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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Modern Hebrew Words


By Jeff A. Benner

The Hebrew word מִשׁטָרָה (mishtarah) is the modern Hebrew word for "police" and is derived from the root שטר (Sh.T.R, Strong's #7860), which in Biblical Hebrew means to "dominate" or "rule over." In the Hebrew Bible this verb is always used in the participle form of שוטר (shoter). A verb participle is the simple action of the verb or someone who performs the action of the verb. So the participle שוטר can mean either "dominating" or a "dominator." In the KJV translation this participle verb is translated as "officer," "ruler" or "overseer."

The Modern word מִשׁטָרָה (mishtarah) is formed by adding the letter מ to the front of the root, which changes the meaning to "what" does the action of the root (which in this case is an "organization" that dominates/rules) and adding the letter ה to the end of the root, which makes this word a feminine word.

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