Meaning of the word ‘Hamas’ in Hebrew

I looked up the definition of the word 'hamas' in Hebrew. The result was fascinating.

Hamas is recognized as a terrorist group by the USA. In light of this, I decided it is worthwhile to look into the definition of the word ‘hamas’ in Hebrew, the language used by Israel and the Old Testament. The result of looking up this word was both startling, yet, not unexpected.

Definition: violence; wrong
Common uses:

  • an oath imputing responsibility for a wrong someone has endured with;
  • violent person;
  • witness who does wrong, false witness

I found it quite ironic the Palestinian militant group would choose a name which denotes, in Hebrew, the idea of someone who is a violent person and/or a false prophet. Rather than follow militant groups who have supported the spilling of blood of the innocent in the name of a god, everyone should call on the true, living God who spilled the blood of His own innocent son, Jesus, so that people can live in heaven.

There is no need to kill to reach heaven. The only death necessary to have eternal life took place when Jesus died. Unlike other so-called messiahs, Jesus rose again and defeated death. Jesus’ grave is empty because he lives today. Jesus said only through him can you be saved, and this is a free gift given to you. Call on Jesus today!

Source of definition: The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament by Ludwig Koehler And Walter Baumgartner Subsequently Revised By Walter Baumgartner And Johann Jakob Stamm With Assistance From Benedikt Hartmann , Ze’ev Ben-Hayyim Eduard Yechezkel Kutscher, Philippe Reymond Translated And Edited Under The Supervision Of M.E.J. Richardson © 1994-2000 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. All rights reserved.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Deacon Lou Pizzuti

    The standard transcription of the word would be h with a dot below it, which doesn’t exist in English as all. In Arabic an classical Hebrew, it is a raspy version of the English h. In modern Hebrew, it’s like the ch in Scottish loch, hence the spelling of “chamas”. The English pronunciation of the word just uses an h.

  2. Peter

    Hamas or Chamas? I see in the Bible Strong’s Hebrew, the word Chamas, but I cant find the word Hamas. the meaning to both words are the same. But I can’t find a reason for the different spelling. Do you know why this is? Can you lead me to a deep explanation of this word and its true orgins. I love strongs but is there a better dictionary of the Hebrew and Greek ancient languages that I could use to increase my knowledge of our Lords Word. Thank You,

    1. John L. Rothra

      TL;DR – The main difference is spelling like the variations in English.

      According to The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT), one of the leading scholarly lexicons, the word “hamas” means “violence,” “wrong,” or “wrongdoing.” Regarding the terrorist group, their name is a acronym for “Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya,” meaning “Islamic Resistance Movement” (source). In Arabic, the word “hamas” means “zeal.” Arabic and Hebrew are related linguistically and thus share some similar words with different spellings (e.g., chamas in Hebrew vs. hamas in Arabic) just as do British vs. American vs. Australian English. Based on the actions of the terrorist group throughout the years–with their propensity for violence and killing–it seems that their choice of names correlates closer with the Hebrew term than the Arabic one.

      The best lexicons for Hebrew and Greek:
      – HALOT (linked above)
      Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB)

      A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BDAG)
      The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament

      These resources, however, require some ability to read Greek and Hebrew letters. You might also look into BibleHub’s lexicons. Just choose the passage from the dropdown menus at the top.

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