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Ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic posts coming soon!

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Targum Onkelos (Aramaic)

Targum Onkelos is the official eastern translation of the Hebrew Torah in Aramaic. This particular Targum is read in synagogues after the reading of the Hebrew text. In fact, there is an ancient tradition in Orthodox Judaism where the Hebrew Torah portion is read twice weekly and once weekly from the Aramaic Targum.

The Targum Onkelos is almost always published with the Chumash, which is a printed edition of the Torah containing the Five Books of Moses along with commentaries.

The Targum Onkelos is not identical to the Aramaic Peshitta Tanach. They are distinctly different. However, studying both will give the reader a background to the original Hebrew Torah.

Click here to read the Targum Onkelos in English.

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The Peshitta (Syriac)

The Peshitta is the standard version of the Eastern Christian Bible written in Syriac.  Peshitta in Syriac means simple, straight, or common.  The Peshitta Old Testament is the earliest piece of Syriac literature of any length, probably originating in the second century.  Although the majority of the Early Church used the Greek Septuagint as their translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Syriac-speaking church used the Peshitta, which was translated independently of the Septuagint.  The Hebrew text that served as a master copy for the translation must have been relatively similar to the Masoretic Text of medieval and modern Hebrew Bibles.  Interestingly, the Peshitta has been translated by a wide array of people.  Some parts may have been translated by Syriac-speaking Jews, and other parts may have been translated by early Jewish converts to Christianity.
To read the Peshitta/English Interlinear below, you must first download the following fonts.  Simply right click on the link, choose “Save Target As”, and download.
Estrangelo Aramaic TrueType Font
SIL Galatia Greek TrueType Font
SIL Ezra Hebrew TrueType Font
Web Arabic TrueType Font
The Peshitta/English Interlinear by Paul D. Younan
Matthew (Mattich)
Mark (Marqsch)
Luke (Luqach)
John (Yukhnch)
Acts (Actsch)
Note:  Paul Younan’s Interlinear translation is still a work in progress.  I will update as it is made available.
There is another excellent Aramaic English translation of the Peshitta by the Peshitta Foundation that is nearly complete.  Click here to view their website:  The Peshitta Foundation
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Arabic Bible Translations

When using links, click the back button on your browser to return to this site.

Bible Verse Search in Arabic

Arabic New Testament in audio (The Arabic NT in audio is copyrighted by the International Bible Society.)

Bible Concordance in Arabic (Arabic Life Application Bible)
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Reptiles And Insects Of The Bible

Adder (Viper)
A poinonous snake of the genus Vipera.
Agamid
Leviticus 11:29
An agamid is a large lizard that commonly grows to three feet in length.  Agamids are covered with scales and thorny protrusions that make them look frightening even though they are harmless.  They aren’t mentioned specifically by name in the Bible, but scholars believe the word “tortoise” in Leviticus 11:29 might be the agamid.
Asp (See Cobra)
Deuteronomy 32:33; Job 20:16, 14
The word Asp represents four Hebrew names for the snake:
1.  Pethen, which has deadly venom, which is most likely the cobra (naja aspis).  (Deuteronomy 32:33, Job 20:16, 14).
2.  Shahal, which may be a scribal error for a snake that is now unidentifiable.
3.  Akhshubh, a deadly kind of viper (perhaps the toxicoa, the echis arenicola or scytale of the Pyramids which was commonly found in Syria and North Africa.)
4.  Cphoni, “the hisser”, which is generally translated basilisk or regulus.  People believed that the snake was so poisonous that even its hiss or glance could be fatal.  The snake is most likely a cerastes (a small viper), or, according to Cheyne, the daboia zanthina.
Basilisk
Psalm 91:13
The Basilisk is a mythical creature that frightened the ancients.  According to legends, this half cock, half snake terror was so deadly that even its glance could be fatal.  It quickly became a symbol of the devil based on Psalm 91:13 which says “you will tread on the adder and the basilisk.”
Chameleon
Leviticus 11:30
The chameleon is a lizard that has the ability to change color.  The interesting thing about the chameleon is that it doesn’t change its color to chamoflauge itself, but rather, it changes colors due to emotion and temperature changes.  Also unique to the chameleon is that each eye can move independently, allowing it to look two ways at once.
Cobra
Cockatrice
Isaiah 11:8, 50:5; Jeremiah 8:17
A cockatrice is a ficticious serpent thought to be hatched from a chicken egg rather than a snake egg.  Early Bible translations included it in their passages, but later ones changed the name to adder and so forth.
Crocodile
Egyptians worshipped the crocodile as one of their gods, and as such, the Israelites didn’t like them.
Dragon
Psalm 91:13; Ezekiel 22:33
Many ancient cultures believed in–and even revered–dragons.  Dragons were thought to be wise and powerful.  Even so, the Bible equates them with evil.
Eel
Leviticus 11:10; Matthew 7:10

