DEBUNKING THE MYTHS OF SACRED NAMERS #3
By Carl D. Franklin April 20, 1999
Myth # 5 Hebrew is a Sacred Language
Most sacred namers believe that Hebrew is the original
language that God gave to man. They teach that the Hebrew of the
patriarchs was pure and unadulterated - meaning that it included
no words from other languages--and that the Old Testament was
originally written in this "sacred" language. They claim that the
hundreds of words from other languages that are found in the
Hebrew text are evidence of the corruption of the original
language. Because they view Hebrew as a divine language and all
other languages as impure and defiled, they maintain that only
Hebrew names should be used to refer to God.
The writings of C. J. Koster are representative of sacred
namers. Koster writes for the Institute for Scripture Research,
located in the Republic of South Africa. In his recent
publication "Come Out of Her My People," Koster calls upon
Christians to come out of the pagan religion of the Great Whore,
the Roman Catholic Church. He pleads for a return to the use of
Hebrew names of God, which he believes are essential to the true
worship of God. In presenting his views, he describes the Hebrew
language as the language of God, delivered from heaven to His
true people. The great irony is that Koster did not write his
book in Hebrew but in the English language, which in his view is
a perverted language. If he had used Hebrew, most readers would
not understand a single word he had written.
In his book, Koster asserts that Hebrew was the language of
God Himself. He writes:
"Hebrew was the only heavenly language, spoken from Sinai, and
all of Israel heard and understood it. Again, in the New
Testament we read how Yahushua spoke to the apostle Paul on the
road to Damascus in the Hebrew language, Acts 26:14. On the other
hand, Greek, like all the languages of the nations, was a pagan
language, its vocabulary being in existence long before the Glad
Tidings reached them. Like all the languages of the pagan
nations, its vocabulary consisted of many names of their deities.
The reason? They were not guided by the Law of Yahuweh [notice
this author spells Yahweh with the addition of a "u"] that
prohibited His people, 'Make no mention of the names of other
mighty ones, nor let it be heard from your mouth' (Exod. 23:13)"
(Come Out of Her My People, pp.77-78, emphasis added).
Because Hebrew was the language that God used at Sinai,
Koster concludes that it is the language spoken in heaven. This
line of reasoning has no basis in Scripture. Notice the apostle
Paul's words to the Corinthians: "Though I speak with the tongues
of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as
sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (I Cor. 13:1). In this
verse, Paul distinguishes between "tongues of men" and those of
angels, showing that the languages of men are not spoken in the
heavenlies but only on earth. Since Hebrew is one of the "tongues
of men," it is not the language of God or His angels.
Furthermore, Paul reveals that humans are forbidden to speak
the language of heaven. In describing his being "caught up to the
third heaven," where God Himself dwells, Paul states that he
"heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to
utter" (2 Cor. 12:4). Paul's record of his supernatural
experience shows the fallacy in claiming that any language spoken
by men is a "heavenly language."
Although God and His angels speak a heavenly language, God
uses the languages of men to communicate with those who dwell on
earth. God used Hebrew to deliver His laws at Sinai because that
was the language of the children of Israel. But Hebrew was not
the only language of men that God used. When God delivers a
message, He uses a language that will be understood by those to
whom His message is directed. The prophet Daniel testifies that
the hand of the Most High God engraved "MENE, MENE, TEKEL,
UPHARSIN" in stone at the great banquet of King Belshazzar of
Babylon (Dan. 5:17-28). These words are not Hebrew but Chaldee,
which was the language of the Babylonians. Since the Scriptures
record that God used Chaldee as well as Hebrew, it is groundless
to view God's use of a language as evidence that it is a
Koster errs greatly in presenting Acts 26:14 as evidence
that the Hebrew language is sacred. When he states that God spoke
to the apostle Paul in Hebrew on the road to Damascus, he
overlooks the fact that at that time Paul's name was Saul, which
is a transliteration of the Hebrew name Shaul. God later changed
Saul's name to the Greek equivalent Paul (Acts 13:9,13). God
could have changed Saul's name to Shaul, but God did not choose
to use this Hebrew name. Instead, He called His chosen apostle by
the Greek name Paul. Since God used a Greek name for His apostle,
it is evident that the Greek language was not pagan in God's
Other records in the book of Acts contradict Koster's claim
that Hebrew is a "heavenly language" and the languages of other
nations are pagan. In the second chapter of Acts we read that on
the day of Pentecost, each one who had journeyed to Jerusalem
from "every nation under heaven" heard the apostles speak the
gospel "in his own language" (Acts 2:4-6). It was God Who
inspired the individuals who were listening to the apostles to
hear these words each "in his own language." This evidence in the
New Testament does not support Koster's claim that Hebrew is
sacred and superior to all other languages. To the contrary,
Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians states that one of the
gifts of the Holy Spirit is "the gift of tongues"--not the gift
of "the tongue" (I Cor. 12:10).
