Question: Could you explain what Hebrew idioms are and give some examples in the Bible? Lisa
An idiom is normally a phrase – but it is different from other phrases in that its actual meaning is different from the meanings of words that make up the phrase. English, like all languages employs these descriptive colloquialisms and figures of speech, like “Its raining cats and dogs”; She’s green with envy” or He’s a chip off the old block” And like English, Hebrew is no different. What’s even more challenging about the Hebrew Scriptures is that many of these idiomatic words or phrases used in the Bible are made up of ancient terms and describe traditions and customs foreign to the west.
For example, the Hebrew word for the “corners of the hem” of a prayer shawl are called kanifim which translates in English to wings. Knowing the meaning of this word helps us understand Malichi 4:2a and Psalm 91:4a
(A)Psalm 91;1,4 “He (A)who dwells in the secret place (place of prayer) of the Most High Shall abide (B)under the shadow of the Almighty.” ` vs. 4 “He shall cover you with His feathers, And under “His wings” you shall take refuge”.
By replacing the words “His wings” with corners of His prayer shawl. Then we can understand that when one who prays in faith under his prayer shawl or trusts even that Yeshua intercedes for us under His- then God will arise with healing as indicated in Malichi or God will cover with His protection as indicated in Psalms 91.
It is curious that the women with the issue of blood reached out and did something unspeakable (Matthew 9:20-22). Though she was unclean she touched someone- in fact, she touched a rabbi. But instead of being defiled, Yeshua felt virtue go through him. Why? Because the woman believed and understood the prophecy of Micah 4:2. She trusted she would be healed by touching the kanafim (wings) of the holy prayer garment – the corners of the hem of the Messiah’s tallit.
I also explain several idiomatic phrases in my Precious Gem article “Learning His Ways” appearing in this very Kaleidoscope issue.
Blessings as you seek His Truth my dear sister. You will find it!