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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #0518 - אִם
1a) conditional clauses
1a1) of possible situations
1a2) of impossible situations
1b) oath contexts
1b1) no, not
1c) if...if, whether...or, whether...or...or
1d) when, whenever
1f) interrogative particle
1g) but rather
1013) ma (אמ AM) AC: Bind CO: Glue AB: ?: The pictograph a represents strength. The m is water or any other liquid. Combined these pictographs mean "strong liquid". Glue was made by placing the hides and other animal parts of slaughtered animals in a pot of boiling water. As the hide boiled, a thick sticky substance formed at the surface of the water. This substance was removed and used as a binding agent. (eng: arm - with the addition of the r sound)
A) ma (אמ AM) AC: ? CO: Arm AB: ?: The arm that holds things together. The arm is seen as glue that encircles and holds together. A cubit was the length of the arm from elbow to fingertip. The mother of the family is the one who binds the family together by holding in her arms and by the work of her arms.
Nf1) ema (אמה AMH) - I. Cubit:A linear standard of measure equal to the length of the forearm. [Hebrew and Aramaic] II. Bondwoman:One who is bound to another. KJV (304): cubit, measure, post, handmaid, maidservant, maid, bondwoman, bondmaids - Strongs: H519 (אָמָה), H520 (אַמָּה), H521 (אַמָּה)
Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
אִם (commonly followed by Makk.) a demonstrative, interrogative, and conditional particle, the various significations of which are distinguished in the more copious Arabic by different forms أَمْ, إِنَّ, إِنْ, أَنْ, أَنَّ, while, on the contrary, in Ethiopic and Syriac one only is used እም፡ ܐܶܢ; traces of this word are also found in Western languages, as in the Greek ἤν, i.e. lo! if; Lat. en; Germ. wenn, wann.
(A) Its primary power I regard as demonstrative, lo! behold! kindred to הֵן (ἤν, en), Arab. أنَّ truly, certainly, إِنْ id.; see de Sacy, Gramm.Arabe, i. § 889, أَنْ behold! lo! in the phrase جَاءَ وَأَنْ he came and lo!- Hosea 12:12, אִם נִּלְעָד אָוֶן “lo! Gilead is wickedness,” i.e. most wicked. In the other member there is אַךְ; Job 17:13, אִם אֲקַוֶּה שְׁאֹלּ בֵּיתִי “behold! I wait for Hades, my house;” verse 16 Job 17:16; Proverbs 3:34. Preceded by הֲ in the same sense, Jeremiah 31:20. (The Hebrew interpreters, as Kimchi, explain this אִם which they rightly notice to be affirmative, by אֱמֶת, and they consider it shortened from אָמֵן; I should prefer from אֵמֶן, an opinion which I have followed in Heb. Gramm. ed. 9, P. 191, nor can it be denied that the forms and significations of this particle may be very well explained from this root. But the origin above proposed appears to me now to be the more probable. But see the note.) It becomes
(B) adv. of interrogation (compare הֵן No. 2, and the remarks there, also הַל, הֲ, أَ interrogative formed from הַל, أَلْ demonstrative).
(1) in direct interrogation, num? an? (To this answers the Arab. أَمْ); 1 Kings 1:27; Isaiah 29:16. (Winer in both places renders ob? ober etwa, which is more suitable in the passage in Isaiah, than in 1 Kings.) [“Job 39:13, 31:5 16 Job 31:16, 24 Job 31:24, 25 Job 31:25, 29 Job 31:29, 33 Job 31:33. From the whole of chap. 31 is seen the close connection between this interrogative power of אִם and its conditional sense in letter
(C), since, between sentences beginning with אִם interrog. are interposed others beginning with אִם conditional, followed by an apodosis; see ver. Job 31:7, Job 31:9, 13 Job 31:13, 19 Job 31:19, 20 Job 31:20, 21 Job 31:21, 25 Job 31:25.” Ges. add.] It is far more frequent in disjunctive interrogation where there precedes הֲ: utrum … an? whether … or; Arab. أَمْ…أَ; Joshua 5:13, הֲלָנוּ אַתָּה אִם־לְצָרֵינוּ “whether art thou for us, or for our enemies?” 1 Kings 22:15, הֲנֵלֵךְ … אִם נֶחְדָּל “whether shall we go … or not?” The same is הֲ … וְאִם Job 21:6, and הַאַף … וְאִם Job 34:17, 40:8, Job 40:9. Both are also used in a double interrogation, although not disjunctive, as הֲ … אִם Genesis 37:8, הֲ … וְאִם Genesis 17:17. (Where two questions follow each other, but without closely cohering, הֲ is repeated, 1 Samuel 23:11.)
