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My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Podcasts (audio)

Agag, Haman the Agagite, Gog, Magog, Gag — What binds them all together? (Podcast)

On the general concept of “Roof” in the Hebrew Bible, and what does it really signify:

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Podcasts (audio)

“Becoming Holy” — The Bible Prescription (Podcast)

This post considers various paths to Holiness, suggested in the past, and contrast them with the biblical way.

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Podcasts (audio)

“Only, no fear of God in this place” (Gen. 20:11; Podcast-audio)

What happens to a society, governed by democratically-elected representatives, subject to humanly-created law?

Is this guarantee that atrocities not be committed?

Here are three stories from Scripture, involving three biblical heroes:

King Abimelech, King David, Abraham.

The stories are seemingly non-related. In fact, they convey a single common message. What is this message?

 

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Podcasts (audio)

“Do Not Steal” – Is it in the Ten Commandments? (Podcast-audio)

The answer to this intriguing question may surprise you. The true meaning of the Eighth Commandment, according to traditional Jewish scholarship, is not what it appears to be.

So where prohibition on stealing, in the common sense of the word, does appear in the Ten Commandments?

Find details in this podcast:

 

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Historical Coincidences My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew

Kavod — The Most Peculiar Word in Biblical Hebrew

Link to podcast-audio:

“Kavod – the most peculiar word in biblical Hebrew” (Podcast-audio)

Kavod in modern Hebrew means honor, respect or glory. A person may show Kavod to his fellow human being, and a military medal of honor, bestowed unto a military service person, is a medal of Kavod (Ot Kavod).

The word appears in the Jewish Bible no less than 199 times. Numerous times it appears therein in the same sense as in modern spoken Hebrew. Examples:

  • “Akhan, My son, give, I pray thee, respect to Jehovah, God of Israel..” (Joshua 7:19);
  • “And on that day it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob shall fade..” (Isaiah 17:4);
  • “The Heavens declare the glory of God..” (Psalms 19:2).

Yet, this is only one sense with which Kavod appears in the Bible and it is not the most frequent one. A more frequent usage does not relate at all to the created giving glory to the Creator. Rather, it relates to Kavod as intrinsically linked to the Divine. And here we encounter the impossible combination of words:

Jehovah’s Kavod.

What does that mean?

Jewish bible interpreters have attempted, throughout the ages, to impart plausible meaning to this bizarre idiom; however, they have always relied on the traditional sense of “honor” or “respect” or “glory”. In most Bible translations (from biblical Hebrew), “Jehovah’s Kavod” translates into “Jehovah’s glory”.

As we shall soon realize, all those interpretations fall short of satisfactorily explaining most usages of this combination of words in the Jewish Hebrew Bible.

Thus, we are left helpless figuring out and imparting any sensible meaning to this bizarre expression; That is, until we scrutinize instances where it appears, and try to integrate these with scientific knowledge we currently possess about the universe. Once we do that, stunning amazement and deep appreciation for Jehovah’s Kavod follows.

Let us start with a few examples:

  • When Moses expresses desire to learn of Jehovah’s ways in leading His world, he asks: “Please show me Kevodcha” (“Your Kavod”). The Divine response: “..I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and show mercy on whom I will show mercy. And He said, thou cannot see my face for no man shall see me and live” (Exodus 33:18-20);
  • Prophet Isaiah explains why the world exists (seemingly the only time the Bible relates so explicitly to this question): “All that can be named, by My Name and for my Kavod I have created it, I have formed it, I have even made it” (Isaiah 43:7);
  • Prophet Isaiah delivers an account of his vision, hearing the Seraphim crying to each other, saying: “…Holy , Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his Kavod” (Isaiah 6:3).

How can we settle the first example with the last, while they seem so much at odds and unrelated to one another?

In the first example, Moses obviously requests to learn how the Divine is leading His world. While the response Moses gets is unsatisfactory (“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious”), the Divine response affirms that what Moses really desired in his request (“Show me your Kavod”) is to learn the ways by which God is leading His world. No reference whatsoever to God’s glory, as the latter is seemingly implied by the last example!!

Jewish tradition makes a reasonable distinction between two types of Divine leadership of the universe: By Law-of-Nature and by Divine Intervention (often explicitly expressed on a personal level as Divine Providence, or Hashgachah Pratit).

The former, Law-of-Nature, relates to the Ten Divine “sayings” of Genesis Creation narrative (Genesis 1). Later, after Noah’s flood, God re-assures humankind that Law-of-Nature exists and that it is ever-lasting: “While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night would not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

The latter, Divine Intervention, relates to divine intervention in the world to exercise a system of justice: “..Would not the Judge of all the earth do Justice?” (Gen. 18:25). However, this Divine intervention is mitigated by Divine graciousness and mercy, as the former quote of God’s response to Moses has shown. Furthermore, leadership by Divine intervention is not restricted to the confines of Law-of-Nature; Occasionally, it operates contrary to Law-of-Nature, as the Ten plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7:20-12:30) testify.

