Finding root meanings of pronouns using Logos

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Mitch Davis | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Nov 10 2015 10:36 AM

So, I can find the root of any word via the context menu (and do Bible Word Study from the lemma), but I can't seem to find the root meaning of a given word, specifically on pronouns. Easy example (studying the genealogy of Adam-Noah): Seth. His name is easy enough because Gen. 4:25 tells us his name means to be "appointed". However, if I didn't have Gen. 4:25 how would I know that the Hebrew (syt) means "appointed"? I can view all the English words with the root "syt" but not necessarily come up with its root meaning. When extrapolating this to all other roots for their associated pronouns, how do I use Logos to accomplish this task?

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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 10 2015 11:37 AM

Hi Mitch,

See if this does what you are trying to do.

Using Seth as an example:

Open BWS and type in Seth

Open Hebrew Words

Click on the ring and then run a BWS on the lemma as shown here:

Now from the new BWS on the hebrew word set, open the root section and the first item is the "root meaning".

Here is a screen shot:

Here is one for the hebrew root for Abel:

Lastly an ISBE article on Abel discussing the etymology:

When you run the BWS on Abel, you can open topics and search the dictionaries for this kind of information as well.

Hope this is close to what you are looking for.

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Mitch Davis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 10 2015 12:50 PM

John (thanks for your help, it is great appreciated!),

I've done that in my usage of Logos, but notice - as your screen shot reveals on the "root meaning" of syt (Seth) - that what does NOT show up is "appointed" as given in Gen. 4:25. Therein lies the problem I'm having with this type of study in Logos. Surely, there is something I'm missing - save learning Hebrew - that can help me get to the root of proper pronouns.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 10 2015 2:17 PM

FYI: you are talking of proper nouns not pronouns. The etymologies given in the Bible are often "folk etymologies" rather than linguistic ones as you will find in a lexicon. In addition, the Bible gives a short gloss on the root rather than a full definition and glosses vary across lexicons and contexts. See for a source of the information you are seeking.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 10 2015 2:32 PM

Mitch as the ISBE stated on the article on Abel, the etymology is uncertain. Here is an article from the Dict of OT Pentateuch:

1. Seth’s Etymology

Eve explains the name she gives to her third son, Seth (šēt), as “God has provided me [šāṫlî] with another offspring in place of Abel” (Gen 4:25 njps). The connection may be simple paronomasia rather than etymological derivation of the former from the latter, though most have agreed with Eve’s account.

Here is an article from the JPS Genesis Commentary:

25. Seth The name is here connected with the stem sh-y-t, “to place, put, set.” The birth of Seth compensates for the loss of Abel. Since the noun shat means “foundation,” as in Isaiah 19:10 and Psalm 11:3, there may lie behind the name the notion that, as Genesis Rabba 20:29 has it, “With him the world was founded [anew].”

I am not certain you will find the root information useful or conclusive. You will need to review some additional resources to further determine meanings of names as often discussed in the OT. That's the best advise I have. Maybe someone else can give you a better suggestion.

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Mitch Davis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 5:48 AM

How about my mixed up mind. I meant proper nouns, but said pronouns then proper pronouns in the next post! ha!

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Mitch Davis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 5:51 AM

Thanks John and M.J.,

I appreciate the time you both took to help me.


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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 6:20 AM

MJ, thanks for the link... I learned something.

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