Yom (Hebrew: יום) is a Biblical Hebrew word which occurs in the Hebrew Bible. The word means day in both Modern and Biblical Hebrew.

Overview edit

Although yom is commonly rendered as day in English translations, the word yom can be used in different ways to refer to different time spans:

  • Point of time (a specific day)
  • time period of a whole or half a day:
    • Period of light (as contrasted with the period of darkness),
    • Sunrise to sunset
    • Sunset to next sunset
  • General term for time ( as in 'days of our lives')
  • A year "lived a lot of days"
  • Time period of unspecified length. "days and days"

Biblical Hebrew has a limited vocabulary, with fewer words compared to other languages, such as English or Spanish.[1][a] This means words often have multiple meanings determined by context.[9] Strong's Lexicon yom is Hebrew #3117 יוֹם [10] The word Yom's root meaning is to be hot as the warm hours of a day.

Thus "yom", in its context, is sometimes translated as: "time" (Gen 4:3, Is. 30:8); "year" (I Kings 1:1, 2 Chronicles 21:19, Amos 4:4); "age" (Gen 18:11, 24:1 and 47:28; Joshua 23:1 and 23:2); "always" (Deuteronomy 5:29, 6:24 and 14:23, and in 2 Chronicles 18:7); "season" (Genesis 40:4, Joshua 24:7, 2 Chronicles 15:3); epoch or 24-hour day (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31) – see "Creationism", below.

Yom relates to the concept of time. Yom is not just for day, days, but for time in general. How yom is translated depends on the context of its use with other words in the sentence around it, using hermeneutics.[11]

The word day is used somewhat the same way in the English language, examples: "In my grandfather's day, cars did not go very fast" or "In the day of the dinosaurs there were not many mammals."

The word Yom is used in the name of various Jewish feast days; as, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; Yom teruah (lit., day of shouting) the Feast of Trumpets (i.e. Rosh Hashannah).

Yom is also used in each of the days of the week in the Hebrew calendar.

See also edit


Notes edit

  1. ^ Biblical Hebrew has a very small number of words, about 8,000, and around 1,700 of those words are hapax legomena in the Hebrew Bible. Modern Hebrew has about 100,000 words.[2][3] For comparison modern English has over 450,000 words,[4][5] and Spanish has just over 175,000 words. Standard English dictionaries typically have about 200,000 words,[6] whereas Spanish dictionaries have about 80,000 words.[7][8]

References edit

  1. ^ A Social History of Hebrew: Its Origins Through the Rabbinic Period, page 10, By William M. Schniedewind
  2. ^ Biblical Words and Their Meaning: An Introduction to Lexical Semantics, By Moisés Silva
  3. ^ Passport Israel 3rd Ed., page 12, By Donna Rosenthal
  4. ^ Ling, Johnny (2001). Elert, Glenn (ed.). "Number of words in the English language". The Physics Factbook. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  5. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, page 5a, edited by Philip Babcock Gove, Merriam-Webster, Inc
  6. ^ oxforddictionaries.com, How many words are there in the English language?
  7. ^ Concise Oxford Spanish Dictionary
  8. ^ Merriam-Webster's Spanish-English Dictionary, byMerriam-Webster, 80,000 entries
  9. ^ An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, page 48, By Bruce K. Waltke, Michael Patrick O'Connor
  10. ^ Strong's Hebrew Lexicon, yom, #3117.
  11. ^ The Hebrew Word “Yom” Used with a Number in Genesis 1, What does “yom” mean in Genesis 1?, by Rodney Whitefield, Ph.D. 12 June 2006

Further reading edit