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Covet / Desire in Hebrew
The verbal form for "covet" or "desire" in Hebrew is חָמַד (cha-mad).  The word can be use in a positive or negative sense. 

Positively, the word
חָמַד means to take great delight in, or strongly desire. Negatively, the word carries the meaning of "covet" or "
inordinate, ungoverned, selfish desire." (BDB)


Noteworthy Usage In Old Testament
Some interesting usages of this word and its derivatives:
  • First Occurrence (positive): Genesis 2:9a, "And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food."
  •  First Occurrence of Coveting (negative), Genesis 3:6 "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. 
  • Used in The 10 Commandments, "You shall not covet. " Exodus 20:17.
  • Positively used, the Torah is desired more than gold. (Psalm 19:11)
  • This word is used to describe the Messiah Jesus in Isaiah 53:2, "And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him."
  • Last Occurrence: Micah 2:2, "They covet fields and take them by violence, Also houses, and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, A man and his inheritance."

Mnemonics to Remember Covet in Hebrew
Find a "sound-alike" for the word חָמַד. For me an English "sound-alike" is "come-on."  So I picture in my imagination a beautiful woman that is "coming on" to me; my reaction is to covet her.  Find your own unique "sound-alike" for this word and then associate the English "sound-alike" to the Hebrew definition.

Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary Helps
To learn more Hebrew vocabulary and grammar quickly and easily, visit us on the web at Biblical Hebrew Made Easy! To see more works by author Blair Kasfeldt, visit his website, Boost Your Memory!

Buy Your Hebrew Vocabulary Guide Today and Master over 700 Hebrew Words Quickly and Easily!

 
 
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Deception in Hebrew
The noun in Hebrew for  "lie, falsehood,deception" is שֶׁקֶר (sheqer). The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament states that this word is, "Used of words or activities which are false in the sense that they are groundless, without basis in fact or reality."

The verbal form, שָׁקַר (shaqar) is often used in relationship to breaking God's covenant.

Noteworthy Usages in the Old Testament
  • First use: oddly, from the mouth of a pagan to Abraham asking Abraham to swear kindness to him, "Now therefore, swear to me by God that you will not deal falsely (shaqar) with me..." (Ex. 20:3)
  • In the Decalogue, "You shall not bear false (sheqer) witness" 
  • Both Jeremiah and Isaiah consider false prophets and their utterances to be "sheqer." 
  • Again ,both Jeremiah and Isaiah consider idols to be "sheqer."
  • Last use in the Old Testament: Malachi 3:5: In a sobering warning the LORD says, "And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers (sheqer)..."

Mnemonics to Remember "Deception, Falsehood" in Hebrew
To remember שֶׁקֶר, find a "sound-alike" English word for the Hebrew. For myself, I use the substitute English word "checker."  After finding your substitute or "sound-alike" English word, associate the meaning (deception) to the sound-alike (e.g. "checker") in your imagination.

For myself, I associate the game pieces of checkers moving themselves against me in a game deceiving me.

Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary Helps
To learn more Hebrew vocabulary and grammar quickly and easily, visit us on the web at Biblical Hebrew Made Easy! To see more works by author Blair Kasfeldt, visit his website, Boost Your Memory!

Buy Your Hebrew Vocabulary Guide Today and Master over 700 Hebrew Words Quickly and Easily!

 
 
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"Steal" in Hebrew
In Hebrew steal is גָּנָּב (ga-nab).  The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) states, "...the verb means 'to take that which belongs to another without his consent or knowledge.'"  

This verb and its derivatives occur over sixty times in the Old Testament.

Occurrences of Note in the Old Testament:
  • First used in Genesis 30:33; Jacob discusses his wages of "spotted" and "speckled" goats and lambs with Laban.
  • In the Decalogue, "You shall not steal."
  • This "stealing" including stealing other human beings - kidnapping. This was punishable by death (Ex. 21:16) whereas other thefts were punished more leniently.
  • ""To steal the heart" is an idiom which means "to deceive." (TWOT)

Mnemonics to Remember גָּנַּב!
To remember this word, find a "sound-alike" for גָּנָּב (ga-nab) and associate the "sound-alike" to the meaning of "He stole." For example, I find the Hebrew word for "steal" sounds like, "gone after" so I vividly picture myself going after a thief who has stolen.



Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary Helps
To learn more Hebrew vocabulary and grammar quickly and easily, visit us on the web at Biblical Hebrew Made Easy! To see more works by author Blair Kasfeldt, visit his website, Boost Your Memory!

Buy Your Hebrew Vocabulary Guide Today and Master over 700 Hebrew Words Quickly and Easily!

 
 
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You Shall Not Commit Adultery
First appearing in the Decalogue, adultery, or  נָאַף (na'ap) in Hebrew, is contained in the prohibition to not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14 reads,  "You shall not commit adultery (na'ap)."


This word for "adultery" occurs only 34 times in the Old Testament as compared to זָנָה (za'na), a word that denotes fornication or other illicit sexual activity (both physically and metaphorically as spiritual fornication; variously translated) occurring in the Old Testament text. Na'ap denotes "sexual intercourse with the wife or betrothed of another man." (Koehler and W. Baumgartner)

Israelite Sexual Purity
In contrast to other surrounding pagan religions of the ancient near east, Israelites were to be sexually pure.  The practice of adultery was detestable in God's eyes and warrants double mention in the Decalogue ("You shall not commit adultery"; "You shall not covet your neighbors wife...").


Biblical references to adultery include:
  • Genesis 2:24; The institution of marriage renders two flesh into one. Adultery violates the First Commandment by placing man's will in opposition and above God's will. 
  • Proverbs 6:32-33; The destruction of ones own soul and reputation.
  • Lev. 19:20; 20:10; Adultery was punishable by death. Fornication did not merit the death penalty.
  • Mal. 2:14-16; Divorce is explicittly condmened as hateful to God.
  • Numbers 5:11-31; Women suspect of adultery are given to undertake this trial.

Spiritual Adultery 
Hosea is the embodiment of the LORD's teaching on spiritual adultery. Not only is the LORD King of all Israel, but He is also the husband of Israel. "Israel is condmened for disavowing God's claims as the marriage lord.  They have served other gods by practicing cultic and spiritual prostitution (4:11-12)." (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)


Hebrew Mnemonic for "Adultery" 
To recall "na'ap" is " he committed adultery" find a "sound-alike" word for "na'ap." For myself, it sounds like "nap."  Associate your "sound-alike" to the definition of " he committed adultery."  I vividly picture a man taking a "nap" with a woman that is not his wife.

Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary Helps
To learn more Hebrew vocabulary and grammar quickly and easily, visit us on the web at Biblical Hebrew Made Easy! To see more works by author Blair Kasfeldt, visit his website, Boost Your Memory!

Buy Your Hebrew Vocabulary Guide Today and Master over 700 Hebrew Words Quickly and Easily!