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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - Learn How To Read Hebrew

Jonathan Bernis - Learn How To Read Hebrew

Jonathan Bernis - Learn How To Read Hebrew
Jonathan Bernis - Learn How To Read Hebrew
TOPICS: Hebrew

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom, and welcome to Jewish Voice, thank you for joining me today. I'm Jonathan Bernis, and I'm joined again by my co-host, Ezra Benjamin. And we're gonna be talking about something we often talked about here on Jewish Voice and that's the Hebrew language. Ezra, Hebrew is so vital to our message, to the church.

Ezra Benjamin: It is. Jonathan, you know, not only were really two thirds of the scripture what we can call the Jewish Bible, or you may know it as the Old Testament were written almost entirely in Hebrew. A little bit of Aramaic after the return from exile in Babylon but the vast majority of it written in the Hebrew language and another cool thing to think about, maybe you've never thought about this is that creation was spoken into existence in Hebrew. God's actually speaking, right, that the living word is speaking forth words in Hebrew that bring chaos, "Tovoo bovoo" it says in Hebrew into order. Sky and land, water from earth, you know, birds of the air, animals, it's spoken into existence in Hebrew.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, this is so relevant for you, you may be thinking, "Well this is an archaic language. I'm not into languages". But there's something so rich about Hebrew. Again, the language of almost the entire Old Testament. Some would argue that the New Testament, I'm not going there but the original language of most of the Old Testament. The language of creation.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: But then you also have a multi-dimensional language that when you dig into and you don't need to be a fluent Hebrew speaker, we have great tools online.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And Ezra, a word that we may speak in the same English, "Love" for example, has many, many words in Hebrew.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: We're gonna see this today and give you some examples but there's so many meanings. One that we'll look at in particular that I'm thinking about is "Shalom".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: We'll get to that, but this is so relevant for you. And there are tools that we offer that make it easy to actually dig into the Hebrew. You don't have to be a scholar, you don't have to take years of Hebrew lessons, I unfortunately had to. I joke about that a lot, I wasn't a great student but the Hebrew language is so compelling because for believers we learn about God, who God is. In the Hebrew when we look at the different names of God, right, when we look at God expresses his character, his nature in words like, "Adonai Tzidkenu" the Lord our righteousness.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Tzidkenu, he is our righteousness. That's part of his nature, that's who he is. The Lord our healer, the Lord our redeemer, right? There's so many, the Lord Almighty, the idea, which when we look in the Hebrew the idea of shaddai is that he is the one who sustains us he's the one that nurtures us. How do we learn this? When we dig into the Hebrew.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And, Jonathan, our audience may be listening and saying, "You know, I'm a Christian, I love the Lord, I've been saved through the blood of Jesus but what does Hebrew have to do with me? One. And two, it's way more difficult than I could ever possibly understand". I wanna challenge you on both of that. You know, we read the Bible here in America or Canada or wherever you're watching if you're living in the English-speaking world in English. And this was men and women of God, you know, asking for the help of the Lord to create a very, very accurate translation, but the English word doesn't always get at the original Hebrew meaning in its fullness. Shalom is a great example that we'll talk about.

Jonathan Bernis: A quick story that comes to mind. I've been a believer now for two thirds of my life, 42 years. Jesus was the God of Christianity, I joked that he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Christ. Christ, I thought was his family name, Jesus was his given name, Jesus Christ, son of Mr. and Mrs. Christ. When I read the New Testament for the first time and I was taught that it was a book that was foreign to Jews, that it was the book of the Christians. On the first page I read that, "You'll call his name Jesus because he'll save his people from their sins". And there was a little footnote, it was actually, it was a center column note and it said, "Hebrew, Yahshua salvation". I recognized that word. I recognized Jesus as a Christian word, but I recognized Yahshua out of the wells of salvation, you'll draw water.

Ezra Benjamin: And we're gonna talk more about the name Yahshua in just a minute.

Jonathan Bernis: But that revelation of the Hebrew Jesus, Yahshua, that his name was Yahshua, I can't overstate how the change, the impact that it had on me, Ezra. And then to discover that Christ was from Mashiach, a Hebrew word. He was the anointed one, that I understood as Jewish. The Hebrew.

Ezra Benjamin: The idea Christ, that's for the Christians, the Messiah is for Israel and for the nations.

