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eTeacherBiblical Official Newsletter
Issue #73 - 03/11
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What happened at dawn?

The dawn (in Hebrew: schachar) is always a good time for peace and quiet moments. This is the time to enjoy the voices of the birds; this is the time to listen to the world waking up.
In The Scriptures, the dawn is the time for some important events in the history of the Israelites.
The first appearance of the dawn can be found in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, as we can see at the end of the story when the angels said to Lot:

 Lot and his family

" וּכְמוֹ הַשַּׁחַר עָלָה, וַיָּאִיצוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים בְּלוֹט לֵאמֹר:  קוּם קַח אֶת-אִשְׁתְּךָ

וְאֶת-שְׁתֵּי בְנֹתֶיךָ, הַנִּמְצָאֹת--פֶּן-תִּסָּפֶה, בַּעֲו‍ֹן הָעִיר"
 

"With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
 

 

The second time that the dawn is mentioned is after a fight at night between Jacob and the angel of G-d/demon/The Lord as we can read in Genesis 32:25-31-

Jacob and the angel

" וַיִּוָּתֵר יַעֲקֹב, לְבַדּוֹ; וַיֵּאָבֵק אִישׁ עִמּוֹ, עַד עֲלוֹת הַשָּׁחַר.  וַיַּרְא, כִּי לֹא יָכֹל לוֹ, וַיִּגַּע, בְּכַף-יְרֵכוֹ; וַתֵּקַע כַּף-יֶרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב, בְּהֵאָבְקוֹ עִמּוֹ.  וַיֹּאמֶר שַׁלְּחֵנִי, כִּי עָלָה הַשָּׁחַר; וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא אֲשַׁלֵּחֲךָ, כִּי אִם-בֵּרַכְתָּנִי.  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, מַה-שְּׁמֶךָ; וַיֹּאמֶר, יַעֲקֹב.  וַיֹּאמֶר, לֹא יַעֲקֹב יֵאָמֵר עוֹד שִׁמְךָ--כִּי, אִם-יִשְׂרָאֵל:  כִּי-שָׂרִיתָ עִם-אֱלֹהִים וְעִם-אֲנָשִׁים, וַתּוּכָל.  וַיִּשְׁאַל יַעֲקֹב, וַיֹּאמֶר הַגִּידָה-נָּא שְׁמֶךָ, וַיֹּאמֶר, לָמָּה זֶּה תִּשְׁאַל לִשְׁמִי; וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ, שָׁם.  וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם, פְּנִיאֵל:  כִּי-רָאִיתִי אֱלֹהִים פָּנִים אֶל-פָּנִים, וַתִּנָּצֵל נַפְשִׁי"
 

"So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?”  “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

After this night, at dawn, Jacob is no longer Jacob, he is also Israel! The next time relates to Israel the land when the people of Israel entered the Promised Land and took-over Jericho, as we can see in Joshua 6:14-16-

Jericho

"וַיָּסֹבּוּ אֶת-הָעִיר בַּיּוֹם הַשֵּׁנִי, פַּעַם אַחַת, וַיָּשֻׁבוּ, הַמַּחֲנֶה; כֹּה עָשׂוּ, שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים.  וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, וַיַּשְׁכִּמוּ כַּעֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר, וַיָּסֹבּוּ אֶת-הָעִיר כַּמִּשְׁפָּט הַזֶּה, שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים:  רַק בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, סָבְבוּ אֶת-הָעִיר שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים.  וַיְהִי בַּפַּעַם הַשְּׁבִיעִית, תָּקְעוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת; וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל-הָעָם הָרִיעוּ, כִּי-נָתַן יְהוָה לָכֶם אֶת-הָעִיר"
 

"So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days. On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!"
 

When the people of Israel asked for a king, because they wanted to be like all the nations in 1 Samuel 8, Samuel refused their request until The Lord commanded him to allow them to have a King. The first crowning of the first king took place at dawn as we can read in 1 Samuel 9:26-10:1-

The first crowning

"וַיַּשְׁכִּמוּ, וַיְהִי כַּעֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל-שָׁאוּל הגג (הַגָּגָה) לֵאמֹר, קוּמָה, וַאֲשַׁלְּחֶךָּ; וַיָּקָם שָׁאוּל, וַיֵּצְאוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם הוּא וּשְׁמוּאֵל--הַחוּצָה.  הֵמָּה, יוֹרְדִים בִּקְצֵה הָעִיר, וּשְׁמוּאֵל אָמַר אֶל-שָׁאוּל אֱמֹר לַנַּעַר וְיַעֲבֹר לְפָנֵינוּ, וַיַּעֲבֹר; וְאַתָּה עֲמֹד כַּיּוֹם, וְאַשְׁמִיעֲךָ אֶת-דְּבַר אֱלֹהִים וַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל אֶת-פַּךְ הַשֶּׁמֶן, וַיִּצֹק עַל-רֹאשׁוֹ--וַיִּשָּׁקֵהוּ; וַיֹּאמֶר--הֲלוֹא כִּי-מְשָׁחֲךָ יְהוָה עַל-נַחֲלָתוֹ, לְנָגִיד"
 

"They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.” Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance?"
 

The last story with the dawn relates to Jonah the prophet, as he learned the lesson by The Lord when at the dawn the worm chewed the plant that The Lord has given to him in order to protect himself from the sun!

As a Biblical Hebrew Teacher the dawn is the time when I feel that another night passed and more students enjoy this beautiful language!
 

 
Main phrases of the post + transcription + translation

 

Hebrew

Transcription

Translation

שַׁחַר

šachar

Dawn

יְרִיחוֹ

yərîchô

Jericho

מַאֲבָק

Ma'ăbāq

Struggle

הַמְלָכָה

hamlākāh

Crowning

הַשְׁכָּמָה

haškāmāh

Getting up

צִפּוֹר

tsippôr

Bird

זְרִיחָה

zərîchāh

Sunrise

 

  

 
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