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Smith's Bible Dictionary

This word first occurs as given to Abram by the Canaanites, (Genesis 4:13) because he had crossed the Euphrates. The name is also derived from Eber, "beyond, on the other side," Abraham and his posterity being called Hebrews in order to express a distinction between the races east and west of the Euphrates. It may also be derived from Heber , one of the ancestors of Abraham. (Genesis 10:24) The term Israelite was used by the Jews of themselves among themselves; the term Hebrew was the name by which they were known to foreigners. The latter was accepted by the Jews in their external relations; and after the general substitution of the word Jew, it still found a place in that marked and special feature of national contradistinction, the language.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
A name applied to the Israelites in Scripture only by one who is a foreigner (Genesis 39:14, 17; 41:12, etc.), or by the Israelites when they speak of themselves to foreigners (40:15; Exodus 1:19), or when spoken of an contrasted with other peoples (Genesis 43:32; Exodus 1:3, 7, 15; Deuteronomy 15:12). In the New Testament there is the same contrast between Hebrews and foreigners (Acts 6:1; Philippians 3:5).


(1.) The name is derived, according to some, from Eber (Genesis 10:24), the ancestor of Abraham. The Hebrews are "sons of Eber" (10:21).

(2.) Others trace the name of a Hebrew root-word signifying "to pass over," and hence regard it as meaning "the man who passed over," viz., the Euphrates; or to the Hebrew word meaning "the region" or "country beyond," viz., the land of Chaldea. This latter view is preferred. It is the more probable origin of the designation given to Abraham coming among the Canaanites as a man from beyond the Euphrates (Genesis 14:13).

(3.) A third derivation of the word has been suggested, viz., that it is from the Hebrew word 'abhar, "to pass over," whence 'ebher, in the sense of a "sojourner" or "passer through" as distinct from a "settler" in the land, and thus applies to the condition of Abraham (Hebrews 11:13).

Hebrew language

The language of the Hebrew nation, and that in which the Old Testament is written, with the exception of a few portions in Chaldee. In the Old Testament it is only spoken of as "Jewish" (2 Kings 18:26, 28; Isaiah 36:11, 13; 2 Chronicles 32:18). This name is first used by the Jews in times subsequent to the close of the Old Testament.

It is one of the class of languages called Semitic, because they were chiefly spoken among the descendants of Shem.

When Abraham entered Canaan it is obvious that he found the language of its inhabitants closely allied to his own. Isaiah (19:18) calls it "the language of Canaan." Whether this language, as seen in the earliest books of the Old Testament, was the very dialect which Abraham brought with him into Canaan, or whether it was the common tongue of the Canaanitish nations which he only adopted, is uncertain; probably the latter opinion is the correct one. For the thousand years between Moses and the Babylonian exile the Hebrew language underwent little or no modification. It preserves all through a remarkable uniformity of structure. From the first it appears in its full maturity of development. But through intercourse with Damascus, Assyria, and Babylon, from the time of David, and more particularly from the period of the Exile, it comes under the influence of the Aramaic idiom, and this is seen in the writings which date from this period. It was never spoken in its purity by the Jews after their return from Babylon. They now spoke Hebrew with a large admixture of Aramaic or Chaldee, which latterly became the predominant element in the national language.

The Hebrew of the Old Testament has only about six thousand words, all derived from about five hundred roots. Hence the same word has sometimes a great variety of meanings. So long as it was a living language, and for ages after, only the consonants of the words were written. This also has been a source of difficulty in interpreting certain words, for the meaning varies according to the vowels which may be supplied. The Hebrew is one of the oldest languages of which we have any knowledge. It is essentially identical with the Phoenician language. (see MOABITE STONE.) The Semitic languages, to which class the Hebrew and Phoenician belonged, were spoken over a very wide area: in Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Arabia, in all the countries from the Mediterranean to the borders of Assyria, and from the mountains of Armenia to the Indian Ocean. The rounded form of the letters, as seen in the Moabite stone, was probably that in which the ancient Hebrew was written down to the time of the Exile, when the present square or Chaldean form was adopted.

Hebrew of the Hebrews

One whose parents are both Hebrews (Philippians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 11:22); a genuine Hebrew.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) An appellative of Abraham or of one of his descendants, esp. in the line of Jacob; an Israelite; a Jew.

2. (n.) The language of the Hebrews; -- one of the Semitic family of languages.

3. (a.) of or pertaining to the Hebrews; as, the Hebrew language or rites.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


1. Philo Judaeus

2. Targum

3. Midrash

4. Talmud

5. Karaites

6. Middle Ages

(1) Saadia ben Joseph

(2) Rashi

(3) Joseph Kara

(4) Abraham ibn Ezra

(5) Qimchis

(6) Maimonides

(7) Maimunists

(8) Kabbalists

(9) The "Zohar"

(10) Isaac Arama

7. Modern Times


8. The Bi'urists

(1) Mendelssohn

(2) Zunz, etc.

(3) Malbim, Ehrlich, etc.

(4) Halevy, Hoffmann, Mueller

(5) Geiger, Graetz, Kohler


The following outline alludes to the leading Jewish commentators and their works in chronological order. However widely the principles which guided the various Jewish schools of exegesis, or the individual commentatom, differ from those of the modern school, the latter will find a certain suggestiveness in the former's interpretation which well merits attention.

1. Philo Judaeus:

Philo Judaeus: A Hellenistic Jew of Alexandria, Egypt. Born about 20 B.C.; died after 40 A.D. By his allegorical method of exegesis (a method he learned from the Stoics), Philo exercised a far-reaching influence not only on Jewish thought, but even more so on the Christian church. We have but to mention his influence on Origen and other Alexandrian Christian writers. His purpose in employing his allegorical method was, mainly, to reconcile Greek philosophy with the Old Testament.


Josephus cannot be called a Bible commentator in the proper sense of the term.


2. Targum:

Targum (plural Targumim): The Aramaic translation of the Old Testament. Literally, the word designates a translation in general; its use, however, has been restricted to the Aramaic version of the Old Testament, as contrasted with the Hebrew text which was called miqra'. The Targum includes all the books of the Old Testament except Daniel and Ezra-Nehemiah, which are written in part in Aramaic. Its inception dates back to the time of the Second Temple, and it is considered a first approach to a commentary before the time of Jesus. For the Targum is not a mere translation, but rather a combination of a translation with a commentary, resulting in a paraphrase, or an interpretative translation-having its origin in exegesis. The language of this paraphrase is the vernacular tongue of Syria, which began to reassert itself throughout Palestine as the language of common intercourse and trade, as soon as a familiar knowledge of the Hebrew tongue came to be lost. The Targumim are:


(1) Targum Onkelos or Babylonian Targum (the accepted and official);

(2) Targum yerushalmi or Palestinian Targum ("Pseudo-Jonathan"; aside from this (complete) Targum there are fragments of the Palestinian Targum termed "Fragment Targrim").


(1) Targrim Jonathan ben Uzziel (being the official one; originated in Palestine and was then adapted to the vernacular of Babylonia);

(2) A Palestinian Targrim, called Targum yerushalmi (Palestinian in origin; edition Lagarde, "Prophetae Chaldaice"). Other Targumim (not officially recognized):

(1) To the Psalms and Job;

(2) to Proverbs;

(3) to the Five Rolls;

(4) to Chronicles-all Palestinian.