Jonathan Bernis: And that Hebrew root made the difference for me, that Hebraic revelation made the change for me. The revelation of Hebrew.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, Jonathan, let's look at a couple examples, maybe you're watching and saying, "Okay, I'm tracking with you, give me some examples". Well, the first word we wanna talk about today is the word, and I'm actually looking at the second one down on the screen here, "Kavod". It's "Kaf"-"Bet"-"Vav"-"Dalet" in Hebrew and you may be saying, "Well, what does that mean"? It means, "Glory," okay? But sometimes, what you need to do in Hebrew is to look at the three letter root or core, almost every Hebrew word, effectively, every Hebrew word and unless it's shorter than three characters has a three character, it's called a "Shoresh" which in Hebrew means "A root". And so we need to understand the root to understand the fullness of what the word means. So, "The glory of God" in the Hebrew scriptures, is "Kavod Adonai" or "Kavod Elohim". Okay, well we understand, kavod means glory. But the root, Jonathan, up here the three letters above it is "Kaved" and literally it means, "Weight". If something's heavy you say this is "Kaved". In modern Hebrew the word for suitcase, baggage is literally "A weighty thing".

Jonathan Bernis: Well, here's a strange one, one of the translations of kaved, is liver. Which just sounds weird. That's gotta sound weird, right? Liver. Liver is kaved. Why is kaved translated liver, one of the translations of kaved? Because it's the heaviest organ of the body, and so the organ of weight is the kaved. Weight, that's the meaning of glory, it's the weight of God.

Ezra Benjamin: The weight of the presence of the Lord. And maybe you've sung worship songs, right? "Lord let the weight of your glory fall upon me," that's not poetic, that's the original Hebrew intent, that when the Lord shows up, it's a weighty thing.

Jonathan Bernis: And that changes everything.

Ezra Benjamin: It does.

Jonathan Bernis: Because it gives, then you have the idea that God is very tangible, that he's real, that when his present you actually experience his weight, you can feel, it's tangible.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: The atmosphere changes that's the kavod of God, the weight of God's glory. The glory is the weight of God. It's a great example.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, it's a great example of that "Shoresh" that Hebrew root word and how we need to understand the shoresh, the root to understand the meaning. Kaved, weightiness. Kavod, the weight of the glory of God. Another example, real quick here, is the difference in Hebrew between two words, "Soph" in Hebrew just means "End" but a word that you've seen in Jeremiah 29:11, "Acharit" means "A certain predetermined expected end you can count on," God said, "I know the plans I have for you, to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you a hope". And in acharit, a predetermined expected future. You know, you have an acharit, the Lord knows your future and he and his faithfulness is bringing that to pass in his time.

Jonathan Bernis: What a huge difference between an end and an intentional acharit, a place that God wants to bring you to fulfill your destiny. That he's ordained for you before he created the universe, that's an amazing thought.

Ezra Benjamin: So, Jonathan, we're talking here in this example about how that shoresh, that three letter Hebrew root word really matters in understanding the fullness, kaved and the glory of the Lord kavod. Another example we'll put up on the screen here of how understanding the Hebrew language or the Hebrew words that the scriptures were written in can really enrich our faith, is this one. It's the difference between two different Hebrew words that in English come out the same and the word is, “end,” okay? So, end, like end of the day, end of the bus route, is "Soph" in Hebrew it's not up on the screen. But it's a short word, "Soph". You say the end of the day, Soph HaYom but there's this other word that's used right from the end of Genesis and onward in the Old Testament, Jonathan, you gotta get some phlegm in your throat to say this right “acharit.”

Jonathan Bernis: And you know how you're doing this right, when you have moisture. If you say acharit, there's no moisture, if you say acharit, wet.

Ezra Benjamin: Yep, gotta get a little moisture on the palm. Try it at home. Not next to your family member, they'll be ticked.

Jonathan Bernis: Oh, feel the moisture.

Ezra Benjamin: So, we digressed. Feel the moisture. So acharit. What's the difference between "Soph", end and "Acharit"? Acharit, is a certain expected end. It's predetermined outcome that you can count on. "Acharit Hayamim" is saying that the Lord has a predetermined outcome in the end times that we can count on. And another place the verses, this is one of our favorite verses here you know. Jeremiah 29:11, you know this verse, God's speaking through the prophet Jeremiah to Israel saying, "Dark times are ahead because of you disobedience", but then he says, "But don't lose hope for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and an acharit, and a future. A predetermined end that I've worked out beforehand that you Israel can count on". And you watching today can count on your acharit.

Jonathan Bernis: This is where you have a huge difference between a single English word “end” and the Hebrew "Acharit", because end might be you have a distance that your car can go, and you just drive until the end, until your tank runs out. You're just driving to the end. Acharit is that GPS, right, that's giving you a destination and if you miss the turn it gives you the u-turn or takes you, it redirects you to an expected end and this is a great example. This is a great example.

Ezra Benjamin: You have an acharit, I hope you know that today. We just wanna speak to you, minister to your hearts. The Lord has an acharit for you, a predetermined expected end that you can count on.