(2) in oblique interrogation, an, num, Germ. ob, Engl. if, whether. After verbs of interrogation, Song of Solomon 7:13 examining, doubting, 2Ki 1:1-18, in a twofold disjunctive question, הֲ … אִם Genesis 27:21; Numbers 13:20. The phrase מִי יוֹדֵעַ אִם Esther 4:14, accurately answers to the Latin, nescio an, hand scio an, wer weiß ob nicht, = perhaps.
(1) especially conditional if; si, εἰ, Germ. wenn (als wahr gefeßt daß), compare הֵן ecce, num? si, Syr. ܗܐ lo! and i.q. ܐܶܢ if. It answers in this signification to Arab. إِنْ, Sam. Act 10:1-48,, Ethiop. እም፡ Followed according to the sense, by a preterite, Esther 5:8, אִם מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ “if I have found grace in the eyes of the king;” Genesis 43:9, 18:3 and fut. Judges 4:8, אִם תֵּלְכִי עִמִּי וְהָלַכְתִּי “if thou wilt go with me, I will go;” Genesis 13:16, 28:20 Job 8:4, seq.; 11:10 more rarely by a participle, Judges 9:15, 11:9 infinitive (for a fin. verb), Job 9:27. It also stands without a verb, Job 8:6, 9:19. This word differs from the conditional particle לוּ, in אִם being used in a real condition, where it is left uncertain whether something exists or will exist, or be done (si fecisti, si facturus es): while לוּ is used to imply that something does not exist, is not done, or will not be, or at least that it is uncertain, and not probable (si faceres, fecisses, Greek εἰ εἶχεν); see לוּ, and as to the similar use of the partt. إِنْ and لَو de Sacy, Gramm. Arabe, i. § 885. It is an ingenious and subtle usage, that in execrations and imprecations, when conditional, instead of לוּ (which perhaps might have been expected), there always is אִם -Ps. 7:46, אִם עָשִׂיתִי זאֹת אִם יֵשׁ עָוֶל בְּכַפַּי ׃ אִם גָּמַלְתִּי … יִרַדֹּף “if I have done this, if there be iniquity in my hands, if I have injured one at peace with me … let him persecute me,” etc. The Psalmist here denies (if we look at the object of the discourse) that he has done such things, but as though the cause had to be tried, he leaves it as undecided, and as it were, assuming it, he invokes on himself the heaviest penalty, thus wonderfully increasing the force of the execration; compare Psalms 44:21, 73:15 137:5, Psalms 137:6; Job 31:7, seq. Other examples in which for אִם there might have been more accurately לוּ, are Psalms 50:12, אִם אֶרְעַב “if I were hungry;” Hosea 9:12 but however אִם is not here wrong, because its usage is more widely extended. Specially to be observed
(a) when a condition or supposition is modestly to be expressed, אִם … נָא is used, see נָא.
(b) אִם … אִם is put disjunctively, if … if=whether … or; sive … sive (εἴτε, εἴτε, ἐάν τε, ἐάν τε); compare si … si, Gell.ii. 28. Exodus 19:13, אִם־בְּהֵמָה אִם־אִישׁ “whether it were beast or man;” 2 Samuel 15:21; Leviticus 3:1; Deuteronomy 18:3 and with a preceding negation, neither … nor; neque … neque, 2 Kings 3:14. The same is אִם … וְאִם Joshua 24:15; Ecclesiastes 11:3, 12:14 (Arabic وَإِنْ … إِن and وَإِمَّا … إِمَّا.
