What is the difference between power ( כֹּחַ ) and might ( חַיִל ) in Zechariah 4:6?

I was studying the verse with interlinear bibleand got these words

  • power - koach ( כֹּחַ ) which means --> a small reptile (of unknown species), ability, efficiency
  • might - chayil ( חַיִל ) which means --> strength, efficiency, wealth, army

    1. What do these words mean?
    2. How do we distingush the difference in meaning?
    3. What has "reptile" got to do with power - koach ( כֹּחַ )?

In addition, if anybody can suggest a good Hebrew-English interlinear bible based on Textus Receptus I would be very grateful.

2 Answers 2


From your own links to Brown-Driver-Briggs and looking down the lists of occurrences in scripture, there does seem to be a comparative difference in the two words.

Power (koach) appears to be vigour in procreation, vigour in the delivery of children, vigour in battle, vigour of land producing crops and vigour of various animals.

It seems to indicate organic power, power associated with flesh.

Context would indicate whether, or not, it is applied to angels or to God. Here, the context would not indicate that meaning. So, the above meaning, of organic vigour, appears to stand as relating only to human flesh on earth in all its vigours.

Might (chayil) is a matter of the display of strentth, of moral worth, of substantial wealth, of being numerous (as in an army), of royal power and of military significance.

It seems to be a matter of demonstrative strength, a display, an enforcement.

In Zechariah 4:6 both of these characteristics are contrasted with the way God works, in spirit. Not of fleshly vigour, not of organic life and not of outward demonstrations of physical might.

Note 1 : The single reference of roach meaning a kind of animal reminds me of the reference to leviathan in Job. This solitary expression of an animal with fortified scales, impenetrable skin and blastings from its nose seems, to me, to express a creature on earth (a crocodile, perhaps ?) but also to infer a spiritual, invisible entity of like characteristics.

It may be that we are to see roach in the same way.

Note 2 : Green's Literal (1994) is the Hebrew Interlinear I use personally. It is based on the Textus Receptus.

  • 1
    Thank you so much brother @NigelJ :-) You are a blessing! Nov 22, 2019 at 18:39
  • @SijuGeorge Glad to be of service, brother.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 22, 2019 at 18:50

The differrence between power (כח) and might: power reffers to His (as it were) 'Physical' power, strength. Might (חַיִל) reffers to some army, soldiers. (חַיִל, if you understand some Hebrew, comes from the same root as the word חַיָל- soldier, and means an army of soldiers. But Sometimes it is also used in the Bible as stregth, or for describing skilled, proficient people. For example "אנשי חיל")
The whole expression means- 'Not by a Physical strength, but by my spirit.' And of course it has nothing to do with a reptile of any species.

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