LOST IN TRANSLATION: THE HEBREW WORD FOR A NAME!

The Hebrew word for a “name” is שם (shem, Strong's #8034). The Hebrew word נשמה (neshamah, Strong's #5397) is formed by adding the letters מ (m) and ה (h) to the word שם (shem). This word is used in Genesis 2:7 and means “breath.”


And the ADONAI YAHUAH formed the man of dust from the ground and he blew in his nostrils the breath (נשמה) of life and the man became a living soul.


While the Western mind simply sees “breath” as the exchange of air within the lungs, the ancient Hebrew mind understood the “breath” in an entirely different way as can be seen in Job 32:8:

The wind within man and the breath(נשמה) of the Almighty teach them.


Our Western understanding of the breath does not easily grasp the concept that a breath can teach. While our Western understanding can easily associate thoughts and emotions as the function of the “mind”, the Easterner sees the same function in the “breath”. The “breath” of both men and YAHUAH has the ability to carry thought and emotion.

A “name” is a person’s “breath,” his character.


A common mistake in Biblical interpretation is to make a distinction between a name and a title. For example, “King David”, is often understood as containing the “name” “David” (an identifier) and his “title,” “King”. The Hebrew word דויד (david) literally means; “beloved”, or “one who loves” and is descriptive of David's character. The Hebrew word מלך (melek) literally means “ruler” or “one who rules”, and is also descriptive of David's character. The Hebrews made no such distinction between a name and a title. The phrase “King David” is Hebraicly understood as “the one who rules is the one who loves”, a very fitting title for the great benevolent king of Israel and the friend of YAHUAH.

Hebrew names have meanings that are lost when translated into English. The Hebrew word אדם (adam, Strong's #120), means “man” and is also the name of the first man, Adam.

“The ADONAI YAHUAH formed the man אדם (adam, Strong's #120) from the dust of the ground”. (Genesis 2.7)