Hebrew names of people mentioned in the Bible have meaning. But this meaning becomes clear only when reading the Bible in Hebrew, since these names originate from Hebrew roots. Besides the Modern Hebrew that we usually hear now days, we all know that biblical Hebrew is thousands of years old and many Hebrew names and Hebrew phrases have been used for centuries. This is why Hebrew is so special- you experience a spoken language in the year 2011 that combines ancient roots, holy components and modern ingredients, all in one fabulous language. Because of this unique quality of Hebrew, we are able to explore the roots of the original Hebrew names from the Bible and understand why they were given and what does the text of their announcement really wants to teach us. Here are three examples, out of many that we have in the Bible. 1] Learn about the Hebrew name Adam – father of mankind. English
Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2, 7)Hebrew
וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם, עָפָר מִן-הָאֲדָמָה, וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו, נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים; וַיְהִי הָאָדָם, לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה. Transliteration VAYITZER ADONAY ELOHIM ET HA’ADAM AFAR MIN HA’ADAMAH, VAYIPAKH BE’APAV NISHMAT KHAYIM. VAY’HEE HA’ADAM LE’NEFESH KHAYAH.
G-d created man from the dust of the ground.Only in Hebrew can one understand the meaning of the name – Adam
originated from the word ground – Adama.
(“Adama” in Hebrew is “ground”). Adama –> Adam 2] Learn about the Hebrew name Eve – mother of mankind. English
And the man called his wife’s name Eve
; because she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3, 20) Hebrew
וַיִּקְרָא הָאָדָם שֵׁם אִשְׁתּוֹ, חַוָּה
: כִּי הִוא הָיְתָה, אֵם כָּל-חָי TransliterationVA’YIKRAH HA’ADAM SHEM ISHTO KHAVAH. KEE HEE HA’YTAH EM KOL KHAY.
Only in Hebrew can one understand the meaning of Adam’s wife name – Khavah
as being the mother of all living, originated from the word Khay
(“Khay” in Hebrew is “living”). Khay –> Khava
It is impossible to deduce it from English: “Living” –>
“Eve” 3] Learn about the Hebrew name Yitzhak (Isaac) – son of Abraham and Sarah. English
Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart: ‘Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?’ And Abraham said unto God: ‘Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!’ And God said: ‘Nay, but Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him. (Genesis 17, 17-19) Hebrew
וַיִּפֹּל אַבְרָהָם עַל-פָּנָיו, וַיִּצְחָק; וַיֹּאמֶר בְּלִבּוֹ, הַלְּבֶן מֵאָה-שָׁנָה יִוָּלֵד, וְאִם-שָׂרָה, הֲבַת-תִּשְׁעִים שָׁנָה תֵּלֵד.וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם, אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים: לוּ יִשְׁמָעֵאל, יִחְיֶה לְפָנֶיךָ.וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, אֲבָל שָׂרָה אִשְׁתְּךָ יֹלֶדֶת לְךָ בֵּן, וְקָרָאתָ אֶת-שְׁמוֹ, יִצְחָק; וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי אִתּוֹ לִבְרִית עוֹלָם, לְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו. Transliteration
VA’YIPOL AVRAHAM AL PANAV VA’YITZHAK (laughed)
;VA’YOMER BE’LIBO, HA’L’VEN MEAH-SHANAH YIVALED, VE’IM SARAH, HABAT TISH’IM SHANAH TELED.VA’YOMER AVRAHAM EL-ELOHIM: LOU YISHMAEL YIKHYEH LE’FANEIKHA.VA’YOMER ELOHIM, AVAL SARAH ISHT’KHA YOLEDET L’KHA BEN, VE’KARATA ET-SHMO, YITZHAK (will laugh)
.VA’HAKIMOTI ET-BRITI ITO LIVRIT OLAM, LE’ZAR’O AKHARAV.G-d told Abraham to call his son Yitzhak (Isaac in English)
Only in Hebrew can one understand the meaning of the name – Yitzhak
. It was given by G-d following the laughter of Abraham (Va’Yitzhak
)“Va’Yitzhak” in Hebrew is “laughed”“Yitzhak” in Hebrew is “will laugh” Va’Yitzhak —> Yitzhak