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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Names


By Jeff A. Benner

And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher. (KJV, Genesis 30:13)

Within this verse are three words, all from the same root. The first is the word אושר (‘osher, Strong's #837) meaning "happiness" and is translated as "happy" in the verse above. The second is the verb אשר (, Strong's #833) meaning "to be happy" but is translated as "blessed" above. The third is of course the name אשר (asher, Strong's #836), pronounced ah-sheyr in Hebrew.

However, Hebrew word definitions are not always so simple. In the following verse the same Hebrew verb אשר ( is used where it is translated as "go."

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. (KJV, Proverbs 4:14)

The verb אשר ( literally means "to go in a straight line." This can be a literal meaning such as in Proverbs 4:14 where the image being given is one walking straight toward evil, or as we might say "making a bee line for…" It can also be used in a figurative way as in Genesis 30:13 in the sense that if you are being straight (doing what is right), you will be happy.

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