Eels were found in the salty Mediterranean and in the freshwater lakes of Palestine.  Under Levitical law they were forbidden to be consumed as a food source because they have neither scales nor fins.  It is probable that the word “serpent” should have been translated “eel” in Matthew 7:10 when Jesus asked, “If his son asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent [eel]?”  An eel would have been worthless to a devout hungry Jew, and certainly would have portrayed a clearer message to the listeners.
Frog
Exodus 8:1-14; Psalms 78:45, 105:34; Revelation 16:13
Frogs were the second plague of ten sent to the Egyptians in Exodus 8:1-14, and were considered “unclean” by the Israelites.  (The fact that Egyptians actually worshipped the frog god Hequet made frogs all the more loathesome.)  In Revelation 16:13, John sees “three unclean spirits like frogs” in his vision.  Clearly, the Biblical view of frogs is negative.

Gecko
Leviticus 11:30
Common to the Middle East, the gecko is a large lizard.  In Leviticus 11:30, early translators added “ferret” to the list of “creeping things”, but since there have never been ferrets in Palestine, more recent translations more accurately replace “ferret” with “gecko”.
Early folklore said leprosy could be caused by a gecko walking on one’s body.  (Many Arabs today believe that a gecko poisons all it touches.)
Leviathon
Psalm 74:14; Job 41:1
What, exactly, is Leviathan?  Is it a mythical creature, a spirit, a dinosaur, or an ancient sea mammal?  Interestingly, Hebrew beliefs coincide with other cultures when it comes to fantastic creatures such as dragons, unicorns, and basilisk.  Were they real at one time?  Were they Nephilim?  Were they destroyed in the Flood?  We do not know the answers to these questions, but they are still asked today.  Many people believe Job was describing a crocodile in Job 41, but his peers believed “Leviathan” was a large sea monster.  One legend about Leviathan was that it was incapable of reproducing because God knew if too many leviathans existed, they would crowd the other creatures out of the ocean due to their enormous size!
Lizard
Leviticus 11:30; Psalm 58:8
There are multiple varieties of lizards in the Holy Land, which may explain why Bible translators were so ambiguous in their translations of them.  Scholars now know the sand lizard was likely the “snail” in Leviticus 11:30 and Psalm 58:8.  Common lizards were the Nile Monitor, the Land Crocodile, the Chameleon, the Gecko, and the Agamid.
Nile Monitor
Familiar to Egypt, the Nile Monistor is a large, sand-colored lizard that grows to be 5-6 feet in length.
Serpent (Snake)
Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9
Since Genesis, the Bible has been a symbol of evil.
Tortoise (Turtle)
Viper
Isaiah 30:6; Proverbs 23:22
Insects
Ant
Proverbs 6:6; 30:25
More than twelve species of ants exist in Israel, the most common being of the genus Atta.  Atta barbara ants are dark colored ants, and atta structor are brown.  Unlike northern country ants, these ants store up corn for winter use, which explains why the men in Proverbs are called wise.
Bee
Judges 14:8
Beetle
Butterfly
Cankerworm
Caterpillar
Cricket
Leviticus 11:22
Flea
1 Samuel 24:14, 26:20
Fly
Ecclesiastes 10:1
Gnat
Exodus 8:16; Matthew 23:24
Grasshopper
Leviticus 11:22
Hornet
Horseleach
Leech
Lice
Locust
Exodus 10:4; Leviticus 11:22; Joel 1:4; Matthew 3:4; Revelaton 9:3
Maggot
Job 7:5, 17:14, 21:26; Isaiah 14:11; Mark 9:48
Mosquito
Moth
Matthew 6:19; Isaiah 50:9, 51:8
Palmerworm
Scorpion
1 Kings 12:11, 14; Luke 10:19; Revelation 9:3, 5, 10
Snail
Okay, so a snail isn’t an insect.
Scarob
Spider
Black Widow
Isaiah 59:5
Worm
Isaiah 66:24; Jonah 4:7
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Fish And Other Sea Life Of The Bible

Clam

Coral

Dolphin

Dugong (Sea Cow)

Eel

Fish

Jellyfish

Lobster

Oyster

Shark

Shrimp

Sponge

Whale

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Birds of the Bible

Barn Owl

Leviticus 11:18


Bat

Leviticus 11:19; Isaiah 2:20

We now know that a bat is a flying mammal, but early peoples thought of it as a bird, so I will include it here.