Jonathan Bernis: Yes, and he wants to help you to get there and we wanna help you to get there, we need to take a short break though as our announcer comes to tell you about an incredible opportunity to stand with Jewish Voice in the outreaches we're doing around the world. You're living today in addition to supporting outreaches will help us in planting and supporting new congregations of believers in places like Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, which are growing in numbers every day. There are so many needs that you'll help us to minister to, so please get involved with us and don't go away, Ezra and I will be right back.

Jonathan Bernis: I just wanna take a moment to say thank you on behalf of everyone at Jewish Voice.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra and I wanna say, thank you for supporting this ministry. We couldn't do what we do without you so a special thanks, especially to our shalom monthly partners for your ongoing support of this ministry. Well, Ezra we're talking about the Hebrew language and the weightiness if I can. I'll use that example.

Ezra Benjamin: Pun intended.

Jonathan Bernis: In the Hebrew language, pun intended. The glory of God, the weight of God. Acharit: God has an expected end. These are things that you can't grasp unless you look at the Hebrew, they just don't come across in the English but they're really clear in Hebrew and it makes our faith multi-dimensional.

Ezra Benjamin: It does.

Jonathan Bernis: It changes the way you read the scripture. And we have a couple more examples, that's why we spend time on the Hebrew language and it's something that's relevant to each and every one of you. We're not gonna encourage you to spend three years studying Hebrew but jump into the Hebrew, there's some great tools that make it easy to do now that weren't available when I was a kid driving to Hebrew school by force. Ezra, give us the next example.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay, well, just a recap real quick. We've talked about the idea of that 'shoresh,' that three-character root word in Hebrew, we looked at kaved: weight and kavod: the weight of the glory of God or the glory of God and then we looked at the difference in Hebrew between two different words that may be in English, get translated the same, "End" can be, "Soph" just the end or "Acharit" a certain expected end we can count on. Jonathan let's spend a minute on names and what better name in Hebrew than the name which is above every name and that's Yahshua.

Jonathan Bernis: The name that changed my life, and if you look quite literally in the Hebrew, changed my life.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. So, we know in English it's translated Jesus, Jesus in Spanish, Jesus in Latin, you know, we could go down the line in all the different languages but the name that Yahshua's father and mother called him, okay, his given name that was actually commanded that he would have this name is 'Yehshua' and the root word in Hebrew is 'salvation'. Another similar name is, you may not have connected this before, Joshua in English is 'Yohosua' in Hebrew which means "The Lord has saved". It's the same root word "Salvation," you know the Psalm, "Behold God is my salvation, I will trust and will not be afraid". It says, "Hine el Yeshuati" - "My salvation". And, Jonathan, this is the name that was given to our Messiah, to our Lord and Savior, why? Because it says he will save his people from their sins.

Jonathan Bernis: I'll just throw this in, a very common argument, at least for those of us who are Jewish believers is you don't find Jesus anywhere in our Bible, the Old Testament, doesn't exist.

Jonathan Bernis: And yet... Wrong answer. Many, many places do talk about Jesus.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: But it's Yahshua it's a form of Yahshua.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. You see that root word "Salvation," God saving his people, God delivering his people. David saying, as we just said, "God behold. God is my salvation". And then ultimately culminating in what Moses foresaw when he said there's a prophet coming after me who's greater than me, listen to him. What the prophets foresaw when they said, "To us a child is born, unto us a son is given," and then the name he's ultimately commanded to have from his parents, Yahshua, salvation. His name is his calling, his name is his life and his ministry, his name is his destiny to come for the lost sheep of the house of Israel and for any who would call upon his name.

Jonathan Bernis: The whole idea of Messiah, which is anointed one, it says he's anointed to redeem or save his people from their sins.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: It's amazing how often this is repeated, this root or this name is repeated in the Hebrew Bible, in the Jewish scriptures. It's not something that suddenly appears in the New Testament.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. Names matter and when you can get into the Hebrew, we encourage you, learn just enough, it's not gonna take you years and years, learn just enough Hebrew to sound out names and look up in the Bible. "Okay, this is, you know, Bathsheba," for example. "What does that mean"? Bathsheba, daughter of the covenant. Moses, is Moshe in Hebrew, means "I drew him from the water" to be drawn out, remember? Because he was set in the basket 'cause the firstborn sons in it, you know the male children born in Israel are being killed and he's drawn out of the Nile and so his name is Moshe. Our name speaks to our identity and our destiny.

Jonathan Bernis: I know that many of you are students of the word. That's probably why you love Israel, why you love the Jewish people because you're a student of the word. Well, Hebrew is an important part of really understanding the Word of God because you go back to the original language it's multi-faceted and suddenly a meaning becomes clear that you've never seen before because it's in the Hebrew and not in the English.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. That's right. Another example I'm thinking of real quick, Jonathan, before we put our last word study on the screen is "Shmuel," "God has heard," and interestingly the father of what became the Arab people, Ishmael, is the same root that God would hear. The muslim people have a destiny to not worship some unknown God they can never reach, Allah, but to be heard by the living God of Israel. It's all in the name.