Koster's belief that Hebrew is a sacred tongue has distorted
his view of the Scriptures. He completely misinterprets the words
of God in Exodus 23:13 and concludes that the languages of the
nations are defiled because they contain the names of false gods.
He states that "...all the languages of the pagan nations ...
consisted of many names of their deities. The reason? They were
not guided by the Law of Yahuweh [Yahweh] that prohibited His
people, 'Make no mention of the names of other mighty ones, nor
let it be heard from your mouth' (Exod. 23:13)" (Come Out of Her
My People, pp.77-78).
Koster interprets Exodus 23:13 as a prohibition against even
pronouncing the name of a false god. Yet in the book of Hosea,
God Himself refers to pagan deities by name. After pronouncing a
name that was used for false deities, God inspired the prophet
Hosea to record His message in the Hebrew language. According to
Koster's reasoning, this act was a defilement of the "sacred"
language. Notice what God spoke through Hosea: "And I will visit
upon her [Israel] the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense
to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels,
and she went after her lovers, and forgat Me, saith the LORD"
God's condemnation of Israel in the following verses shows
the true meaning of Exodus 23:13. Notice: "And it shall be at
that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt
call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim
[the Baals] out of her mouth, and they shall no more be
remembered by their name" (Hos. 2:16-17). Whereas God pronounced
the name Baalim in condemnation, the people of Israel were
pronouncing the names of Baalim in reverent worship of these
false deities. It is this idolatrous use of the names that God
prohibits in Exodus 23:13.
(Read again the last two sentances, for that is the truth of the
matter concerning Ex.23:13 - just to give emphasis on how to
understand Ex.23:13 - Keith Hunt)
In condemning this idolatrous worship, the prophets of God
were often inspired to refer to false deities by name. The Hebrew
text of the Old Testament contains numerous references to the
worship of Baal and other false gods and goddesses. The name
Baalim, which is used twice in the book of Hosea, is plural and
refers to the many pagan deities who were worshiped as
Baal--including Baal-berith, BaalHamon, Baal-zephon, Baal-peor,
Baal-zebub and other Baals that are named in the Old Testament.
The name of the goddess Ashteroth is often found in conjunction
with the name Baal. In addition, the text records the names of
Dagon, Molech, Chemosh, Milcom and other pagan deities. Koster
views these references as corruptions of the Hebrew and thus
rejects the authority of the text that was canonized by Ezra,
preserved by the Levitical Masoretes, and passed down to us
through God's guidance and divine intervention.
(Yep, that is how sacred namers get around the truth that blows
their ideas into a billion pieces - just claim the Hebrew given
to us is corrupt - they have somewhere in their back closet what
they will tell you is the pure Hebrew of the Old Testament -
Koster is not alone in his error. Many sacred namers believe
that the Hebrew text was corrupted, and point to the words of the
prophet Jeremiah as proof: "How do ye say, We are wise, and the
law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly the false pen of the
scribes worketh for falsehood [marginal rendering]. The wise men
are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken; lo, they have rejected
the word of the LORD: and what wisdom is in them?" (Jer. 8:8-9.)
Sacred namers interpret these verses as evidence that the
scribes were corrupting the Hebrew text by introducing the names
of pagan gods and other words derived from the languages of the
heathen. The flaws in this interpretation are easily exposed when
we examine the Scriptural and historical facts. When Jeremiah
wrote this prophecy, the Hebrew text was not yet complete. Some
of the books of the Old Testament did not yet exist and therefore
could not have been corrupted by false scribes. Among these books
are I and II Chronicles, which were written by Ezra approximately
one hundred years after the time of Jeremiah. Ezra, the chief
priest of his day, was descended from a long line of faithful
priests (Ezra 7:1-5, Num. 25:10-13). As a priest, he had been
instructed in the laws of God from the age of three (II Chron.
