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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Names


By Jeff A. Benner

You may be familiar with the phrase sar shalom as found in Isaiah 9:6 which is usually translated as "Prince of Peace". The word sar is translated various different ways including; prince, captain, chief, ruler, governor, keeper, principal, general, lord and master. The word sar is a parent root that literally means "to turn the head". In the original pictographic script the "s" is the letter sin, a picture of a thorn. When traveling and coming across a thorn thicket one must "turn" directions. The "r" is the letter resh and is a picture of the head of a man. When combined the meaning "turn the head" is found in the root sar. A prince, captain, master, etc. is one who turns the head of the people. The word sarah is the feminine form of the word sar.

Did Sarah "turn the head" of the people? Yes, but not in the same sense as a captain or master. In Genesis 12:14 we read "When Abram entered Egypt the Egyptians saw that the woman (Sarah) was very beautiful". Sarah turned the head of the people because of her beauty not or commands.

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