What Do Israeli Soldiers And The Woman Of Proverbs 31 Have In Common? (hebrew Insight)

Today I would like to raise an interesting question:
What do Israeli soldiers and the woman of Proverbs 31 have in common?

In Modern Hebrew, a male soldier is Hayal (חייל) and female soldier is Hayelet (חיילת). Since Hebrew is a root language, we can clearly see how this word connects with others. For example, Hiul (חיול) becomes “mobilization” or Hail (חיל) is “a military branch”, like Hail Avir (חיל אויר) – air force (literally, the army of the air), Hail haYam (חיל הים) – navy (literally, the army of the sea), Hail raglim (חיל רגלים) – infantry (literally, the army on foot(

In biblical Hebrew, the same root (חיל) is associated with a variety of words such as pain, birth-pangs, fortification, bulwark, outer wall of defense, honesty and even wealth.

The most famous biblical passage with this word is found in Proverbs 31. There the concept of wisdom is personified into an exemplary woman – Eshet Hail (אשת חיל) – the woman-virtue, the woman-army, woman-fortress, the woman-wealth.

About the author

Dr. Eli Lizorkin-EyzenbergTo secure your spot in our new course “The Jewish Background of New Testament” - CLICK HERE NOW

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