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

זחל

For some reason, scholars maintain that there are two separate verbs זחל (zhl), but their meanings are so closely akin that one may wonder whether the ancient Hebrews actually felt the same way about these words:


זחל

The verb זחל (zahal I) means to shrink back or crawl away, and occurs all over the Semitic language spectrum with similar meanings. In the Bible it only occurs in Deuteronomy 32:24 ("with the venom of crawling things of the dust"), and Micah 7:17 ("they shall lick the dust like the snake, like the crawling things of the earth").

This verb comes with only once derivative, namely זחלת (zoheleth), which probably means shrinker back, or crawler away. This word is used only once, namely in 1 Kings 1:9, where the usurper Adonijah sacrifices sheep, oxen and fatlings by the stone of zoheleth. Most translations regard this word as the proper name Zoheleth.

זחל

The verb זחל (zahal II) is thought to mean to fear or be afraid. It occurs only once, in Job 32:6, where Elihu confesses to Job and the others that he was shy to speak.


Associated Biblical names

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