Hebrew Word of the Day - Issue #81 - Mon. - June 28, 1999
14 Tammuz, 5759
Sorry, about 20 hours late in mailing this.
I forgot to run the mailout program last night.
Since there were two Parashot for last Shabat (CHUQAT and BALAK)
this issue continues with BALAQ.
BALAQ - The name of the Moabite that tried to hire Balaam to curse Israel
Balaq - B'midbar (Numbers) 22:2 - 25:9
Check your pronunciation or try reading in Hebrew!
Hear the passage and see the Hebrew at this web site:
22:02 1) And-saw Balak son-[of]-Zippor
2) all-which-did Israel to-[the]-Amorites.
22:03 3) And-dreaded Moab of-the-sight [of]-the-people very-much
4) because it-was-many
5) and-abhored Moab the-sight [of]-the-children-of-Israel
22:04 6) And-said Moab to-the-elders [of] Midian
7) now shall-lick-up the-assembly
9) as-licks-up an-ox [the] grass [of] the-fields
10) And-Balak Son-[of]-Zipor [was] king to-Moab
22:02 1) Vayar Balaq Ben-Tzipor
2) et kol-asher-asah Yisrael la-Emori
22:03 3) Vayagar Moav mip'nei ha-am meod
4) ki rav-hu
5) vayakatz Moav mipnei b'nei Yisrael.
22:04 6) Vayomer Moav el-ziknei Midyan
7) atah y'lach'chu haqahal
9) kilchoch hashur et yereq ha-sadeh
10) uValaq Ben-Tzipor melech l'Moav
11) ba'et ha-hiv.
Review from prior lessons:
ASAH = verb: do, did (AYIN SIN HEI)
KOL = all (KAF LAMED)
ASHER = which/who (ALEPH SHIN RESH)
HA-AM = the-people (HEI AYIN MEM-SOFIT)
KI = because (KAF YOD)
MELECH = king (MEM LAMED CHAF-SOFIT)
Let's start by looking at BALAK's name:
BALAQ - devastator (BET LAMED QOF)
from verb: BALAQ - meaning to waste, lay waste, devastate
TZIPOR - bird, fowl, sparrow (TZADI PE VAV RESH)
The TaNaK (Hebrew Scriptures) uses this term often,
in context as the "birds of the air and the fish of the sea".
HaShem's altars are likened to a sparrow's nest: Psalm 84:3
Scriptures also talk about a bird falling into a snare.
Also the name of Moses' wife was Tziporrah (which would
mean a female bird). Exodus 2:21, 4:25, 18:2
So BALAQ BEN-TZIPOR - is Devastator son-of-"Bird"
This lesson also has two "homonyms" - words that are
spelled different but sound alike.
ATAH = now (AYIN TAV HEI)
is a homonymn of ATAH = you (ALEPH TAV HEI)
ET = time (AYIN TAV)
is a homonymn of ET = pen (AYIN TET)
You will see the transliteration of each word-pair
is the same, but the Hebrew spelling is different.
These, and many other "dangerously" similar words
are disclosed in my CD/ROM tutorial "At Home With Hebrew".
ZAQEN = elder, old man (ZAYIN KOF NUN-SOFIT)
(The form in 22:4 is ZIQNEI - part of a compound-noun,
spelled ZAYIN QOF NUN YOD. The compound-noun is
ZIKNEI MIDYAN - which could be translated
"the elders of Midian" or "the Midian[ite] elders"
SAVIV = (SAMECH VAV YOD VAV) or SAVIVAH (SAMECH VAV YOD VAV HEI)
means: surroundings, round about, on every side,
places round about, in a circuit
Forms of this word occur 278 times in the TaNaK.
from the verb: SAVA - to turn, go around, encircle,
go around, make a circuit,
YEREQ = greenery, green thing, green plants (thus grass)
(YOD RESH QOF) interestingly enough, from the
verb YARAQ which means "to spit".
The modern day adjective "green" is YAROQ (YOD RESH VAV QOF)
SADEH = field, country (SIN DALET HEI)
This is another popular word that occurs over 300 times.
SHUR = ox, bull, a head of cattle (SHIN VAV RESH) occurs 78 times
M'OD = very, exceedingly, much (MEM ALEPH DALET)
as in "TOV MEOD" = "very good".
"M'OD" is an adverb.
RAV - many, great(er), much, more numerous, stronger (RESH VET)
as in "TODAH RABA" = "thanks much"
"RAV" is also an adverb.
Intermediate (root letters underlined):
NOTE: ~ means a stem change, == means a Hebrew letter that takes
two English letters to transliterate
VAYARx (VAV YOD RESH ALEPH)
from the root verb: RAA (RESH ALEPH HEI)
meaning: see, look, behold, appear, consider,
perceive, regard, enjoy, spy, show
[occurs over 1300 times]
VAYAGAR (VAV YOD GIMEL RESH)
from the root verb: GUR (GIMEL VAV RESH)
meaning: to sojourn, abide
OR to stir up trouble, quarrel
OR to excite oneself
OR to dread, fear, stand in awe,
[occurs approx. 98 times]
A noun from this word, "GER", is often translated
as aliens or strangers or sojourners, i.e.
people who are dwelling with the Israelites.
VAYAQATZ (VAV YOD QOF TZADI-SOFIT)
from the root verb: QUTZ (QOF VAV TZADI-SOFIT)
meaning: to be grieved, loathe, abhor,
feel a sickening dread
Y'LACHACHU (YOD LAMED CHET CHAF VAV) (vs. 22:4)
- == ==
KILCHOCH - (KAF LAMED CHET CHAF-SOFIT)
from the root verb: LACHACH (LAMED CHET CHAF)
meaning "to lick, lick up"
[occurs only 6 times]
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