31:16). He was thoroughly trained in the Scriptures and was "a
ready [skillful] scribe in the law of Moses" (Ezra 7:6). No one
would accuse Ezra of being a false scribe, yet when we read the
words that he wrote in the books of the Chronicles, we find more
than a dozen references to pagan deities. Nearly all of these
references identify the false deities by name (I Chron. 6:71, II
Chron. 17:3, 6; 24:7, 18; 28:2; 33:3, 19; 34:3-4). Moreover, in
the book of Jeremiah, which condemns the work of the false
scribes, the name Baalim is used twice (Jer. 2:23, 9:14) and the
name Baal is used ten times (Jer. 2:8; 7:9; 11:13, 17; 12:16;
19:5; 23:13; 32:29). Jeremiah would not have recorded these names
if such usage was prohibited by God. Furthermore, the Scriptures
testify that it was God Himself Who spoke the names of these
false deities and commanded Jeremiah to write them in a book
(Jer. 30:1-2). The fact that God commanded Jeremiah to record the
names of these false gods shows the error in claiming that
references to false deities are a corruption of the text.
Hebrew Words Derived from Other Languages
If the names of pagan deities were the only words in the
text that were borrowed from other languages, Koster's assertion
that the Hebrew text was corrupted might appear to be plausible.
To the contrary, most words in the text that were borrowed or
derived from other languages are simple, everyday terms that have
nothing to do with idolatry or paganism. The text of the Old
Testament contains many common terms that originated in the
languages of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, Arameans,
Persians and Greeks. This fact can easily be verified by
examining a Hebrew lexicon. The following examples, which are
found in the book of Genesis, have been selected from the Hebrew
and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Brown, Driver and
Briggs. (Italicized words following the Hebrew characters are
English transliterations of the Hebrew. The superscripted number
after each transliteration is a universal reference number used
in concordances and lexicons ---- On this website I have no tool
to give "italicized" words, but will put them in " " - still
using the old "asci" writing system - very basic - Keith Hunt)
Hebrew words that were borrowed or derived from other
cultures are found very early in the text. The first chapter in
the book of Genesis uses a common term that is not of Hebrew
origin: "And God said, 'Let there be LIGHT': and there was LIGHT"
(Gen. 1:3). The word "light" in this verse is translated from the
Hebrew noun (Heb. given) "ohr" 216, which is derived from the
ancient Assyrian word "urru." The Hebrew language was influenced
very early by the Assyrians, who were descendants of Asshur, a
son of Shem. The Assyrians were cousins of the Hebrews, who were
descendants of Shem's great-grandson Eber. Although their
languages differed after the Tower of Babel, the Assyrians and
the Hebrews remained in close communication because Asshur was
allied with his father Shem in combating the tyranny of Nimrod
The book of Genesis also uses a word for "light" that is
derived from the Arabic language. Genesis 44:3 states, "As soon
as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their
asses." The word "light" in this verse is translated from the
Hebrew verb (Heb. given) "ohr" 215 (spelled the same as the
noun). This Hebrew verb, which means to be or become light, is
derived from an ancient Arabic verb, which was itself derived
from the Assyrian noun "urru."
The influence of the Arabic language on ancient Hebrew is
not surprising. The Hebrews lived in close proximity with the
Arabs, who were descendants of Abraham through Ishmael. The
account of Joseph being sold to Ishmaelite merchants by his
brothers shows that the children of Israel had no difficulty
communicating with the Ishmaelites: "And they sat down to eat
bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, a
company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing
spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. And
Judah said unto his brethren, 'What profit is it if we slay our
brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the
Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our
brother and our flesh.' And his brethren ... sold Joseph to the
Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver..." (Gen. 37:25-27). This
Scriptural record makes it clear that there was no language
barrier between the Hebrews and their Arabic cousins.
The book of Genesis also uses words from languages of people
who were not related to the Hebrews. The first example is found
in Genesis 1:5, which states:
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.
And the evening and the morning were the FIRST day." The word
"first" is translated from the Hebrew (Heb. given) "ehad" 259,
which literally means "one." This Hebrew adjective is derived
from the ancient Phoenician language. Another word in the book of
Genesis that is derived from ancient Phoenician is (Heb. given)
"adam" 120, which is translated "man" (Gen. 1:27 and 2:5).
Genesis 10 contains yet more Phoenician words. The name
Kittim (Heb. given) 3794 in verse 4 is derived from the
Phoenician word "Kheta." The word "Chittim" is also found in the
book of Daniel (Dan. 11:30). The name "Mizraim" (Hebrew is given
- Mitz-rah'-yim 4714 in verse 6 of Genesis 10 is another word of
Words that come from ancient Nabataean, Old Persian and
ancient Egyptian are also found in Genesis 10. The name Noah
(Hebrew is given - "Noh'agh" 5146) in the first verse of the
chapter comes from ancient Nabataean. The name "Madai" (Hebrew is
given - "Mah-dah'y" 4074) in the second verse cpmes from Pld
Persia. The name Cush (Heb. is given - "Koosh" 3568) in the sixth
verse is derived from the ancient Egyptian word "Kos."