3. Midrash:

Midhrash: Apparently the practice of commenting upon and explaining the meaning of the Scriptures originated in the synagogues (in the time of Ezra), from the necessity of an exposition of the Law to a congregation many of whom did not or might not understand the language in which it was read. Such commentaries, however, were oral and extempore; they were not until much later crystallized into a definite form. When they assumed a definite and, still later, written shape, the name Midhrash (meaning "investigation," "interpretation," from darash, "to investigate" a scriptural passage) was given. The word occurs in 2 Chronicles 13:22 where the Revised Version (British and American) translates "commentary." From this fact some have drawn the inference that such Midhrashim were recognized and extant before the time of the Chronicler. They are: Midhrash Rabba' on the Pentateuch and the Five Rolls (the one on Genesis occupies a first position among the various exegetical Midhrashim, both on account of its age and importance). Next comes the one on Lamentations. (Zunz pointed out that the Midhrash Rabba' consists of ten entirely different Midhrashim.) On the same ten books there is a similar collection, called ha-Midhrash ha-gadhol (the "Great Midrash"), being a collection of quotations from a good many works including the Midhrash Rabba'. Other Midhrashim are: The Midhrash Tanchuma' on the Pentateuch; the Mekhilta' on Exodus (this has been (Leipzig, 1909) translated into German by Winter and Wuensche; the latter also published, under the main title Bibliotheca Rabbinica, a collection of the old Midhrashim in a German translation with introductions and notes). Further, Ciphra' on Leviticus; Ciphre on Numbers and Dr; peciqta', which comments on sections taken from the entire range of Scriptures for various festivals. There are also extant separate Midhrashim on the Psalms, Proverbs, etc.

In this connection we have yet to mention the YalquT Shim`oni, a haggadic compilation attributed to the 11th or, according to Zunz, the 13th century. The YalquT extends over the whole of the Old Testament and is arranged according to the sequence of those portions of the Bible to which reference is made. Further, the YalquT ha-Maqiri, a work similar in contents to the YalquT Shim`oni, edition Greenup.


4 Talmud:

Talmud (Talmudh): This term is used here to designate the entire body of literature exclusive of the Midhrash. Ample exegetical material abounds in the Talmud as it does in the Midhrashim. The critical notes on the Bible by some Talmudists are very characteristic of their intellectual temper. Some of them were extremely radical, and expressed freely their opinions on important problems of Bible criticism, such as on the integrity of the text, on doubtful authorship, etc. An Amora' of the 3rd century A.D. held the opinion that the story of Job is purely fictitious, both as to the name of the hero and as to his fate. The Talmudists also generalized, and set up critical canons. The "Baraitha', of the Thirty-two Rules" is the oldest work on Biblical hermeneutics (Philo's hermeneutical rules being rather fantastic), and contains exegetical notices valid to this very day. Hermeneutics, of course, is not exegesis proper, but theory of exegesis; one results from the other, however. This Baraitha' calls attention, for instance, to the fact that words occur in the Old Testament in an abbreviated form-a thing now generally accepted.


5. Karaites:

Karaites: "Followers of the Bible." They are sometimes referred to as the "Protestants of the Jews," professing to follow the Old Testament to the exclusion of the rabbinical tradition. The founder of this Jewish sect was a Bah Jew in the 8th century, Anan ben David, by name; hence, they were first called Ananites. The principal Karaite commentators of the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries are: Benjamin Al-Nahawendi (he was the first to use the term "Karaites," "Ba`ale Miqra' "), Solomon ben Jeroham, Sahl ibn Mazliah, Yusuf al-Basir, Yafith ibn Ali (considered the greatest of this period), and Abu al-Faraij Harum. Of a later date we will mention Aaron ben Joseph and Aaron ben Elijah (14th century).

The struggle between the Rabbinites and the Karaites undoubtedly gave the impetus to the great exegetical activity among the Jews in Arabic speaking countries during the 10th and 11th centuries. The extant fragments of Saadia's commentary on the Pentateuch (not less than his polemical writings proper) are full of polemics against the Karaite interpretation. And the same circumstance aroused Karaites to like efforts.

6. Middle Ages:

Middle Ages: In the old Midhrashim as well as elsewhere the consciousness of a simple meaning of a text was never entirely lost. The principal tendencies in exegesis were four; these were afterward designated by the acrostic "PARDEC": i.e. PeshaT (or the simple philological explanation of words); Remez (or the allegorical); Derash (or the ethicohomiletical); and Codh (or the mystical). Naturally enough this division could never be strictly carried out; hence, variations and combinations are to be found.

(1) Saadia ben Joseph:

Saadia ben Joseph (892-942), the severest antagonist of the Karaites, translated the Old Testament into Arabic with notes. The parts published are: Pentateuch, Isaiah, Proverbs and Job.

Moses ha-Darshan (the Preacher) of Narbonne, France, and Tobiah ben Eliezer in Castoria, Bulgaria (11th century), are the most prominent representatives of midrashic-symbolic Bible exegesis. The former's work is known only by quotations, and contained Christian theological conceptions; the latter is the author of "Leqach Tobh" or "Peciqta' ZuTarta' " on the Pentateuch and the five Meghilloth.

(2) Rashi:

Rashi (Solomon ben Isaac, of Troyes; born 1040, died 1105) wrote a very popular commentary, which extends over the whole of the Old Testament, with the exception of Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, and the last part of Job. He strives for the PeshaT, i.e. for a sober, natural and rational interpretation of the Bible. His is still a commentary both for the boy and the man among the Jews. Christian exegetes of the Middle Ages as well as of more modern times made Use of his Bible commentary. Nicolas de Lyra (see COMMENTARIES) followed Rashi closely; and it is a known fact that Luther's translation of the Bible is dependent upon Nicolas de Lyra. Rashi's commentary has called forth numerous supercommentaries.

(3) Joseph Kara:

An independent and important exegete was Joseph Kara' (about 1100). He edited and partly completed Rashi's commentary, particularly the part on the Pentateuch

(4) Abraham ibn Ezra:

Abraham ibn Ezra's (1092-1168) commentary on the Pentateuch, like Rashi's commentaries, has produced many supercommentaries. His is very scholarly. He was the first to maintain that Isaiah contains the work of two authors; and his doubts respecting the authenticity of the Pentateuch were noticed by Spinoza.

(5) Qimchis:

The grammarians and the lexicographers were not merely exegetical expounders of words, but many of them were likewise authors of actual commentaries. Such were the Qimchis, Joseph (father), Moses and David (his sons); especially the latter. The Qimchis were the most brilliant contributors to Bible exegesis and Hebrew philology (like Ibn Ezra) in medieval times.

(6) Maimonides:

Maimonides (1135-1204): Philo employed his allegorical method for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation of Plato with the Old Testament. Maimonides had something similar in view. To him Aristotle was the representative of natural knowledge and the Bible of supernatural-and he sought for a reconciliation between the two in his religious philosophy. Exegesis proper was the one field, however, to which this great genius made no contribution of first-class importance.

(7) Maimunist:

The Maimunist, those exegetes of a philosophical turn, are: Joseph ibn Aknin, Samuel ibn Tibbon, his son Moses, and his son-in-law, Jacob ben Abba Mari Anatolio, whose Malmadh ha-Talmidhim is the most important work of philosophical exegesis of the period.

Joseph ibn Kacpi, chiefly known as a philosopher of the Maimunist type, deserves attention. Ibn Kacpi is an exegete of the first quality. His exposition of Isaiah 53 might be the work of the most modern scholar. He refers the prophecy to Israel, not to an individual, and in this his theory is far superior to that of some other famous Jewish expositors who interpret the chapter as referring to Hezekiah.

Through the philosophical homily, which began to be used after the death of Maimonides, Aristotle was popularized from the pulpit. The pulpit changed to a chair of philosophy. Aristotle's concepts-as Matter and Form, the Four Causes, Possibility and Reality-were then something ordinary in the sermon, and were very popular.

(8) Kabbalists:

The principal commentators with a Kabbalistic tendency are: Nachmanides (1194-1270?) whose great work is his commentary on the Pentateuch; Immanuel of Rome (1270?-1330?) who does, however, not disregard the literal meaning of the Scriptures; Bahya ben Asher (died 1340) who formulated the four methods of exegesis of "PaRDeC." referred to above; he took Nachmanides as his model; many supercommentaries were written on his commentary on the Pentateuch; and Gersonides (1288-1334), a maternal grandson of Nachmanides, who sees symbols in many Biblical passages; on account of some of his heretical ideas expressed in his philosophy, some rabbis forbade the study of his commentaries.

(9) The "Zohar":

We must not fail to make mention of the Zohar (the "Bible of the Kabbalists"), the book of all others in the Middle Ages that dominated the thinking and feeling of the Jews for almost 500 years, and which was in favor with many Christian scholars. This work is pseudepigraphic, written partly in Aramaic and partly in Hebrew. It first appeared in Spain in the 131h century, and was made known through Moses de Leon, to whom many historians attribute it.

