Refreshing Ways to Connect with God: The Blessings of Learning One Biblical Hebrew Word

One of the many benefits of learning the Hebrew alphabet is to be able to look up individual words in the Hebrew lexicon. Hebrew is such a rich language. Individual words have such depth of meaning, usually more than can be expressed with one single, English-word equivalent.

Even in the same Bible passage, when the same English word appears in different verses, the original Hebrew word might have different nuances of meaning, based on how the word is used in its immediate context.

When you know the Hebrew alphabet, you can look up words in the lexicon and note the differences in meaning each time and place the word is used. These nuances bring even deeper understanding and appreciation of the biblical text you are reading.

Here’s an example from Psalm 143, a beautiful psalm in which David cries out to God in ways we can all relate. Why don’t you start by reading Psalm 143 all the way through in English before we go further and explore one particular Hebrew word.

Continue reading “Refreshing Ways to Connect with God: The Blessings of Learning One Biblical Hebrew Word”

Basics of Biblical Hebrew and Greek Can Help Your Christian Writing

As a Christian writer, it’s important to be immersed in scripture and interpret biblical passages well. You will often refer your readers to Bible truths, so you want to get hold of those truths for yourself before you write.

While you will discover many spiritual practices that can help (prayer, worship, Bible Study, lectio divina, reliable commentaries, and more), another helpful practice is being able to look up key words in the original language (Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament). Continue reading “Basics of Biblical Hebrew and Greek Can Help Your Christian Writing”

Praying the Psalms in Biblical Hebrew: Psalm 90:1

A student of my Beginning Biblical Hebrew class expressed interest in praying Bible verses in Hebrew, especially from the Psalms. I asked her to choose a few verses that she would like to pray in Hebrew. Psalm 90:1 is one of these. It is noted as the beginning verse of a prayer of Moses.

I will share the Hebrew words below (in the Hebrew alphabet along with pronunciation), as well as a little explanation from the Hebrew lexicon from Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB). Continue reading “Praying the Psalms in Biblical Hebrew: Psalm 90:1”

Shalom: A Biblical Hebrew State of Being

“Shalom” (peace) is one of my favorite words in biblical Hebrew. I yearn for God’s peace, especially in areas of my life where I don’t have it.

It’s an interesting journey to look up “shalom” in the lexicon. I encourage you to try it, and use this opportunity also to pray for greater “shalom” in your life. Continue reading “Shalom: A Biblical Hebrew State of Being”

Biblical Hebrew Alphabet: The Letters “Sin” and “Shin”

Near the end of the biblical Hebrew alphabet are two interesting-looking letters:

שׂ

The name of this letter in biblical Hebrew is “sin” (pronounced: “seen”). The letter itself makes the sound “s.”

שׁ

The name of this letter in biblical Hebrew is “shin” (pronounced: “sheen”). The letter itself makes the sound “sh.” Continue reading “Biblical Hebrew Alphabet: The Letters “Sin” and “Shin””

“If My People” – Biblical Hebrew Words for Intercessors

Biblical Hebrew is a wonderful language for intercessors to learn. That doesn’t mean we have to learn many words or entire verses in Hebrew. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Just learning a few words from the Hebrew Bible — from verses related to prayer or verses intercessors often turn to — can be so meaningful. If you can learn a few biblical Hebrew words to use in your own prayers to God, it will help you pray in a new way with a new awareness of who He is. Continue reading ““If My People” – Biblical Hebrew Words for Intercessors”

Learning the Biblical Hebrew Alphabet: The First Four Letters

Learning the biblical Hebrew alphabet can be a challenge, especially if you try to learn it all at once.

I had studied Russian, Greek, and Japanese (all of which use a different alphabet than English) before I learned biblical Hebrew. Even with my experience with other alphabets, I found the Hebrew alphabet overwhelming. Many letters look and sound alike. It’s like drinking from a fire hose to learn them all at once.

That’s why, when I teach a biblical Hebrew class, I introduce just a few letters at a time. You would be surprised how many words from the Hebrew Bible you can learn along the way, with just a few letters. Continue reading “Learning the Biblical Hebrew Alphabet: The First Four Letters”

Biblical Hebrew Mini Lesson: The LORD Is God

In biblical Hebrew, often the verb “to be” is implied rather than included. At other times, the verb “to be” is included.

When there is no verb “to be,” there may be nothing at all to link the subject and predicate. You have to look at the context to find the meaning — which is often the case in biblical Hebrew.

Sometimes, in between the subject and predicate, you will find a third-person pronoun, like “he” or “she.” That pronoun substitutes for the verb “to be.”

Let’s look at two examples: Continue reading “Biblical Hebrew Mini Lesson: The LORD Is God”

Biblical Hebrew Adjectives – Our Great God in the Smallest of Ways

In my Beginning Biblical Hebrew online course, we learn mostly nouns, with a few verbs introduced toward the end of the course. So I thought it might be interesting to learn a few adjectives to go with those nouns:

רַב = many, much (“rav”)

צַדִּיק = righteous (tzaddiq)

גָּדוֹל = great (gadol)

קָטֹן = small (katon)

Interesting how those adjectives describe the body of Christ, thanks to the righteousness of Jesus. Continue reading “Biblical Hebrew Adjectives – Our Great God in the Smallest of Ways”