My Five Most Interesting Words in the Bible

In response to a request from a facebook friend (who is also a RL friend), I give you my five favorite words in the [Hebrew] Bible.

The first two warrant an explanation. They are at the top of my list of interesting words because I am currently researching the ethics of provocation. Unlike most responses to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack (and like Bill Donohue’s reading), I strongly believe that the editors and staff of Charlie Hebdo are not innocent. As a matter of justice, they did not deserve to die, but they certainly do not deserve the accolades they have heretofore been awarded.

Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo.

So, here are my five favorite words (today)

  1. הֶחֱטִיא – a verb meaning to cause someone to sin, transgress
  2. הֱסִיתְךָ – a verb meaning to cause someone to be provoked.
  3. אֱלֹהִ֑ים – commonly translated as  both the singular God and the plural gods. Sadly, the distinction is all but lost in the English.
  4. בָּרָא – a verb meaning “he created” where the only antecedent of “he” is God. Get it? Only God can create this way.
  5. תַחְמֹד – a verb meaning to use without asking. This word is interesting to me because it is badly mistranslated (as covet) in the ten commandments. Everywhere else it is translated according to what it really means – to borrow/use without asking.
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