Bearded Vulture (See Lammergier)

Bee Eater

Bittern

Blackbird

Bulbul


Buzzard

Isaiah 34:15


Chicken

Cock


Cormorant

Leviticus 11:17


Crane

Isaiah 38:14


Crossbill

Crow

Cuckoo


Dove

Genesis 8:8; 2 Kings 6:25; Matthew 3:16, 10:16; John 2:16

Duck

Eagle

Exodus 19:4; Isaiah 0:31; Ezekiel 1:10; Daniel 7:4; Revelation 4:7; 12:14

Falcon

Leviticus 11:4

Finch

Ferret

Flamingo

Fowl

Gier

Glede

Goose

Griffon

Gull

Hawk

Leviticus 11:16; Job 39:26

Hen

Heron

Hoopoe

Ibis

Kestrel

Kite

Leviticus 11:14

Lammergier

Lapwing

Mourning Dove

Isaiah 38:14

Nighthawk

Ossifrage (See Lammergier)

Osphrey

Ostrich

Lamentations 4:3

Owl

Leviticus 11:17; Isaiah 34:15; Psalm 102:6

Partridge

1 Samuel 26:20

Peacock

1 Kings 10:22


Pelican

Pharoah’s Hen

Phoenix

Pigeon

Genesis 15:9; Luke 2:24

Quail

Exodus 16:13; Numbers 11:31

Raven

Genesis 8:7; Leviticus 11:15; 1 Kings 17:4

Rooster

Matthew 26:34

Screech Owl

Seagull

Leviticus 11:6

Short-eared Owl

Leviticus 11:16

Sparrow

Matthew 10:31

Stork

Leviticus 11:19

Swallow

Isaiah 38:14

Swan

Swift

Turtledove

Genesis 15:9; Luke 2:24

Vulture (See Griffon, Lammergier)

Leviticus 11:13, 18


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Animals of the Bible

Addax (Pygarg)

Deuteronomy 14:5

Many kinds of antelope existed in ancient Israel.  The most common was the Saharan addax.  The Saharan addax looks like a mix between a goat and a donkey.  It has a brown head, off-white body, and short, goat-like mane under the neck, but a donkey-like tail and flat hoofs to keep it stable in the sand.  An unusual feature of the addax is its long, thin, double-twisted horns.

Since the addax was considered “clean” under dietary laws, it was widely hunted, but not so often with dogs as with falcons!  The reason?  They were much too  fast for dogs to catch.

It is probable that the addax corresponds to the “dishon” of the Hebrews and the “pygarg” of the diverse translations.

Antelope

Deuteronomy 14:5; Isaiah 51:20

The antelope is a mix between a deer and a goat.  The Bible mentions four species specifically:

1.  The Cebhi (gazelle, dorcas, roe)  (Deuteronomy 12:15)

2.  The Dishon (antilope addax)  (Deuteronomy 14:5)

3.  The Theo (wild goat, wild ox, most likely antilope bubalis)  (Deuteronomy 14:5, Isaiah 51:20)

4.  The Yahmur (an Arab name for the roebuck of Northern Syria and for the white antelope oryx in the desert)  (Deuteronomy 14:5)

Aoudad

Ape

1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chronicles 9:21

Apes are not indigenous to Israel, but are mentioned in the Bible among the precious things imported from Tharsis by Solomon.  They are references alongside gold, silver, ivory, and peacocks.  (1 Kings 10:22, 2 Chronicles 9:21).

