Archive for the ‘Hebrew’ Category

The following is my best attempt to preserve the poetic nature of Hannah’s Song in I Samuel 2, by rendering it into English in rhyme, incorporating classic commentaries to elucidate its meaning.

I’m no Shakespeare, but I enjoyed the challenge of this undertaking, and I feel it makes this rendering more interesting and enjoyable to read than a direct translation. The original text is in I Samuel, Ch. 2, v. 1-10:

(1) I feel happy in my heart,

HaShem offered me a new start,

Now I may lift my head high,

HaShem is the reason why.

Penina spoke meanly to me,

For I had no children, you see,

But now I am very happy,

From Penina Hashem saved me,

For I can now open my mouth,

My son I can now speak about,

I am happy that I have a son,

I give thanks to the Holy One.

(2) There is none holy as You, Hashem,

There is no other that is like Him,

Like our God there is no other,

Forming a child inside a mother.

(3) Do not speak so arrogantly,

Penina, my rival, who was mean to me,

Do not allow the wrong kind of words

From your mouth to come out and be heard,

For what’s in your heart HaShem does know,

He counts all your deeds and the places you go.

(4) The bow of the mighty HaShem will break,

Giving strength to the stumbling and weak ones who ache.

Those who are hungry, HaShem will sate,

While for the full-bellied, hunger is their fate.

(5) Those who were once full of bread,

Will have to work to eat instead,

While those who worked to feed their hunger,

Will have so much food they’ll work no longer.

The one who had no children will give birth to seven sons,

While she with many children will mourn every one.

(6) HaShem takes life and HaShem gives it,

Raising up or lowering into the pit.

(7) HaShem makes people poor or rich,

HaShem lowers and HaShem lifts.

(8) HaShem in whom we trust,

Raises the poor from the dust,

From heaps of trash He will raise them up,

To seat them with the rich to sup,

A seat of honor shall be theirs,

With them His Glory He will share,

For the pillars of the earth belong to HaShem,

And man’s dwelling place He lays upon them.

(9) The feet of the pious HaShem will guard,

By no entrapment shall they be marred.

But the wicked in darkness will meet their end,

For a man succeeds not by the strength of his hand.

(10) HaShem will break His foes,

Even if to the heavens they rose,

From heaven upon them He blows,

Casting them down below.

HaShem will bring about justice for all,

He will give His King the strength to stand tall,

Hashem will give strength to the king He has appointed,

Increasing the kingdom of the one He has anointed.

Once again I offer a new, narrative presentation of the 3rd chapter of the book of Jeremiah, incorporating classic commentaries into the text. The color coding is as follows: 

Rashi

Targum

Radak

Metzudah

My own words (for clarity)

Please enjoy, comment and share. And without further ado:

Jeremiah continued speaking in the name of HaShem. (1) “I could say you are no longer worthy of me, for if a man sends away his wife, and she goes from him and becomes the wife of another man, will the first husband return to her again? Behold, the land would surely be corrupted by such an act! And you have been unfaithful with many lovers! Nevertheless, return to Me! (2) Lift up your eyes upon the high places and see! Where have you not lied down? Upon the ways you have sat, ready for your lovers, like an Arab in the wilderness, and you have corrupted the land with your unfaithfulness and your evil. (3) The early rains have been held back, and the latter rains did not occur, yet you have had the brazenness of an unfaithful woman, you have refused to be ashamed. (4) If only from this moment you would repent of your wickedness and call to Me, ‘My Father, You are the Teacher of my youth!’ (5) Would your Lord bear against you forever that which you sinned toward Him? Would He hold onto it for eternity? He would not hold onto it! Behold, you have declared, ‘We will not come to You again,’ and that evil you will perform, paying no mind to repentance, and you will succeed in rebelling absolutely.

(6) In the days of King Josiah, HaShem commanded Jeremiah to bring back the Ten Tribes of Israel. A portion of them returned in the 18th year of Josiah (Rashi, v. 12). HaShem said to Jeremiah, “Did you see what the wayward Ten Tribes of Israel did? They would go up on every high mountain, and under every fresh tree and act unfaithfully to Me there, serving idols. (7) And I said through My prophets Amos and Hoshea son of Be’eri and others, after she (Israel) had done all this, ‘Return to Me!’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw that Israel was exiled, but Judah did not learn their lesson. (8) And I saw that Judah saw everything that happened because wayward Israel was unfaithful, that I sent Israel away, and I gave to Israel her document of divorce, but treacherous Judah, Israel’s sister, did not fear that I would send her away also, and did not consider repentance, rather, Judah went and acted unfaithfully also. (9) Because her unfaithfulness was light in her eyes, the land became corrupt; in her unfaithfulness she served stone and wood. (10) And even with all this, having seen the downfall and punishment of Israel, her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, rather falsely.” The generation of Josiah showed themselves to be righteous while they were actually wicked. They made images of idols on the insides of their doorways, half on one side and half on the other, so that when those seeking to eliminate idolatry would inspect the homes, the door would be open and the images were not recognizable.

