rain-cats-n-dogsWhat is an idiom?  It is a noun that a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., raining cats and dogs.)  The Hebrew bible is full of Hebrew idioms, if you don’t understand the Hebrew traditions, culture, etc., of the Jewish men who wrote the bible, you will not understand the idiom (words/meaning/context) in which it was spoken. In order to understand a person, you need to understand their culture. To understand the Jewish men who wrote our bible, we must think Jewish, like they did.  This section is intended for a quick ready reference.  We hope you enjoy.  

IDIOM…Dictionary meaning: NOUN

1 a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., rain cats and dogs, see the light).

• a form of expression natural to a language, person, or group of people : he had a feeling for phrase and idiom.• the dialect of a people or part of a country.2 a characteristic mode of expression in music or art :they were both working in a neo-Impressionist idiom.

The following is a brief list of Hebrew idioms (cultural phrases with specific meanings understood by that culture only). I have provided a biblical example for most of these idioms.

Hermeneutics: The Meaning of Idioms


a (the) door was opened door of spiritual truth Rev. 4:1

abar’ka’dabara (Aramaic) I will create as I speak Gen. 1:1

Abraham’s seed  same as Yah’s seed Gen. 12:3

Arrogance of heart arrogant Isa. 9.9

Bad/Evil eye stingy Prov. 23.6

Beginning of his strength his firstborn  Deut. 21.17

Big of phallus lustful Ezek. 16.26

bind forbid Matt. 16:19-20

Break teeth make powerless Ps. 3.7

Breath personality

Broken the yoke rejected God’s authority  Jer. 5.5

Clean hands act purely Ps. 24.4

Close hand selfish Deut. 15.7

Clouds without water no Torah/law Jude 12

Covered his feet relieved himself 1Sam. 24.3

Cycles of rightiousness cycles of Feasts, Sabbaths, etc. Psa. 23:3

Dead stones singular person

Deliver them into your hands defeat them for you Jgs. 3.28

Dirst came out gutted (entralls) Jgs. 3:22

Do what they did sew seed like Abraham Mark 4:8

Double heart duplicitous Ps. 12.2

Dries bones drains strength Prov. 17.22

Ears are uncircumcised don’t listen Jer. 6.10

Elder torah observant man over 50..tradition

Enlarge space set free Ps. 4.1

Evil eye cheapskate, selfish, no charity

Eye of a needle impossibility

Eye is consumed vision is blurred Ps. 6.7

Eyes run down with water eyes flow with tears Lam. 1.16

Eyes are upon watches over Ps. 33.18

Face fallen sad Gen. 4:6

Face to face personally witnessed something divine  Gen. 32:30

Fear respect/reverence

Feet person Isa. 52.7

Flowing with milk and honey fertile Exod. 3.8

Found grace in the eyes accepted Gen 6:8

From the womb from birth Jgs. 13.5

Fruit of the mouth what someone says Prov.. 18.20

Gave him another heart changed his attitude 1Sam. 10.9

Gird up your loins get ready 2Kgs. 4.29

Good eye generous Prov. 22.9

Good news is in his mouth he brings good news 2Sam. 18.25

Grapes of Sodom opium/poppies Deut. 32:31-33

Grapes of wrath judgement time Rev. 14:19

Hard forehead stubborn Ezek. 3.7

Having a bad eye cheap, uncharitable Matt. 6:22

He who awakens and he who answers every single person Mal. 2.12

Her sickness her period Lev. 20.18

Hide your face refuse to answer Ps. 102.2

His anger burned very angry Exod. 32.19

Heart mind Deut. 28.28

Heart lifted up proud Deut. 8.14

Heart melt lose courage Deut. 20.8

Hearts and kidneys thoughts and emotions Ps. 7.9

His banner over me is love he loves me very much Song 2.4

Hissing scorn Jer 51.37

House of bondage (land of) slavery Deut 5.6

House nation 2Sam. 1.12

Hung himself fell on his sword (suicide) 1Sam. 31:4b-5, 2Sam. 1:6, Acts 1:18,

Iniquity in my hands guilty Ps. 7.3

In that day when Messiah comes Zech. 3:10

It is finished no more sacrifices John 19:30, Rev. 16:17

Joy will crown their heads they will be joyful Isa. 35.10

Knew no quiet in their bellies greedy Job 20.20

Kneel over have sex with Job 31.10

Lift up my soul pray Ps. 25.1

Living stones multiple persons

Lamp will go out will die Prov. 24.20

Let the dead bury the dead  “Let the dead bury the dead” means make a clear and total break with the spiritually dead. “Dead” is a noun. (Luke 9:59-62 Matt. 8:18-20)