In the final verses of Genesis 10, we find one more name
that was derived from another language. Verse 28 lists the name
Abimael among the sons of Joktan. Abimael is a transliteration of
the Hebrew word (Heb. is given - "Abee-mah-eehl" 39, which comes
from Southern Arabic.
The Tower of Babel
Sacred namers believe and teach that the original language
of humanity was Hebrew and that after Babel this "heavenly
language" was given to the Hebrew peoples. Let us examine the
account of God's intervention at Babel to see if the Scriptures
support this teaching:
"And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the
children of men builded. And the LORD said, 'Behold, the people
is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to
do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have
imagined to do. Go to, let Us go down, and there confound their
language, that they may not understand one another's speech.' So
the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all
the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the
name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the
language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter
them abroad upon the face of all the earth" (Gen. 11:5-9).
The word "confound" in this account is translated from the
Hebrew (Heb. is gien - bdh-lal' 1101. The Hebrew word bah-lal'
expresses a mixing of elements to produce something that is
completely new. The use of this word in the Hebrew text shows
that God scrambled the language that He had originally given to
man, taking its elements and restructuring them in a variety of
ways to produce a totally new "batch" of languages.
The Scriptural account clearly states that God "confounded,"
or confused, the language of "all the earth." That includes every
race and every people, including the descendants of the patriarch
Eber, who were called Hebrews. The very reason that God confused
the language was to prevent the people from carrying out their
plans. Allowing one group to retain the original language would
have enabled that group to continue the old ways and carry on
with the plans of pre-Babel society.
At the time of the confusion of the languages, the Hebrews
had not yet become a people. Eber's only descendants were his two
sons, neither of whom had reached manhood. In Genesis 10:25 we
read, "And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was
Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's
name was Joktan." Peleg was a mere lad, only eleven or twelve
years of age, and his brother Joktan was even younger. In the
generations that followed, Peleg's descendants became the
Israelites, and Joktan's became the Chaldeans.
Genesis 11 lists Eber's descendants through Peleg down to
Terah and his three sons (v.26). His son Abram, whom God later
named Abraham, is the first in Scripture to be called a Hebrew
(Gen. 14:13). Abraham spoke the Hebrew language, which he had
inherited from his ancestor Eber, who had received it at the
Tower of Babel. It is evident that Eber passed on this language
to both of his sons, and that Peleg and Joktan spoke the same
language after the Tower of Babel. This fact is attested by the
striking similarity of Hebrew, the language of Peleg's
descendants, and Chaldee, the language of Joktan's descendants.
Sacred namers ignore the close kinship of the two languages when
they claim that Chaldee is pagan but Hebrew is divine.
Borrowed Words in the Story of Abraham
Genesis 14 relates the story of Abraham and his rescue of
Lot, who was taken captive during the battle of the kings. This
Scriptural account uses a number of words that were derived from
other languages. The account begins by listing the kings who were
allied against the cities of the plains: "And it came to pass in
the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar,
Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations..." (verse
The Hebrew name Amraphel (Heb. is given - "Am-raah-phel"
569 is derived from the ancient Babylonian language. The Hebrew
word Arioch (Heb. is given - "Ar-yohch" 746 is derived from the
ancient Babylonian word Iri-Aku. Ancient tablets from that period
reveal that the mother of Iri-Aku, or Arioch, was the sister of
Chedorlaomer king of Elam. The Elamites were the ancestors of the
Persians. This same name appears in the book of Daniel, which was
written in the days of the Babylonian and Persian empires: "Then
Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to 'Arioch' the captain
of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of
Babylon" (Dan. 2:14).
Notice the sources of the names of the remaining kings:
Chedorlaomer(Heb. is given - "K'dor-lah-goh'-mer" 3540, the name
of the powerful king of Elam (the land of the ancient Persians)
is derived from ancient Babylonian--"Kudar-Laga" [mar]. The name
Tidal (Heb. is given - "Tid-gahl" 8413, king of nations," was
borrowed from the ancient Babylonian word Tudhula.
Many more words in the following chapters of Genesis were
borrowed or derived from other languages. Three examples have
been selected to show the different languages from which these
words originated. In Genesis 20:2 we find the name of Abimelech,
a king who ruled in the days of Abraham. Abimelech (Heb. is given
- "abee-me-lech" 40 is an ancient Philistine name meaning
"Father-king" or "Pharaoh." In Genesis 28:22, we find the word
(Heb. is given - "eh'-ven" 68, which means "stone" or "the sharp,
projecting stone." This Hebrew word comes from the Assyrian word
"abnu." The word that is translated "father" in Genesis 44:19 is
the Hebrew (Heb. is given - "ab" 1, which comes from ancient
The numerous borrowed words that are used in the book of
Genesis testify that these words were part of the Hebrew language
from the earliest times. Genesis, the first book in the Hebrew
text, was compiled by Moses from the most ancient Hebrew records.