(10) Isaac Arama:

Mention must also be made of Isaac Arama (1430-94), whose 'Aqedhah, his commentary on the Pentateuch (homiletical in style), was the standard book for the Jewish pulpit for centuries, much esteemed by the Christian world, and is still much read by the Jews, especially in Russia and Poland.

7. Modern Times:


Isaac Abravanel (or Abarbanel; 1437-1508): A statesman and scholar who came nearest to the modern idea of a Bible commentator by considering not only the literary elements of the Bible but the political and social life of the people as well. He wrote a general introduction to each book of the Bible, setting forth its character; and he was the first to make use of Christian commentaries which he quotes without the least prejudice. Moses Alshech (second half of 16th century) wrote commentaries, all of which are of a homiletical character. In the main the Jewish exegesis of the 16th and 17th centuries branched out into homileties.

We will pass over the critical annotations connected with the various editions of the Hebrew Bible, based upon the comparison of manuscripts, on grammatical and Massoretic studies, ete, such as those of Elijah Levita, Jacob ben Hayyim of Tunis (afterward a convert to Christianity), etc.

8. The "Bi'urists":

(1) Mendelssohn:

The "Bi'urists" ("Commentators"): A school of exegetes which had its origin with Mendelssohn's (1729-86) literal German translation of the Bible, at a time when Christian Biblical studies of a modern nature had made some progress, and under whose influence the Bi'urists wrote. They are: Dubno, Wessely, Jaroslav, tt. Homberg, J. Euchel, etc. They laid a foundation for a critieo-historical study of the Bible among modern Jews. It bore its fruit in the 19th century in the writings of Philippson, Munk, Fuerst, etc.

(2) Zunz, etc.:

The same century produced Zunz's (1794-1886) Gottesdienstlichen Vortraege der Juden, the book of "Jewish science."

(3) Malbim, Ehrlich, etc.:

It also produced three Jewish exegetes, Luzzatto in Italy, Malbim and Ehrlich in Russia (the latter since 1878 residing in New York); he published, in Hebrew a commentary on the Old Testament, entitled Miqra' ki-PeshuTah (Berlin, 1899-1901, 3 volumes), and, in German, Randglossen z. hebr. Bibel, two scholarly works written from the conservative standpoint (Leipzig, 1908-). Malbim was highly esteemed by the Christian commentators Franz Delitzsch and Muehlau, who studied under him.

(4) Halevy, Hoffmann, Mueller:

Others are Joseph Halevy, a French Jew, a most original Bible investigator, and D. Hoffmann (the last two named are adversaries of "higher criticism") and D. H. Mueller. M. Heilprin wrote a collection of Bibelkritische Notizen (Baltimore, 1893), containing comparisons of various passages of the Bible, and The Historical Poetry of the Ancient Hebrews (N. Y., 1879-80, 2 volumes), and the American rabbi B, Szold, a Commentary on Job (Baltimore, 1886), written in classic Hebrew, and with accurate scholarship and in which full account is taken of the work of the Massorites. A new Hebrew commentary on the whole of the Old Testament has been since 1903 in progress under the editorship of A. Kahana. This is the first attempt since Mendelssohn's Bi'ur to approach the Bible from the Jewish side with the latest philological and archaeological equipment. Among the authors are Kahana on Genesis and Jonah, Krauss on Isaiah, Chajes on Psalms and Amos, Wynkoop on Hosea and Joel, and Lambert on Daniel. This attempt well deserves attention and commendation.

There is still to be mentioned the work of M. M. Kalisch (1828-85), whose special object was to write a full and critical commentary on the Old Testament. Of his Historical and Critical Commentary on the Old Testament, with a New Tr, only the following parts were published: Exodus, 1855; Genesis, 1858; Leviticus (pts 1-2), 1867-72. They contain a resume of all that Jewish and Christian learning had accumulated on the subject up to the dates of their publication. In his Leviticus he anticipated Wellhausen to a large extent.

(5) Geiger, Graetz, Kohler:

We conclude with some names of the liberals: Geiger (whose Urschrift is extremely radical), Graetz, the great Jewish historian, and Kohler (president of the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, O.) whose Der Segen Jacobs is one of the earliest essays of "higher criticism" written by a Jew.


Steinschneider, Jewish Literature, London. 1857; Zunz. Gottesdienstlichen Vortraege der Juden, 2nd edition, Frankfurt a. M., 1892; Jew Encyclopedia (articles by Bacher and Ginzberg); Catholic Encyclopedia (article "Commentaries"); Rosenau, Jewish Biblical Commentators, Baltimore, 1906 (popular); Winter-Wuensche, Geschichte der Juedischen Literatur, Leipzig. 1892-95, 3 volumes (the best existing anthology of Jewish literature in a modern language; it contains very valuable introductions); Wogue, Histoire de la Bible et l'exegese biblique jusqu' a nos jours. Paris, 1881.

Adolph S. Oko




he'-broo, he'-broo-es (`ibhri, feminine `ibhriyah; Hebraios): The earliest name for Abraham (Genesis 14:13) and his descendants (Joseph, Genesis 39:14, 17; Genesis 40:15; Genesis 41:12; Genesis 43:32; Israelites in Egypt, Exodus 1:15; Exodus 2:6, 11, 13; 3:18; in laws, Exodus 21:2 Deuteronomy 15:12; in history, 1 Samuel 4:6, 9; 1 Samuel 13:7, 19, etc.; later, Jeremiah 34:9, "Hebrewess," 34:14; Jonah 1:9; in the New Testament, Acts 6:1 2 Corinthians 11:22; Philippians 3:5). The etymology of the word is disputed. It may be derived from Eber (Genesis 10:21, 24, 25, etc.), or, as some think, from the verb `abhar, "to cross over" (people from across the Euphrates; compare Joshua 24:2). A connection is sought by some with the apri or epri of the Egyptian monuments, and again with the Habiri of the Tell el-Amarna Letters. In Acts 6:1, the "Hebrews" are contrasted with "Hellenists," or Greek-speaking Jews. By the "Hebrew" tongue in the New Testament (Hebraisti, John 5:2; John 19:13, 17, 20; John 20:16) is meant ARAMAIC (which see), but also in Revelation 9:11; Revelation 16:16, Hebrew proper.

James Orr




Poetry Defined:

1. In Matter, Concrete and Imaginative

2. In Form, Emotional and Rhythmical



1. External or Formal Characteristics

(1) Vocabulary

(2) Grammar

(3) Rhythm

(4) Parallelism

(5) Other Literary Devices

(6) Units of Hebrew Poetry

(7) Classification of Stichs or Verses

2. Internal or Material Characteristics

(1) Themes of Hebrew Poetry

(2) Species of Hebrew Poetry


1. The Poetical Books in the Narrow Sense

2. Customary Division of the Poetical Books

3. Poetry in Non-poetical Books


By Hebrew poetry in the present article is meant that of the Old Testament. There is practically no poetry in the New Testament, but, in the Old Testament Apocrypha, Sirach is largely poetical and Wisdom only less so. Post-Biblical Hebrew poetry could not be discussed here.

I. Is There Poetry in the Old Testament?

Poetry Defined:

It is impossible to answer this question without first of all stating what poetry really is. The present writer submits the following as a correct definition: "Poetry is verbal composition, imaginative and concrete in matter, and emotional and rhythmic in form." This definition recognizes two aspects of poetry, the formal and the material.

1. In Matter Concrete and Imaginative

The substance of poetry must be concrete-it is philosophy that deals with the abstract; and it has to be the product more or less of the creative imagination.

2. In Form Emotional and Rhythmical

It is of the essence of poetry that, like music, it should be expressed in rhythmical but not necessarily in metrical form. Moreover, the language has to be such as will stir up the aesthetic emotions. Adopting this account of poetry as criticism, it may unhesitatingly be affirmed that the Hebrew Scriptures contain a goodly amount of genuine poetry; compare the Psalms, Job, Canticles, etc. It is strange but true that poetical is older than prose written composition. An examination of the literature of the ancient Indians, Babylonians, Hebrews, Greeks and Arabs makes this quite certain.

