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Excerpts from the Mechanical Translation of the Torah
(The highlighted text in the excerpts below follow samples of the Hebrew word מצוה mitsvah through the various volumes.)



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Commentary: About the Hebrew Language


The Agricultural aspect of the Hebrew language

The Ancient Hebrews were nomadic agriculturalists who migrated from pasture to pasture, watering hole to watering hole. Their entire lives were spent in the wilderness and this lifestyle had a significant effect on their language.

Some Hebrew words are obviously related to this agricultural lifestyle. For example, The Hebrew word אוהל (ohel) is a tent, רועה (ro'eh) is a shepherd, and קציר (qatsir) is a harvest. Besides these obvious agricultural words, many other words, which we would not relate to agriculture, are in fact rooted in some aspect of the Nomadic culture. For instance, the Hebrew word חן (hhen), usually translated as "grace," is related to an "oasis," a place of beauty, rest and comfort. Derived out of the word hhen come the words מחנה (mahhaneh) meaning "camp," often pitched at an oasis.

Other Biblical words, which have lost their original agricultural meanings include; תורה (torah), which is usually translated as "law," but literally means the "journey," מצוה (mitzvah), usually translated as "command," but literally means the "directions for the journey," צדיק (tsadiyq), usually translated "righteous," but literally means "traveling the path," and רשע (rasha), usually translated as "wicked," but literally means "lost from the path."







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