חַיִּים (pronounced chayyim; the “ch” = an “h” if popcorn were stuck in your throat!): “life”.

חַיִּים in context: “The Lord God formed the human of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (חַיִּים), and the human became a living being.” (Gen 2:7)

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88 COMMENTS

  1. I greatly enjoy the articles published on your website please continue. As I use the computer at work (I do not have a computer at home or internet service) and on my lunch hour to read God’s word. Thank you for the insight and education I receive. Cindy

      • Hi Dr Eli
        Is that the full explanation for the word Hallelujah?….I once heard from a friend of mine that hallelu stands for praise be to…and JAH is is a abreviation for Fathers name…JAHWE?
        So if I say Hallelujah it means ” Praise be to JAHWE”?

    • Cindy My name is Linda Lou. I have a computer you may have however you will have to figure out or take it to a friend in order to download the software. I have a new hard drive for that computer also. Dear Cindy, you must have a computer and try to learn the Hebrew language. Dear Cindy, try to read the holy books an hour before you go asleep. Ezekiel 34:30-31 Psalm 23:1-3 Isaiah 40:10-11 John 10:26-28 John 21:16 John 21:17 John 10:10-11 Isaiah 53:5-7 Matthew 25:32-34 All the nations will be gathered in his presence

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac and The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

      • In the Torah, the ineffable name of G-d is written as ‘ ‘ . For Jews, it is pronounced as Adonoi, meaning Lord. For Gentiles, it has. Den pronounced as YahWeh.

        • My understanding as a “Christian”, is that while the Temple was standing in Jerusalem that the only person allowed to pronounce G-d’s holy Name was the High Priest in the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. How does anyone know the pronunciation today?

        • Marc,
          The name of G_d is written as יהוה in the TaNaK.
          What you are referring to by the double yod (יי) is a two letter abbreviation in which the first י is the initial letter of the Holy Name and the second י is the final letter of the traditional substitution אדוני.
          The use of this abbreviation is to prevent any possibility of violating the Holy Name.

    • Looking at this matter from the Far East… And observing Nehemia Gordon’s efforts and passion… I am amazed and touched… https://www.nehemiaswall.com/1000-manuscripts-yehovah Well, we are looking (From the ‘nations’) – Dr Eli… please lead the way… Coming from a Chinese culture – our “Family Name” means allot… So, being able to say the name of our Father! Now that is something… And where does it say it’s about being too “Holy” to say ?? …. No matter what the argument is…. ברוך הבא בשם יהוה Matthew 23:39 Now it makes sense to say it as it should be…

      • Dear Christopher, first of all let me say that it is a privilege and a pleasure to have you as our student. The ends of the earth have come to worship the God of Israel! Incredible! I think on this matter of pronunciation or not pronunciation of the NAME we must show great humility and love towards one another no mater what position way may take on the issue. Blessings and much peace, Dr. Eli

      • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Leviticus and The New Testament or The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

        • I am not one of your students, but I do read your articles sometimes. I do have a question, to which I have never received an answer for. Maybe you could enlighten us with your answer, if you know (to which I hope you do). God created Adam. God spoke to Adam. Adam spoke to his wife and children. Being then that God spoke to Adam and the words were spoken in Hebrew, as your known language, would this then be a heavenly language? The language of God?

    • In anglicizing this to ” Jehovah or Yehovah ,” scholars erred since there are no “J” sound in Hebrew .In fact ,the J ,was unknown in any alphabet until the 14th century .Hence ,Jehovah Jireh ,as one of G-‘d names ,is a poor transliteration .Some scholars who maintain that YHVH is the ineffable name of G-d decided that it should be pronounced YE HO VAH ( Yehovah ) .Dr .Ben Gigi strongly opposes this idea .

      • I assume that you will be also against saying Jerusalem and will have to stick to Yerushalaim, Jacob and Yakob, Judah and Yuda, etc. I don’t mind actually as long as you are consistent.