Since idolatry and paganism did not dominate Hebrew culture in
those days, these borrowed words cannot be attributed to the
corruption of the Hebrew language.
The Testimony of the Prophet Daniel
The Scriptures record that paganism began to corrupt the
Hebrews soon after they took possession of the promised land
under the leadership of Joshua. The idolatrous worship of Baal
was widely practiced by the generation that arose after Joshua's
death (Judges 2:8-13). Each judgment from God brought temporary
repentance but was soon followed by deeper corruption. After many
warnings through His prophets, God imposed the judgment of war
and captivity, as stipulated in the covenant. The kingdom of
Israel fell to the Assyrians, and the kingdom of Judah to the
Daniel, a young member of the royal family of Judah, was
probably taken captive in 609 B.C., when Judah was invaded by the
army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. During his years in
captivity, Daniel received a number of prophetic visions, which
he recorded in a book. God revealed to Daniel that the words in
this book would be preserved "to the time of the end" (Dan.
12:4). God ensured their preservation by inspiring Ezra to
include the book of Daniel in the text of the Old Testament.
Since Daniel finished his book only a few years before the time
of Ezra, there was no gap of centuries that would allow the book
of Daniel to be corrupted before it was canonized and preserved
in the Hebrew text. Without question, the words that are recorded
in the Hebrew text are the original words of Daniel.
When we examine the book of Daniel in the Hebrew text, we
find many words that come from the languages of the Chaldeans,
Persians, Syrians and others. In fact, a large portion of the
book of Daniel (Dan. 2:4-7:28) is written in Syriac, which is an
Aramaic language. The word "Syriack" in Daniel 2:4 is translated
from the Hebrew word (Heb. is given - "aramith" 762, which means
Aramaic. The following verses in Daniel 2, and the next five
chapters, are written in Syriac, the Western dialect of Aramaic.
Many words from Chaldee, the Eastern dialect of Aramaic, are
included in these chapters. The italicized words listed below are
some of the Chaldee terms used in Daniel 2:4 through 7:28.
Definitions of these words may be obtained from a Hebrew lexicon.
Chaldee words found in Daniel 2: "nebizbah" (verse 6); "beshta"
(verse 10); "chakam" (verse 12); "elah," a name of God (verse
18); "raz" (verse 18); "gebar" (verse 25); "anasha" (verse 38);
"kum" (verse 39); "rea" and "rebiaya" (verse 40); "tin" (verse
41); "min," "ketzath" and "tebar" (verse 42); "signin" (verse
Chaldee words found in Daniel 3: "karoza," which is derived from
the old Persian "khresic," meaning "crier" (verse 4); "shaah"
(verse 6); "anash" (verse 10); "kephath" (verse 20); "haddabrin"
Chaldee words found in Daniel 4: "Elaha," a name of God (verse
2); "elahin," referring to gods (verse 8); "it" (Dan. 4:13);
"perak" (verse 27), which is equivalent to the Hebrew "parak"
(Gen. 27:40), meaning "to break off"; "tzidkah" (verse 27), which
is equivalent to the Hebrew "tze dakah."
Chaldee words found in Daniel 5: "chamra," which is equivalent to
the Hebrew "chemer," and "rabreban" (verse 1); "enash" (verse 5);
"ruach" (verse 11); "mare" (verse 23), which is equivalent to the
Hebrew "Adonai," meaning the Lord; "nishma" (verse 23); "mene
mene tekel upharsin" (verse 25); "ketal" (verse 30); "kebal"
Chaldee words found in Daniel 6: "ashith" (verse 3); "esar"
(verse 7); "aman" (verse 23); "team" (verse 26).
Chaldee words found in Daniel 7: "kodam" (verse 7); "gateek,"
translated "the Ancient of days" (verse 9); "rooagh" (verse 15),
which is equivalent to the Hebrew "ruach;" "yazib" (verse 16);
"elyonin," translated "the Most High" (verse 18), which is
equivalent to the Hebrew "elyon."