II. Neglect of Hebrew Poetry: Causes.

Notwithstanding the undoubted fact that poetry is largely represented in the Bible, it is noteworthy that this species of Bible literature was almost wholly ignored until the 18th century. We may perhaps ascribe this fact mainly to two causes:

(1) Since the Bible was regarded as preeminently, if not exclusively, a revelation of the divine mind, attention was fixed upon what it contained, to the neglect of the literary form in which it was expressed. Indeed it was regarded as inconsistent with its lofty, divine function to look upon it as literature at all, since in this last the appeal is made, at least to a large extent, to the aesthetic and therefore carnal man. The aim contemplated by Bible writers was practical-the communication of religious knowledge-not literary, and still less artistic. It was therefore regarded as inconsistent with such a high purpose that these writers should trouble themselves about literary embellishment or beautiful language, so long as the sense was clear and unambiguous. It was in this spirit and animated by this conception that toward the middle of the 19th century. Isaac Taylor of Ongar (The Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, 1861, 56;) and Keil of Dorpat (Introduction to the Old Testament, 1881, I, 437) denied on a priori grounds the presence of epic and dramatic poetry in the Bible. How, they exclaimed, could God countenance the writing of fiction which is untruth-and the epic and the drama have both? Matthew Arnold rendered invaluable service to the cause of Bible science when he fulminated against theologians, Jewish and Christian, for making the Bible a mere collection of proof texts, an arsenal whence religious warriors might get weapons with which to belabor their opponents. "The language of the Bible is fluid.... and literary, not rigid, fixed, scientific" (Preface to the first edition of Literature and Dogma). The Bible contains literature, poetical and prose, equal as literature to the best, as Matthew Arnold, Carlyle, and Froude (on Job) held. The neglect of this aspect of the Scriptures made theologians blind to the presence and therefore ignorant of the character of Bible poetry.

(2) Another factor which led to the neglect of the poetical element in the Old Testament is the undoubted fact that Biblical Hebrew poets were less conscious as poets than western poets, and thought much less of the external form in which they expressed themselves. Bible poetry lacks therefore such close adherence to formal rules as that which characterizes Greek, Arabic or English poetry. The authors wrote as they felt and because they felt, and their strong emotions dictated the forms their words took, and not any objective standards set up by the schools. Hebrew poetry is destitute of meter in the strict sense, and also of rhyme, though this last occurs in some isolated cases (see below, III, 1, (4), c and e). No wonder then that western scholars, missing these marks of the poetry which they knew best, failed for so long to note the poetry which the Old Testament contains.

III. Characteristics of Hebrew Poetry: External and Internal.

The definition of poetry accepted in I, above, implies that there are marks by which poetry can be distinguished from prose. This is equally true of Hebrew poetry, though this last lacks some of the features of the poetry of western nations.

1. External or Formal Characteristics:

(1) Vocabulary.

There are several Hebrew words which occur most frequently and in some cases exclusively in poetry. In the following list the corresponding prose word is put in parenthesis: millah, "word" (= dabhar); enosh, "man" (= 'ish); orach, "way" (= derekh); chazah, "to see" (= ra'ah); the prepositions ele, "to," adhe, "unto," ale, "upon," and minni, "from," instead of the shorter forms el, adh, al, and min. The pronoun zu, rare in prose, has in poetry the double function of a demonstrative and a relative pronoun in both genders. The negative bal, is used for lo'. For the inseparable prepositions "b", "k", "l" ("in," "as," "to") the separate forms bemo, kemo and lemo are employed.

(2) Grammar.

(a) Accidence:

The pronominal suffixes have peculiar forms in poetry. For -m, -am, -em ("their," "them") we find the longer forms -mo, -amo, -emo. For the plural ending of nouns -n (-in) takes the place of -m (-im), as in Aramaic (compare Job 4:2; Job 12:11), and frequently obsolete case endings are preserved, but their functions are wholly lost. Thus, we have the old nominative ending -o in Psalm 50:10, etc.; the old genitive ending -i in Isaiah 1:21, and the accusative -ah in Psalm 3:3.

(b) Syntax:

The article, relative pronoun, accusative singular 'eth and also the "waw-consecutive" are frequently omitted for the sake of the rhythm. There are several examples of the last in Psalm 112:10;. The construct state which by rule immediately precedes nouns has often a preposition after it. The jussive sometimes takes the place of the indicative, and the plural of nouns occurs for the singular.

(3) Rhythm.

Rhythm (from rhuthmos) in literary composition denotes that recurrence of accented and unaccented syllables in a regular order which we have in poetry and rhetorical prose. Man is a rhythmic animal; he breathes rhythmically, and his blood circulates-outward and inward-rhythmically. It may be due to these reflex rhythms that the more men are swayed by feeling and the less by reflection and reasoning, the greater is the tendency to do things rhythmically. Man walks and dances and sings and poetizes by the repetition of what corresponds to metrical feet: action is followed by reaction. We meet with a kind of rhythm in elevated and passionate prose, like that of John Ruskin and other writers. Preachers when mastered by their theme unconsciously express themselves in what may be called rhythmic sentences. Though, however, rhythm may be present in prose, it is only in poetry as in music that it recurs at intervals more or less the same. In iambic poetry we get a repetition of a short and long syllable, as in the following lines:

"With ravished ears

The monarch hears,

Assumes the gods,

Affects the nods."


(4) Parallelism.

What is so called is a case of logical rhythm as distinguished from rhythm that is merely verbal. But as this forms so important a feature of Bible poetry, it must be somewhat fully discussed. What since Bishop Lowth's day has been called parallelism may be described as the recurring of symetrically constructed sentences, the several members of which usually correspond to one another. Lowth (died 1787), in his epochmaking work on Hebrew poetry (De Sacra poesi Hebraeorum prelectiones, English translation by G. Gregory), deals with what he (following Jebb) calls Parallelismus membrorum (chapter X). And this was the first serious attempt to expound the subject, though Rabbi Asariah (Middle Ages), Ibn Ezra (died 1167 A.D.), D. Kimchi (died 1232) and A. de Rossi (1514-1578) called attention to it. Christian Schoettgen (died 1751) (see Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae) anticipated much of what Lowth has written as to the nature, function and value of parallelism. The first to use the word itself in the technical sense was Jebb (Sacred Lit., 1820). For the same thing Ewald used the expression Sinnrhythmus, i.e. sense rhythm, a not unsuitable designation.

(a) Kinds of Parallelism: Lowth distinguished three principal species of parallelism, which he called synonymous, antithetic and synthetic.

(i) The Synonymous:

In this the same thing is repeated in different words, e.g. Psalm 36:5:

`Yahweh, (i.) Thy lovingkindness (reaches) to the heavens,

(ii.) Thy faithfulness (reaches) to the clouds.'

Omitting "Yahweh," which belongs alike to both members, it will be seen that the rest of the two half-lines corresponds word for word: "thy lovingkindness" corresponding to "thy faithfulness," and "to the heavens" answering to "to the clouds" (compare Psalm 15:1; Psalm 24:1-3; 25:5 1 Samuel 18:7; Isaiah 6:4; Isaiah 13:7).

(ii) Antithetic Parallelism:

In which the second member of a line (or verse) gives the obverse side of the same thought, e.g. Proverbs 10:1:

`A wise son gladdens his father,

But a foolish son grieves his mother'

(SeeProverbs 11:3 Psalm 37:9; compare Proverbs 10:1;; Psalm 20:8; Psalm 30:6 Isaiah 54:7;). Sometimes there are more than two corresponding elements in the two members of the verse, as in Proverbs 29:27; compare 10:5; 16:09; 27:02:00.

(iii) Synthetic Parallelism:

Called also constructive and epithetic. In this the second member adds something fresh to the first, or else explains it, e.g. Psalm 19:8 f:

`The precepts of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart:

The commandments of Yahweh are pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever:

The judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold;

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb'

(SeeProverbs 1:7; compare 3:5, 7; Psalm 1:3; Psalm 15:4). In addition to the three principal species of parallelism noticed above, other forms have been traced and described.

