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Psalm 133:1 KJV

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

VS

Psalm 133:1 GW

See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony!

Are we just talking about males?

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In Hebrew and other Semitic languages, it is standard for a group of males and females (even if there is only one male and the rest females) to be referred to by a masculine-gendered noun or pronoun. The Hebrew word is אַחִים (achim) in Psalms 133:1, meaning "brothers," but this is not necessarily to the exclusion of females, due to the rule mentioned above.

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  • So when it talks about "אַחִים" being priests, does that exclude females? I'll try to find a passage, but if you want to answer it as a "what if", you can. May 17 '13 at 15:01
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    This seems to be true for a great many languages, including Greek and the Romance languages. An expanded answer might include details about how one might tell if males only are intended and examine the reasoning for translating into English (where the rule does not hold) one way versus another.
    – Jon Ericson
    May 17 '13 at 15:38
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    @DanAndrews: It's basically going to come down to context. For example, a common phrase in the Tanakh is benei Yisra'el, or literally, "sons of Israel." But, does this always exclude females every time it is stated? e.g., Exo. 3:10 --- did only males come out of Egypt during the Exodus? Surely not.
    – user862
    May 17 '13 at 19:32
  • @JonEricson: Good point. I will try to expand it.
    – user862
    May 17 '13 at 19:32

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