(11) HaShem said to Jeremiah, “Wayward Israel has exonerated herself of judgment, for she did not have from whom to learn, as opposed to treacherous Judah. (12) Go and call out these words to the north, to the places where Israel was exiled, to Assyria, and say, ‘Return O Wayward Israel! I will not send my wrath against you, because I am abundant in kindness. I will not hold your sins against you forever. (See v. 6 above.) (13) But know your sin, for you rebelled against HaShem your God, and you were unfaithful to HaShem, spreading your legs for strangers under every fresh tree, and you did not listen to My voice. (14) Return, O rebellious sons! For I have been your master, and you have therefore been called by My name, and for you to remain among the nations takes away from My honor. Therefore, I will take you out of exile, even though you remain one in a city of gentiles, or two among an entire gentile nation, and I will bring you to Zion. (15) I will give you leaders who perform My will, and they will lead you with knowledge and wisdom. (16) And it will be, when you multiply and increase in the land in those days, they will no longer say, ‘The Ark of the Covenant of HaShem,’ nor will it even be a thought, nor will they remember it, nor will they consider it, nor will that be done with it which was done in Shiloh, when the Ark was brought out to war against the Philistines in the days of Eili the High Priest, for whole congregation will be holy, and I will dwell in the congregation as though it is the Ark. (17) At that time they will call Jerusalem the Throne of HaShem, and all the nations will gather to it for the sake of HaShem’s name, to Jerusalem, and they will not go anymore after the thoughts of their wicked heart. (18) In those days, the House of Judah will walk with the House of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to their forefathers, becoming one kingdom.

(19) “I had thought, ‘How can I place you, My daughter, My congregation and My nation, among sons, among other nations, among idol worshippers?’ Therefore I set aside a better portion for you, giving you a desirable land, a portion that is the envy of the host of nations, and I said, ‘Call me Father, and do not turn away from Me.’ (20) However, you did not do as I wished, rather like a woman who betrays her beloved because he is unable to provide her needs, so you betrayed Me, O House of Israel, though I provide you with every good thing. (21) Over the rise, in the near future, the sound of the begging cries of the Children of Israel can be heard, for they have perverted their ways, they have forgotten HaShem their God. (22) Return O rebellious sons! I will forgive your rebellion!’”

Yirmiyahu then instructed the people to confess to HaShem and say, “Behold, we have come to You, for you are HaShem our God! (23) Indeed, for naught we hoped for salvation from false gods that we worshipped upon hills and in multitudes upon mountains! Indeed, by HaShem our God is the salvation of Israel! (24) Because of our shame, that we worshipped false gods, the toil of our fathers has been consumed from our youth, their sheep and their cattle, their sons and their daughters. (25) We will lie down in shame because of our sins, and our degradation will cover us, for we and our fathers have sinned to HaShem our God from our youth until this day, and we did not listen to the voice of HaShem our God.”

