TORAH BIBLE STUDY, Where There is No Man


“It is the Glory of GOD to conceal a thing, but the honor of Kings to search out a matter” —King Solomon (Proverbs 25:2)

Continued from Part 3……

“In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man” –Rabbi Hillel

We have invested 33 minutes into this teaching… keep going!

There are 12 different words in the Hebrew Language that GOD can use to say, ‘man’. Which one does He use, to call forth a man among men?  In which one do you see the attributes of, a mighty man of valor?

The Next 2 Hebrew Words for ‘Man’ that we will look at are: ish & nephesh)

Spreadsheets are available below containing the information that I want you to capture.

First let’s take a look at the word, ish

The Hebrew word ‘ish’ (eesh) can also be translated as ‘man’. The concordinal reference number for ‘ish’ is 396. Again, scan down the far right edge of the column in the Strong’s Concordance (Book Form), and you will see the various list of numbers all referenced under your search the word, man.

Continuing to look for patterns we will look at the 1st three appearances of ‘ish’ in the scriptures. The chart below provides an example of the information that we will make note of:

ish’ appears in Genesis 2:23, 24 and 4:1 (KJV).

Hebrew WordConcordanceRef#123# of times/ Scripture
ish (eesh) 376Gen 2:23Gen 2:24Gen 4:1 1097

Immediately, we observe that ‘ish’ (eesh), is used extensively in scripture, 1097 times. In the 1st 3 appearances of ish, we note:

  • that Adam has not only identified woman as isha (eesha), he has identified himself as ish (2:23).
  • Ish and isha are one flesh (2:24).
  • Adam and Eve, reproduced in their image, ish (4:1).

2:23 “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 

2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

4:1 “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.”

NOTE THE CONTRAST: Gen. 2:7 “The LORD GOD formed adam (man) from the dust.” Cain is a man not formed from the dust. Cain is not called adam.

Refer to Part 3 of this lesson. Compare ish to adam and zakar. What observations are of note? (In order to provide you ample time to think about this, I will not weigh in until part 5 of the teaching).

So far, we have the word ‘man’, translated a minimum of 9 times as 3 completely different words. These distinctions will never be seen from our English Bible. All we see is ‘man’ in each of the 9 verses we have reviewed, man, is man, is man. Reading from the English, we are blinded to any transitions at all. Clearly, something more is happening here, and there is more information packed into the Hebrew verses.

Let’s look further into the Hebrew Word, Nephesh.

Hebrew WordConcordance Ref#123# of times in/ scripture
nephesh5315Gen 2:7 Gen 12:13
Gen 17:14
Ex 12:16
2 Kings 12:4 Isa 49:7

Ex. 12:16 “And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.” —i.e., every soul, person must eat…

2 Kings 12:4 And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring into the house of the LORD,.” —i.e., The Redemption Price for every man’s soul.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: Every souls value is set at half a shekel of the sanctuary. Lest, some think that GOD only values man at a price of half a shekel,what is important to know, is that GOD Himself, made up the other half of the shekel. No son of Israel is complete without GOD. This gives us more insight into Phil 2:6, when Paul says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: GOD thought it not robbery. In fact, it’s not the half shekel that we should focus on here, it is the realization that GOD adds Himself to us, to make us whole. (If he had made the price one full shekel, some might presumptuously assume, that they are whole without Him). Amen?

1sa. 49:7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.” — i.e., to him whom the soul despiseth

Nephesh is translated as many different words, including the word, ‘man, soul’, and person’. Below, as an additional reference, nephesh is translated as “him” in the KJV. However, we are talking about the ‘man’, the person of Joseph. The soul of Joseph...

Gen 37:21 “And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.” — i.e., “…let us not kill/strike down [his] soul.” or, “let us not kill/strike down the soul.” (~meaning Joseph’s soul).

If Judah had only considered his brother as any man, it’s possible he might have not considered this twice. However, Judah is a tzaddik, a righteous one. Taking of another soul is at stake here. The soul of another tzaddikim AND he is their brother, their father’s son.

This is just the beginning of exploring this verse. Together, we shall delve into it more deeply before we are done.

Contemplate the Meaning of the Words–

Review this above material. Remember, that we are in the initial stages of research and for now, I just want to introduce you to several methods of investigating scripture. For now, I think it is important to recognize that, we as Christians who don’t study from Hebrew, are glossing over details that are important. In English, when we speak of a man, a person, a soul, we separate these concepts out one from another.

When GOD uses the word nephesh, which is translated as “man” in the KJV (and many other bibles), we need to ask or self, Why? Why does He use nephesh, as opposed to ish, as opposed to adam,as opposed to zakar? Why are there so many different ways to say, “man”. What is GOD trying to tell me?

When GOD calls a man zakar, what is He saying? Why use zakar, rather than ish? Why is the thought expressed so meticulously, that He would have 12 different ways to say, “man”? I believe there is something to be gleaned here that is significant to the way in which we understand the message, GOD’s word overall, even to the extent that we could gain some insight into the mind of Christ. Should we aspire to the height of heights?

If you were to rank the Hebrew words for man that we have examined so far, from the highest level of creation to a lower level of creation, how would you rank them? I do not mean this, in a derogatory sense of the word, to rank. Think in terms of kedusha (holiness before GOD).

I will provide you my insights that I have observed from the way GOD uses these distinct references to man, as ish and nephesh in the next blog in this series. In addition, we will take a look at 2 additional words for man in or next discussion. Until then, Shalom….

Be Blessed!

+++Vocabulary: Our elevated understanding of Gods terminology.

Adam ~ human being, the crowning achievement of God; mankind, man.

Zakar ~ male, man, belonging to and in covenant with the GOD of Heaven.

ish ~ (Make note of the patterns you see in how GOD uses this word in scripture)

nephesh ~ (Make note of the patters you see in how GOD uses this word in scripture)

All terms will be explained in detail as we continue this study. Stay tuned.

COPYRIGHT 2019, Rev. S. Madison,

[[ NOTE: Should any changes or corrections need to be made after publication of this post, I will place them in brackets so that the reader will know that an amendment has been made.]]