Questions tagged [hebrew]

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

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4answers
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Why is Elohim translated as God rather than gods in Genesis 1:1?

I mean Elohim is a plural form of God. So the correct translation would be gods. Now, perhaps the word elohim is followed by singular words and hence the word Elohim must mean plural. So what? That ...
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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? ...
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How should graded numerical parallelism in Hebrew poetry be understood?

In Hebrew poetry, especially proverbs, we see examples of monotonically increasing numbers that set up parallels. For instance Proverbs 30:15 (NJPS): The leech has two daughters, “Give!” and “Give!...
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Different meanings of 'Earth' in Genesis 1

The word הארץ ('the earth') appears a very large number of times in the six-day creation account spanning Genesis 1:1 to 2:1. It seems clear to me that the usages in 1:1 and 2:1 are special - the ...
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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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Were the Nephilim in Genesis 6 aliens?

Could Genesis 6:1-4 be talking about aliens? (ESV): When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were ...
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In Genesis 20:13, why is elohim with a plural verb translated God rather than gods?

Genesis 20:13 (ESV) And when God caused me to wander… (WLC): ויהי כאשר התעו אתי אלהימ Another question asked about the translation of אלהימ (‘elohim) using the singular God. The answers ...
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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 6:...
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Why does the ESV use “surely” in Genesis 2:16 when all others say “freely”?

Someone has brought it to my attention that the ESV deviates from all other English translations in Genesis 2:16 by changing "freely" to "surely." The ESV is heavily endorsed by ...
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In Genesis 6:3 is it “is flesh” or “is also flesh”?

This is a translation issue which the meaning changes greatly on, depending on how it is rendered. For a Christian reader this matter of spirit or flesh (or both) would be highly relevant. Some texts ...
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Why isn't the Tetragrammaton used in Exodus 3:14?

I do not know Hebrew, but I've always been under the impression that the Tetragrammaton is a literal "I AM". Strongs: 1961 אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1961.htm vs Strongs 3068 יְהֹוָה http://...
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In Psalm 22:21 is the Bible speaking of “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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Does Gen 1:1 refer to day 1 or the entire 6 days of creation?

One way of reading Gen 1:1 with its 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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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" here? ...
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Is the translation “rib” for the Hebrew צֵלָע (*tsela*) in Genesis 2:22 justified?

Why is it that Biblical translators choose to translate the Hebrew word צֵלָע (tsela) as "rib" when referring to the formation of Eve from Adam in Genesis 2:22? Never is this word translated as rib ...
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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 ...
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What is the likely way in which ancient Hebrews would have understood “raqiya” in Gen 1:6?

In Genesis 1:6, the word "firmament" (Hebrew: raqiya) is referring to what we call the sky. It separates the waters below (oceans, lakes, rivers, etc) from the waters above (where the rain comes from)...
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What is the meaning of אֶת־ in Genesis 4:1?

Genesis 4:1 states: וְהָאָדָם, יָדַע אֶת-חַוָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ; וַתַּהַר, וַתֵּלֶד אֶת-קַיִן, וַתֹּאמֶר, קָנִיתִי אִישׁ אֶת-יְהוָה. And Adam knew (אֶת־) Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare (אֶת־) ...
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Is this translation of Genesis 1:1 accurate?

This questions aims to evaluate an argument oulined on this blog by Robert Holmstedt: In a nutshell, the interpretation and translation of the first complex word, בְּרֵאשִׁית, in the Masoretic text ...
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Is the ESV rendering “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever” in Genesis 6:3 accurate?

I am reading through Genesis in the ESV for the first time and was struck by some unfamiliar wording in Genesis 6:3. It reads: "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days ...
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The name of God in ancient manuscripts

I came across the following from an unofficial/unverified source: Yahu An alternative spelling and pronunciation of Yahweh, found (spelled YHW) on a circa 800 B.C.E. ostracon from Kuntillet Ajrud ...
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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 is ...
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Does Isaiah 7:14 indicate that the young woman is already pregnant?

Isaiah 7:14b (WLC) הִנֵּ֣ה הָעַלְמָ֗ה הָרָה֙ וְיֹלֶ֣דֶת בֵּ֔ן וְקָרָ֥את שְׁמֹ֖ו עִמָּ֥נוּ אֵֽל׃ Very roughly, "Behold, the-young-woman [to-be] pregnant and-bearing son..."1 The majority of ...
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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 to see God:...
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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 of ...
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In Genesis 1, Did “The Bereshit” Create “God”?

According to Genesis 1:1: בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ I've read that this is a grammatically incorrect because b'reshit does not have a definite article and the word order is wrong. ...
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Hosea 6.7: “like men”, “like Adam”, or “at Adam”?