Ass

Auroch (Urus)

Baboon

Barbary Sheep (See Aoudad)

Badger (See Hyrax)

Bear

1 Samuel 17:34-37; 2 Kings 2:24; Isaiah 11:7; Daniel 7:5; Revelation 13:2

Behemoth

Job 40:15

Boar, Wild

Bubal (Hartebeest)

Bull

Calf


Camel

Genesis 24:10; Leviticus 11:4; Isaiah 30:6; Matthew 3:4, 19:24, 23:34

Cat

Cattle

Isaiah 11:17; Daniel 4:25; Luke 14:5

Chamois

Coney (See Hyrax)

Cow

Isaiah 11:17; Daniel 4:25; Luke 14:5

Deer, Fallow

Deuteronomy 12:15, 14:5

Deer, Red

Deuteronomy 12:15, 1:5

Dog

Donkey (See Ass)

Isaiah 1:3, 30:6; John 12:14

Elephant

Ewe

Fox

Judges 15:4; Nehemiah 4:3; Matthew 8:20; Luke 13:32

Gazelle

Deuteronomy 12:15, 14:5

Goat

1 Samuel 17:34; Genesis 15:9; 37:31; Daniel 8:5; Leviticus 16:7; Matthew 25:33

Greyhound

Hamster

Hare

Leviticus 11:6

Hart

Hind

Hippopotamus

Horse

1 Kings 4:26; 2 Kings 2:11; Revelation 6:2-8, 19:14

Hyena

Isaiah 34:14

Hyrax (Coney or Rock Badger)

Leviticus 11:5

Ibex

Jackal

Jerboa

Kermes

Lamb

Genesis 4:2; 1 Samuel 17:34

Leopard

Isaiah 11:6; Jeremiah 13:23; Daniel 7:6; Revelation 13:2

Leviathan

Psalm 74:14; Job 41:1

Lion

Judges 14:8; 1 Kings 13:24; Isaiah 30:6, 65:25; Daniel 6:7; Ezekiel 1:10; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 4:7, 13:2

Mole

Mole Rat

Leviticus 11:30

Monkey

Mountain Sheep

Deuteronomy 14:5

Mouse

Mule

2 Samuel 18:9; 1 Kings 1:38

Oryx

Ox

1 Samuel 11:7; 2 Samuel 6:6; 1 Kings 19:20-21; Job 40:15; Isaiah 1:3; Ezekiel 1:10

Pig (See Swine)

Leviticus 11:7; Deuteronomy 14:8; Proverbs 11:22; Isaiah 65:4, 66:3, 17; Matthew 7:6, 8:31; 2 Peter 2:22

Porcupine

Pygarg (See Addax)

Ram

Genesis 15:9; Exodus 25:5

Rat

Leviticus 11:29

Rodent

Isaiah 2:20

Roe Deer

Deuteronomy 14:5

Satyr

Sheep

Exodus 12:5; 1 Samuel 17:34; Matthew 25:33; Luke 15:4; John 10:7

Swine

Leviticus 11:7; Deuteronomy 14:8; Proverbs 11:22; Isaiah 65:4, 66:3, 17; Matthew 7:6, 8:31; 2 Peter 2:22

Unicorn

Urus (See Auroch)

Vole

Weasel

Wild Ass

Wild Cat

Wild Goat

Deuteronomy 14:5

Wild Ox

Numbers 23:22

Wolf

Isaiah 11:6; Matthew 7:15

Zebu

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Chazah: “The Seeing Ear”

Chazah is an ancient word that was first made up of symbols before it was written in letters.  It is the Hebrew word for vision, but it means more than just seeing with the natural eye.  Chazah means prophetic vision that comes from hearing God.

The ancient aramaic meaning of chazah is “the seeing ear” or “the hearing eye”.

As odd as that sounds to the Western mind, it expresses the Eastern Semitic way of looking at things quite well; namely, that spiritual seeing and hearing are so connected that they become  a unified sense.

Chazah comes through inspiration.  It is the in- “spiration” or in- “breathing” of God’s Breath.

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In the Bible, the Hebrew word tam or tamim, translated  as “perfect” doesn’t mean what we think it means.

When Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:48) “Be therefore perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect,” He is not commanding us to be as flawless as God.  The Hebrew word for “perfect” here means to be complete, mature, or healthy.

Similarly, the Greek word, telos,  speaks of perfection as being fully ripened.  Think of a piece of ripe fruit that has a slight bruise on one side.  Both Greeks and Hebrews of Jesus’ day would describe the fruit as being “perfect” because  something can be mature and still have flaws.

With this in mind, read Jesus’ words again:

“Be therefore complete, even as your Heavenly Father is complete.”

“Be therefore mature (fully ripe), even as your Heavenly Father is mature.”

“Be therefore healthy, even as your Heavenly Father is healthy.”

The bottom line is:  you can be complete, mature, and healthy without being perfect as the English means it, and it is God’s desire that you are!

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