This is a continuation of a previous post See there for the first part of this discussion.
PERSON: thank you for such a long reply but i cant agree with you at all…. the King of Tyre IS NOT a mortal man, the king of Tyre is the Nachash that tempted Eve in Eden.
ME: Please support that statement with a passage from Scripture. We are interested in the word of God, not men’s opinions.
PERSON: wow you hypocrite… i just gave you scripture where the king of Tyre is called a cherub twice… it is you who has given mans opinion and said the scripture must be metaphor… you calling the scripture metaphor is your opinion buddy.
Nachash = bright shining.
The king of Tyre is bright in looks and stones.
both where cut down to the ground.
is clear if you open your eyes.
ME: Name-calling hardly makes for good debate etiquette, and doesn’t serve to bolster your point. Scripture says King of Tyre. Not Satan, not even “nachash.” Nachash does not mean “bright shining.” It means “serpent.” Scripture is full of metaphor, particularly the writings of the later prophets. Regarding the serpent, Scripture states: “upon thy belly shalt thou go” (Genesis 3:14). Regarding the King of Tyre Scripture states: “I will cast thee to the ground.” The terminology is not the same, and even if it were, does this mean they are the same individual? Hardly. Many were cast to the ground. Are they all the serpent? Furthermore, the serpent was already cast to the ground. If so, why would God tell Ezekiel to prophecy to the serpent that this will yet happen? Furthermore, if the passage in Ezekiel does not refer to a mortal king, why does Ezekiel have to go tell Satan this? Why can’t God tell Satan himself, since Satan is an angel? Furthermore, if Ezekiel is to tell Satan that he will fall, this implies he has not yet fallen. So Satan was not a fallen angel until after this prophecy was said? This simply does not compute.
PERSON: Ezekiel 28 says the king of Tyre was in Eden. YES or NO?
The Hebrew term “nachash” can mean serpent, but it can also mean “shiny one”. Who is the…
HA-NACHASH.BLOGSPOT.COM
ME: Yes, it says the King of Tyre was in Eden. But the King of Tyre was NOT physically in Eden; rather metaphorically so, as the verse goes on to describe how his condition was paradise-like, full of precious stones and musical instruments. What you are missing is an understanding of Hebrew euphemistic language. In Hebrew, TO THIS DAY, a person would say, “I am in GAN EDEN (the Garden of Eden),” to express that they are extremely content, as though in paradise. It is similar to the English euphemism, “I am in Heaven right now!” meaning, “I am experiencing abundant contentment.” That is the metaphoric language that is being used here. It’s quite simple. Even if the King of Tyre WAS LITERALLY IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, that doesn’t mean he is synonymous with the serpent. NOWHERE is the serpent described as covered in precious stones, or having musical instruments, as the King of Tyre is described here. The description DOES NOT FIT with the serpent. The serpent was not “anointed.” Kings are anointed, not angels. Your interpretation is contradicted even internally by the narrative, aside from the fact that it is not supported in any way. With all due respect.
PERSON: i think you need to look up the meening of Nachash, with all due respect… if you understood nachash you would understand why it is literal and why the description fits… you just need a better understanding of hebrew that is all.
ME: As far as the blog post above, it says: “The Hebrew term ‘nachash’ can mean serpent, but it can also mean shiny one’. ” This is simply false. I know of no context in which the term nachash means “shiny.” The word in the verse quoted there for “fiery serpent” is “saraph,” not “nachash” anyhow. “Saraph” is a Hebrew word indicating “burning.” And “fiery” is still distinct from “shiny.” The serpent image that Moshe fashions in the next verse is called “Nechash hNechosheth” or “Copper Serpent.” “Nechosheth,” a related word to “Nachash,” means “copper.” Copper may be shiny, but so are a lot of substances. “Copper” does not mean “shiny.” In any case, none of those words are used in the context of Ezekiel 28, so there is no relationship to speak of in the text. You would do well not to rely on shoddy Internet sites for your information about the word of God. As I suggested above, learn Hebrew, study from a Hebrew scholar, or get your hands on a scholarly Jewish translation like the ones I mentioned above.
PERSON: the king of Tyre was literaly in Eden, the king of Tyre was literaly a cherub, the king of Tyre is literaly a sinner…. read it again and pray about it. QUOTE “Tyre was a nation of master craftsmen who aided King Solomon in the construction of the Holy Temple”
free masons are a group of stone masons (craftsmen) who seek the light of lucifer (satan) (king of Tyre), freemasonry starts with hyram abiff,according to the “testament of Solomon” the holy temple was built by demons.
the king of Tyre is lucifer the light of the illuminarti and free masons… ITS SO CLEAR !
ME: The Testament of Solomon is not one of our books.
Oh, and your remark, regarding my understanding of Hebrew, or lack thereof, is just silly. I come from a Hebrew-speaking upbringing. I’ve been studying the Bible in Hebrew since I learned to read Hebrew at age 6.
Let’s return to Ezekiel 28. Perhaps it would make the context clearer to you to return to the beginning of the chapter. God tells Ezekiel to address the ruler of Tyre, called נְגִיד (“negid”) in Hebrew (verse 2). This is the same person addressed later in the chapter, in the passage you quoted, there specifically called King of Tyre. Unfortunately, the King James misleadingly translates “negid” as “prince,” which in English connotes the son of the king. This is not the connotation of the Hebrew word “negid,” which implies a ruler of any sort. The ruler (i.e. king) of Tyre is castigated for considering himself a god, saying, “yet thou art a man.” He is again called a man in verse 9, though the King James translation again messes with the Hebrew by translating in the future tense “thou shalt be man,” where the Hebrew is וְאַתָּה אָדָם (“v’atah adam”), meaning “and you ARE a man.” God is speaking to a man, not an angel. Furthermore, his punishment is to come by men (verses 7-8): “Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.” How could mortal men destroy a spiritual entity with physical weapons? What you are doing is called “eisegesis,” as I mentioned earlier. That is, you have a preconceived theology which you are imposing upon the text, rather than drawing meaning from the text itself IN CONTEXT. And without a working knowledge of Biblical Hebrew and its vernacular, you are absolutely lost in this regard. Zechariah 8:23: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of ALL THE LANGUAGES OF THE NATIONS, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” I wish you well.

