The Value of Knowing Biblical Languages
Bruce A. Klein, ThD
One of my mentors said, ‘A person should not be a Bible teacher unless he or she knows the original Biblical languages.’ I add that one must have learned how to hear from the Holy Spirit to know truth before one can teach Biblical truths.
My goal in this study is to show you value in knowing Hebrew, the written language of the Old Covenant.
In Genesis 39:1 the word ‘officer’ has a deeper meaning in the original Hebrew.
“And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither” King James Version (KJV) Genesis 39:1
“And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. 7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;” Genesis 39:6-8
“And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.” Genesis 39:12
Joseph did what every Christian should do in this kind of situation, RUN!
The Hebrew reveals a deep issue with Potiphar’s wife. What was her underlining problem? Her underlining problem was her husband was not fulfilling her sexual needs. You respond by saying, ‘WHAT’!!!!!
The problem originated with Potiphar. The KJV translates ‘H5631’ as ‘officer’, Genesis 39:1.
Genesis 39:1 “And Joseph3130 was brought down3381 to Egypt;4714 and Potiphar,6318 an officer 5631 of Pharaoh,6547 captain8269 of the guard,2876 an Egyptian,376, 4713 bought7069 him of the hands4480, 3027 of the Ishmaelites,3459 which834 had brought him down3381 thither.8033”
H5631 sârîys / sârisñøñ /ñøéñ
BDB Definition: The Brown-Driver-Brigg’s Hebrew and English Lexicon*
1) official, eunuch
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number:from an unused root meaning to castrate
Same Word by TWOT Number: 1545
*This is a standard Biblical Hebrew lexicon.
Does the KJV translate ‘H5631’ eunuch in other verses? Yes.
Eunuch(s), 15 times in the KJV
2Ki_9:32, 2Ki_20:18, Isa_39:7, Isa_56:4, Jer_29:2, Jer_34:19, Jer_38:7, Jer_41:16, Dan_1:3, Dan_1:7-11 (5), Dan_1:18, Isa_56:3, Jer_52:25
Does the 'New International Version', 'New American Standard Version', or 'New King James Version' bring out this important meaning? No.
Do any translations bring out this important meaning? Yes.
Genesis 39:1 “And Joseph was carried down to Egypt. And Potiphar, a eunuch of Pharaoh, the chief of the executioners, an Egyptian man, bought him from the hand of the Ishmaelites who had carried him down there.” KJ3 - Jay Green’s Literal Translation
Genesis 39:1 “And Joseph hath been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, a eunuch of Pharaoh, head of the executioners, an Egyptian man, buyeth him out of the hands of the Ishmaelites who have brought him thither.” Young’s Literal Translation
Genesis 39:1 “igitur Ioseph ductus est in Aegyptum emitque eum Putiphar eunuchus Pharaonis princeps exercitus vir aegyptius de manu Ismahelitarum a quibus perductus erat” Latin Vulgate
For an in-depth study on eunuchs:
The Old Covenant is full of treasures which can be discovered by knowing Hebrew. Anyone can learn Biblical Hebrew.
Bruce Klein, Th.D.
Biblical Greek is fun to learn!
The first step is to learn how to speak the Greek language. We start by pronouncing a few letters at a time using lessons, I have written. Eventually, you will be able to pronounce all the letters using them in words.
Next is to learn vocabulary and grammar, easy!
Enroll in a course.
The New Covenant was preserved by God. His Word states He has preserved His Word.
“But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." 1 Peter 1:25
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:8
The promised preservation of God’s Words
"The Words of the LORD [are] pure Words: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (7) Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalm 12:6-7
"He hath remembered His covenant for ever, the Word [which] He commanded to a thousand generations." Psalm 105:8
"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever." Isaiah 40:8
God is not concerned with original Scripture. Moses destroyed tablets written by God. God simply replaced them. God commanded Jeremiah to toss original Scripture in a river (Jeremiah 51:63).
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." 1 Peter 1:23
"But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by gospel is preached unto you." 1 Peter 1:25
The Word of God equals Scripture"...unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken;" John 10:35
"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." 1 Corinthians 2:13
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Words shall not pass way." Matthew 24:35
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Words shall not pass away." Mark 13:31
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Words shall not pass away." Luke 21:33
Do you believe that God can keep His "Word"?
"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; ..." Colossians 3:16
Dr. Bruce Klein
Biblical Hebrew is fun to learn!
The first step is to learn how to read and speak the Hebrew language. We start by enunciating a few letters at a time using lessons from a book, I had used to learn Hebrew in a synagogue. Eventually you will be able to pronounce all the letters using them in words.
Next is to learn vocabulary and grammar, easy!
Enroll in a course today,