        • I was at a retreat last weekend and the woman giving the talk explained how the word YAHWEH is similiar to the sound of our breathing , the in breath YAH and the out breath, WEH…so it is like every person is saying the name of God every time they breathe, even though they may not know that consciously. So it is built into our very being to pray unceasingly!

    • I would like to know where you got your information because my information is that so far the count is more like a little over 1100 manuscripts, starting with the oldest known Masoretic manuscript which is in Russia all the way into the middle ages. I looked at some of these like the Damascus Pentateuch, where I found it on the first line of the first page, the Second Gaster Manuscript and others online. But the point is that the pronunciation “Yehovah” is attested to in many manuscripts throughout the last 1200 years and in two systems of nikuds.

    • I have read from somewhere that it was ‘Ya hove’ – ‘Ya am I’ – from times when the present simple form of the verb ‘to be’ was not silent yet in Hebrew.

    • Emma, et.al,
      There is no argument that the Holy name of G_d is spelled יהוה the question is the pronunciation.
      If you study Biblical Hebrew you will learn that the letters in the alephbet are consonants, except that a few letters are also used as indicators for long vowels. The vowel points were added by the Masorettes later on and you will learn about the way they are (illogically) put together for word where there is a difference between what is written and what is to be read. This is the cause of the erroneous transliteration commencing Jeh… , which is an impossible set of letters in Hebrew. (and that before we look at the letter J, which is a fairly recent introduction into the English alphabet – early 17th century)
      It just happens that the four ‘letters’ of the holy name are all potential vowel markers.
      Flavius Josephus in his work on the Jewish Wars (book 5 section 5 paragraph 7) when describing the dress of the High Priest states “… a golden crown , in which was engraved the sacred name: it consists of four vowels.”

      If the four letters of the sacred name are all vowels, as Josephus states, we have no idea what the word could be. Hence we cannot pronounce it. This is a beautiful way to hide the true Holy Name within the text.

      I do not understand why we require to know the actual pronunciation of the Holy Name, when there are perfectly acceptable substitute words used by our Jewish brothers. Do we wish to violate the second word of the ten or do we regard it as a talisman and hence fall into idolatry?

      • I am a little confused on the scriptural support for not taking the name of the LORD in vain meaning we should not pronounce it. Doesn’t it say in Scripture it is the names of other “gods” that are not to be uttered? Exodus 23:13 seems to mean the exact opposite of this argument . Although most translations do not print the Name, I wonder if not taking the name in vain has to do with not invoking His name disrespectfully or with dishonesty in the heart or misrepresenting His character as represented in Exodus 34:6,7

        • Lois,
          There are two separate, independent concepts here:
          1. Pronouncing the name
          2. The 2nd of the ten – not taking the name in vain …

          My primary comment was on the first of these and addresses the issue of not even knowing the actual name, which to me is ‘truly hidden in plain sight’.

          The second point was a short comment on the current mania for pronouncing the ‘correct’ word as if it has magical powers to ensure the eternal, soverign G_d will do as we ask. It is searching for the ultimate talisman and is idolatry.

  2. I am very excited to read about the correct pronunciation of the Creator’s name from ISRAEL BIBLE CENTRE. We don’t shout ‘Alleluye’, but we shout ‘AlleluYAH’ which means ‘praise you YAHWEH’. We can also see the Creator’s name in names like ZechariYAH, ZephaniYAH, EliYAH (Elijah), NetanYAHU etc. Thank you for this article Dr. Eli. ALLELUYAH!

  3. I enjoy your posts very enlightening. Also opening the Word of G-D. Enabeling true understanding. Many thanks. Pauline x

  4. I just LOVE these wondrous gems of linguistic knowledge you impart Dr Eli! You enlighten and expand my soul! Your comment about ‘the ends of the earth have come to worship the G-d of Israel’ is absolutely correct! We really are from all corners of the world! I am in Australia! Thank you Dr Eli. I always SO look forward to reading what you say.! May you always walk in YAHWEH’s light!