These Chaldee words are all found in the Aramaic chapters of
Daniel's book. In the other chapters, which are written in
Hebrew, Daniel also used many Chaldee words, as well as words
from Persian, Greek and Syriac. The Persian or Aryan word
"path-bag" 6598 is used in Daniel 1: "And the king appointed them
a daily provision of the king's meat [pathbag]" (verse 5). The
Chaldee names Belteshazzar 1095, Shadrach 7714, Meshach 4335 and
Abednego 5664 are also found in the first chapter (verse 7).
In the third chapter, Daniel uses a number of Chaldee
musical terms that were derived from Syriac and Greek. These
terms are all found in Verse 5: "Then an herald cried aloud, 'To
you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at
what time ye hear the sound of the 'cornet,' 'flute,' 'harp,'
'sackbut,' 'psaltery,' 'dulcimer,' and all kinds of musick, ye
fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the
king hath set up." The term cornet in this verse is the Chaldee
"keh'ren" 7162, derived from the Syriac word "sambuke." The term
"flute" is the Chaldee "mash- roh-kee-thah" 4953, which also
comes from Syriac. The term "harp" is the Chaldee "kee-thah-rohs"
7030 which was derived from the Greek word (Greek word given).
The term "sackbut" is the Chaldee "sab-b chah" 5443, which comes
from Syriac. The term "psaltery" is the Chaldee "sab-teh-reen"
6460, derived from the Greek word (Greek word given). The term
"dulcimer" is the Chaldee "soom-poh-n yah" 548, which comes from
the Greek word (Greek word given).
Later chapters in the book of Daniel contain several words
of Persian origin. The name Cyrus in the first verse of Daniel 10
is a transliteration of the Persian "K'ur'us." The name "Persia,"
also found in this verse, comes from the Old Persian "Parsa." The
name Darius in Daniel 11 is a transliteration of the Old Persian
"Darayava'ush." This verse also uses the term "Mede," which comes
from the Old Persian "Mada."
As these examples show, Daniel used numerous words from
other languages in writing his book. These words cannot be
attributed to the corrupting influences of the pagan cultures of
his day. Although Daniel spent many years in captivity among the
Babylonians, and many more years among the Medes and the
Persians, not once did he succumb to the idolatrous influences of
these Gentile nations. Speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, God
Himself testified of Daniel's faithfulness: "Though these three
men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but
their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD" (Ezk.
14:14). God spoke a second time through Ezekiel, testifying that
Daniel was a righteous man: "Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were
in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither
son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their
righteousness" (verse 20).
Daniel, a man "greatly beloved" by God, cannot be accused of
corrupting the Hebrew language by introducing words from the
languages of the pagan nations of his day. Nor did Ezra view
these words as desecrations when he included them in the Hebrew
text, only a few years after Daniel completed his book. It was
the will of God that these words be preserved "to the time of the
end," and they stand today as a witness against the false claims
of sacred namers.
Ezra and Nehemiah
As Daniel's life was coming to a close, God raised up Ezra
and Nehemiah to fulfill His words to Daniel concerning the
restoration of Jerusalem. In the sixth century B.C., Nehemiah was
sent by the Babylonian and Persian governments to be governor of
Palestine. His task, as prophesied by Daniel, was to rebuild the
walls of Jerusalem and to resettle the city. The book of Nehemiah
records the offerings that were given for these undertakings:
"And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The
Tirshatha [governor] gave to the treasure a thousand drams of
gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests' garments.
And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the
work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two
hundred pound of silver. And that which the rest of the People
gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pounds
of silver, and threescore and seven priests' garments" (Neh.
When he wrote this account in Hebrew, Nehemiah used a number
of words that were borrowed from other languages. The word "dram"
is (Heb. is given) "dar-k'mohneem" 1871. This Hebrew word was
borrowed from the Chaldeans, who had borrowed the word "daric"
from the Persians, who had borrowed the Greek word (Greek word
given - "dareikos." This borrowing of words among the Chaldeans,
Persians and Greeks is not surprising when we realize that these
peoples were engaged in widespread commerce. The Chaldee word
"dar-k'moh-neem" 1871 is found in the above verses in Nehemiah 7
and in Ezra 2:69. The Hebrew (Heb. is given) - "adar-koh-neem,"
another word for dram which comes from the Persian "daric," is
found in I Chronicles 29:7 and Ezra 8:27.
Nehemiah also used a word that was borrowed from the
Assyrians. In Nehemiah 2:8 we find the Hebrew word (Heb. is given
- "ig-geh'-reth" 107, which means "letter" or "letter-missive."
This Hebrew word was derived from the Assyrian word "egirtu."
This word from the ancient Assyrians, and all the borrowed words
in the book of Nehemiah, bear witness to the fact that Hebrew was
not sacred and superior to other languages.
