Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The two root-verbs חתת (hatat) and חתה (hata) are officially not related, but their forms look like they are, and their meanings are surprisingly augmentative:
According to HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, "the basic idea [of the root-verb חתת (hatat)] is to be broken," but here at Abarim Publications we see very little proof of that. Judging from the many occurrences of this verb and its derivatives, the most general idea of this verb is to deplete of strength, to deflate, or rather to take away an essential support or support structure, most often that of courage or willpower (Jeremiah 14:4 or 50:2, Isaiah 7:8 or 31:9, Job 32:15).
The derivatives of our verb חתת (hatat) are:
- The masculine noun חת (hat), which is commonly translated with terror or fear (Genesis 9:2, Job 41:25). The word חת (hat) often occurs together with the word ירא (yare), meaning to fear or be afraid (see for instance Genesis 9:2). This latter word means besides simply be afraid, also to revere, an intellectual anticipation of evil (as HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament puts it), and even righteous behavior and formal religious worship. In other words, the Hebrew understanding of fear and terror wasn't as simple as that of ours but also encompassed the source and the consequence of fear.
- The adjective חת (hat), which is identical to the previous word and is commonly said to mean shattered or dismayed (1 Samuel 2:4, Ezekiel 32:30, Jeremiah 46:5).
- The masculine noun חתת (hatat), meaning terror as used in Job 6:21 only.
- The feminine noun חתה (hitta), meaning terror (Genesis 35:5 only). Note how this noun resembles the verb חתה (hata).
- The masculine noun חתחת (hathat), meaning terror. It's only used in plural, and only in Ecclesiastes 12:5.
- The feminine noun חתית (hittit), meaning terror (Ezekiel 32:23).
- The feminine noun מחתה (mehitta), meaning destruction, ruin or terror (Psalms 89:40, Proverbs 10:14).
The root-verb חתה (hata) means to seize or snatch up, usually of fire or coals. It occurs four times: Psalm 52:5, Proverbs 6:27, Proverbs 25:22, Isaiah 30:14. This verb's sole extant derivative is the feminine noun מחתה (mahta), meaning fire pan or censer (Exodus 25:38, Leviticus 10:1).