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I or The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

    • Please forgive me if I offend as I do not wish to. I can understand why you say, “worship the G-d of Israel”, However as Adoni is the only God there is, even though I am Christian and cannot become Jewish as I have no Jewish ancesters, isn’t Adoni my G-d also? It is He that I worship and pray to.

  5. Question from course Reading Hebrew III: In the Hebrew text the word וַיַּרְא occurs and similarly in Gen 1:4 I do not understand why the final aleph does not have a vowel, especially as it follows a resh with a sheva. (the sheva appeared to be a sounded sheva in the commentary) As the final consonant of a word there is no sheva under the aleph. This would give an implicit word ending with two shevas, which should therefore both be silent. Is it something to do with the verb being weak in all three radicals?

    • Yes, Donald. The verb רָאָה is weak and the last root letter is not there so the word ends in Aleph. The Shevah is vocal because the Resh needs as a vowel of some sort. But Alef, Ayin and Hey can be at the end of words without a vowel. Rather a common occurrence. They make no sound in such instances and they close the syllable. So the last syllable is a closed one. See the same situation with a verb to see in the end of v. s10, 12 and 18 in the same chapter. Look at the verbs

      • טֹדָה רַבָּה i still have problems identifying the root of weak verbs, especially those with assimilated or coalesced consonants. I obviously need to continue learning.

        • Yes, Donald, do not worry most people, even those who grew up with Hebrew have trouble with weak verbs. They are tricky like that. 🙂 In fact, the best attitude in life is to never stop learning. Great Hillel said “do not believe in yourself until the day you die”

  6. Thank you so much for your interesting and informative articles. I love to do word studies, and use my Strong’s Concordance a great deal for this purpose. But it is good also to have it from Jewish sources when possible. I love to read your articles.

  7. i am finding even just having the small amount of knowledge from e teacher A and B courses how my understanding of the scriptures has undergone huge growth. For example I was reading Psalm 139 the other morning (I had been trying to hide from God and was finding it impossible!) and in verse 13 the word in english had been translated as covered but the Hebrew meaning could be ‘wove’ and in verse 15 the english translation was wrought but the Hebrew word could mean embroidered with various colours.

  8. Yes, I need it in Spanish. I do both languages, however in Spanish I will gasp more of what and how you Dr. Eli is explaining biblical themes. thanks so much I am new here…

  9. I don’t have a computer or tab but the info.is very important to me I can’t do the course either please continue teaching those who are unfortunate not to have electronic I’m still learning thank you may Yahweh continue to enrich you, the school, teachers and staffs thank you again

  10. I really must congratulate – and thank – you for your information and insight. Unfortunately I am presently too busy to involve myself in any regular course.

  11. Hi Dr. I am surprised to know of your etymology, it was for me a questionable one. I thought that it etymology means castle (from Arab sowna, “to protect”). Anyway, I have learnt a new thing. Stay blessed

  12. Interesting article on the root meaning of words! The word Leshalem meaning To pay or make payment , how does this relate to the word Jerushalem, both contain the “shalem” portion of the word? What is the translation of Jerushalem? Thank you.

  13. I have such a passion for the Hebrew translation of the Bible as it is the closest to the Word of God. My granddaughter is called Tehillah because she just loved the church at a very early age. I chose her name after attending a course on Hebrew words more than 20 years ago so there has always been a desire to connect with this biblical aspect of the Bible. Bless you and thank you

  14. Greetings Dr. Eli, I appreciate you and the Israel Bible Center. Learning from a Jewish-biblical perspective will certainly give me a heightened appreciation for the Word of God. Keep up the great work! Many blessings, Yolanda

  15. The order of the verbs in Shalom seems backwards to me. I see peace as “to pay or make payment” first (pay the debt) and “to fulfill that which is lacking” second (another Counselor). I am curious if the order of the verbs is left to right or right to left?

    • Hi Kat. I don’t think its necessarily a case of “this one” before “that one.” These are simply the range of meanings that this word fills up.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I or The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  16. To pay a debt brings peace. Interesting. Had not seen it this way. Thanks. No wonder leshalem, translated in KJV English “to recompense”, is a key feature in the relationship between Yahweh and his human creatures. And the song of Moses added: “The Rock; perfect is his work; for all his ways are judgment!” We can only be immensely thankful for Yeshua’s recompense to his Father for our debts as Prince of Peace! Thanks again for expounding the Hebrew of shalom.

