A Little Help wit basic OT Hebrew

Nov 11, 2018
I am not seminary trained, been active in ministry for 40+ years, and working with missions (not as a full time missionary - led many teams, involved in missions leadership, started ministries, spent considerable time in trips to 10/40 Window and have a passion for the unreached). In my professional life, I have published a few articles and a couple of songs, and I am working on my first book, "The Essence of Worship," a theological look at the Biblical depths of what worship is.

I have no desire to plug the book or debate topics. Nothing contentious. I am about done draft two of four on the book, and to do the topic justice, there are a few linguistic details that I could use a little input from someone who has some formal knowledge of Hebrew.

So my first question is about (for example) Psalm 86:9 "All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And they shall glorify Your name." This is the NASB rendering, and where the word "worship" is used in this verse, it comes from the Hebrew word "Shachah" (Strong's reference #: H7812).

To try to better understand the full meaning of such words (important to the thesis of my book - important to stay Biblically accurate), I have been using Strong's Concordance as my reference. In my day job, I work in a highly analytical world (as a 'Metrologist' - measurement science). So I tend to nitpick doctrinal details as far as possible in the interest of accuracy (considering also that my day job, I am focused on accuracy).

So, are there some tips that anyone here with some formal Hebrew training can lend, such as context - do I need to do some contextual things to better interpret such words? Even regarding the above term in particular, I would love some detailed linguistic thoughts to assure I stay on track. I have two pastors at my church as reviewers for doctrinal accountability, somewhere around 6 or so pastoral people, all with seminary degrees doing some review work. But I wanted to get this out there.

Also, there are some verses where in my Bible software, H7812 (for 'Shachah') appears twice, and is rendered as two different words. For example, Genesis 33:6 "Then the maidsH8198 cameH5066 nearH5066 N1with their childrenH3206, and they bowedH7812 downH7812." (this is the version showing the Strong's numbers).

In the verse above, the part that says "...and they bowed down..." you see has an H7812 after 'bowed' and an H7812 after 'down'. Does this mean that in the original Hebrew manuscript that 'Shachah' actually appeared twice in a row in the original manuscripts? Or is this some contextually implicit thing (if that makes sense)?

I will probably have some further questions. But this is a good start. Thanks all for reading this.
Feb 11, 2015
To answer your question... One should always stay within context, unless the Lord gives you a particular verse for a specific reason. We should never get to Heddy about defining words by the original Greek or Hebrew. The Holy Spirit has show me that any time I try to define a word... Make sure the definition that He is showing you lines up with the context of the passage.

For example... If a passage is talking about rain, and the choices for the definition vary (as many do) make sure that the one you choose lines up with the rest of the passage. If its healing rain or physical rain or whatever the Holy Spirit is trying to communicate through the author of the letter (book). and always remember that each book was originally a letter with flowing thoughts and never ends at The end of a chapter

Hope this helps.
Amens/Likes: Fish Catcher Jim


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Jan 8, 2017
I do not qualify as a biblical scholar...

but just wanted to say a couple of things... (using blueletterbible as a reference)...

There is no conflict of meaning in H7812, (depending on usage/context)...
So, for your software to display two different english words for the same translated word isn't incorrect...
The full meaning of that word has a much broader meaning/definition than simply one particular english meaning..

When studying, it is also very enlightning if you have an understanding of the culture, manners, daily life, and traditions of the people during that time... many books are in the public domain, and free to read, download, print...
For example, one I've read recently is Manners and Customs of Biblical Lands by Fred Wright. It's not a long read, but it does have some interesting information in it that makes alot of what we read in the Bible make more sense more easily... and helps with understanding correct context a little better...
The is actually a chapter in it that discusses bowing/worshipping/honoring...

Good luck with your efforts:) & God bless..