There is great significance in the fact that words from many
different languages are used in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah
wrote his book in the ancient Hebrew script, which was later
replaced by the square script of Ezra. The presence of these
borrowed words in the ancient script shows that they were in use
very early among the Hebrews.
By the time of Ezra, the use of Hebrew as a spoken language
had all but ceased. Aramaic was the language of the common
people, who had forgotten their former tongue. Much of the book
of Ezra is written in Aramaic (Ezra 4:8-6:18 and 7:12 26). It is
evident that the people who had returned to Jerusalem with Ezra
and Nehemiah did not understand Hebrew, as Ezra and the priests
had to interpret the words in the Hebrew text for them. The book
of Nehemiah records this event: "And Ezra opened the book in the
sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and
when he opened it, all the people stood up: and Ezra blessed the
LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen,
with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and
worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua,
and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah,
Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the
Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people
stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God
distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the
reading" (Neh. 8:5-8).
Although Hebrew was no longer spoken by the people, the
priests continued to use it in the temple services. Hebrew became
strictly a liturgical language, preserved and safeguarded in the
text of the Old Testament. As our examination of the text has
demonstrated, ancient Hebrew included many words that originated
in other languages. It would be a monumental task to give a
complete listing of the hundreds and hundreds of Hebrew words
that were either borrowed or derived from other languages.
Like all languages of men, Hebrew was formed by mixing the
elements of the original language that God had given to Adam and
Eve. The Hebrew language was first spoken by Eber and his two
sons, who lived at the time of the Tower of Babel. In the
following centuries, the Hebrew-speaking people adopted many
words from other languages and made them part of their own
language. This interaction was possible because the languages of
all nations were formed from the same elements. Since all
languages on earth have the same origin, it is totally illogical
to claim that the Hebrew language is sacred and other languages
Hebrew the Future Language of the World?
Sacred namers assert that an uncorrupted, pure Hebrew will
be the future language of all peoples of the world. They teach
that Biblical Hebrew, which they believe was corrupted by other
languages, will be purged and restored to its original purity,
and that all peoples will know God only by one Hebrew name.
Koster expresses these views in the following paragraph:
"The prophecy for the end-time comes to us clearly in Zeph. 3:9,
'For then will I change to the peoples a pure lip, that all of
them may call upon the Name of Yahuweh, to serve Him with one
consent' (Hebrew text). It is well known that a 'pure lip' is a
Hebrew idiom for the Hebrew language. In that day all the peoples
of the world will know Him by the One Name (Zech. 14:9) which He
revealed to Israel, and which His Son, Yahushua, made known to
His disciples (John 17:6). Yahushua also promised to make it
known to us too (John 17:26)" (Koster, Come Out of Her My People,
Koster errs greatly in his interpretation of Zephaniah 3:9.
While it is true that the phrase "pure lip" is an idiom, it is
not an idiom for the Hebrew language. Let us examine this phrase
as it is translated in the King James Version: "For then will
I turn to the people a pure language [Hebrew (Heb. is given -
"sah phah" 8193], that they may all call upon the name of the
LORD, to serve Him with one consent" (Zeph. 3:9).
The context reveals that the time setting is the return of
Jesus Christ and the pouring out of God's wrath upon the nations,
which will take place at the Battle of Armageddon (verse 8).
Those who remain will "all call upon the name of the LORD" and
will "serve Him with one consent" (verse 9). Zephaniah does not
state that they will serve God with one language, as sacred
namers assert, but with "one consent." The focus in Zephaniah's
prophecy is the attitude of the heart--not the pronunciation of
words. Zephaniah foresaw a future time when all nations will
offer praises to God as they worship Him with willing hearts, or
"one consent." No longer will they use their lips to honor and
worship false gods.
(Even if we say this verse is teaching a worldwide one language
for all peoples, as the English language is becoming today, this
verse does NOT tell us WHAT that language will be. An idiom "pure
lip" does not conclusively prove it will be Hebrew. And "pure
lip" can indeed within the context mean of a pure heart and mind,
no longer the lips will speak "evolution" or "profanity" or
"vulgarity" or "cursing God" [which the book of Revelation says
they will do, even when great plagues fall on them, they will
curse God and not repent - Rev.9:18-21; 16:21] - Keith Hunt)
The Hebrew word "sdh phdh," which is translated "language"
in Zephaniah 3:9, may also be translated "lip" or "speech." The
expression "a pure language" does not refer to Hebrew or any
other language but to speech fit for the worship of the Father
and Jesus Christ. That this is so is shown by the very next
clause, "that they may all call upon the name of the LORD."
Humans with a pure heart may call upon God in any language.
