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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #802 - אִשָּׁה
1) woman, wife, female
1a) woman (opposite of man)
1b) wife (woman married to a man)
1c) female (of animals)
1d) each, every (pronoun)
Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
אִשָּׁה (for אִנְשָׁה, fem. of the form אֵנֶשׁ), in const. state אֵשֶׁת (fem. of the form אִישׁ for אִישֶׁת); sometimes also put absol. Deuteronomy 21:11; 1 Samuel 28:7; Psalms 58:9 with suff. אִשְׁתִּי, אִשְׁתְּךָ, אִשְׁתּוֹ, etc.; once אֶשְׁתְּךָ Psalms 128:3 pl. once אִשּׁוֹת Ezekiel 23:44 elsewhere always נָשִׁים (for אֲנָשִׁים by aphæresis, from the sing. אִנְשָׁה); const. state נְשֵׁי, with suff. נָשַׁי, נָשָׁיו, נְשֵׁיהֶם f.
(1) a woman, of every age and condition, whether married or not; Song of Solomon 1:8, הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים “O, fairest of women!” Song of Solomon 5:9, 6:1 Genesis 31:35, דֶּרֶךְ נָשִׁים לִי “the way of women is to me,” i.e. I experience that which happens to women, menstruata sum. 2 Samuel 1:26, “thy love was dearer to me than the love of women;” Job 42:15. Used of unmarried women, Genesis 24:5; Isaiah 4:1. Specially it is
(a) the name of the sex, and is even used of animals, Genesis 7:2, a female, as in Latin femina, French femelle, Greek γυνή in Aristotle; see אִישׁ No. 1, (a).
(b) wife, opposed to husband, Genesis 24:3, Genesis 24:4, 25:1 26:34 28:1 34:4, seq.; אֵשֶׁת אָבִיךָ “thy father’s wife,” i.e. thy step-mother, Leviticus 18:11 compare 1 Corinthians 5:1. Of very frequent use are the phrases לָקַח לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה “to take to oneself (a woman) to wife,” Genesis 4:19, 6:2. Also used of a concubine, Genesis 30:4 of one espoused, Genesis 29:21.
(c) as a man is praised for valour, constancy, and intrepid mind, so woman is used as a term of reproach to a cowardly man, one who is timid, undecided, Isaiah 19:16, 3:12 Jeremiah 51:30; Nahum 3:13 compare Homer, Ἀχαΐδες οὐκ ἐτʼ Ἀχαιοί, Virg. Æn. ix. 617.
(d) It is joined by apposition to various nouns, אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה a harlot, Joshua 2:1 אִשָּׁה פִילֶגֶשׁ a concubine, Judges 19:1 אִשָּׁה אַלְמָנָה a widow, 1 Kings 7:14 אִשָּׁה נְבִיאָה Judges 4:4 א׳ יִשְׂרְאֵלִית Leviticus 24:10.
(e) Followed by a genitive, containing an attribute, it denotes a female possessed of such an attribute; אֵשֶׁת חַיִל an honest woman, Ruth 3:11 אֵשֶׁת מִדְיָנִים a quarrelsome woman, Proverbs 27:15 אֵשֶׁת זְנוּנִים a harlot, Hosea 1:2.
(f) emphat. used of a perfect woman, such as she ought to be, (compare יִשְׂרָאֵל No. 1, and the well-known expression of Diogenes, I seek a man). With the art. collectively of the female sex, Ecclesiastes 7:26.
(2) Followed by אָחוֹת or רְעוּת one, another (see under those words).
(3) any one, whosoever, Exodus 3:22; Amos 4:3.
Note. In Ch. woman is אִתָּא emphat. state אִתְּתָא, אִנְתְּתָא; pl. נְשִׁין. Syriac ܐܰܢܬܬܐܳ, pl. ܢܶܫ̈ܶܐ. Arabic إِمْرَأَةُ, مَرْأَةُ, pl. نِسْوَةُ, نِسْوَانُ, نِسْوَونَ, also أُنْثىَ woman, pl. أُنُثُ, Ethiop. አነስት፡ anest (not anset), which also as a plural stands for women.
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