בהמות

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Aramaic[edit]

Noun[edit]

בהמות m

  1. behemoth

Hebrew[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Modern Hebrew) IPA(key): /beheˈmot/

Etymology[edit]

In form it is a plural of בהמה, but in Job 40:15-24 the word is accompanied by verbs and adjectives in the singular (describing a big and powerful beast).

This fact can be explained either be assuming a pluralis excellentiae, a method of expressing greatness by pluralizing a noun, or by assuming a word in the singular.

The first approach is taken by the Septuagint (θηρία (thēría)) and by the Targum (בעיריא), both translating the word as “beasts”.

The second approach is taken by the Midrash (Leviticus Rabbah 13:3), describing the בהמות as a great beast, and probably also by the Peshitta, transliterating the word rather then translating it: ܒܗܡܘܬ.

It has been suggested by modern scholars to be loanword from Egyptian peḥemau, an unattested word that would have ment “ox of the water”, i.e. hippopotamus.

Noun[edit]

בְּהֵמוֹת m

  1. (Biblical Hebrew) Meaning unknown, perhaps a water ox, that is, the hippopotamus or Nile horse.
  2. behemoth, a great and mighty beast.

References[edit]

  • Strong’s concordance number: H930
  • Brown, Driver & Briggs, A Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Oxford 1907
  • Koehler & Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Leiden 1994-2000