Biblical Hebrew E-Magazine
October, 2008 Issue #047
E-Zine Home Page
Biblical Word of the Month – Tree
Modern Word of the Month – Miqveh
Name of the Month – Manasseh
Question of the Month – Typing in Hebrew?
Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:6
MT Excerpt – Genesis 5:21-32
AHRC Excerpt – Isaiah 53:11
Biblical Word of the Month - Tree
By: Jeff A. Benner
then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. (RSV, Leviticus 26:4)
The Hebrew word for a tree is עץ (eyts, Strong's #6086). In the passage above, the context clearly shows the word is used in a plural sense (trees). However, in the passage, the word is written as עץ, the singular form. In Biblical Hebrew, the word עץ can mean a tree (singular) or trees (plural), while the plural form of this word, עצים (eytsiym), always means "wood," such as in the verse below.
make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.. (RSV, Genesis 6:14)
This allows for an interpretation of the "tree of life" and the "tree of knowledge," different from how we have previously interpreted them. The Hebrew can just as easily be translated as the "trees of life" and the "trees of knowledge."
The word עץ is a parent root (a two letter root) from which a couple of other words are derived. The verb עצם (Ah.Ts.M, Strong's #6105) means strong and mighty, as is a tree. Derived from this verb is the noun עצם (etsem, Strong's #6106), meaing bones, the "strong tree" of the body. Also, the verb יעץ (Y.Ah.Ts, Strong's #3289) means counsel, to give support to another as the tree trunk supports the branches and leaves.
Modern Word of the Month - Miqveh
By: Jeff A. Benner
Many will recognize this word as the ritual immersion, similar to baptism, as practiced in Judaism. However, unlike in Christianity, the ritual of miqveh is performed many times, such as before holy days. In Hebrew, this word is written as מקוה (miq'veh) and does appear in the Hebrew Bible, but not in the same context.
God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (RSV, Genesis 1:10)
In this verse, the phrase "gathered together," is the Hebrew noun מקוה (miq'veh, Strong's #4723). In the Bible, this word means a pool or collection of water and is also found in the following verse.
And the LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, `Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.'". (RSV, Exodus 7:19)
While the word מקוה (miqveh) means "pool" in Biblical Hebrew, the modern Hebrew word for a pool is בריכה (beriykhah), which comes from the verb ברך meaning "to kneel," in the sense of kneeling down to a pool of water to get a drink.
Name of the Month - Manasseh
By: Jeff A. Benner
In the last issue we completed the names of the twelve sons of Ya'acov (Jacob). In this issue, and the next, we will look at the names of the two sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim.
Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's house." (RSV, Genesis 41:51)
The name Manasseh is written as מנשה (me'na'sheh, Strong's #4519). This name/word comes from the root נשה (N.Sh.H, Strong's #5382) meaning to "forget" and is used in the above verse. The name/word me'na'sheh means "forgotten."
Question of the Month – How can I type in Hebrew?
By: Jeff A. Benner
Q: How can I type in Hebrew?
A: There are a few methods to type in Hebrew. The first is to upload a Hebrew font onto your computer. We have several Hebrew fonts available on the website at http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/14_ahrcfonts.html. Let me demonstrate how to use one of these fonts. First download the "Semitic Modern" font at http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/files/semmod.ttf (if you can see this word, Yra, in Hebrew, you already have the font installed). Place this file in your fonts folder (usually located at C:\Windows\Fonts). Now open a document (Wordpad, MS Word, etc) and select the "semitic modern" font. Now type in the letters "Yra" (one drawback to this method is that you have to type the Hebrew backwards) and you will see Yra (you will only see these letters here if you have correctly installed the semmod.ttf font). Another disadvantage to this style of Hebrew typing is that if you share your document with others, or are publishing it on the interent, only those who have this font installed on their computer will be able to see the Hebrew text.
The second method of typing in Hebrew is to set up your computer to type in Hebrew. Different operating systems do this in different ways, but for those who are using MS Windows open your control panel. Select "Regional and Language Options." Click on the "Keyboard" tab. Click "Change Keyboard." From here you can select "Hebrew." Once this is completed, you should see a "EN" or "HE" in your Windows Taskbar (you can click cntrl-shift to change from one to the other). If you have difficulty finding this in your operating system, just Google the name of your operating system and "typing in Hebrew." Once you have set up your computer to type in Hebrew, select "HE" in your Taskbar. Now, in your document, type the letter "t" (for the aleph), then the letter "r" (for the resh), then the "." (for the final tsade) and you will see ארץ. Note that the keyboard for Hebrew is very different than what you are used to. Below is the Hebrew letter arrangement for your keyboard.
[ ] פ ם ן ו ט א ר ק ' /
, ף ך ל ח י ע כ ג ד ש
. ץ ת צ מ נ ה ב ס ז
You can also change the size and font of the Hebrew in the same way you always have.
ארץ – times new roman
ארץ – arial
ארץ – david
If you do not have the "david" font you can download it at http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/files/david.ttf.
The advantage to this style of typing is that most all computers recognize these characters, so you can easily add them to documents and web pages to be viewable by others without having to install any special fonts.
