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January 28, 2020, 03:55:31 pm

The Hebrew superlative

Started by Yitzchak, July 11, 2013, 10:21:50 am

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      Some of you who know me a little bit better , know that one of my interests is the Hebrew language. It is one of my passions. In particular , I really really like getting into the Hebrew Bible.

     Here is a Hebrew insight from one of my studies...

The Hebrew superlative

   In the Hebrew , sometimes words are repeated twice for emphasis and this is called the Hebrew superlative. One of the bets known examples of this is in this passage in Isaiah. The Hebrew says shalom , shalom which is translated as perfect peace. But what it literally says is " peace , peace. "

QuoteIsa 26:3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

   Now this use of Hebrew superlatives is seen all over the Bible and begins in Genesis.

The phrase surely die is the Hebrew word for die repeated twice.

QuoteGen 2:17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

QuoteGen 3:4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

  The phrase " greatly multiply " is rabah rabah.

QuoteGen 3:16  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

    Which brings me to the insight...This well known passage uses the Hebrew superlative and it is translated as diligently listen. The Hebrew is shema , shema , which is " listen , listen ". Now whenever we see the word "if" in the scripture , God is providing a condition to be met. So if we listen , listen , then the blessings will chase us down. Not is we only listen. We must listen in the superlative if we want to live the blessed life.

QuoteDeu 28:1  And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
Deu 28:2  And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
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