(iv) Introverted Parallelism:

(Jebb, Sacred Lit., 53): in which the hemistichs of the parallel members are chiastically arranged, as in the scheme ab ba. Thus, Proverbs 23:15 f:

(a) `My son, if thy heart be wise

(b) My heart shall be glad, even mine:

(b) Yea, my reins shall rejoice

(a) When thy lips speak right things'

(Compare Proverbs 10:4, 12; Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 21:17 Psalm 51:3).

(v) Palilogical Parallelism:

In which one or more words of the first member are repeated as an echo, or as the canon in music, in the second. Thus, Nahum 1:2:

`Yahweh is a jealous God and avenges:

Yahweh avenges and is full of wrath;

Yahweh takes vengeance upon His adversaries,

And He reserves wrath for his enemies'

(Compare Judges 5:3, 6, 11, 15, 23, 17; Psalm 72:2, 12, 17; Psalm 121; 124; 126 Isaiah 2:7; Isaiah 24:5 Hosea 6:4).

(vi) Climactic or Comprehensive Parallelism:

In this the second line completes the first. Thus, Psalm 29:1:

"Give unto Yahweh, O ye mighty ones,

Give unto Yahweh glory and strength"

(see Exodus 15:6 Psalm 29:8).

(vii) Rhythmical Parallelism:

(De Wette, Franz Delitzsch): thus, Psalm 138:4:

"All the kings of the earth shall give thee thanks....

For they have heard the words of thy mouth."

SeeProverbs 15:3; compare 16:7, 10; 17:13, 15; 19:20; 21:23, 25.

Perfect parallelism is that in which the number of words in each line is equal. When unequal, the parallelism is called imperfect. Ewald (see Die poetischen Bucher des alten Bundes, I, 57-92; Die Dichter des alten Bundes, I, 91;, 2d edition of the former) aimed at giving a complete list of the relations which can be expressed by parallelism, and he thought he had succeeded. But in fact every kind of relation which can be indicated in words may be expressed in two or more lines more or less parallel. On the alleged parallelism of strophes see below.

(b) Parallelism as an Aid to Exegesis and Textual Criticism:

If in Lowth's words parallelism implies that "in two lines or members of the same period things for the most part shall answer to things, and words to words," we should expect obscure or unknown words to derive some light from words corresponding to them in parallel members or clauses. In not a few cases we are enabled by comparison of words to restore with considerable confidence an original reading now lost. The formula is in a general way as follows: ab: cx. We know what a, b and c mean, but are wholly in the dark as to the sense of x. The problem is to find out what x means. We have an illustration in Judges 5:28, which may be thus literally translated:

"Through the window she looked,

And Sisera's mother x through the x."

Here we have two unknown, each, however, corresponding to known terms. The Hebrew verb accompanying "Sisera's mother" is watteyabbebh, English Versions of the Bible "and.... cried." But no such verb (yabhabh) is known, for the Talmud, as usually, follows the traditional interpretation. We want a verb with a meaning similar to "looked." If we read wattabbeT, we have a form which could easily be corrupted into the word in the Massoretic Text, which gives a suitable sense and moreover has the support of the Targums of Onqelos and Jonathan, and even of the Septuagint (Codex Alexandrinus and Lucian). What about the other Hebrew word untranslated above ('eshnabh)? This occurs in but one other passage (Proverbs 7:6), where it stands as in the present passage in parallelism with challon, "window" (probably Proverbs 7:6 is dependent). We get no help from etymology or in this case from the VSS, but parallelism had suggested to our translators the meaning "lattice," a kind of Eastern window, and something of the kind must be meant. The verb shanabh, "to be cool," may possibly suggest the rendering "window," i.e. a hole in the wall to secure coolness in the house. Glass windows did not exist in Palestine, and are rare even now. There are innumerable other examples in the Old Testament of the use of parallelism in elucidating words which occur but once, or which are otherwise difficult to understand, and frequently a textual emendation is suggested which is otherwise supported.

(c) Prevalence and Value of Parallelism:

Two statements anent parallelism in the Old Testament may be safely made:

(i) That it is not a characteristic of all Old Testament poetry. Lowth who had so much to do with its discovery gave it naturally an exaggerated place in his scheme of Hebrew poetry, but it is lacking in the largest part of the poetry of the Old Testament, and it is frequently met with in elevated and rhetorical prose.

(ii) That it pervades other poetry than that of the Old Testament. It occurs in Assyria (see A. Jeremias, Die bab-assyr. Vorstellung vom Leben nach dem Tode), in Egypt (Georg Ebers, Nord u. Sud, I), in Finnish, German and English Indeed, A. Wuttke (Der deutsche Volks-Aberglaube der Gegenwart, 1869, 157) and Eduard Norden (Die antike Kunstprosa, 1898, II, 813) maintain that parallelism is the most primitive form of the poetry of all nations. It must nevertheless be admitted that in the Old Testament parallelism has in proportion a larger place than in any other literature and that the correspondence of the parts of the stichs or verses is closer.

(5) Other Literary Devices.

Old Testament poetry has additional features which it shares with other oriental and with western poetry. Owing to a lack of space these can be hardly more than enumerated.

(a) Alliteration:

E.g. "Round and round the rugged rocks." We have good examples in the Hebrew of Psalm 6:8 and 27:17.

(b) Assonance:

E.g. "dreamy seamy" (see for Bible examples the Hebrew of Genesis 49:17 Exodus 14:14 Deuteronomy 3:2).

(c) Rhyme:

There are so few examples of this in the Hebrew Scriptures that no one can regard it as a feature in Hebrew poetry, though in Arabic and even in post-Biblical Hebrew poetry it plays a great part. We have Biblical instances in the Hebrew text of Genesis 4:23 Job 10:8-11; Job 16:12.

(d) Acrostics:

In some poems of the Old Testament half-verses, verses, or groups of verses begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. We have such alphabetical acrostics in Psalms 9; 34; 37; Proverbs 31:10;; Lamentations 1-4; compare Lamentations 5, where the number of verses agrees with that of the Hebrew alphabet, though the letters of that alphabet do not introduce the verses.

(e) Meter:

The view of the present writer may be stated as follows: That the poetry of the Hebrew is not in the strict sense metrical, though the writers under the influence of strong emotion express themselves rhythmically, producing often the phenomena which came later to be codified under metrical rules. Thinking and reasoning and speaking preceded psychology, logic, and grammar, and similarly poetry preceded prosody. In the Old Testament we are in the region of the fact, not of the law. Poets wrote under strong impulse, usually religious, and without recognizing any objective standard, though all the time they were supplying data for the rules of prosody. Those who think that Old Testament poets had in their minds objective rules of meter have to make innumerable changes in the text. Instead of basing their theory on the original material, they bring their a priori theory and alter the text to suit it. It can be fearlessly said that there is not a single poem in the Old Testament with the same number of syllables, or feet, or accents in the several stichs or hemistichs, unless we introduce violent changes into the Massoretic Text, such as would be resented in classical and other ancient literature. It is important, before coming to any definite conclusion, to take into consideration the fact that the poetry of the Old Testament belongs to periods separated by many centuries, from the So of Deborah (Judges 5), the earliest Hebrew poem, down to the last hymns in the Psalter. In the oldest specimens of Hebrew poetry there is a naive simplicity which excludes the idea of conscious article In the latest the poet is much more conscious, and his poetry more artistic. It would be manifestly unfair to propound a theory of poetry based on the poetry of Keats and Tennyson and to apply it to the productions of Anglo-Saxon and Old English poetry. Bound up in the one volume called the Bible there is a literature differing widely in age, aim and authorship, and it needs care in educing a conception of Hebrew poetry that will apply to all the examples in the Old Testament. The later psalm-acrostic, etc., many of them made up of bits of other psalms, seem to have sprung from a more conscious effort at imitation. If, however, there were among the ancient Hebrews, as there was among the ancient Greeks, a code of prosody, it is strange that the Mishna and Gemara' should be wholly silent about it. And if some one system underlies our Hebrew Bible, it is strange that so many systems have been proposed. It should be remembered too that the oldest poetry of every people is nonmetrical.