Jonathan Bernis: All in the name. It's so true, but it's the Hebrew name.

Ezra Benjamin: Right, right. Before we run out of time here, the last word we wanna share as we promised at the beginning of our time together "Shalom" it means "Peace" but it also means "Wholeness" it means "Wellbeing". It's different than just the five letter, you know, peace in English. Peace, it's this wholeness, it's this whole collective peace in our soul and wellbeing in our spirit that the Lord wants to give us.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, obviously, this is my favorite word in Hebrew, and that's true for most that are watching who know any Hebrew. It's the most popular word in Hebrew, shalom. I like to joke: it's hello and goodbye, so if you don't know whether you're coming or going you just say shalom. But this is such a deep word, it's even found in the City of Jerusalem, Yerushalaim has shalom in it, it's the city of peace.

Jonathan Bernis: That's right. "Yer" is city and "Shalom" is peace, so Yerushalaim is the city where there is peace or city of peace. It's built into the name of the city itself.

Jonathan Bernis: I think, and one of the most precious name for Yahshua is "Sar Shalom", he's the Prince of Peace.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: But what is God's intention with this multi-faceted word. Pray for the shalom of Jerusalem, it's the idea of not just peace and welfare, and wellbeing, and wholeness but completion.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: I believe God is saying, exhorting us. "Pray for my plan, my purpose, my intention, my acharit to come about, to be fulfilled for my people and my land". That's what I think it's really saying in its very essence. When you pray for the shalom of Yerushalaim, you're praying for God's ultimate fulfillment, completion, acharit to come to pass.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan there's a famous Jewish prayer, we actually pray it during a time of mourning when we lose a loved one, but it goes like this, “may he who creates peace shalom in heavenly places, may he create peace for us and for all Israel and all those who love him”. The Lord speaking to you right now, wherever you're watching today. The Lord who can create peace, order, intentional design, certain expected end, the Lord who can create that kind of peace in universes we know nothing of can create that peace, that order, that certain expected end, that wellbeing and that wholeness in your life today. He can bring his shalom to bare in your life.

Jonathan Bernis: This is so important. This is really important moment for you right now, because you may be watching with real need, with real sense of, well, despair in a sense that God wants to do something in your life and I'm saying he does. We're agreeing he does, he has an acharit for you and he wants to bring you into his shalom, into his peace, into his wellbeing but most importantly his completion. He's provided everything you need. So we speak peace to you, we speak shalom over your life in the name of Yahshua. To Hebrew words we looked at, God's shalom over your life in the name of his salvation, Sar Shalom, Yeshua the Prince of Peace. Hey, we need to take a short break so we can share some information about resources that we're making available to you this week. Stay with us, we wanna keep that going and we wanna pray specifically into your life because God says where two or three agree on earth is touching anything it shall be done. We really hope you'll get involved with us, here's how.

Jonathan Bernis: We leave time in every program to pray for the needs of our viewers and we wanna lift up your needs today. The worlds is shaking, there's a shaking going on and I know that many of you are fighting some real challenges. Trouble paying your mortgage or rent, loved ones that have departed from the faith, the list goes on, illnesses, lot of challenges. Here's the good news, God is on the throne and he hears your prayers and he loves you and he's watching over you. Nothing's changed in the realm of heaven. Right, Ezra? Nothing's changed.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: God is still in control and so we're gonna agree with you in prayer right now. Ezra, would you just lead us, there's so many needs, just trust God. It's about faith. It's about trusting in him. He does care but we need to fight the good fight of faith.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. Lord, we thank you that even though everything that can be shaken is being shaken that there's a kingdom that we've been brought into by the blood of Yahshua that cannot be shaken. And we thank you for your word that endures forever, though the grass withers and the flower fades, Lord, your word endures forever and we pray Lord that the reality of the unshakeable kingdom that we're apart of would be manifest in the lives and the testimonies and the circumstances of all who are watching today, Lord. And that your promises that are sure and trustworthy will come to past in their lives speedily and soon in Yahshua's name. You're the way maker and the provider and the protector, we thank you, Lord, we thank, we thank you, in Yahshua's name we pray, amen.

Jonathan Bernis: In Yahshua's name, amen. If you'd like more information about our ministry, you can log on to, you can also send us your prayer request right on the website, we have a team here at Jewish Voice that's committed to reading and praying over your prayer request by name. We believe in the power of prayer and we care about you. Well, as we close the program I wanna remind you that God implores us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we're told that those who do pray for Jerusalem will prosper, so if you wanna prosper this week, pray for Israel and the Jewish people. Until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis along with Ezra Benjamin saying shalom and God bless you.
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