The Heart of the Bible

Return to the Hebrew foundations of Scripture

  • The moral heart

    The Hebrew word for heart, lev (לב) is found hundreds of times in the Bible. In the biblical mindset, the lev is much more than merely the organ that tirelessly pumps blood through our veins. The lev is the core human organ. It represents the inner self. It is what causes us to love, cry, sin and empathize. A better English equivalent would be “psyche”. For this reason, in the original Hebrew of the Bible, countless moral qualities are expressed using the word lev

    What’s inside the heart?

    Here is a sample of how the Bible uses the word lev to express a wide variety of human personas:
    • an honorable person is described as yashar-lev, “straight hearted” (Ps. 7:11)
    • a stubborn person is kashe-lev, “hard hearted” (Ezek. 3:7)
    • an arrogant person is guilty of gevah-lev, “elevated heart” (Prov. 16:5)
    • a dishonest person has a lev va-lev, a “heart and heart” or a “double heart” (Ps. 12:3)
    • a courageous person is called amitz-lev, “mighty hearted” (Amos 2:16)

    The Courage to Return to The Source

    Your English translated Bible has taken the fascinating rich Hebrew language and flattened it out to make it flow more easily for English speakers. This robs Scripture of its vital power. A heroic figure like David is not merely “courageous” but “mighty hearted”. One of the most rewarding things about learning to read the Bible in Hebrew is the ability to “get behind” the translation. Enroll in our live online Biblical Hebrew course today and get to the heart of the Bible.   

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