Questions regarding Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic idioms in the Biblical text and how they should be interpreted in light of the historical cultural or the canonical context.

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Background to the phrase “fall from heaven like lightning”?

When the 70 came back to Jesus they were excited to report to Him that they had even found that the demons had to obey them in Jesus' name. Jesus appears to affirm their account by saying the ...
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3answers
297 views

Is ἐγώ εἰμι testified in extra-biblical Greek as an expression for saying “I am he”?

This question arises from this insightful answer to another question about John 8:58. That answer makes an argument that the Greek ἐγώ εἰμι (literally "I am") is the wording used to translate the ...
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2answers
646 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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1answer
163 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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3answers
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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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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 ...
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How was “let him take up his cross” understood by Jesus's audience?

Matthew 16:24 SBLGNT Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἐλθεῖν, ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι. ESV If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up ...
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3answers
287 views

What is meant by “rightly dividing the word of truth”?

In 2 Tim 2:15 we read: KJV Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. SBLGNT σπούδασον σεαυτὸν δόκιμον ...
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4answers
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Meaning of “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

In Matthew 24:28 and Luke 17:37, Jesus uses the phrase "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather." Was Jesus speaking in a parable? Idiom? How has this phrase been interpreted?
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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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4answers
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Who are “the least of these my brothers” in Matthew 25?

In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus teaches that when the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will separate sheep and goats along certain lines, saying: "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of ...
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1answer
564 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 ...