The following is a brief statement of the views advocated:

(i) Philo and Josephus, under the influence of Greek models and desiring to show that Hebrew was not inferior to pagan literature, taught that Hebrew poetry had meter, but they make no attempt to show what kind of meter this poetry possesses.

(ii) Calmet, Lowth, and Carpzov held that though in the poetry of the Hebrew Bible as originally written and read there must have been metrical rules which the authors were conscious of following, yet, through the corruption of the text and our ignorance of the sounds and accentuation of primitive Hebrew, it is now impossible to ascertain what these metrical rules were.

(iii) In their scheme of Hebrew meter Bickell and Merx reckon syllables as is done in classical poetry, and they adopt the Syriac law of accentuation, placing the tone on the penultimate. These writers make drastic changes in the text in order to bolster up their theories.

(iv) The dominant and by far the least objectionable theory is that advocated by Ley, Briggs, Duhm, Buhl, Grimme, Sievers, Rothstein and most modern scholars, that in Hebrew prosody the accented syllables were alone counted. If this principle is applied to Job, it will be found that most of the Biblical verses are distichs having two stichs, each with three main accents. See, for an illustration, Job 12:16: (immo `oz wethushiyah: lo shoghegh umashgeh': `Strength and effectual working belong to (literally, "are with") him, he that errs and he that causes to err'). Man's rhythmical instincts are quite sufficient to account for this phenomenon without assuming that the poet had in mind an objective standard. Those who adopt this last view and apply it rigidly make numerous textual changes. For an examination of the metrical systems of Hubert Grimme, who takes account of quantity as well as accent, and of Eduard Sievers who, though no Hebrew scholar, came to the conclusion after examining small parts of the Hebrew Bible that Hebrew poetry is normally anapaestic, see W.H. Cobb, Criticism of Systems of Hebrew Metre, 152;, 169;. Herder, De Wette, Hupfeld, Keil, Nowack, Budde, Doller, and Toy reject all the systems of Hebrew meter hitherto proposed, though Budde has a leaning toward Ley's system.

(f) Budde's Qinah Measure:

Though Budde takes up in general a negative position in regard to Hebrew meter, he pleads strenuously for the existence of one specific meter with which his name is associated. This is what he calls the qinah measure (from qinah, "a lamentation"). In this each stich is said to consist of one hemistich with three beats or stress syllables and another having two such syllables, this being held to be the specific meter of the dirge (see Lamentations 1:1, etc.). Ley and Briggs call it "pentameter" because it is made up of five (3 plus 2) feet (a foot in Hebrew prosody being equal to an accented syllable and the unaccented syllables combined with it). SeeBudde's full treatment of the subject in ZATW, 60, 152, "Das heb. Klagelied." It must, however, be borne in mind that even Herder (died 1803) describes the use in elegies of what he calls, anticipating Ley and Briggs, the "pentameter" (see Geist der ebraischen Poesie, 1782, I, 32, English translation. The Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, 1833, I, 40). But the present writer submits the following criticisms: (i) Budde is inconsistent in rejecting all existing theories of meter and yet in retaining one of his own, which is really but part of the system advocated by Bellermann, Ley and Briggs. (ii) He says, following Herder, that it is the measure adopted by mourning women (Jeremiah 9:16), but we have extremely few examples of the latter, and his statement lacks proof. (iii) There are dirges in the Old Testament not expressed in the qinah measure. David's lament over Saul and Jonathan is more hexametric and tetrametric than pentametric, unless we proceed to make a new text (2 Samuel 1:19). (iv) The qinah measure is employed by Hebrew poets where theme is joyous or indifferent; see Psalm 119, which is a didactic poem.

(6) Units of Hebrew Poetry.

In western poetry the ultimate unit is usually the syllable, the foot (consisting of at least two syllables) coming next. Then we have the verse-line crowned by the stanza, and finally the poem.

According to theory of Hebrew poetry adopted by the present writer, the following are the units, beginning with the simplest:

(a) The Meter:

This embraces the accented (tone) syllable together with the unaccented syllable preceding or succeeding it. This may be called a "rhythmic foot."

(b) The Stich or Verse:

In Job and less regularly in Psalms and Canticles and in other parts of the Old Testament (Numbers 23:19-24) the stich or verse consists commonly of three toned syllables and therefore three meters (see above for sense of "meter"). It is important' to distinguish between this poetical sense of "verse" and the ordinary meaning-the subdivision of a Bible chapter. The stich in this sense appears in a separate line in some old manuscripts.

(c) Combinations of Stichs (Verses):

In Hebrew poetry a stich hardly ever stands alone. We have practically always a distich (couplet, Job 18:5), a tristich (triplet, Numbers 6:24-26), a tetrastich (Genesis 24:23), or the pentastich.

(d) Strophe:

Kosters (Stud. Krit., 1831, 40-114, "Die Strophen," etc.) maintained that all poems in the Hebrew Scriptures are naturally divisible into strophes (stanzas) of similar, if not equal, length. Thus Psalm 119 is arranged in strophes named after the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, each one containing eight Scripture verses, or sixteen metrical verses or stichs, most of the stichs having three meters or rhythmical feet. But though several Biblical poems are composed in strophes, many are not.

(e) Song:

This (shirah) is made up of a series of verses and in some cases of strophes.

(f) Poem:

We have examples of this (shir) in the books of Job and Canticles which consist of a combination of the song.

(7) Classification of Stichs or Verses.

Stichs may be arranged as follows, according to the number of meters (or feet) which they contain:

(a) the trimeter or tripod with three meters or feet; Bickell holds that in Job this measure is alone used;

(b) the tetrameter or tetrapod, a stich with four meters or feet;

(c) the pentameter or pentapod, which has five meters or feet: this is Budde's qinah measure (see III, 1, (4));

(d) the hexameter or hexapod: this consists of six meters or feet, and is often hard to distinguish from two separate trimeters (or tripods).

2. Internal or Material Characteristics:

Our first and most original authority on the internal characteristics of Hebrew poetry is that great German theologian and man of letters, J.G. Herder, the pastor and friend of Goethe and Schiller at Weimar. In his Vom Geist der ebraischen Poesie, 1782 (The Spirit of Poetry, translated by James Marsh, U.S.A., 1833), he discusses at length and with great freshness those internal aspects of the poetry of the Old Testament (love of Nature, folklore, etc.) which impressed him as a literary man. Reference may be made also to George Gilfillian's Bards of the Bible, 1851 (popular), and Isaac Taylor's Spirit of Hebrew Poetry. It is a strange but striking and significant coincidence that not one of these writers professed much if any knowledge of the Hebrew language. They studied the poetry of the Old Testament mainly at least in translations, and were not therefore diverted from the literary and logical aspects of what is written by the minutiae of Hebrew grammar and textual criticism, though only a Hebrew scholar is able to enter into full possession of the rich treasures of Hebrew poetry.

(1) Themes of Hebrew Poetry.

It is commonly said that the poetry of the ancient Hebrews is wholly religious. But this statement is not strictly correct.

(a) The Old Testament does not contain all the poetry composed or even written by the Hebrews in Bible times, but only such as the priests at the various sanctuaries preserved. We do not know of a literary caste among the Hebrews who concerned themselves with the preservation of the literature as such.

Read Complete Article...

