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

חוש  חשש

There are two root-verbs חוש (hush) that seem to augment each other in meaning, even to such an extent that scholars don't agree where one verb ends and the other begins. And there's also a verb חשש (hshsh) which appears to be related to at least one version of חוש (hush):


חוש I

The verb חוש (hush I) means to hurry or hasten (Isaiah 60:22, Psalm 22:19). It occurs about twenty times in the Bible. Its sole derivative is the adverb חיש (hish) meaning quickly (Psalm 90:10 only).

חוש II

The verb חוש (hush II) either means to be agitated or worry about or enjoy (according to HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament), or it means to feel or enjoy (says BDB Theological Dictionary).
The reason why this discrepancy has arisen is that this verb is used only sporadically (three times, says HAW; once, says BDB), and the contexts aren't clear enough to achieve much certainty:

  • Job 20:2, " . . . my haste/agitation in me"
  • Ecclesiastes 2:25, "Who can eat and feel (enjoyment)?".
  • Isaiah 28:16, "He who believes will not worry/hurry".

Perhaps the Hebrews saw the concept of hurrying as a kind of agitation, or rather, agitation - whether positive or negative - as shifting a gear up.


חשש

The root-verb חשש (hshsh) isn't used in the Bible but in Arabic it appears with the meaning of to hasten or hurry. Its sole surviving derivative is the masculine noun חשש (hashash), meaning chaff. This noun occurs in Arabic with the meaning of "particles of straw, sand, dust, as flying quickly about" (says BDB Theological Dictionary).


Associated Biblical names

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