I was doing some study on Adam, and came across Hosea 6.7. The Hebrew, for reference: והמה כאדם עברו ברית שם בגדו בי׃ I was already aware different translations choose to render כאדם either as '...
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Why didn't the Septuagint translate 'ahabah to eros?

Song of Songs 2:7 in English (NPJS) reads: I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem, By gazelles or by hinds of the field: Do not wake or rouse Love until it please! As the NET Bible points out, ...
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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 name ...
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What translation philosophies have caused such a wide variation in the translation of *tachash* skins?

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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What is the intended image of “pierced my hands and feet” in Psalm 22:16?

I sometimes struggle to understand how some of the NT authors describe OT passages as messianic prophecies. One of these is from the 22nd Psalm. Psalm 22:16 NASB (emphasis added) For dogs have ...
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Angel or messenger?

Often, it is clear from context whether מלאך and αγγελος refer to a human messenger or an angelic messenger. For example, if a מלאך or αγγελος is sent by a human, then the messenger is likely human. ...
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Should the word elohim in Psalm 8:5 be translated into gods/angels/or god?

Should the word elohim in Psalm 8:5 be translated into gods/angels/or god? The NIV translates it this way: You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. ...
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Why is a singular verb used to describe both Moses and Aaron?

Continuing the response to the meta call for contradiction. The following contradiction is invisible in English. It appears in the Hebrew of Exodus 4:29. וַיֵּלֶךְ מֹשֶׁה, וְאַהֲרֹן; וַיַּאַסְפוּ, ...
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Does Proverbs 8:22 say that God's wisdom was the first person/thing that God created?

Several translations have "possessed me" while others have "made me". Is "possessed me" the proper translation and if so, what does it mean? Or is "made me" the correct translation and if so, was ...
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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 that ...
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“Black but beautiful” or “Black and beautiful” in Song of Songs?

Song of Songs (or "Song of Solomon") 1:5 begins as follows in the Hebrew: ... שְׁחוֹרָ֤ה אֲנִי֙ וְֽנָאוָ֔ה בְּנ֖וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם šĕḥôrâ ʾănî wĕnāʾwâ bĕnôt yĕrûšālāyim ... And is often ...
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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 ...
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What does Genesis 3:16 literally say?

I've noticed that sometimes words are repeated in the hebrew text. Gen 3:16 אֶֽל־ H413 to הָ·אִשָּׁ֣ה H802 Unto the woman אָמַ֗ר H559 he said הַרְבָּ֤ה H7235 I will greatly אַרְבֶּה֙ H7235 ...
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“he will rule over you” — good, bad, or neutral?

In Genesis 3:16 we read about God's curse on the woman: To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire ...
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Does the Hebrew word “olam“ mean “forever” in Leviticus 23:41?

Several passages refer to keeping a feast as a statute forever. For instance, Exodus 12:14 reads: “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout ...
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Why did God destroy 70,000 Israelites when David conducted a census?

In 2 Samuel 24:1 (NET), it states that God "incited" David to take a census: The Lord’s anger again raged against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go count Israel and Judah.” ...
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What is the meaning of “encircled” in Jeremiah 31:22?

Yesterday, I read Jeremiah 31:21-22 (ESV): “Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, ...
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Is Satan one of the “sons of God”?

In the framing story of Job, we read about הַשָּׂטָן (ha-Satan) and בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים (ben 'elohiym) appearing before God: Now it fell upon a day, that the sons of God came to present themselves ...
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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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Understanding the appropriation of Psalm 22:2 in the Gospel crucifixion accounts

In Matthew 27:46, the author quotes Jesus, first transliterating his words with Greek letter (NA28 | ESV): ηλι ηλι λεμα σαβαχθανι; Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? He then translates into Greek: ...
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What is the new covenant made with Jews/Israel in Jeremiah 31:31

Jeremiah 31 verses 31-33, talks about a new covenant forged explicitly with Jews/Israel and only with Jews/Israel, and none other. I'm quoting the passage in Hebrew and providing the phrase literal ...
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What is the meaning of “Let” in the phrase “Let there be light”?

Genesis 1:3 (KJV) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. What's the meaning of the word "let"? Is the meaning closer to: cause/effect, i.e. physics-related; or allow/permit (cf), ...
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Separation of Seven and Sixty Two in Daniel 9:25

In the Dead Sea Scrolls, the translation of Daniel 9:25 in 11Q13 (Melchizedek scroll) seems to separate the seven and sixty two weeks. Here is the translation of verse 25: until an anointed prince,...
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Matthew 4 - How Should Galilee of the Nations be Interpreted?

Matt 4:14-16: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; ...