Hebrew Lesson Z-V-A

This verse, from the Song of Deborah the Prophet, is the only one in the Bible which uses the common Hebrew word, graphic Hebrew (zeva), for color. The graphic Hebrew (ketonet pasim) worn by Joseph, popularly known as the "coat of many colors," is probably more accurately translated "ornamented tunic" or "a robe with sleeves."[1] Related to the Aramaic ziv'a and the Arabic zib'eh, the Hebrew word for color is graphic Hebrew (zeva); its rootword is graphic Hebrew (z-v-a).

In modern Hebrew a tulip, which comes in many colors although deep red seems to have been most prolific before the age of botanical engineering, is known as graphic Hebrew (ziv'oni) (lit., colorful). Anything colorful food, clothing or the marketplace is referred to as (ziv'oni). A house painter is known as a graphic Hebrew (zaba), and his painting trade is known as graphic Hebrew (zaba'ut). Paint, of course, is graphic Hebrew (zeva), while the pigment that gives plants and animals their hue is graphic Hebrew (ziv'an).

Hebrew: Spoil of dyed cloths for Sisera,

A most interesting derivative of the graphic Hebrew (z-v-a) rootword is the word for hypocrisy, graphic Hebrew (zevi'ut). The word graphic Hebrew (zavu'a) literally means colored or painted, and so one who hides his true thoughts and intentions and presents himself in "different colors" is also referred to as graphic Hebrew (zavua), a hypocrite.

Then many colors [hues], new colors, shall you adjoin to the many colors [hues], new colorsAn alternative Hebrew word for (zeva) is (gaven), hue with its derivative meaning - variation. When a classroom lesson starts to get boring, the teacher might suggest, (bo'u negaven), let's add variation [i.e., color] to the lesson, perhaps by playing a game or putting on a skit. Or at a theatrical performance which incorporates song, dance and poetry, we might express our satisfaction with the (givvun), the variation, in the program. We enrich the fabric of our lives when we follow the advice of the great Hebrew writer Hayyim Nahman Bialik: "Then many colors [hues], new colors, shall you adjoin to the light in your life."[2]

footnotes [1] Genesis 37:3 [back]
[2] H.N. Bialik, Bat Yisrael [back]
author Other articles related to the topic of COLOR

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