6
votes
2answers
671 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
922 views

How can we determine if a text is sarcastic?

What hermeneutical principles help in understanding whether a particular passage is to be understood as sarcastic? For instance, Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

Are the rings for carrying the incense altar pure gold?

In Exodus we read about the structure of the altar for burning incense: You shall make an altar for burning incense; make it of acacia wood. It shall be a cubit long and a cubit wide—it ...
5
votes
2answers
800 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
260 views

How does the Genesis account of the Tower of Babel compare with other traditions about the tower?

I'm aware there are number of accounts of the Tower of Babel in Midrash, from the Islamic traditions, Kabalah, Josephus and the Jubilees. For the most part, these accounts seem to derive from ...
4
votes
0answers
179 views

Does the New Testament use of Abba to address God signify a more intimate relationship than found in the Tanakh?

Yesterday's sermon at the church we visited was about Father's Day and referenced this passage: And [Jesus] said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Interpretation of Genesis 1:26?

I am under the impression that the Trinity is a Christian idea, and that the Jews did not view God as "three in one and one in three". How, then, was the following passage interpreted by the people ...
10
votes
2answers
20k views

What exactly did Moses do wrong at Meribah?

We read that God commanded Moses to speak to the rock at Meribah so that water could flow out of it. Instead, Moses struck the rock with his staff: Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly ...
7
votes
2answers
321 views

Does the communion cup emphasize the vessel or the drink?

Paul's account of the institution of the Lord's supper mentions the cup, but not the contents of the cup: For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the ...
13
votes
7answers
5k views

How is it that Jesus could be “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”?

This verse is usually interpreted as a prophetic word by Jesus about Himself: Matthew 12:40: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three ...
2
votes
0answers
58 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
368 views

Why is Rahab and not the spies included in the “Hall of Faith”?

Hebrews 11 list a number of people that Hebrews 12:1 calls a "great a cloud of witnesses". Among them are the usual suspects: Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. But there are also some ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
31k views

Ecclesiastes 4:12 A cord of three strands is not quickly broken

My small group was looking at this verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12: Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. I was curious the ...
10
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

Water seen as blood for Moabites but not for Israelites?

I have question regarding this miracle performed during the time of Prophet Elisha II Kings 3 : 20-23 says: 20 And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, ...
5
votes
1answer
340 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
697 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
283 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
301 views

How many animals is the King of Zion to ride according to Zechariah?

I've read that Zechariah prophesied that the King of Zion would enter the city on a donkey with another donkey in tow. But the passage seems to indicate just one animal to me: Rejoice greatly, O ...
9
votes
1answer
814 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

What does 'Dominon' mean in Genesis?

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

How are we to take the fact that Lot offered his daughters for rape?

In Genesis two angels visited Sodom and Gomorrah to check what's what. The residents of the town wanted to rape the angels (who had visited the most virtuous man in the town, Lot). Lot to protect the ...
5
votes
3answers
649 views

How do we reconcile the morality of Deuteronomy 5:9 with 24:16 regarding punishment of children for their father's crime?

The following two passages from Deuteronomy seem to lend themselves to opposing conclusions about the morality of punishing someone for a crime committed by their father: 8“‘You shall not make for ...
1
vote
0answers
5k views

What is the “Light” of Genesis 1:3?

In Genesis 1:3 (ESV), it is written, And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. The Hebrew word which is translated into English as "light" is אֹור (or) (Strong's H216). Is ...
33
votes
7answers
2k views

How do Jewish scholars differ from Christian scholars in their approach to the Tanakh?

What are the characteristic differences between how Jewish scholarship approaches the text of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and that of Christian scholars? If their approach was the same I assume they ...
8
votes
2answers
485 views

Who was Nimrod?

In the middle of an otherwise repetitive genealogy in Genesis 10, one man is especially singled out: Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Who was taken captive in Numbers 21:1?

And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive.—Numbers 21:1 (JPS) ...
6
votes
1answer
273 views

Why is the law about cooking a goat in mother's milk listed with instructions about feasts?

As this question notes, the law concerning cooking a young goat in its mother's milk appears three times in Torah: Exodus: 23:19, Exodus 34:26, and Deuteronomy 14:21. It's placement in Deuteronomy ...
6
votes
2answers
531 views

Did God make an idol?

In the Decalogue God forbids the making and or worshiping of images in the form of anything in the created order. And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
294 views

What analogy is Joel using to compare God's spirit to?

Joel uses the act of pouring to describe God providing His spirit to all the people of Israel: After that, I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; Your sons and daughters shall prophesy; ...
2
votes
1answer
377 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"? ...
4
votes
1answer
392 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the two bronze mountains in Zechariah 6?

I've already asked a broad question about the number two in the book of Zechariah. I've received some helpful input on that and made progress in my own thinking regarding it. However, some of the ...
7
votes
1answer
769 views

Was it typical to cast lots like in Acts 1:26?

At the beginning of Acts, the eleven decide that it is appropriate to replace Judas. To do so, they narrow down the list of candidates to two men: Joseph and Matthias. Then they pray, "Show us which ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What did Moses do at Horeb in the first place?

I was reading Exodus 3:1: Now Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Who was blotted out of which book in Exodus 32:33?

After God led the Israelites out of Egypt, and the Israelites subsequently worshiped the golden calf for leading them out of Egypt, Moses went before the Lord, simultaneously outraged and concerned: ...
4
votes
1answer
143 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
448 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is meant by “as numerous as the stars of the sky”?

The Bible in a few places references the stars as a large number. Genesis 22:17, Deut 1:10, Deut 28:62 all make statements referring to the Nation of Israel being as "numerous as the stars of the ...
5
votes
1answer
536 views

Was Elijah decommissioned as a prophet at Horeb?

After his confrontation with the prophets of Baal, Elijah flees to Horeb and petitions the Lord: “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Was Adam present when the serpent was talking with Eve?

Genesis 3:6 (NIV) When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Why does Numbers 18:28 mention Aaron specifically by name?

Concerning the tithe of the tithe, Numbers 18:28 (LEB) states: So you will present your own contribution to Yahweh from all your tithes that you receive from the Israelites; from it you will give ...
1
vote
0answers
153 views

Should the word 'satan' be left untranslated, merely be transliterated and left to the traditional connotations?

The word 'satan' is being used and heard as if it were a name. How could it be rendered in a way not distracting from its actual meaning of opposition and enmity? The texts where this is an issue are ...
5
votes
2answers
504 views

Interpretation of Psalm 45:14

First of all, I'm a layperson. Psalm 45:14 (KJV) says "She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework; the virgins, her companions that follow her, shall be brought unto Thee." Hebrew ...
3
votes
2answers
981 views

Was Achan's family punished along with Achan? or was he alone when punished?

Joshua 7:25: And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. The above verse says that Achan was stoned alone (him). But there was a ...
7
votes
1answer
477 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?
7
votes
1answer
5k views

When Job curses the day he was born in Chapter 3, does he curse God?

In chapter 2 Job refuses to curse God but states: "Shall we accept good from God and not trouble" and then in chapter 3v3-4 it says that Job cursed the day he was born: 'May the day of my ...
2
votes
1answer
275 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?

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