Ancient Hebrew: Meanings determined
When the author(s) wrote the Genesis account, it was not written in English, Greek or even today's Hebrew. It was written in pictures called pictographs. For example, the Hebrew letter peh in the modern Hebrew alphabet is written as פ, but in the ancient pictograph script used in the time that Genesis was written, the letter would have been written as a mouth (illustrated below). The letter ayin is written as a ע in today's Hebrew alphabet, yet in ancient Hebrew it would have been written as an eye (illustrated below).
The ancient letter peh (mouth) The ancient letter ayin (eye)
The reason we know these pictures are of a mouth and eye (other than just looking at them and seeing a mouth and eye) are because the names of the pictures are also the ancient Hebrew words for each image. The modern Hebrew word פה (pey) means "mouth" and the Hebrew word עין (ayin) means "eye."
Yea, they opened their mouth (פה / pey) wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye (עין / ayin) hath seen it. (KJV, Psalm 35:21)
These images also carry additional meanings, ideas and concepts. In the case of the letter peh (mouth), it also represented speech, or speaking, since this is what you do with your mouth.
And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment (פה / pey) of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. (Genesis 45:21, KJV)
This can also read as:
And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the mouth (פה / pey) of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. (Genesis 45:21)
Here is another example where mouth was translated to "edge"
And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge (פה / pey) of the sword. (Exodus 17:13, KJV)
Which could also be read as:
And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the mouth (פה / pey) of the sword. (Exodus 17:13, KJV)
Just like for mouth (פה / pey), the same applies to eye (עין / ayin) where the eye is used for certain functions:
And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of (עין / ayin) the people. (Exodus 4:30, KJV)
This can be translated as:
And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs to the eyes of (עין / ayin) the people. (Exodus 4:30)
Here again is another example:
Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge (עין / ayin) of the congregation...(Numbers 15:24, KJV)
Which is translated from:
Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the eyes (עין / ayin) of the congregation...(Numbers 15:24, KJV)
The Aleph-beyt (Alphabet)
Given the above, the logical question would be to ask what other letters are part of this Ancient Hebrew alphabet.
So how can we apply this to the Bible to obtain a better understanding of the ideas that the author was trying to present? Well, I can only suggest going to https://www.ancient-hebrew.org/index.html to learn more about Ancient Hebrew, but in the meantime, I can share this as an example:
Recently I was told by someone that the earth was surrounded by water. Not water on the earth, but rather instead of their being a vast emptiness of space beyond our atmosphere, this friend was exclaiming that Genesis 1:2 expresses that the "face of the deep" and "face of the waters" indicated that beyond the collective earth, beyond the earth's atmosphere, is water.
In the Hebrew, it is written as:
The King James Version of the Bible translated the above as:
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
Now if we take the original text and apply a mechanical translation to the verse, we come up with:
and~ the~ Land she~ had~ Exist Confusion and~ Unfilled and~ Darkness Upon Face~ s Deep.sea and~ Wind “Elohiym [Powers]” much~ Flutter~ ing(fs) Upon Face~ s the~ Water~ s2
Which is then interpreted as:
and the land had existed in confusion and was unfilled and darkness was upon the face of the deep sea and the wind of “Elohiym [Powers]” was much fluttering upon the face of the water,
This in no way takes away from the King James translation, but rather builds on it and makes clear the vagueness regarding the "face of the deep" and "face of the waters". This also identifies that sometime before the creation of LIFE upon the earth, the earth existed in the same or similar state that perhaps Mars or another "dead" planet is in. The difference is that the earth was covered in water and had thick vaporous atmosphere; similar to what we see with other gas planets.
God did not just leave the Bible alone for us to learn about Him and creation. He speaks to us through Nature itself of the revelation of His love for us.
I pray that this has been a blessing to you and I hope that you visit the Ancient Hebrew Research Center for more information on the language and how it can be used to show the meaning behind words. Amen!