This 4,000 year old Inscription was found in the land of Israel and is composed of three letters written in the ancient pictographic Hebrew script. The letter at the top of the inscription is the aleph and is a picture of an ox head representing strength. Below that is the letter lamed and is a picture of a shepherd staff representing authority. When these pictographs are combined the word “el” is formed meaning “the strong one of authority.”
The Hebrew Bible (called the Tanakh the canonical collection of Jewish texts by Jews and the Old Testament by Christians) was originally written in this pictographic Hebrew script (as well as a modified form usually refered to as Paleo-Hebrew) by Hebrews whose language and culture were very different from our own. Because of this, it is through the study of the ancient Hebrew alphabet, language and culture we can better understand the Biblical texts.
The Hebrew Bible was written by Hebrews 2,500 to 3,500 years ago, whose culture and lifestyle were very different than our own. When we read the Word of God as a 20th Century American, our culture and lifestyle often influence our interpretation of the words and phrases.
The word rain is a good example of how culture can influence one’s view of a word. To a bride and groom preparing for an outdoor wedding, the news of rain has a negative meaning, but to the farmer in the middle of a drought, the same word has a positive meaning. For many of us, rain means a spoiled picnic but to the ancient Hebrews, rain meant life, for without it their nomadic life would end. Without a cultural understanding of the words in the Bible, much is missed or overlooked.
Ever wonder what some of words in the Bible really mean, I mean what was the original Hebrew meanings?
Well here are some of the words we tend to look up the most, Covered are these words with there definitions.
atonement, bless, break, command, covenant, eternity, face, faith, fear, firmament, fringe, glory, god, good, goodnews, gracious, heart, holy
keep, law, life, love, messiah, name, peace, praise, pray, priest, righteous, shine, spirit, truth, wilderness and worship