Zionism - Israeli Flag

The King James Bible Old Testament 

Pronunciation, spelling and meaning of Old Testament Biblical Place Names and Personal Names

Zionism Israel Zionism Web definitions about issues history documents links photos contact help Zionism

Back to The Bible  Old Testament  King James Version     Zionism and Israel information center    Zionism and Israel Pages

Names in the Bible - Pronunciation, spelling and meaning of Old Testament Biblical Place Names and Personal Names

Hebrew place names and personal names and some Hebrew words that appear in the King James and other versions of the bible were transliterated according to an often incorrect and arbitrary method, and sometimes several words were run together either in the Hebrew original or gratuitously in the translation.

These errors originated before the publication of the King James Version, but one of the rules adopted by the translators was to retain the "vulgar" or common pronunciations, just perpetuating distorted pronunciations such as Jehosaphat for Yehoshaphat.

Very often, the biblical name of a place or person has a meaning in the context of the story being told, as names of persons were often assumed names or nicknames. Sometimes the original is unintelligible from the English transcription, which came by way of Latin and Greek.

The following will give some idea of the distortions and how to restore the original.

Letter J - Hebrew has no letter "J." In all names having a "J" in them, the J should be pronounced as "Y" or i at the beginning of the syllable. For example:

Adonijah should be Adoneeyah (meaning, "My lord is God")

Jedediah should be Yedidiah  (meaning, "Friend of God")

Jeremiah is Yermiyahu in Hebrew.

Joel is YoEl in Hebrew (meaning "Jehovah is God")

 

This error was transmitted indiscriminately, even when the Hebrew spelling was Aleph Yud rather than Yud:

Job should be iyov.

Jezebel should be Iyzevel. The name means "pile of garbage" in Hebrew, and was certainly not the real name of the Queen taken to wife by King Ahab. She was given that name because of her idolatrous practices, and because the compilers of the Bible and the book of Kings obviously did not like her. It is not clear what the actual name should be, or what she was called in her lifetime by her subjects.

The name Ye'hezkel (God will strengthen) , on the other hand, was transmuted to "Ezekiel" in English.

The name Yishayahu (God will save) was transmuted to "Isaiah" in English.

Letter S - The letter "S" is often used instead of the Hebrew or Semitic "Shin" which is pronounced as "sh". Thus, for example:

Jerusalem is Yerushalayim in Hebrew (Meaning "City of Peace" perhaps originally "Yeru Shalem or Ur Salem")

Jehoshaphat is Yeho-Shahfaht (meaning "God Judged"). Sometimes called "Jehosaphat" in English.

 

Letters B and V - In the middle or end of a syllable, the Hebrew Bet (B) is always "soft" and is pronounced as "v." Thus for example:

Abigail is Avigahyil in Hebrew.

Abinadab is Avinahdahv in Hebrew.

Abimelech is Avi Melech in Hebrew (meaning "Father of a king")

Ebenezer is Evenehzehr in Hebrew.

Jeraboam is Yerahvahm in Hebrew.

Jerubaal is Yerubaal in Hebrew because the "B" in Baal begins a new syllable. The name means "Fears (worships) Baal (the god of the Canaanites).

Joab is Yoav, meaning perhaps "God is the father."

Letters th - The th dipthing combination was often used to signify the letter "taf" in the middle or end of a syllable, were it is softer than "T." In modern Hebrew these are not distinguished. Thus, "Jonathan" is "Yohnahtahn" (God Gave) in Hebrew.

Common components of biblical names - Some commonly used components of biblical names and their meaning:

Avi - Father. Always transliterated incorrectly as "Abi" in the King James version.

Melech - King.

El - God

Ya - God. Usually transliterated as JA in the King James Bible.

Yahu - God

Yo - God

Natan - gave

Ram - mighty. Abram (av ram) may have meant "mighty father," or "father of the mighty."

Tsedek - Justice. Melkitzedek = My king is justice.

