Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The root-verb שמע (shama') means to hear in much the same way as our English verb. It may mean to perceive a sound via the ears (Genesis 3:10, Deuteronomy 4:33), or to hear about something via the grapevine (1 Samuel 13:4, Isaiah 66:8). It may denote an observant listening, a paying attention to (Amos 4:1, Micah 3:9), or understanding someone's language (Genesis 11:7). It may mean to hear someone out (Genesis 23:6), or hear someone in a judicial setting (Deuteronomy 1:17). Our verb also often means to listen to someone in the sense of to obey that person (Judges 2:20, 1 Samuel 8:7), or to hear and forgive or help (1 Kings 8:30, Isaiah 30:19).
This verb's derivations are:
- The masculine noun שמע (shema'), meaning sound (Psalm 150:5 only).
- The masculine noun שמע (shoma'), meaning tidings or report (Exodus 23:1, Isaiah 23:5).
- The feminine noun שמועה (shemu'a), meaning report (1 Samuel 2:24, Jeremiah 49:23), or mention (Ezekiel 16:56).
- The feminine noun השמעות (hashma'ut), a causative form, literally meaning that which is caused to be heard. It occurs only in Ezekiel 24:26.
- The masculine noun משמע (mishma'), rumor or a thing heard (Isaiah 11:3 only).
- The feminine noun משמעת (mishma'at), meaning subjects, or literally group of guys who listen (1 Samuel 22:14, Isaiah 11:14).