Let fall neglect (3) Esther 6.10

libation fine drink

Lift up your head restore to honor Gen. 40.13

Lifted heel against turned against Ps. 41.9

Lift up eyes be aware of something Ps. 121.1

Lift horn defy God Ps. 75.5

Little man of the eye pupil Ps. 17.8

Loins  descendants Exod. 1.5

Long of anger slow to get angry Exod. 34.6

Look each other in the face meet each other in battle  2Chr. 25.17

loose permit it, allow it Matt. 16:19-20,

Mercies of God 13 attributes of Yah  Rom. 12:1, Exod. 34:6-7, Mighty hand force Exod. 3.19

Mountain things representing authority  Matt. 17:20

Myriads of thousands millions, like grains of sand Num. 10:35,

My name me Mal. 1.11

New wineskin new teaching, expandable Luke 5:37

Nimrod fool, idiot

No man knows the day or hour Feast of Trumpets Matt. 25:13, Rev. 3:3,

No one comes to the Father but through the Son: entrance to the Holy Place John 14:6

None is bereaved none is missing Song 4.2

Number days use time wisely Ps. 90.12

Oil of gladness joy Isa. 61.3

Old wineskin someone learned in his ways  Luke 5:37

One who urinates against a wall male 1Sam. 25.22

Open the womb be born Exod. 13.2

Open hand generosity Esther 1.7

Opens the ear informs, reveals Job 33.16

Open mouth wide sneer Isa. 57.4

Planted created Ps. 94.9

Possess gates capture cities Gen. 24.60

Promotion comes from the north comes from Yah

Put hand on harm Job 1.12

Rabbi torah teacher over 30..tradition

rain life & teachings (Torah)  Mark 4:26

Remove the foreskin of your heart dedicate yourselves fully to God Jer 4.4

Right hand might Ps. 89.13

Rosh poppy plant head

Rooster crows Temple crier   John 13:38, Mark 14:30

Sage Torah observant wise man over 70..tradition

Said in heart thought to self Gen. 27.41

Saw his face had access to him Esther 1.14

Seed descendants Gen. 22.17

Seek your life want to kill you Jer. 4.30

Seek my face seek me Ps. 27.8

Send a hand against assassinate Esther 2.21

Slack hands abandon Josh. 10.6

Slept died 1Kgs. 2.10

Small of hand weak 2Kgs. 19.26

Snorts scoffs Ps. 10.5

Suck the milk of nations receive the wealth of other countries  Isa. 60.16

Sweet water water fit to drink Exod. 15.25

Soft heart fearful Job 23.16

Sons of the prophets group of prophets 2Kgs. 2.7

Sons of people of Jer 50.33

Son of Jesse, David, man Yeshua Job 35.8

Son of the morning morning star Isa. 14.12

Son of wickedness wicked person Ps. 89.22

Soul person  Lev. 22.6

Spread feet offer self for sex Ezek 16.25

Stiffened his neck became stubborn 2Chr. 36.13

Squat outside defecate (toilet) Deut 23.13

Swallowed alive killed Ps. 124.3

take my yoke (not burdensome) a Rabbi’s pitch 1John 5:3, Matt. 11:29

theif in the night High priest in the Temple  1Ths. 5:2, Rev. 3:3;16:15 Their throat is an open grave they speak deceitfully Ps. 5.9

The portion of their cup their destiny Ps. 11.6

The way of women menstruation Gen. 31.35

Thousand years long time, not 1000 2Pet. 3:8

Thorn in the side Putting up with the Canaanites, pagans  2Cor. 12:7, Jgs. 2:2-3,

Tongue struts through the earth arrogantly order everyone  Ps. 73.9

Trees of life Torah scrolls…tradition

Twilight after 3:00pm

Until the day breathes until dawn Song 2.17

under the fig tree at peace John 1:48

under the thigh penis, place of generation  Gen. 24:2

unto heaven   high walls or towers    Gen. 11:3-4, Deut. 1:28

Walls pain Jer. 4.19

Water of gall opium derivitive Deut. 32:31-33

Waters spring of water Jer. 9.1

Wells without water no Torah (water) 2Pet. 2:17

What comes from you excrement Deut. 23.13

Where I caused my name to dwell where I chose to be worshiped Jer. 7.12

Wine of wrath my anger Jer. 25.15

Wormwood poppies/grapes of gall Deut. 32:31-33

Yah’s seed   same as Abraham’s seed  Gen. 12:3

Yoke teachings Matt. 11:29-30

“Your seed will possess the gate of your enemies” is a Hebrew idiom meaning: “Your seed will conquer your enemies” (Gen. 22:17, Jgs. 16:3).


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