10 votes
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Who wrote Lamentations?

The traditional view As OP notes, Jeremiah was traditionally regarded as the author of the collection of five poems we know as "Lamentations". This claim is already found in the superscription to the ...
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9 votes
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"Black but beautiful" or "Black and beautiful" in Song of Songs?

The context (see verse 6) justifies translating the v' as "but." Furthermore, it clearly demonstrates that she is not actually black but simply very darkly tanned. Do not stare at me because I am ...
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9 votes
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Does Song of Songs 8:6 contain a reference to YHWH?

Does Song of Songs 8:6 contain a reference to YHWH? Yes ... and no. "Yes", there is a use of the short form of the divine name, found suffixed to the word of Song 8:6, שַׁלְהֶבֶתְיָה šalhebetyāh, ...
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7 votes
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What is the gender of the verb "to say" in Ecclesiastes 7:27?

Ecclesiastes 7:27 unusually records: "says Qohelet" (אָמְרָה קֹהֶלֶת = ʾāmĕrâ qōhelet), notable for more than one reason. The problem here is the gender of the verb (which is, in the MT, 3rd ...
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7 votes
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How did Haman intend to kill Mordecai?

It's most likely a "stake" (ʿēṣ) for "impalement" (√tlh); this is how the 1985 JPS Tanakh consistently translates it in each of the 9 occurrences in Esther (2:23; 5:14; 6:4; 7:9; 7:10; 8:7; 9:13; 9:14;...
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7 votes

How did Haman intend to kill Mordecai?

It is a gallows. The Book of Esther confirms this at 7:10 where it says: וַיִּתְלוּ אֶת הָמָן עַל הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר הֵכִין לְמָרְדֳּכָי וַחֲמַת הַמֶּלֶךְ שָׁכָכָה: And they hanged Haman on the gallows ...
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6 votes
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Does the narrator share Naomi's viewpoint in Ruth 1:20-21?

Yes, the "narrator" shares Naomi's perception of divine agency ... yet also implicitly challenges Naomi's understanding of her situation. That judgment is based on the following observations: It is ...
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6 votes
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Why did Haman build so tall an instrument of death?

The Idea in Brief Haman appears to have built the wooden scaffolding for two reasons: one, the hanging on wood would represent Mordecai as a cursed man in Jewish Law (Deut 21:22); and secondly, the ...
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5 votes
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Does Song on Songs 6:13 refer to "the perfect one" or "the Shulammite"?

Is a gentilic suffix normally used on non- place names (a la NET)? Yes, it's pretty common. So called gentilic suffixes in Hebrew indicate affiliation, not necessarily affiliation with a place. ...
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5 votes
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How can Ruth "return" to a place she had never been?

Your question is not a new one, but was asked centuries ago by the rabbis. The answer depends upon whether you are looking for a literal or metaphoric meaning. Ruth 1:22 says: וַתָּשָׁב נָעֳמִי ...
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4 votes

How can Ruth "return" to a place she had never been?

Shub appears over a thousand times in the Old Testement. Much like our own word "return," it has many, many meanings, both literal and figurative. This is what Strong's Concordance has to say: (7725) ...
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4 votes

Does Song of Songs 8:6 contain a reference to YHWH?

According to Ibn Ezra it means a flame of God fire of a great flame: coals of a strong fire that comes from the force of the flame of Gehinnom. The cantillation symbol of the zakef gadol, which ...
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  • 161
4 votes
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When was Ruth written?

According to the Babylonian Talmud, Bava Basra 14b, Samuel was the author of the Book of Ruth. While the rabbis, there, equivocate about the authorship of other books of the Hebrew Scriptures, there ...
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3 votes

What is the gender of the verb "to say" in Ecclesiastes 7:27?

The verse appears as follows in the Masoretic Text. Ecclesiastes 7:27 (MT) 27 רְאֵה זֶה מָצָאתִי אָמְרָה קֹהֶלֶת אַחַת לְאַחַת לִמְצֹא חֶשְׁבֹּֽון׃ The word קֹהֶלֶת is the same grammatical ...
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2 votes

How did Ecclesiastes come to be associated with Sukkot?

Rashi sets forth two reasons for the connection, and other commentators have other interesting ideas. Rashi states first that the verse "Divide a portion into seven, and even into eight for you don'...
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2 votes

Did the Preacher apply his heart or his mind to the task?

Hebrew has two-letter 'gates' which carry meaning like roots. When two letters are reversed, the meaning is reversed in some sense. Both gates, לב and בל are translated mind and heart. This is ...
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1 vote

Does the acrostic structure of Lamentations indicate a composition from 5 separate psalms?

Summary In his introduction to Lamentations, Daniel Grossberg has this to say about authorship: Ancient tradition, reflected in the Talmud, the Septuagint, and the Vulgate, ascribes authorship of ...
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1 vote

Why did Haman build so tall an instrument of death?

Yehuda Landy in his Purim and the Persian Empire points out that The citadel in Shushan sat on a mound that was 15 meters tall (50 ft.; approximately thirty cubits). Haman’s house was probably in ...
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