One other method for typing in Hebrew when using html (web page coding) is to use the UTF codes. You can read more about this at http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/14_htmlfonts.html.
Verse of the Month – Genesis 2:6
By: Jeff A. Benner
וְאֵד יַעֲלֶה מִן הָאָרֶץ וְהִשְׁקָה
אֶת כָּל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה
but there went up a mist from the earth, and
watered the whole face of the ground. (ASV)
This word אד (eyd, a masculine noun) means a "mist" and the prefix ו (ve) means "and" – and a mist.
The verb עלה (Ah.L.H) means to "go up." The prefix י (ya) identifies the subject of the verb (which is the word אד) as masculine singular (he), and the tense of the verb as imperfect (will) – he will go up.
This word means "from."
This is the word ארץ (erets) meaning land, with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the land.
This is the verb שקה (Sh.Q.H) meaning to "drink." The prefix ה (hi) identifies the verb form as "causative" (to cause or make one drink). The written form of this verb identifies the subject of the verb as masculine singular (he) and the tense of the verb as pefect (did). The prefix ו (ve) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb to imperfect (will) – and he will cause to drink.
This word precedes the direct object (the next three words) of the verb.
This word means "all."
This is the word פנה (paneh) meaning "face," but is always written in the plural form – פנים (paniym). This word is in the construct state (face of...) and a plural noun drops the final mem (ם) when in the construct state.
This is the word אדמה (adamah) meaning ground, with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the ground.
The following is a literal rendering of this verse from its Hebraic meaning.
and a mist is going up from the land, and he (the mist) caused all the face of the ground to drink.
In following issues we will continue with this chapter.
Mechanical Translation Excerpt - Genesis 5:21-32
5:21 and “Hhanokh [Dedicated]” lived sixty-five years and he caused to bring forth “Metushelahh [His death sends]”, 5:22 and “Hhanokh [Dedicated]” walked himself with the “Elohiym [Powers]” after his causing to bring forth “Metushelahh [His death sends]” three hundred years and he caused to bring forth sons and daughters, 5:23 and all of the days of “Hhanokh [Dedicated]” existed three hundred and sixty-five years, 5:24 and “Hhanokh [Dedicated]” walked himself with the “Elohiym [Powers]” and without him given that “Elohiym [Powers]” took him, 5:25 and “Metushelahh [His death sends]” lived a hundred and eighty-seven years and he caused to bring forth “Lamekh [Powerful]”, 5:26 and “Metushelahh [His death sends]” lived after his causing to bring forth “Lamekh [Powerful]” seven hundred and eighty-two years and he caused to bring forth sons and daughters, 5:27 and all of the days of “Metushelahh [His death sends]” existed nine hundred and sixty-nine years and he died, 5:28 and “Lamekh [Powerful]” lived a hundred and eighty-two years and he caused to bring forth a son, 5:29 and he called out his title “No'ahh [Rest]” saying, this one will much comfort us from our work and from the hardship of our hands, from the ground which “YHWH [He exists]” much cursed, 5:30 and “Lamekh [Powerful]” lived after causing to bring forth “No'ahh [Rest]” five hundred and ninety five years and he caused to bring forth sons and daughters, 5:31 and all of the days of “Lamekh [Powerful]” existed seven hundred and seventy-seven years and he died, 5:32 and “No'ahh [Rest]” existed a son of five hundred years and “No'ahh [Rest]” caused to bring forth “Shem [Character]”, “Hham [Hot]” and “Yaphet [Wonder]”,
For details on this new translation see the web site at
AHRC Website Excerpt – Isaiah 53:11
The underlined phrase reads מעמל נפשוה יראה אור וישבע (mey'amal naphshoh yireh or vayis'ba). In the Masoretic text this phrase is written as מעמל נפשו יראה ישבע (mey'amal naphsho yireh yis'ba). Without even knowing Hebrew one can see that the Dead Sea Scroll includes some information that is not in the Masoretic text. The Masoretic text translates to "from the labor of his soul, he will see, he will be satisfied". The Dead Sea Scroll text translates to "from the labor of his soul, he will see light and he will be satisfied".
The complete article is located on the web site at
Do you have a comment or personal insight into the articles in this issue of the E-Zine? If so, let us know.
Did you find any errors needing correction in the articles in this issue of the E-Zine? If so, let us know.
Introduction to Ancient Hebrew CD by Jeff A. Benner
This is an audio and visual slide show (a viewer program is included in the CD) introducing you to the Ancient Hebrew Language of the Bible. The Biblical Hebrew language of the Bible is a root oriented system of letters, roots and words. In this introductory presentation the meaning of the letters of the original pictographic script to write Hebrew is explained as well as how roots and words are formed out of these letters. Proper interpretation of the Bible can only come through a correct understanding of Hebrew thought and word definition. In this CD the viewer is introduced to the differences between Hebrew (eastern) and Greek (western) thought as well as a study of several words and how proper interpretation reveals a more Hebraic meaning within the text.
Additional information and ordering details are available through the bookstore.
Copyright © 2008
Jeff A. Benner
Ancient Hebrew Research Center
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