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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Hebrew word: חכם

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Dictionary/ht/ht-k-mfin.html

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

חכם

The root-verb חכם (hakam) means to be wise or skilled. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament makes a few keen observations regarding the concept of wisdom in the Old Testament. Not only the quest for wisdom marks the literature of the old world, but also its definition. Where wisdom to the later Greeks came from intellect and speculation, wisdom to the Hebrews was skill in practical matters and that subject to divine causes. "Therefore, Hebrew wisdom was not theoretical and speculative. It was practical, based on revealed principles or right and wrong, to be lived out in daily life".

The verb חכם (hakam) occurs a mere twenty-six times (Deuteronomy 32:29, Proverbs 23:15, Psalm 58:5). Its derivations, on the other hand, occur hundreds of times:

  • The adjective חכם (hakam), meaning skillful (Isaiah 3:3, Ezekiel 27:8), wise in administration (Genesis 41:33, 2 Samuel 14:20), shrewd or cunning (Judges 5:29, 2 Samuel 13:3), learned (Genesis 41:8, Isaiah 44:25), prudent (Proverbs 16:14), wise - ethically and religiously (Proverbs 10:8, 14:16, Ecclesiastes 10:12, Job 9:4).
  • The feminine noun חכמה (hokma), meaning wisdom - this noun exists in Scriptures with the same broad pallet as the adjective.

Associated Biblical names