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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Hebrew word: שלח

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Dictionary/si/si-l-ht.html

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

שלח

Scholars identify two separate roots שלח (shalah), but their meanings don't seem to be all that far apart:


שלח I

The verb שלח (shalah I) basically means to send. It's most used to describe the action of one person who sends another person somewhere or to do something (Genesis 42:4, Numbers 22:15). But it also frequently describes God sending someone (Exodus 3:12, 2 Samuel 12:1), an angelic messenger (Genesis 24:7), or some other agent (Psalm 43:3). Our verb may also be used in the sense of stretching out, especially of a hand towards something or against someone (Genesis 37:22, 1 Kings 13:4, Job 1:12). Our verb may also mean to send away (Judges 11:38), divorce (Isaiah 50:1), let loose (Psalm 50:19), set free (Genesis 8:7), shoot (arrows - 1 Samuel 20:20, or branches - Jeremiah 17:8), or let down (Jeremiah 38:6).

Derivatives of this verb are:

  • The masculine noun שלח (shelah), denoting some kind of weapon, apparently a kind of missile (Nehemiah 4:11).
  • The masculine plural noun שלוחים (shilluhim), meaning a sending away (Exodus 18:2) or parting gift (1 Kings 9:16).
  • The feminine noun שלוחה (sheluha), meaning shoot or branch (Isaiah 16:8 only).
  • The masculine noun משלח (mishlah), meaning an outstretching of one's hand, that is an undertaking (Deuteronomy 12:7), or denoting the place where the action of the verb (like letting go) takes place (Isaiah 7:25).
  • The masculine noun משלוח (mishloah), meaning an outstretching (Isaiah 11:14), or a sending (Esther 9:19).
  • The feminine noun משלחת (mishlahat), meaning a discharge from service (Ecclesiastes 8:8), or a deputation (Psalm 78:49).
שלח II

The identical root-verb שלח (shalah) isn't used in the Bible but we're pretty sure it existed in the Hebrew language during the time the Bible was written. This verb exists in cognate languages in the meaning of to strip off or take off, and related nouns tend to have to do with animal hides; skin and leather. It is assumed that the Hebrew variant of this Semitic root had to do with the spreading of an animal hide on the ground, in order to create some kind of display or picnic idea. The fairly common word that derives from this root-verb is the masculine noun שלחן (shulhan), meaning table (Exodus 25:23, Judges 1:7, 1 Kings 13:20).


Associated Biblical names