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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Hebrew word: המה
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Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

המה  הוא

The form המה (hmh) is used by two distinct roots which don't seem to have much to do with each other. One is a verb; the other the third person pronoun:


המה I

The words המה (hemma) and הם (hem) are the plural masculine third person independent nominative pronoun: both mean "they". BDB Theological Dictionary states that there isn't an "appreciable distinction in usage, except probably in so far as the longer or shorter form was better adapted to the rhythm of particular sentences".

The feminine version is הנה (henna) and sometimes הן (hen). The latter only occurs in combination with prefixes, forming constructions like בהן (behen).

The singular versions of these pronouns are: הוא (hu) for the masculine 'he' and 'it,' and היא (hi) for the feminine 'she' and 'it.' Note that the form הוא (hw') is also a verb, namely הוא (hawa'), which is an unusual variant of the more common verbs הוה (hawa I) and היה (haya), and all mean 'to be'.

Hebrew and English differ strongly in the use of these pronouns and literal translations are rarely either possible or prudent.

המה II

The verb המה (hama) can't be interpreted with a single translation. It reflects noise and unrest, usually accompanied with strong feelings (Isaiah 17:12, Jeremiah 5:22). Translations range from to cry aloud to murmur, and from rage to being troubled. Its derivations are:

  • The masculine noun המון (hamon), denoting a multitude of people that makes a lot of noise or displays much unrest (1 Samuel 14:19, Isaiah 13:4). The nature of this word is quite aptly reflected when it denotes the sound of torrential rain: 1 Kings 18:41.
  • The feminine noun המיה (hemya), rather negatively denoting the sound of harps. This word occurs once in the Bible, in Isaiah 14:11.

Associated Biblical names

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