"Sister" in Biblical Hebrew
Hebrew for sister, אחות (a-coat)may be used of a full or half-sister. Derived from the same root as brother (אח), "sister" only occurs 114 in the Old Testament text. It is also used as "beloved" in the Song of Solomon (cf. Song 5:1-2).

Noteworthy Usage In Old Testament
Some interesting usages of this word and its derivatives:
  • First Occurrence: Genesis 4:22 "And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah."
  • Abram requests that his wife, Sarai, tell the Egyptians that she is his sister for fear of them, "Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you." Genesis 12:13
  • Wisdom is personified as a "sister" in Proverbs 7:4 ,"Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," And call understanding your nearest kin.."
  • Israel and Judah are called sisters by Jeremiah in 3:7, "And I said, after she had done all these things, 'Return to Me.' But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it."
  • Last Occurrence: Hosea 2:1 "Say to your brethren, 'My people,' And to your sisters, 'Mercy is shown.'"

Mnemonics to Remember "Brother" in Hebrew
Find a "sound-alike" for the word אחות (a-coat). For myself, an English "sound-alike" is "a coat"  So I picture in my imagination my sister putting on a bizarre and very ugly coat which makes me laugh.  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!

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