(c) by an ellipsis of the formula of an oath, such as occurs fully, 1 Samuel 3:17, 24:7 2 Samuel 3:35, אִם becomes a negative particle, especially in oaths. 2 Samuel 11:11, “by thy life (may God heap all manner of evils upon me) אִם אֶעֱשֶׂה אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה I will not do this thing;” 2 Samuel 20:20; 1 Kings 1:51 in adjurations, Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5 Nehemiah 13:25, rarely elsewhere; especially poet. Isaiah 22:14, 62:8 Judges 5:8; Proverbs 27:24. (The use is similar of the Arab. إِنْ, more fully مَا إِنْ for not.)
(2) part. of conceding, though, although (Arab. وَإِنْ, Gr. ἐὰν καί, κἄν), followed by a pret., to express “though I am,” Job 9:15 commonly a fut. to express “though I were,” Isaiah 1:18, 10:22 Psalms 139:8; Job 20:6 (compare however, 9:20 ). Also followed by a verbal noun, Nahum 1:11.
(3) part. of wishing, oh that! would that! (εἰ γάρ). Followed by a fut., Psalms 68:14, 81:9 95:7 139:19. There is an Anacoluthon Genesis 23:13, אִם אַתָּה לוּ שְׁמָעֵנִי “would that thou-would that thou wouldst hear me.” It becomes
(4) a particle of time, when (compare the Germ. wenn and wann, and Engl. when). Followed by a preterite, which often has to be rendered by a pluperfect and fut. perfect, Isaiah 24:13, אִם כָּלָה בָצִיר “when the harvest is ended;” Amos 7:2, וְהָיָה אִם כִּלָּה לֶאֱכֹל “and when it had consumed;” Isaiah 4:4, אִם רָחַץ אֲדֹנָי אֵת צֹאַת בְּנֹותצִיוֹן “when the Lord shall have washed the filth of the daughters of Zion;” Genesis 38:9; Psalms 63:7; Job 8:4, 17:13. So in composition, as עַד אִם until when, until, Genesis 24:19 עַד אֲשֶׁר אִם Genesis 28:15; Numbers 32:17; Isaiah 6:11.
(5) It is rarely that, quum causal, quandoquidem, since, Arab. أَنَّ. Genesis 47:18, “we will not hide it from my lord, that אִם תַּם הַכֶּסֶף … אֶל אֲדֹנִי לֹא נִשְׁאַר since all our money is spent … nothing is left for my lord,” etc.; Isaiah 53:10.
Note. Winer has of late (in his addenda to Heb. Lex. p. 1054) altogether denied the affirmative or demonstrative power of this particle (letter A), (and Rosenm. is not consistent with himself; see him on Job 17:13, and Hosea 12:12). Winer defends, in the passages cited, the common signification, si, ob, if, whether; but his reasons are not convincing. That the primary power was demonstrative, is strongly supported by the passage in Hosea, a very early [?] writer, and by the cognate particle הֵן, إِنَّ, إِنْ, أَنْ; and to this should be added the authority of the ancient versions, which is not to be lightly esteemed (see Noldii Vindiciæ, p. 408).
It is compounded with other particles
(1) הַאִם, twice at the beginning of a question, when put affirmatively: nonne? ecce? is not? Num. 17:28 Job 6:13.
(a) nonne? is not? (where there precedes הֲלֹא), Isaiah 10:9.
(b) if not, unless, Psalms 7:13; Genesis 24:8. Hence after formulæ of swearing, it is a strong affirmation and asseveration (see above C, 1, c), Numbers 14:28; Isaiah 14:9 also in adjurations, Job 1:11, 2:5 17:2 22:20 30:25 Isaiah 5:9.
(c) It is put for but, sed, fondern (compare εἰ μή, unless, Ch. אֶלָּא from אִם־לֶא), Genesis 24:37, 38 Genesis 24:38.
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