By: Jeff A. Benner
In the Ancient Hebrew mind light is seen as order as without light we would be lost in the chaos of darkness. The Hebrew word for light is אור (or) and is derived from the parent root אר (a.r). Another word derived from this parent root is the word ארון (aron - formed by adding the ון to the end of the root). This word means a "box" and is also related to order in the sense that items are placed within boxes as a way of bringing about order.
The "Ark of the Covenant" is a box that is used to place important items, including the stone tablets, Aaron's staff and the Manna, within it to keep them in "order."
Esther became the queen of Persia whose name meant “star, fortune, felicity”. All these are very apt for her. However, this was not her original name. It was Hadassah, written as in the ancient pictographic Hebrew script, which actually means “myrtle” the aromatic, evergreen shrub. It is also called “braided” because the leaves on each of its branches come in triplets. Three such twigs make up one of the “Four Species” or “Types of Agricultural Produce” which is waved in all directions during Sukkoth. The symbolism of this act, at least according to one opinion in the Talmud is to show the supremacy of God, it’s Creator, over nature (www.ou.org/about/judasim/di.htm#hadas).
Interestingly enough God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, but one cannot help seeing the supremacy of the Lord at work through Mordecai and Esther bringing such an awesome turn of events through repentance and hope.
Hadassah comes from the root the letter dalet being “a door” and the letter sin which is a thorn meaning “protection” so Esther’s real name Hadassah means “The Door of Protection!” This she certainly became for the whole of her people through her bravery, humility and trust in God who is supreme.
Question of the Month – The word Pas?
By: Jeff A. Benner
Q: How does the Hebrew word "pas" get translated as "colors" in Genesis 37:3?
A: What many are not aware of is that about 20% of the meanings of Hebrew words in the Bible are not known. Some of them are completely unknown while the meanings of others are still obscure. Over time more and more word meanings are coming to light due to archeological discoveries. Sometimes older translations (such as the KJV) are less accurate because less is known about the words but newer translations have the advantage of recent discoveries. This is probably the case with the word pas. Originally it was guessed that this word meant diverse or many colors. But know it is known that this word has something to do with the palm and in this context probably means a "long sleeved" garment, which would be an uncommon and special garment at that time.
Verse of the Month – Exodus 20:6
By: Jeff A. Benner
וְעֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד לַאֲלָפִים לְאֹהֲבַי וּלְשֹׁמְרֵי מִצְוֹתָי׃
and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. (ASV)
The verb עשה (asah) is a very common verb meaning "to do," often in the context of making something. It is written in the participle form (because of the "o" and "e" vowel sounds) and would be translated as "doing" or "making." The prefix ו (ve) means "and."
This noun is literally the action of bowing the head in respect to another and could be translated as "respect."
The base word is אלף (eleph) meaning a "thousand." The ים (iym) suffix is the plural so the word would be translated as "thousands." The prefix ל (la) means "to" or "for."
The base word is אהב (ahav) is a verb meaning "to love" and is also written in the participle form. The י (ai - pronounced like the ai in aisle) suffix is the pronoun "me." The prefix ל (la) means "to" or "for." This whole word would mean "for loving me."
The base word is the verb שמר (shamar) meaning to "guard" and is also written in the participle form. The suffix for this word is the masculine plural ים (iym) identifying the ones performing the action as masculine plural (Because the ם is missing from the prefix we know that this word is written in the construct). The prefix ו (u) means "and" and the prefix ך (l) means "to" or "for." This whole word would mean "and for the guarding of."
The base word is מצוה (mitsvah) meaning "direction" (though usually translated as a command this word, in its original Hebraic cultural context means a direction given to show the way). This word is feminine and has the feminine plural suffix ת (ot). The י (ai - pronounced like the ai in aisle) suffix is the pronoun "me."
The following is a literal rendering of this verse from its Hebraic meaning.
And I am making respect to thousands for loving me and for guarding my directions.
In following issues we will continue with this chapter.
9 and Elohiym said, the waters will be bound up from under the sky to one place and dry ground appeared and he existed so 10 and Elohiym called out to the dry ground land and the collection of the water he called out seas and Elohiym saw that it was functional 11 and Elohiym said, the land will make grass sprout, herbs making a sowing of seeds, trees of produce making produce to his species which his seed is in him upon the land and he existed so 12 and the land made grass go out, herbs making a sowing of seeds to his species and trees making produce which has his seed in him to his species and Elohiym saw that it was functional 13 and evening existed and morning existed a third day 14 and Elohiym said, the luminaries will exist in the sheet of the sky to make a separation between the day and the night and they exist for signs and for appointed times and for days and years 15 and they exist for luminaries in the sheet of the sky to make glow upon the land and he existed so 16 and Elohiym made two of the magnificent luminaries, the magnificent luminary to regulate the day and the small luminary to regulate the night and the stars 17 and Elohiym gave them in the sheet of the sky to make a glow upon the land 18 and to regulate in the day and in the night and to make a separation between the light and the darkness and Elohiym saw that it was functional 19 and evening existed and morning existed a fourth day
For details on this new translation see the web site at
"I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent." - Zephaniah 3:9
If the link between the ear and the sense of balance is a relatively recent medical discovery, why is it that the ancient Hebrew language has the same linguistic root for both words? Science fiction, or science fact? Is Hebrew the first human language?
Only Hebrew language dynamics with its built-in synonym and antonym system explains why LeaF and FoLio (LF=FL) mean the same, or why a person who knows Hebrew well can fully understand English, Basque or Swahili.
The majesty of Hebrew is only faintly visible in its offspring. Yet, some continue to maintain that most words are random, meaningless symbols which evolved from your basic caveman grunting.
Hebrew, with its right brain/left brain neurological keyboard demonstrates that Greek and Latin are merely grandparents, while Hebrew is the common ancestor, the original computing language of our biological random access memory, which was scrambled during the output stage by the Master Prog rammer (Tower of Babel story in Genesis).
Don't worry if you have never heard a word in Hebrew or read anything on language, you will soon find out that you have never heard a word that wasn't Hebrew.
While the spelling of biblical words is highly significant, much meaning is lost to those who ignore the sound-alike letter substitution -- one aspect of the divine music that remains unattainable to those who rely solely on available translations. One special aspect of biblical craft remains lost in translation to Greek, Latin, or English.