  17. My nephew spent some time in Israel and when he returned to the Netherlands , he brought me a lovely colorful tile with “shalom” written on it. I hung it on my bedroom wall and it is the first thing I see when I wake and the last when I fall asleep. Shalom, to pay; that which is lacking. Yeshuah, beautiful. Shalom.

  18. May God bless your service! Next time, when you say shalom in you email, it will get some other meaning than ‘peace’: pay for your courses so as to get your peace!

  19. Dr. Eli, Your explanation is for “THE covenant name of Israel’s God” or YHWH, which God told Moses in Exodus. My understanding is that it literally means “I AM WHO I AM.” Never quite made full sense to me and not sure just how it comes across in Hebrew. The New English Bible translation gives “I AM, that is WHO I AM” which seems to give full meaning in English. Is this the same sense it has in Hebrew? Thank you. Was very disappointed however with NEB translation of the Psalms.

    • Shalom, David, type in search Hebrew Words (and it will pull up all articles, also type Hebrew mind, Hebrew Mindset).

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac and The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  20. Shalom friends….I am neither a Christian nor a Jew…..I am from India….I have a query…..Jesus (Yeshu) was born to Jewish parents, and presumably had been brought up as a Jew too…..He did not formulate anything completely apart from the foundation of the tenets of Jewish religion called Judaism; and which is an ancient one…..Jesus was crucified and thus know as CHRIST….the lifestyle (with attitude) of the Christ has been summarised over the ages as CHRISTIANITY…..and the followers (imitators) are known as CHRISTIANS all over the globe…..then what is the point in being a ‘christian’ than being a ‘jew’ rather.

  21. God is neither patient nor kind at consideration. Had He been so, then why would He banish Adam & Eve for a SINGLE mistake ? Had He been so, then why would He destroy the world so ruthlessly during Noah’s time ? He is merciless & indiscreet. Why worship Him – out of lust for the so-called Heaven to be in the everlasting “NO SUFFERINGS”, or out of fear of the so-called Hell to not to be in the everlasting “SUFFERINGS” ?

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I and The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  22. I knew that Hallelujah was praise Ya or praise God in Hebrew. I have read several translations of YHVH from several Jewish sites. I prefer Yahuwah, I understand there were no vowels written at that time. It seems that sometimes the V is pronounced like an English b and at other times like an English W. How is it decided which to use. Since I am not certain I think it best I don’t pronounce it at all. Thank you for these interesting lessons. Shalom

  23. Cant tell you how blessed I have been taking these classes. Your wisdom and insight have led me to a much deeper relationship with my heavenly Father. Thank you for all you do and share.

    • Dear Alice, welcome to our large family! So excited that you are already finding your journey exciting and rewarding!

  24. Shalom Dr. Eli I always thought the the Torah was the first 5 books of the Tanak the rest is of the Prophits. Some say that they are laws but I think they are a way to live by. If we followed them we could get along better. And of course what Yeshua said. To do under others as you want to be treated. My favorite way of saying this is what goes around comes around. I you treat some mean then you are going to be treated mean. I treat someone with kindness then someone will treat you with kindness. If some would look at the Torah and read it they would find the 613 laws even though they do not mean that everybody is to follow them. Some of them were ment for the Priest in the Temple.
    Instead of taking things the people tell us we need to read it for ourselves. Study and Study some more. The reason that I am here is because I want to learn more about the Hebrew and the history.

  25. I am accidentally gaining a congregation I have about 25 people I study and discuss with ,how do I become a minister in Torah I’m not Jewish but am fascinating with the truth and want to spread the truth… thanks sir

    • It sounds to me, Stephen, like God has equipped you with a zeal to learn and teach. Remember, not being Jewish does not disqualify a person from being a leader or teacher (take Titus, the disciple of Paul for example).

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