Finding the Messiah in Hebrew dictionaries – 1.

Brit In Jerusalem

I’ll carry on with more about my trip round China shortly.   My blog follows a sort of ‘Reader’s Digest’ pattern of stories that start and stop mainly on themes of my faith in Christ, travel in places of the bible and other countries that interest me.


This week I was really blessed to get this set of 4 volume Hebrew dictionaries, these used to belong to a library, I know that the Hebrew language actually gets ‘updated’ with new words for modern things, these books are from 2000.   So I don’t know how out of date they have to be to be retired!

I’m not a biblical scholar.  I have no Jewish background in my family as far as I know.  I’m a Christian who did some volunteering in Jerusalem, and I learned some Hebrew out there.   Not very much, not enough to be much useful.   I can’t remember many words…

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English concept of a “Name” and the Hebrew concept of a “Name”

Clifton Ray Hodges
Clifton Ray Hodges
The English concept of a “Name” and the Hebrew concept of a “Name” aren’t exactly the same thing.
*** In English ***:
• A name is a collection of phonetic sounds with no apparent meaning to English ears. There are exceptions to that like “Hope” or “Faith”, but most names come from foreign languages and mean something in a foreign language, but mean nothing in English. So English ears EXPECT to hear a meaningless string of syllables for a “name”.
• A title describes your role and/or what you do.

*** In Hebrew ***:

• A Name describes your character, your role, what you do, something about you or your life, where you were born, etc.
• A title is a name. Since a Hebrew “name” has meaning, there is not the same distinction between a “title” and a “name” which exists in English. Hebrew uses the word “shem” for what we would call a “name” and for what we would call a “title” in English. “Wonderful”, “Counselor” and “Prince of Peace” are called NAMES (shems) in Isaiah chapter 9.