The words of the prophet Isaiah clearly express the meaning of
the Hebrew word "sdh-phdh": "Then said I, 'Woe is me! for I am
undone; because I am a man of unclean lips [Hebrew "sdh-phdh"
8193], and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for
mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts'" (Isa. 6:5).
Isaiah spoke these words in the Hebrew language and later
recorded them in Hebrew. But Isaiah's lips were not unclean
because he was using a "corrupted" Hebrew. God did not cleanse
Isaiah's lips by giving him a new, purified Hebrew language to
speak, but by purging his lips of words that had been spoken from
a sinful heart. Notice: "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me,
having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs
from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, 'Lo,
this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and
thy sin purged'" (verses 6-7).
(This is a fine example of letting the Bible interpret the Bible
- "pure lip" is words coming from a pure, cleansed, cleaned-up,
repentant heart and mind - Keith Hunt)
Hebrew as a language is not pure or impure. What is spoken
and written in Hebrew can have pure or impure meanings, but the
words themselves are not impure. This is true of all languages. A
man speaking in Hebrew, or any other language, will be speaking
with unclean lips if his thoughts are wrong and his statements
Only One Name for God?
Koster asserts that when the kingdom of God comes to earth,
all the peoples of the world will know God by one name. He bases
this assertion on Zechariah 14:9, which states, "And the LORD
shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one
LORD, and His name one."
When we examine this Scripture, we find that the word "one"
is translated from the Hebrew word (Heb. is given - "ehad." The
meaning of the word "ehad" is explained by Bullinger in The
Companion Bible: "one. Heb. 'ehad = a compound unity (Lat. unus),
one made up of others: Gen. 1:5, one of seven; 2:11, one of four;
2:21, one of twenty-four; 2:24, one made up of two; 3:22, one of
the three: 49:16, one of twelve; Num. 13:23, one of a cluster.
So Ps. 34:20, & c. It is not yahid, which is (Lat.) unicus,
unique--a single, or only one...." (p.247).
Because "ehad" expresses a compound unity, it is a mistake
to interpret its meaning in Zechariah 14:9 as "the One Name," as
Koster does. The error in this interpretation is exposed by the
book of Revelation, which records more than two dozen names of
Jesus Christ--the LORD Who will become "King over all the earth."
Notice the many names that are ascribed to this King in the
book of Revelation: "the faithful Witness, and the First Begotten
of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth" (1:5);
"Alpha and Omega ... the Almighty" (1:8); "the Son of Man"
(1:13); "the First and the Last (2:8); "the Son of God" (2:18);
"He That is Holy, He That is True" (3:7); "the Amen" (3:14); "the
Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David" (5:5); "the Lamb"
(5:8); "Lord" (6:10); "Christ" (11:15); "Lord of lords, and King
of kings" (17:14); "Faithful and True" (19:11); "the Word of God"
(19:13); "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (19:16); "the Temple"
(21:22); "the LORD God" (22:5-6); "the Beginning and the End"
(22:13); "the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning
Many of these names in the book of Revelation can be found
in the Old Testament. The prophets and saints of old used them,
and they will be used by the saints in the kingdom of God. These
names will never be extinguished because they describe the
attributes of God, Who is eternal. The presence of these names in
the prophetic book of Revelation clearly contradicts the
assertion that God will be known by "the One Name."
The book of Revelation also shows that the words "one LORD"
in Zechariah 14:9 do not refer to only one divine Being. In
Revelation 11:15, the word "LORD" is used to name the Father. In
Revelation 19:16, the word "LORD" is used as a title of Jesus
Christ. In both verses, the word "LORD" is translated from the
Greek "Kupto;" "Kurios" 2962, which is the equivalent of the
Hebrew "J'hohvah" 3068, found in Zechariah 14:9 and throughout
the Old Testament.
The Scriptural usage of the word "LORD" clearly expresses
the compound unity of the Hebrew word "ehad" in Zechariah 14:9.
Both the Father and the Son will be worshiped as "LORD" in the
kingdom of God, and both will be worshiped by their other names
as well. The names of false gods will be forgotten, and all
nations will praise and glorify the LORD of heaven and "the King
over all the earth.
It is of the uttermost silliness to teach that ALL the names of
God, which He uses to expound to the human mind His
comprehensiveness, His all in all character and power, throughout
the whole Bible, will come to an end when the Kingdom of God
comes to earth. The reader is encouraged to read and study the
book on this website called "NAMES OF GOD" by Nathan J. Stone.
I will finish this series with TWO more "technicalities" and a
discourse of common LOGIC.
To be continued