Someone posted this in a Facebook group called “Study of Judaism”:

i am wanting to share my research on Satan ! it is common for me to be told that Satan has not fallen, that angels are like robots and cant sin !

if you have been taught that angels cant sin from your rabbi then ask your rabbi to explain Ezekiel 28

Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee

My response:

The passage you quote is not talking about Satan. It is a mistake to use a King James Bible to try to understand the word of God, because the translation does not convey the depth and nuance of the original Hebrew Scriptures. Your translation is altogether arguable, but to keep the discussion simple, I will do my best to explain the passage even according to your translation. In context, this message is directed at the King of Tyre. Verse 12: “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him.” Tyre was a nation of master craftsmen who aided King Solomon in the construction of the Holy Temple (see I Kings). Verse 13: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering…” This metaphorical language conveys that Tyre was equipped with every precious stone, as though in Eden, and they used these stones in their extravagant construction and craftsmanship. “…the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” In music as well, the nation of Tyre excelled. Since it was part of their national fabric, this aptitude is described in terms of Tyre having been “created,” or destined, to have this character. Verse 15: “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth…” The King of Tyre, because of his lofty rank, is likened to a cherub (or angel) that spreads its wings to cover (like the cherubs over the Ark of the Covenant), because the king rules over and protects his kingdom. “…thou wast upon the holy mountain of God…” As mentioned above, the King of Tyre aided Solomon in the construction of the Holy Temple on the mountain of God. “…thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” This could refer simply to sparkling gems as above, or metaphorically to the spiritual nation of Israel. Verses 15-16: “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned…” The King of Tyre was originally meritorious, but later sinned. “Violence” is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word “hamas” which means “robbery” (though for our purposes this does not make a great difference). There was robbery in his nation because of the greed generated by great wealth, and the king did not properly protect his subjects, as was his duty as the “covering cherub.” “…therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God…” The original merit mentioned above, that is, the construction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem upon the mountain of G-d, will no longer be remembered for him. Because… Verse 17: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness…” He became haughty in his own grandeur, and did not remember the true responsibility for which God set him as king, that is, to do justice for and to protect those under his rule, as a “covering cherub.” “…I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee…” Therefore, rather than behold the beauty for which the King of Tyre held himself high, his enemies will behold him in his downfall. The Scripture is CLEAR that this is a message for the King of Tyre, a mortal man, and has nothing to do with Satan. The language of Eden and cherubs in this context is therefore METAPHORICAL. Suggestions: (1) Read passages IN CONTEXT, using exegesis to understand Scripture, rather than eisegesis. (2) Dump the King James translation (or any Christian translation for that matter) and learn to read and understand the original language of the text. At the very least, find a teacher who can, or use a scholarly Jewish translation (such as Artscroll or The Living Torah / The Living Nach). All the best, brother!

When each letter of ‘wisdom’ (חכמה) is spelled out — ‘chet’ (חי”ת), ‘kaf’ (כ”ף), ‘mem’ (מ”ם), ‘hey’ (ה”י) — the numerical value is 613 (the number of commandments in the Torah). An allusion to this is in the statement (from Avot): “Who is wise? He who sees that which will be born,” i.e. [the value of] the hidden letters (with which the revealed letters are ‘pregnant’).

(Shla”h, Masechet Yoma)

II Kings 2:8: “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof!”

Targum: “My master, my master (‘Rabbi, Rabbi’), whose prayers are more beneficial to Israel than chariots and horsemen!”

From ברית אברהם (The Covenant of Abraham) by R’ Avraham haLevi Horowitz, father of the Shla”h (ch. 8):

לבי לבי הלא ידעת
כי עפר אתה
וכל ימיך חרוצים
וחייך קצוצים
ובכל יום תקרב אל הקבר
ותעוף בלי אבר
ומדוע אתה נמהר
ולא תעבור על לבך יום המר
יום תאבד עצתך
ונסרחה חכמתך
יום ישיאוך
על כתף יסבלוך
ואל ארץ תחתיות ישליכוך
ארץ ציה וצלמות
חצר מות
שם תפול עליך אימה
ותכסך כלימה
ולבושך גוש ורימה
הלא היום ההוא נורא ואיום
יום אשר אין לך פדיום
יום תמרר בבכיה תאניה ואניה
יום חרדה וצעקה
יום שואה ונעקה
יום מספד מר
יום תערוך אבל משמר מול משמר
יום יחרה אף הא-ל וקנאתו
ונצתה כאש חמתו
יום תצא הנשמה
וישאר הגוף שלך שממה
שוכב לבדו
ולא יהפך מצדו אל צדו
ואתה בן אדם אל מי ינוס לעזרה
או מי יהיה עליך סתרה
אז תאמר אוי לי מה עשיתי
ומדוע דבר ה’ בזיתי
ואחרי שרירות לבי פניתי