Let us assume that indeed Jehovah’s Kavod is an overall term for the two basic Divine leaderships of the universe: By Law-of-Nature and by Divine intervention.

Is there indication for Law-of-Nature in Jehovah’s Kavod?

Is there indication for Divine intervention (or Divine moral code) in Jehovah’s Kavod?

Expressed differently: Can one find evidence, within the term itself, that Jehovah’s Kavod indeed represents the double-faceted Divine leadership of the world?

Surprisingly, the answer is a resounding YES.

Let us address the former first. As quoted earlier, prophet Isaiah describes his vision of Seraphim crying to each other, saying: “the whole Eretz is full of his Kavod.” (Isaiah 6:3). However, as addressed in my book (Section 14.1, p. 201), Eretz (earth in biblical Hebrew) implies either “world” or “Earth”. Given current scientific knowledge, we may therefore re-translate Isaiah thus: “..Holy , Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole universe is permeated with his Kavod.” (Isaiah 6:3).

Is there any hint in Jehovah’s Kavod for Law-of-Nature, something that, by modern science, permeates the whole universe?

We can think of one answer only:

The gravitation force!! (in modern spoken Hebrew, force of Kevidah).

By Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the gravitation field, generated by any celestial mass (like galaxies and stars), determines the most fundamental properties of the four-dimensional space-time, as we experience it in daily life and as we observe throughout the universe via astronomy, aided by scientific theory (Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, with succeeding derivatives up to the present Super-string theory). There is indeed nothing else that we can state permeates the whole universe.

And how do we, mere Earth-bound mortals, experience gravitation force?

By feeling that every physical object, large and small, is heavy, carries weight. We nowadays are aware that this sensation of physical articles being heavy is due to gravitation force. That is how we experience it in our every-day life. Additionally, by modern science, we have learned that the gravitation force (indeed gravitational field) determines the fundamental properties of the four-dimensional space-time continuum, in which we live, and the gravitational field indeed permeates the whole universe.

So:

  • If Jehovah’s Kavod expresses modes of Divine leadership of the universe (as Moses used the term in his request to God, “Show me thy Kavod”);
  • And if one of the two modes of leadership, by Jewish tradition, is Law-of-Nature;
  • And if per modern science, the most central and fundamental force-of-nature to determine the basic properties of the space-time continuum, permeating the whole universe, is the gravitation force;

Given all that, does Jehovah’s Kavod in any way points to the gravitational force???

Amazingly, Biblical Hebrew makes the impossible and implausible link between two utterly non-related concepts: Jehovah’s presence in the world via Law-of-Nature, and the most basic force of the universe, the most influential on observed Law-of-Nature, only known by modern science— the gravitation force.

Heavy, in biblical Hebrew, is Kaved (same root as Kavod, implausible as this may sound). Examples (altogether 41 instances of Kaved in the Bible imply heavy):

“Behold, tomorrow about this time I will rain heavy hail, the like of which has not been in Egypt since its foundation until now” (Exodus 9:18,24);

“And now my father had burdened you with a heavy yoke and I will add to your yoke..” (1 Kings 12:11).

We finally address the second question, put forward earlier:

Is Jehovah’s Kavod also indicative of Jehovah’s leadership via Divine intervention, imposing the set of moral Divine commandments via a system of justice operating within the confines of free-will?

The answer is similar to that for the previous question: As Jehovah’s Kavod indicates a major Law-of-Nature (Gravitation Law), so it hints at a major Divine commandment, the fifth commandment, which starts with Kabed (meaning honor):

Kabed thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16).

We summarize:

  • Jehovah’s Kavod, mostly wrongly interpreted to-date as Jehovah’s glory, has been shown in this post to really mean, consistent with Jewish tradition, Jehovah’s double-faceted leadership of the universe;
  • It is completely incomprehensible why biblical Hebrew should link “glory” with… ”heavy” (as both derive from same linguistic root);
  • Aided by modern science, and pursuing the new interpretation of Jehovah’s Kavod, an incredible link has been established between Kavod and Kaved (both emanating from same biblical Hebrew root);
  • Consistent with the new interpretation, Jehovah’s Kavod is appropriately indicative of both force of gravity (leadership by Law-of-Nature) and of the Ten Commandments (leadership by Divine intervention).

Personal confession: Mind boggling…


Comments:

Comment [1]  (added April 28, 2019): The three-letter Hebrew root of Kavod (and related words) is “כ.ב.ד” (K.B.D). The gematria value of this root is the same as Jehovah (26). This is perhaps further evidence that Kavod in biblical Hebrew is indeed a general term for all modes by which the Divine manifests its presence in the world.

