Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
Linguists identify two separate roots of the form קשה (qsh) in Biblical Hebrew. And although the etymology of these two roots may be clearly diverse, to anyone with a bit of a poetic eye, their meanings obviously overlap:
The verb קשה (qasha I) means to be hard or severe, and is most often deployed in conjunction with the yoke carried by oxen (1 Kings 12:4). This came to symbolize any hard or oppressive task or burden or the resistance against that (Genesis 49:7, Nehemiah 9:16), and is even referred to by Jesus in His famous saying, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [ . . . ] for My yoke is easy and my load is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
This verb's derivatives are:
- The adjective קשה (qasheh), meaning hard (Exodus 18:26), severe (2 Samuel 2:17) or stubborn (Isaiah 48:4).
- The masculine noun קשי (qeshi) meaning stubbornness (Deuteronomy 9:27 only).
Root קשה (qasha) II is unused but two derivatives survive:
- The masculine noun מקשה (miqsheh) may denote an artistic coiffure (the word occurs only once, in Isaiah 3:24 and we don't quite know what to do with it).
- The feminine noun מקשה (miqsha) meaning hammered (or turned metal) work (Exodus 25:18, Numbers 8:4).