of the ...
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3answers
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To whom does El-Gibbor refer in Isaiah 9?

I've asked about the translation philosophy of the long title in Isaiah 9. This question drills down into one of the phrases: El-Gibbor. According to Wikipedia, there are two basic options: The ...