Nouns mistaken for names and incorrect plurals - The translators sometimes mistook ordinary nouns for names of nations. Thus, for example, Anahkim means giants. It is the plural of Anahk. The translators apparently took "Anahkim" to be the name of a people, and therefore added an "s" at the end and rendered it as "Anakims." Likewise, Seraphim (plural of Saraph) is rendered in English as "Seraphims."


Back to The Bible  Old Testament  King James Version

History of the King James Bible

Preface to the First Edition of the King James Bible

The bible and Zionism

The Bible, the Old Testament, has become a mainstay of human culture, but it is first and foremost a historical document of the Jewish people and our culture. It tells the story of our ancient kingdoms and civilization in the Land of Israel, and therefore it kept alive the tie of the people of Israel to the land of Israel for 2000 years. It forms the moral and cultural basis of Zionist ideology and aspirations.

The Bible, the Old Testament, is accepted by the three major Western faiths. It is a major work of Western civilization. The Bible documents the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, even for those who do not believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and even for those who do not believe in God at all. It is the historic epic of the Jewish people in our land.  

Additional Background

Maps of Israel (Canaan, Palestine)in Bible Times

Map of Canaan (Israel) in the time of Joshua (Black and White)
Map of ancient Canaan (Palestine) after the Conquest by the Israelites
Palestine (Israel, Canaan) in the Time of the Judges
Map of Ancient Israel (Canaan) in the reigns of Kings David and Solomon (Black and White)
Map of Judah (Judea) in the Divided Kingdom
Map of Judah (Judea) in the Maccabean Kingdom of Alexander Janeus (Yannai)
Map of the Roman Province of Judea

Map - Canaan Before the Hebrews

Map - Canaan and the Early Israelite Kingdom

Map - The kingdoms of Israel and Judea; Judea and Samaria in the time of Jesus

Map and article - Judea (Judah) and Judea and Samaria

Map of Palestine 1845 - Showing biblical and contemporary sites

Jews & Jew Hate

History of Israel and Zionism, Zionist Advocacy at Zionism and Israel Information CenterZionism and Israel Issues and Answers  Zionism and Its Impact Definitions of Zionism History of Zionism and the Creation of Israel  Timeline of Zionism and Israeli History Zionism and Israel Online Biography  Jewish anti-Zionism Jews against Zionism Neturei Karta (Jews against Zionism, Jews not Zionists) Encyclopedic Dictionary and Glossary of Zionism, Israel, Middle East and Jewish History My Personal Exodus Christian Zionism

External Links

This site provides resources about Zionism and Israeli history, including links to source documents. We are not responsible for the information content of these sites. These links are NOT intended to be an exhaustive reference about Zionism, but the list will keep growing...

Please tell us about your favorite links and we will review them for inclusion.

Please be careful to credit the Zionism pages and link to us. Please do copy  these links to your Web site,  giving credit to Zionism Israel Center

Sister sites : Zionism Pages Brave Zionism Zionism and Israel information center  and Zionism and Israel On the Web Brave Zionism

 Thank you.

MidEastWeb  History of Israel Palestine and the Middle East Conflict conflict   

MidEastWeb Middle East News, Views, Maps and History

Zionism  Definition and Brief History  A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish antiZionists.

Labor Zionism   History and Critique  Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

Concise Guide to IsraeliZionist CyberSpace

Israel-Palestina  (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... IsraŽl-Palestina Informatie gids IsraŽl, Palestijnen en Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective  Dutch and English.

English  Israel-Palestine.info Guide to the Middle East Conflict (Peace, Zionism, antiSemitism ...)

Advocacy

Active Zionism  A Zionist advocacy site with many useful links

PEACE Watch  Middle East Dialog and Peace Process

Pnews  Progressive Views on Zionism Israel Jews & AntiSemitism

Addmorelinkshere

Site Meter

ZioNation - Zionism-Israel Web Log    Zionism & Israel News  Israel: like this, as if History of Zionism Zionism FAQ Zionism Israel Center Maps of Israel Jew  Zionism and its Impact

Israel Christian Zionism Site Map  Albert Einstein

 Bible - Pronouncing Hebrew Names