1445. Hebraios -- a Hebrew or Jew
... a Hebrew or Jew. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: Hebraios Phonetic Spelling:
(heb-rah'-yos) Short Definition: a Hebrew Definition: a Hebrew ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1445.htm - 6k

1446. Hebrais -- Hebrew, the Aramaic vernacular of Pal.
... Hebrais. 1447 . Hebrew, the Aramaic vernacular of Pal. ... Word Origin from Eber
Definition Hebrew, the Aramaic vernacular of Pal. NASB Word Usage Hebrew (3). ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1446.htm - 6k

1447. Hebraisti -- in Hebrew, in Aramaic
... in Hebrew, in Aramaic. Part of Speech: Adverb Transliteration: Hebraisti Phonetic
Spelling: (heb-rah-is-tee') Short Definition: in the Hebrew or Aramaic dialect ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1447.htm - 6k

1444. Hebraikos -- Hebrew, the Jewish language.
... 1443, 1444. Hebraikos. 1445 . Hebrew, the Jewish language. ... Word Origin
from Eber Definition Hebrew, the Jewish language. Hebrew. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1444.htm - 6k

2884. koros -- a cor (a Hebrew measure equiv. to about 15 bushels)
... 2883, 2884. koros. 2885 . a cor (a Hebrew measure equiv. ... Word Origin
of Hebrew origin kor Definition a cor (a Heb. measure equiv. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2884.htm - 6k

5614. hosanna -- save, we pray
... save, we pray. Part of Speech: Hebrew Form (Indclinable) Transliteration: hosanna
Phonetic Spelling: (ho-san-nah') Short Definition: hosanna Definition ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5614.htm - 7k

2241. eli -- my God
... my God. Part of Speech: Hebrew Form (Indclinable) Transliteration: eli Phonetic
Spelling: (ay-lee') Short Definition: Eli Definition: Eli, my God (Hebrew). ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2241.htm - 6k

2503. iota -- iota
... Short Definition: a small letter of the Greek alphabet Definition: iota, a small
letter of the Greek alphabet, used in the NT (like yod, the Hebrew or rather ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2503.htm - 7k

11. Abraam -- Abraham, the Heb. patriarch
... Proper Noun, Indeclinable Transliteration: Abraam Phonetic Spelling: (ab-rah-am')
Short Definition: Abraham Definition: Abraham, progenitor of the Hebrew race. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/11.htm - 6k

2982. lama -- why
... why. Part of Speech: Aramaic Transliterated Word (Indeclinable); Hebrew Transliteration:
lama Phonetic Spelling: (lam-ah') Short Definition: why Definition ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2982.htm - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
1324. bath -- a bath (a Hebrew measure)
... 1323, 1324. bath. 1325 . a bath (a Hebrew measure). Transliteration: bath Phonetic
Spelling: (bath) Short Definition: baths. ... see HEBREW battah. 1323, 1324 ...
/hebrew/1324.htm - 6k

2292. Chaggay -- "festal," a Hebrew prophet
... Chaggay. 2292a . "festal," a Hebrew prophet. Transliteration: Chaggay Phonetic
Spelling: (khag-gah'-ee) Short Definition: Haggai. ... see HEBREW chag. 2291, 2292 ...
/hebrew/2292.htm - 5k

8236. Shiphrah -- "fairness," a Hebrew midwife
... Shiphrah. 8237 . "fairness," a Hebrew midwife. Transliteration: Shiphrah Phonetic
Spelling: (shif-raw') Short Definition: Shiphrah. ... see HEBREW shiphrah. ...
/hebrew/8236.htm - 6k

2265. Chabaqquq -- a Hebrew prophet
... Chabaqquq. 2266 . a Hebrew prophet. Transliteration: Chabaqquq Phonetic Spelling:
(khab-ak-kook') Short Definition: Habakkuk. ... see HEBREW chabaq. 2264, 2265. ...
/hebrew/2265.htm - 6k

2292a. Chaggay -- "festal," a Hebrew prophet
... 2292, 2292a. Chaggay. 2292b . "festal," a Hebrew prophet. Transliteration:
Chaggay Short Definition: Haggai. Word Origin from chag Definition "festal," a Heb ...
/hebrew/2292a.htm - 5k

2148b. Zekaryah -- a Hebrew prophet
... Zekaryah. 2149 . a Hebrew prophet. Transliteration: Zekaryah Short Definition:
Zechariah. Word Origin (Aramaic) corresponding to Zekaryah Definition a Heb. ...
/hebrew/2148b.htm - 5k

2292b. Chaggay -- a Hebrew prophet
... Chaggay. 2293 . a Hebrew prophet. Transliteration: Chaggay Short Definition: Haggai.
Word Origin (Aramaic) corresponding to Chaggay Definition a Heb. ...
/hebrew/2292b.htm - 5k

5680. Ibri -- perhaps descendant of Eber, also another name for an ...
... NASB Word Usage Hebrew (9), Hebrew man (2), Hebrew man...woman (1), Hebrew woman
(1), Hebrew women (3), Hebrews (17), Hebrews' (1). Hebrewess, woman. ...
/hebrew/5680.htm - 6k

6041. ani -- poor, afflicted, humble
... lowly, needy, poor. see HEBREW anah. see HEBREW anav. see HEBREW anav. see
HEBREW aniy. 6040b, 6041. ani. 6042 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/6041.htm - 6k

6030. anah -- to answer, respond
... See also Beyth 'Anowth, Beyth 'Anath. see HEBREW anah. see HEBREW anah. see HEBREW
Beyth 'Anowth. see HEBREW Beyth 'Anath. 6029, 6030. anah. 6030a . ...
/hebrew/6030.htm - 6k


Abram the Hebrew
... GENESIS ABRAM THE HEBREW. 'And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram
the Hebrew.' GENESIS xiv.13. This is a singular designation ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture k/abram the hebrew.htm

The Hebrew Character of the Book.
... THE HEBREW CHARACTER OF THE BOOK. Though this may be considered by some as a minor
point, it is so important that it must not be passed over. ...
/.../bullinger/commentary on revelation/the hebrew character of the.htm

The Brave Hebrew Boys.
... THE BRAVE HEBREW BOYS. Brave boys and girls! We all wish to be brave, do
we not? Then ... Azariah. [Illustration: THE BRAVE HEBREW BOYS.]. ...
/.../anonymous/mother stories from the old testament/the brave hebrew boys.htm

Hebrew Craft
... CHAPTER XI HEBREW CRAFT. When Mentu ... order. He is Prince Mesu, a Hebrew by birth.".
"Dost thou know him?" Kenkenes asked with interest. "Nay ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xi hebrew craft.htm

Of the Hebrew Prophets.
... Chapter XXXI."Of the Hebrew prophets. ... And Herod the king did indeed send them,
written, as they were, in the foresaid Hebrew language. ...
/.../justin/the first apology of justin/chapter xxxi of the hebrew prophets.htm

The Hebrew Sages and their Proverbs
... X THE HEBREW SAGES AND THEIR PROVERBS. [Sidenote ... practical]. The Hebrew sages,
however, were not mere students of human nature or philosophers. ...
/.../the origin and permanent value of the old testament/x the hebrew sages and.htm

Index of Hebrew Words and Phrases
... Anti-Pelagian Writings St. Augustine. Index of Hebrew Words and Phrases. * byd lsvn:
[5245]1 * vkry y'tsy: [5246]1 * kry: [5247]1 * mpny cht'ty: [5248]1. ...
/.../augustine/anti-pelagian writings/index of hebrew words and.htm

Books of the Hebrew Canon.
OF THE HEBREW CANON. THE books which are common to the ...
/.../chapter ii books of the.htm

Formation and History of the Hebrew Canon.
... CHAPTER XV. FORMATION AND HISTORY OF THE HEBREW CANON. ... The Hebrew word denotes places
of assembly, and was never applied by the later Jews to their synagogues. ...
/.../barrows/companion to the bible/chapter xv formation and history.htm

About the Hebrew Written Characters which that Language Always ...
... Book XVIII. Chapter 39."About the Hebrew Written Characters Which that
Language Always Possessed. Now we must not believe that ...
/.../augustine/city of god/chapter 39 about the hebrew written.htm

Hebrew (37 Occurrences)
... The Hebrews are "sons of Eber" (10:21). (2.) Others trace the name of a Hebrew
root-word signifying "to pass over," and hence regard it as ...Hebrew language. ...
/h/hebrew.htm - 77k

... kor'-dans: 1. Nature of Work 2. Classes of Concordances 3. Their Indispensableness
4. Concordances to Latin Vulgate 5. Concordances to the Hebrew Old Testament ...
/c/concordance.htm - 16k

Bag (52 Occurrences)
... The same Hebrew word occurs elsewhere only in Isaiah 3:22, where it is rendered
"crisping-pins," but denotes the reticules (or as RV, "satchels") carried by ...
/b/bag.htm - 29k