Comment [2] (added June, 17, 2020): The Coronavirus pandemic, denoted by WHO (World Health Organiztion) — COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease-2019), is indicative of, sounds like — Kavod (a stunning insight by Avinoam Ben-Mordechai); Read a separate post about the pandemic here.

Comment [3] (added June, 19, 2020): In the most prominent biblical demonstration of Divine intervention in the affairs of humankind (Divine leadership, Kavod), the Ten Plagues of Egypt, the word Kavod, with variations, appears Ten Times (within only three chapters!). Five times the word describes, as adjective, four of the plagues (“natural” disasters), stating that they were “heavy”; the other five times, Kavod describes Pharaoh’s “heavy” heart, refusing “Let My People Go”. Here is the list in Exodus (Chapter: Verse):

{ (8:11), (8:20), (8:28), (9:3), (9:7), (9:18), (9:24), (9:34), (10:1), (10:14) }.

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My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Videos

Biblical Hebrew Linkage to Physical Reality (Video; Hebrew, English captions)

A possible linkage between biblical Hebrew and physical reality is discussed in this new video, based on lecture delivered by Professor Haim Shore at Bar-Ilan University,  November 2015, now with English captions:

Biblical Hebrew Linkage to Physical Reality -Prof. Haim Shore (Hebrew with English captions)

 

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General My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew

The Five Principles of the Ten Commandments

This post outlines the five general principles at the core of The Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments are a wakeup call unto the ego to acknowledge the existence of “the other” and develop appropriate (moral) relationships with “non-ego” others:

The Five Principles of the Ten Commandments_Nov 2016

Comment: Since this post first appeared, I was asked what “Non-ego other” means (see first principle). To understand the concept, it is perhaps best to define the opposite. An “Ego other” is a human being whom one considers an extension of his/her own ego. The epitome for an “Ego other” is a slave. However, “Ego other” may appear in more obscure forms, where the potential exists, like a personal assistant, a subordinate (at work), one’s own child or a spouse. All forms of “Ego other” are morally wrong.

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My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Videos

Is There Linkage between Biblical Hebrew and Physical Reality? (Video; Hebrew, English captions)

This presentation addresses the key question of whether biblical Hebrew is intrinsically linked to physical reality. Delivered at Bar-Ilan University, I explain in this lecture the methodology employed and demonstrate with some statistical results.

:”הרצאה בעברית שניתנה באוניברסיטת בר-אילן במסגרת יום עיון של ארגון “המטרה אמת

Is There Association Between Biblical Hebrew and Physical Reality? (Hebrew)

With English captions:

PowerPoint file used in the lecture (and some more) is linked below:

קובץ PP שנעשה בו שימוש בהרצאה (וקצת יותר) בקישורית שלהלן:

Prof Haim Shore Presentation at Bar-Ilan Univ_Hebrew-English_Nov 2015

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My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew

אורך חודש ירח ממוצע על פי בהר”ד ו-וי”ד בלבד

בפוסט זה אני מראה כי ניתן לחשב אורך חודש ירח ממוצע על פי שני מושגים ידועים ביהדות מקדמת דנא: בהר”ד ו-וי”ד (מופיעים, למשל, בכתבי רמב”ם ועוד).

החישוב נעשה על ידי הצבת משוואה אלגברית פשוטה ופתרונה על סמך המידע שמספקים שני המושגים שהזכרתי (ואלה בלבד!).

השוואת הפתרון לערך שנמסר באתר של סוכנות החלל האמריקאית (NASA) מראה סטייה של:

0.000005 ימים.

פרופ שור_משך ירח הלבנה הממוצע על פי בהרד ו-ויד_המהפך 4_הרב זמיר כהן_הידברות_2014

המאמר המקושר נתרם לספרו של הרב זמיר כהן מארגון הידברות: “המהפך 4” (2015).

פוסט נפרד מציג אותו חישוב, אם כי בצורה מקוצרת מעט, באנגלית (In English)

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My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew

Genesis Creation vs. Modern Cosmology – A Statistical Analysis! (Hebrew/English/Spanish videos)

Genesis Creation vs. modern cosmology— are their timelines compatible? (accounting for their different time-scales). Statistical analysis is employed in this post to examine this question.

Below are links to two new video clips (English/Hebrew), produced by Mr. Oren Evron. Each lasts about ten minutes and both aim to answer the following question:

Are Genesis Creation timeline and that of modern cosmology compatible, after all?

The findings shown are evidence-based, namely, results of data-based statistical analysis, which is addressed in detail (mostly in non-technical terms).

English version:

Genesis Creation vs. Modern Cosmology – New Scientific Findings (English)

Hebrew version (גירסה עברית):

Genesis Creation vs. Modern Cosmology – New Scientific Findings (Hebrew)

Spanish version:

Genesis Creation vs. Modern Cosmology – New Scientific Findings (Brazilian Portuguese)

Refer also to the videos page on this blog:

Videos (Hebrew, English, Brazilian Portuguese)