Chance (78 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. CHANCE. chans: The idea of chance in the sense
of something wholly fortuitous was utterly foreign to the Hebrew creed. ...
/c/chance.htm - 37k

Zebidah (1 Occurrence)
... Nereiou ek Rhama; here the name of the king's mother = Hebrew zekhurah, due to a
confusion of the Hebrew letter kaph (k) with the Hebrew letter beth (b), and ...
/z/zebidah.htm - 8k

Atonement (112 Occurrences)
... 1. Hebrew and Greek Words: The root meanings of the Hebrew words, taking them in
the order cited above, are, to "cover," hence expiate, condone, cancel, placate ...
/a/atonement.htm - 101k

Certainty (23 Occurrences)
... ser'-tin, ser'-tin-li, ser'tin-ti: The rendering of some Hebrew words and forms
expressive of what is definitely settled or determined. ...
/c/certainty.htm - 16k

Certainly (415 Occurrences)
... ser'-tin, ser'-tin-li, ser'tin-ti: The rendering of some Hebrew words and forms
expressive of what is definitely settled or determined. ...
/c/certainly.htm - 37k

... ser'-tin, ser'-tin-li, ser'tin-ti: The rendering of some Hebrew words and forms
expressive of what is definitely settled or determined. ...
/c/certain.htm - 9k

Anathema (6 Occurrences)
... the form anathema is generally used as the rendering of the Hebrew word herem, derived
from a verb which means (1) to consecrate or devote; and (2) to ...
/a/anathema.htm - 13k

What is Biblical Hebrew? Why was the Old Testament written in Hebrew? | GotQuestions.org

What is the Hebrew Roots movement? | GotQuestions.org

Should the Hebrew midwives be commended for lying? | GotQuestions.org

Hebrew: Dictionary and Thesaurus | Clyx.com

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Hebrew (37 Occurrences)

Luke 23:38
An inscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."

John 5:2
Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, "Bethesda," having five porches.

John 19:13
When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called "The Pavement," but in Hebrew, "Gabbatha."

John 19:17
He went out, bearing his cross, to the place called "The Place of a Skull," which is called in Hebrew, "Golgotha,"

John 19:20
Therefore many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

John 20:16
"Mary!" said Jesus. She turned to Him. "Rabboni!" she cried in Hebrew: the word means 'Teacher!'

Acts 21:40
When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,

Acts 22:2
When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said,

Acts 26:14
When we had all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language,'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'

Philippians 3:5
circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;

Colossians 4:11
Jesus, called Justus, also sends greeting. These three are Hebrew converts. They alone among such have worked loyally with me for the Kingdom of God--they are men who have been a comfort to me.

Revelation 9:11
They have over them as king the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is "Abaddon," but in Greek, he has the name "Apollyon."

Revelation 16:16
He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Megiddo.

Genesis 14:13
One who had escaped came and told Abram, the Hebrew. Now he lived by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were allies of Abram.

Genesis 39:14
she called to the men of her house, and spoke to them, saying, "Behold, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice.

Genesis 39:17
She spoke to him according to these words, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought to us, came in to me to mock me,

Genesis 41:12
There was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard, and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams. To each man according to his dream he interpreted.

Exodus 1:15
The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah,

Exodus 1:16
and he said, "When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool; if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

Exodus 1:19
The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women aren't like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and give birth before the midwife comes to them."

Exodus 1:21
And because the women who took care of the Hebrew mothers had the fear of God, he gave them families.

Exodus 2:6
She opened it, and saw the child, and behold, the baby cried. She had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children."

Exodus 2:7
Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Should I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?"

Exodus 2:11
It happened in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brothers, and looked at their burdens. He saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers.

Exodus 2:13
He went out the second day, and behold, two men of the Hebrews were fighting with each other. He said to him who did the wrong, "Why do you strike your fellow?"

Exodus 6:3
and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty; but by my name Jehovah I was not known to them.
(See JPS)

Exodus 21:2
"If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years and in the seventh he shall go out free without paying anything.

Deuteronomy 15:12
If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, and serves you six years; then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you.

1 Samuel 4:6
When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, "What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?" They understood that the ark of Yahweh had come into the camp.

2 Kings 18:26
Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, unto Rab-shakeh: 'Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Aramean language; for we understand it; and speak not with us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.'
(See NIV)

2 Kings 18:28
Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spoke, saying, "Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria.
(See NIV)

Psalms 145:1
A praise psalm by David.This is an acrostic psalm, with every verse (including the second half of verse 13) starting with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. I will exalt you, my God, the King. I will praise your name forever and ever.

Isaiah 36:11
Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rab-shakeh: 'Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Aramean language, for we understand it; and speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.'
(See NIV)

Isaiah 36:13
Then the Rab-shakeh got up and said with a loud voice in the Jews' language, Give ear to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria:
(See NIV)

Jeremiah 34:9
that every man should let his male servant, and every man his female servant, who is a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free; that none should make bondservants of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother.

Jeremiah 34:14
At the end of seven years you shall let go every man his brother who is a Hebrew, who has been sold to you, and has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you: but your fathers didn't listen to me, neither inclined their ear.

Jonah 1:9
He said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear Yahweh, the God of heaven, who has made the sea and the dry land."



Hebrew Calendar

Hebrew Language

Hebrew Poetry

Hebrew used to Denote the Language (Aramaic) of the Jews

Hebrew: A Word Supposed to be a Corruption of the Name of Eber, Who Was an Ancestor of Abraham

Hebrew: Applied to Abraham

Hebrew: Applied to And his Descendants

Related Terms


Bag (52 Occurrences)

Chance (78 Occurrences)

Zebidah (1 Occurrence)

Atonement (112 Occurrences)

Certainty (23 Occurrences)

Certainly (415 Occurrences)


Anathema (6 Occurrences)


Brook (75 Occurrences)

Acrostic (2 Occurrences)

Zabdi (17 Occurrences)

Zerah (22 Occurrences)

Bereaver (1 Occurrence)

Bereave (10 Occurrences)

Bereft (9 Occurrences)

Beg (77 Occurrences)

Cassia (3 Occurrences)

Chaldea (8 Occurrences)

Colour (22 Occurrences)

Abi (2 Occurrences)

Axe (19 Occurrences)



Sickness (40 Occurrences)

Chamber (73 Occurrences)

Slavery (31 Occurrences)

Ass (95 Occurrences)

Skin (115 Occurrences)

Affliction (120 Occurrences)

Banquet (58 Occurrences)

Apollyon (1 Occurrence)

Songs (100 Occurrences)

Colors (12 Occurrences)

Shoulder (72 Occurrences)

Apple (8 Occurrences)

Bedstead (1 Occurrence)

Alexandria (4 Occurrences)

Bedchamber (6 Occurrences)

Set (6715 Occurrences)

Ark (212 Occurrences)

Color (18 Occurrences)

Aramaic (12 Occurrences)

Crafts (2 Occurrences)

Simeon (48 Occurrences)

Queen (59 Occurrences)

Ziba (13 Occurrences)

Kettle (2 Occurrences)

By-word (6 Occurrences)

Balance (12 Occurrences)

Bay (8 Occurrences)

Beard (23 Occurrences)

Bilhan (3 Occurrences)

Byword (14 Occurrences)

Birthstool (1 Occurrence)

Birth-stool (1 Occurrence)

Bathing (9 Occurrences)

Censer (10 Occurrences)

Carcase (38 Occurrences)

Cease (138 Occurrences)

Countenance (67 Occurrences)

Carefully (76 Occurrences)

Chastisement (24 Occurrences)

Cockle (1 Occurrence)

Chastening (11 Occurrences)

Carcass (30 Occurrences)

Corner-stone (10 Occurrences)

Cormorant (4 Occurrences)

Chief (696 Occurrences)

Cornerstone (13 Occurrences)

Abednego (14 Occurrences)

Abimael (2 Occurrences)

Abed-nego (14 Occurrences)

Almond (7 Occurrences)

Abaddon (7 Occurrences)

Ahasbai (1 Occurrence)

Asunder (37 Occurrences)

Apple-tree (3 Occurrences)

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